Best Kayak Fishing Rods

Kayak Fishing Rods - Reviews & Guides For 2024

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Kayak Fishing Rod Buyers Guide

Whether you fish for fun, or you are a professional angler, kayak fishing is one of the best water activities to experience. To get the most fun out of it, it is essential to carefully choose the gear and equipment, especially the fishing rods.

To reel in the big fish, you will require good quality kayak fishing rods. A precise combination of power and action can help you take home the big trophy.

As there are many options available in the market, it can be tiresome to select the best option for yourself. So, here we present a comprehensive buying guide to aid you in making an informed decision while selecting the best rod for yourself.

Importance of buying guide before opting a fishing rod

It is well known that not everything that shines is definitely going to be gold. Likewise, to avoid falling into the market bear trap, reading the buying guide is essential.

This guide will provide you with all the necessary information to arm yourself and prevent you from falling from all show no go products and help you choose the correct product.

But first let us know the basic difference between kayak fishing and regular fishing.

How does kayak fishing differ from regular fishing?

  1. The experience of kayak fishing is very different from fishing in a vessel. When you are fishing from a boat or the seashore, you are free enough to move comfortably. But the kayak does not have much room like an open boat that can limit your movement.
  2. In a kayak, it is difficult to walk around or cast in a direction according to your convenience. Also, you can not fish easily from a standing position. You have to sit constantly to work your fishing.
  3. Though you may find some modern style kayaks that are stable enough and support the anglers to stand while fishing. But sitting in the kayak ensures maximum safety.
  4. However, you can not move freely while standing. You are not allowed to turn 180 degrees when the fish turn the other side. Also, it is challenging to rotate sideways for casting in any direction. Therefore, you have to twist your body while fighting the fish.
  5. You will need to change the length of your fishing rod to catch fish from the kayak with less effort. Though the features like power, composition, etc. are almost identical, the length of the kayak fishing rods differs from the normal one.

Key Things to consider while selecting kayak fishing rods

Length of rod

As we have already said that the experience of kayak fishing is unique from others, the length of the kayak fishing rods matters a lot for your fishing performance. You must consider the rod length before making your purchase. Usually, a 7 feet rod is recommended for the adults, but it mostly depends on the target fish and your fishing method. Three types of rod lengths are given below—

  1. Long rod

A long rod runs between 7 feet and 10 feet that allows you to cast in a large area. It is appropriate for smaller species of fish because it is thin and lightweight. nBeing designed with spring, the rod has a better absorbing impact, so it helps you fight a fish easily.

  1. Short rod

A short rod has a length between 5 feet to 7 feet, and if you are targeting larger species, it will help you the best. But small length fishing rods are not suitable for casting. It is stable and supports you with high power to fight a massive struggling fish. It is designed with extra stiffness that makes your action faster.

  1. Medium rod

A rod that is between long and short rods can have multipurpose use. It comes with the right combination of power and balance, ideal for surface activities. If you are fishing near a wash zone, it will help you cast easily in a sloppy situation. It works quicker with good accuracy so that you can use this rod for your kayak fishing.

Types of rods

It is crucial to choose the right kind of kayak fishing rods that suits your fishing style the most. The types of rods depend on the types of the reel. The types of rods include:

  1. Spinning

Most of the anglers, commonly, use the spinning rods that come with a spinning reel. You can see the spinning reel under the rod making the rod perfect for both bait fishing and casting. This type of rod is appropriate for various kinds of small and medium-size fishes, and you can easily use this spinning rod to catch fish from the kayak and the shore.

  1. Fly

As fly fishing is different from traditional fishing, you need a particular fishing rod to fish with ease. Therefore, the fly rod is specially designed with fly reels that help you to fish in freshwater lakes and streams. You need a lot of skills and patience to use this fly rod for your fishing.

  1. Baitcast

If you are an experienced angler, you can choose baitcasting rods instead of spinning rods. A baitcasting rod has a baitcasting reel that requires proper skills to be handled. It can work with high accuracy when you cast in freshwater and saltwater lakes from a kayak. Also, it allows you to fight a strong fish easily.

  1. Surf

Surf rods are suitable for surf fishing because they come with the 4-5 meters length to cast anywhere you want. It is specially designed with a big eggbeater reel that supports extra weight and allows you to control bigger fish. You can break the surf rods into different parts to fish through waves.

  1. Telescope

Telescopic rods are equipped with different reels, including spinning reel, baitcasting reel, or fly reel, to make sure you can use this rod in any condition. This type of rod is perfect for traveling because it does not take many spaces. You can catch various small to medium size fish with this rod.

  1. Overhead

People looking for a classic kayak fishing rod can choose this overhead rod. It works with the overhead reel, which is perfect for fighting big fishes in the deep sea. It is shorter but more potent than a casting road. However, it is not a good option for casting.

Power and Action

When you buy a fishing rod, you must give importance to that rod's power and action because it determines the flexibility of the rod according to the length. Rod's action depends on the taper of the rod and its length.

If you have a sturdy fishing rod, you can drag the fish quickly. Less power kayak fishing rods are appropriate for gentle strikes. A sturdy rod determines the fitness that makes your rod bendy. The power of a fishing rod helps you to measure the weight required to bend the rod.

On the other hand, fast-action implies the sensitivity of the rod. A less powerful rod has faster action. It helps you to feel the movement of the lure and fight with a struggling fish effortlessly. More power of a fishing rod slows down the action. So you have to apply more force to handle a strong hooked fish.

Faster action of the fishing rod allows you to feel a gentle strike. Always remember that lightweight kayak fishing rods are capable of more rapid action because they have less power. You can enjoy fighting with a smaller sized fish, but you cannot muscle the hooked fish perfectly.

Fishing rods having slow action are not bendy, and they are rigid enough so that you can easily set up the hook. Slow action rods come up with a unique design that is very helpful to control fighting fish that are powerful and big. A rod with slow action and heavy power (also medium-heavy power) becomes rigid and robust, ensuring that you can have better control over the strongest and biggest fish species.

Another critical factor that you must look for is that both the power and action should work well with the fish.

After knowing your targeted species of fish and your fishing style, you should select the power and action of your fishing rod accordingly. It is exciting to catch small fish such as bream with a lightweight rod having less power. But, you need slow action and more power for bigger size fish such as tuna.

You should also choose a lure that is compatible with the power and action of your fishing rod. It is better to keep in mind that more hooks can reduce the power and boost the action. For very fast action, you need heavy rods, but light rods are appropriate for slow action.

Types of fishing rod material

The durability and sturdiness of the kayak fishing rods depend on the materials used in designing the rods. Since kayak fishing is different from other traditional fishing styles, the rods must be strong and sturdy enough. An ultralight rod can have faster action than a heavy one. So, to find the right materials is also very important for high-end performance. The materials used in making fishing rods are:

  1. Graphite

Graphite is a rigid and robust material but does not have much weight. It helps you to feel the nibbles accurately. Many fishing rods are made up of graphite because of its sensitivity and stiffness. So, it can be a better choice for jigging.

  1. Fiberglass

The fishing rods made of Fibreglass are easy to bend. Fiberglass rods easily come within your budget, where the high-standard rods with Graphite and Fibreglass are a little expensive. In many fishing rods, you can find resin used as binding material, but the cheaper rods have more resin instead of other elements.

Handles of Kayak fishing rods

The fishing rod handle plays a vital role in enhancing your comfort while fishing from a kayak. Commonly, you can find two different styles of handle for including longer handles and split or continuous handles.

Longer handles are appropriate for bigger hands. But, you can choose split or continuous handles according to your preference.You must choose the right materials for the handle to ensure you have a good grip while pulling or casting.

Usually, Cork and EVA foam are highly used to make fishing rod handles. Cork is suitable for lightweight handles and also provides a warm feeling when touched.

But Cork handles are not durable enough and may get damaged easily. In the case of Foam, it is soft and lightweight but ensures more durability than cork.

  1. Cork rings

Cork rings add a new style to the rod's handle. It is a little heavy but ensures a good grip for your hand. It is not slippery and does not get compressed easily with the heavy load. With this grip, you can get a warm feeling in a colder environment. They are sensitive enough to transmit more vibrations than foam ones. It is lighter so you can hold it with a tight grip without worrying about slipping.

  1. Cork tape

Handles made of cork tape gives you a feeling like a cork without using cork material. It helps you to have a tight grip even when the handle is wet. So, You can hold this handle with maximum comfort. Though this type of grip is not much durable, you can consider this for decorative wraps.

  1. Shrinkwrap

Shrinkwrap has more advantages than any other materials used in grip because it is easy to install. Also, this material guarantees durability without compromising the style. Besides, the non-slip and water-resistant facility, shrinkwrap, is available with different colors to go well with thread colors.

  1. Cord

Some anglers may find it difficult to use cord grip as they make the rods heavy, but if you have slim hands, this grip will be the best choice for you. This durable grip material comes within your budget so you can easily use this to have a tight hold of your fishing rod.

Spinning reel

When you choose the spinning reels for your kayak fishing rods, you must consider the type of your targeted fish and ensure that the rod is in balance with the fishing reel. A longer rod is used for casting in a wider area, but when you select a smaller reel for a longer rod, you will not get satisfactory results. Long casting requires a rod with a medium-sized spinning reel.

Moreover, the spinning reel should be resistant to corrosion. Otherwise, it will get damaged easily. When you are fishing from a kayak, you will be in a sitting position that needs more arm force to cover a more considerable casting distance. So, you should look for lightweight material to reduce your arm strain.

  1. Fixed spool reels

Fixed spool reels are not the right choice for fishing in saltwater lakes because they are prone to have corrosions from saltwater. Along with the bearings, the drag assemblies get damaged quickly, so you must find a fixed spool reel resistant to saltwater corrosion.

Some reels are also available with water-resistant features, but you have to pay a high price for them. So most of the anglers try to avoid this reel for kayak fishing. There are different types of drag reels found in the market that are made up of stainless steel. Stainless steel ensures the durability and longevity of the reels.

  1. Multiplier reels

Multiplier reels are the most appropriate for kayak fishing. Generally, multiplier reels come more durable than the fixed spool reels, which means they can last long with proper care. A reel with a 6500-7000 size is used in kayak fishing, and it is perfect for casting smaller bait. There are different sizes of multiplier reels available in the market so that you can choose them according to your requirements.

Other things to consider while selecting kayak fishing rods

Line and weight

Line and lure weight impact significantly on the performance of your kayak fishing rod. It means you should check the side of your fishing rod beside the reel seat part. There is no point in going beyond the limitations of the manufacturers. So, check this carefully before choosing a fishing rod.

Reel seat

The reel seat is attached to the fishing rods to keep the reel securely. Typically, standard quality is maintained, but you should check the fit properly. If possible, test the reel seat with the reel you have chosen already to see whether the reel wriggles or not after tightening the collar of the seat.


Ferrules help you to assemble the rods conveniently so that you can carry it without any hassles. Some fishing rods can be broken into two or more pieces where some rods come as one unit. The rods that can break down easily are well-equipped with high-quality ferrules.

Tips for excellent kayak fishing experience

If you want to make your fishing game a little adventurous, you must experience kayak fishing at least once. You should follow the given tips to enjoy your kayak fishing to the fullest—

  1. In the very beginning, you should pick the gear correctly. No matters whether you are a beginner or experienced, it is better to arrange all the essential gears beforehand. Paddles are very important because they can enhance your kayak fishing experience to another level. So always choose high-quality paddles for better performance.
  2. You must select the best kayak fishing rods that are lightweight as well as durable. The type of kayak is also a significant thing to consider to meet all your requirements.
  3. When you get the skill to control, the paddle one-handed will be more exciting to fish in the kayak. As it is quite challenging, you can have specialized training to master how to use paddle one-handed. It will allow you to catch fish with one hand while using the other hand to paddle.
  4. It is wise to find out the location for your kayak fishing in advance. It will surely save your time, and you will get the best results.
  5. Always take care of the precautions properly so you can fish safely and securely.


  1. Is it essential to match the reel with the kayak fishing rod?

It is crucial to select the perfect reel for your kayak fishing rods, as it will aid you in fishing your target fish and allow you to maintain a proper balance between the power and action.

  1. Any tips for selecting the best handle for the rod?

Try to look for the handle, which is long enough so that you can easily manage the rod while casting it. Also, ensure that the handle doesn't interfere with your life jacket and is easy to manage while you are sitting. Check the material and grip and select the one which best fits your hands.

  1. How can I catch more fish in kayak fishing?

Catching fish depends on many factors, but there are some general tips to follow to elevate the chance of catching fish in the kayak:

  • Try to opt longer rods so that you can easily cast maneuver it.
  • Go with easy to use and versatile baits to avoid hooking it again and again and luring more fish.
  • Always target different species of fish before leaving a specific area.
  • Select a light paddle to maneuver your kayak effortlessly.
  1. What is the best material for kayak fishing rods?

Typically, the rods are made of fiberglass or graphite. Fiberglass is more flexible but lacks sensitivity, whereas graphite is light and sensitive, which is ideal for using live bait.

If the price is not an issue for you, you can select the rods made of high-quality carbon fiber. They are the most superior fishing rods and totally provide the value for the money spent on them.

  1. What do you mean by the action of the kayak fishing rods?

In simple words, action refers to the ability of the rod to curve or bend under stress or pressure. Slow action rods will bend the whole length while long action ones will only turn the part of it.

Also, the medium action rods have a balance between sensitivity and flexibility.

  1. Is mounting an essential aspect of the fishing rod?

Make sure that the mounting of your kayak and fishing rod matches as it will allow you to place your rod safely and prevent any damage to it.

Final Verdict

Either fishing is a hobby or a profession for you, good quality kayak fishing rods always return the value for the money spent on them. In this buying guide, you will get all the necessary information to make an informed decision and select the best option for yourself.

Grab the best fishing rod and reel in your favorite fish, and have a fantastic kayak fishing experience. / - © Copyright 2020