December 11, 2020

10 Best Rod and Reel Combos for Beginners

Scott Kimball

Written by

Scott Kimball


As a beginner, fishing can be quite discouraging if you don't have the right fishing gear. That's why we've dug deep and researched some of the top-rated fishing combos on the market. The main aim is to help you find the best rod and reel combo for beginners.

When you're getting started into fishing, choosing the right fishing rod and gear can be overwhelming. Imagine having to go through thousands of options with no concrete idea of what might just work perfectly for you. To make matters worse, there is a lot of jargon revolving around fishing rods and reels that it can be quite nightmarish to know what they mean. But because matching a perfect rod and reel is quite challenging, the best thing to do is to go for a rod and reel combo as everything will come together and nicely balance.

Buying a rod and reel combo is a sure way of having perfectly compatible fishing gear. While many experienced anglers don't buy them in a set, first-time anglers need to start from somewhere and learn what works for them. So by buying the best rod and reel combo you'll remove a lot of obstacles out of your fishing escapade.

The last thing you may want when out there on the water is a fishing rod or gear that will disappoint you. This is exactly why we've done comprehensive research and compiled a list of the best rod and reel combo for beginners. This will help you make an informed choice and enhance your fishing experience.

Best Rod and Reel Combos for Beginners | Today I'm Outside

Table of Contents:

How to Choose the Best Rod and Reel Combo for a Beginner

This might seem like a silly thing to say but there's nothing like a beginner's rod. Instead, there are a lot of features that make a rod perfect for a beginner. They include composite blank, shorter length, lightweight, and light to medium power action.

So when it comes to a well-balanced rod and reel combo, you should put a lot of emphasis on the quality of the rod, its flexibility, and whether it can allow you to detect even the most cautious of bites.

That being said, here are some of the things to look for when choosing the best rod and reel combo for beginners.

  • The combo should be affordable - You probably still don't know whether this angling thing is a passion or just passing fad, so getting something that affordable is the best way to go.
  • Go for spin rods - Spin reels are a lot easier to use than spincast reels and are the better option if you're still learning how to fish.
  • Know the type of fish you want to catch - Are you looking to catch bass, catfish, or other types of fish? Knowing your target fish will make it a lot easier when choosing the best rod and reel combo.
  • Do your research - Of course, you need to do some research by reading articles like this so that you can have a better idea how angling works, how to use rods and reels, and what might be suitable for your body structure.

10 best Rod and Reel Combos for Beginners

PLUSINNO Telescopic Fishing Rod Reel

In addition to having an amazing market reputation, the Plusinno fishing kit is a superb rod and reel combo for first-time anglers. The fact that it's cheap and comes with a package that includes a rod, reel, six hooks, a line, and four sinkers makes it the best combo out there.

For many beginners, it's often advisable to go light and learn the ropes before advancing to heavier fishing gear. Well, that shouldn't be a problem with the Plusinno Telescopic fishing rod reel. This gear is built with fiberglass and high-density carbon fiber, which in real sense, makes it lightweight, durable, and very reliable. This, of course, means that you can perfectly use this combo for hours on end without necessarily getting tired.

What's more; this combo is very flexible and will give you an upper hand when fighting fish so you'll never have to worry about the fish winning the battle. Again, the rod's flexibility will elevate your fishing experience by offering an action-packed fishing adventure. This goes hand in hand with the rod's EVA Foregrip, which makes it very comfortable even in some of the tensest fishing scenarios.

When it comes to the reel, it's made with a stainless steel reel seat that's corrosion-resistant, which makes it ideal for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. That's not all; the spool and line capacity are perfect and well-balanced for any beginner. The reel's anti-reverse power gear will give any angler additional strength and control, which all makes it powerful and fantastic.

So if you're in for your first fishing experience and looking for the best rod and reel combo, nothing beats the Plusinno Telescopic Fishing Rod Reel.


  • ‍The reel and rod are made from quality materials
  • Strong, flexible, and durable
  • The reel has a great drag
  • The reel's anti-reverse power is excellent
  • The rod's grip is comfortable
  • Superb and well-balanced casting combo


  • ‍Segments may rotate when you're casting
  • The rod's action isn't the best

Shakespeare UglyStik GX2 Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Like most of the things named Shakespeare, the Shakespeare UglyStik Fishing Rod and Reel Combo bring to your fishing table quality, reliability, and immense joy. This is a rod and reel combo that throws the widespread myth that a great rod and reel combo has to be very expensive. Well, it's affordable and doesn't compromise on its best features.

In terms of durability, there are perhaps very few rods and reel combos that can match it. Buy the Shakespeare UglyStik today and it will most certainly last for the next decade. The fact that the reel's spool from aluminum and the rotor made from plastic may make some question its durability but it will serve you for a very long time without breaking down.

Besides its durability, the reel is super smooth and silent while the rod feels a lot better in the hands as it is lighter than many other rods. This makes it a lot easier to cast and your arm isn't going to feel overworked even if you spend more than 12 hours out there on the water.

As a first-time angler, you probably want to make a statement to fellow anglers out there while also catching some fish. Well, Shakespeare UglyStik gives you a perfect opportunity to achieve both. That's because the rod is aesthetically pleasing in various ways. On the back of the rod just before the reel seat section, the rod is heat pressed into foam. This is essential in making it feel comfortable and easy on the hands even when fighting the biggest of fish (if you're lucky enough to land one on your first days out there). The rod is also designed to perfectly match the reel.

Better still, this combo can be great for teaching children how to fish. This is, without a doubt, a powerful combo that should be on top of your list.


  • ‍Very durable
  • The reel is super smooth and quiet
  • The rod is strong and flexible
  • Good drag on the reel
  • The rod offers a great cast
  • Comes with a good warranty


  • ‍Some people may question the reel's durability as it is made with plastic
  • The line can snag on the reel

Pflueger President Spinning Combo Fishing Reel Rod

Designed for smaller fish, the Pflueger President Spinning Combo Fishing Reel Rod is a lovely little combo for first-time anglers. It's so lightweight that you won't get tired even if you're casting for the entire day.

Made from a durable graphite blank, this combo offers strength and sensitivity in equal measures. It offers you the opportunity to instantly feel those cautious fish bites and is strong enough should you get a bite from those fish monsters.

When it comes to the reel, you get a reliable and highly-functional product made from aluminum and graphite, which are quality materials that will perfectly serve in both freshwater and saltwater. The reel also comes with corrosion-resistant bearings so you don't have to worry about your reel getting damaged before you gain some proper fishing experience. More importantly, the 10-bearing system is excellent in offering super smooth and quiet drag.

This is unquestionably a great rod and reel combo that's available at excellent value and various size options to choose from just to enhance your fishing experience.


  • ‍The rod is comfortable on the hands
  • Both the rod and reel are made from durable and high-quality materials
  • The reel is super smooth, quiet, and offers great drag


  • ‍The guides aren't perfect since they're very small

Penn Battle II Combo

A real package for an inshore fishing adventure, the Penn Battle II Combo is an optimal option for first-time anglers looking for a quality rod and reel combo at an affordable price. Whether you're looking to cast from the banks or longer, this combo is your go-to-guy.

While its responsiveness is its greatest feature, this beginner combo is structured with durable and high-quality material to make it superb for different environments (both saltwater and freshwater) for many years to come without having to worry about corrosion.

The reel uses the unique Penn's drag washers and is greased with the manufacturer's exclusive grease to ensure that it's smooth, quiet, and protected from elements. This is also effective in allowing you to cast farther and for severe drags.


  • ‍The reel is available in different models
  • Allows you to cast longer
  • Great for bigger fish (can drag up to 25 pounds) and can endure tough fishing scenarios
  • Very durable and constructed from high-quality materials
  • The combo is very reliable


  • ‍A little more expensive

KastKing Centron Spinning Combos 6ft

A strong and durable rod and reel combo, the KastKing Centron Combo is a superb beginner combo that's made from a lightweight graphite body. Available in various sizes, this combo gives you the perfect chance of picking a set based on your level of fishing expertise and the type of fish you're targeting. While the 6-feet, 2,000 reel size combo is the ideal choice, you still have the option of going with a 7-feet, 4,000 reel size combo or an 8-feet, 5,000 reel size combo.

The reel is designed to offer you immense fluidity, quietness (you don't want to spook fish), excellent drag, and an even more enjoyable fishing experience. This is a superb rod and reel combo that puts a lot of emphasis on your skill level. So as a beginner, the 6-feet, 2,000 reel size combo will be an amazing choice as you learn the fishing ropes.


  • ‍Very durable and reliable
  • The drag is smooth, quiet, and excellent
  • It's affordable
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Available is a wide range of options
  • Made from high-quality material
  • Lightweight


  • ‍The reel cannot be switched

Okuma Rox Spinning Combo

This is a quality rod and reel combo that's available at an affordable price but is also perfect for first-time anglers looking to learn how to catch more fish. In addition to a strong, durable, and flexible rod, the reel is super smooth and quiet so you won't have to worry about spooking fish from taking a bite.

While the backbone of the rod is strong and durable, the tip of the rod is highly sensitive. This is because it's constructed from graphite and this is essential in detecting exactly what's happening beneath the water, especially when the fish tentatively takes a bite.

Overall, this is a great combo for beginners in terms of quality and price. It doesn't matter whether you're fishing in saltwater or freshwater; this rod and reel combo is one of the best out there and will augment your fishing experience.


  • ‍Strong, flexible, and very durable
  • Reasonably affordable
  • Great for both saltwater and freshwater
  • The reel is smooth and quiet


  • ‍The drag system is questionable

Abu Garcia IKE Dude Spinning/Spincast Fishing Reel & Rod Combo

Specifically meant for kids, this is a great rod and reel combo if you want to teach your kid how to fish. It's super light, easy to set up, and easy to use. This combo is lightweight, highly responsive, and made from materials that make it an excellent choice for young beginners.

The fact that the reel can either be spincast or spinning makes it very versatile and gives you the option of choosing what works best for you. That being said, spincast reels are perfect for young beginners as they are a lot easier to use and you can eventually upgrade to a spinning reel.

While this rod and reel combo isn't great for saltwater or not of the best quality in the market, it will give any beginner less stress while getting the job done.


  • ‍Great for kids
  • Lightweight and sensitive
  • Perfect for freshwater
  • Quite affordable


  • ‍Not perfect for saltwater
  • The materials are not of great quality

KastKing Sharky III Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Another great product from KastKing, the Sharky III Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is a top tire beginner-friendly combo. With an excellent drag system that's super smooth and quiet, this combo offers you your best chance as a first-time angler to take home loads of fish.

The reel is highly sensitive and you'll detect exactly what's going on at the tip of your line while the reel's bail is of superb quality. This is because the bail can perfectly use various lines including mono and braids.

When it comes to the rod, it's super comfortable on the hands and works well with the reel. This is one of the best features when choosing a beginner-friendly rod and reel combo, so you should be in a much better position to enjoy an awesome fishing trip.


  • ‍The reel is super perfect, smooth, and quiet
  • The combo is highly sensitive and versatile
  • Perfect for both saltwater and freshwater


  • ‍The rod is fragile and the eyelets need to be improved

ShinePick Fishing Rod Kit Telescopic

This is a superb rod and reel combo that comes with a powerful spinning reel, telescopic spinning rod, line, hook, lures, and a carrier bag. This is so perfect for a first-time angler as you have everything that you need for your fishing adventure all in one place.

The telescopic fishing rod is made from carbon fiber and is strong yet very sensitive. The handle is so comfortable that you won't tire out even after hours of fishing. The reel has an awesome drag system and you'll love its anti-reverse system, especially when a big fish takes a bite.

The entire package is not only lightweight but is also conveniently designed for travel. So whether you're traveling by car or fishing on a boat, you'll be able to easily access the accessories that you want. This is a superb package that has everything that you need, which makes it great for beginners.


  • ‍Made from quality materials
  • Strong, durable, flexible, and sensitive
  • Very versatile
  • Comes with everything that you need for your fishing adventure
  • Very lightweight
  • The drag system is brilliant
  • Reasonably priced


  • ‍The anti-reverse system might let you down

FISHOAKY Fishing Rod Set

Made from carbon fiber, this rod and reel combo is flexible, sensitive, and very durable; features that make it a great option for beginners. It's comfortable on the hands, easy to set up and ideal for both freshwater and saltwater.

This amazing combo is designed with stainless steel ceramic inserts, which makes it effective when looking to cast farther. The telescopic rod is collapsible, which is a great feature if you want to conveniently travel with your rod.

This combo comes with loads of incredible accessories including lures, hooks, tackle kits, and a lure box. This not only makes it quite affordable but also great for first-time anglers looking to test themselves in demanding waters.


  • ‍Strong, flexible, and durable
  • Comes with several other accessories
  • The drag system is excellent
  • Great for both saltwater and freshwater
  • The telescopic rod is collapsible and convenient to carry around
  • It's perfectly balanced


  • ‍The reel's spool is large but the body is very short
10 Best Rod and Reel Combos for Beginners

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10 Best Rod and Reel Combos for Beginners


Scott Kimball

From a young age I was introduced to fishing, hiking, camping, snowboarding and more through family, friends, and scouting. After 20 years of learning and participating in these outdoor activities, I share what i've learned (and continue learning) with you.

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