Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for the Money of 2020: Complete Reviews With Comparisons
It’s never too late to start your fishing career.
If you are interested and you want to start now, you can always buy your own equipment and start researching about fishing in general.
If you are worried about your budget, you can always find the best fishing rod and reel combo for the money.
There are a few of them in the market that would provide both value and affordability.
However, blindly choosing a rod and reel combo would not be a good idea.
Even if you are on a budget, you should at least look for something that would provide the features that you require.
If you are still a beginner and you want to find the right fishing rod and reel combo, we've reviewed five products for you.
We also provided a buyer's guide and answered some of the most common questions so that you will make a more informed buying decision.
Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for the Money Comparison Chart
Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for the Money Reviews
1. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Combo
The Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Combo is a product packed with great features but is very affordable.
It provides great balance, and there is a light feel to it.
This version of the Ugly Stik actually combines the features and amazing capabilities of the original item while providing better aesthetics.
The Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Combo has a size 20 spinning reel with one ball bearing explicitly made for ice applications.
It also has a ported aluminum spool that is strong enough to last for a long time.
It also features ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) handles, which designed to provide comfort while you are using it.
This would help eliminate sweat and prevent the rod from slipping from your hands.
It is not slippery even when you are using it during cold weather.
In terms of construction, the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Combo has one-piece stainless steel guides along with a clear tip design that would provide more strength as well as sensitivity.
One of the best features of the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Combo is its strong pole, while the tip is very sensitive, so it is very easy to see if you caught a fish or not.
The pole is also light in weight, but it is strong enough to handle hard-hitting fish.
The balance with its strength and flexibility is also incredibly amazing for its price.
The reel included in the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Combo is pretty cheap, and it is not as good as the rod.
Although the rod itself is sturdy and flexible, the reel might get damaged easily, so you should either change it or be very careful when using the fishing rod.
2. PENN Battle II Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
One of the most promising fishing rod and reel combo actually comes from Penn.
The PENN Battle II Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is the best choice when you are thinking about saltwater fishing.
It is packed with a wide range of fish-fighting features that would help bring out the best in you.
The PENN Battle II Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is an amazing fishing rod that would help you catch fish in saltwater.
This rod has a length of 6.6 inches, and it is the ideal rod to use if you want to conquer saltwater game fish.
This rod has a metal body, rotor, and side plate, and it features heavy-duty aluminum wire that provides durability for the rod.
It also has a carbon fiber drag system (HT-100) that will provide a great drag without causing problems to its smoothness.
The PENN Battle II Fishing Rod and Reel Combo has five sealed ball bearings made from stainless steel that would enable fluid cranking.
It also has an anti-reverse bearing, and the Superline spool does not require any backing and is braided ready.
The best feature of the PENN Battle II is the full metal body and fishing reel.
It is extremely sturdy and has a responsive fishing rod.
It provides both strength and sensitivity when fishing.
The only thing that the PENN Battle II lack is the corrosion-resistant feature.
You will use it for saltwater fishing, so it should at least have a layer of protection against corrosion.
3. Penn Pursuit II & III Fishing Reel and Rod Combo
Another Penn product managed to slip on the list.
The Penn Pursuit II & III Reel and Fishing Rod Combo is another product that you should consider since it is made for inshore, surf, and boat fishing.
The Penn Pursuit II & III Reel and Fishing Rod Combo combines the Pursuit III reel and a sturdy and robust graphite composite rod to provide an amazing fishing experience to anglers.
The spinning reel, along with the composite rod, would allow you to catch a wide variety of fish without worrying about damaging the fishing rod.
It is also light in weight, so you can bring it around without causing strain on your hands and arms.
You can also hold the fishing rod with ease while waiting for the fish to bite on the bait.
The graphite body is also resistant to corrosion, so it is very safe to use in saltwater.
As long as the body would be cleaned right after fishing, the graphite body won't corrode easily.
The Penn Pursuit II & III Reel and Fishing Rod Combo also features the powerful HT-100 drag system as well as stainless steel ball bearings that would make sure the operation will always be smooth.
One of the best things about the Penn Pursuit II & III Reel and Fishing Rod Combo is its lightweight and sturdy combination.
Even if the rod is light in weight, it is strong enough to handle hard-hitting fish.
The only thing that the Penn Pursuit II & III Combo lack is a comfortable grip.
Although it is light in weight, the handle might cause inconvenience if you have been holding it for a long time.
4. Wild Water Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Starter Package
The Wild Water Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo has been explicitly designed to be very simple and convenient to use.
This is made for both beginners and professional anglers, making it the best fishing rod and reel combo for money available in the market.
The Wild Water Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo was actually made for trout, bass and pan fishing.
You will be able to appreciate its unique and flexible design through this.
This rod and reel combo is the best choice if you want to master skills related to fly fishing.
It has a pre-spooled line as well as backing on the reel, which means that you would be able to save more time when you are fishing.
The fishing rod is made graphite composite, so it is lightweight and extremely durable.
If you are going to use the slow action rod, you can cast it more accurately, and since it has a length of nine feet, you can make longer casts easily.
The Wild Water Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Starter Package features a four-rod design that would allow you to break it down into four manageable pieces.
It also comes with a rod case, so the fishing rod and reel combo can be taken anywhere with ease.
The four-rod design of the Wild Water Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is a pretty handy feature since it allows you to break it down and put it in the rod case.
This is pretty amazing if you plan to bring different kinds of rods to catch different varieties of fish.
The only problem with the Wild Water Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is the reel.
Since it is very affordable, the reel is not as sturdy as advertised.
You have to replace it with a better model if you are having a hard time using it.
5. Abu Garcia Black Max Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
This product has features that make this fishing rod combo extremely durable and sensitive.
One of the reasons many people are using it is because of its smooth drag that would allow you to reel in the fish easily.
The Abu Garcia Black Max Fishing Rod and Reel Combo offer a responsive graphite rod and a smooth and lightweight reel.
The reel has an ergonomic bent handle and a recessed reel foot that will complement the lightweight and durable graphite model.
This will make sure that the user will be comfortable using it the whole day.
The MagTrax brake system would be able to provide break pressure to help boost your accuracy and cast range.
The power drag system, on the other hand, can provide a smooth and fast drag to deal with hard-hitting fish; the drag complements the sensitivity of the fishing rod.
The rod also features an exposed to improve the sensitivity of the rod as well as its line access.
The Abu Garcia Black Max Fishing Rod and Reel Combo also features a Duragear brass gear as well as stainless-steel guides that will help withstand the test of time.
Although the Abu Garcia Black Max Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is not as affordable as the other rod and reel combo on this list, most anglers would be able to afford it, even the beginners.
This combo also casts like a rocket, and the bearings are very smooth.
Backlashes won’t be noticeable, as well, so it is a pretty good choice if you want to cast really far.
The reel included in the Abu Garcia Black Max Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is extremely amazing, but some users reported that the pole is not as sturdy as they claimed.
It would snap if the fish is too heavy.
When buying the best fishing rod and reel combo for the money, you are not simply looking at the price.
That means, although you have a specific budget, it is not a good idea to skip on the features.
There are certain factors that you need to check and compare before you decide to buy a rod and reel combo.
That way, you will end up buying a combo that will match your needs and will last as expected.
With that in mind, here are some of the most important things to consider when choosing a reel and rod combo for your fishing adventures:
1. Fast vs. Slow Action Rod
Before buying a fishing rod and reel combo, you should first know the difference between a fast and slow action rod.
- Slow-Action Rod: This type of rod is made for people who want to achieve maximum casting distance.
- Fast-Action Rod: This kind of rod has increased sensitivity, and you can easily pull the rod to place the hook. This is made for people who love high-paced fishing.
If you choose a rod and reel combo based on rod action, you should determine the techniques that you will use and the type of fish you plan to catch.
Certain fishing techniques would require you to cast far, and there are instances when you need a rod that you can pull quickly and smoothly.
2. Rod Responsiveness
The responsiveness of the rod should also be checked, and you can do this by looking at its flexibility.
Responsiveness pertains to the time it would take for the rod to release the energy and get back to its original position.
For most beginners, this doesn’t mean much, but for professional anglers, this is a big issue.
Two important things could affect the responsiveness of the rod: the weight and the material used for it.
Basically, light rods are more responsive since they would get back to their original position faster.
However, again, as similar to rod action, it is better to check the type of fish that you plan to catch and the fishing technique that you plan to use.
3. Spinning Wheel Ball Bearings
Most people won’t really care about the ball bearings, but if you want to make sure that the reel would operate smoothly, make sure that you check the number of bearings.
Overall, the higher the number of bearings, the smoother the reel would be.
If you still have no idea how smooth you want the reel to be, experts recommend that the minimum number of bearings should be two since it can already provide an acceptable reel drag smoothness.
That said, if you have the chance and enough budget, it would be best to get one with more ball bearings, specifically, four.
Additionally, you must also consider the material used in constructing the ball bearings.
Most of the reels would have ball bearings made from stainless steel, which is an excellent choice since they are very durable.
4. Type of Fishing
As mentioned, before you buy a rod and reel combo, you must also make sure that you already have an idea of the type of fishing that you plan to do.
You have to pay close attention to the type of rod that you will use since it would affect the type of fishing that you will consider.
There are two major types of fishing to keep in mind, and that is saltwater and freshwater fishing.
Most of the time, manufacturers will provide information if you can use their product for saltwater, freshwater, or both.
Apart from that, here are some other types of fishing that you should know about:
- Deep-Sea Fishing: This is a type of fishing where you will head to the sea and cast the rod in deep water. This is not a good choice for beginners, but they can always try it out.
- Surf Fishing: For this type of fishing, you have to stand on the shoreline and cast the lure to the surf. You have to cast it on the foamy surface of the water.
- Lake and Pond Fishing: For those who prefer to stay on land, this is the best type of fishing to try. This is also good for beginners.
- River and Stream Fishing: This is the most challenging type of fishing. There are some streams where you have to take a boat to get to the fish, and the challenging part would be encountering a current that would make it difficult to catch the fish.
5. Type of Reel
This is another problem when choosing a rod and reel combo.
The rod is not too difficult to choose, but you have to be specific on the reel that you will buy.
Here are your choices:
- Baitcaster: This reel is the best choice if you already have experience in fishing since you can use it for more advanced techniques.
- Spincast Reel: This type of reel is easy to control, and you will have everything in just a few minutes. This is perfect for beginners.
- Spinning Reel: When it comes to versatility, spinning reels are the best. They are very dependable and provide a smooth pull that is why many professionals are using it.
1. What Is the Best Size Rod for Bass Fishing?
When it comes to bass fishing, you should choose a rod with a size ranging from seven to eight feet long.
With that in mind, experts suggest that you get one with a specific size of 7.5 feet since it allows you to pitch the baits easier.
You have to remember that flipping and pitching go together, so you need to check if the tip is flexible or not.
2. What Gear Ratio Is Best for Fishing?
For the gear ratio, you need to decide based on the type of fish that you want to catch.
If you will use a slow reel with a 5:1 gear ratio, this would enable you to bring the bait deeper.
For a gear ratio of 6:1, this is the best choice for bass fishing, and you can choose between slow- and fast-action types, depending on your needs.
The fast reel would have a gear ratio of 7:1 or higher.
3. How Do You Match a Reel to a Rod?
If you are buying a reel, you will probably see different sizes.
You can buy any reel for your rod, but the size or the capacity of the spool should be considered based on the type of fish that you want to catch.
If you plan to catch larger fish, you have to get a larger reel, as well.
4. Where Should a Fishing Rod Balance?
If you want to make sure that your rod would be balanced, you need to get the right combination of rod and reel.
If you are a beginner, getting a fishing and reel combo would be a good start since you won’t have to match the reel to the rod.
5. What Does the Length of a Fishing Rod Mean?
The length of the fishing rod would dictate the distance of your cast.
If you are using a shorter rod, the casting would be on a short distance while casting longer rods would result in longer distances.
Among the models mentioned above, the PENN Battle II Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is a top choice.
The only problem with it is the corrosion resistance, while all the other models have problems with either the reel or the rod, which means you might need to replace one of them sooner or break while you're using them.
As such, even if they are affordable, it would you more money in the long run due to repeated or constant replacements.