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There are a number of fishing rod companies out there and most of them make a pretty decent rod. Some people just want something cheap they can toss around but others want the highest quality product out there. In this post, I’m going to be talking about my 7 favorite fishing rod brands for freshwater fishing.
Here are the best freshwater fishing rod brands:
- Ugly Stik.
- St Croix.
- Favorite Fishing.
I tried the best I could to pick brands that are making rods at different price points. I didn’t want to just list high-end rod brands because not everyone wants to spend that much money.
Some of these companies make higher-end rods but they also make some high-quality rods that are inexpensive. This is just my personal opinion and I’m sure I’ve left out some solid fishing rod companies. Picks 3-7 are in no particular order.
- Ice Fishing 101: The Essential Rods To Get Started
- The Ultimate Guide To Kokanee Rods
- Trout Fishing 101: The Rods You Need To Start
Daiwa makes rods that I’ve been using for a number of years now and they make everything from freshwater rods to travel rods and also fly rods. They have some really good cheaper rods but they do make some higher quality stuff as well.
One of the first rods I got was a cheap Daiwa spinning combo for like 40 bucks. I don’t remember how long ago that was but I actually still have it and it works great.
Daiwa is a Japanese company but they make the majority of its products in North America. There are a number of pro fishermen who use their products, so they must be pretty decent.
I’ve also had a number of their fishing reels, and those have been solid too. My favorite trolling reel right now is the Daiwa Lexa Linecounter.
Learn more about Daiwa rods here.
This is another brand that’s becoming super popular and I like them because they have a wide range of different rods. They pretty much cover all price points and they sell spinning and baitcasting rods and reels.
Whether your budget is 40 bucks for a combo or you want to spend $400 on a rod, they’ll have you covered. They sponsor a lot of pro fishermen and I’m going to assume that’s because they make a solid product.
I haven’t tried every single one of their rods but I have tried the Favorite White Bird, which is under $100 (on Amazon). I really don’t have anything bad to say about it and I’m assuming their higher-end products are even better.
Learn more about Favorite USA here.
Okuma makes some really good rods as well and my favorite would have to be their ultralight trout rods. These are the only rods I’ve personally used but they’ve been awesome and I know a lot of other people who use them as well.
They make a range of different rods that cover different price points. They have freshwater rods, saltwater rods, surf fishing rods, travel rods, and they do make their own reels as well.
The rod that I’ve used is the Okuma Celilo trout rod (on Amazon). It’s under 30 bucks, which is awesome, and it performs just as well as some of the more expensive rods out there. I’d like to think their more expensive options are even better.
I also really like the Okuma SST Kokanee rod (on Amazon). It’s one of the better trolling rods for trout and kokanee. Just like with Daiwa, they also make some really solid fishing reels.
Learn more about Okuma here.
St Croix makes some of my favorite higher-end rods and they have options for pretty much every type of fishing. You can get freshwater rods, saltwater rods, fly fishing rods, and also ice fishing rods.
I haven’t tried all of their rods but the few of them that I have tried were awesome. They probably make my favorite surf/pier fishing rod, which is the Triumph Surf (on Amazon). I wouldn’t call it the most advanced rod on the market but what you get for the price is really good.
Their website is also laid out nicely and it’s really easy to find the exact rod you want. I can’t say that for some of the other rods. They also make some really good trout/panfish rods.
Learn more about St Croix here.
G.Loomis used to make some of the best rods on the market a number of years ago. They got bought out by Shimano in the late ’90s and even though they still make some solid rods, I don’t think they’re quite as good as before.
A friend of mine has one of their newer fly fishing rods and it’s awesome. I have a fairly old fly rod that wasn’t too expensive and it was a huge jump when I tried the G.Loomis out.
Just like most of the other companies, they have rods for pretty much everything. They make fly rods, rods for bass, salmon, trout, walleye, and they make travel rods as well.
Learn more about G.Loomis here.
Ugly Stik (Favorite Cheap Rods)
If you’re looking for a solid rod that isn’t going to break the bank, these will be for you. They’ll be perfect for someone that’s just getting started with fishing or someone who wants a rod they can throw around without worrying about it breaking.
I’ve tried a number of cheaper rods and most of them have at least one really big flaw. Sometimes they have zero sensitivity and sometimes they have zero strength. Ugly Stik rods seem to be a lot more solid.
When I got my first baitcaster, I paired it with a 6.5-foot Ugly Stik Elite. They also have the same rod in a spinning model. Again, it’s not the most advanced rod in the world but I think it’s the best option under 50 bucks.
What I like about these rods is that they’re built with graphite and fiberglass. A graphite backbone gives you strength, while a fiberglass tip gives you sensitivity.
Learn more about Ugly Stik here.
Dobyns (Favorite Expensive Rods)
Over the past couple of years, Dobyns has made some of my favorite fishing rods. They mainly build spinning and baitcasting rods and they have options that range from around $80 all the way up to over $500.
The company was created by a professional bass fisherman so a lot of the rods are geared towards bass fishing. They do have some lighter stuff as well which can work for crappie, trout, or kokanee fishing.
A friend of mine has the Fury Series Casting Rod (on Amazon) and it’s probably one of my favorites. It’s got a reasonable price tag as well and I’ll definitely be getting one for myself.
Learn more about Dobyns here.