Best Fishing Rods And Reels For Kayak Fishing

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

Are you ready to reel in your next big catch? Well, I’ve got just the thing for you: the perfect fishing gear designed specifically for kayak fishing. In this article,

Trust me, selecting the right equipment can make all the difference in having a successful and enjoyable fishing experience out on the water.

So, my fellow anglers, get ready to elevate your kayak fishing game to new heights. Stay tuned for our upcoming in-depth reviews of the top fishing rod and reel combos explicitly tailored for kayak anglers.

Remember, choosing the right gear can truly make a world of difference.

Get out there, enjoy the thrill of kayak fishing, and may your next big catch be just a castaway!

Choosing The Best Kayak Fishing Rod

Let’s start with rods. The most crucial factor is the rod length. Given your primary fishing zone, you’ll want something long enough to allow you to pass the rod tip across the front of your kayak without having to get out of your seat but not so long that it’s challenging to get the fish within landing distance when it’s time to land it.

Depending on your kayak and personal size, a 7’6″ to 8’6″ rod is usually in most people’s sweet spot. Shorter rods should be avoided because they severely limit your options while catching a fish. Longer rods work, but landing takes a little more practice.

Choosing The Best Kayak Fishing Reel

The reel often plays a more important role than the rod. Plus, more fishing days have been missed due to broken reels than broken rods.

So if you wonder, are expensive reels worth it? IMO, hell yeah, just make sure to spend your money wisely.

Kayaks are rigid on gear, especially if you’re fishing in saline water. I recommend only purchasing reels with sealed bearings to keep your equipment versatile for fresh and saltwater fishing.

Reels exposed to salt water without sealed bearings are probably only good for one season.

The spinning reel is the most common. This is the greatest pick if you want something simple to use, forgiving, and suitable for all forms of fishing (casting, trolling, jigging). More critical for your kayak is the reel’s size/capacity and matching it to the fish species and rod.

What is the ideal fishing rod for a kayak?

Kayak fishing rods should be between 6 1/2 and 8 feet in length. The best rod length is determined by whether you are fishing in deep cover, where throwing accuracy is critical, or on open water when casting distance is the most significant aspect.

Best Fishing Rods And Reels For Kayak Fishing

Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel

Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel


  • Power: Medium-light to medium
  • Length: 4.8 – 7ft
  • Composition: 2-piece graphite/fiberglass build


  • Bearings: 4
  • Size: 2000 – 6000
  • Ratio: 5.5:1
  • Composition: Aluminum

The rod comes in various lengths, and the reel is ideal for individuals who want to fish in multiple locations without changing equipment. It is a good, robust, and long-lasting, lightweight equipment.

This is a terrific little all-purpose rod and reel combo at a reasonable price. You can enjoy the lower power rating, which makes it ideal for beginners or those who want to drift with live bait while paddling. It will require a good range of line strength (4 – 8 lb) and should be capable of handling both light and heavy sinker weight if necessary.

Cadence CC5 Spinning Combo

Cadence CC5 Spinning Combo


  • Power: Medium (fast action)
  • Length: 7 ft
  • Composition: 2-piece graphite


  • Bearings: 8+1
  • Size: 3000
  • Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Composition: Carbon composite


This next alternative is a touch longer at 7ft. Still, its ultralight graphite and carbon composite construction, combined with a superb reel size, make it a good option for people who want a rod that can be used in multiple locations.

It’s also an excellent choice for someone who wants to do a little more fishing and needs something that will do the job skillfully in terms of durability and usage. It is also less expensive than some of the other graphite/carbon fiber variants on the market.

This one is pretty close to being the ideal kayak fishing rod, and it is the one I would recommend. I appreciate the rod characteristics, and as a combination, it would handle most kayak circumstances, including those requiring greater weights.

It would also easily handle some lighter ocean fishing expeditions for those who ventured a little further. As previously stated, my only concern here is the length, but if you’re seeking to jig some lures, this one may suit you better.

EatMyTackle Dolphin Dominator Saltwater Spinning Rod and Reel

EatMyTackle Dolphin Dominator Saltwater Spinning Rod and Reel


  • Power: Medium
  • Length: 7ft
  • Composition: 1 piece of carbon fiber


  • Power: Medium
  • Size: 400
  • Ratio: 4.9:1
  • Composition: Aluminum

The final combination I’ve chosen is a little more expensive, but it’s practically the perfect rod for the avid kayak angler. It is again 7ft in length, but its reel quality and carbon fiber blank make it definitely worth a look for those who want to drop to the bottom while still being able to cast a bit further. It would also look at home in a deep-sea fishing scenario.

This rod is ideal for people seeking a little quality over money. The carbon construction and specs make it ideal for all forms of kayak fishing, both on and offshore, using bait or lures.

The reel is incredibly adaptable and, once again, capable of handling almost anything that can be thrown at it. It will throw a little further than most others while remaining sensitive to nibbles from the fish. My main concern is the dearth of online reviews, as this brand appears relatively new on the market.


My final point is about safety. If you can use rods with hook loops, that is always a plus. Because our space is limited on a kayak, securing lures to rods while not in use is critical to avoid tangles and accidentally capturing oneself.

Storing your spare rods vertically is efficient and typically allows simple access—until you enter a crowded marina or brushy region, especially rivers. Catching your rods on something above, especially in fast water, might result in a quick escape from your kayak. If you intend to fish in these areas, ensure you have alternative storage techniques to safeguard yourself and your investment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *