Top 5 Best Fishing Rod Reel Combos of 2022

Picking out a good fishing rod and reel combo is an easy way to get started. So, if you want to get out of the house and get outside, pick out a good combo and you’ll be ready to go. Finding the right fishing setup can be overwhelming and confusing for those who have never been fishing.

When it comes to fishing rods and reels, there are endless options. Luckily, fishing rod and reel combos are a great way to get on the water and catch fish.

A combo is a great choice for beginners because they are well balanced and are available in a wide range of setups to handle anything from trout to redfish. 

We’ve compiled a list of the best fishing rod reel combos and some tips for choosing the right one for you.

10 Best Fishing Rod Reel Combo Reviews

1. Pflueger President Spinning Combo

Pflueger President Spinning Combo

There is no doubt that the Pflueger President Spinning Combo is the best starter reel, but it’s not just for beginners because it’s one of Pflueger’s best spinning reels.

It features a smooth drag system with low start-up inertia, which is crucial when battling large fish, as it prevents the line from breaking when the drag engages immediately.

This combo is paired with an IM-8 Graphite rod, which is highly sensitive. It comes in rods from 4 feet 8 inches up to 7 feet, where the shorter rods are ideal for trout and panfish fishing.

Whenever I’m fishing for bass, the 7′ combo is my preferred setup; it’s great if you aren’t quite sure what you are looking for.

It’s hard to beat the Pflueger President combo when it comes to utility and durability.

Buy on Amazon

2. Daiwa BG Saltwater Combo

Daiwa BG Saltwater Combo

The Daiwa Saltwater BG Combo solves this issue with a bulletproof combo at a budget-friendly price. New anglers can find saltwater fishing intimidating with so many options on the market that can cost an arm and a leg. Over the past couple of seasons, I have fished Daiwa BG reels religiously and am very happy with them.

The reel is built to last. With oversized gears to prevent corrosion, the reel will last for years to come. I have fought plenty of snook and tarpon on it, and it performs just as well as it did the day it was purchased. 

There are several configurations to cover all types of fishing situations, but the 7-foot medium rod paired with a Daiwa BG 3000 is the best all-around combination. Even large fish can be stopped with 15.4lbs of drag, and the reel is slightly larger than most 3000 sized reels.

In case of hot fish that take long runs, you can add extra line. The 7-foot medium action rod is super accurate and sensitive enough to place casts in difficult to reach areas. Its cork grips are a nice touch that you typically only see on higher-end rods. With 30lb braid, you can tackle any saltwater fish you come across.

Buy on Amazon

3. Penn Battle III Combo

Penn Battle III Combo

Penn Battle III Combo is a workhorse in the Penn lineup and is built to handle the brutal conditions of surf fishing. Bring it to the beach for a day and you’ll discover its true value.

A good surf fishing setup can cost hundreds of dollars, and it will still corrode in no time even with it’s high quality carbon fiber drag system that won’t corrode in saltwater.

The reel is great, but the rod is even better. Many combos pair a good reel with a thin rod, which can be problematic for surf anglers.

Designed with a sleek taper, the Penn Battle Rod is super comfortable in the hand, balancing perfectly with the reel. The more comfortable a rod feels, the further you can cast it.

With its 25 lbs of drag to stop giants, and the rod to reach those hard-to-reach fish hanging past the breakers, I put the Penn Battle combo through its paces during the mullet run last season with zero failures.  

Buy on Amazon

4. Lew’s Speed Spool LFS Baitcast Combo

Lew’s Speed Spool LFS Baitcast Combo

Fishing for bass with a baitcasting setup can seem intimidating at first. Pairing a rod with a reel for the first time can be difficult, and casting it can be even more difficult.

With Lew’s Speed Spool LFS Baitcast Combo, you get a premium setup at an affordable price that’s easy to fish. Baitcasting reels rely on bearings to make smooth, accurate casts without backlash.

There are 10 premium bearings on the Speed Spool LFS, which makes it a better casting reel. New baitcasting reel users should set the tension knob so their bait barely falls when free spooling, and turn the side brake halfway before casting. 

The 7-foot medium-heavy rod throws just about any lure a bass would eat, and it performs just as well as several of my high-end baitcasting setups. I have pitched jigs, thrown crankbaits, and caught frogfish with this setup and have not encountered any trouble with it.

Its medium-heavy action has enough power to horse big fish out of thick vegetation, even though more advanced techniques might call for specific rods. 

This setup was used recently when fishing for snakeheads in Florida. One snakehead crushed my bait in close proximity to the bank. After a few stressful moments and some choice words, I was able to retrieve the snakehead.

A snakehead is essentially a bass on steroids, so the fact that this combo was able to hold up to a fish of this caliber means any bass will fall short.

When you’re starting out with a baitcaster, it’s a good idea to use 15lb monofilament since it’s more forgiving and less likely to backlash, but when you’re ready, try 30lb braided line.

Buy on Amazon

5. Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod Boxed Outfit

Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod Boxed Outfit

In recent years, the fly fishing community has come across as prestigious and stuck-up, but nowadays it’s more accessible than ever. Many companies, including Orvis, are now making quality gear for newcomers in this field.

This is the first combo I have seen that truly stands up against premium setups. Orvis has put a lot of time and effort into the Clearwater lineup.

With high-quality components, including premium cork and guides, the Clearwater is easy to use for accurate and long casts. 

The 9-foot, 5 weight combo is an excellent starting rod for trout fishing, plus it is good for warm water fishing for bass and panfish as well. In the past, many combos had mediocre reels designed more for holding the fly line than for fighting fish.

As opposed to fully machined aluminum reels, the Clearwater reel is die-cast, which saves money over fully forged reels.

This reel is unique due to the components it contains. The drag components are similar to those found in Orvis’s high-end reels, resulting in a smooth reel with low start-up inertia at an affordable price. 

The rod is fast action but still forgiving. If you’ve never cast a fly rod before, just 30 minutes on the front lawn can get you up to speed.

Orvis’ famed no-questions-asked 25-year warranty ensures you’ll be taken care of no matter what happens to the rod.

Buy on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying a Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

An angler’s fishing rod and reel combo makes a great starting point. A quality combo will last years, and the rod and reel feel balanced and comfortable in the hand.

A combo is also budget-friendly, so you can pick out tackle once you’re all ready for the water. Knowing the target species, size of the rod and reel, where you’ll be fishing, and what your budget is, are all excellent places to start. 

Type of Fish

A good first step in choosing the right combo is to decide what fish you are going to target. Not all combos are the same. If you only go by looks, you might be under-prepared.

When you’re trying to catch bigger fish like salmon, you need reels that can withstand blistering runs and rods that can protect light lines from damage. You can narrow your choice down to a few options that are well suited for years to come by understanding what you are up against.

Size

A one-piece rod is great, but not everyone has the space to store a 7-foot or longer rod, and traveling with it is a hassle. If space is an issue, look for combos with multiple-piece rods.

There are several combos that come with travel options that break down into four to six pieces depending on the setup, offering the perfect compromise between sensitivity and convenience.

These styles are my favorite if I’m flying somewhere to fish or if I need something small.

Freshwater vs. Saltwater

A saltwater and freshwater combo differ significantly from one another. You can fish with a saltwater combo in freshwater, but doing the opposite can be tough on the gear. Freshwater setups are great for what they are meant for, but they cannot withstand saltwater abuse.

Saltwater reels are designed to withstand the abuse, and some even have fully sealed drags to prevent saltwater from getting into the gears and internal components.

It will last much longer if you choose a combo that’s ready for the conditions you plan to fish in.

Price

If you’re just getting started, you might not be inclined to spend hundreds on your first set-up. The good news is that most major brands offer solid rod and reel setups that have a lot of similar features to their high-end models at a budget-friendly price. Most major companies offer great setups at a budget-friendly price.

Combos can also save you a lot of money, since many companies offer them at a significant discount compared to buying the same item separately.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much do rod and reel combos cost?

The cost of fishing rods and reels can vary greatly, but you do not have to spend an arm and a leg to start fishing. An excellent price point to start fishing is between $80-$150.

You can narrow down your options by looking for quality components like good guides, cork handles, and aluminum reels.

Q: How do you choose a rod and reel?

It is difficult to choose the right rod and reel when you are getting started, but deciding on the type of fish you want to catch will help you make the right decision.

It allows you to concentrate on what’s important, catching fish, instead of fighting with your gear.

Q: What type of rod and reel do most beginner anglers use?

A good spinning setup takes a few minutes to sufficiently learn, and you’re ready to start fishing immediately. Beginners tend to use spinning rods and reels due to their ease of use and versatility.

It is not uncommon for spinning setups to be surprisingly accurate and capable of throwing a wide variety of lures. In addition, spinning combos will hold up to your demands even as your skills develop.

Q: How do I know what size reel to buy?

When choosing the right size reel, think about what fish you’re going after. Generally speaking, smaller reels will work for smaller fish and bigger reels will work for bigger ones.

A 1500 or 2000 size reel is great for trout and small panfish, while bass anglers prefer a 3000 or 4000 size reel. It is important to remember that reel sizes vary slightly between manufacturers and models. It’s best to hold the reel in person before buying it, so you know you’re buying the right one.

Final thoughts

Almost every angler started with a combo, and it’s likely that it was with one of them. But, choosing the right one is not always easy. They are affordable, ready to go, and can do all the things their more expensive counterparts can do. Consider how you plan to use it, what you want to catch, and your level of experience when choosing one.

The combos I recommend cover a wide range of fishing techniques and situations to get everyone started regardless of what swims in your backyard.

Leave a Comment