ContentsQUICK ANSWER – THE BEST KAYAK FISHING RODSKAYAK FISHING RODS REVIEWSFALCON BUCOO SPINNING RODOKUMA NOMADDAIWA PRESSO ULTRALIGHTST. CROIX MOJO INSHORESHIMANO TREVALADAIWA DXS SALMON & STEELHEAD CASTINGDAIWA BEEFSTICKSHAKESPEARE UGLY STIK ELITESHAKESPEARE MICRO SPINNING RODCOMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST KAYAK FISHING RODSHOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST KAYAK FISHING RODSACTIONPOWERTESTLENGTHROD LENGTHREAR GRIP LENGTHMATERIALPRICE Maybe you’re new to the game and are just getting your feet wet, or maybe you are an experienced fisherman looking for kayak-specific rods. Either way, this guide will help you find the best kayak fishing rod for all occasions. We know you how much you love the outdoors because we feel the same way! We also know how important it is to have good gear, whether you’re fishing, hiking, skiing or climbing. That’s why our goal has always been to help people get outside safely and affordably. 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Photo by istockphoto.com/portfolio/teodorapopaPhoto by istockphoto.com/portfolio/scharfsinn86 QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST KAYAK FISHING RODS Falcon Bucoo SR Okuma NOMAD Daiwa Presso Ultralight St. Croix Mojo Inshore Shimano Trevala Daiwa DXS Daiwa Beefstick Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Shakespeare Micro Spinning KAYAK FISHING RODS REVIEWS FALCON BUCOO SPINNING ROD Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: All-around spin fishing ACTION: Medium POWER: Medium TEST: 8.0 – 12.0 lbs (3.6 – 5.5 kg) ROD LENGTH: 6.5 ft (2.0 m) REAR GRIP LENGTH: Short MATERIAL: FXB graphite carbon-fiber PROS: Lightweight, short EVA rear grip, American-made graphite blank, Fuji components, great all-around rod for the money CONS: Price OKUMA NOMAD Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Travel ACTION: Multi-action POWER: Medium TEST: 10.0 – 20.0 lbs (4.5 – 9.1 kg) ROD LENGTH: 7.0 ft (2.1 m) REAR GRIP LENGTH: Long MATERIAL: Graphite with carbon outer wrap PROS: Comes with two different action tips, 3-section rod blank for easy break-down while traveling, waterproof bag with shoulder strap, rubberized ferrule connection system, limited lifetime warranty CONS: Maximum of medium power DAIWA PRESSO ULTRALIGHT Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Panfishing (Crappie, Bluegill, etc.) ACTION: Fast POWER: Ultra Light TEST: 1.0 – 4.0 lbs (0.5 – 1.8 kg) ROD LENGTH: 6.5 ft (2.0 m) REAR GRIP LENGTH: Short MATERIAL: IM7 Graphite PROS: Lightweight, short cork rear grip, Minima reel seat with machined clamp-nut, hook-keeper, reasonable price CONS: Very specific use ST. CROIX MOJO INSHORE Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Inshore fishing ACTION: Fast POWER: Medium Light TEST: 6.0 – 14.0 lbs (2.7 – 6.4 kg) ROD LENGTH: 7.5 ft (2.3 m) REAR GRIP LENGTH: Medium MATERIAL: Graphite PROS: Zirconium guides for reduced friction, sloped frame reduces line tangling, Fuji reel seat, custom X-wrap handle, 5 year warranty CONS: Some users report rod performing more like medium heavy than medium light SHIMANO TREVALA Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Vertical jigging ACTION: Medium Fast POWER: Medium Heavy TEST: 50.0 – 80.0 lbs (22.7 – 36.3 kg) ROD LENGTH: 6.3 ft (1.9 m) REAR GRIP LENGTH: Short MATERIAL: TC4 Graphite PROS: Short rear grip, Fuji guides, Fuji reel seat CONS: Price DAIWA DXS SALMON & STEELHEAD CASTING Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Salmon and Steelhead fishing ACTION: Fast POWER: Heavy TEST: 10.0 – 20.0 lbs (4.5 – 9.1 kg) ROD LENGTH: 8.0 ft (3.6 m) REAR GRIP LENGTH: Long MATERIAL: IM7 graphite PROS: Price, salmon and steelhead specialty actions, natural cork grips, Fuji reel seat, 5 year limited warranty CONS: Not versatile DAIWA BEEFSTICK Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Bottom fishing on a budget ACTION: Slow POWER: Heavy TEST: 20.0 – 50.0 lbs (9.1 – 22.7 kg) ROD LENGTH: 7.0 ft (2.1 m) REAR GRIP LENGTH: Medium MATERIAL: Fiberglass PROS: Price, rugged durability of fiberglass, stainless steel guides CONS: Some users claim it performs like extra heavy power, lacks sensitivity SHAKESPEARE UGLY STIK ELITE Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Medium light power on a budget ACTION: Medium Fast POWER: Medium Light TEST: 4.0 – 10.0 lbs (1.8 – 4.5 kg) ROD LENGTH: 7.0 ft (2.1 m) REAR GRIP LENGTH: Medium MATERIAL: Graphite PROS: Price, lightweight build, premium cork handles, Ugly Stik Clear Tip design CONS: Many users reported blemishes to rod upon delivery SHAKESPEARE MICRO SPINNING ROD Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Ultra light fishing on a budget ACTION: Slow POWER: Ultra light TEST: 4.0 – 10.0 m (1.8 – 4.5 kg) ROD LENGTH: 6.5 ft (2.0 m) REAR GRIP LENGTH: Short MATERIAL: Graphite composite PROS: Price, full cork handles, conventional reel seat with cushioned hoods, stainless steel guides with stainless steel inserts, short rear grip CONS: Ultra light build limits versatility, some users report rod breaks easily COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST KAYAK FISHING RODS PICTUREKAYAK FISHING RODBEST USEACTIONROD LENGTHGRAPHITEPRICERATING PICTUREKAYAK FISHING RODBEST USEACTIONROD LENGTHGRAPHITEPRICERATING Falcon Bucoo SROverallMedium6.0 ftYes$$4.2 Okuma NOMADMedium/LightMulti-action7.0 ftYes$$$4.1 Daiwa Presso UltralightMedium/LightSlow6.5 ftYes$$4.6 St. Croix Mojo InshoreMedium/LightFast7.5 ftYes$$4.4 Shimano TrevalaMedium/HeavyFast6.3 ftYes$$$4.3 Daiwa DXSMedium/HeavyFast8.0 ftYes$$4.9 Daiwa BeefstickBudget Fast6.5 ftNo$4.3 Shakespeare Ugly Stik EliteBudget Fast7.0 ftYes$4.5 Shakespeare Micro SpinningBudget Slow5.5 ftYes$3.9 Gear up for kayaking, without breaking the bankGet the Latest Deals on Kayaking GearSent right to your inbox...GEAR UP FOR KAYAKING HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST KAYAK FISHING RODS ACTION Action is a term many people understand in layman’s terms. It describes the curvature of a rod when under force. A slow action road will typically bend the entire length of the rod while under pressure. Meanwhile, a fast action tip will bend only within the first third of the rod. Choosing the right action on a rod is not only a means of necessity, but also of preference. Medium or moderate action is a good choice for people who want the perfect combination of flexibility and responsiveness. Action is also tied with sensitivity. You wouldn’t want to use a slow action rod to catch largemouth bass, for example. A bass can be very sneaky, quiet fish when stalking underwater lures. If you don’t pick up on the subtle vibrations of a bass taking your lure, they may swallow it completely by the time you notice you’ve got a fish on the line. This makes it difficult to remove the lure and even likely endanger the fish’s life. If you’re having trouble visualizing this concept, imagine a rope running through your house. Your friend is in one room holding one end of the rope and you are in another room holding the other end. Now, imagine there is a lot of slack in the rope. It weaves and lazily winds its way to you. If your friend gently vibrates the end of the rope, would you feel it? Probably not. In this case, the rope is a slow action fishing rod. We use fast action rods for the same reason we keep our fishing lines moderately taut – so we’ll notice when something drags it under. POWER Power refers to the ability of a rod to resist a force, which refers to how much it springs back when the force is released. Low power rods require moving the whole rod as opposed to relying on a quick movement in the base that transfers to the tip. They lack responsiveness. If your line were to break under high pressure, the low power rod would spring back somewhat slowly like a broken rubber band, as opposed to stepping on the end of a shovel. When fishing with high power rods, you also may have noticed how the lure jumps as you’re retrieving it, seeming to drag in the water, then springing forward, before dragging again. This is due to the high tensile strength found in high power rods. TEST Test is the weight capacity of the fishing line, but it’s really more complicated than that. When test is listed in the product specifications of a fishing rod, it’s referring to the recommended line test rating to be used with the rod as opposed to a rating of the rod itself. Load capacity is mostly dependent on the combination of line test with the drag settings of your reel. What’s more, there’s no industry standard for test ratings on fishing rods. One manufacturer’s 20 lb test rating could be the equivalent of another’s 60 lb rating. LENGTH ROD LENGTH Kayak fishing rods are typically a bit shorter in overall length than other rods to account for higher maneuverability needs. However, don’t go too short! Sitting low in the water presents its own challenges. You’ll need a rod short enough to fit in your kayak and remove fish from, but long enough that you can extend your rod past the bow of your kayak when a fish is trying to swim under your kayak and know the line won’t get caught. Most fishing kayaks are short enough to not give you any trouble. But if you’re in a longer kayak, you may run into this issue. REAR GRIP LENGTH The rear grip on a fishing rod is commonly called the butt. We’re using the term “rear grip length” because “butt length” doesn’t sound very pretty now, does it? Regardless, these terms refer to the length of rod behind or below the fishing reel. It’s the handle. When using a spin rod, place your dominant hand where the reel is attached to the rod and the other hand toward the base of the rear grip. Some fishing rods have long grips, perhaps 10-12 inches. This is not ideal for kayak fishing as the most common complaint kayak fisherman have about rods is the rear grip being too long. It simply gets in the way of what little room you have. Long grips also cause the rod to sit higher in the kayak when in contact with the seat bottom, requiring the fisherman to keep their arms held higher. Look for a kayak fishing rod with a short rear grip. The length is not typically listed in product specifications, so it’s more a matter of estimating based on overall length. If your only reference is a photograph, this can be difficult. Consider buying in-store. A hands-on experience will help you understand what length is right for you. MATERIAL The two most common materials used in fishing rods are graphite and fiberglass. Graphite is stiff and sensitive, ideal for jigging or using live bait. Fiberglass imparts less sensitivity for more flexibility, ideal for using crankbaits. Fiberglass is commonly seen in budget rods, while high-quality rods are typically made of layers of both graphite and fiberglass. Resin is used to bind or seal in most cases, but cheaper rods will use less material and more resin. PRICE If you plan to fish marshes and creeks, know that grasses and low-hanging trees can (and frequently do) snap rods or damage eyelets. Losing rods overboard is another threat to consider. Sometimes they are simply pulled out of their rod holders. Sometimes they snap under pressure. For these reasons, most kayak fishermen prefer not to spend a fortune on a rod that will likely be damaged or even lost. KAYAKING RESOURCESTABLE OF CONTENTSKAYAKINGTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. BASICS 5. KAYAK SAFETY 2. KAYAK SKILLS 6. DESTINATIONS 3. KAYAKING GEAR 7. KAYAK FISHING 4. KAYAK CLOTHES 8. SUP 1. BASICS 2. KAYAK SKILLS 3. KAYAK GEAR 4. KAYAK CLOTHES 5. KAYAK SAFETY 6. DESTINATIONS 7. KAYAK FISHING 8. 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