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the best musky rods- a perfect guide and reviews

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Are you the one looking for the best musky rods? Congratulations! You are in the right place as we are going to reveal the names of some recommended musky rods to land this aggressive giant.

To catch this shallow-water specie and the largest member of the Pike family your rod should be durable enough that it shouldn’t snap in half during a fight there is something different about these rods that they don’t need to be mainly sensitive as musky bites are easier to detect.

Fishing rods are selected based on the type of location and type of fish, and when you are fully familiar with the target fish the selection becomes easier as the fishing gear market is flooded out with tons of varieties.

There are many factors to consider before buying a fishing rod which we will discuss in detail but first let’s dive into the list of best musky rods and then to the buying guide.

So buckle up to get the reviews of the best musky rod overall, for durability, for sensitivity, and top of all the best musky rod for the budget. So there is something for everyone.

Who is Musky?

Before going into details of fishing rods why don’t you have a brief introduction to your target?

Musky is the largest-sized member of the Pike family. They are native i.e. a common freshwater fish in North America. It lives in shallow water conditions and only went deep when it’s hot weather high there.

Its feeds primarily on smaller fish, mice, frogs, insects, and some other soft-rayed fish. This indicates that musky fishing is a game of larger and heavy lures.

Quick Access to best Musky Rods

Top 3 picks for the best Musky Rods

St. Croix Rods Premier Musky Casting Rod
St. Croix Rods Premier Musky Casting Rod
  • Carbon Fiber Construction
  • Aluminum oxide guides
  • Cork handles
  • 7 feet long Medium-heavy Fast
Abu Garcia Veracity Casting Rod
Abu Garcia Veracity Casting Rod
  • Graphite blanks
  • Titanium line guides
  • 12 line guides
  • Cork/EVA split grip handles
Okuma Evx Muskie
Okuma Evx Muskie
  • IM8 graphite blanks
  • Stainless steel Guides
  • Telescopic rods
  • Collapse to 16 inches

List of best musky rods Reviewed in Detail

1- St. Croix Rods Premier Musky Casting Rod

best musky rod overall

  • Carbon Fiber Construction
  • Aluminum oxide guides
  • Cork handles
  • 7 feet long
  • Medium-heavy
  • Fast Action
  • 2 piece rod construction
  • Kigan Hook keeper

St. Croix premier casting rods are the perfect addition to the musky rods collection. Their ideal carbon fiber construction ranks their vote for being the required durable and still light in weight.

I appreciate this model’s well-thought design regarding musky fishing. Its SCII rod construction adds fiberglass durability without any additional weight or without sacrificing sensitivity.

These rods are built to stand up against a fighting musky. The rod that can hold a line of more than 80 lb. plus a lure weight of up to 8 oz. is a clear sign that it’s a stronger rod capable to fulfill serious angler’s requirements.

You can easily cast heavy baits and larger lures with this St. Croix masterpiece. Ideally the best rod for musky. It has many reasons to declare it the best.

From pole construction next, its line guides. To manage this level of weight the line guides should be durable enough to handle overall rod balance and saves the rod from snapping by distributing the balance equally between action areas.

It has aluminum oxide guides that maintain longevity and durability. What if you lost your catch because of rod slips from your hand? Nothing is more tragic than this. To make sure this doesn’t happen.

The manufacturers add premium quality cork handles that offer a firm grip even with wet hands. These handles can bear the wear and tear of harsh fishing conditions for a longer period.

Its reel seat is saltwater friendly and also has a frosted silver hood. It’s a two-piece rod and also features a hook keeper. So in addition to its premium quality materials, it’s a travel-friendly rod too. Take it where ever you want to target musky.

Being a medium-heavy and fast-action musky rod it is good at fast hook sets. You can quickly set the hook at the first nibble of that bulky buddy.

In addition to all these features, the rod is supported by 5 years warranty so a fully backed-up rod at an affordable price.

  • The perfect well-built musky rod with the required strength
  • Fast hook setting power
  • Ideal rod for larger catches with aggressive fights
  • Perfect rod for casting heavy lures
  • It has longer handles easy to hold
  • The only room for improvement is the reel seat that loosens the reel after some time
  • Musky rods especially casting rods are normally at this price but this price isn’t ideal for beginner anglers

2- Abu Garcia Veracity Casting Rod

best lightweight musky rods

  • Graphite blanks
  • Titanium line guides
  • 12 line guides
  • Cork/EVA split grip handles
  • Extra Heavy Power
  • Fast Action
  • Fuji Reel seat
  • 7’11” length

When we are targeting the bigger-sized fish most anglers are prepared to hold a heavy and longer rod than their regular rods. You are up to something big so your rod should be stronger, thicker, and more durable.

Abu Garcia always launches something exciting and this time it’s a “Veracity Casting rod”. These rods with Powerlux 300 blank are incredibly lightweight with improved stiffness and power.

If I go with the simple explanation of this feature, it’s a more advanced form of carbon fiber rods. Where carbon fiber is already enhanced graphite with fiberglass durability. This also raises its price but something with this weight and well-balanced design is a worth-buying addition to fishing rods.

Even though it is above $100 but it is a reliable option for beginners. It’s easy to handle these rods so bring them to the ideal locations for catching memorable-sized fish. So it’s the best musky rod for both professionals and beginners.

It has titanium line guides which is one of the recommended materials. These material guides are great with durability, shock resistance, and corrosion resistance, and don’t bend easily so they retain their original shape for a longer time.

The EVA foam and cork handles with split grip design are long-lasting, they can bear the wear and tear of harsh situations and retain their shape even held in a rod holder. Some anglers prefer full cork handles as foam handles might become slippery when wet.

It also features a hook keeper to save your rod from hook scratches. As Abu Garcia Veracity is also a rod with attractive cosmetics just like other Aby Garcia rods.

It’s a 7 feet 11 inches long rod with fast action and available as medium-heavy to extra-heavy. The only dark side we found is its one-piece rod so you have to think twice before carrying them to trip.

  • Solid hook sets
  • Lightweight musky rods
  • Perfect for every skill-level angler
  • Sensitive casting rods
  • One piece rod
  • Expensive rod

3- Okuma Evx Muskie

best telescopic musky rod

  • IM8 graphite blanks
  • Stainless steel Guides
  • Telescopic rods
  • Cork handles
  • Collapse to 16 inches
  • 9.3 feet long
  • One piece
  • Heavy power rod
  • Fast Action

Sometimes the fishing rods performs so unpredictable same was the case with these Okuma musky rods. Telescopic fishing rods are already popular as rods breaking at the higher ends and catching a mid-weight musky with these types of rods. All this sounded an exaggeration to me until I gave this rod a try.  

To my amazement, this rod is far better than expensive fishing rods. Yes, you can have the best telescopic musky rods in your arsenal. So if you are tight on the budget or want to keep an alternative rod in your tackle bag then there is no better option than Okuma Evx Muskie.

These rods shrink to 16 inches so you can easily carry them where ever you want. Moreover, it’s an IM8 graphite rod. So lesser material is used to make these rods stiffer, stronger, lighter, and more sensitive.

It casts heavy lures easily and have the enough backbone to land bigger-sized fish. The rod also features cork handles and stainless steel guides. So perfect rod package at an affordable price.

I am confident about this rod and it will surely not disappoint you. It’s one of the best telescopic fishing rods I have ever used especially for musky-sized fish.

The only weak point is its guides, their quality can be improved because I faced the bending of guides. It is totally fair because at this price you have to face some drawbacks.

  • The best musky rod under 100$
  • Sturdy Telescopic rods
  • Guides can bend the quality can be improved

4- Shimano Sojourn Spinning

best musky rod for beginners

  • Graphite rods
  • Aluminum oxide guides
  • Cork Handles
  • Fast action
  • Extra-heavy power
  • 8 ft. long
  • 2-piece rod

Casting rods are also budget-friendly rods for musky fishing. Shimano proves this with their high-quality materials rod. The anglers who can’t afford the expensive rods can confidently jump to Shimano Sojourn you wouldn’t be disappointed.  

They are graphite rods so ideal for sensitivity and lightweight. They cause no fatigue to arms and support full-day fishing. Although they aren’t durable as carbon fiber because you get what you paid for.

These castings rods are great at musky fishing and will perform reliable results when the right compatible fish size is targeted. So whenever you are fishing inshore, where chances of medium-sized musky are higher, Shimano Sojourn is the perfect pick.

Moreover, it features Aluminum oxide line guides which are durable and braided line friendly to bear bruises. Being lightweight it can still hold up to 100 lb. line test and up to 8 oz. lure.

Featuring cork handles to add ease for anglers to hold these rods firmly with wet hands also. I really like their long-length handles.

What more you can expect? It’s the best musky fishing rod under $50 and the best option for beginners. With fast action and heavy power, this thing is great when you aren’t up to the extra-larger musky.

  • Lightweight lures
  • Highly budget-friendly rod
  • Not ideal for larger-sized musky

5- Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Fishing Rod

best musky rod under $50

  • Composite rods
  • Stainless Steel Guides
  • Clear Tip design
  • EVA grips
  • Seven years Warranty

I have mentioned Ugly Stik GX2 in many of my spinning rods reviews, its best ultra-light, best spinning rod under $100, but this time it is its casting version.

It’s a medium-light rod which normally isn’t picked for musky fishing. But its composite construction, which prominent the lightness and sturdiness of graphite rods but the durability of fiberglass rods.

Ugly stikGX2 isn’t a rod for giant muskies but to catch normal regular sizes when fishing inshore, it’s a reliable and affordable option. Each of the rod components is built with highly advanced technology to withstand hard fishing conditions.

Its features stainless steel guides, which are braided line friendly so it’s a clear indication that the rod is a tough buddy. Its lightweight EVA handle adds comfort to hold this rod against the tough fight.

It’s a maximum of 7’6” feet long with medium-light power. Use lighter lures with this one but it’s great for achieving casting distance. You might be disappointed that it’s a one-piece rod.

Besides its specifications, overall the rod is strong enough to land 100 lb. fish. They aren’t ideal for sensitivity but the good part is it is not a major musky rod requirement so greater powerful rods at an affordable price and casts the same as other pricey rods.

  • Sturdy rods at an affordable price
  • Perfect rod for decent sized musky
  • Not an ideal rod for bigger-sized fish
  • Heavy rod

6- TICA Musky Fishing Rods

best musky rod for bulldawgs

  • 30T Graphite blanks
  • Stainless steel guides
  • Cork Handles
  • Fast Action
  • Heavy power
  • 8 feet long
  • 65 lb. line test
  • 1+8 ball bearings

Sometimes an un-known brand do wonders and that a fully known brand can’t even chase. I barely know the existence of this brand until I got a chance to cast with it.

The rod is constructed with the basic structure and materials. The graphite blank, stainless steel guides, and cork handle.

Its main game is the backbone of the rod. It’s a stiff rod with enough backbone to land a musky with a 65 lb. line test. It is good for casting heavy lures like bull dawgs and other heavy baits up to 12 oz.

Again a telescopic fishing rod with exceptional performance. I really like the long-length handles that made it easy to hold and easy to cast with a maneuverable length of 8 feet.

The only room for improvement is the lack of variety in power and action, as they are only available as heavy to extra heavy power and fast action rods.

  • Strong and sturdy telescopic fishing rod
  • Support lure weight of 10 oz.
  • Only available as heavy and extra-heavy power
  • Maximum 65 lb. line test

7- Piscifun Torrent Casting Rod

best musky rod for the money

  • Composite construction 
  • Zirconium guide inserts
  • EVA handles
  • Anti line twist tip
  • Hook keeper

A well know Piscifun fishing gear brand presents its Piscifun Torrent casting rod with a bunch of varieties in length, power, and action and all this at an affordable price.

With 7’6” feet long rod you can pick either heavy or medium-heavy power. I will recommend going with heavy power and fast action rod as it supports 65 lb. line test which is also its drawback because it is the maximum you can achieve with Piscifun torrent.

Within this budget, the manufacturers have offered quite a nice rod for both professionals and beginners. It’s a bit heavier rod if you are addicted to using lighter-weight rods like St Croix.

Its an IM6 graphite rod which makes it a stiffer rod with improved sensitivity. In addition to the graphite pole, it features a graphite reel seat that tightens the reel and firmly holds it to prevent the reel from loosening. It resolves this major issue which I found even with expensive top-brand rods.

Moreover, the combination of fiberglass with pole construction fills the room for durability and strength in contrast to sensitivity.  Its stainless steel guides with zirconium inserts are all set to maintain line weight, and lure weight and improve the rod’s performance.

Piscifun to maintain the performance level added EVA split grip design handles and some other improved and advanced features o-seat design reel seat and its anti-line twist tip. Overall you are getting a highly advanced rod at an affordable price.

  • Advance features
  • Budget-friendly rods
  • Tip breaks easily
  • The placement of guides can be improved to improve rods performance in windy conditions
  • Maximum line test is 65 lb.

8- Abu Garcia Veritas Casting Fishing Rod

best musky rod for budget

  • Carbon fiber rod construction
  • Titanium alloy guides
  • EVA Handles
  • Fast action
  • One piece rod
  • Split Grip design handle

Wrapping up with the final product from the list of best musky rods which is one of the best lightweight rods for musky. If you are a St. Croix musky rod user, then it’s a preferable alternative to St. Croix Premier Musky casting rods.

While maintaining the overall balance of the rod, its 15% stronger and 5% lighter than ordinary casting rods for musky. Here the main hero is the Powerlux rod construction.

It also features the titanium alloy line guides that also play their part in the rod’s exceptional performance. Besides being lightweight, the rod still has the capability to land larger-size muskies.

In addition to the high-quality functioning it’s also attractive with the looks as Abu Garcia rods are always a perfect combination of looks and functioning.

The rod is stiff but the good part is its stiffness doesn’t causes tip breakage, the tip has the required flex and casts lures much further.

It also features the wear resistance EVA split grips design handles. The only downside we found is not ideal quick hook sets like other musky rods.

Overall these are good rods with stiffness and action.

  • Lightweight rods
  • Flexible tip
  • Stiff rod
  • Slow hook sets
  • One piece rod
  • Expensive Rods

How to choose the best musky rods

Even though we have short-listed a few names but the confusion is still alive as to how to pick the best out of the best. To solve this puzzle we have explained some necessary points when buying rods for musky specie.

Rod Length

The length of the rod influences your casting distance. The longer the rod, the far you can cast your lure. Regarding rod lengths, you can get the shortest rod up to 4 feet to the longest 15 feet or even more.

But the longer the rod is, the more material is used clearly heavier and difficult to manage.  While on the other hand, although shorter rods are ideal for casting accuracy but fishing for musky with a 4-6 ft. is a complete disaster.

It is unfair with a rod to try a catch double its capacity. So, a 7-9 ft. length is perfect for musky rods. These lengths of rods have the required strength to land big fish with bigger lures.

They are also easy to manage and support your all-day fishing. My musky rod is 8 feet long which helps me to maintain my “Musky champion” title among the bunch of fellow anglers.

Rod Power

Rod power tells how much force is required to bend a rod. This indicates the strength of the rod, and the capability of the rod to catch what size. Your musky rod should be powerful, and strong enough to lift something big.

the rod power explanation

The fishing rods are available in subcategories of power i.e. heavy, medium, and light. Many in-between options are available like medium-heavy, medium-light, ultra-light, etc.  These ratings are according to the target fish, lure, and line weight.

Light and ultra-light power rods are the most flexible ones. They are designed to catch panfish. Musky fishing with these power rods is nothing else but a big disaster.

Jumping from lowest to highest power rating, heavy power rods are the stiffest rods. To cast with larger lures and heavy lines, heavy powers rods are the optimal pick. They have enough strength and backbone to carry heavy weights. They bend only from the tip.

Next, medium power rods, as the name suggests, these rods bend from mid to tip and are a perfect combination of stiffness, sensitivity, and flexibility. The ideal rods for catching musky are medium to medium-heavy rods. They are easy to manage and have enough backbone.

You might be confused between heavy and medium power rods which one to pick? If you are fishing in heavy water or deep water heavy or medium-heavy power rods are the optimal pick because the chances of bigger muskies are higher.

On the other hand, when fishing from shore, medium-power rods are perfect. Anything below medium power is not suitable in musky rods.  To learn more about fishing rod power and their corresponding lure and line weight read this guide.   

Rod Action

As the name suggests, the action indicates the bend of the rod. How fast your rod returns to its original position after bending.

the rod's action definition for the best spinning rodsunder$100

Again rod action is also further divided into different ratings. Which starts from fast, then moderate, and last the slow action rods. The fastest the rod is, the lesser it bends.

Slow action rods bend throughout the whole of their length. These rods are slower than other rods and great with smaller lures to target panfish so better not to pick the slow-action rods for musky fishing.

The main competition is between fast and moderate action rods. The higher the rating of action, the fastest and more sensitive your rod is.

Fast-action rods are stiffer and return to their original position in no time. These rods are great with sensitivity and pick the slightest fish nibbles but with lighter lures.

Moderate action rods are the most forgiving ones. Again they are the perfect combination of fast and slow action rods. When fishing for musky, heavy lures are used and moderate action rods are perfect for this type of fishing.

You can cast longer with both light and heavy-weight lures using moderate to moderate-fast action rods without sacrificing sensitivity.

The rods revolving around fast action are ideal for quick hook sets when targeting musky. To learn more about fishing rod action check out this guide.

Lure Weight

Growing in size, the appetite of the fish, and their hunger also increase. So bigger-sized fish are attracted to something big and prominent.

Musky fishing is a higher-level game that demands something bigger than worms and smaller lures. To attract Musky either use live bait as their scent attracts big catches.

Lure fishing is also effective when lures are larger in size and heavy in weight. Pick 4 to 8 oz. and even more to target musky rods.

Line Weight

When we pick heavy power rods, heavy fishing lines are their best pair as we are targeting a big giant aggressive fish like Musky. The fishing line for this type of fishing must be in the range of 65 to 85 lb. line test.

The higher you go with the line test the more power the line will have to tackle the bigger one. But raising the line weight might disturb the rod setup so using 85 lb. is the optimal pick with medium to heavy power rods.

As the line test indicates the lifting power of the line as how much weight and what size fish the line can help to catch without breaking and tangling.

Rod Material

The construction material of the rod is directly proportional to the rod’s durability rating. Whether it’s the pole or the guides’ material, their composition influence the performance.

Regarding the rod’s construction, graphite rods are great for sensitivity but to your amazement sensitivity isn’t the top requirement for musky rods. Because the bites of bigger-sized fish are prominent and they don’t slightly nibble the lure.

Regarding strength and durability fiberglass and carbon-fiber rods are the ideal pick for musky fish. Fiberglass rods are durable, cheap in price, and heavier in weight while carbon-fiber rods are an advanced form of graphite ones, good with durability and light in weight but expensive rods to buy.

Both types of rods are suitable for musky fishing.

Line Guides

Next comes the line guides referring to durability. Line guides play an important role in managing rod balance. They should be durable enough to manage heavy fishing lines and bear the line bruises.

Stainless steel guides are commonly found on most rods and are perfect for durability. Alconite and titanium guides are also an option but they cause a raise in price.

Handle Material

If you don’t have a firm grip on the rod, it might slip from your hand during a tough fight. The rod handles must be ideal for grip even with wet hands.

Cork and EVA are the two main options available in rod handles. Cork handles are durable, maintain their shape, last longer, and are easy on the budget.

Whereas, EVA grips do offer a firm grip but are slightly more expensive than cork handles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Final Wrap on Musky Rods

My review list for the best musky rods reflects that the casting rods are the optimal pick for this type of fishing. Concluding y personal experience, casting rods support professional fishing and are good for landing this aggressive fish.

But still, pick casting rods if you are perfect with the techniques as you may face backslashes and line tangles with bait casters if you aren’t right with the technique.

It’s ok to use spinning rods for bigger fish but we prefer casting for this specie.