Are you the one struggling with finding the best panfish rod as a beginner? Obviously, when you have been in this domain for many years, the experience of using different rods taught you a lot. But the main struggle is for novice anglers.
Normally every angler starts fishing with pan fishing, where pan fish isn’t a specific name of fish but represents the size of any fish that fits into the pan. These are freshwater species which can be trout, crappie, bluegill, sunfish, rock bass, or white perch.
To target these smaller species, so you end up with delicious food on your table we have listed some of the best panfish rods according to different fishing locations that are easy on the budget but heavy in the field.
Top 3 picks for the Best Panfish rods
- Carbon fiber construction
- Stainless steel line guides
- Cork Handles
- Also available in baitcasting version
- Graphite rod
- Stainless steel Guides
- 4.6 feet length
- Ultra-light power Fast Action
- Composite rod construction
- Ugly Tough guides
- 4 ball bearings reel
- 25 size reel
Best Panfish rods listed in detail
One of the premium quality rod that comes with fine construction and design. It is constructed with high quality materials to ensure durability and longevity.
St. Croix offers addicted type of fishing experience once, you chose the Triumph spinning rod whether it is its ultra-light version or medium light to heavy. The rods are lightweight, durable and has a lot of backbone.
It’s a carbon fiber rod with cork handles, single footed stainless steel guides and nylon material reel seat to fix the reel properly on its position to not to disturb the cast.
A great rod for finesse fishing techniques with a fast action sensitive tip to detect smaller bites and tickles to hooked lures.
Some users complained about the rod breakage, it is so obvious if you put a heavy line and lure more than the rod capacity, it will snap in two half.
Moreover it’s a two piece rod and comes in a hard casing so you can easily carry it into your trucks. The ferrules point are well built that it feels like casting with a one piece rod.
Available in multiple lengths and power ratings so you can have more than one St. Croix Triumph on your arsenals in addition to the ultra-light.
- 2-piece rod
- Durable rod with a lot of backbone
- Lightweight rod
- Suitable for different fishing techniques
- Exceeding the rod line capacity can break it into two halves
Shakespeare micro spinning is a perfect blend of durability, performance, and sensitivity. It has all the required features that the best panfish must have.
First of all, it’s a graphite rod, great at sensitivity. The tip is delicately designed to detect the nibbles of the smallest fish.
Its 4.6 feet length offers to cast lighter lures with pinpoint accuracy suitable for multiple fishing techniques including fishing from a kayak near shore among vegetation areas.
Although it’s below $50, but each part is made durable to rock on water. The conventional reel seats hold the ultra-light reel firmly so your casts wouldn’t be disturbed at any point.
The full grip corks handles are easy to hold and offer a firm grip no matter what season it is.
You can also try it for saltwater when shorter casts and pinpoint accuracy are required for drop shotting, as its stainless steel guides are strong and resistant to corrosion in addition to this, can also bear braided line abuse.
Many people complain about rod breakage, it’s a one piece so you have to be careful when carrying it in a car or truck. Although the guides are firmly placed but under heavy pressure, they can be affected.
Overall, a perfect pan fish rod suitable for trout, crappie, bluegill, and luckily bass also with its 7 feet light power version.
Pair it with an ultra-light spinning reel for incredible experience.
- Budget-friendly durable rod
- One piece rod
- Strong ferrules
- Durable guides
- Sensitive tip
- Might be flexible for some anglers
- Easy to break
The rod you can trust without any disturbance to your budget. It is the perfect lightweight tackle plus it’s a combo so no worries about finding the right size reel.
Ugly Stik GX2 features strong and sturdy construction to last longer. Its composite construction rod and aluminum spool reel maintain a balance between strength and sensitivity to withstand even the toughest fishing conditions.
The rod and reel are designed to work together seamlessly, providing smooth and accurate casts that help you target pan fish with precision.
Adding more to its features it’s a versatile combo, available in multiple length rods and with right reel sizes. The 5.2:1 gear ratio reel set fast hook sets to catch brook trout, rainbow trout, bass, and all pan fish species.
The EVA handles are designed lightweight and offer a comfortable grip but trap dirt in their pores easily. You can easily hold this rod for long periods without any casting fatigue or discomfort.
Overall, it’s always a fun fishing experience with Ugly Stik GX2 spinning combo it can be your perfect fishing companion for any adventure.
- Lightweight and strong spinning combo
- Sensitive tips to detect fish nibbles
- Support any fishing style or type
- Budget friendly combo
- The rod handle gets dirty easily
Rod and reel combos are my personal favorite as I am free from finding a perfect reel for the rod. I especially prefer beginners to consider combos as their start-up gears.
This South Bend Microlite spinning combo is perfect for anglers of all skill levels. Whether it’s young anglers or female anglers, it is all ready to use. It is one of the best go-to panfish combos.
It’s a fiberglass rod so the durability is guaranteed. You can easily cast 1/16 lures weight with this 5.5 feet ultra-light rod.
Add this rod to your jigging arsenal and this will not disappoint you in any case. Its chromium guides are sturdy enough to bear braided line abuse.
Pick 15 lb. braided or 4-6 lb. monofilament fishing line to catch carp, trout, and other pan fish.
The reel attached consists of 2 ball bearings offering smooth casts with fast retrievals. It is the best traveling rod that perfectly fits into your fishing backpack.
For river fishing, fishing in areas with bushes and trees, and fishing for rock bass, this versatile combo can help you out at an affordable price.
- Perfect panfish rod for travelling
- Also suitable for bass fishing
- Lightweight and well-balanced rod
- Suitable for river and lake fishing
- The reel quality can be improved
The anglers searching for exclusively sensitive rods for finesse fishing techniques should consider Temple Fork outfitters Trout-Panfish rod.
It is specially designed for this type of fishing. It comprises of rod construction that is mostly a feature of expensive and premium rods i.e. carbon fiber construction, an enhanced form of graphite with fiberglass durability.
The durable stainless guides do not add any additional weight to disturb the rod balance. You can easily cast 1/32-1/64 oz. lures and throw desired distance casts by selecting lengths of different variations 5’6’’ to 7’.
You can also select between one and two piece rod styles according to your requirement. A great addition to the rod arsenal for traveling anglers and those who prefer weightless fishing tackles.
- Lightweight rod
- Suitable for jigging
- Can easily land various panfish
- No downside found
When it comes to pan fishing, the right type of equipment makes a prominent casting difference. Those anglers who are searching for a high-quality fishing rod to catch a lot of catches.
Okuma Celilo Graphite rod is a suitable option for serious trout fishermen. They are popular among anglers due to their versatility, as they can be used for a variety of fishing techniques like drift fishing, spin fishing, and more.
They are the perfect rods for detecting delicate bites as it features high-quality graphite construction. It’s a well-built rod that offers the perfect balance of sensitivity and power.
You can easily detect bites for catching even the most finicky trout and set the hook without overpowering the fish. The anglers who like to switch things up on the water should consider this one.
Its full grip cork handles, aluminum oxide line guides and stainless steel hooded reel seat is all set to catch crappie, pike, bluegill, and smaller bass in addition to trout fishing.
- 2-piece rod easy to carry
- Has enough backbone
- Not a flimsy rod
- Also suitable for trolling
- The cork handles are thick and tear out after some time
Telescopic rods are mostly underrated because besides being constructed of high-quality materials there are chances that they might break off as it’s a multiple pieces rod.
To target panfish, especially when ice fishing, Sougayilang telescopic fishing rod is a great pick. These rods will help you catch pan fish with ease and efficiency.
One of the main features of Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combos is their lightweight design. These rods are made from high-quality materials, such as carbon fiber and graphite, which make them both strong and lightweight. This means that you can use them for extended periods of time without feeling tired or fatigued.
Next, the reel is already paired with the rod. It is a quick fishing rod set up ready to use, as it is available as a full fishing kit featuring a telescopic rod, spinning reel, line, hooks, swivels, lures, and a spare spool.
It is the best travel fishing setup for pan fishing and wouldn’t disturb your budget. If you are an avid fisherman, should consider this setup.
Each component of both rod and reel is made durable to withstand tough fishing conditions. The tip to using a telescopic fishing rod is to make sure to start extending the rod from the tip.
The only missing part is the sensitivity as compared to St. Croix Triumph, Ugly GX2, and all other pan fish rods listed. Overall it’s a good startup kit and best suited for traveling.
- Comes as a full kit fishing set up
- Durable fishing rod and reel
- Fast moving fishing reel with 5.5:1 gear ratio to offer quick hook setting power
- Not a sensitive rod
Again a trout fishing rod made from reliable materials and designed to be both lightweight and durable making it an excellent choice for anglers who are serious about their sport.
The most impressive features of the Berkley Lightning Rod Trout Rod is its sensitivity. It is designed to be extremely sensitive, allowing anglers to feel even the slightest bites from trout and other pan fish. This makes it much easier to hook and catch fish, even when they are being cautious or hesitant.
It’s a strong and sturdy rod of 24 ton graphite. Stainless steel line guides that can bear braided line abuse. To be the best panfish rod, it is designed to be used with light lures, baits and jigs.
The reel wouldn’t be loosed due to its double lock reel seat design. The rubber cork handles are easy to hold and remains fully gripped with wet hands.
With these longer 2 piece rod you can target perch, bass, walleye, crappie, and trout with spinner, jigs and other trout lures.
Additionally, the rod is designed to be compatible with a wide range of different fishing lines, lures, and other accessories, making it a great choice for anglers who like to experiment with different techniques and approaches.
Overall, the Berkley Lightning Rod Trout Rod is an excellent choice for anglers who are looking for a high-quality, sensitive fishing rod that is designed specifically for trout fishing.
With its excellent sensitivity, high-quality construction, and versatility, this rod is sure to provide many years of reliable service to even the most demanding anglers.
- Lightweight rod
- Can land heavy and bigger size fish
- Stiff rods
How to choose the best panfish rods
To find a rod that is suitable for catching multiple species must have certain properties to meet the requirements. Read this buying guide in detail to get better learning about these types of fishing rods.
The length of the fishing rod is a critical factor. How far you can throw your lure is directly proportional to the length of the rod. The longer the rod is, the more you can cast longer.
The best length of rods for panfish is 6, 6’6’’, or 7 feet. These length rods offer accurate casts and are easy to control by every skill-level angler.
I mostly pick 6’6” feet panfish rods that offer to cast accurately with distance.
The material used for constructing fishing rods influences their durability and more importantly sensitivity. The more sensitive the rod is, the slightest fish nibbles and bites can be detected easily.
When we are fishing for bigger decent-sized fish, durable rods like fiberglass or carbon fiber are preferred. As bites from giant fish aren’t hard to detect.
Graphite rods are the recommended ones for pan fishing. They are lightweight and great with sensitivity. A perfect setup up for lighter catches as trout without any prominent vibration will take away your lure. So it is preferred to pick rods with sensitive tips.
The strength of the rod is evaluated on basis of its power rating. It is how much pressure is required to make the rod bend. The higher the power rating is, the heavier fish it can lift.
For pan fishing, we prefer a light fishing setup as we are targeting smaller catches. Ultra-light rods are the best pick for pan fish. They offer fast hook sets and have the required flex.
Learn more about fishing rod power rating in our guide to “Fishing rod power and action”.
As the name describes the action of the rod indicates its bending position along the length. Each action rating tells about how the rod will bend from where or how fast the rod returns to its original position after bending are all definitions of fishing rod action.
As we prefer sensitivity for pan fishing, fast-action rods are best recommended. They only bend near the tips and are great with sensitivity and hook-setting power to make sure the fish mouth isn’t torn.
Learn more about each of the action rods i.e. moderate and slow action rods in our guide to “Fishing rod power and action”.
Type of rod
No doubt baitcasting rods offer accurate casts but it’s challenging for novice anglers to use the baitcasting setup. Spinning rods are the ultimate choice for every skill-level angler.
They are easy to operate and available at affordable prices. You can get the best spinning rod even under $100.
Line and lure Weight
Normally the line and lure weight capacity is already mentioned on the rods. So it is not a challenging part to find out.
But with light and ultra-light fishing gear, usually, the lures weigh 1/32 to 1/16. Try Berkley Gulp Alive Minnow or Panther Martin Holograph both are the best trout lures that attract smaller catches.
How much giant a panfish will be, it wouldn’t be that heavier that a 6 lb. line can’t handle it. For targeting multiple pan fish species 4-6 lb. monofilament lines are the optimal choice.
The to distribute pressure equally between fishing rod and fishing line, line guides are placed on the connection points of the rod. These are small eyelets that keep the line away from the rod.
Among the good panfish rods, aluminum or stainless steel line guides are normally used. Both are durable but stainless steel line guides are preferred as they offer resistance to corrosion at a better level.
Rod handle material
The material of the handle leads to offer a firm grip to hold the rod. Two options are available among handles the cork and the EVA foams.
It’s up to the angler’s personal preference what he/she chose as both a good quality but cork handles are good when fishing for pan fish in summer. EVA grips are better suited for winter fishing as offer less breathing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Main reason why finding the best panfish rod is hard as we are looking for a rod that is suitable for multiple range of species.
Summing up, finding a good pan fish rod might be challenging but no impossible. Just consider the buying guides factors and the game is in your hands.
Best of luck for the next fishing trip to end up with some incredible panfish for dinner.