Welcome to the review post for the best Salmon fishing rods. To land trophy fish like Salmon and steelhead it is important that your fishing rod is specially designed to provide the perfect balance of sensitivity along with the strength and casting distance. Whether you are a seasoned angler or just a beginner, it’s important to invest wisely on a quality rod to improve your catching rate and fishing experience.
Rather than buying a cheap and brittle rod look for the best ones. But with so many options available in the market it just becomes difficult to select one. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best salmon fishing rods, based on a range of criteria including rod material, length, power, and action. So whether you’re looking to target Chinook salmon or Steelhead trout, we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive guide.
Top 3 Picks for the Best Salmon Fishing Rods
- Graphite Composite rods
- Available in 5 different lengths 7 to 10 ft.
- Medium-heavy to Extra Heavy power
- 5.6:1 gear ratio reel
- Graphite construction
- 10-20 lb. Line Rating
- 3/8-1 ¼ oz. Lure Rating
- 2-piece rod
- 30 Ton Graphite Construction
- 1 piece rod
- 8-17 lb. Line Rating
- 3/8 – 3/4 oz. Lure Rating
List of Best Salmon Fishing Rods Reviewed in Detail
Starting with an impressive piece of rod, specially designed durable, and sensitive to take salmon and steelhead fishing to the next level. These 24-ton graphite rods allow anglers to feel even the slightest nibble from their prey. So it’s a rare chance that you will miss a catch.
The standout features of this fishing rod are its line and lure ratings. With a line rating of 12-30 pounds and a lure rating of 1/2- 1 3/4 ounces, this rod is incredibly versatile and can be used for a wide range of fishing techniques. Additionally, the rod has a weighing capacity of up to 15 pounds or even more, making it suitable for catching even the largest salmon and steelhead.
This fast-action, medium/heavy spinning rods are available in 4 different lengths i.e. 9.4, 9.8, 9.11, and 10.6 feet. Anglers can use this rod for a variety of techniques, from float fishing to drift fishing, and still expect to feel even the slightest nibble. The cork handle is also a plus, providing both comfort and accuracy.
In addition to these specifications, its stainless steel line guides are durable enough to handle different rigorous fishing conditions even if you are fishing in rocky areas or adverse weather conditions.
Overall, the Lamiglas Redline Salmon & Steelhead Fishing Rod is a top-notch piece of equipment that is well worth the investment for serious anglers.
- Versatile rod suitable for different salmon and steelhead fishing techniques
- 2-piece rod suitable for traveling
- Heavy Line and lure rating
- Perfect level of sensitivity for detecting the smallest nibbles
- Attractive Cosmetics
- It takes time to get used to the rod’s stiffness, especially the fiberglass rod users
- The Ferrules point needs improvement
best salmon rod under $100
The best thing about the Shakespeare Ugly Stik rods is that they are suitable for all skill-level anglers. Either they are beginners or anglers who are serious about their fishing should consider these rods.
The standout feature of these rods is their composite construction. This combination allows the anglers to enjoy the fiberglass flexibility and the graphite sensitivity making it strong enough to handle even the largest salmon and steelhead along with detecting the slightest strikes.
With a line rating of 10-20 pounds and a lure rating of 1/2- 1 ½ ounces, this rod is suitable for a wide range of fishing techniques. Additionally, the rod has a weighing capacity of up to 20 pounds, making it a great choice for catching large fish.
Although I found the rod’s tip a bit flimsy, overall the rod has enough backbone to tackle these aggressive catches. The full-grip long cork handles make it more comfortable to hold for full-day fishing while waiting for the perfect catch.
These medium-heavy and fast-action rods are recommended rods for casting and drifting. However, I wouldn’t recommend these rods for trolling as their cork handles will be disturbed after placing them in the rod holders.
Overall, the Ugly Stik Elite Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Fishing Rod is a solid choice for serious anglers looking for a durable and versatile fishing rod. While it may not be the best choice for anglers who prefer a lighter setup, it is still an excellent choice for those looking to catch heavier salmon and steelhead.
- Sensitive yet durable and flexible rods
- High Strength Construction
- Corrosion Resistant Guides and Reel seat
- Its line and lure ratings make it suitable for a wide range of fishing techniques
- Suitable for Travelling
- Bit heavier than graphite rods
- Flimsy Rod Tip
Those anglers who are searching for a high-quality fishing rod for salmon and steelhead fishing and still not disturb their budget should consider Fenwick Eagle spinning fishing rod which is a technique-specific rod designed with serious anglers in mind.
This 9.6 ft. to 10.6 long medium to medium-heavy rods with a lure rating of 3/8 – 1 ¼ oz. are the perfect option for trolling. Although they feature cork handles, it’s a premium cork material that wouldn’t be easily disturbed and offer a firm grip even with wet hands.
Additionally, the rod has a weighing capacity of up to 20 pounds, making it suitable for catching even the largest salmon and steelhead.
In terms of the rod’s pros, its sensitivity and versatility are the biggest selling points. The lightweight graphite blank provides excellent sensitivity, allowing you to feel even the slightest nibble, while the line and lure ratings make it suitable for a wide range of fishing techniques.
Overall, these are longer rods so I would also recommend drifting in addition to trolling too. Although they are lightweight but a 8.6 feet long rod is a bit difficult to hold in hand that’s why wouldn’t recommend this for casting.
It is an excellent setup for those who prefer longer setups to catch salmon and steelhead with finesse and precision.
- Long-length rods suitable for trolling
- Offer long casting distance
- The rod guides can bear braided line abuse
- The only room for improvement is the handle length which is shorter compared to other spinning rods on the list
best salmon fishing rod for durability
The Okuma brand has been serving the best quality fishing rods for almost every type of fishing whether it’s freshwater or saltwater, jigging or trolling, Okuma covers this all.
Here, the Okuma Guide Select Pro Salmon Rods are top-of-the-line fishing rods built for serious anglers. These are versatile rods available in a vast range of lengths from 7 to 9.9 feet with different power ratings. This makes them also suitable for jigging fishing techniques to target salmon and steelhead.
You can also target smaller salmon living in streams and lakes throwing lighter lures with these shorter rods. The best part is its woven carbon fiber handles are durable enough to be placed in rod holders so these are also a reliable option for trolling too.
With the maximum lure rating of 5 oz. you can throw the heavier lures and live baits to entice salmon and steelhead to bite. Either its 2-6 lb. line rating or 15-40 lb. rating the Okuma Guide Select Pro is suitable for a wide range of fishing techniques and capable of catching largest to smallest salmon.
The durable and lightweight carbon fiber blank construction provides excellent sensitivity and strength, while the stainless steel guide ensures smooth and efficient line movement.
Its sensitivity and durability make it an excellent choice for serious anglers who are specific about techniques and looking for a high-quality fishing rod.
- Strong backbone
- Highest line and lure rating rod in the list up to 5 oz. lure and 40 lb. Line
- Expensive rods
- Stiff rods due to 40-ton carbon construction
best salmon fishing rod and reel combo
The PENN Pursuit III & Pursuit IV Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo is the best salmon fishing combo that offers excellent value for money. The combo includes a high-quality composite fishing rod with a prominent graphite side and a sealed reel that work seamlessly together to provide a smooth and powerful fishing experience.
It features a line rating of 10-20 pounds, making it suitable for salmon and steelhead fishing as it can lift the weight of maximum 11.3 kg. These are EVA foam split grip handle rods suitable for drifting salmon and steelhead. Because of their split grip handle design, they aren’t a suitable option for trolling rods.
The reel paired is fully sealed and has a corrosion-resistant body and features an anti-reverse system that ensures a solid hook set. You can easily use it for saltwater fishing without any replacement with an expensive reel.
Available in 5 different lengths from 7 to 10 feet and 2500 size reel up to 8000 size reel. Pick its 7 feet long rod and 4000-size reel and make it your ultimate partner for jigging or simply casting for salmon and steelhead.
With its balanced design, this combo is easy to handle and offers excellent control over your catch. If you’re looking for a reliable and affordable salmon and steelhead fishing combo, the PENN Pursuit III & Pursuit IV Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo is worth considering.
- Budget-friendly rod and reel combo
- Flexible yet stronger rod
- Many customers faced packaging issues
best drift fishing rod for salmon
I had the opportunity to test out the 13 FISHING – Fate Steel – Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Fishing Rod, and I was thoroughly impressed even though I wasn’t expecting much. This rod is specifically designed for salmon and steelhead fishing, and it’s perfect for a variety of techniques, including drift fishing, jigging, and float fishing.
The Fate Steel features 30-ton graphite construction, 8.6 ft. length, moderate-fast action, and a medium power rating, making it ideal for handling smaller specie like Pink Salmon sockeye salmon, and Atlantic Salmon with ease. The rod’s line and lure rating are 8-17 lb. and 3/8 – 3/4 oz., respectively, providing anglers with a great deal of flexibility when it comes to selecting the right tackle for the job.
The standout features of this rod are the rod sensitivity and lightweight structure allowing anglers to detect even the slightest of bites. The cork handle provides a comfortable grip, even during long fishing sessions.
- Lightweight rod
- Sensitivity Tip
- Supports various fishing techniques for salmon fishing
- 1 piece rod makes it difficult to transport
- Not suitable for saltwater fishing
Telescopic fishing rods are mostly underrated because they feature multi-piece construction so they are more prone to breakage. But if ferrules points are made strong the rod wouldn’t break easily and support fishing even targeting heavier catches.
Sougayilang telescopic fishing rods is a durable rods and are available in both spinning and casting versions, providing anglers with options depending on their preferred fishing technique.
Its standout feature is its carbon construction. That makes it durable, sensitive, lightweight, and the best option for traveling. It’s a 6.9 ft. long rod so not suitable for trolling and drifting techniques.
So if you are searching for a casting or jigging rod for Salmon and Steelhead fishing, the Sougayilang rod is the best option.
The only room for improvement is the reel seat. The casting appearance can be enhanced if the reel remains tight on the seat. I wish they improve this plastic material reel seat.
Overall it is a good telescopic fishing rod. Make sure to buy the 6-footer as 5 footer does not suit any of the techniques for salmon and steelhead fishing.
- The best option for traveling
- Lightweight rod
- Strong Ferrules points
- The reel seat needs improvement
- Stiff rods
When casting from streams and lakes and for jigging I always prefer lightweight rods as it becomes easy to hold them for longer hours. When weight and durability are my preferences. St. Croix Rods are always at the top.
Although they are expensive they last longer and become your fishing partner for most of your fishing trips.
So as an avid angler, I can confidently say that the St. Croix Rods Triumph Spinning Rod is one of the best spinning rods available for salmon and steelhead fishing. This rod is perfect for casting and jigging, and its durability and longevity are impressive.
Although each of the rod components is top-notch what makes St. Croix Triumph superior over other rods is its SCII carbon construction which makes it strong to tackle aggressive catches easily. These rods are designed keeping in view serious anglers in mind.
It’s a medium-heavy power rod with fast action, making it ideal for handling larger fish with ease. With an 8-17 lb. line rating and a 3/8 – 3/4 lure rating on a 7.6 ft. length, the rod offers anglers plenty of flexibility when it comes to selecting the right tackle for the job. The rod’s line and lure rating vary depending on the size.
Overall, the St. Croix Rods Triumph Spinning Rod is a great investment for any angler looking for a long-lasting spinning rod for salmon and steelhead fishing especially when you are casting or jigging, this rod is sure to deliver exceptional performance and durability.
- High-quality construction for durability and longevity
- Excellent sensitivity for detecting even the slightest bites
- Firm good grip, even when wet
- Line and lure rating provides flexibility for selecting the right tackle
- Higher price point compared to some other spinning rods on the market
- gThe rod might break if you disturb its line and lure rating
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How to choose the best salmon fishing rods
Salmon and steelhead are both species strong and aggressive and to handle this type of fish it is utterly important to land with a stronger rod too.
Typically longer length rods with heavy power and fast action are adopted for salmon and steelhead fishing but these specifications may vary with the type of fishing.
Trolling fishing may require a different length rod as compared to simply casting or jigging. So it is important to pick the right rod accordingly. We will each factor like the best rod length for salmon and steelhead, power and action, material, and much more. Make sure to read till last to make an informed decision. Let’s have a look at these factors!!!
When it comes to choosing the best rod length for salmon and steelhead fishing, it depends on the technique you’ll be using.
Trolling Rods For trolling it is best to choose the 8-10 feet long rods as they allow you to cover more water and keep your bait or lure at the desired depth.
Jigging Rods For jigging, typically shorter to medium length rods i.e. 6 to 7 feet are better as these rods offer sensitivity and enough power to set the hook.
Spinning Rods For casting, a rod length ranging from 7 to 9 feet is typically better as the longer the rod is, the more it gets difficult to handle and hold it for a longer period. Because length also increases the weight of the rod. These length rods are good with maneuverability and cover most fishing locations to cast accurately from a distance.
For drifting longer rods are the top choice as you could drift fish up to 30 feet of water. Longer rods allow for greater control and help to keep your bait or lure in the strike zone. So, 8 ½ -10 feet rods are best for drifting.
Consider the type of water you’ll be fishing in, the size of the fish you’re targeting, and the technique you’ll be using to determine the ideal rod length for your needs.
Power refers to the amount of force needed to bend the rod. This decides what weight and size of fish a rod can lift. Fishing rods are categorized into heavy, medium, and light power. Typically, heavy power rods are best for bigger catches while light power rods are for panfish.
For targeting salmon and steelhead, medium to heavy power rods are the best. Salmon fish ranges from 4 to up to 50 pounds while steelhead trout is an anadromous form of rainbow trout, and typically ranges in size from 3 to 20 pounds, depending on the region and season.
So to target, 4 to 10 pounds of salmon and steelhead, a medium power rod is best, while for heavier catches greater than 10 pounds heavy power rods are the perfect choice to cast heavy lures and baits.
Action refers to the speed at which the rod returns to its original position. The fishing rods are fast, extra-fast, moderate, to slow action rods. Fast-action rods bend only from the tip, while slow-action rods bend throughout their length. Moderate action rods are their in-between option.
For salmon and steelhead fishing, fast-action rods are the best pick. Fast action rods are the most sensitive of all and it is an ultimate required feature for type of fishing. These action rods allow anglers to feel for subtle bites and also have the backbone necessary to fight larger fish.
Medium to medium-heavy spinning rods are also volunteers for salmon fishing but are better suited when fishing in strong currents.
Fishing rods can be made from graphite, fiberglass, or composite materials. Graphite rods are sensitive, lightweight, and bit sensitive especially the carbon fiber rods which are the enhanced form of graphite, while fiberglass rods are durable, and can handle heavier loads. Fiberglass rods are more flexible as graphite rods are stiffer and more prone to breaking.
At last, composite materials offer a combination of both (fiberglass and graphite). You will get fiberglass durability and flexibility along with graphite sensitivity. Consider the conditions you’ll be fishing in to determine which material is best for you.
Handle and Grip
The handle and grip of a fishing rod are also important factors to consider as they influence your cast. Your comfort and control while fishing are directly proportional to the rod handle and its grip.
Although the rod handle length depends on personal preference as some anglers prefer shorter and split grip rod handles while some prefer the longer and full grip design.
The main point is the handle material, Cork is a popular choice for its comfort and durability, while EVA foam is also a good option. Cork handles are great for summer fishing while EVA foam handles are recommended for the winter season, ice fishing, and trolling fishing conditions as their shape wouldn’t be disturbed when placed in the rod holders.
When it comes to selecting the best material for rod guides on salmon and steelhead fishing rods, there are a few options to consider
- Stainless steel Guides
- Aluminum oxide Guides
- Titanium Guides
- Ceramic Guides
Stainless steel guides are a popular choice for salmon and steelhead fishing rods due to their durability and resistance to corrosion. They can withstand the abrasive nature of braided lines and won’t wear down as quickly as other materials.
Titanium oxide guides have similar features to stainless steel but are an expensive option. They are a good option for anglers who prefer lighter-weight rods.
Ceramic guides although more sensitive, can be more prone to breakage than stainless steel or titanium guides being less durable.
Aluminum oxide guides are best at their durability feature but can readily get rusted after saltwater fishing. Make sure to give them a freshwater wash and deep cleansing after saltwater exposure.
Before making a purchase, read reviews from other anglers to get a sense of the rod’s performance, durability, and other features.
Frequently asked questions
You can’t just rely only on the reviews unless you give them a try. Pick any of the above-mentioned rods to enhance your experience on the water. Remember, investing in a quality spinning rod is a long-term investment that will pay dividends for years to come. Just kick back and relax and follow the above guide and our list of the best salmon fishing rods, so you can make an informed decision and select the right spinning rod that best suits your needs and preferences. Best of Luck!!!