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Inshore saltwater fishing has so much to offer both beginning and more experienced anglers.
The feel of the ocean breeze on your face, the exhilaration of a tug on your line, and the feeling of absolute freedom that you can only get with a day spent out on the water.
Unfortunately, saltwater can wreak havoc on your gear, and you really shouldn’t use freshwater reels and rods in saltwater environments.
Luckily, I have reviewed the 7 best saltwater fishing rod and reel combos on the market which make it convenient to saltwater fish – and that allows you to avoid wrecking your freshwater gear.
Best Inshore Saltwater Rod and Reel Combos in 2023
Here are the Best Inshore Saltwater Rod and Reel Combos:
Last update on 2023-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What Makes a Good Saltwater Rod and Reel Combo?
There are so many considerations you can make when shopping for best saltwater gear that it can quickly become overwhelming.
However, there are a few key details you should factor in when making your decision – the rest is simply a matter of your own personal preferences.
First, consider the rod. You need to purchase a rod that has enough power to get the job done.
When shopping for a saltwater rod, you will see options ranging from ultralight to heavy, as well as everything in between.
Consider the species you intend to fish with your saltwater rod. If you’re fishing for massive fish, like huge yellowfin, get the heaviest rod possible.
If you’re only fishing for bonefish, a medium-light rod will do the trick without too much overkill.
Think about the length and action of your rod once you’ve determined how powerful you’d like it to be.
While a slower action will allow you to cast with ease (particularly if you are new to fishing), a fast-action rod will allow you to set the hook in larger fish and to cast with greater accuracy.
Length is also important in casting, as a longer rod will let you cast farther than a short pole.
Next up on your list of things to consider is material.
The best saltwater rods will be made out of graphite, as they offer exceptional sensitivity that will help you detect even the subtlest of nibbles.
Fiberglass rods, on the other hand, tend to be tougher and more durable when fighting to reel in large fish.
Although they are more expensive, some manufacturers make composite rods which include the best features of both materials.
You also need to consider the reel. Saltwater reels are generally categorized as high- or low-speed.
High-speed rods have gear ratios higher than 6:1, which allows you to reel more quickly, but offer less power when hauling in massive fish.
There are some reels that allow you to switch from high to low speed with the click of a button, so keep that in mind if it is something that is important to you.
A good saltwater reel will match the recommended line weight marked on the rod.
While you’ll have quite a few options when it comes to rod and reel combos, know that you will likely have to make the decision between a reel that is designed for spinning versus one that is designed for baitcasting.
Ultimately, the choice is up to you. What’s most important in selecting a good rod and reel combo is that it is made out of corrosion-resistant materials to avoid wear and tear on your equipment.
Top 7 Best Fishing Rod And Reel Combos For Saltwater Fishing
1. Zebco 808 Saltwater
Zebco’s rod and reel combo provide exceptional performance and longlasting durability.
The 7-foot rod is ideal for medium to heavy action, allowing you to haul in some pretty large and powerful saltwater fish.
Comfortable to grasp, and able to be collapsed into two pieces, this rod performs smoothly and offers plenty of power.
The reel comes with 150 yards of 20-lb test line and the combo is backed by a one-year limited warranty from the manufacturer.
- Easy to use for beginners
- 2:1 gear ratio
- Pre-spooled with 20-lb test line
- Requires extremely heavy line, making it difficult to use for surf fishing
2. Okumo Tundra Surf Spinning Combo
Okuma makes some of the best tackle out there, and this combo is a product that can last you a lifetime.
It is made out of rugged materials and is equipped with ceramic guide inserts.
This reduces the friction on your line and you don’t have to worry about your rod or reel getting damaged.
It is available in multiple sizes and can be adopted by both beginner and experienced saltwater anglers.
- Available in several sizes
- Made out of reliable materials
- Comfortable to use with comfortable foam and ceramic inserts
- Rod tip may have to be replaced with one made out of stainless steel for added longevity
3. Penn Squall Lever Drag Combo
This is perhaps one of the best rod-and-reel combos for beginners.
This combo is available in two lengths and two power ratings, allowing you to try it out with a variety of species.
Designed for inshore angling, the reel consists of a graphite frame and an aluminum spool.
The rod, too, has graphite construction, allowing for added sensitivity so that you can feel even a tiny bite.
- The lever drag system is easy to adjust on the fly
- The reel’s graphite frame and aluminum spool are durable and corrosion-resistant
- Not ideal for casting
4. Sougayilang Spinning Combo
This combination is extremely adaptable, offering excellent performance in a boat as well as in reef and rock fishing.
It is comfortable to use and has an included spinning reel that is both powerful and durable.
The rod is made out of high-quality carbon fiber material and has a collapsible handle, making it easy to use as well as to carry.
You’ll appreciate the six guides that are color-coded to make it easier to adjust the reel and other settings.
- Ideal for casting from the shore or from a boat
- Can be purchased in multiple different sizes and actions
- High-quality carbon fiber construction
- Priced higher than similar models
5. Penn Battle II
Penn is one of the top brands when it comes to saltwater fishing gear.
They have been designing and manufacturing fishing equipment for over 75 years.
This rod and reel combo is one of the company’s most popular, featuring a full metal body, rotor, and side plate for added durability.
It is made out of anodized aluminum, which allows you to tie line onto the spool without the need for backing.
With a braid-ready reel and marked line capacity rings, this combo is beyond comparison.
- Offers a smooth drag, even when under heavy loads
- 5 sealed stainless steel ball bearings in reel allow for fluid cranking
- Multiple lengths available (6.5 to 10 ft)
- Not ideal for jigging fish
6. Plusinno Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
This rod and reel combo is unique in that it is telescoping, making it more convenient for taking with you on longer trips.
The reel has a durable plastic casing and a short body, along with a deep aluminum spool with high line capacity.
One of the nicest features about the reel, in particular, is that it’s interchangeable for both left and right-handed anglers – something that, as a leftie who has trouble finding suitable fishing gear, I found extremely helpful.
- Telescoping rod available in lengths from 5.9 to 10.8 feet
- Sensitive graphite reel helps you feel sensitive strikes
- Stainless steel materials are resistant to saltwater corrosion
- Can be difficult to retract the rod back in
7. Ugly Stik Saltwater Spinning Combo
Ugly Stik is manufactured by Shakespeare, another giant in the saltwater fishing gear industry.
The Ugly Stik is practically a household name, and just recently began to offer a saltwater set-up.
The rod and reel combo consists of a seven-foot-long two-piece rod with a graphite spinning reel.
The reel comes pre-spooled with line and even includes an assortment of fishing tackle – something I appreciated, as I feel like I’m always running out of hooks, barrel swivels, and other must-have items.
- Seven-year warranty on the rod and reel combo
- Comes pre-spooled and with an assortment of useful fishing tackle
- Difficult to spool line on reel evenly
Verdict – What is the best saltwater rod and reel combo?
If you’re new to saltwater angling, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the myriad options of gear available to you.
Don’t let it stress you out – keep the key characteristics of a good inshore saltwater rod and reel combo in mind, and remember that the best combo will be one that suits your particular fishing goals and preferences.
While I understand that your fishing preferences might be different from mine (and that everybody will have a different favorite rod and reel combo), my personal favorite is the Okuma Tundra Surf Spinning Combo
For the price, you really can’t beat this combo’s value. Because it is available in several sizes, you can really customize it to fit whatever setting you have in mind.
It’s gentle and flexible enough for beginners to use, yet offers just enough precision and skill in reeling in massive fish to make it a good fit for more experienced anglers, too.
But don’t put the purchase off too long – the ocean is waiting for you.