Best Kayak Fishing Rods – 2020 Complete Review

Fishing from a kayak is one of the best ways to get the experience of offshore fishing without spending big bucks on an expensive motorboat.

Some fishing rods are a better fit for kayak fishing than others.

In this article, we’ve put together a list of some of the best kayak fishing rods you can get today—check it out! 

Comparison Chart of the Best Kayak Fishing Rods

PRODUCTDETAILS
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KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rods

  • Best Overall
  • High-quality materials
  • Telescopic design for convenience
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Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod

  • Super strong
  • Very lightweight
  • Great casting abilities
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Piscifun Sword Graphite Fly Fishing Rod

  • Best for the money
  • Super accurate casting
  • 4-piece design is kayak-friendly
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Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combos with Telescopic Fishing Pole

  • All-inclusive set up
  • Lightweight, easy to travel with
  • Best kayak fishing rod and reel
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Kalex Telescopic Spinning Rod (XT2)

  • Super light
  • Strong and sensitive
  • Smooth casting ability
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Is Any Rod Suitable For Kayak Fishing?

Technically, you could use most angling rods from a kayak, but some are much more convenient than others. When you use a kayak, you don’t have the luxury of space that a bigger watercraft provides, so it’s better to go for a rod that is multiple pieces or telescopic. Another thing to consider is that you’ll be doing all of your angling from a sitting position, so you’ll have to choose a rod that can have peak performance with little movement on your part. For this reason, spinning rods are usually a good pick for kayak fishing.

How Do I Choose a Kayak Fishing Rod?

When you’re looking at purchasing a new kayak fishing rod, there are several aspects you should keep in mind. Because you have limited space and range of motion in a standard-size kayak, you may make choices that would differ from a different style of angling. 

Rod Material  

A great kayaking rod will be made with something that is a little more lightweight. You’ll be using quite a bit of energy piloting your kayak; there’s no need to add extra strain with a heavy fiberglass pole. Try to look for a graphite composite or a lightweight carbon fiber rod. This will reduce the strain on your arms and shoulders.

Length and Handle  

Obviously, you won’t be able to stand in your kayak, so you’ll be lacking in some leverage. For this reason, it’s very important to find a rod that is long enough to get a fish around the bow and stern of your boat. You’ll also get longer casts from a longer rod, especially in a constrained position. A 7-foot rod should get the job done, but also think about your handle length. The more length, the more control you’ll have on your rod. 

Quick Take | Best Kayak Fishing Rods

Review of the Best Kayak Fishing Rods

To give yourself the best shot at a catch, make sure you have a great kayak fishing rod. Check out our list of favorites below. 

KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rods, Spinning 6ft 6in-Fast-M Power

PROS

  • Easy to transport
  • Sleek, attractive design
  • Comfortable in the hand
  • Crafted with high-quality graphite
  • Telescopic design takes up little room

CONS

  • Fragile and should be handled with some care
  • Eyelet cover doesn’t reach all eyelets
  • Tough to keep eyelets straight when extended

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of buyers who purchased the KastKing Blackhawk telescopic fishing rod were very pleased with its overall performance. Among the major draws was the telescopic design that allowed the angler to transport it easily. Some wished that the rod was less fragile so they could throw it in their pack without fear of breaking.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rod earned our top spot on our favorites list because of its convenience and thoughtful design and construction. This rod uses graphite, stainless steel, and EVA foam to create a comfortable experience for the angler; the rod is lightweight, yet strong, and it can be taken anywhere thanks to its telescopic design.

Who Will Use This Most

This would be a good purchase for kayakers who like to travel often and don’t have space for a long, one-piece rod in their gear. This is a rod that can be stuck in a backpack or slung over a shoulder easily—just be careful with the eyelets.

Bottom Line

When it comes to telescopic fishing rods, the KastKing Blackhawk is a gold standard. Created with high-quality materials, easy to transport and set up, and a great combination of sensitive and strong, don’t miss this product for your next kayaking trip.

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod 7' - Medium Light - 1pc

PROS

  • Casts a mile
  • Durable blanks
  • Light as a feather
  • Virtually unbreakable
  • High-quality materials used in construction

CONS

  • A little stiff
  • Handle is bulky
  • Reel seat is too small

What Recent Buyers Report

UglyStiks are an incredibly popular buy among anglers and the Elite rod is no different. Buyers were very satisfied with the overall build and strength of the rod, saying it was virtually indestructible. Some users wished it was a little less stiff and a little more sensitive for pulling in smaller fish.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Elite rod from UglyStik is a great example of the company’s commitment to consistency and quality. This rod is super durable, nearly impossible to break, and allows for long, smooth casts. Graphite is used to construct this rod, making it lightweight enough to bring along in your kayak.

Who Will Use This Most

This product is a solid choice for any angler looking to up their fishing game. This is a one-piece rod, but they do sell two-piece versions if it would fit better on your kayak. UglyStik rods are an excellent option for anyone who loves fishing for big game, as they have super durable blanks that can stand up to very powerful fish.

Bottom Line

All in all, the UglyStik elite rod is an easy recommendation for any angler. This is a good fit for kayak fishing—the graphite construction is lightweight and won’t bog your boat down with any unnecessary weight.

Piscifun Graphite Fly Fishing Rod 4 Piece 9ft - IM7 Carbon Fiber Blank - Accurate Placement - Ingenious Design - Chromed Guide and Durable Rod Tube 5wt

PROS

  • Powerful
  • Stylish design
  • Casts accurately
  • Great value for the price
  • Lightweight and sensitive

CONS

  • Rod tip is a little fragile
  • Not great for shorter casts
  • Handle moves slightly when casting

What Recent Buyers Report

Those who purchased the Piscifun graphite rod were seriously impressed with several aspects of the setup, including the accurate, long casts they could achieve with it. Some complained that it wasn’t as great for short distances, but overall, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This graphite rod from Piscifun earned our budget pick spot because it is an exceptional value for the performance it provides. This is a great little lightweight rod to bring along on a kayak for many reasons, mainly due to its incredible casting abilities.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great option for any fly fishing angler on a budget who wants a serious bang for their buck. This rod would fit well in a kayaking setting as it allows for super long, accurate casts without a great deal of movement or leverage.

Bottom Line

All in all, this is an exceptional choice for any angler who wants to step up their fishing game without spending an exorbitant amount of cash. Our favorite aspect of this rod is the casting abilities, but it offers much more than just that.

Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combos with Telescopic Fishing Pole Spinning Reels Fishing Carrier Bag for Travel Saltwater Freshwater Fishing

PROS

  • Well balanced
  • Small and compact
  • Good fit for beginners
  • Lightweight, telescopic design
  • Comes with all the products you need to start fishing

CONS

  • Not very durable
  • Handle grips are uncomfortable
  • Included line is not high quality

What Recent Buyers Report

This fishing rod combination was a hit among anglers who wanted something cheap and all-inclusive that they could easily fit into their kayak. Anglers liked that it came with tackle, but there were several complaints about the durability of the setup.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We included this inexpensive combo on our list because it is a super convenient option for anglers who want something easy to throw in their gear for traveling or kayak angling. Although this may not be the highest-quality piece of gear, it’s a great option for beginner anglers on a budget.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great choice for a fishing novice. Not only is it a rod and reel combination, but it also comes with a tackle box and kit for getting started. So for those who want to try angling, but aren’t sure where or how to start, this is a great jumping-off product.

Bottom Line

When it comes down to it, although this combo might not be the highest quality product on today’s market, it’s still a good option for amateur anglers who are just starting out. With an all-inclusive tackle box, there’s no need to worry about getting a ton of gear on your own.

Kalex Telescopic Spinning Rod (XT2), 7'0' - Medium - Telescopic

PROS

  • Compact
  • Durable blanks
  • Super sensitive
  • Effortless casting
  • Comes with a free storage bag

CONS

  • A little stiff
  • Learning curve
  • Uncomfortable handle design

What Recent Buyers Report

Anglers who purchased this Kalex telescopic spinning rod were impressed with the durable, strong blanks that allowed for effortless casting and pulling in big fish with ease. However, some buyers said that the rod was too stiff for their liking, inhibiting their overall success over time.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rod is a really good fit for our list because it is telescopic, allowing for compact storage, but its design doesn’t compromise any strength. Some telescopic rods struggle with weak points, sections where the rod collapses into itself, but the Kalex rod doesn’t deal with this problem.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great fit for anglers who want to do some serious angling without having a heavy-duty rod taking up a ton of space in their kayak. Users don’t have to worry about their rod snapping or failing when pulling a big fish with this rod.

Bottom Line

While this rod might be a little too stiff for some anglers’ tastes, it is a great option for the majority of sport fishermen, especially if you have a kayak. This rod doesn’t take up a great deal of space, it’s light, and it performs well.

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying? 

You’ll most likely be happiest with your rod purchase if you’re as well-informed as possible. Before pulling out your wallet, check out our list of considerations to ensure you’re getting the best rod for you.

Telescopic or Two-Piece? 

When it comes to kayak fishing, you’ll have an easier time if you have a rod that is compactable in some way. That way, you can comfortably fit your rod in your kayak for transport or stick it in your travel gear without worry. There are several different designs that allow for this, but most the most common are telescopic or two-piece rods. While neither really outweighs the other, it’s good to know what your preference is before making a purchase. 

Strength Versus Sensitivity

For any kind of angling, it’s important that your rod strikes a good balance between strength and sensitivity. This is hard to achieve, but usually, you’re safer if you go with a rod that uses graphite in construction. It’s also a good idea to know what kind of fish you’ll be targeting, so that way you can cater your rod to your fishing preferences.

Conclusion

Selecting a new kayaking fishing rod isn’t always easy, but hopefully this article took some of the pressure off your shoulders. Kayaks are a great way to get out on the ocean or lake to that perfect catch without spending a fortune on a large watercraft—have fun, and happy fishing! 

People Also Ask

Kayak angling is a great way to fish, but it can be hard to know where to start if you’ve never done it. Check out our frequently asked questions section below to make sure you’re as well equipped as possible for your next great catch.

How Long Should My Fishing Rod Be?

A great general length to go for is around 7-feet, but because your mobility will be limited in a kayak, some anglers like to go longer so they can achieve more lengthy casts.

Do Longer Fishing Rods Cast Further?

As alluded to above, long rods do tend to cast farther than those that are shorter. You’ll have to balance your need for long casts with a need for space in your kayak to find the perfect rod length for you.