For many anglers, the thrill and hard-fighting nature of saltwater fish are absolutely unbeatable. You don’t need a big boat and highly expensive trolling gear to get out into good saltwater fishing. Plenty of opportunities exist on the coastal areas in what is known as “inshore” fishing.
Sportfish of all types abound on the coastlines and present a fun opportunity for anglers, both with and without a boat. This coastline type fishing is often called “inshore” fishing and is becoming increasingly popular.
With a fairly simple spinning rod setup, these inshore saltwater fishing opportunities could be at your fingertips. From Redfish to Tarpon, and Bonefish to Sharks, inshore fishing can provide you with a huge variety of species, so long as you have the right gear. So what makes the best inshore spinning rod to get you out on the water? Let’s check it out below.
Comparison of the Best Inshore Spinning Rods
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What is an Inshore Spinning Rod?
So what exactly is an “inshore spinning rod”? How is it different than any other spinning rod? Well, inshore fishing simply refers to fishing in the ocean from the edge of the coastlines, generally at depths of 100 feet or less. Whereas “offshore fishing” could be classified as fishing in the ocean off of the main shoreline in deeper water.
The tackle required for inshore fishing will vary greatly from the tackle required for offshore fishing. For most anglers, inshore saltwater angling is most preferred with a proper spinning rod type outfit.
Inshore spinning rods could be considered more akin to a freshwater spinning rod type outfit than a big offshore type setup. However, you will still want an inshore spinning rod that is relatively large and can handle hard-fighting and big, running fish. Generally speaking, you will want a medium weight rod on the lower end of the spectrum, and possibly up to a heavy or extra heavy weight. You want something that will still be able to handle fairly large lures and line weights.
Standout Qualities of the Best Inshore Spinning Rods
So how do you go about choosing the best inshore spinning rod? Inshore fishing with spinning rods may demand you to cast larger lures and battle tougher fish. Additionally, saltwater environments are corrosive and hard on most of your equipment, including your rod. With these demands in mind, there are a few qualities you should be looking for in an inshore spinning rod.
Medium to Heavy Weight Rod - When fishing in the ocean, you always have the chance of hooking into something big. And generally speaking, most saltwater fish are going to give a whole lot more fight than a comparatively-sized freshwater cousin. In order to catch these big fish and handle heavier lures, don’t get a rod much lighter than a medium weight.
Lengthier Rod - While you don’t want a big surf-casting rod, you don’t want a short ultralight trout rod either. For most inshore fishing, you are going to want a rod at least six feet in length. Ideally, most suggest a 7 to 8-foot rod. Having a longer rod allows you more power when casting and battling fish.
Corrosion Resistance - There is no hiding it, saltwater is hard on gear. This is particularly true for metals. Even on your spinning rod, there are metal components which could be highly vulnerable to rust if they are not up to par. To combat this, it is suggested to use a rod with stainless steel components around saltwater.
Faster Action- The demands of inshore fishing require rods to be able to cast powerfully and have the strength to fight fish. On top of the assistance of your rod weight, a faster action rod will be of great value. A fast action rod bends mainly at the tip of the rod. A slow action rod bends throughout. The advantages of a fast action rod include: casting heavier lures easier, quicker hook sets, and a more powerful fighting ability.
Review of the Best Inshore Spinning Rods
Now that we have an idea of what is required of a good inshore spinning rod, let's take a look at some of the best spinning rods for inshore fishing.
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod
Ugly Stik’s Inshore Elite Spinning Rod series includes Ugly Tech technology and the Ugly Tuff stainless-steel guides made from one solid piece for optimized durability and dependability in harsh saltwater environments.
Offered with comfortable full-cork grips, the virtually indestructible rod blank contained within is composed of graphite and fiberglass for optimal performance. The tapered actions cast artificial or live bait with equal ease. The Ugly Stik patented Clear Tip design ensures optimal durability on the most fragile portion of your rod.
The Elite Series is offered in a wide range of combinations best suited for freshwater and inshore fishing. For your inshore fishing applications, I would recommend one of the medium or heavy rods in 6’6” length or longer.
The legendary reliability of Ugly Stik is difficult to argue with. The reputation of the Elite Spinning Rod series continues to hold up to the Ugly Stik name. A truly versatile and capable rod, a few sizes of this rod would suffice for most fish in North America if desired. For inshore fishing, the stainless steel guides, graphite construction, and well-suited size ranges make this a top inshore spinning rod in our eyes.
Berkley Inshore Spinning Rod (1-Piece)
The Inshore Series by Berkley is engineered with blanks and components designed for the rigors of saltwater inshore fishing demands. Featuring a 100% full carbon fiber blank, durability is this rod’s middle name.
Tried and trusted Fuji guides complement this blank well and allow for smooth line feeding with a lifetime of durability. The rubberized split grips give the rod good look, feel, and balance. The reel seat features an ergonomic design to help maintain endurance when fishing for long days out on the water.
This rod is available strictly in specifications meant for inshore fishing. From medium-light to medium-heavy and lengths up to 7.5 feet, any of the sizes in between should be well-suited to inshore fishing applications.
The Berkley Inshore series is designed specifically for the rigors and specific requirements of inshore fishing demands. As such, it would be hard to go against this rod for a dedicated inshore spinning rod rig. With the correct specifications and thought put into the needs of an inshore angler, this rod delivers everything a proper inshore spinning rod should.
Best for the Money:
Fiblink 3-Piece Heavy Spinning Rod
This beefy spinning rod by Fibilink should be on your radar if you are looking for a heavier weight setup than most. The convenient three-piece design makes it packable and easy to transport with the included carrying case. However, the break-down design sacrifices little in the performance that inshore fishing demands. The solid carbon fiber design delivers optimal sensitivity and durability at an ultra-light weight in your hand.
The stainless steel guides are durable and corrosion resistant. The inner ceramic rings of the guides ensure friction-free flow of line in and out of your reel. The aluminum alloy reel seat is a great addition to any inshore spinning rod and it is sandwiched in on each side by durable EVA foam and stainless steel components.
This rod is a rated as a heavy rod for lines between 30 and 50 pounds. Recommended lure weights are all the way up to eight ounces. With these specs, you should be able to tackle some of the largest inshore fish out there.
If you plan on targeting the largest of inshore fish, this might be your rod. This heavy weight rod is available in lengths up to seven feet to target all sorts of fish. The stainless steel and aluminum components on the carbon fiber blank ensure corrosion resistance for years to come. Couple all this with a limited one-year warranty and you can have some time to really put this highly rated, inshore spinning rod through the wringer.
If a packable rod is something you are looking for, this travel-sized spinning rod has the perfect specifications of a serious inshore spinning rod. This four-piece rod offers the utmost in packability and easy transport.
The innovative and dependable European spigot ferrule connections ensure a tight fit that will make you think you are fishing with a one-piece rod. To combat corrosion, the rod features stainless steel guides and reel seat for long term reliability. A unique feature of this rod is the pyramid-shaped, solid aluminum reel seat. This both lends well to corrosion resistance and increased strength.
This rod is available in one size. Thankfully it is well-suited to inshore fishing applications. At seven feet long, this medium/medium-heavy rod with fast action will be well-suited to saltwater fishing.
This rod features all that a good inshore spinning rod should be. On top of that, the four-piece, break-down design makes this an ideal rod for packability and travel. If you are taking a trip to the coast and want to get some inshore fishing in while you are there, this is a rod that could easily fit in your luggage. At just the right specifications that inshore fishing demands, this rod will do the job for years to come.
The Veritas series by Abu Garcia is a graphite series of rods that are engineered to be a combination of good balance, lightweight, and durability. The graphite rod blank features additional sublayer armor in the form of high strength lengthwise fibers for exceptional durability and flex strength.
The rod features a ratcheting real seat, a feature not available on most. Say goodbye to loosening reel seat collars, as this design is sure to maintain a solid grip on your reel all day long. Many reviewers report that Abu Garcia fully succeeded in a well-balanced and nice in the hand rod.
Available in a variety of sizes, many are well-suited to inshore fishing demands. The largest in the series is a medium-heavy seven-foot rod, which is perfectly suited to be a versatile inshore spinning rod. All the models feature a fast action tip design and users have the option piece one or two-piece construction.
Abu Garcia, in my opinion, is one of the unsung heroes in the fishing tackle world. The Veritas series a perfect shining example of quality, durability, and performance that this company seeks in all of their rods. For a dedicated inshore rod, this one won’t break the bank, so don’t be afraid to give it a try out on the water.
How to Use an Inshore Spinning Rod
While it may be intimidating to some beginners, the movements and coordination of casting a spinning reel are quick and easy to master. With a few simple steps to keep in mind and regular practice on the timing of the release, casting an inshore spinning rod is a simple affair.
As discussed in the video, start by grasping your rod with your reel hanging on the underside of the rod in your dominant hand. Your fingers should fall in a natural position fore and aft of the reel seat. Grasp the line exiting the reel with your index finger and open the wire bail on the reel. At this point, the line can free-spool off. The tension of your finger is the only thing holding the line in place.
For the casting motion, bring your rod overhead to about a 2 o’ clock position. Propel the rod forward and release the line around the 9 to 11 o’clock position. A good tip here is to use your non-dominant hand on the bottom end of your rod to pull the rod and help rotate it around your dominant hand. This gives you a little more power on your cast.
Close the bail and begin reeling in.
Experiment a little with this motion and release time to get your cast just right.
Whether you are already knees deep into it or just testing the waters, inshore fishing has something to offer everyone. With a huge variety of hard fighting and tasty fish all around the coastlines, it is a shame to not take advantage of this fishing opportunity.
With a fairly simple inshore fishing spinning rod setup, you can target a good variety of these species. An inshore spinning rod doesn’t differ a whole lot from a freshwater spinning rod setup. The biggest things you want to remember are to use a medium to heavy weight rod, a length of at least six feet or more, and a rod setup with corrosion-resistant qualities. With the information contained in this article and our top inshore spinning rod picks, you should have an easy time finding yourself a rig.