Best Kayak Fishing Rod

Best Kayak Fishing Rod Comparison Chart

Best for
Bottom line
Best Overall
Best Graphite Rod for Kayak Fishing
KastKing Blackhawk II
Fresh or saltwater
0.25 - 0.37 lbs
6.5 - 8 feet
Medium light, medium, medium heavy, and heavy
Moderate fast to fast
Telescopic, durable, sensitive, comfortable handle, quick assembly, lightweight, and available in 14 different lengths and actions
Aligning the guides can be troublesome
If you’re looking for a performance telescopic fishing rod that’s lightweight, convenient, durable, and sensitive, then this is a great choice.
Best Bang for the Buck
Bass and trout
0.39 - 0.57 lbs
5.91 - 8.86 feet
Medium to medium heavy
Collapsible, portable, strong, accurate, inexpensive, and casts well
Portable, accurate, convenient, and reliable fishing rod at a price that’s hard to beat.
KastKing Perigee II
Bass, trout, walleye, catfish, salmon, steelhead, and saltwater fishing
5 - 7.5 feet
Ultra light, light, medium light, medium, medium heavy, and heavy
Moderate, moderate fast, and fast
Available in 29 sizes, accurate, ultra-lightweight, very sensitive, offered in 1 piece or 2 pieces, and comfortable handle
A bit delicate
Sensitive, comfortable, and delivers top performance on the water, this is a fishing rod that can do the job.
KastKing Crixus
Freshwater and saltwater
5 - 7.5 feet
Light, medium light, medium, medium heavy, and heavy
Moderate fast to fast
Comfortable and slip-resistant handle, available in 20 different models, easy to transport and store, and has plenty of power
A bit delicate
High quality and offering plenty of options with different power, action, and length, you are sure to find the right fishing rod for your needs.
Best Composite Kayaking Fishing Rod
Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod
0.33 - 0.48 lbs
5 - 7.5 feet
Ultra light, medium, light, medium, and medium heavy
Moderate fast to fast
Comfortable handle, lightweight, sensitive, durable, well built, and available in 1 or 2 pieces, and offered in 10 different models
Not ideal for saltwater fishing
A fishing rod with durability, strength, sensitivity, and performance that’s great for anglers of all skill levels.

Aside from your kayak, a fishing rod is one of the most important gear for kayak fishing. In fact, it’s so important that it can make or break your fishing trip. So if you want to actually catch some fish and make your fishing excursions a success, then it’s critical that you find the right one. 

But with so many fishing rods around, all with different features, performances, and prices, it can be quite difficult to find the best one that matches your needs and fishing style. So to help you out and save you the trouble of going over the many fishing rods yourself, we’ve put together a list of the best kayak fishing rods you can buy today. We have also made a list of all the things you have to look for in a kayak fishing pole. 

How We Chose the Best Kayak Fishing Poles?

We first scoured the country’s leading online marketplace, Amazon, for all the fishing rod kayak models we could find. Once we determined what was available on the market, we were able to shortlist all those we liked and those with the highest customer rating. We also included those we think best meet the needs of kayak fishers. 

From there, we needed to narrow down our list by comparing all the rods and poles against each other. We considered each of their features, durability, value for money, performance, and overall quality. Our team then discussed among ourselves which ones to include and which ones to cut. After much deliberation, we were finally left with only the top 5 kayaking fishing rod models that you can buy today. 

That said, all the products on our list are carefully selected and are guaranteed the only top-performing, high-quality, and kayak-perfect fishing rods to help you improve your game.

Top 5 Best Kayak Fishing Rods

Why we love it: 

  • Telescopic
  • Comfortable handle
  • Quick assembly

What it is best for:

  • Fresh or saltwater

The best kayak fishing rod for both freshwater and saltwater is the KastKing Blackhawk II. Made with a graphite blank and solid glass tip, it offers excellent sensitivity, convenience, quality, and performance for almost any type of situation. It’s even offered in 14 models, all with different lengths and actions. So whether you’re looking for a spinning, baitcasting, or inshore fishing rod, then you’re sure to find the right one for your needs. 

What’s great about this fishing rod is that it is telescopic and still able to perform and feel like a 1-piece rod. This is possible due to its snug-fit ferrules, which provide it with a full-length power transition. That said, this is a fishing rod that’s compact and portable without sacrificing performance. 

The KastKing Blackhawk II is a sleek and modern fishing rod that offers versatility, strength, and convenience. On top of that, it’s affordable, too. So whether you’re an experienced angler or just starting, then this is an excellent choice. 


  • ZDurable
  • ZSensitive
  • ZLightweight
  • ZAvailable in 14 different lengths and actions


  • QAligning the guides can be troublesome

Why we love it: 

  • Inexpensive
  • Collapsible
  • Portable

What it is best for:

  • Bass and trout

If you’re looking for a budget fishing rod that is strong, accurate, and casts well, then check out the PLUSINNO HA 3000. It is telescopic, which makes it easy to store and carry around. It’s also available in four different lengths. So there’s sure to be a rod for you whether you’re a beginner or a fishing enthusiast. 

What we like about this fishing pole for kayak is that you can choose to get only the pole or the complete set, including all the accessories you’ll need for fishing. This means that you don’t have to buy other items to complete your rigging, thus, saving you time and money.

The PLUSINNO HA 3000 is made from high-density graphite and mixed with fiberglass, making it stronger and more durable. While it is slightly heavier than other top fishing rods, it’s still lightweight and easy to handle. Plus, it’s suitable for both freshwater and saltwater. Overall, it’s a good choice for an inexpensive and compact rod for kayak fishing. 


  • ZEasy to store and carry
  • ZStrong
  • ZAccurate
  • ZCasts well


  • QHeavier

Why we love it: 

  • Versatile
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Offered in 1 or 2 pieces

What it is best for:

  • Bass, trout, walleye, catfish, salmon, steelhead, and saltwater fishing

Our next best kayak fishing rod is the KastKing Perigee II. It has everything you are looking for in a kayak fishing rod. It’s strong, accurate, sensitive, lightweight, and casts well. On top of that, it looks good with its bare and beautiful finish.

With this fishing rod, you can choose from 29 sizes. You can even choose between getting a 1-piece or 2-piece model. Whether you want to try out an ultra-light spinning rod or a heavy baitcaster, targeting bass, walleye, or walleye, there’s surely a rod for your needs and fishing style. 

Compared to others in the market, the KastKing Perigee II is one of the best-value graphite fishing rods around. It’s also one of the lightest yet most powerful rods that you can use in both fresh and saltwater. So considering its quality and surprisingly reasonable price tag, this is definitely a great buy. 


  • ZComfortable handle
  • ZAvailable in 29 sizes
  • ZAccurate
  • ZVery sensitive


  • QA bit delicate

Why we love it: 

  • Comfortable and slip-resistant handle
  • Versatile
  • 2-piece construction

What it is best for:

  • Freshwater and saltwater

The KastKing Crixus is a top-performing graphite fishing rod at a reasonable price. It is powerful and sensitive with impressive high-quality components. For one, its guide frames are all stainless steel, and its rings are zirconium oxide. These perform well with monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided fishing lines. 

Aside from that, this fishing rod features a golf-style SuperPolymer handle, which is normally only seen on more expensive rods. This offers a more comfortable and durable handle with exceptional slip resistance. More importantly, it provides you maximum control over your fishing rod no matter the condition. 

What’s great about the KastKing Crixus is that it’s constructed in two pieces but feels just as good as a 1-piece rod. This makes it easy to transport and store without sacrificing performance. Lightweight and packed with power, it’s sure to handle all your best catches.


  • ZAvailable in 20 different models
  • ZEasy to transport and store
  • ZHas plenty of power


  • QA bit delicate

Why we love it: 

  • Comfortable handle
  • Durable
  • Well-built
  • Versatile

What it is best for:

  • Freshwater

If you’re trying to steer away from graphite fishing rods due to their delicateness and usually fish only in freshwater, then we highly suggest the Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite. Made with a combination of graphite and fiberglass, it offers exceptional strength, durability, and accuracy without compromising sensitivity. 

If you’ve been fishing for a while, you have probably heard of Ugly Stik. It’s a well-known brand known for its tough and top-performing rods. And it’s no different with their Shakespeare line. It comes with a cork handle, which offers a firm yet smooth grip for hours of comfortable fishing. It also has a clear tip design that responds to even the lightest strikes and nibbles.

Overall, the Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite is perfect for anglers of all skill levels. It also works well with all types of lines, including braided. Moreover, it’s versatile, too. So depending on your needs and fishing style, you can choose from 10 different models and between 1 or 2-piece construction. 


  • ZLightweight
  • ZSensitive
  • ZAvailable in 1 or 2 pieces
  • ZOffered in 10 different models


  • QNot ideal for saltwater fishing

What to Look For When Choosing the Best Rods for Kayak Fishing?

Kayak fishing requires the right combination of knowledge, skills, patience, and luck. Most of all, you will need the right equipment to make sure you actually catch some fish – and this includes your kayak fishing rod. The problem is, knowing and choosing the right gear isn’t exactly easy. It gets even harder if you don’t know what to look for.

So to help you out and make sure you end up with the right kayak fishing rod, here’s a guide on what you need to look for in one. 


The first thing you have to consider when choosing a rod for kayak fishing is length. See, you’ll find that your favorite 10-foot rods won’t work as well as they do when you’re fishing from a kayak. While longer rods are better for landing bigger fish and detecting bites, they are challenging to carry. They also have longer butts, which can get in the way when you’re seated.

On the other hand, shorter rods offer better accuracy when fishing along trees, mangroves, and other hazards. They also take up less space and are easier to use inside the confined spaces of a kayak. On top of that, they are sturdier and easier to transport. On the downside, they’re less sensitive and have less leverage. You should also make sure not to go with a rod that’s too short as your line can get caught on your boat, especially if you have a longer kayak.

That said, your choice of rod length depends on where you are planning to fish, the type of fish you’re targeting, and your style of fishing. For instance, if you need to be precise in casting or dropping your line directly below your kayak, then you may want to check out 5 to 6-foot fishing rods. If you’re looking for a fishing rod kayak model that allows longer casting while still being accurate, then you can choose anywhere from 6 to 7 feet. This length is also ideal for those who usually sit while fishing. 

The longest rod you can go with when kayak fishing is 7 to 8 feet. This length is great if you are trolling or drifting with a lure. It’s also a good choice if you need extra casting distance. In terms of length, many kayak anglers opt for 7-foot rods for their versatility. 

As a side note, you might also consider looking for telescopic rods. Regardless of their length, they are more portable, convenient, and easy to carry. 

Power and Action

  • Power

One of the things you need to check for in a fishing rod is its power, which is basically a measure of how bendy it is. This could be rated from ultra-light to heavy, with ultra-light being the most bendy. A light power rod will bend with little force, while a heavy one will require a lot more pressure to bend. 

For power, consider the general size of the fish you’re targeting. Light power means you have to deal with smaller lures and lighter tackle. This is perfect for trout and panfish. If you usually fish for bass and walleye and use common lures and rigs, then you may want to look for a medium-powered one. Meanwhile, a rod with heavy power is great for bigger lures and rigs, which are meant for catching big pike, bass, and catfish. 

If you were to choose and bring only one fishing rod, you might want to go with a medium-heavy power rod. It covers the most possibilities in both fresh and saltwater. 

  • Action

A fishing rod’s action goes hand in hand with its power. This refers to where the bend or flex happens and how quickly the rod pulls back when pressure is applied. Generally, action is rated from fast to slow. 

A fast action rod offers the most sensitivity, helping you notice bites better. It’s great for going against big and strong predators in deep water. It’s not ideal, however, in small or shallow waters as you’re only likely to catch weeds and driftwood. As for slow-action rods, they work better with small fish. They’re more accurate due to their short cast distance but are more likely to get blown in windy conditions. 

To sum it all up, if you’re casting smaller lures, best go with a slow action and light power rod. For pulling bigger fish, you’ll want to check out fast action and heavy power rods. But for general use and kayak fishing, you may want to look for rods with fast action and medium-heavy power. This will provide you with the necessary durability and strength you need to handle bigger and more powerful fish while still having sensitivity in detecting bites. 


Fishing rods are generally made of different materials, including graphite, fiberglass, and composite. Choosing which one to go with depends on your style and skill level of fishing and what you are looking for in a fishing rod. To help you understand better, here’s an overview of each material:

  • Fiberglass: This type of fishing pole for kayak is extremely strong and durable. It requires very little maintenance, too. You can just rinse it off after use, and you’re done. On top of that, it’s also the most affordable type of rod. This makes it a popular choice for beginners. 

Regarding performance, fiberglass fishing rods are in the slow or light to medium power class. It’s great for dealing with soft-mouthed fish and small to medium-sized streams. With it, you’ll have no problem fighting a fish. 

On the downside, rods made of fiberglass are not very sensitive. So you may miss a few bites now and then. They’re also heavier and don’t have much power. Thus, you might want to look elsewhere if you’re targeting bigger fish. 

  • Graphite: Compared to fiberglass, graphite rods are lighter and more sensitive, allowing you to lure better. Plus, they have more power, which can help you cast further. 

This type of rod is usually rated with medium to fast action, providing a solid hook set for bass fishing. With its strength, you’ll also have no problem controlling fish in a fight, so they can come in fresh every time.

However, if you’re interested in graphite rods, be ready to pay more. You’ll also need to handle it more carefully as it’s a bit delicate. In fact, it can snap when bent too much. 

Take note, that graphite and carbon fiber are technically the same material when it comes to fishing rods. So when you see carbon fiber rods, it means they have the same qualities and characteristics as graphite rods. 

  • Composite: This type of fishing rod is made of a material that combines both fiberglass and graphite. So it has some of the same features as that of these two materials. 

That said, composite fishing rods sit right in the middle of graphite and fiberglass. They are more lightweight and sensitive than fiberglass, but nowhere as light or as sensitive as graphite. At the same time, they are more durable, affordable, and bendy than graphite, but are still inferior to fiberglass in terms of these features. But what’s certain is that composite rods are lightweight, bendy, sensitive, versatile, and yet affordable. 

Additionally, these types of rods usually fall in the medium action category. They have faster action compared to fiberglass but are still slower than graphite. If you’re on a budget and hauling in bigger and heavier fish, composite fishing rods are a great choice. 

Corrosion Resistance

If you’re planning to kayak in saltwater areas, then look for a fishing rod that’s resistant to corrosion. Now, the best kayak fishing rods are usually saltwater-ready. However, many of the cheaper ones are not. So when choosing, make sure all components are rust-proof, including the pole itself, guides, and reel seat.  

Handle or Grip

When choosing what fishing pole to buy, you also want to consider the handle or grip. This will help make your fishing trips more comfortable.

Your choice of handle or grip depends on your personal preference and what you want from your kayak fishing rod. For instance, an EVA foam offers a simpler, more durable, easier-to-clean handle. To top it all off, it’s also cheaper. Meanwhile, a handle made of cork is better looking, more comfortable, and more sensitive.

Other grip materials include a hard foam, which is similar to that of a hardened pool noodle, and a rubber shrink tube, which is extremely soft and durable.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What type of rod is best for kayak fishing?

A: The best type of rod for kayak fishing should be comfortable and saltwater-ready. It should be a fast-action and medium-heavy power type. This way, you’ll get enough strength and durability to handle big and powerful fish, while at the same time having enough sensitivity to notice bites. As for the length, a 7-foot rod is a great choice as it offers more versatility.

Q: How do you carry a fishing rod on a kayak?

A: The best way to carry a fishing rod on a kayak is through a rod holder. If you have a fishing-specific kayak, then you’re likely to have built-in rod holders at your disposal. These are great for keeping your fishing rods organized and preventing them from getting damaged or tangled. For kayaks with no built-in rod holders, you’ll need to purchase a rod holder attachment and mount them on the deck or the side of the vessel. Some kayaks also have accessory rail tracks or systems where you can easily add more rod holders.