How Much Does a Fishing Rod Cost? [Compared]

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Written By Russ Egan

Russ is a professional fisherman with over 20 years of experience. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ comprehensively tests and reviews all his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. There is nothing he prefers than heading down to his local tackle store, buying the latest fishing reel, and taking it to the water to test.


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Fishing rod prices vary based on material, type, brand, and quality. You could pick up a basic beginner’s rod for as little as $20, while a high-end, custom-made rod could set you back $500 or even more.

ugly stik catfish rod

How Much Does a Good Fishing Rod Cost?

If you ask me, a “good” fishing rod doesn’t have to break the bank, but it should certainly be an investment. You should plan on spending anywhere from $50 to $200 for a reliable spinning or casting rod.

If you’re getting into specialized fishing like fly fishing or big game fishing, rods designed for these activities can cost upwards of $200. Remember, this is a range; you can find quality rods that suit your budget.

The key is to prioritize your needs: the type of fishing you’ll be doing, your preferred rod material, and what size and weight feel comfortable for you.

Table of Fishing Rod Costs by Material

Fishing rods come in various materials, each offering different characteristics that can affect performance and, of course, price. Here’s a general breakdown:

MaterialCost Range
Graphite$50 – $500
Fiberglass$30 – $200

Graphite rods are lighter and more sensitive, making them ideal for detecting light bites but also more fragile. Fiberglass rods, on the other hand, are more durable but less sensitive.

Russ Egan field testing Shimano Sienna FE

Table of Fishing Rod Costs by Type

Different types of fishing require different types of rods. Here’s a rough breakdown:

Rod TypeCost Range
Spinning Rod$20 – $200
Baitcasting Rod$50 – $300
Boat Rod$50 – $500
Fly Rod$100 – $800
Offshore Rod$100 – $600
Big Game Rod$200 – $1000

For example, my first baitcasting rod was a mid-range model that cost me around $100, and it served me well. Since then, I’ve upgraded to a higher-end model, but that initial purchase was perfect for learning the ropes.

field testing ugly stik catfish rod

How to Choose a Cheap Fishing Rod

Choosing a cheap fishing rod doesn’t mean settling for low quality. In fact, many entry-level rods provide excellent value for money. When shopping on a budget, consider the type of fishing you plan to do, the weight of the rod, and the power and action you prefer. Read reviews, ask for recommendations, and don’t be afraid to handle the rod in the store to get a feel for it.

For example, you might choose a combo set – a rod and reel sold together – for your first purchase. This can be a great way to save money and get started with everything you need.

What’s the Difference Between a Cheap and an Expensive Fishing Rod

One of the main differences between cheap and expensive fishing rods is the materials’ quality. Higher-end rods are typically made with better-quality graphite or fiberglass, resulting in a lighter, more sensitive, and more durable rod. They also often have better components, like guides, reel seats, and handles.

Take it from me, I’ve had a cheap rod snap on me mid-cast, while my more expensive rods have stood up to some seriously big catches!

There is no better way to get the most value for money out of your equipment then to choose a product that will last for decades.

bench testing ugly stik striper rod

List of Budget Fishing Rod Brands

Looking for a budget-friendly rod that still offers quality and reliability? Here are some brands to consider:

  • Shakespeare
  • Ugly Stik
  • Berkley
  • Okuma
  • Daiwa

From personal experience, Ugly Stik rods are a great choice for beginners. They’re known for their durability and affordability, and they offer a variety of models for different types of fishing.

List of Premium Fishing Rod Brands

If you’re looking for top-of-the-line performance and are willing to spend a bit more, consider these brands:

  • G. Loomis
  • St. Croix
  • Sage
  • Shimano
  • Penn

For instance, I’ve found that my St. Croix rod offers excellent sensitivity and durability, and it’s become one of my go-to rods for bass fishing.

How to Take Care of an Expensive Fishing Rod

Taking care of your fishing rod, especially a more expensive one, is crucial. Always clean your rod after use, especially if you’ve been fishing in saltwater. Store it in a rod tube or rack to protect it from damage. And be sure to check the guides for any wear or tear before and after each fishing trip.

With care and attention, even a more expensive rod can last for years, providing countless hours of fishing enjoyment.

In the end, the cost of a fishing rod depends on various factors. But remember, price isn’t everything. The right rod for you is the one that fits your fishing style, feels good in your hand, and fits within your budget.

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