Best fishing rods for beginners

Best Fishing Rod For Beginners - (7 Top Rods Reviewed)

The best fishing rod for beginners must be easy to use, not cost the earth yet still be of sufficient quality.

When choosing the best fishing rod as a beginner, it's important to choose one that matches your fishing style.

This is because different rods have different attributes to suit different disciplines.

For example, a rod suitable for float fishing on a lake will not be suitable for sea fishing from the shore.

This article will take you through everything you need to know to make an informed choice on the best fishing rod for your specific circumstances.

best fishing rods for beginners

We'll explain the different types of fishing rods available to you as well as the features that make up the best fishing rod for beginners.

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Quick Answer

If you haven't got the time to read the full article then you can skip to our choices of the best beginners rods below.

Alternatively, please read on for our full guide on the best fishing rod for beginners. 

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What Are The Different Types Of Fishing Rod?

There are many different types of fishing rods available to buy and choosing the correct rod type can sometimes be a minefield particularly if you are new to the sport.

The best fishing rod for beginners can only be chosen if you know what type of fishing you will be conducting.

In the UK, there are generally 3 broad types of angling you are likely to be practicing and these are:

  • Coarse Fishing
  • Sea Fishing
  • Fly Fishing

Within these fishing types, there are different tactics that can be deployed to catch a certain species or to fish from a certain spot or in a specific way. To choose the best type of fishing rod you will need to decide on what tactic you wish to deploy.

These can be explained by breaking the different fishing types down further.

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Coarse Fishing Rods

Coarse fishing in the UK has many tactics that anglers deploy and depending on what tactic you use will depend on what type of fishing rod is best for you.

Float Fishing Rods

Float fishing is probably the most common tactic of coarse fishing and dates back to 1496. Float fishing rods tend to be longer than those used for ledgering and are usually found in lengths between 10 and 14 feet.

Float fishing rods are sometimes called waggler rods or match rods with all terms meaning the same.

Float rods are a lot lighter than the more heavy-duty ledgering types and have a more 'whippier' action to them.

The best fishing rod for beginners when float fishing, ideally needs to be 11 or 12 feet in length. It should also be both light enough to balance well with the float reel and the lighter line used with the tactic. 

However, it must also be strong enough to absorb lunges from larger fish that perhaps beginners wouldn't predict.

best fishing rod for beginners

A float fishing rod in action. Image courtesy of Tackle UK.

Feeder Fishing Rods

Feeder fishing is a ledgering tactic that uses a swim feeder as a weight to cast out.

There are many types of swim feeder and methods used within this style of coarse fishing.

The best fishing rod for beginners when feeder fishing should be between 10 and 12 feet in length and be strong enough to cast the weight of the fully-loaded feeder you are using.

Weights can exceed 4 ounces if you are using a heavy ground bait in a large feeder so the feeder rod you choose must but be able to withstand the forces of casting this weight.

Another key consideration when choosing a feeder rod is that it has a decent quiver and/or swing tip attached to it. This is the main form of bite indication on a feeder rod and, as such, needs to be strong yet subtle and easily seen.

Check out this video that gives some more information on choosing a feeder fishing rod for beginners:

Carp and Pike Ledgering Rods

Similar to Feeder fishing rods, the best fishing rod for beginners when Carp or Pike fishing tend to be between 10 and 12 feet and need to be strong.

Carp and Pike can grow large and they also fight very hard and, as such, a suitable rod is important if you are going to have success in catching them.

There are many types of carp and pike fishing rods on the market.

These vary in length, action, and test curve.

We have dedicated articles on carp fishing rods and pike fishing rods that explain in more detail the key features and requirements of these rods.

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Sea Fishing Rods

Similar to coarse fishing, the best fishing rods for beginners when sea fishing depends on the tactic you deploy.

These tactics are often dictated to you automatically. For example, if you have no boat and can only fish on the shore, then you will naturally need a beach casting rod.

If you have a boat then you may require a boat fishing rod or maybe a spinning rod.

We have a full, detailed article on the different types and features required of the best sea fishing rods here.

Beach Casting Rods

Beach casting rods are designed to fish from the shore. For this tactic to be effective you have to cast fairly long distances to get past the point where the waves break.

Beach casting rods, therefore, have to be long and strong usually at 12-foot lengths plus.

The rods usually will rest high on a tripod with the tips often coloured and easily visible to be able to see bites.

As a beginner, you don't have to break the bank when purchasing a beach casting rod as strength and power are the main features required. 

Quite often it's slim and lightweight blanks that add cost to a fishing rod and these just aren't required when beach casting.

best fishing rod for beginners

An example of beach casting rods on a tripod

Boat Fishing Rods

When picking a boat fishing for as a beginner, quite simply you need it to be fairly short in length and very strong in order to handle some big fish.

Quite often boat fishing rods are paired with multiplier reels as the retrieve rate is a lot faster and is more efficient in very deep water. 

You normally wouldn't need to cast long distances with boat fishing rods so the power needs to be in the retrieval and not the cast.

best fishing rod for beginners

Boat fishing rods ready to go

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Spinning Rods

Spinning rods are used for lures and artificial baits. Again, when looking for a spinning rod as a beginner, you really don't have to spend a fortune.

Spinning rods for sea fishing are pretty much the same as you would use for pike or predator fishing.

The best spinning rods tend to be 11-12 feet in length with a medium action to them.

Fly Fishing

Fly fishing is a specialised skill that differs from the more conventional type of angling.

Different fly fishing rods will cater to the different water types you are fishing.

For example, fly fishing on a reservoir will require a different type of rod than fishing on a stream.

The best fishing rod for beginners when fly fishing are quite often those that come in a beginner-style kit.

These kits are great for those that are just taking up the sport as they are great value for money and allow you to trial fly fishing without having to invest in lots of expensive tackle.

How do I know what fishing rod to get?

As a beginner, to know what fishing rod to get, you need to decide on what discipline you are going to practice as described above.

Once you have decided on this, you can check out our options below as they have been carefully chosen as the best fishing rod for beginners for each type of fishing style.

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What Features To Look For In The Best Fishing Rod For Beginners?

When deciding on the best fishing rod for beginners, there are certain features that need to be considered to ensure you pick the right rod.

The important features to consider are as follows:

  • Rod length
  • Rod action
  • Rod Material
  • Number of eyes
  • Reel Seat
  • Handle material
  • Blank Weight
  • Number of sections
  • Price

What Size Rod Is Best For Fishing?

When deciding upon the best fishing rod for beginners, rod length is one of the important features to get right.

This can be a minefield in itself as quite often similar rods come in different lengths.

To make this difficult decision easier, we have devised the following table that shows what the optimum rod length is for different fishing situations: 

Table To Show Optimum Fishing Rod Length

Fishing Type Shortest Length To Use Longest Length To Use Best Rod Length For Beginners
Float Fishing For Coarse Fish 10 Foot 14 Foot 11 Foot
Feeder Fishing 10 Foot 12 Foot 12 Foot
Carp Fishing (Ledgering) 10 Foot 12 Foot 12 Foot
Carp Fishing (Stalking) 6 Foot 10 Foot 9 Foot
Carp Fishing (Spod Rod) 11 Foot 14 Foot 12 Foot
Carp Fishing (Surface Fishing) 10 Foot 13 Foot 12 Foot
Pike (Deadbait Fishing) 10 Foot 12 Foot 12 Foot
Pike (Spinning) 7 Foot 11 Foot 9 Foot
Sea (Beach Fishing) 12 Foot 16 foot 13 Foot
Sea (Boat Fishing) 7 Foot 9 Foot 7 Foot
Sea (Spinning) 7 Foot 11 Foot 9 Foot
Fly Fishing 8 Foot 11 Foot 9 Foot

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The Best Fishing Rod For Beginners

So now we have taken you through the different type of fishing rods alongside the features they should include, let us now get into the best fishing rod for beginners and show you what these are.

The Best Coarse Fishing Rods For Beginners

As stated above, the best fishing rod for beginners when coarse fishing depends on the type of coarse fishing you are doing. 

The following rods are recommended by ourselves and many anglers as being great starter rods.

There are options for all fishing types and situations:

Best Carp & Pike Ledgering Rod For Beginners

best carp rod for beginners

#1. Sonik Vader X RS

Key Features & Specifications:

  • Slim, lightweight sleek black armoured carbon blank
  • Progressive casting action with superfast tip recovery
  • Super-light M-SERIES DL black guides
  • Hard wearing Anti-frap ceramic tip ring
  • 17mm black DPS reel seat
  • Line friendly custom contoured Sonik clip
  • Slim Japanese shrink wrap butt grip

Who's it ideal for:

Beginners looking to start ledgering for Carp or Pike.


Our own experiences of the product & why it's suitable for beginners:

The Sonik Vader X series of rods are sleek and elegant. Besides the fact that they are available in a range of lengths, you'll find plenty of features on this rod to suit a beginner taking up the sport.


The casting action is sublime, offering a progressive action and quick recovery. This is enough to cast both light and medium-to-heavy-sized weights without difficulty. 


The 17mm DPS reel seat accommodates large reels if you want to create a ‘beefy’ setup capable of casting further and catching larger fish.


You'll also find some nice extras on this rod as well like a decent line clip and Japanese shrink wrap grips.


At this low price point, this rod is ideal for beginners who want something affordable but reliable when figuring out what works best for them


A video showing the features of this rod:

Pros & Cons of this fishing rod:

Pros
  • Easy, progressive casting action
  • Fast line pick up
  • Great all-round rod
  • Good value for money
Cons
  • Would need something more substantial for ultra long-range fishing
Alternative Carp & Pike Ledgering rod for beginners:
£54.99
£55.00
in stock
Fishingtackleandbait.co.uk

Best Float Fishing Rod For Beginners

Best Budget Float Fishing Rod

#2. SHAKESPEARE - Omni Match Rod

Key Features & Specifications:

  • Carbon blank
  • DPS reel seat
  • Aluminium Oxide guides throughout
  • Cork / EVA handle
  • Supplied in clear front rod bag with hangtag

Who's it ideal for:

Beginners you are just taking up float fishing for coarse fish.


Our own experiences of the product & why it's suitable for beginners:

Shakespeare's Omni range has been around for some time now and it is easy to see why.


They have provided high-quality, reliable rods that have helped many juniors and beginners into the sport.  


The Omni Match Rod features a carbon blank, aluminum oxide guides throughout, a DPS reel seat with cork/EVA grip completing its exterior appearance nicely. 


For the price point, there are few float fishing rods on offer that can rival what this rod offers.


The rod is the perfect length for beginners and is perfect for those anglers looking for an effective yet inexpensive tool without compromising on quality or performance!


Pros & Cons of this fishing rod:

Pros
  • DPS reel seat provides good stability for the reel
  • Aluminium Oxide guide flow line with less friction
  • Low price point
Cons
  • Lacks subtlety and finesse compared to the more premium models but this is fine for beginners
Alternative float fishing rod for beginners:
£16.48
in stock
7 new from £16.48
as of 7 August 2022 00:48
Amazon.co.uk
Last updated on 7 August 2022 00:48

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Best Feeder Fishing Rod For Beginners

Best Beginners Feeder Rod

#3. John Wilson 12ft Feeder Rod And Reel Combo

Key Features & Specifications:

  • 2-Piece
  • Class: 3-8lb
  • Reel Size: 30
  • Mono: 6lb/235yds
  • Gear Ratio: 5:2:2

Who's it ideal for:

Beginners looking for a feeder rod and reel combo to get get started with feeder fishing


Our own experiences of the product & why it's suitable for beginners:

The best fishing rod for beginners when feeder fishing needs to be strong yet subtle as casting and bite indication are important features in the best feeder rods.


What sets this offering apart from the competition with other beginner feeder rods is the fact that it comes with a reel on top.


The rod is made from a quality slim blank and has really comfortable grips.

The reel comes pre-spooled with monofilament so you can start fishing straight away! 

Two tips are included in this great package and for the price, it is a fantastic option for not just beginners, but also for more experienced anglers looking for a great value feeder rod.


Pros & Cons of this fishing rod:

Pros
  • A balanced rod that will cater to different types of feeder fishing
  • Comes with a loaded reel
  • Great price point
Cons
  • Lacks the features and finesse of the more premium rods
Alternative feeder fishing rod for beginners:
out of stock
as of 7 August 2022 00:48
Amazon.co.uk
Last updated on 7 August 2022 00:48

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The Best Fishing Rod For Beginners When Sea Fishing

The best fishing rod for beginners when sea fishing is your discipline, again, depends on the type of sea fishing you are doing.

The optimum length of a beach caster is different from that of a boat fishing rod which again is different from a sea spinning rod.

The first step when picking a sea fishing rod as a beginner is to first choose your style.

Once you have done this check out these great options below:

Best Beach Casting Rod For Beginners

Best Budget Beachcaster

#4. Shakespeare Agility Beachcaster

Key Features & Specifications:

  • Fast action slim carbon blank
  • Spigot joints & highly visible, sensitive tip
  • Eva/shrink wrap handle & aluminium reel seat
  • Zirconium Oxide guides (ZOG)

Who's it ideal for:

Beginners who need a beach casting rod that provides the best opportunity to cast the required distance without breaking the bank.


Our own experiences of the product & why it's suitable for beginners:

Shakespeare produces a range of lovely rods that are great for the money and also great for beginners.

We used this rod for years, and it performs just as well as some of the more premium models on the market.

The blank is a little soft and forgiving which is a good feature to have when first getting used to beach casting.

In three parts, this rod is easy to transport. You’ll easily cast between 4 – 8oz giving you plenty of flexibility in the sea fishing rigs and marks that you fish.

As with more expensive models, it also has shrink-wrapped handles, lined guides, and a locking reel seat.

All in all, this isn't the cheapest beach casting rod out there, but it is one that is a great option for beginners.


A video showing you how to use this rod:

Pros & Cons of this fishing rod:

Pros
  • Its performance far exceeds its price
  • It’s a beautiful looking rod
  • Excellent bite detection and solid casting performance
Cons
  • Slightly heavy compared to other rods
Alternative beach casting rod for beginners:
£35.99
£38.99
in stock
3 new from £35.99
as of 7 August 2022 00:48
Amazon.co.uk
Last updated on 7 August 2022 00:48

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Best Boat Fishing Rod For Beginners

Best Budget Boat Rod

#5. Shakespeare XT SALT Boat Rod

Key Features & Specifications:

  • Super slim diameter carbon blanks
  • SW Proof K-type guides
  • Easy to clean high density EVA grip
  • X-shrink rear handle
  • Rubber bulb

Who's it ideal for:

A great budget boat rod that would be perfect for new entrants to the sport and old hands alike.


Our own experiences of the product & why it's suitable for beginners:

When choosing the best fishing rod for beginners when boat fishing is your chosen style, it's important to consider the overall size of the rod. A rod large would be cumbersome and inefficient when boat fishing.


This great offering from Shakespeare ticks the length requirements as well as many others required in a good boat fishing rod.


With a sensitive tip section leading down to a rather slender yet powerful blank, a rod such as this is your best option for some budget boat fishing at sea.

The lined anti-corrosive guides will prevent saltwater-induced rust, and they’ve even been so kind as to include an extended forward handle. This means you can use the rod for big fish and small.

A nice feature to see is the ‘K’ guides. These prevent a strong sea fishing line from looping around your rod rings, so if you get stuck on the bottom or if the boat moves, you aren’t going to damage your rod.

In summary, this is a very forgiving rod that is packed full of features and a fantastic option for those just starting to boat fish at sea.

Pros & Cons of this fishing rod:

Pros
  • The blank is slimmer than other budget boat rods
  • Nice soft EVA grip
  • 7’6” 20 - 30lb is a perfect all-rounder
Cons
  • Slightly heavy compared to other rods
Alternative boat rod for beginners:
Last updated on 7 August 2022 00:48

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Best Spinning Rod For Beginners

Best Overall Spinning Rod

#6. Daiwa Wilderness Spinning Fishing Rod

Key Features & Specifications:

  • Medium fast action blank
  • Low glare matt tape finish for improved weight and crisper actions
  • Stainless steel frame guides with lightweight LS rings
  • Fuji DPS reel seat
  • Hook keeper

Who's it ideal for:

Great for beginners who are wanting to try spinning lures and artificial baits either for sea fishing or pike and predator fishing.


Our own experiences of the product & why it's suitable for beginners:

The best fishing rod for beginners when spinning is likely to be cast more often than those used to the tactic.

What makes this rod perfect for beginners is the fact that it is pretty light, making it easy to cast all day.

Being light, however, doesn't mean this is a weak rod. When testing, we found that the rod has enough backbone to really put some pressure on if you hook something decent.

The 11ft 20–60g model is right in the ballpark to cast a range of lures, both big and small, and the rod comes with a locking reel seat for rock-solid stability.

The rod has a medium to fast action, which makes it very versatile, allowing you to fish in various styles.

The versatility makes this rod a generally good all-rounder which makes it perfect for beginners not wanting to invest in lots of different rod types.

Pros & Cons of this fishing rod:

Pros
  • The cork handle is a nice touch
  • Really solid construction, which you’ll need if fishing around rocks
  • Perfect action for casting both big and small lures
Cons
  • There are stronger rods out there, but this is perfect for light to medium work
Alternative spinning rod for beginners:
£71.49
£74.99
in stock
Fishingtackleandbait.co.uk

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The Best Fly Fishing Rod For Beginners

The art of fly fishing is a skill in itself that can be tricky to master.

Choosing the best fishing rod for beginners for fly fishing is an important decision as it can make a difference in the speed it takes to cast a fly competently.

Another consideration to this is what fly reel you pair the rod with. This can be just as much of a minefield for beginners as choosing the rod itself.

What can really help when starting out in fly fishing is to buy a ready-made fly rod and reel combo.

This way you know that the rod and reel will be perfectly balanced and will complement each other nicely.

Here's one we recommend for beginners...

Best Fly Rod For Beginners

Best fly rod and reel combo for beginners

#7. GREYS K4ST LIGHT COMBO KIT

Key Features & Specifications:

  • 4 section, Medium fast action blank
  • Lined stripping guides and double leg snake intermediates
  • Anodized aluminium reel seat with Carbon spacer
  • High-quality lightweight cork handle
  • Combination rod and reel travel case
  • Aluminium fly reel with drag
  • Fitted WF fly line & leader

Who's it ideal for:

Ideal for beginners who want to try fly fishing and want a decent rod and reel that is well balanced.


Our own experiences of the product & why it's suitable for beginners:

Greys are renowned for producing quality rods, especially in the fly fishing industry.


The reason a Greys rod is a good choice for a beginner is because they tend to have a good all-round and forgiving action to them.


As a beginner, the 5 weight will let you fish in most situations at a pinch including dry fly, nymphing, or wet fly. This makes the Greys K4ST perfect for those wanting to upskill themselves quickly.


If you progress with your fishing and would like to upgrade in the future, this will still make a sound spare rod.


A video showing the features of this fly fishing rod and reel kit:

Pros & Cons of this fishing rod:

Pros
  • Very Lightweight
  • Lovely Cork handle
  • Comes with a decent rod & reel case
  • Great value for money
Cons
  • The reel is a touch on the heavy side
Alternative fly fishing rod for beginners:
£50.00
£62.99
in stock
Fishingtackleandbait.co.uk

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Final Thoughts

The best fishing rod for beginners needs to be the right length, the right strength, and offer the right balance for the fishing discipline you are practicing.

This article has provided you with 7 highly recommend fishing rods for beginners that won't break the bank but still absolutely do what's required to get you started in the sport.

Thanks for reading.

Tight Lines!

All of the fishing tackle featured in this article can be found at one of the following online shops...

Anglingdirect.co.uk

Fishingtackleandbait.co.uk

Amazon.co.uk

Northeasttackle.co.uk

Ebay.co.uk

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