Fishing for saltwater species is exciting, and whether you’re targeting striped bass or tarpon, you need exceptional gear. One piece of tackle you shouldn’t skimp out on is your rod. So, we put together this review of the best saltwater fishing rods for 2021 to help you prepare for your next trip. This review looks at various saltwater rod styles, from inshore, offshore, and fly fishing.

Hook and Bullet Top 5 Best Saltwater Fishing Rods for 2021

Penn Battle II Spinning Combo - Best Saltwater Fishing Rods for 2021Penn Battle II Spinning Combo
  • Material: Graphite Composite
  • Type: Spinning
  • Length: 7'
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Daiwa D-Wave Spinning Combo - Best Saltwater Fishing Rods for 2021Daiwa D-Wave Spinning Combo
  • Material: Graphite
  • Type: Spinning
  • Length: 7'
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St. Croix Rods Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod - Best Saltwater Fishing Rods for 2021St. Croix Rods Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod
  • Material: SCIII carbon
  • Type: Spinning
  • Length: 6'6-7'11
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Shimano Talavera Bluewater - Best Saltwater Fishing Rods for 2021Shimano Talavera Bluewater
  • Material: Composite
  • Type: Conventional
  • Length: 6'
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Redington Crosswater Fly Outfit - Best Saltwater Fishing Rods for 2021Redington Crosswater Fly Outfit
  • Material: Graphite
  • Type: Fly
  • Length: 9'
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Why Can You Trust Us?

Here at Hook and Bullet, we genuinely want to help you find the best fishing gear for your needs. Whether you’re looking for a new rod or a repair kit for your old one, we want to keep you updated when new and improved gear hits the market. So, to do so, we like to put together product roundups, like this one, to help you make an informed decision. You can count on us to include the good and the bad of each of these saltwater fishing rods. That way, you can find the right fit for you. So, let’s get started by looking at our favorite saltwater rod and reel combo:

Best Saltwater Rod and Reel Combo

    Penn Battle II Spinning Combo
    The Penn Battle II is a durable inshore saltwater spinning combo that features an everlasting full metal body reel and graphite composite rod blank.

Why We Like It: Whether you’re a novice or experienced angler, the Penn Battle II is a fantastic, great value, all-purpose inshore fishing combo. For instance, what makes this combo superb is the included size 4000 Penn Battle spinning reel. Highlights of this reel are a heavy-duty metal body, side plate, and rotor, carbon fiber drag washers, and Superline spool. In addition, the Battle reel has 5+1 stainless steel ball bearings and a 6.2:1 gear ratio to give you a smooth and steady retrieve.

Then, the rod in this combo is also rugged, featuring a graphite composite blank to give it strength and sensitivity. Additionally, the Battle II rod has sturdy aluminum oxide guides, making it corrosive-resistant for heavy saltwater use.

Who Should Buy It: Saltwater anglers of all skill levels that need an all-purpose inshore spinning fishing rod.

Best Saltwater Rod for Beginners

    Daiwa D-Wave Spinning Combo
    The Daiwa D-Wave spinning combo is a fantastic entry-level saltwater rod that is versatile and affordable.

Why We Like It: Daiwa’s D-Wave spinning combo features a 7’ two-piece durable graphite blank, capable of getting the job done. In addition, this rod has a strong backbone, so you’ll be able to pull up a variety of coastal fish species. With that said, this rod is best for primarily inshore use. Also, the EVA foam grip on this rod is nice and comfortable to hold. Furthermore, in this combo, you’ll also get a size 40 Daiwa spinning reel that features a three-ball-bearing design for an easy retrieve.

Who Should Buy It: New anglers looking for an affordable, all-purpose, inshore fishing rod and reel combo.

Best Inshore Saltwater Rod

    St. Croix Rods Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod
    The St. Croix Mojo is a quality inshore spinning rod with various rod powers available, from light to extra-heavy. So, whether you’re fishing for Spanish mackerel or snook, there’s a rod model for you.

Why We Like It: First, let’s talk about the durable design of this rod. The St. Croix Mojo Inshore features a solid SCIII carbon blank fortified in a resin material for added protection. Next, the Mojo is very lightweight, and the contoured cork and EVA handle make it comfortable to hold. Then, the Sea Guide Hero Hi-Grade guides on this rod are corrosive-resistant and won’t put additional wear on your line.

Furthermore, this rod is available in multiple powers, actions, and lengths. So, you can choose from a wide range of models to meet your inshore fishing needs. Also, the castability on these rods is fantastic. For instance, the 6’6” makes precise, short casts, and the 7’11” can easily throw heavier lures at further distances.

Who Should Buy It: Anglers looking for a versatile, high-quality rod for inshore fishing.

Best Big Game Saltwater Rod

    SHIMANO TEBC60XXHUBA Talavera Bluewater
    The Shimano Talavera Bluewater is a double-heavy powered, fast action, versatile offshore conventional saltwater rod ideal for big game fish.

Why We Like It: Shimano’s Talavera Bluewater series is packed with various rod styles to suit your offshore fishing needs. Also, this line of Shimano rods is constructed with high-quality materials. For example, the rod blank features a rugged composite blank, Fuji FazLite guides, and a high-density EVA grip.

However, we particularly like one rod out of the lineup, the 6’ extra-extra-heavy conventional rod with the ALPS straight aluminum butt. This short yet sturdy rod is perfect for trolling or jigging for big game fish.

Who Should Buy It: Saltwater anglers who are interested in doing offshore fishing for large fish species.

Best Saltwater Fly Fishing Outfit for Beginners

    Redington Crosswater Fly Outfit
    The 9WT 9’ Redington Crosswater is an excellent light-purpose fly rod that features corrosive-resistant materials to make it an ideal candidate for saltwater fishing.

Why We Like It: Fly fishing in saltwater is an entirely different beast than freshwater angling. When fly fishing in saltwater, you need to make quick and accurate casts, especially when you’re up against the sea breeze. Therefore, one combo we particularly like for beginner fly fishing anglers is the 9WT 9’ Redington Crosswater outfit. The corrosive-resistant medium-fast action graphite blank is durable and can handle casting heavier flies.

Also, since it’s a 9WT rod, it’ll be versatile for light-purpose saltwater use, like targeting redfish, bonefish, or striped bass. Plus, although the included reel is small and doesn’t hold much backing, it’s still a great beginner reel. For instance, the Crosswater reel’s simplistic design makes it easy to use, and the disc-drag system is dependable.

Who Should Buy It: Saltwater anglers who want to enter into the realm of fly fishing.

Things to Consider When Buying a Saltwater Rod


Most importantly, when selecting a rod for saltwater use, you want to ensure it contains corrosive-resistant materials. Making sure your rod’s materials are resistant to rust is necessary because saltwater is capable of corroding your equipment faster than freshwater. Furthermore, another precaution you can take to keep your fishing gear from rusting is always to clean it with fresh water after each use.

Power and Action

Next, no matter what style of rod you’re buying, you want to look at its power and action rating. Rod powers vary from ultralight to extra-extra-heavy. Generally, you want to match up a rod’s power with the type of fish you’ll be angling. So, if you’re targeting medium-sized fish like red snapper or stripers, then you’ll want a medium to a heavy-powered rod. Then, the action of a rod classifies how a blank arches when under pressure. For example, if you have a fast-action rod, only a ¼ of the upper portion of the blank should bend.


The following characteristic you should examine is a rod’s length. Typically, longer rods can cast further distances and give you more leverage when fighting large fish. In contrast, smaller rods are better for making precise casts at shorter distances.

Differences Between a Saltwater Rod and Freshwater Rod

A man fishing off of a boat in saltwater.

Image Credit: St. Croix on Amazon

Like freshwater rods, saltwater rods are categorized by two separate types: spinning and casting. However, saltwater rods also have classifications specific to general saltwater angling styles like surfcasting, inshore, offshore, and deep dropping. Also, the materials used on good saltwater rods are more corrosive-resistant than those on freshwater ones.

How We Picked

Many factors go into selecting a fishing rod that meets your needs. However, we were able to narrow down your search by including a small list of saltwater rods that met specific criteria. Characteristics each rod had to meet to make it on our roundup included durability, corrosive resistance, sensitivity, castability, and easy handling. In addition, we also hand-selected rods that would be good for different fishing styles and skill levels. Therefore, no matter what sort of saltwater fishing you do, we are confident that there is a rod on this list for you.

What’s the Best Saltwater Rod?

To conclude, there are various factors you should consider before buying a saltwater rod. The two biggest ones being: what style of fishing you’ll partake in and what type of fish you’ll target. Once you’ve figured that out, it should help you narrow down your list and help you find the best rod for you.

However, one saltwater rod that we think outfishes the rest is the St. Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod. We like the St. Croix Mojo for its versatility, high-quality construction, and ease of casting.

Which of these five rods do you think is the best? Let us know in the comments below. Or, did this article benefit you in any way? Then, please give it a share on social media. Or, if you’re new to the fishing world, check out our complete beginner’s guide to angling.