Best Salmon Fishing Rods

Salmon is one of the most sought-after species of fish for an angler, and luckily all kinds of fish fall within the category of Salmon so there are all kinds of fun to be had salmon fishing. If you’re just thinking about starting fishing for salmon, then you may have found looking for the right rod confusing or overwhelming.

There are a lot of products on the market and finding the one for you can seem like an impossible task. But not to worry, this handy guide is here to take you through some of the best options currently available, remind you of some of the features to look out for, and answer some of your most important questions.

Best Salmon Fishing Rods

It might be you’re a little more experienced and just want to treat yourself to a new rod than don’t worry we have some options that are suitable for you too!

So, let's have a look at some of the best options currently on the market right now.

Top 5 Best Salmon Fishing Rods

OUR TOP PICK

Okuma Celilo Graphite Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Rods, CE-S-862Ma

First up we have this graphite rod from Okuma which is one of the most popular rods around, and for good reason. This is a super lightweight rod that will help you sense even the tiniest of nibbled on your line.

Whilst some beginners may at first struggle with the balance of the rod with a proper reel because of how light it is, more experienced anglers will have no difficulty. The weight of this rod really lends itself for sensitivity, very few fish will escape you with this by your side, and its lightweight also makes it an excellent rod for traveling with.

The quality of the materials and construction is also second to none and provided you maintain it properly there is nothing to stop you from using this rod for a great many years. The length of the rod also makes it easy for you to cast long and you may find your casting ability improves while using this rod.

If you move around a lot or like to backpack to new spots than this could be the rod for you. The lightweight design makes it easy to throw in your favorite rod holder and head to new and exciting spots for a day’s adventure. This versatile rod is suitable for beginners and those with a more advanced skill set.

Beginners will find this rod easy to use for the most part and it’s a great value rod to start to build up a good selection. This is an excellent rod if you’re looking to go up against the mighty salmon thanks to its lightweight design and stellar casting ability.

You’ll find it both durable and well-constructed. A rod to use for a long time.

Pros

  • Durable and well-constructed
  • Made from high-quality materials
  • Excellent casting ability
  • Very lightweight and sensitive
  • Versatile, a good rod for beginners and experienced anglers

Cons

  • Could be a little more comfortable
Okuma Celilo Graphite Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Rods, CE-S-862Ma
  • Made using the highest quality materials
  • Tested for reliability and quality
  • Used by professionals worldwide
  • Sensitive Graphite Blank Construction
  • Aluminum Oxide Guide Inserts

EDITORS CHOICE

Lamiglas LX 86MC X-11 Series Fishing Rod

If you want versatility in your rod or want to be able to use it for all sorts of different fishing techniques than this option from Lamiglas might be the one for you.

The rod offers great action and sensitivity and is a good option for freshwater enthusiasts or beginners who aren’t sure what their specialty is yet. The overall performance of this rod is great, and a good portion of that is due to the rod’s simplicity which many anglers find useful.

The rod offers great casting ability and the graphite blanks give the sensitivity on this rod a real boost so you can feel even the smallest bite which of course may result in the perfect catch. The rod is durable and well-constructed, with quality materials being used to really make this rod last.

You would be able to use this rod on a variety of fish species and if you need a rod that’s capable of handling a variety of techniques than this should be a real contender for you.

This rod may be simple and lack some of the features on a more expensive rod, but it’s very effective against a large range of fish and is capable of handling all sorts of different techniques. 

If you’re looking for a great option to help you land some big salmon than this is well worth considering. Beginners may like this one for its simplicity, but anglers with a few years under the belt shouldn’t discount it either.

Pros

  • Excellent sensitivity thanks to graphite blanks
  • A good option for anglers of all different skill sets
  • Versatile and capable of handling different fishing techniques
  • Great action
  • Durable and well made

Cons

  • May need to be oiled before used
Lamiglas LX 86MC X-11 Series Fishing Rod
  • Lamiglas X-11 drift casting rod LX 90MC
  • 2 piece medium action graphite casting rod
  • Cork grips, trigger reel seat
  • Pacific Bay Deep Press guides
  • Rich glossy merlot finish

BEST VALUE

OKUMA Classic Pro Salmon Trolling Combo with Classic Pro Rod and Magda 30 Reel, CPDR-862M-30DX, Charcoal/Gold, 40 Size

If you’re looking for sturdy and effective than this is the rod for you, especially if you’re a offshores fisherman at heart.

This might not be the most versatile of rods, but it’s excellent at pulling in large catches especially for anglers with a boat to troll from. If you like switching between the bank and the boat then this might not be the right option, but this is an excellent value rod from Okuma who really put their all into crafting rods that will give their customers the best possible experience.

This is a rod and reel combo and if you have a slightly tighter budget than it’s well worth a look at. Okuma’s expectations are high for all their rods, and this one can certainly live up to them. The blanks are made from fiberglass which makes the rod durable and strong enough to haul in the larger catches, but you may find that it’s also a little stiff.

Really, you’ll have to work out if you’d rather have a rod that’s capable of pulling in large fish after large fish while on the water, or if you’d like something a little less stiff. As with any large purchase you have to think about what sort of thing, you’ll want to use your rod for and if it’s the most suitable for your purpose.

This is an excellently constructed, durable rod made from good quality materials which is a great value considering the price, but if you want versatility than there are other options.

Pros

  • High-quality construction and materials
  • Excellent value
  • Robust backbone
  • Strong and durable
  • More than capable of pulling in the larger fish

Cons

  • Not the most versatile of rods available
OKUMA Classic Pro Salmon Trolling Combo with Classic Pro Rod and Magda 30 Reel, CPDR-862M-30DX, Charcoal/Gold, 40 Size
  • Product Type: Fishing Equipment
  • Country Of Origin: China
  • Item Package Weight: 0.794 Kgs
  • Item Package Dimensions: 7.62 L X 8.89 W X 134.62 H (Cm)

RUNNER UP

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod

Whether you’re an experienced angler or new to the world of fishing you probably have heard of Ugly Stik or at the very least seen their name around.

One of the brands most trusted by anglers because of their great value rods and reputation for quality builds, this is another rod that the keen angler will appreciate. This rod is very well constructed, simple, and efficient.

It may lack some of the features on other similar models, but you can’t escape from the quality of the construction or the thoughtful design. This is a rod that will help you take some great prizes, and it’s a real gem for salmon fishing.

This is a nicely versatile rod that’s perfect for beginners looking for a great quality rod that’s not going to cost an arm and a leg to help the master salmon fishing. This is a great reliable choice for a novice, but it still has the power and great casting that a seasoned angler will love. The line guides aren’t the best at handling braided line, so you may end up replacing them.

With the right maintenance and care though, this shouldn’t be an issue. As with any rod from Ugly Stik, you can be sure of this rod’s reliability and at this price, they really are hard to beat. If you’re a beginner or an advanced angler this is a rod that will help you net salmon in a range of sizes, and with a few small adjustments, you may find that this could be your ideal rod.

Pros

  • Durable and extremely strong
  • Capable of netting salmon of all different sizes
  • Great for beginners and those with more experience
  • Great action
  • Well designed and constructed

Cons

  • Heavier than some other similar models

RUNNER UP

Ugly Stik Bigwater Trolling Combo

It might be that you want to give a rod/reel combo a go and this option from Ugly Stik is another example of the quality of their products.

Anglers have a certain amount of expectation for Ugly Stik products, and Ugly Stik works hard to keep this faith in them, this powerful rod and reel combo doesn’t disappoint and you’ll find that it consistently pull in very large fish.

If you’re looking for something heavy-duty that you can take out in search of the toughest fish than this model will put up a hell of a fight for you. Considering the strength and durable build of the rod and reel, it really is surprising how sensitive it is. This combo allows you to sense some very tiny nibbles and then has the power to help you catch them.

Admittedly, this isn’t the most versatile option around, thanks to the trolling reel but if you have access to a boat than this won’t be an issue. If you’re after something heavy-duty and you plan to fish offshore you won’t find better than this beauty.

You may find that taking it apart and oiling it before use will increase its performance and while this is a little annoying you’ll be surprised by the high value of its execution afterward.

If you’re looking for a rod and reel combo for going after salmon than you probably won’t find better than this one. It’s very durable and stands up to Ugly Stik’s promise of reliability. If you’ve been burned before by poor quality rods snapping out from under you then rest assured it’s not going to happen with this beauty.

Pros

  • A very powerful drag system
  • Efficient and easy to use
  • Strong and very durable
  • Excellent for offshore fishing
  • A great value rod

Cons

  • Not very versatile
Ugly Stik Bigwater Trolling Combo
  • Ugly Stik Clear Tip design for extra strength
  • Ugly Tech construction with a combination of Graphite and fiberglass to create a strong, yet sensitive rod
  • Ugly Tuff one piece stainless steel double-footed guides provide maximum durability and eliminate insert pop-outs
  • Durable EVA grips
  • 30 size line counter reel

Best Salmon Fishing Rods Buying Guide

Hopefully, you’re now feeling a little more prepared to buy your new salmon fishing rod, or at least have a bit more of an idea of the sorts of things that might work for you.

If you’re still feeling a little overwhelmed then don’t worry the next section of the guide is for you. This is where we take you through some of the important features on a salmon fishing rod so when you’re looking you know what to prioritize for you and your fishing style.

Weight

First up we have weight. The weight of your rod will also affect the balance which is important when salmon fishing. If you want to get a good catch then it’s important that you can easily maneuver so you can strike quickly and efficiently.

This is why you ideally want a lightweight rod that’s easy to move about with and to carry from fishing hole to fishing hole. A lighter rod will also mean that you can fish for longer because you won’t get tired as quickly in your hands and wrists.

Balance 

The weight of the rod isn’t as important as its balance though, so while a lightweight rod is preferred make sure you go for a well-balanced rod, first and foremost when looking for the right one to take salmon fishing.

You’re looking for something that’s not too light in the tip, but not too heavy in the handle either. A nice even balance will help you make the perfect cast so you can nab the best fish. Look for something with even balance and you won’t go far wrong.

Length

As with any rod, the length is very important when you’re going salmon fishing because you need your rod to give you the reach you need to cast into the river from the bank, you don’t want to wade into the strong currents that salmon love and put yourself or your equipment at risk. The best salmon fishing rods are around 7-10 feet in length, though some anglers prefer a max of 10 and a half feet.

Generally, with salmon fishing the longer your rod the further you can cast. If this is your first rod however, you should go for something close to 7 feet, and should not go above 8. When you’re learning it’s important that you can manage your rod properly so you can master casting before you go on to anything larger.

Material

Finally, look into the material you want your rod to be made from to ensure you’re getting to a rod that suits you the best. Most salmon rods are made from either graphite or fiberglass, but the best rods are generally a composite of both.

Composite rods are the best because they combine the best features of graphite and fiberglass giving you a strong, lightweight, and importantly durable rod. This makes your rod easy to travel with and gives you better maneuverability, but also gives it the strength to handle the big fish.

Making sure your rod is made from quality materials is one of the most important things to consider, no matter what the material is. If you don’t want a rod that will break or get damaged easily than make sure you buy from a trusted brand who cares about their rods and their customers.

Best Salmon Fishing Rods - FAQ's

When is the best time of day to catch salmon?

This is a hard question to answer because every spot is different, and a lot will depend on who has been there before you. If you’re not sure then the best times to fish are either first thing in the morning or at dusk, but if you find an undisturbed pool with ‘active’ salmon than go for it. You won’t find any better time than that.

How much money should I spend on my salmon rod?

This is a very personal thing, and you need to look at how much you want to spend, how often you’re going to use the rod, and if your certain fishing is the right hobby for you. If you know you’re going to be spending a lot of time on the water than high quality is probably the best call for you and you’re probably willing to spend a little more to achieve it.

If you’re just getting into angling than look for a rod that’s best for beginners and don’t overspend. There are lots of rods available so you’ll be able to find something in budget. Just don’t panic and get it right the first time.