Best Fishing Rod And Reel Combos For Beginners: Features And Reviews

Fishing is a great hobby enjoyed by millions of people all around the world, but getting into the hobby can be intimidating.

Like any sport, fishing has a few pieces of necessary equipment. The fishing reel and rod can range from bare bones quality to professional grade equipment that costs thousands of dollars.

Do you go with the cheapest rod and reel combo? Or will it break on you too quickly. Do you go with a professional rod? Or will all those capabilities and features be completely lost on a complete beginner. It’s important to find a middle ground between the extremes for your first rod.

In this article we’ll go over the basics of what you’ll want in a fishing rod, and then offer some suggestions on the best fishing rod and reel combos for beginners.​

Fishing Rod And Reel Combos: What To Look For

This section focuses on a few important features for any rod and reel combo. Whether or not you decide to go with one of the rods we’ve reviewed below, make sure the rod you do choose has at least the majority of these features.

Best Fishing Rod And Reel Combos

Best Fishing Rod And Reel Combos

A Good Amount of Ball Bearings

There are a lot of technical features that high end reels offer, but for beginners a lot of them can be ignored. One specification you shouldn’t ignore is the amount of ball bearings present in the reel.

Ball bearings in a reel function by reducing stress on your line, resulting in fewer line breaks and an easier fishing experience overall. You don’t want to start your fishing expedition off with a broken line and a lost fish!

Do your best not to skimp on this feature.​

Choose the Correct Rod Power

Your initial reaction when browsing for rods may be to opt for the heaviest rod. After all, heavier rods mean they’ll be more durable and last longer, right? Not exactly.Rod powers range from ultra-light to ultra-heavy, and the rod power you choose is based off of the type of fish you’re going to catch.

If you’re like most fishing newbies, you’re likely going to try out the hobby by starting with smaller fish. You’ll want to opt for a light or ultra-light rod in this case.

Rod power refers to the ease with which a rod will bend, and that’s an important specification to take into account when selecting your rod. Using a light rod for heavy fish may result in breakage, and a heavy rod doesn’t provide enough give for small fish.

Like any activity, choose the correct tools for your needs.​

Rod Action

Another important consideration when selecting the best fishing rod and reel combos for beginners is the rod action.

Rod action refers to how easily and how far from the tip a rod will bend.

Slow action provides a whippy rod with lots of bend. It requires less sensitivity and more focus on keeping the fish hooked. It’s a good choice for light fish.

Medium action is a little more sturdy than the slow action rod. It’s the most versatile of all rods and is useable outside of either extreme when it comes to fish size.

Fast action bends halfway up the rod (sometimes higher!) This is great for heavy fish, and is probably not something you’re going to use as a beginner.

Go with a slow or medium action for your rod, and you’ll be well on your way to picking a good rod.

Now that we’ve gone over some features to look out for, let’s give some specific recommendations for the best fishing rod and reel combos for beginners.​

Fishing Rod And Reel Combos: The Reviews​

The following are three different fishing rod and reel combos that would make a good starter rod for the fledgling fisherman.​

Crystal River C/CTFK1 Fishing Rod/Reel Combo Eva Grip



  • Made of High Quality Materials.
  • Optimized for Fly Fishing.
  • Aluminum oxide stripper guide.
  • Double-locking aluminum reel seat.
  • Comfortable and durable EVA grip.
  • Great price, currently available on Amazon.


  • The rod is solid, but the reel isn’t the best quality.
  • Cheap price comes with cheaper construction. This rod will suit beginners well at a great price, but it won’t last forever.
  • Reviews praise the rod as great for beginners, but details on the specifics of the rod and reel available online are sparse. Buy with caution.

Overall, this is a good starter rod for fly fishing at a great price, but you’ll quickly outgrow it if you’re serious about fishing.

Wild Water Fly Fishing Complete 5/6 Starter Package



  • A 9 foot, quality construction gives you plenty of rod to work with.
  • Slow action.
  • Medium power.
  • Optimized with the fly fishing beginner in mind.
  • Includes a fly box and a collection of flies, giving you multiple options to choose from.
  • Included case keeps your investment safe.


  • More expensive than the previous rod we’ve discussed. You’re getting a lot for the price, but you’ll still have to drop almost $100 dollars. If you’re not sure if you’ll like fishing, the price might be a little steep.
  • Even though it’s more expensive, it’s still a budget rod. It’s great construction for the price, but as you get more serious you’ll have to replace it.

The fact that the Wild Water Fly Fishing Complete 5/6 Starter Package gives you basically everything you need to get started at a good price, it’s well-deserving of a spot on our list of best fishing rod and reel combos for beginners.

Orvis Encounter 5-weight 9' Fly Rod Outfit



  • A higher price gives you higher quality. This rod will last you into an intermediate skill level.
  • Smooth performance that will impress even experienced anglers.
  • Construction that allows you to catch heavier fish than the rest of the rods on our list.
  • Large Arbor Encounter Reel.
  • Weight-forward floating line, backing, and leader.


  • This is the most expensive rod on our list. If you’re not already a fishing fan, you might want to pass on this rod.
  • It doesn’t include any flies, so you’ll need to make additional purchases. This rod isn’t ready for a fishing trip right out of the box.

The Orvis Encounter 5-weight 9' Fly Rod Outfit is definitely one of the best fishing rod and reel combos for beginners, as long as you’re willing to spend a little extra for quality.


Out of all the rod and reel combos on this list, we’re confident in naming the Wild Water Fly Fishing Complete 5/6 Starter Package as the top pick on our list.

The set won’t work for a professional fisherman going after huge fish, but for the starter it’s great. The fact that it includes everything a beginner needs to get started in addition to the rod itself is a big plus, making it easy to get into this great hobby as quickly as possible.

We hope you’ve found this article informative, and we encourage you to use these tips to find the best rod and reel combo for your needs.

Megan Ann

I’m Megan Ann, mama to 2 and wife to James F. Core. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. I try to write useful and informative articles to help you as much as I can with my knowledge. Thank you for reading.

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