No matter your level of experience in fishing, you will agree that a spinning rod is an excellent addition to your arsenal.
Our focus in this post is basically on the best spinning rods under $50. This implies that you can still find an efficient fishing rod at a cheaper price without hurting your pocket.
Key Factors to Look for in Spinning Rods
The type of material construction, guides, and the number of pieces are the significant aspects that define the performance of a spinning rod. Read on.
Spinning rods are typically made from graphite, fiberglass, or a combination of these two.
Although graphite is lightweight and sensitive, it isn’t sturdy. Fiberglass, on the other hand, isn’t highly sensitive but is virtually indestructible.
The fiber+graphite combo is the best as it combines the strength and sensitivity of the two elements for added efficiency.
1-piece fishing rods feature a continuous construction which makes them stronger than the 2-piece rods. But then again, they require careful handling as they tend to occupy a lot of space.
2-piece fishing rods are versatile and are easy to handle since they don’t occupy much space and incur minimal damages during transportation. However, the rods aren’t strong enough to capture large or heavy fish.
Stainless steel guides are good but not fancy. Aluminum oxide guides are better, but you can’t expect to have them at the under $50 price point really. That said, some manufacturers provide them with Zirconium Oxide inserts…those inserts come in handy if you’re using braided fishing lines and want to reduce friction.
Top Rated $50 Spinning Rods: Product Reviews
Here are our detailed reviews of 6 best spinning rods offered below $50 from our unbiased editors.
1. Ugly Stik Elite by Shakespeare
This patented Ugly Stik Tech constructed rod features 35% more graphite than the preceding models from Shakespeare. As such, it feels light and is highly sensitive.
Fortunately, the rod is offered in 1-piece and 2-piece options for more versatility. The 1-piece rod is sturdy and a little durable.
Similarly, the 2-piece fishing rod gives you the freedom of using two interchangeable tips and is easy to transport.
The bad news is that this rod might not last through extended fishing sessions or when you are focused on larger fish.
The stainless steel guides of this Elite spinning rod are made to deliver ultimate durability. But the absence of zirconium/ceramic inserts makes it a terrible rod if you’re using braided lines and planning to make long casts.
- Increased sensitivity
- Available as 2-piece and 1-piece
- Not ideal for long casts
2. KastKing Crixus IM6 Graphite Rod
IM6 graphite blanks are made to deliver outstanding performance in either saltwater or freshwater applications. And although not as strong as fiberglass ones, they indeed provide good value for money when used to capture small and medium-sized fish species.
The stainless steel guides of this 7 feet Crixus Kastking rod are enhanced with Zirconium oxide inserts that deliver long and smooth casts to prevent slippage of lines.
Lastly, the rod is a 2-piece, which makes it easy to use or store though not as robust as the 1-piece Ugly Stik Elite rod.
- Lightweight graphite construction
- Fitted with Zirconium oxide rings
- Rust-free stainless steel guides
- Compatible with most fishing lines
- Not suitable for capturing large fish
3. Penn Surf Squadron II
Just like the KastKing Crixus spinning rod, this Penn Squadron 8 feet also has stainless steel guides with reinforcement of zirconium inserts to reduce fishing line friction. No wonder it’s recommended for surf fishing.
Besides that, it comes with a highly sensitive graphite blank. As usual, we’d like to mention that typically, graphite blanks aren’t quite durable especially when put to intensive use. That said, you can’t expect too much from the Penn Surf Squadron II as it’s a really cheap rod.
Being a two-piece rod, it’s quite easy to use and pack up for transportation. However, the joint may not be sturdy enough to deal with heavy fighting fish.
- 5-year warranty
- Corrosion-free Sea Guides
- Sensitive graphite blank
- Easy to store
- The joint isn’t strong enough
4. Ugly Stik GX2 Rod from Shakespeare
This Ugly Stik GX2 rod features a powerful combination of fiberglass and graphite. The combo gives the rod a strong and sensitive feel.
What’s more, its 2-piece construction not only makes the rod easy to operate and carry but also gives it a unique and stylish look. The small qualms would be that the rod may not last long if used regularly for catching large fish.
Furthermore, this 7-foot rod is equipped with Ugly Tuff 1-piece guides made from stainless steel to help eliminate the issue of insert pop-outs.
- Clear tip design for added sensitivity and strength
- 7-year warranty
- Durable graphite+Fiberglass construction
- Boasts increased sensitivity
- Not ideal if you’re targeting large saltwater monsters
5. Entsport E Series 2-Piece Sirius
The blank of this Entsport spinning rod is made from graphite (high-tensile carbon) for enhance strength and sensitivity when casting.
What’s more, this 7 feet rod has stainless steel inserts and guides that help in the transfer of vibration from the line all through the rod. The same vibrations are felt in your hand, and this allows you to feel the weight of your lure.
Also, the fact that it’s a 2-piece means it’s not as sturdy as the Ugly Stik Elite (Product #1 on this ranking), which is a 1-piece. Still, this cute kid from Entsport might be a good choice for anyone on a tight budget.
- Carbon blanks deliver increased tensile strength
- Includes a protective bag
- Backed by a 1-year warranty
- Easily portable
- Well made
- A bit heavy
- Not ideal for pike, largemouth bass etc
6. Berkley Fishing Big Game
This 8 feet Berkley Big Game rod comprises two pieces for convenient use as it gives you the freedom of interchanging the tips. It can as well be taken apart easily for compact transportation. However, its eyes are pretty weak.
The titanium guides are lighter and stiffer than the regular stainless steel guides, which helps improve the sensitivity. Besides, the included zirconium slim profile inserts come in handy when long distance casting is involved.
The blank is constructed from a Graphite (Carbon veil) for an added lightweight and sensitive casting feel. If only the blank was made from fiberglass + graphite combo, this rod would have ranked higher on this review list.
- Rust-free titanium inserts
- Durable blank
- More versatile and portable
- It’s a 2-piece rod
- The eyelets aren’t durable
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to the questions you might still be having on spinning rods.
How long should my rod be?
Most rods range from 6 to 8 feet, but some other extend up to 14 feet. But the rule of the thumb is the longer a rod is, the longer the distance it will cast over.
Which is the most sensitive spinning rod?
Graphite rods are regarded by many fishermen to be the most sensitive due to their capability to transfer vibrations from the blank to the hand.
Which One Is The Best?
The Ugly Stik Elite Fishing Spinning Rod is our best pick (view it on Amazon). This is thanks to its availability as a one-piece or two-piece, super sensitive graphite + fiberglass construction, and rust-free stainless steel guides.
You don’t have to dig deep into your pockets to get a spinning rod of superior quality. What we’ve just outlined above are excellent spinning rods you can find under $50. Mind you, they are all from the big fishing brands; Ugly Stik, Berkley, Entsport, Penn, and KastKing.