Attributes of Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combos for Beginners

By Andy Whitcomb

Jan 08, 2018

When choosing the best fishing rod and reel combo for beginners, there are several things to keep in mind.

A great way to encourage someone to start fishing is to make sure they have basic fishing equipment.  The principal part of any beginner fishing gear list is a rod and reel.  Until experience is gained, rod and reel combos are part of a good fishing starter kit because the rod and reel are already paired by line size and general usage.

The best fishing rod and reel combo for beginners may vary by angler age and skill, but here are some factors to keep in mind.

1. Don’t Skimp

Much like that first BB gun, that first fishing starter kit is significant because it crosses over from being a child’s “toy” to more of a “tool” or “instrument” requiring instruction and practice to hone new outdoor skills. It is very easy to be influenced by price and just pick up the cheapest fishing equipment for beginners. However, with a bit of an upgrade, the user may find more enjoyment from equipment that may function better, longer.

For example, the next time you are testing a selection of rod and reel combos at a store, take note of the number of bearings. This number may range from 1 to 10 or more. You may find that in general, as the number of bearings increases, the reel becomes quieter, smoother, and feels sturdier.

2. Something to grow into

If SpongeBob or Spiderman can help get them excited about fishing, then that can be the best fishing rod and reel combo for beginners. However, once the glitz of the bright packaging wears off and they experience some fishing success, you may soon find them asking to try your rod and reel combo. The beginner fishing rod should help the angler gain confidence, but then not be a limitation to testing other aspects of fishing. But don’t overshoot the beginner’s abilities and patience. For example, baitcasters look cool with all their knobs and settings but a true beginner probably should start with a push button spin cast combo.

3. Consider Main Use

What species, techniques, and conditions are involved with most of your beginner’s fishing trips?  For example, the best fishing rod and reel combo for beginners that primarily cast into small trout streams or farm ponds loaded with sunfish, might include a 5 foot light action rod. However if larger bass or pike are possibilities, a 6 or 7 foot medium action rod and spinning reel combo will be a better fit.

The top of any beginner fishing gear list is a rod and reel combo. By keeping in mind the three tips above, you may be able to find the best fishing rod and reel combo for your beginner and watch them soon turn into an experienced angler. And if your beginner is getting a bit of a late start (over 16 years old in most states), that beginner fishing gear list needs to include a fishing license.

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.