Fishing can be ruthless out in the cool ocean waters. The fish you’re after don’t care what rod you’re using. It’s up to you, the angler to figure out the best technique and the best equipment to use every time you hit the water.
Inshore fishing is one of the best types of saltwater fishing that’s done in shallow waters. You’ll be out in the water up to about a hundred feet which means you’ll need specific fishing gear to get the job done.
Unlike offshore fishing, you won’t be in as volatile conditions. If you’ve ever done offshore fishing, you know how it can get: sharks snapping at your lines, waves barreling against your boat, or sea lions doing kamikaze dives on your catch as you’re reeling it in. Calmer conditions require different equipment to get a good catch or two for the day.
If you’re looking to get started with saltwater fishing and you’ll be doing some inshore fishing soon, then you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared ahead of time with the right gear. The right rod and reel can a huge difference when you’re out on the water. We’ve gathered a list of the best spinning rods for inshore fishing to compare the features, pricing, and benefits of each.
The sooner you get the right gear, the sooner you can start catching some striped bass, redfish, or speckled trout! So let’s jump right in!
PENN Battle II Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
PENN is one of the leading makers of saltwater fishing rods and reels since 1932. They have some of the best equipment on the market. If you’re looking to get started with inshore fishing, you’ll be hearing the name “PENN” a lot. Their PENN battle II Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is possibly the best spinning rod and reel combo on the market. This combo includes the PENN Battle II Reel and PENN Battle II graphite fishing rod.
The full metal body, rotor, sideplate, and aluminum bail wire give you incredible durability on the water.
It’s a bit heavier than other reels but gives it that added strength. Plus, you’ll have easy cranking with anti-reverse bearings. Another bonus is the superline spool that shows you exactly how much line is left on the spool.
Why Buy It: If you’re wanting to pick up a solid, everyday rod and reel combo for inshore fishing, then you’ll love the PENN Battle II combo. It’s easy to use, tough, and will last for years since it’s made of such quality materials.
How Much it Costs: This mid-tier reel has 8 different models to choose from. If you’re just starting out with inshore fishing and will be making smaller catches, then you should stick around the 4000 range. You can pick up the 4000 for $119.49 for the combo which is the most expensive combo on our list, but if you want to go with one of the most brands, PENN is right at the top.
What We Think of it: It’s one of the best all-around rod and reel combos you can get for your money. PENN puts a ton of care into their rods and reels to ensure they work well and last a long time. They keep their equipment affordable for the average angler which we love. You won’t regret picking up this solid rod and reel combo.
- Good quality build
- Marked spool capacity
- Smooth drag
- More expensive than others on this list
- Heavier than most
FISHOAKY Fishing Rod kit, Carbon Fiber Telescopic Fishing Pole - For Adults Travel Saltwater Freshwater
The FISHOAKY Fishing Rod Kit is the next on our list. Featuring a carbon fiber telescopic fishing pole, along with a bunch of other goodies, you’ll love this starter kit if you’re new to inshore fishing.
The rod is made from a carbon fiber and fiberglass mix giving it quite a bit of flexibility. It’s made from anti-sea water corrosion steel hooded reel seats allowing for long term durability. Since the rod is telescopic, it makes it easy to travel with. The reel is strong, interchangeable (left or right-handed), and lightweight making for easy use.
Why Buy It: If you’re a new angler, and you’re wanting an easy starter kit, then this is the one for you. This isn’t the greatest rod and reel available. There are many more heavyweight combos, but it can hold its own. Considering everything that’s included, it’s the best value combo available.
How Much it Costs: For only $45.99, you’re not just getting a reel. You’re not just getting a reel and a rod. You’re getting an entire kit. This is the perfect starter kit for anyone looking to break into inshore saltwater fishing and wants an all-in-one package.
What We Think of it: It’s by no means an amazing rod or an impressive reel. The rod and reel get the job done though. The main thing about this combo is the fact that you get an entire kit for the same price as an average rod and reel combo. The amount of gear you get for the price is incredible. Plus, the rod and reel hold their own. For a beginner, this is an incredible bargain.
- Good low budget kit
- Huge number of accessories
- Includes travel bag
- Easy to transport
- Isn’t the best quality
- Might not handle well in rougher conditions
Cadence Spinning Rod, CR5-30 Ultralight Ton Carbon Casting, Strongest and Sensitive Action Rods
Cadence is one of the newer competitors in the fishing equipment market, but they’re sure causing a ruckus with their newer rod, the Cadence Spinning Rod CR5-30. It’s one fo the best spinning rods available on the market at an affordable price. It looks and handles like a rod worth a few hundred dollars, yet you can pick it up at a very reasonable price.
It has a beautiful, lightweight design with some durable construction, made from 30-ton carbon.
It’s also quite versatile. You can use it for both inshore fishing for redfish, or for lake fishing to catch some trout or bass. It’s one of the best fishing poles since the handle is made from high-grade cork that handles well and is built to last.
Why Buy It: If you want the feel of a $200 rod but don’t want to fork over that much cash, then you’ll love this beauty by Cadence. The CR5-30 is an incredible rod for both inshore and freshwater fishing. It’s durable, lightweight, and is built to last.
How Much it Costs: At $49.99 it’s a steal of a deal. While you’re not getting a reel like others on this list, it’s an impressive rod. This rod could compete against others that you could spend a few hundred dollars on and still hold its own.
What We Think of it: Cadence has proven to deliver high performance, high-quality fishing equipment since they’ve entered the market. The CR5-30 is no exception and is one of the best rods available for under $100.
- Affordable rod
- Great value for a rod
- Adjustable reel seat
- Inshore or freshwater fishing
- Stainless steel frame
- High-quality 30-ton graphite
- Comfortable, durable handle
- Can be tricky to use for new anglers
KastKing Royale For Bass Fishing - Fishing Rods for Fresh & Saltwater, Quality & Performance
If you’re on the prowl for some bass, then you’ll seriously want to consider picking up the KastKing Royale Legend. You can use it in baitcasting or spinning configurations, either on freshwater or saltwater.
The Royale Legend is made from a durable carbon composite with incredible precision. It’s lightweight, flexible, and is built to last. It includes a premium Fuji o-ring guide, which is known for being extremely durable.
The overall design is beautiful and really looks and feels like a $200-$300 rod. If you’ll be switching between freshwater and inshore saltwater fishing, then you’ll love this rod.
Why Buy It: It’s a bit of a step up from others on this list, as it’s the most expensive, but it comes with all the bells and whistles. The design is incredible, the foam composite handle is easy to use. The Fuji o-ring is extremely high quality. If you want a high-performing rod that you can use in freshwater or saltwater, then you’ll love this rod.
How Much it Costs: At $79.99, it’s a bit pricier than the others on this list, yet it is worth much more. Considering what the rod is made of, it’s a great deal. It can easily compete with other dual rods out there that cost double or triple the price.
What We Think of it: It’s our favorite low-budget freshwater, saltwater dual rod. Made for bass fishing, it will get the job done for years to come. Plus, you can use a baitcasting reel or spinning reel which makes it very versatile.
- Versatile – offshore, inshore, freshwater fishing
- High-quality build
- Lifetime warranty
- A bit more expensive than others on the list
- Baitcasting reel seat isn’t as durable as the spinning reel seat
PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combos, Saltwater and Freshwater Fishing Gear Kit
If you’re a new angler and you’re looking to get your feet wet with a starter kit, then this might be the best spinning rod and reel combo at an affordable price. You may have seen the FISHOAKY combo above, but if you’re okay with spending a little bit more, then this is a great upgrade.
In this kit, you get a 24-ton carbon matrix telescopic fishing rod, a stainless steel BB spinning reel, fishing line, fishing lures, fishing hooks, and a carrier bag. It’s a great all-in-one starter combo when you’re new to the game.
The rod and reel are both an upgrade to the FISHOAKY combo, and allow you to go inshore with saltwater fishing or freshwater.
Why Buy It: If you’re new and need a basic set up, then this is a great starting point. It’s a bit more expensive than the FISHOAKY starter kit, but it is also a bit higher quality and is more durable.
How Much it Costs: At $59.99, you’re getting an amazing deal. This starter kit includes everything you need to begin inshore fishing at a very affordable price.
What We Think of it: It’s nothing amazing. There are starter kits you can get for $500. But if you want an effective starter kit and don’t want to shell out hundreds of dollars, then picking up this kit is a great investment. It’s good, especially if you’re not sure if you’ll want to do inshore fishing on the sea or do some freshwater fishing.
- Great for inshore or freshwater fishing
- Great value for a starter kit
- Comfortable handle
- Includes carrier bag
- Not very high-quality
KastKing Perigee II - Perfect for Saltwater Fishing, Freshwater Fishing, Bass Fishing or Trout Fishing
KastKing has made our list again, and for good reason. Their Perigee II fishing rod is another beauty that is great for catching bass, catfish, and trout. As you can see on the product page, it has over 845 reviews and is one of the top rated fishing rods available. You can take it out for some inshore saltwater fishing or for freshwater, as it’s versatile for both environments.
It features carbon matrix KastFlex Blank Technology. It measures 24 tons and is one of the most popular brands known for making very strong rods that will last for years, even in rougher waters
Like the KastKing Royale Legend mentioned earlier, it also includes the high-quality Fuji o-ring line guides, allowing for higher accuracy when fishing.
Why Buy It: The best part about this rod is that it’s actually 2 rods! It’s tip comes in 2 varieties. You can choose between medium-light and medium-heavy depending on the type of fish you’re after at the time.
How Much it Costs: For only $62.99, it’s one of the best fishing poles available in 2019. Technically, it’s 2 rods, and that’s why it’s an amazing deal. You’re able to get the versatility of 2 separate rods for the price of one.
What We Think of it: Aside from the minor cons-list you’ll see below, it’s a trusted rod that is versatile in nearly any situation. We love that you’re essentially getting 2 rods for the price of one. The versatility offered makes it the perfect go-to rod on any given day.
- 2 rod tips mean 2 different rods
- Versatile – freshwater or saltwater fishing
- Affordable (2 in 1)
- Eyelets might fall apart
- Gap between tip and handle
- Tricky for new anglers to handle
Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo
The Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo is one of the best spinning rod combos available. The rod is made from traditional fiberglass with a touch of graphite. It has a unique clear tip which is signature to the “Ugly Tech” new collection of fishing rods. This clear tip is great for feeling the light strike of the stealthiest redfish.
The reel is equipped with 3 ball bearings and an anti-reverse bearing for instant hook sets and smooth gear feel.
It also has compression bail springs that increase durability, allowing for a longer life.
Why Buy It: Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, this is one of the best spinning rod and reel combos. It can take a beating, as it’s extremely durable. So if you want a spinning rod that will last for years of inshore fishing, this is one of the greatest.
How Much it Costs: For only $49.99, you can have an impressive rod and reel ready to go. It can go head to head with reels 2 to 3 times the price, offering high performance, and lightweight durability when inshore fishing.
What We Think of it: You’ll be sure to make great memories with the Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo. It’s rugged, affordable, and has more features than most comparably priced rival rods.
- Clear tip – great sensitivity
- Great value
- Durable graphite
- 7-Year Warranty
- Not the greatest casting performance
How to Choose the Best Saltwater Fishing Rod: Recommendations
As a new angler, it can be very confusing trying to navigate the waters of saltwater fishing. There is a very high learning curve, and it can be overwhelming with so much information out there, especially since there are different levels of equipment. Plus, saltwater and freshwater gear differs in many areas.
Here are a few tips to ensure you select the best saltwater fishing rod.
Rod Type: Your type of rod is dictated by the type of reel you’ll be using. You need to make sure they match up in order for your rod to function properly. The two main combinations for saltwater fishing are baitcasting and spinning.
Baitcasting rods are made with the reel attached to the top of the rod above the handle. You often have a trigger grip on the bottom of the handle to help cast and for rod control. Usually, it’s made for bigger baits, suitable for offshore fishing.
Spinning reels are on the bottom of the rod ahead of the handle. The line guides run along the bottom of the rod and help control the line coming on and off of the reel spool. Spinning rods are used mainly for repetitive, longer casting. It’s mostly used for inshore fishing.
Rod Length: The length of your rod is crucial when considering the casting distance required. Longer rods let you cast from the pier or surf, while short rods give you easier control when you’re fighting a bigger fish and taking in line. Longer rods can also give you more leverage when you’re in a long battle with a fish.
- Rods under 7 feet are used for both inshore and offshore saltwater fishing.
- Rods between 7 and 9 feet are great for pier casting.
- Rods longer than 9 feet are best suited for surf fishing.
Power: Power or rod weight ranges from UL (Ultralight) to H (Heavy). It lets you know how stiff the rod is, and also how resistant it is to flexing when a fish is on your line. Lower power is usually better for smaller fish while higher power is better for bigger, heavier fish.
Action: This is the flexibility level of your rod once your fish is already hooked and you’re taking in line to land it. The ratings range between slow action, medium action, medium-fast action, and fast action. Faster means for flex towards the tip of the rod while slower action means for flex along the entire length of the rod.
Materials: Saltwater rods can be constructed from a number of materials. Most are made from fiberglass, carbon, graphite, or a combination of these.
- Fiberglass is the traditional saltwater material. It’s durable, heavy, and less sensitive than graphite or composite
- Graphite is refined and is lighter, more flexible, and more sensitive than fiberglass. It’s generally a bit more expensive as well, but not as durable
- Composite is a combination of these materials and is the most expensive, offering the durability and strength of fiberglass and the sensitivity and flexibility of graphite