Review of the top 10 best saltwater rod and reel combos


Greetings my dear sea fishing enthusiasts. If you are looking to acquire a combination of a fishing rod and a reel (a combo) for saltwater fishing then you’ll be hard-pressed to find better help with making your choice than our review of the top 10 best combos.

Amazon, being one of the largest online marketplaces, has some of the best spinning rods designed for all kinds of fishing styles available for purchase. In this article we look over the top 10 best combos as listed by Amazon for 2022.


  • Caught two large perches from between the water lilies on my first time fishing
  • This is a great combo for young people
  • An excellent rod for bream catching
  • A good fishing rod for fishing from a kayak
  • The excellent quality is well worth the price


  • The handle and the elbow hinge are of poor quality
  • The pole snapped after the first tug

These rods combined with Lew’s Fishing brand reels are manufactured from graphite and aluminum. The ratio of the bearing is 5.1:1.4 which allows the reel to rapidly pull in the monofilament line or the braided cord without them overlapping. The rod blank’s size comes in at 6’6” which gives the angler enough room for long and accurate casts.

The Lew’s has a medium action and is designed for light lures. The two-piece pole features an ambidextrous design which allows both right and left handed anglers to wield it comfortably. The combo’s price is greatly dependent on the type of reel it comes with. The Shimano Exage FD is between $90 and $120 while the Surf Master Expert is between $30 and $45. At its highest the Lew’s can cost up to $150.

№ 2

Abu Garcia Max & Max X Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

  • Item Weight 1.39 Pounds
  • Material Synthetic
  • Fishing Technique Spinning, Casting
  • Full Metal Body and sideplate keep precise gear alignment under heavy loads
  • Techno-Balanced rotor gives smooth retrieves
  • 4+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings
  • Instant Anti-Reverse bearing
  • Heavy-duty aluminum bail wire


  • Smooth casting and winding
  • An excellent combination of a rod and reel for commercial fishing
  • This is the most beautiful spinning rod that I ever owned
  • This rod is perfect for surf fishing
  • I used it to catch carp – it is an impeccable rod


  • The rod caught a branch and broke in two
  • The reel is good but the pole snapped on the first fishing trip
  • The rod was shipped with a broken tip

This carbon pole is sold in the lengths of 6’6”, 7’, and 7’6” (1.98, 2.13, and 2.28 meters). It works well for spin fishing and is well suited for freshwater fishing in lakes and rivers. This two-piece pole is likewise good for inshore fishing in the sea. The rod has a slow action but is extremely powerful. Special attention is earned by the Black Max’s modernized, low-profile, baitcasting reel.

The compact and lightweight build features 4 stainless steel ball bearings and a single roller bearing. It functions smoothly without any sudden jolts. Depending on the model of the reel the Abu Garcia Black Max & Max X is worth between $100 and $120 on the market.

№ 3

Lew’s Mach Smash – the best pick for its price

  • ICAST 2019 best of show baitcast combo award winner. With a once year limited combo
  • Reel features: One-piece lightweight Super Low Profile (SLP) graphite frame and sideplates with 3 drain ports.
  • Premium 8 bearing system with stainless steel double shielded bearings and zero reverse one-way clutch.

This combo’s baitcasting reel features a graphite frame and side panels. The spool’s rotating mechanism has 10 bearings. The one-way clutch bearing with a ratio of 7.5:1 provides a smooth experience when winding. The drag adjustment system comes with a multi-geared mechanism. The handle has been adapted for the left hand. The two-piece rod blank reaches 6’10” (2.1 meters) in size. At its heaviest the rod can reach 11.5 lb (5.2 kilograms). This rod and reel combo costs between $80 and $140.


  • A great price for such amazing quality
  • The product was excellently packaged
  • Having chosen the Lew’s brand I regret nothing


  • To this day there are no negative reviews

№ 4

Zebco Bite Alert

  • The Zebco Bite Alert comes with a spinning reel, a two-piece rod, and an extended EVA handle.
  • The pole is 7’ (2.13 meters) long, has a medium action, and a heavy lure rating that can hold up to 8 oz (200 grams) of lure weight.
  • Both the rod and the reel are designed for saltwater fishing in the ocean. The rod blank is made from fiberglass and features shock-ring guides that provide this article of fishing gear with a test of up to 15.4 lb (7 kilograms).


  • A good price for starting anglers
  • A great combo for a reasonable price
  • A wonderful combination of reel and rod blank for marine fishing
  • This combo has an amazingly good bite sensitivity
  • The large reel is surprisingly light for its size


  • All of the ceramic guides point downwards while the rod tip, like in other rods, points upwards
  • After 3 fishing trips the rod fell apart

The SoftTouch handle is equally comfortable to grip for both left and right handed anglers. The reel has a ratio of 4.9:1 that works well with braided cord. The anti-reverse feature blocks the spool from moving backwards which insures a secure hold on the catch.

№ 5

Abu Garcia Mike Iaconelli Pro-Design

  • The Mike Iaconelli rod comes in at 5’6” (1.67 meters).
  • This spincasting combo is fashioned in a stylish, modern design.
  • The rod’s two-piece blank features an EVA handle suited for both the left and the right hand.
  • The reel has 2 ball bearings and a lightweight, graphite body and rotor.
  • The spool is made of aluminum. The junior model attracts beginners with its conservative price of $69.


  • Unfortunately to this day there are no reviews for this product


№ 6

Pflueger President XT Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

  • Material – Aluminum
  • Fishing technique – Spinning
  • Rod length – 6.5 Feet
  • 10 bearing system
  • Braid ready spool
  • Sealed drag system


  • It’s great for catching fish from the pier
  • It’s a lightweight pole
  • With this combo spin fishing, jigging, and twitching are made easy


  • The pole is fragile
  • I was shipped a broken pole

The Pflueger President XT combo is a fishing  tool with a medium action, a length of 6’6” (1.98 meters), and an aluminum reel with 10 bearings and an airtight draft adjustment. This rod works great for spin fishing both in rivers and under the saltwater conditions. The two-piece rod blank has a light lure weight of ¼-1/2 oz (7-15 grams). Amazon offers these combos for the price of $140.

Abu Garcia Max STX

№ 7

Abu Garcia Max STX Low Profile Baitcast Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

  • Item Weight – 0.9 Pounds
  • Color – Multi
  • Material – Aluminum


  • I bought a pair – one for myself and one for my son
  • A combo that can manage a test of 4 pounds and that has a lure weight of 1/32 ounces is an ideal rod and reel combo
  • An excellent combo for such a low price
  • The rod blank is made 100% out of graphite – a wonderful rod
  • The rod’s length allows me to make long distance casts at a high accuracy


  • The rod blank is of a low quality
  • The pole snapped at the first jolt

The pole of this combo is a long one and comes out at 6’6” (1.98 meters). The rod blank has a medium-heavy action with a test of up to 19.8 lb (9 kilograms). Ultimate comfort while sea fishing is met thanks to the special reel seat with its built-in polymer handle and the reel’s 6+1 bearing system. Based on the selected model the combo can be purchased on Amazon for between $70 and $125.

№ 8

Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Spinning Combo (2 Piece)

  • This Daiwa brand combo intended for use in saltwater is made from a fiberglass rod blank 7’ (2.13 meters) in length and a reel with stainless steel bearings.
  • It suits inshore spin fishing swimmingly. Its comfortable handle makes it simple to perform long distance casts accurately.
  • Surf fishing, however, remains the most popular fishing technique that this rod is used for. The D-Wave can be bought on Amazon at a price between $60 and $160.


  • A 7 foot rod with a 2500 version reel is a solid combo for sea fishing
  • I purchased 3 Daiwa D-Waves and remained satisfied
  • The reel is durable and comfortable
  • I caught perch with this rod using long casts into the sea from a boat – the outcome was terrific


  • I managed to hook a catch but I couldn’t let go of the reel’s handle
  • The switch for the anti-reverse system quickly rusted from exposure to seawater
№ 9

13 Fishing – Code Black – Spinning Fishing Combos

  • This is a combo designed for spin fishing in the seawater.
  • The two-piece pole with its medium action is 6’6” (1.98 meters) in length.
  • The carbon pole features a test of up to 11 lb (5 kilograms).
  • The reel that comes with it has a size of 2000 with 5+1 stainless steel ball bearings.
  • The perforated spool comes with graphite frame.


  • This rod has a perfect grip for bait fishing
  • The best rod and reel combo that I used in a long time


  • To this day there are no negative reviews

The aluminum EVA handle is suitable for casts made by either hand. Anglers armed with such a tool confidently practise surf fishing. The Code Black rod and reel combo can be bought on Amazon for between $70 and $100.

Things to Know

Before we dive in into the descriptions of the best fish catching tools we want to remind you of the criteria used when comparing the rods, how they are used, and the meaning of some key rod-related terms.

Rod Blank Characteristics

These include:

  • Length – spinning rods are usually between 4’11” and 13’1” (1.5 and 4 meters)
  • Pole Material – this can be: carbon, graphite or a composite of fiberglass and carbon fiber
  • Action – the extent to which the rod bends and how quickly it resets to its default state: ultra-fast, fast, medium, and slow actions
  • Lure Rating – the weight of the lure or bait intended for use with the rod, it can be divided into 4 classes: ultra-light (up to 1/5 oz or 5 grams), light (1/4-1/2 oz or 7-15 grams), medium (1/2-1 2/5 oz or 15-40 grams), and heavy (over 1 2/5 oz or 40 grams)
  • Assembly – how the rod and reel are held together: telescopic (out of hollow, collapsible sections) or two-piece (solid poles that join together side by side)

Casting Techniques

Among these are:

  • Overhead Casting – cast from behind the back in a vertical motion
  • Sidearm Casting – cast from behind the back from the side
  • Pendulum Casting – cast that has the lure swaying back and forth

Angling Techniques

In general these are the most common angling techniques:

  • Spin Fishing – the lure moves in a straight, horizontal motion
  • Twitching – the lure moves up and down as the angler twitches the rod
  • Jigging – a technique good for deep waters, the lure sinks gradually
  • Surf Fishing – fishing from the shoreline
  • Feeder Fishing – luring in fish with a box or bag full of holes with bait (a swim feeder)
  • Fly Fishing – uses specialized rods, reels, and lines to fish with small artificial flies as surface lures
  • Trolling – makes use of a trolling setup to drag lures across the water usually from the back of a boat

Being well acquainted with the terminology and characteristics, the angling beginner should have an easy time evaluating any kind of fishing tool including rod and reel combos.


Modern spinning reels are complex mechanisms. The following image displays the details and parts of the reel:

Spinning reel details and parts

  1. Line Roller
  2. Spool
  3. Spool Release and Drag Adjustment
  4. Bail Arm
  5. Reel Foot
  6. Reel Handle
  7. Rotor
  8. Reel Drag
  1. Line Roller
  2. Spool
  3. Drag Adjustment
  4. Bail Arm
  5. Reel Foot
  6. Reel Handle
  7. Rotor
  8. Reel Drag
  9. Spool Release

Metric Units of Measurement

  • Foot – 30.5 centimeters
  • Inch – 2.54 centimeters
  • Pound – 454 grams
  • Ounce – 28.35 grams

With these basics in mind the starting angler should have a simple enough time in analyzing each of the top 10 saltwater rod and reel combos presented in this article.


Can rod size be an issue?

Of course it can. For long distance casting you’d need a rod of at least 9’2” (2.8 meters) and for inshore fishing a size of 4’11” (1.5 meters) should suffice

How do I know what reel size I should go for?

A salesperson, once acquainted with your fishing needs, can give you a good recommendation

What sort of line and lure I should choose for deep sea fishing?

A braided cord is the most fitting for this purpose and your ought to select a lure based on your rod’s lure rating

Where do I find a jig that’s resistant to seawater?

The Internet can offer you a large assortment of options

What fish can I catch in saltwater?

Sea bass, halibut, mullet, horse mackerel, bluefish, etc.

What lure weight should I use in waters with low salt concentration?

Light lures (1/4-1/2 oz) and medium lures (/2-1 2/5 oz)

The Best Combos

The finest quality for its priceLew’s Mach Smash
For bait fishingUgly Stik GX2
For surf fishingDaiwa D-Wave
For the oceanZebco Bite Alert
The best spinning rods in the respective categories of $50/200/150/200  Ugly Stik GX2/13 Fishing – Code Black/ Abu Garcia Black Max & Max X/Daiwa D-Wave


You may have noticed that the positive and negative reviews often contradict each other. This is explained by a faulty assessment of the respective combos’ users. It is a good practice to pay attention to the advice of bloggers, salesmen, and experienced anglers.

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Fishing Blog - Reviews of fishing rods and tackle
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