Fishing Rods: Ratings of Sources
Total of 15 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
Best New Rods
by Editors of Outdoor Life Magazine
Our AssessmentOutdoor Life Magazine offers its picks for best overall fishing rod and best value. For each rod tested, editors cast it hundreds of times and rate each based on balance, ergonomics, accuracy and craftsmanship. The editors' descriptions of their selections are incredibly brief, however, and they don't list other fishing rods that were tested. The editors rank the Shakespeare Agility as the best value and the G. Loomis Bronzeback as their top choice overall.
by Editors of Outdoor Life Magazine
Our AssessmentWhile more out-of-date, this article covers a wider range of rods for a variety of fishermen. The editors don't rank the rods listed, but provide brief descriptions for each that include overall impressions and recommendations for what situations and which fish the rod is best for. Unfortunately, many of the models tested are no longer manufactured.
by Editors of TackleTour.com
Our AssessmentTackleTour.com is the place to go for a comprehensive, in-depth analysis of fishing tackle. Its editors are all passionate fishermen and come from a variety of backgrounds in different styles of the sport. The site goes into enormous detail for each fishing rod tested, including first impressions of reviewers, field tests, charts comparing specs and features for similar rods and an overall rating. Editors also give out awards for best value and top picks. Most of the rods reviewed are higher-end luxury fishing rods, so popular models such as the Ugly Stik aren't reviewed. So far, the editors have given out two awards for 2008, naming the Okuma Guide Select and the Shimano Cumara as best values. The G. Loomis Bronzeback was an Editor's Choice in 2007. The site also contains a helpful article on how to buy fishing rods.
2007 Fishing Gear Buyer's Guide: Spinning Gear
by John Merwin
Our AssessmentJohn Merwin, Field and Stream Magazine's fishing editor, names his top picks for a variety of products in hunting and fishing, including spinning rods, though he doesn't provide much information beyond that. This article doesn't explain how he tested the rods or which other rods were tested, and the descriptions for the selected fishing rods are brief with only a few details. The 2007 spinning rod awards go to the Berkley Lightning Rod and the Shimano Tiralejo. The March 2008 issue gives its 2008 Best of the Best award for spinning rods to the Shimano Cumara.
by James Beck and Robert Belloni
Our AssessmentFishing buddies James Beck and Rob Belloni offer their opinions on 13 different swimbait rods. For each fishing rod, they list pros, cons and an overview of the rod's specs. Rods are not ranked or given an overall rating, and many models reviewed are not widely available. Also, Beck and Belloni are reviewing for a specific type of fishing (swimbait), so not all of their views on the rods can be applied generally. (Swimbait is a type of plastic lure designed to imitate the action of a bait fish.) There is a section for reader comments, though few readers seem to use it.
2007 Christmas Fishing Guide
by Branson Werner
Our AssessmentThis new site promises to provide in-depth reviews of all kinds of fishing tackle, including rods. Branson Werner offers explanations of how he goes about selecting rods to review and his criteria for rating them. Since the site is new, it doesn't contain many rod reviews yet, but Werner promises some are forthcoming. He does name his top picks for 2007, which include the G. Loomis GLX and the Shimano Cumara, though he only accompanies them with short descriptions, lacking in detail.
Consider one of these best Fishing Rods
by Editors of MyFishing-Guide.com
Our AssessmentMy Fishing-Guide is a website whose goal is to help readers get started in fishing. The editors post several short but helpful articles on choosing a fishing rod. They call the Shakespeare Ugly Stik one of the best. The St.Croix Triumph series is highly regarded and best suited for beginners. The Berkley Cherrywood and the Fenwick Eagle are also recommended for beginners. Several other articles go into slightly more detail about these rods, and clicking on the Fishing Rods link leads to a series of reviews of rods from 16 different companies.
The Hottest New Rods
by Keith Sutton
Our AssessmentKeith Sutton, writing in Game & Fish Magazine, describes the latest new fishing rods from eleven major manufacturers including Shimano, Okuma, G. Loomis and Berkley. In general, upcoming rods will be lighter and more durable, and more rods will be technique-specific for buyers who want rods for their favorite fishing tactics. Sutton goes into detail about the latest developments from each manufacturer, but he doesn't rank any of the new rods.
by Contributors to Cabelas.com
by Contributors to BassPro.com
Our AssessmentBass Pro Shops sell some spinning rods under its own name, but also carries a wide selection of spinning rods from many manufacturers, with user reviews for many of them. The Shakespeare Ugly Stik receives a few dozen very positive reviews. The Berkley Lightning Rod has about half as many. Users write comments and rate the rods on a 5-star scale. The website also has a section called "Customer Top-Rated Fishing Gear 4 Stars or More," but this looks more like a section of special sale offers. Users have reviewed many more 4-star items than are shown in this section.
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentAmazon.com allows readers to post comments on spinning rods. Comments are pretty sparse, though it's worth a look before you buy.
by Contributors to Hunting and Fishing Gear Review
Our AssessmentThis website, founded by James Shiperly, features a collection of user reviews for various types of hunting and fishing equipment, including spinning rods. The reviews here tend to be a bit longer and more in-depth than at other user-review sites, partly because Hunting and Fishing Gear Review provides a template that includes sections for pros, cons and a general summary. The vast majority of users comment on the Shakespeare Ugly Stik, though G. Loomis and St. Croix receive some attention as well. Reviewers also rate the rods on a scale of one to five stars.
Readers' Favorite Fishing Gear: The Ugly Stik Tops the List
by Peter B. Mathiesen
Our AssessmentThis blog, powered by Field & Stream magazine, details Peter Mathiesen's opinions on hunting and fishing gear ranging from rain jackets to duck blinds. He occasionally comments on fishing rods and has readers vote on their favorites. The Shakespeare Ugly Stik continually wins these surveys.
Fishing Product Reviews: Rods and Reels
by Editors of About.com
Our AssessmentThis landing page has links to all the reviews for fishing rods at About.com, including reviews for rods from Shakespeare and G. Loomis. (Note that ConsumerSearch and About.com are owned by the same company, but are not affiliated editorially.)
Rod Buyer's Guide
by Arvin "Pescador" Reyes
Our AssessmentTackle Thief is a website devoted to finding deals and bargains for fishing tackle. In this very detailed buyer's guide, "Pescador" outlines and answers many good questions to help readers narrow down exactly what kind of fishing they plan to do and which kind of rod they will need. He also explains terminology for rods, and provides a graph demonstrating different types of action for rods. This website also features a forum for the discussion of fishing tackle, but no reviews or test results.