best rod and reel combos

Best Rod and Reels Combos (Baitcaster and Spinning)

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Buying a rod and reel combo is an excellent option if you’re not sure what your best pairings are yourself.

There are some excellent combos to be had these days, with the big brands all having a wide choice of both baitcaster and spinning combos available.

Sometimes you will get a better deal when buying a combo rather than buying the rod and reel individually, and it will also help you get a great pairing of rod and reel if you aren’t sure what will work well together.

To help you get a better understanding of not only what is available, but also what the best options are, here is a look at the best baitcaster and spinning combo’s currently available.

Table of Contents

Best baitcaster combos

Finding the perfect combinations between baitcaster reel and rod is not easy, and can often result in a lot of expense and frustration while trying to find that ideal match.

To eliminate that uncertainty and potential loss of time and money, we have found some of the best baitcaster combos currently available on the market.

The below selection will give you great variety and will suit all budgets. But it must be said, that in all of the below choices you are getting incredible value and a lot of quality for your money.

So let’s get into it…

Shimano Curado K/Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris CarbonLite 2.0 Baitcast Rod and Reel Combo – (Best overall baitcaster combo)

What a great baitcaster combo this is to start with! The pairing of the Shimano Curado K baitcaster reel and the Johnny Morris CarbinLite 2.0 rod goes together like bread and butter.

The excellent Shimano Curado K baitcaster reel oozes Shimano quality and includes a lot of their high-end technologies that make this reel perform to the highest levels.

These technologies include their advanced X-Ship MicroModule gearing, which helps improve casting distance and accuracy, as well as improving the overall durability of the gears.

Shimano Curado K

Then there’s the SVS Infinity braking system which allows you to micro-tune the reel to match lure weight or wind conditions so you can get your casts right each time in all conditions.

Here’s a list of all the main features:

  • Micro Module Gear
  • X-Ship
  • Hagane Body
  • SVS Infinity
  • CI4+
  • Shimano Stable Spool Design (S3D)
  • Super Free Spool
  • HEG
  • Super Stopper
  • A-RB Bearings, Cross Carbon Drag

The rod that has been matched with the Shimano Curado K baitcaster reel is the Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris CarbonLite 2.0 baitcast rod. And what a great pairing this is!

This rod is really light and super-responsive. You can feel even the smallest bites as they happen, and it allows you to strike and set the hook with power.

As soon as you hold this rod you will appreciate the grip design. It sits really comfortably in your hand and gives you an amazing amount of control over the rod.

The balance of the rod and the Curado reel is also exceptional, it makes casting a breeze and minimizes fatigue significantly if you are throwing lures all day.

The rod is made from RT4 Graphite and has been developed for the avid tournament angler in mind.

It uses Carbon Coil Technology™, which is an advanced construction process that creates a double-helix configuration of materials for structural reinforcement and power.

Overall, the Shimano Curado K/Johnny Morris Pro Qualifier 2 combo is an incredible pairing, and a very worthy winner of the best baitcaster combo, even with all of the other excellent options.

Abu Garcia Revo SX/Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier 2 Baitcast Rod and Reel Combo – (runner up for best overall baitcaster combo)

This Abu Garcia Revo SX/Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier 2 baitcaster combo offers exceptional quality in both the rod and reel elements and is aimed at the serious angler who wants the best performance they can get from their rod and reel setup.

The 4th generation Abu Garcia Revo SX reel is one of the most sort-after baitcaster reels by bass anglers due to its power, durability and incredible performance capabilities.

Abu Garcia Revo SX

It incorporates Abu Garcia’s best technology, such as the improved DuraClutch™ design along with an upgraded Infini™ braking system.

Then the D2 Gear Design™ paired with a brass main gear helps in making this reel one of the most efficient and durable reels on the market.

To top it off, the Revo SX includes the excellent keyed Power Stack Carbon Matrix Drag System™.

BassPro shops have been really smart in pairing the top-draw Abu Garcia Revo SX reel with their excellent Pro Qualifier 2 rod, as they both compliment each other so well and work together in unison to provide a really impressive combination.

The Pro Qualifier 2 rod is light and super-sensitive. It is built using BassPro’s exclusive RT3™ graphite with Powerwall™ construction process to produce a strong blank that combines the power and sensitivity you need for improved hook-ups.

There is also a wide range of rod length and power available, starting at 6’ and all the way up to 7’6” in length. This ensures you have the optimal choice for the type of fishing you intend to do.

Overall, the Abu Garcia SX / Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier 2 is a combo that works so well together, and you are getting a lot of quality for your money with this one!

Lew’s Mach Pro Baitcast Combo – (Best baitcaster combo under $200)

If your budget is around the $200 mark, then this is an excellent option for you. In fact, you’ll even have enough change from your 200 bucks to buy one or two lures as well.

The Lew’s Mach Pro baitcasting combo is a brand match, meaning it uses both a Lew’s baitcaster reel and a Lew’s baitcaster rod.

The Mach Pro reel is made from a tough graphite frame and side-plates and is very light. The low-profile design means it sits really well in the hand and makes casting a very easy process.

The 10-bearing system used in the Mach Pro baitcaster reel provides the super-smooth experience and the bearings themselves are double-shielded steel ball bearings that are durable and provide the longevity and consistency you want in a reel.

The externally adjustable magnetic control system allows you to fine-tune the settings for improved casting in all conditions.

It is actually very easy to cast well with this reel, and the easy adjustments will ensure you minimize and birds-nest tangles.

Lews Mach Pro baitcaster combo

The matching Mach Pro rod is light and extremely sensitive so you can feel the bites as they happen. It is also a powerful rod that will stand up to the harder fighting fish and enable you to get the upper hand.

The rod is made with a 1-piece IM8 graphite blank, which gives it the power and sensitivity you need to improve hook-up rates and land those trophy fish.

The American Tackle microwave air guides fitted to the rod are durable and stand the abrasive nature of braided line running through them constantly.

The Winn Dri-Tac polymer split grips are very comfortable to hold and provide a solid grip in all weather conditions. You also have a pro-style hook keeper to keep your lure and hook safe when you are on the move.

Overall, I love this Mach Pro combo by Lew’s, and the value for money considering the quality of both rod and reel is exceptional.

Abu Garcia Shryock Baitcast Combo – (Best baitcaster combo under $100)

Only want to spend up to $100 on your new baitcaster combo? No problem, this is an excellent option for you.

The Abu Garcia Shyrock baitcaster combo matches the excellent Abu Garcia Revo X reel, with a custom Abu Garcia baitcaster rod.

The Revo X reel has earned its plaudits for its smooth casting ability and overall operation.

It is easy to adjust the settings so you can get your casting right in all conditions, and the retrieve on this reel is very efficient due to the oversized handle.

The custom Abu Garcia rod uses a 24-ton graphite blank and is a really well-balanced match with the Revo X reel.

Abu Garcia Shyyock baitcaster combo

It is a very versatile rod, and you will be able to cast a wide range of lures with it. It packs a lot of power, so when you hook into a large hard-fighting fish, don’t be afraid to lean back and put some hurt into it, the rod can handle it!

The split handles on this rod are comfortable and the Winn grips work well in wet and dry conditions. The EVA butt section ensures comfort, and overall, the rod is a solid mix of sensitive feel and power when you need it.

For around 100 bucks, this is a really good baitcaster combo that will serve its purpose well.

Sougayilang Fishing Baitcasting Combo – (best baitcaster combo for beginners)

If you are a beginner looking for a baitcaster outfit and don’t want to spend much just yet, then the Sougayilang Fishing Baitcasting Combo is one of the best options to get started with.

Not only are you getting a baitcaster rod and reel with this combo, you also get a range of lures, hooks, swivels, beads, fishing line, and a carrying bag as well, basically everything you need to get started fishing.

The Sougayilang baitcaster reel is fairly light and has a low-profile design so is comfortable to hold and cast with.

Sougayilang Fishing Baitcasting Combo

Learning to cast with a baitcaster reel is the hardest thing for a beginner to master, it takes a lot of practice and understanding how the settings of the reel work.

But the Sougayilang baitcaster reel makes life simple, and although you will still need to understand the concept of the braking system and gears, the learning curve is shorter.

The reel operates really smoothly for both casting and retrieving. It runs on 10 ball bearings (9+1) and is very light. It produces a lot of power, so when you hook into a decent fish you have the ability to take control with this rod and reel combination.

The rod in this Sougayilang baitcaster combo is a 7-foot, 4-piece rod made with carbon fiber that is light and strong.

The fact that it breaks down into 4 pieces means that it is ideal for traveling and it comes with a very nice travel bag that will easily fit into your luggage.

With all the extras you get with this combo, it is the ideal baitcaster combo for beginners and is a great way to learn how to fish.

Even if you are not a beginner, this combo will serve anyone well and makes a great option for those that want a rod and reel ideal for traveling with.

Best Spinning Combos

Now we’ll take a look at the best spinning combos currently available, and give you an idea of what you can get in varying price ranges.

Shimano Vanford/Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris CarbonLite 2.0 Spinning Rod and Reel Combo – (best overall spinning combo)

Sometimes you will hold a rod and reel in your hand, and something just doesn’t feel right. The balance might be a bit off, or they might just be a bit too heavy to make casting as effortless as it should be when lure fishing.

But this combo is the exact opposite. It feels right!

The balance of this rod and reel is perfect, the way it sits in your hand just gives you confidence with it right away.

The reel used in this combo is the excellent Shimano Vanford, which has been very well received since it came in to replace the old Stardic Ci4+.

shimano vanford combo

Packed full of Shimano’s best technology, the Vanford reel provides an exceptionally smooth operation and a powerful drag that will allow you to do battle with the harder fighting fish.

The reel is also extremely light, so flicking lures for hours at a time will not be a problem with this combo, as both rod and reel make for a very light and easy-to-handle pairing.

The Shimano Vanford reel has been paired with the excellent Johnny Morris CarbonLite 2.0 spinning rod in this combo, and as mentioned, the pairing is an inspired one.

This Johnny Morris spinning rod is also very light, with the Carbon Coil Technology™ double-helix reinforced RT4 Graphite providing a great amount of power, strength, and sensitivity.

The Winn grips on the rod are not only comfortable but provide substantial grip in all weather so you always have total control over the rod and reel.

The advanced Fuji FaZlite guides are extremely light and durable. No problems running braid line through these guides as they will hold true and keep their integrity.

The Vanford reel sits perfectly into the Skeletonized Air reel seat, and also provides extra sensitivity so you can feel even the lightest of touches on your lure.

Overall, this is a great spinning combo, where both components work together in harmony.

Silver Hook/Shimano ST4000XGFL Stradic FL 3pc Travel Combo – (best travel combo)

best spinning combos

If you are wanting a spinning combo that you can also pack away in your luggage and take with you on your travels, then this Silver Hook/Shimano ST4000XGFL Stradic FL 3pc travel combo is an excellent option that provides quality and convenience.

Let’s start with the reel in this combo. The Shimano Stradic FL spinning reel was released in 2019 as an upgrade and replacement for their old popular Stradic FK reel.

It’s fair to say that the Stradic FL has been very well received by the fishing community around the world, and with Shimano showcasing some of their advanced features and technology in this reel, it’s easy to see why.

The Stradic FL is such a smooth operator in every department. Casting ability is enhanced by the long-stroke spool, and the Hagane gearing ensures that the reel delivers power and durability while running as smoothly as it does.

Every aspect of this reel has been designed to improve performance, and Shimano has done an incredible job with this reel. It is also very light, so ideal for throwing lures around all day.

To make this combo work, the Stradic FL had to be paired with a quality spinning rod. The pairing with the Silver Hook travel spinning rod was a great idea and this combo works exceptionally well together.

The Silver Hook spinning rod was designed to be a travel rod, and as such it comes as a 3-piece rod so it can fit easily into your travel bag or luggage.

Don’t let the fact that this is a 3-piece rod lead you to think that it will lose any feel and power. It doesn’t! The rod is light, extra sensitive, and packed full of power so you can really lean back when fighting the bigger fish.

The balance of the Silver Hook rod and Shimano Stradic FL reel is just right. It makes casting almost effortless, and the cork handle grips on the rod make it very comfortable to handle.

You also get a carrying tube for this rod which makes it easier to travel with and provides protection for the rod while it does go with you on your travels.

Overall, this is a top-quality combo that offers great value for money.

This combo is also available with a Stradic FL 3000 reel

Plus, you can find this rod also paired with other reels, so also check out these combo’s too:

Abu Garcia MLF Spinning Combo – (best spinning combo under $100)

If your budget is around the $100-mark, then you will see a lot of options of cheap spinning combo’s, but many of them are cheap for a reason, and you really aren’t getting much quality with most.

But we found a really good spinning combo that you can purchase for under $100, with enough change to buy a few lures as well, and provides the quality and performance you would expect from a more expensive spinning combo.

Abu Garcia has a matching MLF (Major League Fishing) spinning reel and their MLF rod, so they were designed to be paired together and you can feel this when you start fishing with them.

The MLF spinning reel is built with a durable and strong graphite body and rotor and it runs really smoothly.

Abu Garcia MLF spinning combo

It uses Abu Garcia’s Rocket line management system and Slow Oscillation technology, which ensures the lay of the line is even and consistent on the spool, and improves casting ability.

The drag on the MLF reel is very effective and runs very smoothly too. You will be able to play fish effectively with this drag system.

The MLF spinning rod is in matching colors to the reel, and the balance between the two is excellent. The rod is fairly light and sits really well in your hand. The Winn Dri-Tac grips work well in all weather conditions, and ensure you have full control of the rod at all times.

The 24-ton graphite blank construction used on the MLF Abu spinning rod provides a powerful backbone to the rod, while also adding a lot of sensitivity to allow you to feel any knocks on your lures.

For the price, you are getting great value and quality with the Abu Garcia MLF spinning combo.

Penn Slammer III/Offshore Angler Ocean Master Boat Spinning Rod And Reel Combo – (best boat fishing spinning combo)

If big lure fishing from a boat is your game, then this following combo will give you all the quality and power you need to do battle with the big-boys of the sea.

The Penn Slammer 3/Offshore Angler Ocean Master boat spinning combo is an excellent pairing that complements each other.

Let’s start off with the Penn Slammer III reel, which has built up a reputation over the years for being a tough workhorse of a reel, and a quality that serious anglers look for when they go up against the harder fighting fish in the sea.

The Slammer III reel has a very smooth operation, which stems from the CNC Gear™ technology and the 6+1 stainless steel bearing system.

It is a very durable reel with an all-aluminum Full Metal Body, sideplate, and rotor. The main components are well protected, with the body, gearbox, and spool all sealed to IPX6 specifications.

You would expect a reel of the quality of the Penn Slammer 3 to have a decent drag system, and Penn has ensured that it has the best that they offer. The Slammer III uses Penn’s excellent Dura-Drag system that has phenolic-coated carbon-fiber washers, for smooth, consistent drag power.

To make this combo work as well as it does, you need to pair the excellent Penn Slammer 3 reel with an equally good rod. And the Offshore Angler Ocean Master boat spinning rod was an inspired choice.

This rod is a beast of a spinning rod and the type that you quickly gain confidence in from the first time you use it.

The power of the Offshore Angler Ocean Master rod starts from the 1-piece graphite composite blank, and then the graphite gimbal butt with EVA foam cap gives you the stability you need in a spinning rod.

The slick butt rear grip on the rod allows the rod to slide easily out of the rod holders, and the triangular EVA foam foregrip with X-wrap provides enhanced comfort and ultimate control once you hook into a big fish.

This combo delivers a lot of power and the quality performance you want when targeting the harder fighting fish of the sea.

KastKing Centron Spinning Combo – (best spinning combo for beginners)

If you are just starting out with your fishing, and want something that is inexpensive, easy to use yet still provides you with a decent quality rod and reel, then this KastKing Centron is the ideal spinning combo to suit your needs.

KastKing is a brand that has continued to develop its range of fishing equipment while keeping their prices very affordable.

They do provide some really good quality fishing gear, and this combo is a clear example of getting excellent value for your money, with a product that works extremely well.

The KastKing Centron spinning reel has a very smooth operation and is quite light due to the graphite frame and aluminum spool.

It has a triple washer drag system that provides the power and performance you want when fighting a fish.

The KastKing Centron spinning rod is made with a high modulus carbon fiber graphite Toray IM6 rod blank, and is a powerful rod that also provides a lot of sensitivity so you can feel and react to bites instantaneously.

The contoured EVA handles on the rod are very comfortable and provide excellent grip even when wet.

There are two versions of the rod, one has a split grip and is more suitable for lighter spinning, and the other has a full grip and is better for heavier duty fishing. Both rods work well in this combo.

Overall the KastKing Centron provides excellent value for money and is the ideal starting point for anyone looking to give fishing a go.

The above rod and reel combos provide you with a variety of options to suit varying budgets, but all provide excellent quality and value for money.

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