Best Salmon Rods For The Money: Finding a good salmon fishing rod is as tricky as catching one. So we have reviewed some of the top fishing rods on the market to find you the Best Salmon Rod for the Money.
If you are in a hurry: Okuma Celilo is the Best Salmon Rod For The Money.
- Stainless Steel Hooded Reel Seats
- Quality Grade Fore and Rear Cork Grips
- Aluminum Oxide Guide Inserts
Last update on 2023-09-26 / Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Here is our pick of the top salmon fishing rods.
Our Top 10 Picks
- Okuma Celilo Graphite Spinning Rod
- Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod
- Berrypro Salmon Spinning Rod
- Fenwicks HMX Salmon Fishing Rod
- Lamiglas X-11 Cork Fishing Rod
- St Croix Triumph Spinning Rod
- HLHB Salmon Spinning Fishing Rod
- Ugly Stik Bigwater Fishing Rod
- G. Loomis E6X Salmon Steelhead Rod
- Fenwick Eagle Casting Fishing Rod
The 10 Best Salmon Rods For The Money
Now, let us move to our in-depth hands-on reviews.
1. Okuma Celilo Graphite Spinning Rod
Okuma rods offer high-quality materials and workmanship at an affordable price. So I was really looking forward to testing out the Okuma Celilo Graphite Rod. It is a 9’6″ medium light rod with moderate action designed for salmon fishing. It can handle 6-12 lb line weight and 1/4-1/2 oz lure weight.
I took this rod to the Texas Gulf Coast for saltwater fishing in the Bay Area. I paired it with an Okuma Salina SA45 reel spooled with a 30lb braid. The rod is very lightweight for its length. Yet it has an incredible backbone that let me cast baits with a 1 oz sinker with ease. I ended up catching quite a few speckled trout and a couple of big redfish. Overall the rod performed very well.
I feel very confident recommending the Okuma Celilo Graphite Rod for salmon fishing. It is an affordable rod with a powerful backbone that gets the job done even against larger fish.
Now I’m not the only one who’s impressed with this rod. It is a hit with anglers praising the build quality and performance. Just check online, and you will find many beginners as well as experienced anglers raving about it. Some even claim that this is the perfect salmon stick!
- High-quality materials and workmanship.
- Lightweight rod with a powerful backbone.
- Sensitive graphite construction.
- Durable stainless steel guide frames.
- Premium fore and rear grips on all models.
- Not as sensitive as some other salmon rods.
2. Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod
Ugly Stik has given us some of the top-rated fishing rods. This time, they have brought out the best salmon and steelhead fishing rod.
I took the Ugly Stik Elite out to the Columbia River in Washington State for salmon fishing. The medium power fast action rod seems ideal for targeting salmon and steelhead. I paired it with the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ FB spinning reel and 20 lb braided line. For bait, I used cured roe and herring.
The 8’6″ rod lets me throw long and accurate casts. It feels sensitive enough to detect even the lightest bites. Yet it packs the power to pressure the fish when it is time to reel them in. Throughout the day, I landed several Chinook salmon, with one weighing even 20 lbs. The rod handled all these fish with ease.
It is definitely a step up compared to my older Ugly Stick rods. The use of quality components makes the rod durable. The added graphite makes the rod lightweight and tough.
Yet the price is very affordable for the build quality. It may be the Best Salmon Rod for the Money out there. Overall, I am happy to recommend this rod to any angler looking for a versatile salmon fishing rod.
- Ideal weight and action for salmon and steelhead fishing.
- Durable one-piece stainless steel guides.
- Conventional reel seats with cushioned hoods.
- Comfortable and easy to use even for beginners.
- Not as beefy as some anglers prefer.
- Length may not be ideal for all fishing locations.
3. Berrypro Salmon Spinning Rod
Berrypro Knight’s Sword is a top-rated salmon fishing rod. It offers excellent performance along with durability. The quality of construction is way superior to other rods in this price range.
I tried the 9’6″ rod on a silver salmon fishing trip to Valdez, Alaska. I matched it with an Okuma Trio 40S high-speed reel and 20 lb braided line. Despite its lightweight, the rod had enough backbone to handle 10-14 lb silver salmon. My wife also used the rod for catching river silvers with great results.
It exceeded my expectations and I look forward to using it more often in the salmon-rich waters of Alaska. It is a great pick for bank fishing, float fishing, and jig fishing. So, give Berrypro a try for your next salmon fishing trip. But don’t forget to pair it with a quality reel to get the best out of it.
The affordable price makes it a great choice for anglers of all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, it will help you get the results. Just double-check the model while ordering so that you get the right size and action for your needs.
- Sleek and strong IM8 X-Carbon construction.
- Lightweight, sensitive, and fast action for salmon fishing.
- Stainless steel guides with ceramic rings for smoothness.
- High-grade cork handle for a comfortable experience.
- The reel seat lock is made of plastic.
- Some users find the rod handle too slim.
4. Fenwicks HMX Salmon Spinning Fishing Rod
If you’re looking for a brand that makes excellent quality fishing gear then Fenwick is a good fit for you. Fenwick HMX is a solid rod for salmon and steelhead fishing.
It comes in sizes from 8’6″ to 12’6″. You can pick a rod as per your target fishing location. I tested the 9’6″ medium power rod for this review. It is a 2-piece rod that comes with moderate fast action, an 8-15 lb line rating, and a 3/8-1 oz lure rating.
I matched it with an Okuma Ceymar 40 reel and a 15 lb line with a 12 lb leader for salmon fishing in the northern Michigan area. The tip provides an excellent feel, while the strong backbone lets you control the fish. During the trip, I landed over 10 king salmon with this rod.
Fenwick HMX is a versatile rod that you can use with different techniques. I used it for bobber dogging, side drifting, or throwing spoons. I recommend it to all salmon fishing enthusiasts.
Whether you are a beginner or a pro, Fenwick HMX can help you catch some amazing salmon. The 5-limited warranty gives you peace of mind that the rod is backed by a trusted brand.
- This rod comes with a notable amount of strength and heft.
- It is a highly durable and sustainable rod.
- It can carry weight easily and won’t hurt your arm.
- This rod is great for its price range.
- It works really well with the Swimbaits of your choice.
- The rod tip might break in the absence of proper care and maintenance.
5. Lamiglas X-11 Cork Fishing Rod
I recently had the chance to go salmon fishing with the Lamiglas X-11 Cork Fishing Rod. I paired it with a Lew’s TP1S reel and an 8 lb test. The rod’s fast action and sensitivity made it a joy to use.
The 24-ton carbon graphite construction gave me the confidence to target even bigger fish. The stainless steel chrome guides allow the line to flow smoothly. I was able to cast with ease and even caught a 10 lb salmon on the trip.
The cork handle makes the rod comfortable to use even for longer periods. The traditional reel seat lock lets you lock down the reel without spinning the upper handle. So you can use the upper handle for extra leverage while fighting fish without worrying about it spinning.
This is one of Lamiglas’ cheapest models, yet it doesn’t lack in quality. I feel it is as good as any rod which is 3x-4x the price.
Lamiglas X-11 Salmon & Steelhead Fishing Rod is a great choice if you are looking for a versatile rod. It is a very durable, sensitive, and reliable rod that comes for an affordable price. It is a great rod for developing or testing your skills.
- 24-ton graphite construction for strength and sensitivity.
- Stainless steel chrome guides for smooth casting.
- Gloss Merlot finish for an attractive appearance.
- Affordable compared to many other high-end rods.
- 1-year warranty against manufacturing defects.
- Not suitable for landing large salmon in strong currents.
- May not handle heavy lines or bigger lures.
6. St Croix Triumph Spinning Rod
I have bought many St. Croix rods over the last 20 years. Although they are a bit more expensive to buy, they are an excellent investment over time. So I was excited to try out the St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod.
I took the 8’6″ medium-heavy fast-action rod to Pacific Northwest for some salmon and trout fishing. It can handle line weights between 8-17 lb and lure weights from 3/8-1 oz. I paired it with a Shimano Nasci 5000 XG FB spinning reel and braid with a 15 lb leader for throwing 1/2-3/4 oz spinners.
The rod loaded well when casting lures. The tip may be a bit too soft for some anglers, but it worked great for me. On the first day, I was able to catch a few rainbows, a couple of cutthroats, some silver salmon, and a 10 lb chinook.
Although I think I should have picked up the longer 9′ light option, overall I am still very happy with this rod. The SCII carbon construction makes it strong, powerful, and sensitive. It seems durable and held up well during the trip.
Plus, it is well-balanced, comfortable, and easy to use. It is essentially all you need for a successful steelhead and salmon fishing trip. With a 5-year warranty, you can rest assured that you’re picking the right option.
- Excellent handling and balance.
- Strong enough to handle even big fish.
- The soft tip loads nicely when casting.
- The cork handle is easy to grip even when wet.
- 5-year warranty backed by St. Croix Service.
- Initially a bit more expensive than other rods.
- Maybe a bit too soft for drift fishing.
7. HLHB Salmon Spinning Fishing Rod
Tica HLHB is one of the top-rated salmon fishing rods on the market. It comes in different sizes, action, and power options. Moreover, it offers both casting and spinning styles. You can select the right option as per your specific requirements.
I tested the 9’6” medium light, 2-piece spinning rod with moderate fast action. You can use it with line weights between 6-15 lb and lure weights between 1/4-3/4 oz. So I paired it with a Dawia BG 3500 reel and a 14 lb test line and took it for an Alaskan salmon fishing trip.
Some anglers use this same setup with great success for hybrid bass fishing. So I believed it will work for salmon fishing as well. It has a lot of backbone for bank fishing with heavier spoons and spinners. I caught a 20 lb King Salmon on this rod!
The medium light action is less fatiguing for repetitive casting. Still, some may find this rod a little stiff. But once you pair it with a good spinning reel, the rod’s action prevents too much strain on the line.
I am happy to recommend Tica HLHB if you are looking for a high-quality salmon fishing rod. Both beginners and experienced anglers will find it easy and comfortable to use.
- High-modulus TC2 graphite construction.
- Light and sensitive blank with high strength.
- Comfortable and durable cork handle.
- FUJI Hardloy ring guides for smooth line flow.
- Reliable and high-performing fishing rod.
- Stiffer compared to other medium-light rods.
- May require some time to get used to.
8. Ugly Stik Bigwater Fishing Rod
I have used Ugly Stik Bigwater quite a few times over the past year but you won’t hear me complaining. It is an advanced rod that is better than most other rods out there.
So I wanted to try it out for salmon fishing as well. So I picked the 7-feet medium-light rod for our review. It comes with a 12-20 lb line rating and a 1/2-2 oz lure rating. I paired it with the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 7000 reel for throwing lures and baitfish.
The rod and reel combination worked together seamlessly making it easy for me to cast and retrieve my line. I cast a variety of baits and lures and ended up catching quite a few salmon ranging from 10 to 20 pounds. The rod had enough backbone to handle the fish and the sensitivity to detect even slight nibbles.
The Ugly Tech construction uses a combination of graphite and fiberglass to make the rod strong yet sensitive. The lightweight EVA grips make sure that your hold doesn’t loosen up or slip.
Ugly Stik Bigwater is a durable, sensitive, and versatile fishing rod. It is a great pick for salmon fishing but you can use it to catch all kinds of fish. The 7-year warranty that comes with this rod confirms its quality.
- Ugly Tech construction for durability.
- Ugly Tuff Guides for smooth line handling
- Comfortable EVA grips for extended use.
- 7-Year warranty for peace of mind.
- Suitable for anglers of all skill levels.
- The one-piece design is not suitable for traveling.
- May not perform well with heavy baits.
9. G. Loomis E6X Salmon Steelhead Rod
G. Loomis operates on the unofficial motto of offering quality with high-tech features. The G. Loomis E6X pairs these high-tech features with ease of use. It walks on a thin line that conjoins great execution and high quality.
This is a one-piece, heavy, sleek, and fast-action rod. Designed to catch tiny as well as giant fishes, it is the only rod that comes with a custom rolling table.
The multi-taper construction ensures more material on specific points that are prone to break. It is a preventive measure to ensure that the rod doesn’t break.
This is not all, the design and the finish for this rod are set to attract compliments. Moreover, the manufacturer offers a limited lifetime warranty for the rod.
G. Loomis E6X is a great choice if you want to go for a versatile rod. But there are many excellent features apart from versatility. The latest state-of-the-art tech makes this one of the top rods for salmon fishing. It will make your salmon fishing trip extraordinary.
- This rod promises effective quality and an efficient fishing mechanism.
- Its custom rolling table makes the handling of the rod much easier.
- It’s a long-lasting and reliable option for anglers.
- Some users report that this rod is less sensitive than other rods.
10. Fenwick Eagle Casting Fishing Rod
Everyone who knows me knows that I will not shut up once I start talking about Fenwick. It is a major brand that makes top-quality rods at an affordable price.
Fenwick Eagle is strong and durable, unlike most lightweight fishing rods. The 24-Ton graphite used in construction balances the weight with strength. So the performance is way more powerful than what you’d get from a similar rod.
I tested the 8’6 medium rod for fishing the Kenai River. I caught quite a few small steelheads, sockeyes, and a couple of King Salmon weighing way up to 15 lbs. The rod managed all the fish well. It was easy to hold, even when cold and rainy, thanks to the premium quality cork handle.
The extremely affordable price makes it a great pick for everyone. Its build quality, sensitivity, and strength make it one of the top salmon fishing rods out there.
The graphite rod blank construction makes the rod lightweight. Stainless steel guide frames and aluminum oxide guide inserts help reduce line friction. If you are a beginner, you can pick this rod to develop your technique.
- Very lightweight and super sensitive.
- Excellent action for salmon fishing.
- Stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts.
- 5-year limited warranty.
- Using heavier lines may break the rod.
- Some users have reported shipping issues.
What Makes a Good Salmon Fishing Rod
We have reviewed some of the best salmon fishing rods for the money. While each of them is excellent, you need the one that will work for you.
So to help you pick the right rod, we have included an intensive buying guide. We hope it will help you pick a rod as per your specific needs.
If you wish to make long-distance casts, you must go for longer lengths of fishing rods. Similarly, shorter fishing rods work well for short casting distances.
The length of the rod also depends on the type of lure you want to use. A lighter lure will work well with a short fishing rod while bigger and heavier lures need longer rods.
Fishing rods ranging between seven to nine feet in length work best for salmon fishing. Know that the length of the rod is also influenced by the location you choose to fish at.
The action of a fishing rod describes where it bends when a fish is weighing at one end. Fast-action rods bend only at the tip while slow-action rods tend to bend close to the base of the rod.
Pick a medium-action rod when fishing for salmon as it allows for better control and accuracy. They are the ideal choice for salmon fishing.
The power of the fishing rod refers to its strength and the amount of pressure it can handle. A medium to heavy power rod combined with a high test line is ideal for salmon fishing. It will allow you to handle even big salmon and provide enough backbone to tire out the fish.
Types of Salmon Fishing Rods
There are several types of rods that you can use for salmon fishing. Each type of rod is ideal for a specific kind of fishing.
Spinning Rods. You can use spinning rods for catching big salmon that put up a fight. If you are a beginner, then go for a spinning rod as it is easier to use as compared to other rods. You can use these rods with various lures and baits in both freshwater and saltwater.
Fly Fishing Rods. You can use fly fishing rods to catch salmon in a river, pond, or creek. 9-10 feet long fly rods work well for catching big salmon in moving water. A long fly rod is ideal for greater casting distance and accuracy.
Baitcasting Rods. You can use baitcasting rods to cast lures or bait with great accuracy. They are ideal for casting in water with medium to heavy cover. You can use these rods in both freshwater and saltwater. But baitcasting rods are a bit harder to use as compared to spinning rods.
Trolling Rods. You can use trolling rods to drag the line behind your boat. These rods come with a lot of backbone to handle the constant stress. A 12-15 feet long rod is ideal for keeping the line and hook in the right position.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Choose a Salmon Fishing Rod?
Some of the key points you need to consider when choosing a salmon fishing rod:
- The type of fishing you will be doing e.g. fly fishing, trolling, casting.
- The size and strength of the fish you are targeting.
- The material of the rod e.g. graphite, fiberglass, composite.
- The action of the rod e.g. fast, medium, slow.
- Power of the rod e.g. light, medium, heavy.
If you are a beginner, it may be a good idea to consult with a fishing expert or someone at your local tackle shop. You can also ask us via the comments section. We will be happy to answer your queries.
What Size Rod and Reel for Salmon Fishing?
The size of the rod and reel for salmon fishing will depend on the type of fishing you will be doing.
If you are fly fishing for salmon, a 9-10 foot rod and a 9-11 weight reel will be ideal. If you are trolling for salmon, you will need a 12-15 feet medium-fast action rod with a large reel to hold more line.
If you are baitcasting for salmon, then go for a shorter 7-8 feet medium-action rod with a smaller reel. You can check out the top salmon baitcaster reel if you need help picking a new reel for your salmon fishing trip.
What Weight Rod Do You Need for Salmon?
The weight of the rod refers to the line weight it can handle. If you are fly fishing for salmon, pick a rod with a line weight of 9-11. If you are trolling or casting for salmon, then pick a rod with a line weight of 10-15.
It is common knowledge that catching a salmon is no child’s play. You need experience and skills to catch fish as cunning as salmon. But one must acknowledge the difficulty encountered in finding the right equipment.
So we have reviewed some of the top rods out there to find you the Best Salmon Fishing Rod. All the rods we reviewed are excellent. You’d definitely land the salmon with either one of these.
There’s a rod great in performance, one is more reliable and durable, another has outstanding build quality, and yet another is great for beginners. The right one for you is the one that matches your needs.
If you have any queries about our reviews or testing approach, then feel free to send us your questions. We are happy to answer any queries that we get.
We hope you like our pick of the Best Salmon Rods For The Money. Feel free to contact us if you need more help picking the right rod. We will be happy to guide you.