Are Fishing Rods Expensive?

There are tons of fishing rods out there, and they all have different features. So it makes sense that those fishing rods would vary in price. While some fishing rods are affordable, others can be quite pricey.

Fishing rods can be expensive, especially if they have a lot of features or include a lot of accessories along with the rod. In some cases, buying an expensive fishing rod is worth it, though most people will have success with more affordable options.

If you want to up your fishing game, you may be tempted to buy the most expensive fishing rod you can find. However, there’s more to catching fish than using high-priced equipment. With some patience and some fishing skills, you can get a good catch with a more affordable fishing rod.

The Price of Fishing Rods

Fishing rods can come in all shapes and sizes, and they come at all price points, too. Different types of fishing rods can cost more than others, depending on the type of fishing you’re doing. Some fishing rods are affordable and very budget-friendly, while others cost a little more.

Of course, the price is one of the many factors involved in choosing the right fishing rod. However, it can play an important role for beginners and people with years of fishing experience. If you need a more expensive rod, buying a cheaper version may not get you the features or results you want.

On the other hand, going all out on your first fishing rod might be overwhelming. As a beginner, it’s better to stick with something simple, which is usually also cheaper. Still, you want to choose a good quality fishing rod, or else it won’t matter how much you spent.

If you want to go freshwater fishing, it’s important to learn about the prices of the different rods that work well for freshwater. From casting to spinning rods, the right type is just as important as the overall price. If you want to learn more about the different types of freshwater fishing rods, click here.

Price of Casting Fishing Rods

Casting fishing rods are a popular choice for freshwater fishing. They come in two different types, which are bait-casting and closed-spin casting rods. Bait-casting rods are not for beginners, and they should be matched with bait-casting reels.

Similarly, spincast rods and reels should be used together to get the best cast. Spincast rods might be slightly better for beginners when compared to bait-casting. And as you might expect, both types of rods have their own unique price points.

  • Bait-casting rods can cost anywhere from about $30 to upwards of $100. The price can vary due to the length of the rod, materials used, and other features.
  • Spincast rods sit at a similar price point to bait-casting rods, though they are slightly cheaper. These rods cost about $20 to $50. However, there are a few outliers that cost well over $100.

Both types of rod typically use graphite or fiberglass as the main material. They usually have a cork or foam handle, and the shortest rods are about 5 feet long. Meanwhile, the longest rods are 8.5 feet.

Both types of rods have guide eyes to help thread the line through. The number of eyes depends, and it can be between five and eight, with longer rods usually having more than shorter rods.

Price of Spinning Fishing Rods

If you’re new to freshwater fishing, you should familiarize yourself with the price of spinning fishing rods. These rods are somewhat easier to use than casting rods, so they’re a great choice for beginners and amateurs. Unlike casting rods, these rods typically place the reel on the underside, which can help make them easier to use.

Spinning fishing rods also vary in length, and they can be as short as 5 feet or as long as 8.5 feet. They also have guides, like casting rods, to help guide fishing line down the rod. These rods have multiple guides, and the exact number can vary from five to eight.

Because of these factors, the cost of spinning fishing rods can and does vary. You can find cheaper spinning rods for under $30. However, you can also spend close to or even exceed $100 on some spinning rods.

These rods are typically made of graphite or fiberglass, and they usually have a cork or foam handle. The choice of materials and craftsmanship can affect the price of the rod. Shorter spinning rods are a good choice for freshwater fishing, both for their price and their ease of use.

Price of Ice Fishing Rods

If you want to experience a new kind of fishing, try ice fishing. Ice fishing is done in colder climates, and it’s a great way to expand your skills and catch new types of fish. Still, they do come at a price. The good news is that there are tons of ice fishing rods out there, so you can probably find one that fits your budget.

Ice fishing rods can run anywhere from under $20 to about $60. The reason they’re cheaper on average than other types of rods probably has to do with their size. Ice fishing rods are only about two to three feet long.

They have fewer guide eyes than other fishing rods, and they aren’t as long because you don’t usually have much space when ice fishing. The smaller size can be good for your wallet, too.

Of course, like other types of fishing rods, the range in price can affect the overall quality of different ice fishing rods. Some cheaper rods will be more basic and more suited for beginners. On the other hand, spending a bit more on a rod might yield better results over the long run.

Price of Telescoping Fishing Rods

Another type of fishing rod that can get expensive is the telescoping fishing rod. If you don’t have a ton of space to store your fishing rods when not in use, a telescoping rod is a good choice. These rods are also good if you want a really long rod since you can expand them and easily collapse them.

Telescoping rods use similar materials to traditional rods, like graphite and fiberglass. In this case, the materials are used so that the different pieces can fit into each other. These rods can be as long as 20 or 30 feet when extended, and they can be as short as a foot when collapsed.

Surprisingly, these rods aren’t that much more expensive than traditional fishing rods. You can find a basic telescoping rod for about $20. If you want a longer rod, you can expect to spend closer to $75.

Now, with a telescoping rod, you need to consider the strength of the rod. While you may find a rod for cheap, it can be worth spending a bit more to get a rod with more stable connections between pieces.

Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Fishing Rods

When choosing the right fishing rod, you want one that you can use without much hassle. You also want a rod that will stand up to the strongest bites. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that expensive rods are always better.

  • Different materials are used for cheap versus expensive fishing rods. The more expensive rod will probably have higher quality materials.
  • Longer fishing rods will also have more materials involved. An eight-foot rod will require three more feet of materials than a five-foot rod.
  • The materials used can affect the weight distribution, which might affect the usability of the rod.
  • Some more expensive rods might have some handmade parts, while cheaper rods are almost always machine-made. Handmade parts can be useful, but shoddy workmanship will mean an expensive, over-priced rod.

If you’re experienced with fishing, it can be worth it to upgrade to something more expensive. However, beginners probably won’t see much benefit from using an expensive rod when compared to a cheaper option.

Before you choose a rod based on the price alone, consider the different parts of the fishing rod. Think about how the materials and size can affect usability and consider what you need or want in a rod. 

Can You Feel the Difference?

With many items at varying price points, it can be easy to spot the difference between the cheap and the not-so-cheap. Fishing rods are no exception to this rule, though it may be harder to find the differences than you might think.

It can be worth giving different rods in your collection a blind test. Have someone cover the defining features, like brand labels. Then, you can test each fishing rod for things like weight, size, and overall feel.

While some pros might be able to tell the difference, most of us probably can’t. Of course, more expensive rods tend to be better quality, but that isn’t always the case. So if possible, try out multiple fishing rods, and focus on how they feel in your hands rather than the price tag.

The feeling of a fishing rod is important, but it’s not always a signifier of the cost. If you can’t feel a rod before buying it, consider all the factors in your decision. You can learn more about the feel of cheap and expensive rods here.

Are Expensive Fishing Rods Worth It?

When comparing fishing rods, you want to choose one that has the features you need. Whether you want a lightweight rod or one with a bit of heft, there’s a rod for everyone. Because of some features and materials, some fishing rods can cost hundreds of dollars.

And if you’re shopping for a new fishing rod, you’re probably wondering if it’s worth the extra splurge. After all, you’re probably going to use your new rod a lot, and you want to make sure it’s a good buy.

Unless you’re a beginner, you probably want to avoid the cheapest of all fishing rods. These rods won’t have many features, and most likely, they use cheap materials and manufacturing processes. Even beginners should pay a little extra for a good rod, even though they may not need the fanciest model on the market.

A more expensive fishing rod isn’t always better, but it can be worth it in some cases. If you want to know more about how more expensive rods can be worth it, check out this article.

Consider How You’ll Use It

Before you write off an expensive rod in favor of a cheaper alternative, think about how you plan to use the fishing rod. Of course, there are different types of rods to consider. However, you also have to think about how you’ll use a fishing rod in general.

  • The first thing to consider when deciding if a more expensive fishing rod is worth it is how often you plan to use it. If you make regular fishing trips, a more expensive rod is probably worth the cost, while occasional hobbyists may not need to splurge.
  • You should also think about the length of your fishing trips. For longer trips, you’ll want a fishing rod that’s more durable and can handle more use without needing a break.
  • Another thing to consider is the precision of a fishing rod. Expensive rods tend to be more sensitive and precise than cheaper ones.
  • Next, look at the length of the rod. A longer rod works better if you are angling for smaller fish, for example.  Longer rods are usually more expensive, but that added length can be very important.
  • You should also consider if anyone else might use the rod. Think about your fishing experience and that of anyone else who will use the rod regularly. Choose a rod that will fit the needs of anyone who might need to fish with it.

There are tons of other things to think about when considering how you will use a fishing rod. Of course, you can’t always plan for certain situations. You might end up catching a fish you didn’t expect, or a friend might have invited you to a new fishing spot with little notice.

The point of getting a fishing rod isn’t necessarily to have the perfect rod for every potential fishing trip. Instead, focus on how you think you will use it, and you can always choose a new rod if you find you need something different.

Comparing Features

Aside from considering how you plan to use a fishing rod, you should compare the features. If you find two identical rods, you probably want to choose the more affordable one. Because in that case, the higher price is not worth it.

But in most cases, there will be slight differences between multiple fishing rods. If you are trying to decide between multiple fishing rods, regardless of their price, you should look at the features. Measure the rods to see how long they all are, and determine which is the best length for you.

You should also compare the weight of two fishing rods. If you want something lighter, there’s no reason to choose a heavier rod, even if it is budget-friendly. The reverse is true, too, if you need a heavier rod, don’t skimp and choose the cheaper one.

Best Rods on a Budget

Of course, there may come a time when spending more on a good fishing rod is worth it. But there might also be a time when you need a new rod at a good price. Whether you’re new to fishing or your old rod broke, consider some budget-friendly freshwater fishing rods.

  • The Ugly Stik Casting Rod (click to see price on Amazon) is durable and lightweight. It uses a combination of graphite and fiberglass to offer an almost indestructible blank. A clear tip makes the rod responsive and strong, and the grip is comfortable.
  • For ice fishing, try the Shakespeare Ugly Stik Ice Fishing Rod (link to Amazon). It is lightweight and short enough for ice fishing, but it still has the strength and design you would expect from a rod.
  • The KastKing Fishing Rod (see on Amazon) is a great spinning rod on a budget. It comes in different sizes and weights, so you can choose the best option for your needs. All of the options have a comfortable handle and are durable.
  • Consider the PLUSINNO Telescopic Fishing Rod (Amazon link) if you need something that can fold up. This rod comes in different options that extend 5.91 feet to 8.86 feet. It’s lightweight and durable, and it features a comfortable grip.

If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, you can still get a good quality fishing rod. While there are some bad options out there, you don’t have to buy an expensive fishing rod if you don’t want to. Just make sure you choose a durable rod with any features you need or want.

Final Thoughts

Fishing rods can get expensive, so you have to be realistic when choosing the right rod for you. From various sizes to different types, there’s no single best fishing rod. The good news is that you can get a good rod on a budget.

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