9 Best Rod & Reel Combos For Beginners Or Those Just Starting To Fish

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  • Rod and reel combos are a great entry point into fishing.
  • Find the best combo choices to match your budget!
  • Find out which starter rod and reel combo is the best choice before you buy 

Are you planning to start fishing and looking to buy an affordable rod and reel combo for yourself or your kids? Combo sets are a great way to start fishing or introduce family and friends without spending a fortune!

We are here to help you! As avid fishermen, we know that choosing a rod and reel combo is somewhat daunting as there are many options.

Without further ado, let us get started!

What are the Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combos for All Budgets?

If you are looking for the best overall product with high quality and great features, look no further than the  Zebco 33 Spincast Reel and 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo. If your preference is a budget-friendly option without compromising on quality, then the Daiwa DSK25-B/F662M-10C D-Shock Freshwater Spinning Combo will be the answer. 

If you are searching for a reel and rod combo for younger kids that is easy to use, then the Plusinno Kids Fishing Pole will be a great option. 

We have narrowed down the vast choices available to nine excellent options for you below, which are the best fishing rod and reel combos for the price as well as usability. Moreover, we’ve listed their pros and cons so that you can make a better, well-informed choice.

  1. Zebco 33 Spincast Reel and 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo – My Best Overall Pick!
  2. Daiwa DSK25-B/F662M-10C D-Shock Freshwater Spinning Combo – My Best Budget Pick!
  3. Quantum Throttle II Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo – My Best Quality Pick!
  4. Lew’s American Hero WeGo 2 Speed Spin Combo
  5. Plusinno Kids Fishing Pole – My Best Pick for Kids!
  6. KastKing Crixus Spinning Combo
  7. Plusinno Telescopic Rod and Reel Combo
  8. Sougayilang Telescopic Rod and Reel Combo
  9. Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Combo

1. Zebco 33 Spincast Reel and 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo – My Best Overall Pick!


  • Type: Spinning
  • Rod Length: 5 feet 6″
  • Moderate action and medium power rod
  • Reel Gear Ratio: 4.1:1

The Zebco 33 Spincast Combo is perfect for catching a wide variety of species, including panfish, trout, catfish, and bass. This is a lightweight, portable, and easy-to-handle fishing rod and reel combo that delivers quality service for you. Its durable fiberglass body is perfect for most general fishing conditions.

The rod and reel combo is designed for freshwater use. The rod has an EVA handle with an enhanced grip, and the reel has a basic but effective drag. The seven stainless steel ball bearings inside the reel give the reel a smooth and quiet retrieve.

Moreover, the anti-reverse bearing is a great feature and engages the drag. The 4.1.1 gear ratio allows a good retrieve speed, which is ideal for lure fishing. 

This entry-level combo is great for catching small bass, and panfish, including crappies and bluegill.

There are four different options available from Zebco:

One option includes two rods and two reels in the combo set, which is great for those with two kids who are interested in starting fishing. One rod/reel combo is pink, and the other is black.

Another option is a single rod that also has a spare reel in the combo fishing set.

Two of the four remaining Zebco combo options include a 29-piece tackle kit with nine hooks, two snap swivels, two swivels, four split-shot sinkers, one swimbait, four jig heads, four curly-tail grubs, one spinner attachment, one in-line spinnerbait, and one float. You have the option to choose either a pink rod/reel combo or a black rod/reel combo.


  • Fiberglass body 
  • Seven stainless steel bearings
  • EVA rod handle or EVA/Cork handle, depending on the option you choose
  • Works both in seawater and freshwater
  • Changeable Right- or Left-hand Retrieve reel handle
  • The reel has an audible Built-In Bite Alert feature
  • One year warranty
  • The reel comes loaded with 10lbs mono line


  • Not suited for large fish over 8lbs
  • Not suited for saltwater fishing

2. Daiwa DSK25-B/F662M-10C D-Shock Freshwater Spinning Combo – My Best Budget Pick!


  • Type: Spinning
  • Rod Length: 6 feet 6″
  • Medium power rod made from fiberglass
  • Reel size: 2500

If you are looking for a low-cost yet durable fishing rod and reel combo, then the Daiwa DSK25-B/F662M-10C D-Shock Freshwater Fishing Rod and Reel is the perfect choice. The Diawa brand is famous for its quality, long-lasting products and experience in fishing tackle worldwide. While this combo is at the entry position of fishing tackle, it is really good value for money.

The product is suitable for both beginners and kids for general use. It is made up of a fiberglass rod which gives good strength. It contains durable aluminum oxide guide rings, allowing the line to flow through well during casting.

The reel is a traditional open-face spinning reel with a front click drag adjustment that is easy to use and can carry a monofilament line ranging from 6lbs to 14lbs, which is the perfect range for a starter rod and reel fishing setup.


  • Smooth functioning reel
  • Affordable
  • Good quality
  • Comfortable cork handle
  • Pre Spooled with 10-pound monofilament
  • Includes a hook keeper


  • Only for freshwater fishing

3. Quantum Throttle II Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo – My Best Quality Pick!


  • Type: Spinning.
  • Rod Length: From 5 feet to 6 feet 6″
  • Fast action and with options of ultralight, medium light, or medium power rod
  • Rod is made from IM8 Graphite material
  • Reel Gear Ratio: 5.3:1
  • The reel has ten bearings and a clutch

The Quantum Throttle II Spinning Reel & Rod Combo will prove to be a good choice for those more seasoned anglers. It is my pick for the best quality freshwater rod and reel combo with a reasonable price and some excellent features. The good finish of the reel and rod makes the combo look good and protects it from harsh weather conditions.

The rod material is IM8 graphite and has rust-free stainless steel rod guides. The EVA handle knob gives you an easy grip while fishing, even if your hands get wet. The main shaft of the reel is also made up of corrosion-free stainless steel and has a front adjustable drag. 

Quantum is also part of the Zebco fishing brand.

There are six versions of this combo available. Check out the range carefully, as the lure weight that you can cast and also the line weight that you plan to use affect the best option to choose. If you are unsure, go for the mid-range option to give you the most versatile combo, which is the size 25 Reel – 6’6″ 2pc Rod


  • Great quality in both rod and reel
  • Easy-grip rod handle
  • Stainless steel shaft
  • Anti-reverse technology
  • Changeable right- or left-hand retrieve
  • Five-year warranty!


  • One of the more expensive fishing combo options

4. Lew’s American Hero WeGo 2 Speed Spin Combo


  • Type: Spinning
  • Rod Length: 5 feet to 6 feet 6″ options
  • Light or medium rod power options
  • Reel gear ratio 5:0:1, 5:1: and 5:2:1 options

Lew’s American Hero Spin Combo is quite new in the market but has several positive reviews due to its quality and performance. It has IM6 graphite blanks, which are durable, and the rod has stainless steel rod guides. 

The company has not compromised on the material of the rod at all, using IM6 graphite, which is lighter but still strong. Moreover, the setup comes at an affordable price. The reel has two stainless steel double-shielded bearings. The carbon fiber reel drag system makes it superior to other products in the market. 

One key point for this set is the high retrieve speed of the reel ratio, which is 5:0:1 or higher, which is higher than all others in my combo list.

Lew’s has a key pledge that a portion of profits from the sale of every American Hero product goes to supporting American veterans. So you can help that cause by purchasing any Lew’s hero product range!


  • Anodized aluminum reel spool
  • IM6 graphite rod material
  • The reel is spooled with premium 6 lb. test monofilament fishing line
  • Lightweight non-corrosive stainless steel rod guides
  • EVA foam split rod handle grip
  • Zero Reverse one-way clutch reel bearings


  • It’s not ideal for seawater use
  • Fewer options on rod power

5. Plusinno Kids Fishing Pole – My Best Pick for Kids! 


  • Type: Spinning
  • Rod Length: 3.94 feet or 4.9 feet options
  • Reel Drag weight: 2.2 oz 

If your kids are fond of fishing, then you can help them pursue their passion by buying them a starter rod and reel fishing combo such as the Plusinno Kids fishing rod combo. This product has a complete fishing kit and an instruction manual to increase your kids’ fishing knowledge and interest.

The combo size is suitable for young kids around 3 to 7 years old as a great fishing Christmas present or birthday fishing present. The ergonomic handle is perfect for beginners and lightweight for even the smallest young anglers to hold. It has a telescopic fishing pole and also comes with a carrying bag in which you can carry many other fishing accessories easily.  

Several options are available, including some pink variations targeted for girls’ fishing use. Check out the full range of options.


  • Handy for kids
  • Pink color for girls, and blue color for boys
  • Lightweight
  • It comes with all the necessary basic fishing tackle and accessories
  • Telescopic fishing pole
  • Affordable


  • Only suitable for fishing at short distances
  • Only suitable for catching small fish
  • Not suitable for those over ten years old

6. KastKing Crixus Fishing Rod and Reel Combo, Baitcasting Combo, Or Spinning Combo


  • Type: Spinning or baitcasting options
  • Rod Length: 5 feet 6 inches to 7 feet
  • 2-piece rod with moderate fast or fast action option
  • High gear ratio reel up to 6:5:1

Do you want a high-quality product at a reasonable price? You have the KastKing Crixus Spinning/Baitcasting combo. The reels’ double-shielded stainless steel bearings are rust-free.

This combo is made for freshwater bass fishing, trout fishing, walleye fishing, panfish, and even catfishing. The Crixus combo can handle larger fish than most of the others on my recommended list but does have a higher price. 

The IM6 rod blanks range in power ratings from light to medium heavy in 5’6” to 7’0” lengths, and coupled with five choices of reel sizes from 2000 up to 5000, there are plenty of options to choose from. For lighter fishing, such as panfish choose the 2000 series reel, and the 6ft medium light spinning rod for the best results. If you are planning to target bass and slightly bigger fish, then my recommendation is to go for the 6ft 6″ medium heavy baitcaster.

Always ensure that you pick the right baitcaster option, as the reel is not interchangeable for left or right-handed versions. For the spinning reel, the handle can be moved easily.

The combo is specially designed for bass fishing and comes at a mid-to-high price. The durable rod is powerful yet sensitive due to the IM6 Graphite rod blanks. With a golf-style superpolymer handle, you will not lose your grip even if you catch a big fish!

KastKing uses stainless-steel guide frames with Zirconium Oxide rings that make a long and smooth cast, and you can load up the reel with fluorocarbon, monofilament, or braided fishing lines


  • Ergonomic Handle
  • Excellent Grip
  • Durable and can handle larger fish


  • More expensive than the others in my recommendations
  • Slightly heavy

7. Plusinno Fishing Rod and Reel Telescopic Combo Fishing Pole

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Plusinno Fishing Rod and Reel Telescopic Combo Fishing Pole


The Plussino Telescopic rod and reel combo have a sleek design that not only looks good but works amazingly well too. It’s easier to carry around than a normal 2-piece rod combo and less likely to get damaged. You can take it anywhere in your bag with you. Its foldable feature does not compromise its ability to perform well while fishing. 

The stainless steel hooded reel seats make the fishing rods able to be used in saltwater fishing and have a nice EVA hand grip, enabling anglers to have a good firm hold on the rod.

Therefore, you do not have to compromise on efficiency to get portability. It uses carbon matrix technology in its manufacturing, which adds to its durability.

The reel has good-quality bearings, making its operation smooth. There is a Right/left inter-changeable handle, and the body is made from a high tensile strength plastic. The reel has an Instant anti-reverse feature and a high power drive gear ratio. The large aluminum spool can hold 140 yards of line, perfect for saltwater and freshwater fishing for small bass and panfish.

What’s more, there are options to buy full kits with a padded case to tuck it in your backpack safely!


  • Portable
  • Graphite rod construction
  • It comes with four different packages at various price ranges
  • Affordable
  • Saltwater friendly


  • The rod handle is a little short
  • The reel is on the heavy side

8. Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combo


  • Type: Telescopic Spinning
  • Rod Length: 6 to 10 feet
  • Carbon fiber mixed with fiberglass rod construction
  • Reel gear ratio 5:5:1
  • Right or left-hand use
  • Three buying options – fishing rod only or two types of carrying case
  • The combo includes a fishing rod, reel, carrier bag, three lures, line, and small accessories.

Are you looking for a good quality reel and rod combo with a telescopic format, beautiful design, and good quality material? The Sougayilang Telescopic rod and reel combo is a great alternative to the Plussino telescopic option.

The reel is the best part of this combo and has a smooth, quiet operation. The combo package is a surprisingly good option for someone who wants to keep their fishing gear in the trunk of their car for easy, unplanned use. The reel has an incredible 13 stainless steel ball bearings with rust-free protection. The smooth movement of the reel, along with its good retrieve rate, is an awesome quality feature for a starter fishing combo set.

It is lightweight and portable, and you can easily carry it anywhere on your trips! It comes with a one-year warranty and also a handy spare spool. The price is around the same as the Plussino telescopic combo kit choice.


  • Lightweight
  • 13+1 rust-free bearings
  • Smooth and efficient functioning
  • EVA knob nonslip handle makes it easy to reel in
  • Beautiful design


  • The 33lb braided line included is far too heavy for fishing

9. Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Combo


  • Type: Baitcasting
  • Rod Length: 7 feet
  • Medium-heavy power
  • 6500 Size Reel

The last but certainly not the least product on the list is the Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Combo. It is designed to cope with larger fish, including catching catfish. It’s the most expensive combo on my list of recommendations, but it’s also the strongest and has the largest baitcasting reel at 8500. 

The rod is perfect for catfish and other kinds of large fish such as bass. Most rod & reel combos cannot bear the force of heavy fish and fail midway. Abu Garcia is a reputable brand, and this combo meets their expected quality level.

The rod has a good ergonomic EVA handle that gives an excellent grip. 

It has 6-pin centrifugal brackets, which help apply pressure. The two stainless steel bearings inside the reel will handle most large catfish.

As an alternative and cheaper option for younger kids or beginners, then check out this Abu Garcia Black Max & Max X Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo, which comes with five different options to choose from and targets smaller fish such as panfish, bluegills, and bass.


  • Durable Centrifugal Brackets
  • Ergonomic Handle
  • Smooth Operation
  • Bears the load of heavy fish


  • The rod length may be a little short for some people
  • Not recommended for young kids

Our Final Verdict

As we can see, we are spoilt for choice with starter combo choices. They are a great way to start fishing on a low budget or to introduce new people (including youngsters) to fishing.

Our top choice is the Zebco 33 Spincast Reel and 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo, which will meet all your requirements as a starter rod and reel.

For a more budget-friendly option, go for the Daiwa DSK25-B/F662M-10C D-Shock Freshwater Spinning Combo.

Best Fishing Rod & Reel Combos – FAQs

Which rod material should I choose?

There are five types of rod materials most commonly used – fiberglass, graphite, carbon fiber, composite, and bamboo. The price for each varies greatly, but graphite or carbon fiber is the most expensive, and the bamboo rod is the cheapest on the market. Your style of fishing can dictate the best choice for you. For beginners, the best option is the fiberglass rod.

What is the Best material for rod handles?

Rod handles are usually made up of cork or EVA foam. For a better grip, EVA foam is better.

What is the right fishing rod length?

The length of a fishing rod depends upon your needs and requirements. The shorter rods, such as six feet long, are best for kids as they are easiest to cast and hold correctly—generally, rod lengths range from around four to fourteen feet.

What is an anti-reverse bearing on a fishing reel?

An anti-reverse bearing prevents a fishing reel from turning backward and automatically engages the drag system. Another name for this is a one-way clutch bearing commonly found on spinning and fly fishing reels.

Final Thoughts

Rod and reel combos can be a bit hit-and-miss; always try to buy the best one you can afford, which will last longer and also provide a better fishing experience.

If you enjoyed reading this article, please look at my articles on the best saltwater and freshwater spinning reels or the best saltwater and freshwater spinning rods, which are the next step up from combo starter kits.

Steve Fitzjohn