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Best Salmon Rod and Reel Combo in 2024. Reviews & Analysis

Last Updated: 24.04.24

Top Salmon Rod and Reel Combos Reviewed and Compared


If you’re looking for the best salmon rod and reel combo or just for a more than decent salmon fishing pole, you’ve ended up in the perfect place. We’ve done a lot of research on the topic and we concluded that the product that you should consider is the Okuma Oll Trolling as it is effective, durable, and rather easy to utilize. The aluminum oxide guides, along with the stainless steel reel seat will give you the reassurance that you might need about whether or not this item will stand the test of time. In case this product is no longer available, however, we suggest you check out our next favorite choice, the Okuma Rox.


Comparison table


The Good
The Bad



3 Best Salmon Rod and Reel Combos (Reviews) in 2024


The best products in this category will be showcased below. All of these have been granted some of the best salmon rod and reel reviews as they seem to feature the right ratio between value and price. They’re convenient, reliable, and will make fishing for salmon a pleasurable experience you’ll want to repeat time and time again.



1. Okuma Salmon Trolling Rod/Reel Combo


Few brands manage to raise up to par when it comes to designing both rods and reels that are tailored to the needs of the modern fisherman. Fortunately, Okuma is one of the most remarkable companies in the industry, with a long history of building some of the most efficient products for salmon and other species as well.

This set consists of a trolling rod and reel of which the size depends on what you feel most comfortable with. The product is a saltwater alternative that offers tremendous results for individuals who like this fishing technique. With a durable E-glass blank construction and hooded reel seats made of stainless steel, it goes without saying that you won’t have any problem with the durability of this lovely rod.

As for comfort, the EVA foam grips make it possible for owners to keep holding the rod even when things get really tough.


The power handles on this product line provide effortless control and retrieves while fishing. You can handle tough fighting fish when using this rod and reel combo.

The durable E-glass blank construction is designed with a greater overall diameter that gives you a thicker rod to provide a secure and firm grip every time. The E-glass blank ensures you won’t lose too many fish because it offers just the right level of sensitivity.

The double-footed aluminum oxide guides are engineered to effectively prevent the generation of extreme levels of friction with the fishing line, keeping the component flat and straight along the length of the rod to avoid breakage and bird’s nests.

The stainless steel hooded reel seats provide easy attachment of the reel while the EVA foam grips ensure comfortable handling and resistance to slime, fish oils, and other slippery elements that can have a negative effect on control.

This rod-and-reel combo is definitely made to last for many years of salmon fishing down the road.


For those who intend to use lead core line, this model doesn’t provide the ideal line capacity for that purpose.

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2. Okuma ROX Spinning Combo


The Okuma ROX Spinning alternative is a medium light action option that makes fishing for salmon a journey to remember. As is the case with the product we were mentioning above, this one features a durable construction as it has been made with graphite composite. The two ball bearings system in the reel allow smooth drags and since pretty much all the gears and parts in this model are made with stainless steel, it goes without saying that the model is as durable as possible.

The length of the rod is 6-ft, which means that it’s not intended for individuals who enjoy using a very long rod. Sometimes it’s a better thing to opt for a shorter product because it allows owners to have a good grip on things and thus prevent salmon from escaping.

Plus, since most of the reviews about this set are positive, you needn’t worry about not getting the good value for the money.


This model ships with a rod featuring a graphite composite blank construction, which is known for extreme sensitivity and delicateness that are a huge advantage in many fishing situations.

The rod also features durable, exclusive Dura-flow stainless steel guides that ensure resilience from chipping and corrosion while guaranteeing a remarkable performance by keeping the line flat along the rod length to prevent the buildup of friction and consequent line breakage.

The neo-cork rear split grips not only reduce the weight of the rod but also provide a higher level of sensitivity compared to full grips.

The reel comes with a machined aluminum 2-toned anodized spool, which offers more strength and durability compared to graphite spools.

The rigid aluminum handle delivers greater strength as well, with more resilience against rust and chipping for years of use.


Some buyers missed the fact that the rod has a full cork handle, which was not to their preference.

This is functional as a backup rod-and-reel but not as a primary fishing rod and reel.

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3. Shakespeare USESSP902M Ugly Stik Elite Salmon


3.ShakespeareUgly Stik EliteWhile it might not be as affordable as other items in the same line, the Shakespeare combo is worth taking into account if you’re willing to invest in a high-quality unit that does the job and lets you catch as much fish as you can. This set is composed of a somewhat longer rod measuring 9 feet. The medium action of this model seems to be the right feature for many users, considering the amount of appreciation gathered by the Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite.

While both the rod and the reel make for a lightweight kit, they’re very good at doing what they’re supposed to do. Just like other products, this one features many gears that have been constructed out of stainless steel and other metals that are well-known for being reliable and sturdy.

Since the reel comes with a 4-ball bearing system, it’s safe to say that you’ll benefit from all the smoothness you might need.


With 35 percent more graphite compared to the Ugly Stik GX2, this product comes with a lighter weight rod while staying true to the legendary toughness of the Ugly Stik brand. The graphite construction of the rod means greater sensitivity, which offers a huge advantage for many fishing settings.

The premium cork handle maintains residual heat so it feels warm to the touch during chilly days. It also exhibits lower damping capacity so you can feel the vibrations from the fish nibbling on the lure at the end of the line. The cork handle also presents a less slippery surface when wet.

The Ugly Tuff guides provide additional durability since the fishing line lies straight along the length of the rod for a smooth flow and to prevent friction buildup that causes line breakage.

The Ugly Stik Clear Tip design adds more strength and durability while being sensitive to the most tentative fish strikes, helping you react in a timely manner.


One user would like a more high-end reel instead of what is shipped in this rod-and-reel combo.

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Buying guide


What is a good salmon rod and reel these days (or you want a pike model)? It all depends on your favorite fishing technique and on what you have in mind. If you’ve been having trouble correlating your expectations with the features of the many combos that are available in today’s marketplace, you’re in the right spot. We’ve created a comprehensive guide that can take you through the factors you should base your decision on. Have a look at it below.




Rod type

Some of the most common rods for salmon fishing include spinning, baitcasting, trolling, fly fishing and saltwater spinning alternatives. (read our article on cheap reel & rod combos) In other words, before choosing a set over another, you need to think about the technique that you most prefer and that you most find yourself using. Spinning rods are the top choice of anglers and they seem to be highly efficient when combined with a spinning reel, particularly for beginners. Baitcasting units are designed for typically advanced fishermen.

Trolling is a special method that is employed both in freshwater and saltwater fishing and their main advantage is that they’re built to last, having been constructed out of durable materials. Fly fishing rods are considerably longer compared to any other we’ve mentioned until now, but it all boils down to whether you’re comfortable with this feature. (here you can find more about saltwater combos & freshwater rod and reels)



The perfect reel should depend on what you’ve used before, but we’ve noticed that salmon fishers tend to prefer either trolling or spinning alternatives. Whatever the case, you need to take into account the fact that salmon is a fish that needs to be battled with. As such, you have a lesser chance of relaxing in your boat and waiting for a catch. You need to actively participate in the fishing experience as this species is full of energy and will leave you breathless if you’re lucky enough to catch a 25-pounder.


Comfort and ease of use

Aside from being lightweight, such a combo needs to withstand both the harshness of the weather and the typical movements of a salmon struggling to break free. Focus on durability when choosing a salmon rod and reel setup, but don’t forget to also examine the characteristics of the rod with regards to comfort. Premium cork handles are a must if you need to get a good grip of your catch and never let it go.




1) Freshwater salmon fishing

2) How to choose the best for yourself

3) Useful information about salmon


» Check the information from past years

If you have no time to go through the best salmon fishing rod reviews, but you’re resolute on finding an alternative that best suits your needs, you’re in the right place. After considering the feedback coming from amateur and advanced fishermen alike, we’ve come to the conclusion that the TICA HLHB106M2S is the one you should bear in mind. This 2-piece choice is made out of graphite and has been found to be both sensitive and resilient enough to provide you with countless seasons of fun on the water. The cork handle is comfortable to hold, and the graphite reel seat has a high chance of impressing you with its quality. Besides, this unit doesn’t even cost a fortune compared to others we’ve analyzed. If the TICA HLHB106M2S is unavailable, you may need to consider the Okuma Celilo Graphite.



3 Best Salmon Fishing Rods (Reviews) in 2024



Because selecting the right salmon rod is a daunting task, we’ve compiled a list of the some of the critically acclaimed choices available for sale these days. From what we have gathered, these options have garnered the appreciation of most fishers who have decided to try them out.



1. HLHB96H2S Salmon Steelhead


Nothing beats a good-quality rod when you’re out on the water, and nobody knows it better than weekend warriors and avid fishermen and women who like to practice their skills with the best type of equipment. If you’re truly looking for a state-of-the-art pole, you may need to have a look at the specs of this TICA alternative.

It’s made from high-quality materials and doesn’t weigh in too much, which is why it will impact your overall experience in a positive manner. You’ll find that the cork handle makes it a breeze for you to get a hold on to the pole even when you’re fighting a feisty salmon.

Given that the series is composed of sizes ranging from eight to ten feet, you can have your cake and eat it, too. Select the right dimension depending on the weight of your potential catches and the type of technique you employ on a regular basis.


Due to the 2-piece design, you will be able to carry this rod with you in the trunk of your car so that you have it with you every time a fishing occasion might arise.

The neat thing about this model is that it boasts a sensitive, yet sturdy construction, as it has been made out of flexible graphite material.

The reel seat is also constructed out of graphite, so you have nothing to worry about in this sense.

The cork handle is a joy to hold, as attested by the owners who have taken the time to provide feedback with regard to this concern of prospective buyers.


Some of the people who have purchased this model say that they are under the impression that some parts are made of cheap material. However, the overall quality is good.

Several anglers say that the rod is a bit stiffer than they had expected it to be.





2. Okuma Celilo Graphite Salmon Steelhead Spinning Rod


As one of the world-known manufacturers in the industry of fishing equipment, Okuma is devoted to building top-notch products that are durable and user-friendly. All of this applies in the case of the Celilo line, as well, as it’s made out of good-quality materials and has been tested for performance and quality.

The graphite blank construction and the aluminum oxide guide inserts can give you a pointer as to whether or not this pole is worth investing in. Plus, you won’t have to make a huge sacrifice in order to acquire it as it is also one of the most budget-friendly models out there.

Something else that sets it aside from its competitors is that it boasts a stainless steel hooded reel seat. Everything will go exactly as planned if you go out on a fishing trip and have this rod as a major part of your gear.


Since this model is a spinning rod, it won’t raise too many technical difficulties to first-time users or those who are only starting out with their angling adventures.

The graphite construction of the Okuma Celilo ensures that you benefit from an enhanced sensitivity that you might fail to find in many of its competitors.

It’s also worth noting that this product is considerably more reasonably priced compared to many others available nowadays.

Because this rod has been constructed with the needs of modern fishers in mind, it can do wonders when targeting other species, as well. For example, an 8’6” medium action pole in this series can help you reel in anything from salmon to mackerel and croakers.


Some anglers say that, when using this rod, you might grow tired of tossing heavy lures all day long. On the other hand, since other fishers have not experienced this issue, you may have to assess your physical strength before deciding on this option.





3. Okuma Celilo Graphite Salmon Steelhead Casting Rod


Just like some of the individuals who have chosen this alternative have pointed out, nothing makes more sense than trying out this rod. It’s made from durable materials, but the neatest thing about it is that it won’t have you breaking the bank. It doesn’t cost a pretty penny, yet it comes with all the features you might want from such gear.

The pole has a good backbone and a secure reel seat. The cork handle that the unit has been outfitted with provide a comfortable holding experience that won’t have you feeling tired ahead of time.

What’s more, it appears that this unit is both flexible and sensitive. Although there have been folks who reported that they ended up breaking it when trying to reel it too heavy catches, the issue was swiftly resolved by the customer services provided by the manufacturing brand. Be sure to order the right size for the type of fishing you engage in and the species you are targeting.


If your budget doesn’t allow you to make any lavish expenses and what you’re looking for is an all-around salmon fishing rod that doesn’t cost a fortune, you might have just found it.

Since the reel seat of this choice has been made out of stainless steel, it can give you a clue as to whether or not it will be able to serve you for the many fishing seasons to come.

With its aluminum oxide guide inserts and graphite blank construction, this casting rod should be one of those you ought to include in your list.

There’s nothing stopping you from catching pike, as well as salmon and steelhead.


As is the case with other Okuma rods, the plastic butt might come off on this rod. Therefore, you will have to rely on your DIY skills and use some super glue to fix this minor inconvenience.





Buying guide


Getting the best fishing rod for salmon these days might be a tricky feat, and that’s why we’ve decided to give you a hand at finding the right product for your specific needs. If you’re having trouble understanding which features you ought to focus on, all you need to do is take a look at the following buyer’s guide.

Basic factors to consider

Before starting to prospect the market, it’s a good idea to jot down a couple of details that you ought to keep in mind. For example, you should know the technique that you will employ and the waters you will be fishing in.

Decide on a budget because not all rods are made the same, and therefore, they aren’t priced in the same range. Talk to some of your angling friends because they are likely to tell you which rod seems most comfortable for them. The quality of the fishing rod can be established later on, once you learn a bit about the materials that are currently used by most manufacturers.


What type are you searching for?

Unless you are a complete beginner in the art of fishing, you’re probably aware of the various techniques used by most anglers. As with other fish species you may want to target, you should choose from spinning, bait casting, trolling, and fly fishing rods for salmon. Spinning rods are said to be the easiest to maneuver because they appear to be easier to cast compared to the other choices.

Baitcasting poles are destined for advanced fishers because the reels used for this technique are prone to backlashes. Trolling rods are made to be rugged, which is why they put up with the abuse of saltwater and can be used when angling in freshwater, as well. Fly rods can handle bigger salmon, so these units measure between 9’ to 10’.


Other details to take into account

The length of the pole is significant because it can be correlated to the weight of the fish you’ll be able to reel in. The common length is in the 8 to 10’ range. The dimension of the rod butt, which is the part that rests into your torso, is rather crucial, as well. With a shorter one, you might end up stretching your arms while fighting your catch, so you’ll grow tired rather easily.

The vast majority of salmon rods we came across are made out of fiberglass, graphite, or a combination of these two materials. Fiberglass is resilient and durable while graphite might be too sensitive, and that’s why most salmon fishers end up choosing the combination.

It’s a good idea to focus on the weight and balance of the pole as you’ll find it hardly usable if it’s too heavy. Your fishing experience has to be as comfortable as possible for long hours of fun.

» Check the information from past years

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