Best Salmon Fishing Rods and Reels

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Catching salmon fish might be difficult if you don’t use the right fishing gear. Spinning fishing rods and reels are the best choice for salmon fishing. Tackling the violent headshakes of a hooked salmon is simple for them. But you might be struggling to choose a perfect combo.

Salmon fishes are available in seven species. They vary in size and weight. After considering various aspects of this fish, we have selected some best salmon fishing rods and reels. We have categorized them into different criteria to suit your needs. Let’s dive in without further ado!

Our Top Pick

All three fishing rods mentioned in our list are excellent. But our top pick is PENN Fishing Squadron III, as both new and expert anglers can use them. Plus, it is made from composite materials to offer versatility, sensitivity, durability, and strength. It can endure a lot of abuse.

You will appreciate its graphite reel seat that ensures optimal stability. In addition, it offers decent hook-setting power and reasonable casting distance. Tackling various salmon fish is easygoing.

To complement the rod, you need a similar quality reel. We have chosen PENN Battle Spinning Reel from as our top pick to match the fishing rod. The reel offers plenty of power to fight against big fish. The entire metal body has extreme rigidity to provide accurate and smooth engagement.

Besides, the unit has an aluminum bail wire for better line placement and reduced knot probability. Its anti-reverse bearing ensures no accidental backyard reeling.

Best Salmon Spinning Fishing Rods

A fishing rod plays a crucial role in being successful on the water. It has a massive impact on your fishing performance.

The followings are some best salmon spinning rods we have chosen from the market.

01. KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods

KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods

Do you prefer a lightweight and affordable spinning rod for salmon fishing? You can’t go wrong with this option. It is made from a combination of graphite and carbon fiber. Catching larger salmon species seems easygoing. Plus, the unit can withstand intense conditions.

The fish-fighting power of this KastKing rod is exceptional as it is equipped with 24-ton carbon matrix KastFlex blank technology. It is a high-end rod builder, unlike 36 or 40Ton carbon. Plus, the unique technology makes an excellent contribution to high sensitivity.

Besides, the fishing gear features Fuji O-Ring line guides to ensure minimal frictional coefficient. They are 40% smoother and lighter due to their stronger and improved shape. Are you an everyday fisherman? If so, its graphite reel seat is perfect. It feels good on the hands.

Moreover, the fishing rod has high-density EVA grips to offer better pressure relief from extreme vibration. You feel at ease even after continuously holding the gear for hours. In addition, it comes with carbon fiber KastFlex rod blanks that are highly strong and less likely to break.


✅ Available in 4.6-inches to 7.4-inches length

❌ The tip is a bit stiff and may break

✅ Made from graphite and carbon fiber materials to use in extreme conditions

❌ The hook keeper may rust after 1-2 years

✅ Easy to utilize the rod at four angles: 0⁰, 45⁰, 90⁰, and 135⁰

✅ Carbon fiber rod blanks that are less likely to crack or break

High-density EVA grips to comfort anglers while holding the gear

02. PENN Fishing Squadron III Surf Spinning Fishing Rod

PENN Fishing Squadron III Surf Spinning Fishing Rod

Are you looking for a sensitive yet strong spinning rod for catching various species of salmon? This versatile and sturdy fishing rod is a great option, especially for inexperienced anglers. You don’t have to worry about tangles.

The fishing rod is made from composite materials to offer versatility, sensitivity, durability, and strength. Additionally, it has a graphite composite blank that can take a lot of abuses. The blank is highly resistant to wear and tear. Challenging fishing conditions cause minimal damage.

What’s more, the fishing rod features a graphite reel seat to ensure optimal stability. But make sure to keep the reel seat in the same direction as the blank to avoid failure issues. It is equipped with threaded rings or a lever to secure the fishing reel perfectly.

The PENN fishing rod has medium or moderate action to offer decent hook-setting power and reasonable casting distance. It also features a rubber shrink tube handle to increase grip and comfort. The handle material can withstand -55℃ to 125℃ temperature.


✅ Available in three color options: titanium, red, and gold

❌ A minimal amount of coating on the threads

✅ A good action and sturdy rod to catch various types of salmon fish

✅ Rubber shrink tube handle to provide comfort while fishing

✅ Graphite reel seat with threaded rings to offer optimal stability

Impressively lightweight to prevent fatigue issues

03. Okuma Celilo Graphite Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Rods

Okuma Celilo Graphite Salmon Steelhead Spinning Rods

Some anglers prefer to have an average-priced rod without compromising performance. This option appears to be a perfect choice if you are also in this category. It is available in three length options: 8.6-inch, 9.6-inch, and 10-inch. Their actions vary too.

The Okuma fishing rod is made from aluminum and stainless steel. Trolling and stilling in a seaway will be an enjoyable fishing experience as you will have a lot of stability. In addition, it can withstand the corrosion of sea salt.

Moreover, the fishing rod has a high modulus strength and reduced weight. Keeping the rod off of horizontal surfaces is not tricky. You can even efficiently manage your fishing gear even in high-traffic areas.

In addition, the spinning rod has an aluminum oxide guide insert to provide decent durability, smoothness, and hardness. Anglers will face no trouble with the guides. The material is also resistant to abrasion due to its improved aluminum oxide formulation.


✅ Available in several lengths and action types

❌ The tip is a bit slow

✅ Graphite blank to withstand more resistance

❌ The casting distance could be better

✅ Aluminum Oxide Guide Inserts offer smoothness and hardness

✅ Can withstand the corrosion of sea salt for a long time

Improved aluminum oxide formulation for effortless guides

Best Salmon Spinning Fishing Reels

When it comes to light tackle and baits, spinning reels are the best choice.

Here, we have selected a few good-quality spinning reels that both new and experienced anglers can use.

01. KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel – New Spinning Reel

KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel

If you are searching for a smooth, lightweight, and consistently performing fishing reel, KastKing Sharky III stands on the top. It has a fiber-reinforced graphite body to ensure increased strength and stiffness. Plus, extreme heat and impact will cause minimal damage to its body.

The fishing reel is equipped with double-shielded stainless steel ball bearings to provide better speed and accuracy. Plus, it can withstand as high as 300°C temperature. Worry about getting wind knots? This spinning reel offers more line capacity for a reasonable casting distance.

Immense drag engagement is crucial for catching cunning fish like salmon. KastKing Sharky III has an instant lock anti-reverse to eliminate the reel from turning backward. So you don’t have to worry about spinning the reel in the opposite direction. It is easy to let the line off the reel.

KastKing uses a special KISS coating on the fishing reel’s body to protect its spool, body, and rotor from saltwater. Sounds can be one of the significant obstacles to catching fish. Thankfully, the fishing reel offers a quiet, silky smooth retrieve to catch salmon peacefully.


✅ A triple disc carbon fiber drag for consistent and flawless dragging

❌ Plastic arms attached to the pole

✅ A stainless-steel main shaft to conveniently use in saltwater

❌ A little bit smaller than other models

✅ Manganese brass pinion gears offer smooth and reliable operation

✅ Can handle up to 18 KG salmon fish

An instant lock anti-reverse to eliminate the reel from turning backward

02. PENN Battle Spinning Reel

PENN Battle Spinning Reel Kit

You need plenty of power when fighting against giant salmon and other fish. PENN Battle spinning reel can show reliable performance for big fish. In fact, many users shared that the product performed consistently even after five years of usage.

The spinning reel is made from stainless steel, making it highly durable and not easy to break. You won’t see any rust and corrosion because it has a chromium coating. The entire metal body has extreme rigidity to provide accurate and smooth engagement.

Apart from that, the PENN reel has aluminum bail wire for better placement of the line and reducing the probability of a knot. It works as a gate and protects the fishing line from unnecessary unwinding. The bail wire will rotate continuously while the spool stays in place.

Moreover, the fishing reel comes with five sealed stainless steel ball bearings to minimize friction between moving parts. Also, it features an anti-reverse bearing to ensure no accidental backyard reeling. You don’t have to worry about eliminating line twists and bird nests.


✅ Available in black, gold, and smoke color

❌ A little more weighty than other options

✅ Stainless steel body to provide accurate and smooth engagement

❌ The handle comes a bit loose

✅ A chromium coating to protect the reel from saltwater

✅ An aluminum bail wire for better placement of the line

An instant anti-reverse bearing system for back reeling

03. Okuma Ceymar Spinning Fishing Reel

Okuma Ceymar

You can’t go wrong with this option if you are in the market for a well-built, lightweight, and good-looking spinning reel. The design concept of this fishing reel is outstanding. Its black and red color combination makes it attractive.

The fishing reel has a graphite body. It is highly strong. Also, you won’t see any rust or corrosion formation. However, don’t expect it to bend too much. It may snap if you exceed the maximum bending point. Graphite reels are not bad if you are only after a light setup.

Besides these, the Okuma reel has an aluminum handle that is pretty comfortable to hold. You don’t have to do any routine maintenance. No rust and corrosion issues from salt water! Also, the fishing gear has Stainless Steel bearings that last up to 12 times longer than other materials.

Okuma Ceymar spinning reel comes with a multi-disc, oiled felt drag system to offer a smooth line output. It creates friction against the spool. As a result, anglers can implement perfect pressure on the line even within a small surface area.


✅ Available in 9 sizes and 5 colors

❌ The handle screws become looses

✅ A Monofilament Fishing Line to offer a decent knot strength

❌ The reel size is a bit smaller

✅ Attractive and corrosion-resistant blade body design

✅ A powerful, multi-disc drag system for a smooth output of line

Comes with ambidextrous hand orientation for better control

How To Choose A Spinning Rod For Salmon Fishing?

Selecting the best spinning rod for salmon requires considering the following aspects to get the best bang.

Best Salmon Fishing Rods and Reels

How Powerful Is The Fishing Rod?

Spinning rods are available in various powers. Some have moderate power, and some have extreme power.

First, decide what type of salmon species you want to catch.

For example, if you are thinking of catching King salmon, a powerful fishing rod to handle the heavyweight of the salmon.

But a medium-power spinning rod is enough if you are only after Pink salmon. It can effortlessly handle 5 to 10 pounds.

How Long Is The Fishing Rod?

If you prefer longer casting, choose a long fishing rod. It can be anywhere between 7.6 feet to 9 feet.

However, an 8-foot-long fishing rod is the best choice because the too-long rod is hard to store. It makes the transportation task a little bit hassle too.

This rod will offer more leverage for hook-setting and allow anglers to move more line quickly.

On the contrary, fishing rods with less than 7 feet are challenging to clear obstacles. It will affect both your accuracy and distance.

Longer fishing rods give more advantages for transforming power from one end to another.

How Good Is The Guide Quality?

Stainless steel guides are the best choice for spinning rods.

It is more forgiving than other materials. Also, saltwater will not cause any rust or corrosion.

Cheap quality guides will snap under extreme pressure while fighting with a large fish.

Another important aspect is considering its weight. Lightweight options are a better choice because it offers better comfort.

The tip should not be too heavy. Otherwise, its sensitivity will be compromised while detecting strikes.

How Comfortable Are You To Hold The Handle?

A spinning rod must provide a comfortable grip. It is usually made from foam or cork.

Foam-based handles are convenient to hold for a long time, whether wet or dry.

The foam should be denser to absorb the vibration when salmon fish start biting the hook.

If you prefer a lightweight option, a cork grip is a better choice than foam.

They also have less damping capacity to transmit vibrations effectively. Also, this type of handle retains heat for a long time.

It comes in handy during the colder temperatures to give your hands warmer feelings.

What Is the Material Used To Make The Fishing Rod?

A fishing rod can be made from various materials. Fiberglass, graphite, and composite are the top three choices.

When it comes to small to mid-sized streams, fiberglass fishing rods are the best choice. They also bend and flex well.

Anglers can catch more fish because this fishing rod causes less splat and a slower fly speed.

Graphite fishing rods are perfect if you regularly catch fish in physically demanding or intense conditions.

However, they are more suitable for experienced anglers who can control the fast action of rods perfectly.

Anglers who prefer moderate flexibility and sensitivity can choose this option. They are perfect for beginners and experienced fishermen.

How Good Is The Fishing Rod Action?

A fishing rod action mainly implies how much it bends without breaking under loads.

Generally, medium to heavy-action spinning rods is best for salmon fishing.

Fast-action fishing gear can help you better and longer casting. But following the proper techniques is crucial to avoid breaking the tip.

Medium-action fishing rods are enough to tackle most salmon species as they have adequate strength.

It can effortlessly handle thicker lines and heavier lures. Keep the sport a line rating of at least 10-15 pounds.

But, using a 20-25 pound line is better, especially if you want to catch giant fish like Chinook salmon.

Is The Reel Seat Compatible With The Fishing Rod?

The reel seat must give a comfortable feeling while it is in your hand.

It has locking metal rings or sliding bands to secure the reel to the rod blank.

Graphite seats are a better choice than other materials due to their sturdy construction.

In addition, it must provide anglers with enough cushioning to hold the rod for a long time.

Make sure it doesn’t become loose while catching salmon fish. It needs to be tightened appropriately.

What Is The Weight Of The Line And Lure Weight?

Spinning rods have different weight ratings for their line.

You want to consider the fishing water condition and the fishing weight before choosing a particular option. The following table shows their ideal usage.

Lb Test RatingIdeal Usage
6 to 8 lb testGeneral  or freshwater fishing
12 to 15 lb testsmaller species in saltwater
17 to 20 lb testLarger species in saltwater

Choosing the right lure weight is crucial for fishing rods. It should not be too light or too heavy.

For example, highly light lures prevent you from loading the spinning rod perfectly. It will lead to shorter casting.

On the other hand, too heavy lures will cause sluggish casting. A perfectly weighted lure ensures an optimal casting distance.

How To Choose A Spinning Reel For Salmon Fishing?

Assessing the performance of a spinning reel requires you first to understand some vital criteria.

The followings are the essential aspects you want to consider to learn to determine whether the fishing reel is good or bad.

What Is The Line Capacity Of The Fishing Reel?

The line capacity of a fishing reel determines the type of fishing species you can handle.

If your target is only smaller salmon fish like Pink salmon, a spinning reel with a 3000-5000 rating is perfect. They can easily handle 5 to 8 pounds of fish.

However, spinning reels with a 5000-8000 rating is better if you prefer to catch larger species.

This type of reel can handle most mid and large-sized salmon. Avoid choosing too large reels because they will add extra weight.

How Good Is The Drag System?

Have you seen a pair of friction plates in a spinning reel?

It is called a drag system that plays a crucial role in regulating the pressure or force to take the line off the spool.

Generally, larger salmon fish will need a more robust drag. You can find salmon in both fresh and salt water.

However, bigger salmon are mainly available offshore, whereas smaller species are easy to catch from inshore.

If you only catch fish from inshore, a drag system with 17.5 pounds rating is enough.

But, choose a drag system with a 25-30 pounds rating if your primary target is inshore fishing.

What Gear Ratio Should You Choose?

A gear ratio determines the speed of the picking-up line of a spinning reel.

After turning the reel handle, the reel spool will rotate a number of times.

Several types of gear ratios are available such as 3:1, 4:1, 5:1, and 6:1. A fishing reel with a higher gear ratio requires less effort.

A 3:1 or 4:1 gear ratio is perfect for bait or jig fishing. Most anglers prefer to use a 5:1 or 6:1 gear ratio for salmon fishing.

It improves their retrieval speed and the reel’s torque. If you want to target both slower and faster lures, the 5:1 gear ratio is a better choice.

What Is Material Used To Make The Spinning reel?

If you are regularly fishing saltwater, graphite is the best option. Graphite reels are more lightweight than other options.

However, they are not highly durable. On top of that, these fishing reels are a bit costly.

On the other hand, aluminum fishing reels have long-lasting durability. They are affordable too.

Aluminum fishing reels have five times higher modulus strength than graphite reels.

But avoid choosing any regular Aluminum fishing reels for saltwater fishing. Rust and corrosion will form within a short time.

Make sure it is made from anodized aluminum because this type of material has corrosion-resistant properties.

How Many Bearings Does The Spinning Reel Have?

A good quality fishing reel must have at least 4 to 5 bearings. Some options have 11 or more bearings.

So, what is the advantage of more bearings? It ensures smooth functionality and provides a decent level of friction control.

Generally, a spinning reel has multiple ball bearings and a single anti-reverse or roller bearing.

For example, 7+1 bearings mean the unit has seven ball bearings and one anti-reverse or roller bearing.

However, quality is more vital than quantity. It is better to have high-quality bearings at a minimum number than cheap quality at larger numbers.

How Much Are You Ready To Invest?

A spinning reel can be less than $100, $200-$300, and even more than $500.

It depends on features, materials, size, and other criteria. Top brands charge a bit more price than their competitors.

High-end fishing reels are relatively pricier than regular options. But, it is worth the investment to aid you in catching more fish.

However, an expensive tag doesn’t always mean it is the best option.

Sometimes, mid-level spinning reels can beat costly options in many aspects. The key to selecting the best salmon spinning reels is considering all the crucial elements.

How Long Will The Fishing Reel Last?

A fishing reel usually lasts around five to six years from regular usage.

However, salt water and harsh conditions will degrade its quality quickly. It won’t last six years if you don’t dry it properly after every trip.

Corrosion and rust will form on its metal surface and decrease its lifespan within a short period.

Irregular usage with proper care may extend the lifespan of the fishing reel for up to ten years.

Another critical aspect is fishing only the remarkably rated fishing species.

Fishing over-sized fish will put additional force on the spinning real and may cause damage.

Should The Fishing Rod And Reel Need To Be Matched?

Matching the fishing rod and reel along with lures and lines is crucial.

Otherwise, it won’t be effective even if you choose the most expensive option. They need to work together as a team for the best casting performance.

But how can you match a fishing rod and reel? The fishing rod needs to be heavy enough so that the rod tip stays parallel to the ground while you hold the rod.

Choosing the right size reel is essential for a proper balance with the rod.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to salmon fishing, you want a perfect fishing combo, whether it is saltwater or freshwater fishing. We have already reviewed some best salmon fishing rods and reels.

You just need to determine your fishing requirements and choose a particular option based on your preference. Hopefully, you learned some valuable information from this article.