We’re in the middle of the summer season, and if you’ve been looking for an excuse to get out on the lake or river, salmon fishing might be just what you need. But, to be successful, you’ll need more than luck – you’ll need the right gears for the job! We’ve rounded up our picks for the best rod for salmon fishing in 2023. Read below to discover which rod is perfect for you and why.
Let’s get started!
Best Rod for Salmon Fishing: Top 5 Picks
1. Okuma Celilo Graphite Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Rod
DESCRIPTION: The Okuma Celilo Graphite Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Rod is the perfect choice for salmon and steelhead anglers of all levels. The rod features a graphite composite blank construction that provides superior sensitivity and dependable handling. The Aluminum Oxide guide inserts provide corrosion resistance and helps reduce friction, while the stainless steel hooded reel seats offer a secure fit for your reel.
The rod also features quality grade fore and rear cork grips for added comfort, and the stainless steel hook keeper provides an easy storage solution when the rod is not in use. This 9 ft 6 inch spinning rod has a medium light action with a 4-12 lb line rating, making it perfect for salmon fishing.
pROS & CONS:
2. Okuma Celilo Graphite Salmon/Steelhead Casting Rod
DESCRIPTION: The Okuma® Celilo Salmon/Steelhead Casting Rods are designed to maximize your success and give you the ultimate casting experience. Features include a sensitive graphite composite blank for smooth, fluid flex, aluminum oxide constructed guide inserts that provide protection against corrosion, stainless steel hooded reel seats for improved stability, and fore and rear cork grips for all day comfort.
The rods also feature a stainless steel hook keeper and thru-blank handle design for an ergonomic feel, plus a 1-year warranty from Okuma®. Whether you’re trolling or casting, you can trust the Celilo Salmon/Steelhead Casting Rods to meet your needs and give you maximum performance!
pROS & CONS:
3. Berrypro Salmon & Steelhead Spinning Rod
DESCRIPTION: The Berrypro KNIGHT’S SWORD rods are perfect for you if you need a strong pole that can cast long distances and accurately land the fish. With IM8 X-Carbon Technology, these poles provide strength and flexibility that is unmatched by other rods. The ergonomically designed reel seat provides comfort and control when fishing with this rod. The guides are constructed of stainless steel with ceramic rings for smooth casting and minimal friction, while a folding design hook keeper makes your fishing more convenient.
Best of all, the Berrypro KNIGHT’S SWORD comes with a one-year warranty to ensure quality and satisfaction. With this rod you will be sure to land the big catches! Whether you’re fishing for walleye, salmon or steelhead, this rod is the perfect choice for all your inshore needs.
pROS & CONS:
4. Fenwick HMX Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Fishing Rod
DESCRIPTION: The Fenwick HMX Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Fishing Rod is an excellent choice for those looking to target salmon and steelhead. The rod features a smooth intermediate modulus carbon fiber blank and Fuji reel skeleton, as well as full reel seats and sea guide Ss316 stainless sloped guides with Zirconium inserts making this a great rod for the most serious anglers.
This rod also boasts premium cork and TAC grips in split and full handle 1383244, making sure that you’ll always have a secure grip while casting your line. Best of all, this rod comes with a 5-year limited warranty so you can be sure it’s built to last.
pROS & CONS:
5. Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod
The Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod for Salmon and Steelhead is the perfect choice if you want to fish with strength, durability, and sensitivity. Featuring 35% more graphite than the Ugly Stik GX2, this rod is built tough to withstand whatever comes your way. With a 10-20lb line rating, medium heavy power, and a medium fast action, you’ll be able to easily cast out your lures or baits with precision.
The Ugly Tuff one-piece stainless steel guides provide excellent corrosion resistance and durability while the conventional reel seats with cushioned stainless steel hoods keep your hands comfortable and protected. With premium Type-F Cork rod handles, this rod is lightweight and slip-resistant so you can hold on tight. The Ugly Stik Clear Tip design also provides extra strength and sensitivity when casting for Salmon or Steelhead. Best of all, the Ugly Stik Elite Rods come with a 7-year warranty that you won’t find anywhere else.
pROS & CONS:
Everything We Recommend
Salmon fishing is a type of recreational angling which involves catching salmon, mostly by using rods and reels. The different types of salmon are Chinook (King), Coho (Silver), Chums (Dog/Keta) and Sockeye (Red). There are many methods used to fish for Salmon including trolling, float fishing, jigging, spinning and fly fishing.
While Salmon fishing can be done from the shore or bank, it is more commonly done on a boat or off a dock. The most common tackle used for Salmon fishing includes rods that are 6 to 8 feet in length and rated for 10-20 pound test line. The lures used vary depending on the species of Salmon being targeted and the method of fishing.
Where to Go for Salmon Fishing?
Salmon Fishing can be done almost anywhere in the world; however, some of the best places for Salmon fishing include Alaska, British Columbia (Canada), Washington State and Oregon. In these areas, there are many rivers and streams which provide excellent habitat for Salmon.
In addition to these regions of North America, the northern coasts of Europe such as Norway and Scotland also provide plenty of opportunities for Salmon fishing.
Types of Rod for Salmon Fishing?
There are several different types of rod suited to Salmon Fishing. The type used will depend on your preference and the technique you are using.
Spinning Rods: Spinning rods are typically 6-8 feet in length, with a light to medium-heavy power rating and a medium-fast action. They are designed for use with spinning reels and have a larger range of lures. If you are just starting out and need to master the techniques of spinning rod, read our previous post on how to hold a spinning fishing rod for increased performance.
Casting Rods: Casting rods are also 6-8 feet in length, but they have more powerful ratings and faster actions than spinning rods. They are designed for use with baitcasting reels and give the angler greater accuracy.
Fly Fishing Rods: Fly fishing rods are usually shorter than other types, ranging from 7-9 feet in length. They have a lighter power rating and slower action and are designed for use with fly reels and specialized lures.
If you are a beginner and thinking of starting with fly fishing rod for salmon fishing, we recommend reading our reviews of best fly fishing rods for beginners so that you know exactly what to look for when purchasing your first fly fishing rod.
Trolling Rods: Trolling rods are typically 8-10 feet in length and have a heavy power rating and slow action. They are designed for use with trolling reels and have the ability to cast out lures at greater distances.
How to Choose a Rod for Salmon Fishing?
When choosing the best rod for salmon fishing, you should consider the type of fish you are targeting and what techniques and lures you will be using. For instance, if you plan on trolling with heavy tackle then a trolling rod is your best choice. On the other hand, if you plan to use lighter lures then a casting or spinning rod may be more suitable.
You should also consider the following factors when selecting the best rod for salmon fishing:
Action: The action of the rod should match the type of lures you will use. For example, if you plan on using light lures then a fast-action or medium-fast action rod is recommended.
Power: The power rating should match the size and weight of your lures and baits. If you plan on fishing with larger and heavier lures then you should opt for a rod with a higher power rating.
Length: The length of the rod should also be taken into account; longer rods are better for casting out lures at greater distances, while shorter rods are more maneuverable and provide more accuracy when casting.
Weight: The weight of the rod is an important factor as it affects the overall balance and sensitivity. Try to choose a light rod that will still provide enough power for your lures.
Components: When choosing the best rod for salmon fishing, you should first learn about what fishing rods are made of to make sure that the components used in your rod are of good quality. This includes the following –
- Rod Block: The rod block is the part of the rod that holds the guides and reel seat. Look for a rod with an aluminum alloy or graphite construction, as these materials are lightweight yet durable.
- Guides: The guides should be made from corrosion-resistant material, such as stainless steel or titanium, to ensure they last longer in salty conditions.
- Reel Seats: Reel seats should also be made from corrosion-resistant material and should fit the reel snugly.
- Handle: The handle should be comfortable to hold and provide a good grip when wet.
Portability: You should also consider how portable the rod is. If you plan on fishing in different locations, then a travel-friendly rod might be your best bet.
Price: Finally, you should take into consideration the cost of the rod. There are a wide range of rods available at various price points, so make sure you find one that fits within your budget.
Do I Need to Use Special Equipment for Salmon Fishing?
Yes, you will need specialized equipment for Salmon Fishing. This includes the right rod and reel, lures and baits, as well as other necessary items such as line, weights and hooks.
What Type of Rod Should I Use for Salmon Fishing?
The type of rod you should use depends on the type of fishing techniques and lures you plan on using. Generally, trolling rods are best for fishing with heavy tackle and casting or spinning rods are better for lighter lures.
Which is Best – Casting or Spinning Rods?
Both types of rods can be used for Salmon Fishing, however casting rods provide greater accuracy when casting out lures at shorter distances. For long-distance casting, trolling rods are generally recommended.
What Length Rod is Best for Salmon Fishing?
The length of the rod should be determined by the type of fishing techniques and lures you plan on using. Generally, longer rods are better for casting out lures at greater distances, while shorter rods are more maneuverable and provide more accuracy when casting.
What Weight Rod is Ideal for Salmon Fishing?
When selecting a rod for Salmon Fishing, you should opt for one that’s lightweight yet still provides enough power to handle your lures and baits. This will help you maintain control of the rod even when casting out heavy lures or fighting against strong fish.
Which Fishing Line is Best for Salmon Fishing:
When it comes to fishing line for Salmon Fishing, you should opt for a monofilament or fluorocarbon line. Monofilament is more flexible and is best suited for casting out lures while fluorocarbon is more abrasion-resistant which makes it ideal for trolling. Whichever one you choose, make sure that it is rated for the water depth and temperature you will be fishing in.
Can I Use Braided Line for Salmon Fishing?
Yes, braided line can be used for Salmon Fishing. This type of line is very strong and abrasion-resistant, so it’s perfect for trolling or deep sea fishing. However, braided line can be difficult to cast out due to its stiffness, so it’s best suited for experienced anglers.
If you are planning to use your braided line anyway, we recommend you read our previous article on when to use braided fishing line.
Should I Use a Leader for Salmon Fishing?
Yes, it’s recommended that you use a leader for Salmon Fishing. Leaders provide an extra layer of protection between your line and the fish to prevent them from biting through and breaking off your line. They also help reduce visibility in the water, which can help attract more fish.
Can I Use a Fly Rod for Salmon Fishing?
Yes, you can use a fly rod for Salmon Fishing. Fly rods are designed to cast out lightweight lures and flies with precision and accuracy, so they are great for targeting salmon in smaller streams or rivers. They also provide more control over the presentation of your lure or bait, which can make all the difference when fishing for salmon.
Are Salmon Fishing Rods Expensive?
No, Salmon Fishing Rods don’t have to be expensive. There are a wide range of rods available at various price points, so you should be able to find one that fits within your budget. It’s important to remember though that the quality of the rod and components will affect how well it performs in the water.
Are Cheap Rods Worth it?
If you’re on a budget and are looking for a rod that will get the job done, then yes, cheap rods can be worth it. However, keep in mind that they may not have the same features or performance as more expensive models. It’s important to do your research and read reviews before making your purchase to make sure that you’re getting the best rod for your needs.
How to Store Salmon Fishing Rods?
The best way to store your fishing rods is in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight. Be sure to wipe down the rod with a damp cloth before storing it and make sure that the reel is disengaged so that the line does not become tangled during storage. Lastly, check for any signs of corrosion or wear and tear on the rod before using it again.
What is the Best Bait for Salmon Fishing?
The best bait for Salmon Fishing depends on the type of salmon you are targeting. Generally, cut herring, shrimp, squid and other small fish baits will be successful when fishing for salmon. It’s also important to make sure that your bait is presented properly in order to attract the fish to your lure or bait.
Choosing the best rod for salmon fishing can be a daunting task. But with some research, you can find the perfect rod that fits both your budget and your fishing needs. Be sure to consider factors such as length, weight, line type, leader type and bait selection when making your decision. With the right equipment and knowledge, you’ll be sure to have a successful Salmon Fishing experience! Best of luck on your next fishing trip!