If your kids want to join your fishing adventures, then you’ve realized your fishing rod is either unsuitable (for young children) or not ideal (for older kids). Fortunately, there are child and youth-specific fishing rods available to solve this problem. We’re here to help you decide which one would be best for your young angler. We’ve reviewed the ten best rods for kids, with suitable age ranges, lengths, and colors available. You’ll also find a list of accessories for each. The Buyer’s Guide and FAQs below will help you navigate the choices, understand the features and functions and choose which rod will work best for your young angler.

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Kids Fishing Pole ODDSPRO


ODDSPRO Kids with EVA handle, telescopic blank, and spincast reel best kids fishing poles

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SHAKESPEARE Ugly Stik GX2 ideal choice for a children’s fishing pole

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3 ft SHAKESPEARE Dock Runner best kids fishing poles




SHAKESPEARE Ugly Stik GX2 ideal choice for a children’s fishing pole

General Impression

There comes a time when every young angler must upgrade from a child fishing pole to a youth fishing rod. And the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 is a great choice for that very moment. Like the name suggests, the GX2 is yet another award-winning Ugly Stik. The models, which dominate both the saltwater and freshwater market, also seem to dominate the market for young children. And just like any other Ugly Stik, the GX2 possesses the same unique combination of graphite and fiberglass which makes the adult rods so appealing.

Thus, it is incredibly sensitive, strong, and well equipped to take on big fish. In the hands of a dedicated young angler, the GX2 can bring in trophy bass, panfish, catfish, and even salmon. It may not be the ideal choice for a children’s fishing pole, but there is no doubt it is an excellent choice for tween and teens. And once the kids get a bit older, they can graduate to other variants of the Ugly Stik, which are certainly some of the best saltwater and freshwater rods.


COLOUR: Black and Green
LENGTH: 5 ft, 6 inches
WHAT YOU GET: Graphite/fiberglass rod and 30 size spinning reel


  • Great balance of action and power
  • Unique and appealing design
  • Smooth winding reel
  • 2 piece construction for transport


  • Small handle with minor padding



3 ft SHAKESPEARE Dock Runner best kids fishing poles

General Impression

There is so much talk about Ugly Stiks in the fishing world that they might as well be celebrities. Nearly all of the models are extremely durable, sensitive, and powerful enough to land trophy fish. So surely, it should come as no surprise to many that the Ugly Stik Dock Runner is one of the very best kids fishing poles. The Dock Runner is Shakespeare’s attempt to win over anglers at an early age with a high-quality rod that performs and functions just like an adult piece. Aside from being significantly smaller, the model possesses almost all of the same features as the adult variants. It consists of a graphite and fiberglass blank, four eye guides, and a spinning reel preloaded with 6 lb. line.

However, it is the performance that truly earns the Dock Runner the title of being the best kids fishing poles. Kids can battle panfish, perch, small bass, and even carp, without ever worrying about snapping the piece in half. After all, what good is a weak rod around kids, who are notoriously destructive? The fun doesn’t have to just stop at childhood though, as the 3 foot Dock Runner is even suitable for adult anglers searching for smaller species. It’s light, compact, and makes for one incredible little piece to catch panfish in tight areas. It may be the kids fishing poles, but adults can also enjoy the little piece whenever they need a portable rod.


LENGTH: 3 ft
WHAT YOU GET: Graphite/fiberglass rod, traditional spinning reel


  • Sturdy composite blank
  • High-quality reel seat
  • Durable cork/EVA handle
  • Suitable for children and adults


  • Reel occasionally catches on itself

ODDSPRO Kids Fishing Pole

General Impression

Many manufacturers create cheap and flimsy products for children that don’t hold up when tested by kids. Tons of variants fall apart, leaving nothing more than pieces of a tool that was meant for fun. Thankfully, the ODDSPRO kids fishing pole could not be further from that.

From the second the piece is seen in person, it becomes apparent that the rod is only the highest of quality. It is fashioned to look and function just like an adult rod, with all of the same working mechanisms. There is a split grip EVA handle, telescopic blank, and spincast reel that functions without flaws. Most notable though is the split grip handle, which allows kids to pin the rod between their arm and chest when fighting fish or reeling in bait.

Parents that are always on the go will also love the ODDSPRO, as it comes with a complete fishing kit that neatly fits into the travel bag. When it comes to quality, there honestly isn’t much that can match the standards of the model, which is no doubt a fierce contender in the battle to be the best kid’s fishing rod.


COLOUR: Blue Camouflage
LENGTH: 3 ft, 11 inches
WHAT YOU GET: Telescopic rod, spincast reel, tackle box, travel bag, bobbers, bait included


  • Fully equipped set
  • Sharp camouflage design
  • Extremely portable
  • Split grip handle
  • Detachable reel seat


  • Only 3 line guides

LANAAK Pink Fishing Pole

General Impression

Let the little ladies set the hook on some monster fish with the Lanaak Pink Fishing Pole. The youth rod is designed with all of the same concepts as an adult model, as it is outfitted with a spinning reel, telescopic blank, and EVA foam handle. The combination makes for a rod that is easy to use, powerful, and comfortable for long days on the water.

However, due to its size, the Lanaak likely isn’t a great fit as a kids fishing poles for girls. At full length, it extends to 5 feet, 5 inches, which is essentially the same size as an adult model. Regardless, kids around 10-12 years of age can manage to use the rod fairly well, without facing too many difficulties. Nevertheless, the spinning reel works like a charm, and allows kids to cast their bait far greater distances than traditional push button (spincast) reels.

What is worth mentioning though is the complete set that comes with the Lanaak. Included items are a tackle box, lures, and a minnow net. Overall, the product is a great choice for anyone looking to fit their 10-12 year olds with a rod that truly works and functions like an adult model.


LENGTH: 5 ft, 5 inches
WHAT YOU GET: Telescopic rod, spinning reel, tackle box, baits/lures, net, and carrying case


  • Fun colors for girls
  • Reversible reel handles
  • Durable rod blank
  • Travel case for easy transport


  • Reel susceptible to paint chipping


General Impression

The KastKing Crixus is an ultra-well-made rod which is an ideal choice for mature kids that want to further develop their fishing skills. Unlike almost all of the other rods on this list, the KastKing Crixus is an adult rod, which also comes in small enough sizes to be used by children. As such, the 5 foot, 6 inch model no doubt wins the award for being the best youth fishing pole.

But what truly makes the Crixus great is its abundance of high tech features, which elevate it above the rest of the competition. The handle is crafted into a split grip, which allows anglers to tuck the rod between their armpits when fighting fish. Furthermore, the handle is fashioned of a golf ball style grip, which resists water and prevents slipping.

Of course, the IM6 blank cannot be overlooked, as it is incredibly sensitive and durable, allowing for anglers to feel the lightest bite. Make no mistake – the Crixus are definitely not little kids fishing poles that could be used by young children, but rather by youth who have a burning passion for the sport. It may not be the absolute best fishing pole for kids, but there is no doubt that it is the best choice for kids who dream of competitive fishing.


LENGTH: 5 ft, 6 inches
WHAT YOU GET: IM6 graphite rod


  • Ultra-high-quality graphite blank
  • Zirconium oxide rings
  • Comfortable golf grip handle
  • Split grip handle for variable angling


  • Rod only without any extras

PLUSSINO Telescopic Kids Fishing Pole

General Impression

The Plussino Telescopic is a kids fishing pole that truly allows the little buggers to get hands-on with the sport.

The crew over at Plussino cuts no corners in their pursuit to craft fine kids fishing rods. The telescopic model exemplifies that dedication, as the full set contains a retractable blank, spinning reel, tackle box, and set of lures. Everything a child could possibly need for their first journey to the water is all included, without any need for parents to search for additional items.

Though the simplicity of the item is what really draws many to it, the quality is truly what should be noted. The model, which is nearly 4 feet in length, is a great first fishing rod for kids, as it is easy to cast, powerful, and durable enough to survive a lengthy drop. But best of all, the little tikes can pack all of the goods into the neat and tidy tackle box – including the rod and reel – and journey to any destination without additional bags or boxes.


COLOUR: Blue and Black
LENGTH: 3 ft, 11 inches
WHAT YOU GET: Telescopic rod, spinning reel, fishing gear, and various lures


  • Extremely portable
  • Includes a complete fishing kit
  • Relatively easy to use
  • String and durable


  • Joints can wear down

KID CASTERS Fishing Pole and Spincast Reel

General Impression

There are plenty of good fishing rods for kids these days but finding something that will be memorable is a different story. Thankfully, the children fishing rods offered by Kid Casters can imprint fun memories that will surely last a lifetime. At first glance, it is incredibly obvious why the rods would appeal to a child. They are loaded with fun designs that include princesses, Ninja Turtles, and even Jurassic Park characters. What kid wouldn’t like such a tool?

The 2 foot, 6 inch rods do far more than just look cool though, as they actually work pretty well too. Kids can cast without an ounce of trouble, as the push button (spincast) mechanism is extremely basic and straightforward. All of the variants are manufactured to be medium/light action, to ensure that the handlers can feel the lightest bites from small fish on the other end.

While the Kid Caster variants are certainly fun to use at a young age, they are best replaced by a larger rod around the ages of 6-8. The short blank and reel just don’t age as well as other comparable models, such as the Zebco Dock Demon. Nevertheless, the model is certainly the best toddler fishing pole found on this list.


COLOUR: Multiple different cartoon-themed variants
LENGTH: 2 ft, 6 inches
WHAT YOU GET: Fiberglass rod, spincast reel, and practice casting plug


  • Fun and colorful designs
  • Simple push-button mechanism
  • Light action for easy handling
  • Short rod length for toddlers


  • Mostly constructed of plastic

PLAY22 Fishing Pole for Kids

General Impression

Oftentimes the best way to impress a kid is to just give them a complete kit for outdoor activities. All of the small trinkets and tools seem to fascinate children and give them a sense of adventure. Play22 nailed that idea on the head, as their telescopic kids fishing poles comes with a fully inclusive kit that can be taken straight to the water.

First to note is the telescopic rod, which folds up to a mere 14 inches. With such a short compact length, kids can toss it into the travel bag, which also includes a tackle box, net, and set of worms/bait. Of course, the rod itself is fairly high-quality, and can easily pull fish as large as 10 pounds out of the water. Overall, when it comes to finding a respectable kids fishing poles, parents can turn to the Play22 telescopic to provide tons of fun and enjoyment.


COLOUR: Black with orange reel
LENGTH: 5 ft, 5 inches
WHAT YOU GET: Telescopic fishing rod, reel, tackle box, net, and travel bag


  • Compact and portable
  • Full included fishing kit
  • Comfortable handle for children
  • High-quality reel


  • Telescopic joints accumulate wear

ZEBCO Micro UL Spincast

General Impression

The Zebco Micro UL Spincast rod is a children’s fishing rod that makes learning the sport a total breeze. Like many of the other spincast, or ‘push button’ rods, the Zebco Micro UL is a model that only requires the user to press a button in order to cast out. Thus, all kids need to do is wind up for a toss, hit the button, and let the bait fly out into the water. The spincast reel then transfers the momentum through the four guides of the graphite rod, and out towards the target destination.

The ease of use may win over many new anglers, but the incredible reliability is certainly what wins over seasoned sportsmen. Kids or new anglers can set the hook, pull on hefty fish, or even jerk bait away from the bottom without ever worrying about snapping the blank. The rod just works and doesn’t give way to the minor issues which plague many of the other competitive brands. Though it is nothing new, the Micro UL is definitely a model that could compete for the best kids fishing pole of 2023.


COLOUR: Black and Silver
LENGTH: 5 ft
WHAT YOU GET: Graphite rod and spincast reel


  • Lightweight graphite blank
  • Easy-to-use spincast reel
  • Great level of power
  • Sensitive and responsive


  • Reel is difficult to untangle line from

YONGZHI Kids Fishing Pole Full Kit

General Impression

Yongzhi launches a special fishing line for kids, aged 8 and up, in various colors and with a number of fun, attention-grabbing accessories. This particular fishing pole for kids is a telescopic unit that reaches 5.2 feet while measuring 14 inches when collapsed. Made from a blend of carbon and fiberglass, delivering just enough elasticity and sturdiness, kids won’t feel in over their heads.
This kids fishing pole comes with a full kit, and with the Fishing Starter Guide being one of the items included, kids will get clear instructions regarding basic fishing skills, see simple diagrams for rigging options, as well as some pointers for a successful fishing experience for the whole family.


COLOUR: Blue/Gold
LENGTH: 1.1 ft
WHAT YOU GET: A full kit


  • Elastic
  • Light
  • Replaceable handle
  • Affordable


  • For freshwater fishing only

Buyer's Guide


The length of a fishing rod is an absolutely critical factor to consider when purchasing a kids fishing poles.

Children come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and body types. With that in mind, it’s important to buy a rod which uniquely fits each child. And one of the most essential factors to keep in mind is the length of the blank.

Young children can’t handle rods which are nearly six feet in length, as such a length would require great amounts of leverage, which they just don’t have yet. Rather, kids are better off with products that range from 18 inches to 5 feet.

18 inch rods may seem too small to be practical, but such a length is ideal as a toddler fishing pole. It is short enough that a three or four year old could easily handle it, but also long enough that it can toss a lure a short distance.

Such a length would never be suitable for a pre-teen though, as it would be entirely impractical. Thus, rods closer to five feet are a better bet, as a child anywhere from 4-5 feet in height could effortlessly handle such a rod. A 5 foot piece definitely isn’t a toddler fishing rod, but rather a youth fishing pole.

Spinning vs Push Button vs Baitcasting

The two most conventional rod types in the adult fishing world are spinning rods and baitcasting rods. Both variants are used by novices and professionals, as they are extremely relevant and designed for sport fishing. However, the third type, which is a push button, also called a spincast, is almost exclusively used by children.

Spinning rods, which are mounted with a spinning reel, are designed with eye guides and a reel seat on the underside of the rod. The line simply streams below the blank, while it is released via the reel. A handful of the best kids fishing poles utilize the spinning rod concept.

The second rod type, referred to as a baitcasting rod, is a far more advanced design that places the reel and eye guides on top of a blank. The line is let loose via a frictionless wheel, which permits it to rapidly exit through the guides. In order to prevent the mechanism from creating tangles, the handler must keep their thumb on the wheel to monitor how fast the line comes out. As a result, such rods are really only used by experiences adults, though there are still models available for children.

Finally, there are push-button rods, or spincasters, which are the simplest of all. The true appeal behind a push button rod is that a handler must only press a basic button in order to release the line from the reel. As one might be able to guess, this variant is likely the best fishing reel for kids. They can just press a button and let their line loose to start enjoying the same sport that mom, dad, and grandpa do.


Catching a monster fish is a huge accomplishment for any child. After all, it creates bragging rights on the playground for ages.

But landing a ‘monster’ requires having the right gear, which can withstand the fight the fish puts up, as well as the sheer weight of the creature. So, arming a child with the right tools gives them that much more of a chance to land their very own ‘monster’. And the power factor is just that – the sheer strength of the pole when fighting and lifting a fish from the water.

Kids angling for crappies can surely grip a one piece push-button reel to bring in the floppy fishies. But that same configuration is practically useless for catching largemouth and smallmouth bass, as both species fight significantly harder. When angling for such species, kids need to be equipped with a rod that is much longer and more powerful, in order to take the fight to the fish. Rods which range from 4-5 feet are far more suitable and give the children a better chance at wrestling in their very own ‘monsters’.


1. What is the difference between a rod and a pole?

Though the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a significant difference between fishing poles and fishing rods.

A rod is a configuration that includes a reel, line guides, and a handle with a reel seat. Rods are then equipped with reels, which can function in a variety of styles, though baitcasting, spinning, and push-button are the most used models. In comparison to a standard fishing pole, rods are certainly more common.

On the contrary, a pole is nothing more than a simple piece of material that is without line guides or a reel. The basic configuration is more primitive, and rarely used in modern societies. Nevertheless, such a tool is occasionally used by traditional anglers or those following cultural customs from the past.

2. What is the difference between an adult and a kid’s fishing rod?

A kid’s fishing rod is moreover a small scale replica of an adult rod.
At first glance, kids fishing poles seem almost toy-like, as they possess all of the same moving parts and features of an adult rod, but on a significantly smaller scale. They still consist of a blank, set of guides, reel seat, and handle. Nevertheless, they are entirely functional just like any adult rod, but with less power and length.

However, the biggest difference between adult and kids rods can be found in the reels. Many child fishing poles utilize a push-button mechanism, which is far easier to manage than a spinning or baitcasting reel. With such a reel, a handler only needs to press an exterior button, in order to release the line and cast the bait. There is essentially no learning curve, and kids can start enjoying the fun from their very first day on the water.

Push-button reels do still exist as an adult piece, but they are much less common due to their relative utility in comparison to a spinning or baitcasting rod.

3. How long are kids fishing poles?

The best kids fishing poles range in length from 18 inches to 5 feet. A rod which lands on the smaller end of the spectrum at 18 inches is designated as more of a toddler fishing pole. The short length is easy to handle and manage, and typically comes with a simplistic reel such as a push-button. All in all, such a piece is likely the best fishing pole for 4 year old children.

Yet, that length is not suitable for a child that is much past the age of 5. Kids from 7-10 years old can easily handle rods which are closer to 3 or 4 feet in length. The increased length provides more leverage, as well as greater strength for fighting larger fish. A rod 4 feet can cast with ease, as well as retrieve fish such as crappie, bass, catfish, and salmon.
But no big kid would ever be caught with a tiny pole, as that would be entirely demoralizing. Once a child reaches nearly 4 feet in height, they can handle a rod as long as 5 feet in length. A ‘big kid’ fishing rod can be as long as 5 feet and possess all of the same capabilities as an adult rod.

4. Are kids fishing poles safe?

Kids are rambunctious, wild, and unpredictable. No activity is truly 100% child-safe, but fishing is one activity that is far safer than many other sports. Kids fishing poles are small scale replicas of the adult version, with slightly easier casting mechanisms. Child fishing rods are typically far shorter and made with a thinner base.

However, they are still fashioned of the same basic materials, and look almost identical. Nevertheless, fishing poles are reliably safe for children. Many of the popular models include covers for the reel, to prevent the spinning mechanism from catching fingers or other parts. Otherwise, there are no specific parts which could cause injury, unless the pole was used as a lightsaber. Those with children who worship Star Wars might need to be wary, but aside from that, there is no real concern. Parents who tie the hooks and remove the fish can rest assured that no harm will come to their child.

5. Can a fish pull a child into the water?

A child is a mere paperweight to a hammerhead shark. So if a child was holding onto a pole that such a species were to bite the line of, then yes, a child could certainly be pulled into the water.

But in all reality – such a situation is extremely unlikely to happen. First off, even the best fishing rods for children would never be used for such a specific type of angling. The tiny little rods simply would not be capable of holding the weight of shark bait.

Second off, fishing poles for kids are used almost exclusively to angle for small species such as panfish or bass. Fish such as crappie, bluegill, or sunfish can easily be caught with a small pole, as they typically weigh less than one pound.

Bass on the other hand, often like similar bait to crappies or bluegill. Yet they are a far larger species, and can occasionally weigh as much as 20 lbs. In this situation, a child could potentially be pulled into the water if a heavy bass took the bait. Though it is extremely unlikely, it could potentially happen in southern areas of the US where such large bass reside.

As a reminder, adults should always supervise children when fishing. The hooks, water, and environment can always potentially cause harm to children.

6. What is the best fishing pole for a 4 to 5 year old?

The best fishing pole for a 4 to 5 year old is the Kid Casters fishing pole and spincast reel combo.

At such a young age, it is difficult for kids to handle and maneuver tools such as a children fishing rod. Although they may be plenty strong, they don’t have the coordination to work a spinning or baitcasting reel. Thus, the spincast option from Kid Casters makes the process a whole lot easier.

With the rods, kids just need to click the front button, wind up the rod, then toss their bait out. The spincast reel takes care of the rest, and automatically extends the line out from the enclosed reel. There are very little needed steps, which permits kids to have tons of fun – without an ounce of difficulty.

7. What is the best fishing pole for girls?

The best girls fishing pole is the Lanaak Pink fishing pole. The 5 foot, 5 inch rod is designed with a flat pink color, telescopic blank, and spinning reel that functions just like an adult model. At first glance, the rod would very much appear to be an adult model, with the only exception being the slightly shorter length and smaller reel.

However, that aspect is also what makes the product more suitable for youth, rather than young children. Those above 10 years of age should have no problem handling the piece, but those below may have difficulties with the spinning reel. While the color is designated pink to make the rod appealing for girls, it can certainly be used as a boys fishing pole too.

8. What is the best fishing pole for a 10 year old?

The best fishing pole for a 10 year old is the KastKing Crixus. The Crixus, which is actually an adult model, comes in sizes as small as 5 feet, 6 inches. Such a size is ideal for youth which take the sport of fishing serious, and want to further progress their skills. It is manufactured with IM6 graphite, zirconium oxide guides, and a superpolymer handle which is designed in the style of a golf grip.

Don’t be mistaken though – the Crixus certainly isn’t a toy, or a kid fishing pole which should be used by a rambunctious toddler. It’s a high-quality piece that needs to be well cared for, and treated like any other treasured item. Overall, the Crixus can help develop countless skills that even the best fishing rod for kids can’t teach an angler.

9. Should I get a kid’s fishing rod and reel combo or buy the rod and reel separately?

Almost all of the best fishing poles for kids come with their own reel attached.
Unlike adult rods, kid’s rods are typically mounted with a complete combination of rod and reel. Many of the blanks are fashioned with a unique size and shape, which only permits the reels that are specially designed for them

Nevertheless, there are still good fishing poles for kids that come separate from a reel. Toddlers and preschool-aged kiddos are best equipped with a rod/reel combo, though the same doesn’t always hold true for young children approaching their teenage years.

Kids that approach their teenage years are oftentimes best equipped with an adult rod variant at its shortest size. A great example is the KastKing Resolute, which is a model that ranges from 4’6 to 7’6. The tool is certainly one of the best spinning rods on the market, due to its sturdy graphite blank and reliable microwave air guides. Such a model would never be suitable as a fishing pole for a 5 year old, however, it could be a great tool for kids just entering their tweens.

At the end of the day, the only way to truly find a great fit for each kid is to determine what sort of angling they will be doing and purchase the right rod and reel combo that best prepares them to reel in the big ones.

best kids fishing poles


As always, we create our content with you, fellow adventurers, in mind. So, how’d we do? Did you find this informative? Did it help you make a decision? Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear from you below. Thanks for reading and we hope your next adventure is a great one!

David Stefanoski

David Stefanoski is an avid outdoorsman who loves to explore the deepest, most exciting crevices of nature and then write about them. From the maximum depth that a scuba suit can go, to the maximum heights that his legs will take him, David enjoys the outdoors in its warmest, sunniest days on the prairie, to the iciest, dampest little spots in Eastern Europe. After 15 years of trudging, his favorite outdoorsman activity is still chopping wood due to his large body size. He says it's like splitting toothpicks!

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