If you’re in the market for a new spinning rod but have a limited budget, these reviews are for you! The best rod isn’t necessarily the most expensive and our buyer’s guide explains how action, power, and length determine the best spinning rod for your needs. We also cover various features to help you understand the many models available. Our reviews of the ten best spinning rods under 100 dollars cover the pros and cons of each, specifications, and our view on what makes them the best budget spinning rods on the market. So whether your budget is $50 or $100 we have you covered for the best spinning rods under 100 Dollars.
ALL THE SPINNING RODS UNDER 100 DOLLARS THAT WE TESTED
SHAKESPEARE Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod
Thanks to its graphite and fiberglass construction, Shakespeare’s Ugly Stik GX2 delivers durability and a nice level of sensitivity. Designed with a clear tip, this spinning rod will ensure accuracy, solid responsiveness, and strength.
Its EVA handle is so lightweight that it feels super-comfy no matter how long you’ve held the rod. You can rest assured this spinning rod will provide smooth navigation thanks to its 3-ball bearings and the one-way clutch that offers instant, anti-reverse bearing. Its improved durability is due to the machine-made, double-anodized aluminum spool with large ball wire. Its two-piece construction makes this model easy to store and travel with. And last, but not least – this rod is also perfect for women who aren’t afraid to show some flex when out fishing. Among our top best spinning rods under 100 dollars.
LINE WEIGHT: 30 lbs
- For both genders
- Might not be the best choice for professionals
PISCIFUN Torrent Baitcasting Rod
This 2-piece baitcasting rod is designed with graphite-fiberglass composite which ensures durability, yet creates a nicely well-balanced and sturdy rod that’s practically bullet-proof. Thanks to its tip design, the Torrent is extra-sensitive and super lightweight. The EVA handle is designed to offer the ultimate comfort of grip, so fatigue is out of the picture, and it comes in quite handy when struggling to bring in the fish. The Torrent prides itself on its zirconium inserts and stainless steel, high-quality guides, enabling firmness, and minimizing friction, plus, this particular rod works well with all types of lines. Among our top best spinning rods under 100 dollars.
POWER: Medium Heavy
LINE WEIGHT: 10 – 20 lbs
- Full-size handle
- Quality made
- Not for large fish
FENWICK HMG Spinning Rod
The Fenwick HMG Spinning Rod allows you to obtain an affordable piece of equipment with compromising on quality. From tip to butt, this rod is constructed utilizing components rarely found in spinning rods under $100. The blank is constructed of 100% graphite spiraled with carbon thread for increased strength at a reduced weight. The deep pressed titanium guides are virtually indestructible, and the Fuji reel seat is both comfortable and lightweight. Even the handle is groundbreaking with an EVA and TAC blend for increased durability and grooved for greater comfort. The HMG spinning rod offers the strength, durability, and comfort needed for long days on the water with a price tag that makes it attainable for the recreational angler, our choice for best spinning rod under $100.
LENGTH: 6′ to 7’6″
POWER: Light to Medium-heavy
LINE WEIGHT: 4 -12 lbs
- Very sensitive, well suited for detecting light bites
- The graphite/carbon thread blank provides impressive strength and durability
- Fenwick backs this rod with a lifetime warranty
- Disappointing maximum line weight
- Power rating too light for larger species
- May not be suitable for tournament-level anglers
Surf anglers will appreciate Okuma’s Rockaway Spinning Rod thanks to its combination of quality, sensitivity, responsiveness, and economical price tag. Each rod starts with a lightweight 24-ton carbon blank, Ultimate Flex Reinforcement rod tip, and tip over butt ferrule connection for improved strength and balance. XQ series 316-stainless steel guides and Zirconium inserts provide superior performance with either braid or monofilament. While the tapered shrink tube / EVA grips provide a non-slip grip even when wet and the rounded EVA butt cap provides improved leverage for long casting. Available in lengths from 8′ to 12′, all incorporating a one-piece design, the Rockaway is perfect for the surf angler with limited transportation space who still want a rod that will provide the length needed to reach out and touch those fish that are just out of reach of others. Without a doubt, one of the best surf fishing rods of 2023 for under 100 dollars. For additional surf fishing options check out “The Best Surf Fishing Rods 2023”
ACTION: Medium -fast
POWER: Medium-light to Medium
LINE WEIGHT: 8 – 20 lbs
- Forward angled Sea Guides are exceptionally well suited for use with braided line
- Ultimate Flex Reinforcement allows for better force distribution at the tip to reduce breaks
- The lighter, more sensitive design allows anglers to feel the bite much sooner
- The Zirconium inserts will increase the life of guides when exposed to saltwater
- This rod does have fewer guides for the length than some competitors
- The increased sensitivity can result in increased fatigue on long days
- The lighter design may not be the best choice in rougher conditions
ZEBCO Z-Cast Casting Rod
Being 5-foot-6-inch long, this casting rod is perfect for the females in the fishing world, since the length offers maximum maneuverability that women prefer. Being a 2-piece rod means that it’s easy to transport and store. Its EVA handle ensures long-lasting comfort, reducing fatigue.
Zebco’s trademark Z-Glass technology is used, featuring a lasting, durable and flexible fiberglass construction that offers medium to light power, allowing anglers to cast longer distances while not losing grip. Thanks to its twist-lock reel seat and the 4+ tip sturdy shock-ring guides, the Z-Cast rod can withstand even the toughest struggle between you and your game. It’s absolutely perfect for catching light to medium-sized fish such as panfish and trout, but even bass won’t escape you.
POWER: Medium Light
LINE WEIGHT: 6 – 10 lbs
- Suitable for women
- Not for very big fish
The CR7 is one of the lightest spinning rods available for under $100 thanks to a groundbreaking combination of technological advances and modern construction materials. Each blank is constructed utilizing 40-ton carbon with a wrapped veil for increased strength and rigidity. Stainless-steel guides coupled with SIC inserts, improve casting ability while also withstanding corrosion even in saltwater. Finally, the FUJI reel seat and premium cork/EVA handle provide a firm, comfortable grip regardless of conditions. In the end, the Cadence CR7 ranks as one of the best bargains when it comes to spinning rods for under 100 dollars.
LENGTH: 5’10 -7’06”
ACTION: Medium -fast to Extra -fast
POWER: Medium-light to Medium-heavy
LINE WEIGHT: 4 – 20 lbs
- Extremely lightweight and easy to handle
- Ideal for smaller lures
- Exceptional casting distance and accuracy
- Ability to tackle larger fish
- Better suited for freshwater only
SHAKESPEARE Micro Series
Shakespeare is known for producing quality, but lower-priced, entry-level rods, and the Micro Series not only fit into that category, it takes it to another level. Lower prices are no longer sought only by those entering the sport. They are also desired by experienced anglers who paddle or travel when fishing – activities sure to result in high incidents of broken or damaged equipment. While many would look down on the stainless-steel guides, others will appreciate the return to basics when their new rod slips overboard or between a closing tailgate. But the lack of flare does not mean a lack of quality. The graphite blank offers the sensitivity needed from an ultra-light set up, and the traditional cork handles are both comfortable and attractive. This rod may not cost a million bucks, but it does look and perform as if it does, making the Micro Series one of the best budget spinning rods.
LENGTH: 4’6″ to 7’6″
ACTION: Medium to Medium- fast
POWER: Ultralight to Light
LINE WEIGHT: 2 – 10 lbs
- Extremely smooth feel
- Long casts with far fewer tangles
- Anglers of all experience levels
- Stainless-steel guides and inserts are unlikely to last that long.
- Hollow blank construction leave question as to long term durability
- Handle is a bit narrow for some users
Each rod is constructed using a graphite composite material, 70% graphite, and 30% fiberglass. Thanks to the graphite, the sensitivity is far greater than expected from a large surf rod, while the fiberglass provided the strength and power needed to fight the tide and fish alike. The Fuji aluminum oxide guides offer the perfect combination of lightweight, strength, and smoothness, allowing for excellent casting with either monofilament or braided lines. The Fuji reel seat is strong, lightweight, and backed by a proven track record. The rubber shrink tube handle is a unique component, designed to provide maximum security when making a long cast with wet hands. The 2-piece construction makes this surf rod easier to transport, even when selecting the 12′ model.
LENGTH: 8′ – 12′
ACTION: Moderate-fast to Fast
POWER: Medium-light to Heavy
LINE WEIGHT: 8 – 40 lbs
- Design allows for easier transportation
- Increased gripping ability
- Provide lightweight, durable, and long-lasting components
- Not suitable for larger species
- Two-piece models suffer a decrease in power and action
- Same features can be found in the cheaper Penn Prevail II
ENTSPORTS Sirius Spinning Rod
Designed as a 2-piece, the Sirius is easy to transport and store, even if it’s a 7-foot long fishing rod. This rod is made with sturdy carbon blanks that will elevate the strength levels while reducing the overall weight of the rod.
Thanks to its enhanced reel seat with a lock-down mechanism that’s also cushioned and with a stainless steel hood, the line will stay in place. Because of the steel guides and inserts being corrosion-resistant, saltwater fishing won’t damage the rod, plus, its design makes it possible for nibbles to be felt all the way to the handle.
The high-density EVA handles ensure a comfortable grip and here’s a hook holder that can serve many purposes. Also, a protective rod bag comes with the purchase, so your fishing gear can be nicely and securely stored.
POWER: Medum Heavy
LINE WEIGHT: 6 – 20 lbs
- Quality materials used
- Nice power
- Offers great control
- Not for large fish
BEST SPINNING RODS UNDER 100 DOLLARS
When purchasing a spinning rod, there are three main features you need to consider- action, power, and length. These features, along with overall construction, is far more important than how much money you spend. With the right combination of these three features, you will cast farther, be more accurate when doing so, and better control the fish you hook. The best rod is not always a matter of how much money you spend.
Action refers to how easily the rod will bend and how far from the tip it will do so. Most manufacturers describe the action as slow, moderate, fast, or extra fast, although some will use light, medium, medium/heavy, or heavy. The latter will also be used to describe power, which we will discuss in a moment. An extra fast, or heavy, the rod will bend 3-4″ from the tip. A slow, or light, the rod will bend approximately 1/3 of the from tip to handle.
The action determines how the rod will react when under stress, either when fighting a fish or casting a lure. A lighter action will allow casting of lighter lures and bend under the initial pressure of a fish striking, which lessens the chance the fish will detect your line. However, this lighter action will also make hook set more difficult and not provide the combination needed to wrestle large fish to the surface or out of thick cover.
Power, sometimes referred to as weight, is the pressure needed to bend the rod. The most common terms used to describe power are light, medium, and heavy, with heavy rods requiring more pressure to bend. Some manufacturers also offer mid-range power levels such as medium/light or medium/heavy, while higher-end rods often utilize a number rating (1 to 5) with lower numbers being lighter power. This latter method is used when describing fly fishing rods.
Length is, of course, the measurement of the rod from base to tip. While shorter rods allow for easier use in confined spaces or aboard a boat, they limit casting and do not provide as strong a hook set. A longer rod not only increases casting distance & it also allows the angler to take up more line during the hook set. Plus, the increased length provides additional control when a fish is hooked. Most experts would recommend using the longest rod the angler can handle, and conditions allow. The key is finding the length that provides you the perfect combination of distance and accuracy.
Although power, action, and length are the foundation of a good rod, there are a few additional features or components you need to be aware of – blank material, guides, reel seat, and handle construction. While these features will not make a bad rod good, they will make an already decent rod better and are often the tiebreaker when selecting one rod over another with power, action, and length are equal.
Most of today’s rod blanks are constructed from graphite or similar composite material, although some are still made using fiberglass. Due to its ability to provide a consistent flex throughout its length, fiberglass rods are a favorite for deep-sea fishing graphite is lighter and more sensitive and thus more suitable for casting and jigging. While graphite is more expensive, it is the preferred choice in most applications.
The guides, or loops through which the line passes from reel to tip, are often overlooked when selecting a rod. This is a mistake as the better the guides, the more sensitive the rod will be and less wear they will place on the line. The best guides are lined with ceramic or similar material to further protect the line from damage. Although some anglers place great emphasis on guide size, claiming the smaller guides increase casting distance, this is a matter of opinion rather than the industry standard.
The reel seat is rather basic, both in function and options. Other than holding the spinning reel in place and providing a point at which to grip the rod when using the reel, there is not much else it does. Some are open and allow the angler to feel the blank while others include a trigger like grip – which you choose is a matter of personal preference rather than performance. It is more important to make sure the reel seat fits the reel you will be using, is comfortable in your hand, and includes a large gnarled knob that is easy to use with wet or cold hands that secures tightly.
Cork is the traditional handle material and is still widely used today, with an increasing number of manufacturers turning to Eva foam or a combination of foam & cork. Although cork tends to last longer and looks better, your final selection again depends on personal preference. What is more important than handle material is handle length. Shorter handles are the preferred choice when casting lighter lures as they allow one-handed or rolling casts. Longer handles permit two-handed casting and are better when using heavy lures or casting for distance.
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!