Fishing & Hunting Tips

Best river salmon rod for the money in 2020

Either you wanna catch a king, chum, pink or a silver salmon the first thing you need is an awesome rod, a rod which is exactly tuned and ready for some great salmon fishing. Well, this article is all about some of the best river salmon rods at a great price. Not only that, we shared a bunch of helpful information on fishing rods in this article from beginner to advanced level. Salmon fishing is all about finding the right spots. It doesn’t matter how expert fisherman catching the fish! If it’s not the right spot at the right time of the day, you will surely return with an empty bucket. Last but not least, don’t miss the Top Review Geek amazing tips section. You will find some perfect tips for salmon fishing by expert fishermen.

You can skip the educational sections and the tips section. In that case, check out the best river salmon rod table and reviews with valid pros and cons. Or if you are a  new angler or looking to learn more about fishing rods then scroll down below, you will find all the educational section where we’ve included almost all the information on rod action, power rating, types and more.

Let’s get started.

Best Pick: Best river salmon rod

Last updated on March 30, 2020 11:06 pm
ugly stik
St. croix
Length7’6″- 12′9’6″9’6″9′7’6″
PowerMedium-heavyMedium lightHeavyMediumMedium

 These are rods we are talking about. Now let’s go to a bit of detail.

1. KastKing Krome

best river salmon rod



  • Rod type: spinning rod
  • Length : 9’6″ ( ranges- 7’6″- 12′ )
  • Power: Medium Heavy
  • Action: Fast
  • Handle: Carbon Fiber handles
  • Guide: Fuji Guides and Reel Seats

Tips: Fluorescent Orange Strike Tip ( available in some model ) 

Description: These fine American made fishing rods are so good at catching salmons. It’s a pink salmon or a king salmon? You name it, KastKing is one of the best options you got in terms of a rod. The best thing I love about this famous company is their a huge option. You can go for any technique or reels, they offer huge rod option for both casting and spinning rods, several techniques.

The built quality of this rod is truly amazing. They say that this NEW KastKing Krome series rod use only Toray IM8 high carbon, 45 million modulus blanks and Nano Silica resins for incredible strength, performance, and sensitivity. Now that says a lot why many of the anglers using a single rod for decades! Overall it has a light feel but tremendous in power.

Unlike other fishing rod handles, KastKing Krome offers Durable Carbon Fiber Handles. It’s ready for a tough fight with stubborn fishes even in a very wet condition. No problem for a perfect grip, but the best thing is these handles are ultra-durable.

Now, lemme tell you folks, what I really love about these rods, why I’m suggesting you these rods!  They really worked hard on designing each rod. You will find 15 Technique Specific Actions. Each technique specific action is designed by experts with years of experience.  Now that proves, they really do care about your fishing comfort!

  • 2 pieces
  • Premium quality material blank, ultra-durable and sensitive
  • Extra-ordinary carbon handles
  • High quality and corrosion resistant guides
  • One of the customer had an issue with their customer service. Bad luck on him!

2. OKUMA Celilo

OKUMA Celilo



  • Rod type: spinning rod
  • Length: 9’6”
  • Power: Medium-light
  • Action: Fast
  • Handle: Fore and Rear Cork Grips
  • Guides: Aluminum Oxide Guide Inserts

Tips: Sensitive 

Description: If you want something great at a very cheap price, you might wanna have a look at this rod! Introducing the OKUMA Celilo, I use to call this the best Bang for the buck.

Okuma is the company on which any angler can rely on, they produced some of the best rods and reels over the past years. It’s a perfect rod, possibly the best rod for beginners out there. There are a couple of reasons, firstly it’s a spinning rod which is less complex to handle and secondly it’s a great affordable price. Trying out or starting fishing with something cheap is a smart decision.

OKUMA Celilo offers the highest quality materials, it’s tested for reliability and quality. No wonder why it’s so sensitive, made out of Sensitive Graphite Blank Construction. I don’t know how it’s that durable in such low price, but somehow they managed it perfectly.

One thing grabbed my attention is their reel position, really comes handy for a power grip. It has a Stainless Steel Hooded Reel Seats, I found many reel seats which are not up to the mark, the reel displaces often. But with this one, tightly keeps the reel. Not that premium quality but great for this range of bucks.

Lastly, it’s probably the best salmon rod for the money. Don’t miss this one, folks!

  • Great bang for money
  • Perfect for beginners and advanced level anglers
  • High quality graphite backbone, sensitive
  • Corrosion resistant guides
  • Some users have issue with rod tips ( follow the rod recommendations for avoiding damage )


best salmon rod for the money



  • Rod type: spinning rod
  • Length : 9’6”
  • Power: heavy
  • Action: Fast
  • Handle: Cork handle
  • Guides: FUJI hardloy ring guides
  • Reel seat: graphite trigger & TICA graphite APS reel seat

Description: Not many people know about this rod, but it’s another good rod for fishing several species, especially for salmon/steelhead. It’s a 2 piece spinning rod, consider it as a rod of medium budget range.

HLHB salmon rod is constructed with high modulus TC2 graphite material, the blank is light and so sensitive. I felt no arm fatigue during fishing. This might be the part you will love. It’s tremendous power but yet so lightweight. You can call it a Light and sensitive blank with high strength and perfect action.

It offers High-quality graphite trigger & TICA graphite APS reel seat for casting and spinning models. You can have both spinning and casting rod. Like other handles, it has a comfortable and durable cork handle. No offense but maybe they could use something better here. Though it’s ok to have a cork handle, not a big deal.

We are recommending you the 9’6” long, heavy power and fast action rod, you can cast pretty long distance with this length. You can also choose the medium power rod for a better castability, it has a length of  10’6”.

Let’s come to an ending about this rod. You can have this one for some good salmon fishing experience, check this one below.

  • Graphite blank, sensitive enough
  • Lightweight
  • Guides are so smooth
  • Great value
  • Handle is not that premium, could be better

Top Review Geek information section

Different types of rod

best salmon rod for the money

Basically, there are 3 types of the rod that you should know about as a beginner. The different 3 types are

  • Casting
  • Spinning
  • Centerpin ( floating rods )

Though there are several other types Such as Fly, Telescopic, Surf, Ice fishing, Trolling, Tenkara, Mooching, etc. Yes, the purpose is common which is catching fish, but the style, technique, and mechanism is the difference between each of the rods. Among all of them, casting and spinning rods are most prominent.

The basic difference between spinning and a casting rod is in the guides positioning and reel sit. In a spinning rod, guides are located on the bottom of the rod (hang off the bottom). The spinning rod is also taken a position on the bottom of the rod, means the spinning reel hangs beneath as well.

In the casting rod, guides are located on the top of the rod. The baitcaster reel in the casting rod is more like beside the handle, neighboring the handle. Baitcasting rods and reels are the best matches for expert anglers, at least who had achieved some experience and spent more or less time with fishing.

What’s rod action?

best river salmon rod

If you just started sports fishing, then you must be wondering what’s rod action? Is it important to select the perfect rod action for different species? Well, the answer is, yes! You need to understand the rod action for a different kind of fishing.

Rod action is how easily the rod bends when you put pressure on the tip. Just look at the distance between tip and bend point on the rod. The greater the distance between the rod tip and bend point the slower the action. And vice versa, the shorter the distance between the rod tip and bend point the faster the action.

You can also say that it takes a longer time for a slow action rod to retain its neutral position from the bending point than a fast action rod. Each rod has an action rating, must aware about the rod before affording a rod.

The 3 most common action ratings:

  • Fast
  • Medium/moderate
  • Slow

Though these are not only ratings, there are action points between them. Don’t get confused if you find a rod action with medium-fast, Extra-Fast, Extra-Slow, Medium-Slow, etc. they are just a bit above or below tuned.

What’s fishing rod power?

The rod power rating or the weight rating is basically the strength of the rod blank, how strong the rod backbone is. Power measures the lifting strength of the rod and the amount of flex/bend that occurs closest to the handles. The heavier the rating the stronger the backbone and less bend in the rod. And vice versa, the lighter the rating the rod the lesser the lifting strength (and greater bend) the rod will have.

The 3 most common power ratings:

  • Light
  • Medium
  • Heavy

Like the rod action, there is also various power, combined between 3 of these. For example, Medium-Heavy, Ultra-Light, Ultra-Heavy, etc.

Choosing the appropriate power is very important. In total, the heavier the fish the heavier the rod power (weight) rating. The heavy fish will give a tough fight, so you will need a strong rod for that. If you gonna fight a monster fish with a light power rod, it will break ultimately. It’s like fighting a giant tank with a tiny pistol.

Reel, Line, and Lure Ratings

Another essential thing to know is the line rating. Almost all rods will have a rating on line weight and lure weight to use with the rod.

Line rating: outlines the lowest to highest line weight to use with the specific rod. For example, you may find 10 – 20 lbs. That means the rod recommends you use a monofilament line rating between 10 – 20 lbs.

N.B: you may find some of the rods where fishing line type is not identified. If the fishing line type is not identified on the rod, assume it’s monofilament.

Lure rating: it’s the range of the weight of a lure (or setup) that you should be using. You can find it on ounces or grams in the rod blank. If the rating says ¼ – 1 oz. This means you likely shouldn’t be throwing big 2-ounce cannon ball sinkers as the rod won’t be able to cast well or you may break the rod itself.

For the best castability and action from your rod, follow these recommendations. If not, the rod won’t respond that much and can be damaged.

Top Review Geek  tips for salmon fishing from experts

  • A minimum length ranges from 8-10 feet is best for salmon fishing
  • Try to use a fast/medium fast/medium action rod
  • Heavy or medium heavy powered rods are the best match for salmon fishing
  • As salmon fish has cannibalistic natures, cured Salmon eggs as bait can be very effective for the king, chinook, coho and chum salmon. You can find this #1 salmon bait from any tackle store or prepare all by yourself by collecting the salmon roe from the salmon belly and then curing it. Check out some of the sharpest and superb salmon fillet knives here.
  • Attach these baits in your rig with an egg loop knot. These baits are so slippery, u will lose baits or taken by other small fishes.
  • The best time for salmon fishing is in the moment after sunrise and at the evening time, low light is basically a good time for catching salmons. These after sunrise, evening and overcast weather are the magic time for salmon fishing. You won’t return empty handed in these moments. The afternoon is super sucky for salmon fishing.
  • Salmon fishing is all about “finding the perfect spot”. Salmon swims upstream, as a matter of fact, they try to avoid the current. So you should not fishing in the middle of the river and also avoid the current cause that’s what they are doing.
  • Find a slough with little sheltered spots where there are no currents, salmon used to take rest in there. If you set your line there, it’s possible to find a big school in that rest zone of salmon.
  • Avoid rough handling after catching salmons, stunning the fish may require if you wanna fillet it and cook it fresh.

best river salmon rod

Top Review Geek Verdict

Fishing is such a mind refreshing activity, isn’t it? Owning a rod is just the beginning, fishing with it often and often can open the door of ultimate joy inside your mind. But a lack of little knowledge can destroy all of it. We tried our best to show you some of the best salmon rods for the money. Not only that, as Top Review Geek love to share its knowledge with you, we tried to share our experience and knowledge with you.

Let’s come to a verdict. If you ask me which one is the Best Spinning Rod Bang for your Buck, I would say try the Ugly Stik rod or OKUMA Celilo. However, if you want some more advanced feature with the rod with a great affordable price, the St. Croix Triumph is the best match you are looking for.

I hope the whole guide article helped you find the Best river salmon rod all by yourself. Lastly, If you have any questions or recommendations please feel free to add a comment below or contact us. We would love to hear from you. Happy fishing, folks!

Nicholi Wyto

Hey I'm Nicholi Wyto is a professional sports fisherman and hunter, love to enjoy spending time in Michigan’s rugged northern forests. I love to explore my experience and help others who are interested in fishing and hunting.

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