Fishing & Hunting Tips

Best salmon steelhead spinning rods

No wonder why we all love salmon/steelhead fishing. salmon fishing is a kind of fishing which can give you a lot of amazing experience of fishing. For beginners, it’s a wise decision to go for salmon fishing rather than other big game fishing or tough fishing which takes a lot of experience.

You surely searching for some best spinning rods in the market and all we could say that you took the right decision. It’s the spinning reel that you have to use with it. And choosing the spinning rod and reel is truly the wise decision. Why? Cause spinning rods are-

  • Super easy to use
  • Perfect for beginners
  • So popular among any level angler
  • Less complexive mechanism
  • Usually cheap in price

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.

Let’s see the best rods according to our personal experience and customer reviews.

Best Pick: Best salmon steelhead spinning rods

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13 new from $88.99
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2 new from $49.12
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Last updated on March 30, 2020 12:06 pm

1. Lamiglas X-11

Lamiglas X



  • Rod type: spinning rod
  • Length: 9.6 feet
  • Power: medium
  • Action: fast
  • Cork: cork foam

Guide: stainless steel, chrome guides

Description: Lamiglas x-11 is a moderate spinning rod for some real good fishing experience. Precisely for salmon/steelhead fishing, Lamiglas X-11 is a bang for money. For beginners it’s a piece of gem. Wanna know why? Let’s find out.

It’s a pretty long rod, the length is 9.6 feet. You can get various size with different power ad action. Surely this USA made rods made out of some best materials, The X-11 Series fishing rods by Lamiglas are engineered & designed in the United States then built High Fiber Density 24 Ton Carbon Graphite Graphite for Sensitivity & Durability with an attractive Gloss Merlot Finish. I actually loved the great sensitivity and lightweight of this rod. You can feel the vibe the moment fish hooked.

It’s a medium power rod and fast action rod. A perfect combination of power and action for salmon fishing specifically. It gives you to put a Lure Weight: 1/4 – 3/4, Line Weight: 6 – 15.

The guides are also so satisfying, These rods feature stainless steel, chrome guides. The combination of their Pacific Bay Deep Pressed ring design and finish allows these guides to hold up to the most rigorous of fishing conditions.

Lastly, it’s a rod that you can put your trust on. An amazing thing is X-11 Series Lamiglas fishing poles are covered by 1-Year warranty against any manufacturing defects of the rod. That proves their good customer care. Give it a try.

  • So lightweight and sensitive blank
  • Premium quality material
  • Ultra durable
  • 1 year warranty
  • Some users had some issues with pole eyes

2. St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rods

Croix Triumph Spinning Rods



  • Rod type: spinning rod
  • Length: 7.6 feet
  • Power: medium
  • Action: fast
  • Handle: cork foam

Guide: Hard Aluminum-Oxide

Description: Let’s talk about a rod which is absolutely stunning! Yup, I’m talking about this rod. The St. croix triumph series. Personally, I’m a huge fan of St. Croix for a very long time, I own several of them including one of the best the St. Croix Mojo which I use for catfishing. This one, St Croix Triumph is a spinning rod for salmon fishing.

The best thing about this rod is it’s so lightweight! No chance of arm fatigue after a long time fishing. The lightweight feeling with great sensitivity is the best two facts I love about this rod. Yet it has a strong blank, so durable.

St. Croix Triumph is constructed with Premium SCII Graphite, which provides Outstanding Strength, Sensitivity, and Hook-Setting Power. Now lemme clear you about the length of this rod, there are some variations. Here we recommend you a 7.6 feet long rod with med/fast power and action. Though this setup rod is a one piece rod, if you want a two piece rod, you can get the same strength and action but the length will be 7 feet.

The handle is like typical cork foam handle, maybe they could offer something better in this section but anyway it’s not a problem with their cork handle.

Lastly, it’s the finest premium rod in this list. Grab it now if your budget is not too short. trust me folks, it won’t let you down.

  • Great sensitivity, strength
  • Very lightweight
  • Ultra-durability
  • Great value for money
  • Only 1 customer in amazon had some problem with the reel seat

3. Ugly Stik GX2

best salmon steelhead spinning rods



  • Rod type: spinning rod
  • Length: 9 feet
  • Strength: medium
  • Action: fast
  • Handle: lightweight EVA grip

Guide: Durable Ugly Tuff one-piece stainless steel guides 

Description: The ugly stik GX2 rod is the rod what we say the best bang for the money, no rod can beat this shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 in this term, the best rod I have ever seen in this price.  It’s a spinning rod which can be a perfect choice for the beginners out there. Also a great price for beginning fishing, it’s a smart decision to starting fishing with a really cheap rod.

It has a balanced blend of graphite and fiberglass construction is the reason for its awesome strength and sensitivity. Our recommendation is 9 feet long, 2 piece rod. Not only you can cast for a long distance with it but also great ease for carrying it.

I wonder how they do it! Yup, it’s a cheap rod, but good for you it offers an exceptional handle. Isn’t that amazing? The Durable and lightweight EVA grips are just absolutely wonderful. Didn’t expect this much good quality handle from this rod, but truly this handle is different from other rods in these much affordable price range, even better than some of the expensive rods in the market. Amazing, isn’t it?

No wonder why it got a huge amount of sell and a very good rating. That prove its success rate on fishing. Grab it now!

  • Great castability, 2 piece rod
  • Very affordable price
  • Great durability
  • 7 years warranty
  • None so far

4. OKUMA Celilo

OKUMA Celilo



  • Rod type: spinning rod
  • Length: 8.6 feet
  • Power: heavy
  • Action: fast
  • Handle: cork foam

Guide: Aluminum Oxide Guide

Description: You must be heard the name of the famous company Okuma right? They produced some of the great fishing gears over the past years. I personally love their spinning reels, but they do have great fishing rods also. This Okuma celilo series rod is one of the best product of okuma which can be a great spinning choice for salmon/steelhead.

I wonder how they managed to offer such an excellent salmon rod in this much cheaper price. Yup, folks it’s amazingly low in price. This rod is made of using the highest quality materials, the code material is graphite. The Sensitive Graphite Blank Construction is really super sensitive which can be an asset in salmon/steelhead fishing.

This 8’6” long rod is a combination of heavy power and medium action. the rods that made with graphite are generally good in sensitivity, it also has Sensitive Graphite Blank Construction and obviously sensitive.

The reason the used Aluminum Oxide Guide Inserts, it’s more corrosion resistant, though salmon fishing is freshwater fishing. Stainless Steel Hooded Reel Seats are perfect and hold the reels goodly for quite a long day.

It offers you Quality Grade Fore and Rear Cork Grips, it’s not that expensive rod so it’s ok to have a typical rod handle material. They supports and manage pretty good grip. Overall, a great rod to start with. Just be carefull with the line or lure weight. The line rating is 12-25lb.

  • Sensitive material used for great sensitivity
  • Good action
  • Durable
  • Great value for money
  • Some users broke the tip so quickly, surely didn’t follow the line and lure recommandations

Top Review Geek information section

Different types of rod

best salmon steelhead spinning rods

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.


Rod action explained

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.

best salmon steelhead spinning rods

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 fish 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.



We tried to show you only some of the best salmon steelhead spinning rods with fewer cons as much as possible. To be honest, every product has some pros and cons, but it’s also true that it depends on you too how finely you maintain and treat the product. If you can have some good knowledge of fishing, any of this rod can go a long way.

One more suggestion from Top Review Geek, if you want a cheap price rod Ugly Stik GX2 will be the best option. And if you wanna go for a premium one, you can have the St. Croix Triumph.

That’s all for today folks, looking forward to hearing more from you. Happy salmon fishing.

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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