Fishing & Hunting Tips

How to choose the best fishing rods for salmon [Guide & Tips] in 2019

Whether you’re after the hearty Sockeye Salmon, the behemoth King Salmon, or something in between and doesn’t know what fishing rod to choose, then allow me to help you. There are tons of fishing rod and it’s obvious to get confused for the beginner that which rod will be best for him or her.

Let’s get to the topic now. Which fishing rods will be for salmon will be the best for you? Well, don’t think about the species you wanna catch. Just think about your casting, your comfort and fishing experience.

You can catch any species with any good rod and there are plenty of good rods out there. But considering casting, comfort, and experience, you have to understand certain matters about the rod, if you do then you can go for the right decision on your own.

To be very precise, all you need is a 7-11 feet long spinning or baitcasting rod, action should be medium heavy, rod rated for 15-30 pound line, better if it is a 2 piece graphite rod. That’s a perfect rod setup for catching salmon.

Let’s get into more details for choosing a rod for salmon.

Choosing the reel

You must know what the fishing reel is. Then you must know that there is a specific rod for a specific kind of reel. So let’s get the reel first. There are 2 kinds of reels.

  1. Baitcasting
  2. Spinning

salmon fishing rods choosing the right one

Baitcasting: Baitcaster reels are the reels for advanced level. It needs some practice to master it. Baitcasting reels are really expensive than the spinning reel. Yes, they have some better ability than spinning reel, it has far better line capacity than a spinning reel and a little lightweight baitcaster has an amazing drag which facts are absent in a spinning reel! It also needs a heavier lure.

Spinning/spincast:  This is what I would say the best option for begging level of fishing. It’s a spinning reel just like the previous one but more accurate, more line capacity and much smoother. It’s very famous and really easy to use. Plus, it comes at a really affordable price. Baitcaster reels are something for professionals, bit tough and need a lot of practice to use, moreover they are expensive. So a spinning reel is the best choice for a beginner angler.

Now, you know about the reels and if you choose about spinning reel then you have to go for a spinning rod and if you wanna go for baitcasting reel than likewise, you have to go for a baitcasting rod.

If you are a complete beginner then I suggest you to go for a spinning rod. They are a great choice for salmon fishing, for every level angler either a pro or a beginner with a great affordable price.

Choose a length

Choose the length of the rod first. There is a range of fishing rods from 4 to 14 feet, larger rods have that mechanism to disassemble into several pieces for an easy transformation. Depending on where or in which situation you will be fishing and what are you fishing for you need to know that –

  • You can cast a short distance with shorter ones, also you can use lightweight lures with shorter rods. Shorter ones are perfect for fighting big fishes or in a big game fishing. Because of the length, it’s less sensitive so fish can’t bend it too much and can’t very well with it!
  • Longer rods can cast farther, good for surfcasting. You can cast to a long length standing in a shoreline. Needs heavier lure to cast with it. Also, you need an open and wide space to use these rods, imagine there’s tree above you or not enough space then you can’t cast with a long length rod.

For a lightweight setup, you can go for lightweight rods. Long rods are good for salmon fishing. Also increases your castability. For salmon fishing, take 8-10 feet rod. It will be good enough.

Understanding the rod action

It’s the term related to rod flexibility. It’s very important to classify the action of the rod, it refers that how much flexible it is, how much it can bend and where it bends. There are 3 types of action –

  1. Fast action
  2. Medium action
  3. Slow action

Fast action – This kind of rods are stiff and bend from the tip part of the rod.

Medium action – This kind of rods has flexibility in the tip and in the middle part.

Slow action – This rods are the most flexible, bends well into the butt end of the rod.

A fast action or medium action rod will be alright for most of the salmon fishing.


How much weight

The term weight means how much weight the rod can carry? How strong is it? It depends on what lures or baits you want to cast with, is it a heavier or lightweight!

The weight is measured by weight of the lure it’s made to cast or the “pound test”. Pound test is nothing but the fishing line weight it’s designed to handle. You will find all the specs in a rod body. We will show that below.

Choosing the bait for salmon

Picking the bait is not easy, it comes with experience.  It is widely known that the most successful type of live bait for salmon fishing is to use roe (eggs) and I found great results too, but there are other options, too. Many fishermen are now switching to “cut bait”, which is basically a strip of fish, usually a herring or a smelt.

Where you find the specifications of the rod and reel

There are specifications in every rod and you will find them between butt end of the rod, near the handle, you will see some specifications printed on the rod. It’s the information about the length of the rod, the rod’s action, and the range of line and lures size they are designed to cast.

This picture of rod specifications above says that it’s a 6 feet long, medium action and made for 6-12 lb line. All rods don’t have this detailed informations, some have less information.

If you look at the specifications above, there are fewer information. You will find the specifications printed on the box and sometimes on the reel.

As you can see in the picture above, there is less information about the reel specifications which refers us that the reel can hold 200 yards of the 6lb test, 140 yards of an 8lb test, and 120 yards of 10lb test.


Choosing rod and then buying is just the beginning, but going to a salmon or trout or a bass fishing is the ultimate fun part. It doesn’t matter which rod you choose, what its spec is! Going to fishing, again and again, is the most important part.

Doesn’t matter always you get a good catch, the bucket of fish can be empty sometimes. But folks remember, you always come back with some experience which is incomparable with anything.

I hope this article will help you find the best salmon fishing rod for you. Looking forward to hearing 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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