Best Saltwater Casting Rod

Last Updated: 22.05.19

Saltwater casting rods – Buying Guide, Reviews, and Comparison


If you don’t have the time to search for the best saltwater casting rod but are still interested in a few suggestions for a good, reliable product, then you came to the right place. After browsing through dozens and dozens of saltwater casting rod reviews, buyer’s guide and product comparisons we came to the conclusion that the Ugly Stick GX2 series is the model that would satisfy most angler’s needs without burning a hole through their wallets. Both experienced and casual fishermen alike appreciated its toughness, given by a surprisingly thin and light fiberglass body. This is not the only aspect in which the GX2 behaves unexpectedly well, with users commenting that it’s remarkably sensitive for the material used. If the Ugly Stick is unavailable, then the Okuma Sarasota would make for an equally viable alternative.



Our top choices


With fishing being such a popular hobby there’s little surprise there are so many rods to be found for sale. So many in fact that choosing a good one can quickly become tiresome rather than engaging. To help you out, we’ve selected a few models that proved popular with customers and reviewers for you to consider below.



Ugly Stik GX2


“Surprisingly good” — would be a short way to describe the Ugly Stick GX2. Reading about it you get the feeling that it behaves significantly better than its technical specifications and the affordable price would otherwise suggest.

Although it’s reel fasteners are made of plastic users amply complemented it for its durability and found that even the medium power version to be strong enough to handle catfish. Given its robustness, you would expect it to look crude, but you’d be pleasantly surprised of how slender it is once unwrapping it out of the package.

No one really buys fiberglass rods for how sensitive they are, but the GX2 receives good marks in this category as well, with the majority of testers finding (at least) the medium-heavy version of it to do a good job at letting them know what’s going on underneath the water.

To be clear, some former owners of graphite rods did find its sensitivity to be wanting, but most of these folks bought the fiberglass GX2 after their previous rod broke. We believe this says it all.  

All versions of it come in 1-piece, except one of the 7’ models which received some negative reviews for the two pieces not fitting tight enough. You might want to stay away from that one, but otherwise, you’ll get a lot of value for your buck.  

Click to see the price on Amazon!





Okuma Sarasota


The engineers at Okuma went out of their way to use the latest high technology materials available when designing the Sarasota.

The Sr-C-661 is a mixed construction, with a graphite gimbal for better sensitivity and a fiberglass outer shell for added durability. Its double foot guides are reinforced with titanium oxide inserts. Its custom hood is wrapped in epoxy resin, and the gimbal butt is — rather conservatively — made of nylon.

Luckily, this doesn’t show as much in the price tag as it does in reliability and performance. “Handles and performs well” is the common line in all customer reviews we’ve gone through, with people also complementing its looks and sturdiness.

You’ll have little problem wrestling a 50-pound fish out of the water with the heaviest version of this rod, which can also be bought as a 20-40 pounder and 15-30 pounder, all of them in 6 ½ one-pieces, for better resilience and performance.  

This relative lack of options is the only thing that could be construed as a problem with the Sr-C-661 line, but it is possible that the manufacturer diversified its offer by the time you are reading this.   

Click to see the price on Amazon!





Fiblink Saltwater Graphite


Despite the fact that it does feature some fiberglass inserts in its body for added durability, this Fiblink model can accurately be described as a graphite rod, and it offers all the performance you’d expect from such a piece.

Considering you treat it with the care its graphite construction demands, it should prove resilient enough to handle 10-20’ fish. With most of its parts being made of corrosion resistant stainless steel, it also promises to hold its own to the elements, assuring good value over time.

According to the manufacturer provided specifications, all versions of this model are 2-piece, which might turn some people off, as double piece rods are seen as inherently unreliable. As far as we can tell, there is little reason to worry, with most customers praising its sturdiness and build quality rather than criticizing it.

Furthermore, the longest version of it is 8’, which we believe to justify this design solution.

There’s little we could add in regards to a graphite rod’s sensitivity and overall feel. The Fiblink doesn’t disappoint and judging by what its owners have said, it should provide a great fishing experience.

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Buying guide


There are many types of fishing rods out there, adapted to various styles or user preference. Some people like them fast and accurate, while others are more concerned with reach. No one variety can be said to make the best casting rod for saltwater fishing, but there are a couple of general things to know before making a purchase.

Do your homework!

This should be a prime concern for an entry-level angler, and we can’t stress its importance enough. First and foremost decide on what specie of saltwater fish you want to angle for, decide on the setting — whether on a jetty or from a boat — do the appropriate research, and shop accordingly.

You can get quite a deal of useful information from the internet, but the advice of a friend with some experience under the belt will probably get you further.

Different rods will elicit different demands, for example, a graphite rod will require a great deal of care when handling it due to the frail nature of the material, that’s why most experts recommend for eager novices to best avoid them.



The blank is commonly made of fiberglass, graphite, or a combination of the two. Fiberglass is cheap, light, flexible and durable,  but it doesn’t provide the same level of performance as graphite.

Graphite allows for a smaller diameter and lighter blank that transmits pulls and vibrations from the end of the fishing line remarkably well. This will give the angler a good fill for subtle pickups and strikes, as well as helping him form an idea about how various species act after taking the bite.

However, graphite is remarkably brittle and easy to chip thus forming breaking points. That’s why a lot of manufacturers like to combine both materials to achieve a satisfactory mean.


Other considerations

Don’t overlook details like the length of the butt section or the overall weight of the rod when deciding upon a purchase since these can seriously affect your level of comfort while fishing. If the butt is too short for you, then you won’t be able to properly rest the rod under your armpit or on your chest. A heavy rod, especially if also long, will tire your arms surprisingly quickly.

Two piece or three piece rods offer good convenience because they are easier to transport, but they also offer additional points of failure. If you decide upon one of these models, make sure they already received positive feedback owners or that the producer has a reputation to uphold.  



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