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We’ve been getting a lot of interest in the best tackle for redfish, so we decided to put together a buying guide for the best rods for redfish. Redfish are a very popular game fish in the southern United States and require a medium to heavy fishing setup to fish for them (especially if you are kayak fishing for redfish). We covered our favorite redfish lures, how much we like to eat redfish, and the best rig for redfish, but this article should help you prepare even more for catching them!
The buying guide team spent significant time researching and reviewing the best rods for redfish in 2020 and have put together the following buying guide. We take into consideration many aspects of each rod that make it appropriate for redfish: saltwater proofing, medium to heavyweight, and spin casting ability.
These are all important features you’ll need when fishing for redfish.
We also take into consideration the best redfish rods for different fishing styles, like surfcasting or in-shore fishing. Need a redfish reel too? Check out our redfish reel buying guide as well! It’s worth noting these rods will work well for many other types of saltwater gamefish, like black drum and cobia.
There’s a quick summary of our winners for the best rod for redfish below. Scroll further down for more in-depth reviews of the best rods for redfish!
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…
Most Economical Redfish Rod
Berkley Big Game Spinning Rod
The Berkley Big Game Spinning Rod is our winner for the most economical rod for redfish. Its price is so low, it begs the question – is it any good? The answer is a resounding yes!
The Berkley Big Game Spinning Rod comes with everything you need to start fishing for redfish, and it’s ridiculously cheap. Berkley is also a renowned brand in the fishing world and comes with a limited warranty.
The Berkley Big Game Spinning Rod is crafted from the highest quality graphite and comes in two pieces for portability. The graphite allows for great sensitivity when hunting tentative redfish in-shore or from your boat.
Its guide inserts are made from stainless steel with zirconium overlays that are resistant to oxidation and rust. The hooded reel seats are also made from stainless steel, which also prevents rusting and corrosion.
The Berkley Big Game Spinning Rod was built with the input of saltwater fishing professionals from around the world. The foregrip and rear grip are both made from high-quality EVA and TVC that prevent slippage. The foam stays comfortable in your hands even after long redfish fishing sessions and tough battles.
The Berkley Big Game Spinning Rod is also great for travel, as it only weighs 4.2 oz. It breaks down into two pieces that allow you to store compactly and efficiently. Even though it costs less than a nice lunch, the use of quality components will keep the Berkley Big Game Spinning Rod fighting redfish for many years.
The two different models of the Berkley Big Game Spinning Rod have varying specifications. The 7’ comes in two pieces and is rated at 15 to 60 lb test line. The 8’ also comes in two pieces and is also rated at 15 to 60 lb test line.
- Extremely affordable.
- Berkely is a time-tested brand.
- No extra features.
- Foam grip not as nice as cork.
The Berkley Big Game Spinning Rod has everything you need to start redfish fishing. The 8’ size is the most appropriate for redfish and comes with everything you need to get started. The Berkley Big Game Spinning Rod is an excellent option for redfish fishermen on a budget.
Best High-End Rod for Redfish
St Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod
The St Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod is our choice for a high-end redfish fishing rod. It’s perfect for redfish anglers who need a high-performance rod and are willing to spend more to get it. The St Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod is at home in redfish tournaments as well as casual redfish fishing with your friends. It’s great in all situations.
The St Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod also comes with a 5-year warranty backed by St Croix’s world-class warranty service.
The St Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod features a premium SCII graphite construction. The rod has mid modulus graphite fiber with a higher strain rate than other more common fibers. It’s St Croix’s most popular rod material due to its durability and sensitivity.
The St Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod also features a handmade premium-grade split-grip cork handle with sturdy rubber butt. This ensures you maintain a good grip while fighting even the most aggressive redfish, and helps you cast your redfish lures even further.
The Fui DPS reel seat has a black hood made out of aluminum oxide for stable reel seating. It’s also coated with two coats of flex-coat slow cure finish to prevent corrosion and rust.
There are 3 different models of the St Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod. we’ll cover the HF and MHF since they make the most sense for redfish. The HF comes in two pieces and is rated at 15 to 30 lb test line. The MHF also comes in two pieces and is rated at 10 to 25 lb test line. Both the HF and MHF weigh approximately 7 oz.
- Premium-grade cork handle.
- St Croix’s 5-year warranty.
If budget isn’t an issue for you, we highly recommend the St Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod. It has all the features that an expert redfish fisherman requires, and will perform at the highest levels under pressure. It also comes with an awesome warranty.
Best Redfish Rod for Surf Fishing
Okuma Longitude Surf Fishing Rod
The Okuma Longitude Surf Fishing Rod was our winner for the best overall surf fishing rod, and it’s also our winner best surf fishing rod for redfish. It has the best balance of price, quality, and the Okuma standard of excellence.
The Okuma Longitude Surf Fishing Rod is jam-packed with all the necessary features for surf fishing and costs less than other options with fewer features. Okuma has been making quality rods for years, and the Okuma Longitude Surf Fishing Rod shows their top rod craftsmanship.
The Okuma Longitude Surf Fishing Rod comes in many sizes from the medium weight 8’ to the large 12’. We suggest going with the 10’ and above rods for surf fishing for redfish, as the longer length gives you a farther casting distance and can handle the bigger redfish that hang out in the waves.
The Okuma Longitude Surf Fishing Rod is built out of spun graphite and resin for increased sensitivity while maintaining lightness and strength. The rod’s handle is formed for ergonomics and fits comfortably in many different hand sizes.
The Okuma Longitude Surf Fishing Rod has aluminum oxide guide inserts that provide durability and eliminate insert pop-outs. Its double-footed guide frame design also helps with guide durability and performance under pressure. The reel seats are made out of stainless steel as well for protection against corrosion.
The Okuma Longitude Surf Fishing Rod comes with Okuma’s limited lifetime warranty which also adds to its value, and allows it to be handed down from redfish fisherman to fisherman.
The seven different models of Okuma Longitude Surf Fishing Rod have varying specifications. We’ll cover the 10’ and 12’ since they make the most sense for surf fishing for redfish. The 10’ comes in two pieces and is rated at 20 to 40 lb test line. The 12’ also comes in two pieces and is also rated at 20 to 40 lb test line. Both the 10’ and the 12’ weigh close to 1.92 ounces.
- It has the best features for redfish surf fishing.
- It comes with a lifetime warranty.
- More expensive.
- It doesn’t work as well on boats/in-shore.
The Okuma Longitude Surf Fishing Rod is a great long-range rod for surf fishermen looking to catch redfish with ease. Add that to its lifetime warranty and high-quality components and you get a redfish surf fishing rod that will last from generation to generation. It’s our winner for the best surf fishing rod for redfish.
Best Budget Surf Rod for Redfish
Daiwa Beefstick Surf Fishing Rod
The Daiwa Beefstick Surf Fishing Rod is our winner for the best budget surf fishing rod for redfish. It has many features of a premium redfish surf fishing rod but isn’t as expensive as the St Croix Mojo. The Daiwa Beefstick Surf Fishing Rod only comes in two sizes: 10’ and 12’.
Both break down into two pieces. The Daiwa Beefstick Surf Fishing Rod is designed in China and built with high-density graphite fiber.
Daiwa is known for its prowess in saltwater fishing reels and has built a redfish surf fishing rod to match its world-class reels. The Beefstick surf fishing rod is a great choice for redfish fishermen looking to surf fish on a budget.
The Daiwa Beefstick Surf Fishing Rod comes with premium stainless steel guides. The guides are hardened and coated so that they will withstand the highest pressure redfish battles. They’re also extremely sensitive and will pick up even the slightest bites from a tentative bull redfish.
The Daiwa Beefstick Surf Fishing Rod is finished in a glossy black and blue finish that pairs excellently with many reel colors. It also comes with Daiwa’s quality assurance against any manufacturing defects or complications. The Daiwa Beefstick Surf Fishing Rod is perfect for large, strong surf-living redfish.
There are two models for the Daiwa Beefstick Surf Fishing Rod that are 10’ and 12’ long Both models of the Daiwa Beefstick Surf Fishing Rod break down into two pieces for easy storage and travel. They both can handle 20 to 40 lb test line with lures ranging from 2 oz to 8 oz.
- Great price for a redfish surf rod.
- More expensive than the budget options.
The Daiwa Beefstick Surf Fishing Rod is an awesome choice for the experienced redfish fisherman looking for something a little more than the rod they learned to surf fish on. The Daiwa Beefstick Surf Fishing Rod performs well in all categories and brings the Daiwa standard of quality to the forefront of redfish fishing.
We wanted to highlight a few defining features we reviewed when picking the best rods for redfish.
Advanced Graphite Rod Construction
Another important feature of an excellent redfish rod is its ability to sense even the slightest disturbance on the line. It could be a small redfish taking a bite! This means that a good redfish rod needs to be made out of the most sensitive graphite.
Author Note: The guides on the rod must also be designed with sensitivity in mind. You’d hate to lose out on catching a redfish because you didn’t feel it take your lure!
Many rods today also incorporate a hybrid construction and utilize both fiberglass and graphite together. This gives the anglers a great blend of flexibility from the fiberglass and sensitivity and strength from the graphite.
Rod Length and Casting Ability
If you’re fishing for redfish in the surf, you’ll need the long casting capability of a surf fishing rod. The longer the rod, the easier it is to fling your redfish lures further. All the surf fishing rods we reviewed had a minimum length of 10 feet with some going up to 12 feet.
The longer length also helps when battling a large redfish as the longer rods allow you to put more pressure on the fish and drag it up onto the beach.
If you are fishing from a boat in areas like marshes and estuaries or the flats, you can go much shorter on rod length, and run a rod in the 8-foot range with no issues.
Some anglers even prefer rods shorter than 8 feet, and you can find inshore rods that work well for redfish that are just over 7 feet in length.
Comfortable Casting Grip
The comfortability of the grip on a rod is very important for redfish fishing. Redfish are often caught by casting lures and bait for long periods of time, which can be very uncomfortable if the grip doesn’t fit your hand.
Having a well-designed ergonomic grip alleviates the pressure put on your hand from casting, and allows redfish fishermen to fish for a very long time.
Cork is very popular and lasts forever, it also doesn’t absorb much in terms of water, and when it does it dries out quickly, EVA foam is super comfortable, but can soak up water like a sponge. At the end of the day, these are still both great options.
Many rods today also come in both split grip and full grip designs. Split grip rods increase sensitivity at the cost of comfort, while full grip rods have higher levels of comfort but decreased sensitivity.