Our editors at Finn’s Fishing Tips independently research, test, and recommend the best products to help you make purchase decisions. You can learn more about our review process here. We sometimes get a commission through purchases made via our links.
Jigging for salmon has its allure. It’s not like your standard fishing techniques. You need the right rod, reel, and line to go salmon jigging, and choosing them isn’t a piece of cake.
When choosing the rod, you need to make sure the jig will actually move. If it doesn’t move with the motion of your arm up and down, no self-respecting salmon will give your bait a second look.
You’ll want to make your brined herring or lure look like real food, and the jig needs to be moving accordingly with your arm, or you’ll be flailing instead.
Because I know how challenging it is to pick a fishing rod for a specific purpose, I rounded up the best salmon jigging rods on the market. Buckle up and take a look at them to find your match.
These rods are also great for mooching for salmon as well.
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…
The Best Salmon Jigging Rods Reviewed
Jigging rods need to have the perfect balance of flexibility and stiffness. They need to be flexible enough to jig up and down with your arms, and they need to be stiff enough not to break while doing so. They also need to be sturdy to put up a fight against salmon and similar tough fish.
With these considerations in mind, I rounded up the best salmon jigging rods here.
Ask any jigging angler what his favorite rods are, and the Shimano Trevala will definitely be one of them.
The renowned series from Shimano includes lightweight jigs that are designed explicitly for jigging. They’re sturdy enough to catch heavy fish like salmon, and they need reels with high gear ratios to do their job correctly.
The Shimano Trevala here is made of TC4, an alpha-beta titanium alloy that’s incredibly sturdy and resistant to corrosion. The butt is made of high carbon, which is equally solid and durable. Both materials are ultra-lightweight and sensitive enough to respond to the salmon bites.
The rod is stiff enough to move with the motion of your arms up and down. It’s ideal for butterfly jigs because it’s capable of bending on itself. It also packs a considerate pulling power for all kinds of heavy fish in saltwater.
One of the best traits of the Trevala is its fast recovery rate, which helps anglers pull their fish faster and stand against their fights.
The rod is equipped with Fuji aluminum oxide line guides that are diamond-polished. They eliminate line wear and keep it durable for as long as you use the rod.
The rod’s handle is covered with EVA foam, which contours to your hand’s shape to offer premium comfort.
The Shimano Trevala isn’t affordable per se, but its price is excellent considering the features it comes with. As a result, it’s one of the best rods on the market for salmon jigging.
- Lightweight to avoid tiring your arms out
- Comfortable grip
- Highly durable and suitable for handling large fish
- Some users mentioned the tip breaks quickly.
If you’re on a tight budget, the Fiblink jigging rod for saltwater may be the one for you. Despite its affordable price, it’s lightweight like high-end rods. It’s also rugged and durable enough to handle salmon and similar-sized fish.
The rod is explicitly designed for vertical jigging, with a composite frame made of fiberglass and graphite. Both materials are lightweight, durable, and corrosion-resistant. The 5+1 stainless steel line guides also add to the rod’s overall durability. They have ceramic inserts, too, to prevent scratches and signs of wear and tear.
The rod is fully equipped with a reel seat that’s made of rust-resistant aluminum alloy. In addition, it has a secure lock to keep the reel put when you’re jigging.
Moreover, the rod’s handle is covered with high-density EVA foam that contours to the hand shape to provide better comfort as you use it. Additionally, it’s breathable to avoid over sweating.
A gimbal secures the rod butt, so you don’t feel too much fatigue after a long day of fishing. Generally, the rod is ideal for extended fishing trips because it prioritizes the user’s comfort.
The Fiblink comes with a multi-purpose hook keeper that you can use for both live and plastic bait. It also helps preserve the guides and inserts and keep them safe.
But functionality aside, the rod indeed delivers in terms of looks. It features a vibrant blue frame that blends seamlessly against the deep blue of the sea.
- Highly affordable compared to competitors
- Multi-purpose hook keeper included
- It provides considerate pulling power for heavy fish
- Some users mentioned the guides get loose
If you prefer fishing for salmon in open water, the St. Croix is probably your best bet. It has a moderate price compared to competitors, and its fast action and response are something to speak of.
The rod features St. Croix’s Advanced Reinforcing Technology. It basically utilizes ultra-light carbon fiber material, so the rod has 10x more strength than average and with no increase in weight whatsoever.
Not only that, but the ART technology also ensures the blank is strong enough not to deform under a heavy load. If the fish wants to put up a fight, the St. Croix rod will fight back like a champ!
The Mojo Bass comes in just the right size for vertical jigging. It’s not too long, so it doesn’t flail around. Additionally, it has a very sensitive tip, so it tricks the salmon into thinking the bait is natural.
It features a split EVA handle that’s highly comfortable and breathable. And, it comes fully equipped with St Croix’s Fortified Resin System that offers unrivaled strength and durability.
The rod is designed for catching bass, as you guessed from the name. So it’d be an excellent choice for salmon jigging.
- Lightweight yet powerful enough to handle large fish
- Great value for money
- Flexible tip with high sensitivity
- A bit stiff for some people’s liking
Okuma is best known for making high-quality fishing rods and reels for affordable prices. While the Cedros isn’t the most affordable rod out there, it’s one of the best market options in terms of quality and convenience.
The rod features a glass blank that accounts for considerable lifting power and is lightweight. It’s also pretty efficient in absorbing shocks resulting from braid lines. As a result, the rod is an ideal choice for jigging large species like salmon and its varieties.
I have to say, though, the rod isn’t considered lightweight overall. On the contrary, it’s a bit hefty, but that only adds to its power and sturdiness.
If you prefer lightweight rods, you may want to explore the other options.
The Cedros series has models for all anglers; whether you go for casting or spinning, you’ll find your match. Additionally, there are various sizes, so you can choose according to the species you’re looking for.
The rod has an ergonomically designed EVA handle. On top of that, it features an anodized reel seat that’s highly durable and resistant to corrosion.
The line guides are topped off with zirconium inserts and stainless steel frame. This way, you get less line friction and smoother action.
You can use any line you prefer with this rod, but it’s designed best for braided ones. Braid lines are commonly recommended for jigging and bottom fishing, anyway, so the choice is easy.
- Considerate pulling power for heavyweight fish
- Anodized aluminum reel seat for high durability
- Limited lifetime warranty included in the purchase
- Not suitable for gear weighing more than 150 pounds
Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Buying a Salmon Jigging Rod
Jigging isn’t your standard fishing technique, and salmon isn’t an easy species to catch. So, when looking for a rod that works for both, you’ll want to consider all the necessary features. Here are the most vital things to consider before buying.
With fishing rods, action refers to their ability to bend forward over themselves and return to their natural shape when pressure is applied to the tip. Therefore, when choosing a rod for jigging, this is the sole most vital feature to keep in mind.
The speed and flexibility at which the rod reverts back can make or break your salmon jigging. You also want to make sure it’s designed for a traditional reel and not held upside down.
If the tip is too stiff, it’ll make it challenging for you to keep the jigging motion right.
At the same time, if it’s too soft, it won’t revert back to its original shape fast enough, and it might not return at all. Of course, this will render the whole jig motion useless because the rod will basically be unresponsive.
Your rod should make the balance of fast action and flexibility to keep your jigging proper.
Some rods are parabolically designed to bend without breaking apart or snapping, and that’s what you should be looking for.
Okay, how do you determine that, then?
If the rod is made of composite, mainly fiberglass and graphite, it’ll be ideal for the traits I just mentioned. Both materials are highly responsive and sensitive. Glass rods are good, too, but they may have a slow action. They work for fish that are too heavy for graphite rods to handle.
Jigging rods are designed to be short, so don’t try to get around that. They usually don’t go longer than six inches, and it’s for all the good reasons. Longer rods don’t pack as much power, so they may not be suitable for handling large species and heavy covers.
Meanwhile, short rods pack all their power in their small frame, accounting for better pulling power.
You may find some long jigging rods, but these will likely be designed to work for various fishing styles. If they work best for you, give them a try. However, make sure they’re powerful enough for jigging, like the Shimano Trevala rod.
Jig fishing or bottom fishing typically targets large and heavy fish species. If you’re not looking for salmon, you’re probably targeting halibut, snapper, amberjack, or any other heavy species. For that, you need your rod to provide considerate pulling power.
All these species will fight against the rod, causing the tip to jerk up and down until you manage to control it. If the rod isn’t powerful enough to handle that, it’ll break amid fishing.
On top of that, powerful and heavy rods have a better capability of pulling fish out of deep waters, which is the whole idea of jigging.
Of course, the power needs to be paired with a tough, sturdy material to handle the fishing style.
Jigging is a highly demanding fishing style. It’ll inevitably cause you arm fatigue, especially if you go fishing for long hours. For that, you need to consider the rod’s weight. It should be lightweight enough not to tire your arms out. You’ll be pulling it up and down for hours, so the lighter, the better.
That’s part of the reason jigging rods are all short and thin. You need considerate power in a lightweight frame, so going short is the best approach.
If you want ultra-lightweight rods, aim at composite materials. You’ll be surprised at the amount of power they possess with regards to their lightweight frames.
One more thing you’ll want to consider is the weight rating. Each fishing rod is designed to tackle a limited range of lines. With jigging rods, the jig weight also goes into consideration, seeing as the tip will be pointing vertically at the water.
Make sure to check the weight rating label before buying because it’ll determine the length and weight of your fishing line.
The Final Verdict
If you still can’t decide which salmon jigging rod on my list works best for you, I recommend the SHIMANO Trevala Jigging Casting Rod as the best overall rod. It comes at a great price for the features it bears, and it’s lightweight.
It also has an excellent recovery rate for salmon jigging, and it’s stiff enough not to break on you.