The Best Spinning Rods For Plugs And More From UL To XH


Spinning rods for plugs don’t have to be so hard boards for rubber fishing. But buffing rods or “lamb tails” are just as unsuitable, because the action of the rod may already be a bit faster and harder. Not every rod is suitable for spin fishing with plugs, so I would like to present you top rods from all price segments and for all common lure sizes. These are rods that have proven themselves in practice and are often recommended. So that you can keep the overview in the rod forest and find the optimal rod for your area of application. Almost all rods are also available in other lengths and casting weights than shown in the tables.

Another top rod is the Balzer Magna Magic Lure, which is rather soft and is excellent for fishing with plugs for trout and perch. I have already had a lot of fun with this rod and have a test on the side. With the very fine tip you can feel even the finest plucks and you can fish sensitively for perch and co. Fishing. Beside plugs the rods are also suitable for fishing with fine finesse rigs.

  • Link to the test>>
Table of contents Criteria for rod selection1. The target fish species2. The budget2.1 Beginner Rods3. The water and from the bank or boat4. The bait weight5. Exception trollingSpinning reelsUltralight spinning rodsLower price segmentMiddle price segmentUpper price segmentLight spinning rodsLower price segmentMiddle price segmentUpper price segmentMiddle spinning rodsLower price segment Price segmentMiddle price segmentUpper price segmentHeavy spinning rodsLower price segmentMiddle price segmentUpper price segment

Criteria for rod selection

A general recommendation, how to best choose your fishing rods.

A detailed guide to rod characteristics can be found here on >>

1. The target fish species

The first decisive point for rod selection is the target fish – it makes a big difference whether you are fishing for perch or for the capital catfish. Our lure size, which in turn determines the casting weight, rod strength and action, is based on this. On pike, heavy rod strengths (such as H) are advantageous in order to get the first strike through the hard pike mouth safely. For perch fishing light (L) or UL rods are sufficient.

The rod action tells how far a rod bends under load. If you are fishing for trout, char or even salmon, parabolic rods that bend up to the handle are advantageous for fishing. Therefore the requirements for different fish species are completely different.

2. the budget

The first question when buying a new fishing rod is about the price limit. Even the retailer in the fishing shop asks first about the price you want to pay, because you can spend 30-1000 € for a good rod.    However, the added value per paid Euro decreases significantly with a higher price.

2.1 Rods for beginners

I would advise every beginner to look for an allround rod in the middle price segment, for example the Shimano Beastmaster, who likes it softer or a Daiwa Prorex or Lexa, who likes to fish faster and stiffer rods and also likes to fish with rubber bands. With a good wobbler rod you usually have an allround rod for spoons, spinners and other artificial lures and for lazing around with rubber fishes you usually also have a good wobbler rod. It doesn’t always have to be the “rubber fish board action” rod to do both. During the fight with fish, softer rods are more forgiving than hard rods and especially with salmonids like trout, salmon and char with their wild jumps and head shaking during the fight, softer rods are, as already mentioned, top.

3. the water and from the shore or from a boat

The rod length for plugs is based entirely on the water conditions and the angler’s needs. Wobblers themselves do not require a certain rod length as bait.

Rods from 240 cm to 320 cm are recommended for shore fishing on lakes and larger rivers, where casting distance can often be decisive. With a boat, long rods are more of a hindrance in handling and you don’t need the casting distance, then rods from 1.8 m to a maximum of 2.4 m are often the better choice. If you are fishing for trout in the overgrown forest stream, a 1.2 m rod may even be the right one for you. Almost all rods presented here can be found in other lengths without any problems, as they are part of a rod series.

Important for the rod strength and casting weight are on the one hand the target fish, but also whether you fish on a calm lake or in a raging river like the Rhine or Elbe. If the current is strong, it may be advisable to use slightly stronger rods with a higher casting weight (which is then also used as bait weight) than in the calm duck pond. If a fish goes into the current once, then you have to twist it out again.

The length of the rod grip can also be important. For example, on a fishing kayak or belly-boat a very short rod grip is advantageous, whereas on large waters, such as the Baltic Sea, it may be very long from the shore to have better leverage when casting. Long rod grips are also an advantage for large fish because of the leverage during the fight.

4. the lure weight

The lure weight has a decisive influence on the casting weight of the rod. It is important to know: the maximum casting weight of a rod is often really the load limit. Almost all fishing rods cast best in the middle of their casting weight and therefore the farthest. As an example: a rod with 15-45g usually casts 30g lure best.

This is nevertheless only a rough rule of thumb, because I also have a spinning rod with massively understated specifications of 5-35g casting weight, but with this rod I can fully pull 50g of lure without hesitation. In the same way there are also rods which are inconsistent with the casting weight indication in the other direction and exaggerate completely. Thank god this has become very rare and is hardly ever seen by brand manufacturers. My last example is the Roy fisher travel spin XS, which is hopelessly overstrained with 28 grams (the maximum casting weight indication).

Every angler who has cast a rod several times when it was clearly overloaded knows the feeling and knows how an overloaded rod feels. Almost all rods feel very similar when they are overloaded. It will not cast very far and will not discharge well. That is why I personally have never had a rod broken while casting.

5th exception trolling

Wobblers are not only good for spin fishing but also for trolling. Here we are not so much interested in the casting weight, but how the endurance is. A deep diving wobbler with a 5 cm long shovel puts a lot of pressure on the rod. If a fish still bites, many rods are overloaded or are only used for a very limited time. My tip when trolling for pike is to buy cheap pilk rods and always take a little more from the middle of the casting weight of the rod than the lure weighs. The weight of the rod does not matter here, as the rod is in the rod holder most of the time anyway.

Of course, if you are a trolling enthusiast and want to spend money on trolling, you can do it with special trolling rods, which are of course better than the ones mentioned above, but often cost many times more.

Spinning Reels

Of course a good spinning reel belongs to a spinning rod. This should be as light and smooth as possible in order to fish without tiring.  You hold the rod and reel in your hand all the time when spinning. The reel size should also match the weight of the rod so that the rod does not become too top-heavy. Therefore we recommend 1000 reels for a UL rod and for a heavy rod for catfish fishing we recommend 5000-6000 reels.

The next important point is the brake, because it must release line immediately without jerking at the set tension, otherwise the fishing line will quickly reach its load limits and even the rod can be damaged. Most models from 40 € upwards have usable brakes.

An overview of top spinning reels can be found here on >>

Ultralight spinning rods

Ultra light rods for the smallest mini lures like mini wobblers but also for small spinners and jigs. This makes fishing even for small robbers fun. These rods are also ideal for “rock fishing” for small marine predators. Above all, however, spinning for perch and trout is especially fun with these rods.

Lower price segment

Already for 40 € you can buy a good rod for super light spin fishing. The Abu Venerate series is proven and very popular with many anglers. The series is also relatively hard and even a 15g lure makes the rod hardly a problem. For fishing on a stream or small river the 1.7m long version is just right.

Medium price segment

When it comes to UL rods, a WFT Penzill rod is a must. Ultra light rods with cork grip are rather rare, but this rod has one more and this rod is also highly recommended. The action is still relatively tight for a UL rod and therefore even the smallest rubber fish and twisters can be jigged very nicely.

I have tested the Penzill Nano extensively and found it to be very good.

  • Link to the test >>

Upper price segment

If you want to see how far 2g can really fly and want to dig deep into your pocket or if you are dedicated to UL fishing. He will be happy with the Gamakatsu AJ Master AJST-76. The rod is very fast and can also be used for jigging, but they are really good for real micro lures around 1-4g.

Light Spinning Rods

With the light spinning rod for wobbler fishing, fishing for our smaller predators like trout and perch is a lot of fun. Thanks to today’s rod technology, however, even larger predators can be defeated in an emergency.

Lower price segment

The Cherrywood series from Berkley is a real classic and in the newly revised version with rings specially designed for braided lines is also a very nice rod for around 20 €.

Medium price

The Jackson Blacktip Trout is, as the name suggests, ideal for light trout fishing but also perch are fun to use. The Savage Gear Parabellum CC rod is well equipped with the original Fuji gold label reel seat. This range of rods has a medium almost parabolic action, designed for maximum casting distances together with thin lines. It does this very well with its 2.8m length. A counterweight is also built into the handle so that the rod is perfectly balanced together with a corresponding reel.

Upper price segment

If you are looking for a light spinning rod with a medium to top action you are well advised to use a walking stick. Rings and reel seat are top products from Fuji. The rod has unbelievable power for the casting weight and should be able to handle capital fish without any problems.

Medium spinning rods

With a medium spinning rod for wobbler fishing you can tackle pike, zander, asp, big salmon and sea trout and even smaller catfish. Even the sea bass angler will have fun with them. In case of doubt, these are all-round spinning rods with which you can also cast and guide lighter and heavier plugs.

Lower price segment

The Venerate has a quite fast action with a sensitive tip ,which makes it ideal for plugs around 10-14 cm. For its price it is a highly recommendable rod, where I do not miss anything.

Medium price segment

The Veritas has a nice medium action and is a great rod for twitching, also the smaller models are all recommendable in “M” and made for plugs. In the table I have only the 2 m model with Wg to 30g. The Berkley Skeletor is a highly recommended and tested rod with which

spin fishing can be a dream. Extra feedback is provided by the Skeletor handle, once exclusive to the series, which allows the thumb and index finger of the rod hand to be placed directly on the blank at all times. With this you feel once again what the lure does. I have had my Skeletor for over 9 years and still love to fish it.

Upper price segment

Shimano rods are often considered the non plus ultra by many anglers. Especially in the higher price segments Shimano rods are never really bad. In the lower price segments Shimano also has rods, but the price-performance ratio of the manufacturer is hardly given there.

The Biomaster is one of those ingenious rods from Shimano that cost a little but give a lot in return. It charges extremely well when cast and can take a lot of punishment. Even rubber fish can still be jigged with the MH rod. The appearance of the Biomaster is rather simple, but elegant. The Sportex rod is almost something for the heavy rod segment, even jerkbaits can be guided well with it. 4 out of 5 points were also given by Raubfisch Magazin 2014 in a test. The XH version is one of the best rubber fishing rods for example for Sweden.

Heavy spinning rods

Heavy rods for capital catfish and pike. With big plugs and swimbaits. For heavy rods more material is used and carbon fibre mats for blanks are expensive. This is also noticeable in the prices for the rods, therefore the price segments are a bit higher.

Lower price segment

The Balzer Diablo Catfish spin is then suitable for really big catfish with its very high casting weight of 100-300g. Both rods are also available in longer or shorter versions. There are still cheaper heavy spinning rods on the market, but we can only recommend not to take any chances. First of all: if you spin with 30 € lures on catfish and big pike, you really don’t want to lose them. Secondly, with such fish you really shouldn’t take any risks and you should have a good feeling with your rod. The fish of life could always hang at the other end. At least that is my opinion.

Medium price segment

As you would expect, at such prices the best components are used, as with the Westin W4 rod. The only drawback are the Seaguide rings, which do not quite match the quality of Fuji. It has rather a fast action, which is also useful for bigger lures and fish. The handle is quite long on both rods, which makes for better twisting characteristics, because you have better leverage and you can grip the rod further up the handle. The Black Cat battle spin is a perfect catfish spinning rod if you don’t want to fish the really big lures. It is a modern allround rod for our big fish and brings a lot of fun while fishing. Under the brand name Black Cat, Zebco has been supplying us with consistently good catfish rods for years, which are constantly being developed further and can be used without hesitation.

Upper price segment

Greys manufactures rods that are usually real eye-catchers. This is also the case with the Prowla Catfish spin which, like the Black Cat rod, is an all-round rod for our heavy predatory fish. Greys likes to understate the casting weight and so there are a good 180g baits in it. The reel seat is one of the most expensive from Fuji and the plug connection is specially reinforced.

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