Buyer’s Guide: Best Rod/Reel Combos Under $200

Looking for the best gear this Holiday season? We’ve got 5 rods and 5 reels that you need to take a look at. They’re light, sensitive, and best of all they won’t break the bank! Whether you’re a new fisherman or just looking for a deal, we’ve got you covered!

In the past we’ve struggled to locate any rods below the $100 mark that we felt were worth a mention. That mark seems to be the cut off for purchasing quality equipment but we searched high and low and found 2 options that are worth trying. Additionally

Below is a break down of the 5 lines of rods and 5 models of reels we recommend trying. For your convenience we’ve including some of our favorite models from each line of rods. The Black Friday sale begins today at 8 AM Pacific time so be sure to check them out! If you were hoping for high end tackle for Black Friday keep in mind the sale will run Friday through Tuesday so be patient, high end content is coming!

The Rods…

-Dobyns Colt:
Favorite models include 7′ MH, 7′ MH Cranking, 7’3″ Heavy

-13 Fishing Defy Black:
Favorite Models Include 7’1″ Medium, 7’1′ Medium Heavy, 7’6″ Medium Heavy

-Dobyns Fury Casting Rods:
Favorite Models Include 7′ Med/Heavy, 7′ Heavy, 7’3″ Mag Heavy, 7’6″ med Heavy.

-Shimano SLX Casting Rods:
Favorite Models Include 6’10 Medium, 7’2″ Medium, 7’2″ Medium Heavy, 7’2″ Heavy, 7’5″ Heavy

-Shimano SLX Spinning Rods:
Favorite Models Include 6’9″ Medium, 7′ Medium Light, 7′ Medium

-St. Croix Bass X Casting Rods:
Favorite Models Include 7’1″ medium, 7’2″ Medium Heavy, 7’4″ Heavy

-Dobyns Fury Spinning Rods:
Favorite Models Include 7′ Medium Light, 7′ Medium

The Reels…

Daiwa CR 80 Casting Reel:
13 Fishing Origin TX Casting Reel:
Shimano SLX Casting Reel:
Shimano NASCI Spinning Reel:
Daiwa Fuego LT Spinning Reel:

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Equipment We Recommend…

Minn Kota Ultrex Trolling Motor:
Minn Kota Battery Charger:
Humminbird Solix 15 Electronics:
Minn Kota Talons:
Wireless Talon Foot Switch:

Favorite Pliers:
Favorite Split Ring Pliers:
Favorite Wire Cutters:
Favorite life jacket:
Favorite sunglasses:
Hero6 Camera:
ElectroSamson Scale:
Promar Net:

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C Caballero says:

little old, but I found it, I just found a fate black regularly 99.99,, got 1 for 59.99, and a not so looked at, BassPro Pro Qualifier 2, regularly 99.99, got 1 on sale 49.95

Allen Green says:

Which SLX casting rod for throwing 3/8 oz squarebills ?

Hunter Leblanc says:

At academy sports they are buy one get one half off

David Krumme says:

great viedo. got a high end setup for swimbaits and texas rigs but need cheaper setups for everything else.

ILGNR2 says:

Hi Matt and Tim I notice the SLX rods are mostly extra-fast. What’s the pros and cons? For example the 6’10” medium is extra-fast. Isn’t that a bad thing for trebles such as a jerkbait? Thanks!

Clay Hyatt says:

Do a video on the best reels for the top brands please I’m looking for a 13 Fishing reel

n2olowe n2olowe says:

Med or Med Heavy dobyns spinning rod for senkos, weightless worms, drop shotting, neko rig etc

Jake Rinaldi says:

How does the Bass X compare to the Lew’s TP-1?

barbara tincher says:

Which is a better all around rod, the slx rod or the st croix bass x?

Keith White says:

What would be the best overall rod between the shomano SLX and the St. Croix Bass X?

GettingFish says:

Can I use braid to a leader with the slx rod even considering they have the semi-microguides?

DanR says:

What line do you use on that SLX frog set up Tim?

Daniel Sanders says:

Wife got me a Shimano SLX150 and a Fury rod. I can’t wait to test them out. Thanks for your reviews

Nicholas Wesley says:

This video helps out immensely! A rod I wish was reviewed by someone is an Eagle claw rod from Walmart that values at $100. I do not like eagle claws products they are normally for the basic fisherman or beginner. But this rod is priced with some of these rods which have great name backing. It just really Intrigues me!

1MoreCast says:

hey Matt, bassX or slx for overall fishing??

Zack Estes says:

I see 13 fishing not staying around long …. There rods blow and reels aren’t that great either I have the fate black combo and I can’t even feel a fish bite it I have to litterally pull up and feel pressure before I know I got a fish and that makes me lose fish which is the main reason I spend good money to not lose fish … Stick with lews and Abu and duckett

Matt Kottman says:

Just bought 8 Shimano SLX Rod and Reel combos for $129 each at the fishing show in Chicago! They feel great in your hand. Can’t wait to try them out!

Allen Green says:

Which Bass X rod for throwing 3/8 oz squarebills?

Jarrod Hemann says:

Being a saltwater/bass fishermen in south Florida. I can say the best baitcaster I’ve ever used is the 13 fishing concept Z. 22 pounds of drag, water sealed with zero bearings, and can cast for miles

Zac Williams says:

Well I guess I’ll have to pick up an slx to try out. Thanks

Dusty Hallee says:

Im looking to get a new cranking combofor 2019, since the price of the diawa cr80 and the 13 fishing defy black is so low i was thinking about pairing them together, any suggestions if i should or shouldnt do that ?

Paul Young says:

Does the SLX Rod line have a crankbait rod, or something that would work for treble hooked baits?

Chad Drumm says:

Good vid! IMO spending more than 200 bucks for a combo is overkill for most anglers!

Marco Caetano says:

I want to buy a new reel. I have an Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C3 5501 for bigger swimbaits and want to buy an inexpensive low profile casting reel for smaller swimbaits, jigs, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and 5″ senkos. I don’t want to spend much. Do you think it’s worth to expend $20 more for the Shimano SLX or will I have a good reel if I buy the Daiwa CR 80?

Gekyume Onfroy says:

Right now at academy the Shimano slx rod is half off

Christian Delgado says:

Nice thanks guys you become a very useful guide when I buy fishing stuff.

SnorryHobo says:

What about SLX vs Exage from your last year recommendation?

Jonathan Green says:

Love the SLX

Joe Gross says:

Between the SLX and the Fury, which would you say is more sensitive and recamend for jigs. Mainly 3/8 and 1/2oz.

Tom Collier says:

I got an slx for 150$ anf i love it its great for charter bates

Mo Yo says:

I know this video is a little old but Academy has a great deal on the SLX combo I saw. Buy the reel and get the rof 50% off. So I got the casting combo for about $160

MrNubbins says:

For finesse spinning rod setups do you guys like the Fury or the SLX?

Fatboi Fishing says:

Do a piscifun serpent rod review

Kevin S. says:

I picked up an SLX combo for $150!

Brian Kohl says:

Does anybody know why nobody talks about the Shimano Exage rods at $99? They have casting and spinning lineup and look and feel awesome. Cork handles and sensitive and quality built. Now the SLX rod is out at same price…. No love for Exage or does the SLX offer something different???

crux321 says:

when shimano released slx for bikes 10ish years ago it was that product that performed like a high end product with most of the features just less the fine materials, extra durability, and less weight. It is easy for me to imagine they could do this for reels!

C Caballero says:

I share all these videos and me and my buddies go over what y’all talk about, agreed on that $99 And up price point on stepping on everything, size, weight, how smooth they get, best videos to help everyone across the board

Stephanie Smith says:

What do you guys use the st croix bass x 7,2 medium heave modarate action for

gxbe sxgura says:

Very helpful !!

John Krebsbach says:

Have you reviewed the Kastking pro rods and reels? I have been using the Kastking Stealth baitcasting reel and it is super light with tons of drag. I have the punching rod which I like so far. Test them and tell us what you think.

Brett Montey says:

I got a couple of kastking megajaw reels for Christmas what are people’s thoughts on the reels. The hype says they are good reels for the money. Just wondering if I should consider returning them or keeping them. Also what about their rods? I’m thinking about getting the speed demon pro rod. I would like honest opinions from people who have used them.

Kolby J. Combs says:

Hey guys could you check out the Okuma rtx line of spinning reels

Tyler Iten says:

What action and power would you guys get for the 13 defy black for moving baits??

Taylor Wiegel says:

I have watched this video probably 15 times now. I refer to it every time i go to buy a new setup. Thank you guys for the content!

Anarcho_DC says:

Local shop got the SLX rods and reels in this spring – and also the full line of Favorite rods. The white bird for $49-$79 is going to be hard to beat, hell of a rod for the money (feels like it should cost double the price.) Honestly wasn’t a fan of the slx rods (reels feel good tho) – they remind me of the lews mach 2 series at first glance. Check out those white birds if you get a chance, if you have already what do you think of them?

Louis Hernandez says:

Can you gents review the Fenwick Aetos? Please!! Love your vids you guys are awesome!

David Skinner says:

How is the dobyns Sierra in comparison with the fury?

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