Top 7 Spinning Rods of 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

This Buyer’s Guide looks at the best rod and reel spinning combos in the “mid-range” category. We’ve already covered combos under $200 and High-End combos. This breaks down the best “bang for the buck” spinning rods on the market. The market is saturated with brands claiming to be the best, let us do the hard work and find the best rods at the best prices for you.

If you’re looking for a last minute holiday purchase, today is the last day that ground shipping will arrive before Christmas. Whether your rod budget is $200 or $500 there is an option here to give you the best quality, sensitivity, and responsiveness for the price point.

Below is a break down of the rods and reels discussed in this video. They are sorted by price from highest to lowest to make it easy for you to see the the best values based on our review.

Spinning Combos…

Rod- G Loomis GLX: http://bit.ly/2A6HH3O
Reel- Shimano Exsence 3000: http://bit.ly/2iMtscV
Favorite Models… 852S JWR, 820S DSR, 853S JWR

Rod- Dobyns Champion Extreme: http://bit.ly/29OVnDa
Reel- Shimano Ultregra 2500: http://bit.ly/2nfApml
Favorite Models… 742, 741

Rod- Daiwa Tatula Elite AGS: http://bit.ly/2QHupT9
Reel- Daiwa Tatula LT 2000: http://bit.ly/2zrq4id
Favorite Models… 7’6” ML, 7’4” medium

Rod- Shimano Expride: http://bit.ly/2osaj3q
Reel: Shimano Stradic CI4+ 2500: http://bit.ly/2gu84t7
Favorite Models… 7’ Light +, 6’10” Medium Light, 7’ Medium

Rod- Shimano Zodias: http://bit.ly/2jOUXAO
Reel- Shimano Stradic CI4+ 1000: http://bit.ly/2gu84t7
Favorite Models… 6’8” Medium Light, 7’ Medium Light, 7’ Medium

Rod- Cashion Elite: http://bit.ly/2xJGGPt
Reel- Shimano Nasci 2500: http://bit.ly/2g278cC
Favorite Models… 7’ Medium Light, 7’ Medium, 7’ Medium Heavy

Rod- Dobyns Sierra: http://bit.ly/2EyotZU
Reel: Ultregra 2500: http://bit.ly/2nfApml
Favorite Models… 7’ Light, 7’ Medium Light
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Sun Mask: http://bit.ly/2JcA8xi
Sun Shirt w/ Hood: http://bit.ly/2vgTOst
Light Fishing Pants: http://bit.ly/2foDx10
Reaper Hoodie (Hoodie with Warm Face Cover built in): http://bit.ly/2yRURSd
Horizon Sweater (Water resistant, great for layering): http://bit.ly/2gTC1oB
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Equipment We Recommend…

Minn Kota Ultrex Trolling Motor: http://bit.ly/2vFQypW
Minn Kota Battery Charger: http://bit.ly/2vcrbjA
Humminbird Solix 15 Electronics: http://bit.ly/2pAkXr2
Minn Kota Talons: http://bit.ly/2F0QBSP
Wireless Talon Foot Switch: http://bit.ly/2O7zWUE

Favorite Pliers: http://bit.ly/2tfxFvw
Favorite Split Ring Pliers: http://bit.ly/2fT4Qw0
Favorite Wire Cutters: http://bit.ly/2soB34k
Favorite life jacket: http://bit.ly/2odXXIP
Favorite sunglasses: http://bit.ly/2glE3eN
Hero6 Camera: http://bit.ly/2HIutxo
ElectroSamson Scale: http://bit.ly/2f7QgQ9
Promar Net: http://bit.ly/2dh9xQP
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Comments

Billy Buckshot says:

How do you feel about the Berkeley Cherrywood series matched with a Zebco 303. A little out of my price range but I skipped s few meals to make it happen. South bend made an excellent bobber, hook split shot tackle bag as a bonus. Hoping you’ll do a review.

William Hakes says:

If I am looking for a Zodias to throw shakey heads and ned rigs on, which model do yall recommend?

Fong Vang says:

Holy crap, a Daiwa rod??? You guys are late. Ive been using this rod for 2 seasons now…

Paddle Tales says:

Where’s the Daiwa’s?

Keith Krzeminski says:

Great videos guys… Dobyns Sierra Spinning Rods are currently on sale at Tacklewarehouse for $110-$115… great deal!

AllDayJKfishing says:

Someone explain why they have 166k. They should have WAYYYY more. Lol I have like 40

Tackle Advisors says:

That elite AGS 7’6″ is a cool all around rod. Softer tip than and slightly less crisp in the recovery dept. than the steez ags 7’6. But very light and sensitive. Have you guys pulled on the Kistler Magnesiums? BLown away at the sensitivity in comparison to others in the price point.

Crista Meckler says:

Ive tried a lot of spinning rods, from GLX loomis to average priced rods. Not one has out performed my Phenix M2 rods. My personal favorite is the 7’2 L. just gives me that little extra length over their 6’9. I could care less about Phenix, an have nothing to do with them. Just wanted to give my opinion for anyone hesitant… Great video Gent’s!

chuck howell says:

Where do Abu Garcia fit in?
Never see any reviews on Abu..

Lgc Jbc says:

Off topic but I’d like to hear your thoughts on the new Lucky craft Lightning Staycee 90xp.

Brian Robinson says:

Why did the Dobyns Fury go up in price at Tackle Warehouse?

Kyle Ritter says:

Curious how some of these compare to the Phenix Feather series rods that are like $150. Those feel pretty good for the price in my opinion.

william gordon says:

I want get a champ extreme 742. Would you guys say it could it be used for a tube? When I’m a Co I like to pack light and I need something for drop shot, Ned and tubes.

shtty17 says:

Who else takes the time to provide this kind of information? These rod and reel buyers guides are invaluable pieces of information for anyone trying to seek out a new set up. To me it’s a no brained to buy based on your recommendations. And for that we thank you

Chad Adragna says:

Have you guys played with any of the Quantum reels?

Jeremy Durham says:

If you get a chance try Cajun rods, love mine

Zach Shott says:

This is so cool, I wish we had a morning and afternoon video all three days of the week!

Brian Avery says:

Just wondering anyone tried any of the Enigma Rods?

Rod Royal says:

Back in the white stradic with wood knob on handle days, only 1000, 2000, and 4000 size were available here. My 4000 finally failed so I switched to 2000. What a change. The new 2500 and 3000 sizes are perfect. I bought a 3000 Nasci and am totally impressed. My biggest problem with a spinning reel is wobbling. Nasci is so we’ll balanced. Price is great.

Warren Harrison says:

Awesome video as always. Great info. Just a suggestion, how about testing out the Lews gear lineup? I’ve picked up a couple of their items and absolutely love them.

Mark S says:

I see Lews didn’t make it again. Lucky for me it’s my little secret. The custom series is great and doesn’t kill the bank account. Definitely smokes a fury rod not to mention a bunch of others.

Dennis Nicholson says:

In case you guys and my fellow subscribers are interested, the Dobyns Sierra, in both standard and micro-guide versions are available from Tackle Warehouse for $109.99 and $114.99 depending on the model. Here’s the thing. I’d love to have an Expride but even it’s a little steep and so is the Zodias but I do like the Tatula: perhaps I’ll take a closer look at it. Have a Merry Christmas and may your 2019 be even better.

Hunter Nixon says:

Getting a G Loomis E6X Drop shot rod for Christmas. I have read a lot of great reviews on it and how good it is for the price. What do y’all think of the E6X

BassMasterKennie Yang says:

First Person I See Use The Shimano Ultegra 2500HG! How does it feel like?

Zach McCarty says:

Megabass Levante Shakeyhead rod is a great all around rod!

TEAM RACKIT says:

Do more rod tips mean more sensitivity or anything at all?

Cooking and Fishing says:

How would you compare the Tat AGS rods to the Exprides in terms of sensitivity and weight/balance?

Mr. Fatbasstard says:

Another video in the sonar series soon Tim??

Brian Damboise says:

Hi Matt and Tim I fish here in Connecticut and up in Maine I have a hard time keeping small mouth on the line they seem to always spit the hook is my rod nuts flexible enough to keep them pinned i Fish a Ugly Stik gx2 rod 7 ft lite

Rj Tucker says:

I really like these videos because it helps me see what quality rods and reels are, but I still don’t know how I (as a regular Joe) identify a quality rod and reel from a rod/reel that just looks quality in the store. As someone who only fishes weekends and works during the week, $200 is hard to justify on a rod/reel when I can get 2-3 rods and reels for the same price point. I think a big difference is not knowing what I’m missing out on. Is there any advice that you can give in how to spot the difference for someone who doesn’t live fishing every day (but really wishes he could!)?

Jordan P says:

What about the megabass addermine?

Seth Korb says:

Hey guys, I was wondering how much of a difference there is between an Expride and a Zodias? Is the Expride worth the step up? And are you guys familiar with the G.loomis IMX-Pro? Thanks

Ted McCarthy says:

Shimano needs to hook you guys up big time after these videos!!!!! Totally awesome job!!!!! I NEED A EXPRIDE NOW!!!!!

Weston Garey 2023 says:

I like more stiff rods, the st croix rods always break for me. I like the sensitivity of a more stiff rod. That’s just me tho

i_fish says:

If anyone is considering the Nasci reel – just buy the Sahara if you are a freshwater guy. All parts are identical , same part number if u want replacements. The only difference is the Nasci has two seals on the drive gear , one on the drag stack and one on the main shaft. But those seals do nothing if u don’t fish in salt.

Ivan Laz says:

Why do u guys use more ML than M on

TheWaymont says:

Thanks for the videos guys. I noticed in both videos you mention that St Croix rods tend to have more of a moderate action. I have a Legend Walleye spinning rod, Legend Bass MH casting rod , and a Premier Casting rod (all fast action) and I find them to have fast actions as expected by the description on the rod. I have three Dobyns Fury casting rods and definitely find them to be more of a fast/moderate action, but you never mention that when talking about them. To me my St Croix rods are similar to my IMX in feel and described actions.

Sweswio says:

Try a kistler magnesium damn good mid priced rod

WarEagleTheBest says:

WOW! Love those Buying Guides! Please expand the number of brands (Megabass JDM, Gamakatsu Luxxe JDM, Daiwa JDM in those guides (tired of you promoting just Shimano/Gloomis most of the time), and 95% of video’s should be only about buying/selecting gear.

Omi One says:

Can u make a video on rods you don’t like?

JRL Outdoors says:

Are St Croix rods good? Because they have a kayak angler specific rod and that’s all I do is kayak fish

Rod Royal says:

Might have the Nasci 2500. Been too long since I’ve gotten to fish, uh!

kong xiong says:

How do you guys feel about the Dobyns 805cb and dobyns cranking rods compared to the Expride line of cranking rods? Great videos by the way!

Markus Dahl Jensen says:

Haha, they don’t even have a combo for the Stella FJ model reel.

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