5 Best Fishing Rod for perch in 2022
Although the market offers a ton of options, we prefer spinning rods for perch fishing. This is because spinning rods are lightweight yet durable enough to withstand perch.
I’ve tested a few spinning rods and found that the Ugly Stik Elite spinning rod stands out the most because it’s lightweight and strong.
It works with different reels, and you also get a 7-year warranty with it.
However, there are also the Fenwick Eagle and Cadence CR5-30 spinning rods. These might be more suitable if you’re a beginner or on a budget.
But let’s break all of this into more detail.
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod
Best For Beginners
Fenwick Eagle Spinning Fishing Rod
Best by Budget
Cadence Spinning Rod CR5-30
1.Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod
The Ugly Stik Elite is a top choice for anglers due to its materials, balance, and durability. You can choose between several sizes, but I went for the 7’ blank.
Mine was two-piece, but there are several lengths in the one-piece configuration as well. The two-piece felt comfortable and light but with enough strength to fight gamefish.
You’ll notice the sensitive Clear Tip meant to transfer the vibrations to your hand. It has plenty of backbone to handle fighting fish like perch, even if you’re lucky enough to hook a big one.
Ugly Stik Elite features Ugly Tuff stainless steel eyelets that work great with braided lines. There’s no risk of pop-outs, which is important since braided lines are quite tough.
One thing you might not like about the Ugly Stik spinning fishing rod is the reel seat size. You can still use a 4000 size reel, but the process of getting it in place might be a bit of a challenge.
The blank is made from graphite and fiberglass, which is partly what gives it the strength and backbone mentioned earlier. But, it allows enough flexibility to bend properly when you fight perch. The perfect balance makes it a good fit for other fish if you’re after more than perch.
Another thing that stands out with the Ugly Stik spinning fishing rod is the cork handle. It has two handles long enough to provide enough room for you to work the rod comfortably. And they remain equally comfortable when wet.
If you primarily fish in freshwater, I still suggest you take the time to rinse it after use. This way, you prolong its lifespan.
Ugly Stik is backed by a 7-year warranty on materials and manufacturers. However, Ugly Stik is a reputable brand that puts a lot of work into its rods, so it’s unlikely you’ll have to claim this warranty.
2. Fenwick Eagle Spinning Fishing Rod
Fenwick Eagle is another excellent spinning rod for perch. It comes from one of the most reputable brands that have been around for ages. And it’s backed by a 5-year warranty.
This spinning rod is made from 24-ton graphite with stainless steel guides and aluminum oxide inserts. Fenwick did an excellent job combining innovative technology and tradition to provide maximum performance.
This product feels light and comfortable, so it’s a good fit for long fishing trips. It’s well-balanced, so you can catch other fish as well and not just perch given that it has plenty of strength and sensitivity.
I went for the 7′ medium-light model since it’s the best option for perch. But, Fenwick offers several more length, power, and action models. Keep in mind that the length of the fishing rod is all based on preference.
The ergonomic minimal reel seat is easy to use. However, it doesn’t fit all reels, so make sure to double-check what you’ll use.
The cork and TAC grips feel comfortable and cushioned enough to absorb just enough vibration. You can still feel even the slightest nibble.
In addition, these are a decent size, which is great for any size hand that you might have
However, what I didn’t like about the Fenwick Eagle was the rod tip. It’s cheaply made, so it can easily break if you’re not careful.
The sensitivity you get with a braided line is unparalleled. It allows accurate casting, which is important if you use fly baits to land perch. So, just be careful with the tip, and you’ll have yourself a great rod.
Make sure to rinse everything after use to prevent corrosion, especially if you occasionally stray from perch and freshwater.
3. Cadence Spinning Rod CR5-30
Cadence CR5-30 is a good spinning rod for perch if you’re after a one-piece rod made from durable materials. In addition, the blank is made from 30-ton graphite, so it can handle quite a lot.
Although Cadence is a new company, it already has a large following among beginners and experienced anglers. The CR5-30 spinning rod is one of their most popular fishing poles for perch and other gamefish.
It works in saltwater conditions, too, but it requires thorough rinsing after you’re done to prevent corrosion.
The carbon blank is combined with SiC guides with stainless steel frames. This allows the braid to run smoothly and with minimal traction even when fighting heavy fish.
It’s a sensitive yet strong blank wrapped in carbon vail. As a result, it has outstanding durability and can handle even the heaviest perch. Plus, you can choose between a full or split grip handle depending on what you find more comfortable.
You can also choose between EVA and cork. I went for cork, which felt comfortable and light, but I assume EVA is more suitable for long-hour fishing.
I got the 7’ medium light, fast rod in one piece. Cadence does offer several other options varying in length, action, and power for you to choose based on your fishing style.
The 7’ length works excellent for perch, giving you just enough casting distance without taking away from the sensitivity. It has enough flexibility to bend without breaking.
In my opinion, it’s the kind of rod that will give you confidence if you’re a beginner. I paired it with a Cadence CS5 spinning reel that fits perfectly in the reel seat.
The 2000 size reel features Superior Carbon Drag System that comes in handy when handling heavier perch. It adds to the overall strength and efficiency of the rod and its hardware.
4. Zebco Rhino Tough
Zebco Rhino is one of the toughest rods I had a chance to try with perch. However, its strength and toughness don’t come at a price of balance which is often the case with less-quality rods.
This one has the perfect balance of strength and flexibility, combined with sensitivity. This allows you to focus on perch and many other gamefish.
I went for the 7’ rod with a fast tip, making it easy to cast at longer distances. And I even tried using monofilament with it, which proved to be a good choice. It reacted well, but I’d still go for braid because perch can throw quite a fight.
Although it’s a durable rod made from cross-weave graphite, it’s important to note that it’s heavy. After a while, I started noticing hand fatigue, so I had it in a rod holder most of the time.
Although the weight is a bit of a setback, it’s easy to understand given that it’s made from graphite surrounded by fiberglass. Plus, it has a solid glass tip that adds a bit of weight to the construction.
On the other hand, it comes with six guides and a D-frame tip guide that’s designed to take most of the abuse. It handles the pressure with minimal friction, allowing you to easily throw long casts.
What makes the whole weight more manageable is the EVA handle. It’s soft and comfortable, making it easy to reel the fish, even if it’s a big one.
Zebco Rhino is designed to handle a line of 4 to 8 pounds. The lure weight it can handle is 1/16 to 3/8 ounces, perfect for perch and other gamefish.
And, another thing worth noting is the 10-year warranty that covers defects in materials and craftsmanship.
5. St. Croix Rods Triumph Spinning Rod
St. Croix Triumph is tough, so I’d recommend it for heavier perch. It’s made from premium SCIII carbon, featuring the FRS, which is short for Fortified Resin System.
The system is actually a manufacturing technology that provides unmatched blank durability. And, all of this is combined with two coats of slow-curing Flex-Coat finish for scratch resistance.
St. Croix Triumph is paired with excellent hardware. It comes with Sea Guide Atlas guides with a black finish. These allow the braid to run smoothly and without abrasions, so there’s less chance of the line breaking.
And, we also have the Sea Guide XDPS reel seat, featuring sandblasted hoods. It’s a universal seat that works well with most reels anglers use for perch.
Mine was 7’ medium-light/fast since it’s what I prefer for perch. But, St. Croix offers many other length, power, and action options, depending on your preferred casting distance and lure weight.
And, you can also choose between one-piece and two-piece blanks. Mine was a one-piece, but a two-piece would work just as fine for perch, especially given the overall quality of St. Croix.
St. Croix Triumph feels well-balanced and lightweight, making it easy to wait for perch while holding the rod. It pairs well with different reels, and lure weighs, depending on the type of line you’re using.
It has a sensitive tip that’ll allow you to feel even the slightest bite. However, this doesn’t affect the overall strength and backbone it has for retrieving heavier fish.
Plus, the cork handles are durable and non-slippery, giving you the support you need to cast and hook properly.
All their rods come with a 5-year warranty for damage caused by faulty manufacturing and materials.
Buying Guide for Perch Fishing Rods
Perch is freshwater gamefish that can weigh 2 to 6 pounds, depending on where you’re fishing. And, it can put up a fight, so no ordinary rod can handle it.
You need a specific length, strength, and action, among other things, for perch. Here’s what you should consider before buying:
The best rod length for perch is between 6’10’’ and 7’. However, you may have noticed most brands offer several length options, so you can often go bigger if you’re interested in a 7’1’’ or 7’2’’ rod.
Rods up to 7’ usually have the best combination of strength and sensitivity. These are long enough for most fishing styles and allow enough casting distance.
However, a 7’2’’ rod is probably a better choice if you’re into distance casting. But, this is where you want to be careful because a longer rod often has less sensitivity.
Remember that the length affects many other factors like casting distance, accuracy, leverage, and comfort. Shorter rods are typically more comfortable and accurate. Longer ones are better for casting at a distance.
For perch, medium-strength is always a good choice. Most anglers prefer medium-light to medium due to the flex they get when hooking fish in deep water.
These rods have enough backbone despite being so flexible. This gives you the confidence needed to fight heavier perch from your boat.
Medium-light power works with 1/8 to ½-ounce lures we typically use for perch. However, you can use it for other gamefish in both freshwater and saltwater conditions.
You’ll notice this works well with soft plastics and jigs.
The best rod action for perch is medium or medium-light. Combine this with an extra fast tip, and you’ll get the most responsiveness and sensitivity.
Medium and medium-heavy action rods bend towards the top third of the blank. It’s precisely what you need when targeting perch, especially if you’re throwing a lighter line.
Medium action rods are suitable for small and large fish, which means you can target any perch size since these often don’t grow larger than 6 pounds.
Graphite and carbon fiber are the best materials for catching perch. Both materials are sensitive, lightweight, and durable.
However, they’re a bit pricey, especially when combined with other quality rod features. If graphite and carbon fiber are above your budget, you can also consider composites as a good alternative.
Other options include fiberglass and bamboo. Fiberglass is relatively affordable, so it’s a good budget option. It can work well for perch if you’re a beginner because it can withstand tugging.
Bamboo is flexible and sensitive, but it lacks precision, so I wouldn’t recommend it for perch.
Fishing rods for perch can have a full or split grip made from EVA foam or cork. Choosing one is mostly up to you, so consider your needs and preferences before buying.
Both EVA foam and cork have pros and cons, so it’s a matter of weighing the two. Many people prefer EVA foam for its cushioning and the fact that it can withstand saltwater conditions.
But, perch is a freshwater fish, so you can easily go for cork, too, if that’s what you prefer. Cork works well because it’s non-slippery, and you can even sand it to customize its shape.
FAQ for Perch Fishing Rods
What's the Best Size Hook for Perch?
Hooks between sizes 4 and 8 are the best for most bait we use for perch. Either will work, but you might want to consider the pros and cons of each size.
Most people stick to larger sizes because perch is less likely to swallow the hook if it’s larger. And, it’s also easier for you to remove it from the fish.
But, this is only suitable if you know that perch you’re after is larger. Small fish is unlikely to bite on a large hook, so make sure to size down if you notice nothing is biting.
What Kind of Lures Do Perch Like?
Perch like all kinds of lures like worms, spoon lures, and spinners. It usually eats minnow and yellow perch, so look for baits with these profiles.
Whatever lure you go for, make sure it’s light and glossy enough to attract perch. And, you might also want to consider where you’re casting.
Small perch is closer to the water surface, whereas larger perch can be found in deeper waters.
What is the Best Time to Catch Perch?
The best time to catch perch is sunrise and sunset. Early morning and late afternoon is when perch usually feeds, so this is when you have the highest chance of catching some.
Perch swim in schools, which also improves your odds of catching it.
Final Thoughts on the Best Fishing Rod for Perch
What do you think about the Ugly Stik Elite? I love how it feels, having enough backbone and flexibility to land different-size perch.
It stands out from the other four models, but don’t discard these just yet. All five rods for perch have their pros and cons, so make sure to consider your needs and preferences before buying.
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