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Best Spinning Rods for Inshore Fishing

Inshore fishing means big fish and challenging weather, and there’s only a handful of rods that can handle that.

So far, the KastKing Crixus stands out the most, delivering top-quality and ease of use. However, Fenwick HMG and Penn Squadron are right behind it with more forgiving blanks and a lower price.

We broke these down into details and included several other outstanding poles you may want to consider, so stay tuned. You may also want to check our spinning rods page for more options asides from inshore fishing.

Best Overall

4.6/5

KastKing Crixus Fishing Rods

Best For Beginners

4/5

Fenwick HMG Inshore Spinning Fishing Rod

Best by Budget

4.3/5

PENN Squadron II & Squadron III Rod

1. KastKing Crixus Fishing Rods

Best Overall

Standout Features:

KastKing Crixus is one of the most durable inshore spinning rods. It’s a two-piece made from IM6 graphite for maximum resistance and strength.

Although it’s not the most sensible, you probably won’t have any issues using it in various conditions. It’s packed with plenty of backbone, especially if you’re after medium-sized species.

It comes with stainless steel guides and zirconium oxide rings. These are perfect for fluorocarbon, braided, and monofilament lines.

Another thing worth mentioning is the golf-style super-polymer handle with enough grip to prevent slipping. It works well even when it rains, so don’t worry about comfort when it’s wet.

Its graphite reel seats are proportional to its price, but you’ll notice they aren’t the strongest. Although it’s less sensitive, it’s excellent for traveling because it breaks in two.

Plus, this one is lightweight, which makes it even more suitable for carrying around. If you’re all about lightweight, then there are ultralight spinning rods to choose from as well such as the KastKing Calamus. 

2. Fenwick HMG Inshore Spinning Fishing Rod

Best for Beginners

Standout Features:

This spinning rod features a carbon-bound blank with spiral carbon threads. As a result, it sports remarkable accuracy, strength, and sensitivity you’ll benefit from.

It features Fuji titanium guides and a comfortable AAA cork handle. The combination makes this one versatile, allowing you to adapt to different conditions.

Plus, the cork handle is non-slippery, so you won’t ever lose your grip even when it’s wet.

The reel seat features double retaining rings that remain tight even with frequent use. This ensures comfort, ease of use, and durability.

And, let’s not forget its sleek and modern design. The porcelain blank has excellent graphic detailing, giving off a pretty expensive appearance.

You can choose between many length and action varieties based on what you’re trying to catch. Lastly, this inshore spinning rod is quite affordable and comes with a lifetime warranty.

3. PENN Squadron II & Squadron III Rod

Best by Budget

Standout Features:

Both Penn Squadron II and III are affordable yet efficient and durable. These are made from carbon and fiberglass to deliver maximum resistance.

However, they’re not the most sensitive, so keep that in mind if you’re after small fish. Nonetheless, the length and power will make it up to you.

They measure 7’ and 7’6’’, which is perfect for achieving longer casts in inshore fishing. And, what’s even better is that you can choose between one-piece and two-piece versions, depending on your needs.

Both models come with aluminum oxide guides that help to dampen the vibrations. You also get a sensitive graphite reel seat that helps to improve the overall comfort and ease of use.

It’s important to note that Squadron II comes with a cork handle, while the Squadron III comes with an oversized EVA handle.

Both are relatively lightweight, sporting extra-fast action suitable for all kinds of species.

4. St. Croix Rods Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod

Standout Features:

St. Croix Mojo is a durable inshore spinning rod made from SCII carbon. It also utilizes the Fortified Resin system for excellent strength and durability.

Another thing we should mention is the integrated Poly Curve Mandrel technology. The handle combines both cork and EVA for maximum comfort and grip. It’s long-lasting and unlikely to tear even with everyday use.

The Mojo features Hero Hi-Grade guides with stainless steel smoke frames and aluminum-oxide rings. It also includes a Fuji DPS Deluxe reel seat with gunmetal hoods.

At first glance, you’ll notice its sleek and modern look, especially thanks to the Flex-Coat finish. It also features a Kigan hook keeper for added ease of use.

You can choose between many sizes and action varieties, depending on what you’re catching. In most cases, medium-heavy/fast works best for inshore fishing.

5. St. Croix Rods Avid Series Inshore Spinning Rod

Standout Features:

What stands out the most in this inshore spinning rod is the SCIII graphite construction. It’s among the best options for serious anglers but equally easy to use for beginners.

The high-strain graphite fiber gives it just enough sensitivity without adding too much weight. This way, you can target all kinds of fish in different conditions.

Another thing we should mention is the Integrated Poly Curve Tooling Technology. It creates a seamless blank with no transitional points. As a result, the blank is stronger but sports greater sensitivity.

This one comes with a super-grade cork handle and a Fuji DPS reel seat with a gunsmoke hood. In addition, it has Kigan Master guides with aluminum-oxide rings for smooth performance.

It’s meant to last a long time with a corrosion-proof blank and Flex-Coat finish. And, you can pick between many action and length options depending on the fish you’re after.

6. KastKing Royale Select Fishing Rods

Standout Features:

KastKing Royale is a popular choice for an inshore spinning rod. It’s constructed with Toray 24-ton carbon and has two pieces, so it’s easy to pack for portability.

This one has KastFlex technology blanks for power and sensitivity when casting. In addition, it comes with Fuji line guides and high-strength nylon reel seats for comfort and accuracy.

This specific KastKing Royal is a two-piece, but you can also go for a one-piece if that works better for you. The two-piece model performs just as accurately, transitioning power smoothly throughout the blank.

Plus, it’s easy to set up even for beginners. It’s lightweight and has comfortable EVA foam handles that remain non-slippery even when wet. These are comfortable to hold for hours on end, allowing precise casting and retrieving.

As always, you can choose among a few action and power options. It comes in a variety of lengths, although the 7’3’’ is best for inshore fishing.

7. Shimano Teramar South East Inshore Spinning Rod

Standout Features:

Shimano is known as one of the best brands for fishing poles, so it’s no surprise you see it on this list. Their Teramar South East inshore spinning rod is durable, easy to use, and efficient, thanks to its specifically tailored features and specifications.

It has a T-Glass core wrapped with a spiral pattern of high-modulus graphite. This gives it outstanding durability, so it can handle all kinds of fish and conditions.

On top of that, it comes with Fuji O-ring guides combined with a Fuji reel seat. The combination gives it the ease of use and comfort you need for inshore fishing.

It’s 7’ long and has a lure rating of 1/4-5/8. It has moderate fast action and medium power, although there’s a fast-action version of the same model as well.

Its cork handle is smooth and non-slippery, remaining that way even when it’s wet.

8. Ugly Stik Inshore Select Spinning Fishing Rod

Standout Features:

This Ugly Stik inshore spinning rod is a reliable option that’ll get the job done. It’s an upgraded version, so it now has less fiberglass and more graphite. As a result, the blank is lighter but still pretty strong.

This makes it an excellent option for everyday use since it’s less likely to cause fatigue. Plus, it comes with an anti-slippery cork handle that’s comfortable to hold for hours at a time.

The stainless steel guides have no inserts, so think about if this works for you. Some people prefer it this way because inserts tend to pop out mid-use.

Its graphite reel seat is perfect for saltwater as it’s resistant to corrosion. However, the stainless steel hoods aren’t corrosion-free and will eventually rust. Luckily, this is easy to fix by just rinsing them frequently.

This one has medium power with fast action and is 7’6’’ long. It has a line rating of 8-20 lbs, which is excellent for inshore fishing.

9. Hurricane Calico Jack Inshore Spinning Rod

Standout Features:

Hurricane Calico Jack is an excellent inshore spinning rod meant for saltwater fishing. It’s one of the best choices if you’re after pike, walleye, and bass, among other similar species.

The IM7 graphite blank is durable but has just enough sensitivity and flexibility. It can easily handle heavy-duty fish, so don’t be afraid to go after the big one.

It features Fuji guides along with an easy-to-use hook keeper. The two allow a smooth performance regardless of your casting preference.

On top of that, the Calico Jack has a high-quality Fuji reel seat with stainless steel hoods. These are corrosion-resistant and won’t show any signs of damage even in saltwater.

It features a split cork handle that’s non-slippery and easy to hold for hours at a time. It handles saltwater well enough, although you should rinse it after each use.

10. St. Croix Rods Mojo Yak Spinning Rod

Standout Features:

This St. Croix is one of the best spinning rods if you’re into kayak fishing. It’s packed with unique features that make it easy to use in these environments.

It’s made from high-modulus SCIII graphite with IPC technology. As such, it allows precise and accurate casting with different kinds of lines.

What stands out the most are the Hero Hi-Grade guides. These feature strong aluminum-oxide rings with black frames for the added sleekness of design.

The Fuji DPS reel seats come with gunmetal hoods that are not only modern-looking but highly durable. And, its handle features a combination of both EVA foam and cork for the strongest grip.

This one is 6’6’’ long and has fast action. It’s a single piece, although there’s a two-piece version of the same model available.

Buying Guide: Inshore Spinning Rods

It takes a while to figure out which inshore spinning rod will work the best for your needs. First and foremost, you should think about the fish you’re targeting so that you can decide on an action, power, length, and other factors. 

Read below as we discuss these in more detail.

Rod's Power

A rod’s power is what we refer to as light, medium, medium-heavy, and heavy. This is its lifting power and strength.

Heavy poles are meant for heavy lures and lines since they offer enough momentum for lifting these weights. They’re perfect for tugging both and fish through different covers and obstacles.

However, these are heavy and can cause fatigue after a while.

Light rods are meant for a thin line and smaller lure. But, these are often quite flexible, so there’s the added risk of damaging the tip.

In most cases, you should think about the type of fish you’re after when deciding on the rod’s power.

Rod Action

Rod action we refer to as fast, medium, moderate, and slow. It explains how much the pole bends when there’s a fish at the end of the line.

Fast-action rods bend in the middle, while slow-action ones will bend closer to the reel. With that said, you can understand how fast-action rods are more sensitive, allowing you to feel the slightest nibble.

A slow-action rod allows you to cast further as it’s much more flexible. It retains more power thanks to its flexibility, making it easy to throw longer casts.

Again, there’s no right or wrong. It’s up to you to decide on rod action according to the type of fish you’re after.

Rod Lengths

Our suggested Inshore fishing rod length should be between 6’5’’ and 7’ long.

Since you’re throwing from the shore, you want a long rod that can reach far enough. Of course, a long pole helps cast farther, but you’ll probably have to sacrifice some accuracy.

You might want to go for a shorter one if you’re more interested in precision than distance. This one is likely to do better when avoiding vegetation.

Guides

Guides are meant to keep the line aligned with the rod. These take on most of the fish’s weight, so it’s safe to say that a lot of your performance depends on their quality.

Your line moves through the guides, causing friction. If there’s too much rubbing, the line will eventually snap, causing you to lose your catch.

So, make sure the guides are quality-made to allow smooth performance. Inshore spinning rods usually have Fuji, stainless steel, and aluminum oxide guides, all of which are perfect for transmitting vibrations.

Rod Construction

You can probably guess why rod construction is vital for your fishing performance. A poorly made rod is unlikely to perform well as it’ll snap before you can catch anything worth mentioning.

So, make sure you’re going for the best you can afford. In many cases, its quality depends on the brand itself, but also the materials used.

You’ll first have to decide how many pieces you want the pole to have. A one-piece pole doesn’t have any connection points, so it’s less likely to break.

However, a two-piece is easier to travel with since you separate its length in two. Either way, all the variations have their pros and cons.

Check the flexibility, sensitivity, and durability of the construction before deciding on any particular rod. This way, you’re ensuring maximum reliability and the best results.

Rod Handles

Inshore spinning rods have cork or EVA handles. Some might even have two handles, one of which is slightly smaller and closer to the top.

Whether you’ll go for EVA or cork depends on your preference. Both options have advantages and drawbacks, so it’s a matter of weighing the pros and cons.

You should first think about the conditions you’re fishing in. Saltwater is harsh and likely to eat the handle regardless of what it’s made from, so make sure you’re rinsing it regularly.

The handles should be comfortable since you’re likely to fish for a few hours. But, they should also be slip-resistant to provide enough grip when you fight your catch.

Material Used

Materials used have a big say in how durable and efficient your inshore spinning rod is. You can choose between a few materials like carbon fiber, fiberglass, and graphite.

Some models might include composite materials for added backbone and strength.

Graphite is stiff, lightweight, and sensitive. However, it’s pretty fragile and unlikely to handle knocks and bumps so well.

On the other hand, fiberglass isn’t as sensitive or stiff. But it’s incredibly strong, which is great for fighting fish that’s heavier than your rod.

Carbon fiber is also an option, but it’s the most expensive one. These rods have the perfect combination of strength, stiffness, and weight, so their performance is unmatched.

Resistance to Corrosion

Fishing in saltwater has its challenges, and corrosion is quite possibly the biggest one. The sea will eat up your gear sooner than later, so it’s essential to go for corrosion-resistant materials.

Steel components are at the greatest risk of corrosion. For this reason, go for stainless steel as a much more durable option.

Line Weight

All rods have designated line weights they can handle. This is marked somewhere near the reel seat, so don’t forget to check it before buying.

These bounds indicate the line you should use, and exceeding them will reflect on your performance. The weights vary depending on the action and power.

Price

Fishing rods can be pretty expensive, depending on the quality, materials, and several other factors. For this reason, it’s always best to think about your budget beforehand.

You can find both expensive and affordable poles, so there’s something for everyone. However, you should first focus on your needs, precisely the length, power, and action.

This way, it’s easier to find something that fits within your budget.

FAQ for Inshore Spinning Rods

Can I Use a Freshwater Rod for Inshore Fishing?

You can use a freshwater rod for inshore fishing, but don’t expect it to perform as well as a specifically-made inshore rod.

Inshore fishing rods are built to handle corrosion. And, using a freshwater pole in saltwater is inevitably going to result in rust.

What's the Difference Between Offshore and Inshore Angling?

Inshore angling is in water less than 100ft deep. On the other hand, offshore fishing refers to angling that takes place in waters deeper than that.

Should I Use a One-Piece or a Two-Piece Rod For Inshore Angling?

Whether you’ll use a one-piece or two-piece is up to you. Both variations have their pros and cons, so it’s best to consider it all before deciding.

As said, a two-piece is easier to carry around since it packs neatly. However, such a rod often loses sensitivity at the connection point.

A single-piece rod doesn’t have this problem, but it’s long and not as easy to carry around.

What Reel Should I Pair with My Inshore Rod?

You should first ensure the reel you’re going for is made from corrosion-resistant materials. You may want one that works with braided lines as well as monofilament.

And, make sure it’s comfortable and easy to use with the particular rod you have.

Final Thoughts on the Best Inshore Spinning Rod

At this point, you probably have an idea of what makes a good inshore spinning rod. Hopefully, you found one that fits your needs among the several we reviewed.

Try to be as specific as possible, keeping in mind your needs and preferences when inshore fishing. This way, you have the highest chances of picking the right rod.