Best Fishing Rods for Kids | Reviews & Buying Guide

Whether they’re ready for a day of adventure, looking forward to a quiet weekend of bonding with the grandparents, or just hungry to catch dinner, there are many reasons for kids to be excited about a fishing excursion. Fishing is an excellent activity for kids. It teaches them valuable lessons such as patience and perseverance and building confidence while spending quality time together with their families or friends.

Ensuring their outing is as fun and successful as possible makes sure they’re equipped with the best gear for their size and skill level. The rod you used to catch your prized fish will probably not be the best choice for a little tyke. When looking into fishing rods for kids, though, there’s more to consider than just the pole’s length and weight.

In this comparison guide, we share our top recommendations for the best kids fishing rod and some things to consider before you buy. Features such as spin-cast reels with a push-button mechanism and tangle-free casting will make it easier for young ones to operate.

Beginners might also benefit from a fishing set that includes all the necessary equipment from tackle to lines and lures. Of course, depending on your child’s age and skill, they may need help assembling and operating them.


What to Look for When Choosing a Kids Fishing Rod

For a fishing rod for a child, in particular, consider the following features.

Size and Weight

A child needs to be able to cast and manoeuvre their fishing pole comfortably. Most kids fishing poles are designed to be between 1.2 – 1.5 Meters. As they get more proficient, they can move up to bigger rods, which will give them a longer cast. The rod should be light enough that the child can cast it one-handed and remain in control of it.

Children and beginners should use shorter rods to minimize the risk of the fishing line getting tangled. Most knots occur when there is an excess line or slack when casting. A shorter rod ensures a shorter cast and less of a chance for the line to knot.

Reel

The best type of reel to use will depend on several factors, such as the body of water and the type of fish you expect to catch. For example, larger fish will need a reel that can handle the drag of the heavier fish. A spincast reel with its push-button release makes casting and operating it simpler for beginner anglers and kids. Many kids fishing rods feature a spincast reel.

Children over age 7, who have had some fishing experience and are ready to advance their skills, may be ready to try a spinning reel. A spinning reel will also be a good choice if you take your children fishing in saltwater as it is easier to clean than the spincast reel. Our recommended rods for kids are combo sets where the fishing rod comes with the reel.

Material

Kids are known to be tough on their gear, and you want to look for a fishing rod that can handle wear and tear. Look for durable yet lightweight materials such as fiberglass, graphite, or composite blends for a rod that will last them more than just one season – or session. There’s nothing worse than cutting short a long-awaited fishing trip due to a broken rod.

Budget

Is it worth spending more on a better quality fishing rod for kids? That depends on how often they will be using them. For the young occasional angler who will outgrow their small beginner-size ride before their third outing, a budget-model will serve them well. For youngsters who will be fishing often, it may be worth investing in a better quality rod. Keep in mind, though, that cost doesn’t necessarily equal quality.

While there is a big range of fishing rods prices and a more expensive model will likely be more sensitive than the cheapest rod, one doesn’t need to spend a lot to get a reliable and durable kids fishing rod. In fact, the quality of the reel plays a bigger role than the rod.

Top Kids Fishing Rods

With so many varieties of fishing rods available, which fishing rod should you choose? The options can be overwhelming. We have compiled a list of the best fishing rods for kids based on their size, design, quality, and fun-factor. Junior fishers will be sure to have a great time, fond memories, and hopefully delicious fish with these approved kids fishing poles.


1) Magreel Kids Telescopic Portable Fishing Rod

The Magreel kids fishing rod is designed specifically for small children. Its compact size and lightness make it a great choice for a first fishing rod. Composed of fiberglass, this rod will hold up well to wear and tear. We love that it includes all accessories such as sinkers, bobbers, and hooks and comes with its own travel bag.

Magreel Kids Telescopic Portable Fishing Rod

Pros
  • Choice of two sizes to suit children aged 3-10 years old
  • Durable quality for its lightness
  • Easy to assemble and use
  • Hooks, lures, finishing line, and all accessories are included, along with a travel bag
  • Telescoping rod
Cons
  • Reel is prone to tangling the line

2) Zebco Dock Demon

At just 30 inches long, the Zebco Dock Demon is just the right size for the littlest of hands to hold, and its comfortable handle is easy to grip. It’s simple to use, easy to cast, and has an anti-reverse system and powertrain drag. This Zebco model is made of fiberglass and is extremely durable, and will hold up to little kids’ manhandling.

Zebco Dock Demon

Pros
  • Small size and lightweight for youngsters
  • Very durable
  • Comfortable EVA rod handle
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with lures, hooks, and accessories
  • Reel is not as durable as the rod but can be replaced

3) Plusinno Kids Fishing Pole with Spincast Reel

Plussino is known for its reliable and affordable line of fishing gear. This kids’ fishing rod is soft, flexible, and lightweight with an easy-grip EVA handle, making it ideal for little anglers. Its spincast reel is pre-spooled and designed to minimize tangles, and the push-button mechanism makes it easy for the small kids to operate.

Plusinno Kids Fishing Pole with Spincast Reel

We love the telescopic rod that collapses for convenient storage in its zippered travel bag. It comes with a tackle box and all the accessories a beginner needs: fishing line, tackle, hooks, weights, and more. The colours and designs of the rods are a nice bonus too! It is recommended for children ages 3-12. This reel is best suited for freshwater fishing.

Pros
  • Lightweight for junior fishers
  • Comes in size options of 1.15M and 1.5M, perfect for small hands
  • Tacklebox and all necessities are included
  • Telescoping rod
  • Collapsible and travels easily with the convenient zippered case that fits the rod and gear
Cons
  • The reel, made of plastic, may not be as durable as the rod

4) Play22 Fishing Pole for Kids

This kids’ fishing rod kit by Play22 is a perfect starting model and a popular option for beginning fishers. It has a comfortable grip making it easy to hold, and its telescopic rod folds compactly for easy portability and storage. The carrying case holds a tackle box and included gear. Although it is marketed for children, it is a little longer than most other kids fishing poles and better suited for older or taller kids.

Play22 Fishing Pole for Kids

Pros
  • Designed specifically for kids
  • Good quality for its value
  • Telescopic rod
  • Easy to assemble, cast and reel
  • Portable and travels well in the included carry bag
Cons
  • The included line may tangle easily, can replace the fishing line
  • Does not come with accessories or a travel case
  • It’s a little longer than other rods designed for kids and may be too long for younger children

5) Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo

This is another winner from Shakespeare, the company known for its well-made hardy fishing rods. The Ugly Stik GX2 is a little longer than the other kids fishing rods and is ideal for older kids.

Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo

Made of graphite and fiberglass, this rod is extremely durable, and the Shakespeare spinning reel provides smooth operation. It possesses a comfortable and secure grip – important for long outings and is good for left-handed fishers as well as right-handed ones. The signature Clear Tip design used on the Shakespeare rods enables fishers to detect the smallest of nibbles. Older kids will appreciate its sleek and sophisticated design.

Pros
  • Strong quality and made to last
  • Can handle larger fish
  • Comfortable grip with EVA material
  • Easy to operate and casts and reels smoothly
  • Longer length and spinning reel is great for older kids
  • Shakespeare offers an extended warranty
Cons
  • May not be suitable for young children under age 7
  • The reel is not as strong and durable as the rod

6) Shakespeare Youth Fishing Kit

From one of the most well-known brands of reliable fishing gear, now even the youngest of fishers can have their own Shakespeare rod. These fishing kits are suitable for toddlers for a great introduction to the world of fishing. Though we’ve linked the Spiderman model, these kids fishing rods come in a variety of designs. It’s very simple to use, with a button to cast off.

Shakespeare Youth Fishing Kit

Pros
  • Designed for very young children
  • Small, lightweight, and easy for little children to use
  • Comes in a range of fun designs and characters
Cons
  • The fishing line can easily get tangled
  • Rod will sink in the water if dropped
  • Not as good of a quality as the larger fishing rods

7) Fishoaky Telescoping Fishing Rod Set

This carbon fibre fishing rod from Fishoaky is not specifically geared for children, but we’re including it in our list of recommended kids fishing rods as it’s surprisingly very lightweight, and the 1.8M size is perfect for older children. The quality is great, and the reel is very smooth, making it easy for kids to operate. The rod may be purchased alone or as part of the full set with all fishing accessories.

Fishoaky Telescoping Fishing Rod Set

Pros
  • Durable and good quality
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Telescopic rod
  • Includes lure baits and carry bag
  • Strong enough for adult usage too
  • Good customer service and 30-day return policy
Cons
  • May be too long for younger children to use
  • The rings are of lower quality

8) Abu Garcia Mike Iaconelli Pro-Designed Youth Reel

This stainless steel spincast fishing rod from Abu Garcia is another great option for an older child. A little longer than other typical kids fishing rods but smaller than a full-size adult rod, it has the quality and durability an expert angler would expect. It comes pre-spooled with a 6 lb. line and has a machined spool and enhanced drag system, an excellent choice of a fishing rod for kids and adults alike.

Abu Garcia Mike Iaconelli Pro-Designed Youth Reel

Pros
  • Excellent quality
  • Strong and durable, yet lightweight
  • Great cast range
Cons
  • May be too long for younger children to use
  • No anti-reverse system
  • Does not come with the lures, weights, and accessories

Additional Tips when Fishing with Kids

If you’re looking for a fishing rod for kids, we assume you have a fishing expedition planned with children. In addition to their poles, we recommend including these additional items to ensure a successful and enjoyable day:

  • Snacks and drinks (pack in a small backpack for easy hauling)
  • Hats and sunscreen
  • Lifejacket if going out on the water
  • A small book or toy if the child needs a break
  • A camera to preserve the beautiful memories

To Summarize

Fishing is a great, rewarding activity for kids. While there are many factors involved in choosing the best fishing rods for kids, from size to reel type, we don’t think you can go wrong with any of the fantastic options we have curated in the selection above.

The younger fishers may prefer the all-inclusive sets with the colourful accessories and travel bags, while the older children might opt for a more mature-looking rod. Just ensure that they can handle the length and weight, and remember the most important tip before heading out for your fishing expedition: have fun!


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