A Guide to Choosing the Right Rod and Reel Combo

When it comes to selecting a fishing combo, understanding your fishing preferences, preferred reel type, and target fish species is crucial. This guide will help you make an informed choice of a rod and reel combination based on your fishing needs.

What Are Rod and Reel Combos?

A combo consists of a matched rod and reel set designed for specific fishing styles. From basic to high-quality packages featuring reputable brands like Penn and Shimano, combos offer ready-to-use setups out of the box, often attractively priced for budget-conscious anglers. These combos save you the hassle of matching rods and reels, as experts have already configured them for optimal performance.

Types of Fishing Combos:

  1. Baitcasting Combos:
    • Ideal for casting artificial lures using a revolving-spool reel.
    • Suitable for both saltwater and freshwater applications.
    • Originally developed for casting live minnows as bait.
  2. Trolling Combos:
    • Involves trailing a line with live or artificial bait behind a moving boat.
    • Depth and speed vary based on the target species.
  3. Drift Fishing Combos:
    • Similar to trolling but involves drifting with the current or wind.
    • Allows for a quiet approach and covers a specific direction.
  4. Chumming Combos:
    • Involves scattering ground-up fish into the water to attract hungry fish.
    • Creates a feeding frenzy that lures larger fish.
  5. Surf Fishing Combos:
    • Saltwater baitcasting from the shore, jetty, or a small boat.
    • Plays hooked fish through the surf.
  6. Fly-Fishing Combos:
    • Involves casting artificial flies with specialized equipment.
    • Gaining popularity in both freshwater and saltwater applications.

Considerations for Selection:

  1. Type of Fishing:
    • Choose based on your preferred fishing style, whether it’s baitcasting, trolling, drift fishing, chumming, surf fishing, or fly-fishing.
  2. Fishing Location:
    • Determine if you’ll be fishing in freshwater or saltwater.
    • Saltwater combos require corrosion-resistant materials due to exposure to seawater.
  3. Reel Type:
    • Conventional reels for baitcasting, trolling, or bluewater fishing.
    • Spinning reels for various fishing styles and lighter lures.


Fishing, a popular outdoor activity, can be challenging for beginners due to the terminology and diverse opinions. Opting for a rod and reel combo simplifies the process. With proven components, moderate costs, and configurations suitable for different fishing scenarios, combos offer a convenient shortcut for anglers to hit the water and start catching fish.

Image/Source: WestMarine

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