Best Steelhead Fishing Rod

Sergio Smirnoff

Hello, my name is Sergio Smirnof, and my goal with FishReeler is to provide a valuable resource for anglers of all levels, from beginners to experienced veterans. I hope that my passion for fishing and dedication to the sport shines through in the content I create and inspires others to get out on the water and catch some fish!

Hooking the Big One: The Ultimate Guide to Steelhead Fishing Rods

Attention all anglers! Are you ready to take on the challenge of catching steelhead? This elusive fish requires a high-quality fishing rod that can handle the fight and provide the sensitivity and responsiveness needed to detect bites and set the hook.

But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the right fishing rod for steelhead? Look no further! Our full guide to fishing rods for steelhead will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision and reel in the catch of a lifetime.

From length and power to action and material, we’ll cover it all. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s dive into the world of steelhead fishing rods.

What is a Fishing Rod for Steelhead?

A fishing rod for steelhead is a specialized type of fishing rod that is designed to catch steelhead trout, a type of salmonid fish that is found in cold-water streams and rivers. Steelheads are known for their strong fight and can grow to impressive sizes, making them a prized catch for many anglers.

A fishing rod for steelhead is typically longer and more flexible than a standard fishing rod, which allows anglers to cast their bait or lure further into the water and also gives them greater control over the movement of the fish. The length of the rod can vary from around 8 to 12 feet, with longer rods being better suited for casting longer distances and shorter rods providing greater accuracy and control.

In addition to length, a fishing rod for steelhead is also characterized by its power, action, and material. Power refers to the amount of force needed to bend the rod, with a medium to medium-heavy power rating being recommended for steelhead fishing. This allows the angler to set the hook and reel in the fish without the rod feeling too stiff or too flexible.

The action of a fishing rod for steelhead refers to the point along the rod where it begins to bend when pressure is applied. A fast or medium-fast action provides the sensitivity and responsiveness needed to detect bites and set the hook quickly, while a slower action can make it more difficult to feel the fish and respond in time.

Finally, the material of a fishing rod for steelhead is typically made from graphite or composite materials, which are known for their strength, sensitivity, and lightweight design. This allows anglers to cast their line for longer periods of time without feeling fatigued and also makes it easier to detect bites and set the hook.

Reeling in Success: Tips for Novice Anglers to Improve their Fishing Skills

💎Tips for novice anglers looking to use a fishing rod for steelhead:

  • Choose the right rod: Make sure to choose a fishing rod for steelhead that is appropriate for your skill level and experience. Consider factors such as length, power, action, and material when selecting a rod.
  • Use appropriate bait and lures: Steelheads are known for being finicky eaters, so it’s important to use bait and lures that are specifically designed for them. This can include worms, salmon eggs, or artificial lures such as spinners or spoons.
  • Know the right techniques: Steelhead fishing requires different techniques than other types of fishing, such as casting upstream and allowing your bait or lure to drift downstream with the current. Do some research or ask more experienced anglers for advice on the best techniques to use.
  • Pay attention to the weather and water conditions: Steelheads are most active in colder water temperatures, so it’s best to fish for them in the early morning or late afternoon. Additionally, pay attention to water levels and clarity, as these can affect where the fish are located and what types of bait or lures are most effective.
  • Be patient and persistent: Steelhead fishing can be a challenging and frustrating experience, so it’s important to be patient and persistent. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t catch anything right away and keep trying different techniques and locations until you find success.
  • Practice catch-and-release: Steelhead populations can be vulnerable to overfishing, so it’s important to practice catch-and-release whenever possible. This involves carefully releasing the fish back into the water after catching them, which can help ensure the sustainability of the fishery for future generations.

Upgrade Your Gear: Top 14 Steelhead Fishing Rods on the Market Today

Steelhead fishing is a beloved pastime for many anglers around the world. These elusive fish are known for their fighting spirit and incredible acrobatics, making them a thrilling catch for anyone who enjoys the sport of fishing. To have the best chance of catching a steelhead, anglers need to have the right equipment, and a quality steelhead fishing rod is essential.

A steelhead fishing rod is designed to be both strong and sensitive, allowing anglers to detect even the slightest bite while also being able to handle the power and strength of these fish. There are many different types of steelhead fishing rods on the market, each with its own unique features and benefits.

From fast-action rods to spey rods, there is a steelhead fishing rod out there for every angler and every fishing situation. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the world of steelhead fishing rods, exploring the different types of rods available, their features and benefits, and what to consider when choosing the right one for your next fishing trip.

If you are looking for the best steelhead fishing rod, look no further. We have compiled a list of the top-rated steelhead rods on the market, and we are sure that you will find the perfect one for your needs. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced angler, we have something for everyone. So don’t wait any longer – browse our selection and find the perfect steelhead rod today!

1# Okuma Celilo Graphite Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Rod

Okuma Celilo Salmon Steelhead Spinning Rod

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Length: 9’6″
Lure Weight: 1/4 – 1/2 oz.
Line Weight: 6-12 lbs.
Power: ML
Piece: 2

Looking for a top-quality salmon or steelhead spinning rod? Look no further than Okuma’s Celilo Graphite Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Rods. These rods have been tested for reliability and quality, and are used by professionals all over the world. They’re made with sensitive graphite blanks, aluminium oxide guide inserts, and stainless steel hooded reel seats. Plus, they come with quality grade fore and rear cork grips. So if you’re looking for a great fishing experience, get yourself one of these rods!

  • Made with high-quality materials

  • Sensitive graphite blank construction

  • Aluminium oxide guide inserts

  • Stainless steel hooded reel seats

  • Quality grade fore and rear cork grips

  • Guides can be fragile

  • Cork grip can become slippery when wet

2# St. Croix Rods Triumph Salmon & Steelhead 2-Piece Casting Rod

St. Croix Rods Triumph Steelhead Casting Rod

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Length: 8’6″
Power: M
Action: Fast
Piece: 2

Introducing the Triumph Salmon & Steelhead Casting Rod from St. Croix! This premium-quality rod is made of SCII carbon for an incredibly smooth and responsive experience, with a premium cork handle for great grip even in wet conditions.

The Sea Guide Atlas Performance guides are slim and strong, with black frames that will resist corrosion even in tough conditions. And to top it off, this rod comes with a 5-year warranty backed by the St. Croix Superstar Service. So get out there and hook into some big fish with the Triumph Salmon & Steelhead Casting Rod from St. Croix!

  • Premium quality SCII carbon

  • Premium-grade cork handle

  • Sea Guide Atlas Performance slim aluminium-oxide guides with black frames

  • Two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish

  • 5-year warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service

  • Guides may not be as durable as other rods

  • Cork handle may not be as grippy as other materials

3# KUFA Sports IM8 Salmon Steelhead Bait Casting Fishing Rod

KUFA Sports IM8 Salmon Steelhead Fishing Rod

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Length: 8’6″, 10’6″
Line Weight: 8-17 lb., 12-25 lb., 10-25 lb.
Power: M, MH
Action: MF, M
Piece: 2

These salmon and Steelhead fishing rods are perfect for anglers who want a quality product at a great price. They’re made with IM8 graphite, making them strong yet lightweight, and they come in two pieces for easy transport. The SSRC8062M is 8’6″ long and has a medium-fast action, while the SSRC1062MH is 10’6″ long with a medium-heavy action. Both models have nine guides plus the tip, ensuring your line moves smoothly along the rod.

  • IM8 graphite makes them strong yet lightweight

  • Comes in two pieces for easy transport

  • Steelhead Fishing Rod has nine guides plus the tip

  • May be too light for some anglers

  • Only comes in two pieces

4# Okuma Celilo Salmon/Steelhead Casting Rod

Okuma Celilo Steelhead Casting Rod

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Length: 8’6″
Lure Weight: 3/8 – 3/4 oz.
Line Weight: 10-20 lb.
Power: Medium Heavy
Action: F
Piece: 2

Looking for the perfect rod to help you reel in those big salmon and steelhead? Look no further than Okuma’s Celilo Graphite Salmon/Steelhead Casting Rod! Made with the highest quality materials, this rod is reliable and built to last. It’s also been tested by professionals worldwide, so you know it’s up to the task.

Featuring a sensitive graphite blank construction and aluminium oxide guide inserts, this rod gives you all the power you need to handle even the biggest fish. And with a quality grade fore and rear cork grip, it provides a comfortable grip even when your hands are wet. So grab yourself an Okuma Celilo Graphite Salmon/Steelhead Casting Rod today!

  • Made with the highest quality materials

  • Tested for reliability and quality

  • Used by professionals worldwide

  • Sensitive Graphite Blank Construction

  • Aluminium Oxide Guide Inserts

  • Stainless Steel Hooded Reel Seats

  • Quality Grade Fore and Rear Cork Grips

  • Might be a bit too expensive for some

5# Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod Salmon/Steelhead

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod Steelhead

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Length: 9′
Line Weight: 12-25 lb.
Power: Medium
Action: F
Piece: 2

Salmon and Steelhead anglers rejoice – the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod has finally arrived! This rod was designed with your favourite fish in mind, offering perfect lengths and actions for either river or lake fishing. The clear tip design ensures maximum strength and sensitivity, while the ugly Tuff one-piece stainless steel guides provide unbeatable durability.

And don’t worry about those pesky insert pop-outs – our Ugly Tech construction features added graphite for extra strength and reduced weight. Plus, the conventional style reel seats come complete with cushioned stainless steel hoods. So get ready to tackle the biggest Salmon or Steelhead of your life – with the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod, you can

  • A Steelhead fishing rod with perfect lengths and actions for both river and lake fishing

  • Clear tip design ensures maximum strength and sensitivity

  • One-piece stainless steel guides provide unbeatable durability

  • Ugly tuff construction is made of lightweight graphite to ensure additional sensitivity, while still maintaining its strength

  • Steelhead Fishing Rod doesn’t come in a variety of sizes

  • Steelhead fishing rod is not available in fibreglass

  • The Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod is not compatible with any line weight under 10lbs

6# 13 FISHING Fate Steel Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Fishing Rod

13 FISHING Steelhead Spinning Fishing Rod

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Length: 8’6″
Line Weight: 8-17 lbs.
Power: Medium
Piece: 2

The Fate Steel rod series is perfect for experienced anglers who demand the very best in performance and quality. Featuring Japanese 30 Ton HTC 3 Blank Construction, these rods are designed to provide exceptional power and accuracy, while the soft-touch engage reel seat ensures a smooth and comfortable grip. With ALPS stainless steel guides with zirconia inserts, you can be sure your line will run smoothly without any snags or tangles. Finished with a raised ruckus attitude, the Fate Steel rods are sure to help you catch more fish than ever before!

  • Durable steelhead spinning rod

  • Built with Japanese 30 Ton HTC 3 Blank Construction

  • Comes with Evolve Soft Touch Engage Reel Seat

  • Requires a lot of experience to use properly

  • The steelhead spinning rod is not as durable as some other models

7# Tica HLHB Alaska Salmon Steelhead Fishing Rod

Tica Salmon Steelhead Fishing Rod

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Length: 8’6″
Lure Weight: 1/2 – 1 oz.
Line Weight: 10-20 lbs.
Power: Medium Heavy
Action: Moderate Fast
Piece: 2

With its high modulus TC2 graphite material and durable blank, the TICA HLHB Alaska salmon steelhead fishing rod is perfect for reeling in those big kings. The sensitive FUJI Hardloy Ring guides make it easy to detect even the slightest nibbles, while the tough Graphite Trigger and APS reel seat ensure a smooth, sturdy fight every time.

  • Sensitive FUJI Hardloy Ring guides

  • Graphite Trigger and TICA APS reel seat

  • Steelhead Fishing Rod

  • High modulus TC2 graphite material

  • No cons

8# Lamiglas HS710MHC Redline HS Cast Rod

Lamiglas Redline HS Cast Rod

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Length: 7’10”
Lure Weight: 1 – 5 oz.
Line Weight: 10-25 lbs.
Power: Medium/Heavy
Action: Fast
Piece: 1

Cast your line and reel in the big one with Lamiglas Redline HS Cast Rod! These handmade rods are built with a new production technique and graphite interlace system that makes them incredibly sturdy and sensitive. You’ll love the composite graphite handles, which ensure extreme durability and longevity. So pull out your tackle box and get ready to fish!

  • Handmade with a new production technique and graphite interlace system

  • Extreme durability and longevity

  • Composite graphite handles

  • No cons

9# Phenix Cicada Salmon & Steelhead Spinning Rod

Phenix Cicada Steelhead Spinning Rod

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Length: 10′
Line Weight: 10-30 lb.
Action: Mod-Fast

Phenix has outdone themselves with this Cicada Salmon & Steelhead Spinning Rod! Featuring Fuji TDPS & DPS reel seats, Phenix custom design cork handle, and premium Essex SiC guides, this 2pc break-down rod is sure to last.

  • Phenix custom design cork handle

  • It features Fuji TDPS & DPS reel seats, premium Essex SiC guides, and 2pc break-down capability for easy transportation from spot to spot on the river!

  • The 40T composite material gives the feeling of strength as well as beauty with this rod!

  • Steelhead Fishing Rod does not stand up well to saltwater fishing

  • Steelhead Fishing Rods come in 2 pieces, which can be hard to carry and assemble

10# Sougayilang Fishing Rod Cork Handle Crappie Spinning Fishing Rod

Sougayilang Crappie Spinning Fishing Rod

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Length: 6’0″
Power: L
Piece: 2

Looking for a top-quality fishing rod that is both sensitive and lightweight? Look no further than the Sougayilang Graphite Lightweight 2 Piece Spinning Fishing Rod! Featuring sensitive graphite composite blanks, comfortable cork grips, and ultra-light actions, this trout fishing rod is perfect for anglers of all ages and experience levels. Plus, it’s made to be reliable and durable – so you can count on it to last for years to come.

  • Steelhead Fishing Rod

  • Sensitive Graphite Composite Blanks

  • Hybrid design construction for unmatched sensitivity with the security of through handle construction

  • Fore and Rear Cork Grips

  • Improves sensitivity

  • Ultra Lightweight Trout fishing rod

  • None

11# Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod

Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod

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Length: 5′, 5’6″, 6′, 6’6″, 7′, 9′
Lure Weight: 1/8 – 1/2 oz., 1/8 – 5/8 oz., 1/4 – 3/4 oz., 1/8 – 3/4 oz., 1/32 – 1/4 oz.
Line Weight: 4-10 lbs., 6-15 lbs., 8-20 lbs., 4-20 lbs., 2-6 lbs.
Power: Light, Medium, Medium Heavy, Ultra Light
Action: Fast, Moderate, Moderate Fast
Piece: 1, 2

The Ugly Stik GX2 spinning rod is perfect for anglers who demand the strength and reliability of Ugly Stik combined with added features that improve performance and durability. This unique rod is constructed with Ugly Tech, which combines fibreglass and graphite in exactly the right proportions to yield a blank that is sensitive, lightweight, and virtually unbreakable. The Ugly Tuff™ guides feature 1-piece stainless steel inserts; crazy slick and practically bulletproof, they ensure that line feeds through and runs back freely. Finished off with Ugly Stik’s signature clear fibreglass tip, this rod is sure to become your go-to choice for serious angling.

  • Fiberglass and graphite blank combined for sensitive, lightweight, virtually unbreakable rod

  • Stainless steel inserts ensure the line feeds through and runs back freely

  • Steelhead Fishing Rods. The durable yet sensitive tip will protect hands from scratches while shaking fish loose from the net during a fight

  • The fibreglass and graphite blank could be more sensitive

  • The clear fibreglass tip is prone to breaking

12# Berkley Lightning Rod Spinning Rod

Berkley Spinning Rod BSLR

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Length: 5′, 5’6″, 6′, 6’6″, 7′
Lure Weight: 1/32 – 1/4 oz., 1/16 – 3/8 oz., 1/4 – 5/8 oz., 3/8 – 3/4 oz.
Line Weight: 2-6 lbs., 4-8 lbs., 6-12 lbs., 8-14 lbs., 10-17 lbs.
Power: Light, Medium, Medium Heavy, Medium Light, Ultra Light
Action: Moderate, Moderate Fast, Fast, Extra Fast
Piece: 1, 2

This all-purpose spinning rod is perfect for a variety of fishing applications. The graphite blank is strong and lightweight, while the stainless steel guides and aluminium oxide inserts resist corrosion and help ensure smooth line flow. The double-locking reel seat keeps your reel in place, while the rubberized cork handle provides comfort and control. Choose from a range of actions and lengths to get the perfect rod for your next fishing trip.

  • Steelhead Fishing Rod is strong and lightweight

  • Steelhead Fishing Rod is available in a range of lengths to suit your needs

  • The Fishing Rod has a ribbed handle for improved grip

  • The Fishing Rod has stainless steel guides that resist corrosion and aluminium oxide inserts that help ensure smooth line flow

  • Steelhead Fishing Rod is expensive

  • Steelhead Fishing Rod is heavy

13# Shimano Teramar Southeast Spinning Rod

Shimano Teramar Southeast Spin Rod

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Length: 6’6″, 7′, 7’4″, 7’6″, 7’10”, 8′
Lure Weight: 1/8 – 1/2 oz., 3/8 – 1 oz., 1/4 – 5/8 oz., 1/2 – 2 oz., 1/4 – 3/4 oz., 1/4 – 1/2 oz., 1/2 – 1-1/2 oz., 1/4 – 1 oz., 1 – 1-1/2 oz., 3/4 – 3 oz., 2 – 5 oz.
Line Weight: 6-12 lbs., 8-17 lbs., 6-15 lbs., 15-30 lbs., 6-17 lbs., 10-20 lbs., 15-40 lbs., 20-40 lbs.
Power: Medium, Medium Heavy, Medium Light, Heavy, X Heavy, XX Heavy
Action: Moderate Fast, Fast, Extra Fast
Piece: 1

Shimano Teramar Southeast Spinning Rods are perfect for beginner anglers or those looking for a highly responsive, easy-to-use rod. Featuring a TC4 blank construction with Fuji New Concept Hardloy guides and Grade A cork handles, these rods are designed to provide a crisp and dynamic action that will help you land fish with ease.

  • TC4 blank construction with Fuji New Concept Hardloy guides and Grade A cork handles

  • Offers a crisp and dynamic action

  • Comes in a variety of lengths

  • Beautifully balanced Shimano®Teramar™ inshore rods

  • The rod is fairly long

  • Steelhead Fishing Rods are not suitable for experienced fishermen

14# Fenwick HMX Spinning Rod

Fenwick Spinning Rod HMX

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Length: 5’6″, 6’6″, 7′
Lure Weight: 1/32 – 1/4 oz., 1/8 – 5/8 oz., 1/4 – 3/4 oz., 3/8 – 1 oz.
Line Weight: 1-6 lbs., 4-10 lbs., 10-17 lbs., 8-14 lbs.
Power: Medium, Medium Heavy, Medium Light, Ultra Light
Action: Moderate Fast, Fast
Piece: 2, 1

The Fenwick HMX Spinning Rod is perfect for anglers looking for an action that is responsive and strong. The blanks are made of smooth intermediate modulus carbon fibre, which makes them a great choice for fishing in all weather conditions. The Sea Guide stainless steel guide frames with Zirconium oxide inserts help to reduce weight and line friction, while the TAC and cork handle provides maximum comfort and control.

  • Exceptional action with great sensitivity

  • Modulus carbon fibre blank construction

  • Sea Guide stainless steel guide frames

  • Zirconium oxide inserts

  • TAC and cork handle

  • May be too stiff for some anglers

  • Guides may not be durable enough

  • Cork handle may not be comfortable for all

Maintenance Matters: How to Care for Your Steelhead Fishing Rod to Keep It in Top Condition

A steelhead fishing rod is a prized possession for any angler, and proper maintenance is crucial to keep it in top condition. With the right care, your fishing rod can last for years and provide many successful fishing trips. Here are some tips on how to care for your steelhead fishing rod:

  1. Clean your rod after each use: Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe down your rod after each use. This will help remove any dirt, grime, or salt that may have accumulated on the rod. Make sure to clean the rod guides, reel seat, and handle thoroughly.
  2. Store your rod properly: When not in use, store your steelhead fishing rod in a rod tube or a rod holder. This will protect it from damage, such as scratches or dents, and prevent it from getting tangled or bent.
  3. Avoid extreme temperatures: Do not expose your fishing rod to extreme temperatures, such as leaving it in a hot car or exposing it to freezing temperatures. This can cause damage to the rod’s materials and weaken its overall structure.
  4. Avoid slamming the rod: When casting or reeling in your line, avoid slamming the rod against hard surfaces. This can cause the rod to become brittle and break over time.
  5. Check your rod guides: Regularly inspect your rod guides for any nicks or cracks. Damaged guides can cause your line to fray and break, so replace them immediately if you notice any damage.
  6. Store your rod in pieces: If you need to store your rod in pieces, make sure to use a protective case or rod sock to prevent any damage.


How do you use a steelhead rod?
Steelhead rods are meant to be sensitive and strong, with the ability to use gear for both small bait fishing as well as lure casting. Steelhead rods are typically longer than other baitcasting rods to make long casts with heavy lures. Steelheads range from 33-40 inches in length, but can grow up to 50-60 pounds or larger! The action should be medium-fast or faster because Steelheads often dive deep into lanes of slack water behind river dams before making a powerful run upstream. When steelhead, your goal is usually just one bite – so you want just enough pressure on the line without spooking the fish by putting too much pressure on it. You won’t need anything more than 14 lb test monofil.
How do I choose a steelhead rod?
Steelhead rods come in a variety of lengths, actions and power levels. To choose the best steelhead rod for you, you need to first determine what fish you will be targeting with your new rod. Steelheads are a species of trout that can be found living in both salt and fresh water. Because they can be caught in both environments, it’s important that you select a rod that is versatile enough to handle both types of fishing.

Once you’ve determined the species of fish you will be targeting, it’s time to decide what type of fishing you will most often be doing with your new steelhead rod. If the majority of your fishing will take place in streams and rivers, then you’ll want to focus on selecting a fast action.

What makes a good steelhead rod?
When it comes to finding the best steelhead rod for the money, there are a few key factors you’ll want to take into consideration.

The first is action. Steelhead rods typically come in either fast or slow action. Fast action rods are great for casting larger lures and baits, while slow action rods are perfect for finesse techniques and smaller baits.

The next thing to consider is power. Steelhead rods come in a variety of power ratings, so you’ll want to choose one that can handle the size of fish you’re targeting.

Finally, you’ll also want to consider the length and weight of the rod.

Why are steelhead rods so long?
Steelhead rods are long because they need to be in order to cast the weight of a metal lure a long distance. They also need to be strong enough to handle the fighting power of a steelhead.
What is the best time to fish for steelhead?
Steelhead can be found in many waterways throughout North America, so the best time to fish for them really depends on where you are located. In general, fall is the best time to fish for steelhead in most areas, as they have migrated downstream to spawning grounds. However, some anglers find success fishing for steelhead in winter and spring as well.

Casting with Confidence: How to Use Your Steelhead Fishing Rod Like a Pro

In summary, fishing for steelhead is a popular and challenging activity that requires a high-quality fishing rod to achieve the best results. When choosing a fishing rod for steelhead, it is important to consider factors such as length, power, action, and material. Longer rods are better suited for casting longer distances, while shorter rods provide greater accuracy and control.

A medium to medium-heavy power rating is recommended for steelhead fishing, and a fast or medium-fast action provides the sensitivity and responsiveness necessary to detect bites and set the hook. Graphite and composite materials are popular choices for their strength, sensitivity, and lightweight design.

Steelhead fishing rods come in all shapes and sizes, so it can be hard to determine which one is the best for you. In this article, we’ve outlined some of the top-rated Steelhead Fishing Rods on the market and given a buyer’s guide to help you choose the right one for your needs. We hope that this information will help make your next fishing trip a success!

Sergio Smirnoff
Sergio Smirnoff
Professional fisherman with 40+ years of experience.
Fishing and the ocean is a passion of my life. I am passionate about all kinds of sea fishing: fishing from the shore (spinning, float, baitcasting), from a boat, and spearfishing day and night.

I live in Tenerife (Canary Islands) for the last 10+ years and share my daily fishing experiences on my website. Many years of personal experience as a fisherman and the vast experience of my friends allow me to write professionally on any fishing topics (from choosing a flashlight and equipment to deep-sea fishing).

All of my advice is based on practical real-world experience and will be useful to both novice anglers and professionals. Read more about the author.

Affiliate Disclosure: sometimes gets paid for listings, through sponsors or affiliate programs like Amazon, Ebay, Cabelas, Bass Pro Shop, Shimano, Daiwa, Rapala, Renn, Okuma, KastKing, etс. Clicking a link helps keep free, at no extra cost to you!

About the author: Each article is verified by the fishing expert Sergio Smirnoff. The articles are written by professional and amateur fishermen with 20+ years of fishing experience.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency. The articles are for informational purposes only, share your opinions in the comments and join the fishing discussions, let's share our fishing experiences together!

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Plyrum Greenberry
Plyrum Greenberry
2 months ago

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The Art of Patience: Developing Persistence and Overcoming Frustration as a Novice Angler

Sustainable Fishing: The Importance of Catch-and-Release Practices for Novice Anglers

While I’m not new to fishing, I’m completely new to Steelhead fishing and I’m looking for some suggestions on a 2-piece spinning rod in the $60-$100 range. I’ll mainly be bank fishing in rivers and experimenting with a handful of different styles, so I’m looking for something that can perform well with floats, spinners, etc. without being too specialized.

I’ve got some suggestions for the Lamiglas X11, Fenwick Eagle SS, Ugly Stick, and Shimano Clarus, but I’m wondering if there are any other brands out there that I should consider. Am I overthinking this?

I’m also not sure about rod length and weight/action, so any specific models you can recommend would be greatly appreciated.

Right now, my top contenders are the 9’6″ X11 or Clarus. I’m also tempted by the Shimano Scimitar due to its price, but I feel like it might be worth it to invest in something a little nicer even though I’m new to this. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Dago Twigthorn
Dago Twigthorn
2 months ago

I just wanted to share my experience with the Okuma SST rod for Steelhead and Salmon fishing. I purchased it last year for $80 and it has been a great investment so far. I’ve been able to haul in over 20 Coho and 3 winters of Steelheads without any issues or concerns.

I have the 9-17 lb medium action 9-foot model (#SST-S-902M) which can handle weights from 3/8 to 1 oz. It has been an excellent rod for my fishing needs.

Additionally, I’ve paired the Okuma SST 9’6″ ML MF rod with a Pflueger President 40 reel and have been able to land some great Steelhead this year. Overall, I highly recommend the Okuma SST for any novice or experienced angler looking for a reliable and affordable option for Steelhead and Salmon fishing.

Hanson Riversmoke
Hanson Riversmoke
2 months ago

I recently purchased a 9 ft medium action Ugly Stik GX2 and have been thoroughly impressed with its performance. Despite its low price point of around $40, this rod has withstood a beating during my various fishing adventures. From surf fishing with 2 oz sinkers to trolling and bank fishing for steelhead, and even jigging for Kokanee, this Ugly Stik GX2 has handled it all without any issues.

In my opinion, the Ugly Stik GX2 is a great option for anyone who wants a reliable fishing rod without breaking the bank. Although it may seem like just a glorified stick and string, it has proven to be a dependable tool that has enhanced my fishing experiences. So, if you’re in the market for a new fishing rod, I highly recommend giving the Ugly Stik GX2 a try – you won’t be disappointed!

Pyrus Serpenthide
Pyrus Serpenthide
2 months ago

As someone who only flies fish for salmon, I can say that a light rod wouldn’t be enough for this type of fishing. Personally, I use an 8-wt fly rod, which is fairly stout but not quite saltwater fly fishing power. However, if you’re mainly fishing for trout, then a light rod would be sufficient. If you plan on targeting bass or other similar species, then a medium-light rod might be a more versatile option.

In terms of brand recommendations, I’ve had good experiences with St. Croix rods and would suggest considering their Triumph series. While I don’t have any issues with 13 Fishing, I personally prefer Diawa and St. Croix rods.

I did misread your post initially, so I apologize for that. As for rod length, it really depends on the space you have available. If you’re fishing in wide-open rivers, then a 9 ft rod might be appropriate. However, the rivers near me are quite challenging to fish with a 9 ft rod, so I prefer using a shorter rod like a 5’6″ ultralight when river fishing. Ultimately, it’s important to consider the specific fishing conditions you’ll be facing when selecting a rod.

Mikel Elmwood
Mikel Elmwood
2 months ago

As someone who frequently fishes for trout and salmon in the Minnesota north shore of Lake Superior and northern Michigan, I’m also looking for a versatile rod that can handle inline spinners or drift rigs but still reel in decent-sized fish.

While I initially considered a medium-light rod, I’m now also considering the Fenwick HMX salmon/steelhead rod, which is a medium-heavy option. However, I’m not entirely sure if this would be the best choice for salmon spinning gear, as I typically use separate fly rods for salmon vs. smaller river species.

I’m hoping someone with more experience in salmon spinning gear can provide some insight on what type of rod would be best for fighting fish of that size. Regardless, it’s important to consider the specific fishing conditions and target species when selecting a rod that will perform well and meet your needs.

Abram Pykeglance
Abram Pykeglance
2 months ago

As someone who frequently steelhead fishes the tributaries of Lake Erie in PA, I currently have a 9’6″ Okuma Salmon/Steelhead rod with a Daiwa Fuego 3000D-C reel and 8lb fluoro line. While I haven’t used the Daiwa reel yet, I had success last year with a Daiwa Regal 3000D-CXHA reel.

However, I recently acquired an HS106HC rod that’s rated for 12-30 lbs and is 10’6″, which I originally bought for salmon fishing. As a beginner steelhead fisherman, I’m wondering if this rod would be too big for catching steelhead from the bank. Additionally, I have an 80lb braided line on my reel and would appreciate any advice on whether I need different gear or if I could use what I currently have.

Balthazar Pearlwort
Balthazar Pearlwort
2 months ago

As someone who frequently pier and surf fishes on the Carolina coast, I own four Okuma Sst rods – two medium/light 10’6″ with a graphite handle and two 10’6″ medium with a corked handle. These are the best rods I’ve ever used for this purpose.

What’s even better is that if you do happen to break one, Okuma will replace it for just $25, no questions asked! I also have a 13-4 drift Okuma Guide Select that I use almost daily for throwing swim baits.

If you’re looking to fish for salmon in Ontario or steelhead on the Niagara River, I highly recommend these rods. They’re top-notch in terms of both quality and durability.

Lisandro Goldstocks
Lisandro Goldstocks
2 months ago

It sounds like you have a great variety of rods for different types of fishing! I’m glad to hear they are holding up well for you. I agree that sealing the cork handles can help prolong their lifespan and keep them looking and feeling clean. Have you considered trying out any other brands or models, or are you pretty loyal to the ones you have now? It’s always interesting to hear about different gear preferences and experiences.

Angelo Eastbridge
Angelo Eastbridge
2 months ago

When it comes to fishing in bigger waters, longer rods are definitely helpful for casting longer distances and are better for drift fishing too. In my opinion, the minimum length should be 8ft. For steelhead, a 12lb line should be pretty good, but for salmon, I would recommend using heavier lines like a 17-20lb leader to be safe. It’s always a good idea to ask your guide for their recommendations.

When it comes to rods, I would suggest Okuma SST, Shimano Clarus, or Lamiglas X11 for the price range. For reels, if it’s available, the Daiwa Revros is the best value reel I have used so far. The Daiwa Regal is also a good option. You’ll want a size 4000 reel to go with it. I recommend pairing it with a 30lb braid.

Vulmer Serpenthide
Vulmer Serpenthide
2 months ago

I think the Daiwa BG 2500 you have will work great for salmon and trout fishing. For a rod, I recommend the 8’6″ Lamiglas X11 rated for 1/4-1. It’s a nice combo that one of my fishing buddies uses and it has worked well for him catching kings, Atlantics, steelhead, and coho over the last few years. The Lamiglas X11 should cost around $100. I suggest using 30lb braid with a 10lb or 12lb leader. Berkley Big Game is a good leader choice as it’s tough and won’t cause you to lose fish if they run to logjams.

It’s important to note that even if the fish are rated for 20 lbs, it’s rare for them to actually pull their weight. The drag system on your reel is meant to protect your line and tire the fish. Set your drag at 1/3 of the line’s strength to ensure the line never breaks from pressure. Salmon and trout have excellent vision, so it’s best to keep your line thin to avoid detection.

Overall, your gear will work well for salmon and trout fishing. Okuma SST rods are a great budget option, and I wouldn’t recommend going much longer than what you’re used to as it may take some time to get used to such a long rod and not fully utilize the guide’s expertise.