An angler does not need to spend a lot of money on a good rod. Some of the best fishing rods at $100 or less will surprise many anglers. Names like Fenwick, St Croix, Daiwa, and Lews are on the list. A few others are also well known and a few are unknown. All the rods are good rods for anglers of any skill level.
Some are specific to a lure presentation while others are species-specific. The rods have many powers and actions in some of the choices. A few may be limited but will have a medium or medium-heavy power. Generally considered to be an all-purpose powered rod. In other words, there is a low-cost rod for everyone on the list.
- Abu Garcia Fishing Rods
- Daiwa Fishing Rods
- Fenwick Fishing Rods
- Lews Fishing Rods
- Shimano Fishing Rods
- St. Croix Fishing Rods
- Temple Fork Outfitters
These companies are listed in alphabetical order. Anglers have a preference in the companies quite often. Some of the rods are superior to others on the list. They will be the rods at the $100 price but a few rods are $40 and affordable. The majority is between the 50-80 dollar range. Set a budget and look at the ones at the price. There are a few to choose from at every price. The best fishing rods for you can be $100 or less.
Rods Failing to Make the List
The list does not contain some rods you likely have heard of in researching. The Ugly Stik is often a reviewed rod given good ratings. The rod lacks sensitivity, has a mushy backbone, and does not set hooks well. It is very durable but a good rod needs more than durability. People recommending Ugly Stiks are not fishermen or lack experience with good rods.
The combo Ugly Stik offers is suitable for beginners or people trying fishing. People without experience are unsure of what to buy. The Ugly Stik is a good option until they have experience. Then a better rod and reel is purchased.
Berkley failed to make the list also. The rods in the price range have too many negative reviews on the reel seat. There are other rods in the low-price range not on the list for the same reasons. They lack sensitivity, proper backbone, and poor actions. Rods without certain qualities underperforming. Also some have too many issues with parts failing.
Anglers seeking to buy fishing rods $100 or less need to be wary. Stores and online retailers offer many subpar fishing rods. In many instances another 10-20 dollars gets a good rod. In other words, a rod that has sensitivity, a good backbone, and nice action. The rods on the list offer those qualities.
Abu Garcia makes the list with two models. Either of the rods is a good rod for general fishing. These are suitable for trout, bass, catfish, and even larger fish.
Abu Garcia Veritas
The Veritas comes in many models. The length ranges from 6’6″ to 7’11” with various powers. The tip action goes from moderate-fast to extra-fast. The action lets an angler find a rod for specific lures. A slower tip for treble hooks and faster tips for single hooks.
- Extremely lightweight, sensitive, and balanced
- 30-ton graphite blank with SubLayer Armor
- Exposed blank reel seat
- Ratcheting hood
- Titanium-alloy guides
- Zirconium inserts
- ROCS guide train
- EVA split grips
The ratcheting hood lowers the chance of the reel coming loose. Titanium guides are lighter and more durable than stainless steel. The zirconium inserts are smooth for longer casting. They also hold up well with the super-lines common in fishing also. These are available in spinning and casting models. Also they come in one or two-piece options
Abu Garcia Vendetta
The Vendetta is lower-priced. It has fewer options but will fit most fishing applications. The rod has the stainless guides with zirconium inserts. The reel seat uses micro click technology as a locking feature. This helps keep the reel tight.
- IntraCarbon technology
- 30-ton graphite blank
- Micro click reel seat hood
- High density EVA grips
- Contour curve handle
- Stainless steel guides
- Zirconium inserts
- Extreme exposure reel seat
The rod has good sensitivity for finesse fishing. The exposure reel seat provides better sensitivity. A contour handle to provide more comfort. The rod is a little heavier than the Veritas as the con.
Daiwa only has one on the list but it is a favorite among a lot of anglers. The moderate price and good sensitivity make it one of the better choices. Highly recommended for trout, panfish, and bass.
The spinning version of the AirD comes in an ultra-lite power model. The rest range from medium to medium-heavy covering most lengths. The action has only one choice being a fast tip action. This is common and will work for all-purpose fishing.
The blanks have a design to reduce rod twist. These rods have plenty of guides to control the line better during casting. This provides a uniform bend in the blank while fighting fish also. The aluminum oxide inserts are typical on rods in the price range.
- Made from high Quality Graphite material
- Combined with “Braiding-X” construction reinforcing blanks and reducing unnecessary blank twists
- Aluminum Oxide Ring guides
- Split Grip design with EVA foam
- Hook Keeper
- Limited 1 Year Warranty
Fenwick comes through with three rods for the money wise angler. All three are good rods with solid power and action for any fish. Each of the rods has options in power, action, and length. These are the best selections by one company at the price range. There are rods for many freshwater species. Fenwick offers the most choices in fishing rods for $100 or less. Fenwick has warranties on their rods also. It varies with each model.
An HMG is a solid all-around fishing rod. One of the best fishing rods at $100 or less. The spinning version has ultra-lite to medium-heavy powers. The casting model has medium or medium-heavy power rods. The spinning rods have many lengths while the casting model is limited to a few.
- High-end lightweight blank technology
- Carbon Bound spiral wrapped
- Fuji guides with Alconite inserts
- Positive Lock soft touch reel
- Premium grade cork handle
- Limited Life-time warranty
Fenwick uses Fuji guides with Alconite inserts for casting distance and durability. Premium grade cork in the handles. A high quality reel seat and blank deliver excellent sensitivity.
Bass anglers will find the casting models have good lengths. Plus a few actions for many lure presentations. The spinning model covers panfish, trout, walleye, and bass. Casting rods are one-piece and the spinning has both 1 and 2 piece rods. An HMG is a great choice for all anglers.
Budget a little tight for the HMG then the HMX is an option. The rods come in both casting and spinning models. The powers and actions vary similarly to the HMG. A plus with the rod is it sometimes is offered as a combo with a good reel. Check out the combo at this link Pflueger President reel with HMX ML7′ rod. This combo has considerable savings over buying rod and reel separate.
- Exceptional action with great sensitivity
- Modulus carbon fiber blank construction
- Sea Guide stainless steel guide frames
- Zirconium oxide inserts
- TAC and cork handle
- 5-year warranty
The HMX comes with a cork and Tac handle to lower the cost. The guides and inserts remain of higher quality. It is a rod that will get the job done at a bargain price. Fenwick builds sensitivity and the other qualities in every rod. These rods are very good for all-around or species-specific fishing. Choose the power and action that fits your needs.
Looking for an ultra-lite, travel, or salmon rod. The eagle is the most affordable fishing rod. The travel version breaks down to 3-pieces and has a case. The ultra-lite is ideal for panfish. The salmon and steelhead rods have the extra length to reach fish out farther.
- High-performance rod for every angling situation
- Multi-laminate graphite blank
- Chromium-plated SS304 guides
- Time-tested Fenwick actions
- Burled cork handle
- 3-year limited warranty
The salmon models are available in casting or spinning models. The travel and ultra-lite are limited to spinning rods. These are rods intended for trout, salmon, and steelhead. The ultra-lite is for small trout or panfish.
The bass angler and inshore anglers have three options from Lews. Two of the rods for specific fishing techniques but will crossover for other fishing. The crankbait rod is good for lures with treble hooks. The American Hero is limited to a casting model but is the all-purpose rod.
Lews David Fritt Crankbait Rod
Angler throwing crankbaits deserve a rod specific to the task. This rod is designed for crankbaits. A moderate action is standard with a medium and several medium-heavy power options. One model handles up to 3 ounces of lure weight. The lengths range from 6’6″ to 7’11” giving anglers a choice in casting distance.
- 42 million modulus graphite/glass blank
- Stainless steel guide frames with aluminum oxide inserts
- Lightweight graphite reel seat
- Cushioned stainless steel hoods
- Loop style hook keepers
- Premium cork handles
- EVA butt caps
Crankbait rods are made with composite blanks. This adds durability and flexibility in the blank. The fiberglass/ carbon blend will break in some during use adding to the whip for long casting. Aluminum oxide inserts add to casting distance also. One of the models features a lower reel seat for easier palming. A solid choice for the dedicated crankbait angler.
Lews Mach Inshore Speed Stick
A Mach inshore has spinning and casting models. The spinning rod is 7 feet in length with medium power. The casting version is 6’9″ and also medium power. The length is nice for longer casting. These are one-piece rods, a two-piece option is not available.
- multi-layer construction one-piece IM6 graphite blank with Carbon Nanotube technology
- Winn® split-grip handle with Dri-Tac
- American Tackle Air Wave™ guides
- Skeletal reel seat
- One-year limited warranty.
Exclusive skeletal reel seat provides direct contact with the blank. This delivers the most sensitivity. The handle provides a secure, non-slip grip and keeps you fatigue-free all day long. The guides deliver smooth line flow for the greatest casting distance. A fair priced inshore rod for anglers needing this type of rod.
Lew’s American Hero
Lews American Hero is a budget-friendly option in a casting rod. Limited to a 7 foot, medium power, and fast action rod. It is a bare-bone style of rod. It has a good backbone with a fast action tip. The sensitivity is good due to the reel seat design. The handles are durable EVA material.
- Multi-layer, multi-directional IM6 graphite blank
- Gun-smoke stainless steel frames guides with stainless steel inserts
- Graphite reel seats with exposed blank for sensitivity
- Split-grip handles with durable high-density EVA
- Manufacturer’s limited one-year warranty
The guides are stainless steel, not the best choice but adequate. The one year warranty is a bonus on a budget rod. Few rods at the price have a warranty. The profits from the rod have a portion donated to veteran groups. It is a good choice for someone wanting a baitcast rod for a starter rod.
Shimano is best known for its dependable and high performing reels. They have a few rods worth checking. The rods are good choices for angler buying their first or second rod. These are durable rods. Choose the power and action suited to the species you are targeting.
The SLX rod is built for durability and performance. The rod comes in many lengths, powers, and actions. Plus spinning and casting models, both of with a one or two-piece options. The rod has models for specific lure presentations.
- Titanium oxide guide inserts
- Versatile actions throughout the lineup
- Features an attractive and sensitive carbon fore grip
- Features a custom reel seat
- Durable and long lasting
The guides are of the best material for casting. It is very smooth and long-lasting. Better guides improve accuracy and distance. The carbon foregrip adds sensitivity to the fore-grip. You get performance and price with this rod. A good option for bass, walleye, and all-around fishing.
The Sojourn is the lowest cost rod on the list. Ultra-lite, medium and medium-heavy power rods are in the line-up. There are one and two-piece options. It comes in spinning or casting models also.
- Graphite Composite Blank
- Low profile aluminum oxide guides
- Custom Shimano reel seat
- Custom shaped cork handle
- EVA butt cap
This is a budget rod in the strictest sense. Aluminum oxide guides are plus. Since many low-cost rods use low-quality stainless steel stamped guides. The Shimano reel seat is standard on their low priced rods. The cork handle is nice looking but likely low quality. The rod is suitable for all-around fishing for an occasional angler.
St. Croix is one of the bigger names and known for higher-priced rods. They have a rod in the low-cost range also. If you want a St. Croix and thought it was out of your budget, guess again.
St Croix Triumph
The Triumph is available as a spinning rod. Those seeking a casting rod need to look at the Bass X for a few more dollars. The spinning rod has powers in the ultra-lite to medium range. The ultra-lite is a moderate action. The other choices are a fast action tip.
- Strong, sensitive, and durable
- Reasonable price
- Double-cured premium SCII graphite blank
- Black-frame guides with aluminum-oxide inserts
- Fuji DPS reel seat
- Premium-grade cork handles
- 5-year warranty
The ultra-lite is 5 feet, and the others 6’6″ or 7′ are the options. St Croix features Fuji DPS reel seats on the rods. Aluminum oxide inserts in the guides, a cork handle, and a five-year warranty. These rods are ideal for panfish, trout, walleye, and finesse bass fishing.
Temple fork is a quality rod maker. The company makes fly rods and conventional rods. Their rods often are made as species-specific in the higher-price ranges. The Heroes on the Water is an all-around rod. Some of the profits fund Heroes on the Water veteran group. It is an organization helping vets through fishing.
Temple Fork Outfitters Heroes On the Water
The rod has spinning or casting rod models. They come in 6’6″ medium power. The 7′ model is medium-heavy. All the models have the medium-fast action. These rods are designed to be kayak fishing compatible. The rod will fit the holders on kayaks.
Good fishing rods are available for $100 or less. The choices are limited. Stores and retailers sell many subpar fishing rods. It may cost 10-20 more dollars for a good rod. Some rods are all-purpose while some are for specific uses. Many of the rods have warranties. The length and terms vary so check.