9 Best Kids Fishing Poles Reviewed

Last Update:

* If you purchase through the links in this post, we may receive a small affiliate commission, at no extra cost to you.

Best Kids Fishing Poles

Howdy parents! If you’re looking for the best kids fishing poles, you’re in the right place.

When curating this list, I considered that children are shorter, more careless, and more visual than adults. First, this means their rods need to be shorter. Since they’re more careless, their rods also have to be sturdier in case they drop them. Lastly, their rods’ designs have to be more appealing to encourage them to use the fishing pole.

Every fishing pole on this list has passed those filters. You’ll also be glad to hear that none of the options even exceed $50. In fact, most of them cost less than 30 bucks.

That said, these are the 9 best fishing poles for kids.

Our Top 9 Picks

  1. Ugly Stik Dock Runner Spinning Combo (Best Rod and Reel Combo)
  2. Lanaak Fishing Kit (Best Youth Fishing Kit)
  3. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Spincast Combo (Best 2-Piece Rod)
  4. Zebco Splash Rod And Reel Combo (Best For Careless Kids)
  5. ODDSPRO Kids Fishing Starter Kit (Best Starter Fishing Kit)
  6. Zebco Dock Demon Spincast Combo (Best For Young Children)
  7. Zebco Star Wars Spincast Combo (Best For Ages 6-9)
  8. Zebco 33 Rod And Reel Combo (Best Budget 2-Piece Rod)
  9. Plusinno Kids Fishing Kit (Best Budget Fishing Kit)

The 9 Best Kids Fishing Poles

Before we get started, note that I didn’t include any stand-alone rods in this list. I chose only rod and reel combos and fishing kits because kids reels may not always fit on other kids fishing rods. It’s also more costly to buy the rod and reel separately.

Now that I’ve cleared that up, let’s begin.


Best Rod and Reel Combo

1. Ugly Stik Dock Runner Spinning Combo

  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Handle Material: Cork + EVA Foam
  • Rod Length: 3 ft

First up is the best rod and reel combo for budding anglers. The Ugly Stik Dock Runner Spinning Combo offers a solid setup for kids who are ready for more serious angling.

The sleek design aside, this fishing rod combo features a composite blank and a spinning reel. 

The carbon fiber in the composite provides sensitivity while the fiberglass provides power and toughness. Ugly Stik also has a reputation for making indestructible rods. With their Ugly Tech Construction, this sturdy fishing pole can stand up to kids’ rough and shoddy handling.

And for young anglers who want to advance from a spincast reel, the spinning reel that comes with it is the perfect midpoint between baitcasting reels and spincast reels. 

Most important of all, at 3 ft, most kids will have no trouble wielding this great fishing pole.

If you feel your child has outgrown his or her spincast reel, this high-quality rod and reel may just be what you’re looking for.


Best Youth Fishing Kit

2. Lanaak Fishing Kit

  • Blank Material: Fiberglass
  • Handle Material: EVA Foam
  • Rod Length: 4.9 ft

Next on the list is our chosen fishing kit for youths – the Lanaak Fishing Kit. What make this the best fishing kit for youths are its style, length, and power.

More often than not, as your child grows up, he or she will want to use less “kiddy” rods. Vibrant colours and cartoons will only make your young adult feel like a kid, which youths hate. The grown-up style of this youth fishing pole makes it ideal for youths.

Youths may also start going after larger fish. Boasting a fiberglass blank, this youth fishing rod is robust, making it suitable for bigger fish.

The reel also comes conveniently pre-spooled with fishing line to save you some hassle. 

With all these features, the Lanaak Fishing Kit is one of the best fishing kits you can get for your youth angler.


Best 2-Piece Rod

3. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Spincast Combo

  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Handle Material: EVA Foam
  • Rod Length: 5.5 ft

When it comes to 2-piece poles for youths, the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Spincast Combo takes the top spot. Designed for strength and durability, youths will love this rod and reel combo.

Crafted with a composite blank, the carbon fiber allows you to feel timid bites and the fiberglass gives you a hardy rod. Once again, the Ugly Tech Construction further enhances the reel’s durability.

You’ll also notice that the colour scheme is much less “kiddy”, making it well-suited for teenagers.

All in all, this is the best fishing pole for youths to do some serious fishing.


Best For Careless Kids

4. Zebco Splash Rod and Reel Combo

  • Blank Material: Fiberglass
  • Handle Material: Plastic
  • Rod Length: 2.4 ft

This kids fishing pole was made with careless children in mind. Engineered to float on water, the Zebco Splash Rod and Reel Combo is the best kids fishing pole for the inattentive little ones.

Without a doubt, youngsters are much less mindful than us grown-ups. Don’t be surprised if the youngest angler drops his or her fishing rod into the water. Some kids are more careless than others and may even drop their kids fishing pole multiple times. When that happens, Zebco’s floating feature comes in handy to allow you to retrieve the fishing pole and continue fishing as many times as you need.

On top of that, this rod and reel combo comes with a casting plug for your child to practise casting from the comfort of your own home.

All things considered, this rod and reel is the ideal combo for more slipshod kids, not to mention its long-lasting fiberglass blank.


Best Starter Fishing Kit

5. ODDSPRO Kids Fishing Starter Kit

  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material: EVA Foam
  • Rod Length: 3.9-5.9 ft

Next up, the ODDPRO Kids Fishing Starter Kit is a comprehensive all-in-one fishing kit. 

It comes complete with everything you need, with a wide variety of lures and tackle. Whether it’s fly fishing, jigging, or bottom fishing, you’ll find the necessary fishing gear inside this kit.

I also really like how small the storage bag is. With a length of just 16 inches, you can easily store it in your backpack or stow it away in the trunk of your car.

It’s also nice that it comes with fishing line and a casting plug so that young kids can work on their casting at home.


Best For Young Children

6. Zebco Dock Demon Spincast Combo

  • Blank Material: Fiberglass
  • Handle Material: EVA Foam
  • Rod Length: 2.5 ft

Containing a short but durable rod, the Zebco Dock Demon Spincast Combo was made for junior anglers.

Measuring 2.5 ft, the length is just right for 3 to 5-year-olds. Together with the attractive colours and tough fiberglass construction, you won’t find a better rod and reel combo for your young angler.


Best For Ages 6-9

7. Zebco Star Wars Spincast Combo

  • Blank Material: Fiberglass
  • Handle Material: Plastic
  • Rod Length: 2.4-5.5 ft

If your child is between the ages of 6-9, the Zebco Star Wars Spincast Combo is perfect for him or her.

The 4 ft option is the optimal length for kids between 6 and 9 years old. And of course, its fiberglass blank makes it a robust rod.

Additionally, it’s a nice bonus if your child is a Star Wars fan. Either way, this rod and reel combo is more than enough for 6 to 9-year-olds to have a great time fishing.


Best Budget 2-Piece Rod

8. Zebco 33 Rod and Reel Combo

  • Blank Material: Fiberglass
  • Handle Material: EVA Foam
  • Rod Length: 5-6.5 ft

For those who found the other 2-piece kids fishing pole too pricey, the Zebco 33 Rod and Reel Combo is a great alternative.

Price-wise, it’s about half that of the Ugly Stik GX2. This makes it way more viable for those on a tight budget.

The catch is that it’s less sensitive and strong. Still, it’ll suffice for smaller panfish, so it isn’t a big issue.


Best Budget Fishing Kit

9. Plusinno Kids Fishing Kit

  • Blank Material: Fiberglass
  • Handle Material: EVA Foam
  • Rod Length: 3.9-5.9 ft

Last on the list, the Plusinno Kids Fishing Kit is the best low-cost fishing kit on the market. 

In terms of the variety of lures and tackle, it’s evenly matched with the other kits.

The reason why it’s cheaper is that its rod and reel are of lower quality. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s still a decent fishing pole that can be used to actually catch fish, just not as good as the other two kits’.

If you found the other two fishing kits a tad too expensive, you can consider getting this instead.


Things To Consider When Buying A Fishing Pole For Kids

Imagine if you were out with your kid and he or she asked you to buy a fishing rod that he or she saw. 

Would you know how to judge whether it’s a good rod? 

This guide will cover what to take into account when buying a rod for your kid.

Pole Length

Getting the right length for your kid is crucial

Too long a fishing pole and your child will have trouble even casting it. Too short and it’ll be really awkward for your child. 

Either situation can frustrate him or her into giving up fishing entirely. 

For those wondering what size fishing pole to get your kids, here are the rod lengths I recommend.

AgeLength (ft)
32
42.5
53
63.5
74
84.5
95
10+5+

The gist is to start with a 2 ft kids fishing pole for 3-year-olds and increase the length by 0.5 ft for each passing year. 

Once your kid reaches 10 years old, you’ll want to get a 5 ft and above rod. You can even consider treating him or her like an adult and getting an adult rod.

Note that the lengths I’ve provided are merely guidelines and you can deviate from them. If your child is taller or shorter than other kids his or her age, you can increase or decrease the length of the fishing pole accordingly.

Weight

A fishing pole that feels light to you can be overwhelming to a child whose muscles are underdeveloped. 

The best way to make sure a rod’s weight is manageable is to let your child test it out. Ask him or her to swing it around a few times and observe the speed of the movements. If he or she seems to be swinging it effortlessly, that’s a sure sign that the kids rod is light enough for your child.

Durability

Children are by nature careless creatures and it’s normal when kids break stuff. 

Don’t be surprised if your child drops the new rod you bought a few times on the very first fishing trip or unintentionally whacks it against a rock.

While kids rods don’t have to be as powerful as adult fishing poles, they have to be more able to withstand accidental abuse. 

Target Fish

It goes without saying that bigger fish like muskies are out of the question. However, even smaller fish like trout may be too much for a kids’ fishing rod. 

As the more experienced angler, help your kid to adjust the tackle if he or she wants to go after slightly larger fish.

Aesthetics

Don’t underestimate design when it comes to children. A visually appealing kids’ fishing rod will help immensely in getting your child to like fishing.

Of course, it’s pointless if they dislike fishing as a hobby and are only interested in playing with the rod. 

However, for those who need some time to take a liking to this hobby, that Star Wars rod could make the difference between your future fishing buddy and someone who’ll never touch a fishing rod again.

FAQs

Here are some questions that I think every parent will have about their child’s fishing setup.

Which type of reel should I get?

For the little angler, it’s best to start out catching fish with a spincast reel.

Spincast reels have a button to lock and release the spool. This makes them much easier to cast and use than even spinning reels. As such, they’re the optimal starting point, especially for kids.

What materials should be used to make a fishing pole for kids?

The 3 main materials for fishing rods are carbon fiber, fiberglass, and composite.

To be honest, any of those materials are fine. A carbon fiber rod will be lighter while a fiberglass or composite rod will be tougher. 

The thing is, carbon fiber is more expensive, which is why you don’t see it often in fishing poles for kids. 

Another reason why fiberglass is better suited for kids’ rods is that it’s more durable

As mentioned earlier, kids are more careless and it’s not uncommon for the fishing pole to take a lot of punishment

As such, fiberglass or composite tends to be the better material for kids’ fishing poles.

How much will a good fishing pole for kids cost?

It’s hard to put a number on it because it’s possible to find excellent poles at bargain prices. 

However, a good rule of thumb is around $35-50 for a higher-quality rod and reel combo.

What age do we consider children to be youths?

This varies from country to country, but I personally consider anyone aged 10 and above to be a youth. This is also the age group I’m referring to anytime I use the term “youth”.

My Verdict

The onus is on you to pass on the art of fishing to the next generation. 

It can be hard to pique their interest, but with our recommendations, you’ll find this tall task a lot easier. 

To reiterate, if you want to take your child’s fishing game to the next level, the Ugly Stik Dock Runner Spinning Combo is an excellent choice.

Otherwise, if your little angler is still learning the ropes, you’ll want to get one of the other options.

Photo of author

AUTHOR

Reuben went on his first fishing trip when he was 9. That's when he fell in love with fishing. When he's not fishing, he's searching for new gear and ways to fish better.