Best Rod and Reel for Striper Fishing: Striped Bass Fishing Combo

Best Striper Fishing Rod, Reel and Combo

Fishing is a hobby that combines relaxation and excitement. It’s a great way to enjoy time outside and be on or near the water. Whether it’s throwing out a line at your favorite pond, fly fishing in a river, or casting a line from a boat on the ocean, there’s a style for everyone. So, grab your rod and reel, and let’s go fishing!

The same goes for striper fishing. By using the best striper fishing rod, and reel and combos, you can actually enjoy and have fun for the leisure or hobby periods.

Stripers are types of fishes that required different equipment and process. Here in this article, I will cover different important steps and guides for fishing and how to use the best equipment for better outcomes.

Here is the comparison table to choose the best combo for striper fishing in quick: 

Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Fishing Rod
Ugly Stik 7’ Tiger Elite Spinning Rod,...
EatMyTackle Sabiki Rig Bait Fishing Rod...
PENN Fishing SQL20LWLC Squall LevelWind...
Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Fishing Rod
Ugly Stik 7’ Tiger Elite Spinning Rod,...
EatMyTackle Sabiki Rig Bait Fishing Rod...
PENN Fishing SQL20LWLC Squall LevelWind...
Amazon Prime
Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Fishing Rod
Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Fishing Rod
Ugly Stik 7’ Tiger Elite Spinning Rod,...
Ugly Stik 7’ Tiger Elite Spinning Rod,...
Amazon Prime
EatMyTackle Sabiki Rig Bait Fishing Rod...
EatMyTackle Sabiki Rig Bait Fishing Rod...
PENN Fishing SQL20LWLC Squall LevelWind...
PENN Fishing SQL20LWLC Squall LevelWind...

How to Choose the Best Rod and Reel Combo for Striper Fishing: Buying Guide


Choosing the best rod and reel combo for striper fishing is quite fascinating considering the nature of these fishes. You need to choose what works on them, especially the size, length, and strength that has to be chosen considering the size of the stripper you are targeting. Here is some factor you should consider before buying a striper rod.

Best Striper Bass Rod

Size of the Rods for Striper

The type of fishing you want to do will determine what size fly rod you choose. If you like to catch a lot of fish, and size isn’t the major priority, the smaller fly rods from 3-weight to 6-weight will fill the bill. If, on the other hand, you want to go after bigger fish, then the rod of choice would be an 8-weight up to a 10-weight.

The bigger rods will, of course, fling the larger flies which are frequently used. Light rods can certainly subdue large fish, but the fight will be a long one.

So, it will probably exhaust the fish (especially when the water is warm and low in oxygen) and greatly decrease its chance of survival. You do usually practice catch-and-release, don’t you?

What is the Perfect Length of the Striper Rod?

Length is a fundamental criterion to consider, for a couple of reasons. All rods are levers, and a longer lever is more efficient. In the saltwater environment, longer casts are the norm, and a longer rod will help achieve this.

Also, a longer rod will usually give you better lifting qualities than a shorter one. This is because the longer rod must have a larger butt diameter to carry the line weight for which it is designed. Rods from 8′-6″ to 9 feet long are a good choice.

When to Choose the Small Rod

In the smaller sizes, a typical trout rod will work just fine. There need not be any changes to accommodate their use in saltwater, but if you are making your own, or customizing one, larger than normal guides can help.

Also, if you have a wooden reel seat, you will want to be especially careful to wash any salt deposits off with fresh water. You must dry it well before storing it in a case.

When to Choose the Larger Rods for Striped Bass

Larger rods, from 8-weights and up, should be equipped with larger stripper guides as well as larger snake guides. The reel seat should be all metal, for strength and durability, and also needs to be fitted with a fighting butt.

Guides and Fighting Butt: What to Consider

Guides and Fighting Butt: What to Consider

The larger guides and the fighting butt are musts. The bigger guides help the larger line diameter to slide through better, thus giving you longer casts for the same amount of casting force.

The fighting butt helps in fighting fish by allowing you to put the butt of the rod against your hip or belly to create more fighting leverage. It also eliminates the problem of the reel getting caught in your clothing, and it extends the area your cranking hand can use.

The fighting butt need not be very long. Two inches is sufficient. The use of a fixed or removable butt is up to you. The only advantage to the removable butt is that it will fit in most rod tubes a little better when not in place.

The disadvantage is that you can misplace the butt during your travels. I often wonder where all that lost gear winds up.

Choosing Right Materials Made Rod and Reel Combo for Striper Fishing

Getting back to rods, any of the modern graphite fly rods will get the job done. The choice of fast, moderate, or slow actions is very much an individual preference. The most important thing you can do is to try a variety of rods in the size that you want.

You must see for yourself which one does the best job for you. Like many people, you may be afraid that you won’t be able to tell a difference between them, but I assure you that you can. The one that feels best to you is the right one. Friends often tend to recommend a certain rod, but that’s not really doing you a favor. Another person’s casting style might not suit yours, and you’re the one who’ll be using it! Purchase the rod that works better for you.

How Many Rod You Should Carry?

How Many Rod You Should Carry

In saltwater fishing, opportunities can come quickly, and having more than one rod on hand can change a chance into a success. Having one rod rigged with a floating line and a popper and one rigged with a sinking fly line and a weighted fly will allow an almost instant change from one fishing style to the other.

If your budget doesn’t allow this, other alternatives will at least save on reel and spare spool costs; they might not be as fast, but they will make a little less impact on your wallet. We will discuss them in a later section.

There is more written about rods than any other tool of fly fishing (other than lines). I guess this is understandable considering that there are more than hundreds of manufacturers of rods on the market. Choosing the right one without any information can be confusing. We’ll try to clear up any confusion.

Types of the Reel and What to Choose

Again, it’s based on your fishing goals. Are you going to fish for smaller fish with your trout gear, or are you going to look for the “big boys?” A great many people want to do both.

While many people assume that you need special reels for saltwater, most modern fly reels will work just fine. If you are targeting smaller fish, your trout reels will do the job. When you are done fishing, wash your gear under warm water with mild soap.

Dry and lubricate where you normally would for the freshwater and you have it. Though not all reels are anodized, soap and water will take the salt off. A camel hair brush or soft toothbrush worked around the reel and spool will usually do the trick.

Choosing Right Capacity for Fishing

When you go after the big boys using larger rods (from 8-weight up), a larger capacity reel is in order. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to purchase a serviceable saltwater reel. Cortland, Scientific Angler, and STH make reels that won’t cause you to take out a second mortgage.

Considering the Cost

These reels cost from $200 to $340, with extra spools running at around half of the reel cost. The best reels will cost more, and they are better, but less expensive ones will get the job done, too.

What is Best for Stripers

A reel for stripers should handle a minimum of 150 yards of twenty-pound test backing with the appropriate size line-weight. This is enough capacity to handle any striper that swims. The drag system should be reasonably large and smooth, staying smooth even when wet.

Check the Quality of the Rod Reel for Striped Bass

Remember that buying the best equipment that you can afford is always the best policy. Better rods, reels, and lines will hold up over the years and generally carry a lifetime warranty.

Also consider that you may want to use the tackle on other quarries where better equipment will be needed, like small tarpon, bonefish, false albacore, etc.

Reviews of the Best Striper Fishing Rod

We have selected the most reputable fishing brands on the market to check their rods along with the popular models. And with the review, test, and first-hand uses we have come to 3 items that suit most for perfect striper fishing. Here are the reviews of them.

1. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Rod

  • Medium to Medium Light power strength in different model
  • Length is 5’6” to 7’6” long according to the needs
  • One-piece graphite and glass made the rod
  • Line rating of 8-20lb to 6-17lb

Best Surf Rod for Striper Fishing

Looking for the best surf rod in terms of durability and strength for striper fishing? Then the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 is a perfect choice for you. It is not the lightest rod in the market but does its work perfectly with balancing the strength that catches striped bass with great efficiency.

What makes it the best performing in catching hard-mouth fishes like the striper is the combination of graphite and fiberglass. It makes it durable without reducing the sensitivity giving you the perfect elevation. When you will want to pull it to catch fish, it will do the job with maximum power.

Being a bit heavy, it actually doesn’t make it hard for the user to hold it for a long time. It has a long handle with EVA grips which helps you casting and holding it rather comfortably than you might think. But for the first few uses; it might be a little difficult to handle.

Talking about catching bigger fishes-that from the salt water, it can handle 20lb fishes comfortably. So, if you are planning surf fishing and saltwater bigger striper fishing, it will be okay to use the GX2 Rod.

Things We Liked

  • The rod is durable enough to handle big and strong fishes
  • Comes with great sensitivity that helps your performance
  • Comfortable enough for casting
  • Comes in different colors, power setting, and sizes

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Using it can be a little tough, to begin with
  • Can be hard for frequent casting for basses

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2. Ugly Stik Tiger Elite Spinning Fishing Rod

  • Comes in different sizes for different kinds of fishing
  • Has Eva Grips
  • Can fish over 30lb

Best Rod for Beginner Striped Bass Anglers

The previous model we discussed the Ugly Stik was more of a rod for the pros. Most beginner stripers may find them a little hard, not much but a little for sure. Well, this Elite spinning model is the perfect choice for people who have just learned to angle.

the lightweight and comfortable handle of this rod will ensure you can enjoy fishing while holding it in your hand. Casting it is also quite simple with the long handle.

The other thing I liked is the sensitivity. Even a single tickle of fish will let you know. Sometimes this is the first thing we find hard to understand at the beginner level. The sensitivity of it will allow you to understand when to pull.

In terms of power, this striper rod is quite perfect. It has different power options to choose from for different kinds of fishing. While the lowest option is enough for small to medium range trout and striper, the bigger power sticks are also there for large fishes.

However, heavier rods will have lower sensitivity than lighter ones, so according to your choice, you should choose the right size and power setting of this Ugly Stik Tiger Elite Spinning Fishing Rod.

Thing We Liked

  • The rod is very sensitive allowing you to know every tickle
  • The handle is comfortable to hold and cast
  • Best rod experiences for beginners
  • Price is on the lower side
  • The rod is lightweight and durable making it a perfect combination

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Some of the customers were not satisfied with the packaging
  • It May does not go very far with light lures

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3. EatMyTackle Sabiki Rig Bait Fishing Rod (7ft.)

  • 7 feet long fishing rod for striped bass
  • 2 pieces of fiberglass made the rod
  • Works with most kinds of reels
  • Lifetime warranty

Best Striper Rod for Kayak and Boats

Looking for A good striper road for a small fishing boat or kayak? Then you consider the EatMyTackle Sabiki. Made with sturdy fiberglass material, this pole is really convenient for a comfortable fishing experience.

The length of this 7 feet long rod making it easier to last longer than other poles. With a decent bait, you can cast it in the right spot sitting on a kayak or small boat.

The rod may not be very light, but yet easier to handle. Also, the durable 2-piece construction will make sure you can use it for a long time.

I find it rather easy to use, so the beginner angler will love it. The guide makes setting it up and using it simple. Also, you can use it with any reels making it a common choice for bass and striper fishing.

Moreover, the features and durability are really impressive if you think about the lower price it offers. You will get a lifetime warranty with this rod which is great support from a company.

Things We Liked

  • A longer rod makes it easier to cast long
  • The pole is durable to last longer in rough fishing
  • Comes with a lifetime official warranty
  • Very easy to handle for the beginners
  • Convenient rod for using on kayak and boats

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The striper pole isn’t very attractive to look
  • Do not work with a spinning reel

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Best Striper Fishing Reel

Rood and reel combinations are a must for fishing striped bass properly. Here are the best choices we found that will help you with the striper.

1. Penn SQL20LWLC Squall LevelWind

  • HT 100 Drag.
  • Lightweight graphite frame.
  • Capacity: 1/3, 2/3.
  • Ball Bearing: stainless steel.

Looking at the build quality and performance, this one is the ideal choice for heavy striped bass fishing. Also, another reason for the hype of this product is you can use it on saltwater and on kayaks and boats with trolling motor.

Durability isn’t the only thing that makes this item stand out from the rest. You will surely feel the comfort of the smooth casting during your fishing. The ball bearing function is the main reason that gives proper casting experience.

To make it more accurate and hassle-free, it has an anti-reverse system with a strong HT 100 Drag. Sometimes, striper is known to have a strong mouth, and to handle that the HT drag is really useful. So, you can say goodbye to any problems whatsoever for casting and dragging even the bigger fishes. sometimes

The other thing we liked about this product is how lightweight it is. The machine-grade aluminum made it tough enough to handle heavy fishes without making the machine too heavy. Also, the graphite frame and the side panel made it tough without feeling heavy in the hand.

Thing We Liked

  • Great for handling striper drag
  • Construction quality is robust for using to use it for heavier fishes
  • Good quality material will ensure long-lasting
  • The lighter weight makes the reel comfortable to carry
  • It offers smooth drag and cast for anti-reverse function

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Some of the units may have some faults according to the customers
  • The line may not evenly distribute on the pool sometimes

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2. Penn 1338219 Battle II 4000

  • Body: Full metal for a rotor, side plate
  • Bait: Strong aluminum
  • Drag System: HT 100 carbon fiber
  • Ball Bearing: Five sealed

Often fishing stripers can get boring because you need constant retrieval speed for getting a strong strike for fishes like stripers. Using a heavy rod with a weighty reel can be a problem if it isn’t comfortable to hold during your fishing. And for the Penn 1338219 Battle II 4000, Spinning Fishing Reel is a perfect option.

Why it is so smooth and strong at the same time?

It is because of its excellent stainless-steel ball bearing system, which isn’t the only thing we were impressed with this model. While casting and retrieving the anti-reverse ball bearing comes into action making it an ideal choice for fishing in clear water as well as white water.

Strength and durability were satisfying for us. Using it a few times will easily let you used the spooling process making it very easy to handle reels for striped bass fishing. What is more improved in this model is the capacity of dragging, which is a little more than 20 percent of what you had with the older model.

The item will allow you to use different sizes for different kinds of fishing, and this 4000 is the perfect choice for stripers. If you are into heavy and frequent fishing, I suggest using this with the Ugly Stik Tiger Elite rod for making the best striper combo choices for easy fishing without any hesitation.

Things We Liked

  • The reel made with durable metal and high-quality aluminum
  • Let’s use this reel without many hassles.
  • The anti-reverse bearing ensures better and improved fishing.
  • The smooth bearing will make the cast and retrieve easy and comfortable.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Using it in saltwater for a long time tends to harm the built quality.
  • The bearing may get clogged if the user doesn’t notice.

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Best Rod Reel Combo For Striped Bass

Here are the best rod and reel combo for striper fishing you can choose for having the best experience in catching striped bass:

best striper rod reel combo

1. PENN Battle III Spinning Reel and Rod Combo

2. Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo

3. Daiwa BG5000/1002MH Pre-Mounted Combo

Some Important Information That Helps Better Striper Bass Fishing

Here is some information on these types of fishes, where they live, where they travel to understand how to catch them properly.

Nature of the Striped Bass Migration

Though the striper is considered an anadromous fish, they migrate for two reasons: one is for spawning and the other is a movement along the coast of New England and Canada. The latter migration is puzzling.

Though we cannot understand or explain these movements clearly, we may have some guesses on where they might go from today to the next summer. Like, fish over two years old will make the northward journey from the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays.

Lawson Striped Bass Fishing Through the Century

A point of interest. Soon after the colonists landed on Plymouth, they realized the obvious value of this resource by passing an act of the General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony, in 1639, which ordered that neither cod nor striped bass could be used as fertilizer for their crops.

It is amazing that some state governments still haven’t realized that these fish are a resource that needs protection from over-harvesting by commercial interests.

The original range of the striper was restricted to the Atlantic Coast until the late eighteen century when the state of California and the United States Government planted them around Monterey. Through the years, they moved steadily north into Oregon.

Farther east, they now range from Florida to St. Lawrence and from the Gulf of Mexico to Louisiana. They are coastal-oriented fish rarely found more than a few miles from shore.

Laws Right Now

Best Rod Reel Laws Right Now

The striper grows to moderate size and can live more than twenty years. The females are sexually mature by their fourth year at a length of 18-24 inches and 4-6 pounds.

The male is mature by the second year, and all the males are ready by their third year. The larger and older the female, the more eggs are produced at spawning.

So, there definitely is a reason to allow the larger “cows” to live and produce. Females can spawn for as many as fourteen years, producing from 60,000 to 5,000,000 eggs a year. Spawning takes place in spring and can last as long as a month in brackish or freshwater.

It was long believed that spawning would start when the water temperatures reached 55-65 degrees, but the last two great spawns in the Chesapeake had cooler water temperatures.

The eggs are free-floating in the current and there is no parental care. The fry hatch in about three days and live on their egg sacs for a few more days and then start eating small crustaceans and larva.

Here are some of the rules that are affecting different states for Striped fishing:

The Chesapeake Bay and Tidal Tributaries

From January to may you can catch and release the striped bass. However, you cannot use strong hooks, and harvesting isn’t allowed in this time phase. From may you can catch 1 fish per person in one day.

The minimum size of the fish should be larger than 35 inches if you want to keep it. For trolling the boat you need to use barbless hooks and not more than six lines per boat.

From May to December first the minimum size for taking the fish comes down to 19 inches. From December, you can just practice catch and release here.

Susquehanna Flats, Lower Susquehanna River, and Northeast River

Most of the areas over here do allow you to catch and release only from January to march. You cannot take or kill any fish. Using stronger hokes will be breaking the regulation as we can find out. While using the trolling motor and fishing kayaks, you cannot use more than six lines with you (though it depends on different fishing lines).

April to mid-May is the time when you cannot practice bass fishing. It is strictly illegal to perform any fishing in this period.

You can start fishing after May 15. You can take 1 fish per day with a minimum of 19 inches. This practice is allowed on August 15. After that fishing is totally not allowed.

You can start bass fishing from September to December 10 with the same regulation we stated. After that only catch and release are allowed from December 15 to December 31.

Here is the full chart of regulation of striped bass fishing if you want to know more updates.

Striped Bass Fish Habitat

Striped Bass Fish Habitat

Stripers are predators and are generally the largest species in their home waters, be it salt or freshwater. They are structure-oriented, using this structure for ambush and security.

Looking for stripers in saltwater is relatively easy. Look for them where deep water comes close to the shore. This is not written in blood, only emphasized, but it is the first place to look when you’re in new waters.

Pay attention to the tidal flow and check out areas where a structure is perpendicular to the tidal movement.

If this area is near deep water, chances are that at some time stripers will be there looking for food. The disturbed water caused by tidal flows, called “tidal rips,” are obvious areas where stripers will be hiding.

Structure such as piers, bridges, pilings, and breakwaters are all areas that need to be investigated. People say jokingly that rockfish got their name because they like to stay around rocks.

But there is a lot of truth in that. If there are rocks in the vicinity, near deep water, there should be rockfish lurking around the structure looking for their next meal.

What Does Striped Bass eat? Food and Prey

We’ve pointed out that stripers are opportunists who will take advantage of the most prevalent food source at the time. They will eat aquatic worms, crabs, minnows, shrimp, and, of course, other fish. In freshwater, crawfish will be added to the menu.

What they Eat in Spring

In general, stripers feed in low-light conditions. They like mornings and evenings and will feed longer on an overcast and rainy day. In tidal waters, a moving tide at such times generally creates the best fishing.

In the bays and tributaries, the rockfish have a “grocery store” that is quite diversified, depending on the time of year. In the spring they will feed on minnows and grass shrimp that hang around the dead grass beds as well as around pilings and piers.

Their Food Habit in Summer

In early summer, aquatic worms appear. They are sometimes called clam worms, or in the northern areas, cinder worms. They are numerous and run in size from 1/2 inch up to 12 inches long.

When stripers are after worms, they do much of their feeding at night and become very hard to catch on anything but a worm pattern.

Also, in early summer, alewives, blue-back herring, and menhaden become plentiful. These baitfish enter the bays in late spring and advance northward as the water warms.

They run from 4 inches to as much as 12 inches long and represent a substantial meal for the fish. Large streamer flies are the norm when the stripers are chasing these baitfish.

Striper Habits in the Late Summer

Striper Habits in the Late Summer

As the summer progresses, the bay anchovy appears. It is the most abundant baitfish in the bay and runs around one-half inch to two inches long. When rockfish are “breaking” while chasing schools of prey near the surface, the bay anchovy is the primary bait that you see scattering.

Another prevalent, and similar, baitfish at this time is the spearing or “glass minnow” or silverside. These baitfish run from 2 to 4 inches long and can be a significant food source.

Crabs, shrimp, and eels are all forage for the rockfish through the summer and into late fall. In the colder weather, minnows and gizzard shad (mud shad) become the primary winter bait.

Again, stripers are opportunistic, and larger fish eat smaller ones. It’s a tough world they live in, and just about any fish can become prey for a larger one. The biggest and fastest predators are the kings of their environment.

Last Few Words on Striper Combo

Choosing the best rod and reel combo for striped bass is not much of a difficult job if you understand how striper fishing operates. In this article we have tried to cover all aspects of striper so that you can fully know of its behavior, size, weight and thus getting view of ideal rod and reel will be easier.

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