10 Best Kids Fishing Poles + Buying Guide

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Fishing has been an activity that humans have taken part in for thousands of years. Long ago, people fished for survival, but over the centuries, that has turned into a competitive sport and pastime that anglers now enjoy as one of the most popular outdoor activities in the world. If you’re an avid angler who spends a significant amount of time on the water each year, you’re likely eager to pass on your love for fishing to the next generation. 

Many of us are very fortunate to have had relatives, fathers, grandfathers and close friends who introduced us to fishing at a very early age. If you’re one of these people who now have kids of your own, it can be challenging to find a good fishing pole for them to start out with. Many brands in the fishing industry today are producing great quality fishing poles that are made specifically for children to use. However, there are so many choices that it can sometimes be tough to make sure you’re getting the best pole for your money and one that will be useful for your youngster for a few years until they move up to a full-sized fishing rod and reel combo. 

The purpose of this article is to explain some of the most important points you should consider when looking to get a good quality fishing pole for a child. Like full-sized rods, there are certain key aspects you’ll want to pay close attention to and we help to explain those in our Buyer’s Guide. We’ve also compiled a list of the best 10 kids fishing poles on the market today to help you narrow down the selection and shorten the time spent searching for the right rod for your kid. 

Quick Summary – Best Kids Fishing Pole

ON SALE $10.00 OFFBestseller No. 1
Zebco 33 Approach Spincast Reel and 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo, Quickset Anti-Reverse Fishing Reel...
  • EASY-TO-USE: The Zebco 33 Camo spincast combo features a 6-foot 2-piece fishing pole and size 30...
  • SMOOTH PERFORMANCE: The spincast reel is protected with stainless steel covers and constructed with...
  • ALL-DAY COMFORT: This hard-working fishing reel and rod combo comes with a EVA rod handle to provide...

Choosing the Best Kids Fishing Pole 

Like any other gear or tackle item when it comes to fishing, it’s critical that you go through a process of elimination and determine just what qualities and standards you want your kids’ fishing pole to have. If your youngster has trouble using the pole and finds it difficult, or the pole malfunctions, it can make fishing much less enjoyable and possibly lead to the child not wanting to fish as there’s simply too much frustration involved. 

It’s very important that you select a fishing pole that is very easy to use and feels just right in the hands of your child so that they are comfortable and having fun by being able to focus their attention on catching fish. If your child is a bit older, or they’ve been fishing for a few years already, you might want to select a rod that’s slightly longer and heavier, or go with a combo that is a bit more advanced than your average spincast model. 

In either case, there are a few specific qualities and characteristics that you’ll want to pay close attention to as you shop for the best kids fishing pole that is just right for their age, skill level, and size. 

In this article, we will refer to different aspects of a kids fishing pole, but essentially we are going to be discussing both the rod and reel together since most brands produce rods for kids in a combo model that features a readymade fishing reel with line already spooled on. The following Buyer’s Guide should help you select the kids fishing pole that is ideal for your youngster this upcoming season. 

User Friendliness 

One of the most important aspects of any kids fishing pole is going to be the ease with which they are able to use the pole to catch fish. If it’s not the right fit or features a confusing layout with a reel that’s too advanced, your kid might feel overwhelmed and not enjoy the time they spend fishing as much as they would with a more simple rod and reel combo. 

If your kid is brand new to the sport of fishing, or of a very young age, you can usually bet that going with a spinning reel or especially a baitcasting model is going to be much too advanced for them initially. These reels are mostly geared toward anglers who have a few years of experience under their belt and beginners are not encouraged to go with these more advanced reel designs as it will only cause more headache than is needed. 

Your best option when it comes to choosing a kids fishing pole is to get one that offers a simple and straightforward spincast reel. This reel will be much easier for them to get the hang of as it features a push-button design that very easily allows them to understand the basics that are involved with casting your rod and reel with its line out into the water. 

The less amount of moving parts and adjustments that need to be made on the reel, the better as it relates to a fishing pole that’s specifically-made for kids. Spincast reels will help prevent tangles to a much better degree than spinning and especially baitcasting reels would. If your kid has a poor quality rod and reel that often results in their line being tangled up when they try to cast, you can bet that they won’t have much fun and will view fishing as more of a frustrating chore than an adventurous pastime that they enjoy with you. 

Spincast rods also usually offer a trigger finger grip that helps your young angler get a better hold of the rod and maintain more control over it as they are casting, reeling in, or fighting a fish and trying to land it. When it comes to selecting the best kids fishing pole, be sure to pick one that’s very simple to use or one that will fit their skill set if they are a bit more advanced. 

Length 

Another aspect that you should pay close attention to is the overall length of the fishing pole. This one might seem like it should be obvious as you don’t want to give a small child a 7-foot fishing rod that they can’t handle and will end up breaking or getting snagged when they try to cast. If your kid is very young, it’s best to select a youth model rod that is very short. This will ensure that there is a much less chance of them hooking themselves or anyone around them and they will be able to learn and understand how to use the rod’s leverage to both cast their lure out and reel their fish into the boat or onto the bank. 

Some kids fishing poles are significantly shorter than you might want for a child that’s age 10 or above. If the rod is too short, your child might experience frustration in casting their lure out. They’ll also feel like they’re ill-equipped if your kid is watching you or their older sibling fish with a longer rod. You certainly don’t ever want them to feel left-out or like they are not capable of moving up and learning to use bigger and more advanced tackle items. 

Size and Weight 

Our next point of focus when it comes to selecting the best kids fishing pole is very closely tied in with the length and size of the rod and reel combo. The weight of the rod, especially the weight of the rod and reel combined, is going to be extremely important for making sure your kid is comfortable when handling the rod and that it’s not going to be too cumbersome for them to use, especially on an all-day fishing trip. 

Most fishing poles and combos that are specially designed for kids are often made of a more lightweight material than other rods are. This is because kids don’t usually have the strength and hand-eye coordination needed to adequately cast or retrieve a full sized rod. The weight of the rod and reel combo should feel comparably light related to the feel that an adult has with a full-size rod and reel. 

If the rod and reel is too big and heavy, you can expect your kid to have significant amounts of trouble when trying to cast the rod and reel. A good way to understand the relation of the weight and size of the rod and reel combo and how it affects your ability to handle the rod is to imagine yourself, as an adult, using a long, heavy surf fishing rod with a lure that you’ll be continually casting out and reeling in. If a child quickly becomes fatigued and has trouble handling their pole, they certainly won’t have much fun while fishing and will quickly lose interest. 

Age of the Kid 

Not every type of kid’s model fishing rod is meant to be used by youngsters of any age. If you’re relatively familiar with kids fishing poles and the many different sizes and lengths of rods in the industry, you are aware that you need to get a rod that is the right fit and feel for the specific age of your child. 

If the kid is very young and just starting out, you can usually go with a small spincast rod and reel that’s obviously made for kids under the age of about 6 years old. These rods and reels are usually no more than about 30 inches and will usually feature a popular kid’s cartoon character, which is a little added bonus that might help your youngster take interest in fishing better than they would if you bought them a plain fishing rod and reel. 

Kids who are about 8 to 10 years old and just getting started in fishing will need a rod and reel combo that’s a bit bigger and more capable of fitting the length and weight they need. It’s still advisable to go with a spincast reel for any child that’s just getting started, but kids who have spent a few years fishing and are very proficient with a spincast rod and reel combo might be ready to graduate up to a spinning reel. The spinning reel is one that will allow them to cast the line out much farther than they could with a simple spincast model. 

Once a child reaches about 12 or 13 years old, they are usually big enough to handle most full-size fishing rods that are of medium length. If your kid has been fishing for a number of years when they reach this age, they might be ready to step up and start fishing with a baitcasting reel. 

Portability 

You should look for a fishing rod for your child that is fairly easy to transport as well. Being able to easily pack the rod and reel along with your other gear or even for your kid to be able to carry it to the lake with them is important. You should usually look for a rod that’s a two-piece construction as this will allow you to break it down and store it in a vehicle or other compartment much more easily. 

Sometimes a telescopic rod is the most portable type of fishing rod as it can easily be folded down into just several inches of length. The only downside to using a telescopic rod is that it can be much more difficult for a young child to handle. 

Durability 

Another very important characteristic you’ll want to have in your kid’s next fishing pole is good, solid durability. If you’re a parent or grandparent, you’re already well-aware that children have a unique ability to tear up and break things, especially items that are fragile and should be used with more caution. If you decide to purchase a kid’s fishing pole that is relatively cheap and made of a more lightweight and nimble material, don’t be surprised if the rod breaks or the reel happens to malfunction. 

Just like anything else in the fishing industry, you’ll usually get what you pay for, or in other words, the more expensive a kids fishing pole is typically more reliable than cheaper models. The best kids fishing poles should have a decent level of durability. This also helps with the child being able to retrieve their lure and reel in their catch without fear that the rod will snap or the reel might break loose. 

Most of the more popular kids fishing poles will be made with a fiberglass or graphite rod blank. These are often much more reliable than any sort of composite material as fishing rods have been manufactured using fiberglass or graphite, or even a combination of the two, for many decades now. If you purchase a highly-durable fishing rod for your kid, you can usually rest assured that they will get many years of use out of it and will be able to confidently land almost any type of fish they happen to catch. 

10 Best Kids Fishing Poles 

1. Zebco 33 Approach Spincast Rod and Reel

Overall Score – 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ON SALE $10.00 OFFBestseller No. 1
Zebco 33 Approach Spincast Reel and 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo, Quickset Anti-Reverse Fishing Reel...
  • EASY-TO-USE: The Zebco 33 Camo spincast combo features a 6-foot 2-piece fishing pole and size 30...
  • SMOOTH PERFORMANCE: The spincast reel is protected with stainless steel covers and constructed with...
  • ALL-DAY COMFORT: This hard-working fishing reel and rod combo comes with a EVA rod handle to provide...

Zebco has been one of the biggest brands in the fishing industry for decades. There is likely no other brand on the market that has a more widespread reputation for producing some of the best starter fishing poles for kids and novice anglers. The Zebco 33 Approach Spincast Rod and Reel is a true classic that we’ve placed in our No. 1 spot for a number of reasons. 

This ultralight rod is only 5’ long and offers a very simple operation that children can very easily get the hang of. The spincast reel is one that has stood out among other beginner reels for decades and operates using a well-made gear system and spool that’s covered by an anodized aluminum housing. This rod and reel combo is lightweight enough that most kids over the age of about 6 years old should have no trouble using it to cast or retrieve. 

This is a great rod and reel for going after smaller species of freshwater fish like crappie, bream, perch, and bass. The Zebco 33 spincast reel comes pre-spooled with a 20-lb test monofilament line, which is perfect for any type of large or small freshwater species. The pole itself features a comfortable EVA handle that helps users maintain their grip on the rod, even when fighting to get a fish into the boat or on the bank. 

This rod is the ideal choice for the beginner angler that wants to be able to catch nearly any type of freshwater species. The rod is built with a fast-action that’s medium heavy power, which is great for serving as an all-purpose fishing setup. 

2. Shakespeare Youth Kids Fishing Pole

Overall Score – 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ON SALE $9.02 OFFBestseller No. 1
Lanaak Kids Fishing Pole and Tackle Box - with Net, Travel Bag, Reel and Beginner’s Guide - Rod...
  • 42 PIECE FISHING GEAR KIT includes: 65 inch telescopic fishing rod; spincast reel; tackle box...
  • EASY TO CAST reel features push-button design. Reel arrives pre-spooled, no assembly needed.
  • LOADED TACKLE BOX comes with 2 floating bobbers; 10 hooks; 10 split sinkers; 10 swivels; 2 jig...

If you’re looking for a good starter rod and reel for your young child, it’s truly hard to beat the Shakespeare Youth Kids Fishing Pole. Shakespeare is a well-known brand name in the fishing industry that has a stellar reputation as a company that produces solid rods and reels that are aimed toward being the perfect fit for beginner and novice anglers. 

This particular rod and reel is specifically designed to appeal to kids under the age of about 6 years old. You can purchase the combo in a few different style options that feature some of the more popular kid’s cartoon characters from movies and television series. The rod is a 2’6” model that is not too long for a small child and is lightweight enough for them to handle with no problem. 

The spincast reel is one of Shakespeare’s most straightforward models that is very easy for your kid to operate and learn the ins and outs of casting their bait out into the water. It features an instant-anti-reverse bearing that helps to prevent the line from spooling off the reel when you are reeling in a catch. The combo is exceptionally light and offers a comfortable EVA handle that is soft and easy for kids to grip. 

3. Play22 Fishing Pole For Kids

Overall Score – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

ON SALE $4.00 OFFBestseller No. 1
Play22 Fishing Pole For Kids - 32 Set Kids Fishing Rod Combos - Kids Fishing Poles Includes Fishing...
  • This Is Satisfaction - Great Gift for Birthday and Holidays for Students and Boys & Girls - Original...
  • Kids Fishing Pole And Tackle Box Includes Fishing Reels 65 Inch Fishing Pole And Folds To 14 Inches...
  • Lightweight Fishing Rod Specifically For Children To Be Able To Hold Easily - Easy And Comfortable...

If you’re looking for one of the more affordable rod and reel combos that also offers nearly everything your kid needs to hit the water and start fishing, the Play22 Fishing Pole For Kids is a great pick. This is one of the most comprehensive kids fishing packages to be for sale in recent years. The kit features everything from a waterproof carrying case to a tackle box that is complete with an assortment of lures, bobbers and hooks. 

This combo kit is excellent for kids who are just starting out and for parents who don’t want to invest a sizable amount of money into fishing until their child takes a more serious interest in the sport of fishing. The pole is a full 65-inches and can be folded down into just a 14-inch size for transportation purposes. The rod is very lightweight and offers a medium heavy power that is well-suited for almost any type of freshwater species. 

One of the most appealing aspects of this combo kit is the price, which is a rate that any parent should be able to afford. As you might suspect, there are some durability concerns with some of the gear and tackle items that are included, but overall, this kit is one of the top choices among our list of the best kids fishing poles. 

4. Plusinno Kids Fishing Pole

Overall Score – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Bestseller No. 1
PLUSINNO Kids Fishing Pole with Spincast Reel Telescopic Fishing Rod Combo Full Kits for Boys,...
  • Kids will enjoy hours of angling fun with this PLUSINNO Kids Fishing Kit. It comes complete with a...
  • Choose a lightweight fishing rod that is soft and flexible. For most kids, one that is four or five...
  • Adult fishing equipment will be too cumbersome and complicated for your child to handle. Instead,...

Plusinno is known for making great fishing rods and reels that are aimed toward beginners and novice anglers who are just getting started in the sport. The Plusinno Kids Fishing Pole is another very popular combo kit that also comes with a wide range of lures and other items that allow your kid to be ready to fish as soon as they get the kit. 

The Plusinno Kids Fishing Pole is more ideal for kids that are a bit more experienced in fishing and have already learned how to cast and retrieve their line using a spincast or spinning reel. This telescopic fishing rod and reel combo is very simple and easy to operate, which is perfect for beginners. The rod itself folds out to 3.9’ in length and can easily be retracted into a short length that fits inside the convenient carrying case, which can hold all of the gear in the entire kit, including the tackle box. 

The entire rod and reel combo weighs just 2.2 lbs and comes with a wide assortment of lures and tackle items. These items include sinkers, swivels, crimps, bobbers, jig heads, and a number of other items that will be more than enough to get your kid started. 

5. Zebco Roam Spincast Rod and Reel Combo

Overall Score – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

ON SALE $10.54 OFFBestseller No. 1
Zebco Roam Green Spincast Reel and 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo, ComfortGrip Rod Handle, Instant...
488 Reviews
Zebco Roam Green Spincast Reel and 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo, ComfortGrip Rod Handle, Instant...
  • MODERATE-FAST ACTION: This 6-foot 2-piece fishing rod combo provides medium power and moderate-fast...
  • EXPERTLY CRAFTED MATERIALS: Durable fiberglass rod blank construction and ultra-tough...
  • EFFORTLESS FISHING: Zebco's QuickSet anti-reverse reel stops your handle from moving backward and...

Another solid Zebco rod and reel option that is geared toward being a great all-purpose combo for kids that are a bit more experienced in fishing is the Zebco Roam Spincast Rod and Reel Combo. This rod and reel is one of the brand’s more popular models and comes in at a moderately affordable price that many parents and kids can probably afford. 

The rod blank is made of high-quality fiberglass material, which is both durable and sensitive enough to perform well on the water with virtually any type of lure or bait rig. The rod’s two-piece construction makes it very easy to break down and transport in a vehicle, or if you simply want to carry it along on your trip to the water. The length of the rod is a full 6’, which is more suited toward kids that are at least 10 years or older. 

The reel can be used with 8 to 12 lb test monofilament or fluorocarbon line and is exceptionally smooth for a spincast model. The reel offers a 3.6:1 gear ratio, which is ideal for kids who want to use this combo as an all-purpose rod and reel that allows them to target virtually any freshwater game fish species in lakes and rivers. 

6. Shakespeare Youth Ugly Stik GX2 2-Piece Rod Kids Fishing Pole

Overall Score – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Among our list of the best kids fishing poles is another solid model from Shakespeare. This brand actually produces a number of different options that are perfect for kids, but it’s hard to top their Shakespeare Youth Ugly Stik GX2 2-Piece Rod Kids Fishing Pole. The reel is a good quality spinning model that is capable of standing up to medium or even large-size fish species. 

Ugly Stik is very well-known within the fishing industry and is a rod that is known to be virtually indestructible, which is ideal for kids to use. The reel also offers an HT-100 Carbon Fiber drag system that is designed to give you plenty of power when facing a hard-pulling fish that might otherwise cause you to have a tough time getting to the boat or to the shoreline. 

The rod and reel combo is ideal for older kids and teenagers who already have a decent amount of experience and know how to properly cast and retrieve their lure with no trouble. The Shakespeare Youth Ugly Stik GX2 could be placed higher on our list, but it is a bit more expensive than what most parents are looking for when it comes to a good rod and reel for their kids. 

7. Zebco Dock Demon Spincast Combo

Overall Score – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Bestseller No. 1
Zebco Fishing Dock Demon Spincast Combo
  • Durable Solid-Core 30-inch Z-Glass Rod
  • Comfortable EVA Handle
  • Pre-spooled with 6-lb line

Most parents are not looking to spend a considerable amount of money on their kids’ first fishing rod and reel combo. Zebco is a company that’s known for producing very well-made products that are targeted toward people looking for a more affordable option. The Zebco Dock Demon Spincast Combo is easily one of the best budget-friendly rod and reel combos you’ll find in today’s fishing industry as it is typically priced at under $25 in most cases. 

The rod itself is made of a good quality composite graphite material which the brand refers to as ‘Z-glass.’ It’s only 30 inches long, which is perfect for young kids under the age of about 8 years old. The spincast reel is a very reliable, push-button design that comes pre-spooled with a 6-lb test monofilament fishing line. 

This rod is really tough to beat when it comes to finding one that’s better quality at the specific price point that the Dock Demon is offered. It features everything from a soft EVA handle to an adjustable drag, which is everything you need for your youngster to get started fishing. 

8. Zebco Splash Junior Fishing Reel and Rod Combo

Overall Score – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

ON SALE $4.43 OFFBestseller No. 1
Zebco 202 Spincast Reel and Fishing Rod Combo, 5-Foot 6-Inch 2-Piece Fishing Pole, Size 30 Reel,...
1,887 Reviews
Zebco 202 Spincast Reel and Fishing Rod Combo, 5-Foot 6-Inch 2-Piece Fishing Pole, Size 30 Reel,...
  • EASY-TO-USE: The famous Zebco 202 spincast combo features a 5-foot 6-inch 2-piece fishing pole, size...
  • 27-PIECE TACKLE KIT: The tackle pack comes as a complete set ensuring you are ready to go catch your...
  • SMOOTH PERFORMANCE: The size 30 spincast reel is constructed with all-metal gears, a 2.8:1 gear...

Another great option among our list of the best kids fishing poles is a very popular Zebco model that is ideal for kids under the age of 10 years. The Zebco Splash Junior Fishing Reel and Rod Combo is a good, medium-sized kids fishing pole that comes in two color choices of pink or blue. 

This rod is made of fiberglass material that can be broken down into two pieces to make it easier to load into a small car or other vehicle. It actually comes in two different reel options that let you choose between a spincast or spinning model. The reel comes pre-spooled with 6-lb test monofilament fishing line and has plenty of drag to allow kids to go after small or medium-sized freshwater fish species. 

The rod is 48 inches long and offers a comfortable EVA grip handle. This combo is very lightweight and also comes in at an affordable price that makes it a clear addition to our list of the best kids fishing poles. 

9. YONGZHI Kids Fishing Pole, Portable Telescopic Fishing Rod, And Reel Combo Kit

Overall Score – 3/5 ⭐⭐⭐

Bestseller No. 1
YONGZHI Kids Fishing Pole with Spincast Reel Telescopic Fishing Rod Combo Full Kits for Boys, Girls,...
  • YONGZHI 48 Pieces kids fishing combo kit includes telescopic fishing pole; spincast reel; tackle box...
  • HOW TO RIG: We show several different ways of tying the bait on the picture. Rig the floating...
  • KIDS FISHING ROD is 160cm/62.9in, the telescopic rod is easy to put in a backpack. Very convenient...

If you’re searching for a good rod and reel combo that features a number of tackle items and other gear, it can be hard to narrow down your choices if you’re on a tight budget. The YONGZHI Kids Fishing Pole, Portable Telescopic Fishing Rod, And Reel Combo Kit is a solid option for parents who want to get their kids a decent rod and reel, as well as all the other items they’ll need to start fishing, without having to spend a small fortune to do so. 

This rod and reel combo might not be as great in terms of quality, but it does make up for that by including a wide range of lures and tackle items that include everything from sinkers, bobber, and even a small crankbait, to a convenient carrying case. The rod is a medium heavy power model that’s not exactly the most durable material. However, the combo is one of the most inclusive in terms of everything that it offers for a very affordable price. 

10. PLUSINNO Kids Telescopic Fishing Pole With Spincast Reel 

Overall Score – 3/5 ⭐⭐⭐

Another solid rod and reel combo that is a good addition to our list of the best kids fishing poles is the PLUSINNO Kids Telescopic Fishing Pole With Spincast Reel. Having a telescopic rod and reel combo is a huge convenience for anglers of all ages as it allows you to pack up all year gear into a small and compact package that’s much easier to deal with in terms of portability. 

This particular telescopic combo comes with a huge assortment of lures and other tackle items that make it very easy for kids to have everything they need on the water in one convenient carrying case. This combo kit even features a small tackle box with six different compartments that also comes with a clear lid that allows your kid to see what’s inside before they open the box. 

You can order this Plusinno combo kit with either a 4-foot or 5-foot telescopic rod. It also comes with a short Kids Guide to Fishing booklet that helps to get your youngsters started in the sport of fishing. At under $30, it’s hard to find a combo kit that includes so many different items for such an affordable price. 

Last update on 2021-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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Donny Karr

Donny Karr is an avid outdoorsman and writer whose work has been featured in magazines and websites for nearly a decade. He enjoys bass and crappie fishing in the lakes around the southeastern United States, as well as trout fishing in the streams and rivers of the Appalachian mountains. He enjoys keeping up with the latest news and gear items in the fishing industry and is always looking forward to his next outdoor adventure. Donny has written for Georgia Outdoor News, The Outdoor Trip, Man Can Outdoors, Global Fishing Reports, and Bassmaster.