Best Kids Fishing Pole: 6 Favorites to Help Your Kid Learn The Game

Last Updated on May 2, 2022

We independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.

Have you ever taken your kid to a pro shop? It’s fun, isn’t it?

Okay, not always but how can you find the best kids fishing pole for them when there are so many options to choose? 

While we know they’d love to pick up a six-foot rod and start whipping it around, it’s not a smart choice. The Spiderman and Barbie poles might also seem a little “cheap.” 

The Shakespeare Customize-It Spincaster is our favorite choice because it allows your kids imagination to run free while still being a functional rod and reel combo. 

The “right pole” will really depend on your kid. This guide will help you settle on something that works!

Comparison Table – Best Kids Fishing Pole

Shakespeare Customize-It® Spincast Combo
Best Overall
Shakespeare Customize-It® Spincast Combo
  • Brand: Shakespeare
  • Weight: .55 pounds
  • Length: 4ft 6in
  • Pole: 2 Pieces
Zebco Kids Splash Jr. Spincast Reel and Fishing Rod
Best Runner Up
Zebco Kids Splash Jr. Spincast Reel and Fishing Rod
  • Brand: Zebco
  • Weight: .65 pounds
  • Length: 4ft
  • Pole: 2 Pieces
Zebco Star Wars BB8 Kids Spincast Reel and Floating Fishing Rod Combo
Best Fishing Pole for 5 Year Old
Zebco Star Wars BB8 Kids Spincast Reel and Floating Fishing Rod Combo
  • Brand: Zebco
  • Weight: .5 pounds
  • Length: 2ft 6inch
  • Pole: 1 Piece
Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Rod and Reel Spincast Combo
Best Fishing Pole For Bigger Kids
Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Rod and Reel Spincast Combo
  • Brand: ‎Ugly Stik
  • Weight: .8 pounds
  • Length: 5ft 6in
  • Pole: 2-Piece
Zebco Slingshot Spincast Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
Best Kids Fishing Pole For Bass
Zebco Slingshot Spincast Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
  • Brand: ‎Zebco
  • Weight: .7 pounds
  • Length: 5ft 6in
  • Pole: 2-Piece
PLUSINNO Kids Fishing Kit
Best Kids Fishing Pole & Kit for Kids
PLUSINNO Kids Fishing Kit
  • Brand: ‎PLUSINNO
  • Weight: .9 pounds
  • Length: 5ft
  • Pole: Telescopic

The Best Kids Fishing Poles: Top 6 Choices 

Shakespeare Customize-It® Spincast Combo

BEST OVERALL

Specs

  • Brand: Shakespeare
  • Weight: .55 pounds
  • Length: 4ft 6in
  • Pole: 2 pieces
Shakespeare Customize-It® Spincast Combo

Pros

  • 170 Stickers to make it pure fun
  • Unique design great for boys & girls
  • Ambidextrous EVA foam handle 
  • Solid construction 
  • Sensible Price

Cons

  • Popularity may make it harder to find
  • No accessories get included with this combo

Why We Chose It 

This fishing pole and reel combo is a perfect size and set up for kids between 6 to 10.

Learning how to cast is easy because the performance is so smooth.

Even the youngest can learn how to pick the spot to cast to, and it’s a bullseye every time.

We’ve been catching bass weighing between .5lbs and 2.0lbs in my neighborhood’s pond. So, I challenge anyone to find a better fishing rig for such a low price. 

Not to mention that your kids will have a ball customizing it and making it their own. It encourages creative thinking! 

Zebco Kids Splash Jr. Spincast Reel and Fishing Rod

BEST RUNNER UP

Specs

Zebco Kids Splash Jr. Spincast Reel and Fishing Rod
  • Brand: Zebco
  • Weight: .65 pounds
  • Length: 4ft
  • Pole: 2 pieces

Pros

  • Affordable 
  • Easy for little ones to rig bobbers and jig heads  
  • Durable high-quality materials. 
  • Stylish colors

Cons

  • The pre-spooled fishing line needs upgrading
  • Two-piece rod adds an additional challenge for those just starting

Why We Chose It 

The Zebco Kids Splash is a tough fishing rod and one of the best for kids. It’s strong enough to stand up to accidental abuse they can give it.

It’s all that a kid needs to start fishing in our lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers.

You also get a practice casting weight which is ideal for teaching your young person how to cast. And kids get a choice of colors.

Zebco Star Wars BB8 Kids Spincast Reel and Floating Fishing Rod Combo

BEST FISHING POLE FOR 5 YEAR OLD

Specs

Zebco Star Wars BB8 Kids Spincast Reel and Floating Fishing Rod Combo
  • Brand: Zebco
  • Weight: .5 pounds
  • Length: 2ft 6inch
  • Pole: 1 piece

Pros

  • Spinning rod floats when accidentally dropped into the water
  • Simple 1 piece design
  • Unique no tangle tip 
  • Easy casting for the 3-5 year-olds
  • Disney’s Star Wars Design

Cons

  • Shorter pole limits casting
  • Not something to grow with

Why We Chose It 

First, the fact that there is no eyelet at the end of the pole for the fishing line to get tangled up stops the frustration level for kids and parents.

Next is the added bonus of floating if accidentally dropped off the end of the dock.

Finally, there is a special spot to put the hook when done using it.

My grandson has caught full-size perch and sunnies using this little pole with no problems. It’s lightweight and simple to use.

Ultimately, it’s more durable than the average “toy” poles. Even after some accidental drops, there have been no problems with the rod or reel.

Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Rod and Reel Spincast Combo

BEST FISHING POLE FOR BIGGER KIDS

Specs

Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Rod and Reel Spincast Combo
  • Brand: ‎Ugly Stik
  • Weight: .8 pounds
  • Length: 5ft 6in
  • Pole: 2 piece

Pros

  • Long rod matches with taller kids
  • High Durability
  • Comfortable weight 
  • Balanced for young anglers

Cons

  • Pre-spooled line for freshwater panfish only
  • Medium power reel

Why We Chose It 

This Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Spincast Youth Combo combines exceptional strength and durability with an easy-to-use design, which makes it accessible, simple, and fun for the whole family to fish.

They modeled the rod after the iconic Ugly Stik, and so it offers some of its best qualities.

It’s strong but also lightweight due to a balance of these factors.

The Ugly Stik Tip design responds to even the lightest nibbles and strikes.

In contrast, the specifically designed EVA grips offer smaller hands a firm, comfortable hold.

They made this two-piece fishing rod so it will last for years with a durable combination of graphite and fiberglass.

A good option for parents who want to teach their kids how to fish, this reel comes with a 6 lb line. It’s easy to use, so kids can take it out and enjoy themselves right away!

Zebco Slingshot Spincast Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

BEST KIDS FISHING POLE FOR BAS

Specs

Zebco Slingshot Spincast Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
  • Brand: ‎Zebco
  • Weight: .7 pounds
  • Length: 5ft 6in
  • Pole: 2 piece

Pros

  • Come with 10lb heavy fishing line
  • Strong reel – size 30, ideal for bass
  • High performing materials
  • Easy to use
  • Great Price

Cons

  • Won’t take heavy lures
  • Heavier fish will take experience and finesse

Why We Chose It 

This fiberglass bass fishing rod and reel combo can get used for hours for bass fishing.

Imagine this scene.

The water is as still and smooth as glass, and the morning fog swirls and twists around you. Your first cast places the bait right on the edge of the lily pads.

You let the lure settle for a moment, then start the slow, side-to-side retrieve. You just see the fish rise behind the lure for a split second before it strikes.

This moment is why you chose one of the best bass fishing combos for children. This moment is everything that makes angling your passion.

Cast like a pro with the push of a button. Zebco spincast reels are the most user-friendly, tangle-free choice–ideal for beginners.

They also offer durable, all-around performance for even serious anglers. 

PLUSINNO Kids Fishing Kit

Best Kids Fishing Pole & Kit for Kids

Specs

PLUSINNO Kids Fishing Kit
  • Brand: ‎PLUSINNO
  • Weight: .9 pounds
  • Length: 5ft
  • Pole: Telescopic

Pros

  • Everything needed in One Kit
  • Great variety of tackle
  • Carry-on bag included
  • Compact
  • Great reviews
  • Easy Price

Cons

  • May not be the most durable
  • Small size made for beginners

Why We Chose It?

A good kit will give beginner anglers the most important items at affordable prices to quickly start fishing.

As a beginner, choose a multi-purpose combo set that will allow you to both fish with bait and fish with lure.

As for the reel, you get a spinning reel, which is the best choice for beginners.

A great basic kit also needs hooks, swivels, sinkers, floats, lures, and tackle boxes to round out our required items list.

What Do I Look for in the Best Kids Fishing Pole?

What Do I Look for in the Best Kids Fishing Pole?

Remember that kids enjoy taking part in the buying process.

They know what they like and don’t like, so it’s always best to have them be part of the decision-making process.

Hit these three objectives when buying fishing rods for kids:

1. You need it to be durable enough to handle the abuse that kids will put it through.

2. You want it to be easy enough for them to use on their own so they can learn how to fish without help from an adult.

3. It must be something they enjoy using, so they will continue fishing in the future.

Rod and reel combinations make it simple to get your kid started fishing. They take most of the guesswork out of choosing a rod, a reel, and a line.

How do you know which youth fishing pole is right for your future fishing buddy?

Your child deserves a product that’s easy to use and will last them a long time.

What’s the point of having something if it breaks or gets heavy?

We pay close attention to durability, length, weight, and ease of use!

We recommended six of the best kid’s fishing pole combos available today and the attributes of each one.

What Features Should You Look For? 

Our goal is to help you pick the right fishing rod for your kid.

But what are the essentials to keep in mind when buying a fishing rod?

Items we included:

  • Weight and Length 
  • Durability
  • Ease of use
  • Style
  • Cost

One thing I find important that may not be discussed as much is the choice between fishing reels. You can choose between a spinning reel and baitcaster.

With young kids, I believe it’s best to go with an all-in-one spinning setup.

It’s easier to manage, comes with a lot of combo kits, and will best help prepare them for the future. 

We examine the above for each rod reel combo we recommended. 

Weight

Fishing poles for children should be light and manageable. A kid that is still mastering their coordination skills normally finds a heavier stick challenging to manage. The same goes for the young kiddies. Fishing poles that are made of graphite or fiberglass weigh less than metals.

Don’t get fooled by the plastic cheapies. They are light but are known to break. Composite blends are often the best overall.

Length

the length of the kid fishing rod is very important

Pay close attention to length. Go shorter for kids just starting, so they don’t feel dominated by a long pole.

And for those with more experience, you can upgrade to longer rods, especially when they get more experienced. So here are some general rules to narrow it down.

The length of a fishing pole is not just about the child’s height. The weight and strength of a child are also factors that should be considered when choosing the right fishing pole.

For example, if your child is around 5 years old, get a light fishing rod between 3-4ft. Short rods will make the fishing pole more manageable.

They put less strain on their arms. As children get older and increase their abilities, they can transition up to 5-6ft poles.

Durability

Every kid breaks stuff, and it can frustrate parents to keep replacing damaged items. If you’re buying a fishing pole for your kid, you want to be sure that it will last.

A good fishing pole for kids should have a flexible material that is also durable.

It should also have a non-slip grip, so the rod doesn’t slip out of your child’s hands while reeling in their catch.

Ease of Use

You want a fishing setup to seem simple and fun at this stage.

So, consider getting a reel that’s easy to use and not frustrating. So for kids in the 4-6 age range, look for a “no-tangle” kids fishing rod.

These will have a line inside the shaft rather than via stubborn metal eyelets along the exterior. And get a simple reel.

These usually have a push-button spincast design and will teach your child how to cast with a closed face. Remember that they want to reel them in, not you.

Fishing can be a perfect tool for children to build their patience.

More advanced setups are options for coordinated children aged 7+, as long as they will put up with occasional issues.

Style

Kids love to show off their favorite fishing poles with their friends.

The fun of having a fishing pole that stands out from the crowd makes some kids want it more than anything.

Whether they’re enjoying the sport with their parents or catching the latest pop-culture reference on fishing, kids are eager to show off their favorite equipment to their friends.

Combining sporting equipment and pop culture is fun until somebody’s fishing rod breaks.

That’s where you come in. Discuss the pros and cons, and come to an educated mutual agreement.

Price

Prices on fishing rods run from less than $20 to over $1,000.

You typically get what you pay for, but you don’t need to break the bank to get a quality rod for your kid. 

And while we typically want the top of the line for our kids, it will be foolhardy to overspend on a fishing pole for a chile.

For one main reason, kids are more likely to outgrow them quickly as they grow older.

Here is some good news.

You can expect to pay around $25 for a great fishing pole for a 5-year-old. But, you will naturally spend a bit more for older kids ready for more robust equipment.

So the best fishing pole for a 10-year-old could go up to $45.

How to Buy a Kiddie Fishing Pole

Choosing the right pole for kids is so important because it can help them fall in or out of love with the sport.

Start off Small

start off small with the kid's fishing rod

When choosing a kiddie fishing pole, pay attention to length. It should be just long enough for your little angler to handle it easily, so about 3-4 feet in length.

And because kids break stuff, get them a rod made of something more durable than cheap plastic.

Seek out graphite, fiberglass, and composite blends, so you won’t need to replace them every other time you go out.

For toddlers, look for “no-tangle” features.

A must-have design feature is a fishing rod with a line that goes inside the shaft rather than along the exterior via pesky metal eyelets. 

For kids in the four to seven range, think about a reel with a closed-face, push-button “spincast” design — this lets your child learn how to cast by themselves. 

Make Room to Grow 

If you have a growing angler passionate about their gear, you can find options that they can grow into.

For example, when looking for what size fishing rod for a large 10-year-old, you can go up to 6ft. 

That’s almost a full-sized rod. This is a good thing for coordinated and ambitious anglers.

Pair that up with a pre-packed tackle box and fishing kit. That just might be the ultimate new angler gift pack!

Time to Upgrade

time to upgrade your kids fishing rod

As your child gets more mature and has sharpened their fishing skills, their desire for high-performance equipment grows.

Perhaps it’s time to invest in some upgrades.

You could visit your local outdoor retailer and consult with their fishing department.

Your child’s setup will depend on the type of fishing, their current skill set, and your desired price range.

It might even seem right to start with something like a telescopic fishing rod. These are affordable, lightweight, and easy to use. 

Would I recommend them to someone with a lot of experience? No, but they’re a great choice for young kids and even teenagers. 

The critical goal is sparking the passion for fishing early on and making sure your child has an enjoyable time doing it.

Research your options, different weather options, and the best accessories to land the monsters. Isn’t it time to get out and take a kid fishing?

What Do Kids Fishing Poles Offer?

Kids fishing poles have a lot to offer. They are designed for small hands, and they are lightweight.

They come with a reel that is perfect for kids to use, and they also come with safety features like a no-tangle tip.

The more you shop, the more you will find that there are many great options to buy fishing poles for kids.

The best fishing poles for kids are colorful, lightweight, and offer extra features to encourage your kids to go fishing.

My personal experience trying to find the Best Youth Fishing Pole

See for yourself that there are a lot of different fishing poles out there.

They come in all shapes and sizes, with various features and price points.

But after two sons and three grandchildren that love fishing, I have been hunting for the best fishing rod for kids many times over the years. 

Recently, I was looking for the best fishing pole for a 5-year-old. I wanted to find a high-rated setup that would work great at catching trout. 

I found that there are many different types of kids’ fishing rods.

Some are made for beginners, others are for children doing it for a while, and some are strictly for professional anglers.

I found that there is no one perfect brand that is the best in all cases.

So instead of trying to find the “best” brand, I look for a rod and reel combo that would suit my grandson’s needs the best.

A Grandfather’s Advice after years of coaching the youngest anglers

kid having fun while fishing

I have been fishing for over 45 years and loved every minute.

The best time has been spent coaching my sons and their kids on how to fish.

I am always on the lookout for new fishing gear and love giving them advice on what to buy.

My personal advice for buying the best fishing pole for kids is to find what they love to use. So, keep in mind the hard truth.

While parents need to be concerned about safety and quality, kids tend to focus on what’s cool and fun.

These days, kids love to show their friends their new gear and accomplishments. Selfies of them and their new fishing pole are common.

Even better, posting pics of the big catch of the afternoon, dangling at the end of their new pole. Of course, the best fishing pole for kids is one they’ll enjoy.

Starting with inspiration and encouragement for the parents

Our guide covers all the critical features to consider when buying for your child. It also tries to maximize the fun factor.

But before we get into our recommendations, let’s take a minute to review why we love taking our kids fishing.

Fishing makes kids more confident and independent. It also evolves into more than what we expect. It becomes the quality time between you and your child and a lifetime of lessons.

Final Thoughts

You’re getting a fishing pole for your young child, so keep in mind the following three goals.

  • Light and Comfortable
  • Easy to learn
  • Affordable but durable

Fishing poles for kids are made for different age groups and skill levels. They come in all different colors, sizes, and shapes.

But there can be only one best kids fishing pole.

The best overall was the Shakespeare Customize-It Spincast Combo.

So why is it number one?

We selected our first choice because it maximizes durability and comfort for children. In addition, it balances quality and affordability. 

It also does something unique as compared to others. It enables your child to get creative and give the fishing pole their own design!

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