Spinning reel with bass caught in the background

4 Rod and Reel Picks for Beginner Female Anglers

Fishing is a great way to get out in nature, enjoy time with loved ones, and catch a healthy dinner for the evening. The number of female anglers is continuing to grow, and right now is a great time to get started in the sport or introduce a lady in your life to angling. It can be a bit intimidating for beginners, but setting them up with the right gear is a great first step towards making them feel comfortable and prepared. The best place to start is with a fishing rod and reel built with beginners in mind. When choosing a rod and reel for a woman just starting out, you'll need to consider a couple factors.

The Type of Fishing: Do you plan to learn to fly fish, do you want to pick up a spinning rod and reel, or would you prefer a simple baitcast combo? Will you be fishing in freshwater or saltwater? And what type of fish are you after?

The Budget: If you're completely new to fishing, do you want an affordable option to test the waters, or are you ready to invest in a setup that will last you for years to come? Buying a combo is a great way to get everything you need without breaking the bank.

Please enable Javascript to view this content

Because women are generally built a bit smaller, rods with smaller, ergonomically designed grips often fit us better. Shorter rods with lighter actions can be easier for women to work with as well. Although some women's-specific combos might take these considerations into account, a lot of them are just the same rods and reels with pink and purple accents. So don't feel the need to buy one marketed as a women's model. All told, these rods and reels receive high marks from beginner female anglers, and come recommended by us.

The True Beginner's Rod and Reel

Zebco 33 Spincast Combo - Bass Pro Shops, $34.99

With a simple design that's built to take abuse, the Zebco 33 Spincast Combo is ideal for a brand new angler. The fiberglass rod measures 6 feet and it's easy to cast. The EVA foam handle grip gets top marks for fitting a woman's hand. The Zebco 33 Spincast Combo won't break the beginner's bank at just $34.99. Highlights of the combo include:

  • Industrial-grade stainless steel covers
  • All-metal gears for added toughness
  • Smooth ball-bearing drive with dual ceramic pickup pins
  • Dual ceramic pickup pins
  • Reversible right/left retrieve
  • Pre-spooled with 10-pound Cajun line
  • Precision MicroFine dial-adjustable drag
  • Bite Alert
  • QuickSet multi stop anti-reverse

The Classic Spinning Choice

Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Combo - Bass Pro Shops, $44.96-49.95

Budget-friendly, super smooth, and ultra durable, the Ugly Stik GX2 rod and reel combo is a great choice for novice anglers. Available in several different models ranging from 4 feet, 8 inches to 7 feet and ultralight to medium heavy, the GX2 combo boasts a graphite and fiberglass construction for the ultimate sensitivity and balance. It comes with a seven-year warranty for under $60. The other highlights include:

  • Three ball bearings and a one-way clutch instant anti-reverse bearing for a smoother feel and fast hook sets
  • Machined double anodized aluminum spool with oversized bail wire for added durability
  • Compression bail springs for an increased reel life
  • Ugly Tech construction for a strong yet sensitive rod
  • Ugly Tuff one-piece stainless steel guides to eliminate insert pop-outs
  • Ugly Stik Clear Tip design for added sensitivity and strength

The Versatile Spinning Pick

Pflueger President Spinning Comb0 - Amazon, $79.99-89.99

This do-anything rod and reel combo is perfect for women who are just getting started and don't know what exactly they'll want to fish for in the future. It's available in a wide range of sizes and features a cork handle with full grip design. The President Spinning Combo also offers smooth performance, long-lasting durability, and a lightweight, well-balanced design for $79.99-$89.99. Highlights of this combo include:

  • A responsive and sensitive IM-8 graphite rod
  • A braid-ready spool
  • An aluminum handle
  • Stainless steel guides
  • A sealed drag system with sealed drag washers
  • Slow-oscillation gearing

The Best Beginner Fly Rod and Reel


Orvis Encounter Fly Rod Outfit - $198

Advertised as a great option for young fly anglers and with plenty of positive reviews from beginners, the Orvis Encounter Fly Rod Outfit is a solid option for women who want to try their hand at fly fishing. It's available in several rod lengths and weights, and Orvis highlights the combo's smooth crisp performance. The four-piece rod, which allows for easy transport and storage, comes with a fly reel, line, and a convenient carry case for $198. Highlights include:

  • Rod and reel outfit comes packaged with weight-forward floating line, backing, and leader as well as a carry case
  • Variety of models available for preferred performance
  • The four-piece rod is easy to break down for travel