When taking fishing trips to Canada or Minnesota, my fishing buddies would often ask me why I wasn’t jigging for walleyes with them. The answer was easy – I felt my time was better spent trying to catch large northern!
I also learned very quickly that trying to catch large northern was much easier when you had the right gear – including the right style of fishing rod. Reeling in a 10-pound northern with a 4-foot light action rod with 6-pound test line can be quite difficult (but also a little fun).
So, I wanted to present you with a quick list of the best northern pike fishing rods – as well as some general tips about what I’m looking for in a good pike rod.
Hopefully this list will help you pick the right fishing rod for your next pike adventure – but I will also recommend trying to catch a fairly good sized northern on a small ultralight rod just once, so that way you can really understand what makes a great northern fishing rod!
Tips on Picking the Best Northern Pike Fishing Rods:
Here are a few tips I have when selecting a northern pike fishing rod when it comes to size, being 1 piece or 2, and rod power!
1.) Size – A 6 ½ foot rod is my selection for pike fishing. This is strong enough to handle a large fish, but still has enough sensitivity to really feel the action of your lure. I will use a 7-foot rod when going after big fish – and I find a 6-foot rod is good for children and young teens (that sized rod is a little easier to handle).
2.) One piece or two? For me the answer is always one. I find one-piece rods to be stronger and able to handle those big northern hits better. Have I caught northerns on a two-piece rod? Sure, but it isn’t ideal for me. The benefit of a two-piece rod is they are easier to transport, so if space is limited, they will due (and buy yourself a good rod tube to protect your gear)!
3.) Rod Power – When pike fishing, 90% of the time I’m going to pick a Medium Heavy rod. If I know my goal is to only go after really big pike, I will pick a heavy rod. A Medium rod is a good selection if you know you are going to be crankbait fishing or using a technique that may lead you to catching many different species of fish like walleye, perch, or bass.
Quick List of the Best Pike Fishing Rods
If you are looking for a quick list of the fishing rods we recommend for Northern Pike fishing – here they are! If you would like a more detailed review about each individual rod and why we recommend them – please read on after the chart!
|Our Rank:||Rod Description||More Info. Link|
|#1||St. Croix Triump Casting Rod||Link|
|#2||Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod||Link|
|#3||Abu Garcia Vengeance Casting Rod||Link|
|#4||St. Croix Premier Series Casting Rods||Link|
|#5||Fenwick Lunker Stik Casting Rod||Link|
|#6||Daiwa Procyon Series||Link|
|#7||Shimano Curado Casting Rod||Link|
|#8||Lew’s David Fritts Perfect Crankbait Speed Stick||Link|
St. Croix Triumph Casting Rods
St. Croix is one of the first names you think of when you think about high quality fishing rods. The St. Croix Triump Casting Rod – model TRC66MHF – is the 1 piece, 6-foot 6-inch, Medium Heavy rod that I would recommend for anglers that are looking to catch big pike!
It easily handles fishing line in the 10 – 20-pound test line range, which is ideal for catching nice sized pike! Lures that are in the 3/8 oz. – 1 oz. range can be used very effectively with this rod as well, making them ideal for a wide range of different lures.
And again, that one-piece design gives you a great balance of strength and sensitivity, plus enough “oomph” to get that hook set!
The rod itself has a durable & comfortable cork handle, aluminum-oxide line guides, and is made from a high quality (and great looking) graphite material. This rod not only looks like a high-quality premium fishing pole but it acts the way you expect a premium rod to handle. This is the real deal.
St. Croix offers a 5-year warranty on their rods, and this fishing rod has a great price point – costing right around $90 in most cases, though it can be a bit more during times of heavy demand.
This rod type is NOT available in two pieces, but they do have a 7-foot Medium Heavy option if you are looking for a slightly bigger rod. This is the only potential drawback we really see for this rod, meaning you always need to keep transportation in mind for this one piece fishing pole.
The combination of price, strength, sensitivity, and all-around quality make this our number one recommendation for most northern pike fisherman!
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod
I am a big fan of Ugly Stik rods, and for pike fishing I’m going with the Ugly Stik 6’6” Medium Heavy 1 Piece Rod. This rod meets all the criteria I like being Medium-Heavy, 1 piece, and 6 feet 6 inches in length!
This rod will have no problem handling test line in the 8 to 17-pound range, and lures in the ¼ to ¾ oz. range. That test line and lure size is going to be ideal for most pike fishing moments.
It is made with durable, light weight graphite materials that produce a great mixture of lightness and strength. The handle is made from cork, which is my preference because I like how it feels in my hands compared to most materials.
This rod is also available in a 1 piece 6-foot size and a 1 piece 7-foot size – depending on if you like your rod a little larger or a little smaller. All of the ideal lure size and test line specifications for these sizes are the same at the 6 and ½ foot rod.
Another big bonus here is this rod normally costs right around $50 – making it a very affordable option for pike fishing!
If you are looking for a Medium Heavy Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod you will have to choose a one-piece rod. If it needs to be 2-piece rod, you would have to get a medium power rod if you went with this brand.
Abu Garcia Vengeance Casting Rod
The Model I recommend is the VENGC66-6. This rod is 6’6” in length and has that medium heavy rod power that I am looking for.
It is a 1-piece rod that has a fishing line rating of 12 – 20 pounds, and a lure rating of 3/8 to 1 oz. in size.
The guides are stainless steel and it is make from a very durable graphite material. This rod handle material is a foam grip, for those of you that prefer that over cork. With a cost at right around $50 – it is hard to find a better value!
If all you are going to do is chase huge northerns – the model VENGC76-7 is a 1 piece, 7’6”, heavy duty rod that you should look into investing in. It handles fishing line in the 14-30-pound test line range, and lures in the ½ oz. to 2 oz. range.
If you are like me, Abu Garcia will become your go to fishing equipment provider once you give them a chance!
St. Croix Premier Series Casting Rods
The nice thing here is you can get this rod in the medium-heavy power range, and you can get it at the 6-foot 6-inch length just like I like – it just isn’t in the one piece layout I prefer, but rather 2 pieces.
The two-piece layout does make it a lot easier to transport, and you don’t have to worry about accidentally snapping off your rod tip when you close your truck tailgate.
This rod is built to use lures in that 3/8 oz. to 1 oz. weight range, and use line in that 10 to 20-pound test line range.
For those that do want to use this fishing rod, but don’t want it to be in two pieces, you are in luck! The model number PC66MHF is a medium heavy, 6-foot 6-inch, 1-piece rod!
This rod is also available in 2 pieces at 7 feet in length (heavy weight), 1 piece at 7 foot (Heavy), 1 piece at 7 feet (Medium Heavy) and at various 6 foot lengths as well!
Fenwick Lunker Stik Casting Rod
I don’t know about you, but it is hard not to trust a rod that has Lunker Stik for the name. So, with that being said, a really good northern pike fishing rod would be the Fenwick Lunker Stik Casting Rod!
The Fenwick Lunker Stik model # LST68MH – MFC is the 1-piece, medium heavy power rod that I would select. The rod length is 6’8” – which is a little bit longer than some of those other options on this list.
It has a line rating of 10 – 17 pounds & a lure rating of 3/8 – 1 oz. It comes with a cork handle which I prefer, that has a rubber rod butt, & also includes stainless steel guides.
These rods are incredibly durable – being built with “spiral veil blanks – that have a carbon fiber core with a Fenglass outer shell” – so durable in fact they come with a 5-year limited warranty.
The price is right around $80 – and if you are looking for a two-piece option, you are in luck! Just buy the Fenwick Lunker Stik Model # LST68MH – MFC 2 – which has all the same great features listed above.
Daiwa Procyon Series
The big reason I would recommend a Daiwa Procyon Series rod is because of its flexibility. These rods are strong enough to handle big freshwater fish like pike, but flexible enough to be used when fishing for other species of fish.
The rod I would recommend the most is the 6’6” Daiwa Procyon 1-piece, medium-heavy rod – model number PCY661MHXB. With 8 guides, a cork handle, and a well-constructed carbon rod blank – you are going to love the durability, sensitivity, & feel of this rod!
It handles lure weight in the ¼ to 1 oz. range with no problem, and test line in that 10-20-pound class. That should be perfect for catching some nice northerns!
There are some other longer rods in this series that you can pick from as well if you prefer a bigger rod, and with a price point around $65, you will love this rod if you decide on it!
Shimano Curado Casting Rod
The version I would use for big fish is the 7’2”, Heavy power, 1-piece rod. This sucker handles test line in the 15 to 30-pound range, and lures in the ½ oz. to 1 ½ oz. range. When you want to fish with those large top water lures, this rod is a great choice! This rod also has enough strength to really set the hook on large fish.
The rod itself is made from FUJI components – which is a big name in the fishing world. The high-quality cork grips are comfortable and easy to handle – and the rod itself delivers an impressive combination of strength and feel.
This would be the rod I would recommend if you are looking for a large, heavy duty fishing rod that is meant for big fish!
Lew’s David Fritts Perfect Crankbait Speed Stick Series
Anyone that fishes with me knows that I prefer to fish with crankbaits – and that includes when I’m fishing for northern pike. So, it only makes sense that I would include the Lew’s David Fritts Perfect Crankbait Speed Stick Series Rods to my list of best northern pike fishing rods.
Like the name implies this rod was made with crankbaits in mind. The guides really help you feel the lure action, and this rod has enough backbone to help you set the hook. The high quality cork handles also really help you handle the rod comfortably.
The model I recommend is the LDFP68MH – it is 6’8” in length, is a medium heavy power rod, has 9 guides, handles line in the 12-20-pound rating, & lures in that ¼ – ¾ oz. range. You know, basically all the stuff I’ve told you I’m looking for in a fishing rod.
The price is right around $80, and is a great investment for crankbait fisherman like myself.
If you are looking to become a serious northern pike fisherman, picking the right fishing rod for the job is going to be that first important step to being successful. After all, it is really hard to do any job without the right equipment, and your fishing rod is the foundation of your fishing experience.
Hopefully these tips have helped guide you to the right fishing rod choice – and if you have had some success catching big northerns we would love to hear about it.
Of course, you might want to make sure you are using the right fishing lure to go with that fishing rod – so check out this article on the best northern pike fishing lures!