Most Expensive Fishing Rods and Reels: Are They Worth It?

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Many people around the world practice fishing either for a living, sport, or hobby. As a result, the fishing tackle market is huge. Many different brands are offering reels, rods, hooks, lures, lines, and more at different prices.

With so many options, you can be sure that you will find something that adjusts to your budget. Either if you are looking for a 100 buck reel and rod combo, or if you like premium equipment better. 

Most Expensive Fishing Rods and Reels

This time, we will take some time to review some of the most expensive fishing rods and reels available in the market:

  • St. Croix Legend Elite
  • Orvis Helios3
  • Hamachi XOS GT’n’Doggie Expedition Series
  • Daiwa Saltiga G Kite Deep Drop Rod
  • Penn International VI Trolling Fishing Rod
  • SHIMANO FORCE MASTER 400 Electric Fishing Reel
  • Orvis Mirage Fly Reel
  • Penn International VI Single Speed Fishing Reel
  • Daiwa Dendoh Marine Power MP 3000
  • Daiwa 19 Seaborg 500MJ 

Fancy fishing tackle is not for everyone. And while there is no need to break the bank to go fishing, nobody will charge you anything for looking at these beautiful pieces. So, let’s zoom in on each one of these rods and reels and try to figure out why they are so expensive.  

St. Croix Legend Elite

St. Croix Rods Legend Elite Spinning Rod
  • High-modulus SCVI and SCV carbon with Fortified...
  • Fuji Torzite tangle-fee guides with titanium...
  • Fuji TVS blank-touch reel seat

St. Croix makes most of the best premium rods available. The Elite is part of the high-end rod family. It has a full graphite core with SCVI shards, which makes the rod extremely light. The heavier version only weighs 4.4 ounces. SCVI stands for super high-modulus graphite fiber. 

The line sits on Fuji Torzite guides with titanium inlets. The reel seat also has a Fuji core. Above it, you have a Kigan titanium hook guard. Lastly, you have a large cork handle to hold the rod. 

The Legend Elite comes in ten lengths with two action levels (fast and extra fast) and three powers (ML, M, and MH). 

Additionally, the rod supports a wide variety of line and lure weights

In terms of prices, this rod comes with a minimum price of 400 dollars, which is way more than the market average. But you are getting a premium rod that will endure for a lifetime. Plus, you also get a 15-year warranty! 

Orvis Helios 3

Orvis Helios 3D Fly Rod
  • Length: 9ft, 10ft
  • Action: fast
  • Rod Weight: 4wt, 5wt, 6wt, 7wt, 8wt

Orvis is, arguably, the best fly fishing rod brand out there. All their models are fast, precise, and strong. And this is the motto of the Helios model.

Two different models are available, the F and D models. The D stands for distance, while the F means finesse (better known as accuracy). Both models have the same price. Thus, your preference is the only criterion to choose one over the other. Do you like to make long casts? Go for the D model. The F model has better close-quarter casts. You can slip the fly in the water without any fish noticing it. Thus, you should first decide on your fishing and then choose a rod

The Orvis Helios 3 comes in three different lengths (8’6”, 9′, and 10′). Each one breaks down into four sections, making the rod extremely portable. 

The rod has a carbon-fiber core, with titanium line guides and anodized aluminum reel seats. The overall construction is remarkably strong. Plus, it is capable of withstanding the corrosive nature of saltwater. Either model comes with a 25-year warranty. However, you won’t be needing it since the Helios rod is virtually indestructible. 

The main drawback of this rod is its price. It retails between 700 and to 949 dollars. Its price changes according to the length and whether or not you purchase the rod and reel combo.

Hamachi XOS GT’n’Doggie Expedition Series

Hamachi 2018/19 XOS GT'n'Doggie Expedition Series Popper...
  • Spinning popper rods - Spin reel version (fixed...
  • XOS GTnDoggie Series
  • Suitable for popper, lure fishing and general...

The Hamachi Expedition Series retails for around 1000 dollars, making it the most expensive rod thus far. It has a nanocarbon composite blank, which makes the rod both light and strong. Plus, it enhances the rod’s sensitiveness as well as casting power. 

This high-end version comes in two lengths: 8’2” and 10′. And it breaks down into three pieces for your convenience. According to Hamachi, this rod is strong enough to land some massive saltwater monsters such as bluefin tunas. You can use this rod for your freshwater fishing trips too.

With this substantial price, this rod is not for everyone. You should only purchase this rod if you go fishing very often. 

Daiwa Saltiga G Kite Deep Drop Rod

Daiwa SAG56XXHR-DD Saltiga G Kite Deep Drop Rod, 5'6"
  • Powerful Glatech blank construction
  • AFTCO roller guides and swivel roller tip
  • PowerliftX foregrip for sure-grip control and...

The funny thing about this rod is that Daiwa is known for making affordable fishing equipment. But this is not exactly the case here. The Saltiga G is a trolling rod that retails for 445 dollars. Keep in mind that this is the price of the rod alone. Therefore, you must invest in a suitable reel, which could easily add another 400 dollars to the budget. 

It has a composite core, which grants the rod the flexibility of graphite and the strength of fiberglass. Additionally, it comes with an aluminum reel seat, which is slightly bent.

The Saltiga G comes with Daiwa’s AFTCO line guides and Powerlift X. Both are heavy-duty features for saltwater angling. 

The rod is available with XH or XXH power options. As you can see, it is more suitable for massive fishes such as tunas and marlins.

Penn International VI Trolling Fishing Rod

Penn International VI Trolling (1 Piece) 7'6" 130 Pound Test...
  • Ultra-rugged trolling fishing rod ideal for...
  • 1-piece tubular glass blank construction delivers...
  • Stuart bent butt handle for added leverage and...

As you can see, the majority of the most expensive fishing rods are either fly fishing or trolling rods. In this case, the Penn International VI is a trolling rod that retails for 799.95 dollars. 

The Penn International VI has the same bent handle as the Daiwa Saltiga G, which is a classic feature of this type of rod. The entire rod has a one-piece fiberglass construction. So, yes, the rod is very stiff but incredibly powerful. 

The line guides have AFTCO rollers with Fuji rings and anodized aluminum reel seats, with EVA foam slip handles. 

SHIMANO Force Master 400 Electric Fishing Reel

SHIMANO is well known for being a brand that likes to spice all its products with some tech. Of course, this induces a hefty increase in the product’s price. Proof of that is this beautiful reel, which retails around 600 bucks.

Force Master 400 is part of SHIMANO’s line of electric reels. It has 11 ball bearings, a 5.1:1 gear ratio, and 11 pounds of drag power. Furthermore, this baitcasting reel can hold between 109 to 219 yards of fishing line

So far, there is nothing impressive to justify such a price, right? The SHIMANO Force Master features a Muteki electric engine. It helps with line retrieval by either keeping the line tight with constant tension or retrieving the line at a constant speed. Use the first mode while reeling the fish. In contrast, the second mode is better for retrieving the line. The Force Master can reel the line at an impressive rate of 600 feet per minute. 

Additionally, you can program different fishing techniques ranging from jigging to deep-sea fishing. Of course, this reel is for serious anglers only. You will be wasting your money otherwise. 

Orvis Mirage Fly Reel

Orvis Fly Fishing Mirage Series Made in USA Large Arbor Fly...
  • Material: 6061 T6 aluminum
  • Drag System: stainless steel disc, sealed
  • Backing Capacity: [II] 150 yards, [III] 150 yards,...

Orvis not only makes expensive fly fishing rods. They also produce some of the priciest fly fishing reels in the market. The Mirage fly fishing reel price starts at 498 and goes all the way up to 848 dollars. The price changes depending on the specific model you end up buying. 

The Orvis Mirage fly fishing reel features a 6061 T6 aluminum core with a Type III anodized coating and a stainless steel/carbon fiber drag system. Thus, you can use this fly fishing reel for both salt and freshwater angling. The sealed drag system reduces the need for maintenance and increases the reel life. 

One distinctive feature of this reel is that it is quite big. Orvis did this intentionally. A bigger reel gives more torque and reduces the line coil. Thus, increasing castability. 

To top it all, the Orvis Mirage has a special ball-bearing system, which enhances drag smoothness. 

There are five different models available. You can spool lines of different weights (ranging from 3 to 13 pounds). This depends on the specific model you end up buying. 

Penn International VI Single Speed Fishing Reel

Penn INT12VI International VI Single Speed Fishing Reel
  • Machined and anodized aluminum body and side...
  • Stainless steel main and pinion gears
  • Quick-shift II 2-speed System

Time for a serious reel. Penn is well known for making some of the best reels and rods available in the market. The brand has extensive experience in the fishing industry, and all its products are worth every penny. 

The Penn International VI is a reel for monsters. At first glance, you will notice that this is not a conventional reel. The handle is remarkably bigger. And we all know what this means: Power. Penn added a 2-speeds system. You can quickly change between them by pushing a button, giving you the upper hand you need to land that massive beast. 

Penn keeps using the same drag system from previous years, but with the added feature of what they call Versa-strike stop. This new feature reduces line snapping to a minimum while preventing the fish from pulling too much line. 

All these amazing features come for a one-time payment of 495 dollars. Of course, it is not cheap. But if you are buying this reel is because you are after a massive saltwater fish. 

Daiwa Dendoh Marine Power MP 3000

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Let’s check another expensive Daiwa product. The Marine Power MP 3000 retails for 3000 dollars. Yeah, the most expensive reel in this review thus far. But let’s get something straight. If you buy this reel is because you are after some massive monsters. 

The Daiwa Dendoh Marine Power has an electronic lifting assistant with manual line winding. You can control the winding speed using the power lever. Additionally, you have 16 corrosion-resistant ball-bearing systems. 

The reel has an aluminum frame, side plates, and spool, which can support up to 1200 yards of line. The gear ratio is rather low (1.7:1), but it is something to be expected in a reel with an 88-pound maximum drag. 

Lastly, the Dendoh Marine Power comes with a digital screen where you can check how much of the line is out of the spool.

The Daiwa Dendoh Marine Power 300 is compatible with most trolling fishing rods like the Daiwa Saltiga G we reviewed before. 

Daiwa 19 Seaborg 500MJ

Daiwa 19 Seaborg 500MJ (Electric Reel)
  • Gear Ratio: 3.6
  • Max Drag Force (kg): 23
  • Standard Winding Weight (kg): 23

Do you like the last Daiwa electric reel? Here we bring you another option: The Daiwa 19 Seaborg 500 MJ.

The reel is perfect for deep fishing and jigging. It has an LCD screen where you can see, and check, all the reel functions. The main feature is the Megatwin motor, which is responsible for reeling the line at incredible rates. Additionally, it features Daiwa’s new Magsealed ball bearings, which means that neither dust nor water will enter the ball-bearing system. Thus, increasing the reel life and reducing the need for maintenance. 

The drag system, with its 51-pound power, is more than enough for most beasts. The gear ratio is slightly higher than the previous one (3.6:1). The downside is that you have less torque to muscle the fish. Still, the Seaborg 500 MJ is a magnificent saltwater electric fishing reel, with a beautiful appearance.  

Are Expensive Fishing Reels and Rods Worth It? 

This is quite a tricky question, as it doesn’t have a straight answer. It all depends on what kind of angler you are. For example, if you go fishing like 200 times each year, and participate in several fishing tournaments, you will find that expensive fishing equipment is worth every penny you spend. Their state-of-the-art construction will give you the upper hand in all your battles. Plus, they are more than capable of resisting years and years of intense abuse. 

In contrast, it doesn’t make any sense to spend 1000+ in a fishing rod or reel if you only fish a couple of times each year. You will be wasting your money as you aren’t likely to push the gear to its limits. Still, it is up to you to decide if you want to spend so much on a rod that will spend more time in the cellar. 

Why are These Fishing Rods and Reels So Expensive?

Fishing gear price depends on several factors. Firstly, the materials used have a huge impact on price. For instance, the latest carbon fiber shards are more expensive than classical fiberglass. Furthermore, the patent technologies that several brands use in the construction of their reels and rods increase the price even further. The good news is that you are getting what you are paying for, which is a reel or rod that will endure a lifetime of abuse.  

Plus, premium fishing gear takes more time to produce. Thus, they inherently cost more money than regular, budget-friendly rods and reels. Therefore, the investment only makes sense if you are going to squeeze every last drop of performance out of these products. 

Most expensive fishing rods are not for Everyone

Some people say that paying a thousand dollars (or more) for fishing gear is a waste of money. However, it all depends on how you plan to use it. For instance, anglers looking to land some massive marlins will find the Daiwa Saltiga G rod and Dendoh Marine Power reel quite useful. They are reliable, long-lasting, and will increase your chances of a successful catch. 

Nevertheless, spending more than 500 dollars on a reel or rod just to fish a couple of times each year makes absolutely no sense. In this case, you are better off with something like the St. Croix Legend Elite (or anything cheaper). The same applies if you only fish bass, walleye, or similar fishes.

Keep in mind that cheap doesn’t translate into bad quality. Most budget-friendly rods and reels will last the same or more. You only need to know how to take care of your gear and how to use it. 

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