How To Find The Best Musky Rods For The Money – Our Top Picks
Muskies are the apex predators of their ecosystem. They are sturdy, fast, and sneaky. Their sheer muscular power demands a sturdy rod which does not bend or break.
While the reel helps in retrieving the fish, the rod is the one who takes the full pulling force of the fish. With the best musky rod, you can land the fish with ease.
As we know that muskies can weigh as much as 30 pounds, the rod most survive at least 80 pounds of pulling pressure.
Here is a comprehensive list of musky rods that are highly durable and are best in their class.
Our Picks for the Best Musky Rods
Before buying a musky rod, there are certain features which must be considered. We have outlined all the features and hand-picked these rods for you. It is evident that catching a musky fish isn’t a regular or random fishing sport.
You must require a durable rod which will outlast the power of the fish.
1. St. Croix Premier - Best Musky Rod
The first product in our list is a premier musky rod by St. Croix. It combines features that are ideal for a superior quality of a musky rod. The rod is durable, lightweight and will hold the massive pulling power of the musky.
To start with, the rod is made from premium quality of SC II graphite. The entire rod weighs around 10 oz making it one of the lightest musky rods available in the market. Don’t get fooled by its weight; it can hold as high as 80 pounds of pressure.
It’s Kigan master hand 3D guides with thin rings which are coated with aluminum-oxide along with black frames will provide a premium feel and functionality of the rod.
The rod measures from 6 foot 10” to 9 foot in length (depending on the model) and it is implausible that a fish will outlast its more massive rod power.
The Kigan hook-keeper and hook setting power will offer outstanding strength and sensitivity. Other prominent features of the rod include Fuji ECS, TSS or PSS reel seat which has a frosted silver hood.
The rods are designed using computerized Taper Enhancement Technology (TET) which involves precision cutting and superior ergonomics. For smoother action greater strength, and sensitivity, they have Integrated Poly Curve Technology (IPC).
The carbon fibers are incorporated with the help of computer and is known as Advanced Reinforcing Tech (ART) which provides 10x times more strength than the regular carbon. For proper alignment of the fibers they used Fortified Resin System (FRS) which retains the alignment of the carbon fibers even under heavy pressure.
The St. Croix Premier musky rod can be used for freshwater, saltwater, and also for fly fishing making it the best musky rod in our list.
2. Tica MNSA - Best Musky Rod Under 100
The obscure Tica manufactures superior musky fishing rods which are durable as well as competitive with premium brands.
The rod is constructed with 30T high tensile modulus and high-density graphite materials. It will easily outlast the toughest musky out there. The telescopic design will give a premium look and will fit in most of your vehicles.
The rod measures 8 foot in length and weighs 10.9 oz. It is extra heavy power rod with a max line capacity of 65 pounds. Although it is advised to have 80 pounds line capacity, it is no inferior to other brands.
You can use a lure weight as high as 12 oz, one of the best features of all the rods in our list. The rod is light in weight with high strength and perfect action. Other features include, Fuji Hardloy ring guides and Fuji trigger DPS reel seat.
Tica manufactures two variants, one with heavy power and another with extra heavy (X-Heavy) power. You can select either of these depending on your requirement.
The two-piece design allows you to carry and store it comfortably in most places. It is also one of the few musky rods under $100 in our list.
The major flaw of this rod is the design itself. It tends to break under heavy load even under the prescribed limits. But it is the best value for the money you spend.
3. St. Croix Legend Tournament - Best Musky Casting Rod
Another musky rod from St. Croix making its way into our list is the Legend Tournament musky casting rod. Like all other rods from St. Croix, the quality and functionality of this rod remain unparalleled.
The rod is available in four different models based on the length of the rod, and each model has subcategories based on the power of the rod. These models will come in either full cork (7’6”, 7’9”, and 8’6”) or split grips (8’6”).
The 8-foot 6 inches model has both slit grip and full cork variants along with medium to heavy power rods.
All the rods are made of superior graphite known as high modulus or high strain. The carbon fibers (graphite) are incorporated within the fortified resin system (FRS) to preserve their alignment.
The other prominent features of this rod include Fuji MGST tangle free Alconite guide, Silicon-Carbide (SiC) rings, corrosion resistant frames that have matte finishing, deluxe reel seat made of Fuji TCS or PLS-SD which has frosted hood made of silver, Kigan hook keeper, wind check and trim pieces made of aluminum.
This musky casting rod is designed to catch heavy and tough fishes. It is a rod designed for professional users and sports. You will get superior line weight, and you can land as heavy as 30-pound musky.
Another unique feature is St. Croix offers provide a superstar service for their Legend tournament fishing rods.
4. Lew's Speed Stick TP1 - Best Musky Rod for the Money
Another fishing rod with tournament grade performance is from Lew’s TP173MH-CB fishing rod. It is constructed with premium grade materials which will last for longer without any significant damage.
To begin with, the rod is constructed with a premium grade of graphite known as IM8. For eliminating the knots, they use a system known as American Tackle Microwave system. It will improve the accuracy and casting distance.
It’s first guide will act as a funnel to direct the lines through the small diameter of the strategically placed guides.
The exterior of the fishing rod is designed with an exterior graphite skeletal system made of graphite. Reel seats and grip are also made of graphite. These handles are called as Dri-Tac handles and are manufactured by Winn Grip.
The handles by Winn grip has split groves for an enhanced grip while handling the rod. Furthermore, the Winn grip handles accommodate hook keepers.
With a price just above $100, you will get a superior quality of rod and absolute better value for money. There is a wide range of models offering medium-heavy to heavy-duty power.
5. St. Croix Mojo - Best all Around Musky Rod
Our list is flooded with St. Croix fishing rods, and it is because of their excellence in quality and performance. Anyways, the final product in our list is the Mojo musky rods from St. Croix.
Like all other models of St. Croix, the mojo rod is also made of premium quality materials. It is made from SCII graphite incorporated within resin matrix (fortified resin system -FRS).
Various models are available and offer medium heavy to extra-heavy power rods. The extra heavy power ones have maximum line strength of 100 lbs. There is no escape for all those heavy fighters in the river.
The appealing purple color rod is an eye-catching feature of this rod. It weighs around 10.4 oz and measures 8-foot length. There are Kigan master hand 3D guides which feature rings coated with aluminum oxide. You will also find supporting black frames on the fishing rod.
The fast action of the reel is a real joy to use. You can use them in freshwater, saltwater, and inshore fishing as well. This rod will handle big and heavy rigs along with crushing hits without breaking which makes it an ideal rod for musky fishing.
Other features of mojo rods are the tip tops made of Zirconium inserts, cork-split grip handles, and DPS reel seats made by Fuji. Nonetheless, one of the major flaws of this rod is the inability to have perfect drag while using with braid line.
How to Choose a Musky Rod?
We know that musky is a sturdy fish. Low quality or cheap rods will make catching of these fishes impossible. Under massive force, the rods must not break and should provide sufficient drag.
Now, let us look through some essential factors to be considered while choosing a musky rod.
Build Quality or Durability
A rod which isn’t durable is merely a waste of money no matter how many better options it provides. The rod must be built with superior quality material to withstand the aggressive force of the musky.
Most rods are made of graphite which is an allotrope of carbon. The element carbon is known for its strength. Fishing rods with graphite or similar harder materials must withstand the force without cracking or breaking.
Some rods are built with a combination of fiberglass and graphite to provide superior actions than the individual materials.
You might have come across the term ‘power’ when you look into the description of the fishing rod. The rod power determines its ability to retrieve the fish of varying masses.
The power of rods is abbreviated as, M (medium), H (heavy), MH (medium-heavy), and XH (extra heavy). The higher the power, the lesser is the bending of the rod, and you can catch more massive fishes.
Since muskies range from medium heavy to heavy category, rods with a medium, heavy, and extra heavy are ideal. Consider the power as the backbone of the rod.
The guides help you cast the reel and also enables to bend while subjected to pressure. A rod with the highest number of guides will perform better than those having fewer guides.
Most guides are made of Silicon-Carbide (SiC), and it is considered an ideal material for manufacturing them. But the rods with these rings will be little expensive than others.
Other materials such as Alconite offers similar functionality and is cheaper than SiC. Further popular and inexpensive materials used in manufacturing guides are Hardloy, aluminum oxide, and Hialoy.
Stainless steel guides will snap instead of bending while some other materials will bend and spring back to their original position once the pressure is removed. It is better to get SiC guides if it is within your budget range.
The action represents the amount and the area where the rod bends when put under pressure. A fast rod will bend at upper 1/3rd of the rod, medium or moderate rods bend up to half of the rod, and the slow-acting rod will bend at the lower end of the rod.
Fast acting rods are ideal for catching the musky fish. They enable high sensitivity and faster power for hook setting.
Remember, the best musky rod is a combination of superior ergonomics, design, functionality, and durability. All the rods mentioned in our list are superior quality rods, and there is no denying that they provide outstanding features.
Gear up with your desired musky rod and venture into the fishing world and yes, musky fishing is exciting.