Fishing for Northern Pike can be an exhilarating experience. These fish can grow up to 60 inches long and put up a great fight. You don't need a lot of equipment, but you need stronger tackle than one would use for other species. This guide discusses the best pike fishing rods of the year.
Check out our guide to the best pike fishing reels for additional setup information. It's a good idea to invest in species-specific tackle if you're a passionate angler that intends to pursue this sport.
Rod Length Explained
Longer rods are better for pike fishing because they give you more leverage. This increases your hookup ratios and helps you put fish in the boat. The greater length will also give you more casting distance and enable you to cover water quickly.
The greater your casting distance, the longer your retrieve. Many anglers don't realize that the main benefit of a long retrieve is the time your bait stays in specific water columns. You'll be able to keep your lure in the Northern Pike strike zone for longer periods of time.
Rod Power Explained
Depending on the brand, it's best to fish rods with Heavy or Medium-Heavy power. Some brands, including Daiwa, St Croix, and Ugly Stik, build Medium-Heavy blanks that are strong enough to withstand Northern Pike.
On the other hand, Heavy power rods tend to enable better hooksets. High-end products like the Daiwa Tatula Series offer outstanding Heavy power models. A well-balanced high-strength rod is a wicked combination.
Best Northern Pike Rods
13 Fishing Fate Black 2 - Best Overall Pike Rod
4.6 Stars | 179 Angler Reviews | $95 - $100
The 13 Fishing Fate Black 2 is our favorite pike rod of the year. It's constructed with a durable 30-ton blank and is far more durable than most other rods. With a low resin approach, 13 Fishing made sure the Fate Black's second generation has the perfect balance between hook-setting power and sensitivity.
We were surprised by this rod's affordable price tag. Our team has had more success with the Fate Black 2 than with comparable $300 models. When paired with the Concept A3 Baitcasting Reel, it becomes the best pike setup on the market.
Many brands add unnecessary features to their high-end rods and slap a huge price tag on them. 13 Fishing keeps it straightforward, giving anglers what they actually want and keeping their prices low. We recommend the Medium-Heavy models in lengths of 6'7" or 7'3".
Daiwa Tatula Series - Best High-End Pike Rod
4.5 Stars | 24 Angler Reviews
While we love the Fate Black 2, it's certainly not the only great pike rod on the market. The Daiwa Tatula Series is a close second on our list. If you're willing to bite the bullet at pay a steeper price, you'll be doing yourself a favor.
The best models for pike fishing are 7'1" Heavy and Medium-Heavy Power. It's usually smart to stick to Heavy power ratings. However, Daiwa's rods are ultra-strong. This is one of the only Medium-Heavy power rods that can withstand the pull force of a 50 inch Northern Pike.
This breast can handle anything and is arguably more versatile than 13 Fishing's products. From fishing in heavy grass to throwing jerkbaits, topwaters, and soft plastics, the Tatula Series has you covered.
One of the best combos for pike is the Daiwa Tatula Elite Baitcaster on a Tatula Series Rod. The result is truly a match made in heaven as Daiwa does a phenomenal job fine-tuning their products' compatibility. While it's an expensive setup, it's the best there is for targeting pike.
St Croix Premier Rod - Best Warranty
4.8 Stars | 352 Angler Reviews
*Update: $40 Sale on Bass Pro Shops
This list wouldn't feel complete without the St Croix Premier Rod. If you're looking for top-notch performance and customer service, St Croix is the best there is. Every purchase of the Premier Rod model comes with a 5-year warranty that covers all damages. It's always good to see brands back their quality by offering extended warranties.
You can fish all pike baits on the Premier. Flat-nose shad, jerkbaits, and large swimbaits are all fished effortlessly on the St Croix Premier. We recommend the 7'0" Medium-Heavy power model. Like Daiwa, St Croix has the level of build quality that makes their Medium-Power rods strong enough to handle pike.
Fishing a St Croix rod for the first time is euphoric. You'll see why so many professionals choose this brand. While most of their products are meant for bass fishing, the Premier model is a multi-species gem!
Shimano FX Casting Rod - Best Budget Pike Rod
4.5 Stars | 47 Angler Reviews
Many passionate anglers can't afford high-end equipment. The good news is, you don't have to break the bank to get out on the water and have a good time. Our favorite budget pike fishing pole is the Shimano FX Casting Rod. For under $50, this is the strongest, most versatile, and best-performing pike rod.
Shimano is known for its attention to detail and high standards for build quality. It's not a professional-level rod. However, most beginners don't need expensive equipment. The two-piece Medium-Heavy model is best for smaller pike and multiple species. From largemouth bass to northern, the FX Casting Rod has your needs covered.
You can pair this rod with almost any baitcasting reel and see great results. If you have a decent-quality baitcaster, you'll be able to cast 90% of the most common pike lures.
Ugly Stik GX2 - Toughest Pike Fishing Rod
4.6 Stars | 1,680 Angler Reviews
Every experienced angler knows about the Ugly Stik brand. This tackle manufacturer has built a name around brute strength and unparalleled toughness. For this reason, the Ugly Stik GX2 is the ideal pole for pike fishing. The GX2 is affordable, durable, and has accumulated over 1500 five-star reviews on Amazon.
The 7'0" Medium-Heavy GX2 model is best for these large freshwater fish. Ugly Stik rods never break, so don't worry about the lower power rating. This design is more sensitive and will enable you to fish soft plastics as well as larger pike lures.
Ugly Stik uses a combination of graphite and fiberglass materials in their blank construction. No one knows their secret to strength, but this design is attributed to the lightweight feeling. If strength is your top priority, the Ugly Stik GX2 should be your top choice.