Whiting are a common species of inshore gamefish caught from the beach, a boat, and riverbanks. These fish are typically small in size, but they can be aggressive fighters. While whiting aren’t a difficult species to target, using the correct rod setup will help you catch more fish.
Spinning rods are better for whiting fishing than baitcasting equipment. Even though different rods are used depending on the fishing location, all the best whiting rods have sensitive tips. General-purpose rods typically lack sensitivity, so owning a dedicated whiting rod will give you an advantage.
This guide will cover the best whiting rod qualities and review the best models of 2022. We recommend rods for surf fishing, boat fishing, and shore casting. Our guide also includes poles for anglers with unique criteria and budgets.
Surf Casting Rods
The best surf casting rods for whiting are 10’ to 13’ long. These longer rods will improve your casting distance and help you place baits in deeper waters. Long fiberglass rods are typically too heavy for surf casting, so look for rods with a 100% graphite blank.
While some anglers prefer shorter rods, this larger size is more versatile because it gives you the power to cast through windy conditions. Some of the best whiting fishing happens on windy and stormy days.
A soft tip is crucial for whiting surf fishing. Rods with sensitive tips make better arks, and this shape will improve your casting.
Another benefit of having a sensitive tip is it allows the fish to hook itself. Stiff-tip rods have too much resistance, making it easy for whiting to rip out the hook. This is especially important when surf fishing and any other instance when you’re not holding your rod.
Boat & Bank Fishing Rods
Whiting can be found in a foot of water along river banks and deep water that’s only accessible with a boat. Luckily, you can use the same rod for both of these situations.
The best bank and boat fishing rods for whiting are 7’ to 8’ long. Rods with graphite or graphite-composite blanks will give you the most sensitivity and reduce overall weight. Anything over 8’ becomes challenging to manage and limits your ability to cast through cover accurately.
When building this whiting setup, pair your rod with a 2500 to 4000 size spinning reel. Larger reels will have better line capacity for deep waters, while smaller reels are generally more exciting.
1. Okuma Longitude Graphite Surf Rod
4.4 Stars | 1,401 Angler Reviews | $50 - $100
The Okuma Longitude Graphite Surf Rod is the best value beach fishing rod for whiting. Okuma offers 10’, 11’, and 12’ models in this series, which means there’s a length for everyone. We prefer the 12’ Okuma Longitude because it casts a mile and balances perfectly with 5000 and 6000 size spinning reels.
Okuma constructs the Longitude Surf Rod with a graphite composite blank. This keeps it lightweight and enjoyable to cast. While every length features a heavy-power rating, Okuma managed to keep the tip soft and sensitive.
This pole has aluminum oxide guide inserts and double-footed stainless steel guide frames. The guides are exceptionally durable and contribute to the rod’s impressive casting distance. An innovative design also keeps the line running straight, preventing tangles.
Okuma’s Longitude Surf Rod has comfortable handling. The handle and rod butt has premium cork materials and a non-slip coating. This model also has a stainless steel hooded reel seat that keeps any-sized spinning reel securely fastened.
2. Offshore Angler Ocean Master Surf Spinning Rod
4.8 Stars | 16 Angler Reviews
An alternative option for anglers that want high-end equipment is the Offshore Angler Ocean Master Surf Spinning Rod. This pole costs roughly twice as much as Okuma’s surf rod but has the performance to justify the price.
The Ocean Master series includes 10’, 11’, and 12’ rod lengths, but the 12’ model has a heavy power rating. We prefer the soft tip of the 10’ and 11’ models for whiting surf fishing.
This spinning rod has more leverage, accuracy, and raw power than the Okuma Longitude. The Ocean Master has a rugged 2-piece graphite and fiberglass composite blank that’s exceptionally lightweight. Compared to the Okuma Longitude, the Ocean Master has a better 2-piece design because the joints don’t reduce the blank’s leverage.
Offshore Angler Rods uses Carbon Coil Technology to create a double-helix pattern when constructing the blank. This means less material was used to achieve the same strength and performance.
With Fuji aluminum oxide guides, a heavy-duty reel seat, and X-wrapped rubber and EVA handles, the Ocean Master is kitted out with the best surf rod technology.
3. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod
4.6 Stars | 3,118 Angler Reviews | $35 - $100
The Ugly Stik GX2 is the best budget spinning rod for boat or bank whiting fishing. Ugly Stik is known for making the toughest rods in the industry, and the GX2 model features a soft tip design.
The 7’ length is ideal for whiting fishing, and you can choose between medium and medium-heavy power ratings. A medium-action rod is better at casting light lures along the shoreline, while medium-heavy rods are more versatile. Medium-heavy designs are also better for fishing deep waters from a boat.
This rod is an exceptional value for the money and has all the best qualities for whiting fishing. The GX2 has a graphite and fiberglass composite blank, keeping it surprisingly lightweight. Ugly Stik added its proprietary Ugly Tuff guides, which are strong and improve casting distance.
Overall, the GX2 is practically bullet-proof. To improve sensitivity with such a powerful blank, Ugly Stik added an ultra-flexible clear tip to the end of the rod.
With all these positive qualities, there’s no questioning the thousands of raving angler reviews. Ugly Stik also includes a 7-year warranty to back up its claims of unparalleled build quality.
4. St. Croix Premier Series Spinning Rod
4.6 Stars | 583 Angler Reviews | $135 - $195
The St. Croix Premier Series Spinning Rod is the best high-end bank and boat fishing rod for whiting. St. Croix is a legendary rod manufacturer with a reputation for producing the most sensitive, innovative spinning rods.
Our favorite models for whiting are the 7’ medium-heavy or medium-power rods. Considering the weight of your reel is essential when deciding between the two. Heavier reels pair best with the medium-heavy rod, while lighter ones perform best on the medium-power model.
As one of St. Croix’s entry-level models, the Premier rod is an exceptional value. High-end St. Croix rods aren’t worth the money for whiting fishing, as this rod has all the necessary capabilities.
The Premier Spinning Rod features SCII graphite blanks, aluminum oxide inserts, and a host of patented technology. St. Croix uses its own Integrated Poly Curve technology to eliminate “dead zones” in the rod blank. This allows the Premier rod to have finely-tuned rod actions with perfect parabolic curves.
St. Croix also incorporates Fuji graphite reel seats and select-grate cork handles. There’s no doubt this will become your favorite rod for whiting fishing.