We did the research to help you find the companies that are making fishing rods right here in the USA. Below are our findings of USA made fishing rods, along with the factors that we considered in our analysis. If you haven’t yet, also check out our research on fishing reels made in the USA.
Complete List of Fishing Rod Brands Made in the USA
R.L. Winston makes it a priority to make their rods locally and support their community in rural Montana. Their Winston Rods are made for fly fishers around the world. Winston Rods are designed to flex just slightly more than a typical rod does, making it a bit more accurate. This added flex protects more delicate tippets and creates a buttery smooth feel during casts. Winston rods offer better action and control as well, giving you complete power back just a split second after casting. It’s designed to go back to straight faster than a typical rod does, giving you more control. Winston rods also have top-quality cork handles and a tough protective finish that’s known for lasting for years.
Thomas & Thomas has a reputation for making quality fly fishing rods, and the Exocett is one of their most popular products. This rod is crafted for lightweight precision for saltwater fly fishing. It’s made from graphite with a multi-modulus design. It’s built to withstand years of heavy use and won’t suffer from corrosion. The Exocett comes with black RECoil snake guides and a four-piece construction that makes it easy to transport. The rod also comes with an original owner lifetime warranty.
For bass fishing specifically, the E6X rod from G. Loomis is designed for versatility and to provide just the right action for catching bass. If you don’t like the jig and worm configuration, the E6X rod comes in a few different varieties, each one performing a little differently. G. Loomis uses different scrim positioning and taper adjustments to create specific actions for different fish types. The rod comes with a cork handle and is on the more affordable side.
The ALTED Series is a fairly new model for Cajun Rods. Cajun upped the carbon fibers in this model by 15% versus their Delta model, which means more reactive hook sets for you. It’s designed to be more sensitive and easy to handle. The cork they use in the handle is very soft, so you’ll be able to feel every little nibble on your bait. You can fish for a ton of different species using a bunch of different techniques with these rods – they’re made to be versatile for any type of spinning or casting you want to do.
St. Croix is a well-known American fishing company specializing in fresh and saltwater rods. Their Premier casting rods collection is made with premium design qualities but still offers an affordable price tag. Each of the rods in the collection features hardened aluminum oxide guides built to fend off corrosion while standing up to long-term use and abuse. The Premier casting rods come with a Fuji reel seat, and they feature a comfortable natural cork handle. There’s also a 5-year warranty that comes with every purchase. Each of these rods is protected with a Flex-Coat outer layer to really keep corrosion from being an issue. Finding a local dealer can take time, though.
The Lamiglas SI series of fishing rods are made for salmon and steelhead fishing. These rods are designed to be lightweight with a sensitive action, but they’re durable enough to withstand heavy pulling in most freshwater fishing situations. These rods are made to be sensitive, making it simple to feel what’s going on down under the water’s surface. Each rod is designed with a top-quality Fuji SK2 reel seat and is entirely made in the USA. These rods work well for mid-weight freshwater fishing, and they’re tough enough to tackle most waters well when paired with a quality reel.
If you’re looking for an affordable saltwater solution designed to hold up to heavyweight fish, then the Lamiglas LIS II MHS surf rod may work well for you. It’s made from graphite, making it lightweight despite being made to catch heavier fish. It features K-frame guides and comes with an X Flock handle. It’s made to be well-suited for long-distance casting and is simple to aim with.
Hammer Rods makes rods from 100% graphite with hand-rolled blanks, and they flex-test each one by hand in their assembly process. They employ many underserved women in their community who need jobs to care for children and loved ones, which is great to see too.
Mike’s YouTube Video on American Made Fishing Rods
How to Find Fishing Rods Made in the USA
We want to give you more than just a huge selection of fishing rods made in the United States; we want to arm you with the information you need to do your own research and make informed decisions. The section below provides a deeper look at the fishing rod manufacturing sector, covering topics like labeling, material sourcing, and methods for locating top-notch American made fishing rod companies. Let’s begin by analyzing the nuances of the “made in the USA” label and how to interpret it.
What Does “Made In The USA” Mean?
The phrase “made in the USA” is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). To display the “made in the USA” label on their products, companies must prove that “all or virtually all” of the product was made in the United States. This means that all significant parts and processing must take place in the United States. Also, the product must be assembled in the USA with no more than an insignificant amount of foreign content.
According to FTC guidelines, a product that contains foreign components may still be labeled as “made in the USA” if most of the product is American-made. For example, a fishing rod made of American-made graphite with foreign-made cork handles could still be labeled as “made in the USA.”
If you’d like to learn more, check out our detailed guide.
A few different materials are commonly used to make fishing rods. Graphite, fiberglass, and composite are the most popular choices. Ideally, you want a fishing rod made of high-quality materials sourced from the USA to ensure you get a great product. By researching the materials used in a fishing rod, you can get an idea of where the rod was made.
Graphite is a strong and lightweight material often used in high-end fishing rods. The USA does not produce any graphite, as 100% of the graphite used in the USA is imported. Most of the world’s Graphite (62%) comes from China. So if you are looking for a genuinely American-made fishing rod, you should steer away from graphite rods.
Fiberglass is another popular material for fishing rods. It’s a synthetic material mainly made of silica. The vast majority of fiberglass used in fishing rods is imported from China, but the USA is the second largest producer of the product. So, it is still possible to find American-made fiberglass rods.
New Generation Composite Material
Composite rods are made from a combination of different materials, including graphite, fiberglass, and even Kevlar. Some companies use American-made composite materials, while others source their composite materials from other countries like China.
Handles and Lines
The handles on fishing rods are usually made from cork. Cork is sourced from the bark of cork oak trees, which are almost exclusively found in Mediterranean countries like Portugal, Spain, and Algeria. You will most likely not find fishing rods with cork handles that are genuinely made in the USA.
Fishing lines are usually made of plastic, while the lowers are made of different materials like metals, plastic, and even rubber. The USA produces around 20% of the world’s plastic, so it is definitely possible to find some fishing gear sourced from the USA. Even though most materials used to make fishing lines and lowers are sourced from other countries, you can still find some made in the USA.
One way to tell if a fishing rod is made in the USA is to look at the label. The “made in the USA” label is a big signifier of whether a product is made in the United States or not. However, the FTC does not do the best job at policing this label, so it’s worth doing some additional research to ensure the product is actually made in the USA.
By law, companies are required to label where their products are made. Some companies will try to be sneaky and use wording like “assembled in the USA” or “made in America,” but if a label does not specifically say “made in the USA,” take it with a grain of salt.
The best way to be sure that you are buying a product that is genuinely made in America is to research the company and the product itself to ensure they are reputable and that their products are actually made in the USA.
Keep in mind that although companies must be clear about where their products are made on the packaging or labeling of the product, this is not a legal requirement for online materials. So, be wary if a company does not outright say whether or not its products are made in the USA.
It can be tricky to find products that are truly 100% made in the USA, but it’s worth it to do your research and buy products that support American workers and businesses.
In addition to looking at the label, here are some other tips to help you find American-made fishing rods.
Check the Company Website
Most companies that manufacture their products in the USA will list this information prominently on their website. So, if you have a specific brand in mind, take a look at their website to see if they make their rods in the USA. Companies will not be shy to advertise their American-made products if they are truly sourced and manufactured in the United States.
Call The Company
If you’re still not sure if a particular fishing rod is made in the USA, your best bet is to call the company and ask. Most companies are happy to answer questions about their products, and they’ll be able to tell you whether or not their fishing rods are made in the USA.
Don’t Be Fooled By the U.S. Flag
Just because a company uses the U.S. flag in its marketing materials or on its products does not necessarily mean the product is made in the USA.
If you want a fishing kayak recommendation for your next expedition, check out our complete list of kayaks made in the USA.
Fishing Rods Not Made in the USA
During our research, we came across some big fishing rod manufacturers who are not making their rods in the USA. We’ve included the full list below as well as where they’re being manufactured.
- Shimano – Made in Japan and Malaysia.
- Abu Garcia – Made in China, Korea, and Taiwan (but their Ambassadeur C3 and C4 4000-7000 series are made in Sweden).
- Penn – Made overseas (except for their Senator and International series).
- Daiwa – Made in Japan, the UK, and the Far East.
- Pflueger – Made in China.
- KastKing – Made in China and South Korea.
- Ugly Stik – Made in China.
- Dobyns – Made in China and Korea.