Last updated on March 23rd, 2021 at 06:38 pm

Here’s our short list of the best rods for sockeye fishing in 2020:

  1. Moonshine Rod Co Drifter Series Fly Fishing Rod
  2. Tica Kokanee Glass Fishing Rod Series
  3. OKUMA Celilo Graphite Spinning Rods
  4. Fenwick HMX Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Fishing Rod
  5. KastKing Krome Fishing Rods
  6. Tica HLHB Fishing Rod Series
  7. BERRYPRO Spinning Rod
  8. Lamiglas Redline Fishing Rod

Our Top 10 Best Rods for Sockeye Fishing in 2020

We have gone to the trouble of reviewing some fishing rods and these are the best we could find for sockeye fishing. We had a lot of fun using these and made some great catches. Let’s get to it.

#1: Moonshine Rod Co Drifter Series Fly Fishing Rod

The Moonshine fly fishing rod series are high performance, medium-action graphite rods. They are 4-piece rods with high-grade cork grips for balance and stability. With their 2 tip sections and smooth matte finish, these rods are unlikely to look and feel like anything else you’ve seen around. The 2 tips enable you to switch to fast action or slower action depending on the type of fish. The wood finishing is gorgeous and the double-locking reel seats help to avoid slippage while fishing. The rods measure between 7’6″ and 10″.

Check out the full Moonshine Drifter Fly Rod review here.

 

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Product Specifications:

  • Between 7’6″ and 10″ lengths
  • Smooth matte finish
  • Medium action
  • Graphite blanks and 2 tip section

Pros:

  •  Sensitive rods. You can feel the slightest bite
  • The 2 tips mean you have a versatile rod
  • Good materials and durable
  • Great customer service

Cons:

  • The rods are on the heavy side
  • More expensive than the average beginner rod

#2: OKUMA Celilo Graphite Spinning Rods

The Okuma Celilo Spinning Rod is a true beauty to behold. The rod has a graphite blank. The 8’6″ length puts it in the medium-light action range. The rod also handles weights well. We recommend it especially if you engage in different species fishing throughout the year. The OKUMA Celilo is well made from the tip to the grips and is lightweight.

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Product Specifications:

  • Length of 8’6″
  • Graphite material construction
  • Lightweight
  • Can handle line weight between 8 – 17 lbs
  • 2 piece rods

Pros:

  • Lightweight rod
  • Medium power
  • Beautiful
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Will snap if you apply too much weight

#3: Fenwick HMX Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Fishing Rod

The Fenwick HMX Spinning fishing rod is a sensitive rod that can handle loads on the lighter end of the spectrum (at most about 12 lbs). The rod measures in at 10’6″ and is a 2-piece rod. It can handle most types of fishing you wish to do and should last a good while. The HMX is mostly made of carbon fiber with fuji reel skeletons and seats. The fore and rear grips are cork and TAC and sit comfortably in the hand.

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Product Specifications:

  • 10’6″ in length
  • Made of carbon fiber
  • Fuji reel skeletons and reel seats
  • Weighs 2.25 lbs.

Pros:

  • Good sensitivity
  • Quicker than similarly rated rods
  • 5-year limited warranty

Cons:

  • Not ideal for heavier, more powerful fish
  • Can snap if not used as recommended

#4: KastKing Krome Fishing Rods

The KastKing Krome fishing rods are high carbon rods that come with Fuji tangle guides and reel seats. The butt section through to the reel seat is reinforced with Kevlar for extra durability. The carbon fiber handles give you a good grip on the rod which helps to offer greater control. The series has rods for virtually any technique of fishing you wish to use. They measure between 7’6″ and 12′. We wrote a full KastKing Krome Rod Review.

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Product Specifications:

  • Carbon rods with Kevlar reinforcement
  • Has rods for all types of fishing
  • High visibility orange strike tip
  • Carbon fiber handles
  • Fuji tangle-free guides and reel seats

Pros:

  • Versatile series
  • Good value for money
  • Durable
  • Can handle more powerful, heavier fish

Cons:

  • Separate rods for different fishing techniques
  • Less than ideal customer support

#5: Tica Kokanee Glass Fishing Rod Series

The Tica Kokanee is a glass fishing rod that frankly is a beauty to handle. The tip is sensitive enough that you can see the slightest bite of the fish. The 7’6″ is a great spinning rod and works well with a downrigger. The is lightweight and has excellent action. The other rods in the series are trolling rods and handle the rigors of sockeye fishing well.
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Specifications:

  • Starts from a length of 7’6″.
  • Made from glass fiber
  • Lightweight rod
  • Spinning rod

Pros:

  • Light and easy to handle
  • Excellent action
  • Loads well on a downrigger

Cons:

  • The fiberglass material might not stand the test of time
  • Is not ideal for heavy-weight fish

#6: Tica HLHB Fishing Rod Series

The Tica HLHM fishing rods come in 2 variants; the spinning and casting variety. Both variants have a high modulus graphite blank and measure in between 7’9″ and 14′. They are mostly medium-light to heavy action fishing rods except the 9’0″ which is light action. The rods are a bit weighty, but the sensitivity and action are top-notch. The handle is cork and helps the rod remain perfectly balanced in your hands. These are rods that are more suitable for more seasoned anglers. As a beginner, they might be a bit much.

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Product Specifications:

  • 2 variants in the series; spinning and casting
  • Graphite blanks with graphite triggers and reel seating
  • Cork handle
  • Lengths of between 7’9″ and 14′
  • Medium-light to heavy action rods
  • Fuji hardloy ring guides

Pros:

  • Strong and durable graphite blank
  • Cork handles that give a good grip on the rod
  • Sensitive tips and excellent rod action

Cons:

  • Weighty rods. Are heavier than most comparable rods

#7: BERRYPRO Spinning Rod

The BERRYPRO “knight’s sword” fishing rods are, as the name implies, a real problem solver. Slim and lightweight, they have IM8 X-Carbon technology blanks which give them such power despite being that light. The rods’ design is excellent and is perfectly suited for all kinds of shore fishing. The rods are all fast action rods and come in 2 pieces. They range in length from 8’6″ to 10’6″.

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Product Specifications:

  • IM8 X-Carbon blanks
  • Slim and lightweight
  • 2 piece rods
  • Length ranges from 8’6″ to 10’6″
  • Cork handle

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Strong and durable rod for its weight class
  • The cork handle makes gripping comfortable
  • Sensitive

Cons:

  • Is not ideal for catching much heavier and more powerful fish

#8: Lamiglas Redline Fishing Rod

The Lamiglas Redline series of fishing rods are fast action, versatile fishing rods that come in medium to heavy power. The rods range between 9’4″ to 9’11” in length. The rods have blanks of a variety of materials ranging from IM6 graphite to fiberglass. If this is your rod of choice, you won’t be spoiled for choice. Each rod in the series also boasts a different type of finish and cork handle. The rods are suitable for just about any fishing technique you might wish to use and are sensitive. For anglers that wish to have one rod for all their fishing, this rod should handle all of it.

P.S. Looking for more information on this rod? Check out our full Lamiglas Redline Centerpin review.

 

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Product Specifications:

  • Length ranges from 9’4″ to 9’11”
  • Variety of materials for the body.
  • Fast action rods
  • Suitable for most techniques and species
  • Medium to heavy power rods

Pros:

  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Versatile rod
  • Fast action.
  • The series has something to suit almost all types of anglers

Cons:

  • Poor packaging

Why You Should Get a Sockeye Rod

For most fish, catching them is relatively easy; you cast a line with some bait and wait for them to bite. We have simplified this of course, but the principle holds. Fishing for sockeye salmon is a bit more complicated.

First, they rarely strike lures. This is because tiny zooplankton found in the ocean is their main diet. This means they don’t have to chase down their food. It is rare to see them charge down a lure or fly like other fish.

Second, to keep sockeye salmon once you’ve caught them, you have to catch them in the mouth.

These facts should inform your decision of what rods to use when you’re fishing for sockeye. For the most part, the fish tend to swim upriver, tight to the bottom of the lake/river. For most people, the best way to fish for sockeye is a method called lining/trolling. This is where you drop your line so that the lure is about the same level as the mouth of the fish. To do this properly, your rod, and technique, have to be the perfect fit.

Sockeye Rod Buying Guide – How to Choose the Best Rod for Sockeye Fishing

When fishing sockeye salmon, you need a line that gets to the desired depth. You can do this using either a downrigger, some weights, or a diver. All these add to the load on your rod. To get the best results from your sockeye fishing rod, these are some of the criteria you need to check for

Rod Action

Rod action describes how much a rod bends when there is pressure on the tip and how quickly the tip returns to a neutral position once the pressure is gone. Rods that have a more uniform bend throughout the body (parabolic) are generally slower and vice versa.

Rod Taper and Length

The length of the rod and the way it tapers towards the tip will go a long way towards determining the power of the rod. Longer thinner rods are ideal when you’re fishing for smaller species. Shorter rods will provide more power and are typically faster. This means they will help when dealing with heavier and more powerful fish. They are not as ideal for casting though

Weight Class

The weight class of a rod describes how much line weight the rod can comfortably manage. You can find it on the rod in kilograms.

Materials Used to Make the Rod

It is no secret that some materials are stronger than others. Even though some materials like carbon fiber can improve the performance of your rod, a lot of it comes down to your personal preference. Also, the grips of the rod can influence its performance. So, choose wisely.

To end this section, We just want to add that a lot of the rivers and lakes for fishing sockeye tend to be full of other anglers. You might find yourself shoulder to shoulder with other anglers. To avoid lines tangling and other similar mishaps, choose gear that reflects this.

Summary – So Which Sockeye Rod is the Best?

The sockeye season can be a joyous one, especially if you come to it properly equipped. Each of the above rods we reviewed was a joy to test and picking our favorite turned out to be a herculean task. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference.

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Our personal favorite is the Moonshine 10′ Drifter series.

It fit in hand and has a superb design. It also has excellent action, is sensitive enough to be almost telepathic, and the 2 tip sections are a real beauty to use. It’s a bit on the pricey side of things, especially for a beginner, but veterans will enjoy this sockeye rod.

For beginners, we recommend the Okuma Celilo. The affordability offsets some of its drawbacks, and it is still a great rod for its price range.

The sockeye salmon is a worthy catch. Now you are finally equipped to catch them. What are you waiting for?

Sockeye Fishing FAQ

What size hooks for sockeye?

Some sockeye fishermen report success with a bare blue, black, or red hook, sizes 3/0 or 4/0, fished beneath a #1 or 0 dodger. You can also use FlatFish lures, size X-4, X-5 or U-20; or Mepps or other bladed spinner sizes 1 – 3.

What is the best bait for sockeye salmon?
Salmon roe and sand shrimp are the most popular bait for sockeye, but many others can be used as well. Instead of a corky and yarn setup, you can also substitute a winged bobber or other drift bobbers, for the corky, or just fish bait alone.
What are the best rods for sockeye fishing?

Here’s our short list of the best rods for sockeye fishing in 2020:

  1. Moonshine Rod Co Drifter Series Fly Fishing Rod
  2. Tica Kokanee Glass Fishing Rod Series
  3. OKUMA Celilo Graphite Spinning Rods
  4. Fenwick HMX Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Fishing Rod
  5. KastKing Krome Fishing Rods
  6. Tica HLHB Fishing Rod Series
  7. BERRYPRO Spinning Rod
  8. Lamiglas Redline Fishing Rod