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The BEST Tuna Fishing Rods (Top 5 Rod Reviews For 2020)

best fishing rods for tuna

A fisherman is only as good as his rod. There’s a lot of truth in that statement. Especially when it comes to big water tuna fishing. Tuna fishing rods have to be strong, flexible, and durable enough to keep you in the fight. Since no two rods are exactly alike this roundup article was written to help you make a confident and informed decision when it comes to buying the best tuna fishing pole for you.

If you’re anxious to get out onto the water and start snatching tuna right away then look no further than the best tuna fishing rods on this list here:

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For those of you that actually read the fine print keep on reading. In this article, you’ll get the low down of why each rod is designed to haul in massive tuna from their frame composition to their extensive features. Let’s get started.

Best Fishing Rod For Tuna (Reviews)

1. Penn Rampage Conventional Roller Rod (Top Pick)

The absolute best overall tuna fishing rods are the Penn Rampage Conventional Roller Rod. These 6 feet tall one piece rods that are comprised of e-glass which provides a rigid backbone that can handle just about anything you throw at it. This heavy duty rod can easily handle more than its rating but oddly enough, still remains flexible at the top without being too soft.

The Penn Rampage boasts a unique and distinctive diamond wrap that gives it a sleek look and the slick butt handle makes it quick and easy to remove from rod holders. Like most premium rods it comes equipped with EVA foam grips that give you maximum comfort and durability so you can stay in the fight longer and maximize your torque against hard pulling tuna. 

The reel pairs exceptionally well with the Penn International V Lever Drag Reel to give you the pinnacle rod of stand-up fishing. Check out any review site, and you’ll see anglers rave about how great this rod is for heavy bottom fishing, sharking, and trolling. In addition, many fishermen cite that they’ve tangled with 600 lb sharks and the rod didn’t let them down. If you’re looking for a flawless rod designed with tuna and other big fish in mind, then don’t hesitate to try out the Penn Rampage Conventional Roller Rod.

2. UglyStik Big Water Stand Up Casting Fishing Rod 

UglyStik was typically known for their inshore fishing rods until they shattered that perception with the UglyStik Big Water Stand Up Casting Fishing Rod.

Of all the great tuna fishing rods out there the ugly stik Big Water stands up to the competition with its tough as nails graphite and fiberglass frame that can takedown giant tuna with ease.

Once again, this premium rod sports EVA foam grips to keep you fatigue-free out on the water, and they are also fitted with a gimbal on the butt end which makes them rod holder friendly and ready for a fight at a moments notice.

The Big Water Rod is also equipped with the patented ugly stik Clear Tip for extra strength and an all metal reel seat to accommodate any heavy duty trolling reels you’re using. After one outing I found myself rechecking the price tag again and browsing Amazon to pick-up a second ugly stik Big Water rod so I can double my coverage in the water. I also found it paired well with my new Penn reel and didn’t disappoint when I went toe to toe with tuna and wahoo.

3. Shimano TREVALA F Spinning, Graphite Saltwater Jigging Spinning Rod 

Now if you’re in the market for the best tuna spinning rod then look no further than the Shimano Trevala. To put it plainly, this rod will make you a better angler. You’ll feel the difference the first time you hold it too. Its Japanese precision graphite frame makes it lightweight yet still sports plenty of backbone. I’m not afraid to break this stick at all.

The Shimano Trevala was technically designed for butterfly jigs which were specifically designed for Japanese style jigging. It is a great rod for live lining larger baits, as well as jigging yellowfin tuna, mahi-mahi, grouper, wahoo, amber jacks, and of course trevala too.

Thanks in part to its high carbon butt section which is fused with a TC4 tip which reduces weight even further, increases sensitivity, and allows for a lightning fast recovery when you hook a fish.

The EVA foam grips come standard per usual and provide maximum handling even when they get wet. The Shimano Trevala is an all-around workhorse of a reel that seems indestructible yet still lightweight enough to not wear you out after all-day use.

4. EAT MY TACKLE Saltwater All Roller Fishing Rod 

EAT MY TACKLE is a budget-friendly brand that still manages to hold its value well and perform like a premium tuna fishing rod.

This saltwater all roller rod is a bit smaller at 5’6” than other rods on this list and its fiberglass and composite fiber construction gives it a lightweight sensitive feel.

It’s a one piece rod that even for its size has a surprisingly strong backbone. Besides tuna, many anglers have cited being able to pull 4 foot lemon sharks and 6 foot hammerhead sharks with ease.

Overall the EAT MY TACKLE saltwater rod is well made, priced right, and perfect for tournaments. In fact, it meets and exceeds IFGA standards for big game competitions and is a staple of many tournaments targeting tuna, wahoo, mahi-mahi, snapper, goliath grouper and marlin.

5. Bent Butt Fishing Rod 140-160 Lb. Blue Marlin Tournament Edition 

No list of the best tuna fishing rods is complete without the Bent Butt 140-160 LB Blue Marlin Tournament Rod. It fits right into the middle of the pack price wise but is an absolute lethal tuna rod that is crafted with rugged offshore use in mind.

It measures at a comfortable 5’9” and has the butt a black leather non-slip grip that gives you a little peace of mind and confidence that when that strike inevitably happens, the rod won’t shoot out of your holder or hands.

The Bent Butt Blue Marlin Edition is made of a high carbon composite blank plan wrap that helps minimize side loads and twist. That way when a fish takes off to the side of the boat the rod magically resists the twist and I might add does so much better than most rods I’ve encountered.

It feels nearly unbreakable partly because of its CNC machine cut aircraft grade aluminum finish. Naturally, it is saltwater resistant also which will put up with years of use and abuse. All in all, the Bent Butt Blue Marlin is a fantastic tuna fishing pole and will not let you down when it matters most.

Final Thoughts

While all tuna rods share similar traits, each one has its own unique style and features that should be examined thoroughly. The best tuna rod is the rod that fits the majority of your needs, fits your budget, and ultimately, hauls in some massive tuna. Thankfully, this list has a bit of everything to offer.

The Penn Rampage Conventional Roller Rod is the obvious choice for serious anglers wanting to haul in serious tuna. It has all the features, all the power, and our top review. 

Penn Rampage Conventional Roller Rod

Now if you’re looking for something more affordable but still packing plenty of power the EAT MY TACKLE saltwater rod is a solid choice that is helpful when battling tuna 200 miles offshore.

The Shimano Trevala and the Bent Butt tuna fishing rods are a small step down from the Penn but still pack a wallop, hold their value for ages, and are absolute beasts at stand up fishing.

Finally, we can’t forget the ugly stik Bigwater making a well-deserved appearance on the list. We can’t say enough good things about this rod either. It’s strength, comfort, and sensitivity all wrapped into a neat little graphite and fiberglass shaft. 

All in all, you simply cannot go wrong with any of the rods on this list when it comes to tuna fishing. 

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2. The Best Saltwater Rod And Reel Combo For The Money (Top Reviews).

3. Fishing For Tuna! (Ultimate Guide On How To Fish For Tuna)

4. Fishing For Dorado: The Ultimate Guide To Dorado Fishing (Mahi Mahi)

5. The Best Surf Fishing Rod And Reel Combo For The Money

saltwater fishing rods for tuna

Written by Don

When I'm not bass fishing or looking for steelhead in my home state of Oregon I can be found working on house projects dreaming of my next fishing adventure.

I started this website to share just some of the things I've learned along my fishing journey, and the many things I'm still learning. Enjoy!

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