In this article, we will be giving you the low down on the best spinning rods available on the market today for under £180. All of these rods have been chosen by our team based on their performance, reliability and their popularity within the angling community – from beginners to the more experienced angler.

We hope this guide will help you narrow your choice down and help you find that perfect spinning rod.

1. Daiwa Whisker Spinning Rod

Image showing Daiwa Whisker Spinning Rod

Specification at a glance

  • High modulus carbon
  • Power progressive blank for fish control
  • Fuji K Guides
  • Fixed Fuji DPS reel seat
  • High grade cork handle with hybrid cork
  • Made in the UK

Angling Active says

Still our go to choice for 2021! The Daiwa Whisker is an iconic rod that has gained a massive following amongst game anglers and we can see why. The medium-fast action rod comes in various lengths and casting weights that will cover an array of lure fishing tactics. The UK built rods have a very responsive blank that is a delight to use and has enough backbone to keep you in control during the fight. The Whisker rod blank recovers quickly on the cast, which makes it a dream to cast with. The Fuji K guides are robust yet lightweight and are ideal for braid or mono use and the cork handle provides a bit of traditional flair. All in all, the Whisker is one of the best spinning rods we’ve had the pleasure of stocking.
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2. Abu Tormentor Spin Rod

Abu Garcia Tormentor spinning rod

Specification at a glance

  • 2 piece construction
  • Powerful 24T Carbon construction
  • Slim blanks with moderate fast action
  • Quality LTS SIC guides
  • Premium grade cork handle
  • Ergonomic reel seat with trendy appearance
  • Delivered in luxury rod sleeve

Angling Active says

The Abu Tormentor spinning rod is a beautiful looking rod, blending modern lure rod features with classic spinning rod looks. The slender 24T carbon blank not only provides a crisp moderate fast action that is accustomed to spinning rods in a higher price range but the lightweight blank makes it an enjoyable rod to use all day.

We found the rod compresses nicely and recovers quickly during a cast, making casting, effortless and accurate. Don’t let the lightweight and slim rod blank deter you though, the Tormentor has plenty of backbone to bully even the most stubborn of fish – giving you total control and confidence during the fight.

The hybrid handle is also a nice touch, a cosmetically pleasing cork construction and a practical, low maintenance EVA handle that can be easily wiped down after each session. This in-conjunction with Abu’s skeletal reel seat provides greater sensitivity by allowing direct contact to the carbon blank at all times.

The Abu Tormentor is a rod that definitely outweighs its price tag and will be a popular choice for 2021.

 
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3. Shimano Catana EX

Shimano Catana EX

Specification at a glance

  • 2 piece sections
  • XT40 and Geofibre blank
  • Moderate-fast action
  • Seaguide XSS reel seat with vibra-spot
  • Cork handle
  • Supplied with cloth bag

Angling Active says

The Shimano Catana EX spinning rods are a replacement of the DX range of rods. Shimano have refined the rod range, this has seen the EX range communicate a more accurate casting weight. The moderate fast action provides a great fish playing tool that will happily absorb powerful fish in close quarters, whilst still providing enough power in the butt section to give you the backbone to stay in control.

The rods feature some subtle red graphics that are complimented with a classic cork handle. Coming with the ergonomically designed Sea Guide XSS skeletal reel seat which provides additional comfort whilst in use but also provides increased sensitivity as your fingers are always in direct contact with the carbon blank.

Shimano have produced a very nice rod at a very nice price point.

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4. Shakespeare Sigma Supra Spin

SHAKESPEARE SIGMA SUPRA SPIN

Specification at a glance

  • Slim and strong 24-ton carbon blank
  • 4 piece sections
  • Titanium oxide insert guides
  • DPS reel seat
  • High quality cork handle
  • Supplied in a cordura tube with partitions

Angling Active says

Another great entry level rod. The Shakespeare Sigma Supra spin rods are a lot of rod for the money! Coming equipped with a 24-ton slim carbon blank that provides you with a very crisp progressive action – makes it a fun fish playing tool. We really like the Titanium oxide insert guides, they are ideal for use with braided or mono mainlines. The DPS reel seat is a very nice touch and the butt cap provides enhanced protection when the rod is placed on the ground. A great lure rod at an affordable price or an ideal travel rod for those short spinning sessions.
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5. Shakespeare Agility 2 Spin

shakespeare agility 2 spin

Specification at a glance

  • High modulus carbon blank
  • Slim, lightweight and strong
  • 4 piece blank sections
  • DPS reel seat
  • Quality cork handle
  • Modern progressive actions and casting weights
  • Supplied in a cordura tube with partitions

Angling Active says

Easily recognised with its grey pearlised rod blank, the Agility 2 spin is a stunning looking rod. The rod range covers all lure fishing applications from perch to salmon! We really like the skeletal DPS reel seat which provides direct contact with the rod blank which gives a slight increase in sensitivity, ensuring you can feel the most finicky of takes. Like the Sigma Supra, the Agility 2 has a crisp progressive action thanks to it’s light and slim high modulus carbon blank. A great fish playing tool, that will be a nice weapon in the armoury for any lure angler.
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6. PENN Squadron II SW Spin

Penn squadron spin

Specification at a glance

  • Mixture of 24T/30T carbon blank
  • Aluminium reel seat with stainless steel hoods
  • Stainless steel guides with LTS ring
  • Delivered in a cloth bag
  • EVA handle

Angling Active says

If you’re looking for a tough and reliable spinning rod that is primarily designed to deal with the rigours of shore fishing, then look no further! The PENN Squadron II is one tough cookie. The 24/30T carbon blank provides a strong fast action, providing you with plenty of power and backbone to bully fish from kelp and rocky structure. The fast action is also beneficial for casting lures into strong headwinds.

When it comes to the hardware, the PENN Squadron comes equipped with super tough stainless steel guides that are both braid and mono compatible whilst the aluminium reel seat is offered additional protection thanks to the stainless steel hoods incorporated into its design. The EVA handles are durable and easily maintained and offer a non slip grip, ideal when fishing into the surf.

The PENN Squadron is a tough and durable fast action rod that will stand up to the rigours of sea lure fishing. They also come in various travel models which some anglers will find advantageous.

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7. Shimano Vengeance CX Spinning Rod

Shimano Vengeance

Specification at a glance

  • 2 piece construction
  • XT30 carbon blank
  • Shimano’s Hardlite guides
  • DPS reel seat
  • Quality cork handle
  • Supplied with cloth bag

Angling Active says

The Shimano Vengeance CX spinning rod is a great entry level spinning rod. It’s strong, versatile and modern looks make it stand out from other rods in its price range. Featuring Shimano’s XT30 blank, this provides anglers with a reliable and strong moderate-fast action rod.

This action provides enough power in the butt of the rod to bully fish but enough forgiveness to enjoy the fight, making the Vengeance CX a very versatile spinning rod.

The rod blank is finished in a slick matte black finish which reduces sun glare and reflection, which is very beneficial if stalking fish at close quarters and comes with a split grip cork handle.

The blank is fitted with Shimano’s Hardlite guides which are braid and mono compatible and have been designed to deal with the rigours of modern day lure fishing. The rod is finished with subtle silver whippings and handle collar which provide the aesthetic looks of a more expensive rod.

The Shimano Vengeance CX spinning rod range is a great introduction into the world of Shimano’s spinning rod range, with stunning looks and finishes and an enjoyable fish fighting action, the Vengeance CX will appeal to beginners to the sport or anglers that are looking for an affordable spare spinning rod.
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8. Shimano STC Mini Tele Spin

shimano stc mini tele spin

Specification at a glance

  • Telescopic design
  • Nano XT60 carbon blank
  • Shimano stainless steel hardlite guides
  • High quality and durable full cork handle
  • Shimano DPS reel seat
  • Supplied in a zipped rod tube with space for a reel

Angling Active says

The only telescopic rod to make our list and for good reason. When we first received the STC Mini tele spin, we were very impressed with the overall build quality of the rod. Telescopic rods have came a long way since the 90’s and Shimano have not disappointed. The Mini Tele Spin can be packed away to a very small and friendly size. The Nano XT60 carbon blank is strong and this is further enhanced by the ungrounded blank finish. The Shimano hardlite guides feel robust and are braid friendly too. This is an ideal rod for an opportunist angler who likes the great outdoors and is looking for those untapped secluded waters.
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9. Daiwa Sweepfire Spin Rod

Daiwa sweepfire spin rod

Specification at a glance

  • Quality carbon blanks
  • Aluminium oxide guides
  • Hook keeper
  • Cork handle
  • 2 piece construction
  • Supplied with rod bag

Angling Active says

The Daiwa Sweepfire is a great entry level spinning rod. Finished on a black carbon blank and coming equipped with a nice cork handle. The progressive action of the Sweepfire is the ultimate fish playing tool. The softer action of the Sweepfire is far more forgiving than any of the other rods in this article, which will suit newcomers to the sport who are honing their fish playing skills.

The aluminium oxide guides are both braid and monofilament compatible and there is a neat wee hook keeper for holding your lure in place whilst you’re on the move.

A great fish playing rod that will suit newcomers to the sports thanks to it’s very forgiving action.

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