If you are a serious angler, you know that mahi mahi are a fish worth pursuing. You know that in South Florida, weed lines and game fish are prevalent.
If you’ve spent enough time on the water, maybe you’ve come to the conclusion that getting set up for success is the best way to ensure a day’s catch, or a tasty dinner.
So that leads the question. If trolling is probably the most popular way to fish for mahi mahi, what are the best trolling rods for mahi mahi?
Spare The Rod…
Fishing rods come in many shapes and sizes. As always, Amazon is often our first destination to do any kind of product research. But just because Amazon is a well known online retailer doesn’t mean that they necessarily know anything about fishing, fishing rods, and especially in our case, the best trolling rods for mahi mahi.
So how do you go about searching Amazon not for what they want you to buy, but whatever the best deal may be?
Don’t Get Sent Up The River
The tactic that I used while looking for the best trolling rods for mahi mahi is always to search by average review, instead of searching by featured, price, or newest arrival.
You may want to double check that you’re looking at the products they have sorted by average customer review; you have to manually select that preference every time you refresh your search for the best trolling rods for mahi mahi.
Usually there’s one or two standouts in each category, and they will have enough reviews for you to read them and have a good to decent idea of what’s going on. There are some tell-tale signs of shenanigans too.
Some businesses will sell one product, garner good reviews, and then sell that product listing to another business—so the in essence the 5 star reviews were all given for a totally different product. And that means the product listing was changed to give a new product a good, if unearned reputation. It always pays to keep an eye out.
Keeping It Light
When looking for the best trolling rods for mahi mahi, it’s hard not to get distracted by the pictures and stories of record mahi mahi caught across the world.
This article by Sport Fishing Magazine has some great photos of guys and girls who’ve caught IGFA certified record mahi (quite a few fishing out of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico).
Besides the amusing, very period correct outfits these anglers have on, an interesting fact to note is that quite a few of these fish were caught on 30lb test… or even lighter in one case!
So when you’re looking for the best trolling rod for mahi mahi, you may not need the beefiest example, and in a world where specialization is often the order of the day, it’s refreshing. Not to mention the fact that you might be able to use your mahi mahi rigs for other kinds of fishing, trolling or otherwise.
The Contestants For The Best Mahi-Mahi Rods Are…
So forearmed with all this knowledge, what are we seeing when we’re looking for the best trolling rods for mahi mahi?
Berkley Big Game Spinning Fishing Rod
These days, $23.43 might not be enough to cover your McDonalds UberEats order. So what does that buy you in a fishing rod? Well, if you’re shopping for a dirt-cheap rod that has great reviews, you can’t go wrong here.
It’s got all of the classic harbingers of a well-liked product on Amazon: Prime free shipping eligible, free returns, and a very solid. 4.5 stars on 155 ratings.
There are also 42 answered questions about this product which shows that there’s an ongoing conversation about this rod and it seems to be positive.
What’s more, a YouTuber, defying common sense and normal regard for safety, put the rod through quite a test. I recommend you go forward to about the 5’30” mark and make your own decision from there.
This rod might struggle with a record setting mahi, but hey. For less than $24 bucks, what more can you ask for?
PENN Squall Level Wind Reel & Rod Fishing Combo
Ready to step your budget up significantly? This Penn Combo clocks in at a much heftier $179.99 (free delivery, but not Prime shipping), but it’s an all in one solution.
Some folks don’t like doing any more work than they have to and believe me, Lord, do I empathize. This would get you ready to hop on a boat, rig up your bait, and get to trolling with minimal shopping needed.
The reviews are not quite as positive as the cheaper rod; but universally folks are happy with the fact that it’s hard to beat a rod and reel combo for the price.
Most of the complaints seem to be centered around how the product shipped to them and in what condition. Make sure that all the parts are present and accounted for, and if anything in the box doesn’t seem right, I wouldn’t be shy about returning it and asking for a refund.
As far as the best trolling rods for mahi mahi go, this Penn rod and reel combo might be just the thing to get you started from scratch. Maybe it’s cheating to judge a rod on the basis it has a reel attached, but as my grandfather used to say, “if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying”.
Shakespeare Ugly Stik Tiger Casting Rod
It might not be hyperbole to say that Shakespeare’s Ugly Stik rods are the standard by which most fishing rods are measured. These rods have a reputation earned from folks who run professional charter fishing businesses, to the amateurs. It’s a very well-by people that do cat-fish fishing and by folks that trolling for mahi too.
The conversation about the best trolling rods for mahi-mahi would not be complete without looking at this rod. Price clocks in at $69.95, triple the price of the first choice on here, but folks in the comments say that they’ve used their rod for 7 years or more. Amortize that out and you’re paying less around 10 bucks per year for a fishing rod that’s widely known to be indestructible? Doesn’t seem like too shabby of a deal.
Even some of the critical reviews still clock in at 3 stars. There are plenty of verified reviewers with verified purchases to ease any discomfort you might have about pulling the trigger for this rod.
This is the Toyota Corolla or Honda Accord of fishing rods. Maybe it is kinda boring, or the typical choice, or everybody and their sibling has one.
But when you get down to it, do you really want excitement from your fishing pole? Probably not. You just want it to do its job no matter what you throw at it.
The Shakespeare rod makes a really strong case as one of the best trolling rods for mahi mahi. You know your money is not going down the drain, and if you need a couple, you could even throw the cheaper Berkley Rod in and still make out under or about $100.
Rounding up the Options
There are some other options in the category that you could mess around with. The Fiblink Jigging Spinning & Casting Rod 1-Piece Saltwater Fishing Jigging Jig Rod looks decent and runs about $50.
But with just 11 reviews (even with most of them positive), it just seems worth it to spend your money on a rod that is all but guaranteed to meet your needs.
Of course, there are always extenuating circumstances. If you need a bent-butt rod for instance, the Ugly Stik wouldn’t work for you, and it’s not collapsible either.
But in a world where compromises must be made, it seems like the Shakespeare rod makes some of the fewest
Of course, the only way you’ll really know which of these are the best trolling rods for mahi-mahi; and that’s by using them yourself. So don’t be afraid to make a decision and get out on the water. Happy Fishing!