Best Musky Rods for Catching Trophy Fish

Kenneth Reaves

Kenneth Reeves

Executive Director

Daniel ONeil

Daniel O'Neill

Head of Product Testing


Last updated:


St. Croix Casting Rod


Okuma Helios Casting Rod


Abu Garcia Veritas

As a dedicated musky angler, I’ve had the privilege of rigorously testing some of the finest rods specifically crafted for handling these trophy fish. After meticulously assessing more than a dozen of the latest models available, I’ve pinpointed the top rods that offer an exceptional fusion of sensitivity, power, balance, and unwavering reliability, significantly enhancing the casting and battling experience when pursuing these formidable creatures.

My extensive field trials conducted across various local waters, employing an array of lures and techniques, consistently highlighted a select few rods that excelled above the others. Their superiority lay in their meticulously engineered construction, tailored precisely to meet the demanding requirements of musky fishing. Read ahead to discover the top selections that not only increase your chances of landing your personal best but also ensure a gratifying angling experience.

Factors to Consider When Buying The Best Musky Rods

  • Rod Length: Most musky rods range from 7-9 feet long. Longer rods allow for longer, more accurate casts and better control when fighting fish. Often 8 feet is ideal for providing strength without being overly heavy.
  • Rod Power: You’ll want a musky rod with heavy or extra-heavy power to properly handle the strength of big fish. Having enough backbone prevents breakage and helps wrestle muskies away from cover.
  • Rod Action: Moderate-fast to extra-fast action provides the right blend of sensitivity and power. Fast tips are best for driving home solid hook sets.
  • Line Weight: A musky rod should be designed for heavier 65-100 lbs test lines. This allows you to use the heavy lures needed and apply maximum pressure on runs.
  • Technique: Make sure to match the rod to your primary fishing technique. More flexible tips benefit trolling while stiff rods excel for casting.
  • Components: Quality components like stainless steel guides, durable reel seats, and comfortable cork or EVA foam handles will withstand the demands of musky fishing.
  • Price: Budget-friendly rods under $100 can still offer good performance. But investing $200+ brings premium-grade sensitivity and reliability.

Top Recommended Best Musky Rods In 2024


Editor’s Choice: St. Croix Rods Premier Musky Casting Rod

St. Croix Rods Premier Musky Casting Rod, PM

Following extensive testing, the St. Croix Rods Premier Musky Casting Rod proves itself as one of the most durable and rugged options among musky rods available in the market.

Crafted from premium SCII carbon fiber, this rod showcases exceptional resilience and strength, tailored to endure the formidable challenges of battling large and powerful fish. Despite the typical stiffness associated with carbon fiber construction, the blend employed by St. Croix manages to preserve a sensitive, lightweight feel. This feature ensures that the Premier Musky rod won’t tire you out during long days spent casting heavy lures.

The split grip cork handle further enhances the experience by offering a comfortable, non-slip grip even under adverse conditions such as fighting sizable fish in rainy or hot weather. The substantial five-year warranty coverage provides assurance that any potential defects will be taken care of, reflecting St. Croix’s confidence in the Premier’s construction.

While a few users encountered minor dents in the cork upon arrival, the company’s exceptional customer service readily facilitates replacements, underscoring their commitment to customer satisfaction. For anglers in search of a robust musky rod designed to target trophy fish while still preserving sensitivity, the Premier Musky rod stands as an ideal choice.

After thorough testing, the Okuma Helios 7′ Heavy Casting Rod emerges as a top contender among musky rods in terms of value for the price. Sporting a moderately fast action, this rod features a robust 40-ton graphite blank, adept at handling the extended runs and robust resistance typical of sizeable musky.

The stainless steel guides showcased remarkable durability, flawlessly accommodating braided lines without any setbacks through numerous casts and hooksets. While it might not match the featherweight feel of premium options, the Helios maintains comfort for extended casting periods, courtesy of its intelligently designed split rear grip.

Nevertheless, an improvement area for Okuma could be transitioning to a higher-end reel seat in future iterations. While the tip section offers good sensitivity, it doesn’t quite measure up to the standards set by top-tier rods specifically crafted for detecting subtle bites.

Considering its price point, the Helios delivers commendable performance for targeting trophy musky, particularly when paired with a quality reel. Anglers seeking a dedicated musky setup that offers exceptional capabilities without denting their wallets will find this rod to be a satisfying choice.

The Abu Garcia Veritas Toro Casting Rod stands out as an outstanding option for committed musky anglers seeking a lightweight and exceptionally sensitive rod, finely tuned for casting sizable lures. Crafted as a one-piece unit, this rod boasts top-tier components, such as Fuji titanium alloy guides, along with a robust graphite blank fortified with Abu Garcia’s Powerlux resin.

During my trials on local waters, I discovered that the rod’s fast action provided the requisite strength to grapple with colossal muskies, yet retained enough flexibility for secure hooksets. The precision in the guide train facilitated remarkably long and accurate casts, even when using weighty jerk baits and rubber lures.

Abu Garcia Veritas

The split EVA grip on the Veritas Toro offered exceptional comfort during prolonged battles and extended casting sessions. Its thoughtful design, emphasizing a harmonious blend of balance and strength, significantly eases the process of casting and engaging in intense fights with sizable muskies.

However, it’s important to note that this specialized rod comes with a premium price tag. Additionally, exercising caution not to exert excessive pressure is crucial to prevent any risk of breakage. Nevertheless, when targeting trophy muskies, the casting performance and reliability provided by the Veritas Toro are genuinely hard to surpass.

Following rigorous testing of the new Shimano Sojourn 7′ Medium Heavy spinning rod, I confidently attest to its position as one of the finest all-around options within its price range. The fast action graphite composite blank, exhibited exceptional lightweight characteristics while proving remarkably durable during extensive trials, even when engaging in battles with larger fish.

The rod’s sensitivity was truly impressive, effectively transmitting subtle bites through the cork handle grips. Unlike cheaper alternatives that often lead to hand fatigue, the Sojourn’s grip remained consistently comfortable, even during full-day fishing expeditions.

Although I didn’t have the chance to test the premium or casting models, the spinning version of the Sojourn showcased admirable performance across diverse freshwater settings and conditions. Given its very reasonable price, it’s a challenge to find a spinning rod that offers better value, capable of meeting the demands of various techniques while upholding the renowned sensitivity and durability that Shimano is known for.

After extensive field testing, the Daiwa Accudepth has unequivocally established itself as the ultimate musky rod tailored specifically for trolling techniques. Its medium-heavy power strikes a perfect equilibrium, offering the ideal blend of sensitivity to discern subtle bites and the necessary backbone to tackle vigorous fish.

The rod’s fast action and lightweight graphite blank contribute to exceptional casting distance and accuracy, particularly when launching hefty lures. While it might not be as specialized for casting as some other models, the softer tip design is brilliant for trolling, enabling anglers to detect every slight bump or strike.

The split grip handles provide enduring comfort even during extended, all-day trolling sessions. Although pricier options are available, the Daiwa stands out by delivering premium performance and durability at a remarkably wallet-friendly price point, making it accessible for most budgets.

Questions & Answers

  1. What length rod do I need?

    Most musky anglers use rods in the 8-9 foot range. The extra length allows for increased casting distance and accuracy which is key when tossing large lures. It also gives you better leverage for guiding big fish away from cover. For boat fishing, a 9-foot rod is recommended to keep the line away from the motor and reach distant targets. If fishing from shore, sometimes a slightly shorter 7-8 foot rod can be easier to manage.

  2. How much power should the rod have?

    Musky rods need to have some backbone to them, so heavy and even extra-heavy power ratings are best. You need a stiff rod that won’t be overloaded by the heavy lures and can turn the heads of big fish during the fight. Moderate power rods can work for smaller muskies, but targeting trophies requires extra muscle in the blank. Focus on heavy to extra-heavy rods with strong hook setting capabilities rated for the heavy lines you’ll be using.

  3. What rod action is ideal?

    Most anglers prefer a fast or extra-fast tip with a moderate butt section when targeting musky. This provides excellent sensitivity to detect bites but retains enough stiffness lower in the blank to provide lifting power. You want the fast action tip to quickly drive the hook home on any subtle pickups. The moderate base allows you to apply maximum pressure when reeling fish out of heavy cover. A medium action can lack backbone, while extra-fast can be too stiff with poor shock absorption.

  4. Are there rods best for specific techniques?

    If you primarily vertically jig, a moderately fast, well-balanced rod is ideal. For casting, you need a very fast tip and a high overall stiffness rating to launch heavy lures long distances. Slower, softer actions are preferred for live bait rigs to allow natural presentation. When trolling, moderate-fast to moderate actions provide the right amount of power to battle big fish.


After extensive testing of the top models, the St. Croix Rods Premier Musky Casting Rod stands above the rest as the best musky rod. With its sensitive yet powerful carbon fiber blank, comfortable cork grip, and rugged stainless steel guides, this thoughtfully designed rod makes casting and fighting monster muskies much easier. For unmatched performance and reliability engineered specifically for targeting trophy fish, the Premier Musky is the clear choice.