tourney specialIt’s funny how the little things add up. Many leisure activities have little added expenses that can add up, especially fishing. Tackle like lures, line, and tools—though they may not always cost a lot—can quickly add up at the register. Throw in big purchases like rods and reels, and that number goes even higher. This doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality to save money, though, or vise versa. Today we’ll take a look at three quality flipping rods that even the most frugal of anglers won’t want to overlook.

Shimano Sellus  ($50-$60)

The craftsmanship of Shimano should not be unknown to anyone who’s spent some time around fishing gear, but what’s little known to many is the company’s lineup of rods that appeal to budget-minded fishermen. The Sellus series falls into this category. The tips are very fast, which leads them to be a little flimsy under the weight of heavy weights. If you want a model specifically for light-duty flipping, such as ½ ounce, the Sellus is great.

Each Sellus rod is made from 24-ton carbon blanks, which offer strength, as well as sensitivity to detect even the slightest of bites. They’re also equipped with Shimano’s newly designed reel seat, as well as an EVA foam split-grip handle, which adds balance and comfort. You also get low-profile aluminum-oxide guides and a hook keeper. The Sellus series is available in five models, in a mix of M and MH actions, and ranges from 6’8” to 7’2”.

Bass Pro Shops Tourney Special  ($50)

Even before their redesign, the Tourney Specials have always been a popular option for anglers who want an inexpensive, but reliable rod to add to their collection. The redesigned rods are 20% lighter than previous models, which is a blessing during long days on the water. They’re made from 42-million modulus IM7 graphite blanks, which make for excellent strength with minimum weight. Stainless steel guides with stainless steel inserts provide smooth line flow, while low-profile exposed blank reel seats and a new split-grip EVA foam handle design provide further sensitivity and weight reduction.

Tourney Special rods come in many lengths and actions, ranging from 5’6” to a telescopic 7’6” model, and ML to H actions, so you should have no trouble finding one to suit your needs.

Berkley Lightning  ($40)

I’m surprised more people don’t pick up some of Berkley’s better-made rods. The Lightning series is lightweight and responsive, and can still perform well with heavier baits. The rods feature 304 stainless-steel guides, which are lighter and stronger than aluminum oxide, as well as IM6 graphite blanks for a great balance of durability and strength.

The Lightning series comes in lengths from 5’6” to a telescopic 7’6” model, and range from M to MH actions. Honestly, for the quality and low cost, these rods are too good to pass up. In fact, I’d probably grab two or three.

Money doesn’t grow on trees; I get that. I deal with it myself. You don’t have to forego reliability and performance in favor of saving some money, though, especially with something as vital as your fishing rod. The rods outlined today, though, are quality, reliable models from great companies, and won’t break the bank this season.