Have You Tried This Versatile & Affordable Inshore Rod (Calico Jack Review)


Here are three things that I’ve learned after countless inshore fishing trips…

  1. Your fishing rod is quite possibly one of the most important pieces of fishing equipment. When fighting large fish, the rod absorbs most of the pressure and helps wear that fish out so you can land them (let’s face it if your rod breaks while fighting a fish, your reel almost becomes useless and you will most likely have to reel the fish in by hand)
  2. I like having the absolute best fishing rod possible when I am inshore fishing from a boat (which sometimes means the most expensive)…
  3. I like having the absolute most affordable fishing rod possible when I am fishing from my kayak or paddleboard (which sometimes means the most inexpensive)…


Because the chances of you flipping over, getting pushed into mangroves/dock/etc, or having a monster fish take a last minute under your kayak and put extreme pressure on your rod skyrocket when you fish from a kayak or paddleboard.

Especially if you fish out of a kayak or SUP multiple times per week like I do.

After snapping more rods than I care to mention from my kayak, I started looking for a strong, versatile, and inexpensive rod that wouldn’t ruin my day if it snapped.

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snapped fishing rod
Cheap rod (NOT the Calico Jack rod) I had snap during a hook set

Fishing rods were around long before the reel was even invented. 

You would simply tie some line onto the end of a stick and use that as a means of catching fish – No reeling, no drag screaming, just the pure strength of the rod or stick and your line keeping that fish on the hook and landed.

I have used various spinning rods for inshore fishing, and I have narrowed it down to my #1 favorite – The Calico Jack rods made by Hurricane (see it here on Amazon)

Note: Hurricane is who makes the popular “Redbone fishing rods” as well.

I had used these rods for a while when bass fishing before I even began inshore fishing.

At the time, I was unaware of the fact that they were inshore rods. The metal components are stainless steel which resists corrosion from saltwater.

hurricane calico jack fishing rods
These rods are made with Fuji Guides which are great to improve casting distance

Here are some specs on the Calico Jack fishing rods:

  • Graphite rod blank
  • Fuji® reel seat with stainless steel cushioned hoods
  • Fuji guides
  • Non-slip cork wrap handle
  • Ring style hook keeper

There are also various rod lengths and strengths to suit your style of fishing.

Below are images showing my go to rod sizes/specs which is a 7’ Medium Action, and a 7’6 Medium Heavy Action.

calico jack fishing rod review
Specs on the Hurricane Calico Jack rod (side 1)
hurricane calico jack fishing rod review
Specs on the Hurricane Calico Jack rod (side 1)

Here is a table showing the different models available and their corresponding lengths, action, etc.

hurricane calico jack fishing rod review

Now for the best part…..

These rods will only cost you about $50 – $60, and for that price, they are extremely well built (here they are on Amazon.com)

I have had the same few rods for the past 2 years and have caught everything on them from snook, trout, sharks, and 10-20lb tarpon, to numerous bull redfish exceeding 40 inches long (which you will see in the video putting these rods to the test).

You can find these rods on Amazon, and you can also find them at your nearest Dick’s Sporting Goods stores.

If you get lucky, they will sometimes have these rods on sale for $30-$40.

Calico Jack Rod Buying Tip

When purchasing a rod from a store, or even if you have one shipped to you, be sure to check the rod and the guides on it very carefully. Many times fishing rods will get damaged during shipping due to lack of care when handling. Store employees will also put rods on display without checking them first.

Many times fishing rods will get damaged during shipping due to lack of care when handling. Store employees will also put rods on display without checking them first.

Store employees will also put rods on display without checking them first.

In the following video, I will be discussing these Calico Jack fishing rods and you will also see them doing work on numerous large redfish.


Calico Jack Rod Independent Review [VIDEO]

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Overall, these Hurricane Calico Jack spinning rods are a great value.

They are super durable, seem to be made well, and you can’t beat the price.

After catching everything from monster bull reds to tarpon to snook, I’m a big fan of using these rods while fishing from my kayak or paddleboard.

They’ve surprising done well with both casting light jigs and heavy cut bait.

Have you used them before?

What was your experience with these Calico Jack rods? Let me know in the comments.

You can check out these Calico Jack rods on Amazon here.

Related Post: Temple Fork Outfitter Spinning Rod Review (see it here)

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Fish On.

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John Martin
1 year ago

Hi Tony Covid 19 stopped this guy cold coming to my Englewood home for winter.
I sure wish I could find these rods in Canada. I am sorry to see Manitee is dumping poison into Tampa Bay. As. Biology grad, I think we are in for a new whole world problem coming our way. My prayers are with Salt Strong
Best Regards

2 years ago

What do you recommend the 7.0 or 7.6 for large mouth bass for Texas rig and maybe top water . Txs

Victor Gatell Jr
2 years ago

Hi Tony, I need your help. I have been asking for advise on a rod for my FinNor 50 that is currently on a very stout boat rod. I don’t go off-shore anymore, but I wanted a long stiff rod for the inlets and jettys. All I can find in the long rods are surf rods and I don’t want a long butt, I just need a regular rod, like a Tarpon or Cobia rod so I can cast lures and still handle the large jacks that run the Sebastian inlet. I need to be under $200, and the Salt Strong shop has nothing over 7-6. Please let me know

Victor Gatell Jr
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

Thank you Tony

Henry Land
2 years ago

I just bought a Star Stellar Lite Fast Taper on a whim and I’m worried it’s too stout for my inshore kayaking needs. It’s 7ft MH, 10-20lb line and .5 – 1.5oz lures (seems a bit much). I wanted a MH for throwing paddetails and twitch baits under docks / mangroves.

2 years ago

I currently own a 7′ Medium action Calico and it’s done wonders, however I am planning on respooling my reel with 20lb powerpro and wondered if that would be a problem given that the rod is rated for a line weight of 8-17 lbs?

Henry Land
2 years ago

How long is the handle on this? I just got a Marathon Guardian ($40 at Dicks) that’s an IM7 blank and basically the exact same as the Calico, but the handle is 10” and from a kayak that’s just too much. Looking at 7’ & 7’6” M or MH (any tips on which to get)?

Jonathan Gross
3 years ago

I just bought a 7’6″ MED-Heavy on Amazon. Expected delivery Thursday, and I plan on fishing with it that evening. I’ll let yall know how it goes.

3 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Gross

Lol i got my 7’6 mh coming in today from amazon as well. I have many setups and was looking for a new rod for inshore fishing, lots of snook. Well I bought this crap called entsport camo two piece rod from amazon last week and paired it with one of my daiwa bg3500 reels. Literally same day I got it I broke it with my first snook hook up. Ridiculous. That went back to amazon and I got this calico jack now coming today. Can’t wait. Hear nothing but good things with hurricane rods.

Terence Buydos
4 years ago

I was at wally world checking out rods(they had some 7’6″ ones in stock, 2 brands, M and MH!) and another older guy came up and started a conversation. Turns out he builds rods as a semi business,semi hobby and started asking me some questions, then proceeded to give me some tips on buying rods off a store rack. first was the placing tip on the floor and flexing the rod to see where the rod bent when pressure was applied, but the second tip was the new one. he gently held the rod vertically with one hand with the butt on the floor, then pulled the tip down with the other hand like a fish was putting strain on it. SHAZAM! the rod spun to the side!. “this one is no good, the blank isn’t symmetrical”. We went thru a couple more and one didn’t spin, and he handed it to me saying this one is a good one.

Noel Parrish
4 years ago

I need a rod for the inshore fishing you are doing. Went to amazon and found a redbone 7’6” 1 pc rod. Its an RDB-761MS. 8lb to 17 lb. It cost about $96. What do you think? Noel Parrish

Dave Frymier
4 years ago

I tried the Temple Fork 7’6″ recommended by Luke, and I really like it after I replaced the tip top with a larger one. I also agree that 7’6″ is a sweet spot – 7′ isn’t quite long enough (but workable) and 8′ is a bit too long. However, I have a Jeep Cherokee, and a 7’6″ one piece sticks into the front cabin, making it a pain for a passenger. I’ve been looking for a two piece 7’6″ inshore spinning rod – but I’m not finding. Do you folks know of any out there? Also, I might be interested in dreaming about a $300 spinning rod, but I’m certainly not going to buy one.


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