The 12 Best Fishing Brands & Gear Companies in 2020 – Is Your Favorite Included?

As we’re all avid anglers here at Bonfire Bob, over the course of the year, we get to know the movers and shakers in the industry.

Which means we’re in a good place to offer you this article on the best fishing brands in 2020.

Covering everything from clothing to tackle, rods to reels, and even bow and spearfishing, we’ve just about seen it all.

So, read on to discover who has made the cut, and to see if your number-one brand has managed to get the nod.

And if they haven’t – you can take it up with us in the comments below.

Disclosure: At BonfireBob, we recommend products based on unbiased research, however, is reader-supported and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases if you shop through the links on this page. For more information, see disclosure here.

The Top 12 Fishing Gear Companies in the World

Below, you’ll find a list of some of the most popular fishing brands, with some sample reviews from their products thrown in for good measure.

Without further ado, and in no particular order – let battle commence!

blackboard with the word best fishing brands and other fishing gear


One of the most popular and influential fishing tackle companies in the world, Daiwa began life back in 1955 with their first spinning reel, and they were founded three years later.

Originating in Japan, it’s now a truly global fishing icon, with offices and distribution all over the world.

Operating in California since 1966, they’re renowned for manufacturing some of the best saltwater rods ever made, and developing cutting edge, innovative, market-leading concepts that are often replicated but never equaled.

Daiwa BG2500 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel

Made with a black, anodized machined aluminum housing, this is a beauty of a spinner from one of the finest reel manufacturers in the world.

This is the next generation of their popular BG range, packed with premium-quality features to help you land a monster catch.

With an oversized digigear system, solid, screw-in handle, a dynamic cut ABS spool, waterproof drag system, carbon ATD, and more, it’s probably one of the best spinning reels on the market.

And the air rotor weighs up to 15% less than regular rotor systems, ensuring you get a powerful, yet lightweight spinning experience with this outstanding reel.

  • Very highly rated.
  • Smooth, powerful torque.
  • Built to last.
  • Strong and durable.
  • Pricey.

A world-class spinning reel from a world-class fishing brand, this is some seriously cutting-edge technology to take your angling to the next level.

Daiwa J-Braid Grand 8X 150YDS Filler Spool

As well as world-class rods and reels, Daiwa also have the fishing line to match, and this is their J-Braid Grand 8X product.

To quote directly from the manufacturer themselves, this is some of the strongest and most abrasion-resistant braided line ever put on the market.

That’s because it’s been spun with something called izanas, a new, state-of-the-art, high-modulus fiber that offers more tensile strength than just about any other kind. Up to four times stronger than what most monofilament is made from, the braid is still surprisingly soft and supple, and it’s very easy to spool.

Available in 150 and 300 yard spools in test strengths ranging from 6-80 lbs, this is up there with the best braided line money can buy.

  • Very strong.
  • Choice of colors available.
  • Highly rated.
  • Silky smooth casting.
  • Might be too thin for some anglers.

It stands to reason that Daiwa would back up their catalog of world-class rods and reels with the fishing line to use with them – and that’s exactly the case here. Top-quality braid that won’t let you down.


Not the English playwright, this iconic fishing company is still named after one William Shakespeare Jr, who set it up all the way back in 1897 – making it one of the oldest fishing companies in the world.

For 123 years they’ve been making affordable fishing gear and equipment, and for a great many younger anglers (myself included) it’s likely that your first rod was a Shakespeare.

Formed in Kalamazoo in Michigan, and now based out of Columbia in South Carolina, Shakespeare is a subsidiary of Pure Fishing – but continues to manufacture instantly recognizable fishing tackle, with a particular emphasis on helping women and children get into the sport.

Shakespeare Youth Fishing Kits

Safe, affordable, and hugely popular with families, Shakespeare’s youth fishing kits offer one of the best ways for your child to learn how to fish.

All-in-one rods and reels come pre-spooled with line, which features an updated round knob, large thumb button extension, and finger guard. The EVA handle offers lightweight comfort to the user, and there are several designs available so you or your little anglers can choose the perfect first fishing kit to suit their taste.

And they can even practice casting in the backyard first with the plastic casting plug included.

  • Specially designed for kids.
  • Great price.
  • On/Off anti reverse.
  • Very highly rated.
  • For really young budding anglers only.

Start them how they mean to go on with this excellent youth fishing kit from Shakespeare. They’re not going to catch a monster, but it makes for an accessible way into the sport that they will hopefully grow to love – just like mommy and daddy. Or possibly just daddy.

Shakespeare Catch More Fish Reel and Rod Combo

When they’re ready to graduate to something that offers a little more power and closer to an adult rod, then this spinning set is ideal. I must admit, I’m partly including this for nostalgia, because it’s very similar to my first kit, all those years ago.

It comes with everything you/they need to get started, including a durable, eight-foot rod with reel, pre-spooled with 14 lbs Stern monofilament fishing line.

The tackle box is packed with gear that’s designed specially to help your young one catch more fish, including a Berkley Gulp! assortment of jigs like shaky worms and power grubs. Highly portable and easy-to-use, it’s offered at a great price point considering what you get.

  • Tackle and rigging guide included.
  • Box with built-in rod holder.
  • Perfect starter set.
  • None apparent.

An all-in-one kit that will get any young anglers fishing from the pier in no time. Shakespeare are experts at getting kids into the sport, just like they did with me and my dad back in the day. Sniff!


Another Japanese company, Shimano are master engineers, and are as synonymous with cycling as they are with fishing gear.

More so in fact, as they started out manufacturing parts for bikes and didn’t get wise to the fishing game until the 1970s.

Now branching out into rowing, skiing and snowboarding, Shimano are a truly versatile and multinational company, and their engineering expertise has been in high demand for decades.

They continue to be at the forefront of fishing innovation, with their spinning reels being among their best-selling products, but they also make some excellent travel fishing rods, too – so check them out when you have the chance.

Shimano Sedona Fi Spinning Reel

It would be remiss not to include a product that the company is famous for in the review, as it’s this kind of quality and innovation that puts Shimano on the fishing map.

This is their Sedona spinning reel, with a fully updated design and flagship, cold-forged HAGANE gear system.

Providing anglers with the strength for both inshore and offshore fishing, this reel is designed to provide unbeatable durability, long-life, and strength, with double-anodized machine-cut spools for increased line capacity while keeping the body compact.

And with super-smooth, long casts – this is simply a joy to fish with.

  • Built to last.
  • Highly rated.
  • Propulsion line management system.
  • Beautiful design.
  • Right and left hand retrieve.
  • No reel reverse spool release.

Shimano’s hugely successful line of top-quality spinning reels continues to perform at the highest level, and their classic Sedona design is no exception. Check out their entry in this review of the best carp fishing rods and reels for more.

Shimano Orca Topwater Fishing Lures

Not just proficient in gear systems, Shimano manufactures some excellent fishing lures as well.

A lot of thought has gone into this design, created with an aerodynamic body to ensure the longest, most powerful casts possible.

The internal weight is positioned just so that it creates an erratic pop and dive action, mimicking live bait and seducing your next catch to try and take a nibble.

Hooks are ultra sharp, with a high tensile strength to help you secure and land a whopper.

  • Side to side scrolling action.
  • Beautifully designed.
  • Durable construction.
  • Often sold out.

As fishing lures go, these topwater baits are up there with the very best. Give them a try and see how much they make a difference.


“Keeps fishing fun,” says Kastking, the New York-based fishing company and one of the fledgling brands in our review. They’ve been designing and manufacturing affordable fishing gear and equipment since 2013, for fisher people, by fisher people.

One of the leading lights when it comes to marrying budget-friendly products with quality and innovation, Kastking have not been slack about it, racking up an extensive back catalog of angling supplies, tackle, and equipment in a relatively short space of time.

Award-winning and eco-friendly, their growth has been nothing short of very impressive, and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

KastKing Cutthroat Fishing Pliers

It was a no brainer to include Kastking’s hugely popular Cutthroat seven-inch fishing pliers in the review, probably one of the best products in its class on the market.

Made with corrosion-resistant stainless steel, they’re coated with a Teflon finish for extra toughness and durability.

Tungsten carbide cutters will make short work of any type of line, while the multi-function jaws can handle just about any hook, with the choice of split-ring or straight nose pliers available.

An ergonomic rubber handle provides comfort and control, ensuring this is one tool you’ll definitely want in the tackle box.

  • Affordable quality.
  • Very highly rated.
  • Choice of colors.
  • Sheath and lanyard included.
  • None to speak of.

You can pay double and sometimes triple for this kind of quality, and I just can’t find fault with them at all. Check out this review for more of the best fishing pliers on the market – but you’ll still probably buy this one.

KastKing 7 Inch Fillet Knife

Offered in a choice of lengths depending on your needs, this is a professional-grade fillet knife for when you’re in the field or on the water.

With a razor-sharp steel blade, it features an attractive black finish that’s suitable for use in both fresh and saltwater.

The non-slip, super-polymer grip offers comfort and control, ensuring you can use it easily even in wet conditions.

Just make sure to use one of these quality fishing gloves while you’re at it. Highly rated and very efficient, choose a Kastking fishing knife for the job.

  • Great price point.
  • Flexible blade handles everything.
  • Protective sheath included.
  • Sheath design could be improved.

Up there with the most affordable and practical fishing knives on the market, you can’t go wrong with this option from KastKing.


The Finnish fishing stalwarts are never too far away when it comes to talking about the most iconic angling brands in the world.

They have grown to be one of the largest and best manufacturers of lures, with millions sold annually, after Lauri Rapala first carved one out of cork back in 1936.

No matter the fish, there’s probably a Rapala lure that can bring it in, as well as an extensive selection of crankbaits, jigs, rods and reels to choose from. They also make some beautiful fishing knives – so follow that link to check them out.

Rapala Rippin Rap

You can’t do a review of Rapala products without including lures, given the fact that they sell these things in over 140 countries worldwide.

I’ve chosen this little fella, the popular Rippin’ Rap lure that is designed to be used in any environment.

Its skinny body shape offers long casts with variable running depths, with a distinctive rattle sound in stained waters, and that stunningly attractive color scheme for clear conditions. For fish, I mean. It’s attractive for fish.

  • Dynamic color schemes.
  • Versatile use.
  • Tough and durable build.
  • Fast piercing black nickel hooks.
  • Choosing the right one can be a challenge.

Using Rapala’s lure finder is highly recommended, such as the length and breadth of their back catalog of products. And the Rippin’ Rap is up there with their very best. If you can’t land a fish with this – you’re doing it wrong.

Rapala RRRUL60 Retractable Ruler

Now here’s a really useful gadget, perfect for proving all those tall fishing tales you like to spin after a day on the water.

This 60-inch retractable ruler is spring loaded and for easy storage, ensuring you can keep it close to hand to measure those whoppers when you land them.

With oversized, easy-to-read numbers, the surface is non-reflective so it will show up clearly in photographs, and it features a flip-up nose board for accurate measurements.

Never again guess the size of your catch with this great little device in your tackle box.

  • Easy to use.
  • Durable and well built.
  • Saltwater and freshwater use.
  • Highly rated.
  • Not as compact as you might think.
  • A little pricey.

A joy to use and very accurate, it’s wonderful that Rapala have created this dedicated fish measuring tape, and it would make a great gift for the angler in your life. AKA – you.


When it comes to fishing equipment, these guys are up there with the most iconic and recognizable brands of all time.

Starting life as the Berkley Fly Company by the then 16-year-old Berkley Bedell back in 1937, they have gone from strength to strength, through hard work and dedication to the craft.

They started making top-quality rods in the 1960s, and from there they’ve never looked back, today widely used by both professionals and amateurs alike.

Throughout their existence, Berkeley has been dedicated to producing innovative designs and products that anglers are proud to own and fish with.

Berkley Trilene Big Game Fishing Line

This stuff was developed back in 1959, and is one of the company’s flagship products that anglers love to have on their spools.

Berkeley’s Trilene monofilament fishing line is considered the best in the business, made with premium-quality materials that millions of fisherpeople swear by.

Engineered especially to help you land more fish, it’s incredibly strong, reliable, and efficient, with a shock-resistant, controlled stretch that provides more power right into the hands of the angler.

  • Iconic fishing line.
  • Super strong and durable.
  • Very highly rated.
  • Full choice of colors, poundage and lengths.
  • None.

Choosing fishing line might not be the most exciting side of the sport, but at least Berkley has made it easy. This is as successful now as the day they invented it.

Berkley Cherrywood HD Casting Fishing Rods

This one-piece cherrywood casting fishing rod is a sturdy hybrid design that balances durability and un-matched sensitivity all the way through the blanks to the tip.

The lightweight stainless steel guides and inserts add to the quality, ensuing lines don’t snag for smooth casting and retrieval.

The durable cork handle offers comfort and control, and will mold to your hands with use. Available in a choice of lengths, this is an affordable rod that is ideal for luxurious casts.

  • Great price.
  • Highly rated.
  • Versatile use.
  • Well balanced.
  • A little stiff for a medium rod.

When it comes to budget-friendly fishing rods, this option from Berkley will take some beating. Well worth a try considering the price point.


Hailing from Pennsylvania – as you might well have guessed, Penn has been a leading fishing equipment manufacturer since the 1930s.

Known for their quality rods and reels, they have developed cutting edge gear that has won boatloads of awards down the years – a fact that shows no signs of letting up.

Founded by German Otto Henze after he came to the US in 1922, the company has gone on to design and build several products that between them have broken thousands of fishing records.

Penn introduced the world to their legendary HT-100 drag washers – technology they still use to this day, and they’re associated with many of the world’s top professional anglers.

PENN Battle II & Battle III Reel and Rod Combos

Here’s an example of a rod and reel that uses Penn’s distinctive HT-100 drag system technology.

Carbon fiber washers offer a much stronger and more powerful drag experience, without sacrificing smoothness – and it’s going to need it, because this is a beast of a rod for catching subsea beasts.

Designed for saltwater gamefish, the set up is as durable as they come, with the reel featuring a full metal body and side plate, with heavy-duty aluminum bail wire. Battle by name and battle by nature – this combo is a lot of fun for landing some monsters.

  • Very highly rated.
  • Extensive choice of sizes and actions.
  • Instant anti-reverse bearings.
  • As durable as they come.
  • Reports that the rod isn’t as good as the reel.

Tough, durable, and capable of breaking records, this is a Penn product through and through. Check out this review of the best catfish rods and reels for more super-strong fishing tackle options.

PENN Reel Grease and Oils for Fishing Reels

It’s not all about rods and reels, and it’s worth including the odd useful product that is often overlooked.

This Penn reel grease has been designed by professionals for professionals – and boy do they use it.

Made with a premium-quality formula, it boasts superior lubricity, water stability, load-carrying capacity and rust protection over other conventional greases that are available on the market.

If you want your reel to run silky-smooth and snag-free, then you need to add this stuff to your tackle box.

  • Unbeatable protection to moving parts.
  • Improves the life of your equipment.
  • Very highly rated.
  • Grease and oil packs available.
  • None.

For keeping your reels smoother than John Travolta in leather pants on a dance floor, Penn will have you nicely lubed.

Frogg Toggs

These guys are one of the world’s leading brands for wet weather and outdoor gear, and for over 23 years, they’ve kept folks warm and dry, with quality products that are offered at reasonable prices.

There’s a good chance if you’ve never worn anything by them, you’ve been living under a rock, and/or you’ll at least know someone who has.

They manufacture some of the best rain gear for fishing on the market, including full rain suits that are perfect for keeping the elements at bay.

Innovative and trailblazing, Frogg Toggs are at the forefront of protective outdoor clothing that people can actually afford.

Frogg Toggs Classic All-Sport Waterproof Rain Suit

If ever there was a product that identifies an outdoor gear company, then it surely has to be the Frogg Toggs classic rain suit.

Available in an eclectic choice of colors – including some excellent fishing and hunting camo options, this suit is made from weatherproof and breathable materials that will keep you warm and dry no matter the conditions.

With an adjustable, removable hood, elastic waist and cuffs, and front zip with a snap down storm flap, you can be sure of a comfortable fit for the whole day on or by the water.

  • Outstanding price.
  • Very highly rated.
  • Super lightweight and portable.
  • Full length parka.
  • Price varies depending on design.
  • Certain colors are not always available.

If you’re going to be fishing in the rain – or there’s even the slightest chance the heavens are going to open when you’re out there – then you need this legendary rain suit to hand. And check out this review for more of the best fishing jackets on the market.

Frogg Toggs Mens Pilot Ii Guide Bib

Fully waterproof and breathable, this rain bib is the perfect garment for all your hunting and fishing needs.

Made with Frogg Toggs’ lightweight yet durable fabric, you’ll be protected from the elements without every being restricted.

Packed with features, it has two zippered chest pockets for extra gear, an expandable, quick-drain cargo pocket, multiple accessory D-rings, and comfort-stretch suspenders with locking buckles ensures a secure and comfortable fit.

Ideal for multiple weather conditions, it’s perfect for layering and will keep you warm and dry throughout.

  • Full taped and sealed seams.
  • Zip to knee side zips.
  • Choice of colors/camo.
  • For light rain only.

A quality fishing/hunting bib that offers plenty of storage space for accessories and gear, while being lightweight and breathable for you. Just don’t take it out in a monsoon.


Regarded by many in the industry as being one of the best fishing clothing brands in the world, Simms have been offering top-quality outdoor garments and apparel since they were founded in Jackson, Wyoming in 1980.

Originally setting out to provide high-quality waders – including the first neoprene waders in the US – they soon decided to conquer the rest of the fishing clothing market as well.

Now operating out of Montana, they continue to design and manufacture innovative gear, including – as you might expect – some of the best fishing waders available today. Their gear is simply on another level.

Simms Challenger Fishing Rain Coat

Made with the fabric that was specially developed for fishing jackets and waders, if you’re going to be angling in any kind of wet weather, then this is the jacket you need.

Completely waterproof, it comes with an adjustable storm hood, and features four layers of protection, ensuring the water and wind will stay out, but allowing ventilation and breathability.

Comfortable to wear all day long, it also has 100% taped seams, YKK zippers, and it even has a kill switch attachment at the bottom of the hem for safety using motorized watercraft. These guys have thought of it all.

  • Outstanding build quality and protection.
  • Fully adjustable.
  • Choice of colors including camo.
  • Premium quality materials throughout.
  • Practical fishing features.
  • Pricey.

Probably the best fishing jacket on the market – it’s that simple. But did you know they also make some great fishing shoes? Follow that link to check them out.

Simms Freestone Fishing Chest Pack

They don’t just do jackets and waders, as this is a practical sling chest bag in which you can keep necessary fishing tackle and gear close to hand.

Fully waterproof, it’ll also ensure valuables are protected, and features multiple pockets for holding anything you need.

Ideal for fly fishing, it comes with an external secured tippet caddy and loop velcro for wet fly storage, as well as a magnetic docking station for nippers or mitten clamps.

The straps can be removed to wear either on your chest or at the waist, and the bag itself weighs just 0.8 lbs, so you won’t ever feel overloaded.

  • Practically designed.
  • Choice of colors.
  • Good storage options.
  • Expensive.

An outstanding tackle chest bag that is packed with useful features for any angler, but with an emphasis on fly. Simms are up there with the best fly fishing brands in the world, and you can take a look at these quality fishing vests if you need any further proof.


Plano is synonymous with creating the best tackle boxes on the market, and they’ve been the go-to outdoor storage solution company for fishing for over 60 years, branching out into hunting in the 1990s.

It was the desire to improve metal fishing tackle boxes that started it all back in 1952, and in doing so, they revolutionized the entire fishing industry in the process.

Utilizing high-quality materials, Plano continues to manufacture well-designed, durable outdoor storage that is built to last and deliver premium-quality results time and time again.

Plano Angled Tackle System

Here we have one of the best selling – if not the best selling – fishing tackle boxes in the world. That’s largely thanks to Plano’s innovative angled storage design, giving easy access to all your tackle and gear, with three of their 3560 boxes included.

Compact and extremely durable, it features Duraview windows so you can clearly see inside, and offers such a wealth of compartments that you’ll probably need to buy more tackle to fill them.

  • Premium build quality.
  • Built to last.
  • 15-degree angle for box access.
  • Very highly rated.
  • Not waterproof – but that’s a moot point.

For tackle boxes, it doesn’t get much better than this. Check out this review for more of the best storage boxes and bags for saltwater fishing.

Plano ProLatch Stowaway Tackle Storage

It’s the simple, yet innovative design that started it all, with this prolatch stowaway tackle storage box. No frills here, just a solid, durably built, practical solution for housing all your lures, baits, jigs, and hooks, and anything else you’d like to cram in.

This particular model has one, deep compartment, which is ideal for larger, uniquely shaped items, although there’s a full range out there for all your fishing tackle storage needs.

  • Transparent for quick tackle identification.
  • Built to last.
  • Durable latches.
  • No dividers in this model.

Plano doing what they do best, yet again, with the best tackle containers on the market. And take a look at this review for some great fishing backpacks to keep them all in while you’re at it – perfect for getting to and from your favorite fishing spot.

AMS Bowfishing

The world’s leading manufacturer of bowfishing equipment has been around a lot longer than you might think, especially considering the sport has only recently been enjoying a significant boom.

They developed their hugely successful and popular bottle retriever reel back in 1979, a product that has continued to dominate this fast-paced and exciting pastime.

Totally dedicated to the sport, AMS don’t make anything else unless it’s to do with bowfishing, so I think it’s safe to call them the experts. Just take a look at this review of the best bowfishing reels to see what I mean.

AMS Bowfishing Retriever Pro Combo Kit

This is the latest version of the bottle retriever that has swept the sport. Others have tried to copy the AMS design, but they never get close to this quality.

Filled with 25 yards of 200 lbs test-braided line and including two fiberglass Chaos FX bowfishing arrows, this is a great set to get you started in the sport of bowfishing with the very best reel on the market.

And if you need some tips on how to join thousands of folks having loads of fun, head on over to this bowfishing guide for some pointers.

  • Market-leading design.
  • Right and left handed reels available.
  • Popular and highly rated.

If you’re looking to get into the fast-growing sport of bowfishing, then AMS is the way to go, and this is simply the best bottle retriever reel that money can buy.

Mares Spearfishing

One of several top Italian companies specializing in scuba equipment, Mares was founded in 1949 by Ludovico Mares, initially manufacturing diving masks and spearguns for the ancient hunting sport of spearfishing.

To this day, they’re still one of the market leaders with spearfishing gear, including products that regularly grace reviews of the best spearfishing masks on the market.

Merging with US company Dacor, they have become one of the largest scuba equipment manufacturers in the world, with an outstanding back catalog of products to help anyone who is keen to try fishing under the water rather than over it.

Mares Viper Mask

Utilizing the latest generation silicones, Mares have created the hugely popular Viper spearfishing mask – which has been the talk of the town in the community since it was released.

Ergonomic buckles on the strap have double buttons, so it can be easily adjusted – even if you’re wearing thicker dive gloves.

Developed with professional freedivers and spearfishers, it offers a super-low profile and low volume, so you spend less air to equalize, and it limits the amount of drag. Get one before they sell out – again.

  • Premium build quality and materials.
  • Choice of muted colors.
  • Ergonomically designed.
  • Attractive aesthetic.
  • Not the best field of view out there.

While there are spearfishing masks that offer a better FOV, the trade off is increased volume and drag. This mask from Mares does an excellent job of balancing the two, and continues to make waves among spearfishing and freediving aficionados. Check out this review for some excellent spearfishing wetsuits, too.


You’re thinking – “where was INSERT FISHING BRAND HERE?!”

To be honest, to cover all the best fishing brands in 2020 would take several articles and a long time to write.

And anyway, this causes some healthy debate, so I turn to you to let me know which companies I should have included instead.

Or, if you prefer, tell me who doesn’t deserve a place on this list and should be removed – for whatever reason – in the comments below.

In the meantime, tight lines everyone, and happy fishing!

Bob Hoffmann

The author of this post is Bob Hoffmann. Bob has spend most of his childhood fishing with his father and now share all his knowledge with other anglers. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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