There’s nothing like a good day on the water, fishing for bass, admiring the nature, and breathing in the silence and serenity of the world. However, a poor bass fishing rod can really set your day askew, as you’ll find yourself struggling to reach your true bass fishing potential.
Finding the best bass fishing rods can be a real pain as ‘advertising gone wild’ makes it hard to decipher where the truth lies. Looking through piles of reviews can also be as baffling.
Due to this, we’ve put together this handy guide to walk you through the best bass fishing rods on the market today. Outlining the pros and cons of what’s available, we have given you clear insight into the features for which you should be looking. We’ve also provided you with a little background to help you work out which bass fishing rods are truly the best.
Best Bass Fishing Rods Comparison Chart
UglyStik GX2 Spinning Rod
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Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod
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UglyStik GX2 Casting Rod
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Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Rod
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KastKing Speed Demon Pro Tournament Series Bass Fishing Rods
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Types of Bass Fishing Rods
When you’re on the prowl for a bass fishing rod, you’re likely to be confronted with the decision of whether to pick a casting rod or a spinning rod. This is one of the first things to consider because each has its own positives and negatives.
Though both of these models have their pros and cons, you may find that most bass fishers will lead you toward choosing a casting rod.
Despite this, spinning rods certainly have their place. With lightweight lures and lines, spinning rods are easy to handle and can provide a flexible and quick tool for smaller, less volatile fish. Those fishing in light streams would find a spinning rod an agile rod to use.
Spinning rods also help you to reach the tinier nooks and crannies that casting rods struggle with. Their superior accuracy enables you to work in smaller dimensions and to achieve a better aim.
Spinning rods are not made for big heavy fish or anything thrashing about. They won’t cope well with strong streams or debris in the water, so bear this in mind.
Strong and sturdy, casting rods tend to be the most popular among bass anglers who are looking to pull in some decent poundage. As bass are large and cumbersome, you need a rod with a durable, heavy-set rig as to cope with the weight of the fish. A casting rod has the capacity for this.
Equally, in the true spirit of nature versus man, bass often buckle and fight, so you need something that can cope with heavy lures and lines. A spinning rod only has lightweight lures and lines so a casting rod is often more appropriate.
If you’re working in very tight spaces, however, a casting rod really won't’ work well for you.
Key Features of our Favorite Bass Fishing Rods
After choosing between casting and spinning rods, you next need to consider the key features that will help improve your bass fishing experience. Below is a breakdown of the key features you may find on the best bass fishing rods. Consider which are important to your style of fishing and try to prioritize your necessities to fit your budget.
Not all materials are created equal. When shopping for a bass fishing rod, you’ll find you mostly have graphite, fiberglass, and composite rods to choose from. Fiberglass rods are the least expensive, as they somewhat tend to lack sensitivity and power.
Due to the weight of bass, fiberglass rods aren’t a very popular choice with bass fishers as they bend from the butt of the rod to the very tip. This flex makes it hard to lift the fish out the water.
Graphite rods are expensive, there’s no doubt about that. But there is a reason for this; their lightweight structure doesn’t compromise their strength, making them a great choice for fishing in poor weather or dealing with jumpy, heavyweight fish, such as bass.
Composite rods are a mix of the two. Cheaper than graphite, yet still more pricey than fiberglass. Composed of both materials, composite rods are a little stronger than fiberglass rods but tend to bend a little more than their graphite counterparts.
Now we all know the importance of length, but it really is a preferential choice depending on the type of bass fishing you are doing.
Take these three things into consideration before picking out the length of the rod you want. While it is tempting to immediately grab the longest rod you can find, working out how you fish will give you the most appropriate power and accuracy through the correct length. You need to think about the type of bait you use, where you will be casting from, and the casting distance.
The shorter the casting distance, the shorter the rod; it’s that simple. If you’re casting over a long distance, grab yourself a long rod - but short distance equals a short rod. Fishing distances of 30 meters or more warrants a longer rod at around 7 to 9-foot. But anything less can be reached with a 6 to 7-foot pole.
If your lures are small, then the rod should be small. Small rods can’t cope with larger lures and slow down the lines. Heavier lures are needed for bigger bass, however, so you may want to consider extending the line for the weight of the fish you’re catching.
If your cast off point is high up, then a small rod will be sufficient. Say you’re on a pier or a harbor edge, use a small rod. If you don’t have the benefits of fishing from higher up, you’ll need to cast farther - and for that, you’ll want a longer rod.
The power value can often be referred to as the rod weight, as it is in reference to how stiff the rod is or how resistant it is to bending. The classifications range from ultralight which is the most flexible, all the way to ultra-heavy which is the stiffest rod.
When you’re looking for smaller catches, you want a quick, lightweight rod, so you tend to buy on the ultralight end of the scale. You will also use smaller lines and lures.
Because bass fishing requires you to work with rather sizeable fish, you need to look at power values that sit around the medium to heavy range. This gives you both the strength and resistance for lifting out large fish, but with the flexibility for accuracy.
When the line trembles, it produces less accurate results. It can also spook the bass that you’re trying to hunt. Balanced rods provide the smoothest results that will effortlessly glide through both air and water. You want to look at how your rod is weighted and how evenly spread the features are.
Where does the reel sit and are there weights to keep it balanced? How tight are the fittings and adjustments and can they prevent the vibration of imbalance? Asking yourself those questions will help you to choose between rods.
Some rods come as whole poles whereas others break down into four separate pieces. The ones that can break down or fold down are far easier to transport. Often coming with a case to carry the rod, you’ll find you can take these setups in your car or easily carry them on public transport.
On the flip side, however, some anglers complain that poorly made bass fishing rods compromise strength when broken into smaller parts. If not fit together tightly, the rods wobble and vibrate like crazy.
Always consider the weight of the rod you need to carry and whether the case has a handle that’s comfortable to grip.
Review of the Best Bass Fishing Rods
Getting your hands on a killer bass fishing rod will really help you step up your game. With your own fishing conditions and preferences in mind, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re looking for, thanks to our handy guide above.
Now we’re going to introduce you to the five best bass fishing rods on the market, in our opinion. Sleek little numbers, these beauties have their pros and cons like any fishing rods, but they outshine their competition.
Check out the review below to see how we think these bass fishing rods fare.
UglyStik GX2 Spinning Rod
This six-foot, light power rod is a spinning bass rod, assembled from two parts. The strong shaft is made from a combination of graphite and fiberglass, allowing for both strength and flexibility. The stainless steel guides are made by Ugly Tuff, and the rod comes with a 7-year warranty.
A basic rod, this pole is good for beginners and family fishers. Though the tip bends easily, this lightweight rod can take quite a lot of weight for its six-foot length. Both strong and sensitive, this combo of graphite and fiberglass allows precision and grace. Breaking down into two parts, this spinning rod can easily be packed away and stored.
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod
Available from 4’6” up to 7 feet lengths, this spinning rod is available as either a two-piece pole or as one full piece. This spinning rod earns its elite status due to being comprised of 35% extra graphite in its composite than most other combo models.
The handles are made from ergonomic cork while the one-piece Ugly Tuff guides are fashioned from solid stainless steel. The Clear Tip technology is employed on this rod for better accuracy and response.
Though the reel seat is a little small, this versatile model is both strong and flexible. With rust-resistant components and a durable cork handle, this rod strives for longevity and comfort. With over a third more graphite in its material makeup, this model is stronger than its competitors yet still bends enough for flexible fishing.
Best for the Money:
UglyStik GX2 Casting Rod
Available in sizes from 6-foot to 7-foot lengths, this model comes as a medium-weight casting rod. Known for being lightweight and flexible, this model is available both as a one or two-piece rod.
Made from a combo of graphite and fiberglass, this rod is both powerful and sensitive. Easy to put together, this model is great for tighter spots in light streams and lighter bass.
This lightweight model is a good choice for beginners. The rattle in the connection makes the single-piece model a smoother choice, but these are far less portable. The graphite makes this strong and powerful, allowing it to cast long distances, but beware of fish that are too big for this rod.
This 6’6”, medium-weight baitcasting rod, is composed of durable, strong graphite, and flexible fiberglass. The well-balanced pole comes as a two-piece baitcasting design with stainless steel guides, strengthened by zirconium inserts. The casting is lightweight, while the EVA grip allows for stability over heavy fish.
This bass fishing rod leads to a very comfortable fishing experience. The sensitive tip and friction-filled grip enable a smoother catch, while the durable components increase the longevity of the rod.
For those who want something very heavy, this is not really the one for them. Same goes the other way, as this isn’t as flexible as all Piscifun rods. Despite this, it’s a great fishing rod for the price, able to provide long casts and live a considerable lifespan, while delivering great comfort.
Ranging in length from 6’8” to 7’3”, the KastKing Speed Demon Pro employs carbon blanks and nano resin technology to increase its strength without overbearing the weight - making it 30% stronger than other graphite blanks.
The Fuji guides and reel seats are of the highest quality, while the action is designed to perfectly match the length of the pole for both accuracy and smoothness. Available as either casting or spinning models, this range also offers crankbait and square bill rods.
You need to ensure you keep the line guide tight on this, but aside from that, this strong and flexible rod has a lovely aesthetic finish and great reputation. The balanced weight and experienced length engineering enable a smooth experience and neat precision with this whole range.
How to Use a Bass Fishing Rod
You can check out the video below for a detailed rundown of how to use your fishing rod. We’ve glossed over a few of the major points right here just to get you started.
- Get Prepared - First, you'll want to start with everything you’re going to need. This includes your rod, obviously, and also fishing line, bait, hook, and scissors. The scissors need to be sharp enough to cut the line. Some people like to clamp the hook to help tie the equipment on but it is up to you. You’ll also need the reel at this point
- Loosen up the Reel Seat - You need to unwind the reel seat enough that the reel foot has no problem fitting in. From there, place the reel foot inside the reel seat and begin to tighten it back up again. Be careful of wobbliness in the fastener. You need to make sure everything is tight, secure, and in its right place.
- Next, You Need to Spool - This is the process of putting in the line. The video goes into detail about how to thread this on, but basically, you tie the line through the reel once and secure with an overhand knot, then cut the line.
- Casting the Bait - When casting the bait out you need to let about a foot of line hanging from the tip of your fishing rod. You hold the rod above the base of the reel and use the opposite hand to open the bail. Tilt the rod backward, away from the spot you’re aiming for and then swing the rod in a swift motion to the target. Your hand needs to let go from the top of your cast at that moment.
- Practice - Most times when people start out, they cast their hook about two feet in front by accident. The more you practice, the better you’ll understand the momentum and this will help you improve your technique.
How to Care and Clean a Bass Fishing Rod
Routine maintenance is key to preserving your bass fishing rod in good condition. The durability and lifespan of our rods are directly influenced by how well we clean and care for them. The video below outlines some methods for keeping your bass fishing rod in great condition. Here are a few things it discusses but click the link to find out more:
- Damp Rag for Wiping - Take a damp, soft cloth and wipe down the entire blade of the rod from tip to butt. This takes off any salt on the outside and any hard debris.
- Pay Attention to the Guides - The guides tend to get really crusted so make sure to wipe all the way around the loops. This prevents them from corrosion or oxidation that can cause them to rust away. Be careful not to knock them as you work your way up the rod.
- Clean the Threads - Make sure to pay attention to the reel seat threads as this can cause imbalance when clogged up. If you can’t thread the reel securely and comfortably, you’ll find it knocks and rocks. Cleaning out the thread of the screw allows it to slide on easily and lock securely.
Finding the best bass fishing rod is not an easy challenge. Thinking about how you use it though, is quite an simple job. If you start from there, understanding the distance you cast, the bait you use, and the weight you like, you’ll start to understand how the environment in which you fish plays a big role in the bass fishing rod you’ll eventually choose. Remember to consider extra features beyond just whether your rod is a casting rod or a spinning rod.
The videos can help you get started while helping you to improve on your techniques. And we hope the reviews helped you gain a better picture on what’s on the market in the bass fishing rod department at present!
Always bear in mind that strength may compromise flexibility and may make your rod a little heavier, so those with small hands and less strength may want to consider shorter rods with lighter frameworks.