Best Jerkbait Rods of 2021 – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

| Last Updated June 11, 2021

Jerkbait fishing is a popular, go-to-fishing technique of anglers fishing in clear water. It is an effective method of catching big fish such as bass, trout, etc.

In this method, anglers use a lure that looks like a real fish and applies rod movements that mimic the movement of a real fish. However, to become a good angler, you need the best jerkbait rod.    

Here, we have reviewed some of the best jerkbait rods to help you find a rod that will take your fishing skills to the next level.

Comparison of the Best Jerkbait Rods

  • Blank made from carbon and graphite
  • Longer-lasting stainless steel frames
  • Compact 2-piece design for easier storage
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  • Built with nano resin and carbon blanks technology
  • Sensitive lightweight body for reduced arm fatigue
  • Steady reels for better performance
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  • Best for the Money
  • Can be used with various lines including braids
  • Improved tip design for more strength and durability
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  • Best Jerkbait Rod for Bass
  • Increased casting distance and accuracy
  • Ergonomic build for improved comfort
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  • Best KVD Jerkbait Rod
  • Made from graphite for lighter weight experience
  • Pinion has zero-friction construction
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What is a Jerkbait?

A jerkbait is designed to mimic a struggling minnow, which the predatory bass find very hard to resist. This bait is long and narrow with a bill protruding in the front, which causes the fish to dive when an angler jerks hard on the line or reels it fast. The anglers entice the bass by making the jerkbait dive and twitch in the water by jerking the line.

Jerkbaits are available in various colors ranging from natural shades to more artificial colors. If you are fishing in clear water, then choose natural-colored bait as they will look like actual minnows to the bass. However, if you are fishing in clouded water, it is best to use bright colored bait in order to attract the attention of bass.  

What Should I Look For in a Jerkbait Rod?

Are you looking for a freshwater spinning rod, a saltwater spinning rod, or a spinning rod for bass?

When looking for a good quality jerkbait rod, you should choose one with the right combination of length, power, action, and other features that are best suited to your preferred style of fishing. Choosing a reliable rod will ensure smooth performance for many years, thus providing good value for money. Following are some characteristics that should be kept in mind when choosing a jerkbait rod:


The first thing to decide is what type of jerkbait rod will suit you best? If you want a travel-friendly rod, you should consider two-piece rods that break down into two small sections, thus making them easier to transport.

If you are going to be fishing in saltwater, then you should go for a saltwater spinning rod. These rods are designed with durable, strong, and corrosion-resistant materials and are more suitable for the heavier and larger saltwater fish. On the other hand, freshwater spinning rods are lightweight and strong and require lighter and small lures to catch the relatively small freshwater fish.


Jerkbait rods are available in various lengths. This length determines the casting distance you will be able to achieve and the kind of control you will have when reeling in the fish. Long rods have a faster tip speed, which enables them to cover a larger area and cast further. They are also able to absorb the shock when reeling in bigger fish to prevent the line from breaking.

Short spinning rods provide more control and accuracy but are only suitable for short to medium casting distance. However, these rods offer more maneuverability and leverage where there is heavy vegetation.


It is vital to choose a rod with a comfortable grip as this determines the leverage and control you will have on the rod. EVA foam and cork grips are the best handle materials as they are soft and feel great in your hand. Look for a grip that conforms to your hand shape as this will minimize hand fatigue during extended fishing expeditions.

Review of the Best Jerkbait Rods

There are various reasons for the popularity of Jerkbait rods. They are simple to cast, easy to use and master, versatile, and fun to fish with. They are extremely useful for both saltwater and freshwater fishing.

If you are a beginner, these rods will make your learning curve more enjoyable and easier. They can also cast lures efficiently and accurately, thus making them invaluable for finesse fishing. But how can you find the product that is perfect for your target species and suits your fishing style? 

To make this easier, we have reviewed some of the top fishing poles while keeping in mind their performance, value, and quality so that you can find the best product according to your needs:

Best Overall:
Cadence Spinning Rod CR5

Cadence Fishing CR5 Spinning Rods | 30 Ton Carbon | Fuji Reel Seat | Stainless Steel Guides with SiC Inserts | CR5-661S-MF


  • Perfect for fishing in both saltwater and freshwater
  • High-performance features at a very affordable price
  • Strong, durable, lightweight, and more sensitive than other rods
  • Will help you catch walleye, trout, bass, and flounder, speckled trout, and redfish
  • One year warranty and 90-day return policy makes this product risk-free for the customers


  • Construction is not the best

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers claim this rod to be the best purchase that they have made and find it to be an invaluable addition to their fishing kit. This rod is extremely lightweight with a balance that is second to none. Its outstanding performance ensures that it casts great distances seamlessly. They are also very happy with the packaging of this rod as it protects the guides from any damage.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This fishing rod is made from superior components and materials, thus making this product far better than the other fishing rods available. It is configured with two handle types that optimize comfort and performance. Moreover, its fully adjustable Fuji reel seat, stainless steel frames, and SiC guides further enhance durability and performance. Another great thing that we appreciate about Cadence is its mission to inspire future generations to take an interest in fishing.

Who Will Use This Most

Although Cadence is a relatively new company in the fish market, its products have become very popular among anglers that are on the lookout for a good quality rod available at an affordable price. It is very light to hold, and you will enjoy many hours of flicking lures without facing any discomfort. Designed with premium components and materials, this rod is able to deliver an action that is crisp and can cast great distances smoothly.

Bottom Line

The Cadence spinning rod is a top-quality spinning rod with an economical price tag. It is priced and built to exceed expectations with components and premium quality features. It is well balanced, extremely light, and feels great in hand. It is sufficiently flexible while it is under load but has a backbone and can handle a good fight without any difficulty.

KastKing Speed Demon Pro

KastKing Speed Demon Pro Bass Fishing Rods, Cast-Punchinft Rod-7ft 11in H Power-Fast


  • Lightweight, well-balanced, and strong rod blank
  • 30% stronger as compared to standard graphite blanks
  • Each action is based on elite angler input and years of experience
  • Custom made fighting butts and handles ensure a sure and comfortable grip
  • Designed with Carbon Nano Tube resin technology to increase its strength and reduce weight


  • Hook keeper is placed very low

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have found this product to be perfect in every way. It is balanced and lightweight and has plenty of backbone without compromising sensitivity. Moreover, they find that handling this rod is a dream, and if it was available at twice the price, it would still be a bargain. Most of these buyers have used fishing rods far more expensive than this, but after using the KastKing speed demon pro, they have declared this product to be the absolute best.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We find this Jerkbait rod to be an outstanding product as it combines elite angler input and years of experience to deliver uncompromising performance. Its unique Elite Carbon blanks are designed with Carbon Nano Tube resins that result in reduced weight, increased strength, and ensure the ultimate in sensitivity. With this rod, you will be able to enjoy a whole new level of this sport.

Who Will Use This Most

The KastKing Speed demon pro is a strong and sensitive product that will not let your chance to hook up a fish go. Its handles are smooth, and it has got great bend, thus making it the perfect rod for catching a variety of fish. It is a truly heavy cover bass rod that is able to handle fat rockfish, as well as, stripers easily and efficiently.

Bottom Line

This is an awesome product for an amazing price. It is a true performance rod with enhanced durability and sensitivity, which is highly popular among anglers. It is designed to provide maximum comfort to users. You may become fatigued from catching too many fish, but you will not feel any discomfort from using this product.

Best for the Money:
UglyStik GX2 Casting Rod

Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Rod, 7', Medium/Light, 2pcs


  • Constructed with fiberglass and Graphite
  • Eye-catching cosmetics give it a sleek and modern look
  • One-piece stainless steel guides further enhance durability
  • Offers improved components and better balance for a lighter feel
  • Strong and durable spinning rods that combine the tradition and heritage of the original rods


  • Poor construction may cause the tip to break

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are so happy with the performance of the UglyStik GX2 that they claim that it should be the only brand used by fishermen. It is very light and sensitive, which is why it is highly recommended by recent buyers. According to recent buyers, its better guides and updated reel seat makes it one of the best basic rods for everyday leisure fishing.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We find these rods from Shakespeare to be one of the best rods as they are constructed in a way that makes them sturdy, long-lasting, and stiff while ensuring that they are lightweight, sensitive, and flexible. They are able to deliver amazing action and are able to withstand a lot of abuse without being ruined. Its affordable price also makes it a good investment for anglers.

Who Will Use This Most

This durable and versatile rod is strong enough to catch saltwater fish, such as salmon, while sensitive enough to handle trout. It is a fantastic starter kit for beginners, while experienced anglers will also appreciate its enhanced performance available at a highly affordable price. Moreover, it comes with an attached spinning reel, thus saving anglers a lot of hassle.

Bottom Line

The UglyStik is a well-balanced spinning rod and reel combination that offers anglers a smooth and flawless casting experience. Its sensitive and strong clear tip design, together with a strong and stiff backbone, enhances sensitivity. Furthermore, its gear ratio and the bearing system delivers a smooth operation, as well as, fast retrieval, thus ensuring a memorable and fun fishing experience.

Best Jerkbait Rod for Bass:
Lew's Tournament Performance

Lews Fishing TP168MLF Tournament Performance TP1 Speed Stick Casting Rod, 6'8', Topwater/Jerkbait, Medium/Light Power, Fast Action


  • Superior rod grip and control
  • Strong and lightweight IM8 graphite blanks
  • Ideal for numerous bass fishing applications
  • Graphite reel seats deliver unparalleled comfort
  • Tournament-grade bass rods that offer sensitivity with great control


  • Ceramic ring in the tip might chip off easily

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are glad to have purchased this rod as it has allowed them to catch more fish. It is very sensitive and great to cast. They also find the Winn grips very comfortable. With this rod, recent buyers were able to increase their normal casting distance with hardly any extra effort. Their advice to other anglers is to stop reading the reviews and buy this rod immediately.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This spinning rod is constructed with various features that allow you to take your fishing skills to the next level. The American Tackle, MicroWave Guide system, increases accuracy and casting distance while eliminating the condition of wind knots. Its advanced Winn Grip Dri-Tec handles provide a comfortable grip that stays tacky even if the rod becomes wet.

Who Will Use This Most

The excellent performance of this rod makes it the perfect choice of anglers. You can catch big bass without any worries. The sensitive tip and its powerful backbone make it easier to control the fish as soon as it is hooked until you get it in the boat. Moreover, its one-year warranty provides anglers with peace of mind as they can easily return this product in case of any damage.

Bottom Line

Once you use the Lew’s Tournament Performance, you will be hooked. It’s one-piece IM8 graphite blanks offers incredible sensitivity and superior strength, thus allowing you to feel the light bites and bottom easily. Its unique guides eliminate wind knots and reduce fatigue, which in turn ensures comfortable fishing for many hours.

Best KVD Jerkbait Rod:
Zebco Medium Power Rod

Zebco Medium Power Rod Quantum KVD Team Combo


  • Sensitive and durable two-piece graphite blank
  • Stainless steel D-ring guides and comfortable EVA handles
  • Easily convertible reel for both right and left-hand operation
  • Extremely adjustable magnetic braking system ensures effective cast control
  • Lightweight graphite body, eight stainless steel ball bearings, and DynaMag cast control


  • Tip might break off easily

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are very impressed with the performance and action of this rod. They have found the sensitivity of this rod pretty helpful in bass fishing. It is smooth and easy to cast even for young anglers. They also like the attractive price of this combination, which allows it to fit in everybody’s budget.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Quantum spinning rod is designed while keeping in mind the new trends and techniques in bass fishing, thus making it one of the best and most effective combinations of rod and reel. It features advanced guides that are reinforced with hardened aluminum oxide inserts for improved accuracy and casting distance.

Who Will Use This Most

The Zebco medium power rod not only provides great value for serious anglers but is also a great starter kit for beginners. It is the ideal choice for a variety of bass applications. It is a great product for panfish, small catfish, and trout. Moreover, it is an economical combination that is able to fit all budgets.

Bottom Line

This rod has been designed by Quantum in collaboration with Kevin VanDam to provide anglers with a product that takes into account all the new trends and techniques in bass fishing. Its comfortable Fuji reel seats ensure increased sensitivity transfer. With this rod, you will be able to improve your fishing quickly and effectively.

Types of Jerkbait Rods

The two types of jerkbait rods are spinning and baitcasting. Of these two, baitcasting is more popular; however, it mostly depends on preference and experience.  

Spinning Rods 

Spinning rods are best for beginners as they are easy to master. If you have recently started fishing, you can count on these rods to provide the best experience. They are also most effective for casting lightweight lures with the help of light lines.

Baitcasting Rods 

Baitcasting rods are ideal for avid anglers and professionals who have years of fishing experience. It delivers more control and power, particularly when fishing with heavy tackle. However, they can be quite frustrating for new anglers who lack the experience to control the much-dreaded birds' nest or line backlash.  

How to Fish a Jerkbait

Jerkbaits imitate the movements of a wounded baitfish, which the bass can’t help but react to. This bait is not only effective for spring fishing but are versatile enough to be used all year round in crystal clear water. This bait is not suited for fishing in a moving stream or river but are best suited for use in static water like reservoirs and lakes.

As the bait will be motionless for a greater part of the time when it is in water, the bass should be able to see it clearly, even from a distance. Jerkbait does not reflect sunlight as other types of bass bait do; therefore, it is best to use this type of bait in clear water where you can easily see two feet or more down.

The following steps will help you reel in a good-sized bass:

1. Cast your jerkbait in the water where you would like to fish. If you see a school of bass, cast your jerkbait over it.

2. To jerk the bait, dip the tip of the fishing rod sharply in order to attract the bass.

3. Let the bait sit in the water for 10 to 15 seconds. You can also play around with the pauses to see what proves to be more effective.

4. Give the bait two more hard jerks to make it go deeper and appear more sporadic to bass.

5. Continue with jerking the line, giving it a rest, jerking it again, and reeling it in until you completely reel in the jerkbait. Repeat the process until you feel a strike.

You can also perfect your technique with the help of the video below:


An efficient combination of bait, rods, and reels can result in exceptional performance and personal satisfaction. We have reviewed some very good products here to provide you with a wealth of options to choose from. Read these reviews carefully as they will help you choose a rod based on its performance and quality, thus ensuring that you will have a top-quality spinning rod to fish with.   

People Also Ask

Jerkbait fishing is a modern and fun way of fishing, which is highly effective. Many people are taking up this sport as it brings them closer to nature and allows them to get away from the stress of their daily life. The following are some of the commonly asked questions related to jerkbait that are usually in the minds of beginners. We have provided precise answers in order to clear any confusion in their minds:

What's the Difference Between Jerkbait and Crankbait?

Jerkbaits have a long and slender body and usually come with three treble hooks. Crankbaits, on the other hand, have a flatter and short body and are designed with two treble hooks.      

How Does a Jerkbait Work?

A jerkbait is lure shaped like a minnow that offers a horizontal presentation. Employing the snap-pause retrieve on a jerkbait gives it an erratic, darting action which the bass are unable to resist.

What Kind of Line Do You Use for Jerkbaits?

The best line for jerkbaits is the monofilament line, which has been the choice of many experienced and novice anglers for a very long time.

Do Jerkbaits Work in Summer?

Contrary to popular belief jerkbaits are also effective in summer. However, in summer, you should fish quickly with a jerkbait by using short pauses and lots of twitches.

What is a Suspending Jerkbait?

The two major categories of Jerkbait are soft-bodied and hard-bodied.

Hard Jerkbaits

These Jerkbaits are made from wood, polymer, or hard plastic. They are highly durable, and their aerodynamic shape makes it easier to cast them a mile. Most of these jerkbaits are designed with two or three treble hooks on a single solid body; however, there are some jointed versions also. Hardbody jerkbait can be further divided into three subcategories: sinking, floating, and suspending:


This bait sinks at different rates only when action is imparted by jerking the rod. They are ideal for targeting a structure or deep cover by allowing the bait to sink down before applying the action.


This bait stays on the surface until some action is put into them. Floating jerkbait is best for beginners as their floating attributes prevent them from getting hung up on timber below the surface and on weeds.


This bait is designed to have natural buoyancy, which allows it to hang in the water at mid-depths. This suspended position gives the bait a natural appearance, thus enticing bass to devour it. This is the most commonly used jerkbait, which is neither floating nor sinking.  

My name is Jeff and I have been hunting and fishing for over 40 years. I am an avid archery lover, bass fisherman, and all-around outdoorsman. Currently, I'm obsessed with elk hunting but I'm sure I'll move onto a different favorite soon. You gotta love hunting for that reason :) If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at Read more about Big Game Logic.