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best bass fishing rod

Best Bass Fishing Rod (Updated 2020 Models)

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If you’re a fan of bass fishing like me, you want the best bass fishing rod around! But there are a few different types which make great bass rods, so it can be hard to narrow down the choices.

When I’m looking for a new bass rod, I look for a few different factors to help me decide which is the best bass fishing rod. I put this Buying Guide together to show you what to look for. Plus, I’ve reviewed the top bass fishing rods on the market to give you a headstart!

Best Option
KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods, Casting Rod 6ft...
Highest Quality
Abu Garcia Veracity Casting Rod
Most Compact
KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rods,...
KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods, Casting Rod 6ft...
Abu Garcia Veracity Casting Rod
KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rods,...
One of the best budget bass rods
Amazing value for money
Excellent travel rod
Amazing accuracy and power
Sleek, attractive aesthetics
Good for spinning or casting
Quality components
Highest quality components
Feels like a one-piece rod
Best Option
KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods, Casting Rod 6ft...
KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods, Casting Rod 6ft...
One of the best budget bass rods
Amazing accuracy and power
Quality components
Highest Quality
Abu Garcia Veracity Casting Rod
Abu Garcia Veracity Casting Rod
Amazing value for money
Sleek, attractive aesthetics
Highest quality components
Most Compact
KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rods,...
KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rods,...
Excellent travel rod
Good for spinning or casting
Feels like a one-piece rod

Our Buying Guide

Here’s what you need to know before you shell out on a new bass fishing rod!

What kind of rod should you buy?

Baitcasting Rods

Baitcasting rods tend to be longer and provide you with more power and leverage to reel fish in. This makes them ideal for open water, fighting big fish, and using large lures.

Spinning Rods

Spinning rods are better suited to finesse techniques and lighter lures. You’ll find the reel on the bottom of the rod, unlike casting rods where the reel is on top. The guides are also larger, but the overall rod tends to be shorter than a casting rod. You should go for a spinning rod if you like to fish up close, or you’re not bothered about catching trophy-size fish.

Action

Fishing rods vary in action from slow to medium to fast and extra fast. The action means how much the rod will bend. The slower the action, the deeper the rod will bend when you cast, or when you hook a fish. Faster action rods tend to be stiffer but have a more sensitive tip.

Power

The difference between the power and action of a rod can be confusing. Here, the power means how much pressure it takes to make the rod bend.

An ultralight rod will bend under a small weight, while a heavy power fishing rod won’t budge under anything except the heaviest fish. Medium to extra heavy power rods are most useful for bass fishing, with medium heavy rods being the most popular and versatile.

Line Weight

Your rod needs to have an appropriate line weight, or your setup won’t work effectively. If you go for a rod that is too light, it won’t be able to handle the line weight. So, make sure you match your rod to the line weight for the kind of fishing you aim to catch!

Build Quality

Not all fishing rods are made the same. It’s essential to look for a high-quality, durable rod. Take a careful look at the construction of the rod from the line guides to the reel seat. It should feel sturdy in hand and be made from strong, hardwearing materials.

At the same time, you want your rod to be light in hand. The best blank materials tend to be graphite or carbon fiber, as they are both lightweight and durable.

Take a look at the handle, too. Is the grip ergonomic and comfortable to hold? What material is it made from? EVA foam or cork are the most common materials for rod handles. Can you get a firm grip on the rod and use it all day without feeling discomfort?

Rod Length

You need to have the right length of rod for your needs. Fishing rods can vary from 6ft right up to 10+ ft, so you need to think about where you’ll be fishing and what kind of fish you like to go after.

If you’re fishing small streams or in tight spaces, a shorter rod will suit you well. But if you like to tackle big water, you might need that extra length. A longer rod can also give you greater control over your rod, making it easier to land your lures on target.

best bass fishing rod and reel

The Best Bass Fishing Rods: Our Reviews

Now you know what makes a great bass rod, let’s get onto the reviews. If you want to choose a new rod for bass fishing but you don’t want to spend time weighing up all the options, don’t worry! Just grab one of these tried-and-tested models, and you’ll be all set.

KastKing Perigee II

KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rod

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The KastKing Perigee II is one of the best affordable bass rods on the market. Anyone from beginners to pro anglers can have fun with this rod (and catch lots of fish!)

The Perigee II boasts quality componentry to enhance your comfort when fishing. From the high-density EVA grips to the lightweight, graphite reel seat, every part of this rod has been carefully designed. The carbon fiber blank is robust, with the latest KastFlex technology for improved strength and accuracy.

KastKing aims to provide great fishing gear that gets the job done, but at an affordable price. They’ve achieved their goal with this superb rod. You even get two rod tips so you can swap from a medium to medium heavy power, so you’ll never get bored.

Another great thing about the Perigee II range is the sheer variety that is available. You can take your pick from a spinning rod or baitcasting rod, with lengths ranging from 4’6 up to 7’6. However you prefer to fish, there’s the perfect Perigee II rod out there for you. Just select the appropriate length, line weight, and power to find your match.

Pros:

  • One of the best budget bass rods
  • Smooth spigot connection
  • Amazing accuracy and power
  • Quality components

Cons:

  • The rod-tips are prone to snapping
  • Not as durable as other brands
  • Some anglers have had problems with eyelets snapping off

Abu Garcia Veracity

Abu Garcia Villain 2.0 Casting Rod

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The Veracity is an outstanding bass fishing rod which provides everything you need to chase those bass. The sensitivity is incredible – you can feel even the subtlest twitch on your lure with ease. It’s very lightweight, but that doesn’t take away any of the power.

As to construction, this rod is flawless. The finish is high-quality, and the aesthetics are smart and sleek. You won’t be disappointed by the craftsmanship or the build. It’s kitted out with titanium frame micro guides with zirconium inserts, a Fuji reel seat, and two EVA foam handles. The blank itself is made from high modulus graphite, so it feels light in hand but is sturdy and durable. The Villian 2.0 will last for years of epic fishing trips!

This superb casting rod from Abu Garcia is perfect for bass fishing. It’s powerful enough to flip those bass out of the water, but provides all the sensitivity you need. You can use it for all sorts of bass fishing techniques. It also offers fantastic value for money, so you can get started with bass fishing without breaking the bank!

Pros:

  • Amazing value for money
  • Sleek, attractive aesthetics
  • Consistently incredible performance

Cons:

  • Not the cheapest casting rod on the market

KastKing Blackhawk II (Telescopic)

KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rod

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If you’re looking for a travel rod for bass, check out the telescopic Blackhawk II from KastKing. It’s the perfect solution for anyone who travels frequently and wants to hit up the best fishing spots, wherever they go.

You might think of telescopic rods are being less sturdy, but you’d be wrong. The Blackhawk II’s 24-ton carbon fiber blank compares well against any one-piece rod, providing all the power and sensitivity you need. It feels like a one-piece rod thanks to the snug-fit ferrules, while the stainless steel line guides allow for smooth casting. It’s quick to put together, so you won’t waste fishing time on setting up.

The Blackhawk 11 comes in 14 different configurations, including spinning and casting rod models. The freshwater rods have a fast action and a medium to medium heavy power, perfect for fishing for bass. So, how does it feel in use? It’s lightweight and extremely sensitive, so you can feel the bottom and won’t miss any strikes. The Blackhawk handles long-distance casting with ease, making it suitable for big rivers and lakes. You can throw out large lures effortlessly, and it has the backbone to pull in 4 lb+ bass.

If you’re eager to visit some new fishing spots, the Blackhawk II is just what you need. It’s compact and easy to pack, but you don’t lose out on the performance or strength.

Pros:

  • Excellent travel rod (easy to pack)
  • Your choice of either a spinning or casting rod
  • Feels like a one-piece rod
  • Amazing sensitivity
  • Smooth, precise casting

Cons:

  • The stainless steel guides sometimes move around when casting
  • It might not last as long as a one-piece
  • No alignment markings
  • Requires frequent maintenance, so sand doesn’t get inside it

St. Croix Mojo (Inshore)

St. Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod

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This mid-range, fast action spinning rod is an excellent choice for bass fishing. The Mojo is a 100% handmade rod designed for inshore saltwater fishing. However, it’s just as useful for largemouth bass as for saltwater stripers.

The St. Croix Mojo is a stylish yet versatile rod that performs consistently. It’s lightweight due to its high modulus graphite fiber construction. St. Croix uses a particular type of graphite with a higher strain rate, making this rod more durable and hardwearing. This is a rod that won’t let you down or break under pressure!

The Mojo is built to withstand corrosive saltwater environments. Stainless steel frames and two layers of Flex Cure epoxy finish prolong the lifespan of this rod. It has split-grip cork handles that are high-quality, balancing out the rod and allowing you to get a firm grip. Finally, the reel seat is durable and smoothly transfers vibrations down the rod for increased sensitivity.

If you’re looking for a rod that you can use for freshwater and saltwater bass fishing, the Mojo is exactly what you need! You can land your lures perfectly on target with the Mojo, but it has the backbone to cope with big fish, too. The fast action and power make it one of the best bass fishing rods around!

Pros:

  • Sensitive and responsive
  • Very lightweight
  • Suitable for freshwater and saltwater fishing
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty

Cons:

  • Quite expensive – not the best budget rod

St. Croix Premier

St. Croix Premier Spinning Rod

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The Premier rod is another fantastic offering from St. Croix. The Premier rods are made by hand in the US, ensuring the highest standards in construction and finish. This series has 38 different configurations, allowing you to select the model that best fits your needs. Whether you’re after a lightweight model for finesse fishing or you need a longer, sturdy rod for open water, you’ll find it.

This graphite spinning rod has a FUJI DPS reel seat, split-grip cork handle, and durable aluminum oxide guide rings. The Premier won’t fail to impress, both in the build and the performance.

With fast action and considerable rod power, you can use it to haul in lunkers. But the accuracy is also spot-on so that you can catch even more bass! You’ll be amazed by how lightweight it is, thanks to the mid-modulus graphite blank. All in all, the St. Croix Premier is close to being the best fishing rod for bass!

Pros:

  • Excellent combination of sensitivity and backbone
  • Comfortable cork grips for all-day fishing
  • US-made quality
  • Great value for money

Cons:

  • The sensitivity is intense (not the best fishing rod for beginners)

Enigma Fishing Phenom Gen 2

Enigma Phemon Bass Fishing Rod

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While Enigma Fishing may not be as well-known as big brands like KastKing and G. Loomis, it’s still a worthy contender for the best bass rod. The Phenom Gen 2 are lightweight, sensitive rods that can handle big fish. The blank is made from a unique blend of Japanese Toray graphite, and the result is pinpoint accuracy and improved strength.

The Phenom rods measure between 7′ to 7’6, while the rod power varies from medium to medium heavy and heavy. The extra length is useful when you’re fishing big lures or large rivers, but it’s not well suited to tight places. You can achieve long-distance casting with ease with the Enigma Phenom.

This rod feels amazing in hand. It’s well balanced and feels sturdy and durable, but doesn’t skimp on the power. At under $100, you get excellent value for money when you buy one of these rods. The Phenom Gen 2 doesn’t look or feel like a cheap rod! If you dream of chasing monster bass, grab this fishing rod. You won’t regret it.

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Strong, lightweight rods
  • Suitable for tournament fishing
  • Has enough backbone to haul in larger fish

Cons:

  • The bright yellow color won’t appeal to everyone
  • The hook keeper is awkwardly placed on the top of the fishing rod

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2

Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod

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The Ugly Stik GX2 is popular among anglers for its low price and incredible performance. These spinning rods come in at around $40, yet they feel like a high-end rod. If you want to get out on the water and catch some bass, but you’re on a tight budget, the GX2 ticks all the right boxes!

The Ugly Stik GX2 is made from graphite and fiberglass, a durable and lightweight combination. While it’s not the best for long-distance casting, you can have a lot of fun with it. It comes in a range of options, with lengths from 4’6 up to 9′ long. You can take your pick from ultralight models up to heavy power models, and choose between a spinning fishing rod or a baitcasting rod.

The baitcasting models are suited to long casts, bigger fish, and large lures. They handle well on the water and perform consistently, with great accuracy.

As for the spinning models, they’re awesome if you’re into finesse fishing. The shorter rods are less responsive, but they have a stronger backbone to haul fish in. The longer spinning models are versatile and extremely sensitive. So, it just comes down to choosing the best model that suits your needs! There’s the perfect Ugly Stik fishing rod for everyone.

Pros:

  • The best budget spinning rod on the market
  • Strong graphite and fiberglass construction
  • 30+ models to choose from, depending on your needs

Cons:

  • Struggles with long-distance casting
  • The shorter rods aren’t as sensitive

G. Loomis E6X

G. Loomis E6X Bass Casting Rod

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G. Loomis is a household name in the fishing world, with the reputation to match. And this baitcasting rod doesn’t disappoint! Previously, Loomis rods have been premium rods with a premium price, but the E6X is one of their most affordable products. There’s plenty to make this rod a great choice for any bass angler.

The E6X comes in a whole range of rods, specifically designed to help you perfect any bass fishing technique. Whether you’re into spinning, flipping, or jigging, there’s the right casting rod or spinning rod for you. These rods look attractive and eye-catching, with a black blank and green highlights.

So, let’s look at the construction of these rods. The blank is a proprietary graphite fusion with reduced scrim and higher strain rate, making it super lightweight and responsive. There’s the Fuji downlocking reel seat, as well as corrosion-resistant Fuji aluminum-oxide guides. So, you can go after saltwater bass with the E6X, too. You’ll also find a well-placed hook keeper and an ergonomic cork handle for your comfort.

It’s clear to see that the G. Loomis team has poured all their expertise and knowledge into these rods. If you take your bass fishing seriously, this is the rod to go for. The specially designed casting and spinning rods provide all the power and precision you need for luring and hauling in the fish.

Pros:

  • Designed specifically as a bass fishing rod
  • Excellent components
  • Fast action and loads of power

Cons:

  • Still on the higher end of the price scale
  • It’s hard to narrow down which of these rods to buy!

FAQ

What kind of rod should I use for bass fishing?

The best kind of rod to use for bass fishing will depend upon which lures and techniques you prefer. Casting rods are excellent if you’re into heavy lures and lines, spinnerbaiting, and flipping. Spinning rods can also be a great choice for bass fishing with finesse techniques when you’re not reliant on power.

Don’t discount your trust fly rod, however. Although it’s more commonly associated with trout fishing, more bass anglers are turning to fly rods for that intense connection and explosive action. [1]

What action is best for bass fishing?

Fast to extra-fast action is best for bass fishing. That’s because you need to be able to put a lot of pressure on these hard-fighting fish, so you can reel them in. A faster action rod provides the flex and power you need to haul in big bass.

What kind of rod do you use for largemouth bass?

A well-balanced spinning rod is perfect when fishing for largemouth bass. Spinning rods are straightforward to use, even for beginners, making it easy to catch your first bass. A medium-action rod is most versatile and effective.

best rod and reel combo for bass fishing

The Wrap Up

So there you have the best bass fishing rods on the market right now. I know you’re dying to get out there and have a go for yourself! So grab yourself one of these beauties and get out on the water! We’ve picked out only the best fishing rods for bass, so you can be confident that whatever you choose, it will perform. Every spinning rod and casting rod on our list has an excellent build quality and is effective for bass fishing.

Drop us a comment to let us know your favorite bass fishing rod. What fishing rod do you rate? We’d love to know! If you need a quick refresher on how to fish for bass, check out our guide at Fly Fisher Pro. We aim to keep you up to date on all the latest trends and gear in the fishing world!

References

[1] https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/news/2019/06/10/bass-fishing-fly-rod-dont-knock-until-youve-tried/1380048001/

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