Baitcasting rods and bass fishing go together like cheese and crackers.
Sure, some people prefer spinning rods for bass fishing, but for most of us, a baitcasting set up is the way to go.
To cut straight the chase, our best baitcasting rod for bass is the Daiwa Tatula because of the combination of quality and price.
Read on for more on how we judged these rods in the rest of this review.
The baitcasting rods for bass that we reviewed:
- St Croix Bass X
- Lew’s Custom Lite HM85
- Fenwick Elite Tech Casting
- Daiwa Tatula Casting
- St. Croix Mojo Bass Casting Rods
- KastKing Speed Demon Pro Tournament
- Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2
- Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Rod
- G. Loomis IMX-Pro Bass Casting Rod
- Lew’s American Hero Speed Stick
Baitcasting rods for bass broken down:
|St Croix Bass X Rod||6’8” to 7’11”||Moderate to extra fast||Fuji ECS reel seat|
Premium grade cork handles
|Lew’s Custom Lite HM85 Rod||6’8 to 7’11”||Moderate to extra fast||Top grade 85 million modulus graphite|
Great grips and reel seat
|St. Croix Mojo Bass Casting Rods||6’8” to 7’11”||Moderate to extra fast||SCII blanks and IPC tooling technology|
Stellar warranty and customer service
|Fenwick Elite Tech Casting series||6’6” to 7’11”||Moderate to extra fast||Hidden handle design reel seat|
Titanium frame guides
|Daiwa Tatula Casting series||6’9” to 7’6”||Moderate to extra fast||X45 SVF graphite Blanks|
BRAIDING-X carbon fiber braiding technology
Fuji guides and premium cork handles
|KastKing Speed Demon Pro Tournament Series||6’10 to 8’||Moderate to fast||Elite carbon blanks that utilize carbon nanotube resins|
Custom Winn handles and grips
Baitcasting rods for bass reviewed
The St. Croix Bass X line of rods has shown what a casting rod is truly capable of, while coming in at a very affordable price point in the 100 dollar range. Featuring a Fuji ECS reel seat, split grips, and premium grade cork handles, These rods feature the comfort and quality components of more expensive rods at a more affordable price. Not to mention the quality SCII graphite blanks and aluminum oxide guides. The casting rod line features 7 different variants for all bass angling needs and presentations, from 6’8” to 7’11” and actions from moderate to extra fast. As with all St. Croix products, they have a stellar warranty and customer service that really goes above and beyond to help out their customers.
The Lew’s Custom Lite baitcasting rod range offers some of the most advanced features in angling today. The rod blanks are made from top grade 85 million modulus graphite creating a perfect combination of strength and sensitivity while maintaining lightweight construction. Featuring multi-layered blanks giving it superior durability and titanium oxide guide inserts. Lew also features their own soft touch skeletal reel seats that have zero sharp edges and prevents hands and fingers from getting sore. The Custom Lite also features split grips with Winn advanced polymer similar to tennis racket handles for ultimate grip in any weather conditions. The Lew’s custom Lite HM85 casting rod is also very affordable for its features, and comes in 6 different variants from 6’8” to 7’11” and actions from medium light to Extra Heavy, they even include suggestions for best tactics per rod type.
The Fenwick Elite Tech features a hidden handle design reel seat that allows for maximum comfort and function. You won’t feel the thread on your fingers all day with this one of a kind reel seat, and there isn’t anything quite like it on the market. In addition to that amazing feature, the Elite Tech rods have titanium frame guides that are essentially bulletproof and keep the overall rod extremely lightweight. Not to mention the EVA and TAC grips that work in virtually any weather conditions, even while wet. The Elite Tech has perfected actions that are specifically designed for bass angling, with 11 different variants to choose from, featuring lengths from 6’6” to 7’11” and powers from medium to Extra heavy.
The Tatula design employs a range of advanced Manufacturing techniques and technologies. Using superior materials allows Daiwa to produce a casting rod with exceptional sensitivity without sacrificing strength. The Tatula features X45 SVF graphite Blanks with BRAIDING-X carbon fiber braiding technology which increases strength and drastically reduces issues such as blank twisting, giving the Tatula an excellent blend of responsiveness and power. Featuring Fuji K series guides, this casting rod is sure to go above and beyond any anglers expectations. All Tatula rods come with a slick black and graphite finish and Grade A quality Portuguese cork handles. The Tatula comes in 6 different variants, from 6’9” to 7’6” and powers from medium light to Heavy. Daiwa also offers an extremely affordable price when comparing the features to more expensive offerings.
Featuring SCII blanks and IPC tooling technology, The Mojo Bass series of castings rods are extremely balanced as well as sensitive, while coming in at 15% lighter than their predecessor St. Croix offering. These casting rods feature stunning features and technology at an amazing price point. All rods come with 2 coats of flex coat, split-grip handles, premium grade cork and a Kigan hook keeper. With 10 different variants from 6’8” to 7’11” and powers from medium to heavy, you will have no issues finding a rod that’s suited to any type of lure presentation. And as with all St. Croix products, they have a stellar warranty and customer service that really goes above and beyond to help out their customers.
KastKing is one of the new kids on the block in terms of fishing companies, but it didn’t take very long to make their products stand out. The speed demon uses industry leading elite carbon blanks that utilize carbon nanotube resins, this process increases strength, reduces weight, and provides amazing sensitivity. Not surprisingly the Speed demon also features Fuji reel seats and guides, as well as Custom Winn handles and grips that will work in any conditions. The Kastking Speed demon also comes in a whopping 14 different variants from 6’10” to 8’ and powers from medium light to extra heavy, including 5 Crankbait specific variants and are suited to all fishing applications from chatterbaits to dropshot fishing.
The Ugly Stik is a clear tip design of baitcasting rod that comes in sizes ranging from 5’6” to 7’6”.
It’s renowned as a tough, bargain priced and highly capable casting rod. In our view, the Ugly Stik is best for topwater fishing situations.
As a fast action rod, it has the sensitivity for working a variety of lures but it also has the backbone needed to get fish out of structure.
It is a composite rod, so it can take a beating without breaking.
The Piscifun Torrent range are an excellent choice of value casting rods. Ranging from 6’8″ to 7’6″ and power rating medium through heavy, these are versatile and high performing rods that are hard to beat at this approximately $60 price range.
Each of these rods has been designed for a particular method of bass fishing ranging from topwater, to jerkbaits , jigs, worms and spinnerbaits.
They have a really well engineered reel seat, a great split grip with EVA foam and are built on a high quality carbon fiber blank with a tip designed to avoid twisting tangles you sometimes get with braid.
The only knock on these rods is they are single-piece only – no big deal, but a minor handicap for traveling with them or storing them.
G. Loomis rods are always on the cutting-edge of technology and design. They aren’t cheap, but if you are after a high end casting rod for bass at slightly over the $300 mark this is a good choice.
The components are great – top quality cork grips, Fuji K-Guides, a responsive, sensitive and powerful carbon fiber blank. But over an above this, they are work in unison with a flex and action of the blank to produce a range of casting rods that are an absolute pleasure to use.
G. Loomis has a range of lengths and power ratings designed for different bass fishing techniques ranging from worms and jigs, drop shotting, Carolina rigging through to topwater fishing, swimbaits, crankbaits and spinnerbaits. This classification system helps avoid confusion and means you are more likely to end up with a rod that suits the type of fishing you spend the most time doing.
Lew’s American Hero Baitcasting Rod range is made with their exceptional IM6 graphite blanks with multidirectional construction technology. They combine excellent strength with good bite detecting sensitivity. They are a mid priced baitcasting rod range with the added bonus of knowing that the profits from this range go towards veterans causes – in particular those that help veterans experience outdoor pursuits including fishing.
The components in this range are good. The guides are tough stainless steel and you get a graphite reel seat.
Baitcasting rods: Buyers’ Guide and FAQs
While some fishermen and women like a spinning rod (see here for our top choices) and spinning reel for bass fishing, baitcasting set-ups are the predominant style of rods used when chasing this species.
There are a variety of casting rods on the market that specialized in various presentations and lures they are meant to be used with. There are also rods that work great for almost all applications, whether you’re flipping jigs under a dock to running crankbaits off of deep rock piles, there are a plethora of companies out there featuring rods that excel at presenting lures. But not all casting rods are created equally, as we have explained.
Fishing rods come with variations in features, these variants excel at certain bait presentations, whether it’s jigs, soft plastics, crankbaits, jerkbaits, etc. make sure you select a rod with the right specifications for the role you intend to use it for. In most cases one rod can work well in the vast majority of fishing applications, but action, power, and rod length are all things to consider.
Generally length and actions are the most important considerations in regard to presenting a specific lure type effectively:
Choosing a length for a baitcasting rod
Baitcasting rods are generally a bit longer than a spinning rod giving the angler a bit more power to cast a lure.
Six feet is probably as short as you would want to go with casting rods and seven feet is a common choice with eight and nine foot rods available too.
Longer rods will help you cast longer, but you sacrifice portability and convenience for using in heavily wooded banks or places with tree branches as a canopy.
In general, the longer the rod the more suited it is to heavier tackle and the better it is for fighting a fish and steering it away from structure.
Short rods are better for casting accuracy fishing in close, particularly with light lures.
Choosing the best action for a baitcasting rod
Rods are classified by the “speed” of the action – you can think about it as how fast the rod springs back to straight when it is flexed. Here is some info below on the various types of action.
Slow-action rods, also known as parabolic rods, bend easily from the tip to the butt-end. Slow action rods are ideal for casting small lures long distances, and fighting fish that make hard runs toward you or the boat on very light lines, allowing you more “play” without much risk of the rod breaking from sudden bending pressure or the line breaking due to excessive strain. Slow rods are good for gentle hooksets on fish such as crappie that have thin membranes in the mouth. Conversely, they aren’t great for fish with hard mouths as the hookset is often too weak for the hook to penetrate. Also, it is harder to control a fish that’s hook in or around structure with a slow action rod.
A moderate or medium action rod bends through middle of the rod and is good for throwing small to medium lures. These rods are a good compromise in terms of facilitating a decent hooks set in a range of different lures including crankbaits fitted with trebles and providing some forgiveness when bass rip off line on a big run or jump. Ideally, the rod has enough backbone to subdue a decent sized bass and cast lures in the wind.
Fast action rods start to flex from closer to the tip. As a result, the rod straightens much quicker when released. Fast action rods have a lot more backbone providing good hook sets and strong lifting capacity. Fast action is a popular choice in bass fishing these days. Fast action rods have more sensitive tips for bite detection and they also allow the angler to have more control over the action they are imparting on the lure.
Choosing the best baitcasting rod action and length for different types of lure
- For spinnerbaits a good rod would be around 6’6 to 7 feet in length with a fast action and medium heavy power.
- For jigging a heavy rod with a fast action in 7 to 7.5 feet is an excellent choice, fishing jigs in heavy cover is where the heavy action shines and comes into play when wrestling big fish out of the jungle of vegetation.
- Crankbait rods – including baitcasting rods – are generally made from fiberglass and not carbon like other types, this gives you a lot of flex and bend when you set the hook, creating a softer hookset which is important when using crankbaits so the small treble hooks do not dislodge causing you to lose a fish.
You can get even more specific with other tactics like topwater and drop shotting as well. There are rods created specifically for every tactic in fishing.
Baitcasting rod power for bass fishing
Power describes how much force is required to bend a rod and you can find the power rating on the rod itself. For a bass baitcasting rod, you want to start with a medium power rod and go up from there.
Baitcasting rod material
Graphite (or carbon fiber) rods are lighter than fiberglass rods. They are more sensitive and powerful and better for fishing slack-line techniques. A fiberglass casting rod copes better with rough treatment, is resistant to damage and have more flexibility. This makes them useful for light-line fishing. There are also composite rods made of a combination of graphite and fiberglass in an attempt to get the best of both worlds.
If we had to pick one baitcasting rod out of these six to take out fishing, our pick would be the Daiwa Tatula series.
Pair this casting rod with one of the best baitcasting reels for bass and a top quality mono or flouro line and you have a great outfit. Better still, spool it with our top rated braided line for casting performance and abrasion resistance (click here for all the basic knots required to get your baitcasting combo set up).
The other rods mentioned are also amazing and bring different features to the table. At the end of the day pick the baitcasting rod that best fits you, your style of fishing, and what tactics you want to employ with it. For those who are looking for a rod and reel, please check out our best baitcaster combos article.