Crankbait rods are built for the specific task of fishing with crankbaits. They are purpose built and when you look into the details are quite different from other rods on the market made for other lure presentations. Let’s dive into the best crankbait rods on the market today, and then discuss exactly what features make crankbait rods different.
The seven best crankbait rods we reviewed to come up with our recommendations were:
- St Croix Mojo Bass Glass Casting Rods
- Dobyns Rods Champion Series Glass
- Daiwa Tatula Glass Crankbait rod
- G Loomis IMX Pro Crankbait Rod
- Enigma Fishing Atomic 29 Pro Tournament
- Abu Garcia Ike Signature Delay Casting Rod
- St. Croix Legend Glass
What Makes Crankbait Rods Different?
Crankbait rods are obviously specifically designed to use crankbaits, but other presentations such as chatterbaits and even certain topwater presentations can also really shine with a crankbait specific rod. Crankbait rods are almost always made using fiberglass, most rods in decades past used fiberglass before the widespread use of carbon blanks. Fiberglass has stuck around in the form of crankbait rods because the give and flex that the fiberglass has when when a bass or any other type of fish eats a crankbait, and in turn when the angler sets the hook, dampens the shock and improves hook ups by helping prevent the angler from ripping the small treble hooks out of a fishes mouth. Along with these reasons, the spring-like whipping action that occurs during a cast helps with creating the ability to long distance cast lighter lures like crankbaits.
What to Look for In a Crankbait Rod
The number one thing to look for is some type of glass construction, or glass/carbon hybrid production. Other things which you should consider are high quality items like reel seats, line guides, quality grips, and resin coatings. Other features are more of a personal preference. Things such as split grips vs. solid full grips, or foam vs cork.
St. Croix Glass Casting rods are made using St. Croix’s integrated poly curve mandrel technology or IPC for short. This is used in combination with 100% linear S glass fiberglass for peak performance. The rods work exceptionally well when combined with lipless crankbaits, square bill crankbaits and even chatterbaits that are specifically designed to work with medium action rods. All rods come with 2 coats of flex coat, split-grip handles, premium grade cork and a Kigan hook keeper. With variants from 6’10” to 7’4” and powers from medium to heavy, you will have no issues finding a Mojo Bass glass rod to throw crankbaits with. 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.
- High quality construction synonymous with St. Croix
- Fairly affordable Price
- Not as many model options like other brands
The Champion series by Dobyns is one of the top performing crankbait rods on the market today and is setting the standard in sensitivity, strength, balance and weight. These rods come in a variety of lengths from 7 to 8 feet and actions of medium to medium heavy and fast to moderate fast actions. The champion series uses proprietary high modulus blanks to give anglers extra durability and performance while fishing. Along with the high quality blanks the rod also features AA grade cork grips, Zero Tangle Kigan guides with the SIC inserts, fuji graphite reel seat, and it even features a kevlar wrapping.
- High selection of models
- Kevlar wrapped blanks
- Higher price point
The Tatula design employs a range of advanced Manufacturing techniques and technologies. Using superior materials allows Daiwa to produce a rod with exceptional sensitivity without sacrificing strength. Built using Daiwa’s advanced Glatech glass construction and featuring Fuji guides with alconite inserts, this rod is sure to go above and beyond any anglers expectations. Other features of the Tatula glass are high quality foam split grips, and a micro pitch tapering blank. The Tatula Glass was built with tournament anglers in mind and features 4 variants from 7 to 8 feet in length, with medium and medium heavy actions as well.
- High Quality construction
- Great sensitivity for a glass rod
- Low number of model variants
Unlike other rods, the G Loomis IMX Pro uses a multi taper process to create a perfect balance of strength to weight, where other rods use the same mandrel for multiple lengths and tapers. The IMX Pro has other great features as well such as Fuji K frame guides, making the rod 15% lighter than other rods on the market, as well as premium solid cork grips and handles for great all weather casting. The IMX pro also comes in 11 different models, from 6’6” to 8’ in length and medium light to extra heavy power and moderate to moderate fast action depending on the model.
- Great all around crankbait rod
- G Loomis is known for creating high quality rods
- G Loomis rods are expensive compared to other brands
The Atomic 29 is a perfect choice for crankbait fishing. Featuring Enigmas E-glass construction for ultimate crankbait presentation performance along with many other features. The blanks taper on the atomic 29 is constructed to slow you, the angler down, and allow the fish to get the crankbait or chatterbait you’re fishing with. The Atomic 29 also features solid full cork handles made with premium Portuguese cork for exceptional comfort, durability and grip in all weather conditions, High quality alps guides that are all hand wrapped, and a high quality reel seat that is only found on the highest end fishing gear. There are also a ton of size and power options with 9 models ranging from a 7’ Medium action to a 7’11″ Heavy action, to handle a wide range of crankbaits from square bills, to deeper diving crankbaits like 10 xd’s.
- Hand wrapped high quality guides
- Good variety of models to choose from
- A little heavier in weight compared to other brands
Famous bass angler Mike Iaconelli partnered in designing the Abu Garcia signature delay series of rods. Built with crankbait type presentations in mind, it features a construction based around precision. Focusing on things like Long range castability, and higher hookup ratios. The tip of the Delay series is extra flexible, similar to a light action rod, with a robust backbone. Using advanced glass technology of high strain glass or HST to create the ideal crankbait rod. Other features of the rod are a Fuji reel seat, and stainless steel guides with zirconium inserts. Featuring models from 6’4” to 7’10” and power from medium to medium heavy, all with moderate action.
- Unique tip and action
- Robust backbone
- Foam grips instead of cork
Next we have another offering from St. Croix. The Legend is the St. Croix’s top of the line crankbait rod, and one of the top fishing rods out there, and for good reason. Using the IPC or Integrated Polycurve Technology, and the highest quality components really set this rod apart and make it one of the best on the market. Using 100% linear S glass fiberglass for peak performance. All rods come with 2 coats of flex coat, split-grip handles, premium grade cork and a Kigan hook keeper. With variants from 6’10” to 8’ 8” and powers from medium to heavy, and all featuring moderate actions, you have a wide selection of rods to throw crankbaits with.
- One of the highest quality rods on the market
- 100% fiberglass construction
- High price
- Lower number of choices in models
Our Pick for best Crankbait Rod
We looked at a combination of Price, features, and variants to come to our conclusion of best crankbait rod. And we came at a tie for two different brands. The St Croix Mojo Bass Glass, and the Abu Garcia Ike Signature delay Rods. These 2 rods have a great price point and their features such as the flex coatings and quality construction of the rod for the Mojo Bass Glass, and the unique tip action couple with a strong blank in the Ike Signature Delay win in our book.
Crankbait rods are a tool that every angler should consider in their angling arsenal, they allow you to present a precise and important presentation in a variety of fishing situations. The amount of fish not lost fishing crankbaits with a glass rod, especially if you’re a tournament angler will make you a believer, the long casting and action of crankbaits on precision crankbait rods will help you catch more fish. We hope this article helped you decide what crankbait rod to buy, and we also hope it helps you in your pursuit of fish when you’re on the water.