Best Spinning Rod for Bass: Our Top 9 Choices in 2024

Our five top choices as the best spinning rod for bass all offer great quality, casting accuracy and feel for chasing bass. Find out which rod we rated on top

Bass spinning rods have to be versatile – powerful enough to pull a fish out of structure, but sensitive enough to pick up a bite floating a light soft plastic and durable enough to cope with a few spills and thrills.

We’ve chosen our five best spinning rods to target America’s favorite sport fish to review for you below.

Choose one of these sticks, and you can be confident you have got the right fishing rod to tackle trophy bass.

Best Spinning Rod for Bass Fishing: Our Top Picks

Best Overall

For those who like to cut straight to the chase, the St Croix Mojo is our pick as the best spinning rod for bass fishing – it’s purpose-built for targeting bass, and you get a quality blank, handle, and guides without totally breaking the bank.

Best Value

And our best-value spinning rod is the Fenwick HMG – another popular choice among bass fishermen and women, it has similar-grade components at a competitive price. There are cheaper options (such as the Ardent), but none are packed with this much quality and value.

Choosing a Rod for Bass Fishing

Quick summary: Medium power rods are great for catching bass on crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and other other reaction-based bass lure or bait. Heavy power spinning rods are best used when fishing with jigs, frogs, topwater lures, or other fishing techniques. We prefer fast-action rods for bass fishing and typically rods of about 7 feet in length are best.

Fishing rods come with variations in features; these variants excel at certain bait presentations, whether it’s jigs, crankbaits, jerkbaits or soft plastics – make sure you select a rod with the right specifications for the role you intend to use it for.

Action, power, and rod length are all things to consider. Most spinning rods for bass tend to be fast action for the sensitivity of the tip and the ability to get a good hookset. With treble hooks or when longer casts are the norm, you might choose a medium fast rod.

While all our choices are nominally fast action fishing rods, they are all capable of distance casting and are forgiving enough not to pull a small treble hook out of a bass’ mouth. About 7 feet is the optimum length, and we prefer two-piece rods so we can travel easily with them.

Our Top Spinning Rods for Bass Broken Down

RodLengthActionLineOtherPrice
St Croix Mojo
MJS71MF2
7’1″Fast6-12lbPremium graphite blank
Fuji reel set
Purpose designed for bass
Cork handles
$$$$

Fenwick HMG
HMG70M-FS-2
7′Fast8-14lbFuji guides
Cork handles
Limited lifetime warranty
Carbon Bound blank
$$
13 Fishing Omen
Black 3
7’1″Fast6-12lbJapanese Toray Graphite blank
Stainless steel guides
Cork handles
$$$
Ardent Tournament Pro7′Fast6-12lbOne piece design
Graphite blank
Stainless steel guides
$
Daiwa Tatula TAT701MFS7Fast6-14lbBRAIDING-X technology
Top-quality cork handles
Fuji Fazelite guides
$$$$
Shakespeare Ugly Stik7′Fast6-12lbBargain price
Cork grips
Stainless steel guides
$

RELATED POSTS: Best Baitcasting RodsBest Telescopic Fishing RodBaitcaster Combos


St Croix Mojo Bass Spinning Rods
St Croix Mojo Bass Spinning Rods
St Croix Mojo Bass Spinning Rods
Our Score

St Croix is perhaps one the most well-known companies to create fishing rods and is known for making some of the highest quality spinning rods you can buy.

Using integrated poly curve tooling technology and premium high-modulus SCIII graphite, these rods are made with some of the best technologies and materials in the industry. They feature a split grip made with premium-grade cork handles. Fuji DPS reel seats. 2 coats of flex seal slow cure finish epoxy. One of the greatest features isn’t a physical one; it's the 5-year warranty back by the St Croix Superstar Service. St Croix Mojo bass rods also feature a full array of technique-specific variations depending on the fishing techniques you wish to employ with the rod.

St Croix has 10 different variants in 1 and 2-piece models to choose from.

Fenwick HMG Spinning Rod
Fenwick HMG Spinning Rod
Fenwick HMG Spinning Rod
Our Score

Fenwick HMG rods have been around for decades, they were originally made from fiberglass, but now they offer them in Carbon as well. They are super strong and very rigid while still being extremely sensitive. Featuring an excellent tip and backbone.

The HMG also features Fuji line guides and a AAA corked handle, And the price, quite honestly, is very hard to beat. Featuring lengths from 6’ to 7’6” and fast to moderate-fast actions, and ultra-light to medium-heavy power, they have all of their bases covered. This is a great spinning rod for bass fishing.

13 Fishing Omen Black 3
13 Fishing Omen Black 3
13 Fishing Omen Black 3
Our Score

The most evolved and exceptional 13 fishing rod to date, the Omen Black 3 features some amazing engineering. The rod blank is created using 36-ton Japanese Toray graphite blanks. And PVG (Poly Vector Graphite) technology, which aligns the graphite fibers at a micro level, creating tighter weaves and improving sensitivity while maintaining a precisely balanced fishing rod. Features ALPS guides with zirconium inserts, helping improve casting, and hand-selected Portuguese split grip cork handles. The Omen Black 3 comes in 7 different variations from 6’7” to 7’5”, fast to extra fast tapers, and power from medium light to medium heavy.

Ardent Tournament Pro Series
Ardent Tournament Pro Series
Ardent Tournament Pro Series
Our Score

The Ardent Tournament pro series was designed with performance and affordability in mind while excelling at everything that competitive anglers demand. Built with the ever-popular IM7 graphite blanks, these rods offer exceptional strength and sensitivity. These rods also provide anglers with a wide range of finesse techniques and applications, eliminating the need for different variants down to two selections.

The Tournament series also features golf-style grips for unsurpassed comfort and stainless steel guides. The two variants of rod come at 7’ in length and have medium and medium-heavy power to choose from.

Daiwa Tatula Spinning Rod
Daiwa Tatula Spinning Rod
Daiwa Tatula Spinning Rod
Our Score

Combining Durability with a finesse-inspired design, the Tatula design employs various advanced Manufacturing techniques and technologies. Using superior materials allows Daiwa to produce a spinning rod with exceptional sensitivity without sacrificing strength.

The Tatula features 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 top-quality Portuguese cork handles and Fuji Fazelite tangle-free guides, this rod is sure to go above and beyond any anglers' expectations. The Tatula comes in 8 model options, from fast to extra fast tips, medium light to medium heavy power, and lengths from 6’6” to 7’6”.

Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod
Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod
Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod
Our Score

The Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite spinning rod is a great choice for beginners on account of its cheap price and the value it provides at that entry-level price point.

We reckon the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod is a good rod for bass fishers who are rusted on casting rod fans but run into trouble when they need to throw light lures or detect finesse bites. We get it - these guys don't want to spend much on a bass spinning rod as it is just for emergency use in their eyes.

That's where the Ugly Stik can fulfill that need stored away in your boat, car, or kayak when you are bass fishing; it can be a savior on those days when fish aren't responding to the usual lure presentations and you need to downsize or throw lighter lures.

For this cheap price, you get stainless steel guides, cork grips, a recessed reel seat, and a two-piece construction in a bass fishing rod that casts well and has a sensitive enough tip to detect timid bites.

Lew's Speed Stick Ultra Light
Lew's Speed Stick Ultra Light
Lew's Speed Stick Ultra Light
Our Score

This rod is something a bit different - - it is a panfish rod that you can also use for bass fishing in some circumstances. In fact, it is the ideal rod for fishing for bass in small creeks and ponds. You aren't targeting monsters in these environments, and the lightweight rod makes it easier to cast small lures all day with great accuracy. When you do hook a bass, it's a better fight on the ultralight gear.

And when you hook a fish on such a lightweight rod, the fight they put up is a lot of fun, even if they’re on the small side.

The Speed Stick Ultra Light will cast lures of 1/20th or even 1.32th of an ounce. Having this rod in your arsenal means you've not only got a bass rod, but you also have a decent trout and panfish rod.

The premium IM8 graphite blank used in the Speed Stick is fitted with a full-length cork grip and a reel seat designed to put the reel in direct contact with the blank.

Okuma Citrix
Okuma Citrix
Okuma Citrix
Our Score

We've included the Citrix in this lineup not just as a solid low to a medium-priced rod but also because it is a travel rod. The Citrix is a four-piece rod that packs down and can fit in a suitcase or backpack. It is far better quality when it comes to casting performance than a telescopic rod, but it can be conveniently stored and carried on any trip.

It is built on a lightweight IM8 graphite with a split grip EVA handle. The Citrix has good sensitivity but has enough backbone to tackle decent-sized fish. We think you'll be surprised by the casting performance of this rod too.

Cadence Essence Spinning Rod
Cadence Essence Spinning Rod
Cadence Essence Spinning Rod
Our Score

And finally - an ultra-budget rod that earns its place in this lineup. The Essence spinning rod is built from lightweight 24-ton carbon blank and is fitted with stainless steel guides, and comes with a one-year warranty.

There are a variety of options in terms of length and action and the choice of full-length cork or EVA foam split grips.

The Essence is ideal for freshwater fish like bass, walleye, and trout, as well as popular inshore species like redfish, speckled trout, and flounder.

If you are looking to get a bass spinning rod for less than $50, there are a few - if any - better options than the Cadence Essence.

best spinning rods for bass

Choosing a Spinning Rod for Bass Fishing

Rod Length

The first thing you have to decide when buying a spinning rod is length. At the extremes, bass spinning rods will generally fall in the range of 6 to 12 feet. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eFor those starting out, or people who like to fish in tight structures (say with overhanging trees), a shorter spinning rod is better. u003cstrongu003eA 7-foot spinning rod is a typical choice for bass fishingu003c/strongu003e.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eBut casting range is proportional to length as a general rule, so when long range is necessary, choose a longer rod. Also, if you are casting light lures, longer rods will be more effective. And they offer a bit more cushioning ability to absorbu003ca href=u0022https://tacklevillage.com/bass-jumping-out-of-water/u0022 data-type=u0022postu0022 data-id=u00221010710u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003e leaps u003c/au003eand runs from the fish.

Spinning Rod Grips for Bass Fishing

Probably the most important fittings to consider is the rod’s grip. Better spinning rods will generally have cork grips, although there are some good foam and composite grips too. For durability and feel, and performance in wet weather, u003cstrongu003eit is hard to beat cork gripsu003c/strongu003e. u003cbru003eYou will also have to choose between a single grip and a split grip. A single grip has a longer section of cork, foam, or composite running from the butt of the rod up to near the reel seat. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eA split grip has a u0022gapu0022 in the middle of this section or two pads of cork, foam, or composite. The result is a rod that’s u003cstrongu003ea little lighter and possibly better balancedu003c/strongu003e. By forcing the user to place their hands on the two grips, the rod is being used in the way the maker intended. The main drawback of split grips is the rod is not as comfortable to operate single-handed.

Best Spinning Rod Action and Power for Bass?

The other two things you will see mentioned in choosing a spinning rod are the action and power of the rod.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eAction on a spinning rod refers to the location on the blank at which the rod bends. For example, a fast action rod will bend about 15% down the blank from the tip, whereas a medium action rod will bend to a point further down the blank, and a slower action rod will bend right down the length of the blank. Here is a u003ca aria-label=u0022nice explanation (opens in a new tab)u0022 class=u0022rank-math-linku0022 href=u0022https://www.fishmhx.com/pages/rod-power-vs-actionu0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003enice explanationu003c/au003e of rod actions.u003cbru003eu003cbru003ePower refers to the amount of force needed to make the rod bend – pretty straightforward.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eu003cstrongu003eMany bass anglers tend to favor fast action, medium power rodsu003c/strongu003e. However, different styles of fishing favor different actions. Where tip sensitivity in detecting bites is key, a fast action rod is good – jigging or fishing with soft plastics, for example. Note, though, that these rods will be less forgiving on the surges and runs of the fish and need to be fished at a light drag setting.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eu003cstrongu003eA medium action rod is favored for u003ca href=u0022https://tacklevillage.com/best-crankbait-rod/u0022 data-type=u0022postu0022 data-id=u00222780u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003ecrankbait fishingu003c/au003eu003c/strongu003e. The softer action makes for a gentler hookset when you are using treble hooks and prevents the angler from ripping the hook through the thin membrane of the bass’ mouth. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eAs a general rule, a medium action rod can cast a light lure, such as a small crankbait, significantly further than a fast action rod.

Multi-Piece Spinning Rods for Bass?

Some anglers favor single or two-piece rods as they figure there is less to go wrong, and they preserve their action better. We think, though, u003cstrongu003ethere are considerable advantages in two, three, or even four-piece rods u003c/strongu003efor reasons of portability. You can put these rods in your suitcase or backpack when traveling (you can always go for a telescopic travel rod if you want to go even smaller!). u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThe u003cstrongu003equality of modern carbon fiber rodsu003c/strongu003e is very high and is manufactured to tight tolerances meaning it is rare for sections to come apart while fishing. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThere are many options available when it comes to the number of pieces in a bass rod.u003cbru003eWhile tournament guys go for a one piece spinning rod to eliminate all (or nearly all) chance of the rod coming apart on a cast, us mere mortals are more tempted by convenience.u003cbru003eu003cstrongu003eTwo piece bass rods are much easier to pack downu003c/strongu003e to transport – both in a boat or in a u003ca href=u0022https://tacklevillage.com/best-fishing-backpack/u0022u003ebackpacku003c/au003e – and store and u003cstrongu003edon’t suffer at all in terms of action or quality, in our opinionu003c/strongu003e.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eAs well as being more convenient, u003cstrongu003ethese rods are also cheaperu003c/strongu003e than their single counterparts – another reason to go with a more compact rod.

Advantages Over Casting Rods?

For a detailed run-down of spinning rods vs casting rods, check out our u003ca aria-label=u0022article (opens in a new tab)u0022 class=u0022rank-math-linku0022 href=u0022https://tacklevillage.com/spinning-rod-vs-casting-rod/u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003earticleu003c/au003e on this. But to summarise it in simple terms, u003cstrongu003espinning rods are easier to use for beginnersu003c/strongu003e as you don’t need to learn to brake the spool as you do with a casting rod to avoid birds’ nests. Spinning rods are also much better for casting light and ultralight lures. A spinning rod with reel spooled with braid will cast a light lure a long way further than a u003ca href=u0022https://tacklevillage.com/best-baitcasting-rods-for-bass/u0022 data-type=u0022postu0022 data-id=u00222653u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003ebaitcasting rodu003c/au003e. The ability to thumb the spool with a u003ca href=u0022https://tacklevillage.com/baitcasting-reels-all-the-info-you-need/u0022 data-type=u0022pageu0022 data-id=u00221011514u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003ebaitcasting reelu003c/au003e, though, means baitcasting rods are better for precision casting into structure.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eFor those bass fishers with a bit more experience who are used to using baitcasting rods, u003cstrongu003edon’t discount the importance of having a spinning rod or twou003c/strongu003e in your arsenal too. Pros such as Mike Iaconelli often use spinning rods when bass fishing, and it certainly doesn’t prevent them from winning tournaments. Where there is that need for long casts with small crankbaits or ultra light jig heads, you definitely need a spinning setup.

Rod Materials

As a general rule, u003cstrongu003emost quality spinning rods today are carbon fiber rodsu003c/strongu003e. Carbon fiber is the best material for sensitivity and casting distance, as well as fighting fish. The only drawback to it is that it is more brittle than fiberglass and, therefore, easier to break. If you are using it properly, it is rare to break a rod. But mishaps do happen – we’ve seen graphite rod tips broken by ceiling fans, car doors, and misplaced boots. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eFiberglass is a tougher material but is not as dynamic, resulting in a slower action rod. Sometimes this is an advantage – that’s why many crankbait rods for bass are fiberglass. u003cstrongu003eThey are better for optimal hooksetu003c/strongu003e, and the medium action means anglers can cast even the least aerodynamic crankbait a reasonable distance to get among the fish.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eu003cstrongu003eFiberglass rods are pretty much impossible to break in normal fishing situationsu003c/strongu003e. This also makes them a great choice for a first rod for a child that’s just getting into fishing (see u003ca href=u0022https://tacklevillage.com/taking-kids-fishing-10-tips-to-make-a-trip-a-success/u0022 data-type=u0022postu0022 data-id=u00221012878u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003ehereu003c/au003e for our tips on taking kids fishing). They will soak up all the rough treatment that a kid can dish out – poking the tip into the ground, sitting on the rod, or dropping it; none of this will cause a fiberglass rod to fail!

What’s the Best Cheap Spinning Rod for Bass?

We recognize that not everybody has big money to spend on a fishing rod. Maybe you are just starting out in bass fishing, aren’t currently working, or are a retiree who has to watch their pennies. Or maybe you are just tight with a dollar! No problems – the u003ca aria-label=u0022KastKing Crixus (opens in a new tab)u0022 class=u0022rank-math-linku0022 href=u0022https://amzn.to/39Ek71gu0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopener nofollowu0022u003eKastKing Crixusu003c/au003e is au003cstrongu003e good solution for those wanting a rod at around the $50 marku003c/strongu003e. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThe Crixus rods are built from powerful and sensitive IM6 graphite blanks and range in power from a lightweight rod to heavy in 5’ to 7’6” lengths. Features include a superpolymer handle, stainless steel guides with zirconium inserts, split handle design with an EVA fighting butt.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eAll these rods are two piece models making them u003cstrongu003ethe perfect traveling companionu003c/strongu003e.

How About Some Ultralight or Finesse Models?

We have a separate review of the u003ca aria-label=u0022best ultralight spinning rods (opens in a new tab)u0022 class=u0022rank-math-linku0022 href=u0022https://tacklevillage.com/best-ultralight-fishing-rod/u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003ebest ultralight spinning rodsu003c/au003e on the market. See that article for a breakdown of the best choices. Some other rods to look at for lightweight bass fishing are discussed below:u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThe u003ca href=u0022https://bassproshops.vzck.net/c/2349489/570222/9453?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.basspro.com%2Fshop%2Fen%2Flews-custom-lite-speed-stick-spinning-rodu0022 data-type=u0022URLu0022 data-id=u0022https://bassproshops.vzck.net/c/2349489/570222/9453?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.basspro.com%2Fshop%2Fen%2Flews-custom-lite-speed-stick-spinning-rodu0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopener nofollowu0022u003eLew’s Speed Stick Ultra Lightu003c/au003e is one to look at it. It is a great stick for casting lightweight lures and is a great crossover rod between trout and panfish on one hand and bass on the other. It is au003cstrongu003e lovely rod to use on those smaller speciesu003c/strongu003e but is good enough quality not to let you down if you hook a decent bass. If you need one rod to cover all these species, this is a really good option to consider. It is lightweight and has a quality full-length cork grip and comes in a variety of lengths and actions, and is u003cstrongu003every competitively pricedu003c/strongu003e for what you get.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThe other one to consider is Abu Garcia’s IKE Signature Finesse. Developed in collaboration with bass pro Mike u0022Ikeu0022 Iaconelli, u003cstrongu003ethe Finesse is a great rod to haveu003c/strongu003e when the going gets slow, and bass require a delicate presentation of small lures. This rod can cast lures right down the 1/32oz weight range without difficulty and has enough sensitivity to detect the most timid of bites. u003cstrongu003eThis rod will cast these far further than a conventional bass spinning rodu003c/strongu003e and further again than a casting rod. On a tough day, having a rod like this in your arsenal might mean the difference between going home fishless and a enjoying a day to remember.

Weight of Line

For most bass fishing, lines in the 10 to 12-lb range are ideal. This is strong enough to pull a big bass out of heavy structure and deal with scrapes and abrasions on rocks and tree branches. The rods listed here are all well suited to this weight of line, u003ca href=u0022https://tacklevillage.com/choosing-the-best-fishing-line-for-bass/u0022 data-type=u0022postu0022 data-id=u00222693u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003ewhether that’s braid, mono, or fluorou003c/au003e.

Can You Use a Spinning Rod Jigging for Bass?

For jig fishing many anglers favor a casting rod on account of the power needed. Jigs are often used to target big fish close to cover, and with a casting rod you can get the necessary accuracy (with the ability to thumb the spool) as well as the cranking power in the reel and the rod to pull a big bass out of heavy cover.u003cbru003eBut with a strong fast action spinning rod you get pretty much all these characteristics bar the ability to stop the lure in flight. u003cstrongu003eWe recommend the Fenwick HMGu003c/strongu003e as the best spinning for jigging for bass – it has got some serious backbone, and it is u003cstrongu003every well-pricedu003c/strongu003e.

Price and Value for Money

For the rods we have reviewed here, you are looking at u003cstrongu003ebetween $50 and $200u003c/strongu003e, with the median cost probably about $130, depending on the configuration. All these rods pack an amazing amount of technology and performance for that price and u003cstrongu003ewill deliver great service for a reasonable costu003c/strongu003e.

Conclusion

If we had to pick one out of these five rods as our best spinning rod, our pick would be the St Croix Mojo bass rods. They are amazing, and the price is on point for what you get out of it. And you can’t beat the warranty. St Croix has some of the best customer service that we have dealt with in the fishing industry, and in our books, customer service is a very big deal.

The other rods mentioned are also amazing and bring different features to the table. At the end of the day, pick what best fits you, your style of fishing, and what tactics you want to employ with it (check here for our best crankbait rods and our best swimbait rods and baitcaster combos). In terms of reel pairings, the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ is the ideal choice of reel to match with these rods if you have a bit of cash to spend!

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AUTHOR
Shawn Chapin is an experienced fishing writer and guide based in Wisconsin, where he loves targeting muskie and a range of other species. Shawn's fished extensively for pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth and panfish species. He's developing a passion for chasing trout on the fly rod.
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