Best Bass Fishing Rods
What’s makes a great bass fishing rod?
As with so many things in life, the answer is, “It depends.”
You need to decide which bass fishing techniques you’ll be focusing on. Then you’ll be able to pick the right rod. If you have experience with different lures and techniques, you’ll definitely understand our suggestions and guidelines for selecting a new rod.
But what if you don’t have much on-the-water experience?
This article is going to provide you with all the information you need to choose the right bass fishing rod.
No Experience Needed!
We’ll give you our top picks for bass rods, both casting and spinning, and clue you in to the nitty-gritty details, like what the terms power (or weight) and action mean, and what material types go into making the best fishing pole for bass.
If you’re in a hurry, we’ve provided a quick-and-easy reference that matches certain rod types with the techniques they’re most suited for. Check out our Bass Rod Cheat Sheet to get a fast recommendation on which rod to buy.
Scroll to Top Picks
Scroll to Buying Considerations
Scroll to Verdict
Casting Rods vs. Spinning Rods
While each rod type excels in certain areas, both casting rods and spinning rods can work with any lure or technique you choose.
The main difference between the two rod types is the kind of reel that you’ll attach. A casting rod calls for a low-profile casting reel that looks like a tiny winch. Spinning rods take an underslung, open-faced spinning reel that features a revolving bail to wind the line.
Because both kinds of rods are available with any level of strength and flexibility you could ask for, the reel type is really what makes one kind of rig better than another for a given type of fishing.
- Casting rigs have more power and allow for better casting accuracy.
- Spinning rigs are capable of casting lighter lures.
If you remember those two facts about casting and spinning reels when you’re selecting a rod, you can factor them in along with all the rod-focused decision points we’ll discuss.
Bass Rod Cheat Sheet
We wanted to give you a shortcut to rods selection, but first we’ll need to preview a couple of terms that are described in more detail later.
When discussing rods, the term power (or weight) describes how easily a rod bends, whereas the term action describes the location in the rod’s length where the bend occurs.
Whether it’s a casting or spinning rod, power and action greatly affect how a rod performs when used with various lures and techniques, and that’s what this cheat sheet is all about.
|If you’re fishing with…||The best type of rod is…||Example|
|Plastic Worms & Jigs||Zebco Graphex Casting Rod|
|Spinnerbaits||Duckett Micro Magic Pro Spinning Rod|
|Crankbaits||St. Croix Mojo Bass Glass Casting Rod|
|Topwater baits||Lamiglas XP Bass Spinning Rod|
Obviously, there are a lot of lure categories not addressed here, but these are certainly some of the most common, and we hope this chart gives you a good idea of what type of rod works with these lures.
Top Picks Overview
Below you’ll find a quick overview of the best bass rods on the market today.
Each rod is also described in a detailed review later in this article.
|Casting||Ugly Stik GX2||Check Best Price|
|Casting||St. Croix Mojo Bass Glass||Check Best Price|
|Spinning||Duckett Micro Magic Pro||Check Best Price|
|Casting||Abu Garcia IKE Signature||Check Best Price|
|Casting||Berkley Cherrywood HD||Check Best Price|
|Spinning||Lamiglas XP Bass||Check Best Price|
|Casting||Zebco Graphex||Check Best Price|
|Spinning||Shimano Stimula||Check Best Price|
|Spinning||Daiwa Tatula||Check Best Price|
|Spinning||Dobyns Fury||Check Best Price|
Top Pick Reviews – Casting Rods
This section contains our top picks for anyone looking for an affordable, high-quality casting rod.
If you need to find the best baitcasting rod for bass, read on.
Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Rod
This rod is made with what the manufacturer calls Ugly Tech construction. It’s an ingenious combination of graphite and fiberglass that results in a very strong, sensitive rod.
You’ll see a lot of rods featuring guides with inserts made of some space-age plastic. That stuff does make casting easier, but sometimes the inserts pop out.
The UglyStik GX2 Casting Rod solves that problem because it’s fitted with one-piece stainless-steel guides. You may give up an inch or two in casting distance, but these guides are extremely durable, and you’ll never have to worry about inserts coming out.
You can get this rod in a variety of weights, and there’s a 7′, medium-weight version that would be perfect for throwing crankbaits.
Our rating: 4.6/5
- Ugly Tech™ construction with a combination of Graphite and fiberglass to create a strong, yet sensitive rod
- Ugly Tuff™ one piece stainless steel guides provide excellent durability and eliminate insert pop-outs
- Ugly Stik Clear Tip design for strength & sensitivity
- Durable & lightweight EVA grips
- 7-year warranty
|Length||Power||Lure Weight||Line Weight||Pieces|
|5’6″||Medium||1/4-5/8 oz||8-20 lb||1|
|5’6″||Medium||1/8-5/8 oz||6-12 lb||2|
|6′||Med. Heavy||1/4-3/4 oz||10-25 lb||1|
|6′||Medium||1/4-5/8 oz||8-20 lb||1|
|6′||Medium||1/4-5/8 oz||6-12 lb||2|
|6’6″||Medium||1/4-5/8 oz||8-20 lb||1|
|6’6″||Med. Heavy||1/4-3/4 oz||10-25 lb||1|
|6’6″||Med. Heavy||1/4-3/4 oz||10-25 lb||2|
|6’6″||Heavy||1/2-1 1/2 oz||20-50 lb||1|
|7′||Medium||1/4-5/8 oz||8-20 lb||1|
|7′||Med. Heavy||1/4-3/4 oz||10-25lb||1|
|7′||Medium||1/4-5/8 oz||8-20 lb||2|
|7′||Med. Light||1/4-3/4 oz||8-20 lb||2|
|7’6″||Med. Light||1/4-3/4 oz||6-17 lb||1|
St. Croix Mojo Bass Glass Casting Rod
Casting rods are preferred when fishing with most crankbaits, and the St. Croix’s Mojo Bass Glass Casting Rod was designed specifically to be one of the top bass rods for crankbait fishing.
This rod was great when it was first introduced, but a complete redesign in 2016 made it even better. It is now constructed of 100% linear S-glass and its one-piece blank is performance-tuned using St. Croix’s Integrated Poly Curve tooling technology.
The guides are made with strong aluminum-oxide rings that allow line of all types to shoot through with minimal resistance. That means you can make longer casts!
Fuji makes the best reel seats, and the Mojo Bass Glass Casting Rod features one with a black hood, making the rod and reel fit so well they seem like they’re molded together.
This rod’s premium-grade cork handle has a split grip that exposes part of the rod blank for added sensitivity.
The Mojo Bass Glass Rod doesn’t just perform well, it also looks amazing! St. Croix completes this rod with two coats of Flex-Coat, slow-cure finish. It protects the blank and keeps your rod in top condition for as long as you own it.
Our rating: 4.5/5
- Integrated Poly Curve® (IPC®) tooling technology.
- Premium, high-modulus SCIII graphite.
- Super premium, 100% linear S-glass.
- Slim-profile ferrules.
- Kigan Master Hand 3D guides with aluminum-oxide rings and black frames.
- Fuji® ECS reel seat.
- Split-grip/premium-grade cork handle.
|Length||Power||Action||Line Weight||Lure Weight||Rod Weight||Handle|
|7’4″||M||Mod.||8-14 lb||¼-¾ oz||5.2 oz||4|
|7’8″||MH||Mod.||10-20 lb||⅜-1 oz||6.6 oz||5|
Abu Garcia IKE Signature Casting Rod
Elite Series Pro Mike Iaconelli put all his knowledge and experience into the design of the Ike Signature Series rods. If you need a classic worming rod, this would be a fine choice.
To start with, the rod is constructed of premium graphite. It has an action that helps you cast accurately, it is sensitive enough to transmit the slightest bite, and it has the backbone to achieve brutal hook sets when using soft plastics. But the rod’s dynamic bend also makes it suitable for crankbait fishing.
Like most of the rods we’ll discuss, Abu Garcia’s IKE Signature Casting Rod comes with stainless steel guides and a quality reel seat. The hardware attached to your rod may not be the first thing you check out, but make no mistake, it matters a lot. The Fuji reel seat makes for a low-profile attachment, and the guides have Zirconium inserts to reduce line friction.
Mike Iaconelli consulted with Abu Garcia to ensure these rods have the right power/weight and action, and Abu Garcia listened. Afterall, when you’ve had as much success on the professional bass fishing circuit as Mr. Iaconelli, you’re bound to have some pretty valuable insights.
Our rating: 4.2/5
- 36-ton graphite gives a lightweight balanced design with increased sensitivity
- Fuji® reel seat for great comfort
- Stainless steel guides with Zirconium inserts
- Mike Iaconelli designed actions
- HSG Construction gives parabolic action – ideal for crankbait fishing
Berkley Cherrywood HD Casting Rod
Through-handle construction has a lot to do with how solid a rod feels in your hand. It’s when the blank extends all the way through the handle to the very end, and it can have a big impact on a rod’s power and sensitivity. On some low-end bass rods, it’s the first thing manufactures get rid of to cut costs.
That’s not the case with the Berkley Cherrywood HD Casting Rod. A through-handle design is just one of the high-end features you’ll find in this affordable rod. Durable guides with stainless steel inserts and a premium cork grip come standard.
The Berkley Cherrywood HD Casting Rod is available in a range of lengths, powers/weights, and actions, so finding a bass pole that’s right for the lures and techniques you’ll be using will be no problem at all!
Our rating: 4/5
- Hybrid design construction for increased sensitivity with the security of through-handle construction
- SS304 guides with Stainless Steel inserts
- Cork handle design for added comfort and grip
|6′||Medium Heavy||Fast||10-20 lb||1|
|6’6″||Medium Heavy||Fast||10-20 lb||1|
|7′||Medium Light||Fast||6-14 lb||1|
|7′||Medium Heavy||Fast||10-20 lb||1|
Zebco Graphex Casting Rod
The Graphex Casting Rod from Zebco is an affordable rod that performs like one of its high-end cousins. All the available lengths have a fast action, and you can choose the power that matches up with the lures and techniques you’re using.
Graphite is bonded with EX-Fiber to give this rod remarkable sensitivity and strength. Aluminum-oxide guides mean minimal resistance regardless of the type of line you use, and less resistance results in longer casts.
You might not expect a natural cork handle on a mid-range rod like this, but the Graphex Casting Rod has one, and a rock-solid reel seat lets you securely attach the casting reel of your choice.
If you’re into worming but need a rod that works with other techniques too, pick up a Graphex Casting Rod in the 6′ 6″ length and you won’t be sorry.
Our rating: 3.7/5
- Rod type: Casting
- Lengths: 6’0″, 6’6″ and 7’0″
- Action: Medium/Heavy
- Taper: Fast
- Line Weight: 6-12 lb
- Seat: Quantum
- IM6 graphic bonded with EX-Fiber
- Fast taper tips for great lure action and control
- Aluminum-oxide D-Ring DynaFlow guides
- High-quality cork handles
Top Pick Reviews – Spinning Rods
This section contains our top picks for anglers who need an affordable, high-quality spinning rod for bass fishing.
Duckett Micro Magic Pro Spinning Rod
If you’re searching for the best spinning rod for bass, you just found it—the Duckett Micro Magic Pro Spinning Rod. Duckett’s innovative Sensi-Touch blanks are unbelievably sensitive, constructed from premium materials, and enhanced with carbon fiber to increase durability.
You can use any type of line with this rod that you want. Monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braid all pass through the micro guides with ease, and specialized inserts ensure that the abrasive braided lines won’t cut into the guides.
This lightweight rod is perfectly balanced to help reduce fatigue, and it features a Fuji reel seat that was designed to allow a low-profile reel connection. A high-grade cork grip is capped off with a tough EVA butt that will never crack or break.
The 6′ 6″, medium-weight model has a fairly fast action, so it would be perfect if you’re going to spend all day slinging spinnerbaits around a grass line.
Our rating: 4.3/5
- Micro-guide technology
- Hyper-lite braid proof inserts
- Halo-Sanded Sensi-Touch rod blanks
- Carbon fiber scrim
- Cut-proof EVA butt
- Fuji reel seats
- High-quality cork grips
|6’6″||Medium||Moderate Fast||8 + Tip||14″|
|6’6″||Medium Heavy||Moderate Fast||8 + Tip||14″|
|7′||Medium Light||Fast||9 + Tip||15″|
|7′||Medium||Fast||9 + Tip||15″|
|7′||Medium Heavy||Fast||9 + Tip||15″|
Lamiglas XP Bass Spinning Rod
Topwater fishing has got to be one of the most exciting ways to catch bass. There’s something about seeing that violent explosion under your lure that keeps anglers coming back for more.
But when a fish hits a topwater plug, experienced anglers know that a do-nothing approach is best. Any reaction from you might pull the lure out of the fish’s mouth. The Lamiglas XP Bass rod, one of the best bass spinning rods you can find, is tailor made for topwater fishing because the construction creates a smooth, soft bend that helps ensure solid hookups.
This graphite rod’s light-weight design and comfortable split-grip cork handle help you spend more time on the water without getting tired. A high-end Fuji reel seat means you can attach your best spinning reel and be sure of a solid connection
If you’re looking for a spinning rod that has the action to throw light topwater baits and the power to handle big fish, a Lamiglas XP Bass spinning rod would be an excellent selection.
Our rating: 4.0/5
- Stainless steel guides
- IM7 carbon graphite blanks
- Split-grip handle
- Polished graphic finish
- Quality Fuji reel seat
|Model||Length||Lure Weight||Line Weight||Action||Power|
|XP702S||7′||1/8 – 1/4||6 – 10||Moderate||2|
|XP703S||7′||3/16 – 5/8||8 – 17||>Fast||3|
Shimano Stimula Spinning Rod
Shimano’s Stimula Spinning Rods offer fantastic power and sensitivity. They’re at the lower end of the price range, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be giving up any important features.
This rugged spinning rod is constructed using a durable graphite composite blank and is available in a variety of lengths. You can fine-tune your selection by choosing just the right power and action for your fishing style.
Like more expensive rods, the Stimula Spinning Rod is equipped with aluminum oxide guides that will last forever and minimize line friction.
For all anglers who need a great spinning rod but still want to give their wallet a break, the Shimano’s Stimula Spinning Rod is the rod for you.
Our rating: 3.7/5
- Responsive graphite composite construction
- Comfortable full cork handles for solid grip
- Lightweight aluminum oxide guides
Daiwa Tatula Spinning Rod
Diawa is known for it’s high-quality fishing gear, and the Tatula Spinning Rod is a great example of what they do. This rod is made with X45 Bias Graphite construction and SVF (Super High Volume Fiber) carbon fiber that gives it incredible flexibility and strength.
You’ll get a tough but attractive finish, and Daiwa’s custom reel seat features a machined aluminum clamp nut for solid mounting of your favorite spinning reel.
Fuji Alconite guides and an ultra-lightweight split EVA grip round out the package—this feature-packed rod gives you a lot of bang for your buck!
Our rating: 3.5/5
- Premium natural cork handle
- Lazer-etched Tatula spider graphic
- X-45 concept blanks with Braiding-X Fiber Braiding technology
- Fuji FazLite guides.
- Limited 5-Year warranty
|Length||Power||Action||Line Weight||Lure Weight||Guides|
|6’6″||Medium||Fast||6-14 lb||1/8-3/4 oz||8|
|6’8″||Medium||Fast||6-14 lb||1/8-3/4 oz||8|
|6’10”||Medium||X-Fast||5-12 lb (6-20 lb Braid)||1/16-3/8 oz||8|
|7′||Medium||Fast||6-14 lb||1/8-3/4 oz||8|
|7’2″||Medium Heavy||Fast||8-17 lb||1/4-3/4 oz||9|
|7’3″||Medium||X-Fast||6-14 lb (8-20 lb Braid)||3/16-1/1 oz||9|
|7’6″||Medium Light||Fast||5-12 lb (8-20 lb Braid)||3/16-1/2 oz||9|
Dobyns Fury Series Spinning Rod
A versatile, high-quality spinning rod at an affordable price. We all need at least one, and the Dobyns Fury Spinning Rod is a great choice to start your collection.
You get a premium rod that’s made from strong, light-weight graphite, and this rod offers unparalleled power and sensitivity. A Fuji reel seat is the best you can get, and the Dobyns Fury Spinning Rod has one. The Kevlar-wrapped guides are tough, but finished beautifully, to give this rod a high-end appearance.
The Dobyns Fury Spinning Rod is light-weight and has an ergonomic, high-density cork grip, so you can fish all day and into the night without getting worn out.
Our rating: 3.5/5
- Dobyns FR 702SF Fury Series Spinning Rod
- Primary Techniques: Dartheads, Dropshot Rigs, Shaky Heads, Tubes & Gitzits
- Secondary Techniques: Finesse Wacky Rigs, Light Texas Rigs, Split Shot
- Dobyns FR 703SF Fury Series Spinning Rod
- Primary Techniques: Jigs, Senkos, Shaky Heads, Texas Rigs
- Secondary Techniques: Heavy Drop Shot, Wacky Rigs
|Length||Power||Action||Lure Weight||Handle Length|
|6’6″||Light||Fast||1/8 – 3/8 oz||11-1/4″|
|6’6″||Medium Light||Fast||1/8 – 1/2 oz||11-1/4″|
|6’6″||Medium||Fast||3/16 – 5/8 oz||11-1/4″|
|7′||Medium Light||Fast||1/8 – 1/2 oz||12-1/4″|
|7′||Medium||Fast||3/16 – 5/8 oz||12-1/4″|