Best Bass Fishing Rods 2020/2021 – [Buyer’s Guide]
Choosing the best bass fishing rod means matching the action, length, power, and type of rod to the kind of lures or setups that you will be fishing the most often with.
When it comes to bass fishing there are so many different types of lures that ,unfortunately, there is no one rod to rule them all.
A pole that is suited to big heavy lures will not cast lightweight finesse style rigs very well and vice versa.
You can pick a rod that can work as a decent all-round bass rod.
While it may not be able to throw lightweight drop shot rigs it should still be usable for the majority of bass lures except for giant swimbaits or crankbaits.
The Best Bass Fishing Rod for all around use will be a casting rod with a medium/heavy power rating, a fast action and be roughly 7' in length
Ideally, you would have one setup for lighter style applications, one general rod, and then one heavier setup for larger treble hook lures.
Spinning rods are great for ultralight fishing or light lure work but ultimately the majority of bass fishing is done with a baitcaster setup.
Our top choice is the St Croix Mojo Bass. The range comes in a variety of actions and powers and from 6'8" to 7'11" in length. Built on St Croix's now-legendary SCII graphite and constructed using their IPC technology that ensures a perfectly tapered rod blank for increased strength, super sensitivity, and high end casting performance.
If you are looking for a more budget-friendly bass rod then the Ugly Stik Elite is an excellent performer for the money and are available in a casting or a spinning version.
For bass fishing, baitcasting setups are undoubtedly the most common. When casting lures all day or when pinpoint accuracy is needed, they make life a whole lot easier.
However, using a baitcaster reel seems very intimidating for many beginners and they never take the time to learn how to use one as a result.
Bass casting rods make all power style techniques possible, such as large crankbaits, deep-covered topwater frogs, and large spinnerbaits.
Such fishing styles require heavy lines and that's where a baitcaster excels. It requires at least 50 lb of braided fishing line to throw frogs over heavy weed beds and that would suggest a very heavy spinning rig that would be very tiring to cast all day.
When you are using lighter style presentations, spinning rods start to shine thoroughly.
Any kind of finesse fishing in and about 8 lbs of breaking strain is best done on light line. That is not going to be easy on a baitcaster!
To get the spool spinning, baitcasters need a bit of weight, while a spinning reel doesn't need anything to get the line to fall off the spool.
If you use tiny light lures, then use a spinning rod as a general rule.
Rod Power for Bass
Rod power refers to how solid a rod is or what line and lure weights that it is rated for.
These ratings can vary slightly among different manufacturers, but generally, they mean the same thing.
Ultralight is on the low end and is ideally suited for finesse type fishing such as very tiny jigs.
The top end is a high strength rating ideal for large lures and heavy lines, such as throwing a frog into a thick cover of weed.
Unless you explicitly try finesse fishing on very light equipment, most bass fishing would need a rod with a medium power rating or higher.
Rod Action for Bass
Action and power are frequently confused, and you can hear anglers using the two interchangeably on a regular basis.
Yet they are separate things altogether.
Rod action defines where the normal bend in the rod begins to shape on the blank rod.
A quick action would begin to bend the rod even higher toward the tip of the rod.
Whereas a mild action will bend towards the center of the rod blank.
- Medium or Moderate
- Extra fast
Faster action rods are much more sensitive and are better used when you need to quickly set the hook or quickly take a bass out of the cover.
Lures such as crankbaits or other such lures that have wide treble hooks are better suited to moderate action as you do not want to set the hook too vigorously when using a treble hook.
Rod Length for Bass
Generally shorter rods are considered to be more precise than longer rods, but longer rods are better at casting greater distances.
Every kind of close quarter work is best with a shorter rod of approximately 6'6 as a rough guide.
Also, longer rods would be better suited to a bass boat's deck.
The angler's height will also play an important role in the length of the rod, something that is sometimes looked over.
Best Bass Fishing Rod
The St. Croix Mojo Bass is our top choice for best baitcasting rod for the money.
The Mojo Bass aims to combine the power needed for lightweight pinpoint applications and enough backbone to cast heavier lures and jigs when necessary.
This combination provides the best of both worlds to the angler and makes for a very flexible rod.
If you are looking for one rod to cover as many styles of bass fishing as possible then the Mojo Bass is it!
When it is required, not many rods can combine lightweight presentation techniques with enough casting strength for heavier applications
The blank is made of SC-II graphite, the premium graphite material used by ST Croix on all their top rod ranges.
The blanks were produced using the patented method known as Integrated Poly Curve from St Croix. This method aims to remove the natural points of change that you find in any rod's curve.
Eliminating these points helps to have much better sensitivity from tip to handle and leads to higher strength and a smoother action rod.
- High modulus SC-II graphite blank
- Aluminum oxide inserts
- Fuji ECS reel seat
- Kigan Master Hand 3D guides
- 5 year warranty
Casting rods from the Ugly Stik Elite are exceptional value for money.
The construction of the Ugly Tech makes for some really light rods.
Ugly Stik's Elite series of rods are normally all really fast action, so before you make your decision, be mindful of this. The one-piece nature will give these rods a very special feel, as when there is no join, the blanks are still very sensitive.
The range is available in just a few lengths, but a range of acts are available.
The 7 footers are very capable and can be used with some pretty heavy lures.
For thousands of anglers, the Fury Series FR 702F by Dobyns is the go-to option for drop shooting.
Dobyns manufactures some super slick rods at a reasonable cost.
The FR 702SF is a fast-acting 7 foot medium/light power rod with on a graphite blank from high modulus.
You get nice casting distance at 7' feet and a rod that is not too long for when you drop vertically when you fish in close quarters.
In the range of 6-12 lbs, it is classified for line and lure weights in the range of 1/8-1/2 oz, which is a great drop shot rod or almost any other finesse technique.
The medium/light rod blank has a sufficient backbone and yet maintains a great deal of sensitivity.
It also has a fairly unusual split cork/foam handle. The foam on your forearm is very comfortable and the cork handle that is nearest to the reel seat helps to send as much input through your hands via the blank rod.
The best drop shot rod for the money without the big price tag, you get high end rod performance.
The Lew's American Hero Flipping Stick is the best flipping rod for hands-down money.
It is around half the cost of most flipping rods from the regular major brand names and also works.
The AH76HC is a dedicated flippin and pitching stick built on top of IM6 graphite rod blanks of the highest quality.
It's right in the sweet spot at 7'6 between being long enough to get a good flip of your lure and still short enough on a long day out not to end up tiring your arms.
If your game is throwing larger flipping jigs in and around deep cover, then the American Hero can handle them with ease as it is rated for lures weighing up to 2 ounces.
It ensures ample backbone down through the rod blank by its heavy power rating.
Owing to a fast tip action, it is super sensitive and provides great feedback and hook sets.
It comes with a very comfortable split EVA foam grip that is simple on the hands and once wet, still maintains a good degree of grip.
It provides a perfect efficiency and value balance, the best money flippin rock!
For those in the know, the Dobyns Fury Series has something of a cult following. For the money, it's easily the best frog rod.
We have another fantastic competitor from the Dobyns great rod family here; model FR 735CC
This one measures 7'3 " and is a casting rod for quick action. With a 12-25 lb thread, it fits best, and the suggested lure weight for the rod is 1⁄4 to 1.5 oz.
The rod itself is amazing and comes with a graphite blank Fuji reel seat, high modulus, and Kevlar-wrapped line guides.
The manuals, by the way, are perfectly matched. Plus, the cork grip and the Hypalon butt can also be looked forward to.
When you hold it in your palm, you can only feel it. It is painted black and around the guide wraps we also liked the epoxy finish, it was very clean and very consistent for a mass-produced rod.
This is arguably the best rod we've used in a while for frogging. You can't beat it because of the price. We used it to cast worm/spinner jigs, and with ease, it treated them. Those jigs went through the thick weeds like a butter knife.
This one is best for use with hollow body frogs and buzzbaits since it is long enough to shape a reasonably decent distance to set a big frog hook and pull the fish through even the thickest weeds. This rod can also be used for flipping/pitching and tiny swimbaits.
All in all, if you need a rod that doesn't stop frogging, this is a decent one that won't split your budget.
Bass Fishing Rods
The best bass fishing poles are those that fit the techniques and lures that are being used, saying that there are other elements than those we described at the beginning of this article.
The casting performance and sensitivity of the rod material and the consistency of the hardware that is on the rod can have a significant effect.
The majority of modern bass poles are made of graphite or some sort of blend of graphite.
Almost every rod you could purchase was made of glass fiber or S-Glass in the old days.
Glass rod blanks have a slower or more moderate action and are typically heavier in weight and often less sensitive than graphite ones.
The only real benefit of glass rods is that they are much more sturdy, because they can withstand a lot more punishment than graphite, which can break very quickly, particularly if it was left on a boat's deck.
Some anglers still use glass rods when fishing crankbaits, especially if they cast wide long distances, as the more moderate motion allows the rod blank to load up when casting and transmitting a lot of power across the rod's full length.
Simple graphite bass fishing rods have now grown into all kinds of various exotic blends that commonly include carbon fiber.
They will be lighter and a little more receptive to these types of bass rods, so they are a firm favorite of those who are into small jig fishing.
Although line guides can look basic, they are a critical component of any high-performance rod.
The less friction the line creates, the more the casting distance is driven by running through the line.
Not only will the friction affect your casts, but it will also slowly create tiny abrasion marks on your line that will inevitably lead to it snapping.
Only look for a bass fishing pole with high quality line guides and inserts to be used.
With inserts, in particular, Braid can play havoc and can cut grooves in them over time.
Ceramic line guides are widely agreed to be the most difficult to wear.
Sic, then Zirconia, then Alconite, and eventually Aluminum Oxide, is the best line guide material.
There are weaker materials which are used as guide inserts than Aluminum Oxide, but I will use Aluminum Oxide as the minimum that is worth getting.
One of those components which really come down to personal preference is handles.
Cork or EVA foam are the popular options.
The classic choice is Cork, but it also makes your rod look like a classic.
More modern rods would use EVA foam, which looks much sleeker, especially if the rod builder rods to the rod with a dark modern finish.
Rod finish is also something that is seldom taken into account and what many anglers tend to recognize is that a finish on a fishing pole's form and thickness can have a direct effect on how heavy the rod is.
It adds substantial weight to the rod in many instances.
A two-part epoxy resin is the norm, which is mixed and then uniformly applied to the rod over the thread wraps of the line guides.