Best Crankbait Rods 2018 – How to Choose the Right Rod

Which fishing rod you choose can either help you or hinder you. The best crankbait rod should match the size of lure you are using and the line strength that suits the size fish you are fishing for.

Crankbaits require a bit more backbone from a rod than say a regular spinning rod setup. Having enough power in the rod blank and the correct rod action is paramount to getting the best out of your crankbait fishing.​

Although you can use a spinning rod the majority of fishermen will choose to use a baitcasting rod. A baitcast reel is a lot easier to use when cranking in large crankbaits. Spend a day crankbait fishing with a spinning setup and your wrist, arms and shoulders will kow all about it. 

Best Crankbait Rod 2018

When choosing the best rod for crankbaits you need to consider a number of important factors:

  1. Action
  2. Power
  3. Length
  4. Line rating
  5. Lure weights


Rod action refers to where the bend in the rod will start. A fast action will bend mostly near the tip. A slow action will bend from the base all the way to the tip.​

For most fishermen a crankbait pole should have a moderate to moderate/fast action. A moderate action is the minimum one you would want to choose.

Cranbaits require a little more backbone when being retrieved. If you are using a crankbait with a very aggressive deep diving lip on it the light action rods are just not going to cut it.​

When setting the hook you need to be sure that you rod can set the treble hooks found on most cranbaits. But if the action is to fast it may increase the chances of the hooks coming loose once hooked. A little bit of shock absorption from the rod helps greatly here, which is why choosing a rod with too fast an action is not advised.  ​

Casting with a moderate action rod will also get you slightly more distance than with a fast action. This extra distance can give you a better chance of covering more water and can get you crankbait down deeper depending on the retrieval rate.​


Fishing rod power refers to how much force is required to bend the rod. Rod power ratings are usually stamped on the rod blank near the handle.

The power is relative to the line weight and lure weights that should be used with the rod. The ratings usually describe either the upper limits or they may indicate a range in which is best to operate.

For most cranbait setups you should be aiming for a medium to heavy power. 


​Crankbait rods generally run anywhere from 6'6" up to 8' in length. The longer rods can throw bigger lures greater distances. The shorter rod are generally more accurate so again it depends on your needs and where you intend to do most of your fishing.

Line Rating

You should always match the line weight to what the rod id rated for. A lighter line will cast better and can spook fish less. A heavier line will be able to handle bigger fish but it is also more durable. If you are fishing near structures and weed beds then the heavier line will make more sense.​

Lure Weights​

Every cranbait should come with a lure weighting usually in ounces​. The heavier lures can be fished down deeper and are obviously suited to bigger fish. The smaller crankbaits are best for shallow water work or even twitched on the surface.


What kind of a fishing reel should you use with a cranking rod?
The majority of anglers these days will favor a baitcasting reel over a spinning reel for crankbait fishing. However that doesn't mean that you need to rush out and buy a new reel just because you have a spinning reel.

Always try and check before you purchase that the rod is suitable for your type of reel.​ A baitcasting rod will have lower guides than the wider bigger guides found on spinning rods.

So what are the best crankbait rods?

Most people would be surprised to say it isn't a graphite based rod. All lot of fishermen think the fiberglass rods are too old fashioned and they think the an exotic graphite or carbon fiber blend is the only thing to use.

Well the Skeet Reese designed Wright and McGill S-Glass rod has taken fiberglass construction into the modern era. Using a 3 layer weave has resulted in a much lighter fibergalss rods whilst still retaining the great feedback and softer hookset. ​

Best Crankbait Rod

Wright And McGill Skeet Reese S-Glass

The Skeet Reese S-Glass is a glass fiber crakbait rod constructed using modern build and design techniques.

Designed by the 2009 Bassmaster champion Skeet Reese these Wright and McGill medium to heavy power cranbait rods give you all the power you need while fishing big lipped cranbaits through deep and vegetated water.

The blanks are designed using a ​three layer connective fiber method called Tri-Gressive S-Glass construction. Each of the layers is laid in a direction-ally opposing direction and then bonded with a thin layer of resin to give one of the most modern fiber glass blank designs available. This reduction in weight(25%) gives an almost graphite like weighting with the traditional glass fiber full blank power.

The fast action and medium/heavy power means you can throw lures in the 3/8 to 2 ounce weight range all whilst maintaining a sensitive tip action and power down through the rod blank. The range is available from 6'8 up to 7'11"

With a split handle design from high-density rubber for extra weight saving and a large fighting butt you should find that the Skeet Reese crankbait rods can deliver the power from casting to hook set.


  • S-curve blank made from glass fiber
  • Highly durable and super strong
  • Zirconium guides 
  • Large fighting butt
  • Balance is weighted towards the rod butt

Quantum Fishing Kevin Van Dam KVD Cranking Rod

The blanks on the Kevin Van Dam signature series crankbait rods are are a blend of graphite and fiber glass to give a strong backbone and a highly sensitive tip giving great feedback through to the rod handle.

These rods have a medium/heavy power with a moderate action. 

These crankbait rods have a considerable casting reputation and Van Dam is known to favor casting big crankbaits a long distance so as to get them down deep and cover a lot of water in the process.


  • Fiberglass and graphite blend
  • ECG construction
  • Fuji reel seat
  • Pacbay guides with Hailoy inserts

One of the best cranking rods for throwing big lures on open water.

Shimano Sellus Crankbait Cast Rod

​The Sellus range from Shimano features a variety of different to cover casting, crankbaits etc. The range is priced on the low end and are a solid buy for the money.

The Sellus crankbait rods are a little stiffer than some of the other rods above so if you are looking for a lot of feedback through the rod they may not be for you.

The best cranking rod may not always be the most sensitive, if you are looking for something with a lot of backbone then this may be it.


  • 24-Ton graphite
  • Medium power
  • Low profile aluminum oxide guides
  • EVA grip
  • 1 year limited warranty

Ardent Denny Brauer Crankbait Rod

Another signature series rod for crankbait fishing this time comes from Denny Brauer in conjunction with Ardent.

Best suited for medium to ​medium to heavy sized crankbaits.

These rods make for a great all rounder if you usually only fish with one rod. The action is fast so be aware of that in case you were looking for something a little more sensitive.

Probably the best crankbait rod under 100. It's really well built and should last years if looked after properly.​


  • IM-8 graphite construction
  • Fuji guides
  • Fuji reel seat
  • Medium action

Dobyns 704CB Fast Glass Crankbait Rod

A very well balanced rod the fast glass crankbait from Dobyns is specifically designed for cranbait fishing and reaction baits.

Like the Skeet Reese S-Glass above it get the traditional feel and power from a fiberglass blank rod combined with some very modern features. The taper on these rods gives a really great action and provides a nice sensitive balance whilst still retaining strength and power. 

The blanks are made from a ​blend of glass/graphite.

There are seven models to choose from starting at 7' and ​working up to 8' in a variety of powers and actions.


  • High-modulus graphite blanks
  • Kigan guides with sic inserts
  • Kevlar wrapped
  • Fuji graphite reel seat
  • Medium to fast action

St Croix Premier Crankbait Rod

​St Croix claim to have cracked the building of a crakbait rod from graphite with the premier series. 

Getting the most out of a graphite rod for fishing big crankbaits means you have to be able to blend all of the subtleties of a medium action rod with the lesser durability of graphite.

The St Croix Premier is again another fast action rod, so it proves it can be hard to find dedicated medium action rod for crankbaits from the big name manufacturers.​


  • SCII graphite 
  • Fuji Concept guides
  • 5 year limited warranty
  • IPC Integrated Poly Curve tech blank construction