Looking for the best rod for bass fishing online or at your favorite retailer can be overwhelming, to say the least. Fast action, medium-heavy, long, short, micro-guides, cork, and more! What does it all mean?
My choice for the best casting rod for bass fishing is a 6-10 medium heavy Abu Garcia Veracity Casting Rod, It is a great length for a variety of situations. For Strength and durability, the rod is manufactured with Powerlux and is equipped with titanium alloy line guides for extra sensitivity.
This rod is a good baseline rod to anchor your fishing rod arsenal. Add on a few specialty rods for certain applications and tactics and you’ll be on your way to a great setup for a variety of bass fishing techniques.
Although there are many technical variations available in bass fishing rods for baitcasters, by paying attention to a few key variables, you’ll be able to select the right rod. If you’re looking for the best all-around bass rod, the Veracity is a great fit. However, if you’re an avid angler and use different rods, for different bass fishing strategies, read below to gain an in-depth understanding of how to pick the best rod for each lure type or tactic.
Understanding Power in Fishing Rods
When researching bass fishing rods, it is important to understand that rod power is a critical component of each rod.
Power is a measure of the force needed to bend the fishing pole and ranges from ultra-light to ultra-heavy (easy to bend to very difficult to bend).
The more force that you have to exert to bend a rod, the heavier the rod is. Less force means that you are dealing with a lighter rod in terms of power.
Rod power and line diameter should be considered together. Generally speaking, heavier rods are more suitable for heavier pound test line and are used for heavy cover, thick vegetation applications. Light power rods are better for lighter pound test lines usually utilized for smaller, lightweight lures and baits.
Using a rod that is too heavy for a light pound test line could mean that a hookset may break a line more easily. Conversely, using a rod that is too lightweight to handle a heavier line may result in weak hooksets or broken rod tips.
Bass Fishing Rods. Pay attention to the Rod Action.
Action is different than power.
Action refers to the place in the rod where the bend actually occurs.
Fast action rods bend closer to the tip of the rod whereas slower action rods bend closer to the handle. Slow actions rods inherently “whip” more whereas fast action rods are more rigid.
Bass fishermen usually use a fast action rod around thick vegetation and heavier cover.
Additionally, most bass fishermen prefer fast action rods when they are dealing with a tactic that involves a bait or lures with one hook versus multiple hooks (treble hooks, etc.). Worm fishing, jig fishing, punchbaits, and other single hook applications work well with fast action rods.
Slower action rods may help with multiple hook lures where the rod action can be used to assist with hook up ratios on these lures.
If you’re looking for the best rod for bass fishing suitable for a variety of settings, I would suggest opting for a fast action rod. Fast action rods can be great for an angler looking for more casting distance while maintaining some “umph” for a strong hookset. Because of their versatility, fast action rods can be good for a wide variety of lures like topwater lures, worm fishing, jerkbaits, swim jigs, and more.
Bass Rod Composition
When trying to gain an understanding of how to choose a bass road, look at the materials used and the construction process of the pole in question.
Casting rods for bass fishing can be made from a variety of materials including fiberglass and graphite as well as composite materials.
Graphite fishing rods are known to be more sensitive while maintaining an attribute of toughness needed to fight big fish. Although relatively sturdy, graphite is a bit more susceptible to breakage. The main advantage of graphite rods is the extra feel that the angler benefits from which allows them to detect bites more easily.
Fiberglass is not as common for bass fishing poles but is preferred by some fishermen who look for a slower action rod to fish moving baits like crankbaits.
However, a better option for crankbait fishing would be a cranking rod with composite material construction. Composite rods often include a combination of fiberglass and graphite while some manufactures blend graphite with carbon.
By using a composite rod, anglers benefit from a pole that provides a tip that feels a bit softer while also standing up to the rigors of that style of fishing.
Handle Options for Casting Rods
There are a wide variety of handles available for casting rods. Choosing the best one can be a matter of preference but there are also practical implications.
Handles are typically constructed of foam or cork which offer a comfortable feel that stands the test of usage and time.
Grips may come in a variety of forms including pistol grips, split grips, and longer straight handles.
- Pistol grips offer a shorter grip and are usually a better option for shorter casts with smaller and lighter baits where you are looking to control the presentation with more accuracy.
- Split grips are a solid alternative to the pistol grip providing a longer handle while still maintaining that short grip feel. Split grips allow for better feel since more of the actual rod is exposed to the angler’s hand. Split grips are also lightweight because they are only partially covered with foam.
- Longer handles are great for larger baits and or launching a lure farther because of the added leverage provided by the extra length. Longer handles also make room for a second hand to make extra long casts.
Bass Casting Rod Line Guides
Line guides are the small pieces (rings) that are mounted along the pole used to guide and control the line as it exits the reel or re-enters. Casting rod line guides face up and typically go from larger to smaller as you move from the base of the rod to the tip.
Line guides are typically metal but lined with a ceramic material so that the line is not frayed or cut as it moves through the guides. Higher quality line guides can be beneficial because they can serve as better protection from ongoing line friction.
Micro Guides warrant mention as they are becoming more and more popular on bass fishing rods. Micro guides are, in essence, smaller line guides (rings that hold the line). The premise behind micro guides is that the smaller guides allow for less bounce of the line as it exits the reel upon casting. In other words, there is less room for the line to bounce back and forth, hitting the guides on the way as you cast. Many feel that micro guides offer better accuracy and distance. For a detailed discussion of micro guides, check out this great article by thecustomfisherman.com.
What Rod Length Do you Need for Bass Fishing?
When faced with the decision about what rod length you need for bass fishing, in addition to comfort and personal preference, it is necessary to consider a number of important factors.
Casting Distance, Accuracy and Lure Choice
Although rods can be super small (micro rods can be just a few feet long) or very long (13 or 14 feet), most bass fishing rods are between 6 and 8 feet long.
Generally speaking, longer rods cast farther but are less accurate while shorter rods are more accurate but offer less distance.
Your strategy or bait will have a direct effect on the best rod length for your fishing.
Longer rods are a great way to go to more efficiently use some lures. When covering more open water with lures like walking baits and crankbaits, casting distance is a factor and longer rods fit the bill.
Other tactics warrant the consideration of shorter rods. Skipping baits under docks or overhanging trees requires precise delivery. Shorter rods can be the perfect tool to control casts better in these types of situations.
Anglers fish from a variety of settings including bass boats, the shore, kayaks, and more. Available casting space should be considered. In confined spaces, fishermen may want to opt for a shorter rod. For example, kayak fishermen are likely better off with a shorter rod because of the limited room with which they have to cast.
Bass Fishing Rod Brands to Consider
Below, you’ll find a good number of options to check out before your next purchase. Needless to say, we can’t list them all, but we’ve included a great sample for you to start with.
13 Fishing prides themselves on creating rods capable of longer casts and built with tough guides. Customers comment that their rods are well-balanced and strong yet comfortable.
Lews continues to impress the bass fishing community. Their diverse line of products features sensitive and powerful rods made of a blend of a number of high-quality components.
Ugly Stick has been a part of the bass fishing industry since, it seems like, the start of bass fishing tournaments. Their staying power is a testament to the reliability and consistency of their rods. Their rods are known for smoother and longer casts while being built to handle a tough fight.
Shimano makes rods that are responsive and lightweight yet ready for strenuous fishing and hard-fought battles with the toughest bass. They continue to develop new technology and adapt to keep their anglers at the top of the line in regards to available high-tech advancements.
Falcon rods are a sentimental favorite of mine as they were a go-to rod for my Dad (pro guide and bass tournament angler). I love the rods and find them to be ultra long-lasting. In fact, I still have a couple of his Falcon rods from 25 years ago. They still perform well will ultra-sensitive feel.
Cashion rods based out of North Carolina create outstanding products with one-of-a-kind features. One example is their carbon fiber grip is a break away from the norm of foam or cork handles. This company continues to develop a loyal following for many reasons.
Fitzgerald rods are marked by superior craftsmanship and innovative engineering while delivering rods that are built for power while maintaining sensitivity. Their attention to detail is obvious and it shows with their eye-catching designs. Fitzgerald rods are solid from start to finish.
Daiwa rods wow their clients with outstanding performance backed by a company that is as foundational as any other fishing company on the planet. The Daiwa reputation is second to none and they continue to build rods that impress.
Abu Garcia rods are one of the many high-quality products that Abu Garcia offers. Abu Garcia continues to set trends with their casting rods made of higher-end materials resulting in lightweight, comfortable rods ready for a variety of uses. Abu Garcia rods are the perfect fit for bass anglers who are looking for a rod that will produce consistent feel and results.
Denali rods are known for being constructed with the utmost care and attention. They are known for their special wood foregrip and graphite handles that make their rods ultra-sensitive to biting bass. These rods are a favorite of many pro bass fishermen and deserve the attention they receive.
Why I like the Abu Garcia Veracity Rod for Bass Fishing
When you begin to look at the many casting rod options for bass fishing, there are a ton of factors to compare and consider. The Veracity is one of the best bass fishing rods for the money. I like this rod for a number of reasons:
- Handles made with high density EVA to for comfort and longevity.
- Built with titanium line guides and incorporate zirconium to keep things lightweight while maintaining balance.
- Uses 3M Powerlux in the manufacturing process which Abu Garcia touts as a stronger rod than average.
- The price is very reasonable and is backed by a big company name.
- Abu Garcia is a large brand allowing them to dump significant resources into research and development so their products are top-notch and stay on the cutting edge.
Higher-end Options: 2 Outstanding Rods
St Croix Legend Tournament Bass Casting Rod St. Croix produces a number of high-end rod options that are second to none. Their Legend Bass Casting Rods are a cut above the competition at a price that is still reasonable. They use an advanced carbon fiber build providing extra power for a strong hookset. By using high-grade components like their Integrated Poly Curve Tooling which ensures smoother casting and reeling, St. Croix delivers a rod that will exceed your expectations. Throw in their 15-year warranty and you’ve got a sure winner.
Daiwa’s BLX JDM casting rods are engineered using the latest and greatest research and development. Daiwa, who touts the rod as extra sensitive, incorporating advanced technological features like their Cross Carbon Fibers built directly into the rod to create an extra-strong rod with great responsiveness. Their dynamic design process includes an HVF Nanoplus carbon fiber compound used in the rod build to keep weight down. Finally, they outfit their rods with Fui Silicone line guides providing an even greater feel and responsiveness.
Putting it All Together. Which Bass Rod Should You Use for Certain Baits and Techniques
When you’re trying to figure out the best baitcasting rods for bass, it’s important to consider the technique and/or bait being used.
Dock skipping When your target is small and you are looking to make more accurate casts into tight places, a shorter rod is your best option. A 6 to 6-6 medium heavy, fast action rod is a good pick for skipping docks.
Flipping, Pitching, and Punching Rod size, power, and action are highly dependent on how heavy the cover is that you are fishing. When utilizing these techniques, you are best off with a quick, tough hookset so look for rods that are heavy with extra fast action.
Generally speaking, the thicker the cover, the longer the rod. The optimal rod sizes for these tactics are between 7-6 and 7-11 (rods longer than 8 feet may be prohibited by many tournaments). Longer rods offer more leverage to pry fish out of thicker cover. Also, look for a rod tip that has some bend so that your rod has a little “give” which makes it easier to deliver your bait more quietly and subtly to your target.
Frogs, Swimbaits, Carolina Rigs Frogs are usually fished in heavy cover,. Swimbaits are generally a little larger and best if cast far in open water. Carolina rigs require a huge sweep of the rod to set the hook. All of these baits do best with rods that are longe, sturdier rods. I like rods that are at least 7 ft 6 inches long for these tactics, heavy with fast to extra-fast action properties.
Topwater and Jerkbaits
Faster action, medium power casting rods are better for topwater and jerkbait lures. Conventional lines of thought would suggest a rod between 6 and ½ foot long to 7 feet long for throwing these lures because they give you extra casting distance.
I go against the grain a bit here leaning towards a shorter rod. I find that the repetitive motion is tiring and can wear me down during the course of a day or tournament especially affecting my wrist. I like shorter rods when using a lure that requires quick, repetitive motions. I’ll even opt for a spinning rod for many topwater and jerkbait rods because it allows me to use my dominant hand for most of the hard work.
Crankbaits are fished most efficiently by using longer casts to cover as much open water as possible. A 7 ft long, medium to medium-heavy rod with moderate action is a great rod for fishing crankbaits. Very large, deep-diving crankbaits may warrant a longer rod providing you more leverage to work the larger profile, heavier lure.
Jigs and Texas-rigs
Rods for these baits require a little more thought as there are variables involved that affect your rod selection. Medium-heavy rods are in order here with faster action so you can get a good hookset with these single hook baits.
When fishing in open water, a longer rod may be in order so you can make longer casts and cover more territory. Likewise, when fishing in heavier cover, longer rods provide more leverage to get fish out of heavy cover in a hurry. A 7-foot rod should be good in these situations.
When throwing these baits into smaller target areas, I like a shorter rod because I can control the cast more effectively. A 6-6 foot rod would work well here.
Spinnerbaits, Buzzbaits, Swim jigs, Vibrating Jigs
If you’re looking for longer casts in open water or you’re using a heavier bait, opt for a 7-2. On the other end of the spectrum, shorter rods offer better accuracy for tighter spaces or smaller targets so a 6-6 foot rod will do well for these settings.
There is a wide range of rod options for you to choose from when you’re looking for the best baitcasting rods for bass. Spend a little time considering your favorite techniques and baits as well as the type of water and cover that you like to fish before making your next rod selection. As you grow in your skills, adding special rods for various tactics can pay big dividends. Time to hit the water and FISH ON!