Buyer’s Guide & Information

Best Baitcasting Rods Under $100 Reviewed

Need a bait caster rod that doesn’t break the bank? We have reviewed the best baitcasting rods under $100. Check out these top quality brands.

by Andrew

Buyer’s Guide & Information

Best Baitcasting Rods Under $100 Reviewed

Need a bait caster rod that doesn’t break the bank? We have reviewed the best baitcasting rods under $100. Check out these top quality brands.

by Andrew

by Andrew

Do you need a baitcasting rod that doesn’t break the bank? We have reviewed and compared the best baitcasting rods under $100. Check out these top-quality brands to find the perfect baitcasting rod for you.

Fishing is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Imagine taking your boat or kayak out on a warm summer day and reeling in a big catch. It is exhilarating! The most common type of fishing involves casting bait out into the water and waiting for a fish to bite. This requires the use of a baitcasting rod. If you are looking to get started in fishing on a budget, then read this buyer’s guide to find the best baitcasting rod under $100.

A Quick Guide to Baitcasting Rods

Whether you’re a pond, lake, or saltwater angler, the benefits of using a high-quality baitcaster are endless. Baitcasting rods are ideal for heavier lines and bigger fish. They are great for pulling in large deep-sea fish or bass. Baitcasting rods are used in tandem with baitcasting reels, which allow for a longer cast.


Choosing a Quality Baitcasting Rod Under $100

Rod Material Composition

There are two primary materials used in modern baitcasting rods: fiberglass and graphite. Fiberglass is more affordable, and it will be found in many of the rods listed below. It is not nearly as sensitive as graphite. On the other hand, graphite is flexible and great for reeling in big fish.

There has been a lot of debate in the fishing world about this aspect of baitcasting rods. Most people argue that two-piece rods are just as good as one-piece rods as far as durability goes. If you need to transport your fishing rod, then I suggest a two-piece model since they come apart. If you don’t plan to carry it around in your trunk, then a one-piece model will work just fine.

Fishing Environment

Depending on if you fish in mainly fresh or saltwater, your baitcasting rod will be different. If you fish in freshwater, then your rod choices will be lighter and more flexible. Saltwater baitcasting rods will be more substantial since the range of fish size is greater in the ocean. Saltwater rods are also built to withstand the corrosive properties of salt.

Rod Length

Baitcasting rods vary in length from 5 to 8 feet. Depending on where you fish, the perfect rod length could vary. If you fish in lakes and ponds with overgrown brush, then a massive rod might be hard to handle. A shorter rod will limit your casting distance since they are designed for short, quick casts.  

Casting Distance/Accuracy

If you have a longer rod, then you will get a greater casting distance. Other factors can affect casting distance, such as line thickness, line material, weight, and lure profile. Many things can determine casting accuracy, but mostly the reel, as well as the level of angler, tackle, and strokes.

Rod Action and Power

Baitcasting rod action is determined by the amount that the rod bends when pressure is applied. Slow, moderate, fast, and extra fast are the typical actions used. Fishing rod power is the term used to describe the amount of pressure that an angler has to use to make the rod bend. Rod power is typically measured as heavy, medium, light, and ultralight.

rod power

image source: fix.com

Line Weight and Line Guides

The fishing line is what connects the bait to the reel. You should choose a fishing line based on the size of fish that you plan to catch. The line weight is measured in pounds. For example, trout fishing requires a 4-lb test line, while tuna requires a 30-lb test line.

fly line label

image source: cdn.shopify.com

Handle/Grip

Most baitcasting rod grips are made of cork, cork tape, wood, shrink wrap, foam, Hypalon, or cord. All of them have different characteristics, such as varying levels of moldability and weight. The grip on your baitcasting rod can be a pistol grip, split, or full. Decide which type feels best in your hands and go with that. Make sure that it is ergonomic for a full day of fishing.

Price and Warranty

In this buyer’s guide, I am providing you with the best baitcasting rods under $100. This is on the lower end of the price range for fishing rods. Keep in mind your budget, and decide what rod will give you the most benefits after reading my guide. All of the baitcasting rods below will come with a warranty as well.


7 Best Baitcasting Rods Under $100 Reviewed

1. KastKing Royale Select

Our Top Pick!

Rod Length

7 ft 3 in

Line Weight

10 - 20 lbs

Handle Type

Split

Material

Toray 24-ton carbon

Warranty

Yes, 1 year

If you are searching for the absolute best choice, then this model is the best one for you. The KastKing Royale Select is the top pick for anglers who want a great baitcasting rod for any occasion. This model comes in a one-piece design that is more durable than other two-piece designs. It comes in a durable Toray 24-ton carbon matrix. It gives you the right amount of flex and strength.

It comes with KastKing’s KastFlex technology that allows you to get the most accurate cast every time. It features Fuji fishing line guides that reduce drag and friction when you cast out your line. The grip is made of EVA material that will keep you comfortable all day. The split-grip will allow you to keep full control of your baitcasting rod.

I really enjoyed using this baitcasting rod on my last fishing trip. The medium-heavy power of the rod was ideal for pulling in big fish without much effort. I liked the casting action since the Fuji line guides allow for further casting distance.

According to David, “Overall quality is top notch. Not even the big names offer this kind of quality fit and finish for their 'budget' rods.”

Pros
  • Fuji fishing line guides
  • Toray 24-ton carbon for lightweight action
  • Comfortable EVA grip
Cons
  • One-piece design that won’t fit into a small car or trunk

2. Tsunami Airwave

Best Surf Fishing Baitcasting Rod Under $100

Rod Length

8 ft

Line Weight

12 - 20 lbs

Handle Type

Split

Material

Graphite

Warranty

Yes, 5 years

If you are an avid surf angler and need a new rod, then this model is the ideal option for you. The Tsunami Airwave 8 is the best surf fishing baitcasting rod under $100. It comes with a medium-heavy power so that you can reel in big fish. The flexibility is perfect for surf fishing.

The Tsunami Airwave 8 is a one of a kind baitcasting rod that will give you a great cast every time. Surfcasting is a distance game since most of the time, you are standing on the shore or wading in shallow waters. It has a lightweight and strong design that allows you to cast with greater distance. It has a two-piece design that features a spigot joint. It will easily come apart so that you can pack your rod away with ease. It is made of the strongest graphite material.

My favorite feature of this baitcasting rod is that it offers excellent casting distance. It was easy to cast, and the distance was perfect for getting past the shallow surf. I enjoyed using it in the gulf. Since the waves were flat, I had a great casting range.

As Ricardo stated, “Extremely light. Excellent to fish with bunker. I haven't tried plugging with it yet but it seems promising. For the money, it makes such an excellent beginner / backup rod.”

Pros
  • Medium-heavy power that is perfect for surf fishing
  • Lightweight graphite material
  • Two-piece design for easy carrying
Cons
  • It might be too sensitive for some anglers

3. Lew's Tournament Performance TP1

Best Baitcasting Rod Under $100 for Crankbait

Rod Length

7 ft

Line Weight

8 - 14 lbs

Handle Type

Split

Material

Graphite

Warranty

Yes, 1 year

Most anglers are familiar with using crankbait to catch big fish. Crankbait lures are perfect for catching summer bass, but you'll need a great rod. The Lew's Tournament Performance TP1 Speed Stick is the best baitcasting rod under $100 for crankbait.

This Lew's model comes in a one-piece design that will feel amazing in the hands. It has the American Tackle patented guide system. It reduces knots and increases casting distance. The handle features Winn Grip Dri-Tac grips that will keep you comfortable all day. They work well in wet conditions, so you won’t have to worry about your hands slipping when reeling in a catch. The Lew’s exclusive skeletal graphite allows for great sensitivity and power. It has professional style hook keepers as well.

The thing I loved the most about this baitcasting rod is how well it worked with my crankbait lures. The guide system allowed me to cast my crankbait into deep water accurately. I thought the Winn grip handles were extremely comfortable in any type of weather condition.

As one satisfied customer noted, “I highly recommend this rod, the quality is outstanding and you can't beat the price! I will be buying more!”

Pros
  • Winn grip handles
  • Graphite blanks 
  • American Tackle microwave guide system
Cons
  • Not suited for reeling in very large fish

4. Falcon Rods HD

Value for Money Option

Rod Length

7 ft

Line Weight

8 - 17 lbs

Handle Type

Full

Material

Graphite

Warranty

Yes, 5 years

Every fisher likes a great bargain. When you find a rod that is reasonably priced and performs well, then you have to stick with it. The Falcon HD model is the best value for money baitcasting rod under $100. It is durable, simple, and classic.

The Falcon HD range of baitcasting rods has a uniquely classic design. This model features a full cork grip that is resistant to water and sweat. You will be comfortable holding his rod all day, even in the hot sun. This baitcasting rod is 7 feet long, which is the ideal midrange size. It features a medium-heavy action that is great for small and large fish. This fishing rod comes equipped with fuji line guides and reel seat. The rod was durable and sensitive, so I could easily control it.

I thought that this rod was beautifully simple and comfortable. I found the cork handles to be sweat resistant, which is ideal for the summer months. I liked the fuji line guides and reel seat. It helped seat the reel perfectly.

As John Keasler expressed, “This is the best rod I have ever used… I use the rods for every type of lure.”

Pros
  • Classic cork grips
  • Fuji line guides
  • Medium-heavy action
Cons
  • Cork handle may wear off after many times of use

5. SHIMANO Clarus

Best Freshwater Baitcasting Rod Under $100

Rod Length

7 ft

Line Weight

8 - 15 lbs

Handle Type

Full

Material

Graphite

Warranty

Yes, 1 year

Many of the anglers reading this buyer’s guide often fish in freshwater. This means that you need a fishing rod that is suitable for your freshwater fishing adventures. The Shimano Clarus is the best freshwater baitcasting rod under $100. It comes with all of the top-quality features in a classic design.

This Shimano model looks similar to the last model that I reviewed. It features a full cork grip that will perform well in most conditions. It comes with a full 30-ton graphite composition. It is flexible and sensitive to help you feel in the best catch of the day. Like the previous models, this baitcasting rod has Fuji line guides and reel seats. The guides will help improve your accuracy and distance.

I enjoyed using the Shimano Clarus on a recent bass fishing trip. It felt really nice in the hands. The medium-heavy action was the perfect amount for reeling in all types of fish. I thought the guides helped me increase my casting accuracy when using worm jigs.

According to Bob from Tackle Direct, “Nice pole. Perfect for the lighter baits.”

I agree with Bob that this rod is perfect for casting lighter freshwater baits, such as worm jigs and crankbaits.

Pros
  • Premium full cork grip
  • Sensitive 30-ton graphite construction
  • One-piece design for durability
Cons
  • Not as suitable for casting large baits

6. Abu Garcia Vengeance

Best for Bass Fishing Under $100

Rod Length

7 ft

Line Weight

6 - 12 lbs

Handle Type

Split

Material

Graphite

Warranty

Yes, 3 years

One of the most popular types of fishing is undoubtedly bass fishing. If you're like me, then you can't wait to get back out on the water to reel in your next large-mouthed bass. The Abu Garcia Vengeance is the best baitcasting rod for bass fishing.

Abu Garcia is a huge name in the fishing world, and this fishing pole does not disappoint. It comes in a 7-foot medium-power design. It is well-designed and perfectly balanced. It is constructed from the best 24-ton graphite. This model features stainless steel line guides coated with zirconium that reduces drag.

The split-grip handle is made of rubberized EVA material. It works well in all conditions and is supremely comfortable. This Abu Garcia baitcasting rod was a joy to use on the water. I liked the line guides. The inclusion of zirconium on the inner rings made casting much easier. I experienced less friction and drag on the line.

As one customer exclaimed, “First time using it caught 6 bass ranging from 1-5lbs. One bass ran into a some floating branch cover. I pulled the branches and the 2-3lb bass right through and landed it.”

As you can see, this rod is perfect for bass fishing.

Pros
  • Zirconium coated line guides
  • 24-ton graphite blank
  • Rubberized EVA grip
Cons
  • The adhesive on the grip tends to come loose after many uses

7. St Croix Triumph

Most Durable

Rod Length

6 ft 6 in

Line Weight

10 - 17 lbs

Handle Type

Full

Material

Graphite

Warranty

Yes, 5 years

Going out on the water for a fishing trip can be taxing on all of our fishing gear. The hot sun, sand, and water can take its toll. You should invest in a durable rod that is time tested. The St Croix Triumph is the most durable baitcasting rod under $100.

This St Croix model comes with all of the best features to ensure that your rod will last you a lifetime. It features durable cork handles to keep your hands comfortable all day. It is constructed of SCII graphite for flexibility and sensitivity. The line guides are made of premium aluminum oxide, so they'll withstand the elements. This model comes with Fuji TCS reel seat that has a frosted silver hood to increase its longevity. The blank is coated in two coats of Flex Coat.

This model is known to outlast its competitors for years. I enjoyed using the medium power rod because it gave me the perfect amount of give when reeling in big fish. I also liked the Fuji reel seat. It held my reel in place without any mishaps.

As Larry put it, “My favorite all around spinning rod ever for bass in the northeast… sensitive and strong.”

Pros
  • Fuji TCS reel seat
  • Aluminum oxide line guides
  • SCII graphite construction
Cons
  • Some users had issues activating the warranty with customer service 

Baitcasting Rod vs. Other Fishing Rods

If you are new to fishing, then you might be wondering what the different types of rods are. The type of rod you should buy is mainly determined by the species of fish you want to catch, your expertise, and your lures.

There are two main types of fishing rods: baitcasting and spinning. A baitcasting rod is used when you want to cast bait out into the water to catch a fish. The reel is placed above the rod. When you are fighting with a big fish, the rod is bent downwards over the line guides. You should use a baitcasting rod for catching bigger fish when out on a boat. They can sometimes run a little more expensive than spinning rods. Casting rods also allow for greater casting distance.

On a spinning rod, the reel is placed below the rod. When the force of a fish is exerted, the guides are pulled downward, which could cause them to break off. Spinning rods are generally used for catching small fish, such as trout. They are best for casting in short, quick bursts.

spinning rod

image source: thumbs.dreamstime.com


Baitcasting Rod Sizing Guide

Now that you’ve chosen a top brand for your next fishing pole, you should ensure that you are getting the correct size. Baitcasting rods range in size from 5 to 8 feet. Choosing the right size rod depends on fishing environment, portability, and casting distance.

If you are planning to fish in shallow freshwater, then a medium size pole of around 6 feet will do the trick. For deep-sea fishing, you should buy a longer rod that will allow you to reel in big fish from deep waters. You should also consider the surrounding area, such as brush and overgrowth. A shorter rod will work better for overgrown areas.

Simply put, a shorter rod will be easier to carry around in your car or truck. For kayak fishing, you should stick to short baitcasting rods since you’ll have limited space in your kayak. A two-piece rod will break down to fit into any standard size car trunk.

Casting distance and accuracy are the two most important terms in fishing. Longer rods will give you a much higher casting distance than short rods. If you are planning to go surf fishing, a long rod will ensure your cast makes it over the wave break. For stream fishing, you can stick to short rods around 5 feet. Stream fishing requires maneuverability and short casts.


Baitcasting Tips for Beginners

Fishing is a sport that can be picked up at any age. Before you take your new baitcasting rod out onto the water, there are a few tips and tricks that you should follow. Follow these guidelines below, and you’ll be reeling in a big catch in no time.

  1. 1
    Always allow 1 foot of extra line from the tip of your rod. Grip the rod in your hand with your thumb over the reel spool.
  2. 2
    press the spool button and bend your casting arm. Once your pole reaches vertical, release the spool button to cast.
  3. 3
    Once your bait is in the water, bob the bait a couple of times. Pay close attention as sometimes the bite is not obvious.

Now that you have the basics down let's focus on tips for increasing casting distance.

  1. 1
    Do not use a full spool. If you have less line on a spool, it will spin more freely when casting.
  2. 2
    Use a braided fishing line. Braided line is lighter and tighter, so you can set less brake action on your reel.
  3. 3
    Make sure that all of your line guides are entirely in line with each other. If one guide is askew, then there will be added friction when casting.
  4. 4
    Let out more line on your reel before throwing out your bait. This will give you a longer leash, which can add yards to your cast.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Does a longer rod cast further?

Yes. In general, longer fishing rods cast further due to their increased length. It propels the bait further away from you because of the increased velocity of your casting.

Do bass fishermen use baitcasters?

Most bass fishers use only baitcasting rods while fishing. To catch a lot of bass, you need to cast your lures a great distance. Baitcasting rods also provide bass fishermen with the flexibility they need when reeling in a big catch.

Can I put any casting reel onto any casting rod?

The baitcasting rods that I reviewed above are compatible with most casting reels. You should check the spec sheet before attempting to attach your casting reel.

This term refers to the bait slowing down before the spool. This usually results in a tangled mess of lines. To prevent this from happening, ensure that the brake system and spool tension are set accordingly. You should also do a few test casts before attempting to go the full distance. Practice makes perfect!

How long should the grip be on my baitcasting rod?

This will be determined by the angler’s comfort and rod length. Many of the grips on the above products are split grips, so they are shorter than full grips. Find out what feels comfortable for you. I recommend choosing a grip that is not longer than your forearm.


Conclusion

In this article, I have chosen the top quality baitcasting rods under $100. After reading this buyer’s guide, you should be able to choose the perfect rod for you at a reasonable price. I have also provided you with all of the tips and tricks to get you started with baitcasting. I’m sure you are wondering what is the absolute best baitcasting rod out of the products listed. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with the KastKing Royale Select. It is made of Toray 24-ton carbon for lightweight flexibility.

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