2019 Best Baitcasting Rods – Top 10 Reviews and Buying Guide

Baitcasting has quite a few advantages. This style of fishing is particularly well-known for its ability to use a great line capacity. It’s also the go-to fishing style for anyone looking to cover a wider casting distance.

But in order to get the most out of this style of fishing, you need to make sure you’re well equipped.

  • Your rod should be well-made
  • You want to always use the correct casting motion
  • If possible, you should use a braided line as your backing

Experts, however, agree that the journey starts with getting the right rod for the job. Here now is a review of some well-priced options that you can ponder upon.

Top 10 Best Baitcasting Rods 2019 – Comparison Table

Finding the ideal baitcasting rod can prove difficult especially if you’re on a limited budget. Fortunately, the table below helps make that task much easier for you.

2019 Best baitcasting rods - Reviews

1. UglyStik GX2 Casting Rod

This rod by Shakespeare is no doubt one of the finest you can ever come across on the market currently. As you know Shakespeare as a manufacturer has been in the industry since 1976. So, you can rest assured they’re really good at what they do.

Looking at the GX2 in particular, we see that it’s indeed incredibly made. It comes with some signature characteristics that are worth admiring.

It is made from a combination of fiberglass and graphite. That means it’s pretty durable yet light in weight. As you know, this composite design is light, durable and highly sensitive.

And to make the deal even sweeter, this rod has a clean matte finish which makes it pretty stylish.

Its signature clear tip is no doubt an awesome one. It’s incredibly powerful which means it detects even the stealthiest of all fish.

And the icing on the cake is that it enjoys a tough build and design. Indeed, you get some pop-out ceramic inserts which work pretty well.

Pros

  • Light in weight
  • Durable in design
  • Great value proposition
  • Highly sensitive even to weak bites

Cons

  • Its 2-piece variant looks flimsy

2. Berkley Cherrywood HD Casting Rod

If you’re looking for something that’s as rich as the tradition of ice fishing is, this rod will certainly be worth your time. Indeed, the cherrywood boasts a hybrid design which provides it with an awesome level of sensitivity.

It has some pretty tough guides. In fact, the manufacturer estimates that it’s 20X tougher than the traditional aluminum oxide guides. On top of that, these guides are 55 percent lighter than average.

What we would like to note is that the Cherrywood is one of the finest pieces on the market. It has been factory-tested for dependability. Most importantly, it is made of high-quality components.

Its cork handle design is designed specifically to provide an awesome grip and comfort. This comes in handy especially when one has to be out there casting for long hours.

This seems to be in line with the Berkley tradition of refinement which has lasted for over 3 decades.  And the best part is that this rod has an incredible reel seat as well as superior power.

Facing some feisty trout? This is one of the rods that won’t let you down.

Pros

  • Highly sensitive to bites
  • Light in weight
  • Fantastic power
  • Affordably priced
  • Versatile design

Cons

  • Some of its components are made from cheap looking plastic

3. Daiwa Tatula Casting Rod

Who said that a rod has to look like an archaic piece of fishing gear? The Daiwa rod is made with modernity in mind. Indeed, it presents you with a uniquely made production of graphite material.

The company has dubbed its unique design as the “Super Volume Fiber.” It’s easy to see why they came up with that name.

First off, the graphite used here is of the highest possible quality. It’s highly sensitive, durable and yet light in weight.

Therefore, the Daiwa rod comes across as a great find for anyone looking for strength and flexibility.

Its pitch blank finish makes it a cool deal for anyone looking for great aesthetics. And most importantly, you get an awesome, custom reel seat which accepts all types of reels.

Last but not least, you get some well-made Fuji Alconite guide rings. These are pretty great for directing the line and enhancing your levels of success.

So, at the end of the day, you get a baitcasting rod that’s really well-made. And besides that, you get something that’s light in weight and easy to use, all day.

Pros

  • Great material used
  • Light in weight
  • Great looks
  • Great reel seat

Cons

  • It feels kind of beefy

4. Piscifun Torrent Two-Piece Baitcasting Rod

Versatile is the name of the game as far as the Torrent from Piscifun is concerned. The rod provides you with medium to heavy action. That means you can use it to face a variety of fish.

While at it, you can rest assured that the rod won’t let you down because it’s made of fiberglass and graphite.

We’re, however, concerned about its two-piece design. Traditionally, we’ve known two-piece rods for being a bit flimsy.

And, though, Piscifun, has done a great job of making sure this one remains well-balanced, we still find it a bit difficult to trust it.

But what matters the most is that the rod is pretty sensitive. Its tip is specifically designed to provide additional strength.

And if you’re heading out for an ice fishing trip, you’ll like the fact that this rod is capable of detecting even the faintest of all bites.

Above all, it is light in weight meaning you can comfortably carry it with you, wherever you may be headed to.

Pros

  • Incredibly sensitive
  • A versatile rod
  • Light in weight
  • Has a high-quality guide (Zirconium)

Cons

  • We don’t like its 2-piece design
  • Its tip seems flimsy

5. Abu Garcia Vengeance

This is one of the few rods on the market that besides looking classy also comes at an affordable price. Yup, you read that right.

One thing we’d like to note is that this rod is kind of flashy al thanks to a well-thought-out finish style. On top of that, it’s designed to load excellently.

Indeed, it does a good job at back cast and even when a fish bites. As you know, if a crankbait rod is too stiff, it may rip the hooks from the bass, prematurely. But this rod is made specifically with a spongy feel.

That’s pretty much all one would wish for when faced with the task requiring a cranking rod.

Therefore, the minute a fish bites, the soft tip will provide you with an alert. What’s more? You only get a split-second delay which means you can respond better and in a timely manner.

And the icing on the cake is that this cutie is capable of dealing with boat side runs without yanking. So, generally, it’s a pretty good deal.

Pros

  • Has sufficient whip for long casts
  • Good value for money
  • Incredibly sensitive to bites
  • Looks great
  • Feels great to handle for long hours

Cons

  • Laborious for a quick retrieve

6. Berkley Lightning Rod Casting

This may not be a high-end fishing rod but it certainly is a top choice for anyone looking for affordability. It has an incredibly high level of sensitivity and provides a moderately good level of durability.

Further, the unit is specifically designed to accommodate braided lines. Therefore, it’s a good choice for different fishing tasks. It can deal with anything from tiny fish in local streams to large ones in inshore waters.

Perhaps the best part of this rod is that it boasts an awesome blank construction. It has a fiberglass scrim which makes it durable yet light in weight.

The rod further comes with ergonomically designed handles. Interestingly, the handles are made to suspend the reel foot well above the blank effectively providing a high level of sensitivity.

Its guides are also pretty well-made. Because, as we’ve mentioned, this unit is particularly meant for braided lines.

Pros

  • Accommodates braided lines
  • Ergonomically designed handle
  • Awesome blank for good sensitivity
  • Moderately priced
  • Suspended reel seat for optimal energy transmission

Cons

  • Don't have ceramic inserts
  • Some of its parts seem cheap

7. KastKing Perigee II with Fuji O-Ring Guides

This is, no doubt, one of the most sought-after baitcasting rods on the market. And it’s easy to see why so many people seem to have fallen in love with it.

To begin with, the unit comes with an amazingly high-quality level of carbon fiber blank. This is specifically made to provide you with an incredibly high level of accuracy and strength.

Besides that, the rod presents you with an awesome attention to detail. It packs the renowned, Fuji O-Ring line guides with help improve your accuracy when fishing.

Also, this package comes with a high-strength reel seat which enhances your fishing experience. That’s alongside EVA grips that make your fishing experience much more enjoyable.

And because it’s made from carbon fiber, the rod is also quite affordably priced. In fact, the manufacturer is currently enabling you to get a twin-tip at the price of one.

That way, you end up with a versatile gear that can significantly take your baitcasting experience to a whole new level.

Pros

  • Quality tip
  • Ability to cast smoothly
  • Well-made and superb design
  • Light in weight

Cons

  • Its tip may shutter under prolonged heavy action fishing

8. Shimano FXC 2-Piece Rod

The FXC 2 from Shimano is one of the popular rods on the market that go for a price that even the fish can afford.

We're looking at a medium power rod here. So if you’re planning deal with fish that weighs 5 to 10 pounds or thereabouts, this might be the best tool for the job.

Indeed, the FXC 2 is reliable even when putting under punishing use. It has a relatively fast action. Indeed, it is one of the best baitcasting rods for saltwater fishing. It has corrosion resistant parts and is generally quite durable.

Its handle is specially made with non-skid features. Combined with its awesome length, this is no doubt one of the best-made baitcasting rods even for beginners.

A closer look at its surface reveals that it’s covered in aluminum oxide finish. This keeps rust away – and contributes to its effectiveness even in saltwater as mentioned earlier.

Most importantly, its reel seat is made from graphite. As you know, graphite is, hands-down, the best material for reel seats on the markets currently. It’s highly sensitive and pretty efficient to use.

Pros

  • Durably built
  • Suitable for saltwater use
  • Comfortable handles
  • Great for fast action, medium power
  • Versatile design

Cons

  • It’s a bit heavy
  • Some of its parts feel a bit stiff

9. Rippin Lips Medium-Heavy Super Cat Rod

If you’ve been shopping for the best, affordable baitcasting rods on the market, chances are that you’ve already come across this brand. They’ve been in the markets for several years.

But in particular, their SuperCat series is available in different models. These include heavy, medium heavy, and medium.

Generally, the rods are quite popular in the under $50 category. Which means they’re also pretty good for beginners.

A closer look at the SuperCat line of rods provides that they all come with S-Glass blanks. Generally, S-Glass blanks tend to be lighter than E-Glass ones. And that also means that they’re incredibly sensitive.

Of course, that would be good news for those who like fishing in the ice. As, sometimes, detecting those delicate fish bites in the cold can prove really tricky.

Its blank has, further, been beefed up and also comes with stronger stainless steel guides. All those improvements go a long way in making your casting even more rewarding.

Most importantly, you also end up with a comfortable handle along with epoxy coated protection for enhanced quality.

This is, for sure, one of the baitcasting rods that can do a great job of detecting even the faintest bites. But of course, this opinion may vary depending on who is using it. However, from our experience, this is a really well-made piece of equipment.

Pros

  • Highly sensitive to bite
  • Superb for heavy action fishing
  • Comfortable to handle for long hours
  • Great looking
  • A versatile design

Cons

  • Not suited for light action fishing
  • May feel too heavy to handle for long

10. St. Croix 7ft Premier Casting Rod

A quick search of the term best St. Croix baitcasting rods will yield the result of this awesomely designed piece of wonder. Indeed, this 7ft rod boasts a premium quality SCII graphite.

As you know, graphite is really the best material anyone can use for building rods. It’s not only sensitive but also durable and good looking. And heck, graphite is also quite affordable – considering the kind of value it provides you with.

Further to that, this unit comes with handy 3D guides. They are pretty slim, strong and shapely. These work perfectly alongside a Fuji ECS reel seat which is based on a frosted silver hood.

Generally, this rod is known for being strong and reliable. Its hook setting power is nothing short of amazing. Most importantly, its handle design is optimized for long hours of operation.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Highly sensitive to bites
  • Durable, premium design
  • Great hook-setting power
  • Well-made aluminum oxide rings

Cons

  • Too stiff for medium-heavy action
  • A bit clumsy, not ideal for beginners

The Buying Guide

When buying baitcasting rods, it is important to remember that this category of rods is specifically made with the intention of giving you more casting control. So, don’t just buy any other rod. Be sure to follow these crucial requirements.

Consider the Quality of the Line Guides

If you can get a rod whose line guides are aligned with a slightly descending patter, that’d be the best choice. But besides that, always be keen on the kind of material used to make the guides.

Plastic guides are the cheapest. Ceramic ones provide a great deal of value. However, pro anglers may prefer the high-end nickel-titanium guides.

Consider the Level of Action Best Suited For You

Basically, the word action refers to the kind of performance the rod is likely to put. If you’re not sure of what level of action to go for, we’d suggest settling for the medium action option. This works pretty well with small lures and also achieves an amazing casting distance.

On the other hand, fast-action rods seem suited for providing a quick hookset. They’re, therefore, ideal for activities such as jigging.

Just How Much Power Do You Need?

The kind of power you settle for should be based on your style of fishing. If you’re targeting the smaller fish species, then an ultra-light or light rod would be the best choice.

On the other hand, if you’re targeting larger fish, be sure to go for something with a stiffer spectrum. Therefore, go for either the medium-heavy or heavy variety.

What Material Is Used For The Blank?

Although some rods are made from cheaper composite materials, we generally recommend fiberglass and graphite. In particular, graphite is loved for its fighting power and flexibility. It’s also pretty sensitive to subtle takes and delicate nibbles.

Fiberglass, though less sensitive, is quite durable. Therefore, you’d always be safe by investing in a rod that offers a combination of graphite and fiberglass.

Which One Is The Best?

In our opinion, the UglyStik GX2 Casting Rod provides a fantastic deal for different fishing styles. That’s why we’d pick it as the best rod on this list so far.

Final Thoughts

This is the age of specialty reels and rod. You don’t want to be left behind. Fortunately, our list of baitcasting rod reviews is meant to help you make a step in the right direction. Our wish is that you’ll find an awesome rod and that soon, you’ll be glad to share your success story with the word.

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