10 Best Bass Fishing Rods: Reviewed & Compared

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Ever wondered how to choose the best bass fishing rod for the money? Well, if this is your first time shopping for one, there are a few things you need to know.

The easiest way to find the right rod is by matching it to your preferred bait fishing techniques. Basically, there are two common styles and these are:

  • Tight-line fishing
  • Slack line fishing

In tight-line fishing, you need to use buzzbaits, crankbaits or spinnerbaits. These baits have to be retrieved quickly in order to keep the line tight.

Therefore, if this is your preferred style of fishing, you want to go for a rod with a soft tip. Such a tip allows the lure to move smoothly in the water.

Besides that, you want to go for a moderate action rod which offers you an increased casting distance. An enhanced casting distance allows deep-diving plugs to attain a maximum depth.

Slack-Line Fishing Techniques

This unique fishing technique involves the use of jigs, dragging tubes, and plastic worms. With this style of fishing, you want to use a versatile rod – and preferably one with a fast action design.

That said, there are anglers who prefer to use stiff rods. That’s because such rods provide a greater ability to pile more pressure on the fish. And that way, it’s possible to get it out of lily pads or any other heavy, underwater vegetation.

We’ve talked extensively about what actually makes bass fishing different. So, let us now zoom in to some of the best fishing rods in the game.


Top Bass Fishing Rods Compared

A good fishing rod for bass is one that’s made to provide you with a great control over your catch. To help you find it, here’s a table compiled based on the latest research.

Ranking

Preview

Product

Dimensions

Weight

Check Price

1

Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod

Shakespeare USSP602M

66 x 5 x 5 inches

12.6 ounces

2

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod 6' - Medium - 2pc

Ugly Stik Elite

2 x 72 x 2 inches

8 ounces 

3

PLUSINNO HongYing Series Fishing Reels Spinning...

PLUSINNO HongYing Series 

-

-

4

Ronco Pocket Fisherman

Ronco Pocket 

9 x 3 x 3 inches

12.8 ounces

5

KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods, Casting Rod 6ft...

KastKing Perigee II 

-

52.8 ounces

6

St Croix Triumph Spinning Rod, TRS70MLF

St Croix Triumph 

-

64 ounces

7

Ugly Stik USCA662MH Casting Rod

UglyStik GX2 

-

-

8

PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combos Carbon Fiber...

PLUSINNO Combo

-

-

9

SHIMANO 0068-2725 Sts56Ul2B Stimula Spinning

SHIMANO Stimula 

-

16 ounces

10

Pflueger P6635M2CBO Trion Fishing Rod and Spinning...

Pflueger P6635M2CBO Trion 

42.3 x 7.1 x 4.5 inches

15.2 ounces


10 Best Bass Fishing Rods Reviewed

1. Ugly Stik Spinning GX2 Rod

On Sale
Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod
34 Reviews
Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod
  • Strong, yet balanced graphite and fiberglass...
  • Durable Ugly Tuff one piece stainless steel...
  • Clear Tip design for strength and sensitivity
  • Durable and lightweight EVA grips

The name “Ugly” may fool you into thinking that this rod is indeed ugly. Instead, it has a stylish modern look as a result of the sleek matte black finish coupled with the red and silver shades. On top of that, it has a branded butt cap.

The Ugly Stik is constructed from a combination of graphite and fiberglass to ensure that the rod is stronger and more sensitive. The rod also comes with enhanced guides which are made out of stainless-steel to improve on its durability as well as make it possible to insert pop-outs.

The rod has the signature clear tip which means that you can always count on it to provide extra strength whenever the situation calls for it.

This model has a modern look while maintaining the traditional look that is common to most anglers. You will be comfortable holding it in your hands as it has a light feel and has an enhanced make quality.

You will definitely stand out in the crowd with this rod.

Pros
  • It has a light feel
  • It has a nice look
  • It is of the perfect size
Cons
  • It does not withstand grooving well

2. Elite Ugly Stik Spinning Rod

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod 6' - Medium - 2pc
46 Reviews
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod 6' - Medium - 2pc
  • Elite spinning rod with 35% more graphite for...
  • Virtually indestructible blank construction...
  • Clear Tip design delivers added...
  • Cork handles provide comfort during lengthy...

This rod is impressive in a number of ways. For starters, the handle has a perfect balance. This is made possible by the material making the cork handle, coupled with the new guides. Balance is particularly important since it will determine how long you can use it for fishing comfortably.

You can also use this rod to catch big fish since it is very bend-resistant. You will enjoy fishing without worrying about the rod snapping into two.

The rod is equipped with clear tip technology which means that it is highly sensitive, keeping in mind that it is still strong. Just the lightest touch and it will tingle all right through your hands. The rod is also quite elastic meaning that it recovers quite fast and the bending does not last.

You will find using this rod to be quite convenient and comfortable while getting service of the highest order. However, you should be extra cautious when it comes to river fishing since the rod is not that suited to survive such turbulence.

Pros
  • It is highly sensitive
  • It is comfortable to use for long periods
  • You can comfortably use it to catch big fish
Cons
  • You cannot use it in moving waters such as rivers

Need a different rod?

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3. Telescopic PLUSINNO Fishing Rod

PLUSINNO HongYing Series Fishing Reels Spinning...
60 Reviews
PLUSINNO HongYing Series Fishing Reels Spinning...
  • Deep aluminium spool with double color and...
  • Aluminium spool with double color and one...
  • There's no need to unscrew the handle like...
  • S-curve oscillation system for very good line...

This fishing rod is one of the best collapsible rods out there. You will comfortably sit in your boat and continue fishing no matter how strong the waves are.

The rod is made of a combination of carbon fiber and fiberglass, making it highly durable and capable of handling the biggest fish in the sea. Do not be fooled by the plastic body as it is enforced with carbon fiber to give it high tensile strength.

It is highly elastic and can be used for both sea and boat fishing. It has an inserting specifically for the fishing pole. You will not miss it as it is guided by aluminum oxide. The handle is attached with EVA force grip for the sake of your comfort.

The stainless steel which is a composite material of the Reel Seats ensures that the fishing rod is always bright and shiny. This aids in attracting the fish. Additionally, it has anti-seawater corrosion protection to make it more durable.

The rod comes with an S-Curve oscillation system which helps in preventing the extended handle portion from breaking. The handle is also interchangeable to avoid overworking it.

Pros
  • It is durable
  • It is perfectly elastic
  • It has a good grip
Cons
  • The extended handle is fragile

4. Pocket Ronco Fisherman

Ronco Pocket Fisherman
681 Reviews
Ronco Pocket Fisherman
  • Comes with 2 Bonus Lures
  • Fits into your glove compartment
  • Automatic Anti-Reverse prevents the handle...
  • Great gift idea for youth or adult

This model is one of the best pocket fishing rods that you will ever find out there. Although tough and strong, it is very light and is just of the right size to fit into your pocket. In fact, when you fold it, it can measure as small as 9 inches.

It weighs at most 1.5 pounds making it very portable and this makes it convenient if you are a “nomadic fisherman”. This rod meaning that it can survive the pressure that comes with fishing relatively large fish. Normal rods with their low-quality reels have a tendency of wearing out too quickly.

This rod also has built-in storage. The base of the rod has a compartment which is large enough to accommodate up to three fish. So you will not be bothered with carrying freezer boxes and buckets for storing your catch.

Finally, it comes with a belt clip which means you can attach it to your belt and put your hands to better use. It especially comes in handy during hikes and nature walks.

Pros
  • It is really light
  • It is small enough to fit in your pocket
  • The belt clip aids in its portability
Cons
  • The line tends to tangle up in the reel

5. Perigee 2 KastKing Fishing Rod

KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods, Casting Rod 6ft...
798 Reviews
KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods, Casting Rod 6ft...
  • AMAZING QUALITY CARBON FIBER BLANK - All...
  • ATTENTION TO DETAIL - KastKing uses the best...
  • TWO FISHING RODS for the price of one!...
  • SMOOTH POWER - KastKing PTS (Power Transition...

If you want a fishing rod that makes fishing enjoyable while at the same time delivering a flawless performance, this rod is just for you. First of all, you will have two styles to choose from; a medium light power with a medium tip and a medium power tip with a medium heavy tip.

The rod is made from carbon fiber which ensures that the rod can handle heavy fishing tasks while at the same time remaining lightweight to give you an easy time while using it. The material also makes the rod to be highly sensitive and can detect the slightest contact.

Another interesting bit with this rod is that casting is quite smooth and accurate. The heavy and light lures enable you to decide where you want them to land. Even strong winds would not interfere with your casting.

The different varieties based on style and power means that you can use this rod in different environments such as saltwater, freshwater and kayak fishing.

Pros
  • They are durable
  • They are lightweight and easy to use
  • They have a lot of power to handle resistance from fish
Cons
  • The tip breaks off too easily

6. St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rods

St Croix Triumph Spinning Rod, TRS70MLF
147 Reviews
St Croix Triumph Spinning Rod, TRS70MLF
  • Length 7' 0"
  • Power Medium Light
  • Action Fast
  • Sections 1

This rod is really amazing for many reasons. The first trait of this rod is it is light and you can easily carry it around without it dragging you back. The rod is also quite strong and it can withstand any form of resistance from the fish.

You can put up a good fight in case the catch attempts to free itself. It will bend up to a half of the rod’s length meaning that you will have better control as you attempt to catch your fish. The hook power is also quite impressive such that once a fish is hooked; there is no chance for escape. 

The ability of the rod to bend also means that your casting distance will be really great and is further reinforced with the hook power and strength. It is comfortable to hold for ages and has high sensitivity.

The rod recovers quite fast as soon as you are done with casting.

Pros
  • It is light and durable
  • Assembling it is quite easy
  • You can control your casting with this rod
Cons
  • The carry case is too soft and can get damaged really fast.

7. Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Rod

Ugly Stik USCA662MH Casting Rod
190 Reviews
Ugly Stik USCA662MH Casting Rod
  • Durable, lightweight fishing rod offers a...
  • Virtually indestructible blank construction...
  • Clear Tip design delivers added...
  • Lightweight EVA grips provide comfort during...

The first thing that strikes you with this rod is its stunning look. Apart from the normal fiberglass material, there is an addition of graphite which gives it an eye-catching matte black finish. On top of this, it is highlighted with a diamond pattern with a mixture of red and silver just above the grip.

It has a clear tip which ensures sensitivity and so the slightest touch by a fish will vibrate right through your hands. The guide is much improved from the old model and has a stainless steel design which makes it quite durable.

The grip is constructed out of EVA material which makes it very comfortable in your hands. You can hold it in your hands for hours and you will still be left with a good feeling in your hands. Furthermore, there is an Ugly Stik logo at the end of the rod to further enhance on its looks.

Pros
  • It is lightweight
  • It is durable
  • You can adjust the sensitivity of the weights
Cons
  • Its main purpose is not that clear

8. PLUSINNO Carbon Fiber Fishing Rod

PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combos Carbon Fiber...
758 Reviews
PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combos Carbon Fiber...
  • It's the best gift to send father, son,...
  • Perfect elasticity, high density Carbon...
  • Stainless Steel Hooded Reel Seat is...
  • Instant anti-reverse; Power drive gears...

For starters, this rod is easily portable. This is compounded by the fact that it can be fully collapsed and closed to fit just about anywhere.

The pole is really durable since it is made out of very dense carbon fiber combined with fiberglass. With such a combination of materials, be rest assured that this rod will serve you for years to come.

You can use it in saltwater fishing since it is highly resistant to corrosion by saltwater. It has a gear ratio of 5:2:1 which implies that the speed of the reel is quite slow. Since is the pole is an all-purpose pole, you can take this ratio to be a positive thing.

It has amazing elasticity and so it regains shape quite easily after bending downwards while trying to pull out your catch.

The rod is portable due to its light and small size. Additionally, it has an extended handle which you can also use them in carrying the rod.

Pros
  • They are durable
  • They are comfortable
  • They have perfect stability
Cons
  • It can be a little bulky for long distance fishermen

9. SHIMANO Stimula 2-Piece Rod

SHIMANO 0068-2725 Sts56Ul2B Stimula Spinning
22 Reviews
SHIMANO 0068-2725 Sts56Ul2B Stimula Spinning
  • Responsive graphite composite construction
  • Comfortable full cork handle
  • Lightweight aluminum oxide guides

To begin with, we are sure that whichever rod of this model you are looking at seems new. This is probably because of the low profile aluminum which serves just this purpose. You will use the rod for years and it will still seem new.

The hook holder is another impressive piece of the rod. It is quite useful especially when you are changing spots. Normally you would have to break down the entire rod for safety. With this one, all you would do is just bend the rod a bit and you would get the hook into the holder.

It comes in several sizes which you can select depending on your area of fishing. For instance, lake fishing would require you to get a 7-foot medium rod, while kayak fishing would require a 6-foot rod.

The rod is made from graphite and this provides the strength to withstand the pressure that comes with slightly heavier fish without snapping. Finally, you can leave it to an inexperienced angler and it would survive all the damage that they may cause.

Pros
  • It is quite cheap
  • It is fairly light
  • It is really strong
Cons
  • The tip is fragile

10. Pflueger Trion Fishing Reel and Rod Combo

Pflueger P6635M2CBO Trion Fishing Rod and Spinning...
48 Reviews
Pflueger P6635M2CBO Trion Fishing Rod and Spinning...
  • Reliable fishing rod and reel combo delivers...
  • Durable yet lightweight construction with...
  • Ultra-smooth operation with 7 stainless steel...
  • Stainless steel and oiled felt drag system...

To start with, this rod has a threaded exterior which provides a strong grip and eliminates any chances of slipping. It will leave a really good feeling in your hands.

The reel can handle different sizes of baits. It would operate just as smoothly as without giving out any signs of stress or pressure. The reels also retrieve lures really smoothly and are also just as effective in casting.

The reels are light enough to let you feel the pressure bites from the fish as fast as possible. You must have noticed from your experience with a different rod that it is quite easy to miss the sensation if the reel puts too much pressure on your hand.

The drag system is oiled and is certain to produce a reliable performance when you need it to do so. It has a bearing system composed of corrosion resistant bearing balls which you are assured of durability.

Pros
  • It is light
  • It is durable
  • It is highly sensitive
Cons
  • It is not that amazing to look at

​What to look for in a bass fishing rod

We generally have found out that shorter rods i.e. those in the 6-foot range tend to provide an enhanced casting accuracy. Besides that, they do a great job of casting lures even in tight spots.

Rods in the 7-foot range (i.e. longer rods), on the other hand, provide a great casting distance and are also great for fighting the fish. These also come in handy when you want to use heavier lures.

Our recommendation is that you should only go for a fishing rod whose handle easily fits in your hand. Such a handle would significantly cut down on fatigue – and that can significantly affect your success. In addition, here are a few crucial factors to consider.

Action

It’s pretty to determine a fishing rod’s action. That’s because it’s determined from the point where the rod bends when under pressure.

Basically, a fast action rod is one that’s highly sensitive to changes and also flexes near the tip. A moderate action bass fishing rod is one that flexes, more so toward the middle. Lastly, a “slow action” rod is one that bends toward the butt.

Power

Most people tend to confuse action for power. The two are, however, pretty different. In particular, power is all about the level of pressure required to flex a rod.

Generally, a strong rod power is preferred for bass fishing. That’s because this kind of fish is predominantly found in places with underwater weeds.

Traditionally, graphite rods are recommended for the slack-line fishing technique. Graphite is quite light in weight and also durable.

On the other hand, fiberglass rods are pretty tough and flexible. They’re, therefore, widely recommended for tight-line fishing techniques.

While at it, it’s important to note that recent advancements in technology have gradually reduced the gap between graphite and fiberglass rods. It’s now possible to find composite fishing rods. These deliver the flexibility of fiberglass and the sensitivity of graphite.

Guides

There are two common types of guides. These are metal frame guides and ceramic ring guides. Generally, Silicon carbide (SiC) guides are considered the best material there is today.

A good guide should always have a smooth surface. That’s because you want to minimize the level of friction on the line when casting and retrieving. A smooth guide means you can cast longer and further lengthens the life of your fishing line. A rough (high friction) guide does the opposite because heat actually eats the line.

We’ve also seen the introduction of the Alconite material of late. This material is much cheaper than Silicone Carbide and can still do a good job. Hialoy, aluminum oxide, and Hardloy materials are the most common ceramic variants. They are quite serviceable and also affordable.

Please note that some new guides come with a titanium wire. The main role of this wire is to ensure that the guides spring back into place even when they’re bent flat.

Lastly, you’re also bound to come across guide rings that are made from stainless steel but with ceramic inserts. These are light in weight meaning they’re also quite convenient to use – all day long.


The Reel Seat

This is where the reel is held against the rod. Most bass fishing anglers prefer graphite reel seats and especially so if the seat has a cutout that makes it easy to feel the blank.

Please be on the lookout for cheap rods that come with a plastic cushion. Such seats often rust and eventually stain your reel. And the worst can happen such that the rods bind up making it extremely difficult to remove the reel.

It’s also important to be on the lookout for cheap rods particularly those made in the East. Quite a number of those come with cardboard spaces which besides tearing easily also dampen vibration. Things can get much worse especially when your rod gets wet thereby allowing the reel and the seat to rotate – and that isn’t a good thing!

When you take all those recommendations to account, it is easy to understand why the best fishing rods are quite pricey. In particular, if you’re looking for the best results in bass fishing, we’d recommend going for:

  • A rod with a fast, crisp action
  • Lightweight design
  • The built-in ability to take the beating in the rod locker or boat deck

More about Fishing for Bass

It’s one thing to get the best, and latest bass fishing rod but another game altogether to bring a bigger catch home. So, to help you in that quest, we have included some fantastic techniques that you can add to your skillset.


​Where To Fish

This is perhaps the most important thing you need to consider. Unfortunately, knowing where to cast takes a bit of time and experience. It also requires you to understand how bass behaves.

Basically, you need to understand the following 6 things so you can understand where to fish. There are 5 common fisheries where bass fish are mainly found. These include lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, and tidal waters.

​Lakes

In the winter season, bass like to congregate on key lake features among them the humps, flats, and bluffs. However, as summer approaches, the bass moves toward shallow, protected areas.

Ponds

You can always hone your fishing skills by trying your luck in ponds. Basically, you should work on identifying irregularities such as brush piles, big rocks and laydown logs. These are the sites that tend to attract bass.

Streams

Streams offer the best springboard for budding anglers and hobbyists. But here, it’s always a good idea to downsize your bait so it matches the local forage.

Rivers

Quite different from lake and pond fishing, river bass fishing requires you to keenly study the behavior of the fish. Typically, river fish orientate along current breaks which typically disorient their prey. So, it’s always a good idea to play with the current if you want to land bigger catches in river fishing.

Tidal Waters

Tidal waters are to some extent rivers and partly lakes. There are periods of current and non-current ones as well. Likewise, there are low water period and high water ones.

Ask any skilled angler and they will tell you that the best strategy for tidal fisheries is that of waiting for the incoming or outgoing tide. It’s also quite smart to target funnel areas.


Bass Availability in Different Seasons

Where to find bass is probably something that keeps changing, year in, year out. That’s because different weather seasons directly affect fish behavior.

Basically, if the water is warm, most bass fish tend to be highly active – literally chasing baits. During the cold season, though, the fish tend to be sluggish which also means they aren’t in the mood to run their food down.

Bass Fishing In Winter

If you’re a fan of ice fishing, the news that bass tend to be sluggish in cold waters might break your heart. But that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.

The best places to catch bass during winter include channel swing banks and deep lake flats. Steep river faces especially ones located adjacent to channel ledges also work pretty well.

Avoid fishing in muddy and current-ripping areas during winter.

Bass Fishing in Summer

As the warm season kicks in, the bass are typically found deeper into the waters, although the current may bring some bass shallower. Look for places with forage or shaded regions. Also, you can try your lack by seeking bass in areas adjacent to deep sections of the lake.


How to Fish for Bass

The following is a compilation of some advanced techniques that can help you bring more fish home.  Some of these are pretty unconventional but they really do work.

  • Don’t Throw Away Those Shredded Worms
    What do you normally do with the plastic worms that get torn up? Well, don’t throw them away. As it turns out, bass like to attack wounded prey. And, therefore, the site of a beat-up worm would work really well especially when hunting in shallow water.
  • Use Color Red to Your Advantage
    As we have already mentioned, bass likes to attack prey that seems injured. In line with that fact, this kind of fish seems to be majorly attracted to the color red because it creates the impression of an injury. So, if you can manage to use red hooks or spinner baits with a read head, you’d most likely score some easy points.
  • Fish Facing the Wind
    Most people like to fish while facing away from the wind in order to enhance their casting distance. That, however, reduces your chances of catching this elusive fish species.Facing the wind may reduce the distance of your cast but it always works. That’s because bass like to swim along with the current. Therefore, it’s better to have them find your bait first rather than your boat.
  • The Calm before a Storm Works like Charm
    Do you fear storms? It’s time for you to overcome that fear because sometimes, the best time to catch bass is just before a storm strikes.Why so? The pressure that precedes the formation of a storm tends to make bass more active than usual. This increases the likelihood of the bass biting the hook.So, be on the lookout for the clouds moving in. Otherwise, trying to fish after a storm often means that you’ll find fish that are reluctant to bite.

Which Bass Fishing Rod Is The Best?

There’s no doubt that choosing the right rod is the first step toward landing a bigger catch. And from our best bass fishing rods reviews above, we’d like to single out the St. Croix Triumph bass fishing rod as our most favorite.

That’s because it is made from premium-quality graphite and also boasts outstanding strength. Its finely-tuned actions and high-grade cork handle make it an awesome tool to have around at all times.


Final Thoughts

Without the right kind of information, finding the right rod for bass fishing may seem like an overwhelming task. Fortunately, the reviews, buying guide and how-to write-ups above are meant to help you overcome all those challenges.

So, all you need to do is figure out what rod best meets your specific needs and you’ll be on your way to making an informed purchase.