Buyer’s Guide & Information

Best Jerkbait Rods Reviewed

We have reviewed and rated the best jerkbait rods for fishing. Our comparisons look at various styles and designs to help you catch more fish.

by Andrew

Buyer’s Guide & Information

Best Jerkbait Rods Reviewed

We have reviewed and rated the best jerkbait rods for fishing. Our comparisons look at various styles and designs to help you catch more fish.

by Andrew

by Andrew

On the retrieve, a jerkbait can present in a way that is irresistible to some fish, such as bass; this is what makes them so powerful. A good snap-pause reeling technique can do wonders.

To pull this off, though, you need the appropriate kind of rod. That’s where jerk bait rods come in handy.  If you are an angler who uses jerkbaits and you now need the right budget-friendly jerkbait rod to up your game, this review is for you.

Preview

Product

Rod Length

Line Weight

Check Price

Enigma Fishing IPPON Pro Tournament Series...

Enigma Fishing IPPON Pro

6’8”- 7’6”

4-40 lbs

KastKing Speed Demon Pro Bass Fishing Rods,...

KastKing

Speed Demon

6’8”- 8’

10-20 lbs

St. Croix TRS70MF Triumph Graphite Spinning...

St Croix Triumph Spinning

6’ - 7’6”

6-12 lbs

Lews Fishing TP168MLF Tournament Performance...

Lew's Speed

Stick TP-1

7’ - 7’6”

6-12 lbs

Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 705CB Medium/Heavy...

Dobyns Rods

Fury Series

6’6”

10-17 lbs

Dobyns Rods 705CB Glass Champion Series Heavy...

Dobyns Rods

705CB

7’

8-20 lbs

Cadence Fishing CR5 Spinning Rods | 30 Ton...

Cadence CR5-30

6’6”

6-12 lbs


What Are The Benefits Of The Jerkbait Rods?

To use a jerkbait to its full potential, you need to be able to imitate the jerky motions of an injured or dying baitfish. Not all rods can do this. Jerkbait rods are the spinning or baitcasting rods with fast actions, medium-heavy power, and something around 6’ in length.

This combination of traits gives you the exact amount of control and power you need when fishing with a jerkbait. Rods of different lengths, actions, and power specs will be either too responsive or not responsive enough. 


Important Qualities of a Good Jerkbait Rod

Type/Style of Jerkbait Used

You should consider what kind of jerkbait you are going to use. Soft plastic jerk baits sometimes tend to twist your line, so you might want to avoid a baitcasting rod, which often comes with its own line complications. Hard plastic jerkbaits are a little more versatile in that regard, so you have more flexibility in your rod choice.   

Rod Composition

Most fishing rods are made of either fiberglass, graphite, or a composite. Graphite rods are generally considered to be the best because they are strong and sensitive. They are also more expensive. Composite rods can perform very well, too, depending on the amount of graphite and fiberglass included. 

Rods are also often composed of two pieces, which makes them easier to transport, but you can also find single piece rods or telescoping rods. The two-piece rods are usually your best bet because they balance durability and portability.

Rod Length & Weight

The ideal rod length for a jerkbait rod is between 6’ and 7’ so a 6’6” rod is best. This rod length is much easier to control and is less exhausting after repeatedly working your bait. Also, at this length, you’ll avoid hitting the water as you twitch the lure and produce the motion you want. Along these same lines, you also want a rod that is lightweight enough for repeated use. This is a rod that you will be handling and moving a lot.   

Rod Action

With a jerkbait rod you will always want a fast action. Rod action refers to how quickly the rod begins to bend under pressure, so a fast rod begins to bend quickly near the tip of the rod while the rest of the rod remains rigid. This means that you gain greater control of your line and bait. That’s exactly what you want with a jerkbait.

Rod Power

The power of a jerkbait rod should always be medium-heavy. A rod’s power is how much much force it takes to bend the rod. The name of the game with jerkbait rods is rigidity and control, so you don’t want a rod that bends too easily. You also need a rod that has some give to it once you have hooked a fish. A medium-heavy power rod strikes this balance perfectly. 

Tip Sensitivity

A good-quality graphite rod will offer you the most sensitivity compared to fiberglass and composite rods. This sensitivity allows you to feel the action of a fish and what’s happening under the surface of the water. With a jerkbait suspended in the water column at a distance, this can be quite useful. 

Other Features

With other features of the rod, you should consider comfort and usability. Your final rod and reel combo will be worked over and over again as you maneuver the bait in the water. A short, ergonomic handle, low profile fast reel, and low diameter fluorocarbon line will cover most of your needs.

Price & Warranty

this equation. Do your due diligence and make sure that a rod meets all the requirements you have. Check if the rod is covered by a warranty and find out just how much is covered. Sometimes a good warranty can turn a good deal into a great deal.


7 Best Jerkbait Rods Reviewed

1. Enigma Fishing IPPON Pro

Our Top Pick!

Rod Length

6’8” - 7’6”

Line Weight

4-40 lb

Handle Type

Hand Stitched Golf Style E-Grip

Material

Blended 30/40 Ton Toray Graphite

Rod Action

Fast

Rod Power

Medium-Heavy

The Enigma Fishing IPPON Pro jerkbait rods are an easy top of the line choice for our top pick. Each of the ten models available is made using proprietary 30/40 Ton blended Japanese Toray graphite blanks reinforced with 50 Ton X-Tape.

This makes them very lightweight and sensitive, which is precisely what you need when working your bait. They also offer enough strength so you can set your hook and wrench a fish out from cover. The rod also features titanium coated frames with zirconium rings, so every cast and retrieve is smooth. Premium design and premium materials are combined in this rod to make for a seamless fishing experience.

As an added touch, the rod boasts the only hand-stitched golf-style handles that are "double stitched." They aren’t just cheaply glued or tacked on as some manufacturers do. These comfortable ergonomic handles are perfect on a jerkbait rod because of the amount of rod work you’ll be doing.

This is a rod that is meant to be held and used again and again. It is built as one long durable blank, which is still just as easy to transport as any other rod. A custom case is included to protect the rod no matter where you take it.  

Pros
  • 1-year warranty when registered
  • Excellent construction
  • Very comfortable to use
Cons
  • Bigger fish can snap the tip

2. KastKing Speed Demon

Runner Up

Rod Length

6’8”- 8’

Line Weight

10-20 lbs

Handle Type

Golf style split grip

Material

Graphite

Rod Action

Fast

Rod Power

Medium-Heavy

The KastKing Speed Demon jerkbait rod is a close second for our top spot. They are built with elite carbon blanks that utilize carbon nanotube resin technology. This makes them lighter weight and 30% more durable when compared to standard graphite blanks. In addition to their fantastic weight and strength, these blanks are also remarkably sensitive.

They keep you connected to the action. The rod features Fuji guides and reel seats, which make sure your reel is secure and that lines fly smoothly with no risk of becoming frayed. The guides work with alconite rings to ensure the best cast and retrieve possible. The handles and fighting butts are custom WINN golf-style grips offering secure ergonomic support. This is a rod built for battle and it stands up to repeated use.

Anglers who have gotten their hands on it are instantly impressed. One reviewer states, "After numerous YouTube videos and customer reviews I chose KastKing and am very pleased, extremely light weight and balanced very well...”

This is a rod that not only performs very well but also looks great doing so. The sleek black and orange design stands out. KastKing offers a whole series of rods like this for every fishing style, and they’re so good you just might start collecting them. 

Pros
  • Graphite
  • Ergonomic comfortable use
  • Stylish and durable design
  • Well constructed
Cons
  • Line guides are very small

3. St Croix Triumph Spinning

Best Jerkbait Spinning Rod

Rod Length

6’ - 7’6”

Line Weight

6-12 lbs

Handle Type

Full cork grip

Material

Graphite

Rod Action

Fast

Rod Power

Medium

St. Croix has been in the business for a long time, so they know what they are doing. They are one of the few brands out there to boast openly, making the best rods on Earth, and the truth is, they’re not wrong. The St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod is the best jerkbait spinning rod money can buy. St. Croix’s well-vetted and well-funded R&D department has developed composite materials and manufacturing techniques that consistently create amazing fishing gear.

This series of rods, in particular, features their premium quality SCII graphite in the blanks topped by two coats of their Flex-Coat slow cure finish. The graphite is a mid-modulus graphite fiber with a higher strain rate meaning the rod can handle more pressure. 

The rod incorporates a Fuji DPS reel seat with frosted silver hoods and hard aluminum-oxide guides with black frames for smooth channeling of your line. The handle is full grip and made from premium grade cork. These are performance rods built to hold up against tough fish. Designed in Park Falls, each rod is made by fishermen for fishermen. Because fishers understand that accidents happen, the rod is also secured by a 5-year warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service.

Pros
  • 5-year warranty
  • Well constructed
  • Casts well
Cons
  • Heavy for its size

4. Lew's Speed Stick TP-1

Best Jerkbait Rod For Bass

Rod Length

7’ - 7’6”

Line Weight

6-12 lbs

Handle Type

Full grip

Material

Graphite

Rod Action

Fast

Rod Power

Medium Light

Lew’s Speed Stick TP-1 series of rods are perfect jerkbait rods for bass. They are a classic rod of choice for many experienced Bass anglers because they consistently perform as needed and, when wielded correctly, can be very powerful. The one-piece rods are made of premium IM8 graphite blanks that are lightweight, strong, and sensitive.

This is the jerkbait trifecta that you need, especially when going up against bass. The rod also features a Winn Grip handle with patented Dri-Tac technology split grips. This offers the angler fantastic rod control no matter the weather, from a slippery downpour to sweaty heat, your hands keep their hold.

The rod guides are made with American Tackle's MicroWave guide system. This design streamlines your line flow and drastically cuts down on wind knots. You can expect improved accuracy with your casting and even longer casting distances. The first guide functions as a funnel and channels the line perfectly into all of the following guides.

The rod then also includes Lew's exclusive skeletal graphite reel seat, which supports the reel, maintains the accuracy of your cast, and ensures the stability of your retrieve. The integrity of the rod is backed by Lew's one year warranty as well, although this is a rod that can hold up for many years to come.   

Pros
  • One year limited rod warranty
  • Dri-tac technology in the handle for secure grip
  • Microwave guide system for smooth casting
Cons
  • Some line guides break under too much pressure

5. Dobyns Rods Fury Series

Best Casting Rod For Jerkbaits

Rod Length

6’6”

Line Weight

10-17 lbs

Handle Type

Full grip

Material

Graphite

Rod Action

Fast

Rod Power

Medium-Heavy

The Fury Series of Dobyns casting rods includes some of the best casting rods for jerkbaits. If you’ve progressed from spinning rods in your fishing journey and now prefer the power and casting capabilities of a baitcaster, then these are the rods for you. Since there are so many to choose from in this series, we have actually selected the best jerkbait rods for you.

This particular rod is designated as the FR 795SB and comes with a whole host of features standard to the series. This includes a high modulus graphite blank for strength and sensitivity, a Fuji reel seat, Kevlar wrapping, and AA grade cork grip with hi-density Hypalon butt. When you get your hands on this rod and start comparing it to others, it begins to feel like you bought it at a discount. The value of the rod surpasses the price you’ll pay for it.

As one reviewer put it after using the rod, “It is unreal the value you get for the price…  after trying a few other brands (during trips with buddies), I firmly believe this rod stands up to many $250 plus rods on the market.”

Not only is this the best casting rod for jerkbaits, but it is also one of the best value rods available.

Pros
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Great value
  • Well constructed
Cons
  • Short reel seat

6. Dobyns Rods 705CB

Best Dobyns Jerkbait Rod

Rod Length

7’

Line Weight

8-20 lbs

Handle Type

Full cork grip

Material

Fiberglass

Rod Action

Fast

Rod Power

Medium-Heavy

Dobyns offers several amazing series of rods, and we looked through them to find the best jerkbait rods in the collections. Dobyns Champion XP series includes over 50 amazing technique-specific rods. Like most anglers, you probably fish more than one style, so it is definitely worth looking through the other Dobyns rods to see what you might find.

This particular rod, the DC 705CB Glass, is made to handle crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, and topwaters. Each rod in the series features strong fiberglass blanks, Fuji Alconite guides, Kevlar wrapping, Fuji graphite reel seats, and AA grade Portugal cork. These are very well made and, despite being made from fiberglass, display amazing strength and sensitivity.

One angler, who has used the rod extensively, noted that it is “Amazingly light weight for glass rod - it has the forgiveness of glass but the strength of graphite.” Another angler put it this way “What Dobyns has done with the 705CB Glass is reimagined what a glass crankbait rod could and should be.”

Needless to say, the 705CB is one of those rare fiberglass rods that manages to capture the benefits of fiberglass and graphite without being a composite. The bottom line is that this rod performs as needed and then some. 

Pros
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Strong and lightweight
  • Well constructed
Cons
  • Lacks some of the sensitivity of other graphite rods

7. Cadence CR5-30

Best Jerkbait Rod Under $100

Rod Length

6’6”

Line Weight

6-12 lbs

Handle Type

Split grip

Material

Graphite

Rod Action

Fast

Rod Power

Medium

The Cadence CR5-30 spinning rod is the best jerkbait rod under $100. It is a steal for the price. The rod is composed of a 30-ton carbon matrix graphite blank that offers more strength, durability, and sensitivity than other rods. SiC guides with durable stainless steel frames line the blanks for seamless casting and retrieve.

This design avoids line snagging the guides, minimizes friction, and enhances sensitivity by transferring vibrations from the line through the guide to the rod and your hand. The rod is strong yet responsive so you can work the jerkbait but still pull fish from cover when needed. 

The rod also features a comfortable Fuji reel seat that is positioned ergonomically for maximum comfort in the handle. The jerkbait rod comes with a carbon split grip design, so you have the appropriate hand position and leverage while maintaining the grip you need.

Anglers who have used the rod say that “It’s a steal for the price,” and that this “is such a good rod for the money.” One woman who bought her for her husband was delighted to find that he “now says it's his favorite rod. 🙂 Guess I picked well.”

Hands down, this rod is a good choice.

Pros
  • Great value
  • Casts well
  • Durable and sensitive
Cons
  • The handle is too long and slim for some

How To Set Up & Fish with A Jerkbait Rod

In most instances, you’ll want to start by setting up your rod with an 8-14 pound fluorocarbon line, although monofilament (8-14 lb test) and braid (15-20 lb test) can work too. Next, pick out the right jerkbait for where you are fishing. Beginners should start with a floating jerkbait and progress from there. Bring a variety of jerkbaits, including suspending and sinking baits of various colors.

The best fish to target with a jerkbait is bass so find out what the bass are eating and fish a jerkbait that imitates that. When picking a fishing spot, look for open, clear water around docks, rocky shorelines, points, and mid-lake structures, drop-offs, or even grass flats. These are the kinds of places where you’ll find the most success.

When it comes to casting and working the bait, remember that the goal is to imitate an injured or dying baitfish to trigger the feeding instinct in the fish you want. There are many ways to go about fishing a jerkbait, but one of the most fundamental entails pointing your rod towards the water after the cast and moving your bait in a series of rhythmic snap-pause motions. Keep the jerkbait above the fish your targeting and wait for them to hit. Before you know it, you'll have landed a fish.


Comparing Jerkbaits to Other Lures

There are seven main types of fishing lures. These are jigs, spinners, spoons, soft plastic baits, plugs, spinnerbaits/buzzbaits, and flies. Jerkbaits, in particular, are a type of plug. With some lures, like spinners, you can get by just casting and retrieving. Other lures, like jerkbaits, require more action on the part of the angler. With each lure, your goal is to imitate what your target fish likes to eat.

A common comparison is that between jerkbaits and crankbaits. They are both a type of plug. Although they look somewhat similar, they are used differently. Jerkbaits work well for shallower waters, while most crankbaits are built for deeper depths.

Certain lipless crankbaits can be fished at shallower depths, though. Another major difference is that jerkbaits are preferable in clear water, while crankbaits can serve you well in more murky waters. The retrieve for these lures also differs with jerkbaits working with a “jerk, jerk, pause” retrieve and crankbaits needing less work. 


People Also Ask (FAQs)

What reel should be used for a Jerkbait rod?

When selecting a reel for your jerkbait rod, there are two things you should look for. The first thing you want is a good low profile ergonomic reel. Fishing a jerkbait involves lots of movement in the rod and not so much in the reel, so you want a reel that is mostly out of the way until you need it. When you do need it, though, you’ll want a reel that offers you a fast retrieve. A reel with a gear ratio around 6.4:1 and above should work well. 

What is the best rod type for jerkbaits?

The best rod type for jerkbaits would be a 6’6”, fast action, medium-heavy power graphite rod fitted with a fast reel, and 8-14 pound test fluorocarbon line. This would cover all the bases we’ve gone over in this guide and provide you with the perfect balance of power and control while fishing a jerkbait.

What are the best brands for jerkbait fishing rods?

These days us fishermen are spoiled for choice when it comes to finding great manufacturers and brands for our equipment. Some of the best jerkbait rods come from companies like Dobyns, St. Croix, and Enigma, to name a few. These are brands that have proven time and time again that they know exactly what they are doing when making fishing gear.

Where can I find the best quality jerkbait rods?

The best jerkbait rods and, for that matter, the best fishing equipment, can all be found on Amazon. Amazon offers all the latest gear from top brands but also carries some selections no longer offered by manufacturers. You get a wider selection of gear, and it is really easy to comparison shop while reading the experiences of other fishers who have used the product you are considering. 


Conclusion

With this guide, you can find the best jerkbait rods that are available on the market today. Of course, the best of them all is the Enigma Fishing IPPON Pro. That rod combines quality, performance, value, and style unlike any other, making it an easy pick for our top spot.

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