Buyer’s Guide & Information

Best Rod and Reel Combos for Bass Reviewed

We have rated and compared the best bass fishing combos on the market. We review high-quality models for this popular fish.

by Andrew

Buyer’s Guide & Information

Best Rod and Reel Combos for Bass Reviewed

We have rated and compared the best bass fishing combos on the market. We review high-quality models for this popular fish.

by Andrew

by Andrew

Powerful fish call for powerful tackle and bass fishing is no exception. But when bass rods and reels can quickly turn pricey, a high-quality combo set offers the best for less. Read on for our 7 best bass fishing rod and reel combo reviews!

Preview

Product

Rod Length

Rod Action & Power

Gear Ratio

Check Price

KastKing Crixus Fishing Rod and Reel Combo,...

KastKing Crixus

6’0”

Fast/Medium

7.2:1

PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combos Carbon...

Plusinno Carbon Fiber Telescopic Combo

5’9”

Fast/Medium

5.2:1

Tailored Tackle Bass Fishing Baitcasting...

Tailored Tackle Bass

7’0”

Fast/Med-Heavy

6.3:1

KastKing Centron Spinning Combos,6ft...

KastKing Centron

6’0”

Fast/Medium

5.2:1

Quantum Strategy Spinning Reel and 2-Piece...

Quantum Strategy Spinning Combo

6’6”

Fast/Medium

5.2:1

Cadence CC4 Spinning Combo Lightweight with...

Cadence CC4 4000

7’0”

Moderate Fast/Medium-Heavy

6.2:1

Daiwa DSK20-B/F602ML D-Shock Freshwater...

Daiwa D-Shock SK20-B/F602ML

6’0”

Fast/Medium Light

6.2:1


3 Important Questions for Bass Fishing Combos

  • Casting vs. Spinning — What Should I Use?
    Baitcasters handle heavy line well and often contain anti-backlash features to prevent unspooling. However, their skilled presentations take time to learn and can offer beginners a learning curve. Spinning reels are perfect for light line, light lures, and finesse presentations. We recommend baitcasters to intermediate and expert anglers, while spinning reels are much more forgiving for beginners.
  • Which Bait Fishing Technique is Best?
    When it comes to tight line vs. slack, the best answer comes down to personal preference. Slack line works best in calm waters and casts under 100 yards away, as bite indicators can be difficult to discern at greater distances. However, tight line offers better sensitivity in long-range casts and choppier waters.
  • What Will My Fishing Environment Be?
    Ranging from brackish waters to freshwater rivers — as well as the open ocean for sea bass — it can be difficult to discern a “one size fits all” bass fishing environment. For freshwater bass, aim for slow-moving streams or lakes with clear water and plenty of vegetation. For bottom-feeding sea bass, target the bottoms of piers, jetties, wrecks, and reefs.

Choosing the Right Bass Fishing Rod & Reel Combo

Rod Features

  • Rod Type
    Spinning rods are most commonly used and highly versatile for a wide range of weight classes. However, baitcaster rods can grant expert anglers greater accuracy & cast control. 
  • Rod Size
    Rod lengths generally vary from 6 - 12 ft, with longer rods offering greater casting distances. However, shorter heavyweight rods offer extra mid-fight control with less bend.
  • Rod Action & Power
    Power, which defines the amount of force necessary to bend a rod, ranges from ultra-light to ultra-heavy. We recommend a medium-heavy for bass. Action specifies where along the blank the bend will occur, with slower action rods bending closer down the handle and bass-friendly fast-action rods remaining rigid up to the top third of the blank.
  • Material Composition
    Long gone are the days of wooden rods, with modern rods made from carbon fiber, graphite, fiberglass, and composites. Look for lightweight, heavy-duty materials, such as graphite with carbon reinforcement.
  • Handle Quality
    Ergonomic handles are key to a good rod, with EVA foam and cork offering some of the best non-slip grips. Consider your preferred grip length and handle size when shopping for rods.

Reel Features

  • Frame Material
    Light, strong, and durable, aluminum and graphite are two of the most common frame materials for modern reels. We generally recommend machined aluminum as the strongest, although some higher-end graphite builds can be denser than die-cast aluminum frames.
  • Reel Size & Weight
    Reel sizes range in weight class from 10 - 95, or 1000 - 9500, with the highest weight suitable for deep-sea fishing. The higher the power, the heavier the reel, which is why we’d recommend a reel in the low-to-medium range of 30-50.
  • Drag System
    Rear drag typically offers easier mid-cast control, while the strength of front drags can be a welcome perk when fighting with bass. Look for long-lasting drag systems with carbon elements or Japanese oiled felt for more affordable options.
  • Line Capacity & Gear Ratio
    While braided line is sure to stay strong and streamlined on your spool, always make sure there’s enough line for bass to run. Preferred gear ratios vary from technique to technique, so keep your bass fishing style in mind while purchasing.
  • Ball Bearings
    While multiple ball bearings are always a plus, be sure to check for anti-corrosion protection. Stainless steel ball bearings are common, while shielded and double-shielded offer extra security.
  • Spool Style
    As internal spools can occasionally cause line-lay issues, we typically recommend skirted spools to prevent a tangled line. Look for ultra-smooth spools for easy cranking, and be mindful of the spool’s size and weight when comparing reels.
  • Reel Seats
    Reel seats serve to join the reel to the rod, making this an important component for any good rod and reel combo for bass fishing. Look for well-constructed seats with secure attachments, preferably made of aluminum.
  • Anti-Reverse Handles
    Similar to reel seats, it’s important to know how and how well your anti-reverse handle attaches to the reel. Anti-reverse handles can be riveted or screwed-in, with the best handles threading directly into the reel.

Price & Warranty

Bass fishing combos can offer 2-for-1 prices that are more approachable to beginners, making them a good gift for anglers. However, some combo kits can still sell for a higher price: higher-end models typically come with lengthier warranties, making them a better long-term investment than more affordable alternatives.


7 Best Rod & Reel Combos for Bass Reviewed

1. KastKing Crixus

Our Top Pick

Rod Length

6’0”

No. of Pieces

2

Rod Action & Power

Fast/Medium

Reel Weight

0.46lbs

Gear Ratio

7.2:1

Water Type

Freshwater

Coming in first place as the best all-around rod and reel combo for bass fishing, the KastKing Crixus is a powerhouse of a baitcaster combo. With an IM6 graphite rod, powerful carbon drag, and CNC machined aluminum spool, this good-looking rod and reel set offers high-end performance at an affordable price.

This KastKing baitcaster reel comes ready for any fight, equipped with a durable carbon drag system and 8-button magnetic braking system. Internally, 5 + 1 double-shielded ball bearings keep performance smooth while protecting against rust. Although this reel is intended for freshwater usage, it can hold up to saltwater as well — just be sure to keep up with maintenance, as baitcasters can be susceptible to internal grit. 

J. Crevs writes on KastKing,

“After A TON of research, I kept coming back to KastKing. For the money, the looks, and the value, there’s nothing that came close.”

The CNC machined aluminum spool keeps this reel lightweight and durable, alongside a sturdy IM6 graphite rod. KastKing’s signature SharkSkin handles utilize a SuperPolymer blend to wick water away, and we appreciated the extra grip strength while fighting for bass.

Lightweight, durable, and ultra-smooth, we found the KastKing Crixus to be the best overall baitcaster combo for bass fishing. Whether you’re a novice or expert angler, this powerful baitcasting combo won’t let you down.

Pros
  • Double-shielded ball bearings
  • Super smooth retrieval
  • Powerful carbon drag
  • 1-year reel & lifetime rod warranty
Cons
  • Sensitive to grit damage
  • No audible drag clicker

2. Plusinno Carbon Fiber Telescopic Combo

Best Cheap Rod and Reel Combo for Bass

Rod Length

5’9”

No. of Pieces

2

Rod Action & Power

Fast/Medium

Reel Weight

0.33lbs

Gear Ratio

5.2:1

Water Type

Both

When you’re looking for a low-cost, high-convenience rod and reel, look no further than Plusinno’s Carbon Fiber Telescopic Combo. With a carbon fiber rod, anti-corrosion reel seat, and butter-smooth drag system, this spinning rod and reel combo for bass is sure to please.

This reel makes spooling easy, with Plusinno’s standard S-Curve Oscillation system to help keep line laying smoothly. A thick, coiled bail-spring offers peak strength, while the instant anti-reverse bearing eliminates the risk of backplay. Externally, the double-color aluminum spool keeps this reel looking sharp.

Plusinno’s rod is no slacker either, with a 2-piece set of blanks made of a high-density carbon fiber composite. The fiberglass-carbon mix offers excellent elasticity, and the stainless steel hooded reel seat protects your gear from corrosion in freshwater or saltwater alike.

Dennis Sonnenberg writes on Plusinno

“Best collapsible fishing poles for the money! I've tried others and sent them back, don't waste your money on anything else.”

With an ambidextrous retrieve handle, saltwater or freshwater applications, and compact telescoping build, this Plusinno combo covers all grounds. The rod collapses into a 2 ft build for easy transport, making this portable rod a winner for backpacking, hiking, or road trips. Wherever you roam, the Plusinno Carbon Fiber Telescopic Combo has you covered.

Pros
  • Excellent customer service care
  • 12 month warranty
  • Conveniently portable
  • Low cost, high value
Cons
  • Low max rod weight
  • Relatively short handle

3. Tailored Tackle Bass

Best Rod and Reel Combo for Bass Under $100

Rod Length

7’0”

No. of Pieces

2

Rod Action & Power

Fast/Med-Heavy

Reel Weight

0.33lbs

Gear Ratio

6.3:1

Water Type

Freshwater

This Tailored Tackle Bass Combo takes every intimidation factor out of baitcasters. Our best cheap baitcaster combo for bass fishing, this set ticks all the boxes for beginners: Affordable price point, reversible retrieve handle, and a brilliant pop-out spool for easy untangling. If spinning reel fans have been wary to give baitcasting a try, this Tailored Tackle Combo is well worth a try.

Between the durable EVA foam handle and ergonomic pistol rod grip, this Tailored Tackle baitcasting rod offers excellent grip-strength without sacrificing comfort. This 7’0” fast action rod neatly separates into two pieces, while the graphite build keeps the rod lightweight and durable.

Joel writes on Tailored Tackle,

“Would recommend to someone who wants good quality at a moderate price. Great customer service.”

The reel, however, is where this bass fishing rod and reel combo really shines. Tailored Tackle’s pop-out spool design is nothing short of revolutionary, making even the finickiest of tangles a breeze to unknot. We highly recommend this for beginners, who can learn to minimize knots as they go, and kayakers, who’ll appreciate the compact innovation when out on open water.

With 6 + 1 ball bearings, a magnetic braking system, and plenty of ergonomic innovation, the Tailored Tackle Bass Combo remains our best rod and reel combo for bass under 100 dollars.

Pros
  • Super long rod
  • Innovative spool design
  • Magnetic braking system
  • Great for beginners
Cons
  • Non-reversible reel handle
  • No warranty

4. KastKing Centron

Best Spinning Rod and Reel Combo for Bass Fishing

Rod Length

6’0”

No. of Pieces

2

Rod Action & Power

Fast/Medium

Reel Weight

0.43lbs

Gear Ratio

5.2:1

Water Type

Freshwater

It’s hard to beat the quality of KastKing, and this KastKing Centron rod and reel combo is no exception. The IM6 graphite rod and reel keep this gear lightweight and strong, as does the CNC machined aluminum spool. For a powerful freshwater combo, the KastKing Centron is our top choice as the best bass fishing spinning rod and reel combo.

This rod’s IM6 graphite blanks separate neatly into 2 pieces, while the contoured EVA handles and Fighting Butt design keeps your angling comfortable all day long. The split-rear handles offer easy support, while the Saf-T Hook Holder keeps you from ever losing a lure in transport.

The Centron spinning reel offers ultra-smooth performance, thanks to it’s 9 + 1 ball bearings and one-way anti-reverse. We particularly liked how the two-color anodized aluminum spool provides extra strength and additional line capacity. The Power Launch lip is another excellent feature, allowing you to cast farther with less effort.

Overall, we found this to be the best rod and reel combo for bass and trout. Between the alloy drive gear, extra line capacity spools, and extra-far casting lip, the KastKing Centron makes a great addition to any angler’s tackle.

Pros
  • Left or right handed retrieve
  • Affordable price point
  • Extra line capacity
  • 9 + 1 ball bearings
  • 1-year warranty
Cons
  • Slightly small eyelets
  • Low max rod weight

5. Quantum Strategy Spinning Combo

Best Value for Money

Rod Length

6’6”

No. of Pieces

2

Rod Action & Power

Fast/Medium

Reel Weight

0.55lbs

Gear Ratio

5.2:1

Water Type

Both

Although the best bass fishing combos don’t always come cheap, this Quantum Strategy Spinning Combo gives other rods and reels a run for their money. With a durable IM7 graphite rod, lightweight composite spinning reel, and computer-balanced rotor, the Quantum Strategy Spinning Combo is a safe bet for any bass angler.

Made of ultra-light IM7 graphite, the Quantum spinning rod comes equipped with deluxe D-ring guides and a classic cork handle. We always appreciate a rod with a built-in hook keeper, and this rod’s easy 2-piece assembly makes it even more convenient.

With a corrosion-resistant graphite rod paired with a lightweight composite reel, this combo can take you from freshwater lakes to saltwater shores with minimum maintenance required. Internally, the 5 + 1 ball bearings keep the retrieve silky smooth, while the Continuous Anti-Reverse Clutch™ keeps you in control.

Control is essential for any bass fight, and you’re sure to gain the advantage with Quantum’s powerful front drag. The computer balanced rotor offers a fluid cranking motion which, combined with the powerful drag, makes it easy to land some of the strongest bass.

Our only word of warning is not to overspool the forged double-anodized spool. Line lay issues can occur with test over 6lbs. But for a high-value, high-tech combo, you can’t go wrong with the Quantum Strategy Spinning Combo.

Pros
  • Left or right handed retrieve
  • 1-year warranty
  • Extra line capacity
  • Computer-balanced rotor
Cons
  • Smaller bail arm
  • Only 1 spool included

6. Cadence CC4 4000

Best Rod and Reel Combo for Bass and Catfish

Rod Length

7’0”

No. of Pieces

2

Rod Action & Power

Moderate Fast/Medium-Heavy

Reel Weight

0.6lbs

Gear Ratio

6.2:1

Water Type

Both

For a durable, ultra-light spinning combo, Cadence rods and reels are second to none at their price point. Despite being a relatively young company, Cadence takes pride in their 24-ton graphite rods and butter-smooth spinning reels. For a bass and catfish rod and reel combo, you’re sure to appreciate the Cadence CC4 4000’s range of freshwater and saltwater applications.

Cadence writes, 

“If you’re looking for an affordable spinning combo that performs right out of the box, this is it!”

Made of 24-ton graphite, this 2-piece spinning rod comes equipped with corrosion-resistant stainless steel rod guides and inserts. The double-footed hook keeper makes this rod easy to store and travel-friendly.

The Cadence spinning reel offers 7 + 1 corrosion resistant ball bearings, granting you smooth performance in any environment. And with a stainless steel main shaft, machined aluminum spool, and carbon composite frame & side-plate, you can stay safe from salt damage. This set works well in both waters, so long as regular maintenance is performed.

This spinning combination stays comfortable all day as well, thanks to its lightweight build and over-sized EVA handle knob. Some reviewers have had quality control issues regarding the rod’s durability, but Cadence’s 1-year limited warranty will cover replacements as necessary. For the cost, convenience, and features, this Cadence CC4 4000 spinning reel combo is our top choice for bass and catfish angling.

Pros
  • 7 + 1 ball bearings
  • Corrosion resistant build
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Left or right handed retrieve
Cons
  • Felt drag system
  • Inconsistent quality control

7. Daiwa D-Shock SK20-B/F602ML

Best Rod and Reel Combo for Bass Under $50

Rod Length

6’0”

No. of Pieces

2

Rod Action & Power

Fast/Medium Light

Reel Weight

0.6lbs

Gear Ratio

6.2:1

Water Type

Freshwater

Although the Daiwa D-Shock Freshwater Spinning Combo comes last on our list, it's only "least" in its price point. This powerful rod and reel combo offers the best of bass fishing benefits at a beginner-friendly price.

Although the spinning reel only comes equipped with a single bearing, its Digigear Drive System optimizes every retrieve to keep you in control. We were particularly impressed by the Twist Buster line roller, which ensures even line-lay on the lightweight ABS machined aluminum spool.

Lightweight durability is central to this Daiwa Spinning Combo, with its 6’0” medium-light power fiberglass rod. The rod is partially hollowed to improve handling and reduce the strain of use, with a light tip for fast action maneuvering.

The feather-light rod lends itself to better bite sensitivity, making it easier for you to land your catch. The hollowed style can be more susceptible to damage, however, and the max rod weight should be considered before use. The comfortable cork handle offers excellent grip strength, as well as a classic design.

Some reviewers have had issues with loose joints between the rod’s pieces, but masking or electrical tape can easily solve the issue. And with Daiwa’s 1-year limited warranty keeping your investment safe, the Daiwa D-Shock Freshwater Spinning Combo makes an excellent choice for any beginning bass angler.

Pros
  • Ultra-low price
  • Left or right handed retrieve
  • Excellent sensitivity
  • 1-year limited warranty
Cons
  • Hollow rod liable to cracks
  • Reel could be smoother

Understanding Bass Habits & Behavior

Often found in slow-moving freshwater or brackish waters, bass come in a variety of subspecies. 6-10lbs Smallmouth prefer rocky waters with little vegetation, whereas 12-20lbs largemouth bass can be found in warm, weedy, slow-moving, or still waters.

20-70lbs striped basses are anadromous and can be found in saltwater as adults and freshwater streams during their youth. Most bass are predatory feeders and will lunge towards any potential prey — making them easy to hook but hard to land. We recommend using jigs or spinnerbaits in clear waters, preferably during spring or fall.


Recommended Rod & Reel Sizes for Bass Fishing

A 6 - 7 ft rod works well for most freshwater applications, while a 7 - 8 ft rod is better for multipurpose use. Medium-fast action tips are generally best for bass, although some finesse techniques may call for fast action.

Recommended reel sizes for bass vary from 25 - 40, with 35 - 40 typically offering the farther casts and greater line capacities essential for bass fishing. For a great versatile bass set up, we recommend a 35 or 40 reel on a medium-fast 6 ½ ft graphite rod.


People also Ask (FAQs)

Will any rod and reel combo do the job for catching bass?

Not just any combo will do, as rod lengths and reel sizes will vary from combo to combo. Check for reputable brands, recommended sizes, and saltwater or freshwater features depending upon your target species.

Does the bass species matter for which combo I use?

Absolutely! Research your target species to determine the best weight class, rod length, and environmental standards before hunting for your best bass fishing pole combo.

What is the difference between inexpensive and high-priced combos?

Although subtle, such differences typically come down to the cost and quality of materials. Although beginners may be happy to use hollowed rods and plastic drive gears, more advanced anglers should consider the lasting durability of higher-end brands.

What is the best bait to use while fishing for bass?

Bass jigs are popular, as well as minnows, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits. Bass' taste for colors differs throughout the year, with peach-colored baits working well in early spring and silver in the summer & fall.

What size hook is best to use for bass fishing?

Ideal hook sizes change depending on your preferred presentation and lure, with recommended sizes ranging from 4, 2, 1, 1/0, 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0, and 6/0. For those still honing their bass fishing technique, we recommend bringing a small range of 1-3 sizes.

Where can I buy these bass fishing combos at a good price?

Although local tackle shops can sell their own combinations of reels and rods, they’re often priced at full-cost for the separate pieces. Online combos are typically cheaper, so we recommend browsing the wealth of options on Amazon. 


Conclusion

What is the best fishing rod & reel combo for bass? The answer’s hard to find: Each of these models has impressed us, but the KastKing Crixus is our personal favorite. For an attractive, well-designed, and durable bass fishing combo, the KastKing Crixus is a perfect choice.

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