8 Best Jigging Rods: Reviewed For Walleye, Bass & Other Fish

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Dedicated jigging rods are shorter than casting rods and rated to hold heavier line and lures. It’s critical to have a rod with the right motion transfer to give jigs a lifelike presentation. If you need a jigging rod, read this guide to find out everything you need to know to make the right selection.

Preview

Product

Rod Length

Line Weight

Check Price

PENN Rampage Jig Spinning

Penn Rampage

6’0”

80 - 130 Lbs.

Fiblink Saltwater Graphite Jig Jigging...

Fiblink Saltwater

6’0”

80 - 120 Lbs.

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

Dobyns Rods

Fury Series

6’6”

10 - 17 Lbs.

SHIMANO Trevala 6'6 MH Saltwater Jigging...

Shimano

Trevala

5’8”

80 - 200 Lbs.

Okuma Fishing Tackle Okuma Cedros Jigging...

Okuma Cedros

E-Glass

6’6”

50 - 100 Lbs.

Ugly Stik Tiger Elite Jig Spinning Rod

Ugly Stik

Tiger Elite Jig

6’6”

50 - 100 Lbs.

GOOFISH Solid Nano Blank Slow Pitch Jigging...

Goofish Solid

Nano Blue

6’6”

40 - 50 Lbs. (approx.)

St. Croix Avid Ice Jigging, AIR30ML

St. Croix

Ice-Avid

27”, 30”, 36”

6 - 8 Lbs.


Why Jig Fishing Requires Special Rods

Lots of jigging is done with a vertical presentation close to the bottom. That can be for bass in winter, rockfish year-round, or for flathead catfish if you’re adventurous. Jig lures have soft plastic obscuring the hook, so making them look like the baitfish they’re built to mimic is the key to catching fish.

That means the best jigging rod should be more parabolic than standard rods; it needs the right moderate-fast action to take the angler’s motions and transfer them to the lure. The rod can be tipped up or down, jigged regularly or erratically, in long jigs or short ones.

It just depends on the target and the lure. While this can be done with standard spinning rods, it’s much easier and more accurate with a rod that has been built specifically for jigging setups.


How Do I Choose a Good Jigging Rod?

Build/Frame Quality

Like other rods, jigging rods are usually built with graphite, fiberglass, or a combination of the two. Fiberglass blanks are stiffer and more durable. They can be more sensitive, but they aren't generally flexible enough to transfer the jigging movement well.

Graphite is lighter than fiberglass and more flexible. The best jigging rod will be a composite blend of both graphite and fiberglass. This gives them unbeatable durability and enough backbone to pull fish right out of the water.

Target Species & Size

A good rule of thumb is to match your rig with your target. Jittery fish like trout need a sensitive, lightweight rod. Bass jigging tactics change at different points in the season, but generally, they like lures with weed guards on them that draw them out of cover or blend in with vegetation. Walleye like finesse lures, so anglers will need a rod versatile enough to bottom-hop and drift or drag. Most jigging rods will work for a variety of targets, but some are more specialized to certain advantages.

Preferred Lures/Jigs

Popular jigging lures include the Jigging Rap, which is a minnow-like lure that swims in circles underwater; bladed jigs that function a lot like bladebaits; grub jigs that mimic small morsels fish love to eat; and flat jigs with multiple hooks.

Some of these lures are center-weighted to make them jump in a lifelike manner. Others are completely vertical, and their presentation relies on them sinking back to the bottom after each jig. There's not one that's always superior to the others. As with other angling styles, it's wise to bring a variety out with you.

Flexibility & Sensitivity

A flexible rod can save the angler tons of energy since jigging involves more up and down movement. It also helps a jig from the angler travel better down to the lure. Fish will hold the lure longer if they don’t feel immediate resistance, which is why a more parabolic rod can help.

It’s important to feel bites at the end of the line. If you’re fishing for species like rockfish, it can save lots of time if you don’t reel up from 100+ feet because of a small nibble. The best jigging rod will be sensitive enough to differentiate.

Rod Length & Weight

There are a few different applications that call for different tools. It can also vary from place to place; what works on the internet might not always work in different environments. That being said, shorter rods are used for jigging, especially for vertical presentations right beneath the boat.

If you imagine a fish going on a run underneath the boat, you can imagine how a short rod with enough power to turn the fish back toward you would be necessary. Jigging rods are usually 6’0” to 6’6” and medium-heavy to heavy power.

Rod Action & Power

Rod action describes the place where the rod bends and power determines how much it will take to make a rod bend. Lightweight rods are generally more parabolic, meaning they have a slower action. Fast action rods are used more with casting reels when setting the hook will take more power.

You can determine the action of a jig fishing rod by planting one end on flat ground and lifting it. Fast action is only in the third near the tip, moderate bends back into the middle, and slow bends all the way into the third closest to the handle.

Other Features

Some other things to look out for in a jigging rod are the reel seat, guides, and the handle. The reel seat screws in to hold the reel in place and should be able to take a lot of pull from the fish without letting the reel budge.

Guides are important to reduce friction on the line and keep it off the blank. The guides can have inserts that may pop out after extended use. The handle should be comfortable for long periods, but it should also give the angler enough room to adjust hand position for added leverage.

Price & Warranty

It's relatively easy to find a jigging rod for a good price. There are certain advantages to buying a more expensive type, but if you're on a budget, there are many models that will work just fine. Many of these rods come with a warranty that will help replace or repair the rod if it should break due to factory error within a certain time from the purchase. The time limit can vary greatly, so make sure you know what it is and how to register for it before you buy your jigging rod.


8 Best Jigging Rods Reviewed

1. Penn Rampage

Our Top Pick

Rod Length

6’0”

Line Weight

80 - 130 Lbs.

Rod Action/Power

Moderate Fast/Heavy

Pieces

One-piece

Material

Graphite Composite

Warranty

1-year Limited

Though it is well-suited to many applications, the Penn Rampage jigging rod excels best at vertical jigging setups. With its heavy power rating and large line capacity, it’s tough enough to cast out for tuna or bottom-hop for bass or catfish.

The moderate fast action on the Penn Rampage Jigging Rod is perfect for giving the tip that quick flick anglers need to give lively presentations to their jigging while maintaining the strength to haul out large targets and the bend to help anglers save energy with active fish.

What makes this the best rod for jig fishing is its superior balance and consistently good performance. The Penn Rampage Jigging Rod might be a little unwieldy around the handle, but that’s the only criticism to really level at it. The line guides are plenty stable and durable, the reel seat locks snugly, and the split grip is ideal for additional lifting power.

This is designed to be a spinning rod, but Penn does make a casting option in the Rampage series as well. Compared with the competition, the presentation and the ensuing fight once your fish has struck is enough to make the Pen Rampage Jigging Rod a mainstay in any angler's tackle equipment.

Pros
  • Strong backbone
  • Perfect taper & strength
  • Secure reel seat
  • Dependable line guides
  • Well-balanced rod
Cons
  • Handle is slightly bulky

2. Fiblink Saltwater

Best Walleye Jigging Rod

Rod Length

6’0”

Line Weight

80 - 120 Lbs

Rod Action/Power

Heavy/Medium-Heavy

Pieces

One-piece

Material

Fiberglass-Graphite Composite

Warranty

1-year

Walleye can show up at your boat in a few different places in a water column. The best jigging rod for walleye will be versatile enough to drag, bottom-hop, drift, swim, or anything else required to reel 'em in.

The Fiblink Saltwater Spinning & Casting Jigging Rods have the capacity for plenty of braided lines and the action to send the right sized lures where you need them to go. The graphite composite is lightweight enough to make finesse jigs lifelike underwater but still has enough stopping power to capture the target.

Most of the prominent exterior parts of this rod, like the reel seat and the butt, are made of aluminum or an aluminum alloy to make it corrosion-resistant in saltwater environments. There's a built-in hook holder, too. Just look out for the larger diameter and heavier weight of this rod. It's best paired with a heavier reel and lure.

The good news is this rod can handle up to 120-pound test and likely a little heavier, so with the right spinning reel, it can be a real monster-catcher whether you like surf fishing or offshore. It can also give anglers additional yards of braided line or Fireline to fish in dense vegetation or into a structure like sunken boats or submerged logs.

Pros
  • High line rating
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Built-in hook keeper
  • Powerhouse rod
  • Fast action for flicking
Cons
  • Larger, thicker rod

3. Dobyns Rods Fury Series

Best Jig Rod for Bass

Rod Length

6’6”

Line Weight

10 - 17 Lbs.

Rod Action/Power

Fast, Medium-Heavy

Pieces

One-piece

Material

High-Modulus Graphite

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

Bass can get right under the boat whether anglers are jigging vertically in the winter or casting out in warmer months. The Dobyns Fury Series has a great fast action and enough backbone to turn the fish back toward the boat to prevent line tangling in vegetation or nearby boats.

It’s also easy to jig accurately whether it’s with the rod point up in shallow water or pointing down to bottom-hop. It may not be the lightest jigging rod on the market, but this rod sure isn’t on the heavy side either. The Dobyns Fury is the best action rod for jig fishing and also performs well with Texas rigs, dropshots, and even crankbaits.

The rod itself is also very durable, being wrapped in kevlar for resistance against breaking and also some protection against water damage and corrosion. For those fights that really take some digging, the reel seat is a well-built Fiji model, and the handle is comfortable in hand or wedged in the gut for more leverage.

The sensitivity of the rod blank is fantastic for feeling tiny nibbles from smaller fish or prevent false hook sets if there are plenty of baitfish swimming around. Some anglers might find the handle to be a bit too short, but the overall rod suits bass fishing perfectly well.

Pros
  • Ideal fast action for bass
  • Strong reel seat
  • Powerful backbone
  • Durable kevlar coating
  • Comfortable to hold
Cons
  • Short handle

4. Shimano Trevala

Best Saltwater Jigging Rod

Rod Length

5’8”

Line Weight

80 - 200 Lbs.

Rod Action/Power

Moderate Fast/Extra Heavy

Pieces

One-piece

Material

Carbon Fiber

Warranty

2-year Limited

The Shimano Trevala Jigging Rod is surprisingly strong, considering how light it is. It's both easy on the arms and shoulders and powerful enough to haul black sea bass or even tuna up out of the ocean. Where most glass fiber-graphite composite rods are constructed with a crisscross-style graphite wrap, the blank on the Trevala has a spiral wrap, which helps shed extra weight.

The handle is thicker and heavier, but Shimano has somehow nonetheless built this rod with great balance. The flexibility afforded by the moderate fast action is helpful in saving energy, but it also gives a perfect presentation to center-balanced horizontal jigs like the Shimano Butterflies.

Jigging may sound impossible at the greater depths of the ocean, but this Shimano Jigging Rod has the line rating required to handle heavy test or plenty of moderate-weight test to get jigs deep into the ocean.

Some lengths of the Shimano Trevala jigging rod, such as the TVC66H, have an aluminum butt that can wear down over a few months, and others have EVA that should last a bit longer, but with the right precautions, this is a problem that is easily overcome. The Fuji reel seat is strong enough to hold a powerful reel in place in a fight with a powerful fish. The line guides are also built by Fuji, constructed to keep the line in working order for longer.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Additional flex
  • Fuji reel seat & line guides
  • Tons of power
  • Well-balanced
Cons
  • Rod butt can wear down

5. Okuma Cedros E-Glass

Best-Rated Vertical Jigging Rod

Rod Length

6’6”

Line Weight

50 - 100 Lbs.

Rod Action/Power

Moderate fast, Medium-heavy

Pieces

One-piece

Material

E-Glass

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

Getting jigs down deep enough in the ocean to rest on or near the rocky bottoms where rockfish like to hang out is easier with the line rating and sensitivity of the Okuma Cedros jigging rod. Not only can it give the angler enough power to set the hook and rip the rockfish up high enough to inflate its air bladder and render it virtually powerless to fight, but this rod also allows anglers to detect nibbles from smaller targets that are an annoyance to users of other rods. Wasting time reeling a small fry all the way up and releasing rockfish the right way can burn through precious hours of a fishing trip.

With this high-speed jigging rod, a lifelike presentation can be offered to targets even using a braided line with no leader or top shot. Raised line guides with zirconium ceramic inserts prevent friction on the line down the rod, which is also designed to reduce shock when using braided line. The split-handle EVA grip allows the angler to really haul targets out of the water.

The reel seat locks in well and feels snug all the time. Overall, given its blend of flexibility and action in the tip, the Cedros E-Glass is likely the best jigging rod for rockfish you’re liable to find on the market these days.

Pros
  • Sensitive rod blank
  • Raised ceramic line guides
  • Secure reel seat
  • High-speed power
  • Shock-resistant by design
Cons
  • Underperforms with other lure styles

6. Ugly Stik Tiger Elite Jig

Best Jigging Rod Under $100

Rod Length

6’6”

Line Weight

50 - 100 Lbs.

Rod Action/Power

Fast, Heavy

Pieces

One-piece

Material

Graphite & Fiberglass

Warranty

7-year Limited

It’s hard to talk about any Ugly Stik rod without mentioning its virtual indestructibility. The combination of that toughness and a super-fast tip action that perfectly transfers motion from the angler to vertical lures makes this Ugly Stik Tiger a fantastic jigging rod for bottom fishing, whether it's for walleye, perk, panfish, or bass.

Holding a rod with such a heavy power rating and getting so much feeling out of it is always a bit surprising, but this rod is easy to get used to and a cinch to handle once you do. Like many other Ugly Stiks, the Tiger jigging rod has single-piece stainless steel guides that reduce friction and can handle a beating better than guides that have inserts that might pop out.

The full-length handle is helpful to get the right grip on the rod for leverage in a variety of jigging situations. Bear in mind that this rod is built explicitly for jigging and not for lifting above the head during a fight; it might just snap if put through the same high-sticking required for other fishing methods. For all the bending that happens in the standard out-in-front position used for jigging, though, this rod will last a good, long time.

Pros
  • One-piece line guides
  • Super durable rod
  • Transfers movement well
  • Easy to use
  • Fast tip action
Cons
  • Tailored for jigging

7. Goofish Solid Nano Blue

Best Slow Jigging Rod

Rod Length

6’6”

Line Weight

40 - 50 Lbs. (approx.)

Rod Action/Power

Moderate, Medium-Heavy

Pieces

1.5-piece

Material

Carbon Fiber

Warranty

1-year Limited

Looking past the vibrant color of these rods, they are well-built with solid blanks that are flexible and sensitive enough to feel fish and transfer jigging movements to the lure. For the more erratic movements used in slow pitch jigging, which mimics the swimming patterns of injured baitfish, this rod performs very well.

Goofish has also built some of these models with spiral line guides, which reduce the amount of power needed to fight big fish to save the angler some energy. That makes these relatively light rods perform like much heavier ones. 

To make it an effective slow pitch jigging rod, Goofish has crafted the Nano blue with a solid blank instead of a hollow core, which allows it to be narrower, more durable, and more sensitive - just what anglers need for the method. It's a well-balanced slow jigging rod, but the handle could be a little more comfortable.

The butt joint on this Blue model allows for part of the rod to disassemble for additional portability, which is why they say it’s “1.5” pieces. To get fish up from the depths quickly, this rod is easy to haul upward, even above one’s head. A tight reel seat and line guides built by Fiji ensure that this rod can handle a fight and last through rough conditions on the water.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Narrow full blank
  • Spiral guides available
  • Durable
  • Ideal for slow jigging movement
Cons
  • No muted colors available
  • Less comfortable handle

8. St. Croix Ice-Avid

Best Ice Jigging Rod

Rod Length

27”, 30”, 36”

Line Weight

6 - 8 Lbs.

Rod Action/Power

Medium-Light

Pieces

One-piece

Material

Carbon

Warranty

15-year Limited

Jigging is a favorite method for ice anglers, and St. Croix has built the perfect rod for it with the Avid Jigging Series. Not to be confused with the 7' St. Croix Avid that does so well at catching salmon, the Ice-Avid series is much smaller and easier to carry out to a hole in the ice.

The rigidity of this rod is great for pulling fish up onto the ice, and that stiffness also makes it a very sensitive rod. It's easy to feel the bottom with a simple jig of the rod. Solid carbon blanks help to make these ice fishing jigging rods durable enough to last through cold wintry conditions.

There's still a very fast action in the tip of the rod. It's strong enough to handle heavier jigs and light enough to give lighter jigging lures the right presentation under the water. The handle is appropriately designed for the pencil grip ice anglers use and too bulky to use with gloves on.

There’s enough backbone in this little ice fishing rod to haul up walleye or smallies if you’re lucky enough to find them. The only strange thing about this rod is the lack of a reel seat. If you want to attach a reel, you’ll need electrical tape, zip ties, or something similar.

Pros
  • Strong backbone
  • Solid blank construction
  • Portable
  • Fast action
  • Transfers movement well
Cons
  • No reel seat

Jig Rigging Setup

In addition to the best jigging rod and reel combo you can find, it's also essential to have the right line and determine whether you'll need a leader or top shot.

A light spinning reel like the one most useful for vertical jigging will be able to hold lots of braided line, which is what you'll want to have, and have a high retrieval rate to get it back from the depths. Some of them don't need backing, and some do. Some are built for braid, which means they don't even need topshot.

Lures should be tied on with a fisherman’s knot. Leave four to five feet of leader if you’re using one. Add a swivel on the end.  Different species might call for different setups. Reviewing the right jigging tactics for your chosen target will help your success rate immensely.


Jigging Tips & Techniques

Saltwater jigging will be affected by currents, but basically, you'll want to drop your jig down and get it to the bottom as quickly as possible. Aim for a school or a reef. When you feel it hit bottom, jig the rod up and down while retrieving your line all the way back in.

Vertical jigging can be done from the bottom as well, or it can be done in the middle of the water column to target pelagics. Use your fish finder to find structure and identify your lure in the water, if possible.

Bottom jigging is the best way to use a jigging rod to bottom fish. Rather than reeling all the way back to the boat, jig the lure up a little off the bottom and let it sink again. This is an excellent tactic for winter bass jigging.


Frequently Asked Questions

What size reel should I get for jig fishing?

It depends on the power and strength of the rod. Remember that you’ll want a reel with a high retrieve rate that can hold lots of line. But since braid is best for jigging, you might be able to get away with a smaller reel. For ice fishing, 1000 reels work. For everything else, a 4500 works for water down to 100 feet and higher, perhaps up to an 8500, for ocean fishing where the bottom might be even deeper.

What is a slow pitch jigging rod? How does that differ from speed jigging?

Slow pitch jigging is meant to mimic the movements of injured fish. Rather than the more regular movements of speed jigging, where the line is retrieved back to the boat, slow jigging is done within a more restricted zone of the water column. A slow pitch jigging rod will have to be even more sensitive to make the erratic movements required to slow jig.

Can I use castings rods for jigging?

You can use casting rods for movement, but it's more likely you'll miss out on some bites, and your presentation won't be as natural as it would be with a jigging rod. Casting rods are also longer than jigging rods in general, which can be cumbersome when fishing vertically rather than out a reasonable distance like you might do with crankbaits and such.

What is a spin jig rod?

A spin jig rod by G. Loomis is a slower, more parabolic rod designed to try and give anglers the advantages of a casting rod even when they use a spinning reel on a jigging rod. They're light and sensitive enough for jigging, but some anglers use them for fishing 5" worms and other similarly-sized lures.

Are there any special maintenance steps for keeping my rod in good condition? How do I clean and store my jigging rod?

Always wipe down your rod after a fishing trip. Use oil from time to time to keep it shiny and look over it regularly to make sure it hasn't been damaged. Pay special attention to the reel seat and the line guides when cleaning it. Store the rod in a rod sock without the reel attached.

Who makes the best jigging rods and where can I buy them?

Penn, Shimano, Ugly Stik, and St. Croix all make fantastic jigging rods that are well-suited for a variety of different applications. Some of them are great crappie jigging rods, and others are better for bass or rockfish. In any case, Amazon has many sellers’ profiles run by the manufacturer or their trusted distributors and also has the best shipping deals.


Conclusion

Jigging is fast becoming one of the most popular fishing styles. It requires a well-balanced rod with tons of backbone and a high line rating, which is exactly what makes the Penn Rampage the best jigging rod on the market.