8 Best Spinning Rods for Bass: Reviews for All Budgets

Whether you’re searching for largemouth, redeye, smallmouth, or striped bass, you’ll need a good fishing rod to take on the challenge.

Luckily for you, we have reviewed and compared the best spinning rods for bass fishing and compiled some of their key features together. There’s bound to be at least one rod on our list that could be your next perfect catch.

Preview

Product

Rod Length

Line Weight

Action

Check Price

Cadence Fishing CR5 Spinning Rods | 30 Ton...

Cadence

CR5-30

6’6”

4-8 lbs

Full Handle

St Croix Triumph Spinning Rod, TRS70MLF

St Croix

Triumph

5’

2-6 lbs

Moderate

Ugly Stik Tiger Elite Spinning Fishing Rod,...

Ugly Stik

Tiger Elite

6’6”

12-30 lbs

Medium

Kalex 1499464 XR5 Spinning Fishing Rod

Kalex XR5

6’6”

10-25 lbs

Fast

St. Croix MJS71MF Mojo Bass Graphite Spinning...

St. Croix

Mojo

7’1”

6-12 lbs

Fast

Abu Garcia VTSS662-5 Veritas Spinning Fishing...

Abu Garcia

Veritas

6’6”

4-10 lbs

Fast

Fenwick Eagle Spinning

Fenwick

Eagle

6’6”

6-12 lbs

Medium

Shimano Teramar South East Spinning...

SHIMANO

SE Teramar

6’6”

6-12 lbs

Medium

Why Spinning Rods Are Best for Bass Fishing?

There’s a never-ending argument between anglers on whether spinning or baitcasting rods are better suited for bass fishing. In short, many anglers prefer baitcasters for bass as they can cast at extended depths accurately.

In comparison, a lot of anglers (particularly novice anglers) stick with spinning rods for their ease of use and technique-specific models. We find spinning rods and reels cast just as far and with accuracy once you choose a rod that’s suitable for your environment, bait, and breed.


Buying Guide: Choosing a Spinning Rod for Bass Fishing

Fishing Environment

Knowing where to bass fish takes time and experience. If you’ve got a fish finder or a small boat or kayak, you can track down hard to reach bass fish, like largemouth bass pretty easily. Otherwise, you’ll need to account for seasons and fishing environments before you find any schools.

Luckily for you, there's bass fish in lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, and tidal waters. And they adapt to weather conditions well. If it’s hot, bass fish tend to swim deeper in the water, and in winter months, topwater fishing could catch you a striped bass or two.

Rod Size & Type

Spinning rods for bass come in a range of styles, sizes, and technique-specific functions. It’s one thing to know you want a spinning rod for bass, but it’s a whole other story to narrow through dozens of models and options.

It’s good to know that spinning rods for bass are usually between 6.5 feet to 8 feet in length. If you’re new to bass fishing, stick with a shorter model. The rod needs to be light in weight and constructed of quality materials to ensure it’s durable yet flexible for bass fish.

Rod Composition & Frame Quality

Graphite and fiberglass are the two most popular materials for bass spinning rods. In terms of durability, both fiberglass and graphite can stand the test of many lures like spinnerbaits and crankbaits.

However, Fiberglass becomes incredibly strong when combined with the right epoxy resins, so brands create their own blend of material to improve their rod's performance. If you know you'll be saltwater fishing, be sure to get a good quality frame that is corrosion-resistant.

Rod Action & Power

The “action” of a rod describes where it flexes when pressure is put on the rod. Faster action rods flex mostly near the tip, and slower actions will bend further down the line. The power rating refers to the rod’s resistance when it’s being flexed.

A rods’ power rating is also designed to handle a certain range of bait weights and line sizes.  In general, spinning rods for bass fish tend to be fast action, but here are some action and power ratings for bass species.

Types of Bass Fish

Action/Power Rating - Guideline

Largemouth Bass (or bass over 5 pounds)

Fast action, Medium power

Smallmouth Bass

Extra Fast action, Ultralight power

Striped Sea Bass

Medium-Heavy power, Fast action

Line Weight & Guides

Line weights are represented to us as a rating in pounds. It’s given to us by the manufacturers to suggest the normal breaking strength of the line. This rating needs to match the line you buy and on the rods’ reel.

For most spinning rods, it’s better to go a little higher than the recommended line weight. So, for example, your rods’  line rating is 10-20lb, a 15-30lbs line will work effectively, and if you run into some trouble, your line will break instead of your rod.

The guides on bass spinning rods need to be composed of high-quality materials like aluminum oxide, or stainless steel. If you hope to use a thick, braided line, be sure that the guides can support it.

Price & Warranty

Prices and warranties all vary from models to brands. If you buy a new spinning rod with a load of added features, then expect the price to jerk up quite a bit. It’s important to remember, don’t buy what you won’t need.

Warranties, on the other hand, are very typical of many brands. We've listed some warranties worth mentioning, so be sure to check how long your warranty is on your new bass fishing rod before you buy.


8 Best Spinning Rods for Bass Reviewed

1. Cadence CR5-30

best spinning rod for bass fishing

Rod Length

6’6”

Line Weight

4-8 lbs

Action

Full Handle

Power

Light

Pieces

2-Pieces

Having a robust and dependable spinning rod is a must when it comes to bass fishing. The Cadence CR5-30 has the perfect balance of strength and sensitivity, making it our top pick for the best spinning rod for bass fishing.

Although it has top-notch qualities for an experienced angler to enjoy, it’s also an excellent choice for beginners as the Cadence CR5-30 is very straightforward in terms of use. This rod incorporates years of expertise and research along with high-quality materials so all experience levels can enjoy in return.

The blank is constructed of High Quality 30-ton carbon matrix graphite and offers a strong yet lightweight feel. This spinning rod is known for its durability and sensitivity that other rods lack. When you're bass fishing, it's essential to get a rod with the right sensitivity, or else you run the risk of snapping your blank, the Cadence CR5-30 is a perfect match for striped bass, smallmouth, and more.

There are 16 different rods available in this series. And they range in sizes, power, and action. We tried the 6’6” light in power, and moderate-fast in action on the water and got incredible results. The tip was flexible, and we were able to cast accurately because of it. If you’re into another technique -specific fishing, and you’re looking for a good spinning rod, then consider the Cadence CR5-30.

Pros
  • Incredibly accurate when casting
  • Lightweight and portable, 2-piece
  • Strong, premium construction
Cons
  • Rigging this rod at first may be a little difficult
  • 1-year warranty

2. St Croix Triumph

Popular Model

Rod Length

5’

Line Weight

2-6 lbs

Action

Moderate

Power

Ultra-Light

Pieces

1-Piece

Next on our list is the beloved St Croix Triumph spinning rod. The Triumph series is well-known by anglers for producing premium-quality spinning rods that are durable enough to withstand rough conditions. Many anglers don’t worry about its long term long durability. It works wonders on the water, making this model our most popular model for bass fishing.

Packed with new technology and top-of-class features, the Triumph is one spinning rod that’s hard to beat. With 10 models to choose from, the one we recommend for bass fishing is the 5 foot, ultra-light power fishing rod by St Croix, but all of the rods in this series are composed and constructed of the same materials. These are composed of SCII graphite, which keeps it lightweight, but graphite isn’t as durable as most carbon fiber or fiberglass rods, so it's not as 'bendable' as its competitors. 

You’ll have a good grip on your rod no matter what, as it's made of premium cork and is very comfortable in any anglers’ hand, even with gloves. The overall design is sleek and traditional, with a Fuji DPS reel seat with frosted silver hoods, hard aluminum-oxide guides with black frames, and it’s finished with two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish. This gives this rod a beautiful and professional finish.

Pros
  • Easy to set-up and use
  • Extremely lightweight- only 0.62 ounces
  • High level of sensitivity
  • 5-year warranty under St Croix’s superstar service
Cons
  • Not very bendable
  • Material isn’t as strong as its competitors

3. Ugly Stik Tiger Elite

Best Spinning Rod for Striped Bass

Rod Length

6’6”

Line Weight

12-30 lbs

Action

Medium

Power

Heavy

Pieces

1-Piece

If you’re an experienced angler, and you’ve had the chance to pull in a striped bass before, you’re probably just as hooked to the feeling of accomplishment as we are. Striped bass (or striper) fishing has always been popular and seems to continue to grow. If you require a new spinning rod to fit the bill, then you’re in luck. The new Tiger Elite Spinning rod by Ugly Stik could be your favorite rod for striped bass fishing.

Ths rod is a one-piece, graphite infused rod that is extremely lightweight and has an insane amount of sensitivity and pulling power. It also features Ugly Tuff’s stainless steel, double-footed guides that provide excellent corrosion resistance and eliminates insert pop-outs. It has a conventional reel seat with stainless steel cushioned hoods and an EVA handle with a unique finish for a comfortable grip with rubber gimbals.

In terms of performance, it will bring you a lot of joy as a novice or for any angler who wants a simple but effective spinning rod to pull in their next striper. Bear in mind that this rod is below $100, so even though it’s tough and durable, it won’t be a tournament-level rod. It’s designed for the every-day angler, and it exceeds its purpose. 

If you find this model a tad out of your budget, why not check out the Ugly Stik Elite model. It may be a little older in production, but from this model on, we've caught the attention of Ugly Stik, and hope for more premium bass rods in the future.

Pros
  • Very sensitive tip
  • Composed of Ugly Tech Construction with added graphite
  • Extremely balanced for improved comfort over long periods
  • 5-Year Warranty from defects
Cons
  • Won’t cast very far with light lures
  • Not many lengths and styles to choose from

4. Kalex XR5

Most Sensitive Spinning Rod for Bass

Rod Length

6’6”

Line Weight

10-25 lbs

Action

Fast

Power

Medium

Pieces

1-piece (2-piece spinning model is available)

Sensitivity is a must in a bass spinning rod. Many anglers will turn to baitcasting rods as they tend to be more sensitive and cast much further. The Kalex XR5 has created a spinning rod that’s just as exceptional at feeling fish bites as their baitcasting model.

There are 10 models available within this collection, and they range from baitcasting, spinning, and even have telescopic models. The one that we love for catching bass has to be the 6’6” medium-power, one-piece.

All rods and models feature an EVA split grip that adds comfort and protection for use all day long. The handle also repels water, so you have some added grip even in wet weather. The blank is constructed of 24-Ton high modulus graphite for a lightweight and balanced design. Partner these features with stainless steel guides with titanium oxide inserts, and you’ll have yourself a very durable rod.

If a 2-piece is needed for travel purposes, then there is a 2-piece spinning model available. We preferred the 1-piece as it transcended vibration quicker, so we felt every bite faster. It also flexes very well due to the single-piece construction. Pair this rod with any line (even braided line), and it will remain sensitive thanks to its construction and action. You’ll feel every bite of panfish, trout, bass, catfish, walleye, and even salmon. It’s hard to fault this multi-purposeful rod.

Pros
  • Full carbon construct for more sensitivity
  • Lightweight
  • Casting or spinning options available
Cons
  • 1 piece designs are difficult to transport
  • 1-Year warranty

5. St. Croix Mojo

Best Spinning Rod for Smallmouth Bass

Rod Length

7’1”

Line Weight

6-12 lbs

Action

Fast

Power

Medium

Pieces

1-Piece is a lot stronger, but a 2-piece is available

If you’re hoping to go home with smallmouth bass for dinner, you'll need a rod that provides smoother actions, increased strength, and higher sensitivity. Luckily for you, the Mojo Bass Fishing Rod with IPC Technology was designed with catching smallmouth bass in mind. So you won’t come back from a fishing adventure empty-handed.

Whether you’re fishing with live baits or whitebaits, or any bait under 3/8 - 3/4 oz., you’ll easily cast heavier baits at a reasonable distance. It’s constructed of high-strain graphite fiber, which gives this spinning rod excellent sensitivity and keeps it incredibly lightweight. As we mentioned earlier, this rod is equipped with IPC (integrated poly curve) technology. This makes the rods lighter, more sensitive,  and you can fish with improved balance.

Touch, power, and control are right at your fingertips once you grip the premium-grade cork handle. It’s in a split grip style, which we found very comfortable over a long day of fishing. You can take this rod with you on any lake, river, or shore excursion. But if you’re hoping to get a 2-piece, then expect to lose a lot of strength. The 1-piece model is specifically better for smallmouth bass fishing.

Pros
  • Durable Aero Glass construction
  • Great for a variety of baits and lures
  • Great length for casting
  • 5-Year warranty
Cons
  • Eyelids need to be checked and maintained, or else they can bend over time

6. Abu Garcia Veritas

Best for Largemouth Bass

Rod Length

6’6”

Line Weight

4-10 lbs

Action

Fast

Power

Medium

Pieces

1-Piece

Largemouth bass can be found all across the States as long as the water temperature isn’t too cold. You’ll need a high performing rod that can withstand the task of reeling in a largemouth. This is where the Veritas spinning rod by Abu Garcia comes to the scene.

This rod is great for anglers on a budget as it’s priced below $99 but offers just as many high-end features as some higher-priced rods. For example, the construction and materials used are of premium quality. 

It’s made of 30-ton graphite that is outfitted with titanium alloy framed guides with fitted Zirconium inserts. It also has a custom, double-locking reel seat with an exposed blank. This rod performs well under pressure, but it looks attractive, too, with the blank painted in a pearlescent white finish. You’ll have anglers’ heads turning when you’re out catching largemouth bass.

From its sensitive grip, down to its comfortable high-density EVA handle, you’ll feel comfortable with this rod. And if you think our recommended size is too small, then there are models available between 6’9” to 9’6” in a range of actions and power.

As we’ve listed this rod as the best spinning rod for largemouth bass, we’ve picked the 6’6” medium powered rod to be the best choice. But any rod below 7’0” with this series will work well for a range of bass fishing trips

Pros
  • Painted blank gives the rod a professional look
  • Nice balance
  • The reel seat is secure and double locked
Cons
  • Average weight and only available in a 1-piece - not great for traveling
  • 1-Year warranty

7. Fenwick Eagle

Best Finesse Spinning Rod for Bass

Rod Length

6’6”

Line Weight

6-12 lbs

Action

Medium

Power

Moderate

Pieces

2-Piece

Our next pick for the best finesse spinning rod for bass is the Fenwick Eagle fishing rod. Fenwick understands anglers' passion for fishing, and they’re well aware that finesse fishing needs finesse rods. With this range, there’s a total of 8 models to choose from, ranging in size and power. Whether you need an ultra-light rod for catching small baitfish or a medium power rating for largemouth, then the Eagle Range could be the better choice for your finesse fishing needs.

You may think that the Eagle’s spinning rods’ handle looks like any old cork handle, but it’s made from burled cork. This allows it to be more chip-resistant and durable than most spinning rods. The guides on this rod are worth mentioning as well. The guide is constructed of stainless steel with stainless steel inserts. You won't need to worry about these guides in fresh or saltwater as they are lightweight, strong, and corrosion-resistant. You will be able to use tough lines, like braided lines with these guides and frames.

This model will be able to cast light lures at a long distance and are thoroughly suited for trouts, basses, walleyes, and salmons. Even though we’ve chosen a medium action rod, prepare for it to be quite fast. In general, the eagle rods are pretty fast adhering to the tradition of a versatile Fenwick tip rod. Your fishing experience would be enhanced thanks to Fenwick Eagle rod's tip as it’s soft and sensitive, so you’ll feel every bite.

Pros
  • Hook keepers on each rod
  • Fenwick tested and proven original graphite rod blank
  • B2 burled cork handle
  • 3-Year warranty
Cons
  • The tip can snap with a lure too heavy

8. SHIMANO SE Teramar

Best Bass Spinning Rod for the Money

Rod Length

6’6”

Line Weight

6-12 lbs

Action

Medium

Power

Extra-Fast

Pieces

2-Piece

The last rod on our list is the Shimano Teramar Southeast Spinning Rod. We’ve chosen this rod as our best bass spinning rod on a budget. It has many great features without the high price tag, allowing you to fish for bass on a budget.

This beautifully crafted rod comes in a variety of models (20 to be exact) and ranges from  5’6” to 7’ in length. They all come with cork split grips that are made to last seasons, not trips. The blank is constructed of Shimano’s TC4 high-tech construction. And, it’s accompanied by FUJI Alconite guides and a FUJI reel seat. These are premium features on a low-priced product.

It may not be the lightest in weight compared to its competitors, but it can perform just as well in a lot of fishing conditions. You can use this in saltwater conditions (followed by some maintenance, of course), but it is recommended more for freshwater applications.

This rod is honestly a great all-rounder and can feel small bites with ease, as well as pull in larger fish with its strength and durability. Even for a two-piece rod, it hasn’t lost its sensitivity, so you'll have a ton of fun with the Teramar Southeast Spinning Rod fishing for bass.

Pros
  • Comes in 20 models
  • Suitable for a range of fishing environments
  • Strong and durable for a great price
  • 2-Year warranty
Cons
  • Better suited to beginner anglers

Recommended Rod Sizes for Bass Fishing

The general rule of thumb for spinning bass rods is to stay around the 7-foot mark in terms of sizing. Some novice anglers will go for a rod length a little shorter (like 6.5 feet), whereas professional bass anglers can use rods as long as 8.5 feet, or longer for baitcasting rods.

Many anglers choose their rod size and length based on their baits and lures or even on their technique. Here are some recommendations on sizes from spinning rod manufacturers:

  • Flipping and Pitching for Bass
    7-8 feet in length, Fast action, Heavy power
  • Using Buzzbaits or Spinnerbaits
    6.6- 7.5 feet in length, Medium-heavy power rating
  • Topwater Fishing for Bass
    6.5 in either spinning or baitcasting rod
  • Deepwater Fishing for Bass
    8 feet or just below, Fast action rod

How to Set Up a Spinning Fishing Rod for Bass

Once you decide on your perfect rod, it will be time to set it up and get it ready for the water. If you bought a 2-piece, be sure to connect them, and have the guides perfectly in-line. Once it’s in one piece, you’ll have to choose a line to match your spinning rod. Every manufacturer will give line weights and ratings for each model.

Next, feed the line from the tip of the rod, down through the guides, and onto the reel. Tie the line with a fishing knot and cut off any long, excess line. Spool the line onto the reel, and you’re all set. If you’re still not getting the hang of it, then consider watching a YouTube tutorial so you can get a visual representation.


Frequently Asked Questions

How does a beginner hold and cast a bass fishing rod?

The key to casting a bass spinning rod is to have the blank directly over your shoulder in a straight line, come forward with a nice smooth stroke, and close up the arc at the end of the cast.

It sounds simple, but you’ll need some practice with your aiming and casting before it comes naturally. A good way to practice is by creating a target on some open grass. Then, try casting as close to it as possible. This will help you tremendously before you get to the water.

How can I determine the correct action for my bass spinning rod?

Most manufacturers supply action ratings on their spinning rods. Generally, you should stick with a moderate to fast action rod if you're seeking out bass fish. Fast action is better suited if you’re using spinnerbaits, soft sticks, or jerk baits as they flex more at the top. Moderate action spinning rods bend more in the middle and can withstand heavier lures.

How important is it to consider the type of bass fish when deciding on a rod?

Bass fish range in size and species, so fishing for a smallmouth will require a lot less stamina than giant sea bass. If your line weight is recommended for species as large as 8 lbs, you risk snapping your blank if you try to pull in a big bass species.

How do I clean and store my fishing spinning rod?

Maintenance is essential if you want to keep your rod for a long time. Washing and storing your new piece of equipment with some warm, freshwater, and paying special attention to the guides. You can use some light reel grease on the rod guides to prevent corrosion if you like. Once it’s washed and dried, be sure to store it correctly in a rack or a fishing rod case.

What lures can I use with bass spinning rods?

From spinnerbaits, crankbaits to finesse worms, and more. You can catch a variety of bass fish with a ton of different lures. You can find out more information to narrow down your search for the best bass fishing lures here.

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

Shimano is known for making high quality spinning rods on a budget. For middle-priced rods, check out Ugly Stik or Fenwick. And, KastKing, Daiwa, and St. Croix have some top of the range, deluxe models you may enjoy. In terms of where to buy your new spinning rod, your best bet would be Amazon. You could have your new rod delivered right to your doorstep.


Conclusion

Bass fishing can be a lot of hard work, and reeling in a largemouth can turn into a full-body workout in a hurry. Make the challenge a little easier on you and your body, by having a rod that can handle any challenge.

The Cadence CR5-30 is our top pick as it simply stands out above the rest for its quality and versatility!