What Rods To Use For Bass Fishing

How Many Rods Do You Need For Bass Fishing And More…

There comes a time when an angler starts to get serious about bass fishing and you quickly realize that owning your uncles old hand-me-down rod from the 1970’s just won’t cut it.  Cautiously you ask yourself what are some good rods if you’re new to bass fishing?  Furthermore, how do you choose a bass fishing rod?  Finally, how many rods do you need to get starter?

So what rods do you need to use for bass fishing? We recently did a poll asking over 4000 anglers how many rods do you need to carry, and what types of rods should they be? Here are those results. For most anglers you can get away with using only 3 rods. The first rod is a casting rod, approximately 7’6″, medium heavy action, fast tip – Use this for your heavier baits such as larger jigs, frogs, crankbaits, flipping and pitching baits. The second rod needs to be a casting rod, approximately 6’8″, medium, extra fast top – Use for lighter baits such as smaller topwater poppers, walking baits, lighter Texas rigs, smaller jigs and lures. And finally, a spinning rod, approximately 7’8″, medium action, extra fast tip – Use this rod for finesse style presentations such as drop shot, mojo rig, neg rig, ect.

In today’s post, we’ll provide more information on the three rods you need to have to get started bass fishing, including real examples from your favorite fishing rod brands and models. We’ll also discuss how to some common frequently asked bass fishing questions. You’re not going to want to miss it!

The Specs

After deciding the type of rod we need to tackle the length question, how long or short do you want for a rod?  There are specific times when you want or need shorter or longer rods and we will get into that later. 

Most anglers will prefer a seven-foot rod for most of my applications.  It really allows you to get a good cast, a stronger hookset, and excellent control of the fish when hooked. In addition, by having most rods the same length, it will be easier adjusting when you have different rods with different lures tied on.  

However, there are some instances when the rod you’re using needs to either be shorter or longer.  

The next important thing to consider is the power rating.

The Power

Have you heard the person in the fishing section talking about how they “set the hook with their extra heavy jig rod and the monster didn’t even budge”?   

Most likely because he just hooked a stump, but let us focus on the “extra heavy” part of the jig rod. Fishing rod manufacturers separate rods by the power, for example, ultra-light, light, medium, medium-heavy, heavy, extra-heavy.  

These designations represent the strength of the rod. This information can usually be found written on the rod near the handle and use abbreviations like UL, L, M, MH, H, XH. 

Along with the power rating, you have to think about the action of the tip.

Photo cred: Project Z-man

“Tip Action”

“Tip-Action” will vary from rod to rod and manufacturer to manufacturer, however, a “fast action tip” is just that.  

There are a few different types of action to rods. This action refers to how much movement the tip of the road has.  

Most basic actions are medium, fast, and extra fast

Each action has a different purpose, for example, if you were  fishing a finesse bait on light line, then an extra fast tip to helps to set the hook without putting too much pressure on the line itself. 

If you have too stiff of a tip then you could rip the hook out of the fishes mouth when setting the hook too hard.  

The action also helps in the motion of the lure in certain circumstances… 

Throwing a jerk bait might be better suited on a fast action rod rather than a medium action tip. 

So now that we have covered some of the “basics” of rods, it is time to get into the nitty-gritty of technique-specific rods.

Photo cred: Project Z-man

What Is A Spinning Rod?

Most spinning rods are designed for more of a finesse approach to fishing, yes they do make and sell monster spinning rods; those are usually for saltwater or catfishing.  

Bass spinning rods are usually between six feet and seven feet for length and have a power rating of medium or less. The action is most likely fast or extra fast, but occasionally medium.  

Spinning rods are made for light line, light lures and finesse tactics. They are mostly ultra-sensitive and you can feel almost everything with them. So these are typically used for drop shot, weightless stick baits, topwater floating worms, which all serve a great purpose when bass fishing.  

The manufacturers may designate this style of rod as either a drop shot rod, or a finesse rod.  

Finally, spinning rods require a special reel called a spinning reel in order for it to function correctly. 

What Is A Casting Rod?

photo: G.Loomis

There are so many different technique-specific rods in the bait-casting type, there could almost write an entire chapter on all of them.

However for your sanity and mine, lets limit the discussion of a casting rod to a few paragraphs.

Casting rods are usually stiffer than a spinning rod and made from either graphite,  fiberglass, or a combination of the down. 

Fiberglass has a usually more moderate or slower action to it. Fiberglass rods are heavier and less sensitive though, they can wear out your arm or shoulder throwing it all day.  

Graphite rods allow for more sensitivity and weigh far lighter than fiberglass, which helps when you are throwing it around a lot searching for those bass.

Many anglers prefer slightly longer rods for reaction baits, it allows me to cast further and cover more water.

Casting rods are great for accurate long casting, and fishing heavier lures. They are also great for fighting big fish embedded deep in thick vegetation without the fear of the rod breaking.

Casting rods are therefore heavier than spinning rods.  

Casting rods also need a specialized reel called a casting reel in order for it to function correctly. 

How many rods to have for bass fishing?

photo: @Krueger_fishing

The average bass fisherman does not need 10-12 rods to have a successful day on the water. For most anglers, you can get away with using only 3 rods.

By the way, you don’t need the most expensive rods either. Most manufactures will make a quality rod for every budget.

We recently did a poll asking over 4000 anglers how many rods do you need to carry, and what types of rods should they be? Here are those results…

1) 7’6″ casting rod, medium-heavy action, fast tip – Use this for your heavier baits such as larger jigs, frogs, crankbaits, flipping and pitching baits.

2) 6’8″ casting rod, medium, extra fast top – Use for lighter baits such as smaller topwater poppers, walking baits, lighter Texas rigs, smaller soft plastic swimbaits on light jig heads or weighted swimbait hooks, Senko baits, and other smaller jigs and lures.

3) 7’8″ spinning rod, medium action, extra fast tip – Use this rod for finesse style presentations such as drop shot, mojo rig, neg rig, ect.

Lets begin by diving by discussing the different styles of rods suggested you carry…

In A Hurry?

If you don’t have much time to read the details we totally understand.  Simply use the links below to quickly find the best rods for your bass fishing needs on Amazon. You can be assured we only choose the best products…

Best Medium-Heavy Casting Rod G.Loomis GLX Bass Jig & Worm Series Casting Rod

Best Medium-Light Casting Rod – St Croix Avid X Casting Rods

Best Finesse Spinning Rod – St. Croix Legend Extreme Spinning Rods

I want to learn more about…

Click on the links below to fast travel to the different parts of the post to learn more about the rods that interest you the most.

Rod 1) Medium-Heavy Casting Rods

Since you’re just getting started, the first rod you’ll want to invest in would be a medium-heavy casting rod, 7’3″ to 7’8″ long, with a fast action tip.

You’ll probably do most of your fishing with this rod, so it’ll be the workhorse getting the most use.

These rods are a little heavier power, a little longer, and should have a very sensitive tip.  

It’s an interesting combination.

Having a strong backbone will also allow you to move the heavy lure and set the big hook with ease. 

The fast action tip, will detect even the smallest of bites. 

Additionally, using a longer rod aids in lure action by raising the tip of the rod. The longer the rod the more line you move when you raise the tip.  

These rods are great for fishing larger jigs, frogs, skipping baits, crankbaits, flipping and pitching lures.  

Best Medium-Heavy Casting Rod

– Winner! – 

G.Loomis GLX Bass Jig & Worm Series Casting Rod

For those who don’t know G.Loomis upgraded the GLX blank that is now 20% lighter, stronger, along with enhanced balance and ergonomics.

The rod feels feather-light, but when you set the hook it feels like it has a steel-rod backbone. It’s that strong!

The tip action for this rod is fast will provider you with accurate casts and amazing sensitivity. 

Hand-feel is amazing.  The GLX is perfectly balanced and the contours of the reel seat are very ergonomic.  It feels like the rod was custom made for you own hand. 

Finally, the GLX rod is backed by an amazing warranty should anything happen to it. 

– Runner Up – 

Dobyns Rods Sierra Series 703C 

Simply stated, anglers cannot say enough good things about this rod. It’s incredibly lightweight and sensitive for the price.

This rod so much lighter than you would expect for a heavy duty bass fishing rod. You can feel it has enough backbone for setting hooks on a monster bass deep in floating mat.

Dobyns Rods utilizes Kevlar wrapping and Portuguese AA Cork handles to make the rod crazy light, incredibly strong, very well balanced and comfortable for all day use.

– Best Budget – 

KastKing Royal Select Casting Rod

The look of the KastKing Royal Select really stands out with it’s matte black and shiny red accents. 

Toray 24-ton carbon matrix graphite blanks to minimize weight while maintaining strength and responsiveness.

Stainless Fuji guides give this rod a sleek look for years of corrosion-resistant performance.

Rod 2) Medium Light Casting Rod

These rods tend to be on the shorter side 6’3″-to-6’8″, medium-light to medium power backbone paired with an extra-fast action tip.  

The extra-fast action tip will allow you to cast that a lighter weighted lure a mile, or cast a lure with tactical precision. 

These rods come with increased flex which acts as a cushion so light-wire hooks won’t bend out. 

Use for lighter baits such as smaller topwater poppers, walking baits, lighter Texas rigs, smaller soft plastic swimbaits on light jig heads or weighted swimbait hooks, Senko baits, and other smaller jigs and lures.

This rod will probably act as your topwater rod in the morning. Then as the sun rises and the topwater bite dies off rig on a smaller lure sub-surface lure.

Best Medium-Light Casting Rod

– Winner! – 

St Croix Avid X Casting Rods

When you hold a St. Croix Avid X rod it feels like it’s going to float away… but when you set the hook,  like you can set the hook throw a brick wall!.  The Avid X is now joke. This is a rod that can easily be sold for double the price. 

The hand-rolled SCIII high-modulus, high-strain graphite fiber blank gives the rid its sensitivity, strength and durability.

Upgraded locking VSS reel seat made by Fiji will never loosen and cause you to lose fish.

– Runner Up – 

St. Croix Mojo Bass Casting Rods

The Mojo bass rod is the rod you want to use if you don’t care about some of the bells and whistles that Avid X would include. 

The rod also is made from a hand-rolled SCIII high-modulus, high-strain graphite fiber blank gives the rid its sensitivity, strength and durability.

However the differences in the rod are in the line guides which are standard size and, reel seat is standard (does not lock down). 

The rod is covered by a solid 5-year warranty.

– Best Budget – 

Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Rod

This wallet friendly rod boasts a high-quality IM6 carbon matrix that is  wrapped at four different angles to ensure the best performance.

Rod 3) Finesse Spinning Rod

photo @stephenk22

Spinning rods in bass fishing are primarily (but not always) designed around more finesse applications. They are on average lighter, more sensitive, and have a hand feel that is more comfortable than using a baitcasting rod. 

Most of the spinning rods used for finesse fishing will be 6’8″ to 7’3″.  Having a longer rod will allow you to cast a lightweight rig farther and even into the wind. 

Having a longer rod will give you the ability to move, lift, and drag your any finesse rig over or around certain pieces of structure.

Best Finesse Spinning Rod

– Winner! – 

St. Croix Legend Extreme Spinning Rods

St Croix uses the newest and some of the most advanced technology in order to give you a rod that outperforms any finesse rod on the market. 

Using proprietary high-modulus/high-strain reinforced graphite will you an insane amount of sensitivity, improved strength, and perfect reel seat balance that will allow you to catch fish for hours without getting the slightest bit fatigued.

– Runner Up – 

Dobyn's Fury Finesse Spinning Rods

Having owned several of these rods in the past and I will vouch for these rods hands down.

Dobyns Rods uses ultra-high modulus graphite blanks to create unmatched performance and give the angler a bite sensitivity that a $300 plus rod would give.

Each Dobyns rod Is paired with premium line guides that are even wrapped with Kevlar!

– Best Budget – 

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod

If you’re on a budget but still need a good rod then look no further to the Ugly Stick Elite.  

When compared to other entry-level manufacturers Ulgy Stik designs their rod with 35% more graphite. This means you get a rod that is incredibly strong and still lightweight. 

It offers anglers good sensitivity but overall is on the stiffer side. 

The hand feel is decent. You’ll get the sensation the rod is slightly tip-heavy so it doesn’t sit perfectly balanced in your hand. 

FAQ

Can broken fishing rods be repaired

Yes, if the break is clean through and not crushed the fix should be pretty easy.
Start by dry sliding the large end over the smaller end. You may need to lightly sand down the smaller end first. Then once you can dry slide the two peices together, simply mix up some 2-part epoxy adhesive. Coat the small end and slide the larger end over it. Make sure you line up the two ends. Wipe off any excess. Allow epoxy to cure for 24-hours.

Can fishing rods be carried on a plane?

According to the TSA, “Fishing rods are permitted in carry-on and checked bags; however, passengers should check with the airline to confirm that the fishing rod fits within size limitations for carry-on items.”

Can fishing rods get wet?

Yes they can. The vast majority of fishing rods get wet without any damage. However, if you have line guides that are scratched or have exposed metal and are saltwater fishing the saltwater may cause them to corrode. But the actual rod will be just fine.

Are fishing rod holders illegal?

Fishing rod holders that are carried to a fishing spot either attached to your boat, kayak, or carried and placed on the ground are not typically illegal.

However, fishing rod holders that you attach to the outside of your car or truck to hold your rods could be. Many police organizations say that in the event of an accident the rod could break, creating a pointed end, and could cause bodily injury to any pedestricans. Please check your local and state laws for more information.

What makes a good bass fishing reel?

It really comes down to three main components that make up a good fishing reel for bass fishing. Those are the drag, the bearings, internal gearing, and designated use.

If you want to protect your investment buy the right gear and it will last you years to come.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg! There are other factors you must know to choose a good bass fishing reel based on the technique you’re planning to use it on. Luckily I wrote an in depth report on all the different styles of reels, what applications they perform the best in and what should be avoided.

Read more: How To Choose A Reel For Bass Fishing [2020]

What color line for bass fishing?

It is still unknown if bass can see different color lines. It is known that bass do pick up shades of red, green, and grey.  Some lines such as green braided line will blend into the environment if it’s used in an area that holds vegetation. 

However, it will stick out like a sore thumb if it’s used in clear water conditions. Fluorocarbon line will actually absorb sunlight and therefore render itself invisible.  

Unfortunately, if the line gets any nicks or scrapes the fish will easily see the imperfection and could be spooked.   Monofilament lines can appear shiny underwater and reflect the sunlight.  It’s generally not recommended when you need a stealthy delivery.

Read more: 21 Tips To Choose The Best Bass Fishing Line

Does unused fishing line go bad?

Yes it does.  Braided line can last years because of its thread-like construction.  However, fluorocarbon and monofilament should be changed every year because they will dry out, become brittle, lose knot strength, and will be prone to breaking.   If you’re going to store your line it’s best if you store it indoors in a dark environment.

Read more: Bass Fishing Line Tips To Catch You More Fish – FAST!

What baits are best for bass fishing?

The best baits should cover these three applications of bass fishing: topwater, tight-line (fast) applications, and slack-line (slow) applications. If you make sure you have at least some baits that cover those key areas of bass fishing you should be fine.

You may be asking yourself what are some good lures that I could use year-round? Fortunately, I created a report that addresses that specifically. Click the link below to learn the secrets.

 Read more: What Are The Top 5 Bass Lures?

How to determine water clarity for fishing?

The way you can tell the water clarity is by measuring the distance that you can see a bright object like a bright white spinnerbait or an actual tool called a Secchi disc.  Depending on when you cannot see the object anymore will tell you the water clarity. 

From there, you can quickly choose the lures that will have the best probability of catching fish. 

Read more: Water Clarity Guide for Bass Fishing [Blueprint Revealed]

Is there a water clarity chart for fishing?

Yes, there sure is.  I just happen to make such a chart to help myself and other thousands of anglers like yourself. Click here to check it out. 

Which is better? Tacklebox or tackle bag?

In the beginning, fishermen were forced to use tackle boxes which were heavy, uncomfortable to transport, but we’re also prone to tipping over on uneven surfaces, resulting in spilled tackle all over the ground.

Then tackle bags hit the scene, with thousands of anglers every year quickly realizing the benefits of owning a tackle bag.  

The perfect tackle bag gives the fishermen a portable and effective organizational system that creates a complete balance between efficiency, mobility, and comfort.

Read more: Best Tackle Bag for Fishing [Test & Review Guide]

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My name is George and I'm been fishing my entire life and love all things outdoors. My passion is helping anyone catch more fish. The newest things I've been doing lately is learning how to break down and clean all my reels, teaching my boy how to kayak fish, and bushcraft wilderness survival.