10 Best Baitcasting Rods (2021)

Best Baitcasting Rods
 
We all want to land that massive catch. You know, that massive 25-inch monster that puts up a real fight before you can reel it in and show it off to all your friends and peers. The problem with landing such a catch is that you need to use the best baitcasting rod to do it, along with a good fishing technique.

A baitcaster rod has a lot of backbone and excellent guides that can take on strong lines. With this kind of rod, you can throw out heavy lures that attract the huge monsters that dominate your favorite fishing holes.

Unfortunately, this kind of baitcaster rod can be expensive. In fact, some of the higher quality rod options retail for well over $500. That isn’t to say that there aren’t several affordable options that are pretty decent.

After you find the best baitcasting rods, don’t hesitate to read through our review of the Best Spinning Rods!


Best Baitcasting Rods – Winners

Check out our quick recommendations here, or keep scrolling for detailed reviews:


Best Overall Baitcasting Rod

1. St Croix Mojo Bass Baitcasting Rod

Length: 6’8″

Power/Action: Medium/Extra fast

Material: Graphite

Handle: Cork

Guides: Aluminum oxide

Lure size: 1/4 – 5/8 oz.

Line weight: 8-14 lbs.

Pieces: 1

Pros

  • Made out of high-quality SCIII graphite
  • Offers superior performance
  • Technique-specific
  • 5-year warranty
  • Manufactured by a trusted brand
  • Comfortable split-grip cork handle

Cons

  • Slightly stiffer than the official rating

Built with SCIII graphite, this St Croix Mojo Bass Baitcasting Rod offers you nothing but premium quality. It’s a technique-specific baitcasting rod that is both sleek and powerful. It has 3D guides made out of slim yet extremely strong aluminum-oxide rings that go a long way in reducing the amount of friction for extra-long and accurate casts.

This is a comfortable fishing rod with split-grip handles that are made out of premium cork. This handle is lightweight and designed to put your hand in direct contact with the rod’s blank, enhancing your fishing experience.

View on Bass Pro Shops>>

Also Available on Amazon


Best Budget Option

2. Abu Garcia Vengeance Baitcasting Rod

Length: 6’6″

Power/Action: Medium Heavy/Fast

Material: Graphite

Handle: EVA foam

Guides: Stainless steel

Lure size: 3/8-1

Line weight: 12-20 lbs.

Pieces: 1

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Well-balanced
  • Durable stainless steel guides with titanium oxide inserts
  • Affordable

Cons

  • It’s a one-piece rod, which makes transportation a bit cumbersome

There’s a lot to like about the Abu Garcia Vengeance Baitcasting Rod. For one thing, it’s made out of a 24-ton graphite construction, which makes it lightweight and well-balanced. It also has stainless steel guides that feature titanium oxide inserts that are strong enough to take on heavy lines and aggressive fish.

Not only is this medium heavy rod lightweight and durable, but it’s also quite comfortable to use. This is mostly thanks to the EVA foam handle. The rod can support a wide range of line types, including fluorocarbon, braided, and monofilament.

View on Amazon >>

Best Lightweight Baitcasting Rod

3. Lew’s Custom Lite HM85 Casting Rod

Length: 6’8″

Power/Action: Medium Light/Fast

Material: Graphite

Handle: Winn polymer

Guides: Stainless steel

Lure size: 1/8 – 1/2 oz.

Line weight: 6-10 lbs.

Pieces: 1

Pros

  • Ultra-light
  • Durable
  • Extra sensitive
  • Strong
  • Stainless steel guides featuring titanium oxide
  • Comfortable Winn polymer grip

Cons

  • It’s a 1-piece baitcasting rod

The Lew’s Custom Lite HM85 Casting Rod is an ultra-light casting rod that is sensitive and quite durable. The company has formidable experience in both rod manufacturing and tournament fishing. They have used that experience to create one of the best baitcasting rods on the market today.

Designed with multiple layers of graphite (HM85), they combine this ultra-light material with Lew’s legendary Power Core construction to achieve super strength. This high-quality combination of workmanship and material use doesn’t end there; it goes on into the guides as well. Although made out of stainless steel, they feature titanium oxide inserts which go a long way in reducing friction during long casts.

Not only does this give you the distance you need when fishing for larger yet elusive fish, but it also prolongs line life. The manufacturer also makes use of their exclusive SoftTouch skeletal system in their reel seats. This improves sensitivity by putting your fingers in direct contact with the rod’s blank.

Couple all that with a comfortable grip made out of Winn polymer, and you have an incredibly robust piece of fishing equipment.

View on Bass Pro Shops >>

Also Available on Amazon


Most Portable Baitcasting Rod

4. Okuma Nomad Inshore Travel Casting Rod

Length: 7’0″

Power/Action: Medium/

Material: Graphite

Handle: Cork

Guides: ALPS

Lure size: Not Indicated

Line weight: 10-17 lbs.

Pieces: 3

Pros

  • Durable
  • Sensitive
  • 3-piece fishing rod
  • Manufactured by a reputable company
  • Third tip option for traveling anglers
  • Highly portable

Cons

  • The guides could be better

The one thing that stands out about this Okuma Nomad Inshore Travel Casting Rod is that it’s a 3-piece fishing rod. This makes it incredibly easy to travel with and pack up when you aren’t using it. Another excellent feature is that the rod’s blank is made out of graphite, featuring an outer wrap made out of carbon. This not only makes it quite durable, but it also increases its level of sensitivity.

Okuma is a highly innovative brand that is always looking for new ways to please its customers. One of those ways includes adding an additional tip section to their rods. The brand realized that most traveling anglers wound up being confined to only one or, at best, two rods while on the rod.

To remedy that, the company has introduced a third tip section that can be easily swapped out to fit a wider variety of fishing techniques and preferences.

View on Amazon >>


Best High-End Baitcasting Rod

5. Team Lew’s Custom Pro Series Casting Rod

Length: 6’8″

Power/Action: Medium/Fast

Material: Graphite

Handle: Cork and EVA foam

Guides: Stainless steel

Lure size: 1/8 – 1/2 oz.

Line weight: 6-12 lbs.

Pieces: 1

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Strong
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Cork and EVA foam handle
  • Tangle-free guides

Cons

  • It’s a 1-piece fishing rod which makes it somewhat difficult to transport

As a brand, Lew’s has notable experience in both rod manufacturing and bass fishing. They combine these two talents to bring you the Team Lew’s Custom Pro Series Casting Rod, which is offered in a wide range of actions and lengths. This particular baitcasting rod features multiple layers of graphite (LFS-X5), making it exceptionally strong yet extremely sensitive for enhanced hook sets.

One of the main reasons this baitcasting rod is good for both experts and novices alike is that its stainless steel guide frames include Zirconium inserts designed to reduce friction with the line and ensure tangle-free. This enhances your casting and overall fishing experience while increasing the life of your lines.

Finally, it’s super comfortable to hold thanks to the A-Grade cork handles that feature Duracork and EVA inlays as well as palm swells for better control.

View on Bass Pro Shops >>


Best of the Rest

6. Cadence CR7B Baitcasting Fishing Rod

Length: 6’10”

Power/Action: Medium Heavy/Moderate Fast

Material: Graphite

Handle: EVA and Cork

Guides: Stainless steel

Lure size: 1/4-3/4 oz.

Line weight: 12-20 lb.

Pieces: 1

Pros

  • Carbon wrapped veil for increased strength
  • Made out of 40-ton graphite
  • Fuji reel seat
  • Stainless steel guides
  • Premium-grade cork handle
  • Comes in a variety of lengths
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • The company could offer better customer service

For those who have been around fishing circles a few times, the quality of Cadence fishing rods shouldn’t come as a surprise. This Cadence CR7B Baitcasting Fishing Rod is another excellent addition to a long list of wonderfully manufactured baitcasting rods.

Built using 40-ton carbon, this rod is not only lightweight but also quite strong, which means it will be a welcome ally when it comes to landing that huge catch.

Featuring stainless steel guides with SiC inserts, this rod provides exceptional casting performance at every turn. It’s also quite durable and comfortable to hold, thanks to the EVA and premium-grade cork handles.

View on Amazon >>


7. KastKing Crixus IM6 Baitcasting Rod

Length: 6’0″

Power/Action: Medium/Fast

Material: Graphite

Handle: SuperPolymer

Guides: Stainless steel

Lure size: 1/4-5/8 oz.

Line weight: 8-12 lbs.

Pieces: 2

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Strong
  • Ideal for almost all freshwater fish species
  • Stainless steel guides with zirconium oxide rings
  • 2-piece fishing rod, which makes transportation easy

Cons

  • A little expensive

The first notable fact is that the KastKing Crixus IM6 Baitcasting Rod is a member of the KastKing Crixus family of fishing rods. This family comes in 20 different lengths, power, and actions, which is more than enough to cater to almost every angler’s needs. This one, in particular, is a 6’0″, 2-piece fishing rod that is all but perfect for walleye, bass, and trout fishing. It’s even good enough for catfish and a host of other larger fish.

The rod has stainless steel guides that feature zirconium oxide rings that guarantee you a smooth cast, especially when paired with braided, monofilament, or fluorocarbon lines.

Designed for nothing else but ultimate performance, this rod is loaded with excellent features typically found in more expensive offerings. For instance, it features the graphite blanks made out of KastFlex IM6 graphite.

The KastFlex technology featured here delivers incredible power and sensitivity, making this rod a good fit for almost any freshwater fish species, as well as some saltwater options. Apart from performance and durability, the brand also ensures that you experience luxurious comfort thanks to the gold-style SuperPolymer handles that are also slip-resistant.  

View on Amazon >>


8. KastKing Perigee II Baitcasting Rod

Length: 7’0″

Power/Action: Medium/Fast

Material: Carbon fiber

Handle: EVA foam

Guides: Fuji O-ring

Lure size: 3/16-5/8 oz.

Line weight: 6-12 lbs.

Pieces: 2

Pros

  • KastKing PTS (Power Transition System) for smooth power transition
  • Strong
  • Comfortable EVA grips
  • Great cosmetic value
  • Manufactured by an ICAST award-winning manufacturer
  • Premium components

Cons

  • The rod becomes brittle after some use

Yet another admirable offering from KastKing, this KastKing Perigee II Baitcasting Rod is a 7’0″ option made out of 24-ton carbon designed with the legendary KastFlex technology for increased strength, power, and accuracy. This makes it one of the most sought-after baitcasting rods on the market today. As a premium option, it’s used for bass fishing, salmon fishing, walleye fishing, and even saltwater fishing.

To say that KastKings spares no expense regarding the quality of components used would be quite accurate. This fishing rod features Fuji O-Ring line guides and high-density EVA grips for enhanced comfort, high-strength reel seats made out of tuned ergonomic graphite, and carbon fiber blanks that offer outstanding cosmetic value.

View on Amazon >>


9. Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Rod

Length: 6’8″

Power/Action: Medium/Moderate Fast

Material: Carbon

Handle: EVA foam

Guides: Stainless steel

Lure size: 1/8-1/2

Line weight: 8-12 lbs.

Pieces: 1

Pros

  • Strong
  • Deliberately designed for enhanced fishing performance
  • Comfortable EVA foam grips
  • High-end features and materials
  • 1-year warranty
  • Excellent for topwater jerkbait

Cons

  • It’s a 1-piece fishing rod

Designed to be good enough for tournament fishing, this Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Rod is nothing short of spectacular. Built using high-quality carbon (IM6), it’s light, highly sensitive, and quite durable. What stands out the most about this rod is that it’s designed with excellent performance in mind.

The company consulted with fishing experts who demand the best from their baitcasting rods to develop the best length, rod weight, power, and action combination to enhance performance. Even the handle length is borrowed from years of baitcasting experience at the topmost level.

The brand has done a good job of cramming nothing but high-end features into this one rod. From the 30-ton carbon blank (sanded smooth) to the high-density EVA grips, the “S” style hook keeper and the tuned ergonomic graphite reel seat that offers exceptional strength. You can be sure that this will be money well-spent. 

View on Amazon >>


10. Lew’s American Hero IM6 Baitcasting Rod

Length: 7’0″

Power/Action: Medium/Fast

Material: Graphite

Handle: EVA foam

Guides: Stainless steel

Lure size: 1/4 – 5/8 oz.

Line weight: 8-17 lbs.

Pieces: 1

Pros

  • Premium 6-bearing system
  • Precision casting
  • Strong
  • Durable
  • Manufactured by a trustworthy brand

Cons

  • It’s a 1-piece fishing rod

The Lew’s American Hero IM6 Baitcasting Rod is made of tough yet highly sensitive IM7 graphite, which offers superior performance. Despite being a 1-piece baitcasting fishing rod, the graphite frame is lightweight and strong thanks to the multi-directional and multi-layered graphite construction.

This fishing rod features a 6-bearing system with double-shielded ball bearings made out of stainless steel, complete with a Zero-Reverse clutch bearing that only goes one way. That, coupled with a Magnetic Control System (externally adjustable), gives you a fishing rod that offers nothing but exceptional precision when casting.

View on Bass Pro Shops >>

Also Available on Amazon


What We Consider When Selecting a Baitcasting Rod

There are hundreds, if not thousands of offerings on the market today as far as baitcasting rods are concerned. Granted, every one of the baitcasting rods invented and sold serves a specific purpose. This is to say that every baitcasting rod is the right baitcasting rod for someone.

The trick is in finding one that is right for you. With that in mind, here are some factors that you need to keep in mind when looking for the right baitcasting rod to buy.

Action

When talking about the “action” of a rod, we refer to where it begins to bend along its length due to the pressure exerted by the load (the fish on the hook). Rods have different types of action, each one designed for a specific purpose.

  • Fast: A fast action rod is typically stiff for the vast majority of its length. These rods only ever bend near the tip, meaning that they are very sensitive towards that end. As such, these rods are ideal for techniques that require a bit of finesse, such as jigging. With a fast action rod, you can easily use that all-important whip-like action required in jigging. At the same time, you can rely on the rod’s backbone to come quickly into play to help set the hook.
  • Moderate: A baitcast rod with a moderate or medium action bend in the top half of its length. This makes these types of rods ideal for fishing in almost every scenario, including smaller or larger fish.
  • Slow: Slow action rods are designed to bend nearer the reel seat or the handle, which means they curve for most of their length. They are best used with techniques such as treble-hooked crank baiting, which require the rod to take on most of the shock-absorption duties.

Rod Power

The rod power describes how much force is needed to bend the rod. If you combine the rod power with its action, you begin to know just how well it will perform when called upon to land different species of fish. Here are the different power ratings for a quality rod and what they signify:

  • Ultralight: This power rating is used for very light tackle and lure applications. These kinds of rods load quickly and are quite efficient. Since these rods are perfect for very light lures falling between the 1/32 to 3/8 oz. range, they are the kind of rods you want when angling for fish such as crappie, small trout, and panfish.
  • Light: This power rating is a step up in terms of tackle from the ultra-light option. Designed to be paired with 1/16 oz. lures, this rod offers a softer feel and allows for excellent hook sets when interacting with light-biting fish species. This makes them ideal for walleye, trout, and panfish.
  • Medium: Medium power rods accommodate a wide variety of lure ratings from 1/4 to 3/4 oz. This kind of rod is an excellent choice when you intend to throw spinnerbaits when fishing in freshwater or you want to pop corks when fishing in saltwater. They can be a good all-around choice if you can only afford one rod.
  • Medium/Heavy: This is the rod you want on your deck when fishing for bass and bigger freshwater species. It’s quite stiff and allows for wide gap hooks and fish jigs while being easy to load the tip for when you need to fish soft plastics.
  • Heavy: Designed to handle heavier lures that fall within the 3/8 to 1 oz. range, this kind of rod is perfect for larger species, particularly heavy fish in saltwater.

Length

When talking about rod length, we are talking about casting distance and precision. Shorter rods offer you more precision, making them ideal for fish species that like to hide under rocks and brush.

In this case, you would need a shorter rod that allows you to drop the bait exactly where you want it to be to increase your striking chances.

Longer fishing rods, on the other hand, are ideal for casting distance even though precision suffers a bit. This makes them ideal for surf fishing and the like.

Line and Lure Weight

Generally speaking, baitcasting rods are designed for heavier lines and lures. These allow the rod to play to its strengths as far as the reels are concerned. Many of the options listed above work well with nylon monofilament or a heavier braid option, provided it has the same diameter.

Guides

There are very few things quite as important to the effectiveness and efficiency of your baitcasting rod as the guide quality. It’s through the guides that the fishing line is going to rest and suffer most of the friction when fighting that monster catch.

If you have poor-quality guides, there’s a very good chance that your line will get degraded and maybe even break during the fight, which means you will lose the catch.

When it comes to guides, having as many of them as you can have along with the fishing rod is advisable. This is mostly because the guides distribute the force and friction from the line amongst each one. The more you have, the less friction and force each guide will experience.

Material

Thanks to advances in technology, modern fishing rods are made from a host of materials, including carbon, fiberglass, and even a composite of many materials, depending on what the manufacturer wants to achieve.

As you would imagine, each material has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most common materials that you will find used in making the best baitcasting rods on the market today.

  • Graphite Rod: This material is quite strong, ultra-light, and stiff. Since it’s extremely stiff, rods made out of graphite happen to be extra-sensitive, which makes them an excellent choice as far as durability is concerned.
  • Fiberglass Rod: A fiberglass rod is a bit heavier than graphite and just so happens to be less expensive. While rods made out of this material aren’t quite as sensitive as those made out of graphite, they are incredibly strong, making them an excellent option for hardcore anglers to have in their arsenal. They are ideal for fighting species such as crappie.
  • Carbon Fiber Rod: Carbon fiber is the most advanced rod material available today. It’s stronger, stiffer, and lighter than graphite and fiberglass, making it an excellent option for rod construction. The biggest issue is that it also happens to be quite expensive.

Handle

This is all about comfort and personal preference. There are two main popular handle types on the market today.

  • Cork: This is more attractive and warmer but not very durable when treated roughly.
  • EVA foam: This is very comfortable, softer, and quite tough, but a bit expensive.

FAQ

What is a baitcasting rod used for?

Baitcasting rods, as the name suggests, are designed to assist you in casting your bait into the water. They are primarily used in conjunction with baitcasting reels. These types of rods offer several advantages that most other rod types don’t. These include increasing the size of fish you can catch and allowing for a wider range of casting techniques.

How long should my baitcasting rod be?

This comes down to a matter of personal choice, considering that the length of your baitcasting rod directly impacts your baitcasting distance and accuracy. If you are more focused on accuracy, you should consider buying a baitcasting rod under 7’0″. However, anything over 7’0″ should work just fine if you are more focused on distance. If you are still undecided, then a 7’0″ makes for an ideal all-purpose baitcasting rod.

Can I put a baitcaster on my normal rod?

While you can put a baitcaster on a normal rod, the truth is that it will make your rod bend in the opposite direction, which means that it could easily break if you hook a heavy fish.

Whether you are new to fishing or are an expert, the truth is that you are going to need a baitcasting rod at some point to perfect your fishing technique and reel in the big fish. This will happen as you widen your horizons regarding the big fish species you want to catch and the fishing techniques you want to employ.

This list gives you excellent options as far as the best baitcasting rods on the market are concerned. All you have to do now is pick one, buy it and enjoy your enhanced fishing experience. 

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    Riley Draper

    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.