Top 15 Best Bass Fishing Rods of 2024 Reviewed

Top 15 Best Bass Fishing Rods of 2024 Reviewed

Hey there, fishing enthusiasts! 🎣 Dive into my handpicked list of the best bass fishing rods out there!

With 20 years of fishing experience under my belt and countless bass battles won, I’m here to share my top picks. Now, I haven’t had the pleasure of trying out every rod in the universe. So, for the ones I missed, I dove deep into research, clocking in around 6 hours just to ensure you get the crème de la crème.

The rods I’ve shortlisted are top-notch in terms of quality, user-friendliness, durability, and of course, value for money. Whether you’re a rookie or an avid angler, these rods cater to every fishing technique and type of bass. And hey, the bass fishing pros swear by these brands too!

In a hurry? Want a budget-friendly yet high-performing baitcasting rod? Look no further than the St Croix Mojo Bass. If spinning rods are more your style, the St Croix Triumph is your match.

Still not hooked? No worries! We’ve got options for every angler, from budget-friendly to surf rods.

Ready to reel in your perfect catch? Let’s dive in!” 🐟🌊

Our Top 15 Picks

1. G.Loomis IMX Pro 844C (Best Overall)

G.Loomis IMX Pro 844C

G.Loomis IMX Pro 844C

Key Features

  • Length: 7 feet.
  • Lure Weight: ¼ to 1-ounce.
  • Handle: Full-grip cork.
  • Guide Count: 11 plus tip.

Pros

  1. Ultra-lightweight design.
  2. Comfortable, ergonomic cork grips.
  3. Proven, time-tested construction.

Cons

  • Priced on the higher side.

Deep Dive: The G.Loomis brand pioneered premium rod crafting, and their IMX Series remains a steadfast choice in the industry. While they’ve avoided dramatic changes through the years, subtle updates ensure its leading position in quality and versatility.

Though tagged “heavy”, this rod effortlessly manages weightless Senkos. It also shines with Carolina Rigs, light jigs, and even moving baits like Chatterbaits and squarebills. It might not be the ideal pick for every lure or angler, but if you’re transitioning to a high-end rod and need a multi-purpose tool, the G.Loomis IMX Series should be on your list.

2. St Croix Mojo Bass Casting (Best Overall Casting)

St Croix Mojo Bass Casting

St Croix Mojo Bass Casting

Specifications:

  • Blank Material: Graphite.
  • Guides: Aluminum Oxide.
  • Handle Material: Cork.
  • Warranty: 5 Years.

Performance Analysis: The St Croix Mojo Bass Casting Rod is a beast in the bass fishing world, designed to tackle even the largest fish. Central to its prowess is the Integrated Poly Curve® (IPC®) tooling technology – a cutting-edge feature unique to St Croix. This tech eradicates transitional points in the rod blanks, ensuring the rod is not only stronger but also incredibly sensitive. It’s safe to assert that strength is the hallmark of this rod.

St Croix’s commitment to quality is evident beyond the rod blank. By using graphite, they guarantee a lightweight rod. The aluminum oxide guides ensure smooth casting and durability, and the cork handle offers a firm grip.

While it boasts impressive features, it slightly lags behind the Abu Garcia Veracity in terms of sensitivity and weight. That’s not to undermine its capabilities – it’s still a top contender, just slightly behind the Veracity.

Packaging Concern: One minor hiccup was the subpar packaging. It seemed rather ironic for a brand like St Croix, which crafts such exquisite rods, to skimp on packaging. Though my rod arrived in impeccable condition, the packaging did raise eyebrows. However, with a generous 5-year warranty, there’s peace of mind.

Brand Legacy: With over 70 years in the industry, St Croix has cemented its reputation for producing top-tier fishing rods catering to various budgets. The Mojo Bass Casting Rod exemplifies their commitment to quality and is sure to satisfy any angler.

3. St Croix Triumph Spinning (Best Overall Spinning)

St Croix Triumph Spinning

St Croix Triumph Spinning

Specifications:

  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber.
  • Guides: Alconite.
  • Handle Material: Cork.
  • Warranty: 5 Years.

Performance Highlights: The St Croix Triumph Spinning Rod impressively outshines most others in terms of weight, being the only rod lighter than the acclaimed Abu Garcia Veracity. Weighing in at a mere 4.2 ounces for the 7 ft option, this rod is a marvel of engineering.

The secret? SCII carbon. This isn’t your everyday carbon fiber. It’s a uniquely engineered graphite fiber that possesses a higher strain rate than conventional carbon fiber. Translating this to layman’s terms: it’s far stronger, allowing for minimal material usage without compromising on strength. The result? A rod that’s feather-light yet remarkably robust.

But the wonders of SCII carbon don’t end at weight and strength. It also amplifies the rod’s sensitivity. The Triumph is among the rare bass rods with sensitivity levels paralleling ultralight rods. This means anglers can detect even the faintest of nibbles from tiny panfish.

In the realm of power, while the Triumph is formidable, the Abu Garcia Veracity has a slight edge, earning it a higher rank.

Final Verdict: For those in the market for a top-tier spinning rod tailor-made for bass, the St Croix Triumph is a no-brainer. Plus, its reasonable price tag ensures great value for money.

4. Dobyns Xtasy 723 (Best Finesse)

Dobyns Xtasy 723

Dobyns Xtasy 723

Specifications:

  • Length: 7 feet 2 inches.
  • Lure Weight Range: 3/16 to 5/8-ounce.
  • Handle: Full-grip cork.
  • Guide Count: Nine guides plus tip.

Top Qualities:

  • Super-Crisp Action: Perfect for subtle finesse techniques.
  • High-Quality Components: Built for longevity and top performance.
  • Kevlar Wrapping: Provides exceptional strength, ensuring durability.

Caveats:

  • Pricey: You might be able to buy two or three decent rods for the price of this one.

Deep Dive: Many seasoned anglers often allocate a larger budget to their power technique rods and sideline their spinning rods. This could be a strategic oversight, especially as pressured fish are leaning anglers towards finesse techniques. With advancements in braids and fluorocarbons, a spinning rod’s capability is exponentially enhanced. However, with light lines and the need for stealth, the margin for error is minimal. Enter this finesse rod. Not just satisfactory, it’s built to cover up any mistakes and enhance sensitivity. This makes it the choice rod for the legendary pro, Larry Nixon. After multiple surgeries, he finds this rod maximizes his feel and power. His recommendation led me to try it out, and the results, whether under docks with a Senko or dropshotting timber, have been nothing short of exceptional.

For those dedicated to dropshot techniques, do check out our review of the best drop shot rods for specialized options.

5. Abu Garcia Jordan Lee Spinning Rods (Best Budget Finesse)

Abu Garcia Jordan Lee Spinning Rods

Abu Garcia Jordan Lee Spinning Rods

Specifications:

  • Length: 7 feet.
  • Lure Weight Range: 3/16 to 5/8-ounce.
  • Handle: Winn Grip split grip.
  • Guide Count: Eight guides plus tip.

Strengths:

  • Multi-Technique Friendly: A good all-around length for varied presentations.
  • High Sensitivity: 24-ton graphite blanks enhance your fishing experience.
  • Extended Casts: The guide train system facilitates longer throws.

Drawbacks:

  • Handle Grip: Some anglers find Winn Grips not to their liking.

Deep Dive: Jordan Lee, a double Bassmaster Classic champ before hitting 30, has showcased his finesse across multiple techniques. Much like his versatile approach, this rod is crafted to handle a plethora of styles – whether it’s dropshotting, Neko Rigging, or deploying a light crankbait. In my experience, this rod’s performance rivals those that are priced higher, making it a frequent choice in my arsenal. For anglers leaning towards a more finesse-centric approach, there’s the 6’10” medium-light “Super Finesse” variant. Given its sub-$100 price tag, considering both rods might just be a worthwhile investment.

6. Abu Garcia Veracity Casting (Best Splurge)

Abu Garcia Veracity Casting

Abu Garcia Veracity Casting

Key Features:

  • Blank Material: Graphite
  • Guides: Titanium Alloy
  • Handle: Combination of Cork and EVA Foam
  • Warranty: 1 Year

Strengths:

  • Supreme Materials: Made with high-end materials for a durable and comfortable fishing experience.
  • Ultra-Sensitive: Graphite ensures keen sensitivity, allowing you to feel even the most delicate bites.
  • Power Beyond Ratings: This rod’s true strength surpasses its power rating, offering you unparalleled versatility in fishing bass.
  • Incredibly Lightweight: Thanks to Powerlux resin baked into the blank, casting becomes a breeze.

Versatility at its Finest: Abu Garcia Veracity isn’t just any fishing rod; it’s the ideal tool to tackle bass. Whether you’re up against a mighty bass or a timid one, this rod’s combination of sensitivity and strength ensures you won’t miss any action. Think of it as the jack-of-all-trades rod, giving you confidence in every cast and catch.

Considerations: While it’s a marvel for bass fishing, it might not be ideal for giant sea monsters or micro-species. But if bass is your game, then this is your rod!

Price Point: You might think this premium rod comes with a hefty price tag. Think again! The Abu Garcia Veracity is priced just slightly above average bass fishing rods. Given the myriad of benefits, it’s an absolute steal. Don’t miss out on this deal!

7. Fitzgerald Titan HD (Best Flipping Stick)

Fitzgerald Titan HD

Fitzgerald Titan HD

Key Features:

  • Available Lengths: 7 feet 6 inches, 8 inches, or 10 inches
  • Capacity: Designed to flip weights up to 3 ounces
  • Handle: Split-grip EVA handles
  • Guides: 10 guides, including the tip

Strengths:

  • Light and Powerful: Remarkably lightweight, despite being designed for heavyweight tasks.
  • Balanced Feel: Its balanced design ensures less fatigue, even after a day of heavy lifting.
  • Braid-Friendly Guides: The guides are optimized to work exceptionally well with braided lines.

What Could be Better?

  • Specific Use: It’s specialized for flipping heavier weights, so light flipping isn’t its forte.

Deep Dive into the Titan HD: Originating from Florida, the land of dense vegetation and large bass, Fitzgerald Rods crafted the Titan HD for serious anglers. For those looking to delve deep into the flipping game, the right rod is crucial. The wrong choice can lead to fatigue or even injury. A mere “broomstick” won’t cut it.

The Titan HD stands out as one of the best bass fishing rods for a reason: its durability is matched by its comfort. With locking wraps, there’s no fear of the guides coming loose. Plus, the guide design proactively avoids those pesky wind loops. If you’re someone who loves going into the thick of things with creature baits, this rod will amplify that desire.

Pro Tip: Pair up this Titan HD with some high-quality jigs! Dive into our jig review to find the perfect match for your new flipping rod.

8. St Croix Premier Casting (Best Abu Garcia Alternative)

St Croix Premier Casting

St Croix Premier Casting

Key Features:

  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Guides: Aluminum Oxide
  • Handle: Cork
  • Warranty: 5 Years

Why It’s Worth It: 1. Sensitivity: With its fast-action rating, this rod ensures you feel even the slightest tug from a small bass. 2. Power: Equipped with a heavy power rating, it’s designed to tackle even the biggest bass. 3. Value for Money: A bit heavier than the Abu Garcia Veracity, the St Croix Premier Casting Rod comes at a slightly more affordable price, making it an appealing option for those on a tighter budget.

In Summary: If the Abu Garcia Veracity was just a smidge out of your budget, the St Croix Premier Casting Rod provides a comparable experience at a fraction of the cost. It’s a fantastic alternative without compromising much on performance.

9. iRod Genesis III Crank Launcher (Best Deep Cranking)

iRod Genesis III Crank Launcher

iRod Genesis III Crank Launcher

Key Features:

  • Length: 7 feet 11 inches
  • Lure Weight Range: 3/8 to 1 ½-ounce
  • Handle: Split-grip EVA handle
  • Guides: Nine plus tip

The Positives:

  1. Optimal Action: The rod’s action is perfect for hooking fish from a distance and managing surges near the boat.
  2. Removable Handle: Simplifies transportation, especially when traveling.
  3. Extended Length: At 7 feet, 11 inches, the rod facilitates extra-long casts, ensuring your bait reaches farther areas.

The Caveat:

  • Limited Flexibility: Its extended length might be cumbersome in tighter fishing spaces.

Personal Experience: The author’s frequent trips to Lake El Salto introduced him to this rod, more specifically, his wife’s experience. In the hunt for a rod that could cast bigger cranks effortlessly and without splurging, they stumbled upon the Crank Launcher. Despite being significantly cheaper, it outperformed other pricier rods. The author was so convinced by its performance that he got not one, but two for himself. The comfort and effectiveness of the rod make it feel like a steal even if priced higher.

10. Penn Battalion II Inshore Spinning (Best Sensitivity)

Penn Battalion II Inshore Spinning

Penn Battalion II Inshore Spinning

Key Features:

  • Blank Material: Graphite
  • Guides: Premium Fuji Alconite
  • Handle: Rubber Shrink Tubing/Cork blend
  • Warranty Period: 1 Year

Why It’s Great for Beginners:

  1. User-Friendly: Baitcasting rods might be the norm for bass fishing, but for someone just diving into the sport, spinning rods, especially the Penn Battalion II, are far more approachable.
  2. Top-Notch Materials: With rubber shrink tubing, this rod guarantees the best grip available, ensuring comfort and reducing slippage.
  3. Gold-Standard Guides: Fuji Alconite guides are the cream of the crop in the fishing world, allowing for smoother casting and durability.
  4. Extra-Fast Action: Surpassing even some of its competitors, this rod’s sensitivity stands out, allowing you to feel even the most subtle bites.

Brand Trustworthiness: Penn is a titan in the fishing industry, boasting about 1,400 IGFA world records. Their dedication to producing quality, tournament-tested gear is unquestionable.

Bottom Line: For novices seeking a seamless entry into bass fishing without compromising on quality, the Penn Battalion II Inshore Spinning Rod is a perfect choice.

11. Shimano Expride B 7’2” MH (Best for Reaction Lures)

Shimano Expride B 7’2” MH

Shimano Expride B 7’2” MH

Key Features:

  • Length: 7 feet 2 inches
  • Material Options: Both graphite and composite models available
  • Handle: Split grip cork combined with carbon monocoque
  • Guides: Nine sturdy guides plus the tip

Pros:

  1. Versatility: Perfect for those unpredictable days on the water when you need a rod that can handle multiple lure types seamlessly.
  2. Optimal Length: At 7 feet 2 inches, this rod is suitable for close-up fishing as well as long-distance casts.
  3. High-quality Components: Lightweight yet robust guides and reel seats enhance performance and longevity.

Cons:

  • Understanding the Materials: It’s essential to recognize the differences between composite and graphite blanks before purchasing.

Insider’s Take: The real charm of this rod lies in its adaptability. There are times when I hit the lake, unsure of which lure will do the trick. This rod is my go-to, allowing me to switch between a lipless crankbait, vibrating jig, buzzbait, and more, without the need for multiple rods cluttering the boat. Its versatility means it’s not the cheapest option, but the value it provides in terms of performance more than compensates. Over the past year, it’s likely the rod I’ve caught the most bass with.

A quick tip: Opt for the composite model if you’re someone who tends to set the hook too quickly or often use braid. However, if you’re a patient angler or prefer using fluorocarbon or monofilament lines, the graphite model is your best bet.

12. Penn Battalion II Surf Conventional (Best For Surf Fishing)

Penn Battalion II Surf Conventional

Penn Battalion II Surf Conventional

Key Features:

  • Blank Material: Composite (Blend of fiberglass and graphite)
  • Guides: Premium Fuji Alconite
  • Handle: Durable Rubber Shrink Tubing
  • Warranty: 1 Year

Hit the Surf with Confidence: For those who love the thrill of beach fishing, especially targeting bass, the Penn Battalion II Surf Conventional is your dream come true.

Size Matters: Given that surf fishing demands longer rods, you have the choice to pick from a range of 10 to 12 ft. Unlike many surf rods, this one pairs seamlessly with a baitcasting reel, ensuring precise casts for bass.

Quality Components: Keeping up with Penn’s reputation for quality, this rod boasts the trusted Fuji Alconite guides and a sturdy rubber shrink tube handle for a secure grip.

Composite Blank – Best of Both Worlds: While the IPC® technology remains unparalleled, Penn ingeniously integrated both fiberglass and graphite to create a balanced rod that promises lightness, strength, and sensitivity. This fusion does add a tad bit of weight, but in return, you get a rod that’s not only more affordable but also robust.

Few Considerations: It’s not a fast-action rod, so if you’re after smaller bass, this might not be the rod for you. But for the larger bass everyone covets? It’s more than up to the task.

Final Thoughts: If beach bass fishing is your game, this rod is undoubtedly the MVP. It’s a challenge to find another surf rod in this price range that’s better equipped for bass fishing.

13. Douglas LRS C715F (Best Spinnerbait)

Douglas LRS C715F

Douglas LRS C715F

Key Features:

  • Length: 7 feet 1 inch
  • Lure Weight Range: From finesse 3/16 ounce to meaty 3/4 ounce
  • Power: Medium heavy
  • Action: Fast, making it incredibly sensitive
  • Line Weight: Suitable for 12 to 20 pounds
  • Handle: Comfortable Split grip EVA handle
  • Guides: Corrosion-resistant Fuji Fazlite

Bright Points:

  1. Versatile Length: Long enough for those far-reaching casts, yet compact for fishing in tight spaces.
  2. Sensitively Balanced: This rod ensures you feel every bite without being overly fast, striking that sweet balance.
  3. Stands Out in a Crowd: The blue blank of this rod ensures it’s not just another rod on the deck.
  4. Handles All Spinnerbaits: Whether you’re going for a finesse approach or looking to shake things up with a bigger spinnerbait, this rod handles it all with ease.

A Day Out with the Rod: During my test, I effortlessly switched between a lightweight 3/16 ounce spinnerbait around boat slips in the early hours, and a hefty 3/4 ounce one in the afternoon. It felt as if this rod was tailor-made for both scenarios.

Feedback from Fellow Anglers: Every fishing buddy I handed the Douglas LRS to had praises for its perfectly sized handle and high-end components.

Final Verdict: When it comes to bass fishing with spinnerbaits, the Douglas LRS stands unrivaled. It’s not just about throwing different lures; it’s about excelling with each one. This rod doesn’t compromise—delivering both versatility and sensitivity, making it my top choice in spinnerbait rods.

14. Ugly Stik GX2 Casting (Best Budget Power)

Ugly Stik GX2 Casting

Ugly Stik GX2 Casting

Key Features:

  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Guides: Durable Stainless Steel
  • Handle: Comfortable EVA Foam
  • Warranty: Generous 7-Year Coverage

Why This Rod? Price might be a barrier for many. But if you’re seeking a secondary rod primarily for bass without burning a hole in your pocket, this is your pick.

Affordability Meets Quality: While it’s budget-friendly, the Ugly Stik GX2 doesn’t skimp on quality. The comfy EVA foam handle ensures a tight grip, while the stainless steel guides, though slightly less corrosion-resistant, are sturdy. You’re getting an impressive deal for such a nominal price.

Sturdiness at its Best: Composite blanks? Check. Lightness? Check. Sensitivity? Check. This rod echoes the benefits of Penn’s rods. Ugly Stik is reputed for crafting nearly “indestructible” rods. While that might be an overstatement, their resilience is unmatched. With Ugly Stik’s medium power rods boasting the ability to handle fish up to 100 pounds, you can bet on wrestling with the largest bass without a hiccup.

Few Shortcomings: Every product has its downsides. With the GX2, it’s the weight. It’s slightly on the heavier side, which means continuous casting can wear you out faster. Its slow action can be a deterrent too. While you can confidently tackle bigger bass, detecting bites from smaller ones might be challenging.

Final Thoughts: For those mindful of their spending, the Ugly Stik GX2 stands out as the best budget rod by a wide margin. Yes, there are certain compromises, but if bass fishing without breaking the bank is your goal, the GX2 won’t disappoint.

15. KastKing Perigee II Spinning (Best Budget)

KastKing Perigee II Spinning

KastKing Perigee II Spinning

Key Features:

  • Blank Material: High-quality Carbon Fiber
  • Guides: Renowned Fuji O-Ring
  • Handle: Comfort-driven EVA Foam
  • Warranty: Generous Limited Lifetime Warranty

Budget-Friendly with Impressive Specs: For those who are pinching pennies, KastKing’s Perigee II shines as a top contender. Comparing it to the Ugly Stik GX2, it lacks a bit in power but more than compensates with its heightened sensitivity. A look at its features might make you wonder: How can such a spec-loaded rod be so affordable?

A Trade-Off in Durability: The answer lies in its lifespan. The Perigee II boasts all the qualities anglers often seek – power, sensitivity, lightness. However, its Achilles’ heel is its durability. A personal testament: the rod tip gave way after just a few weeks of use, followed by a guide detachment a week later. It’s common for rod tips to be the vulnerable point, but this wear and tear in such a short span raises eyebrows.

Conclusion: In a nutshell, with the KastKing Perigee II, you’re opting for a rod with stellar specs, but one that might not be your long-term fishing companion. Its competitive price stems from its compromised durability. If you’re okay with the trade-off, it could be a worthy addition to your gear. Otherwise, consider your options.

Bass Fishing Rods: Baitcasting vs. Spinning


1. The Great Debate: Baitcasting vs. Spinning

  • Casting Accuracy: Baitcasting reels triumph in accuracy due to thumb-controlled free spinning spools.
  • Lures: Baitcasting favors heavier lures, while spinning excels with lighter ones.
  • Line Pound Test: Spinning outshines baitcasting for lines under 10-pound test. Above that, baitcasting is the way to go.
  • Ease of Use: Baitcasting requires skill; beginners may find spinning rods simpler.

2. Comprehensive Bass Fishing Rod Guide

  • Rod Power and Action
    • Power: Measures rod stiffness.
    • Action: Indicates rod sensitivity and where it bends.
    • Recommendation: Fast action, medium power rod for versatility.
  • Rod Length
    • 6-7 ft: Standard for most bass and fishing styles.
    • 8-12 ft: For surf fishing with increased casting distance.
  • Material Choices
    • Graphite: Lightweight, sensitive, but less sturdy and pricier.
    • Fiberglass: Tough and durable, yet heavier and less responsive.
    • Composite: Balanced blend of graphite and fiberglass properties.

3. Handle Matters

  • Cork: Traditional, less durable, but priciest.
  • EVA Foam: Familiar, long-lasting, and offers a good grip.
  • Rubber Shrink Tubing: Best grip, durability, and value.

4. Deciphering the Reel Seat

  • Aluminum: Sturdy and long-lasting.
  • Graphite: Lightweight and comfortable.

In your quest for the ideal bass fishing rod, weighing these factors can guide your selection towards a rod that matches both your skill level and fishing style.

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