Best Bass Fishing Rods (Reviews & Buying Guide)
Every year, anglers from all over the states spend wads of cash on their gear, gadgets, lures, and boats to go after black bass species, both largemouth and small ones. That said, the one piece of equipment that should really get your attention when shopping for gear is your rod.
Your bass rod will not only affect your ability to fight and haul fish in, but it will also determine how accurately you’re going to cast, how well you’re going to detect bites, and how you play your lure. In other words, your bass fishing rod will make or break your whole experience, which is why you need to take your time when hunting for the best bass fishing rod.
The thing is; bass fishing rod manufacturers and brands are a dime a dozen these days, and each of them claims to have the best products. That’s why picking the best bass fishing rod may seem challenging or even impossible.
Worry not, though, as we’ve already taken care of the heavy lifting and reviewed the top five products in this category.
Top Bass Fishing Rods: Comparison table
1. G. Loomis GLX Bass Spinning Rod
Loomis is, without a doubt, one of the biggest and best manufacturers of fishing rods in the world, which is why the GLX, Loomis’s pinnacle of performance, tops our list of the best Bass Spinning Rods.
The company makes all kinds of fishing rods, both spinning and casting ones. Although each type has its uses and purposes, spinning rods are more versatile. The GLX Bass Spinning Rod is made of blended graphite, which means that it offers the strength this brand is known for while being 20% lighter than other models in the same series.
Not only is this rod strong and lightweight, though, as it’s also pretty sensitive and will allow you to detect the lightest of bites; all thanks to the slimmed-down grip and ergonomically-designed reel seat.
Control is yet another department in which the G. Loomis GLX thanks to its slimmed-down and tapered cork handle that allows for smooth, accurate, and balanced pulling.
You can get the GLX spinning rod in different weights (from medium to medium-heavy) and two main actions, which are fast and extra fast. With such a configuration, catching bass would be a breeze.
- Smooth and far casting
- Balanced power distribution
- Comes in a plethora of length and actions
- A bit expensive
2. G. Loomis GLX Bass Casting Rod
The G. Loomis GLX Bass Casting Rod is the casting counterpart of the spinning model that tops our roundup. It also offers the same strength and lightness of the GLX Bass Spinning Rod while allowing for more distance with heavier lures.
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Which model is better, you ask?
Well, it depends on your own needs, style, and preferences.
Just like its spinning counterpart, the G. Loomis GLX Bass Casting Rod is 20% lighter than other models in the GLX series while being 30% stronger. Speaking of strength, it’s worth noting that due to the thick, robust taper of this rod, you may end up noticing more upward force when casting.
For the possible setups that you can choose, the G. Loomis GLX comes in a variety of lengths that range from 7 to 7.5 feet and can be either fast or extra fast in terms of action. As for the weight, you can get any level of power from medium and extra-heavy. Although the right configuration for you will depend on your own style, we recommend going for a 7.5-foot rod with fast action and medium-heavy power if you’re looking for the best bass fishing rod.
- Comes in different weights
- Can cast heavy baits with ease
- Far casting with excellent line control
3. St. Croix Legend Tournament Bass Casting Rod
St. Croix is yet another well-known name in the fishing industry. The company prides itself on producing the best rods on the market, and we understand the reasoning behind such a bold claim. After all, they’ve produced some of the finest rods you can get over the years – ones that won endless tournaments and hauled in more catch than any other manufacturer.
- Models Released Fall 2017
- Split Grip Cork Handle
The fine craftsmen at St. Croix use only the finest of materials when making their rods, and the Legend Tournament Bass Casting Rod is no exception. The Legend features the latest developments in graphite technology, making it more flexible and durable than any other rod on the market. Pair that with the ergonomically-designed cork handle, and you’ve got yourself a rod that can haul in any kind of fish with ease.
Besides being strong and durable, the rod is also well-engineered. This is a straight casting rod that can sling your baits as far you’d need them to go. The rod also uses Poly Curve technology, which works on keeping the pressure right where you need it when the hook sets by flexing the rod perfectly when required.
The possibilities are practically limitless when it comes to the possible setups, as the Legend Tournament Bass Casting Rod is available in various lengths (from 7 to 10 feet), actions (from fast to extra fast), and weights (from medium to extra-heavy). If you need to target bass and bass alone, we recommend going with a rod in the 7.5-feet range with fast action and medium-heavy power.
- Durable construction
- Smooth and far casting
- Available in different setups
4. St. Croix Legend Tournament Bass Spinning Rod
The St. Croix Legend Tournament Bass Spinning Rod offers the same strength, durability, and performance of its casting counterpart. Picking the right model will depend on your own preferences.
- Integrated Poly Curve tooling technology (IPC)
- Advanced Reinforcing Technology (ART)
Although both types are made of the same SCIV graphite and both feature the Poly Curve technology, the baitcasting model is better at loading and far casting.
Just as you’d expect from a St. Croix product, this bass spinning rod is available in a plethora of configurations. The length goes from 6 to 8 feet, and the power ranges from medium-light to medium heavy. As for the action, you can get anything from fast to extra-fast, which is ideal for bass fishing.
To get the best result when fishing for bass, we recommend going with a short 6-feet rod that offers medium power and extra-fast action. Such a setup will allow you to cast better, use lighter lines, and keep plenty of pressure on bass without putting your line at risk.
- Durable construction
- Great for short casting
- Multiple setups and configurations
5. Abu Garcia Fantasista Premier Casting Rod
You may know Abu Garcia from the outstanding baitcasting reels they make, but the company actually makes all kinds of fishing gear and equipment, and their casting rods are equally impressive.
- 3M power lux 500 Resin System allows a thin, ultra-light blank construction with superior impact and fracture resistance
- Tetra axial carbon construction provides an increase in strength and durability
While the other products on our best bass fishing rod roundup use graphite to take advantage of its sensitivity, the Abu Garcia Fantasista Premier Casting Rod uses carbon fiber, which is more durable. The rod is made of a tri-directional woven fiber matt and 3M flexible resin, which means that it’s as tough as they get.
Granted, this is not the best bass fishing rod when it comes to distance, but it’s still an excellent option to consider thanks to its smooth cast.
The Abu Garcia Fantasista Premier Casting Rod comes in different weights, ranging from medium to heavy, and lengths, which can go from 7 to 7.5 feet, all with fast action. When picking your setup, we recommend going with a flexible, 7-feet rod with medium power.
- Durable carbon fiber construction
- Buttery smooth casting and fishing
- Short casting distance
Choosing the Best Bass Fishing Rod – Buying Guide
If you’re serious about your bass fishing trips and adventures, you shouldn’t take the process of selecting the best bass fishing rod lightly. This is the one piece of equipment that will make or break your experience, which is why you need to pay attention to some essential factors before picking the best bass fishing rod.
Bass fishing rods come in two types, each of which has its own advantages, drawbacks, and uses, which are spinning and casting rods. You don’t want to mount a bait caster on a spinning rod or the other way around. Here’s how you can go about choosing which type works best for you:
Baitcasting rods can cast heavier baits for far distances. Generally, this type packs more power and uses a heavier line.
Spinning rods, on the other hand, offer the same action at a lower power level. They’re more accurate than their casting counterparts, and they use a lighter line.
Simply put, a rod’s action refers to how much it flexes as you fight your catch trying to haul it in. This factor will determine the firmness of the hook set, the sensitivity of the rod, and, of course, how power is applied.
Rods can come in a variety of actions, from slow to extra fast, but you should only focus on fast and extra-fast models if you’re planning to target bass only.
Typically, fast rods bend in the top quarter of the body, whereas extra fast ones bend at the very top. As a general rule of thumb, the slower the rod, the more it curves.
When fishing bass, you don’t pull the fish from deep underneath the board. Instead, you pull towards you from a distance, which means that you need to apply force linear to the surface. In other words, bending isn’t necessary for bass fishing, which is why you ought to get a fast or extra fast rod.
Another factor to consider here is the sensitivity of the rod. Bass is known for spitting out lures they don’t like, which is why you need to be able to detect the slightest of bites. That can also be achieved by getting a fast-action rod, as such a model has more movement at the very tip.
The weight, or power, of a bass fishing rod, refers to how much pressure it takes to bend the rod. This metric can go from ultralight to extra-heavy, and each range is suitable for a specific use. If you’re mainly targeting bass, anything other than ultralight will work just fine.
Unfortunately, no rule is cast in stone when it comes to which weight you should pick, which can make choosing the best bass fishing rod seem like a daunting task. Generally, light rods use more invisible line, making them ideal for open water. Heavy rods, on the other hand, are more suitable for pulling big fish from thick cover. In other words, the weight you should pick will depend on your style and where you fish for bass.
More often than not, anglers overcompensate for the lack of power in their rods by using heavy lines, thinking that such a practice can make fishing easier. While that might be true for some kinds of fish, it can actually ruin your bass fishing experience. Fishing for bass doesn’t require a heavy line. As a matter of fact, you’re more likely to get more bites when using lighter line that’s practically invisible.
Generally, spinning rods use a lighter line – one that goes from 4 pounds all the way to 10 pounds. Some models may even go higher and reach 14 or 16 pounds, but that’s overkill when fishing for bass. If you’re going with a spinning model as your best bass fishing rod, we recommend looking for a line weight with the 6 to 8-pound range.
Casting rods, on the other hand, use a heavier line that goes from 8 pounds to mid-30s. For bass, you ought to go with a line weight in the mid-teens range.
To pick the right lure weight, you need to do some research and find out what works best in your area. Once you take care of that, it’s just a matter of matching up numbers.