Going after big fish requires the best baitcasting rods and top-notch guides to keep your line protected. On the other hand, delicate applications and catching smaller fish require lightweight electric rods.
Finding the right rods for your specific purpose may not be as easy as choosing the first option that appears. Of course, you don’t want to do that, and that is why you are reading this review and buying guide.
There are some technical aspects to consider when choosing the best baitcasting rod, such as power, action, material, and more. Don’t worry if any of this doesn’t make a lot of sense to you right now. It will solve everything at the end of this guide.
Reviews of the best baitcasting rods 2022
1. Daiwa Tatula XT Bass Casting Rods
The Daiwa Tatula XT checks almost everything you need in a baitcasting rod, including the best features and a reasonable price. But that’s not surprising considering the brand’s reputation.
Your purchase provides you with a shaft constructed of premium graphite fiber that offers exceptional durability. However, it is one of the most flexible and responsive rods available. The EVA split grip is comfortable, allowing you to handle it for extended periods.
We do not hesitate to recommend this option to anyone looking for a premium casting rod at a very affordable price.
- Length: 7 feet to 7 feet 4 inches
- Material: graphite fiber
- Power: Medium-heavy
- Action: Fast
It features the brand’s X45 Bias graphite construction that significantly minimizes blank turns while maximizing the force and flex needed to handle larger fish.
The EVA handles come in a split grip design for all-day comfort, particularly useful when fishing for longer periods.
Get the 7-foot medium-heavy rod. It is very durable and sensitive to the weakest bites, making it a better choice for fishing around dense cover.
- Light rod
- Exceptionally durable
- Graphite construction is corrosion resistant
- Extremely sensitive
- Includes a hook fastener
- It does not have micro guides
2. KastKing Speed Demon Pro – Best Baitcasting Rods for Crankbaits
First of all, the KastKing Speed Demon Pro is a great rod, and it is also reasonably priced. Beyond looks and pocket, this rod comes with a non-slip grip with a golf-style stock that enhances overall performance.
The rod features Fuji guides and spool pins that hold the reels securely in place and eliminate unnecessary friction from the guides. The fast-action rod is extremely light and offers tremendous balance.
Here is a small detail that may prove useful to many anglers. If you are unsure about the type of rod that will work best for your fishing technique, KastKing has included a table detailing all the recommendations. This includes power, line weight, lure weight, guides, and more.
- Length: 6 feet 10 inches to 8 feet
- Material: carbon blanks with nanotube resin
- Power: Medium-light / Medium / Heavy
- Action: Moderate / Fast
The reed features an S-Glass composite material that improves overall balance and offers smooth crankbait action.
Bar strength is 30% more than typical graphite blank, giving you top-notch quality and superior craftsmanship.
This is highly recommended for fishing crankbaits, as it is a fine combination of strength, durability, lightness, and sensitivity. Buy this if you want a reed that is sensitive enough to catch the bass. I believe that it is one of the best of these baitcasting rods.
- Premium design and craftsmanship
- 30% stronger than average graphite white
- Specially designed for crankbaits
- Comes with the best Fuji guides and reel seats
- Slightly misaligned eyes on the pole
3. Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Rod – The Best Baitcasting Rods for Surface Fishing
The GX2 might not be the best choice for bass baiting, but what you’re looking at is Ugly Stik’s best rod for fishing. The short end of the rod makes it a bit difficult to cast continuously, but it takes the lead when it comes to surface fishing.
The durable graphite fiber construction means this rod will serve you for years to come. It’s lightweight and extremely responsive, thanks to the Clear Tip design that also allows you to get faster hook sets. You will find this ideal for fishing around visible structures or dense covers.
- Length: 5 feet 6 inches to 7 feet 6 inches
- Material: graphite fiber
- Power: Medium-light / Medium / Medium-heavy / Heavy
- Action: Fast
The rod comes with Ugly Tuff guides that eliminate line restrictions on casting and reduce the overall weight of the rod.
The Clear Tip design provides additional strength and increases the sensitivity of the reed.
This rod is a great option for surface fishing due to its lightness and sensitivity. Consider using it for jitterbugs and hula poppers in the spring.
- Works well with many line weights and lures.
- Light rod
- Works well for surface fishing
- Slightly short rod stock for bass fishing
4. Abu Garcia Vengeance Casting Rod – Best Baitcasting Rods for Striped Bass
If you prefer bigger fishing, you will need a strong and responsive casting rod like Vengeance from a renowned manufacturer, Abu Garcia. The rod fits perfectly, as well as being a very light option.
Abu Garcia built the blank with 24-ton modulus graphite, which gives it a lightweight quality. It comes with high-density grips plus stainless steel guides equipped with titanium inserts. This combination gives you all the leverage you need when a big fish puts the line under pressure.
The Vengeance is a one-piece rod, making it an excellent choice for fishing for larger bass. To top it off, the rod includes a Texas-rigged hook holder that works well for a good number of bait applications.
- Length: 6 ft 6 in. At 7 ft. 6 in.
- Material: 24 ton modulus graphite
- Power: Medium / Medium-heavy / Heavy
- Action: Fast
The rod can withstand great pressure on the line due to the stainless steel guides with titanium inserts. The feature makes the rod suitable for fishing small and large bass.
The casting rod comes with durable, high-density EVA handles for maximum comfort and leverage during long hours of fishing.
Consider getting a high-powered rod if you plan to use this option for striped bass. You will need extra strength to get the fish into the boat.
- One-piece rod construction
- Excellent choice for fishing for large striped bass
- Strong and durable rod
- Very accessible
- It does not have many functions
5. St. Croix Mojo Bass Casting Rod – The Best Baitcasting Rods for Fine Fishing
Serious anglers who want to feel even the smallest bite may want to check out this St. Croix Mojo casting rod. It’s arguably the best casting rod in terms of sensitivity, thanks to the SCII graphite construction and Integrated Poly Curve tool technology.
St. Croix is not new to fishing rods. The manufacturer has continually innovated cast rods for more than seven decades, which explains why the Mojo Bass cast rod is among the preferred choices of the fishing community. Years of manufacturing experience translate into superior performance and unmatched sensitivity.
- Length: 6 ft 8 in. At 7 ft. 1 in.
- Material: SCII Graphite
- Power: Medium / Medium-heavy / Heavy
- Action: Moderate-fast / Fast / Extra-fast
Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) tool technology provides exceptionally smooth actions and increased sensitivity.
The cast bar has a slim profile and includes a cork handle and small guides, all of which contribute to a smoother action.
You are likely to take full advantage of the St Croix offerings if you choose a medium / fast action rod. Improve your chances of catching up to 2 to 3 pounds of bass or panfish by tossing a soft plastic on the rod and fishing around dense cover.
- Unbeatable sensitivity
- Extremely lightweight
- Industry-leading 5-year warranty
- The handle might be a bit short for some anglers
6. KastKing Perigee II- Best Double Ended Baitcasting Rods
Last on our list (and a second entry from KastKing) is the Perigee II, built from a 24-ton carbon matrix with KastFlex technology for improved strength and precision.
This double-ended rod is surprisingly inexpensive, but it comes with features only seen on high-end rods. For example, the tenon joint that minimizes movement felt on a two-piece rod is generally found on expensive cast rods but is included in the Perigee II.
This is an excellent choice for trout, bass, redfish, and bass. In addition, it also works well for walleye and catfishing. Most importantly, you can use this rod for both fresh and saltwater fishing.
- Length: 7 feet
- Material: 24 ton carbon matrix
- Power: Medium / Medium-heavy
- Action: Fast
The rod comes with the well-known Fuji O-Ring line guides, plus high-density EVA grips and extra-strong reel seats to help with casting distance and repeat casts.
The two different tips mean that you can use a part of the target base with a medium-heavy and medium rod. This is the same as having two rods in one.
This is a great option for those who are relatively new to the world of casting rods. It’s a sure middle-ground for anglers who aren’t sure what type of rod to choose, and it comes with some impressive technology.
- Very accessible
- The two-piece reed is essential two reeds in one
- Excellent build quality
- Durability can be an issue
How to choose a baitcasting rod
Baitcasting has been around for quite some time. Unfortunately, many people are still unfamiliar with how to choose the right tools for the task.
Reading reviews is great, but it can leave many people a little more confused than they were before they started looking for the best product for their purpose. The scenario also applies to finding the best baitcasting rod.
These are the basic things to remember as you try to figure out which is the best option.
Power vs. action
For many beginning anglers, the distinction between power and action is blurry at best. For some people, towing the way of “lightness” is better, but that is not always correct.
Understanding the difference between power and action is critical if choosing the right rod for your specific fishing style. Let’s take a closer look at these terms.
Here’s a simple way to put it. First of all, power equals pressure, as far as casting is concerned. In other words, the power of a bar indicates the amount of pressure necessary for it to bend. Think of the power of a rod in terms of the size of fish a rod can handle.
A lightweight power rod is designed to withstand less pressure, making it suitable for small fish. Of course, as you may have already discovered, ultralight rods are your best option for delicate applications.
Trying to fit a large fish into your boat with a lightweight or ultralight rod is usually an uphill task. He is simply not designed to withstand such pressure.
On the other hand, heavy rods are designed to handle larger fish as it takes a lot of pressure at the end of the line to bend the rod. These types of rods are best suited for deep-sea fishing and similar applications.
If you go back to the specs for each rod in this review, you’ll see that power (medium, heavy, etc.) now makes more sense.
The action of a reed is not as easy to explain as its power. Without going into the technical details, the action of a bar is determined by:
- How easy to bend a reed
- How far can it be bent (how far can the white space go)
- The time it takes for the pressure to move to the target.
- How heavy or light the lure is
Simply put, all of these factors translate into slow and fast action.
Usually, a slow-acting rod bends a lot down from the target (almost halfway). This information is crucial because the inertia of the curve will allow you to cast lighter lures much further.
While this may be good in some situations, it has the downside of preventing you from quickly feeling the bite. In general, it is more difficult to place the hook on slow-action rods.
Quick-acting rods generally bend only about a foot below the blank, allowing you to feel the pressure more quickly. In other words, you will feel the bite much faster and better, and the hook will be less complicated, especially on smaller fish.
The recommendation is to use fast-action rods for delicate applications and to catch smaller fish, while slow-action rods are more suitable for larger fish with heavy hits.
If you go back (again) to the rods we have reviewed, you will notice that they are all fast-acting, medium-power rods. Choosing either option gives you a rod with a moderate amount of power plus the ease of setting the hook. Either rod will also offer you considerable casting distance.
Choose between fiberglass material and graphite material
The two common choices when it comes to baitcasting rods materials are fiberglass and graphite. Which one should you choose? Is one better than the other?
We recommend choosing a rod constructed of graphite. They are stronger, more sensitive, and generally more durable. The rods can be made from graphite alone or a combination of graphite and other elements. The downside to graphite rods is their price, as they tend to be more expensive.
Fiberglass rods do not have the strength and durability of their graphite counterparts, but they are very flexible. In addition, they tend to have lower prices.
Almost all major manufacturers have moved away from using fiberglass. Most modern rods are made from graphite rods and quite a few of them also use carbon fiber material, which is considered the highest quality rod material.
Here is the bottom line. We suggest that you change your focus from specific materials and pay more attention to the characteristic of the rod you wish to purchase. What it can do and how well it performs in different fishing conditions and environments are more important considerations.
Any rod material is excellent as long as customer reviews do not indicate concerns about the product falling apart or breaking. If you find a good rod that you think will serve your purpose, go for it, even if it is made from fiberglass. You may be pleasantly surprised that it works so well.
The best rod length generally comes down to what you want to do with the rod. Of course, you probably want to go fishing in your new canoe, but do you want more precision or are you hoping to make a long-distance cast?
The rod length you choose will have a big impact on both of these factors, but there is more. It also determines how much leverage you are fishing with and, most importantly, how comfortable you are rodding.
We recommend choosing a shorter rod (around 6 feet or less) if you want a more accurate cast within a small body of water. The shorter rods are easier to handle and maneuver. When precision matters less, you can use a long rod (over 7 feet). A 7-foot rod is fine for general-purpose fishing.
It is important to consider your personal comfort when choosing a reed length. Just because your favorite professional angler uses a 10-foot bait rod doesn’t mean it will work for you.
Consider your height and how easy the rod will be to handle before deciding what is best for you. Tall people are likely to be more comfortable with longer rods than shorter people.
There is no shortage of rods on the market, but the best baitcasting rod is one that suits your fishing technique and makes perfect sense to you. Hopefully, you’ll find that one among the options we’ve reviewed in this guide.