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Best Jerkbait Rod 2023 – [Buyer’s Guide]

best jerkbait rod

Twitching a jerkbait can bring out the predator in some fish especially if they are fished in the top few feet of the water column.

Arming your self with the Best Jerkbait Rod is crucial to getting the very best action out of these lures.

Jerkbaits need to be worked by the angler as the have very little if any natural action themselves.

All of that flicking and twitching means you need a pole that is has a fast action for better feedback and is not too long so that you can get some quick motion through the tip.

A good Jerkbait rod needs a fast action, roughly six and a half feet in length with a light to medium power rating.

Jerkbaits as the name suggests get their swim action from jerking the rod tip and then pausing.

This action is intended to imitate an injured minnow or any other small bait fish.

By themselves these lures have very little if any natural action. However some of them will have a dive lip just like a crankbait that will help it have a bit of action.

For the most part though it is the jerking of the rod that gives them there injured fish movement.

Unlike say a swimbait rod for larger lures you can use either a spinning or a baitcasting rod for you setup.

Jerkbaits are usually quite light especially the floating variety and when you are using them in smaller sizes then the lighter spinning rod will have an advantage.

Best Jerkbait Rods

1. KastKing Speed Demon

This KastKing speed Demon is hands down the best jerkbait rod for the money. It is built on a rod blank that higher end brands would be proud of.

There are a number of different models to choose from each targeting a specific setup.

This is a fishing rod you can really be proud of. It is made with Elite Carbon blanks, and the rod also makes use of Carbon NanoTube resin which helps you keep the weight reduced and increase the breaking and lifting strength of the rod.

The rod comes with Fuji Guides, Reel Seats and Winn Grips. These are only the finest guides and reel seats-they help everything stay in place. Plus, your lines are never weakened or slowed down by poor quality guides.

This rod is very light and made of high-quality materials. The guide lay is absolutely a dream and the blank is pretty beefy. The tip and the guides are tough, and your line will absolutely stay in place.

Not a single one of them will bend or crack, plus the epoxy they use to attach them is strong and looks great.

The rod blank is rather stiff despite the rod being so lightweight. The rod guides and parts are in line with the spine of the blank which is a huge plus. The grips on this particular rod are amazing.

The Fuji reel seat is top notch and does just what you want it too when it comes to securing the reel foot. Be sure you note that the trigger grip and the reel seat have what is known as a soft touch coating over the plastic.

This is great because it feels good in your hands, but we noted this could probably wear off over time.

The WINN grips are a wonderful material that is tough but easy to hold onto, and we noted that it was often found on some different brands of rods (think Daiwa and Lew’s)-but KastKing has found a way to add it to their rod and it feels fantastic.


  • Elite carbon rod blanks
  • Fuji guides and reel seat
  • WINN grips

2. Lew’s Tournament Performance TP-1 Speed Stick

Lew’s are already known for their great reel range, but it is there casting rods that are really starting to take a bit out of the already established brands.

First off, the rod is made of IM8 graphite, and this makes it feel like a serious high-end quality rod. The Winn-Grip handles are a tried and true favorite that we have seen on other rods, and the rod also features American Tackle Microwave Guides that allow you control over your line and a serious feeling of sensitivity.

The custom skeletal SoftTouch graphite reel seats will aid in weight reduction but also bring you serious comfort as you work on your catches.

We purchased this rod only about two months ago but have used it plenty of times. We really liked what we read when researching for this particular product, but actually holding it in our hands and trying it out was a different story.

The Winn grips are definitely a favorite among anglers, and it is not hard to understand why. They feel comfortable and the rod, as strong as it is, is very lightweight and a real pleasure to hold.

We have caught a few bass with it weighing about 5-8 lbs., but we feel this can confidently handle just about anything you throw at it. This rod might cost a little more than you might expect to pay, but it is really worth it.

The rod itself casts really far, and we did not have to put in a lot of effort to get that to happen. But let’s talk a little more about the sensitivity factor for this rod.

Lots of other rods might advertise sensitivity, but none of the others really compare to what we felt using the Lew’s. This handle jigs up to .5 oz with ease, so it is just perfect for those moments when you come into contact with the bottom.

In sum, this is a rod we would not sleep on, it’s got all you want and more.


  • IM8 graphite rod
  • Microwave line guides
  • Graphite reel seat

3. St Croix Triumph Spinning Rods

Our first spinning rod in this line up and it’s one of the most popular mid-market spinning rods ever.

The St Croix Triumph has made a serious name for itself as a one of the best trout rods available, it also makes a mean jerkbait rod especially for lighter lures.

For this rod you can look forward to hard aluminum oxide guides that come with black frames. The Fuji DPS reel seat is a signature of great quality materials, and some of the other models feature Fuji ECS or TCS reel seats (if you get a casting model).

The rod itself is made of top grade SCII graphite. Combine this with the two coats for each model of Flex-Coat slow-cure finish, and the five-year warranty, and you have yourself a real winner.

Even if you have never had the pleasure of casting with a St. Croix before, you should start now-you will immediately be taken by the sensitivity of the rod.

The construction and durability of these rods are well loved by anglers everywhere. This one helped us land some pretty good walleyes and even some panfish.

Some anglers may question if they should buy when they hear the rod is made in Mexico, but there is nothing to be concerned about. Performance is unmatched and plenty of favorable user reviews reveal the truth about this rod.

This is a fast-action and lightweight rod, and it is all you need for detecting those super light bites. This one is just perfect for travel and will help you feel confident when jigging and casting.

All in all this is a great rod for any purpose, we used it as a light-load rod for the small saltwater lures. It casts really well and the guides keep everything in line. We used ours with 20 lb. braid which is really great at picking up light bites.

All in all the price is right, the fish we catch are great (so far we tried it with saltwater lures as well as fishing for walleye and trout). Don’t question whether or not to get this rod; just go for it and see the quality for yourself.


  • SCII premium graphite rod blank
  • Aluminum oxide guides
  • 5 year warranty

4. Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Rod

Ugly Stik is a brand we know and love when it comes to fishing, so we were really glad to try out and review this particular rod.

We liked the trademark UglyTech construction that features graphite and fiberglass that makes the rod very strong but sensitive to those bites. 

The UglyTuff stainless steel guides are also great-the durability is tops and you don’t need to worry about insert pop-outs.

They have their own reel seat, but that doesn’t mean you should worry about its integrity. Lots of anglers have loved the UglyStik brand for generations, and it is easy to see why.

At first when we held it, we did not know what we would say about the weight. It sure didn’t feel as light as some other rods we held in our hands, but as soon as we tested this thing out, we found that it met all of the expectations we set and more. We did some live bait fishing with it as well as some trolling and casting.

Ugly Stiks simply do not break when it comes to putting them to the test. We knew of one angler who was able to catch a 70 lb. plus Surubi Catfish, and even though it took him 30 minutes to land the monster, his rod held up with no problem at all.

This is not only great for using jerkbaits, but for any type of light fishing, really. One thing we liked was the way the color pattern was different at the tip of the rod, so it is much easier to see when the fish is on the line.

All in all, it’s a great rod and you can pair your favorite reel and line with it, you will feel happy with the results and how it feels. The handle is nice and large, and it is so easy to hold. You will absolutely feel confident and land all the fish with it.


  • Ugly Tech graphite and fiberglass blend
  • Ugly tuff one piece guides

5. Fenwick Elite Tech Bass

This is a super rod that combines power but is also very sensitive to those nibbles you get on your line.

The frame guides are made of super tough titanium, and they are very lightweight. The EVA and TAC handles make sure that your grip stays PUT even when putting up a fight, and the handle gets wet.

The hidden handle style reel seat is perfect because comfort as well as practicality come together with no compromise to the quality of the rod. And lastly, the rod is made of super tough graphite and can stand up to any test of strength.

We noted that the rods were strong, flexible, and at the same time sensitive. You can put on any rod that you like, but we used a Quantum Smoke reel and tested it out catching some smallies in the 3-5-pound range with absolutely no worries. You can also go ahead and use a size 30 reel as well if you like.

We found that while using it the handle construction and the guides involved made it well worth the price all on its own, so even though it may be tempting to buy a cheaper rod we advise you to go the extra mile and opt for something great like this.

Once you feel those small bites and grip that comfortable cork-material handle, you will be so glad you put forth those extra dollars.

One thing we liked that we discovered by accident was that these rods float. Accidents happen and to lose a rod is a huge deal, especially if you’ve spent some money on it. These thankfully stay floating and you can absolutely retrieve them.

Altogether we were very pleased with this casting rod and would recommend it to any angler, old or young.


  • Titanium frame guides
  • Hidden handle design reel seat
  • High end casting rod

6. Shimano Curado Casting Rods

This is definitely a rod you will pay top dollar for, but at the same time you are getting a tournament-quality piece of equipment.

There are plenty of rods available for specific actions if you like this particular one.

We found the rod to be lightweight and very sensitive when using it. The rod itself is built with hybrid high-module carbon complete with blanks made of nano-resin, so you get strength plus that great sensitivity you need to notice even the smallest bites.

Fuji reel seats, a favorite among anglers everywhere, are used for this particular rod. They are rubberized and soft to the touch so that your comfort is always on point during long fishing trips.

And the guides are on point too. Fuji tangle-free guides made with alconite rings create very minimal friction and give you the long casting distance and line life you desire. The features are high-end, and really set the bar high for casting rods.

After all, the rods have solid cork grips, and tough handles on the casting rods. The hardware is really something to smile about, once again those Alconite guides as well as the rubberized reel seats provide a rare blend of comfort and functionality.

Certainly, these rods are not flashy by any means, but when we tested them out, we found they work better than their appearance gives them credit for.

You might not find them to be of the same quality as some of the bigger names out there, but you can use these days after day and expect the same good performance each time.

For a cast that goes far and a rod that won’t quit, go for this Shimano. It will serve you well whether you seek to use this in a tournament, for fun or just to try something new out.


  • Hybrid high modulus carbon rod blank
  • Fuji Alconite Guides
  • High quality cork grip

7. Dobyns Rods Fury

These rods are made to make you look, but not put it back, because it gives you all you want in a casting rod, minus the huge price tag.

These rods are known for their high modulus graphite blanks that give the angler the highest sensitivity you ever dreamed of.

The guides are wrapped in Kevlar, the rod features a Fuji reel seat, and there are also comfortable AA cork handles to grip when things get serious. If you end up loving your Dobyns Rods Fury casting rod, you will love the other rods they make for other actions, too.

This rod has awesome action and is just so comfortable to hold. It is also lightweight and constructed for toughness and lots of use. The rod tip is very sensitive, and you will feel absolutely everything going on in the water.

To set the hook on a jerkbait bite is ideal when you do it with this rod, and it has heaps of “spine” to get those hooks into the mouth of a bass while at the same time soft enough so as to allow the crankbait to not get torn out, or otherwise stick to a cover or other item you might be pulling the line around.

One thing we did notice was that the reel seat threads are a bit on the short side. It is rather noticeable how short the reel seat as well as the threads are on this particular rod. Also, the rod butt is a bit shorter if you are used to having a longer one, but all in all, this rod has been balanced pretty well.

So, in closing, we would recommend this rod wholeheartedly, especially if you are into jerkbaits. The weight and the balance are much better than what we would expect for a rod of this price range.


  • High modulus graphite blanks
  • Kevlar wrapped guides
  • Fuji reel seat

8. Okuma Reflexions

This rod was made from 24-ton carbon and features skeleton style casting and spinning reel seats complete with cork inserts.

Aluminum oxide guides make sure that your line will see a reduction in the amount of tangles.

The rod itself is very durable and responsive to all that happens when you cast and hook a fish with it thanks to the Unidirectional Fiber reinforced rod tip technology.

It is also this same tech that enables you to increase your rod tip lift power by more than two times! Don’t let those heavy fish intimidate you-get this in your arsenal.

What we liked about this particular rod was the fact that it did not cost a bundle, but instead offered the quality we wanted at a good price. The secret behind Okuma rods is that the designers took the actions from premium rods and brought them down to a price point we all could afford.

Let’s focus a little more on that lifting power. The Reflexions feature unidirectional fiber construction (UFR) so the tip can lift three times more. That means all the fish, no matter their weight, will be yours.

The guides are slick too-aluminum oxide inserts are built so that the angles are precise and therefore minimize the chance that your line, whether monofilament or braided, will wrap around the guide frame.

We would also like to say that we caught many carp with this rod-some weighing close to 30 lbs. The backbone of this rod is really amazing and kept them on despite the harshest pulls at some pretty extreme angles.

The line also did not get tangled up, thanks especially to those amazing guides we cannot say enough about.

Nobody knows how Okuma was able to pull off this amazing feat of value and quality, but don’t question it-just get your hands on this rod and get those fish.


  • 24-ton carbon blank
  • Unidirectional reinforced rod tip
  • Medium/Light power rating

Jerkbait Rods

As we have mentioned above the best rods for jerkbaits will tend to be quite specific in terms of their attributes.

Can you buy a good jerkbait rod under 100 ?

Yes absolutely.

You don’t need to spend a fortune when choosing a rod for jerkbait fishing. All good jerkbait fishing rods will fall somewhere within the following ranges:

  • Type – either a spinning or casting rod.
  • Length – between 6 and a half and 7 feet long.
  • Action – fast, as you need to put some action through the tip.
  • Power – light to medium.


You can use either a spinning rod for jerkbaits or a casting rod. For the smaller sized lures a spinning rod with a light weight reel will be the best option.

Also if you are a beginner as spinning setup may be the better option. A baitcasting rod and reel has a steeper learning curve when it comes to casting than a spinning rod.

For larger, heavier lures the baitcasting rod and reel combo will truly start to excel.

Baitcasters are much easier to work with especially if you are casting all day long. Once you learn how to use them they really are a game changer.


As we have mentioned above the best length rod for jerkbaits is roughly six and a half feet.

Although some will always prefer a seven foot rod when casting a lot(as a longer rod will cast slightly further all things being equal) twitching and jerking a long rod is a sure fire way of tiring your arms and shoulders out.

If you like to put a lot of action into your lures then the shorter length rod of six and a half feet will make it easier to get a snappy twitch to the rod tip than a much longer one. Due to the fact that you will be moving a longer level you won’t be able to move a rod of over seven feet with as much speed or accuracy.

You may be tempted to drop down to using a rod that is under six and a half feet in length but the problem that you will face will be one of reduced casting distances.

If you are trying to work a lot of water all day on a lake those extra ten feet or so of casting distance can make a massive difference.


Action and power are often confused….

When we talk about the action of a rod we are describing where along the rod blank does the rod start to bend when it is being loaded.

Action is graded from slow to fast, there are a lot of actions in between the two such as moderate/fast.

When a rod is described as having a slow action it means that it will start to bend lower down near the butt of the rod.

A fast action rod will usually bend in the top one third of the rod blank up towards the rod tip.

Faster action rods have much better tip sensitivity than slower action rods. However they will not cast as well as a slow action unless you know how to really whip the lure back during the back portion of the cast.

A slower action rod is not a sensitive as a faster action rod but it will have a lot more backbone and can handle be loaded by a much heavier lure. They will usually cast much further distances especially in longer lengths than a fast action.

The best action for a jerkbait rod is going to be a fast action. You need to know what is going on with the lure as you jerk it through the water.

A slow action would not be sensitive enough and you would feel somewhat disconnected from the lure.


You should always choose a jerkbait pole that has a medium power rating.

If you usually find yourself fishing with smaller lighter jerkbaits then you could drop down to a light/medium power rating.

Heavy power rating are all well and good for a frog rod, but when it comes to lighter jerkbaits then the medium power rod will allow you to still get some feed back as to what is going on in the water with your lures.

A heavier rated rod will also affect how good an action you can get from your twitching of the rod tip so always stay below a medium rated rod.


When using a jerkbait rod for bass most fishermen will stay in the 10 to 15 lbs of monofilament. Then size of lure that you are using should determine how heavy your line is. The line will then need to match the rating on the rod and you’ll need a suitably sized reel also.

  • Updated January 3, 2023
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