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Best Shaky Head Rod – [Buyer’s Guide]
Shaky heads are one of the best producing finesse techniques year round.
Although that being said they are at their most productive when bass are less active and choose not to chase a faster moving lure.
Given that you will be using lighter jug heads it stands to reason that the best shaky head rod will need a fast action and be light enough to handle line in the 6 to 10 pound range.
However, some anglers have found great success with heavier jig heads and really large soft plastics for which a finesse style setup would no longer be appropriate.
In that scenario a beefier rod and heavier line is required and if you are close to heavy cover then braid would be a better option over fluorocarbon.
- Length – 6’10” to 7’2″ or anything in and around 7 feet, a longer rod can help with better hook sets
- Power – depending on the weight of the jig head and the line you are using, over 1/2 ounce then medium/heavy under and use a medium or medium/light
- Action – almost always a fast action sometimes even extra-fast all single hook jig style techniques need a fast action for better feedback
- Type – personally I prefer a spinning setup for finesse techniques but there are some die-hards that will use a baitcaster for everything especially if they are using big jig heads
Any type of single hook lure rig will need a fast action and a good rod for shaky heads is no exception.
A fast action rod will bend much higher up the rod blank in the top one third of the rod towards the tip.
A more moderate action will bend lower in the rod blank nearer the middle.
Moderate actions are not as sensitive and have a slower hook-set that a faster action.
All jigging applications call for a lot of feedback from the lure and down through the rod to you handle.
This feedback is crucial for knowing what is going on at the hook both in terms of how the jig is moving and in terms of a bite and potential strike.
Slower action rods will just not cut it and you will be left with little or no feel as to what is going on with you shaky head jig.
Best Shaky Head Rods
1. Dobyns FR 702SF Fury Series
2. G-Loomis E6X 852S Jig and Worm
3. St. Croix Avid X Graphite
4. G. Loomis IMX-PRO 822 Shaky Head
5. Fenwick World Class
Shaky Head Rods
Most shaky head rods will fall into the lighter type of setup once you are using jig heads that are less than a half ounce in weight.
Clearly 1/8 ounce jig heads need a pretty light overall setup so our line would be in the 6 to 10 pound range if using fluorocarbon and roughly 20 lb braid with an 8 lb fluorocarbon leader.
When using lighter jigs I’m a big fan of using a good spinning reel and spinning rod as the lighter line will fall off the spool of a spinning reel much easier than when using a baitcaster.
A casting setup only really starts to make sense once you hit 1/2 ounce or heavier with your jig heads.
When using a big jig and a large worm in and around heavy weeds it is nice to have a baitaster with a high gearing so you can pull bass quickly away from any snags.
Generally speaking shorter rods will have a bit more feel to them than longer rods of the same power and action but a longer rod for shaky heads has an advantage in that when you strike the longer rod can take up line much quicker than a shorter one.
You may also be flippin you shaky head when fishing in close quarters so a bit more length in the rod will really help with casting.
Most standard flippin rods will be too heavy to use as a shaky head rod but you can still flip and pitch with them.
Unlike a regular jig rod a shaky head fishing pole will need to handle much smaller jigs so a medium or medium/heavy power rating is normally the best choice.
A lot of shaky head casting will be down into open water or around drop offs in colder months so you won’t necessarily be casting into very thick cover.
Thick cover requires a rod with a much heavier backbone than a finesse style rig.
Any type of jig work requires a lot of sensitivity and feedback to come through the rod and into your hand.
This means either a fast or an extra fast action rod.
Rod action and power are unfortunately used incorrectly all the time by angers.
Power means how heavy the rod is or in other words how heavy a lure and line it is rated for.
Action means where on the rod blank does the rod start to form it’s natural bend when pressure is applied to the line.
Fast action rods will bend much higher up near the rod tip.
This gives you a lot more sensitivity a the rod tip so you can feel a little bit more connected to the hook.
They will also allow you to strike considerably quicker than when using a rod with a moderate action.
Always make sure any pole you use as a shaky head rod has a fast action at a minimum.