Archive

Category Archives for "Tackle"

Bass Fishing Rod Selection Guide

Bass Fishing Rod Selection Guide

Choosing a bass rod is a little confusing especially if you are just starting out.

​We have put together this bass fishing rod selection guide to help you figure just what type of bass pole you will need.

​If you've just discovered the wonderful world of bass fishing you may at first seem a little bamboozled by all of the different techniques, terminology and lure types that make bass fishing the sport it is today.

Bass fishing has more tackle configurations and techniques than any other freshwater fishing species.

​Some bass ​fishermen will have up to twenty rod for different setups on their boat on any given day especially if they are tournament anglers.

For most fishermen that is definitely overkill not to mention expensive.

Types of Bass Rods

The bulk of bass fishing is going to be done on a casting rod or baitcasting rod setup.

Spinning rods are generally used in the bass world for lighter type techniques or finesse type lure fishing such as drop shots, finesse jigs, small soft plastics and walkers/poppers.

Basically anything that requires you to present the bait or lure in a very natural way is where a spinning rod setup will excel.

Saying that a medium power 6'6" or 7' spinning rod can work as a great all rounder especially if you are on a limited budget. Pair this with a decent spinning reel and all but the heaviest of applications like frogs or large spinnerbaits are available to you.

However, some people quite simply refuse to learn how to use a baitcasting reel and they will stick religiously to spinning tackle. 

​Choosing to learn how to you a baitcaster removes a lot of limitations and as your skills grow you will over time realize that for specific techniques they really do beat a spinning setup hands down.

​Bass Fishing Rod Selection Guide

​Lets breakdown rod choice by the different techniques or lures that you will commonly encounter when bass fishing.

This list is not exhaustive nor is it a necessity to buy a dedicated rod for every type of lure you fish with, there will be some similarities and carryover between different bass techniques.

​1. General ​Bass ​Rods

Let's look at two all rounder that are perfect for those starting out or those on a budget.

If you could limit yourself to just two rods then I opt for:

  • ​Casting Rod - 7' feet in length, medium-heavy power with a fast action
  • Spinning Rod - 6'9" in length, medium power, with a moderate to fast action

These two can cover a wide range of applications and are good for most small to medium sized lures.

One important point to make is that for heavier applications like working frogs over deep weed cover or ​big swimbaits for bass you will need a pole that is specifically suited to that type of fishing.

​The casting rod will be useful for:

  • Jigs
  • Texas rigs
  • Fipping/pitching
  • Small or light frogging work
  • Small to medium swimbaits


The spinning rod will be able to handle:

  • Drop shots
  • ​Small spinnerbaits
  • Light jerkbaits
  • Light crankbaits

 

​2. Crankbaits

​Crankbaits tend to need a rod that have a medium power and a moderate action. Unlike a lot of other bass fishing rods an ​traditional ​fiberglass rod is generally considered best.

  • ​Power - medium/heavy, medium for lighter shallower running crankbaits and medium/heavy for larger deeper running lures especially when near thick cover.
  • Action - Moderate action to help reduce setting the hooks too quickly.
  • Length - 6'6" for smaller cranks, 7' or 7'6" for larger lures that require a longer cast.

​Fiberglas rods of old when compared to graphite were considered to be heavy and lacked any kind of sensitivity. Modern fiberglass rods however a light and extremely sensitive.

Why fiberglass though?

​Modern fiberglass or a fiberglass/graphite blended rod blanks allow you a more softer hookset than a graphite rod. With crankbaits you need to allow the bass to take the lure into there mouths before striking.

​When a rod has a faster action you can end up loosing a lot of bites as there needs to be a slight pause to allow the treble hooks to catch.

For larger crankbaits a 7 foot rod is ideal. It allows you to really load the rod blank when casting and also gives you a bit more control of the lure when you are working it at distance.

For lighter, shallower diving crankbaits a 6'6" rod is fine especially if you are making short casts in and around cover or structure.

​3. Drop Shots

Drop shotting is all about accuracy and light presentation. That usually calls for a spinning rod as the type of bass fishing rod to choose.

  • Power - light/medium when using small plastics you need a light rod to help casting lighter gear
  • Action - fast action is the way to go when using a drop shot rig
  • Length - 7' is probably the best length, if you are using very little techniques then a shorter rod is better especially if you are not casting that far.

​A good all round drop shot rod would be a spinning rod of roughly 6'10" in length with a fast action and a medium/light power rating.

​When selecting the rod you can use a slightly shorter or longer rod depending on how and where are fishing.

You will want a nice light rod that is easy to cast light gear on and that has enough tip sensitivity to allow lots of feedback through the rod.

Ultimately you are using some form of a finesse rig and that will always call for a light, crisp and sensitive rod that is capable of running light braid fishing line in the 10 to 20 lb rating range.

​4. Frogs

Frogging is one of those techniques that usually requires a dedicated rod. The best frog rods ​ needs to be capable of hauling frog lures over or through deep weed beds and dense lily pads.

  • Power - heavy power rating
  • Action - fast and even extra fast action
  • Length - Between 7 and 8 feet in length

Your fishing pole will need to be able to handle heavy braid and have enough of a backbone to work lure through thick cover all while having a good casting performance.

A lighter spinning setup is not really an option here as they will not have the backbone for such heavy work.

A heavy power rating is a must and for really large frogs and super dense cover you may even need an extra heavy power rating.

Action wise a fast action is the best choice for really quick strikes especially when working topwater action.

Braid is a must and it needs to be quite heavy, look at 40 lbs at a minimum.

​5. Jerkbaits

When using lighter jerkbaits a spinning rod can be a good choice however once you move to larger lures then a casting rod would be better.

On windy days and if you are using a small jerkbait then spinning gear can reign supreme. On really windy days baitcasters using braid can fall victim to lots of wind knots.

  • Power - light/medium to medium
  • Action - you'll want a fast action
  • Length - between 6'6" and 7' is the sweet spot

​For a jerkbait rod a light to medium rated rod with a fast action and one that is on the shorter side make best choice.

The fast action s crucial as you need to twitch the rod tip to put the action into the lures. A slower action rod will not be suitable for this style of bass fishing as you need to make crisp movement of the rod tip.

With a slower action rod it will just end up absorbing too much of the energy from your arm and will end in both a more tiring day and less than ideal technique.

​You'll usually be using line with a rating of about 12 lbs so a light/medium power rating fits the bill just nicely.

​6. Spinnerbaits

​Spinnerbaits are the oddballs of the lure world but they are one of the few lures that can catch all season.

They allow you to cover a lot of water on a day out and that usually means a lot of casting, that's why I'd opt for a baitcasting rod. A good spinnerbait rod should be roughly 6 to 7 feet in length, have a fast action and medium/heavy to heavy power rating.

  • Power - medium/heavy to heavy
  • Action - fast
  • Length - 6 to seven feet

Spinnerbaits get thrown around structures and deep cover, not to mention all that drag that the large skirt and blades produce so you will need a rod with a decent backbone to handle all that extra strain.

If you are only ever making short casts that are targeted at a specific structure then a 6'6" rod should be just fine.

However, if you are aiming to cover lots of water then a longer rod will tend to cast better. It will also give you a little more control of your hoot sets from a distance.

​7. Swimbaits

​Choosing a swimbait rod will depend entirely on just how big a swimbait you intend on fishing. For bigger swimbaits then you'll almost certainly need a casting setup, for smaller finesse style swimbaits a spinning setup can be more than suitable.

Best Line for Spinnerbaits

Best Line for Spinnerbaits

​Although line choice can and does come down to personal preferences some lures are best used with a certain type of fishing line.

Spinnerbaits sure do look strange with their large skirt and double blades.

Both of which cause a lot of drag when retrieved through the water. 

Because of this I tend to avoid a line with a lot of stretch.

​With a single hook lure it is better to know what is going on, so feedback through the line and rod tip is crucial.

This is why a spinnerbait rod should have a fast action plus a medium/heavy to heavy power rating.

​Best Line for Spinnerbaits

​The best choice of fishing line for spinnerbaits is generally going to be flourocarbon. It has lower stretch than monofilament however if you are only working the short game then mono can be a decent substitute. 

Braid for me personally is far to visual.

If you only have braid or are used to it's casting performance then always use a flourocarbon leader.

The problem with braid to flouro/mono knots is that they create a weak point.

Lot's of anglers tend to over tighten the joining knot resulting in a high rate of breakages.

Braid works great as a good line for frog fishing when you need to cut through dense weeds but I tend to avoid it especially in clearer waters.


​Strictly speaking Yo-Zuri Hybrid is not a true 100% flourocarbon fishing line. As the name suggests it is a hybrid line of flourocarbon and nylon.

It is a great low stretch, low visibility and small diameter line.

You get the low knot and tangle characteristis of a nylon line combined with the abrasion resistance, low stretch and sensitivity that a full flourocarbon line offers.

​It is also incredible value for money. A big 600 yard spool is peanuts compared to some of the other big brand name offerings out there.

The only real downside is that it has negative s that it has slightly higher memory than other flouro's so make sure not to overspool your reel or it will come out in coils if you are not regularly using it.

Specifications:

  • ​Great sensitivity
  • Low stretch
  • Abrasion resistant

​Seaguar Invizx certainly lives up to it's name as it is extremely hard to see once in the water.

​Being a full flourocarbon line it is super low stretch and has great sensitivity.

​When compared to the Yo-Zuri Hybrid above it is probably the better casting line of the two as it is considerably less prone to coiling.

It sits nice and flat on the spool and will generally result in less backlashes. One of the main selling points of any flourocarbon line is just how robust it is.

Invizx is the type of line that can take a lot of beating and is highly abrasion resistant.

Specifications:

  • ​High knot strength
  • Low visibility
  • Stays supple even in low temperatures

​Just like the Seaguar Invizx above the Sunline Super FC Sniper flourocarbon line is super low at coiling or twisting once spooled onto your reel.

​A good spinnerbait line needs to be low stretch to help maintain sensitivity. And the Super FC Sniper is just that.

​It also casts really well for a flourocarbon as it lays down well on the spool. A poorly laying line will cause havoc with most baitcasters.

It is also quite highly rated when it comes to abrasion resistance so if you are working your spinnerbaits around or near submerged structures you can have a little more confidence in it.

Specifications:

  • ​Triple resin coating 
  • ​Good abrasion resistance
  • Good for working through cover

Best Line for Frog Fishing

Best Line for Frog Fishing

​Throwing top water frogs is one heck of an exciting way to work a lure around heavy weed or larger lily pads. 

​Matching you frog rod with the correct line is crucial not only for casting performance but also making sure that as you work the lure through thick cover that your line is capable of withstanding the extra strain placed one it.

​What is the Best Line for Frog Fishing ?

​The best frog line is braided fishing line it has a lower stretch when compared to monofilament and it's thinner diameter also helps it to slice through weeds much easier than either flourocarbon or mono.  

​My personal preference is a braid that has a round profile. Flatter profiles are less efficient at slicing through the water and through weeds.

A round profile not only cuts through vegetation but it also allows you to have much quicker hook-sets as it will generally great less of a drag in the water as you strike, so it's pretty much a win win.

Although you could use mono or flourocarbon if you were casing in open water only once you hit any kind of vegetation the braid will be far superior as a frog fishing line.

There is too much stretch in mono and it is usually twice the diameter of the equivalent breaking strain of braid.

What Breaking Strain, Size or Strength Line for Frog Fishing is best?

​50 lb braid is the most common when working over weed beds and up to 80 lb if working really dense lilies. If you are using smaller/lighter frogs in open water that is free from snags or heavy vegetation then you can go as low as 30 lb.

​Best Braid for Frog Fishing

​Power Pro Spectra is arguably the best selling braid of all time. It can be used.

It truly is loved for almost all techniques in different strength. They have a small range of colors to choose from.

​For frogs green is the obvious choice. With ticker cover I'd prefer 50 lb at a minimum.

Power Pro has a rounded profile that is excellent for working and slicing through weeds. A lot of other braids have a flatter profile and won't be quite so good at cutting through vegetation.

​Specifications:

  • ​0.005 to 0.035 diameter
  • ​Rounded profile
  • Great for casting

​SpiderWire Stealth is how on the heels of PowerPro in terms of popularity.

It has a special coating called Color-Lock which helps to reduce the natural fading that happens on braid over time due to exposure to the sun.

​Specifications:

  • ​Color-Lock coating
  • Increased abrasion resistance
  • Built from Dyneema PE MicroFiber

The​ FX2 Braid from Sunline is purpose built with flipping and frogging in mind.

It's a really supple braid that is easy to tie to backing it you are using it on yout frog reel.

It also has a nice round profile that as we stated earlier is a massive boost to slicing through weeds.

​Specifications:

  • ​Circular profile
  • Increased abrasion resistance
  • Picks up well

Spinnerbait Setup Guide for Better Performance

​Spinnerbait Setup

​Despite their rather strange appearance spinnerbaits are some of the most effective lures on the right day with the right conditions.

​If you decide to one of them then you'll need to make sure that your spinnerbait setup of rod, reel and fishing line are perfectly balanced to give the very best casting and hook up performance. 

​Spinnerbait Setup

​An ideal spinnerbait rod and reel setup is a 6 to 7 foot casting rod with a baitcasting reel and either flourocarbon or monofilament line between 10 and 15 lbs in breaking strain.

You can use a spinning setup but only if you are using very small finesse spinnerbaits.

The sane choice is a baitcasting combo, they are easier on the arm when working a lot of water and the thumb control on the spool is a big advantage when working close to cover or structures.

Rod 

The best spinnerbait rod will have enough backbone to handle the drag that the blades and skirts create when retrieved and also still have a precise casting ability especially of your are mostly making short casts.

​A lot of fishermen neglect the long game when using spinnerbaits, but covering a lot of open water can be an excellent tactic if a more targeted approach is failing.

Look for a rod that falls somewhere in the following ranges of specifications:

  • ​Type - casting rod
  • Length - between 6 and 7 feet
  • Power - medium/heavy to heavy
  • Action - fast action
Length

​You'll usually be fishing spinnerbaits either close up or covering lots of open water.

Close up or playing the short game means casting close to structures like docks or drop offs and all kinds of cover such as weed beds or lilies.

The short game needs a shorter rod, a even foot rod might prove a little too awkward when you are right up next to where you are casting.

Conversely a short rod of six feet will not have the same kind of casting range that a longer seven foot rod will have.

If you find yourself predominantly fishing close in then the shorter rod is best.

As a compromise a 6'6" rod can work in both scenario's if you do not want the added expense of buying two rods for the same type of fishing setup.

Power

​Given the drag that these types of lures generate when moving through the water a lighter rod will not really have the backbone to keep up.

Stick to a rod with a least a medium/heavy power rating. If you are fishing very large spinnerbaits then you may need to bump it up to a heavy power rating.

Action

​You need a fast action for better sensitivity especially when you are using single hooks. With a fast action the natural bend in the rod will start much higher up the rod blank in the last one third towards the tip.

This means better feedback through the rod and tip sensitivity in general. You will also have a quicker reaction time when striking.

Reel

​When hauling spinnerbaits a baitcast reel is without doubt the choice to go with. If you are casting short distances then a regular reel ratio of 5 to 1 is fine. If you are covering a lot of open water then a faster retrieve can be an advantage so opt for some thing with a higher ratio like 6:1 or higher.

Any modern baitcaster is fine. Although a quality reel is a good investment so buy what you can afford. All of the big name brands like Shimano, Abu Garcia and Daiwa are generally reliable. 

Avoid cheap reels of you can, spinnerbaits do put a large strain on your reel so a highly durable reel with high quality internals is a must. 

Size wise a 200 or maybe even a 300 if you are using larger lures with heavier line.

You don't need a low profile baitcaster either. A round baitcaster like a Shimano Calcutta is just as good.

Line

The majority of fishermen will use flourocarbon or sometimes monofilament. Braid has its fans but not that often when using spinnerbaits.

You'll need a breaking strain somewhere between 10 and 15 lbs depending on how heavy your lures are.

Jerkbait Rod Setup

Jerkbait Rod Setup

​Throwing and twitching jerkbaits takes a particular type of rod, reel and line if you are trying to get the best motion possible out of the lure and still have some decent feedback through the rod.

The standard jerkbait rod and reel setup is a casting rod and baitcaster reel with roughly 10 lb - 12 lb flourocarbon.

However, a spinning combo can also be used to great affect and in certain scenario's it may even be superior.

The best jerkbait rod strikes a good balance between putting plenty of life into the lure, decent casting performance and still allowing you feel what is going on.

Jerkbaits are all about adding a little cation by twitching the tip so the choice of rod is crucial to getting the best out of them.

​Jerkbait Rod Setup

A good jerkbait rod setup would have the following specifications:

  • Type - casting or spinning, with casting being the more popular
  • ​Length - either a 6'6" or 7' rod
  • Power -light/medium or medium depending on the size of the jerkbait
  • Action - fast action

​Type

As mentioned above the most popular types of rod to use when fishing jerkbaits is a casting rod and reel.

However, a spinning combo can be used in the right circumstances:

  • Windy weather - on very windy days a spinning setup can get you much better casting performance and will be less prone to wind knots.
  • Light lures - when using very light jerkbaits a spinning reel is usually the better option. Baitcaster can cast much further but they do need a lure that has a bit of weight in them to get the spool moving.

Length

Jerkbaits require that you put the action into them when twitching then forwards. This motion should not be done by turning the reel instead you should always use the rod to pull the lure forwards towards you with a small sharp twitch of the rod tip. 

The reel is then used to pull in any slack line and the motion is repeated again after a brief pause.

A shorter rod will give you a lot more control and finesse over how you twitch the lure. Longer rods of over 7'6" would feel too awkward and clumsy. Plus the longer rod would also be more tiring if you were using it in this way all day.

Power

Power and action are commonly confused. Power is usually matched to the size of the fish you are targeting and the weight of the lures that you will be using. It will also dictate how heavy a line you should be using.

You should be using roughly a 10 or 12 lb line so that would pair well with a medium power rated rod.

Action

Action is where on the rod the natural bend will start. Rods are designed to have different actions for different techniques.

A fast action once loaded will start to bed in the top one third of the rod blank. This is the right choice for a jerkbait fishing setup. You want a responsive tip that allows you to put some life and action into your lures.

A slow action will not be the best bet when trying to do thi.

​Reel 

​As mentioned earlier you can opt for a spinning reel if you are using lighter jerkbaits. But if you are using heavier ones the baitcaster is probably the better bet.

A lower profile reel will make gripping the reel and rod in a nice neutral position. This is important as you will be working the rod all day and it can get a little tiring. Any advantage that allows you to hold the setup a little more comfortably especially for the wrist is a massive bonus especially when the hours are long.

Most fishermen will choose a reel that has a high gear ratio meaning you can pick up the slack line quickly especially if a strike happens just after you have twitched the lure.

Line

Flourocarbon line is easily the most popular choice when working jerkbaits. It has very low stretch when compared to monofilament and it is usually a little bit more visible so it can act as somewhat of a strike indicator.

Best Frog Rod Setup for Bass

frog fishing setup

​Using topwater frogs is one of the most fun and ​engaging ways to catch bass. If you have ever thrown a frog lure around thick weed cover or through a bed of lilies you know that pin point accuracy is a must.

Bass will absolutely smash both hard and soft bodied frog lures especially when they are actively feed in summer months.

​Frogs do not like swimming in open water as they prefer to use vegetation as much as possible to camouflage themselves out of site from predators like musky or bass.

​Because you will be working your lures through thick weeds you need a rod and reel that is up to the job.

The best frog rods will usually have a lot of backbone and will be considerably beefier than most other types of bass setups.

​Frog Rod Setup

​A good frog fishing setup means matching rod, reel and line to the size of lure you are looking to use. 

You will need a combo that can handle large lures and heavy braid without sacrificing on casting performance and accuracy.

​A light spinning setup would in no way be up to the job of working lures through thick cover. They quite literally do not have enough backbone to handle this style of fishing.

A baitcaster reel and a casting rod combined with braided fishing line is the usually configuration that the majority of anglers will use.

​Rod

​Chances are you will need to buy a dedicated rod but it can also be used for other setups like ​big swimbaits. If you do have a rod that you are already using for heavy flipping it can also be a great option.

Look for a rod that has roughly the following specifications:

  • ​Power - Heavy power rating
  • Length - Ideally between 7 and 8 feet
  • Action - Fast to extra fast

Power - A heavy power rating is almost a must for big topwater lures like frogs. You will be running some heavy braid and using lures that create a lot of drag as they are retrieved through the water.

They will also be getting snagged regularly even if you are using weedless frog lures. Have a rod that has enough power in the blank to stand up to this kind of abuse is critical.

​A lighter casting rig or spinning combo really is just not suitable for this style of fishing.

Length - Shoot for a rod between 7 and 8 feet in length. The shorter rod will be better if you are working lures in tight areas like in and around docks or up close to other structures. 

A longer rod will cast a bit better and can also give you a bit more leverage when trying to steer bass away from an possible snags that might be close by.

Action - When we say that a rod has a particular action it usually means where exactly on the rod blank does the bend start to form once a load has been applied to it.

A fast action means that the rod will start to bend higher up through the rod towards the tip, usually in the top one third of the blank.

​Reel

A baitcaster is the number one choice of reel when casting larger lures. A spinning reel is a lot more work when you are trying to make repeated casts in and around weed beds.

Bass love to wait in ambush and when one strike you need a reel that can handle a 5 lb bass that suddenly turns it's nose straight for the weeds.

If you were to use a spinning reel it would need to be fairly large and the problem with that is that they would be considerably heavier than the equivalent modern light weight baitcaster.

Have full control of your line via thumb control on the reel spool as the lure is in the air is one of the major advantages of a casting reel over a spinning one.

Gear ratio is super important. Look for a baitcaster with a high gear ratio. You'll need to be able to work the frog quickly over weeds and you'll also need to be able to steer that bass away from cover as quickly as possible.

​Line 

Braided fishing line is without doubt the choice of line. Look to spool your reel with 50 pound braid at a minimum.

Braid has a massive advantage over monofilament in that it stretches less and it also has a smaller diameter than the same breaking strain of mono.

Low stretch means you can quickly set the hook. The lower diameter menas that it will actually slice through weed and even lilies much easier than mono or flouro.

Best Spinnerbait Rod 2019 [Buyer’s Guide]

best spinnerbait rod

Spinnerbaits despite their odd looks can one of the most reliable lures for bass especially on overcast days or when bass are less active.

​Throwing spinnerbaits around different types of covers and structures allows you to cover a lot of water during a day out.

​With a day spent casting you need to make sure your choice of rod is perfectly matched to how and what you are fishing.

The best spinnerbait rods will have a medium to heavy power rating, a fast action and be roughly 6 to 7 feet in length

​A common mistake is using you favorite crankbait rod!

But why?

Crankbaits need a somewhat slower action than a spinnerbait, I've found that larger crankbaits with their big treble hooks not only move better but you'll loose less fish with the softer action.

Spinnerbaits however do tend to fish a lot better with a fast action and setting the single hooks will be a little more reliable.

​Whereas something like a jerkbait rod won't have a heavy enough power rating to handle the bigger drag that spinnerbaits tend to produce when retrieved.

​Best Spinnerbait Rods 2019


​The St Croix Mojo Bass is easily the best spinnerbait rod for the money. The 6'8 model with a medium power rating and fast action is the one to go for.

​This rod is constructed of high modulus SCII graphite, features a Fuji ECS reel seat with a black hood, and also comes complete with Kigan Master Hand 3D guides that have slim but tough aluminum oxide rings plus sleek black frames so things look good but also perform at the standards great anglers expect.

With over 70 years in the business, we would expect nothing less from St. Croix. One of their construction techniques is that of Advanced Reinforcing Technology (ART) which is their way of providing 10 times the strength to the blank with no increase in its diameter. This means that the rod won’t deform when faced with a heavy load.

The rod is also a bit stiff for its rating, we would put this in the M and MH category when comparing with other rods. If you finesse fish, sensitivity is important, and this rod delivers on that too. I also was impressed by the weight and quality of build.

At first you might feel a bit worried if you get caught in a fight-we were fighting a bass that weighed about 5 lb. and feared we were going to break the tip.

It went fine and handled the bass with ease. We handle fish and snag lures pretty easy with this rod.  Pitching and flipping is also doable with the St. Croix Mojo. In one instance, we even used a willow leaf spinner bait to nab a pike measuring about 28”.

The casting distance is decent but if you want serious yardage, we would recommend a different rod that has a bit more whip. This rod really delivers on backbone and of course sensitivity but is also light and easy to use. This is the one to take fishing all day long as you will not get tired.

Specifications:

  • ​SCII graphite rod blank
  • Kigan master 3D guides
  • Fuji ECS reel seat

​This rod is a great price, first off. You can’t beat it. The quality is there too.

The graphite construction is durable but is lightweight and will have you feeling everything, from a bite to a small nibble. The guides are of strong stainless steel, and they are ever so durable and also eliminate insert pop-outs.

​The reel seats are made with cushioned stainless-steel hoods and are blank style. The cork grips feel good and they also have the Ugly Stik logo emblazoned on them, a nice touch.

We liked how lightweight this rod was. It also has a very fast tip. You could use it for bottom fishing like one of our crew members did, or even flipping when you want to catch some bass.

You can do this all day long and the rod won’t tire your arm or hand out. Small fish are a breeze to catch with this fella and we even landed a redfish that measured 30”.

The action is really fast. It might just be one of my top 5 favorite rods. It feels good to hold and even some of the more advanced rods can’t compare to it. The construction is one-piece, and the backbone is super strong. It’s light and is seriously easy as pie to cast. You can tell this rod is designed for bait casters, and the price is at or lower than rods that promise the same outcome.

Freshwater anglers of all walks will really like this, whether you are a novice or a vet. The Ugly Stik is the way to go when you need a careful balance between quality, performance, and pricing.

Certainly, these are not top-level rods, but they are not junk either. Heaven forbid you lose the rod on accident; you won’t be out heaps of cash.

Specifications:

  • ​Ugly Stik Clear Tip
  • Ugly Tuff one piece stainless steel guides
  • Lightweight graphite rods with great sensitivity

​Anglers need rods that are sensitive, strong, lightweight and of course balanced. These have everything you want and more in a rod.

There is a high modulus graphite blank, Kevlar wrapped guides, so nothing gets tangled or out of place, AA grade cork grip, and a Fuji reel seat. The Dobyns casting rod is going to make you the envy of all the others.

​This rod has super action and is very pleasant to hold. It is light and made very well as we have come to expect from the Dobyns brand. We decided to use this rod for shallow spinnerbait work as well as medium depth.

We think the action of this rod is the highlight of them all especially when bringing in the bait and going through the act of setting the hook.

The tip would be the next greatest part of this rod. You can feel every bite, bump, nibble and more with this thing-I even felt a fly land on it. Yeah.

Setting the hook on a bass bite is pretty good with this rod, and it has heaps of backbone so the hooks will dig right into the mouth of the bass but still remain soft enough to let the spinner bait not get pulled out or stick to something you might be pulling it around (like a part of a dock).

One thing I would like to note is that the reel seat threads are pretty darn short. The screw never did come off while we were trying it out, but it is obvious how short those threads and reel seat are. However, this rod is great, and we do recommend it if you need a casting rod at a good price.

Specifications:

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

​This Wright and McGilll rod is made just for spinner bait and worm fishing. 

It was created by Skeet Reese, a Bassmaster Classic Champ and Bass Angler of the year. The 7-foot graphite rod’s construction is pretty simple, but it works.

​We will start off by saying that the zirconium micro guides reduce the overall weight and make that cast go even further. That was the thing we noticed the most about this particular rod-that and the supreme sensitivity this rod possesses. You can feel the quality right in your hand.

The S-curve blank construction means business. The lifting power and strength of this rod will blow you and your target right out of the water. The butt is pretty big and durable. The molded rubber handles feel good on the hands and will guide you through even the toughest fights.

The rod feels and looks great; the yellow and black design is a sharp one. It is not as stiff as some other rods we’ve tried out in the past. We put a Lews reel on ours for testing, and it fit well with the reel seat. We cast it out and were impressed, even worked a spinner bait all the way back to the boat.

For our purpose we used Finesse spinner baits weighing in at 3/16 oz all the way up to a half oz and found this rod to be just perfect for this application. The balance is great, and even though stiffer rods may be better they can sometimes load up too fast, from our experience.

The only thing you are going to have to deal with is stopping yourself from buying more and more tackle to go with this rod.

Specifications:

  • ​Zirconium guides
  • S-Curve construction
  • ​Split handles

​If your goal is to make those fish nervous, this is the rod to do it. Denny Brauer is back at it again with a quality rod that is beautiful to look at as well as to use.

These are made with IM8 Graphite and also features aluminum oxide line guides. The rod is a slick blue and looks as good as it works.


The cork split grips make this a real pleasure to hold in your hand and the Fuji reel seat keeps things just where you want them. The rod is sensitive, has a great backbone, and is of course comfortable.

We decided to test this out using larger size ​spinnerbaits as well as some small umbrella rigs. It held up pretty well as we tried it out. We put on a Daiwa Tatula reel and found the rod was still balanced and easy to manage. It was a real pleasure to use.

To give you some reference our tester is about 5 foot 6 and weighs in at about 140 lbs., and even though it is a pretty solid rod (read: not the lightest) he still managed with relative ease.

One thing we noted about this rod is that the guides are placed just a wee bit to the right of the reel seat than what we would have preferred, and you can certainly feel this in the performance of the rod, especially if  you are casting to a nearby fish.

All in all, this is a pretty good rod for the money. ​It could even double as a pretty good swimbait rod.

Specifications:

  • ​IM8 graphite rod blank
  • Pac Bay reel seat
  • Aluminum oxide Fuji guides

​This is one of those “bucket list” rods as I call them. This rod comes at a real premium, but you will soon see why.


The components of this sleek black rod are suited for serious tournament anglers that demand the highest in performance and technique.

The ever so subtly tapered rear grips give you the feeling of a split grip but provides the comfort of a full one. The line guides are Fuji Alconite Rings and eliminate tangles. The reel seats are of course top-quality Fuji ECS. It works best with lures weighing in at 3/ 8 oz up to .5 oz and works best with 10-17 lb. line.

You can always tell G. Loomis is innovating, and the quick load, fast reaction and ultra-sensitivity of this rod are the greatest of all time. The high modulus graphite is the reason why and the high-tech material they use brings the weight down by as much as 18% compared to other G. Loomis models.

The strategically placed scrim placement during the building of the blank was no accident, it's the way that better tapers can be achieved and thus give serious fishermen the flex and power they need to use jigs, soft plastics and other bottom-fishing tools.

This rod delivers the greatest in lure and line control, not to mention serious enjoyment of fishing.

We find that these fishes up the big bass with relative ease. Even if those fish are in heavy cover, they cannot hide from you. Any fights you encounter with these fellas will be easily won because this rod is flexible.

You can hold onto the cork handle all day long with no concerns and the lightweight nature of the rod means your arms aren’t going to be tired from the day’s work.

Specifications:

  • ​Fuji Alconite Ring guides
  • Fuji ECS reel seat

​Spinnerbait Rods

​A dedicated spinnerbait rod should form part of your core rod selection.

Technique specific bas rods exist for a reason and that reason is that the work best for the given style of fishing or lure.

​Is it possible to buy a good spinnerbait rod under 100 ?

Yes it sure is, there are lots of high end brands that can fit all of the attributes of what makes a good spinner bait pole but you really do not need to spend a fortune.

Use the following ranges as a guide for choosing a good spinnerbait fishing rod:

  • Type - casting rod, occasionally a spinning rod for very small lures
  • Length - Anywhere from 6' to 7'3" in length, but the sweet spot is between 6'6 and 7'
  • Action - fast action all the way
  • Power - medium to medium/heavy

The majority of spinnerbait poles will be made from graphite or some kind of graphite carbon blend.

E-glass poles will not have the sensitivity you are looking for.

Type

​Spinnerbait rods will generally be baitcasting rods although you can use a spinning setup if you are using smaller lighter spinnerbaits.

But for a most part the majority of anglers will usually choose a casting rod for spinnerbaits.

​In an ideal world you really only would need on one rod for every kind of lure, but alas no such rod exists.

A baitcasting rod and baitcaster reel are going to be your best bet for casting spinnerbaits all day long.

Having the ability to stop your lure with pin point accuracy by applying some thumb pressure on the spool is the best way to work a spinnerbait around or near the structures where you think bas will be hiding.

Length

When fishing with spinner baits you need a pole that is long enough to give a decent casting distance and yet can allow you to fish in tighter places if you are pitching up lose to a specific area.

Poles for spinnerbait fishing will mostly lie in the 6'6" to 7 feet range. This is generally considered the best length rod for spinnerbaits.

​A good rod for 1/4 ounce up to about 3/8 ounce spinnerbaits will be the 6'6" with a medium to heavy power rating.

If you are throwing larger lures of 3/4 ounce to 1 ounce then you can opt for the longer 7' rod with medium/heavy power rating.

​The shorter will generally give you better feedback and will be much better when working at short distance from your boat.

A longer rod does get a better casting distance and it is usually more suitable for larger lures as it will have a bit more backbone to it.

Action

​The action that a rod has is used to describe how and where exactly on the rod blank the natural bend starts to happen when the line is weighted.

The rating will usually fall some where between slow, moderate and fast. There are however a lot of crossover actions such as slow/moderate.

​A fast action rod will have it's bend start considerably higher up the rod blank than a slow action.

These types of rods have much greater sensitivity. The fisherman can get a lot more detailed feedback through the rod and handle than on a slow action rod.

Slow action rods start to bend down in the bottom one third of the rod blank nearer to the reel seat.

The slower action rod blank will generally be less sensitive but will will have the ability to cast further than a fast action.

It can also make slower softer hook-sets than a fast action.

Power

The correct power for a spinner bait rod will be a medium to medium/heavy rating. You'll need a rod that has enough power to set the hook and still be light enough to be able to feel the fish hot the bait.

Once those blades start spinning on the retrieve you do need a bit of backbone in your rod so a light or medium light power is rarely used for spinner baits.

It is because of the fact that a lot of spinnerbaits are heavy and the drag that they create when moving through the water from both the blade and the skirt that you will need a medium power as a minimum.

Best Jerkbait Rod 2019 [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 rod 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 2019


​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.

Specifications:

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

​Lew's are already known for their great reel range, but ot 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.

Specifications:

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

​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.

Specifications:

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

​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.

Specifications:

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

​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. Teh 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.

Specifications:

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

​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.

Specifications:

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

​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.

Specifications:

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

​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.

Specifications:

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

​Jerkbait Rods

​As we have mentioned above the best jerkbait rods for the money 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.

Type

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.

Length

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

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.

Power

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.

Line

​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.

Best Frog Rod 2019 – [Buyer’s Guide]

best frog rod

​Throwing hollow body frogs in and around heavy weed cover is one of the most fun ways to catch freshwater bass.

When bass hit a frog lure from below they do so with a lot power and speed. Knowing your tackle is up to the job is one less thing to think about.

This is no place for light weight spinning gear!

Your rod and reel need to be capable of running heavy braid without sacrificing either casting performance or hook setting ability.

But what size and power make the best frogging rods?

The best frog rod will have a heavy power rating and a fast action

​A heavy power rating on a musky rod would not seen out of place, but it may seem unusual for those who are new to frog fishing for bass. 

Once a bass strikes your lure the first place they are going to make a move to the nearest heavy cover, most likely a the large weed bed or lily pads that they came from.

A fast action allows you to make your hook-set swiftly before they have a chance to turn their heads down, the heavy power means that if they do make it to cover then your rod blank has enough backbone to handle hauling them up through it.

Length wise look for either a 7 or a 7-1/2 foot long rod. Once you go under a 7-footer your ability to over lots of water with the reduced as the casting distance that a smaller rod brings can leave you short.

​Best ​Frog Rods 2019


The ​Dobyns Fury Series has somewhat of a cult following for those in the know. It is easily the best frog rod for the money.

Here we have another great contender from the Dobyns family of great rods; model FR 735C

This one measures 7’3” and is a fast action casting rod. It works best with 12-25 lb line, and the lure weight recommended for the rod is ¼ to 1.5 oz. 

​The rod itself is amazing and comes with a Fuji reel seat, high modulus graphite blank, and Kevlar-wrapped line guides.

The guides, by the way, are aligned perfectly. Plus, you can also look forward to the cork grip and the Hypalon butt.

You can just feel it when you hold it in your hand. It is painted black and we also liked the epoxy finish around the guide wraps, it was very clean and very consistent for a rod that is mass produced. 

This is arguably the best frogging rod we’ve used in a while. For the price you can’t beat it. We used it to cast worm/spinner jigs, and it handled them with ease. Those jigs were going through the heavy weeds like it was a knife through butter.

We got some pretty big bottom-dwelling walleye like it was the easiest thing in the world. We even got a 6 lb. largemouth in some weeds, too. One of our other crew members got himself a muskie with it. We would definitely recommend it.

This one is best for use with hollow body frogs and buzzbaits because it is wide enough to set a large frog hook form a pretty decent distance and pull that fish up through even the thickest weeds. You can also use this rod for flipping/pitching and small swimbaits too.

All in all, if you need a frogging rod that won’t quit, this is a good one that won’t break your budget.

Specifications:

  • ​High modulus graphite blank
  • Kevlar wrapped
  • Fuji reel seat

This rod is a pleasure to use and the fun starts right when you hold it in your hands.

The Daiwa-exclusive Super Volume Fiber (SVF) graphite tech is amazing and you can feel it. After all it is a bias graphite fiber construction that grants the angler the max in strength and flexibility. 

​There will also be little to none blank twist. The finish is clear and glossy, but rather thin, as we noticed the bumps that arose as a result of being wrapped in plastic over the blank material used to hold the graphite in place while the rod bakes during manufacturing.

​The rod features the Daiwa custom reel seat and an aluminum reel clamp nut in order to keep everything together. The ring guides are Alconite and you will also like the two-color choices for this sharp looking rod. 

​The rod is superb-light and comfortable to hold for those all-day adventures. They come at a fair and decent price, and the sensitivity on these guys is comparative to some higher end brands.

The reel seat is very comfortable, and the casting we did with this was as easy as pie. Load ups are easy, and your lure will fly as far as you want it to. 

​We liked the grip, it is made of EVA foam, is split in the back, and comfortable to hold. When we took this out for some testing, we found that it displayed a great casting performance.

The tip is predictable when it comes to loading, and you can use baits within the appropriate lure rating with ease. We used some half-oz jigs and had a great time with it. 

​Lastly, we’d like to note the sensitivity of this rod. It was decent, but I have felt better when it comes to Daiwa products in the past. Don’t let that stop you from picking this up-it’s a good buy.

Specifications:

  • ​Alconite guides
  • Custon reel seat
  • SVF graphite blank

Primary features of this rod include the integrated reel seat, the stainless-steel line guides, and the shock-absorbing tip. This tip brings in some extra strength. The blank itself is constructed of carbon.

​The rod is able to handle super braids of even the most advanced nature, but not break your budget.

This rod was engineered to handle the strength of braided lines and you will feel it in the strong backbone. This will help reduce the probability of pulled hooks but still keep you well in control. 

​The tip is a Shock Absorbing tip that aids in mitigating the lack of elasticity common with braids. The stainless-steel guides and titanium oxide inserts prevent cracking and grooving so as to provide a long life.

​The handle design is comfortable and designed with ergonomics in mind, you can hold this textured rubber handle all day long and not get tired or sore.

​Now we would not go ahead and list this rod as being the top of the line. It is a nice rod, but this would be best for somebody who wants to start out with frogging and see if it is for them.

This is a nicely priced frogging rod that you can really use to fish top water frogs, jig fish heavy grass, and fish up some pretty good-sized catches. 

​Our crew did just that and we did indeed fish up some 2-4 lb. fish in the nearby lake. We used braid line on it, everything went off without a hitch. We noticed that the rod was rather stiff, so do keep that in mind. But, if you have the urge to use your frogs and get into some deep cover, this is your guy to start with. 

​Go into this one with the understanding this is a value-priced rod and you will no doubt have fun with it.

Specifications:

  • ​Shock absorbing tip
  • ​Titanium oxide guide inserts

This rod begins with the integrated poly curve tooling tech, and features SCII high-modulus graphite.

There are Kigan Master Hand 3D Guides, which are made of aluminum-oxide rings and black frames. 

The reel seat is Fuji ECS and has a black hood as well. This is a rod perfect for perfecting casting technique. The quality construction of this particular rod is designed to be about 50% lighter than previous rods. 

​We got this rod pretty fast and decided to take it out on the water. These perform really well for the price. One of our crew members was using a Bass Pro rod that was comparable to this one, and we handed him this rod to do a comparison.

This one performed a lot better as far as casting went and that crew member also felt that he could cast a lot better. We also used a willow-leaf spinner bait, and unfortunately did not catch anything but still enjoyed how it felt. 

​The rod is very lightweight and responsive one. It is easy to carry around all day long and casting is a breeze. You could easily stand out on the boat or dock all day and cast and not worry about your arms getting tired. The sensitivity of this rod is on point, and the backbone is super strong.

​Altogether, these rods are going to be ones you will love to add to your arsenal. The great price point plus the many different applications you can use these rods for make them really worth your money.

You can use them for chatter baits, swimming jigs and buzz baits depending on the model. They load up very well and the hook set has enough power that you don’t fear tearing the bait out of the mouth of your fish. 

Specifications:

  • ​High modulus SCII graphite rod blanks
  • Kigan Master 3D guides
  • Fuji ECS reel seat

This rod features 30-ton graphite blank and is very lightweight. We went ahead and weighed it and it came in under 5 lbs. The rod is also quite balanced.

 The hoop strength of this particular rod is unmatched thanks to the sublayer armor made with fibers that are durable and strong. This rod also features a ROCS (robotically optimized casting system) guide train which gives you a big casting distance with some of your lighter lures. 

​The Abu Garcia designed locking micro click reel seat design will provide a tight and secure connection between reel and rod. It is also very comfortable, and you will be able to hold this one all day long with no cramps or soreness in your hand.

The titanium alloy guides with Zirconium inserts will make for a great way to keep your line in place with no fears of tangles. There is also great Abu Garcia hook keeper that suits all bait applications. 

​Provided you pair this blank to the right lure type, you can count on it being very sensitive. We went ahead and decided to test this guy out on the dock, things worked out pretty well and we caught a few fish.

One thing we wanted to note was that it was not as fast of an action when we went about setting our hook, so we missed out on some fish thanks to not so good hook setting. 

​We tried out a​ hollow body frog over a heavy weed bed. Eventually we landed some four-pounders and felt good about the rod at large.

Again, we will state that the sensitivity was easy to feel even in about 15 feet of water. We sent it off with one of our crew members and he even managed to grab a catfish with this rod so it has plenty of backbone for larger fish.

​To sum it up, this one is a good rod at a fair price.

Specifications:

  • ​30 tom graphite
  • ​Reinforced fibers through the blank
  • UP reel seat

This rod starts out with a strong graphite blank, a Fuji-exposed blank reel seat, and a natural comfortable cork handle.

There are also 100% authentic Fuji line guides that will keep your line safe and secure. 

​​Made in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, this is a one-piece rod and a great brand. We have had the pleasure of using several Falcon branded rods in both fresh and salt application, and we find them to be sensitive, quick to respond, and amazing hook setting capability.

This particular one is a real pleasure to use. It felt very strong in our hands and we were impressed with the great build quality. 

​We compared it to a Fenwick that we had and found that this one performed a lot better during testing. We tried it out with some ​smaller soft frogs. The rod itself was lightweight and easy to hold, we did not go out for the day but could see ourselves using it all day with no soreness in the arms. 

​The sensitivity was great also, we felt everything that was going on below the surface. The tip really aids well in helping you feel the bites on your jigs. This rod has a great backbone and will not have any trouble handling the big guys that come your way.

​These rods also hold up remarkably well on the road too. We packed them up to head out to a local tournament, and anglers know how hard it can be to transport and keep all your gear in good shape.

These rods hold up like a dream. All you have to do is pair them with the right reel and you will be casting further than you ever thought possible. It’s a good rod at a price all of us can afford. 

Specifications:

  • ​Fuji line guides
  • Fuji reel seat
  • Sensitive graphite blank

This rod features 30 Ton Toray blank complete with PVG Technology.

The graphite is expertly interlaced and thus has an easier time controlling the fiber angle alignment when the blank is rolling. 

This tight graphite construction also is the reason this rod is so sensitive. The Alps guides with zirconia inserts are a nice touch. The reel seat is an Evolve Engage model. There is a Portuguese full-cork premium handle and an Evolve hook keeper as well. 

​The rod come in just one piece. It is a medium heavy fast-action rod and does just what it should. You can drag the bottom and expect great sensitivity. We used plastics and did well with it. We recommend to 1 oz lures as this is the recommended weight rating for this rod.

​For the price, you really can’t go wrong. Even to create your own rod using a 24-ton carbon blank, you would probably be paying at least 30% more.

That already makes it cost effective. I’d also like to note that the rod is rather lightweight and features excellent sensitivity. The hardware is name brand and we typically see this on higher-end rods. 

​Now onto the cork grip. This is a very durable and good-looking. The only complaint is that the tip is rather breakable. We did not break the rod during our test time, but we certainly had concerns it could happen.

​Despite this, we still caught some bass with it, no trouble at all. Freshwater anglers all over will appreciate the balance, sensitivity and of course the value of this rod.

​In sum, we think this is a fine rod for the price paid. It is also worth noting that 13 has a great customer service and warranty program should you experience a break during a trip.

Specifications:

  • ​30 Ton Toray rod blank
  • Zircoia inserts
  • Alps guides
  • Evolve reel seat

​​Frog Rods

A lot of folks may think that a frog setup can end up being expensive, whilst that might be true of the best musky rod and reel combinations that are commonly used, but when choosing a frog fishing pole you need not spend a fortune.

It's all about getting the right balance between power, action and length.

​Lets take a more in-depth look at what kind of attributes make the best frogging rods.

Type

You'll definitely want to choose a baitcasting rod over a spinning rod. Spinning setups are all well and good when you are using small lures and light monofilament, but they are not the best option for frog fishing.

Hands down the only sane choice is a casting rod combined with decent baitcaster.

A casting outfit allows you to make pin point accurate casts all day long with just the flick of a wrist.

Your aim should be to spot potential structures and hide outs were bass are likely to be waiting in ambush for any frog that happens to swim past. Weed beds and groups of lily pads provide great cover for bass and are also a natural hide habitat of frogs.

​With a baitcaster reel you can be way more accurate than with a spinning reel. It is also way less tiring to cast over the course of a day that a spinning rod and reel.

​Power

​For most fishermen power will usually means how big a fish, lure and line that a rod can handle. But with frogging things are slightly different.

Having to haul a bass out of a heavy weed bed once it buries it's head down in to it requires a rod that has a lot of backbone and stopping power.

Even a medium power rod will struggle a little so always stick to a rod that has a heavy power rating.

That and that fact that you should be using some fairly heavy braid means a heavy power rod is the only real choice.

Action

Action will generally describe how far up the rod blank that the normal bend in the rod starts once the line is weighted against the fisherman.

A fast action rod will start to bend considerably higher up the rod blank than a sloe action one.

Each type of action will have it's strengths and weaknesses.

For example a fast action rod has great tip sensitivity and hook up characteristics but they do tend to cast slightly shorter distances than a slow action.

Whereas a slow action rod blank can be loaded with a lot more energy during the back swing portion of the cast allowing it to achieve greater distances especially when using heavy lures. It does this at the expense of sensitivity though.

Length

Shoot for a rod of length 7 or a 7'6 as this is pretty much the sweet spot for a frogging rod. It will result in a higher percentage of hookups and give you that little bit extra when casting.

A longer rod can be held up straight higher so you have a bit more control of the tip once a bass has struck your frog lure.

Best Line for Swimbaits

Best Line for Swimbaits

​Choosing the best line for swimbaits will depend on a number of factors. There is no single line that is the best choice in every situation.

The size of swimbait, depth you are fishing, types of structures and the species of fish that you are targeting can greatly affect which line to select.

Most fishermen will tend to opt for the large style swimbaits. This means casting large lures long distances.

All that work is usually rewarded with bigger fish. I fact on waters where it is known that larger specimum bass and musky are lurking throwing swimbaits in the larger sizes is usually the go to tactic.

​Best Line for Swimbaits

​The best fishing line to use for swimbaits will depend on where exactly you are fishing in the water column. In shallower waters monofilament is the go to choice, whereas in deeper areas straight flourocarbon will work much better.

​1. Monofilament

​If you are working your swimbaits in the top 5 feet of the water column then the best option for a swimbait line will be good old fashioned monofilament.

Mono has better floating properties than flourocarbon as it is less dense.

Mono will help to keep the swimbait up a little as you are fishing over shallows and weed-beds. It also has a lot more stretch than the other two lines so when setting large treble hooks you have less of a chance of ripping a lip.

Most swimbait reels will have their line capacity quoted in lbs for monofilament.

​2. Flourocarbon

​Flouro can be used when you intend on working a swimbait into deeper waters. Because it is more dense than mono it can help to get your lure a little bit deeper. 

It will not stretch as much as mono and as a result you may not get as good of a side to side action from the lures especially if they big glide baits.

I have found that the extra stretch that mono gives you acts as somewhat of a spring, and if you have selected the correct action on your swimbait rod the you can work them back and forth to great affect.

​3. Braided Fishing Line

​There are two scenario's where I would use braid for swimbaits:

  • ​Targetting large species like pike or musky
  • Working weedless swimbaits over thick cover

​Note - braid has a higher risk of snapping especially when using really heavy lures. As you retrieve the top layer of braid can and does get bedded down into the previous layers that are already on the spool.

The consequences of this is that your cast may stop dead in mid flight if it is bedded in too tight, this can result in the line snapping and you losing your big expensive swimbait.

The advantage that braid gives you is when you are using a weedless swimbait.

Due to it's smaller diameter braided fishing line will slice through weeds much easier than mono of flourocarbon.

​So when working large weed-beds and lilies I'd opt for braid as the go to line for larger swimbaits.

Generally you'll want to pair the braid main line with a flourocarbon leader. If you happen to snap the line chances are it will be on the leader.

When fishing for larger pike or musky then you really should use a wire leader to the lure.