Bass are one of the most sought-after fish, and, for a lot of anglers, they are the ultimate prize. While catching a great bass is dependent on a fair amount of luck, skill also plays a part. You’ll get better at catching bass with more practice.
The quality of your gear is also important, and that means you need a good rod. The right rod will help you cast your line out accurately, help you control your lure better, and haul in your catch more easily. A good rod will increase your chances of catching a bass you can be proud of.
But what makes a good bass spinning rod?
In this guide, we’ll explain all the features that make a good rod and reveal our five favorite spinning rods for bass fishing. Armed with the right rod, your chances of catching a bass will improve massively.
7 Things To Look For In The Best Spinning Rod For Bass
To the uninitiated, most fishing rods look pretty similar. But, if you investigate, you’ll quickly learn that there is a lot of variation between different types of rod, and the rod you use is often dependent on the kind of fish you are trying to catch.
The main things you need to consider when looking for the best bass rod are:
1. Action – the action of a fishing rod refers to how much it flexes from the tip under load. This is usually described as slow, medium, fast, and extra fast. For bass, fast and extra fast as most appropriate.
2. Power – this refers to how much weight it takes to get your rod to bend. This can be ultra-light, right the way up to extra heavy. Ultra-light is too low a rating for bass, so look for rods above this.
3. Handle – if you are going on a long bass fishing trip, you need a rod that is comfortable to hold. The type of handle will also affect the weight of your rod. Common rod handle materials are:
- EVA foam: very comfortable, this type of grip can last a long time but may leave you with sweaty palms on warm days.
- Cork: light and grippy, cork is a good handle material that increases sensitivity, making it easier to feel a bite.
- Wood: while they look good, wood handles don’t tend to be as grippy as cork or EVA foam. However, if properly seasoned, a wood handle should last a very long time and will outlast both EVA foam and cork handles.
4. Material – most bass rods are made of two different materials: graphite or fiberglass. Both materials offer advantages and disadvantages.
Graphite rods, also known as carbon fiber rods, are very light and sensitive, which makes feeling a bite much easier. Because they are light and easy to handle, graphite rods are popular with beginners and less-experienced anglers. They are so sensitive, you may try and set your hook too soon, giving the fish a chance to get away before it bites the hook properly. Graphite is the most common material for bass rods.
Fiberglass rods are stronger and heavier than graphite rods. They are ideally suited for anglers after bigger bass. Because they aren’t as sensitive as graphite rods, you are much less likely to strike too early with a fiberglass rod, but you’ll have to be more attentive to make sure you don’t miss a bite. Fiberglass rods are becoming a rarity and mainly used by experienced and competitive anglers.
5. Rod length – there is no set length for bass fishing rods, but it’s still something you need to consider. Short rods limit the distance you can cast your line, but your casts should be more accurate. They are also easier to use in confined spaces, such as on a fishing kayak or paddleboard. Sort rods are also much easier to transport.
Longer rods mean longer casts but may be less accurate. They are better for use on boats and from the land. The right rod length depends on your personal preferences and where you are going to do most of your fishing. Still, longer rods are usually better for catching big fish.
6. One or two/three-piece – single-piece rods do not break down into sections, which makes them harder to transport. That’s no problem if you carry all your gear in a truck or on a trailer but could be an issue if you use your car to go fishing. However, one-piece rods do tend to be stronger, more sensitive, and provide more control.
Two and three-piece rods are much easier to transport as they can be broken down into small sections. On the downside, this means you’ll need to set your rod up before using, and that can take extra time. Sectional rods also don’t flex uniformly; there is always a little extra stiffness around the joints. Those joints are also an area of weakness. If a rod is going to break, it’ll usually be close to or on a joint.
7. Price – you can get a decent spinning rod for bass for about $50, or you could pay closer to $1000! There is a vast price range, and more expensive isn’t always better. If you want every advantage possible, a higher-priced rod may be worth considering. But, if you are an occasional angler, a novice, or someone who isn’t sure if fishing is the sport for you, a cheaper rod might be a better choice. Either way, make sure you have a budget in mind before you start your search for a bass rod so that you can buy one that makes you happy without breaking the bank.
The five best spinning rods for bass fishing
Now you know enough about bass fishing rods, you should have no problem choosing the right one for your needs. Still not sure which one to buy? No problem! Sit back and enjoy our review of the five best spinning rods for bass.
Each one is tried, tested, and reviewed, so you can choose the right one for you.
1. Berkley Cherrywood 6’ medium 1-piece HD Spinning Rod
Angling can be an expensive sport, especially when you are fishing for bass. But, this budget one-piece rod from Berkley means that you can get started without spending a fortune. At 6’ long and with a medium action, this rod is ideal for medium-sized bass and fishing from a kayak or paddleboard.
- Graphite construction
- Twin cork handles for enhanced grip
- Chromium guides
For the price, this rod is all-but unbeatable. It might be called the Cherrywood, but this rod’s graphite construction means it’s light and strong. The chromium line guides are over 50% lighter than traditional oxide guides, and 20-times stronger.
- Very light and strong
- Very budget-friendly
- Also available as a two-piece
- One-piece rods can be harder to transport
If you are looking for your first bass fishing rod or want a rod that is very budget-friendly, the Berkley Cherrywood is an excellent choice. It’s not the strongest, lightest rod around, but it’s exceptional value and ideal for beginners and novices.
2. SHIMANO STIMULA Graphite Spinning Rod
Shimano has a reputation for producing high-quality fishing equipment. The Stimula is not their most expensive rod by quite a long way, but it is one of their most popular. This well-priced rod is light, durable, and ideal for bass.
- 6’ 6” length
- Two-piece composite graphite construction
- Medium power, fast action
- Twin cork handles
- Reinforced aluminum oxide guides
Two-piece rods are ideal for anglers who can’t transport a longer, one-piece rod. It’s light and flexible, but strong enough for larger fish. It’s got good sensitivity, and the cork handles are comfortable and grippy. All in all, this is a very decent budget-priced rod.
- Very well-priced
- Light and flexible
- Strong and reliable
- Some users report the action feels heavier than rated
You can spend a lot of money on a bass spinning rod, but you don’t have to. This Shimano rod is a nice two-piece that is comfortable and easy to use. It’s a budget-friendly rod that will not disappoint.
3. KastKing Perigee II 7’ 1” Medium-Fast Fishing Rod
This spinning rod from KastKing uses cutting-edge technology to make one of the most responsive, sensitive rods around. Made from high-quality carbon fiber, this rod is both strong and flexible. The one-piece design means that power transitions smoothly through the entire length of the rod.
- Very strong 24-ton carbon matrix construction
- 7’ 1” length
- Attractive “bare” finish
- Dual EVA foam grips
- Graphite reel fittings
- Hardened Fuji O-ring line guides
- Supplied with two tips for increased versatility
The Perigee II is basically two rods for the price of one. It is supplied with two tips – a medium and a fast. You can swap these tips to change the action of your rod, depending on the size of fish you are after, and the rod feel you prefer. This, combined with the rugged, long-lasting carbon matrix construction, make this a very desirable rod.
- Versatile design
- Longer, more accurate casts
- Very strong but light
- A lot of rod for the money
- Also available as a two-piece
- EVA grips more likely to wear out than cork or wood
This mid-range rod has a lot of handy features, not least the interchangeable tips that noticeably alter the feel and performance of the rod. Not sure if you want a medium or fast action bass rod? With the KastKing Perigee II, you can have both!
4. Okuma Citrix Travel 4pc 6′ 6” Spinning Rod
Do you want to travel with your bass fishing rod? If you’ve got a one-piece or even a two-piece, this could be more trouble than it’s worth. However, equip yourself with this Okuma Citrix four-piece travel rod, and you’ll have no problem taking your rod far and wide. Despite being very portable, this rod offers all the performance you’d expect from a good bass fishing rod.
- Compact, four-piece design
- Graphite construction
- Zirconium line guide inserts
- Ultra-light EVA grip
- Medium-light action
- Supplied with a soft carry case and a hard tube
Travel rods are often meant for very casual fishing trips and are not really designed for serious anglers. This rod from Okuma bucks this trend. Despite being very light and compact, it’s more than suitable for bass fishing. However, you will probably struggle to catch anything bigger than five pounds.
- Light and easy to assemble
- Perfectly balanced
- High-quality construction
- Short grip
- Some users report it feels stiffer than the medium/light rating
If you want to travel with your rod, this product is an excellent option. Best of all, you don’t need to sacrifice performance for portability. Despite being a four-piece rod, it feels almost identical to a one-piece. Perfect for air-travel, this rod is ideal for globetrotting anglers.
5. St Croix Triumph 7’ Medium-fast Two-piece Spinning Rod
Triumph fishing rods have a reputation for being reliable, sensitive, flexible, and robust. These high-quality rods are built to last! The Triumph 7′ is a brilliant two-piece rod that is ideal for bass. Made with high-quality materials, this rod should provide many years of faithful service.
- Made from highest-quality, dual coated, SC II premium graphite
- Hardened aluminum oxide line guides
- Fuji DPS real seat
- Twin cork handles
- 5-year warranty
St. Croix has been making premium fishing equipment for over 70 years. This bass fishing rod is made for anglers who want a rod that’s strong but sensitive, and that will perform well under a range of conditions. This is a serious rod for serious bass anglers.
- Very light but strong
- Two-piece design for easier transportation
- Very sensitive and responsive
- Ideal for experienced bass fishermen
- More expensive than other rods on review
If you have only ever used cheap, basic spinning rods, you’ll really notice the difference when you get your hands on this one. The top-quality materials and design make it a joy to use. While we can’t guarantee you’ll catch more fish with this rod, it will make the process a whole lot more enjoyable and comfortable!
Choosing the best rod for bass fishing is not always an easy process, but this guide should help. Graphite rods are lighter and more flexible than fiberglass rods, and most rods are made of this material now.
Length is an important consideration, and shorter rods are better for kayak and paddleboard fishing. Make sure too that the power and action of your rod are right for bass.
Also, ask yourself how you are going to transport your rod. If portability is an issue, get a rod that breaks down into several pieces. A travel rod may be a good option.
Finally, set your budget early and stick to it.
While a more expensive rod will have additional features, if you are a novice bass fisherman, those features may go unused. A lower-priced rod will probably do everything you need it to so you can catch some great bass.