8 Best Bass Fishing Rods Reviewed

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Best Bass Fishing Rods

Hola! You’re about to read my review of the best bass fishing rods!

I’ve been fishing for 20 years, and I go bass fishing at least a few times per month. I love their aggressiveness and the fight they put up. Over the years, I’ve used many rods designed for bass fishing. Still, I can’t claim to have tried everything. So for those that I didn’t get a chance to test, I did extensive research on them and spent in total close to 6 hours just on research. 

In the end, I decided these were the best bass fishing rods based on quality, ease of use, durability, and finally price.

These rods can be used for almost any kind of fishing technique and for all kinds of bass. Competitive bass anglers also use these rod manufacturers, so if you don’t trust me, trust the pros. 

If you’re just looking for an affordable fishing rod strong and sensitive enough to tackle any bass, and light enough for you to make casts all day, don’t bother reading any further. You’re looking for the Abu Garcia Veracity.

If that’s not what you’re looking for, don’t worry. We’ve got budget rods, surf rods, and other types of bass rods too.

Let’s get started!

Our Top 8 Picks

  1. Abu Garcia Veracity Casting (Best Splurge)
  2. St Croix Mojo Bass Casting (Best Overall Casting)
  3. St Croix Triumph Spinning (Best Overall Spinning)
  4. St Croix Premier Casting (Best Abu Garcia Alternative)
  5. Penn Battalion II Inshore Spinning (Best Sensitivity)
  6. Penn Battalion II Surf Conventional (Best For Surf Fishing)
  7. Ugly Stik GX2 Casting (Best Budget Power)
  8. KastKing Perigee II Spinning (Best Budget)

The 8 Best Bass Fishing Rods

If one bass rod was enough to rule the world, there wouldn’t be other rods would there? There are different rods for different situations. Here are the 8 best rods for bass fishing in their respective categories.


Best Splurge

1. Abu Garcia Veracity Casting

  • Blank Material: Graphite
  • Guides: Titanium Alloy
  • Handle Material: Cork + EVA Foam
  • Warranty Period: 1 Year

The Abu Garcia Veracity Casting Rod is a top-of-the-line rod that can take on any bass. On top of that, it’s the lightest bass rod.

Right off the bat, you’ll notice that it’s made with first-rate materials. The guides are Titanium Alloy – the most corrosion-resistant material. Its handles are cork and EVA foam, providing all-day comfort and a very secure grip. 

As for the rod material, the graphite ensures the rod is sensitive. And you’ll notice from the power rating that it’s a really sturdy rod. In fact, the rod power doesn’t reflect its true strength. I tried it out and its ratings are lower than the actual power. This combination of sensitivity and strength allows you to handle the biggest bass, and still feel the timid bites of the smallest bass. In other words, it’s the most versatile rod. You can confidently go fishing for bass, knowing that whatever bass takes the bait, you’ll have it in the bag.

To top it all off, the Abu Garcia Veracity is unquestionably one of the lightest bass fishing rods in existence. It manages to achieve this by baking Powerlux resin into the blank, filling the space around the blank with Powerlux resin rather than graphite, which is heavier. For you, this lightness means you can effortlessly make as many casts as you need.

So is it perfect? Well, yes and no. It’s perfect for bass, but it won’t hold up against monster fish, or other super small fish species. Still, since you’re here, I’m assuming you want a rod for bass, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

This unbelievably light bass rod that delivers top-notch performance is almost in your hands. The only thing standing in your way is price. For a rod like that, you’d be right to expect it to be really pricey. Lucky for you, it isn’t. In fact, it’s only a tad more costly than the average bass fishing rod. For what you’re getting, it’s a no-brainer deal.


Best Overall Casting

2. St Croix Mojo Bass Casting

  • Blank Material: Graphite
  • Guides: Aluminum Oxide
  • Handle Material: Cork
  • Warranty Period: 5 Years

The St Croix Mojo Bass Casting Rod is an incredible rod that can stare down any bass and take on monster fish.

This is made possible by St Croix’s Integrated Poly Curve® (IPC®) tooling technology. Currently, this technology is the most advanced in the market. No other company knows how to do it. IPC® eliminates transitional points in rod blanks, giving you a stronger and more sensitive rod. It’s safe to say the St Croix Mojo Bass Casting Rod is as strong as it gets.

Even with all this focus on the rod blank, St Croix didn’t neglect other components. Similar to Abu Garcia, it uses graphite so that the rod is light. Its aluminum oxide guides are exceptionally smooth and durable, and its cork handle provides a secure grip. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a flaw in this A-grade rod.

It doesn’t have as great sensitivity or lightness as Abu Garcia Veracity though, which is why it isn’t the number one pick. Of course, that isn’t to say it’s bad because the sensitivity and lightness is still pretty good, just not as good as the Abu Garcia Veracity.

The rod itself has little room for criticism. The problem is, it came to me in a very poorly packaged box. It seems that having made such a fantastic rod, St Croix believes that it can get away with shabby packaging. I was a bit disappointed, but nevertheless, the rod itself was fine and worked like a charm. Moreover, had the rod actually been damaged, the 5-year warranty would have covered it, so I wasn’t too worried.

St Croix is a respected brand in the fishing industry, having been around for more than 70 years. They’re well-known for building quality fishing rods that fit any budget. The St Croix Mojo Bass Casting Rod is proof of this and won’t disappoint.


Best Overall Spinning

3. St Croix Triumph Spinning

  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Guides: Alconite
  • Handle Material: Cork
  • Warranty Period: 5 Years

Next up, the St Croix Triumph Spinning Rod is the only rod on this list that manages to be lighter than the Abu Garcia Veracity. It is also unsurprisingly, the lightest bass fishing rod we could find. But that isn’t the only reason to get it. This rod is also amazingly sensitive and robust.

First off, the 7 ft option weighs a mere 4.2 ounces. This exceptional lightness comes from the SCII carbon. SCII carbon is a special graphite fiber with a higher strain rate than normal carbon fiber. In simpler terms, this means it’s stronger so less material is needed for the same amount of strength. Since less material is used, this rod is extremely light while still remaining robust.

SCII carbon also brings with it outstanding sensitivity. In fact, this is one of the few bass rods on the market that is sensitive enough to be considered an ultralight rod. What this means is it’s sensitive enough to feel the most timid bites from panfish.

Power-wise, this rod is tough, but the Abu Garcia Veracity triumphed in this area, which is why it’s ranked behind the Abu Garcia Veracity.

All things considered, this is the best spinning rod you can get for bass. It’s priced reasonably too, so it won’t break the bank.


Best Abu Garcia Alternative

4. St Croix Premier Casting

  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Guides: Aluminum Oxide
  • Handle Material: Cork
  • Warranty Period: 5 Years

If you found the Abu Garcia Veracity a tad out of your means, you’re going to love the St Croix Premier Casting Rod.

The St Croix Premier Casting Rod is similar to the Abu Garcia Veracity in every way. 

In terms of sensitivity, this rod is rated fast action, so you can expect to feel even the pull of small bass. In terms of power, it has a heavy power rating to handle even the largest bass. 

The only aspect they differ in is weight. The St Croix Premier is a bit heavier, which is why it’s also marginally cheaper than the Abu Garcia Veracity. Those who found the Abu Garcia Veracity just a little too expensive will be glad to have this alternative.


Best Sensitivity

5. Penn Battalion II Inshore Spinning

  • Blank Material: Graphite
  • Guides: Fuji Alconite
  • Handle Material: Rubber Shrink Tubing/Cork
  • Warranty Period: 1 Year

The Penn Battalion II Inshore Spinning Rod is our recommended bass fishing rod for beginners. It’s easy to use, which is why we chose it for beginners, but the real deciding factor was its quality.

While baitcasting rods have always dominated the field when it comes to bass fishing, spinning rods are much easier to use. Beginners often have trouble with baitcasting rods. As such, spinning rods are the better choice if you’re just starting out. I found the Penn Battalion II Inshore Spinning Rod’s handling to be quite intuitive, so beginners won’t have any problems with handling the rod.  

Aside from being easy to use, it’s also made with the finest materials. I couldn’t say this for the previous two rods, but rubber shrink tubing, which is used in this rod, provides the most secure grip in the world. Fuji Alconite guides also happen to be the gold standard in fishing because Fuji is the go-to brand for guides.

Additionally, this is the only rod with an extra fast action. Even the St Croix Triumph doesn’t have this rod’s sensitivity.

If all these weren’t enough to convince you, consider this. Penn is a brand that is renowned for their quality and tournament tested products and rods. They hold about 1,400 IGFA world rankings for their superb performances in various saltwater game fishing tournaments.

In essence, the Penn Battalion II Inshore Spinning Rod is a good rod to start with, especially if you’re looking for a high-quality bass fishing rod. 


Best For Surf Fishing

6. Penn Battalion II Surf Conventional

  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Guides: Fuji Alconite
  • Handle Material: Rubber Shrink Tubing
  • Warranty Period: 1 Year

Many people like fishing at the beach, and among this group, a good number like to target bass. If you’re one of them, the Penn Battalion II Surf Conventional was made for you.

It comes in most of the sizes you need for fishing in the surf and you can pair it with a baitcasting reel.

For fishing in the surf, you’ll need rods that are at least 8 ft. You can take your pick from 10-12 ft for this rod. And unlike other common surf rods, it can be paired with a baitcasting reel for maximum casting accuracy for bass.

In line with Penn’s high standards, it also features Penn’s standard Fuji Alconite guides and rubber shrink tube handle.

You’ll also want to pay attention to its composite blank. The composite includes both fiberglass and graphite. This results in a well-balanced rod that’s light, sturdy, and sensitive. Notably, since other companies can’t replicate the IPC® technology, Penn made its rod stronger by including fiberglass in its blank. It does make the rod a little heavier, but also a hell of a lot cheaper.

Unfortunately, since it’s not a fast action rod, you might not feel the tug of smaller bass. However, it can take on any bass other than those smaller bass that nobody wants.

I’d say at the moment, this is the best rod for catching bass at the beach. No other surf rod at this price point is more suitable for bass.


Best Budget Power

7. Ugly Stik GX2 Casting

  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: EVA Foam
  • Warranty Period: 7 Years

If none of the above rods appealed to you, I’m guessing it’s a matter of price. If you already have a main rod, then it doesn’t make much sense to spend a crazy amount on a rod that you’ll only be using for bass. 

Supposing you’re on a budget, this is the best bass fishing rod for you. Obviously we chose it because you can get started fishing bass for a super low price. But even though it is on the lower end of the price range, don’t worry, you’re not giving up any quality. 

You can tell from the components of the rod that even though small compromises were made to keep the price down, the rod is still of very good quality. This is apparent from the EVA handle and stainless steel guides. EVA handles are the most comfortable and provide secure grips. And the stainless steel guides are just slightly inferior to the other guides because they’re less resistant to corrosion. Overall, a pretty damn good rod for such an inexpensive price.

It’s also worth noting that the composite blanks provide similar benefits to Penn’s rods – sturdiness, lightness, and sensitivity. 

Ugly Stik is often said to make unbreakable rods. Of course, this is exaggerated, but you get the point. Ugly Stik rods are the toughest on the planet. In fact, Ugly Stik claims that their medium power rods can handle fish up to 100 pounds. The world record for the heaviest bass ever caught is 22 pounds. Essentially, the Ugly Stik GX2 can take on the heaviest fish in the world, which of course includes the largest bass.

It does have some glaring downsides, such as its weight, which is heavier than most bass rods, and also its slow action. The weight means you’ll be able to make fewer casts before being tired out, and a slow action rod means that you won’t be able to feel the tug of smaller bass or even slightly bigger sized bass. Slow action rods are fine for bigger bass though, you’ll just have trouble with small bass.

Despite these, it’s still the best budget rod I could find by a long shot. If your wallet is getting thin, you could do a lot worse than the Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Rod.


Best Budget

8. KastKing Perigee II Spinning

  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Guides: Fuji O-Ring
  • Handle Material: EVA Foam
  • Warranty Period: Limited Lifetime Warranty

Last on the list, the KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rod is your best bet if you’re on a tight budget.

As compared to the Ugly Stik GX2, it’s a little less powerful but a lot more sensitive. A quick glance at the specifications may have you wondering why this is a budget rod. After all, whether it’s power, sensitivity, or lightness, it has it all.

What you may not realise is that this isn’t exactly the most durable rod. After a few weeks of use, the rod tip of my KastKing Perigee II broke off, and a week later, one of the guides fell off. Rod tips tend to be the first thing that snaps in a rod, but a few weeks is still too short of a time.

Basically, you’ll be paying for great specifications that won’t last very long, which explains why it’s priced so competitively.


Comparison Table

Abu Garcia Veracity CastingSt Croix Triumph SpinningPenn Battalion II Inshore SpinningPenn Battalion II Surf ConventionalSt Croix Premier CastingSt Croix Mojo Bass CastingUgly Stik GX2 CastingKastKing Perigee II Spinning
Blank MaterialGraphiteCarbon FiberGraphiteCompositeCarbon FiberGraphiteCompositeCarbon Fiber
GuidesTitanium AlloyAluminum OxideFuji AlconiteFuji AlconiteAluminum OxideAluminum OxideStainless SteelFuji O-Ring
Handle MaterialCork + EVA FoamCorkRubber Shrink Tubing/Cork (Can choose)Rubber Shrink TubingCorkCorkEVA FoamEVA Foam
Rod Length (ft)6.5-7.95-7.57-810-125.5-76.7-7.95.5-7.54.5-7.5
PowerRanges from Medium Heavy to Extra HeavyRanges from Ultra Light to Medium HeavyRanges from Light to Extra HeavyRanges from Medium to HeavyRanges from Medium to HeavyRanges from Medium to HeavyRanges from Medium to HeavyRanges from Ultra Light to Heavy
ActionFastRanges from Moderate to FastRanges from Moderate Fast to Extra FastModerate FastFastRanges from Moderate Fast to FastSlowRanges from Moderate to Fast
Warranty Period1 Year5 Years1 Year1 Year5 Years5 Years7 YearsLimited Lifetime

Baitcasting VS Spinning Rods

Professional bass anglers recommend using baitcasting rods, aka casting rods over spinning rods for bass – and they’re right. But they’re pros. Unlike them, you’re not competing in tournaments and you may not need to use heavier lines. 

As such, you should decide for yourself once you understand their differences.

The main debate is whether to use a casting rod or spinning rod, but the only difference between them is the ability to pair with a baitcasting reel. The reel is what’s important, so I’ll be covering differences between baitcasting and spinning gear.

Casting Accuracy

Baitcasting reels offer far more casting accuracy than spinning reels.

This is because your spool can spin freely as you’ll be using your thumb to control it. As such, seasoned anglers will be able to control the line coming out with great accuracy. 

Lures

When casting, baitcasting reels are much better suited for heavier lures. A spinning reel will work better for lighter lures. You’ll be able to cast heavier lures further with baitcasters, and lighter lures further with a spinning reel.

The weight of your lures will be decided by your fishing style, so neither baitcasting nor spinning fishing gear is better than the other in this case.

Line Pound Test

For lines below 10-pound test, spinning beats baitcasting hand down. For lines above 10-pound test though, there’s no question you should be getting a baitcasting rod.

Ease of Use

Finally, you’ll need to consider the ease of use. 

Although it is true that casting rods can allow you to cast more accurately, that’s only if you know how to use them. In the hands of a beginner, a baitcasting rod won’t do much good. 

Using a baitcasting rod takes more skill so for beginners, it’s really best to stick with spinning rods that are much easier to use.

Bass Fishing Rod Buying Guide

I’ve put the best rods in front of you, but each rod still has multiple options to choose from. This guide will help you decide on the right combination of power, action, and length.

Rod Power and Action

For the benefit of new anglers, here’s a quick explanation of what rod power and action are.

Rod power refers to how much force you need to bend a rod, i.e. how stiff it is. Rod action refers to how high up the rod bend is when you apply pressure to the rod tip, i.e. its sensitivity. The higher up the rod bends, the faster the action is.

When fishing for bass, I recommend getting a fast action and medium power rod. You don’t need too much power to take on bass, but you do need your rod to be sensitive enough to sense the tug of smaller bass. 

However, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. If you’re trying to land a monster bass, feel free to go for a medium heavy power rod, or even a heavy power rod. A medium heavy rod will likely be lighter than a rod with heavy power though, so keep that in mind.

Similarly, if you have no interest in smaller bass, you can go for moderate or even slow action rods.

You’ll notice that I didn’t included medium light and below as one of the options. It’s not that you can’t use medium light and below rods, but your choice of bass will be basically only the smallest ones.

Rod Length

The general rule of thumb with bass rods is 6-7 ft. These rod lengths will allow you to handle most bass and also cater to most fishing styles. A shorter rod may not cast far enough while a longer rod will only add unecessary weight.

The only time you’ll need longer rods is when you’re fishing in the surf. If you’re intending to go fishing in the surf, you’ll want to go for longer rods of 8-12 ft instead because longer rods will give you more casting distance.

An 8 ft rod won’t give you that much casting distance and is best for fishing panfish closer to shore.

A 10 ft rod will give you more casting distance and will be the best rod length and length of choice for most surf anglers.

A 12 ft rod will give you the most casting distance and is for the bass angler targeting the largest bass and big fish far out in the surf.

Best Material For Bass Fishing Rods

The choice of material isn’t a very big issue. A graphite, fiberglass, or composite rod will all do fine for bass.

Each material does have its strengths and weaknesses though, so I broke them down below for you to pick your poison.

Graphite

Among the three materials, graphite will produce the most sensitive and most lightweight rod. 

Due to this, it is also the most expensive, and the least sturdy.

Fiberglass 

Fiberglass rods are the toughest and most durable rods. This comes at the cost of lightness and sensitivity, so fiberglass rods are also heavier and are not very responsive. 

As you’ll notice, neither graphite nor fiberglass particularly stands out.

Since bass fishing doesn’t require a rod to be particularly light, sensitive, sturdy, or durable, either one of these materials will do.

Composite

Composite is a mix of both graphite and fiberglass. This gives you a well-rounded rod that’s light, sensitive, sturdy, and durable all the same time. 

Of course, a pure graphite rod would still be lighter and more sensitive, and a pure fiberglass rod would be more sturdy and durable. 

If you prefer a well-rounded rod, composite is the best material for you.

Otherwise, simply choose one of the other two materials based on the qualities you value the most in a rod.

Different Types of Fishing Rod Handles

Generally, the material of the fishing rod handle isn’t a very big issue. Although some materials are better, there isn’t too much of a difference between them. 

Still, if there are two rods equally matched, with the only difference being the handles, you should know which one to choose.

Cork

Cork is the typical wooden handle that you should have seen before. It can’t survive harsh conditions as well as the next two options and has the worst grip. Ironically, it’s the most expensive.

EVA Foam

Everyone knows what EVA Foam is. It provides a pretty secure grip, and will probably last as long as your rod. It’s also thicker than both other two materials.

Rubber Shrink Tubing

Last but definitely not least, rubber shrink tubing provided the most secure grip. It’s also durable and the most affordable.

Just to be clear, even wooden cork handles will give you a strong grip, they’re just less secure than the other two materials.

Even a poor handle shouldn’t stop you from buying a rod because you can always wrap the handle with your preferred grip. Just take it into consideration when you’re making your buying decisions.

Reel Seat Material

As the name suggests, a reel seat is meant to hold your reel. A reel seat is typically made out of aluminum or graphite.

An aluminum reel seat will be more sturdy and durable than a graphite reel seat. However, the graphite reel seat will be lighter.

The fact is, the reel seat isn’t a huge issue and many anglers don’t pay much attention to it at all. For those who want maximum lightness though, you’ll want to get a graphite reel seat. Likewise, if you want a tougher reel seat, you’ll want an aluminum one.

My Verdict

In a nutshell, almost any fishing rod you come across can catch at least some species of bass or another.

Nonetheless, the best bass fishing rod should be able to catch any species and size of bass and withstand the test of time. The best option available right now is the Abu Garcia Veracity. I’m confident it will give you the best bass fishing experience.

Now that you’ve found your ideal rod, here are the best baitcasting reels and best spinning reels to pair it with. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a good rod and reel combo for bass so you’ll have to find your own reel.

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AUTHOR

Reuben went on his first fishing trip when he was 9. That's when he fell in love with fishing. When he's not fishing, he's searching for new gear and ways to fish better.