Best Spinning Rods For Bass (Buyer's Guide)
How Review Spinning Rods
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Ranking of the 10 Best Spinning Rods for Bass:
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Bass Fishing Spinning Rod Selection Guide For 2021
Due to the fact that spinning reels have become one of the preferred methods of fishing, because of the ease of casting and lack of backlash - spinning rods have always been in great demand as they are needed to fit the role of the spinning reel. For this piece, we will look to help you find a perfect fit for your spinning reel, and provide the complete spinning rod buyers guide.
Spinning rods are designed with the reel seated hanging under the rod, rather than on top - like that of a casting rod. This method of fishing is often preferred by anglers as there is no risk of the dreaded backlash, and anglers can fish for hours without having to fix any sort of bird's nest.
When it comes to bass fishing, there is still very much a place for spinning rod setups, as this method is very useful for fishing light lures, such as weightless senkos, or small crankbaits. Casting these lures with baitcasters can be a tough process, and spinning setups are designed for effortless, comfortable casting no matter what lure is in use.
We will provide an in-depth summary of each of the following components of a spinning reel, to help you decide what spinning reel suits your kind of fishing - with a focus on bass fishing:
- Rod Length
- Rod Material
- Rod Power
- Line Guides
- Reel Seat
We have have collected customer feedback on a wide variety of spinning rods to help make your buying decision easier. Check them out here and find one that suits you best.
Spinning Rod Length
Rod length is measured from the end of the handle to the end of the line guide (rod tip), and this influences many factors such as casting or retrieving fish.
- Most bass spinning rods range from 6 to 8 foot, and you’re usually able to choose a length between that range.
- Short spinning rods (6 foot for instance) tend to cast shorter distances than longer rods - this allows for shorter, more precise casting
- Shorter rods are better for close combat angling, where there isn’t a need to cast far
- Shorter rods are often preferred for finesse-style techniques where you're throwing extremely light presentations
- Longer rods (7 foot and up) are better if you’re looking to cast further
- Longer rods allow anglers to cover more water faster, great for Carolina rigs, swimbaits, or other techniques where you're looking to cover loads of offshore cover
- With longer rods, one can strike and take up more line. This helps with getting a crisp and clean hookset
Spinning Rod Material
The majority of quality rod blanks in today’s market are made out of graphite or carbon. Fiberglass is a material starting to go out of fashion but it still has its place. Let's look at these three.
Graphite when used in rod construction is simply a carbon fiber that has been engineered to have structural properties that make it flexible and resistant to pressure when flexed.
Graphite blanks are more advanced than ever and they can be manufactured in a way that can suit almost any technique. This is a large reason why most of the biggest brands are sticking to graphite with all of their rods.
When buying a graphite rod, you’ve probably noticed the markers IM6, IM7, and IM8. These markers are known as the modulus, ie: the stiffness. A common misconception here is that IM8 is stiffer than IM6, however, these rods will show the same stiffness but IM8 rods are just lighter than IM6 rods.
- Graphite is known to be the ultimate in terms of flexibility and fighting power
- Graphite also provides the most sensitivity for feeling the bites or subtle takes from a fish
- The versatility is graphite is becoming evident. Brands are able to vary the action in each of their blanks, making graphite suitable for almost any technique
Carbon blanks are another popular trend when it comes to building bass rods. You'll often find some of the most expensive rods having a carbon blank and there are a number of reasons for this:
- Carbon is incredibly light. This is a favored characteristic in today's market as lightweight means comfort and comfort means more fishing
- It's offers as much sensitivity as graphite and arguably more
- While being incredibly light, it also has the necessary strength and toughness
Fiberglass blanks are unique. They're old school and many still love them for technique-specific applications. For instance, many professionals still think fiberglass rods are the best for crankbait use. This is because they have a more parabolic bend which helps with getting clean hooksets on treble hooks.
Apart from the crankbait argument, fiberglass rods are beginning to go out of fashion as their characteristics and attributes can now be matched by graphite. There will however always be fiberglass purists - especially when it comes to crankbait fishing.
Spinning Rod Action
Action is one of the key determinants of a rod's performance, and this is defined by the materials used in the rod as well as the shape. Action in a rod is very much based on personal preference, however, fast-action rods are usually favored when it comes to bass fishing - but also, the type of lure you use will usually determine the action of the rod you should use.
Action is best described as how easily and how far from the tip a rod will bend. Rod action can be categorized into 4 classes:
- Fast/Extra Fast
Fast/Extra Fast Action
A fast action is when the rod bends on the uppermost part of the rod, close to the tip. This action gives the rod a strong backbone, vital for getting a direct hookset and getting fish away from potential threats (heavy vegetation).
- Sensitive to the lightest of bites or takes from fish
- Crisp hooksetting for hidden single hooks
- Strong backbone makes them great for pulling fish out of heavy cover
- Better for fishing around vegetation and cover - without a doubt the best action for flipping and pitching
- The ideal action for finesse applications
Medium action rods will bend in the top half of the fishing rod. The parabolic action this brings about is favored for a few techniques.
- Greater loading for further casting
- The parabolic action works best for setting treble hooks
- The ideal action for a crankbait!
These rods are bendable all the way from the handle of the rod. These rods bend in a parabolic manner, making them the weakest in terms of fighting.
- Allows for far casting, if there’s a decently heavy lure at the end of the line
- Not easy to set the hook
- Longer, harder fights with fish - not ideal for fishing highly covered areas
Rod power refers to a rod’s stiffness or resistance to bending or simply the rod’s ability to handle lure weight, line, and deal with different cover situations. Rod power is characterized in the following terms:
There are certain rods that will use different power ratings, however, for bass anglers - these are the usual categories.
Spinning setups are much easier when it comes to casting lighter presentations and a medium-light power is designed for weightless presentations.
Having a medium-light power can however have a weakening impact on your hook setting ability.
This rod works best with 4-8lb test line, as well as 1/16-3/16 ounce lures.
A medium power rod has become more popular for the modern day bass angler. These rods are great for medium-weight lures where there is less cover to get through and less vegetation.
This rod will work best with 6-12lb and ⅛-⅜ ounce lures.
This is the most popular rod power for bass anglers. This rod has the capability to work a large range of lures and is perfect for a Texas rig, Carolina rig, Spinnerbaits, and pretty much anything, as long as there's a fair amount of weight on the lure. It is said that this is a most versatile action when it comes to lure choice.
A medium-heavy power rod will give anglers greater power in pulling lures and fishing out of areas of great cover. Also, the slightly stiffer action will help with hooksets where the hook is more hidden.
This power rod works ideally with 10-20lb test as well as ¼-¾ ounce lures.
The heavy power rod is used for the larger lures and gives anglers great amounts of leveraging power. This rod is great for fishing areas with large amounts of vegetation and cover.
Techniques for this rod power include flipping Texas rigs, walking frogs, and just fishing heavy vegetation in general.
The heavy power rod works great with 14-25lb, as well as ⅜-1 ½ ounce lures.
Most rods on the market today will have a line recommendation written on them - towards the butt and just above the handle. Brands will also usually give the rod power in this area too.
Line guides on a spinning rod are aligned in a gradually descending size, from the bottom of the rod blank. The diameter of the line guides near the reel are very large compared to a baitcasting rod, and then descend in size at a faster rate compared to casting rods to the tip of the rod.
Line paying off of a spinning reel tends to flow more erratically than a casting reel and the larger first guide helps to manage the line on casts.
The number of guides on a rod is based on the length as well as the flexibility, with more guides being used on rods that flex more dramatically.
The materials used for line guides vary from plastic, metal, and ceramics. These materials have different characteristics in terms of performance, and will vary in cost.
- Ceramic guides are best for braided or super lines, as they are the most resistant to wear and tear. You’ll often find ceramic guides in more expensive rods, as they provide serious durability. There is however an inner material within the guide which can nullify vibrations, reducing sensitivity within the rod. This is why Recoil guides may be preferred.
- Recoil guides, which are made from a nickel-titanium alloy, have also become a commonly used material for upper-end line guides. This material isn’t only used on the frame, but rather the entire guide itself. These guides are just as durable as ceramic guides, and have the added advantage of increased sensitivity as there is no other material nullifying vibrations.
- Fuji concept guides have become another popular line guide. It uses an Alconite ring material, which is a special kind of ceramic which offers great compression strength and is actually lighter than other materials used in line guides. These line guides offer reduced abrasion and are used in more expensive rods.
The rod handle is where the angler holds the rod for long periods of time. This often comes down to personal preference when it comes to material used but some materials are more durable than others - which is always a factor to consider.
- Cork is the most commonly used material for rod handles when it comes to freshwater fishing. Cork is often mounted onto a metal frame, with a trigger to improve control and enhance comfort. This gives the rod a classic, stylish look while being extremely. Cork adds little weight to the rod, giving the rod a comfortable and lightweight feel.
- EVA foam is another favorite material used for rod handles and provides a dense but lightweight feel. This is a soft, shock-absorbent material that also provides water and slip resistance. This material can also be easily shaped with sandpaper, giving you the chance to create an even more ergonomic feel. This material is more resistant to stains and changes in temperature, while providing the most durability over time.
There are other materials used in rod handles, however, cork and EVA foam provide the best results when it comes to comfort and durability, and are the most commonly used in today’s rods.
This is the portion of a rod’s butt section which secures the reel. For a spinning rod, the reel seat will position the reel hanging below the pole/handle.
Most fishing brands in today’s market realize the importance of the reel seat, and have made sure that reels fit securely and comfortably within the handle.
Daiwa Steez SVF AGS Spinning Rod
The Steez SVF AGS is considered as one of the most prestigious spinning rods in the bass fishing industry. Daiwa has included some of their finest exclusive features, such as their AGS guides, which help make the rod exceptionally light, as well as playing a role in transferring vibrations for added sensitivity. You'll struggle to find a better rod for finesse techniques, as this rod is extremely sensitive and designed to cast lighter presentations.
This is considered one of Daiwa's most premium spinning rods, so if you're a finesse specialist, you'll want to add this to your arsenal.
Shimano G. Loomis Conquest SJR Spinning Rod
The Conquest SJR is the result of a partnership between two of the finest fishing rod brands in fishing. This spinning rod has some of the finest craftmanship you'll find in a rod, and it's guaranteed to last you many years on the water, with optimal performance. 4 different models which have been perfectly optimized for different techniques, with a specific focus on finesse techniques. A handmade G. Loomis blank with Shimano's Spiral X technology gives this rod one of the best actions you can get.
Shimano and G. Loomis are two of the most respected brands in the sport, and they haven't disappointed with this partnered project.
St. Croix Legend Xtreme Spinning Rod
The Legend Xtreme is St. Croix's most advanced rod build, as they aim to provide one of the most responsive and sensitive rods on the market. St. Croix have included their finest SCVI carbon blank for this rod, and have partnered with Daiwa to use their AGS carbon fiber guides, which are extremely light and provide considerable sensitivity. The Legend Xtreme also features the unique Xtreme-Skin handle, which is incredibly tough, but also very comfortable. The Fuji SK2 reel seat is one of the finest Fuji has to offer.
The Legend Xtreme was designed to excel in finesse techniques, as it is extremely sensitive, light, and it loads light presentations perfectly for those precise casts.
Dobyns Champion Extreme HP Spinning Rod
Gary Dobyns set a goal of using his vast experience in competitive bass angling to produce some of the finest rods the industry has seen. The Champion Extreme HP spinning rod offers anglers the perfect action for all things finesse, with heavier options being available if needed. Dobyns rods have gained an excellent reputation for being extremely durable, while still being sensitive and very responsive.
Many anglers have fallen in love with the finesse options of this series, saying that they compete with some of the best finesse rods on the market.
Shimano Poison Adrena Spinning Rod
The Poison Adrena spinning rod series was designed by Shimano specifically for finesse techniques. A high modulus carbon blank with Shimano's exclusive Spiral X technology ensures a strong backbone, with a featherweight feel. Shimano have also featured their own full carbon monocoque handle, with a XT Ci4+ reel seat, which is extremely light.
The Poison Adrena has quickly become one of Shimano's most popular releases for both spinning rods and baitcasting rods, as it provide competition-ready performance at a very reasonable price.
Daiwa Tatula Elite AGS Spinning Rod
Designed by Daiwa's pro staff, the Tatula Elite AGS spinning rod is simply one of the finest finesse rod options out there. This rod is perfectly balanced, and makes use of some of Daiwa's finest exclusive features, such as their Air Guide System guides. These guides provide added sensitivity, while being an absolute dream to cast with. This rod is a favorite for techniques such as dropshotting, shakey heads, or ned rigs.
The Tatula Elite AGS is seen as one of the best members of the Tatula family, and has quickly become one of Daiwa's most successful releases.
13 Fishing Envy Black 2 Spinning Rod
13 Fishing worked hard to bring about incredible sensitivity in the Envy Black 2 series, and the spinning rod model brings about a modern feel with classic finesse features. A 46-Ton poly-vector graphite blank is one of the brands finest blanks, and gives this rod the necessary backbone to handle all kinds of situations. 13 Fishing have included Fuji stainless steel K-frame guides with SIC inserts, for added sensitivity and enhanced smoothness.
A unique high density Japanese EVA foam split grip, with 13 Fishing's Evolve carbon divide reel seat, gives this rod a stylish but also immensely comfortable feel. We love how 13 Fishing have taken a completely unique approach to building fishing rods, and they're giving us an idea on how rods could look in the future.
Abu Garcia Fantasista Premier Spinning Rod
The Fantasista Premier makes use of Abu's latest and finest technology to bring about a rod that is perfectly suited to finesse applications. Abu Garcia's 3M Powerlux 500 resin system gives the blank up to 15% more power, and makes it comfortably lighter. Abu's ROCS guide train also plays a large role in enhancing casting ability, especially for getting those weightless lures into the tight spots.
The Fantasista Premier is without a doubt one of Abu Garcia's classiest builds, and it displays everything that you would want in a spinning rod for fishing finesse techniques.
Lew's Custom Lite Speed Stick Spinning Rod
The Custom Lite Speed Stick is the lightest series of rods that Lew's have released. Built with a HM85 graphite blank, you simply won't find a lighter blank. Although this is one of the lightest rod options out there, it still has an incredibly strong backbone, and you'll be able to fish all kinds of cover. The weight on this rod makes it ideal for casting all kinds of weightless/finesse presentations, and the sensitivity of this rod is up there with some of the biggest names. Combine this with a Winn grip, and you've got yourself one of the most comfortable rods on market.
With a score of 97 on our ratings standards, this rod is one of the most popular we've come across.
Shimano Curado Spinning Rod
The Curado offers a series of 5 different spinning rod options which are geared towards finesse applications. Constructed with a hybrid UD carbon blank, this rod has an immensely strong backbone, and you'll be able to pull any bass out of any dangerous cover. The fast action on this rod makes for a crisp hookset, no matter what technique you're fishing. This rod is slightly heavier than other finesse rods, so you'll be able to fishing heavier presentations without any issue.
Shimano has developed a legendary name in the Curado, and this spinning rod series ticks all the right boxes.