Bass Fishing Spinning Rod Selection Guide For 2022
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
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.
A medium-light power rod is the type of rod a bass angler may use for fishing lighter presentations such as wacky rigs, dropshot, and other finesse presentations.
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 one of the highest rated rods on today's market. This rod is made to master all the main attributes when it comes to bass fishing.
You'll struggle to find a more responsive rod and you'll fall in love as soon as it lands in your hands!
Dobyns Champion Extreme HP Spinning Rod
The Champion Extreme HP offers a wide range of options for various techniques. Most of these options relate to worm fishing and finesse techniques especially. These rods are perfect for drop shotting, shaky heads, and other lighter applications.
The heavier rod models are also ideal for power techniques such as throwing bigger reaction baits.
Overall, anglers love how balanced and strong this rod is and they're impressed but how sensitive it is, even when you're fishing deeper offshore waters. This rod may be slightly on the pricier side - but you're guaranteed results.
St. Croix Legend Xtreme Spinning Rod
The Legend Xtreme is one of the most expensive rods on today's shelves. There's no doubt that this is one of St. Croix's finest builds and you won't find many rods with sensitivity to this degree, but many feel that this rod is not worth this hefty price tag. If you can afford it, this is quite a rod to add your finesse collection.
Abu Garcia Fantasista Premier Spinning Rod
The Fantasista Premier is another classy build from Abu. This rod combines the brands latest technology to bring out the best in sensitivity and comfort, as well as the necessary strength to handle big fish from various species. This rod may seem expensive, but it seems like a high-quality build that'll suit every finesse technique in the book. This rod combines nicely with the Revo SX.
Dobyns Champion XP Spinning Rod
The Champion XP is a world class rod from a brand which has received only positive feedback. There are numerous options available in this series, which suit different methods better, making this a very versatile spinning rod. Overall, from what we've read, this would make a very good finesse rod option.
Lew's Custom Lite Speed Stick Spinning Rod
The Custom Lite Speed Stick spinning rod is definitely one of the more impressive rods we've come across in this price region. The rod provides incredible sensitivity and is extremely light - but also has the necessary backbone to handle bass of all sizes.
A decent variety of models give you the chance to find one specific to the technique you love most, but each rod provides versatility in their own regard. The Custom Lite combines really well with the Custom Pro Speed Spin.
Denali KOVERT Lite Series Spinning Rod
The KOVERT Lite Series is a seriously lightweight and super sensitive spinning rod.
The lightweight design makes the KOVERT Lite perfect for all things finesse and you'll be able to load up any weightless presentation while feeling every bite or bump.
Shimano Poison Adrena Spinning Rod
The Poison Adrena is one of Shimano's finest finesse options. This rod is great for throwing those lighter presentations, as the blank is light and extremely sensitive. Many anglers have sworn by this series and have compared it to the likes of the NRX, from G. Loomis. A world-class build, from a world-class brand.
Shimano G. Loomis Conquest SJR Spinning Rod
The Conquest will always be an interesting topic of conversation purely because of it's price tag. There's no doubt that this rod is a world class build. It is extremely light, sensitive, and the materials used for this rod will guarantee you many years on unflawed performance.
However, many anglers feel that they can get equal performance from less expensive rods, and that one shouldn't pay this much for a rod. This may need to be taken into consideration, but many fishing rod enthusiasts feel that the components that are used in the construction of this rod are well worth the price.
If you're a rod collector, or just looking for a rod that'll provide you with optimal operation, the Conquest is definitely worth a look.
St. Croix Avid Series Spinning Rod
The Avid Series spinning rod is quite simply one of the most popular rods we've come across and has racked up some overwhelming reviews. Sensitive, lightweight, strong, and durable - there is no weakness in this rod.
The price tag may be reasonably high, but everyone says this is worth every dollar. This one is seriously worth a look if you're looking for a new spinning rod.
Shimano Clarus Spinning Rod
The Clarus remains an incredibly popular rod for Shimano. This series covers almost every technique needed out on the water, but anglers seems to love it for finesse applications.
The addition of the G-Alpha handle is a unique and worthwhile feature, and it's something we're starting to see on a regular basis Shimano.
Daiwa Tatula XT Spinning Rod
The Tatula XT looks like an outstanding option if you're looking for an affordable spinning rod to work finesse methods with. Many anglers love how light and sensitive this rod is, and compare to rods that are well above it's price point. This is definitely a worthwhile look in if you're lurking around this price region.
If you're looking for a reel to combine this with, have a look at the Tatula LT.
13 Fishing Fate Black Spinning Rod
The Fate Black is a very popular spinning rod option as it works great for all things finesse related. Ned rigs, shaky heads, weightless wacky's, or any lighter application will fit this rods action.
This rod is very affordable, and has received some seriously positive reviews. We highly recommend giving the Fate Black a look if you're lurking around this price region.
Abu Garcia Veritas PLX Spinning Rod
The Veritas PLX spinning rod is a high class rod that provides solid all-round performance. This rod suits bass fishing but also many other forms of angling.
A budget-friendly option that should definitely be considered if you're hanging around this price region.
Ardent Tournament Pro Spinning Rod
The Tournament Pro spinning rod is a newer model by Ardent with a stylish and ergonomic design. A strong and sensitive graphite blank makes this an attractive option if you're into catching bass. A very affordable option from a trusted brand. If you're interested in Ardent, why not have a look at their Edge.
Shimano SLX Spinning Rod
The SLX is a more budget-friendly option by Shimano that still offers impressive sensitivity and overall performance. This rod will throw lighter finesse presentations with ease and has enough backbone to pin any bass.
One issue which we've seen more than once, is anglers reporting that their SLX rod has snapped. We're not sure if this is a serious issue with the rod, but it's definitely something to consider before buying.
13 Fishing Fate Green Spinning Rod
The Fate Green spinning rod is one of the better looking rods in terms of attractiveness that we've come across and it'll provide you with solid all round performance.
One negative we've read, is that some anglers have had the rod break very easily, which is something to consider. Otherwise, this rod provides all the necessities for catching big bass. An affordable option from a modern brand.
Shimano Convergence Spinning Rod
The Convergence spinning rod offers reliable and versatile performance for all kinds of angling. This series from Shimano has been around for many years and continues to provide anglers with durable and solid operation.
It may not be the lightest, and doesn't specialize in specific techniques, but you're guaranteed to have a solid performance on the water no matter what you're trying. A great option if you're in the $60 price region.
Lew's American Hero Speed Stick Spinning Rod
The American Hero Speed Stick is a reliable and versatile spinning rod that comes at a very budget friendly price. This rod won't provide you with the best in terms of sensitivity, but you're guaranteed a strong backbone, and a durable rod.
This rod was built for a great cause, getting war veterans to enjoy the game of bass fishing.
Daiwa Aird X Spinning Rod
The Aird X is a great spinning rod for the price you're paying. A really good option if you're new to spinning rods or just bass fishing in general.
One thing to remember is that this rod won't offer the ultimate in terms of performance, but it will definitely perform as its described.
Overall, a highly rated rod in this price region. Daiwa has several other options which you may find more responsive, such as the Tatula XT. Combine this with a smaller spinning reel, such as a 1000 sized Tatula LT.