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Best Topwater Rod for Spooks: Key Specs & Features
Tackle & Gear

Best Topwater Rod for Spooks: Key Specs & Features

Adrian Raath
Co-founder

There are few things more exciting than watching your spook get smashed on the surface while walking it back to the boat or bank. Choosing the right rod for this form of topwater fishing can have a huge impact on your hook up ration and the amount of fish that you land. In this article we break down the type of rod you should be looking at for fishing a spook and provide some great product options in this category. Hopefully this will help get you prepared for when bass start hitting topwater in the spring.

Rod Specifications for a Topwater Spook

The optimal rod for a spook is going to be the same as the optimal rod for other treble hook topwater baits such as walking baits, prop baits and poppers. As a general rule of thumb, you are going to want to go with the following set of specs. Of course, this may vary due to anglers preferences but in general, this is going to topwater fishing very well. This is what you're looking for when trying to find the best topwater rod for spooks:


Power - Medium

Action - Medium or Medium Fast

Length - 6’ 4” to 7’

Why are we recommending these specifications, see our explanation for each spec below:

Medium Power (usually)

Now there is a quick thing to note here, I am recommending that you use a medium power rod assuming that you will be fishing your spook on a braided line, my go-to for topwater presentations because it floats. That is a super important point and I will explain why.

Braided line has no stretch which makes for great hook sets. Spooks however have fairly light wire treble hooks that require a little bit of “give” on the hook set, in order to have the best possible chance of sticking the fish during the strike.

If you were to pair braided line with a medium heavy rod, you will often find yourself ripping the bait right out of the fish's mouth. The little bit of give provided by a medium action rod balances well with the lack of stretch in braid, and allows for the best possible amount of give in order to get a good hook set.

If you are fishing your spook on monofilament, which of course stretches, you may want to bump up to a medium heavy rod to account for the extra stretch. I always err on the lighter side though.

Medium or Medium Fast Action

Action describes how much of a rod bends when pressure is applied to its tip (pretty much where it starts bending). Faster actions start bending further up the rod and slower actions start bending further down.

Following on from the previous section, spooks, especially the smaller ones have fairly thin-gauge treble hooks. A little bit of give, provided by the more parabolic bend a medium or medium-fast action allows for better hook sets in this situation and will result in more consistent hook ups.

Stepping down to a medium/medium-fast action also improves casting distance especially when throwing smaller spooks that don’t carry as much weight.

Shorter Length (6’4” - 7’)

Shorter rods are ideal for fishing a spook, try and stay in the 6’4” to 7’ range. The action you impart with your rod for the best possible action from your spook is usually one that moves the tip of the rod downwards towards the water. Doing this with a long rod is frustrating as the tip will keep entering the water at the bottom-end of every movement. With a shorter rod, you are also able to achieve a much better rhythm in your action without becoming fatigued during long topwater sessions. 

Some Great Rods for Fishing a Spook

Any high quality rod that meets the above specifications is going to be a great rod for fishing a spook. There really is no “best brand” or “best model” rod for fishing a spook as rod selection at the end of the day is very subjective. Having said that, I have listed my two favorite options on the market below in case you need a little extra guidance:

Abu Garcia IKE Delay 6'8" Medium

Daiwa Tatula Elite Series 6’10” Medium

These are both fantastic rods. The Abu Garcia Delay series was designed by Elite series Pro, Mike Iaconelli and the Daiwa Tatula was designed with the assistance of Seth Feider, current Bassmaster angler of the year. It’s safe to say that these guys know a thing or two about topwater/spook fishing!

Wrapping up

Choosing a rod for fishing a spook is very similar to choosing a rod for any topwater application where treble hooks are involved.

You want something that provides a little bit of give so that you don’t rip those thin trebles out of the fish’s mouth on the hook set, but you still want enough backbone to fight that fish back into the boat.

Going with something around the medium power and medium/medium action range will enable you to do both of those and achieve optimal castability.

Also remember that you do not need a super long rod for topwater fishing. Getting that classic walking action is going to be easier and more manageable if you stay at the 7 foot and under range.


Adrian Raath
Co-founder

Adrian is a bass fishing fanatic who probably wrote this bio while flipping a creature bait into some cover. Adrian fishes local competitive leagues and spends the rest of his time reviewing bass fishing tackle and researching new ways to chase a new pb.

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