Conventionally known for their ability to reel in large fish, baitcasting rods can give you a mechanical advantage over other reels by giving you the best control and precision. When choosing a good baitcasting rod, you can easily be overwhelmed by the variety of good fishing rods on the market today. You need to focus on finding a good baitcasting rod that will suit your own preferences and be careful not to end up spending too much money on a rod that you don’t like and will never use.
Taking your time and finding the right rod will help you perform better and catch more fish. Here are a few tips on what to look for in a good baitcasting rod and a few reviews to help you start your search.
Graphite and Fiberglass
1 (Editor's Choice)
Choosing a Baitcasting Rod
Designed with the reel installed on the top of the rod over a trigger grip, baitcasting rods improve your ability to keep control while you are casting and when you are fighting a fish. You will find that this is an extremely effective feature when you have wet or slippery hands while you are fishing.
The action of a rod tells you how a rod will perform when you are reeling and casting. You will see a rod’s action listed as either slow, medium, moderate, or fast. If you have a fast-action rod, it will bend mostly just in the top third of the length of the rod. A moderate- or medium-action rod will bend farther down the length of the rod, usually to the midpoint. With a slow-action rod, it will bend throughout the entire length of the rod, all the way down to the handle. The action will also correlate to the weight and size of the lures that you are using. If you are using small lures, a medium action rod will be able to achieve the best casting distance as it will give the rod better flexibility and create more kinetic energy.
When using a fast-action rod, you will be able to use techniques like jigging. If you want to cast middleweight crankbaits, a moderate action will work well, while a slow-action rod is great for long gentle casts if you are using live bait.
You will find that baitcasting rod line guides on a baitcasting rod are lined up in descending order from the butt of the rod to the tip, and they are found on the top of the rod blank. You will also see smaller line guide diameters in comparison to those found on a spinning rod. This is due to the way the line pays out more evenly. In general, the number of guides on a rod is due to the flexibility and length of the rod blank, and you will see more guides on rods that have more flexibility.
Several different materials are used for the insert of line guides including metal, plastic, and ceramic. The highest quality anchors are made of ceramic while plastic anchors are found on the lower end. The quality of the guides will affect your casting distance and how well you will be able to battle with a fish. Ceramic guides have the best resistance to wear and are usually the best choice.
RECOIL® guides are a more recent addition to line guide options and are made from a special nickel-titanium alloy that does not corrode or require plating. After several deformations, RECOIL guides will return to their original shape. The entire guide is made of this special metal, not just the frame, and it is as durable as a ceramic guide while including more advantages including better sensitivity since there aren’t any materials to deaden vibrations.
The power of a rod correlates to the fight. You will see it described as heavy, medium-heavy, light, and ultra-light. If you are fishing for small fish, a light or ultra-light rod will work well while larger fish will require a heavy or medium-heavy rod.
You will find that most rods are made out of fiberglass, graphite, or a combination. Graphite has usually been known to bruise easily and be a rather fragile material. Over the years, the quality of graphite has improved giving it awesome fighting power and flexibility, plus great sensitivity for feeling a light nibble or take.
Basically, the rod construction of graphite is a simple carbon fiber that is designed with structural properties that are perfect for pressure resistance and flexibility. The amount of graphite used and the bonding agent’s quality will affect the quality of the finished product. The rating system of the graphite’s tensile strength is measured by how much it can be extended calculated with a few million pounds of pressure per square inch applied. If graphite has a higher modulus rating, that tells you it will not extend as much since elongation is what lets a rod bend and spring back.
The graphite’s modulus of elasticity on a graphite rod is noted with a rating of 36 million modulus, etc. With a higher number, the stronger the rod is for its weight. This also allows a manufacturer to make a rod that has a smaller diameter that also weighs less. You will see that graphite rods will range from 33- to 64-million modulus, while a fiberglass rod will have a modulus between six to 13 million. Remember, that the higher the modulus, the more likely the rod will be brittle although there are several rods that include a number of modulus to equalize this characteristic.
With a fiberglass rod, you will have more durability but less sensitivity. They are also heavier than a graphite rod with the same length, diameter, and action. Fiberglass rods are great to use for larger fish and heavier applications where you don’t have to cast or need sensitivity. This is also a great type of rod for children or someone just starting out with a baitcasting rod.
Rods that are a composite of these two materials are usually powerful, lightweight, and sensitive, but not like the pure blend of one of the materials alone.
When considering a new rod, make sure to pay attention the design and materials that are used in the construction of the handle and grip. This is an important feature that will determine how comfortable your hands will be at the end of the day. If you have a pistol grip, you will find that this is the shortest type of grip that is normally contoured to fit your hand’s shape. Grips can be made of either cork mounted onto a metal frame or composites. If you do a lot of two-handed casting to get more leverage in a fight, you will have more of an advantage with the extended length of a rear grip.
The two most common materials used for handles are cork and EVA foam, and the best cork will be imported from Portugal. For a stain resistant material, the more durable EVA foam is a good choice and will also resist changes in temperature.
It is important to have a quality reel seat. This is especially true if you have ever had a reel seat that has worked loose at a critical moment. The reel seat is the point on the reel where it is attached to the rod, and this is where the stress from a fight is applied with a lot of torque. If you have a good reel seat, you will be able to use all major brands of reels and they will fit snugly when they are tightened.
Best Baitcasting Fishing Reviews
With the Tatula line of premium tournament rods, you can take your fishing experience to the next level. With a select X45 Bias Graphite construction, the Daiwa Tatula Casting rod features carbon technology that is a great addition to increase the rod’s strength while also increases its strength and flexibility. The Zero G design helps to reduce the weight of the rod while the Fuji Alconite guides top the sensitive and strong rod.
The custom Daiwa reel seat is lightweight and features a hood nut that is machined aluminum. The natural cork handles feature split EVA grips that are ultra-lightweight making it comfortable to use on a long day of fishing. This rod was also created to be versatile so you won’t have to pick up another rod for a simple adjustment. The quality components on the Daiwa Tatula Casting Rod ensure that you will have incredible handling that is covered by a five-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Lightweight rod that’s nice quality plus it pitches and cast really well
- Nicely built, looks beautiful
- Reels handles perfectly and has great sensitivity
- Action is a little stiff for some users
- One piece rod, hard to store
If you are looking for a great day of fishing, then you should try the Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Rod. It features a composite graphite and fiberglass blank with an Ugly Stik® Clear Tip® that gives you both strength and sensitivity. You will also enjoy a comfortable hold with the lightweight EVA grips.
The Ugly Stik also includes stainless-steel Ugly Tuff™ line guides that stop insert pop outs and can be used with almost any type of line including braid. This one-piece design has eye-catching graphics that give it a contemporary look.
The Ugly Stik is a Medium Heavy Power Casting Rod that will allow you to catch medium to large size fish. This is a durable and lightweight rod that was constructed to give you reliability and smooth performance each time you use it. With the durable and dense EVA foam handle, you will have a comfortable and enjoyable experience while fishing.
- Very durable and reliable
- Can catch a 15 and 25-pound fish which is enough for a pro
- Since it is a two piece, it is easy to carry
- Some users did not like that it came apart in two pieces
- A little stiff for some users
- Very heavy and not very sensitive
Part of the Rippin Lips’ SuperCat Series created by John Jamison, the Rippin Lips’ Series was designed to conquer specific situations and the many types of fish that you may encounter. Unlike most rods that use E-glass, the SuperCat Series combines S-glass blanks with a lighter and more advanced fiberglass that is stiffer and stronger than E-glass which was originally used for non-angling applications, while S-glass was created specifically for fishing rods. Also, the modulus of E-glass is half the size of the S-glass giving you the best blend of smoothness, strength, and sensitivity.
SuperCat also includes an EVA split grip custom handle that gives you great balance when fighting large fish that also enhances your power when setting hooks and gives you comfortable under-arm fit while fishing. Extra hard, chrome-plated stainless steel guides are used for extra durability when building these rods in comparison to the standard hard ceramic guide inserts that are used for lighter line applications. All of the guides are wrapped with epoxy coated for extra toughness and protection.
High-visibility glow tips help to guarantee that no nibble will be unseen as well as provide you with more casting accuracy and equal sensitivity at night. Chrome-plated stainless steel guides that are extra hard are used for extra durability when building these rods in comparison to the standard hard ceramic guide inserts that are used for lighter line applications. All of the guides are wrapped with epoxy coated for extra toughness, protection, and to avoid abrasion. This also helps to get rid of any noise that comes from metal-on-metal movement.
When using the Rippin Lips’s Rod, you will be able to feel the high tensile strength from the rigidity you get from the infused S-glass blanks. The cool looking split handle is also very lightweight, subjective, and balanced while also providing confidence while fishing.
- Lightweight and durable
- Infused S-glass blanks give your more rigidity
- High-visibility glow tips help to see at night and provide more accuracy
- Not easy to use for beginner
- A one-piece rod is difficult to store and transport
Lightweight and durable are features you want in a baitcasting fishing rod. The Entsport Graphite Baitcaster is a Medium Heavy bait casting rod that features a solid carbon fiber construction with a maximum strength that also ensures sensitivity. This is a versatile, powerful and flexible baitcasting fishing rod that comes in a two piece travel design.
The ergonomically enhanced reel sets are constructed dexterously to make gripping easier. It allows your fingers to have direct contact with the seat giving you better friction when you are using the rod. The EVA split grips will add to your fishing comfort and give you additional control.
The Entsport Baitcaster also comes with two different top pieces that each have a different power either Medium or Medium Heavy, plus it has an extension for fast action. It also features stainless steel guides that are corrosion proof and are perfectly spaced for friction-free line flow allowing for maximum casting sensitivity and performance. The light weight of the rod allows you to spend long days on the boat with little fatigue. This is a great rod for a tight budget with all the great features it offers.
- Flexible and powerful
- Lightweight and corrosion-free
- EVA split grip is comfortable and gives you great control
- There have been some complaints that it breaks
- Little expensive for what you get
- Hard to take a part
Great for kids and all skill levels, the Shimano FXC Casting Rod is well known for its comfort and sensitivity. With the reinforced aluminum oxide guides, your line will stream freely for every cast and retrieve. The solid locking graphite reel seat keeps the mechanism on this fishing rod firmly attached to the rod. Plus, the comfortable EVA foam-grip handle lessens hand fatigue if you are fishing all day long.
With its Aeroglass blank construction, the body of Shimano FXC casting rod is built with a solid locking graphite that provides you with an excellent fishing tool that has sufficient flexibility and stiffness. This sturdy and durable rod is available in a variety of length and is intended to be used in rivers, lakes, streams, or light saltwater fishing.
- Perfect weight, not too heavy and not too light
- Good rod for the price
- Durable and good for trips
- Some users found the rod a little stiff
- Only good for kids and those that do not fish often
- Some users found it to be on the heavy side
A few things you should know before shopping for your new baitcasting rod is your fishing distance, accuracy, and line capacity. With the right reel and rod, you can make your fishing experience a lot more productive and fun. Doing your research and knowing your requirements can help you choose a new rod wisely, so you don’t end up wasting money on a rod you will never use.
The winner of the best baitcasting rod round up is the Daiwa Tatula Casting Rod. As a part of the Tatula line of premium tournament rods, you will enjoy the strength and flexibility from the select X45 Bias Graphite construction and carbon technology. It has a design that reduces the weight of the rod while the natural cork handles feature ultra-lightweight split EVA grips that make it comfortable to use on a long day of fishing. The clear winner of the best baitcasting rod round up is definitely the Daiwa Tatula Casting Rod.