Due to its remarkable design and reliability, the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 is one of the best baitcasting rods that money can buy.
The rod, which was originally created in the late 70s, has continued to wow handlers due to its extreme durability and sensitivity. All current models are crafted with a combination of graphite and fiberglass, to capture the benefits of each material. As a result, every piece is extremely light to the touch, but also tough as nails. Hence why the piece has earned the title for the best baitcasting rod of 2019.
Anglers using an Ugly Stik can sense fish the second they even smell the bait, giving the fast action piece a serious advantage over other competitive models. Once fish do happen to take the bait, anglers can rely on the stiff graphite to set the hook and ensure a catch.
All in all, the Ugly Stik GX2 really is the best all around baitcasting rod currently on the market, as it does far more than just meet the basic needs of a casting rod.
- Great level of sensitivity
- Strong and durable construction
- One piece guides
- Stiff yet responsive
- Fiberglass tip
- Slightly susceptible to rust
- Pieces occasionally separate
A sleek design, lightweight composition, and superior level of comfort make the Endsport E Series Camo Legend the best baitcasting rod for the money.
The rod, which is constructed of enhanced carbon fiber, offers an incredible level of comfort, while still offering plenty of strength. A well designed EVA handle allows for anglers to hold on while casting, and additionally apply pressure when a large fish is on the hook.
However, unlike many other rods, the Camo Legend comes with two separate tips that can be switched out. Each tip offers a slightly different power, to give anglers the chance to pursue different species.
Regardless of Endsport being a lesser-known brand, it has still managed to create the best budget baitcasting rod with the Camo Legend, while also capturing the title for the best baitcasting rod under $50.
- Comfortable and well-shaped handle
- Sleek and catchy design
- Great level of power
- Lightweight construction
- Only 7 guides
- Low quality nylon travel bag
A somewhat new contender in the world of sport fishing is Piscifun, a brand that hasn’t even reached its 10th birthday.
Though Piscifun may be young and fresh, its age certainly doesn’t reflect the quality of its rods, as the Torrent One Piece is certainly a baitcaster rod that will start to pop up on many casting rod reviews.
The rod, which is fashioned of IM6 Carbon, is truly a piece that can take a beating. The level of power and strength that the medium action rod delivers is mind-blowing, as the blank is nearly indestructible when tested against the elements.
However, the sheer brute strength is coupled with a sharp level of sensitivity, which gives handlers a chance to feel every inch of their bait as they wiggle it through shallows.
The graphite reel seat, 9 guides, and cozy handle are just the final cherries on top. At the end of the day, the Torrent is certainly a piece that will continue to gain in popularity, as it is one of the best baitcasting rods for bass currently available.
- Incredible durability
- Smooth carbon finish
- 9 blank guides
- Comfortable handle arrangement
- Rod tip can be fragile
A model that simply cannot be ignored on any of the good baitcasting rod reviews is the Kastking Perigee II.
The model, which can be found as a 2 piece baitcasting rod, or a 1 piece, has a variety of features that elevate it above other good baitcasting rods. Not only is the rod made of Toray 24-ton carbon, but it is also equipped with Fuji O-rings for guides. The two features nicely work together to ensure that the rod can hold its own in the elements.
However, the balance of the Perigee II is often what wins many anglers over. A central balance allows anglers to pitch and cast without any trouble, making the rod a very useful tool to have when jigging.
With all of its traits and features considered, the Kastking Perigee very well may be the best baitcasting rod under $100.
- Rubber end piece on handle
- Downward facing hook keeper
- Two included end pieces
- Well balanced construction
- Fuji guides
- Tip occasionally snaps
The Piscifun Serpent is yet another new rod that could eventually earn the title of being the best baitcaster rod available on the market.
With a composition made of Toray carbon fiber, Fuji O guides, and golf-style rubber grips – the Serpent is anything but ordinary. The high-quality construction makes the rod both appealing to the eye and the touch.
Even though there are very few baitcasting rods reviews that have yet to discover the Serpent, it doesn’t mean that the tool is basic. In fact, the Serpent is quite the opposite.
Anglers wielding a Serpent can easily pitch, flip, and overhead cast their lures to land exactly where they desire. The well-designed handle and reel seat gives a superior level of comfort, which many other similar rods just can’t compete with. All of the superior functions, designs, and uses combine to make the Serpent one of the best baitcasting rods of 2019.
- Downward facing hook keeper
- Comfortable anti-slip golf grip
- High-quality Toray carbon fiber blank
- Excellent casting capabilities
- Stiff and rigid construction
A flashy blank and solid construction make the Entsport E Series Sirius a rod that is both appealing to the eye as well as the hand.
The E Series Sirus is a two piece baitcasting rod that can be found in light, medium, and medium heavy power to accommodate the varying needs of anglers. Built with high tensile carbon, a stainless steel reel seat, and a cozy EVA handle, the Sirius is a model that could eventually evolve to earn the title of best casting rod for the money.
However, though it doesn’t currently take the title for the best cheap baitcasting rod, the Sirius does take the title for being the best medium light casting rod on this list. It offers great sensitivity, plenty of fighting power, and is an ideal rod for long days on the water when a comfortable handle is a must.
- Stainless steel reel seat
- Lightweight and responsive
- Corrosion resistant
- Extremely portable
- Only 7 line guides
- Somewhat weak tip
Just as the name implies, the KastKing Speed Demon really is a bass rod that is designed to land countless sport fish.
The 1 piece rod comes in a variety of sizes and actions, to give anglers more options that accommodate their fishing styles. All models include a cork handle with an EVA butt grip, to provide solid levels of comfort and control.
Due to all the different models, anglers can easily select an option that is ideal for jerkbaits, crankbaits, jigging, topwater and more. KastKing is even so confident that anglers will love the Speed Demon that they offer a ‘Total Peace of Mind Warranty’. Due to the solid warranty, the rod may, in fact, be the best casting rod under $100.
- Great for jerkbaits
- Fuji LN guides with O rings
- Strong lifting power
- Ideal for various casting methods
- Hook holder placed too close to handle
- Slightly stiff
The Tournament Performance TP1 by Lew’s is the white knight that could be the savior to many anglers.
The sheer white construction of the IM8 graphite blank is impressive from any angle, as the piece both looks and feels like a professional tool. However, there is far more behind the scenes than just the appearance, as the tool is fashioned with some pretty brilliant technology.
The TP1 is crafted with an American Tackle MicroWave guide system to ensure that the line isn’t bundled up when casting. This is accomplished by the guides creating wind tunnels to pull the line along the length of the shaft. As a result, anglers seldom have to deal with any snarls.
Nevertheless, anglers can still revel in the lightweight feel and sensitivity of the graphite rods, which grant handlers the chance to feel every inch of motion under the water. Although it is not the cheapest model on the list, the TP1 by Lew’s is certainly one of the best baitcasting rods for the money.
- Split grip Dri-Tac handles
- MicroWave guide system eliminates knots
- Strong yet sensitive rod blank
- Handles crank baits with ease
- Only 1 year of warranty
A host of quality features make the Abu Garcia IKE Signature Power Rod a one of a kind beast that is no doubt the best baitcasting rod from the brand.
The IKE Signature Power delivers exactly what it claims to – a whole heap of power. The three different options which it comes in – medium, medium heavy, and heavy, are ideal for catching a variety of large fish. Largemouth, striped bass, and even pike can easily be wrestled in by the IKE.
Regardless, the most impressive aspects of the rod are the 36 Ton graphite blank, zirconium guide inserts, fast recovery, and even weight distribution.
- Zirconium inserts in guides
- Ultra-quality 36 Ton graphite blank
- Fast and responsive
- Great level of sensitivity
- Steel guides can be susceptible to rust
- Difficult to transport
The Fenwick Elite Tech Bass Casting rod is certainly a force to be reckoned with.
Countless high-quality elements are poured into every rod, such as titanium frame guides, hidden real seats for extra comfort, and an EVA/TAC handle to offer the best of both materials.
The Elite Tech Bass casting rod works well with a variety of lures such as using jerkbaits, crankbaits, and swimbaits. However, the rod is made specifically for bass. As a result, it may be one of, if not the best baitcasting rod for bass, but it is not suitable for other species such as salmon.
Nevertheless, the baitcast fishing pole is tough, resilient, and durable – while also being incredibly sensitive.
- Titanium frame guides
- Hidden handle design to increase comfort
- Limited lifetime warranty
- High-quality graphite blank
- Specific to bass only
What is a baitcasting rod?
A baitcasting rod is a variant of the traditional fishing rod which places the reel and line guides on the top of the blank, rather than below it. The reel, as well as the rod itself, are specially made to be equipped for one another. Such a reel lets line loose via a frictionless wheel, which spins once a cast is made.
Baitcasting rods work in a very similar way to spinning rods, as both contain wrapped coils of line which are thread through the guides of the rod. With a spinning rod, anglers simply flip the top mechanism of the reel (the bail), to let the line uncoil while casting. Whereas with a baitcasting rod, anglers press a button on the reel, then hold their thumb against the line to keep it tight while casting.
Pressing a thumb down to control the release of the line is an essential element when using such a reel. If an angler fails to do so, the line often spins too rapidly on the spool and causes a ‘bird’s nest’ which cannot be fixed easily.
Experienced fishermen often turn to baitcasters as the variants are far better for casting great distances than spinning rods. Also, such rods handle large catches better, as the pressure from the line is pushed into the rod via the top guides, rather than away via bottom facing guides (spinning rods).
Spinning Rods Vs. Baitcasting Rods
Most anglers start their venture into fishing with a spinning rod. The pieces are wildly easy to use, can be found at almost any generic sports store, and are great for learning the basics. However, they function in a way that is very different to baitcasting rods.
A spinning rod is an ideal choice for new anglers, young children, and those who prefer accuracy over power. The rod and reel combo requires users to do nothing more than flip a small segment of the reel to release line. Once this is done, anglers can toss their bait out in any direction they choose, as the guides allow the line to flow with precise accuracy.
Nevertheless, spinning rods are not ideal in every situation. They struggle to cast bait great distances and fight fish which pull tremendously hard. In such situations, anglers are much better off with a baitcaster fishing pole.
Baitcaster poles do a tremendous job of casting bait great distances, due to the arrangement of the reel. The frictionless wheel inside of a baitcaster reel allows the line to freely flow with each cast. However, that free flow can be wildly messy if anglers do not monitor the release of the line with their thumb.
Thus, baitcasters are more efficient when fishing from shorelines, for large species, using topwater buzz baits, or maneuvering crankbaits. On the contrary, spinning rods are more appropriate when fishing for smaller species, finessing through shallow water, or using a lighter line.
An important element to consider when purchasing a baitcaster pole is the material that the piece is made of. The components of each piece can dramatically alter the tool’s properties and functions, which changes the overall fishing experience. Thus, there are three main variants that baitcasters can be found in.
The majority of slow action rods are composed of fiberglass materials.
Fiberglass rods are notoriously flexible, allowing anglers to nearly bend the piece in half before it snaps. For that very reason, anglers often choose the variant to fight fish that have softer mouths and require a softer hook setting.
When fashioned as a baitcaster, fiberglass rods are ideal for anglers searching for large species. The ultra-durable material bends appropriately, while also ensuring that the piece won’t snap mid-fight.
Many of the best casting rods are made of composite materials, as the variant satisfies a range of needs that other constructions cannot.
Composite rods are true to their name, as they are comprised of a variety of materials that give them special properties. Materials such as boron, graphite, fiberglass, and other light fibers are often combined into one piece, to offer sensitivity, power, and durability. With all of those beneficial elements, it is easy to see why such a combination is so widely loved.
However, composite rods do have a time and place when they are most appropriate. Anglers using baitcasters often choose composite rods when they search for a medium to medium fast action piece that also offers decent sensitivity.
When it comes to sensitivity, there is no greater blank material than graphite.
Graphite rods are incredibly sensitive, allowing anglers to feel even the slightest hit. The best baitcasting rods constructed of such material typically only bend on the upper third, which gives them a relatively fast action. As a result, anglers can easily feel when a fish pokes at the bait.
Though they sound like the ideal all-around rod, graphite pieces do also have an appropriate time and place. The fast actions of such pieces are not ideal for every species, as some such as catfish require a slow action where rods form a more parabolic shape. Thus, graphite baitcasting rods are best used when hunting for largemouth and smallmouth bass weighing less than 20 lbs.
Though it may not be the most important element, the length of a rod is yet another factor that should be considered when buying a new setup.
Baitcasting rods are designed to cast lures great distances, as the design of the reels permits a free flow of the line. However, the distance that baitcasters offer can also be augmented by choosing a longer or shorter rod.
Most the best baitcasting rods fall into the range of 7 to 8 feet. Though there are some outliers on each side of the spectrum those two sizes seem to be the most coveted. A 7 foot baitcaster rod allows slightly more casting accuracy than an 8 foot, but sacrifices casting distance in return.
Baitcasting anglers that desire more finesse are better off with a shorter rod around 7 foot. Those who wish to haul in larger species, cast farther, and set the hook quicker are more suited for an 8 foot rod.
The power of a rod is a critical factor that no angler using a baitcaster can ignore.
Power, which is simply defined as the amount of weight needed to bend a rod, is an essential component for anglers that target large species. In a more simple sense, power is the sheer lifting strenght that a rod has.
The power rating of a rod can be placed on the standard scale, which groups rods from ultra-light, to ultra-heavy. An ultra-light rod can barely lift even the smallest of panfish, while an ultra-heavy can haul in epic beasts like sturgeon.
Baitcasters are more specifically targeted to catch larger fish, thus it only makes sense that they are often medium to heavy power. Anglers searching for largemouth can rely on medium power, whereas anglers seeking catfish and salmon are better off with heavy power.
Unlike the other factors, the action component of a fishing rod is more muddled and slightly harder to understand.
Action, which is measured by speed, breaks down where a rod will bend when pressure is applied. The scale, which ranks rods from extra fast to slow, indicates where a rod will bend when a fish is on the line.
Fast and extra-fast rods bend very near the end of the rod when pressure is applied. Thus, anglers can more easily set the hook, and drag fish towards the surface.
Moderate speed rods, on the other hand, bend nearly a third of the way down the rod when pressure is applied. This speed is ideal for anglers that want to set the hook quickly, but without tearing the bait out of the mouth of the fish.
Slow speeds bend almost clear to the handle of a piece, giving anglers a fair amount of play when fighting a fish. Such a speed is ideal for anglers that want to fight fish with soft mouths, that also make quick runs. However, slow and medium speed rods are ideal for anglers that wish to cast great distances, as the rods ‘unload’ the stored energy from the bend into the lure.
One of the most essential factors to consider when choosing a rod is what the target species is.
Bass, salmon, and catfish all behave wildly different from one another. As a result, the rod which is best suited for each species also changes.
Largemouth bass is a species that requires a fast hook set. Thus, anglers are better off with baitcasting rods which have a fast action. Failure to set the hook fast often leads to a lost catch.
Salmon and catfish, however, are species that can be more efficiently wrestled in by slower action rods, with lots of power. Such species often suck the bait in and make long runs and circles in the water. A fast action rod may jerk the hook out of the mouths of each species, which yet again results in a lost catch.
1. What is a baitcasting rod?
A baitcaster fishing rod is a variant of the traditional fishing pole that is used to catch larger fish, cast greater distances, and angle from distant shorelines.
The setup of a baitcaster resembles that of the traditional fishing rod, but with a few minor differences. Though it is still comprised of a rod blank, a set of guides and a reel set, how it is arranged is altered.
Rather than holding a reel on the underside of a blank, a baitcaster places both the reel and guides on top of the blank. The specialized reel consists of a frictionless wheel that moves on a tube when the line is cast, allowing the line to move freely. As a result, the line can fly much faster through the guides, without experiencing any drag like a spinning piece.
As a result, baitcasters are often used by anglers or shorelines, or those searching for monster fish. Due to their design, they are often longer, more durable, and more efficient at dragging in heavy catches.
2. What is the difference between a regular and baitcasting rod?
The two main rods which make up the equipment market are regular (spinning) and baitcasting rods.
The large majority of anglers start their careers with spinning rods, as the pieces are more common and easier to use. Spinning rods consist of a set of guides, a reel, and a rod blank, all fashioned together on the underside of a piece. Anglers can simply turn the spinning reel over to let line loose, and cast their bait into the water.
While bait caster rods do consist of the same basic elements, they are radically different in their arrangement. The pieces place the reel and guides on top of a rod blank, rather than below. A specialized reel is then attached, which lets line loose via a frictionless bar. The combination allows the line to be cast farther out into the water, as there is little to no friction present.
3. When do I use a baitcasting rod?
Baitcaster rods can be incredibly helpful pieces of equipment if used at the right time.
However, many anglers start with spinning rods before they jump into using baitcasters. The more standardized rod type allows anglers to learn the basics of fishing, without having to deal with the complexities of a baitcaster.
Nevertheless, most experienced anglers eventually move into baitcasters as they are more powerful than traditional spinning rods. A good baitcasting rod is far more powerful, durable, and stiff than a spinning rod. Due to these factors, they are often better for anglers that target larger fish. Largemouth bass, catfish, and striped bass are just a few of the many species that become easier to land when using a baitcaster. On the contrary, catching small panfish such as bluegill or crappie can be more of a challenge when using such a rod, as the heavy scale of the equipment is not meant for smaller fish.
Anglers who fish from shorelines can also benefit when using baitcasters. The rods offer more of a frictionless cast, allowing the bait to fly a much farther distance. Subsequently, when the target area is far from the shoreline, anglers on land can use a baitcaster to reach areas that they would not be able to with a spinning rod.
4. Can a baitcaster go on any rod?
Due to its unique design, a baitcaster reel can only be used with rods that are specially designed for such a setup.
Though spinning rods and baitcaster rods do look similar from a distance, they are very much the inverse of each other. The standard spinning rod places the reel and guides on the underside of the blank. Once the rod is cast, the line unwinds rapidly until the reel is then closed again.
Baitcaster rods, on the other hand, place the reel on top of the rod, as well as the guides. As a result, only reels that are built to work with baitcasting rods can be applied. However, many baitcaster rods can be equipped with reels from a variety of different brands of models.
5. What power baitcasting rod is best for Jerkbaits and Crankbaits?
When properly used, jerkbaits and crankbaits can be incredibly effective lures to get the attention of sport fish.
The lures, which quickly dart through the water, accurately mimic the motions of smaller fish and minnows. Naturally, fish can’t resist the urge to try to gulp them up.
However, using the right baitcasting rod is key when fishing with such lures. And when it comes to power, anglers are best off using medium to medium heavy baitcasting rods.
Medium speeds are ideal for when an angler sets the hook, as the rod absorbs a large amount of shock, rather than ripping the hook out of the fish’s mouth.
Yet it is also worth noting that the fish which typically hit jerkbaits and crankbaits are quite large, as the lures themselves require a fairly large mouth just to ingest. Therefore, anglers using a medium to heavy power can rest assured that their rods won’t snap when dealing with such fish.
6. What is the best salmon baitcasting rod?
The Ugly Stik GX2 is certainly the best baitcasting rod for salmon.
For years the Ugly Stik has been aiding anglers in their quest to reel in monster fish. The incredible level of durability, extreme sensitivity, and fast action all combine to make the rod a serious weapon in the arsenal.
Thus, when it comes to salmon, it is well equipped and designed to take on the husky fish which often requires mass amounts of pulling and pressure. The sensitivity allows anglers to feel when a fish is on the line, but the sheer power allows handlers to wrestle the beasts in without too much trouble.
Though it is a product that rarely sees modifications, it is one that still continues to wow the salmon fishing community.
7. What is the best baitcasting rod for bass?
Nearly all of the rods on this list are suitable for bass, as each one has the needed features to catch such fish. However, if there has to be one absolute best, then that award goes to the Fenwick Elite Tech Bass Casting Rod.
Just as the name implies, the Elite Tech Bass Casting rod is an incredible fishing tool. The model comes in a variety of lengths and actions, to ensure that anglers are fully prepared for whatever swims their way.
However, the finer details such as the sensitivity and finesse allow the rod to rise above the rest. Fishermen can easily wiggle their jigs or lures through both shallow and deep water, without having to even break a sweat.
All in all, the rod is a monster that really is worthy of a trophy.
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