SUMMARY TABLE

Name

Image

Price

Rating

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LEW’S
TP-1 Speed Stick
OUR TOP PICK

LEW'S FISHING Tournament Performance TP1 Speed Stick Series, Fishing Gear, Fishing Rod, Casting Rod, TP173MH-CB

4.8  /5

SHAKESPEARE
Ugly Stik Elite
BEST VALUE

Ugly Stik Elite Casting Rod

4.6  /5

ABU GARCIA
Vengeance

Abu Garcia VENGC70-6 Vengeance Casting Rod, 7 Feet, Medium Heavy Power, 7' - Medium Heavy

4.7  /5

DOBYNS RODS
704CB Glass

Dobyns Rods 704CB Glass Champion Series Fast Glass Crankbait Rod, 7'0"/Medium, Black/Blue

4.6  /5

OUR TOP PICK

LEW'S FISHING Tournament Performance TP1 Speed Stick Series, Fishing Gear, Fishing Rod, Casting Rod, TP173MH-CB

Overall Rating

4.8 /5

Build Quality

4.8

Grip & Comfort

4.7

Durability

4.8

Portability

4.9

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General Impression

This is the crankbait rod for everyone from the beginner, the budget-conscious to the avid angler looking for quality & performance that will last. It is also versatile to fit a wide range of fishing styles. The only thing it is missing is the price tag that many of the competitors carry.

The moderate action allows for extremely accurate casts, perfect for hitting those tiny hides where the big fish are found. The medium-heavy action will allow you to pull trophies from heavy cover without compromising your ability to use lighter lures. Plus, the ability to spool with line ranging from 10 to 25 lbs. will allow you to outfit it appropriately for your specific fishing style and area.

The IM8 graphite blank provides a high level of durability while keeping the finished product lightweight. Professional hook keepers and Microwave Guide System allows for a clean, sleek look and keep your line tangle-free all day. All in all the TP-1 proves that a quality crankbait rod does not need to break the bank.

Specifications

BRAND: LEW’S
ACTION: Moderate
POWER: Medium-Heavy
ROD WEIGHT: UNK
LINE WEIGHT: 10 to 25 LBS
PRIMARY MATERIAL: Graphite
LENGTH OPTIONS: 7’03”

PROS

  • The accuracy this rod provides allows you to hit small hides time after time
  • Provides versatility for anglers of all levels
  • Rated for use with a wide range of lure weights from ½ to 1 3/8 ounces

CONS

  • 7’03” length provides accuracy but is not ideal for use on a boat
  • Microwave Guide System can be difficult to use in conjunction with a leader.
BEST VALUE

Ugly Stik Elite Casting Rod

Overall Rating

4.6 /5

Build Quality

4.5

Grip & Comfort

4.7

Durability

4.5

Portability

4.9

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General Impression

Ugly Stik is one of the best-known names in fishing and there is a reason, they have been making quality affordable rods & reels for over 100 years. The Elite Combination is the latest is a long line of well-loved products from a trusted name and makes a great choice for any angler searching for a balance of strength and sensitivity.

The rod is manufactured from a graphite and fiberglass composite, although it contains 35% more graphite than previous designs. This increase in graphite provides improves sensitivity without making it so light that bigger catches will snap it at the same time as your dreams. Finishing the rods are signature “UglyTuff” stainless steel guide system and a premium cork handle. The included bait caster reel has a 2+1 ball bearing system, 12-pound star drag, and anti-reverse level. With a line weight or 10 to 14 lbs. you can tackle a wide range of bass, panfish and other smaller species of gamefish with confidence.

Specifications

BRAND: SHAKESPEARE
ACTION: Fast
POWER: Medium-Heavy
ROD WEIGHT: UNK
LINE WEIGHT: 10 to 14 LBS
PRIMARY MATERIAL: Graphite / Fiberglass Composite
LENGTH OPTIONS: 6’06”

PROS

  • Graphite/fiberglass composite offers a great balance of strength and sensitivity
  • The 6’06” length is long enough for accurate casts from shore and short enough to carry on the boat
  • Premium cork handle offers all day long comfort

CONS

  • The rod is of a higher quality than the reel
  • Baitcaster reel does have a bigger learning curve before it can be mastered

St Croix Avid Casting Rod, AVC69MLXF

Overall Rating

4.8 /5

Build Quality

5.0

Grip & Comfort

4.8

Durability

4.7

Portability

4.7

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General Impression

St. Croix is one of the premier names when it comes to fishing rods and the Avid Series is no exception. Easily recognized as one of the top crankbait rods they are made from only the best components, each selected for performance as well as style. Plus, St. Croix utilizes the latest technology to set their rod designs apart from the rest.

One of the most interesting, and useful, features is the Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) technology that allows the user to fine-tune the flex of the rod. This allows you to take an already great rod and make it even better based on your specific situation and style. It also makes this rod a great choice for those looking to throw lipless crankbaits into heavy cover. Premium SCIII graphite blanks, aluminum oxide insert guides, Fuji reel seats, and select-grade full cork handle provide the strength, comfort, and dependability you seek.

Specifications

BRAND: ST. CROIX
ACTION: Moderate, Fast & Extra-Fast
POWER: Medium, Medium-Heavy & Heavy
ROD WEIGHT: 3.8 to 5.1 ounces
LINE WEIGHT: 10 to 25 LBS
PRIMARY MATERIAL: SCIII Graphite
LENGTH OPTIONS: 6’, 6’02”, 6’06”, 6’08”, 6’09” & 7’

PROS

  • IPC technology allows the rod to finely tuned for your specific style
  • Excels at popping and ripping lipless crankbait through cover
  • Poly curve action ensures fish will stay hooked
  • Specifically designed for crankbait fishing

CONS

  • Price, one of the more expensive models
  • Well perfect for crankbaits it is not a good all-purpose rod

KastKing Speed Demon Bass Fishing Rod, Casting - Jig Worm - 7ft 2in Medium

Overall Rating

4.7 /5

Build Quality

5.0

Grip & Comfort

4.7

Durability

4.7

Portability

4.7

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General Impression

Kastking may be a relative newcomer to the fishing tackle market but they have garnered a lot of fanfare and gained a few loyal followers along the way. So it should come as no surprise that one of the innovative offerings has made the list. Of course, what matters is whether the hype can be backed up. The simple answer is “Yes, it can.”

At first glance, the Speed Demon Pro looks great. Looks appear to be a top priority with a matte black finish and bright orange accents this is a rod that catches the eye. Even the grips include custom engraved designs. Closer inspection reveals that there is more than meets the eye. The components are all high end and selected to allow this rod to perform as well as it looks. Fuji Alconite line guides, custom Fuji reel seats, Fuji foregrips & custom Winn Grips all mounted on a proprietary carbon blank. The result is a well-balanced rod with large two-handed grips, allowing for impressive casting distance even with large baits. Once you have a fish on the line it has the backbone to wrestle it to the boat. It may seem like a lot of show, but in the end, it delivers in performance as well so why not look good doing it?

Specifications

BRAND: KASTKING
ACTION: Moderate, Moderate-Fast, Fast
POWER: Medium-Light, Medium, Medium-Heavy & Heavy
ROD WEIGHT: 4.60 to 6.95 ounces
LINE WEIGHT: 6 to 80 LBS
PRIMARY MATERIAL: Graphite
LENGTH OPTIONS: 6’08”, 6’10”, 7’, 7’02” & 8’

PROS

  • Top-notch components including Fuji and Winn Grips, rare for a rod in this price range
  • Extra-large reel locking nut for easier use when wet or wearing gloves
  • Well balanced guide placement reduced possibility of line tangles
  • Custom grips are as functional as they are stylish

CONS

  • Can be difficult to used bait keeper with larger hooks & lures
  • One-piece design makes larger models difficult to transport

Abu Garcia VENGC70-6 Vengeance Casting Rod, 7 Feet, Medium Heavy Power, 7' - Medium Heavy

Overall Rating

4.7 /5

Build Quality

4.8

Grip & Comfort

4.7

Durability

4.7

Portability

4.8

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General Impression

Anyone familiar with Abu Garcia should not be surprised to find the Vengeance on this list. It has been the talk of the town since hitting the market and with good reason. The 30-ton graphite blank provides a lightweight, balanced design without sacrificing strength. The spiral carbon core offers a 22 percent increase in break strength over earlier models and an impressive 30 percent increase in tip strength. Stainless steel guides fitted with Zirconium inserts are as versatile as they are durable. Whether you prefer braid, monofilament or fluorocarbon this rod can handle it with ease. The micro click reel hood provides a solid connection between the rod & reel and the high-density EVA grip provides better comfort and control.

The Abu Garcia Vengeance offers a lightweight, balanced and durable rod perfect for a wide range of anglers. Whether you are casting from shore, dock or the deck of your boat this rod provides the perfect combinations of length, action, and power to bring the trophies home.

Specifications

BRAND: ABU GARCIA
ACTION: Fast
POWER: Medium, Medium-Heavy & Heavy
ROD WEIGHT: UNK
LINE WEIGHT: 10 to 30 LBS
PRIMARY MATERIAL: 24 Ton Graphite
LENGTH OPTIONS: 6’06”, 6’09”, 7’ & 7’06”

PROS

  • Variety of length option allows you to get the perfect rod for your fishing style
  • Hook keeper allows for easy transportation when rigged
  • EVA handles provide slip-proof handling even when wet
  • Includes a three-year limited warranty

CONS

  • One-piece design can be difficult to transport, especially with the longer models.
  • EVA grips are comfortable but tend to break down faster than cork

Eagle Claw WMTSCB70C1 W&M Skeet Reese Tournament Crank Bait 7''. Cast

Overall Rating

4.6 /5

Build Quality

4.7

Grip & Comfort

4.7

Durability

4.7

Portability

4.5

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General Impression

Eagle Claw Wright & McGill, a leader in top quality fishing gear, teamed with award-winning angler Skeet Reese to create a rod that provides the day to day angler with tournament circuit performance. These rods are constructed from a lightweight, durable carbon blank. Zirconium line guides allow for use with a wide range of line types including braided. The patented double trigger handle provides superior casting distance and increased accuracy. The oversized fighting butt allows for better control when battling large fish in deep cover.

The wide range of available actions, line weights and lengths make this one of the most versatile crankbait rods on the market. Whether you need a shorter rod for casting from the boat deck or an extra-long model for hitting far away targets from shore there is a model that will fit your needs.

Specifications

BRAND: EAGLE CLAW WRIGHT & MCGILL
ACTION: Moderate-Fast, Fast
POWER: Medium
ROD WEIGHT: UNK
LINE WEIGHT: 8 to 30 LBS
PRIMARY MATERIAL: Carbon
LENGTH OPTIONS: 6’10”, 7’ & 7’04”

PROS

  • Extremely durable design yet sensitive enough to feel subtle hits
  • The double trigger allows for longer distance and increased accuracy
  • Oversized fighting butt is a rare find on a freshwater rod in this class

CONS

  • A bit heavier than competitors
  • Only available in a very bright yellow color
  • Not the best for tossing lighter lures

Shimano Sellus 6'8" MH Freshwater Casting Fishing Rod

Overall Rating

4.6 /5

Build Quality

4.6

Grip & Comfort

4.6

Durability

4.6

Portability

4.6

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General Impression

The Sellus was designed with bass anglers in mind and offers the features bucket mouth anglers look for. The moderate fast action, medium-heavy power, higher line weight limits and 7-foot length allows anglers to get lures farther, hook bigger fish and fight them out of heavier cover. Despite this providing this level of strength it does not sacrifice sensitivity. The 24-ton carbon blank provides a lightweight platform with increased sensitivity needed when bites are subtle. The reel seat design offers a well-balanced feel and when coupled with the EVA split grip handle provides all-day comfort. Aluminum oxide low profile line guides allow you to use a wide range of line types including braided without concern. The multipurpose hook keeper permits easier transportation when rigged.

This may be one of the new designs on the list, but it is backed by a well-respected name in the fishing industry, one that bass anglers have been trusting for years. While this rod is well suited for a wide range of anglers it is specifically designed for bass anglers looking to get the most out of their crankbaits.

Specifications

BRAND: SHIMANO
ACTION: Moderate Fast
POWER: Medium-Heavy
ROD WEIGHT: UNK
LINE WEIGHT: 20 to 50 LBS
PRIMARY MATERIAL: 24 Ton Graphite
LENGTH OPTIONS: 7’

PROS

  • The split handle design is comfortable and provides a secure grip
  • Well suited for larger fish
  • Very well balanced for increased comfort and casting ease

CONS

  • Reel seat has been reported to come loose during use
  • EVA handle material is more prone to deterioration than other materials
  • Heavier line weight makes it less suitable for lighter lures

Dobyns Rods 704CB Glass Champion Series Fast Glass Crankbait Rod, 7'0"/Medium, Black/Blue

Overall Rating

4.6 /5

Build Quality

4.7

Grip & Comfort

4.7

Durability

4.5

Portability

4.5

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General Impression

Dobyns Rods are developed by veteran tournament angler Gary Dobyns. With decades of experience and over 100 major victories under his belt, he knows what makes a quality, fish-catching rod. The Champions series is the culmination of that knowledge.

The first thing you will notice is that this rod includes only the best components. Kevlar wrapped proprietary graphite blanks, Fuji reel seats, Kigan tangle free guide inserts, and aa-grade cork grips. Each feature is selected for performance as well as style. The result is a standard-setting rod in terms of sensitivity, balance, strength, and weight. The soft tip allows for easy detection of lure action as well as soft mouthing by weary bass. The cork handle provides superior control and comfort. Even on windy days, the Kigan guide inserts reduce tangles to a thing of the past. If at any time you are unhappy with the construction each rod is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Specifications

BRAND: DOBYNS RODS
ACTION: Fast
POWER: Medium
ROD WEIGHT: UNK
LINE WEIGHT: 8 to 17 LBS
PRIMARY MATERIAL: Kevlar wrapped graphite
LENGTH OPTIONS: 7’

PROS

  • Excellent performance on both the cast and retrieval
  • Each component is a top-notch and high performing
  • Superior sensitivity without sacrificing strength
  • AA-grade cork handles for all-day fishing comfort

CONS

  • Lure weights limited to ¼ to ¾ ounces
  • Not as well suited for deep-running crankbaits, best to stick to medium or shallow runners.

Fenwick Elite Tech Bass Casting

Overall Rating

4.5 /5

Build Quality

4.7

Grip & Comfort

4.6

Durability

4.4

Portability

4.5

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General Impression

Fenwick is a leader in developing technique-specific rods having invented the first flipping rod over 40 years ago. Now, they have introduced the Elite Tech and combined technique with finesse. The graphite blank offers a solid, dependable platform. With moderate to extra-fast action and medium to heavy power this platform provides the sensitivity needed to feel every bump, bite and tug. Yet, you retain the backbone necessary to pull big bass from thick, deep weeds without undue stress or injury. One of the most inspiring features is the TAC handle. By combining cork and composite materials the designers have provided users with a slim yet stable handle that provides a solid grip while retaining your connection with the blank. Titanium line guides provide a low profile, a nearly indestructible design that is suitable for even the toughest braid while remaining lightweight.

If you are as serious about the rod you use are you are about the fishing, you do with them the Fenwick Elite Tech is worth your time. See how it feels, throw a few lures and I doubt you will be thinking about anything except when you can get back on the water with it.

Specifications

BRAND: FENWICK
ACTION: Moderate, Fast & Extra Fast
POWER: Medium, Medium-Heavy & Heavy
ROD WEIGHT: 4 to 5.1 ounces
LINE WEIGHT: 8 to 30 LBS
PRIMARY MATERIAL: Graphite
LENGTH OPTIONS: 6’06”, 6’09”, 7’, 7’02”, 7’06”, 7’08”, 7’09” & 7’11”

PROS

  • TAC handle provides a secure grip without the oversized feel
  • Titanium line guides are low profile, lightweight and nearly indestructible
  • Combination of action and power is especially well suited for bass fishing

CONS

  • One-piece design makes longer models a bit difficult to transport
  • Low profile line guides can interfere with leaders

Okuma Scott Martin Tournament Concept Rods TCS-S-701ML

Overall Rating

4.5 /5

Build Quality

4.5

Grip & Comfort

4.5

Durability

4.5

Portability

4.5

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General Impression

Okuma when out on a limb when they named this rod. Not only does it carry the name of a prominent tournament angler it also included the term “concept”. This invokes images of an end product that is both top-notch and cutting edge in terms of features, performance, and overall design. They might have set the bar high, but they also reached their mark.

This rod was designed to catch fish all day long, just as you would need to do in a tournament. It is well balanced. Although advertised as lightweight it is more average weight, event heavier than some competitors. However, the weight is balanced such that it allows for superior casting and does not feel heavy in the hand. Thanks to the 30-tom carbon construction you do not lose backbone or sensitivity for the sake of less weight. You can pull fish from deep cover and still have the give needed to work well with braided line. This increased sensitivity is also what makes it an excellent choice for crankbaits where it is vital you feel each twitch or bump. EVA split grips, carbon reel seat and aluminum oxide line guides complete the package and each of these components was selected to ensure the best combination for hardcore bass anglers.

Specifications

BRAND: OKUMA
ACTION: Moderate-Fast, Fast
POWER: Medium, Medium-Heavy, Heavy & Extra Heavy
ROD WEIGHT: 116 to 159 grams
LINE WEIGHT: 8 to 80 LBS
PRIMARY MATERIAL: 30 Ton Carbon
LENGTH OPTIONS: 6’06”, 6’09”, 7’, 7’03”, 7’06” & 7’11”

PROS

  • Reel seat threads are not exposed, protecting from damage or accidental release
  • Hook keeper placement is easy to get to and prevents the line from tangling
  • Mid-size guides reduce weight without interfering with leader/knot clearance
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty

CONS

  • Not the best choice for beginners
  • Some models have a very limited range in term of recommended line weight

As with almost any aspect of fishing having the correct gear can make the difference between filling the creel and being empty-handed at the end of the day. While it is possible to toss crankbaits with a string tied to a broom handle it is not the most productive means of catching fish. Having a dedicated rod specifically designed for throwing crankbaits is always the preferred route. However, if you are looking for a general-purpose rod that will get the job done it is important to keep in mind the features crankbait rods possess.

Action

Action refers to where the rod will start to bend. A slow action rod will bend at or near the base. A fast action rod will bend near the tip. For a crankbait rod, you want to select an action that is moderate or moderate fast. If the action is too slow it will not handle deep diving baits as well. Likewise, if the action is too fast it will reduce casting distance and limit your ability to properly set heavy treble hooks.

Power

Power refers to how much force is required to bend the rod and is relative to the line weight and lure weight used. Each of these limitations is stamped on the blank and can be expressed in either the desired range or an upper limit. For crankbaits, you need a medium to heavy power. A lighter power is likely to cause to much flex or even breakage when casting larger lures.

Line Rating

Many anglers tend to prefer lighter line as it casts better and is less likely to be detected by fish. However, when using a crankbait, it is important to remember these lures tend to weight more and are fished differently. A deep-diving crankbait will add increased pressure on the line when retrieved. Add think cover or structure and lighter lines are likely to break before a fish is even hooked. Look for a rod that allows for slightly higher line weight. You can counter this to come degree by selecting a rod that is suitable for use with thinner braided line.

Casting or spinning reel?

Most, if not all, crankbait rods are designed for use with a baitcasting reel. This is not to say you can not effectively throw crankbaits with a spinning outfit but is not the best equipment for the task. Baitcasting rods usually have lower profile guides with wider openings, features that help with both the casting and retrieval of crankbaits.

1. What is a crankbait rod?

Crankbait rods are specifically designed to provide the features necessary to work best when paired with crankbaits. The action, power, line weight, and length are all combined to allow the crankbait to perform at its best while increasing your chances of hooking & landing the fish targeted.

2. Why choose a crankbait rod?

It’s about having the right gear for the task at hand. Consider the analogy of a wrench verse a pair of plyers. While the plyers can loosen the same bolt, the wrench will do so more efficiently.

3. How do I choose a crankbait rod?

The ideal crankbait rod will offer a moderate to moderate fast action, medium to heavy power and ability to handle larger line weights. Due to the larger line weight, the ability to use braided line is an advantage. Most will be designed for use with a bait caster reel.

4. What is the best choice for a crankbait rod?

LEW’S Tournament Performance TP-1 is our Top Pick. It offers the best combination of performance, construction, and price. Although there are more expensive options available few will outperform the TP-1 when it comes to day to day angling. Unless you are fishing the tournament circuit the extra cost is unlikely to gain you a noticeable advantage.

5. What is the best crankbait rod for under $100?

Again, the Lew’s Tournament Performance TP-1 is out Top Pick and often available for under $100. A close second is the Abu Garcia Vengeance Casting Rod. The latter is made by a leader in the fishing tackle world and provides a top-quality rod designed for crankbaits without breaking the bank.

6. What is the best crankbait rod for bass?

The best crankbait rod for bass is without a doubt the St. Croix Avid. These rods are specifically designed for crankbaits by a manufacturer who made a name for itself producing specialty rods.

7. What is the best crankbait rod & reel combo?

The Ugly Stik Elite Combo tops our list of crankbaits rod & reel combos. Not only it is an excellent rod designed with all the features need to get the most out of your crankbaits it is both time tested and economical.

best crankbait rods 2020

REACH OUT

As always, we create our content with you, fellow adventurers, in mind. So, how’d we do? Did you find this informative? Did it help you make a decision? Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear from you below. Thanks for reading and we hope your next adventure is a great one!

Tom Burrell

Tom is a product expert, a degreed career Conservation Officer, and an avid outdoorsman originally from Northeast Pennsylvania. Tom has spent 23 years as a Conservation Officer, during which time he has fished throughout the Americas. He has targeted some of the most prized fresh and saltwater species using a variety of techniques. His key interests include boating, reading, anything outdoors and spending time with his family. Tom takes unique pride in sharing his love for the outdoors with his young son and teaching him the subtleties of nature.

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