OUR TOP PICK

St. Croix TRS70MLF2 Triumph 2-Piece Graphite Spinning Fishing Rod with Cork Handle, 7-feet

Overall Rating

4.8 /5

Design

4.8

Functionality

4.9

Ease of Use

4.9

Durability

4.7

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General Impression

The Triumph Series Spinning Rods are of exceptionally high quality constructed with only the finest components. The SCII graphite blank with 2 coats of Flex-Coat finish provides a lightweight yet extremely durable platform. Fuji DPS reel seat with frosted silver hood and aluminum oxide guides with black frames are as stylish as they are functional. The premium-cork handle provides all-day comfort and increased grip even when wet.

This rod is available in either 6’06” or 7’0” lengths so you can select the perfect length for your specific fishing style. Both lengths are also produced in both a single or 2 pieces design, the latter being easier for transport when traveling. The combination of fast action and medium power is just what you need to work jerkbaits how they are intended while still providing the strength needed to effectively fight fish to the end. All sizes are rated for ¼ to 5/8 ounce lure weights and line weight of 6 to 12 lbs.

Specifications

BRAND: ST. CROIX
TYPE: Spinning
PIECES: 1 or 2 pieces available
ACTION: Fast
POWER: Medium
LENGTH: 6’06”, 7’0”
ROD WEIGHT: 3.9 to 4.3 ounces
PRIMARY MATERIAL: SCII Graphite

PROS

  • High-quality construction and premium components
  • Excellent sensitivity
  • Available in 2 different lengths and either 1- or 2-piece construction

CONS

  • Balance is a bit tip heavy
  • The reel seat is known to loosen during use
  • Smaller line guides would increase sensitivity even more
BEST VALUE

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

Overall Rating

4.7 /5

Design

4.7

Functionality

4.7

Ease of Use

4.6

Durability

4.9

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General Impression

The TP1 is a favorite among anglers thanks to its high quality, performance, and reasonable price tag. Each single piece blank is constructed from IM8 graphite, which provides strength and flexibility similar to 35-ton graphite. American Tackle Microwave guides, skeletal graphite reel seats, and Winn grip handle provide superior accuracy, reel to rod connection and comfort.

The fast action will allow you to achieve the desired lure performance with minimal rod movement. Due to the medium-light power, you will find the rod flexes a bit more than the average jerkbait model, but with a slight adaptation of style, you will find it does not hinder your success rate. The split-grip Winn handles are comfortable but a bit larger than needed for jerkbait fishing. However, the extra size is a benefit when fighting bigger fish.

Specifications

BRAND: LEW’S
TYPE: Casting
PIECES: 1
ACTION: Fast
POWER: Medium Light
LENGTH: 6’08”
ROD WEIGHT: 4 ounces
PRIMARY MATERIAL: IM8 Graphite

PROS

  • The strong backbone for fighting larger, heavier fish
  • Despite extra flex, it is very responsive and allows for great lure action
  • Top-quality materials for superior dependability
  • Micro guides allow for superior line contact

CONS

  • Lower power will require the angler to adapt their technique
  • The longer butt section is more than is needed for achieving lure action.

Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Rod, 7', Medium/Light, 2pcs

Overall Rating

4.8 /5

Design

4.7

Functionality

4.8

Ease of Use

4.8

Durability

4.9

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General Impression

Ugly Stik’s GX2 is a next-generation rod combining the strength and durability Ugly Stik is known for. With increased balance, improved components and stylish design it offers a functional, eye-catching rod perfect for any jerkbait angler.

The composite blank may be slightly heavier than graphite only competitors but not to the point that it increases fatigue or negatively impacts performance. One advantage of the composite construction is its almost indestructible nature. Ugly Tuff one-piece stainless-steel guides are equally durable, and the lack of inserts reduces future maintenance concerns. The EVA handle material is very comfortable and the short length increases the ability to properly work lures, however, it is a bit thicker than necessary.

Specifications

BRAND: SHAKESPEARE
TYPE: Casting
PIECES: 1 or 2
ACTION: Fast
POWER: Medium to Medium-Heavy
LENGTH: 6’06”, 7’0”
ROD WEIGHT: Varies by rod length
PRIMARY MATERIAL: Graphite/Fiberglass composite

PROS

  • Durable materials selected to last for many seasons
  • Graphite/fiberglass composite is sought after and offers excellent strength/flex ratio
  • Short handle length is nice for working lures
  • Available in multiple lengths as well as 1- or 2-piece designs

CONS

  • Slightly heavier than is necessary for jerkbait rod
  • EVA grips are a bit too thick for smaller hands

Daiwa TXT701MHFB Tatula XT Bass Casting Rod, 7' Length, 1Piece Rod, Medium/Heavy Power, Fast Action

Overall Rating

4.7 /5

Design

4.8

Functionality

4.7

Ease of Use

4.6

Durability

4.6

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General Impression

The Tatula is a rod for the experienced, dedicated bass angler who knows the value of pair the correct rod with your favorite lure. Each rod in the series utilizes a High-Volume Fiber (HVF) high modulus carbon graphite blank in a natural, un-sanded finish. The extra fiber to resin ratio and fine pitched taper combine to provide maximum strength and increased stability without the added weight. Finished with a Fuji painted ACS reel seat, Fuji aluminum oxide guides, split-grip EVA handles and a handy hook keeper this is the ideal bass rod.

This rod was specifically designed to catch bass using crank or jerkbaits. It comes in two options, one a medium-light power and the other a slightly heavier duty medium power. Both are moderate action 7’0” single-piece construction. The power is lighter and the action less than most jerkbait rods, however, the tapered HVF blank compensates well and still provides excellent lure presentation.

Specifications

BRAND: DAIWA
TYPE: Casting
PIECES: 1
ACTION: Moderate
POWER: Medium-light to Medium
LENGTH: 7’0”
ROD WEIGHT: Varies by rod length
PRIMARY MATERIAL: HVF high modulus carbon graphite

PROS

  • Lightweight and extremely strong
  • 7’0” length allows for increased casting distance
  • Hook keeper will allow pre-rigging without unsightly line tangling

CONS

  • Not the first choice for use with quick topwater lures
  • Moderate action likely to increase fatigue during long periods of use
  • A specialty rod not well suited for all-around fishing

Cadence Fishing CR5 Spinning Rods | 30 Ton Carbon | Fuji Reel Seat | Stainless Steel Guides with SiC Inserts | CR5-601S-MF

Overall Rating

4.6 /5

Design

4.7

Functionality

4.6

Ease of Use

4.6

Durability

4.6

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General Impression

The CR5 is one of the best performing budget jerkbait rods on the market, due in part to Cadence selling directly to customers. This allows the manufacturer to spend money on higher quality components and still offer the final product at a reasonable price more anglers can afford. The main platform is a 30-ton graphite blank that provides a sturdy, lightweight and sensitive feel. SiC inserts allow the use of stainless-steel guides while still reducing snags and increasing transfer from line to the angler. The cork handle with small fighting butt provides comfort when fishing for long periods and confidence when fighting bigger fish.

The combination of moderate fast or fast action and medium or medium-heavy power means that you will achieve maximum lure performance while still having the ability to wrestle big fish to the finish. The selection of either a 6’06” or 7’0” length means you can pick the length that best fits your style. The added option or a 1-or 2 piece construction lets traveling anglers enjoy longer length without the hassle of transporting it.

Specifications

BRAND: CADENCE FISHING
TYPE: Spinning
PIECES: 1 or 2
ACTION: Moderate-Fast to Fast
POWER: Medium to Medium-Heavy
LENGTH: 6’06”, 7’0”
ROD WEIGHT: Varies by rod length
PRIMARY MATERIAL: 30-ton carbon

PROS

  • Multiple options including length, handle type and 1- or 2-piece design
  • SiC inserts add enhanced sensitivity to stainless guides
  • Comfortable ergonomic handle design
  • Exposed blank reel seat provides a secure connection to blank

CONS

  • Split handle option is a bit too long for some jerkbait techniques
  • Best suited for bass or similar sized fish, may not handle larger species

Eagle Claw WMTSSB68C1 W&M Skeet Reese Tournament Sq Bill Crank 6'8" Cast

Overall Rating

4.6 /5

Design

4.8

Functionality

4.6

Ease of Use

4.5

Durability

4.6

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General Impression

As is the case with other Skeet Reese rods the Tournament Series was built with a specific purpose or technique in mind, in this case, that is jerkbait and topwater angling. The S-curve graphite blank is sensitive enough to detect the slightest bite or lure movement but retains the strength necessary to lift big fish. The Zirconium guides increase casting performance and line to angler transfer while the slim EVA handle offers all-day comfort.

The lightweight design and slim handle design allows for comfortable all-day fishing, especially when tossing jerkbaits time after time. The combination of Zirconium guides, S-curve blank and split-grip exposed handle & reel seat increases sensitivity and allows the angler to better detect light bites and subtle lure action.

Specifications

BRAND: EAGLE CLAW
TYPE: Baitcaster
PIECES: 1
ACTION: Moderate Fast
POWER: Medium
LENGTH: 6’08”
ROD WEIGHT: Varies by rod length
PRIMARY MATERIAL: S-curve graphite

PROS

  • Specially designed for jerkbait technique with the ideal action and power anglers look for
    S-curve blank is strong, lightweight and sensitive
  • Comfortable, well-balanced handle design

CONS

  • Fighting butt is nice for battling big fish but can get in the way when working lure
  • Duel trigger design is not necessary for jerkbaits

Shimano Sellus 6'8" MH Freshwater Casting Fishing Rod

Overall Rating

4.5 /5

Design

4.7

Functionality

4.5

Ease of Use

4.7

Durability

4.5

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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 6’08” foot length allows anglers to get lures a little farther, while still being short enough for comfortable boat use. Despite 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, jerkbaits, and topwaters.

Specifications

BRAND: SHIMANO
TYPE: Baitcasting
PIECES: 1
ACTION: Moderate Fast
POWER: Moderate Fast
LENGTH: 6’08”
ROD WEIGHT: Varies by rod length
PRIMARY MATERIAL: 24-ton Carbon

PROS

  • A good choice for beginners
  • Hook keeper allows for easy transport when pre-rigged
  • Specifically designed for bass anglers
  • 6’08” length is well suited for casting and transportation on boats

CONS

  • Experienced anglers may wish for a lighter medium power option
  • Increased flexibility is more forgiving but not the best for producing subtle lure actions
  • Heavier line weight may make it difficult to pair with lighter lures

KastKing Speed Demon Pro Bass Fishing Rods, Casting Rod-Jerk Bait-6ft 10in Medium - Fast

Overall Rating

4.5 /5

Design

4.7

Functionality

4.5

Ease of Use

4.5

Durability

4.5

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General Impression

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.

This particular member of the Pro Tournament Series is specifically designed for jerkbait and topwater fishing. The combination of length, action, and power will allow for lure movement and is well suited for fishing from either a boat or shore. The stout blank will allow for good hook sets and let you successfully fight the fish without undue stress to it. Finally, the Winn split grip and microwave guides allow for a comfortable, secure grip in all types of weather and increased sensitivity when paired with a jerkbait.

Specifications

BRAND: KASTKING
TYPE: Baitcaster
PIECES: 1
ACTION: Fast
POWER: Medium
LENGTH: 6’08”
ROD WEIGHT: 4.60 ounces
PRIMARY MATERIAL: Not specific

PROS

  • Guide system lessens twists & tangles while increasing line to rod transfer
  • The handle provides a secure grip even when wet
  • Specially designed for jerkbait and topwater techniques

CONS

  • Only available in a single-piece design
  • The handle is a bit longer than needed for jerkbaits

Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 734C Heavy Power Fast Action Casting Rod, 7'3", Black/Green

Overall Rating

4.4 /5

Design

4.6

Functionality

4.5

Ease of Use

4.3

Durability

4.5

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General Impression

Dobyns Rods makes rods to provide the everyday angler a dependable, tournament quality rod at a budget-friendly price. Each model is designed to excel in a specific technique(s) and offers the best combination of length, power, and action to allow users to excel. The FR 705CB is the Fury Serie’s pick for jerkbaits.

Each rod is constructed utilizing an IM8 graphite blank, Fuji reel seat, Kevlar wrapping, and AA-grade cork & hi-density Hyplan handle. The moderate fast action will allow for easy jerkbait manipulation without the need to overexert yourself which will be a welcome feature after a couple of hours of casting, twitch, twitch, twitch, repeat. The medium-heavy power may seem like a bit too much for the average bass, but you will be glad to have the extra oomph when targeting big walleye, pike or musky. Speaking of targeting big fish, everyone knows that big lure catch big fish and few competitors can cast the full ounce of weight this rod is rated for. Many species will greedily take a jerkbait and this is a rod you need by your side when targeting some of the bigger ones.

Specifications

BRAND: DOBYNS RODS
TYPE: Baitcaster
PIECES: 1
ACTION: Moderate Fast
POWER: Medium-Heavy
LENGTH: 7’0”
ROD WEIGHT: Varies by rod length
PRIMARY MATERIAL: IM8 Graphite

PROS

  • Can handle heavier lures, up to 1 ounce
  • Short butt allows for easy finesse fishing, perfect for jerkbaits
  • Heavy-duty materials meant to last a lifetime
  • Medium Heavy power will allow you to successfully target larger species

CONS

  • Heavier power does mean the rod is a bit stiffer than other jerkbait rods
  • Short reel seat threads are not as secure as one might want
  • Would prefer a full cork handle rather than cork/EVA combination

Fenwick Elite Tech Bass Casting

Overall Rating

4.4 /5

Design

4.7

Functionality

4.5

Ease of Use

4.4

Durability

4.3

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General Impression

Fenwick invented the technique-specific rod design and that history continues with the Elite Tech series. Each model is constructed to provide the best combination of power, action, and length for a given fishing style and there are 4 especially suited for jerkbaits and topwaters.

Each rod is constructed using only the best components and features meant to allows the angler a superior connection with the rod. The high modulus graphite blank, titanium guides, and TAC handles all combine to excel at catching fish. These rods provide a superior level of sensitivity, vital to properly using jerkbaits successfully. As the user, you will enjoy a heightened connection with the rod and thus the lure thanks to a Hidden Handle design that lets you grip the reel seat without feeling the threads, and the TAC handle will provide a solid grip even when wet.

Specifications

BRAND: FENWICK
TYPE: Baitcasting
PIECES: 1
ACTION: Fast
POWER: Medium, Medium-Heavy
LENGTH: Medium, Medium-Heavy
ROD WEIGHT: 4.05, 4.23, 4.37 and 4.58 ounces
PRIMARY MATERIAL: High modulus graphite

PROS

  • TAC handle provides a superior grip even when wet
  • Titanium guides are both lightweight and nearly indestructible
  • A technique specific design from the manufacturer who invented technique-specific designs
  • Fast action flexes in top 1/3rd and is excellent for jerkbaits

CONS

  • Only available in a single-piece design
  • Some users may prefer a single material handle & butt rather than a cork/EVA combination

When selecting a jerkbait rod it is important to remember what it is you are trying to get the lure to do and think about how the rod’s features will allow or interfere with that intended result.

Power

This refers to both how flexible the rod is and how sensitive it when a fish pulls on the boat. When fishing a jerkbait most anglers find a medium or medium-heavy power works best as it allows you to fight fish effectively without pulling the lure from its mouth or playing it so long that survival is at risk.

Action

This refers to how fast the rod flexes and returns to normal as well as where on the rod that bends will occur. When fishing a jerkbait it is important to select an action that will allow the bait to twitch, flutter, and darts like a wounded or dying minnow. This requires a rod that reacts quickly to a turn of the reel handle or jerk of the handle, so fast action is preferred. Likewise, fast action will limit flex to near the tip and increase your ability to control the subtle movement of the lure.

Length

The best jerkbait rods will be at least 6′ but less than 7′ in length. The longer length will increase casting distance but can limit control and comfort. The length you select will depend on personal skill level as well as your arm length (those who are taller or have longer arms can get away with a little more in terms of rod length), but many anglers find a rod in the 6’06” or 6’08’ range work best.

Grips

It is very important to select a rod with comfortable grips, after all, you will be casting and retrieving a lot when using a jerkbait. You will also want a grip that allows a good connection between your hand and the rod blank as it will provide increased sensitivity. If fishing topwaters a short butt section is a benefit as well. For these reasons, many anglers prefer cork handles, although EVA or cork/EVA combinations are growing in popularity as new materials allow for slimmer designs.

Guides

If there is one feature that is often overlooked when it comes to its importance for a jerkbait rod it is the guides. Most anglers do not use braided line for jerkbaits damage is not a major concern. Instead, you need to think about the size. Smaller guides will not only increase casting ability they will also increase line/guide contact which results in greater sensitivity. Remember, sensitivity is a key component of jerkbait fishing so anything you can to do that allows you to feel the lure better will increase your success.

1. What is jerkbait fishing?

Jerkbait fishing is a technique that utilizes realistic lures meant to mimic minnows that are wounded, stunned or struggling. By combining these lures with actions that include twitching, jerks & pauses or deep dives & sudden stops it can be a very effective means of enticing gamefish.

2. What is different about a jerkbait rod?

Jerkbait rods offer a unique combination of sensitivity and strength. You need to move the lure with minimum movement of the rod, especially when twitching, to avoid pulling it out of the strike zone. You also need to feel the lure moving so that you can effectively use it when out of sight. Finally, you need a rod that has the backbone necessary to take hard hits and fight large fish until the end. Most are in the 6’06” to 7’0″ range, have a fast action and medium to medium-heavy power.

3. When to jerkbait fish?

Although a jerkbait can be used at any time of the year there are periods where it is most effective and will out produce other options. The most productive period is in cold weather. A twitching, suspended jerkbait imitates minnows dying off due to cold which makes them an easy target for hungry gamefish. Because jerkbaits are shallow divers they are most effective in water less than 15 feet in depth. Finally, the visual characteristics are meant to be seen so stick to clear water when using a jerkbait.

4. What is the best line for jerkbaits?

Cold winter months, early spring before water warming and late fall when temperatures are dropping rapidly are the best times to switch to a jerkbait.

5. What is the best jerkbait rod for bass?

Lew’s Tournament Performance TP-1 Speed Stick is an excellent choice for bass. It combines an IM8 graphite blank, micro guides and the ability to handle small to medium baits. This will provide both the sensitivity & strength needed for bass, increased casting distance and ability to use bass specific jerkbaits. Plus, it is available at a reasonable price.

6. What is the best jerkbait rod set up?

Jerkbaits can be used with either a baitcaster or spinning set up. Which you choose depends on personal skill level and what type of jerkbait you will be using. Many professionals consider baitcasters best for hard baits and prefer spinning rigs for soft baits, although the baitcaster performance improves when soft baits are over 6 inches in length.

7. What is the best topwater rod?

The Cadence CR5 is a perfect choice for topwater fishing. It offers a lightweight, yet extremely strong graphite blank, comfortable cork handles available in either split or full grip option and a tight-fitting reel seat. These features will allow for all-day comfort, stand up to repeated cast and retrieve and allow for excellent hand to rod connection which is vital when trying to feel your lure’s movement.

best rod for jerkbaits

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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