If you are interested in bass fishing, you may have heard of crankbait rods. They are among the most common bass lures, coming in all shapes and sizes – though they have some aspects in common. The crankbait has very many features that allow an angler to use it in a variety of circumstances.
You can make the whole process of choosing them as easy or as difficult as you want it to be. For instance, one crankbait rod can sort you out on everything you need when going out fishing, and you can also choose to modify it by attaching different rods and baits.
Let’s review the top 9 best crankbait rods and check out some of their main pros and cons.
Best Crankbait Fishing Rods of 2018
St. Croix Premier spinning rod – Perfect Choice Under 150$
You are probably familiar with the principle of moderation being the secret of a good life, but in the fishing life, that rule does not necessarily apply.
Sometimes it is better to go overboard, as long as it is not with a boat. The St. Croix spinning rod provides the adventure in more ways than one, making your fishing experience unforgettable.
The manufacturers of the rod use high-grade components and premium SCII graphite blanks as materials. This not only makes the rod durable but also balanced and light enough to carry over long periods and for any action you will encounter.
The rod comes with fine tunings and tapers to enhance its performance on the water, while the Kigan Master Hand guides in 3D and features very strong aluminum oxide rings with black frames.
KastKing Pro Tournament series bass fishing rods – Best for the Money
In the past, the choices you made about your fishing rod were dependent on lure weight, length, power, action and the ‘wiggle’ test, making sure that the rod was able to satisfy all your needs.
However, with the KastKing fishing rod, it takes the rod building process to a new level through using new technology and experience; making the fishing experience more effective.
This rod uses Carbon Nano tube resins, and these work on reducing the rod weight while increasing tenacity and giving high levels of sensitivity. Every blank has a custom design, making for rods that outperform previous technology used in bass fishing techniques.
Every rod undergoes extensive testing that gives you the opportunity to catch fish using less effort and more consistency. The best Fuji guides and reel seats are also utilized, and they ensure that inferior guides do not slow the lines down.
The WINN golf style grips are essential in giving you a comfortable experience in handling the rod, and providing for a nice, firm grip regardless of the conditions.
The rod has soft crankbait action as well, thank to the composite blending of high modulus graphite and S-Glass, to give a thin rod blank that still has extra sensitivity.
It is also useful for the anglers who enjoy making long casts using small crankbaits.
Wright and McGill Skeet Reese crankbait rod – Best Product Under 100
If looking for a crank rod that offers versatility for every type of fisher, the Wright and McGill rod may be the one for you.
It has a good repute among anglers due to its strength, durability as well as its reliability.
It comes with an S-Curve blank construction, which provides high amounts of strength, sensitivity, weight reduction and lifting power, therefore making your experience easier. The split handle design on the other hand, gives equal weight distribution and improves overall balance.
The rod comes with molded rubber handles that enhance the comfortable grip it already has, while the large fighting butt improves the durability and performance of the rod itself.
As for the casting distance, the rod comes with Zirconium guides that help in reducing the weight even further, and enhance the casting distance as well.
Shimano Sellus crankbait cast rod – Ideal for Medium Diving Crankbaits
This may be a newer crank rod compared to the others on this list, but it does not make it lower in quality. It was created with many bass fishermen in mind, as it contains some of the most popular actions that bass fishing uses today.
In addition, you can choose other rods in the series – these offer Top water, spinner bait, worm, Flipping sticks, and Jig rods.
For increased sensitivity, the rod contains 24 ton carbon, which also gives it a lightweight feel. The rod has a good balance as you handle it, thanks to the reel seats that have optimal designs and help to make it comfortable to handle.
The rod comes with other features as well.
These include an EVA split grip handle that is custom-shaped, low profile guides comprised of aluminum oxide, multipurpose hook keeper, a laser etched technique badge, and a warranty lasting one year.
Okuma Scott Martin concept rod – Best for Freshwater Fishing
Designed by one of the greatest professional bass anglers, Scott Martin, the overall goal of this bass fishing rod is improving the abilities of anglers across various fishing disciplines. These include hook setting, strike recognition, fighting and landing fish, and casting.
Regardless of the fish, you want to scout for, this rod will help you make the most out of your experience.
All the rods in this Okuma series come with 30-ton carbon, which makes them sensitive as well as durable, and the blank construction uses materials that are extra-sensitive. It is easy to handle the rod, thanks to the EVA-split grip and the EVA fore grip that reduces the weight of the rod.
In fact, the design of the foregrip allows for non-exposure of the reel seat threads, therefore increasing the comfortable grip.
There are hard aluminum oxide guide inserts that can be useful especially with the braided line, while the intermediate guide sizing allows for enhanced knot clearance.
The carbon reel seats are comprised of custom-made C-40X, and allows for greater spinning and casting ability, and this is further enhanced by ALPS stainless steel guide frames. In addition, the hook keeper replacement in the split grip area allows you to handle the rod with more versatility.
Abu Garcia Ike casting rod – Good Rod Under 200$
This fishing rod is the direct result of three years of extensive research. Coming with a highly durable blank construction, it has 36 ton high modulus graphite in addition to HSG (High Strain Glass) that enhances its durability and sensitivity, regardless of conditions you find yourself in.
The stainless steel guides and Fuji reels seats, combined with the unmistakable cosmetics make these rods stand out from others.
The wide variety that the series offers makes sure that you have the best rod for your specific situation. The overall construction allows it to have a parabolic action, which is very useful in crankbait fishing.
Dobyns Rods series FR 705CB – Best Lipless Rod
This rod offers you the best of balance, strength, lightweight and value for your money. It is best for crankbaits, lipless rattle baits, jerk baits and Sammys.
It comes with important features that many anglers want. The high modulus graphite blank construction, as well as the AA grade cork grip with a high density hypalon butt provide the rod with sensitivity.
The Fuji reel seat and Kevlar wrapping on the other hand, gives the rod an ergonomic handle, which stays comfortable in your hands.
Ardent Denny Brauer – Best in Casting Adjustments
These have a similar story to fishing rods that have been designed by the greatest anglers, since it has the touch of Denny Brauer, one of the greatest bass fishing legends.
It covers a wide range of bass fishing techniques and has undergone extensive testing on lakes such as Amistad and Falcon.
The rod boasts great sensitivity as well as excellent levels of strength thanks to the high modulus IM8 graphite, while its Fuji guides are premium quality and allow you to make accurate and longer casts. The rod has a strong base for your reels as well – though it remains lightweight – thanks to the Pac Bay Reel seats.
In addition, the balancing ability is very good due to the split grips that are of high quality, and each rod is comfortable to handle.
In terms of sensitivity, the rod comes in a one-piece construction. This allows for less chances of having weak points within the rod and therefore allows you to have a better strike regardless of the conditions you find yourself in.
Lews Fishing TP173MH-CB – Best Casting Rod for Beginners
If you are a beginner in the angling game, this may be a good pick for you.
Featuring a one-piece construction, the rod has premium-grade IM8 graphite blanks to add to the sensitivity and strength while remaining lightweight.
The rod also has a Winn grips handle, which contains split grips that use patented dri-tec technology. These give the rod a good grip ability and make your rod control easier, regardless of weather conditions.
The rod guides, on the other hand, use American Tackle’s microwave system – giving the best line flow efficiency that enhances casting distance, eliminates wind knots, and improves your accuracy in casting.
Best Crankbait Rods for the Money in 2018 – Buyer’s Guide
Why do you need a specific rod for a specific type of fishing?
To put it in a summarized form, performance is important. The best example would be playing golf – you need different golf clubs per shot. If you choose a club that lacks sufficient loft, you will not be able to send the ball over a long distance, and if you use too much loft, the ball will not reach the green.
The same principle applies to a fishing rod. When the rod has too much action, chances are high that the crankbait is ripped from the mouth of the fish. If the rod lacks sufficient power, you cannot pull the hog from the cover.
Rod action vs. rod power
The ‘action’ of fishing rods is basically a factor of the extent a rod will flex along the blank. For a faster action rod, this will occur mainly at the tip, while a moderate action rod will have the flexing near the middle section of the blank. If the flex is near the butt section, then the action is slow.
The ‘power’, on the other hand, is the pressure you need to apply in order for the rod to flex. The extent of power that the rod can have is a combination of various factors, which include line size, and lure weight.
Various rod power will have different specifications, which allow for the handling of different sizes of lines and weights. When choosing a rod power that is optimal for your needs, you, therefore, need to reduce your choices to rods that can cast the lure weight and line size that you use most often.
Considerations when choosing a crankbait rod
In the case of many crankbait fishermen, homemade rods that have moderate tapers are fine. However, this means tray the top part of the rod has some flexibility, while the lower part has some muscle.
Before choosing the rod you will use, you need to weigh in some advantages and disadvantages. Here are some considerations you need to factor in.
- Length of rod
The usual length of a crankbait rod will be between 6’6 and 8’. The length that is optimal for your needs will determine the best rod to use.
Think of fishing rods as levers. The longer your fishing rod is, the more line it pulls when you set your hooks. That will enhance the leverage you hold, and in turn should increase your catch ration, at least in theory.
In addition, a longer rod usually generates greater amounts of power when you cast it – that guarantees longer casts. If you are working with a crankbait, this is an excellent option, since it provides greater control regardless of the water depth, and it also makes for longer lure times when you want to catch more fish.
However, keep in mind that you do not need an eight-foot rod to accomplish great things. It all comes down to how you utilize what you have. Sometimes, shorter rods will give you greater levels of accuracy, and sometimes it will be easier to fight with fish in tighter quarters. It is easier to go with a shorter rod as well, so make sure you consider all the tradeoffs before making a decision.
- Weights of the lures
In the past, it was difficult to find a variety with lure weights, since most of them were 2 ounces or lower. However, the situation today is different, with most weights exceeding this amount, so you have more choices. The main factor you need to consider for this case is the type of crankbait fishing you usually do.
For instance, if your crankbaits tend to be deep, the general rule is that crankbaits will increase in weight as it goes deeper in the water. Therefore, choose a heavier weight. If you mostly fish shallow running crankbaits, the lure should be lighter.
However, keep in mind that exceptions are there as well. Therefore, examine the crankbaits you tend to use the most, then go for the heaviest one you can find in that range just to be safe.
- Strength of the line
This is mostly factored in by the size of the line, which can vary greatly across the board. You will usually find it between six and 30 pounds test.
Keep in mind that the lighter the line, the greater the distance it tends to cast, and the crankbait will run deeper as a result. Heavier lines are more accommodating to structure though, and they also provide you with some extra fighting power.
- Rod action
In the case of crankbaits, you can hardly go wrong if you select a rod that has either fast or moderate action. This opinion may differ when you ask experienced anglers, and some situations may call for different actions – if preferred.
However, also remember there are benefits to suing a moderate or fast action rod. These include:
- Moderate or medium action rods provide you with greater chances of fighting fish with mouths full of treble hooks – meaning it is less likely to throw the lure you are using.
- Softer actions remove any sudden increases in line tension, for instance when the fish darts under the boat. This helps to maintain the stability of the line tension, in addition to reducing the chances of the line tightening too quickly, which can lead to loosening of the hooks in the mouth of the fish.
- Mid-range action rods, when used with correct guides, will allow for longer casts. The lure can go far enough to give the bait the distance and time it requires to reach maximum depths.
- Slower action rods give delays (although slight) in the hook set. That reduces the chances of ripping out the hooks from the mouth of the fish – you can think of it as ‘calm mode’.
- The delay helps in fishing crankbaits around covers while using more accommodating action. When the rod is stiff, the force you use to drive the lure is more, while softer action allows for time to stop the retrieve and reel in again after a second. This will also result in less hang-ups while you fish.
- Rod power
Three general ratings exist that work very well for crankbaits – Medium-heavy, Medium-light, and Medium. The choice you make will be determined by the requirements you have regarding lure weight and line sizes.
The model rods will have the lure weight and line size specifications in their description. However, it is important to note that these are not casual recommendations – rather, they are limits. When you choose the correct rod that has a proper power rating, you are ensuring that your fishing experience is efficient and accurate, as well as reducing the chances of damage to the rod. If your requirements are between two specifications, it is better to go for the heavier option just to be safe.
- Freshwater or saltwater?
Many crankbait rods are versatile enough to be useful in both fresh and salt water, though there are exceptions. It is equally important to find this out from the manufacturer.
- Specific designs
Sometimes, you will find that the requirements of the crankbait you are using are very specific, and you will need a specific fishing lure in mind. A good instance would be the MHX XD Rod that was has a specific design to fit the needs of Strike King crankbait. This is due to the crankbait diving deeper than many others – in fact, up to depths of over 25 feet.
This will not always be the case though, and most of the time your requirements can be fulfilled by the usual crankbait, especially when you are starting out.
- Component materials
This is an important factor to consider as the flexibility and strength depend on it. The most common materials are graphite and fiberglass – fiberglass is generally heavier and slower. Graphite is more sensitive to force, more lightweight and has faster action.
The KastKing Pro series of Bass fishing rods is our pick of the day. Since it uses Carbon Nano tube resins, it is very lightweight but still retains tenacity and sensitivity.
Every blank has a custom design, making for rods that outperform previous technology used in bass fishing techniques.