Spinning rod and reel fishing works wonders in ultra light scenarios and they’re the preferred tools of starting anglers. However, most anglers switch over to baitcasting equipment once they master the spinning setup. The inline spools of baitcasting reels make line management more difficult but offer an edge when casting and battling larger fish. Anglers that switch over from spinning reel to baitcaster will want the best baitcasting rod to match.
Guide To Selecting The Best Baitcasting Rod With Following Reviews
What Is A Baitcasting Rod?
The most important element to remember about baitcasting rods is that they go together with baitcasting reels. This is a fact that beginners may not be aware of. At first glance, it seems like an angler could simply flip a spinning rod over and use it with a baitcasting reel. While this might work in a pinch, baitcasting rods have their own design.
More often than not, you’ll see the name “casting” rod when looking on the market. The label is synonymous with baitcasting rod. The design of a casting rod works specifically with the baitcasting reel on top and the line guides pointing up. This means the rod bends when the line pushes down on the inside of the guides. In contrast, spinning rod guides point down so that the line pulls on the outside of the ring.
How Are Baitcasting Rods Different From Spinning Rods?
It’s apparent that casting rods and spinning rods work completely opposite of each other. Casting rods seem backwards to the exclusive spinning gear fisherman. However, the manner of casting rod use is not the only factor that sets them apart from spinning rods.
The most prominent change from spinning to casting rod is in the line guides. Spinning rods have wider ring guides. Line comes off a spinning reel in a coil, and large ring guides allow it to pass through without catching or bunching up.
Guides on casting rods are much smaller in diameter because line comes straight off the baitcasting reel. The fact that line pushes down upon guide and rod changes things. The best baitcasting rod will have more guides than spinning rods to keep the line off the blank. The guides also start closer to the handle on casting versus spinning models.
What To Look For When Choosing The Best Baitcasting Rod
Begin your process of picking the best baitcasting rod by answering two questions. First, what kind of fish will you be using it to catch? This will determine the size of the fish you’re after and the casting rod must be powerful enough to handle them. Rod manufacturers provide this information in the specifications.
Second, make sure you match your casting rod and baitcasting reel specifications. The line your able to use with your baitcasting reel needs to be in concert with the line ratings of your casting rod. Using 20 pound mono with a casting rod that rates for 6 – 10 pound test is too much. It will lead to poor performance or worse. Snap!
Besides specifications, spend some time exploring features of the best baitcasting rods. Features will reveal the material make up of the rod blank. They’ll also show you the quality of line guides, reel seat, handle style, and butt type. The best baitcasting rod will have quality features.
Understanding Specifications Of The Best Baitcasting Rod
There are several variables to consider when inspecting the specs of a casting rod. A good starting point is choosing the number of rod pieces. The best baitcasting rod is a one piece unit, but this isn’t always practical. Two piece casting rods are available and still get the job done.
After you decide upon the number of rod pieces, you’ll want to think about logistics like length, power, and action. Here’s a list of specs that most manufacturers use to describe casting rods:
- Rod Length – Casting rods are typically longer than spinning models. They offer several length options.
- Power – Go light or with a heavy power rod. It all depends on the size of fish you’re after.
- Action – Describes where the bend in the rod starts to stiffen up. Casting rods often have fast action for the extra flip in the tip.
- Line Rating – The size of the line will coincide with rod power. Match this to your reel specs.
- Lure Rating – Suggests which weight lures are appropriate for use with the rod.
- Number Of Guides – How many line guides in the rod design. Longer rods have more guides.
- Rod Weight – The overall rod weight comes down to blank material and components.
As you can see, these choices make a difference to your style of fishing. Beginners will figure it out once they have experience using a few casting rods. Anglers with experience have a good idea what specs they want in a casting rod.
5 Best Baitcasting Rod Choices – Anglers Favorites Of 2017
#1 St. Croix Mojo Bass Casting Rod
If you don’t yet know about St. Croix rods, adjust your spectacles. Anglers widely recognize them as one of the premier fishing rod makers in the United States. Welcome to the St. Croix Mojo Bass casting rod. Stalwart features come with every model like high modulus SCIII graphite blanks. St. Croix constructs these rods using their Integrated Poly Curve tooling technology. Every St. Croix Mojo Bass Casting rod is a work of wonder.
St. Croix Mojo Bass Casting rods come in 7 different lengths, from 6’8″ to 7’11”. The rods come with 3 power options of medium, medium-heavy, and heavy. Action on Mojo Bass rods is either moderate-fast or fast, with one extra-fast model. All St. Croix Mojo Bass rods are 1 piece sticks. They handle mono line from 8 to 30 pounds, depending on the model.
Additional features of St. Croix Mojo Bass casting rods include Kigan Master Hand 3D guides. The thin frame guides remain strong and rings use aluminum oxide inserts. High quality Fuji ECS reel seats lock in your baitcasting reel. Split grip handles provide the utmost of comfort using premium grade cork. Incredibly strong and durable, Mojo Bass casting rods come with a 5 year warranty.
#2 Daiwa Tatula Casting Rod
Running neck and neck with the St. Croix’s Mojo Bass rod is the Daiwa Tatula casting rod. Daiwa offers their Tatula casting rod line in 10 different models that range in length from 6’9″ to 7’7″. Rod blank material is graphite that overlays at 45 degree angles. This is Daiwa’s Bias Construction and it makes rods both lightweight and ferociously strong.
Daiwa Tatula casting rods have line ratings that fall between 6 and 20 pounds of mono line. Power ratings start medium-light and move up in stages to heavy. Tatula casting rods also have a range of action between a regular and extra fast tip bend. All Tatula rods are one piece blanks and come with 9 line guides, except the 7’7″ model which has 10.
Stand out features of Daiwa Tatula casting rods include Fuji Alconite line guides of the highest quality. Exposed blank custom reel seats lock in your baitcaster with a CNC machined aluminum clamp nut. Rod handles are split grip style and use comfortable EVA foam. The Daiwa Tatula is the best baitcasting rod in many an angler’s collection and is worthy of taking that place in yours.
#3 Okuma Scott Martin TCS Casting Rod
The result of teamwork between Okuma rod designers and famous bass fisherman Scott Martin is the TCS casting rod. Short for Tournament Concept Series, TCS casting rods offer all the power and action bass anglers need in ever changing conditions. Okuma presents TCS casting rods in 10 different models to cover a wide range of fishing situations.
TCS casting rods start with a one piece blank and come in lengths that range from 6’6″ to 7’11”. The action on TCS rods is mostly medium-fast, though anglers have fast action options on the 7’3″ and two of the 7’11” models. Rod power in the Scott Martin series ranges from medium to extra-heavy which gives line rating between 8 and 80 pounds.
The results of Okuma and Scott Martin design are spectacular rod features which you can see below:
- 30 Ton Carbon Fiber Blanks For Super Sensitivity
- Alps Stainless Steel Guide Frames With Aluminum Oxide Inserts
- Custom Carbon Reel Seats
- Split Handle Rods With A 3rd Reel Locking Fore Handle
- All Handles Have EVA Foam Grips
- Slightly Larger Guide Ring Diameter For Knot Passage
- Finger Trigger On The Reel Seat
Every Okuma TCS casting rod comes with an exact tournament purpose. Start with a 7′ rod for general purpose or gather a few models at the same time. Listen to Scott Martin yourself for an exact description of how he uses TCS rods.
#4 Ugly Stik Elite Casting Rod
The Shakespeare Ugly Stik is perhaps the most popular fishing rod in the world. 120 years of building fishing rods and brilliant advertising keeps the Ugly Stik on top of the market. Shakespeare designs fishing gear for families, but the Elite series casting rod goes a step above. The good news? While Ugly Stik Elite casting rods perform exceptionally well, they keep the low price standard anglers expect out of Shakespeare.
Ugly Stik Elite series casting rods add 35% more graphite to the blank than their standard GX2 models. The result is lighter rod that’s more sensitive, and has better balance. In total you have 6 Elite casting rods to choose from with lengths of either 6’6″ or 7′. Line ratings begin at 2 pounds in the ultra light model and go up to 20 pound mono. After the ultra light model, rod power goes to medium and up to medium-heavy. Ugly Stik Elite casting rod action goes from moderate-fast to extra-fast. Both one and two piece rods are available.
The list of Features on Ugly Stik Elite casting rods shows dedication to excellence despite such a low price. Check them out below:
- Clear Tip Design Puts Strength Where The Rod Bends Most
- Ugly Tuff 1 Piece Line Guides Without Inserts
- Exposed Blank Graphite Reel Seats
- Split Style Handles With Quality Cork Grips
- Finger Trigger On Lower Reel Seat
- 7 Year Warranty
It goes without saying that Shakespeare provides top value fishing rods on today’s market. Price and performance proves it. Once you buy and use one, you’ll agree with the rest of them.
#5 Shimano Solara Casting Rod
The Shimano Solara casting rod comes with the highest customer ratings and perhaps the best price value available. Shimano offers these 2 piece casting rods in two lengths, 6′ and 6’6″. Blank material consists of Shimano’s Aeroglass technology. The result is a lighter, more sensitive casting rod with better balance than pure fiberglass rods.
With only 2 models to choose from, rod specs are easy to distinguish. The shorter 6′ rod rates for 6-15 pound mono line which is perfect for bass fishing. It’s a medium power rod with fast action that will also take 10-20 pound braid if you prefer.
The longer 6’6″ Solara rod moves up to 10-20 pound mono or 15-30 pound braided line. It’s also more powerful with a medium-heavy rating. The 6’6″ Solara casting rod maintains fast action but does have longer fore and rear handles. The design of each model contains 6 guides with sturdy frames and aluminum oxide inserts. Split handles are cork and the reel seat is strong graphite to keep weight down.
End Notes On Buying The Best Baitcasting Rod
The selections above are quality casting rods that cover a wide range of needs. They’ll match up with the best baitcasting reels you can find to attach them to. Start your selection by using the buyer’s guide and keep it simple. Take an initial look at all 5 casting rods in the recommendations and find a price range that suits you.
The next step is to match your new casting rod with a baitcasting reel you own, or plan to purchase. Do this by knowing the situation and fish you’re after. That info will tell you what kind of power and line rating your rod selection needs. Lengths are up to the user, though jig casters prefer longer rods. Take your time and read closely. Don’t hesitate using the comment section to ask questions on your quest for the best baitcasting rod.