There’s always this delight of catching bass without hassle. With the right lure on crankbaits, the best crankbait rod from your trove, and a bass hotspot, you are definitely in for a bass treat!
Yes, plastic lures are easier to store and carry around. When used well, you can often reuse them a couple of times over and save the rest for another angling day. However, it’s the crankbaits that reel in the most bass.
While crankbaits do the trick, it’s useless if they don’t match your fishing rod. The wrong one might be unable to hold your catch or even ruin your gear. If you’re debating which rod would work best for you, then we’re here to help narrow down your choices.
We’ve ranked the best crankbait rods we tried and reeled the most bass for us with the help of other anglers. Check out which crankbait rods made out cut and see if they work for you!
At A Quick Glance
These are our top 5 best crankbait rods so far after trying a few of them. These crankbait rods made the cut on these grounds: performance, durability, and value.
|Dobyns Rods Fury Series Casting Fishing Rod|
– 8-feet long; good for long-rage bass fishing
– Best handles longer and deeper reels
|St. Croix Rods Premier Spinning Rod|
– Top-quality spinning configuration
– Lightweight and easy to handle
|Abu Garcia Veritas Casting Fishing Rod|
– Has ROCS or Robotically Optimized Casting System Guide train best for beginners
– Maximizes the line guide for accurate casts
|KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rods|
– Six-piece telescopic rod design
– Cheapest on the list
|13 FISHING Omen Black 2 M Casting Rod|
– Good for both open and hard water
– Uses Japanese 30 Ton Toray Blanks with PVG Technology
Check the Material
One of the few things we immediately deduce is the material our gears are made of. For crankbait rods (or for any rods in that matter), each is mostly made with different materials that cement your rod’s backbone in the blank.
The most common rods are made of…
Rods with this material are durable thanks to their strong but lightweight finish. They’re more sensitive when a bass takes the bait, but not really the characteristic you’d go for crankbait rods.
This is less expensive than granite but is actually on the heavier side. Plus, it’s less sensitive to bites and may not be as stiff as you want. However, crankbait rods capitalize on their materials’ flexibility so this is the best component you should be looking for for your first or next crankbait rod.
It’s the stiffest, lightest, and strongest among the three! Rods with these materials have unparalleled performance and a price tag way above the others. Though it’s on a higher level, we do think crankbait rods with carbon fiber AND fiberglass are the best mix for a crankbait rod.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Contrary to most novice tales, an ideal crankbait should be relatively slow when thrown into action. When we say action, we mean the length when the rod starts to bend with the load on its end. If your crankbait rod is “fast”, only the tip bends because most of your rod’s length is stiff. If it’s “slow”, the rod curves more, offering flexibility even while carrying a heavy load.
You might say, “So, I should go for the one that bends more, right? Since the slower the better?” Not really.
Fast rods do tell you about strikes more easily than slow rods since it has better sensitivity at their tip. On the other hand, slow rods will give your hookset more cushion because of their flexibility.
Like most angling tools, choosing which crankbait rod to go for still depends on which angling technique and style you’re most comfortable with.
Does the Length Matter?
It largely does! Longer crankbait rods allow greater cast reach though they may prove less accurate in hitting your target than the shorter crankbait rods. Likewise, the latter does provide limited casting distance no matter how easily it hits your target area.
Think about the bass you want to take home. Are they more prominent in close or tight spaces? Then we suggest going for shorter crankbait rods. Will you be fishing for bass in the open water? Definitely, the longer ones can reel them in for you.
For starters, we do suggest a 7’ 6” crankbait rod as the best length to start with. You can vary the length from there as you discover which fishing style you do better.
The Ideal Gear Ratio for Your Reel
Gear ratio refers to how many times your spool would turn on every turn on your handle. In other words, the gear ratio determines how fast a reel picks up your line.
Low Gear Ratio – 5.1:1 to 5.4:1
If you’re aiming for baits that pull a lot, this ratio might be the most ideal setting for you because it allows you to retrieve your bait more easily and get your fish. Add to that, a lower gear ratio goes best when you use big and heavy baits. Use this ratio when you fish in colder and calmer waters, too. When prone to strikes, slower gears help keep your bait in place longer and prevent bait from swimming deeper into the water.
Medium Gear Ratio – 6.1:1 to 6.4:1
We do use this gear ratio more often as it can cover multiple angling techniques and scenarios more often than the other settings. It offers room for extra speed when bass runs to cover in tight spots or even throwing spinnerbaits on shallow flats. Also, it gives extra torque – or the force that causes your spool to turn – all while you’re reeling in your bait. High Gear Ratio – 7.1:1 to 8.1:1
High Gear Ratio – 7.1:1 to 8.1:1
Most anglers opt for this ratio when angling for bigger bass. While the crankbait rod works harder on the tip, this ratio allows you to easily handle a bite with speed. We do recommend this setting when you’re fishing in hazard-prone areas so that you reel your catch before they even cut the line or ruin your rod.
When you scan through all the crankbait rods you’re eyeing to buy, make sure to check the ratios they handle so there will be no surprises when preparing your angling setup.
Choosing Your Bass Lures
While we’re at it, matching your rod length and ratio to the most efficient lure takes a step closer to a flawless bass fishing setup. Here’s a short rundown of lures that can match the ratio we just discussed above:
- For low gear ratios, use deep crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and swimbaits.
- For medium gear ratios, squarebill and medium-depth crankbaits, shallow spinnerbaits, and shallow castable umbrella rigs do the job.
- For high gear ratios, go for jigs and big worms, shaky heads, Texas rigs, Carolina rigs, topwaters, jerk baits, or lipless crankbaits.
Of course, experience is the best teacher. Try one of each for your preferred lure when you deem them fit for the water and bass you’re visiting. Whichever brings in the most for your bucket gets the biggest space in your tackle box!
Each crankbait rod has its limit, and it’s in your best interest to use the lure and line that does not sacrifice its performance. It is usually seen near the reel seat so be sure to zoom into that part when you buy the rod online.
This is in conjunction with your rod’s power and action so it can also help determine which line and lure to bring along on d-day.
Top 5 Best Crankbait Rods Reviews
If you’re quite on a tight budget, but are willing to invest in a quality crankbait rod, then Dobyns’ might be the best crankbait rod for you.
This is our all-time favorite for angling deep water-loving bass. It’s an eight-footer crankbait rod that provides the extra depth we went for during a far-away cast. Big lines and heavy lures are no sweat for this rod and the 15-inch handle supports a whole day out angling.
However, if you’re the spontaneous type whose angling range varies depending on mood or vibe, you may feel its length bothersome. It takes a bit of getting-to-know-time with this rod too, so you might find yourself inclined to discard it when you feel that mastering how to wield the length is too taxing.
Regardless, this is a good place to start for anglers who love the open waters and like to throw it as far as they can go.
Don’t be shocked when you find yourself some competition online when you try to buy this rod because this is one of the most recommended crankbait rods by crankbaiters.
Both experienced and newbie anglers aim for St. Croix’s fiberglass rod because it has the flexibility crankbaiters love, plus the accuracy it offers even in longer casts. It’s also pretty lightweight and easy to carry.
Fortunately, we did bring this once for mini-winter fishing, and its spinning configuration was perfect for the weather. It handles light lines and smaller lures perfectly, too. The cork-handle made the experience unique for us too.
The only thing that felt off was the reel seat. It felt somewhat uncomfortable after a long handling time. We were not planning to cast on longer distances, but it seemed the crankbait’s makeup limits how far your line can go.
Aside from that, we do think it sits in the second spot for its well-performing rod like most of St. Croix’s items.
This might be the most budget-friendly crankbait rod we have on the list that still offered quality results.
Abu Garcia’s casting fishing rod is lightweight and well-balanced. It felt good in the hands and was easy to handle compared to the other crankbait rods on the list. Its ergonomic reel seat also felt good for the setup so this rod made it on our list.
What we liked about this rod was its ROCS or Robotically Optimized Casting System Guide train that helped us maximize our casting distance even with lighter lures. It did not reach as far as Dobyns’ but it reeled in more bass than we expected.
We had to order twice to try this friend-recommended crankbait rod because we did not check the seller before shipping it out. The first one we bought snagged right when we tried it in the water and almost half of the line guides did not do what they were made for.
With our second buy, we were able to use it better in spring as it cast the lures at a good reach. This also has fairly good weather and wear resistance so you might be able to use it a couple more times when properly handled.
KastKings’ telescoping fishing rods might be on top of our best cranking rod list when it comes to appearance.
It’s all black makeup looks sleek and elegant. Even if you’re not the angler that thinks looks matter, this crankbait rod was probably one that took less time to assemble.
This is also the only crankbait rod that has a six-piece telescopic rod design. This feature was effective in improving our line guide’s performance, making casting more flawless. These also came very handy when we wanted to try different lines but were too lazy to keep switching them.
With this feature, you’d think it more on the pricier side, but trust us when we say this is the cheapest we have on the list!
If you don’t get acquainted with its parts before trying it in the waters, you might question why this even made our best crankbait rods list. You might find a stock that has a feeble rod tip and fold the rod more than you intended too.
Our tip here would be to screen the supplier the best that you can. If you do find a shop that sells the same crankbait rod at a higher price, try contacting the seller about manufacturing date and other details to make sure you get what you paid for.
The last crankbait rod that made it on our top 5 is 13 FISHING’s Omen Japanese 30 Ton Toray Blanks with PVG Technology fishing rod. It’s quite a combination of a few countries’ best, with the handle made of premiere Portuguese full cork.
It looks sleek and almost like a stick, but it does handle open and hard water pretty well. They’re also lightweight, making it ideal for fishing that involves other outdoor activities like hiking or camping or anything else that requires hand carry transport.
We bought this with the average price of all the crankbait rods we ranked so far. It caught bass for us the way others did, but it snapped off when we tried it again a few months after purchase. It may be due to the line we used or the size of the fish it was about to catch, nonetheless we probably already used it more than the price we paid for.
13 FISHING’s omen rod is at the 5th spot because the medium power and fast action worked beyond our expectations.
Now Which One’s For You
If you ask us, that’s a tough question to answer. We do want to give you a definitive answer, but like how many different bass there are in the waters, so are the many variations of angling techniques and styles that can match many crankbait rods available.
Dobyns’ fishing rod claims our top spot because it has the best overall performance among the crankbait rods we tried. It was durable and the price was at par with its performance.
St. Croix’s fishing rod line is undoubtedly one of the bests out there, explaining why it’s quite the market-grabbing type and usually out of stock on many stores. Maybe we did just solve the puzzle quite right when we used this rod so it fell in the ranks after Dobyns’.
Abu Garcia’s crankbait rod hits the third spot as did fill a few small buckets before it retired. For its price, it’s not that bad, too.
KastKing’s rod is actually a close third, but its strength in the six-piece rod telescopic rod-design also created a weakness when mishandled. It ruins the setup and sometimes is very confusing for first-time crankbaiters so we do not recommend this if you haven’t mastered a one-piece rod design.
13 FISHING was also sturdy when we used it. It was useful when we were not really paying attention to the lines, but also made it a bit hard for us to reel the catch in when it scurried away.
No one knows your angling technique and style better than you, so the decision still rests on your shoulders. It’s not going to be easy to trust your fishing day on a rod you’ve never once tried but we hope this guide can help you choose one that will be your companion for many angling days!