5 Rods Every Bass Angler Needs
Whether you are looking for your first fishing rod or your next one, this guide will walk you through the 5 rods every angler needs.
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1. 7′ Medium Action Spinning Rod
New anglers should start with is a 7-foot medium-action spinning rod. A spinning rod is great to start with because it is easy to use and is very versatile.
A 7-foot medium spinning rod will allow you to try out a wide variety of lures and figure out if there is a style you enjoy the most. Although this rod will allow you to use about 80% of the lure it won’t be perfect for many of them.
If you hit a point where you start to feel limited it may be time to start building your rod arsenal or you want to try some larger baits then it is time to pick up a second rod. As you start adding more rods to your arsenal your rods will start matching the desired action of the lures you use.
Recommended 7′ Medium Action Spinning Rods
- Best Value: Dobyns Fury paired with a Shimano NASCI 2500
- High End: St. Croix Legend Tournament paired with a Shimano Stradic
- Top of the Line: G. Loomis Conquest paired with a Shimano Exsence
2. 7′ – 7’3″Medium-Heavy Baitcaster
The second rod you will want is a 7′ – 7’3″ medium-heavy baitcaster. Baitcasters take a little longer to learn but fear not, they aren’t nearly as hard to use as they are made out to be. For tips check out our baitcaster casting guide.
Learning to use a baitcaster is well worth it because you will gain a lot more power and casting accuracy. This will open you up to a lot of new techniques.
A 7′ to 7’3″ medium-heavy baitcaster is the most universal bass fishing rod you will find. It is the perfect action for many different types of bass lures including jigs, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, texas, and carolina rigs. You will also be able to use most other lures too, just not perfectly.
Recommended 7′ – 7’3″Medium-Heavy Baitcaster
- Best Value: Dobyns Fury paired with a Daiwa Fuego CT
- High End: Daiwa Tatula Elite paired with a Dawa Tatula Elite
- Top of the Line: G. Loomis GLX paired with a Shimano Metanium MGL
3. 6’8 – 7’2″ Medium-Light Spinning Rod
For your third rod, you’ll want a medium-light spinning rod in the 6’10” to 7’2″ length range. This will complete your rod coverage on the light end and will allow you to effectively fish finesse style baits like the drop-shots, ned rigs, and light shakey heads.
Finesse baits are great when fishing heavily pressured lakes or during colder months when bass might be more finicky. They are also great for beginners year-round. Finesse baits get a lot of bites but not always the biggest. If just want to catch some fish they are great options.
Recommended 6’8 – 7’2″ Medium-Light Spinning Rods
- Best Value: Shimano Intenza paired with a Shimano NASCI 2500
- High End: Shimano Expride paired with a Shimano Vanford
- Top of the Line: Megabass Destroyer paired with a Daiwa Certate LT
4. 6’8″ – 7′ Medium Baitcaster
For your fourth rod you are basically looking for the same action as your first rod but in a baitcaster. A 6’8″ to 7’2″ medium-action baitcaster will allow you to add a bit more power to your reel vs the spinning counterpart.
This rod will be ideal for fishing jerkbaits, finesse jigs, and small to medium topwater lures.
Recommended 6’8″ – 7′ Medium Baitcaster Rods
- Best Value: St. Croix Bass X paired with a Shimano SLX
- High End: Shimano Expride 6’10” medium paired with a Shimano Curado 70 MGL
- Top of the Line: G. Loomis NRX paired with a Shimano Aldebaran MGL
5. 7’2″ – 7’4″ Heavy Baitcaster
A 7’2″ – 7’4″ Heavy Baitcaster will complete your rod arsenal that is optimal for 95% of bass fishing. Your heavy rod will handle all your power fishing.
One of the most fun techniques is summer frog fishing. Along with frog fishing, a heavy action baitcaster is great for flipping and punching into heavy cover.
When fishing heavy cover and vegetation you need a heavy backboned rod to fight the bass out before they can tangle up your line and break off. A heavy rod will also allow you to start getting into larger swimbaits.
Recommended 7’2″ – 7’5″ Heavy Baitcaster Rods
- Best Value: Shimano SLX 7’5″ paired with a Shimano SLX
- High End: Shimano Zodia 7’5″ paired with a Shimano Curado 150
- Top of the Line: Megabass Destroyer Tequilla Baccarac paired with a Shimano Metanium
These five rods will give you a very solid arsenal to cover a huge range of bass fishing. Although this is the order most bass anglers should take, don’t feel like you have to follow this order exactly. Adjust the order to fit your needs.
If your lake or pond has a ton of lillys or vegetation then you may want a heavy action rod sooner. These 5 recommendations are for building the most well-rounded setups.
Adding additional rods after these five is when you really start getting super technique-specific uses. If you are looking for technique-specific rod recommendations check our lure guides.