Top 10 Best Baitcasting Rods (2019) Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
- Simon Michel
First-time anglers would probably have used spinning rods, as these types of rods are much easier to learn. However, if you want to be called a real fisherman and be able to capture heavier fish, then you should be able to try baitcasting rods. You need to find the best baitcasting rod to enhance your fishing experience with some prize-winning catches.
Here, we would like to present you with our finding of the top baitcaster rods in today's market, along with detailed reviews on what to look for if you want to transition into a bonafide baitcaster. Read on and you will definitely find your right match.
What You Will Get Here
- Why Use Baitcasting Rods?
- How Did We Pick These Products?
- Things to Consider When Buying a Casting Rod
- Our Top 10 Product List
- Our Top Choice: KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods
- Good Value for Money: Entsport Sirius
- For Spinnerbaits: Entsport E Series Camo Legend
- The Most Versatile Rod: KastKing Royale Legend Fishing Rods
- For On-Water Applications: Abu Garcia Vengeance
- For Portability: Piscifun Torrent
- A List of 4 Other Rods We Reviewed
- List of other Products We Tested
- Baitcasting Rod Using Tips
Why Use Baitcasting Rods?
Baitcasting rods require more skill to use. However, the good poles in the hands of a capable angler will surely pay dividends. Smoother and farther casts are more possible with a baitcaster as compared to a spincaster.
In addition, reels for baitcasters are placed on top of the rod rather than on the bottom. This allows you to catch heavier fish as well as those species that put up fiercer fights without compromising on the integrity of your rod.
These types are typically more expensive than spinning rods, but they are built to last and to perform well even under different conditions. Many professionals and veteran anglers swear by the fact that baitcasting rods are far superior to other types, especially when it comes to power and accuracy.
While there is a steeper learning curve especially if you’re more accustomed to spinning reels, you will certainly feel that chasing after prize catches are much easier and more convenient.
How Did We Pick These Products?
We’ve done a lot of legwork in order to provide you with the most accurate and honest review possible. It took a lot of time and effort, but the results were very much worth it once we came up with the final product.
We looked at different models and compared them based on different factors, most of which are discussed below. These data were acquired from their home sites as well as from sites such as Amazon. We also read through most of the reviews from those who have actually bought and used the product in question, taking into consideration those that have provided comments that are more in detail.
Next, we conducted interviews from expert anglers and we gathered opinions from expert fishing community boards on what they think are the pros and cons of the baitcast rods on our list. Their years of experience were very helpful in providing us with information regarding what’s great about these rods as well as their shortcomings.
Lastly, we tested these rods in the water ourselves. Unfortunately, not all rods in the list were tested, but at the very least we were able to get a clear cut idea on what to expect from these rods based on their performance once we were able to use these items first hand.
Of course, not all opinions were the same, so we categorized the list based on specific criteria so that we could reach an agreement on how we would be able to rank these baitcasting rods. In fact, you might even have tested some of these rods yourself and you may have a different opinion, too. Still, this only serves as a buying guide so that you will have an in-depth review of most popular baitcast rods that will keep you well-informed enough to make a wise purchase.
Things to Consider When Buying a Casting Rod
Here are some things that you should look for when purchasing a new baitcasting rod. Take note that a cheap rod may be of good quality but may fall behind in some essential features, while a high-end model may also fall short in some areas even if it's expensive. In the end, it’s a matter of choice as to which area you would be willing to compromise on.
1. Material & Frame Quality
Materials used for baitcasting rods are either graphite or fiberglass, although some variants may exist. Different materials will affect weight, durability, and action, so you should choose which one you are most comfortable with.
Action pertains to how much the rod will bend once you have already hooked a fish. Choosing the rod with the right action is important depending on the lure that you will use as well as the types of fish that you want to catch.
3. Line Guides
Line guides or eyelets are the rings that guide your line from your reel to the tip of your rod. Line guides can be made with steel, titanium, or ceramic, and they must not fray or heat up your lines when casting or reeling in so as to avoid damage to your lines.
4. Reel Seats
Reel seats are an integral part of the rod. A poor quality seat will not fit let your reel fit well on the rod which would cause an imbalance in your movements. A poor quality seat may also cause your rod to snap.
Power, or weight, of the rod, signifies its ability to lift a certain amount of weight, whether it be lures of fish. Power in rods ranges from ultra light to extra heavy. You need to find the right rod for you depending on where you would be fishing and what you would be trying to catch.
Most conventional baitcasting rods have grips that are made of cork, while newer ones utilize foam. A good grip will allow you to hold your rods for a long time without tiring you out, and it must also give you a good enough hold on your rod so that it will need to get pulled from you by larger fish. Grips also come in either full, split, or pistol grip designs.
Of course, durability should also be a factor when choosing a fishing rod. Your preferred model should last you for several years for as long as you take good care of them, and some even provide warranties so that they would get repaired or replaced should they get broken within a certain period of time.
8. Weight & Length
A baitcasting rod should not be too heavy such that holding it would tire you out. It must also be just the right length to provide you with the proper distance when you cast, but not long enough to put you off balance. Look into lighter and shorter baitcasting rods, because they are easy to set up, especially if you have a smaller frame or if you are buying the rod for a child.
Don't always go for the cheaper options, but you might also be willing to shell out a little bit extra if a particular rod really fascinates you. The price factor will really depend from person to person, as it will vary as to how much you would like to spend for as long as a particular rod can serve you satisfactorily.
Our Top 10 Product List
Categorized based on specific preferences along with some honorable mentions, here are our picks that you should go through as a dedicated angler to find the most reliable investment. All of the following products will facilitate your fishing experience if you know how to set up a fishing rod correctly.
The KastKing Perigee II is our top pick due to its durability and performance. Ranging from 6 feet to 7’6” in length and from medium light to heavy when it comes to action, the KastKing Perigee II is very versatile and can easily catch prize fishes in the hands of a capable handler.
Carbon matrix blanks with KastFlex technology ensures toughness, while line guides are made of Fuji-O rings that not only helps in preserving your lines but also assists in accurate casting. Reel seats are made of graphite and fit well with most baitcasting reels. Unfortunately, some have reported that their rods have broken after a couple of uses, but that can probably be attested to manufacturing flaws as many more have raved about its toughness as well.
On the other hand, the KastKing Perigee II also comes with a lifetime warranty, so you really don’t have to worry if your rod does break. In addition, two-piece variants of the KastKing Perigee II comes with two tips of differing action, which adds further value to your purchase as you are essentially getting two rods for the price of one.
The KastKing Perigee II performs well, is nicely balanced, and is quite sensitive to bites. It is a highly recommended choice and is one of the favorites among experts, as this allows you to cast greater distances and can provide great power without disrupting balance or compromising the comfort of use in the process.
|Length||6’ to 7’6”|
|Type||Medium Light to Heavy|
|Line Guides||Fuji O-Ring|
|Pieces||1 to 2|
The KastKing Perigee II is an amazing rod to handle, and you can really see that they made this product with quality in mind. We did not experience any reason to think that there would be any durability issues with the KastKing Perigee II, and we thoroughly enjoyed using this in the water. With many different variants to choose from, you will definitely be able to find the perfect one that will suit your needs.
The Entsport Sirius can be acquired for just under 30 dollars but can still perform well in the water, making this worth your hard-earned money. While materials in higher end rods were not used for the Entsport Sirius, this two-piece pole is capable of withstanding some heavy-duty use.
Highlights of this rod include the 6 + 1 line guides which are made out of stainless steel with ceramic inserts. This allows lines to flow at higher speeds without you no longer needing to worry about your lines snapping due to friction or heat. The stainless steel construction also helps in resisting corrosion especially when the rod is being used in saltwater.
The entirety of the Entsport Sirius was constructed using materials designed to be absolutely lightweight. From the carbon fiber blank to the EVA foam grip, the rod is exceptionally easy to hold despite its longer length. As such, this is a great baitcasting rod that even small children can use easily. The reel seat is also made up of stainless steel, so attaching a reel to the rod is extremely easy even for inexperienced anglers.
The Entsport Sirius is somewhat limited when it comes to the range as it only falls under the medium type, so this is not quite recommended when it comes to versatility. As a secondary rod, however, this is an amazing choice. In addition, it is quite a portability as it could be broken down into two pieces, making carrying the Entsport Sirius around a cinch.
|Reel seat||Stainless Steel|
|Type||Medium Light to Medium Heavy|
|Line Guides||Stainless Steel w/ Ceramic inserts|
One of the great choices for beginners, the Entsport Sirius is affordable enough to become the first baitcasting rod for those just learning to use this type of rod. The Entsport Sirius is a good quality rod that, despite not being at par with other, more expensive rods, is still able to deliver quality performance. It can help you catch respectable sized fish, making it a must-try.
The Entsport Camo Legend is considered a nice option for bass fishing. This particular rod is perfect for spinnerbaits with its length and ability to cast farther in order to really get to those bigger fishes. It is also a budget choice as it is one of the cheaper alternatives to rods that will allow for some heavy duty fishing activities.
Quality materials were used for line guides and reel seats, although the latter has had some fit issues based on some of the reviews that we have read. The former, on the other hand, was great in controlling your lines. This allows for stress-free and accurate casts that are very important if you want to catch those bigger and heavier fish.
Carbon fiber rods get a bad rap when it comes to durability, especially with graphite rods being more popular nowadays. Still, the Entsport Camo Legend is durable enough to withstand some abuse. The EVA foam is comfortable to hold, and the light weight of this rod makes long fishing sessions non-tiring. You will definitely enjoy long fishing hours with the Entsport Camo Legend.
In addition, you will also get a one year warranty as well as two different tips. As such, not only will you get two tips for the price of one, but you will also be guaranteed that your rod can be repaired and replaced should they break. Don’t expect this to happen, though, as many are quite satisfied with this rod even after years of use.
|Type||Medium and Medium Heavy|
|Line Guides||Stainless Steel w/ Ceramic inserts|
The Entsport Camo Legend deserves one of the top spots on our list as it is a good mid-range model that can do some heavy duty work such ass catching bass. Heavier fishes may be a bit of a problem, though, as carbon fiber is not that strong as compared to other materials. Still, the Entsport Camo Legend makes up for it by being tough in other areas and also by being at the perfect price point for those working with a budget.
The KastKing Royale Legend is simply unmatched as it can catch medium to extra heavy fish with ease. Fuji O-rings are used for line guides so that, even during the toughest fights, your lines will not break. This will also ensure more accurate and distant casts so that you can get to where those prize catches are.
The carbon matrix frame, despite KastKing’s Kastflex technology, may seem a bit outdated as compared to those that already utilize graphite or graphite blends in the construction of their rod blanks, but the KastKing Royale Legend was able to deal with bigger fishes even despite this shortcoming. You also should not worry about breakages as this rod is backed by KastKing’s lifetime warranty.
Available in both one to two piece variants, we have tested and can attest that little to no power was lost for two-piece rods even if we used the longer rod in our casts. We did not experience any problems and we really enjoyed our tests. We even got to catch a few big fishes with it, which is great.
A bit more expensive than its counterparts, this is an excellent choice for the serious angler. In any case, whatever you pay is well worth it as you can probably use the KastKing Royale Legend well into your golden years. It’s also very adaptable to most fishing situations so you will love having this rod with you during your regular fishing trips.
|Length||6’6” to 7’|
|Type||Medium to Extra Heavy|
|Line Guides||Fuji O-ring|
|Pieces||1 to 2|
The KastKing Royale Legend will allow you to catch a wide variety of fish, regardless of which variant you choose. These can be applied for both fresh and saltwater. It is capable of capturing bigger fish, but you may have some inhibitions when it comes to durability. We didn’t experience any of these during our testing procedure though and that made us include this among our top 10 casting rods.
For on-water fishing, you will definitely need a baitcast rod that is light and perfectly balanced while still capable of providing you with enough power to haul in heavier fishes. That is exactly what the Abu Garcia Vengeance can do for you as it was built with a lightweight yet tough materials which can allow you to comfortably hold on to your rod for hours on end.
The Abu Garcia Vengeance is made out of high modulus graphite which is tough yet supremely lightweight. Stainless steel line guides with titanium inserts were used to decrease weight as well as to provide you with enough toughness to withstand fights with heavier fish.
The Abu Garcia Vengeance is available in lengths of 6’6” up to 7’6”, and even by using the longest rod it was very easy to hold. The Abu Garcia Vengeance is nicely balanced and hanging it over the water while waiting for a bite does not feel like a chore. The EVA foam split grip handle allows you to hold the rod quite well, and even in the toughest of fights, it does not slip which is a very important attribute for a rod designed to take on larger catches.
This item is also quite affordable, which was surprising given that premium materials were used in its construction. Durable, light, and balanced, these are the qualities that make up an exceptional saltwater fishing rod. It’s a great freshwater rod too, which further adds to its range of uses.
|Length||6’6” to 7’6”|
|Rod||High Modulus Graphite|
|Reel seat||Soft-touch Sea Guide|
|Type||Medium to Heavy|
|Line Guides||Stainless Steel with Titanium inserts|
Abu Garcia Vengeance is one of the most comfortable baitcasters that we have tested. It is light and perfectly balanced that even our smaller testers did not have any trouble holding onto it for a long period of time. Its construction virtually guarantees that this rod will last you a long time. It’s also a plus factor that the design looks very sleek and modern, and it would definitely look great in any angler’s hands.
The Piscifun Torrent has a pretty nice look with its black frame and red accents. This rod is not all looks, though, as this is a pretty good performer yet has enough finesse to be used in many types of fishing situations.
The graphite and fiberglass blend construction of the frame makes the Piscifun Torrent ultra-durable but very lightweight. There’s a lot of bend for this rod with little power loss given that this is a two-piece rod. On the other hand, zirconium inserts were used for the line guides which were a bit unusual. Stainless steel line guides and reel seats were a bit questionable when it came to durability, but we did not encounter any problems ourselves when we used it.
The Piscifun Torrent has Eva foam covering the entire length of the grip. This is a big plus as you can virtually hold the rod anywhere and you wouldn’t be touching hard metal. The rod also has a good balance, and casts with this rod are not too difficult.
This rod makes for a great training rod if you are new to baitcasting. As mentioned, it is also very light, which makes it easy to carry as a secondary rod. Some may even find the Piscifun Torrent to be their baitcaster of choice as they can catch a variety of fish on their own. In addition, you can be assured of reliability and performance without worry of your rod snapping in half even when battling with monster catches.
|Length||6’6” to 6’9”|
|Rod||Graphite and Fiberglass|
|Reel seat||Stainless seat|
|Type||Medium to Medium Heavy|
|Line Guides||Stainless steel with zirconium inserts|
The Piscifun Torrent is one of the nicest looking baitcasters that you will get to see out there. It’s not all looks, however, as the Piscifun Torrent can also perform in the water. It is capable of catching medium-sized fish with no problems, and it is so light and portable that bringing along an extra rod or two wouldn’t be such as hassle. You should take some time to get used to the action, though, as it may bend more than you’re used to. Don’t worry, though, as this tough rod can take it.
A List of 4 Other Rods We Reviewed
No review would be complete without an entry from UglyStik. The GX2 gives justice to the UglyStik brand by being one of the most effective baitcasters that you can find in the market today. Only premium materials were used in the creation of this rod, which combines strength and durability without additional weight or cost.
Graphite and fiberglass composites were used for the rod’s frame, while one piece line guides prevent pop outs even under harsher usage conditions. Another highlight for the UglyStik GX2 is its EVA foam covered grip which runs the full length of the base. This allows you to hold the rod in any way that you deem comfortable.
One flaw of the GX2 is that the frame tends to rust a bit quicker than some. Perhaps a bit more care and maintenance are required for this rod due to the materials being used. Some fittings, particularly for the two-piece variant of the product, are not snug, and there was some powerless encountered particularly for the longer rods.
Still, the UglyStik GX2 is highly recommended if you want to have a baitcasting rod that will last you a long time. It is comfortable to use, and it can provide for accurate and smooth casts. It’s also quite powerful with up to heavy powered rods available. There are also lots of options available for the UglyStik GX2 so you can choose among the options which ones fit your needs and personal preferences perfectly.
|Length||5’6” to 7’6”|
|Rod||Graphite and Fiberglass|
|Type||Medium Light to Heavy|
|Line Guides||Stainless Steel|
|Pieces||1 to 2|
The UglyStik brand is one of the favorites among professional anglers, and we definitely loved using the UglyStik GX2 as well. Extremely stylish but can also back it up with a great performance in the water, the GX2 can be considered a reliable choice aside from a few minor issues. It is definitely a good buy as it is built to last, and because it comes with a seven-year warranty. As such, you are guaranteed that the GX2 can serve you well for a very long time, and that makes for a very wise purchase indeed.
Built especially for catching catfish, the Rippin Lips Super Cat can be your best companion for catching large fish species, such as big cats. Allowing you to cast far and with an S-glass construction, you can catch heavier fish without having to worry about snapping rods.
The Super Cat also did not disappoint when it came to the line guides as they are chrome plated, with guide wraps epoxy coated in order to provide you with that extra durability. This will also give your lines added protection against snapping, which is very important as fighting catfish can take a lot of work, and your lines should literally not snap under the pressure.
This casting rod falls short when it comes to the reel seats, though. The plastic material is unfortunate given the other quality materials used for this rod. Despite this, the plastic itself seems to be of good quality, and reel attachments were snug and can be done without any fuss.
A medium heavy rod with fast action, the Super Cat is extremely sensitive but is durable enough to haul even 50 pounders out of the water. This can be done with ease as the EVA foam grips give you a very nice hold of the rod in order to maximize lifting power. As this model measures at seven and a half feet and cannot be detached, having to carry it around can be a chore, though. Nevertheless, there are two-piece variants of this rod as well.
|Line Guides||Stainless Steel|
The Rippin Lips Super Cat Casting Rod is perfect for catfishing, and it can probably handle prize catches as well. Durable and resilient, the frames of this rod are pretty solid so it can really give catfish a serious run for its money. If you spool a braided line correctly on the reel, you can also rest assured the line guides can withstand the abuse that you will eventually put this product through and that any fish that gets caught in your hook will have no chance to escape due to the unfortunate snapped lines.
The Piscifun Torrent is a great baitcasting rod to have, and it will definitely last you for a long time. The carbon fiber blank has been reinforced in order to be light yet is virtually unbreakable even in the toughest of fights. The graphite reel seat allows reels to sit snugly on top of it. Aside from some issues with line guides breaking or fraying lines during fast line movement, we can say that the Piscifun Torrent is one of the most enjoyable rods that we have tested.
Most of the satisfaction that we’ve had with the Piscifun Torrent is that fact that it is absolutely comfortable to hold. The grip has been redesigned with comfort in mind, and its O-seat design will allow you to grip your rod more firmly and with more ease than ever before. The rod, in whole, is also quite light given that it is 7 feet or longer in length.
Fast action assures high sensitivity to bites, and it provides enough power for you to be able to cast farther and to catch bigger fish. Tips are designed to eliminate lines twisting, which in turn allows for a more convenient casting experience. Eight plus one line guides help in assuring you that you are able to hit intended targets, and the rod provides enough power to give you the edge even in more intense situations.
The Piscifun Torrent’s lifetime warranty is also one of the main reasons why this rod is such a great buy, so you should definitely not have any regrets if you are eyeing this for your next purchase.
|Length||7’ to 7’6”|
|Line Guides||Stainless steel with Titanium oxide inserts|
Extremely tough yet lightweight, the Piscifun Torrent can provide you with years of great fishing experiences. This rod is particularly good for those who are just beginning to learn how to baitcast, but veteran anglers can also greatly appreciate that this rod has enough power and accuracy to get you those prize catches whenever you can get your hooks into them. This is one highly recommended purchase if you want a trusty companion that can last for a lifetime.
The Entsport Rattlesnake gives you more value for your money by providing not two, but three different tips for your rod. This means that you can be much more versatile when it comes to fishing. Ranging from medium light to medium heavy, you can use which tip you would prefer depending on the situation at hand.
While it would have been better to have a wider range of difference between the three tips provided in the package, there’s no denying that having essentially three rods for the price of one is great. While some have reported some quality issues with regards to the tips, we did not experience any unsatisfactory incidents during our tests. It can be attributed to manufacturing flaws and, although it should still be a relevant concern, should not be considered as inherent to the product.
The carbon fiber reel seat helps keep reel secure, and you will certainly love the old school cork grip design that the Entsport Rattlesnake has. Stainless steel line guides help improve accuracy, while ceramic inserts minimize vibrations so that lines can be cast as smoothly and as accurately as possible.
At 7 feet long, the Entsport Rattlesnake is quite lightweight due to its graphite composition, and bringing all three tips along is not a tedious task. This is a great buy if you want to practice how differently powered rods will affect performance and to learn which setup you would need to use in order to maintain peak performance.
|Reel seat||Carbon fiber|
|Type||Medium Light to Medium Heavy|
|Line Guides||Stainless steel with Ceramic inserts|
While some may think that the difference between medium light and medium-heavy rods are negligible, experts can argue that no matter if you prefer a casting or spinning rod, choosing the right type of rod is absolutely integral to perform better. With this, the Entsport Rattlesnake is definitely a wise purchase to make as you can make adjustments to your setup on the fly without having to bring too much equipment along. That alone is reason enough to check the Entsport Rattlesnake out.
List of other Products We Tested
- 01Berkley Cherrywood HD Casting Rod
- 02SHIMANO FXC 2 Piece Casting Rod
- 03Elite Casting Fishing Rod
- 04Okuma Scott Martin Tournament Concept Rods TCS
- 05Sougayilang 2-Piece Baitcasting Fishing Rod with Fishing Reel Combo
- 06Fiblink 4 Pieces Travel Casting Rod Carbon Baitcasting Fishing Rod
- 07Okuma Celilo Graphite Salmon/Steelhead Casting Rod
- 08Daiwa Tatula Casting Rod
- 09St Croix Mojo Bass Casting Rods
- 10St Croix Mojo Inshore Casting Rods
- 11Abu Garcia Villain 2.0 Casting Rod
Baitcasting Rod Using Tips
When baitcasting, you should calibrate the tension and brake of your reel first. This will depend on the weight of your lure as well as on the current conditions such as wind. Doing this properly will help prevent tangles in your lines.
It is also very important to purchase and use the right kind of lines for the spool of your reel, as well as for the fishes that you would like to catch. Take into consideration the type of line that you would use, its length, and its weight as all would play a part in making the difference between a fun experience and a horrible encounter.
Lastly, make sure that you take good care of your rods after use, especially for saltwater baitcasting rods. Proper cleaning and storage will ensure that your rods will last for a long time and can serve you well even after years of use.
Here, we have provided you with a comprehensive list so you can easily pick the best baitcasting rod as per your needs. Take note that all data that we have used were based on research, interviews, and testing, so rest assured that this is as complete and as honest a buying guide that you can get.
Our personal favorites among this list are the UglyStik GX2 as well as the Rippin Lips Super Cat. We loved the versatility and reputation of the UglyStik while it is always good to have a rod that can specialize in a single task.
Your favorites may be different from ours, but hopefully, you have gotten just enough from us to determine which among your personal choices would be perfect for you. Don't forget to check out other fishing rods types like ice fishing rods and fly fishing rods reviewed by us.
Happy baitcasting, everyone!