Best Baitcasting Rods in 2021 – A Complete And Simple Buyer’s Guide
A baitcasting rod is the only sensible option to use with a baitcasting reel and vice versa. Together they make the perfect combo that offers you advantages that spinning rods and reels can’t.
Yet, we have to acknowledge the different fishing needs you have and the different fishing environments you may fish in, as that affects your choice.
So, with that in mind, let’s get into the best baitcasting rods.
List of the Best Baitcasting Rods:
- Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 – Best Medium-Light Rod
- KastKing Perigee II – Best Ultralight Rod
- Entsport Camo Legend – Best Portability
- Berkley Cherrywood HD – Best Composite Rod
- Abu Garcia Vengeance – Best on a Budget
- Daiwa Tatula – Best for Bass
|Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2||5ft 6in- 7ft 6in||Composite||Medium-light / medium / medium-heavy/ heavy|
|KastKing Perigee II||4ft 6in – 7ft 6in||Graphite||Ultralight / medium-light / medium / medium-heavy/ heavy|
|Entsport Camo Legend||7ft||Graphite||Medium / medium-heavy|
|Berkley Cherrywood HD||5ft 6in – 7ft||Composite||Medium-light / medium / medium-heavy|
|Abu Garcia Vengeance||6ft 6in – 7ft 6in||Graphite||Medium / medium-heavy / heavy|
|Daiwa Tatula||6ft 10in to 7ft 2in||Graphite||Medium-light / medium / medium-heavy / heavy|
The 6 Best Baitcasting Rods in 2021
1. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 – Best Medium-Light Rod
The Ugly Stik GX2 is a versatile upgrade for all your fishing needs. The GX2 has a modern look and a lighter feel, which you’ll deeply appreciate after a long day of fishing that otherwise would wreak havoc on your forearm.
It benefits from a composite blank, or the Ugly Tech construction, that combines graphite and fiberglass for higher strength and sensitivity. It also comes with EVA grip for maximum comfort.
One essential redesign from the original Ugly Stik is the guides, which are now a one-piece Ugly Tuff stainless steel guide for maximum durability and better elimination of insert pop-outs. Also, the Ugly Stik has its own Clear Tip design for the highest sensitivity.
To cater to your light-to-heavy fishing needs, the Ugly Stik GX2 comes in medium-light, medium-heavy, medium, and heavy powers. It has a variety of lengths since it comes in 5’6”, 6’, 6’6”, 7’, 7’6”.
It comes in one-piece and two-piece options. However, we do recommend the one-piece option because it offers far more consistent performance unless you need the two-piece’s portability.
- 7-year warranty
- High sensitivity
- Modern look
- Ugly Tuff stainless steel guides
- Ugly Stik Clear Tip
- Composite blank
- EVA grips
- Two-piece model could be better
The Ugly Stik GX2 is an improvement to an already amazing rod with a special design for everything.
2. KastKing Perigee II – Best Ultralight Rod
KastKing topped the baitcasting rods game with the Perigee II that combines lightweightness with accuracy and strength.
The construction is Toray 24-ton carbon matrix KastFlex technology for the desired strength, durability, and accuracy. No matter what you’re up against, this rod is strong enough to survive, and it will last.
In addition, the Fuji O-Ring line guides give the rod the accuracy expected from a baitcasting rod. The tuned ergonomic graphite high-strength reel seats provide the reel with the stability needed. Perigee II’s high-density EVA grips provide you with comfort and convenience.
It comes in one-piece and two-piece options. Also, the two-piece option has two rod tips for medium and medium-heavy power or medium and medium-light power. You can’t ask for a better bang for your buck. It comes in lengths of 4ft 6in – 7ft 6in.
The rod also has the PTS that makes power flow smoothly through the blank as if it’s one-piece.
- Fuji alconite ring guides
- KastFlex technology
- High sensitivity
- High-density EVA grips
- Great for baitcasting or spinning
- Tips may break
KastKing was probably thinking about how to make the ultimate all-in-one fishing rod, and they did it. The variety of options in length and power is unmatched. You can have all of this at an affordable price.
3. Entsport Camo Legend – Best Portability
Entsport Camo Legend is, well, a two-piece legend.
This bad boy’s 24-ton carbon fiber construction makes it lightweight, which is perfect for when you need something not tiring to carry for long. Its carbon-fiber construction also adds to its sensitivity and strength, so you probably won’t need to look elsewhere for a better rod.
Moreover, it has high-density EVA handles that provide you with comfort, so you can use it for as long as you need.
Our two-piece wonder has two tips for two different powers: medium and medium-heavy. The versatility these tips offer by letting you adjust your casting weight is equivalent to having two different rods.
Entsport shows off even more innovativeness with the Camo Legend’s extremely exposed reel seat for increased blank contact and higher connection between the rod and reel. This design, in turn, heightens the rod’s sensitivity more than any of its competitors.
Finally, we had to talk about the 6+1 corrosion-proof guides with ceramic inserts that are perfectly spaced for a friction-free line flow and unmatched casting abilities.
Sadly, it only comes in 7’ length and only two-piece configuration.
- High sensitivity
- Two tips for two different powers
- Extreme Exposure Reel Seat
- 6+1 corrosion-proof guides
- No length options
The attention to detail in the Camo Legend is insane, and the lightweight design is perfect for anglers on the go. A variety in lengths would have made it better, but other than that, it’s perfect.
4. Berkley Cherrywood HD – Best Composite Rod
This baitcasting rod has been popular for decades, and we’ll let you know why. The composite construction of the blank capitalizes on the advantages of both graphite and fiberglass.
It can handle some seriously aggressive fish while being highly sensitive and responsive to the lightest bite. This rod, in particular, proved to be one of the best with this design.
As for its length, it comes in lengths varying between 5ft 6in and 7ft.
Like any baitcasting rod worth its price, the Berkley Cherrywood HD comes in different powers (medium-light, medium, and medium-heavy) because sometimes you need to go after small trouts, and other times you want large bass.
Let’s talk about the SS304 guides. Unlike the traditional aluminum oxide ones, these ones are proven to be 20 times tougher and 55% lighter. Also, the rod comes with a cork handle for very-needed comfort and balance, which also looks good.
Finally, the rod comes in one-piece and two-piece options to cater to your different needs.
- High sensitivity
- Variety in powers
- SS304 guides
- Cork handle
- Two-piece is only available in one size
The one-piece Berkley Cherrywood HD offers you the best strength, comfort, and convenience a one-piece rod can offer you. The two-piece option is limited to one design, though.
5. Abu Garcia Vengeance – Best on a Budget
If you’re looking for a high-quality baitcasting rod but don’t want to break the bank, you’re looking for the Vengeance.
The 24-ton-graphite construction gives the rod the sensitivity to be aware of every bite or movement, no matter how subtle. It also gives it a lightweight feel and excellent maneuverability, which is necessary if you’re planning on using the rod for extended periods.
Our budget choice comes with stainless steel guides with titanium oxide inserts for the needed precision and effortless line-flow you expect from a high-quality baitcasting rod. Also, the EVA handles provide a solid grip necessary for any heavy-duty fishing.
The Vengeance adds to its versatility with the Texas-rigged hook keeper that works with all baits. This rod really wants you to get your money’s worth.
Moreover, it has many models ranging between 6ft 6in and 7ft 6in.
Its power options of medium-heavy, medium, and heavy cover most people’s fishing needs. There aren’t many fish out there that can stand tall against these powers.
Unfortunately, it comes in one-piece only.
- Great for crankbaits
- EVA handles
- Texas-rigged hook keeper
- 3-year warranty
- No two-piece option
The Abu Garcia Vengeance offers versatility in applications and high quality in materials at the lowest price point possible. Unless you’re specifically looking for a two-piece rod, the Abu Garcia Vengeance is the most sensible budget option.
6. Daiwa Tatula – Best for Bass
Bass are predator fish that are aggressive and like to hide under any structure, so not every rod out there will work with them.
Daiwa’s exclusive SVF, or Super Volume Fiber, graphite technology, and 45-degree bias construction, give the rod exceptional strength, flexibility, and sensitivity with no chance of blank twists. This is a rod made to make your fishing experience fuss-free.
In addition, we have to mention the Fuji alconite ring guides and the custom reel seats, which are the most comfortable and convenient on the market.
The different lengths and power modes offered by the Daiwa Tatula fit all your bass fishing needs, whether you’re trying to catch smaller bass or largemouth. It comes in 6ft 10in to 7ft 2in and with different powers as it has medium-light, medium, medium-heavy, and heavy.
Finally, it comes only in one-piece, which can be a downside if you’re looking for travel-friendly rods.
- Fuji alconite ring guides
- SVF graphite technology
- Custom reel seat
- 5-year warranty
- No two-piece option
If you’re looking for an all-round baitcasting rod for bass, you won’t find a better option than the Daiwa Tatula. It comes in one-piece only, though.
Why Do You Need a Baitcasting Rod
1. Superior Casting Distance
Baitcasting rods have the ability to throw baits much farther away and cover a much larger casting distance.
2. Heavier Lines and Baits
If you have lines with higher pound tests or heavier baits and you need a rod that can handle them, there’s no better option than a baitcasting rod, which is why it’s a popular choice for power fishing.
3. Higher Precision
The way baitcasting rods are designed is interesting. The baitcaster reel and the smaller guides are attached at the top of the rod. This unique design gives the rod far more accurate casts and precise presentations.
How to Pick a Baitcasting Rod
When it comes to rod length, they usually range from four to nine feet. The length of your rod depends on your environment and the casting distance needed.
A short rod works best in limited areas where you only cast short anyway. Open-water fishing and long-casting need a long rod, which gives you more control. Most anglers stay in the medium area, and that works out well for most fishing needs.
Power is also known as rod weight or value, but what does it refer to?
Rods are categorized according to the amount of pressure needed to make them bend. It is very similar to a line’s breaking strength. Rods are divided into ultra-light, light, medium-heavy, heavy, and ultra-heavy.
You go with the lighter ones for the lighter fish and baits and go higher when you’re targeting bigger and more aggressive fish.
Many companies make it easier by following a number system, from one being the lightest to five being the heaviest.
A rod’s action tells you where it bends or flexes under pressure. Like rod power, it is divided into categories.
However, the way these categories are named by different manufacturers may differ, which can be confusing to beginners to baitcasting rods. Some describe them in terms of light and heavy, while others describe them in terms of fast and slow.
The first group categorizes rod actions into light, medium, medium-heavy, and heavy. The second group divides them into slow, moderate, fast, and extra-fast.
Anyways, the heavier or faster rods bend near the tip, and that gives the rod the strength needed to stand a fight against the larger fish. On the other hand, the lighter or slower rods bend down into the bottom part, so you use these ones when you don’t have to struggle much.
The material of the blanks of baitcasting rods are either made of graphite, also called carbon fiber, or fiberglass. Each type has its dedicated fans, but it all depends on your needs.
Graphite rods are more sensitive, so you’ll feel the lighter bites and sneakier movements. Also, graphite rods are lighter, which is ideal for baitcasting-rod beginners but not for going after heavier fish.
On the other hand, fiberglass rods are heavier, and that suits heavy-duty applications. In addition, they are more affordable when you’re on a budget. Also, fiberglass rods are stronger and more durable. They are, however, less sensitive than graphite.
Some rods combine both graphite and fiberglass to combine the lightweightness and sensitivity of graphite and the durability and strength of fiberglass.
5. One-Piece vs. Two-Piece
Baitcasting rods usually come either in a one-piece form or a two-piece form. Your choice will depend on your needs, as usual.
One-piece rods are stronger and more sensitive, so your fishing experience will definitely improve. Then, what do two-piece rods offer? Portability. If you need a rod that isn’t troublesome to move around, you’re looking for a two-piece. Two-piece rods are also more space-efficient.
Ready for your next fishing trip? You might want to check out these excellent baitcaster combos as well.
We’ve discussed the 6 best baitcasting rods on the market in 2021, so you have a general idea of how they’re doing compared to your personal needs. If you still need a bit of help, here’s a mini recap.
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