A baitcasting rod is a fishing rod designed to be used in combination with a baitcasting reel. Baitcasting rods give the angler more control on the cast and on the fight with larger fish.
The baitcasting reel is mounted to the top of the rod and the angler controls the line coming off the reel with the thumb or a forefinger trigger. The line guides on a baitcasting rod face upward rather than downward like the guides on a spinning rod. With the line guides (or eyes) facing upward, the line is supported by the actual rod when you have a fish on, which results in fewer broken guides.
Table of Contents
- Comparison of 7 Best Baitcasting Rods in 2019
- Things to Consider Before Buying a Baitcasting Rod
- Best Baitcasting Rods Reviews in 2019
- Fishing Safety
- Final Thoughts
Baitcasting rods and reels are used for larger lures and heavier line when fishing for big fish. Baitcasting reels allow you to cast further and with more accuracy when using thicker line.
The main drawback for baitcasting rod and reels is that it is extremely easy to tangle (or bird nest) the line when casting because you control the speed in which the line travels from the reel. It takes dedication and a lot of practice to learn to cast a baitcasting rod and reel.
Comparison of 7 Best Baitcasting Rods in 2019
|Brand||Material||Power Rating||Grip||View on Amazon|
|UglyStik GX2||Graphite/fiberglass combination||Medium||Foam||Check Price
|Abu Garcia||Graphite||Medium||EVA foam||Check Price
|Falcon Rods||Graphite||Medium||Cork||Check Price
|St. Croix Mojo||Graphite||Medium-light||Cork||Check Price
|Entsport||Carbon Fiber||Medium/Medium heavy||EVA foam||Check Price
|Rippin Lips||S-Glass Fiberglass||Medium-heavy||EVA foam||Check Price
Things to Consider Before Buying a Baitcasting Rod
As with much of your fishing equipment, the ultimate determination for choosing a certain product is its intended use. Baitcasting rods are longer, with smaller line guides, and are more suited for situations that require accurate casting of large lures and are better at fighting larger fish.
Once you have determined that a baitcasting rod and reel are what you need, here are a few things to consider.
Baitcasting frames are generally available in 2 materials – fiberglass and graphite. Graphite is lightweight, sensitive, and flexible. Fiberglass is sturdier and is often used when casting is not a requirement – for instance, when trolling for large fish.
The power rating indicates the strength of the rod. Power ratings go from ultra-light to heavy. The power you need is determined by the type of fishing you use the rod for. For instance, a light power ranking is better for light lines and fast action, such as working a lure across the top of the water. Heavy power rods are better used with heavier line and when you are fishing in thick cover (grass, trees, etc.).
The grip, or handle, is the part of the rod that the angler holds while casting and fighting a fish. Grips can be made of foam or cork. The grip helps to protect the anglers hand, provide comfort while fishing, and prevent the rod from slipping out of the angler’s hands when wet.
Best Baitcasting Rods Reviews in 2019
#1. UglyStik GX2 Casting Rod
UglyStik is know for durability and strength. The GX2 is designed to be durable as well as sensitive. The UglyStik by Shakespeare combines quality graphite and fiberglass to create a rod that is sensitive enough to detect the smallest strike and strong enough to get your catch into the boat, onto the pier, or onto the bank. The GX2 is one of the best budget baitcasting rods on the market.
For over 115 years, Shakespeare has been one of the go-to brands for affordable, high-quality fishing tackle and products. For a century, Shakespeare and the UglyStik brand have had one goal in mind – making fishing easy and fun. UglyStik offers gear for the entire family across all levels of experience – from beginner fishing kits for the little ones to fishing gear for all types of fishing (salt-and-freshwater, small fish and large fish).
#2. Abu Garcia Veritas Casting Rod
The medium-action Abu Garcia Veritas Casting Rod is one of the best baitcasting rods for the money. Designed by one of the biggest names in fishing tackle, the Veritas Casting Rod is constructed for durability, balance, and sensitivity. Built-tough and easy to cast, the Veritas casting rod is ready to get the job done.
Abu Garcia was founded in 1921 in Sweden as a manufacturer of taxi meters, pocket watches, and telephone timers. During World War II, when the need was taxi meters decreased, the founder used his engineering skills and craftsmanship to focus on the development of precision fishing reels. The first Abu Garcia reel was introduced in 1941 – and the company has been providing high-quality fishing tackle for anglers all over the world since.
#3. Falcon Rods HD Casting Rod
One of the best baitcasting rods for under $100 is the Falcon Rods HD Casting Rod. This casting rod is suitable for freshwater and saltwater fishing. This 6’6” fishing rod is designed to hold fishing line between 8-17-pound test and works best with lures from ¼ to ½ ounces.
Based in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Falcon Rods has been providing innovation and functionality to anglers for over 25 years. Performance and quality through craftsmanship and a hands-on process results in fishing rods with fine-tuned action. Falcon Rods uses the highest-quality products and takes into consideration the advice and input of professional fishermen to create fishing rods for anglers all around the world.
#4. St. Croix Mojo Inshore Casting Rod
The St. Croix Mojo Inshore Casting Rod is designed specifically for inshore saltwater fishing. The durable build and medium action provides hours of fun bringing in the redfish and speckled trout that are active inshore. A split-grip handle provides comfort and balance whether you are casting or retrieving.
Headquartered in Park Falls, Wisconsin, it all began in 1948 with the introduction of the first multi-section bamboo fishing pole. In 1955, St. Croix introduced the innovative, lightweight, and flexible fiberglass fishing rod to replace the bamboo fishing pole. The rest is history…and today, St. Croix boasts one of the most state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities.
#5. Entsport Legend Casting Rod
One of the best baitcasting rods under $50 is the Entsport Legend Casting Rod. Carbon fiber construction gives the Legend extreme strength while remaining lightweight and sensitive – everything you need in a fishing rod.
The Legend is designed for durability, flexibility, and comfort for long days spent catching your favorite fish. Built specifically for the avid fisherman – providing quality, functionality, maneuverability, and comfort.
#6. Rippin Lips SuperCat Casting Rod
Based in Iowa, Rippin Lips is dedicated to providing fishermen with the finest catfishing products at competitive prices. Rippin Lips products are designed by avid catfishermen who understand what you need to catch and retrieve that big catfish you have been after.
The Rippin Lips SuperCat is one of the best all-around baitcasting rods on the market. Whether you are after channel catfish, blue catfish, or flatheads; fishing from the bank or a boat, the SuperCat Medium action rod is sensitive enough to detect the smallest bite while strong enough to fight that big catfish until the end.
#7. Berkley Lightning Casting Rod
As one of the best baitcasting rods for bass, the Berkley Lightning Casting Rod is designed to be lightweight, sensitive, and durable. The Berkley Lightning is a part of Berkley’s Shock Rod series and is specifically designed for braided line.
Braided fishing line is exactly what it sounds like – multiple strands of fibers braided together. One of the most prominent reasons for using braided line is casting distance – using braided line gives you a larger fishing zone.
In addition to fishing equipment, tackle, and bait, here is a list of items that you need for your fishing trip:
- First Aid kit
- Insect Repellent
- Packable rain gear
- Prescription medications that need to be taken while fishing as well as pain medication, such as aspirin, Tylenol, or ibuprofen
- Insect bite treatment
Here are a few safety tips:
- Wear safe footwear – close-toed shoes are the best for protecting your feet from rocks, glass, or hooks. Close-toed shoes are also a must when fishing for fish that have sharp teeth (King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, etc.)
- Wear a hat to protect your face, ears, and neck from the sun.
- Always wear appropriate safety gear – flotation devices approved by the Coast Guard.
- Always keep small children within reach when around water.
- Apply sunscreen and reapply as directed
- Be weather aware at all times
- Always be aware of your surroundings to prevent falls, slips down a slippery bank, etc.
- Before casting, look around to be sure no one is in your casting range.
- Never fish alone in case of emergency
- Keep knives, hooks, and other sharp objects secure
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun and stray hooks
As with many hobbies, some people choose brand-specific equipment. One fisherman may be an avid Abu Garcia fan while another may be an avid Berkley fan. Some fishermen feel they cannot be successful unless they use high-end, expensive fishing rods and reels.
Some fishermen feel they have just as much fun and catch just as many fish with their inexpensive fishing rods and reels. All this to say, much of the tackle and equipment that you purchase as a fisherman usually comes down to one thing – preference.
As an avid fisherman myself, I can understand the point of view from each side. Having said that, all fishermen are created equal – your success depends on your knowledge more than the price of your equipment. If you know how to play a large fish until it tires, you can catch it on a $40 rod or a $400 rod.
In selecting the best baitcasting rod from the above reviews, I considered some key factors – durability, flexibility, and functionality. Each of the above rods have many good attributes. Some are versatile and can be used for many types of fish, can be used in fresh or saltwater, can be used from shore or from a boat – they simply make good baitcasting rods for overall use.
Some are designed for more specific purposes. For instance, the Rippin Lips SuperCat is designed specifically for catching catfish. The Berkley Lightning is designed specifically for fishermen who like to use braided line. And, the St. Croix Mojo is designed specifically for anglers fishing for redfish and speckled trout while inshore saltwater fishing.
From this group of fishing rods, the overall best baitcasting rod is the UglyStik GX2 by Shakespeare. The combination of fiberglass and graphite material makes the rod extremely durable – yet flexible and sensitive enough to catch any fish.
The quality of the UglyStik has been proven over and over in the past 115 years. The company continues to improve on their products to provide fishermen with the most innovative and functional products. The GX2 is the next generation baitcasting rod with many improvements that enhance durability and flexibility.
Fishing should be fun – it should not be about who has the most expensive equipment. Rather, it should be about having the most functional equipment that makes your day of fishing fun and relaxing. For many years, Shakespeare and the UglyStik brand have been one of the most trusted names in sports fishing.
They cater to fishermen of every level – from beginner to professional. I, myself, have been on the fighting end of an UglyStik. While I am not brand specific, the UglyStik is one of my favorite brands. The improvements made to the GX2 are sure to please many fishermen – and help you get more fish into the bucket.
These are all great choices, so whichever you choose from this list, here’s to that next big catch! Fish On!