Best Crankbait Rods: Ultimate Buying Guide

April 29, 2020

Best Crankbait Rods: Ultimate Buying Guide

A good crankbait rod is an essential part of any bass fisherman’s setup. Crankbait rods allow you to apply the correct action to a crankbait lure and catch more fish. There’s been debate on whether you need a crankbait specific rod, but we’re firm believers that it makes a difference. Crankbait rods have several special features that make them extra effective for drop shot fishing, frog fishing, and of course crankbait fishing.

Crankbait rods have specific characteristics that make them more effective for the above techniques. They have a softer action (more flexibility) which allows the rod to load up more energy for further casting. They are also better for hook setting as their softer recoil adds a delayed effect when setting the hook. This helps the fish eat the lure for a slight second longer which improves hookups. Many anglers will also agree that their crankbait rods have an improved feel compared to other options. This allows them to prevent snags and better feel where the lure is when bouncing on the bottom.

Ready to buy yourself a dedicated crankbait rod? Read on to see our favorites! You should also check out our favorite baitcasting reel buying guide if you’re looking for a complete crankbait setup.

In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…


Overall Winner

KastKing Speed Demon Pro Crankbait Rod

Features

The KastKing Speed Demon Pro Crankbait Rod is our winner for the overall best crankbait fishing rod. It wasn’t a hard choice either. The KastKing Speed Demon Pro Crankbait Rod is jam-packed with all the necessary features for crankbait fishing and is a great rod to step up to. KastKing has been making quality reels for many years, and their recent foray into rod making reflects their expertise in the industry. 

The KastKing Speed Demon Pro Crankbait Rod comes in many sizes from the mid-range 6’8” to the extra heavy 8’0”. We suggest going with the 7’11” and lower for small fish, as the shorter length gives you more control (and sets the hook faster).

Components

The KastKing Speed Demon Pro Crankbait Rod is made with elite carbon blanks and nano resin technology. This reduces weight, increases their breaking point, and adds a lifting strength of over 30% compared to competitors. 

The KastKing Speed Demon Pro Crankbait Rod has Alconite Fuji guides that provide a durable response and eliminate insert pop-outs. The reel seats ensure your reel will stay firmly seated even during the most intense fish strikes and battles. 

The rod also has Winn golf-style fighting butts that provide a secure grip as well as comfort during long fishing sessions. All components have been tournament tested and are ICAST award-winning for best-in-show.

Specifications

The many different models of the KastKing Speed Demon Pro Crankbait Rod have varying specifications. We’ll cover the 6’10” and 7’11” since they make the most sense for bass fishing. The 6’10” breaks down into three pieces and is rated at 7 to 15 lb test line. The 7’11” also breaks down into three pieces and is also rated at 7 to 15 lb test line.

Pros

  • Great for new fishermen or veterans.
  • The best combination of features and durability for the price.

Cons

  • More expensive than other options.

Reasoning

The KastKing Speed Demon Pro Crankbait Rod is a great crankbait rod for bass fisherman looking to have it all. Ii’s tournament-grade components, a durable frame, and award-winning construction all contribute to an all-around masterpiece. It’s our overall winner for the best bass fishing rod in 2020.


Most Economical

Abu Garcia Vengeance Crankbait Rod

The Abu Garcia Vengeance Crankbait Rod is crafted from the highest quality graphite and comes in one piece for durability. The graphite allows for great sensitivity when bouncing your bait on the bottom. The guide inserts are made from titanium that is resistant to oxidation while maintaining strength under all conditions. The hooded reel seats are made from stainless steel, which also prevents rusting and corrosion.

Features

For crankbait fishermen looking to buy a quality rod on a budget, the Abu Garcia Vengeance is where they should start. At only $50, it’s jam-packed with features that even a tournament bass fisherman would be impressed with.

Components

As with all Abu Garcia products the Abu Garcia Vengeance Crankbait Rod was built after years of testing from the manufacture. The foregrip and rear grip are both made from EVA and offer comfort, durability, and leverage during long haul bass fights. It’s constructed from durable 34-ton high modulus graphite that is both strong and responsive. The hook keeper is designed for both normal hooks and Texas Rig hooks for a wide variety of applications.

Specifications

The two different models of the Abu Garcia Vengeance Crankbait Rod have varying specifications. The 7’ medium comes in a single piece and is rated at 6 to 8 lb test line. The 7’ medium/heavy also only comes in a single piece and is rated at 8 to 10 lb test line. Both the medium and medium-heavy weigh close to 6 oz.

Pros

  • It only costs $50!
  • It has everything you need to start crankbait fishing.

Cons

  • No extra features.
  • Not as durable as other options.

Reasoning

The Abu Garcia Vengeance Crankbait Rod has everything you need to start crankbait fishing, and it costs less a run to the grocery store! The Abu Garcia Vengeance Crankbait Rod is a great option for bass fishermen on a budget. It’s also a great option for the bass fisherman looking to expand his collection for more fishing flexibility.


High-End Winner

Dobyn’s Rods Champion Series Crankbait Rod

Features

The Dobyn’s Rods Champion Series Crankbait Rod is our choice for a high-end crankbait fishing rod. It’s perfect for anglers who need high performance and are willing to spend more to get it. The Dobyn’s Rods Champion Series Crankbait Rod is at home in bass tournaments as well as casual bass fishing after work. It’s built to last from generation to generation and is also a great rod to invest in for the long haul.

Components

The Dobyn’s Rods Champion Series Crankbait Rod features proprietary high modulus graphite construction. The rod’s high modulus graphite fiber has a higher density than other more common fibers. It’s also Dobyn’s Rod’s most popular rod material due to its durability and sensitivity. 

The Dobyn’s Rods Champion Series Crankbait Rod also features tangle-free kigan guides with sic inserts, a kevlar wrapping, and fuji graphite reel seats. All of these premium components keep weight down and add strength. The rod has cork grips for the feel and comfort professional fishermen demand. The construction is also perfectly balanced for accurate casting and retrieval.

Specifications

The Dobyn’s Rods Champion Series Crankbait Rod is 7’ long and has a medium action rating. It comes with a black and blue colorway that pairs well with all of our favorite baitcasting reels. It’s rated at 8 to 20 lb test line and works well with ¼ to 1 oz lures. Crankbaits, jerkbaits, and topwater lures will all work great with the Dobyn’s Rods Champion Series Crankbait Rod.

Pros

  • Super light frame with strong components.
  • Professional-level performance.

Cons

  • Price.

Reasoning

If budget isn’t a big issue for you, we highly recommend the Dobyn’s Rods Champion Series Crankbait Rod. You won’t be disappointed! It has all the features that a professional bass fisherman requires, and will perform at the highest levels under pressure.


Balanced Winner

Lew’s Fishing TP1 Speed Stick Crankbait Rod

Features

The Lew’s Fishing TP1 Speed Stick Crankbait Rod is our balanced winner for the best crankbait options. It has many features of a premium crankbait fishing rod but isn’t as expensive as the Dobyn’s Rod option. The Lew’s Fishing TP1 Speed Stick Crankbait Rod only comes in one size: 7’3”. Much like the premium other rods we reviewed, it’s built with high-density graphite fiber. 

Lew’s has been making rods since 1949 and serving professional and amateur anglers for over 50 years. Their products began as a simple bamboo rod and have evolved into an industry leader. They also come with Lew’s limited one year warranty.

Components

The Lew’s Fishing TP1 Speed Stick Crankbait Rod is constructed from premium IM8 one-piece graphite blanks. They also feature American Tackle’s microwave guiding system that eliminates wind knots and improves casting distance. The microwave guiding system acts like a tiny funnel that shoots the line directly through the rest of the smaller diameter guides. This also helps with the rod’s casting accuracy.

All Lew’s rods include graphite reel seats with split-grip dri-tac handles designed by Winn grip. The Winn grips provide long-haul comfort and split-second reaction times for setting crankbait hooks.

Specifications

There is only one model for The Lew’s Fishing TP1 Speed Stick that’s 7’3” long. It’s rated at medium to heavy action and can handle 10 to 25 lb test line. It’s built for casting lures that are ½ to 1 and ⅜ oz.

Pros

  • Great rod from a renowned fishing brand.
  • Extra features other rods don’t have.

Cons

  • More expensive than some of the budget options.

Reasoning

The Lew’s Fishing TP1 Speed Stick is a great choice for fishermen who appreciate its extra features and are will to spend a little more than other options. Lew’s is a time tested brand that has been producing quality products for many decades. The Lew’s Fishing TP1 Speed Stick Crankbait Rod is no exception.


Advanced Winner

St Croix Mojo Bass Series Glass Crankbait Rod

Features

The St Croix Mojo Bass Series Glass Crankbait Rod is our last choice for crankbait fishermen who want the best for bass fishing. This rod is specifically designed for bass fishing and works wonders when fishing worms, jerkbaits, and much more.

The St Croix Mojo Bass Series Glass Crankbait Rod is built out of 100% linear wound s- glass fibers that add to its strength and flexibility for fishing crankbaits. It’s a supreme rod built for the most intense bass fishing battles.

Components

The St Croix Mojo Bass Series Glass Crankbait Rod has a 3D built mold and master mojo glass gluides that ensure your line will be retrieved as smoothly as possible. It also features strong aluminum oxide rings that are corrosion resistant This makes the St Croix Mojo Bass Series Glass Crankbait Rod perfect for flex fishing.

If you decided you want to fish for saltwater species but only have your St Croix Mojo Bass Series Glass Crankbait Rod, have no fear! It will perform excellently.

Specifications

There are three models of the St Croix Mojo Bass Series Glass Crankbait Rod. Medium moderate, heavy moderate, and medium-heavy moderate. We recommend checking the lengths and fishing line test ratings and matching the rod to the size fish you plan on fishing for. For most applications, we recommend getting the medium moderate. This will make fishing for smaller fish more fun.

Pros

  • Designed specifically for bass fishing with crankbaits.
  • Lots of proprietary technology and features other rods don’t have.

Cons

  • Quite expensive.

Reasoning

The St Croix Mojo Bass Series Glass Crankbait Rod is another great choice for bass fishermen that are looking to get the best out there. This rod is one of the highest performing crankbait rods we have reviewed, so if you have the budget for it pull the trigger. You won’t regret it!


Final Thoughts

We wanted to highlight a few overarching features we looked for when picking these rods for our top crankbait options for 2020.

Medium to Heavy Weight Design

When fishing for bass or other predatory fish with crankbaits, you need to use a relatively heavy line to prevent them from breaking loose. You also want to be able to mand-handle bass away from weeds and other underwater structure after you hook them. This means your rod has to be able to withstand extra pressure and have the strength needed to lift a big bass out of the water.

Supple Graphite Construction

Another important feature of an excellent rod is its ability to sense even the slightest disturbance on the line. It could be a small fish taking a bite! This means that a good bass rod needs to be made out of the most sensitive graphite. The guides on the rod must also be designed with sensitivity in mind. This is important for feeling bites, but also for preventing your lure from snagging on the bottom. Most crankbait fishing techniques involve casting near underwater structure and having a sensitive rod will help you prevent snags.

Comfortable Crankbait Grip

The comfortability of the crankbait rod’s grip is very important for bass fishing. Many bass fishermen hunt bass by casting, which can be very uncomfortable if the grip doesn’t fit your hand. Having a well-designed crankbait grip alleviates the pressure put on your hand from casting, and allows bass fisherman to fish for a very long time. It also allows them to put appropriate pressure on the rod for the desired action as well as setting the hook.

Happy Hunting!

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