Top 3 Best Fishing Rods For Your Baitcaster Reel (Reviews and Buyers Guide)
Getting Started With Baitcasters for Bass Fishing
If you've been fishing for a while, and you've targeted some of the larger species, you probably understand that your old Zebco spincast real isn't going to cut it against these larger fish. If so, it's time to upgrade to a baitcaster. It's not as simple as mounting an Abu Garcia reel onto your favorite casting rod, though.
Can A Baitcaster Go On Any Rod?
If you're a beginner, you might be wondering if you can just slap a fancy baitcaster on a spinning rod or an old casting rod. You cannot do that. Even if the reel seat can technically accept the baitcasting reel, you'll run into a lot of performance issues, and you'll look like a complete idiot when other fishermen see you using your setup.
Casting Rods for Baitcasting Reel
Most importantly, you have to have a casting rod. Some casting rods are better than others, and I'll talk about that later, but you cannot use a spinning rod. Spinning rods are designed to flex differently, and they're designed to have their reels underneath them. Baitcasters go on top of the rod, and if you put them on a spinning rod, you'll end up waving an upside down rod all over the place.
Importance Of Choosing The Right Rod
However, you shouldn't use just any old casting rod. Baitcasters are designed to be used with heavier lures, and a lot of the lighter rods aren't tough enough to handle what you'll be using a baitcaster for.
Can you imagine throwing a massive swimbait on an ultralight casting rod? Your rod would just bend in half, and it would probably break the second a big hog bit the lure. You want something with a bit of backbone when you use a baitcaster.
So that's what I'm going to try and do in this post. I want to show you the 3 casting rods that I've found to be some of the absolute best to use with your baitcaster reel.
The Casting Rod's Mentioned In This Article
(Reviews) Best Fishing Rod For Baitcaster Reel
"A balanced rod that feels really good in your hands."
The Dobyns Champion Extreme is my top pick when it comes to casting rods for bass fishing. It's strong, sensitive, and extremely well-balanced.
For starters, the Dobyns is a seven-foot rod, and it's rated as a heavy casting rod. it can handle 10 to 20-pound fish, and it's unlikely to break if you hook into something much heavier than that.
However, it's not so beefy that it can't quickly set hooks. It has a thinly-tapered tip that reacts very quickly when you pop the handle. That means that it's strong enough to fight the largest bass, but you won't miss fish just because the tip takes too long to exert enough force to penetrate a bass's lips.
Finally, it's a balanced rod that feels really good in your hands. The blank is weighted properly to make it feel nearly weightless when it's held properly, and the cork handle doesn't throw that balance off. It also feels very smooth and comfortable, but it still gives you a good amount of grip for tough fights.
- Seven-foot long
- Heavy rating
- Fast-action tip
- 10-20 test
- Comfortable cork grip
- Balanced blank
- Can handle big fish with ease
- Reacts to your movements quickly
- Extremely comfortable
- You won't want to use this for smaller lures. That's not a problem, though. It's designed for heavier lures and fish, and it performs well when it is used properly.
Overall, this is the best casting rod for bass fishing. Some rods come close to it, but I don't personally believe any of them actually perform better than the Dobyns Champion Extreme. It's pricey, but it's worth every penny.
The Avid X is another seven-foot rod, but it's a bit lighter than the Dobyns I reviewed. It won't throw the heaviest lures, but it can throw some of the lighter lures that the Dobyns can't. In general, it's a good option if you want something that is a jack of all trades.
First, instead of being a heavy rod, it's a medium-heavy rod. That makes it a little bit better for throwing smaller swimbaits and jigs, but it can also throw the one-ounce lures that bass fishermen love so much. However, it can't handle massive three-ounce lures like the Dobyns can.
It does have a fast-action tip like the Dobyns, though. The tip is pretty much the same quality, and it behaves exactly the same way. Since the blank isn't as rigid as the one on the Dobyns, the fast tip even more important. It'll snap back into place a lot faster than its body will, and that'll allow you to set the hook with ease.
The one-piece design of the Avid X is a good thing, and it's a bad thing. On one hand, it doesn't have any weak spots that make it break easily. On the other hand, you'll have to lug a seven-foot rod around, and it might be difficult to transport it if you don't have a truck.
Finally, I really like the handle design on almost all of St. Croix's rods, and the Avid X is no exception to that. The handle is made out of some of the best cork on the market, and it's shaped in a way that is comfortable to hold and stylish.
- Versatile weight rating
- High-quality handle
- Seven-foot rod
- St. Croix high-quality construction
- Very versatile
- Great tip
- Perfect handle
- It doesn't excel at using the massive baits that baitcasters are known for. It is a good mid-range rod, though.
I recommend using this rod if you want something strong, but you don't need to throw massive lures.
The G. Loomis Classic is a great alternative to the Avid X if you can't afford the Avid X. A few things are different on it, but it's mostly the same type of rod.
First, it's another medium-heavy rod, and it has a fast tip. So, it performs very similarly to the Avid X. However, it's only six and a half feet long, and that makes it feel a little stiffer.
It's also a one-piece rod, but it's slightly easier to transport due to it being a little shorter. The handle is made out of the same high-quality cork, but it's not split like the handles on the Avid X and the Dobyns. It's a one-piece handle that has a few benefits.
The main benefit is that you can hold it in more grip styles than you can the other two rods. The blank isn't exposed. So, the whole thing can be grabbed properly. However, that also makes it a little less balanced. It's heavier towards its handle, and that makes it more difficult to cast it over and over again.
- 6'6" rod
- Fast tip
- One-piece design
- One-piece handle
- Easier to transport
- Tough enough for decent bass
- It's a little unbalanced.
Overall, I recommend this rod if you want something similar to the Avid X, but you don't have the money for an Avid X. It's also a good alternative if you don't like split grips.
What To Look For In A Casting Rod (Buyers Guide)
There are a lot of things that you need to look at when you go to buy a casting rod, and you plan to use it with a baitcaster instead of an old spincast reel. I'll go over those considerations, now.
You aren't supposed to throw tiny BeetleSpins with a baitcaster. Baitcasters are meant for throwing football jigs, large swimbaits, large spinners, and other heavy lures. So, you want a casting rod that can handle that kind of weight.
I personally don't recommend using anything that is lighter than a medium-heavy rod when you use a baitcaster. Anything lighter is going to perform poorly with the lures you'll be casting, and you won't use the baitcaster's strength to its full potential.
Honestly, I don't even like using medium-heavy rods with baitcasters. Most of my casting rods are heavy broomsticks with fast tips. However, medium-heavy rods are great options, and they do belong in any fisherman's gear bag.
Casting rods are designed to cast. That's why they're called casting rods. With that being said, you should get something that you're comfortable repeatedly casting for hours on end. Try to get a rod that only weighs a few ounces, and make sure the handle is comfy and balanced well. If you don't, you'll feel like a 60 year-old with arthritis by time you catch your first fish of the day.
The length of your casting rod is fairly important. You don't want a short rod, or you won't be able to really fling your lures across the lake. However, you don't want a rod that is overtly long, or you'll have trouble controlling your casts.
I recommend getting something between six and seven-feet long. That's long enough to make decent casts, but it's not so long that you'll feel like you're waving a flagpole around.
Out of all of these rods, I recommend buying the Dobyns rod to use for your baitcaster reel. It's simply superior to both of the other rods in nearly every way. And that's really speaking volumes about this rod, because the other two rods are stellar fishing rods as well.
You can check out the Dobyns rod, or any of the other rods I mentioned in this post by clicking on them below.