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Best Baitcasting Rods in 2017 – Top Models After Thorough Tackle Test

Everyone knows that picking the right rod is a lot like picking the right best friend. It is something you are going to spend a lot of time with, and you want to make sure it will always be there when you need it. The great thing, of course, is that a fishing rod has no ego, so you can always pick more than one if you want...because who has just one fishing rod? If you are like me, you want to have a nice collection, a good assortment of tools for the job.

Let’s say you want get to into baitcasting. You have heard all the hype and seen the videos, the reels look really nice, and you want to give it a go. Or maybe you want to get one as a gift for that angler in your life. Perhaps you are a seasoned veteran and are like me, just looking for something newer and possibly more advanced due to growth in tech.

To make life a little easier, I have complied a list of 10 rods for baitcasting that I highly recommend. What I like to do is try and cover a lot of bases, give a little something for everyone; this way there is something for every budget. After all, not all of us are sponsored #prostaff with five hundred thousand followers on Instagram....

10 Best Baitcasting Rods - Comparisons

Best Baitcasting Rods - Reviews

1. Berkeley Cherrywood HD Casting Rod

Berkeley Cherrywood HD Casting Rod

I like to start with what is good, but still affordable for entry level or the more budget angler. In most cases, people will tell you that you get what you pay for, and I would be one of those people. However, this rod is very good and comes at a very reasonable price. It has a good action and is excellent for going after bass and other fish in that same weight range. The line guides are strong, the rod is sensitive yet very durable, and even with a medium action you can feel every contour of the bottom on those retrievals.

This rod is comfortable with its cork handle fitting well in most hands, although some complain it is a little small for their hands. Having a nice baitcasting rod used to require spending a lot of cheddar, but Berkeley has offered us an opportunity to get our hands on a great rod for a price that will still let us afford adult beverages and lures. 

What we liked

  • Hybrid design construction
  • SS304 guides
  • Cork grip
  • Medium action, but still very sensitive
  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Great for Beginners or as a 2nd Rod 

What we didn't like

  • Single-piece 
  • Short handle 

2. Fiblink 2 piece graphite Baitcasting Rod

Fiblink 2 piece graphite Baitcasting Rod

For those of us that go after some more of the piggy-sized fish like catfish or even some inshore salt water fishing, it will be hard to beat this Fiblink rod. This one is strong and able to handle some of those bigger fish under 20 or so pounds, and gives you a pretty good action to go along with its strength. The rod’s stiffness is perfect for jigging on the bottom for those rockfish at 150+ feet with 8 ounce weights.

Now, she is a bit heavy. This rod is not the best choice if you are going to be casting all day, or else you might need to invest in some anti-inflammatories for your sore shoulders. This will be a good rod to get you started, but it’s a good idea to go for a lighter one if you are doing a lot of fishing.

What we liked

  • Premium graphite blank
  • Stainless steel guides with ceramic inserts
  • EVA split grips
  • Hook keeper
  • Stiff and great for jigging 
  • Very affordable 

What we didn't like

  • Not as durable 
  • Heavy (not good for a lot of casting)

3. Ugly Stik GX2 Baitcasting Rod

Ugly Stik GX2 Baitcasting Rod

Some of us are pretty steady anglers that spend a lot of time on the water, and we require that workhorse of a rod that is going to keep up with our habits. Ugly Stik is a name anglers have trusted for generations. In fact, I still use an Ugly Stik rod my Gramps bought back in the 1980s. It has caught flounder in North Carolina and trout in Montana. This baitcasting rod lives up to the name and reputation, and you get exactly what is advertised, it is a medium-heavy rod and yet it is extremely sensitive.

This rod is tough and durable, and it can handle those hard-mouthed fish that require you to really grip it and rip it. So this does make it a bit stiff, which can turn some people off. 

What we liked

  • Graphite and fiberglass blank
  • Ugly Tuff guides
  • EVA handle
  • Great for hard sets on hard-mouthed fish 
  • A workhorse for everyday use

What we didn't like

  • Stiff for a medium-heavy action

4. Fiblink Saltwater Baitcasting Rod

Fiblink Saltwater Baitcasting Rod

Fiblink makes great rods at a good price, and this rod is no exception. This one is clearly an upgrade from the previously mentioned rod made by Fiblink. It is a heavier action rod, which makes it perfect for inshore fishing and going after those stripers. Having this rod in your arsenal will give you a nice and sturdy addition that will not fold under pressure from those more feisty inshore species. You can comfortably take this rod out on a pier and use it to land some big reds, and with the right reel you will be able to cast for miles.

This is advertised as a saltwater rig and you can use it for freshwater (I would use it for catfish or fish of that nature), but it really is more of a saltwater rig and should be used for that only. For most anglers, this will not be a problem as most of us have rigs separate for fresh and saltwater.

What we liked

  • Graphite and fiberglass construction
  • Stainless steel guides with ceramic inserts
  • Split grip EVA handle
  • Good medium-heavy action with a bit more heft 
  • Strong and very robust 
  • Great for saltwater inshore fishing 

What we didn't like

  • Not really suitable for freshwater
  • Heavier action for some

5. Entsport 2 Piece Baitcasting rod

Entsport 2 Piece Baitcasting rod

Getting into the more mid in price range area for baitcasting rods, this rod from Entsport gives you a lot of the same qualities you would expect out of bigger names with bigger price tags. Out of the box, this rod comes with a very nice case, and you can tell the quality is good just by giving it a once-over. This rod was designed for the angler on-the-go, and does not sacrifice durability for portability. Performing great for both fresh and salt water.

Another great feature of this rod comes from within the company itself. Despite being a smaller and lesser-known name, Entsport have excellent customer service and put out a very good product. This rod will go where you need it to go and will help you harvest either stripers on the shore or bass on a lake on a hot summer day. 

What we liked

  • Premium quality graphite blank
  • Stainless steel guides with ceramic inserts
  • Split grip premium cork handles
  • Built for traveling 
  • Versatile (salt and freshwater)
  • Great customer service

What we didn't like

  • Not as durable or robust

6. Abu Garcia Veritas Baitcasting Rod

Abu Garcia Veritas Baitcasting Rod

Everyone likes to have one of the nicer, more name brand rods, and not just because of the warm and fuzzy feeling associated with that. We also want them because they are actually good. Abu Garcia is one of those names every angler knows and has trusted to land those trophy fish. The Veritas rod is an excellent piece of gear giving you another great tool to fill that box. Durable and stiff, yet still giving you a lot of sensitivity and action. Being able to use a variety of tackle, this rod is a great option for your jack-of-all trades.

It is light, but light for a medium-heavy, so that means it won’t be very good for pitching or flipping. 

What we liked

  • 30 ton graphite blank with spiral carbon core
  • Titanium alloy guides
  • Lightweight design
  • Great for a variety of species 
  • Versatile for a host of tackle
  • Good for salt- or freshwater 
  • Abu Garcia is a name well -known in every angling community 

What we didn't like

  • Not good for pitching or flipping

7. HD Baitcasting Rod by Falcon

HD Baitcasting Rod by Falcon

For me, Falcon is a newcomer to the scene and really has earned its spurs as a company. This rod is solid and durable and is great for experienced anglers and beginners alike. It has a solid action and a well-built design, fitting comfortably in most hands. And what I meant by it being suitable for experienced anglers, these rods have been used on tournament trials which require a lot of use and abuse—not to mention a lot of traveling. These rods hold up.

This rod has a great backbone and a comfortable action that is easy to master. You will enjoy this rod for years. 

What we liked

  • Graphite blank
  • Fuji guides
  • Cork grip
  • Strong enough for Tournament Trial use 
  • Forgiving enough for beginners 
  • Comfortable 

What we didn't like

  • Handle is a bit short

8. Abu Garcia Veracity Baitcasting rod

Abu Garcia Veracity Baitcasting rod

Now we are getting into more of the big daddies of baitcasting rods. As mentioned before, Abu Garcia is a name people have grown to know and trust for a myriad of reasons. The Veracity rod is tournament-ready, just slap on the right reel and you are ready to compete. With this versatile rod, you will land those trophy fish with ease, and have all the action you require to feel your way through the water to entice a strike. And if the fish drags you through the grass, you’ll be able to pull him right through with no problems. 

What we liked

  • 36 ton graphite blank
  • Titanium alloy micro guides
  • EVA grip
  • Designed with the professional in mind 
  • Strong and yet sensitive 

What we didn't like

  • A bit on the more costly end of the spectrum

9. St. Croix Mojo Inshore Baitcasting Rod

St. Croix Mojo Inshore Baitcasting Rod

If you are looking for a rod that is medium-light but functions more like a medium-heavy, then St. Croix has you covered. While it feels and looks like a lighter action rod, but it holds up and performs like a heavier one. This rod will give you a lot more finesse, but still has the brute force needed to land those bigger bass. You’ll be able to flip those smaller lures out there and still dig deep and set that hook like a boss. It’s a great rod that can cover a good area in any angler’s baitcasting collection.

Despite being strong, this rod is medium-light, and as such, it might feel a bit more “whippy”.

What we liked

  • SCII graphite blank
  • Batson Forecast saltwater-grade guides
  • Split cork handle
  • Medium-light action 
  • Medium-heavy performance 
  • Durable and functional 

What we didn't like

  • A bit on the whippy side (it is lighter after all)

10. St. Croix Avid Series Baitcasting Rod

St. Croix Avid Series Baitcasting Rod

I hate to sound like a one-trick pony, but St. Croix really does make some good products and their Avid Series is worth noting. We have been talking about some good rods, this is the tip of the spear of them. It’s strong, lightweight, durable, and nimble. The action of this rod will give you a lot of control and you will be able to feel everything you need in order to get some of the more shy fish to take.

Since it is a light rod, it is not going to work very well as a rig for surf casting, unless it’s a calm day and you are going after something smaller like perch. Also, this one is a bit on the pricy end of things, but you definitely get what you pay for in this case—just look at this amazing piece of gear.

What we liked

  • Premium CSII graphite blank
  • Kigan Master Hand zero tangle guides
  • Premium cork handle
  • Lightweight 
  • Durable yet nimble 
  • Fast action 
  • Maximum control without sacrificing performance

What we didn't like

  • Not ideal for surf casting

Final thoughts

As you could see, there is a lot of variety out there and I have not left you without some options. Add these rods to your wish form our best baitcasting rods list and get the one you can afford, they are all good. And eventually, when things work out and you can afford more higher-end models you will be better prepared.

Finding the right rod that works for you and your budget is a daunting task and I hope this list I have compiled will assist you in making your next purchase. Good luck, and tight lines! 

David Valle
 

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!

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