Best Baitcasting Rods in 2021 – Our Complete Guide

Baitcasting is always fun regardless of the specific technique you're using. Although there's a learning curve, it's even more exciting because you're catching big fish!

First, you need the right rod. The list of options is virtually endless, but pay special attention to the KastKing Perigee II. It’s among the best casting rods designed for this fishing method.

Take a look at the article below to discover some of the best rods and all about their pros and cons.

Best Overall

KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods

4.6/5
Best for Beginners

Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Rod

4.6/5
Best by Budget

Berkley Cherrywood HD Casting Fishing Rods

4.5/5


Our Top 10 Baitcasting Rods Reviewed

  1. KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods
  2. Berkley Cherrywood HD Casting Fishing Rods
  3. Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Rod
  4. 13 FISHING Fate Black 2 Freshwater Casting Fishing Rod
  5. Favorite White Bird Casting Rod
  6. Lew’s Custom Lite HM85 Casting Rod
  7. Dobyns Rods Fury Series Casting Fishing Rod
  8. St. Croix Rods Legend Tournament Bass Casting Rod
  9. Abu Garcia IKE Signature Power Casting Fishing Rod
  10. Fenwick Eagle Salmon/Steelhead Casting Fishing Rod

KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods

KastKing Perigee II is made from carbon and comes in 29 different sizes. You can go for anything from an ultra-light spinning rod to a heavy baitcasting piece.

This one has two pieces but is equally as advanced and graceful as those made from a single piece. The pieces come together so smoothly, you won’t even tell the difference.

Also, it’s available in moderate, moderate-fast, and fast action.

Its PTS hybrid spigot line guides are wrapped at different angles to ensure smooth casting and retrieving. Several other things we should mention are the graphite high-strength reel seat, EVA handle, and Saf-T Keeper hook holder.

This one has a carbon fiber finish for added durability and resistance. This also gives it a sleek and outstanding look.

It’s a great option for salmon, walleye, and bass fishing, although you can catch other species as well. Also, this one is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater.

Standout Features:

  • Fuji O-ring guides
  • High-density EVA handle
  • Toray carbon fiber rod blanks

Berkley Cherrywood HD Casting Fishing Rods

Berkley Cherrywood casting rod is among the most popular due to its versatility. It catches anything from pike and bass to catfish and bluegill.

It’s an excellent value for money, especially once you consider its durability and quality. This one is light and sensitive, so you’ll feel every bite with no mistake.

Its hybrid construction enables this unmatched sensitivity. Plus, everything is secured even more with the cork handles that go up the rod blank.

Berkley Cherrywood features stainless steel guides and inserts. This enables the line to run smoothly as long as you match its power with the rod.

It comes in several sizes and has medium-light to medium-heavy power.

Standout Features:

  • Comfortable cork handles
  • Sensitive rod tip
  • Tough cork handles

Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Rod

Piscifun Torrent might be your best option if you’re looking for a durable baitcasting rod that’s also sensitive and light. Its one-piece blank is constructed with IM6 carbon for maximum reliability.

It has wrapped guides at four different angles. This ensures the quality of performance, especially with the X-shaped high-temperature molding resin.

The 8+1 strategically placed guides ensure smooth and constant power transition. And, the brand’s Pure Power Transition Technology allows better control when it comes to fighting big fish.

Piscifun Torrent baitcasting rod comes in many sizes and action options. It has high-density EVA grips, an “S” style hook keeper, and a high-strength graphite reel seat.

What makes it stand out is that it’s purposefully designed to fit both experts and beginners.

Standout Features:

  • 30 ton sanded smooth carbon blank
  • 1-year warranty
  • Wrapped line guides

13 FISHING Fate Black 2 Freshwater Casting Fishing Rod

This is a versatile baitcasting rod meant for all kinds of fishing techniques. It’s great if you’re often looking for new situations and challenging conditions.

The first thing you probably notice is the sleek green blank. It has a matte finish which is also something we don’t see as often.

The rod blank is made from Japanese 30-ton HTC3 carbon fiber. It’s durable and resistant, but also lightweight and sensitive. This makes it fit many fishing techniques.

It comes with a seamless Evolve reel seat and Zirconia insert guides. On top of that, it also has a 3A Portuguese cork for added comfort and ease of use.

This one is worth your attention if you want medium to heavy power with fast action.

Standout Features:

  • Matte green blank
  • Smooth Zirconia insider guides
  • Comfortable cork handle

Favorite White Bird Casting Rod

The White Bird is among the most unique-looking baitcasting rods. It has a premium IM24 to blank and a multi-layer structure for most durability and longevity.

Its versatility and precision bring it to the very top of many best baitcasting rods lists. The multi-layer structure has carbon fibers going in different directions. This helps to provide unmatched strength.

It’s a perfect fit for throwing accurate casts, mainly thanks to its SiC guides. These allow an efficient and smooth transition of energy.

Another thing worth noting is the split cork handle. It’s firm and durable, but still comfortable for you to hold for hours at a time.

This is a medium-heavy rod with fast action. The suggested line you should go for is the 10-17 lb test. It fits a wide range of baits, so you can pretty much use anything you like.

Standout Features:

  • SiC guides
  • Comfortable cork split grips
  • Multi-layer structure

Lew’s Custom Lite HM85 Casting Rod

Lew’s Custom Lite is available in specific actions and techniques. It has a fierce design with a progressively soft tip for maximum sensitivity.

It allows you to feel the subtle bites so that you don’t lose any potential catch. The graphite 85-million modulus blanks are responsive, lightweight, and easy to use.

But there’s more. The multi-layer construction gives it durability, so it’s virtually impossible to break. This means you can fight most fish and come out as a winner.

It comes with titanium oxide guides to allow the line to run smoothly. The SoftTouch skeletal reel seats have a reliable connection with the blank. This adds even more to the sensitivity transfer.

Plus, all its hardware is corrosion-resistant and able to withstand different fishing conditions.

Standout Features:

  • Multi-layer construction
  • Comfortable split grip
  • Corrosion-resistant hardware

Dobyns Rods Fury Series Casting Fishing Rod

This casting rod comes from the Fury series and is among the most popular options. It’s meant for jigs, Texas-rigs, spinnerbaits, flukes, and senkos.

We had great expectations since it was created by bass fishing expert Gary Dobyns. And, it didn’t disappoint.

It’s a sensitive one, with a great ratio of balance and strength to allow maximum performance. It has a modulus graphite blank with Kevlar wrapping, a 14” Portuguese cork grip, and a Fuji reel seat.

The sensitivity goes from line to hand smoothly, delivering accuracy when you need it. Plus, it’s affordable, so you won’t break the bank.

It comes with a limited lifetime warranty on workmanship and materials.

Standout Features:

  • High-density Hypalon butts
  • Kevlar wrapping
  • 14” cork split handle

St. Croix Rods Legend Tournament Bass Casting Rod

St. Croix Legend is designed with quality and experience. It’s made from carbon fiber material for strength with no increase in blank weight or diameter.

It’s a lightweight casting rod, so you won’t feel tired or fatigued even after hours of bass fishing. Plus, the ergonomically designed handle enhances comfort even more.

Another thing we should mention is the IPC (Integrated Poly Curve) tooling that increases its strength. The ART (Advanced Reinforcing Technology) helps to add more durability, which always comes in handy when fighting heavy fish.

St. Croix Legend also has a slow-cured double Flex Coat finish, which protects it from corrosion. Its Fuji K-Series guides have Alconite inserts and CC matte finish. This makes them durable and corrosion-resistant.

Standout Features:

  • SC IV graphite with aramid fiber overlay
  • High-quality cork handles
  • Tangle-free Fuji guides

Abu Garcia IKE Signature Power Casting Fishing Rod

The Abu Garcia IKE is one of those baitcasting rods we find easy to use in a range of fishing situations. It’s a one-piece with unique action and different lengths to pick from.

The graphite blank is streamlined for maximum comfort and performance. It has several guides and a sensitive tip to pick up on all vibrations nearby.

As it’s the case with other IKE Power Series casting rods, Abu Garcia has that high-quality look and feel. It comes with stainless steel guides and zirconium inserts, which add to its performance.

We should also mention the new reel seat with a trigger lock. It also has a rubber grip handle for better handling in wet conditions.

The EVA grip handles are comfortable and resistant. They can handle quite a beating which is important for avid anglers.

Standout Features:

  • Fuji reel seat
  • Lightweight 36-ton graphite blank
  • Stainless steel hardware

Fenwick Eagle Salmon/Steelhead Casting Fishing Rod

This Fenwick is one of the best baitcasting rods with tradition and high performance. Its grips are what it stands out for the most as they provide unparalleled comfort and ease of use.

The grips are made from TAC and premium cork to give you comfort, control, and sensitivity. It’s built to allow all vibrations to transfer from the rod tip down to your hand holding the handle.

On top of that, this one comes with stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts. This enables the line to run in both directions.

Its sensitive tip makes it easy to feel even the slightest bites all across the rod length. This makes it easy to catch everything from trophy fish to small species.

And, the best of all is that it’s not expensive. It’s a mid-priced baitcasting rod worth the attention for its durability and performance.

Standout Features:

  • Excellent sensitivity
  • Premium grips
  • 5-year warranty

Things to Consider Before Buying Baitcasting Rods

Buying a baitcasting rod might seem complicated to some, especially if you’re a novice. But, the process is simple once you have the right information.

Take a look below to discover the critical factors you should consider when looking at the best baitcasting rods.

Action

Novice anglers often confuse action and power. As you may have noticed, casting rods are available in different action varieties. This means there’s always more than one option.

The one you go for depends on your target fish. So, an ultra-light rod might not work for heavy-duty bass fishing.

Go for a rod that doesn’t have too much action but bends under the weight of the fish. Keep in mind that any casting rod will break if you push it too far, so getting the action right is crucial.

It’s rated as fast, medium, and slow, but also broken down as extra-fast, medium-fast, and so on.

Rod Power

Rod power refers to how hard it bends when it’s in action. Some casting rods bend quite a lot, while others are stiffer.

Again, choosing one depends on the type of fish you’re trying to land. These are usually designed to work with heavier lures and lines for catching large fish.

So, you won’t find many light or ultra-light casting rods. Go from medium up, especially if you’re interested in bass fishing.

Rod Length

Casting rods come in different length options. Again, you should think about your needs and preferences. Rod length plays a significant role for each species you’re trying to land.

You should also think about the terrain you’re casting from. Some people benefit from a longer rod, but try to stay between 5’6” and 8’6”.

Line and Lure Weights

As mentioned, casting rods are meant for heavy lures and lines. Since you’re probably targeting relatively heavy fish, you should make sure all the components can handle the weight.

Every casting rod has a weight listed, but it all depends on what line and lure you’re going to use. Nylon monofilament is often the best choice, but people use heavier braid as well.

Rod Materials

Graphite is most commonly used with casting rods because it’s strong and durable. It comes in many variations with different patterns and designs.

Fiberglass is another option if you’re after a lightweight rod. It’s strong, but not as strong as graphite, so keep that in mind for bass fishing.

You should also think about other components and what they’re made from. For example, the guides are critical for how smoothly the line runs, so make sure they’re high-quality and made from non-corrosive materials.

Grip

People have different ideas of what’s comfortable, so choosing a handle is a personal decision. In most cases, you’ll find cork and EVA foam handles.

Cork is considered to be more attractive. It’s also warmer, but not the best for frequent, rough use. On the other hand, EVA foam is cooler and softer. It’s pretty tough and will probably last a longer time than cork.

Reel Mount

This is where things can get tricky because the reel you go for has to fit inside the reel mount. So, think about the reel you have and whether the mount matches.

You should also think about reel placement. For beginners, this is best to determine with trial and error since there’s no right or wrong when it comes to where you prefer the reel to be.

Guides

You should always go for high-quality guides because casting rods, and bass fishing rods in general, are designed for heavy-duty fights.

It’s not something you can overlook because guides are meant to help your baitcasting rod and line handle the fish.

You’ll notice some rods have more guides than others. You can go for as many as you like, keeping in mind that more guides mean less stress.

Price

As it’s always the case, it’s best to have a budget in mind. This will help you focus on rods within that budget so that you don’t waste any time.

But, it also helps to know the average price of a casting rod. In most cases, the price depends on a few factors like materials and the quality of manufacturing.

The best baitcasting rods aren’t necessarily the most expensive. For this reason, it’s best to think about other factors first.

Again, beginners can go for a basic and affordable casting rod, whereas experienced anglers can drop a few more bucks.


FAQ

What reel should I get for my casting rod?

Baitcasting reels are made to work with all baitcasting rods. But, this doesn’t mean they’re universal, so you’ll still have to do some double-checking.

Having the right reel makes all the difference. You should first check if it fits your casting rod since that’s the make-it-or-break-it part.

It all falls down to the casting distance, action, and how easily you can set the reel.

When are baitcasting rods better than spinning rods?

Casting rods are best if you’re aiming for maximum casting distance. On the other hand, spinning rods are better for short distances from a boat or from the shore.

You’d go for a lightweight line and lure when using a spinning rod, whereas a casting rod can handle heavy lines and lures.

So, think about the kind of fishing you want to do before deciding on one or the other.

What’s the difference between a spinning rod and a casting rod?

The most significant difference between a spinning and casting rod is the guide placement, the reel seat, and the reel type.

A casting rod needs a baitcasting reel. On the other hand, a spinning rod works with an open-faced spinning reel. A spinning rod has guides on the underside, while a casting rod has them on the topside.

What type of lures work best with a baitcasting rod?

The rule of thumb is that baitcasting rods are used with heavy lures. But, you can use anything from jigs, spinners, cranks, jerk baits, Texas rigs, and more.

Although you can pretty much go for anything you like, make sure to match the lure with line weights to get the best of both.

Do baitcasting reels cast further than spinning reels?

This is where the technique matters the most. The line you’re using is also critical when it comes to casting, so that’s another thing you want to think about.

Casting rods are trickier to learn how to cast with. But, you can achieve great casting distance with some practice.

What type of line should be used with baitcasting rods?

Every baitcasting rod is designed for a heavy line at 10lbs and up. But, keep in mind that every casting rod has a power rating that indicates how much weight it requires to flex.

This means that a line too heavy or too light would mess up your performance. It might even break your baitcasting rod.

How Do You Cast a Baitcasting Rod?

As mentioned, casting a baitcasting rod can be tricky. But, practice makes perfect, so just continue working on your fishing technique to improve your skills.

Point the rod in the 10 o’clock position to drop the lure slowly and smoothly. If you do this too aggressively, you’ll probably end up birdnesting your baitcasting reel. Doing it too slowly will limit your casting distance.

How Do You Pitch With a Baitcaster?

Pitching is an exciting way to catch bass. When done correctly, it provides an excellent presentation that results in large fish.

The point is to pitch a lure into the opening through a mat of grass. And you have to do this without scaring the fish. But, it might be easier to learn by watching other fishermen do it.

Can Flipping Be Done With a Baitcaster?

You can do flipping with a baitcasting rod and achieve even better control than you would with a spinning pole.

Flipping is designed for catching bass that hides in a dense cover of matted grass. Any baitcasting rod can do, but make sure to use heavier lines.

What Materials Are Used To Make Baitcasting Rods?

Graphite and fiberglass rods are the most used. These materials are the strongest, providing just enough flexibility and resistance.

Fiberglass is lighter, but it’s not as strong as graphite.


Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you found the best baitcasting rod for your needs and preferences among the ones we talked about.

The list is quite versatile, so there’s something for everyone. Again, check the KastKing Perigee II if you can’t make up your mind. It’s an excellent option that works for nearly all fish. It’s also pretty affordable.