While crankbait rods are great, they’re more suitable for smaller swimbaits. Anything bigger and heavier will be quite hard to cast with such a rod.
So, what kind should you use? There are those made specifically for swimbait casting, and they’re sturdier and more durable than most rods out there.
Continue reading as we review some of the best swimbait rods, their pros, and cons, features and specifications. We’ve also included a brief buyer’s guide to help you make your decision.
Dobyns Rods Fury Series Casting Fishing Rod
Best for Beginners
Dobyns Rods 806HSB-LH Champion
Best by Budget
Dobyns Rods Champion Series 908
Best Swimbait Rods Reviewed
- Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 795SB
- OKUMA Guide Select
- Dobyns Rods Champion Series 908 Ultra MAG SB
- OKUMA AXEON Pro
- Dobyns 806HSB-LH Champion Series
- Okuma Sbx Swimbait Graphite Fishing Rods
- Dobyns 807MAG HSB Champion Series
Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 795SB
This is the best swimbait fishing rod in our opinion because it combines quality and affordability. It’s heavy-duty, easy to use, and most importantly, efficient.
It’s a fast-action swimbait rod that’s eight feet long. It has a heavy backbone that allows you to use baits as heavy as five ounces. This is ideal for large swimbait and other types of heavy baits of your choice.
It features high modulus graphite blank and wraps made of Kevlar. Its reel seat is Fuji which adds to its overall ability to handle rigorous swimbait fishing. All of its other components of this fishing rod are also made of high-quality materials.
After some testing, it’s proven that it can withstand about 15 to 30 lb. It comes in black and green, and it’s quite heavy-duty.
- Well balanced
- Strong and durable
- Kevlar wrapping
- Short reel seat threads
OKUMA Guide Select
The Okuma swimbait rod comes in several sizes, but they’re all designed for throwing big baits. We should first mention the lightweight IM-8 graphite blanks that offer high sensitivity and preciseness.
The Unidirectional Fiber Reinforcement technology gives increased strength and lifting power. Each blank has EVO Graph technology made of 1000 woven carbon reinforcement.
This gives it more power and toughness to endure the strength of big fish. It’s 7’11’ long, so you get maximum casting distance.
Other swimbait rods from the series are the same length but have different abilities regarding carrying the weight of swimbaits and fish. All of them have a longitudinal fiber tip for more durability and strength.
The reel seat provides an ergonomic base along with the EVA rear split butt handle that improves the overall balance.
- Maximum casting distance
- Tough and durable
- Not for saltwater
Dobyns Rods Champion Series 908 Ultra MAG SB
If you’re using glide baits, swimbaits, umbrella rigs, and other similar baits, this is definitely an option to consider. It’s 9’ long and supports fish from 25lb to 80lb in weight. This swimbait rod can handle bait that weighs from 8 to 24 ounces.
It has tough but sensitive graphite blanks that are balanced for best action. The Fuji tangle-free K-guides have Alconite inserts for some added durability and maximized power. It also features the lightweight Fuji reel seat along with the EVA handle.
The swimbait rod has some considerable distance and impressive casting performance.
It comes in several models you can choose from depending on the bait you’re using and the fish you’re trying to catch.
- Alconite inserts
- Durable and precise
- Ergonomic EVA handle
- Unusual reel seat
OKUMA AXEON Pro
This is a boat rod, so it’s slightly different than the standard. The E-glass blank construction gives it supreme durability and maximum power you could expect from such a rod.
The construction is super-responsive and suitable for all kinds of swimbaits. It’s sturdy, durable but still lightweight and easy to use.
The UFR tip design gives it even more strength and lifting power you’d need for most types of big fish. This one, much like most boat rods, has welded stainless steel guides. They are made of deep press stainless steel and have a Titanium oxide inserts.
Axeon Pro is suitable for hobbyists and professionals as well because it’s quite easy to use and maneuver with. It handles most big fish without any issues, and it’s rugged and long-lasting.
- Titanium oxide inserts
- Lightweight but durable
- For inshore fishing
- Weird balance
Dobyns 806HSB-LH Champion Series
The 806HSB-LH is among the best ones for swimbait fishing. It has a perfect combination of features and specifications that allow you to handle big fish with ease.
It’s 8’6’’ long and you can use a lure that’s about 2 to 8 ounces in weight. It handles fish that weighs 20 to 40 lb.
What makes it different is the long handle that allows you the ultimate ease of use. It’s well-balanced, so it’s quite simple to maneuver with even with some of the biggest fish.
It has an AA grade cork grip and Kevlar wrapping. Its Fuji graphite reel seat provides an ergonomic place for any reel you like. The Zero Tangle Kigan guides have SIC inserts, so the performance it delivers is accurate, balanced and powerful.
The Dobyns 806HSB-LH comes from their Champion series and is only available in black or black/blue combination.
- Kevlar wrapping
- Durable construction
- Long handle
- A bit heavy
Okuma Sbx Swimbait Graphite Fishing Rods
Okuma is a well-known brand, and you’ve probably already heard lots of good things about them. The SBX is among their best models that anglers often opt for.
Its 24/30-ton responsive carbon blank construction is built to last and tackle some of the biggest fish. It’s durable and sturdy which is something you’ll feel the moment you grab the rod.
The unidirectional fiber reinforced tip technology increases its lifting abilities by three times. This means it can withstand both a heavy lure and a big catch.
Its titanium guides come from the Zeus premium series and are about 43% lighter than most that are on the market. This one, as well as all the other models in the series, has a Fuji trigger reel seat.
- UFR tip
- Titanium glides
- Not the best option for beginners
Dobyns 807MAG HSB Champion Series
Dobyns is probably the most popular choice on the market especially when it comes to swimbait fishing. The 807 MAG HSB is a part of their champion series and might be the most popular among several other models in there.
It’s an 8’0’’ Mag fast action swimbait rod that’s perfect for heavy and strong fish. You can use any lure that weighs up to 10 ounces. The tests showed it’s able to withstand about 20 to 50 pounds.
This one is primarily a swimbait rod though you can use it with several other types of lures depending on your overall experience. It’s robust, well-balanced and precise.
It has an AA grade cork grip and the Fuji graphite reel seat. Also, the Zero Tangle Kigan guides featuring SIC inserts are a powerful combination that allows smooth performance.
- Kevlar wrapping
- Suitable for heavy fish
- Takes some getting used to
Rod for Swimbaits Guide
Swimbaits are paddle tail lures and can be small or large. The reason they’re called that is that they look like they’re swimming like a real fish.
A swimbait rod for heavier lures has to be able to endure the added weight. For this reason, you should consider specific factors so you can select the best model for the job.
Length is a crucial factor that you should pay particular attention to when it comes to swimbait fishing. Look for the one that’s around 8 feet long. If you can find a good swimbait rod that’s a bit longer or shorter, that’s still fine, but make sure to stick close to 8 feet in length.
It’s especially hard to land large fish with a small rod and a large swimbait. However, if it’s too long, it will be harder to maneuver with the bait as well as the catch. The length of about 8 feet is ideal for most of the large swimbaits and fish species so go along those lines when shopping for one.
Backbone is actually stiffness, though you won’t hear people call it that so often. A swimbait rod that has more resistance to bending is also the one that’s powerful. The ratings go from power for panfish and other small species, to power for large lures and fish.
Magnum Power is another rating set you may come across. The scale is the same as the standard rating scale, but every level is two times stronger than what’s listed.
So, if it’s medium magnum rating, it’s actually a heavy rod in the standard scale. Swimbait rods should be rated as heavy or extra heavy.
Line size is equally as crucial because swimbaits are quite large and heavy lures. Look only for the line size that would allow you to cast and retrieve your bait and catch with ease.
It should be able to handle the size and weight of the lure, but also of the line. For this reason, it’s crucial to pay attention to whether you’re using the proper line.
By pairing these two well, you’re ensuring smooth operation and best results. Some swimbait rods come with instructions on what is the best line to use.
You also want to make sure your swimbait rod is compatible with the reel you’re using. They have to work well together, so consider whether you’ll use a lightweight spinning reel or a baitcaster. It has to be compatible with the particular reel of choice.
There are many options on the market, and it all comes down to your preferences and personal needs, but think twice about the kind of reel you’re getting and whether it will work with your swimbait rod.
Durability is always essential, especially now that we’re talking about heavy baits and large fish. The best way to determine if it’s durable is to look at its construction. Think about the materials it’s built from and whether those will provide enough durability.
You’ll be using the swimbait rod in water for many years to come, so the materials have to ensure its ability to withstand that. Pay just as much attention to all of the other components as those should be equally as well-made.
All parts and components should be quality, durable and able to handle many years of use.
Utilizing Large Swimbaits
These lures aren’t the same as the typical baits you may have used for smaller fish. Since you’re targeting big fish, your baits are now also big.
However, there are a few things you should know about these baits as they’re entirely different from any other. Not only they’re larger, but they act and appear differently to the fish.
Here’s something you should pay attention to when using a large swimbait:
The technique comes down to casting quickly, reeling slowly and doing this over and over again. The rest is left to bait to do.
Probably the most important thing to remember when it comes to technique is to stick with it. Catching large fish isn’t as easy, so it usually takes some time. For this reason, you should be persistent and not give up.
You should be patient and wait a while between the first strike and setting the hook. Fishermen call this “reeling through the strike.”
Once you feel the hit, retrieve in super-slow motion for a while before you retrieve as you normally would. By waiting for a little, you give the fish some time to close its mouth.
Swimbaits come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. You should match your bait size to the size of the fish you’re trying to catch. If you’re a beginner in this, try out a few baits but be patient because large fish tends to take a while.
The most important thing you should look for is stiffness. Things like hook-setting power and casting distance depend on your preference.
If you’re just starting out, look for an 8-foot model that’s suitable for 1- to 4-ounce baits. This is the best option to try out before you decide whether or not to invest in something a bit more heavy-duty.
Best Swimbait Rods Summary
Choosing the best swimbait rod isn’t always as simple due to as many options on the market. It takes a while to consider all factors and look for the right one that would fit your needs and preferences when it comes to swimbait fishing.
More so, if you’re a beginner, the many specifications and features tend to be confusing. For this reason, we recommend you use the Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 795SB. It’s the best from our list thanks to its overall balance, preciseness, and power.
If you’re still unsure, you can also always come back to the Buyer’s Guide to make sure if you’re getting the best model for your needs.