bass fishing rod selection guide

Bass Fishing Rod Selection Guide

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If you have a specific kind of fish you want to catch, you should choose a fishing rod that can best handle that fish. 

Bass is one of the most popular fish among anglers, and our bass fishing rod selection guide will help you better your game.

The key is to find a rod that suits your bat technique. 

One of the primary functions of a fishing rod in the case of bass fishing is to throw the bait farther.

It ensures that the bass is tempted to bite the bait as you will not be anywhere close to it.

Equally important is hooking the bass because it can give quite a fight.

So to find the best bass fishing rod, you need to consider the bait technique, the action, and the power of the rod. 

Bass Fishing Rod Selection Guide

Here is a quick list of features to look into when purchasing a fishing rod for bass fishing:

1. Action and Power

Let’s discuss the action and power of the rod first before going into details about the different bait techniques you could employ when fishing for bass.

a. Rod Action

Before determining which rod action is best for bass, you should take a step back and understand what rod action really means.

The action of a rod is simply defined by the point where it bends under pressure.

  • The more sensitive rods and those that bend only near the tip are fast-action rods.
  • The rods that bend at or near the middle of the blank are moderate-action rods.
  • Finally, the ones that bend easily and bend at the butt end of the blank are slow-action rods.
What to Choose

So which rod action is best for bass? 

The rods ranging from moderate to fast action can handle bass well.

If your crankbait rod is hard, you will find it difficult to cast the crankbait.

If the rod does not bend enough and is not flexible, there is a chance that the hook could pull free.

Medium to fast action rods provides greater casting distance, and they can flex just enough to keep a fighting bass hooked even if it’s not hooked correctly.

b. Rod Power

Anglers often use power and action interchangeably, which is not always the same.

You will often hear anglers saying a fishing rod has a lot of backbone, which means it has a lot of power.

On that note, rod power is the pressure it takes for the rod to flex or bend.


There are three power ratings of fishing rods: heavy, medium-heavy, and medium.

What to Choose

The power is directly related to the line strength and vice versa.

As such, you cannot use a light line with a heavy-power rod since it will snap the line easily.

Similarly, a heavy line will do no good with a light power rod.

Thus, when choosing the power of the fishing rod, keep the lure weight and fishing line that you use in mind.

Power ratings are indicated on the rod and are often categorized by fish, for example, a heavy bass rod. 

The type of water you plan on fishing for the bass will also determine the power, just like it does the rod action.

Heavy cover means a heavier power rod, whereas open water does not necessarily require heavy power.

Open and clear water needs light and hard-to-see lines, so you should go for a medium power rod.

bass fishing rod selection guide

2. Material

Generally speaking, graphite rods are lighter as compared with fiberglass rods.

The former is perhaps better for open water, while the latter is a better option when you need more power, for instance, when fishing bass in weeds.

As you can see, the power of the rod partially depends on the fishing line you use most often and also where you are fishing.

If you’re confused about whether to go for graphite or fiberglass, you can go for either, especially if you’re getting a new model of a fishing rod.

Thanks to technological advancements, the difference between the sensitivity of the two types of fishing rods is dwindling.

3. Bait-Specific Techniques

When fishing for bass, the bait technique you will use also dictates which type of rod action you need.

a. Tight-Line Fishing Technique

Tight-line fishing usually involves fishing with jerkbaits, crankbaits, buzzbaits, and spinnerbaits.

These types of baits tend to retrieve quickly, so you should keep the line tight.

With these, you should ideally use a moderate-action rod with a soft tip.

Bass can be a bit aggressive with these baits, so a moderate rod will ensure that the bait does not leave its mouth.

A fast action rod that stays a bit more still and offers resistance may just yank the lure out of the bass.

With tight-line bait, a stiff rod is not the most ideal.

These tight-line baits have thin treble hooks, so the more flexible the rod is, the more chance there is for the hook to set properly.

Additionally, the angler does not have to provide action with the rod.

The lure can move in water better because of the soft tip, reducing the work on the angler’s part.

With a moderate-action rod, you can also cast the lure at a greater distance, which essentially allows it to go deep into the water.

b. Slack-Line Fishing Technique

For the slack-line technique, you will be using plastic worms, dragging tubes, and jigs.

Considering you will use these lures for bass fishing, a fast-action rod will do well.

Unlike tight-line baits, the bass does not hit these with the same speed.

That makes it a bit difficult to set the hook, which is why you need a fast-action fishing rod.

These baits use a heavy-gauge hook with a tip inserted in the plastic bait, which results in slack in the line.

This design does not provide enough action, though, so you have to do the job.

With a stiff rod tip, you have more control and can provide the action to the lure to move properly in the water.

Slack-line fishing with a fast-action rod is also suitable for fishing in weeds.

You will be able to apply more pressure in such water conditions.

As for casting distance, longer rods that are seven feet or more, offer greater casting distance and give you leverage to fight the bass.

With these lighter lures, you can get a shorter rod too, such as those ranging from six feet to seven feet.

You get way better casting accuracy with shorter length rods.

With this technique, it’s important to have a fishing rod handle that is comfortable and offers a good grip.

You do not want angler fatigue to impact your fishing. 

Also, your hand can come directly in contact with the rod blank with cut-outs in the fishing reel seat.

You should keep this in mind when opting for slack-line baits.

4. Size of the Fishing Line

The size depends on several factors, including the type of water you are fishing in and the size of the bass you are expecting to catch.

However, generally, an eight to 12 pounds fishing line is best for bass.

You can read all about choosing fishing line sizes specifically for bass in this article.

The Best Time of the Year to Fish for Bass

Even if you have the best rod bass fishing rod, there are times when it will be hard to catch bass.

One common reason is that people are unaware of whether or not the time of the year is best for bass fishing.

Each season presents different types of challenges when fishing, but if you want to fish for bass and want the most optimal conditions, do so in the springtime.

The reason for this is that the water temperature provides better conditions for fishing.

Bass is a type of cold-blooded fish, and in winters, its metabolism slows down.

That is why the bass tends to bite slower in winters and go in deep water.

So you will have to fish for bass in deeper water like creek ends and river bends.

Spring, though, is a different story.

As soon as the temperature hits above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s the best time of the year to fish for bass.

You will find them in shallow bodies of water, so it will be relatively easier to catch them.

Summer can be just as challenging as winter.

When it gets too hot, the bass again moves into deep water.

As such, you have to use deep water baits with a lengthier line.


With our bass fishing rod selection guide, you can tweak your existing fishing rod or buy a new one that is best for bass fishing.

Even if you’re a beginner, you can try fishing for bass and learn new skills.

This type of fish is moderate in terms of difficulty to catch; in fact, you may even get lucky and catch giant bass.

We're all about making the best out of fishing whether you do it's just a hobby or you're into game sport, so we hope this guide helped you out.

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