Bass lure rods have changed so much over the past 10 years. Trends have come and gone even within that time as we finally settle with what we think are the correct attributes for a modern bass spinning rod. In reality, it depends on where you are fishing or what kinds of lures you wish to use. Rods may vary from as short as 7 feet, but exceed 10 feet on more rugged coastlines.
Which Type Of Bass Rod?
7' - 8' casting maximum up to 21g: Rods in this length and power are lovely to use in calm conditions when the fish are at close range.
8' - 9' casting maximum between 23 and 25g: Rods in this length and power could be considered light all-rounders. With casting ratings less than 30g (coming next), they make brilliant rods for those fishing a lot of soft plastic lures - especially weedless/weightless.
8'6" - 9'6" casting to between 28g and 32g max.: If you just own one bass fishing lure rod, this would usually be the best range to look in. The length range gives a happy compromise on length and control while the power rating will fish nearly all of todays popular bass lures with ease. Aim for the <= 32g end of the scale if you fish more surface lures and for the <= 28g if unweighted soft plastics are your main thing.
8'8" - 9'6" casting to between 35g and 40g max.: Similar to above but with a slight step up in power for these rods. If you fish a lot of surface lures like the Patchinko 2, or catch a lot of fish on plugs and plastics like the Savage Gear Sandeel or Fiiish Crazy Sandeel, the extra little bit of power and stiffness in the tip from these rods can be a real benefit. If you're regularly casting 25g+ lures, I don't recommend a Japanese rod that is rated to anything less than 32g, or more ideally 35g as you'll quickly be finding the rods limit if blasting a lure in to the wind.
10'+ casting upwards of 40g: These rods have come in to their own over the past year as we set ourselves up for targeting bass on lures directly from our beaches or rockiest, roughest coastlines. The length aids casting distance and lure control in potentially rough conditions. The lures need to be heavier too to maintain some stability so the rods obviously need to be more powerful to cope. This is particularly where rods like the Apia Grandage come in to their own and stand above all others. The 10', 42g model will cover 70% of anglers requirements, while the 10'6", 50g version will well suit those wanting to blast a 45g or even 50g lure in to a raging ocean.
Best Selling Bass Lure Rods
We've never had a better range of bass lure rods available to us in the shop as we do right now. With years of experience and some great brands at our disposal, it's nice that each one of those brands does things a little differently. And within those manufacturer catalogues, each of them has ranges of rods of genuinely different styles. So picking the perfect rod for your personal requirements or tastes has never been easier. Although - unless you've seen them in the flesh - knowing which one does what (of feels like) IS a minefield. So, here I've highlighted my favourites and explained the differences between them.
In no particular order as they're all different rods:
£100+ Maximus High-Energy Z - Best Value
Great, modern starter rods. RRP: Just over £100.
- Steely, fast action.
- Very light considering the cheaper price.
- Better balanced than competitors.
Maximus have completely revitalised the circa-£100 range of rods in our shop. With models as low as £40, they're my pick of the bunch for anybody wanting a great rod without having to spend maximum budget. The cream of the crop in terms of quality and price is the mid-range High-Energy Z. These rods are heavily Japanese inspired. Easy to get the best from, they're not so stiff that they're difficult to cast, but are more than fast enough to work any modern lure with ease.
£180+ Tailwalk Saltyshape Dash Seabass - All-round
The all-round bass rods. RRP: Around £200.
- Easy to use (won't bite back on a dodgy cast like a lesser rod might).
- A joy to fish.
- Effective all-round range.
The SSD bass rod range covers everything. Beautiful, comfortable, no-frills rods - its easy to see why they have so many fans (including myself!). They're a very easy recommendation in the shop. Compared side by side, there's currently not a rod in the price range that feels better balanced or just.... lovely. Even against more internet-popular rods. You need to see them all side by side! The range runs from the nicest 8'7", 24g rod (perfect for unweighted plastics and small surface lures), to the 40g, 10'6" model which is such an easy long rod to compress and fish with. Everything about the range just makes fishing easy, and since the majority of anglers out there just want a rod that will be a joy to fish with (before worrying about the technical aspects), the SSD rods do exactly that. Just brilliant rods.
The 90ML (28g) is the most popular all-round model we sell, while the 90M (35g) comes in for those who fish more surface lures. Choose the 87ML (24g) if you fish a lot of soft plastics and plugs only up to 18g.
£250+ Tailwalk EGinn Bass - Most Steely & Light
The lightest, steeliest, most likeable bass lure rods we've EVER sold! RRP: over £250.
- Steeliest bass rods.
- Lightest bass rods.
- Fast - even though the name says "R" (regular), they're only less fast than the more squiddy versions in the EGinn range. For normal comparisons they've quite a fast taper. Look at the specs.
- Our best all-round bass rod EVER!
The Eginn range has been something of a sensation since arriving with us in the UK just two months ago (late 2018). If I could have sat back and used 10 years worth of rod buying/selling experience and designed a rod that I knew bass anglers today would almost universally approve of, it would be exactly this!
The EGinn range started as more of a universal "Borderless" range in Japan - designed for anything from squid to rockfish. This year however they have expanded that boundary a little by designing some seabass specific models to add to the range. Namely the 86L-R(24g), the 96ML-R (35g) and 106M-R (45g).
These rods are super steely. Despite not having the highest level Fuji guides (they're quality SiC rather than lighter Torzites), they still manage to be quite possibly our lightest rod range ever! Super steely and super light. More so that any others we've ever stocked! IMAGINE IT! The opposite to some other rods above which are technically designed for a purpose, the EGinn design is to suit all-round applications. They're a take it anywhere and use it for anything rod range. It's just a case of picking a length and power that suits you.
If I had to pick our top 10 best rods ever in terms of quality, value and feel, the 96ML-R would by far and away be the best rod we've ever sold. A clear number #1. The 106 is also destined for great things in 2019 as a long, lightweight rod (just 153g) which is as capable with an unweighted plastic as it is a large metal. One for our north coast reefs and rocks I think! Watch this space.
If you're looking in the £200 price bracket for a new rod, absolutely consider the upgrade! With a bit more bling, these could be £500 and nobody would think it unjust.
£300+ Apia Grandage STD. - Distance Rods
The long-distance/most robust bass rods. RRP: Starting just under £300.
- Ultra quick recovery.
- Longest distance casting rods - THE rod range to pick for the beaches!
- Very robust tools.
Apia did a lot of work before releasing the Grandage rods. An upgrade from the previous Foojin'R range, they have concentrated on increasing casting distance as a prime objective. And they've succeeded.
On paper, the Grandage rods are not the lightest. That extra weight isn't really in the blank itself (although they have very solid walls and are incredibly well built) but lots have been placed in the handle grip to massively improve balance. This too has been hugely successful. They're one of those rod ranges that you could pick up in the shop and think was a bit...."not so steely", for want of a better phrase. Being quality rods however, it's incredible how they transform when out on the coast. The science that has improved the achievable casting distances from these rods has come about by improving the rods recovery when casting. By that I mean, following the cast, the rod bounces immediately back to its straight line position, allowing the line free and easy passage through the guides - which ultimately reduces friction and increases distance. Add that to the easy but powerful blanks and you have a serious "tool" for blasting a lure in to oblivion. Honestly, if you want distance, and especially if you fish from beaches, there is a true weapon of a rod within this range for you. Look no further.
£440+ Tailwalk Hi-Tide TZ - Softy Specialist
The soft plastic specialist range. RRP: over £400.
- THE unweighted soft plastic rods.
- Elastic action - will cast an unweighted SP further than any other.
- Pure luxury.
- The slimmest bass rods we stock.
Although sublime to fish with all kinds of lure within their ratings, the Hi-Tide range has showed itself as THE rod range to consider for anglers who a) want the best, b) fish a lot of unweighted plastics and c) want to enjoy their fishing more!
The first time I fished the 9-footer I realised how special they were. Again, different on the rocks that they are in the shop, Tailwalk have shown their cleverness by creating a rod which is both soft and elastic, but also has the feeling of a fast action rod when working a lure. It's a difficult rod to describe as it's such a mixture of lovely features. Cast one and you'll see what I mean though. In a line-up of the highest quality bass rods, all rigged with the same unweighted lure, this one easily came out on top for casting distance and joy of use. Hook a fish and you also won't be disappointed. Taking the fun with them everywhere they go, the Hi-Tide rods just b-e-e-e-e-nd and bend, yet never leave you in fear of losing a quality fish.
All of the rods in the range have their time and place depending on the conditions and locations you tend to fish. The 9', 24g rod is our most popular high-end rod ever!
£600+ Apia Foojin'AD - Best Build Quality
Not cheap but the build and design shines through. RRP: Mostly over £600.
- Most solid build quality.
- A different feel to other rods.
- Most comfortable reel seats available today.
When you get to this quality and price, without having seen the rods it can be understandable why a high price is difficult to fathom. There is something very special about the Foojin'AD range though. Pick one up and you'll notice that immediately they feel like solid carbon. Not heavy by any means, but the quality of the rods absolutely fills you with confidence and enthusiasm. Beautifully designed with the most comfortable rod grips of any bass rod currently available, they are a range of rods that are built for true anglers who want the best, most reliable tool for the job in hand. There are lighter rods out there, but none that make you feel so unbeatable.
The most popular rod in the range is the 8'10" Flow Hunt. Rated to 36g, the quality of the rod shines in that its one of those very special rods that is as truly comfortable with a light soft plastic as it is with a heavy surface lure. You don't get that with cheap rods!
Bass Fishing Travel Rods
We've some great new options for this year!
Travel bass rods have improved so much over the past decade that even 6-section rods today feel very much like your every day 2-piecer. We have some great rods in the shop, especially thanks to Apia and Tailwalk (who else?!).
The Tailwalk Outback rods actually go from less than 6' long up to a lighter 8'8" seabass model. Naturally its the longest two rods that we concentrate on here - 866M (30g) and 886L (28g). Those two are actually quite closely matched, although the 30g model has a fair bit more power overall and a stiffer tip - best for working plugs, metals and surface poppers. The 28g version has a much softer tip so will be well suited to plastics and the lighter lures in general. With that however it still has a nice bit of power in the butt to land a fairly decent, hard fishing fish abroad.
The new Apia Grandage is very much the pick of the bunch of you want a travel bass rod that is closest to your every day rod. Very solidly built and more or a bass style regular action that the Outbacks (which are very fast), it's helluva rod to take to somewhere like Ireland or France. Or just to leave in the back of the car if you want to have a quality bass fishing rod on hand at short notice. 9' long and rated to 35g, it'll fish all of the lures you'd chuck on your regular setup. Online soon!