Top 10 Best Baitcasting Rods 2018 - Reviews and Buying Tips

If you're planning to invest in fishing gear yet you don’t have the time to read dozens of reviews, this concise write-up will help you learn more about the best baitcasting rods. Sure, picking the right fishing rod is like investing in a good friend. A rod is something you can spend a lot of time with and so you want to make sure it offers you the best service when you need it. So, what exactly is the criterion of settling on the ideal model? Let’s find out.

10 Best Baitcasting Rods for the Money– Reviews

They come in all shapes and sizes. But as you will see in this comparison, no two or three baitcasting rods are exactly the same. 

1. Berkley Cherrywood Baitcasting Rod 

This is a well-thought-out rod that also happens to be highly affordable. One likable aspect of it is that it has a good action which means it’s quite handy for bass fishing. Its line guides are pretty strong – something that makes the rod highly sensitive. 

Tough Build 

Made from tough aluminum oxide and cherrywood parts, this unit wows with its durability. Best of all, even with a medium contour, you can still experience each and every contour on your retrievals. 

Great Handling

Its hybrid design makes for incredible handling convenience. Don’t forget it comes with a cork handle fitting which fits so well in most hands – although there are those who complain it doesn’t fit well in small hands. 

Stunning Deal

So, in a nutshell, here you get a nicely made baitcasting rod made out of relatively high-end materials but most importantly well-priced. In general, that sounds like a good deal to anyone who may be looking for good value for money. Perhaps Berkley’s 3 decades of experience are to thank for this excellent piece. Or perhaps it’s the company’s ability to keep up with the latest trends that keeps stunning. At the end of the day, this unit is sure to stun every quality-conscious angler. 

Key Features

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    Durable cherrywood and aluminum oxide components 
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    55 percent lighter than traditional rod guides 
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    Factory tested for dependability 
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    Excellent cork handling grip 

2. Ugly Stik Casting Rod GX2 

Ugly Stik is a well-known brand and if you’ve been angling for quite some time chances are that you’re familiar with this. The GX2 is built according to this long-standing reputation. Everything from its layout to materials indicates just how much of a workhorse it is. 

Excellent Weight 

We like the fact that it is medium-heavy as that means you can handle it for many hours without getting fatigued. Besides that, it is extremely sensitive. Let’s also not forget the fact that it is quite tough and durable. 

Suitable For Stubborn Fish

Want to handle some hard-mouthed fish? This is certainly a must-have. You may, however, need to be wary of the fact that as a drawback to its incredible performance, this unit tends to be a bit stiff. That turns off some people, but it doesn’t have to unless you are really specific about this aspect of your rod. 

An Unmatched Track-Record 

A good indicator of this product’s effectiveness is its reviews. Indeed, This best baitcasting rod under 100 has a long list of positive ratings from 88 percent of its buyers. Likewise, we think the GX2 is certainly worth every serious angler’s time. 

Key features 

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    High quality and durable finish 
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    Fantastic graphics optimized for camouflaging 
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    Possesses incredible sensitivity power 
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    Extra comfortable grip 

3. Fiblink Baitcasting Fishing Rod with 2-Piece Graphite

This model from Fiblink is renowned for its ability to overpower catfish and other inshore saltwater fish. Probably its added dose of strength has something to do with it. Actually, this is one of the few rods that can handle big fish under 20 pounds or thereabouts without trembling. 

Good Action 

One of the very good reasons why this is a must-have is that it offers some pretty decent action. As you might be aware, good action goes hand in hand with good strength. So if you’re looking to rev up your inshore fishing confidence, this is a sure bet. The rod is quite stiff, but that’s just what you need especially when jigging is involved. 

Stainless Steel Guides 

Such well made guides mean you will ultimately enjoy a great degree of sensitivity. If you’re looking for accuracy then this is something that needs to top your bucket-list. For added effectiveness, we are also looking at ceramic inserts. These are not only helpful in improving sensitivity but also quite durable as well. 

EVA Split Grips

This is certainly a big plus given the fact that this rod is quite heavy. Otherwise, without these cushioned grips, one would need to wear anti-inflammatory gloves for the job. EVA grips are suitable for anyone planning to engage in long hours of fishing. 

Key Features 

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    Premium graphite blank for max sensitivity 
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    Ergonomic design which is also well-finished 
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    Multi-purpose hook keeper 
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    Excellent spacing for friction-free line flow 
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    It's price range under 30

4. St. Croix Mojo Bass Inshore Casting Rods 

This is one of those casting rods that might easily be under-estimated. However, once you lay your hands on it, chances are that you won’t believe how good it can get. First, it offers an admirable medium-heavy feel which means you can use it for the whole day with minimal worries. That means it is just light enough for whole day fishing but just heavy for good action. 

Fantastic Action 

Well, this is not a joke. This inshore casting rod works so well if you know how to use it. Want it to go a bit rogue? All you need to do is just feed it with a bit of brute force. This means you can even go for those elusive bass fish attempts – and sure enough, you’ll nail them. 

Great Collection 

If you’re looking to flip some small lures while still digging deep, this rod will allow you to set your hooks like a boss. Indeed, the very design of this rod means it is possible to cover a large area within a short time. Of course, that’s a great way to maximize the time you spend on the water – any day. 

IPC Tooling Technology 

This is probably the biggest secret to this baitcasting rod’s ability to stun. Thanks to IPC tooling technology, this rod turns from being a basic rod into an extremely throaty device. Of course, this makes it highly sensitive in addition to being super light. 

Key Features 

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    Patented tooling technology 
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    Excellent grip 
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    Effective Kigan hook keeper 
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    Made out of high-modulus graphite (SCII) 

5. Fiblink Inshore Fishing Rod Graphite 

Fiblink is one of those brands you can fully trust with all your fishing gear. I mean, we have known them all along for their commitment to quality and innovation. This model offers incredible action and this makes it a perfect bet especially for inshore angling. Besides that, it offers some wonderful features including: 

Sturdy Design 

This rod is a fantastic addition to any angler’s arsenal. Not just because of its heavy action but also its ability to withstand pressure. Planning to fish some feisty inshore fish species? This will certainly provide you with the kind of reliability you need to keep going.

Saltwater and Freshwater Usable

Although it is advertised as suited for saltwater, it still does an incredible job in freshwater. So, you won’t need to acquire separate rights to have the job done. 

Comfortable Handling

Just like its other siblings from Fiblink, this one comes with extra comfortable EVA. This is incredibly perfect for long hours of handling. As you know, EVA grips are quite comfy and they provide you with ample anti-inflammatory protection. We think this is incredible especially if you’re a first-timer. 

Key Features 

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    Medium-Heavy Power 
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    High-quality grips (EVA) 
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    Made from high-carbon composite material 
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    Boasts enhanced reel seat 

6. Abu Garcia Medium Action Baitcasting Rod 

If the saying “good things come in small packages” is anything to go by, then this rod fits that description best. It is not fancy, super large or super powerful but it still manages to offer incredible action. 

Excellent Design 

Made out of 30-ton graphite, this comes across as both lightweight and incredibly durable rod. You can use it for long hours with minimal worries. And boy is it a looker! 

Great Guides 

This one does not come with cheap guides. Indeed, you get titanium alloy guides. As you know, titanium alloy is probably one of the finest materials you can think about. 

Great Blank Contact

We’re talking about a design that allows for greater sensitive it. That’s of course in addition to a micro-click reel seat whose design allows you to experience an improved reel fit. 

Key Features

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    Suitable for freshwater and saltwater 
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    Spiral carbon core construction 
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    Fantastic break strength 
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    Light but also strong 

7. Okuma Celilo Baitcasting Rod with Celilo Graphite 

You don’t always have to break the bank to find the best rod. Some units such as this one are made from simple materials and they still don’t disappoint when it comes to performance. Indeed, this rod has earned itself the reputation of being strong and incredibly dependable. 

Graphite Blank 

You know very well just how important great sensitivity when it comes to fishing. The last thing you want is a rod that compromises in this key area. Fortunately, the Okuma Casting Rod is well-thought-out in terms of sensitivity – all thanks to a highly sensitive graphite blank. 

Admirable Inserts 

Its inserts may not be made from titanium but they surely do stun. They are made using aluminum oxide which offers great value for money especially if made by a good manufacturer. 

Good Grip

Its fore and rear cork grips offer an incredible performance at any time of the day. Besides, these are set in such a way that they offer unparalleled reach throughout the rod. 

Key Features 

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    Highly sensitive blank 
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    Effective aluminum oxide guide inserts 
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    Hooded reel seats with stainless steel construction 
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    Durable wooden, graphite and aluminum oxide accessories 
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    It's price range is under 75

8. Entsport Rattlesnake 7Ft, 2-Piece Baitcast Rod 

It’s very rare to see a baitcasting rod that comes complete with a carrying case. But this one from Entsport is one of the lucky few you’ll ever find. First and foremost, its design exemplifies quality and great handling. Whether you’re looking for medium-light, medium or medium-heavy action, this one has got all your needs figured out. 

Great Construction 

This unit comes with premium-quality graphite construction. This reduces its weight without compromising on its ability to withstand stubborn catches. 

Enhanced Grip

We like the fact that this unit comes with a superior reel seat, complete with a screw-down as that means it can hold the reel perfectly in place. What’s more? The unit’s reel seats offer full contact complete with soft-touch coatings for enhanced sensitivity. 

Great Guides

This unit comes with 7+1 ceramic-inserted guides. If you’re looking for greater accuracy, then this is certainly a must-have.

Key Features 

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    Premium cork designed to provide unmatchable handling 
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    2 piece design, suitable for traveling 
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    Comes with added graphite for improved sensitivity 
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    Has form-fitting contours which make for peak comfort 
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    This rod price is under 75

9. Falcon Rods Casting Rod (HD) 

This rod from Falcon may not be so popular, but that doesn’t mean it’s an underdog. A closer look at it reveals it presents some marvelous features including a highly sensitive graphite blank in addition to efficient Fuji guides. 

Highly Sensitive 

Not all baitcasting rods are sensitive enough. Fortunately, this one does not disappoint in that regard, all thanks to its highly sensitive graphite blank. As you know, graphite tends to be lightweight yet highly sensitive to vibration. So you can’t go wrong with this unit. 

Great Guides

Nothing affects the performance of a rod like the quality of its guide. And while a majority of other rods use aluminum oxide rods, this one sticks to Fuji guides. These are way better and more efficient. 

Natural Handling 

It’s one thing to have a great rod, it’s another one altogether to enjoy handling it all day long. Luckily, this unit is by its design well suited for many hours of operation. Its cork handles are designed to fit natural on any hand-grip. 

Key Features 

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    Fantastic backbone strength 
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    Lightweight for long hours of handling 
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    Powerful rod design suitable for inshore jigging 
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    It's price range is under 100

10.  Abu Garcia Casting Rod (Veracity) 

Some baitcasting rods may be equal but for sure some of them are “more equal than others”. One of the superior ones is this one from Abu Garcia. As you know, Abu Garcia is such a big deal when it comes to fishing gear – this one certainly doesn’t disappoint. Some key factors that make it a top bet include: 

Tough Graphite Construction 

Graphite is both durable and light-weight. Of course, that’s something you are not likely to find with any other material in the world. This unit particularly features 36-ton graphite construction which is a really good thing. 

Comfortable Grip 

Long hours of fishing may leave you with blisters – but it doesn’t have to be that way with this unit. It boasts high-density EVA cushions. These are just comfy enough to shield you from any kind of fish-induced or water-induced shock. 

All-Bait Application 

If flexibility is your craving, then you’ll ultimately fall in love with this rod. Its Texas-rigged hook keeper makes it fantastic for all bait applications. 

Key Features 

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    At under 20lbs this one stuns in lightweight and balanced performance 
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    High-density EVA handles 
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    Has a solid blank offering great sensitivity 
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    Price Range is under 150

Buying Guide - Which One Is Best for You?

In line with the growing popularity of bass fishing sports, baitcasting rods have also gathered momentum on the ​​​​markets. These sheer numbers may, however, leave one confused on which model to go for. So let’s share a quick run-down of factors worth considering. 

Quality of Frame 

Generally, graphite frames are preferred because of their ability to withstand shock and still remain on the lighter side. However, you can always go for high-end models which use aluminum frames. Of course, aluminum is much stronger than graphite although slightly heavier. 

Line Guides

The common choice when it comes to line guides is ceramic vs. titanium. Ceramic is mainly found in low-end models. It works just as perfect. However, if you’re really looking to scale up on quality, then titanium line guides may be ideal. 


The kind of handles you choose should be determined by the number of hours you’re planning to spend on the water. If you’re planning to be there all day, then it would be a good idea to go for a unit with comfy EVA knobs. Otherwise, ordinary wooden corks would suffice especially if the unit is light. 

Final Word

You don’t have to shy away from baitcasting rods anymore. All you need to do is invest in one that best suits your needs – and most importantly one that offers you good value for money. Luckily for you, our list of best baitcasting rods reviews is long and rich. You can always find yourself something that does an incredible job at a pocket-friendly price tag.

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