Best Crankbait Rod for Bass-Catching – Outdooristo’s Picks

If you’re new to the fishing scene, then you probably don’t know what a crankbait rod is. Well, don’t worry as we’ll be going into more detail, so you have a crystal-clear understanding of what it is, and what it’s used for. Not only that, but we’ll also give you our top recommendations for rods within this category.

So, what is the best crankbait rod on the market? And how can you choose your next rod safely? Read on to find out!

RECOMMENDED
Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 705CB Medium/Heavy Power Mod-Fast Action Crankbait Rod, 7'0", Black/Green
BUDGET OPTION
LEW'S TP173MH-CB Fishing Tournament Performance TP1 Speed Stick Series, Fishing Gear, Fishing Rod, Casting Rod
St Croix PS70MF Premier Graphite Spinning Fishing Rod with Cork Handle, 7-feet, Classic Black Pearl
Dobyns Rods 704CB Glass Champion Series Fast Glass Crankbait Rod, 7'0"/Medium, Black/Blue
Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 705CB Medium/Heavy Power Mod-Fast Action Crankbait Rod, 7'0", Black/Green
LEW'S TP173MH-CB Fishing Tournament Performance TP1 Speed Stick Series, Fishing Gear, Fishing Rod, Casting Rod
St Croix PS70MF Premier Graphite Spinning Fishing Rod with Cork Handle, 7-feet, Classic Black Pearl
Dobyns Rods 704CB Glass Champion Series Fast Glass Crankbait Rod, 7'0"/Medium, Black/Blue
$119.99
Price not available
$160.00
$229.99
RECOMMENDED
Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 705CB Medium/Heavy Power Mod-Fast Action Crankbait Rod, 7'0", Black/Green
Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 705CB Medium/Heavy Power Mod-Fast Action Crankbait Rod, 7'0", Black/Green
$119.99
BUDGET OPTION
LEW'S TP173MH-CB Fishing Tournament Performance TP1 Speed Stick Series, Fishing Gear, Fishing Rod, Casting Rod
LEW'S TP173MH-CB Fishing Tournament Performance TP1 Speed Stick Series, Fishing Gear, Fishing Rod, Casting Rod
Price not available
St Croix PS70MF Premier Graphite Spinning Fishing Rod with Cork Handle, 7-feet, Classic Black Pearl
St Croix PS70MF Premier Graphite Spinning Fishing Rod with Cork Handle, 7-feet, Classic Black Pearl
$160.00
Dobyns Rods 704CB Glass Champion Series Fast Glass Crankbait Rod, 7'0"/Medium, Black/Blue
Dobyns Rods 704CB Glass Champion Series Fast Glass Crankbait Rod, 7'0"/Medium, Black/Blue
$229.99
Wright and McGill Skeet Reese S-Glass Crank Bait Rod
Abu Garcia IKE Signature Casting Rod.
Fenwick Elite Tech Bass Spinning
Ardent Denny Brauer Baitcasting Rod, Crankbait, Medium Action, 7 Foot 6 Inch
St. Croix Avid Series Crankbait Rod, AVC70MHM
Wright and McGill Skeet Reese S-Glass Crank Bait Rod
Abu Garcia IKE Signature Casting Rod.
Fenwick Elite Tech Bass Spinning
Ardent Denny Brauer Baitcasting Rod, Crankbait, Medium Action, 7 Foot 6 Inch
St. Croix Avid Series Crankbait Rod, AVC70MHM
Price not available
Price not available
Price not available
Price not available
Price not available
Wright and McGill Skeet Reese S-Glass Crank Bait Rod
Wright and McGill Skeet Reese S-Glass Crank Bait Rod
Price not available
Abu Garcia IKE Signature Casting Rod.
Abu Garcia IKE Signature Casting Rod.
Price not available
Fenwick Elite Tech Bass Spinning
Fenwick Elite Tech Bass Spinning
Price not available
Ardent Denny Brauer Baitcasting Rod, Crankbait, Medium Action, 7 Foot 6 Inch
Ardent Denny Brauer Baitcasting Rod, Crankbait, Medium Action, 7 Foot 6 Inch
Price not available
St. Croix Avid Series Crankbait Rod, AVC70MHM
St. Croix Avid Series Crankbait Rod, AVC70MHM
Price not available

Best Crankbait Rod – Our Picks

#1 – Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 705CB Crankbait Rod

Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 705CB Medium/Heavy Power Mod-Fast Action Crankbait Rod, 7'0", Black/Green
  • 7'0" Medium Heavy Mod Fast Action Crankbait Rod
  • 8-17 lb. test
  • 1/4-1 oz. lure weight
  • Recommended for Crankbaits, Jerkbaits, Sammys, Lipless Rattlebaits, LV500, Staycee 90

Topping our list is Dobyns Rods’ best Crankbait Rod, one that offers great sensitivity, outstanding durability, and incredible comfort, even when used for long periods.

The rod is well-constructed using graphite for the blank, with a Fuji reel seat that fits really well, a Kevlar wrapping, and an AA grade cork crip. It weighs 8-17 lb and features a 7’0″ Medium Heavy Mod Fast Action, making it quite high-performing and sturdy.

The tip of the rod is quite sensitive, and you can feel the slightest of bumps, ticks, and wiggles when using it. It’s also soft enough to prevent the crankbait from ripping out or sticking to any structure when you’re pulling it around.

Not only is it sensitive and soft though, but it also has enough backbone to dig the hooks into the bass’s mouth easily, making it quite an enjoyable experience.

All in all, if you need a durable, well-built, and sensitive rod that won’t cost you an arm nor a leg, the Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 705CB Crankbait Rod is the best Crankbait rod for you.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable grip
  • Amazing sensitivity
  • Well-built using graphite

Cons

  • The reel seat threads are a bit short

#2 – LEW’S FISHING TP1 Crankbait Rod

LEW'S TP173MH-CB Fishing Tournament Performance TP1 Speed Stick Series, Fishing Gear, Fishing Rod, Casting Rod
  • FISHING ROD: Rod constructed from premium IM8 graphite one-piece blanks
  • LEW'S FISHING ROD: Features American Tackle Microwave Guide system. Eliminates wind knots, improves casting distance and improves casting accuracy
  • FISHING RODS: Includes Lew's exclusive skeletal graphite reel seats and split-grip Dri-Tac handles by Winn Grip
  • CASTING ROD: Features Blue Winn handles and professional style hook keepers

Lew’s is yet another reputable brand in the fishing rod industry, one that’s known to produce high-quality products. This Lew’s crankbait fishing rod is created with both durability and your wallet in mind, which makes it a solid candidate for your next boat trip.

Note that the TP1 series includes different models, so make sure to choose the 7ft-3in model, which represents the best cheap crankbait rod with medium action and medium-heavy power, the perfect combo for all-round crankbait fishing.

The TP1-7ft-3in rod is made of premium IM8 graphite with a white Dri-Tac Winn Grip handle, making it lightweight, durable, and decently sensitive. It can also sharpen your casting skills as it boasts American Tackle Microwave Guide system, which improves the casting distance and accuracy, meaning that you can get this rod even if you’re just starting out with crankbait fishing.

Keep in mind that because of that system, even the guide that’s the closest to the reel is quite small, which makes it a bit difficult to use a leader, unless you know your way around tying tiny knots.

Using this rod, you’ll be able to haul in both small and big fish, as it has an outstanding backbone feature that’ll surely come in handy if you’re one to enjoy chasing the big boys of water.

To sum it up, if you want to dive into the crankbait fishing world without going hard on your wallet, this is the best crankbait for you.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Superior Dri-Tac Winn Grip handle
  • Nice parabolic curve and backbone combo

Cons

  • This is the only crankbait in the TP1 series

#3 – St. Croix Premier PS70MF Crankbait Rod

St Croix PS70MF Premier Graphite Spinning Fishing Rod with Cork Handle, 7-feet, Classic Black Pearl
  • PREMIUM SCII GRAPHITE CONSTRUCTION: Perfect for anglers who appreciate high-performance without high cost; Mid-modulus graphite fiber with a higher strain rate than common fibers; Most popular material that is lightweight, durable and sensitive
  • PREMIUM-GRADE CORK HANDLE: Ensure you maintain a strong grip on your fishing rod
  • MORE FEATURES: Fuji DPS reel seat w/ frosted silver hoods; Kigan Master Hand 3D guides w/, strong aluminum-oxide rings and black frames; Kigan hook-keeper; Two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish; Made in USA
  • SPECIFICATIONS: Length – 7’; Power – M; Action – Fast; Pieces – 1; Line Wt. – 6-12 lbs; Lure Wt. – 1/4-5/8 oz; Rod Wt. – 4.4 oz; Handle - 5

There’s no sense denying it; casting smaller crankbaits, such as the Shad Rap, using baitcasting gear can be a real pain in the neck. We’ve all been there. I’m sure you’re picturing the backlash that you faced once or twice because of the effort needed to cast lighter lures. Thankfully, St Croix is here to save the day with the PS70MF spinning rod, the best rod for light crankbaits.

This rod is made of premium SCII graphite, making the rod both lightweight and sensitive enough to feel different kinds of structures underwater while stiff enough to haul in the bass with ease. It measures 7 ft long, with fast action and medium power, and boasts a comfortable premium-grade cork handle. Not only that, but the rod also features high-quality forecast aluminum oxide guides along with Fuji Reel seats, which says a helluva lot about the performance that you can expect.

Couple all that with a large capacity spinning reel, and you’ve got yourself a rod that checks every box in the best crankbait rod checklist, including that of the guarantee as it comes with a 5-year warranty. Quite the complete package, isn’t it?

Again, although this rod is perfect for lighter crankbaits, it’s not perfect when it comes to heavy bass fishing, so avoid going after big fish if you don’t want to end up with a broken rod.

Pros

  • CII graphite construction
  • Lightweight and sensitive
  • Premium cork handle
  • Large capacity spinning reel

Cons

  • Although affordable, this rod is pricier than other products on our list
  • This rod isn’t suitable for heavy fishing

#4 – G.Loomis E6X Steelhead Drift Spinning Rods

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Let’s say it as it is; these rods are in the expensive side of the spectrum, as their prices range from a couple hundred bucks to four hundred dollars, but rest assured as they’re worth every penny you’re paying as they boast a bunch of features that make them hard to ignore.

These rods measure 7 inches in length, with heavy power and moderate-fast action. The G Loomis feature premium cork handles, and they are made of premium materials that allow the rods to recover quickly to improve your casting accuracy.

Whether you’re a deep fishing, wake bait, or small square bill kind of person, you can’t go wrong with these rods as they can fit any purpose and use, especially that they come with 13 fishing concept reel.

Furthermore, the G Loomis feature soft flex that allows fish to swallow the bait even further, which gives you enough response to feel every movement beneath the water.

As mentioned above, the only drawback to this rod is its price. If you’re a professional or a competition participant, this is a solid choice to consider, but if you’re just a seasonal or weekend-type angler, you’re better off looking for another option from our best crankbait rod list.

Pros

  • These rods are great for professionals
  • Premium built quality and handles
  • 13 fishing concept reel

Cons

  • Pricier than the other recommendations on our list

#5 – Dobyns Rods 704CB Glass Champion Series Fast Glass Crankbait Rod

Dobyns Rods 704CB Glass Champion Series Fast Glass Crankbait Rod, 7'0"/Medium, Black/Blue
  • 7'0" Medium Fast Action Crankbait Rod
  • 8-17 lb. test
  • 1/4-3/4 oz. lure weight
  • Recommended for Crankbaits, Jerkbaits, Spinnerbaits, Topwaters

Another expensive “champion” rod that’ll give you more bang for the buck. The  704CB rod measures 7 foot and weighs 8-17 pounds. It comes with medium-moderate fast action, making it suitable for crankbaits, Jerkbaits, Topwaters, and spinnerbaits. Talk about versatility, right?

The construction of this rod involves different premium materials that make it a solid option and candidate for the best crankbait rod crown. These materials include Fuji graphite reel seats, Kigan guides, Kevlar wrapping, and cork handle that boasts durability, balance, and comfort.

In a nutshell, this is a versatile rod that can be used for different occasions and situations. If you’re one to enjoy differently fishing baits and are willing to spend some extra dollars for quality and versatility, the Dobyns Rods 704CB Glass Champion is the best crankbait rod for you.

Pros

  • Premium materials
  • Balanced cork handle
  • Tangle-free system

Cons

  • A bit pricey

#6 – Wright & McGill’s S-Glass Rod

Wright and McGill Skeet Reese S-Glass Crank Bait Rod
  • Highest quality angler gear for all types of fishers
  • Trusted for reliability, durability, and strength
  • Quality and field tested to ensure you can compete with the best
  • S-Curve blank construction for superior strength, lifting power, sensitivity and weight reduction.

Back to the affordable side, again. If you’re on low on cash and looking for a heavy rod that can take on bigger sea challenges, look no further than the Wright & McGill Skeet Reese Rod. It’s affordable, it’s well-built, and it’s suitable for medium to heavy fishing. Any of that seems intriguing? I bet all of them do.

Wright and McGill’s crankbait rod offers outstanding bass-catching performance thanks to the moderate fast action. Besides, it features an impressive S-curve design to boosts strength and lifting power while minimizing the weight and improving the sensitivity.

We also dig the handle of this rod. Not only is it made of rubber for a sure and comfortable grip, but it’s also ergonomically-designed with balance and weight-reduction in mind. Furthermore, this rod boasts a large fighting butt, which adds to the stability and durability.

Now, while we consider the extra weight and unusual design of this rod to be a positive point, some may perceive it as a drawback and a feature that compromises the quality. Well, we’ve laid down all there is for you to decide, so take our opinion as you may and do your own due diligence before making a choice and picking the best crankbait rod.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Ergonomic rubber handle
  • S-curve and split-handle design
  • Zirconium guides for extra durability

Cons

  • The design and weight may seem inconvenient for some people

#7 – Abu Garcia Signature Crankbait Rod

Abu Garcia IKE Signature Casting Rod.
  • 36 Ton graphite for a lightweight balanced design and increased sensitivity
  • Fuji reel seat for greater comfort
  • Stainless steel guides with Zirconium inserts
  • Mike Iaconelli designed actions

Abu Garcia’s Signature Crankbait Rod is another excellent option to consider if you’re not willing to spend a fortune trying to get the top crankbait rod.

This rod is made of 36-ton graphite and boasts an impressive metallic design that features the ground-breaking high strain glass (HSG) blanks technology that ensures perfect parabolic-style action for easy casting even for complete newbies.

The handle is made of EVA, with a Fuji reel seat, Stainless steel guides, and Zirconium inserts, making this rod both sensitive and durable. Granted, the guides aren’t the best out there, but they’re definitely worth the price you’re paying.

The only thing that you need to keep in mind is that this rod is aimed at medium to large crankbaits, rather than lighter ones, make sure to decide which type you’re using before picking the best crankbait rod for you.

Pros

  • Wallet-friendly
  • 36-ton graphite build
  • HSG design for perfect parabolic action

Cons

  • Not suitable for lighter crankbaits

#8 – Fenwick Elite Tech Bass Spinning Rod

Fenwick Elite Tech Bass Spinning
  • Hidden Handle Design reel seat allows function and comfort to co-exist. Extreme comfort; not seen on the market today. Don't 'feel the threads' of traditional reel seats
  • Titanium frame guides are extremely lightweight and are virtually bulletproof!
  • TAC and cork handle design provides a solid grip even when the handle becomes wet
  • Perfected actions designed specifically for light and ultra light applications

If you’re one to enjoy an aesthetically-appealing rod, you’ll surely enjoy looking at the elegance of Fenwick’s Elite Tech Bass Spinning Rod. Don’t let its vintage brown finish fool you into thinking that it’s a weak rod though, as it’s an ultra-light beast when it comes to medium to heavy bass-catching.

The TAC and cork handle of this rod features a split-grip design with EVA foam, thus offering durability, strength, and comfort.

The Titanium frame guides and rubberized cork and foam reel seat are the cherries on top, as they add to the overall light weight of the rod.

The only downside to this rod is the sensitivity, which is below average compared to our recommendations.

Pros

  • Suitable for heavy and medium bass-catching
  • Split grip design
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • The sensitivity isn’t great

#9 – Ardent Denny Brauer Rod

Ardent Denny Brauer Baitcasting Rod, Crankbait, Medium Action, 7 Foot 6 Inch
  • Best used with crankbait fishing methods; comes with a 3 year limited warranty
  • A medium action fishing rod; 7 feet 6 inches long
  • One piece construction from lightweight IM-8 graphite for superior durability
  • Equipped with high quality Fuji aluminum oxide line guides

The last recommendation on our list comes from Ardent, which is one of the best crankbait rod brands out there, and the Denny Brauer 7’4 Crankbait Rod is one of their finest creations when it comes to medium -heavy rods that are versatile enough for any type of bass-catching.

Despite its low price tag, you can trust the quality of this rod as it’s constructed of premium IM8 graphite that ensures durability and sturdiness. It also has a cork-based handle for a sure and comfortable grip in any condition, along with Fuji aluminum oxide line guides, and Pac Bay reel seat.

Ardent’s Denny Brauer Crankbait Rod features medium action for enhanced and more accurate casting.

Not only is it durable and sturdy though, but this rod is also exceptionally sensitive for you to feel the slightest of movements under water.

Keep in mind that although this rod provides outstanding performance, it’s mainly used for baitcasting, and may prove inefficient for other purposes.

Pros

  • Durable and well-built using premium materials
  • Suitable for different kinds of bass-catching
  • Fast action

Cons

  • Used only for baitcasting

#10 – St. Croix Avid AVC70MHM Cranking Rod

St. Croix Avid Series Crankbait Rod, AVC70MHM
  • Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) tooling technology.
  • Premium, high-modulus SCIII graphite.
  • Superb sensitivity, extreme strength and durability, incredibly light and an outstanding value.

If you’re looking for the best crankbait rod for lipless crankbaits, then search no further than the AVC70MHM Cranking Rod – another top of the line product from the world-renowned St. Croix brand.

Thanks to the medium-heavy power it offers as well as the SCIII graphite and St. Croix’s exclusive IPC technology it packs, the AVC70MHM can easily rip and pop lipless baits through grass. Couple that with the poly curve action it provides, which can keep big bass hooked, and you’ve got yourself one of the best cranking rods that money can get you today.

Pros

  • Solid construction
  • Well-engineered components
  • Select-Grade Cork handle for easy handling and advanced sensitivity

Cons

  • Some users found the rod to be a bit too lightweight

Choosing the Best Crankbait Rod – Buying Guide

Crankbait-Rod-BG

Great, you made it through our list, and you’re now ready to make your final decision and pick the best crankbait rod for your fishing arsenal! Here’s everything you need to know before selecting the right model:

Why You Need a Crankbait Rod

Even though the fishing industry has been cranking out rods (Pun intended) for each and every technique from frog fishing, to punching, to fishing crankbaits, we definitely recommend crankbait fishing rods.

While this isn’t applicable to all highly specific fishing rods, the crankbait fishing rod is well worth the investment for the improved performance it gives you, and that says a lot. For one, having a versatile rod is vital, and most of the times, it’s enough to satisfy your needs as the improvements that the other more specialized rods offer aren’t really that noticeable. However, with the crankbait rod, the boost in performance is pretty much undeniable and well worth it.

If you’re wondering as to how exactly the crankbait rod improves your fishing experience, let us tell you about the main benefits it offers over the typical rods.

  • Better Casting Distance: Crankbait rods excel in this regard as they’re specifically designed to transfer more energy to the lure, hence giving you a better casting distance. This is due to the fact that crankbait rods have a softer action which, in turn, puts more energy into the rod blank. Combine this with a good cranking reel, and you’ve got yourself a rod with incredible casting range.
  • Better Hooksets: One of the other significant benefits of using a crankbait rod is having a more limber rod. This makes it so that there’s a delay in the crankbait rod that allows the fish to really sink into the bait before you pull. As a result, this prevents you from prematurely pulling the bait out of the fish’s mouth.
  • Better Feel: When using a crankbait rod, you’ll be less prone to experiencing snag. This will dramatically improve the feel of the rod and make for a more fun fishing experience overall, not to mention better performance. This is mainly thanks to the delayed action of the soft tip that give the bait more time to bounce off of objection instead of pulling closer to them.

Factors to Consider

Choosing a good cranking rod can seem like a daunting task since there’s an overwhelming amount of choice. However, if you know what to look for in a rod, then the choice pool should be narrowed down quite a bit. Understanding the cranking specs of the rods is imperative in this case as it will help you a lot in choosing a great rod. Here’s what you need to be looking for in a rod.

Rod Action and Rod Power

Confusing these two specs together is a common mistake made by a lot of anglers. Even though they’re related, they’re not the same thing. Rod power reflects the force that a rod takes before it starts bending. Action, on the other hand, is the speed at which it bends. Rods with slow action are the most flexible while X-Fast rods are the least flexible.

The majority of cranking rods have medium to heavy action and a moderate to fast action rating. Your choice will eventually come to personal preference and which type of fishing you’ll be using it for. Medium power rods are usually more suited for medium or deep diving crankbaits. Heavier rods are better suited for fishing around grass as their inherent resilience and stiffness will help them not get tangled in the vegetation.

When it comes to moderate action, it makes for better lure control and can help you avoid pulling the hooks into an obstacle like wood and rocks. The soft, on the other hand, is more forgiving in that it will bounce off obstacles instead of a snag.

Rod Length

The optimal rod length for cranking usually depends on the size of the lure and line that you intend on using. An 8- or 7-foot cranking rod is better for casting bigger deep diving and medium crankbaits than its 6’-6” counterpart.

However, 6’-6” cranking rods are more suited for fishing smaller crankbait. This is mainly because the shorter rod length allows for more accurate casts, which is vital when fishing squarebills. The concept is simple, closer and more accurate casts will allow the crankbaits better odds at grinding and bouncing off the cover.

Picking the Best Crankbait Rod – Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Crankbait Rods?

Crankbait Rods are a special type of fishing rod that is designed to be more flexible and malleable than the other types of rods on the market. These rods perfectly combine flexibility, power, and action in order to provide optimal performance. These rods do wonders to accentuate your crankbait reel in a way to deliver a near-perfect performance on the water.

What Is the Difference Between Fiberglass and Graphite Rods?

Fiberglass rods were introduced to the market around the 1950s and were unrivaled up until recently when the newer, modern graphite rods entered the market.

Nowadays, you can find all graphite rods, all fiberglass rods, or rods that are made from fiberglass/graphite composite. However, the material with which the rod is made doesn’t matter as much as its length. With that in mind, prioritize the length of the rod over which element it’s made of.

Which Combination of Crankbait Rod and Reel Should You Have?

The last piece in this cranking puzzle is which combination of crankbait rod and reel to have. For this, you’ll need to be looking for reels that have decent line capacity, somewhere between 10-15lb test range should be good enough. However, this isn’t really that important when it comes to shallow running crankbaits as your casts will be shorter in that case.

Another critical thing to keep in mind is selecting the adequate gear ratio. For most of the crankbait fishing, a gear ratio of 6:2:1 will do just fine. The logic is simple, the lower the gear ratio, the easier it will be to get down your bait and keep it still. When the lure reaches the bottom, it’s easier to keep it in that position; hence, maintaining contact with the structure, where most of the fish are.

Verdict

Crankbait rods can be a great addition to your bass-catching arsenal, but first, you need to choose the best crankbait rod for you to start honing your skills. Do not stress out, just determine your needs, read our guide again and again, and you’ll make the right pick!

References:

  • https://www.tacklewarehouse.com/guides/crankbaits.html
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plug_(fishing)
  • Our own experience