Who does not like bass fishing? It’s probably one of the most adrenaline-packed fishing trips you can go on.
Having the best bass fishing rods and reels makes the trip even more enjoyable. You will not have to worry about mechanical issues with reels or rods breaking under the stress of one of these hard fighting fish.
Top Bass Fishing Rod and Reel Combos
Many bass anglers have their go-to bass fishing setup that always gets the job done. We are going to explore some of these rod and reel setups.
We are going to look at what setup or combo makes the best bass fishing rod and reel rod and reel combo. These setups can be anything from baitcasters to spinning reel setups. Even fly setups!
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Before we look at some of the best bass fishing setups on the market today, we are going to discuss what makes the best bass fishing rod and reel combo.
Let’s find you the best bass fishing rod and reel setup for your needs!
9 Best Bass Fishing Rod and Reel Combos for 2022 Reviewed
Best Bass Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
- LEW'S MACH CRUSH SPEED SPOOL COMBO: Baitcast reel features a...
- Zero reverse: Premium 10-bearing system with double-shielded...
- MULTI-SETTING BRAKE (MSB): Externally-adjustable dual cast...
Built with durability in mind. The Lew’s Mach Crush Speed Spool SLP baitcasting rod and reel is ready to provide anglers with smooth and reliable fish-fighting power.
Like many of Lew’s bass fishing rod and reel combos, this one comes packed with features that are bound to satisfy any angler who’s looking for a new baitcasting combo.
In fact, this combo is so impressive that it was voted the best rod and reel combo at ICAST 2017 in Orlando, Florida!
Each with a machined aluminum spool and strong IM8 graphite blank. this new line of Lew’s baitcasting combos is strong, sturdy, and lightweight.
The reel features a heavy-duty carbon-fiber drag system. Adjustable Multi-Setting Brake (MSB) dual cast control system, and a bowed aluminum 95mm. handle with oversized Winn Dri-Tac knobs.
The rod features a strong, one-piece graphite blank with split grip handles and American Tackle Airwave guides. This particular Lew’s baitcasting rod and reel combo was designed for right-handed users. The reel features a 7.5:1 gear ratio with a 20 lb. max drag.
In order to achieve such a smooth retrieve, this reel uses 9 double-shielded stainless steel ball bearings. And a zero-reverse, one-way clutch bearing. Designed as a single piece, the combo’s rod measures 7′ long and is rated for medium-heavy power.
- Very easy to cast.
- Rarely backlashes.
- The grips on the reel are very easy to handle.
- The rod is very sensitive and can feel every bump.
Best Bass Spinning Rod and Reel Combo
The KastKing Sharky III spinning rod and reel combo is an exceptional value and a true performance combo! These rods are designed for serious anglers looking for an incredible spinning rod and one of our best reels ever. Packaged together to make it so easy to go fishing today.
They start with a Toray IM7 rod blank in 6 lengths and actions. You are certain to find the perfect rod for how you love to fish. From 6’6” M action that is great for bass, trout or even panfish all the way to an incredible 9’ rod designed for steelhead and light salmon fishing.
There’s even 7’ and 7’6” rods that will handle any catfish that swims and all of these combos are equally at home in both fresh and saltwater.
To complete the spinning rod and reel combo we have included the Sharky III reel. This incredibly smooth, 5.2:1 gear ratio, 10+1 ball bearing reel has a graphite frame and rotor. An aluminum spool and handle and has a powerful triple disc carbon drag.
This long and easy casting reel will quickly become your favorite reel and will be perfectly matched to the rod length and weight.
All rods are 2 piece designs to make travel easy and utilize premium EVA handles and fighting butt for all-day comfort.
You’ll love the rods and as always, you’ll be protected by KastKing’s incredible Total Peace of Mind policy.
- It can be used for both salt and freshwater.
- Eyelets are very scratch and wear-resistant.
- The rod is extremely durable as well as sensitive.
Best Lightweight Option
- What Makes the CC5: The Cadence CC5 is built from 24-ton...
- Quality Materials: The CC5 combo series from Cadence offers...
- A Rod for All: The CC5 series of combos include our CS5...
The Cadence CC5 is built from 24-ton graphite.
- Features corrosion-resistant stainless steel guides & inserts.
- A strong carbon composite frame & side plates.
- A lightweight & comfortable oversized ergonomic EVA handle knob.
- A reliable stainless steel main shaft.
- An aluminum pinion gear.
The CC5 series of combos include our CS5 spinning reel and our CC5 spinning rod. In a variety of sizes and actions to meet the needs of most any fishing situation.
The CC5 combo series from Cadence offers quality components and materials that surpass the competition. The blanks are constructed from 24-ton carbon and come in a variety of lengths, actions and power ratings to accommodate a variety of fishing.
The carbon composite frame and side plates make the CC5 strong and corrosion-resistant. The 8 ball bearings + 1 instant anti-reverse bearing help make the CC5 smooth and resistance-free.
The CC5 series of combos include our CS5 spinning reel and our CC5 spinning rod in a variety of sizes and actions. Making the CC5 a great spinning rod and reel combo to have in your collection.
Ideal for gamefish including freshwater fish like bass, walleye, and trout. As well as popular inshore species like redfish, speckled trout and flounder with a rinse after fishing.
- The reel is extremely smooth and the line wraps around snuggly.
- The reel is very ergonomically designed.
- The combo is very lightweight.
- High quality for the price.
Best Bass Fishing Casting Rod
- PREMIUM SCII CARBON CONSTRUCTION: High quality SCII carbon...
- SPLIT-GRIP/PREMIUM-GRADE CORK HANDLE: Comfortable cork...
- FEATURES: Sea Guide Atlas Performance SS304 with black...
This might just be the best bass fishing rod under $100. St. Croix has been making rods and pushing the envelope for years and they sure did impress us with this rod. It’s a sturdy yet sensitive rod that pairs well with a nice quality baitcasting reel.
Sure there are better rods than this one, but it all comes down to if you’re looking for a good one-piece rod with plenty of life that will surely bring you big bass and even the occasional pike if they’re in the neighborhood. This rod is worth a look!
Most Sensitive Rod
- ULTRA-LIGHT JAPANESE TORAY CARBON - These high-performance...
- PREMIUM COMPONENTS - The blank-through reel seats offer...
- ERGONOMICALLY DESIGNED - Premium Portuguese cork grips...
This could easily replace the number three option on our list because of the Japanese Toray Graphite. This is a super sensitive yet lightweight rod that is a near steal for the price.
Couple that with titanium guides with Zirconium rings and you’re talking a serious bass stick.
A lot of fishermen have been using Enigma Phenom Titaniums since generation one. If that’s you, then it’s worth a look at what they’ve done with all these upgrades. It’s sure to add a bit more fun on your next bass outing.
Best Tournament Ready Rod
- ULTRA-LIGHT JAPANESE TORAY CARBON - These high-performance...
- PREMIUM COMPONENTS - The blank-through reel seats offer...
- ERGONOMICALLY DESIGNED - Premium Portuguese cork grips...
You don’t have to enter a bass tournament to enjoy this tournament ready rod. This rod is similar to our number four selection and comes with the Japanese Toray carbon.
Enigma rods are trusted by bass professionals like Tim Fredericks, Jesse Tacoronte, Shane Lineberger, and John Murray.
It’s not uncommon to see pictures on the web of guys pulling out their personal bests with these rods. They have plenty of backbone and get the job done. If you haven’t thrown one, now’s your chance.
Best Budget Option
- SENSITIVE & STRONG KastKing KastFlex fishing rod blanks. All...
- FUJI FISHING LINE GUIDES for superior casting distance, and...
- ONE PIECE bass technique lengths & actions are designed with...
We’re always a fan of what KastKing has been able to deliver for an affordable price. This rod is no different and should stand up to whatever bass you throw at it. Whether you’re throwing the Texas Rig, Carolina Rig, or your favorite lures, this rod is the real deal.
It’s hard to find another rod that can give you the level of control for the price.
Most Durable Option
- Rod features 35% more graphite for lighter weight
- Ugly tuff one-piece stainless steel guides
- Ugly stik clear tip delivers extra strength and is sensitive...
Ugly Stik GX2 is the next generation of Ugly Stik. It combines the heritage and tradition of the original while maintaining the strength and durability Ugly Stik are known for. Ugly Stik GX2 rods offer better balance for a lighter feel.
Improved components, and eye-catching cosmetics for a more modern look versus the previous generation. These combos feature Ugly Tech construction, Ugly Tuff guides, and the Ugly Stik Clear Tip design.
- The Ugly Stik rod is almost indestructible.
- The line guides in the rod never get lost or chip.
- The customer service is top-notch.
- The rod and reel combo has a 7 year no questions asked warranty.
Best Beginner Bass Fly Fishing Combo
- FLY ROD: 7 weight, 11', 4 Piece, medium-fast action, IM8...
- ROD CASE: 38.5” hard tube rod case with, reel pouch and...
- FLY REEL: 112mm diameter spool, die cast aluminum,...
Wild Water’s 7 Weight Complete Switch Rod Starter Package comes with everything you need to hook into a largemouth bass, pike or steelhead.
Just like with our Complete Starter Packages, you will get a fantastic fly rod (this rod is an 11′, 4 piece fly rod) that comes with a LIFETIME WARRANTY. A powerful center disc drag, diecast aluminum large arbor reel pre-loaded with backing.
A weight forward 400 Grain dual color switch line and a 12′ 0X tapered leader, a rod sock, a rod case, a fly box with flies Green From Popper, Bead Head Black Wooly Bugger, and Red and White Deceiver) and a spare 12′ 0X leader.
- Model: AX7-110-4
- Rod: 11′, 4 Piece Rod
- Rod Action: Slow
- Case Length: 34.”
- Reel: Wild Water’s Large Arbor Die Cast Aluminum reel.
- Backing: 30#; Line: 400 Grain, dual-color switch line;
- Leader: 12′ 0X Tapered Monofilament (one leader loaded on a reel and one spare leader).
- Fly Box: Wild Water’s Small Fly Box
- Rod Case: Wild Water’s Starter Case to hold the rod, reel and fly box.
The reel in this package will arrive set up for LEFT hand retrieve but can easily be changed to right hand retrieve if desired.
- It comes with a complete gear kit.
- It is pre-spooled with a 400-grain line.
- It has nice castability.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Bass Fishing Reel and Rod
Having a proper fishing rod is one of the most important things you need to successfully catch fish in the water. Using the right pole can help you land a cast and work your bait the way you intend.
These are things to look at when choosing a rod and a reel:
Choosing a Bass Fishing Reel
This is responsible for pressure application on a hooked fish. Broken lines and lost fish is a high risk if the drag is not high quality and smooth.
Ball bearings or bushings are placed within the body of spinning for steadiness, stability, and support. The higher the number of the bearings, the smoother the reel will perform.
A fishing reel is a cylindrical device attached to a fishing rod for hand and stowing lines. The construction depends on the type of reel you are going to use.
Baitcast reels have a “level wind” feature while spinning reels have fixed on the shaft and do not revolve.
The number of times the bail circles around a spool is called a gear ratio. A higher number indicates quicker retrieval.
Choosing a Bass Fishing Rod
Power is the casting rod’s aptitude to withstand pressure. It’s how much it takes to actually bend the fishing pole.
Light or ultra-light sticks cater to smaller fish species as they have more bend and easily detect a bite. Moderate power ones are for reactive-based baits like crankbaits. Heavier power bait rods, in the meantime, have less bend.
Rods are typically made out of graphite, fiberglass, or composite, a mixture of the two. These materials can greatly impact the performance, so choosing the right one will greatly affect your fishing success.
Line guides on bass rods are featured in metal frames and a ceramic ring where the line glides on.
Silicon Carbide or SiC offers a super smooth surface for less friction during cast and retrieval. It means that you can have a longer cast and less heat.
Action dictates how much and where your fishing rod will bend once an angler puts pressure on the tip. Fast action casting rods arc only in the top third or at the uppermost part.
Medium action rods will twist in the top half of the pole. Slow or light action is bendable in the lower third of the rod or at the butt.
Fishing rods can range from 4ft to 14ft. So anglers must match their rod to the type of fishing they are going to do. It means longer rods equal to longer cast while shorter rods equal to limited casts.
Handles and Reel Seats
The rod handle is the one that you have contact with the most. They usually come in two basic materials, which are cork or EVA foam. The handles have two shapes:
- The pistol grip has a short, contoured handle with a hook for the index finger.
- The trigger stick has a longer handle, and it lets you cast with both hands. Reel seats simply hold the reel on the fishing rod.
Some anglers favor a reel seat that will allow them to feel blank with their finger when holding the rod and reel.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
Strength is one of the most important features of a bass fishing rod and reel combo. They have to be tough to hold up to larger bass that does not wear down easily.
Sensitivity in the pole is another feature that can be quite important. Obviously, if you get a strike on top of the water, you can visually see it.
When you have a bass “bumping” your lure underwater, you need to be able to feel it. This can prepare you for the impending hookset.
A good drag on the reel is another feature that must be taken into consideration. Improper drag can mean too much line out or a snapped line.
Durability really should also be near the top of the list of things to consider when purchasing the best bass fishing rod and reel combo.
Number of ball bearings
The number of ball bearings is also important in order to ensure your reel retrieves your line smoothly. With and without the added stress from a ten-pounder on your line!
The retrieve rate a reel has is very important and for the more experienced anglers is a deciding factor on their choice of reel to pair with a rod.
You want a rod and reel combo that will hold up over time. It can almost be considered an investment. For this reason, it is a good idea to spend a little extra to get the best the manufacturers have to offer.
It will pay off in the long run. You can easily spend more on an inferior setup that you’ll have to replace yearly.
Baitcasting vs Spinning
The most common rod and reel combo you can get for bass are simply two different types of reels: Baitcasting and Spinning.
Although fly rods are used by some, the weight on the rods has to be on the higher spectrum in order to handle bass.
Baitcasting for Bass
Baitcasting reels are used by the masses in order to cast baits accurately into the tightest of places. As well as the ease of casting to the other side of the lake with a flick of the wrist.
Baitcasting reels can cast lures from ⅛ oz all the way up to 2-3 oz with the turn of the spool tensioner.
Baitcasters generally have higher line retrieves. A faster retrieve gives a user the opportunity to cover more water. And find the certain spots where fish may lay in wait for a fleeing prey fish or other edible creature.
Where Baitcasters Excel
Baitcasters can punch certain baits in holes, in weed beds, and small crevices in rocks. They can also lay down structures due to the high adjustability of the spool. A small twitch can send a bait 20 yards or more.
With practice, an angler can put a lead weight in a coffee cup from thirty yards away with ease.
The issues with Baitcasters are that the lighter lures will not cast as easily in my experience than the heavier ones.
Most soft plastic lures will cast with ease with a baitcaster. But the lighter topwater lures and smaller finesse type baits are harder to cast.
Not having enough weight in the lure can result in a backlash due to the spool over-spinning and line wrapping itself upon the spool.
This can lead to a bad day on the water.
Spinning for Bass
Spinning rods are used by many for a finesse type fishing as well as an intermediate setup for the aspiring bass angler. With a spinning reel, you do not have to worry about a backlash as much as a baitcaster.
With the right rod and reel combo setup, you can cast baits as small as 1/64 oz up to baits as large as 5-6 oz if not bigger.
Spinning reels tend to have a slower retrieve for the more finesse baits so you can get as much action out of your baits as possible.
The slower retrieve is good for anglers that do not have as much experience. Or can not vary their retrieve speed according to the specific action of the bait being thrown.
Downsides of Spinning Reels
The main downside with spinning reels is the simple inaccuracy most anglers have with them. When you are fishing with spinning rods, you cast in the general area of where you want.
Sometimes your bait hits where you want sometimes it hits to the side or in front of where you wanted. It takes tons of patience and practice to be accurate with a spinning reel.
You can not accuracy stop the bait with your thumb, you have to close the spool when you feel like it has gone far enough.
Fly Fishing for Bass
Fly rods are a breed of their own when it comes to bass fishing. Not a lot of people use fly rods to bass fish, but fly rods are for the epitome of finesse when it comes to fishing.
The good thing about using fly reels is the ability to catch the most finicky bass that will not strike anything else. The best weight fly rods to use for bass fishing are 7-9.
Anything smaller and you could break your investment and any larger and you could be catching what feels like minnows on a deep-sea rod.
The issue with fly rods is that it takes space to fish due to the line travel in the front and behind you. And if you are a bank fisherman it can be difficult to catch bass, where for example, you can simply underhand cast with a spinning reel or baitcasting reel.
What Are Some of the Best Bass Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Made Of?
The best bass rods are made of graphite and glass combined in a blank and then interlaced with carbon fiber for strength and total durability.
Porcelain eyelets are preferred to keep your line from fraying. The cheaper plastic eyelets tend to chip and cause your line to snap when casting.
The best bass reels, on the other hand, are created from corrosion-resistant metal with stainless steel internals and shielded bearings.
The shielded bearings keep the grease in and the dirt out and take the hassle out of keeping up and cleaning your reel every time you fish.
Q: What is the most expensive fishing rod?
A: Oyster legacy series bamboo at $12,000.00.
Q: What is the best fishing rod and reel combo for beginners?
A: KastKing combo spinning rod and reel fishing kit comes in as most recommended.
Q: Best fishing rod for the money?
A: The Shakespeare Ugly Stik Tiger Jigging spinning rod comes in as most recommended for 2018.
Q: Best bass fishing setup?
A: The Abu Garcia Black Max Baitcaster comes in as best for 2018.
Q: Best baitcasting rods for bass?
A: Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 casting rod.
Q: How to store fishing rods?
A: Store your rod on a rod rack that can be mounted vertically or horizontally.
Loosen the drag before storing your rod and reel combo so the line does not break or pull on the rod.
Remove the fishing line from your rod and reel combo before storage if you have been fishing in saltwater.
When it comes to the bass fishing rod and reel combo, quality and dependability are kings. However, it ultimately depends on what the bass fisherman is used to and comfortable using.
Someone once said,
“You can have five bass fishermen on the same lake and each will have a different setup.”
I have personally seen this time and again. I have seen large bass caught on rigs that I never would have thought would bring them in.
On the other hand, I have seen smaller bass break poles and strip gears in reels. So it really does boil down to quality. (And probably a little bit of luck).
The Anglers Behind This Article: