Best Bass Fishing Rod and Reel – Top Picks

best bass fishing rod and reel

We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Products or services advertised on this page may be offered by an entity that is affiliated with us. Learn more about our process here.

Besides their mouth-watering white meat, bass are the perfect game fish for freshwater angling. And due to their unyielding nature, they can be rather fun to catch!

However, your “old reliable” rod may not be able to withstand the fighting power of bass, especially if it isn’t a casting rod. Catching bass is truly a sport and entails the proper gear to be successful.

But what if you’re unsure what the best gear is for bass angling? Well, instead of racking your brains about the right choice, a more practical path you can take is to buy a bass fishing combo.

In this article, we’ll go over the top 7 best rod and reel combos for catching bass, answer some of your most asked questions, and give you tips on what to look out for when choosing the right combo.

Larry Stark

Professional fisherman, who loves to review new fishing gadgets.

Top 3 Best Fishing Rod and Reel for Bass

Best Overall

Plusinno Fishing Rod And Reel Combo

Plusinno Fishing Rod And Reel Combo

Best Baitcaster

Abu Garcia Max STX

Abu Garcia Max STX

Best Rod/Reel Combo

Ugly Stik® Elite Baitcast Combo ​

Ugly Stik® Elite Baitcast Combo

Best 7 Rods and Reels for Bass Fishing

1. Plusinno Fishing Rod And Reel Combo – Best Overall Rod and Reel for Bass
2. Abu Garcia Max STX – Best Baitcaster Rod and Reel for Bass
3. Plusinno Fishing Rod And Reel Combo– Best Lightweight Rod and Reel for Bass
4. KastKing Centron Spinning Reel – Best Sensitivity Rod and Reel for Bass
5. KastKing Crixus Fishing Rod and Reel Combo – Best Versatile Rod and Reel for Bass
6. Cadence CC5 Spinning Combo – Best Corrosion-Proof Rod and Reel for Bass
7. Zebco 33 Rod and Reel Combo – Best Budget Rod and Reel for Bass

Our Reviews of the Best Rod and Reel for Bass Fishing

#1 Best Overall - Plusinno Fishing Rod And Reel Combo

Plusinno Fishing Rod And Reel Combo

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Plusinno fishing rod fuses sensitivity, practicality, and elasticity thanks to the high-quality materials in its build. It is perfect for catching both sea and sweetwater species. meaning it can put up a good fight if needed!

  • Length: 5.91 to 8.86 feet
  • Color: Black and brown
  • Material: ‎Stainless steel, fiberglass, aluminum, alloy steel, graphite, carbon fiber.



BUYING ADVICE: After testing out the Plusinno fishing reel combo, we’ve come to the conclusion that it is very practical to store due to the multiple-piece construction. We took the liberty of trying it out in seawater just to confirm that it holds up well and had no trouble reeling in a big catch.

FEATURES: Plusinno bass fishing rod is made out of high-density carbon fiber mixed with fiberglass with an added stainless steel hooded reel seat. This extraordinary combo also has a telescopic fishing rod pole and a graphite rod blank that makes it highly sensitive.  

#2 Best Baitcaster - Abu Garcia Max STX

Abu Garcia Max STX

WHY WE LIKE IT: This high-quality and smooth baitcasting rod and reel combo is an excellent choice for anglers trying to catch largemouth bass. It boasts an ambidextrous design to appease all anglers and works well with the best poppers for bass.

  • Length: 6’6”-7′
  • Color: Multi
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Features: Fast-action rod, MagTrx brake system, machined aluminum spool, custom-designed reel



BUYING ADVICE: After using this rod and reel combo, we were able to up our fishing game and reel in more largemouth bass thanks to the fast-action rod with a built MagTrax brake system. However, the left-handed feature is what made it one of the best baitcasting rods for us.

FEATURES: This baitcaster combo comes with a custom-designed reel seat with a gear ratio of 6:4:1. The strong polymer grip makes it comfortable and easy to handle. With a 24-ton graphite construction and a 5+1 bearing system, this baitcaster is purposely engineered to achieve maximum performance.

#3 Best Lightweight Rod and Reel Combo - Ugly Stik® Elite Baitcast Combo

Ugly Stik® Elite Baitcast Combo ​

WHY WE LIKE IT: If you are looking for something long-term, this baitcaster strikes the perfect balance between strong, sensitive, and lightweight. The graphite composition adds to its light frame, and the clear tip ensures perfect sensitivity. It’s the best rod-reel combo for baitcasting .

  • Length: 6’6″
  • Color: Multi
  • Material: Blend



BUYING ADVICE: The graphite frame, along with its double paddle aluminum handle on the reel, is what makes this combo stick out from the rest of the competition. While using this product, the lightweight construction made it a breeze to hold for long periods of time.

FEATURES: This rod and reel combo is made with fiberglass for strength and 35% more graphite, making it very lightweight. The Ugly Stik rods also feature Ugly tuff one-piece stainless steel guides that give the rod and reel its durability and protection from insert pop-outs.

#4 Best Sensitivity - KastKing Centron Spinning Rod

KastKing Centron Spinning Rod

WHY WE LIKE IT: If you are looking for a well-balanced spinning rod and reel combo, the KastKing Centron was made for you. It is available in many different sizes, all purposely made to catch every type of bass. Pair it with one of the best cold water bass baits, and you’re good to go!

  • Length: 6 to 8 feet
  • Color: Black/blue
  • Material: Stainless steel



BUYING ADVICE: The extreme sensitivity to the smallest of bites is what truly amazed us after testing out this combo! Due to the 2-piece construction, we could easily pop it in the trunk and go about our fishing session.

FEATURES: KastingKing’s spinning rod is made out of Toray IM6 graphite blanks for maximum performance and strong stainless-steel guides with premium O-rings. Along with the EVA handle on the longer rod option, this combo provides you with a comfortable grip for an all-day bass fishing experience.

This spinning rod also comes with a Centron spinning reel, a 5.2:1 or 4.5:1 gear ratio, 9+1 Dur ball bearings, and an aluminum spool.

#5 Best Versatile - KastKing Crixus Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

KastKing Crixus Fishing Rod and Reel Combo ​

WHY WE LIKE IT: The KastKing Crixus fishing combo is very affordable, powerful, and sensitive. So, if you are looking for something with the best value to use in virtually any fishing condition for casting and spinning, make use of this high-quality rod!

  • Length: 5-7.6 feet
  • Color: Black
  • Material: Stainless steel



BUYING ADVICE: This Crixus spinning combo comes with a SuperPolymer comfortable handle and is exceptionally lightweight due to the high-quality materials. After trying out this combo, we highly recommend it to anyone who has a more adventurous spirit for bass fishing in different bodies of water.

FEATURES: Made out of IM6 graphite rod and high-quality stainless steel guide frames with zirconium oxide rings, this is a combo you can count on for maximum performance.

To elevate your bass fishing game, the Crixus is available in 20 different modes that provide unique power and action levels. This makes the KastKing Crixus bass fishing rod and reel combo suitable for catching any type of bass.

#6 Best Corrosion-Proof Reel - Cadence CC5 Spinning Combo

Cadence CC5 Spinning Combo

WHY WE LIKE IT: If bass fishing isn’t the only thing on your mind, then this combo will give you the opportunity to reel in some of the most aggressive and glorious catches. Either way, it’s perfect for catching bass and should always be paired with the best white bass lure.

  • Length: 5.6-7 feet
  • Color: White and Black
  • Material: Carbon Fiber



BUYING ADVICE: The thing that makes this combo different from the others is the corrosion-resistant system and the 8-ball bearings that make the CC5 smooth and valuable. After using this product, we can safely say that this combo isn’t only suitable for bass fishing but also for different gamefish like trout and walleye.

FEATURES: Among the many features of the Cadence, the most notable ones are the corrosion-resistant steel guides, the carbon composite frame, and the ergonomic EVA handles. Paired with the best CS5 spinning reels, all these features make for a productive bass fishing session.

#7 Best Budget - Zebco 33 Rod and Reel Combo

Zebco 33 Rod and Reel Combo

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Zebco 33 is a telescopic rod designed for bass fishing that is perfect for both newbies and trained anglers. If you’re a bass angler, the medium rod power will be the perfect fit due to its potency and ease of use.

  • Length: 5-6 feet
  • Color: Silver/black
  • Material: Blend



BUYING ADVICE: The Zebco 33 is one of the best spinning rods in our collection when taking the price into account. Since we go bass fishing at various spots, we went for the Zebco due to its compact size and ability to collapse to 19 inches. The moderate-fast action made chasing the bass a tad bit easier.

FEATURES: The Zebco 33 is one of the best rod and reel combos for micro-spinning. The spinning reel is made out of all metal gears that have a 4.3:1 gear ratio and an EVA rod handle, making it smooth and comfortable. 

Types Of The Reel


Because of its design, this reel represents a first choice for many anglers. The open-face design makes casting very easy for those just getting into bass fishing and those who have been in the game for a while.

This type of reel has a metal bail on top of the line that helps to lock the line back on the spool. The reel is attached below the rod, making it more practical and balanced.

There are many advantages that come with using this reel, including power. Plus, it is suitable for both fresh and saltwater fishing, and it is more affordable than other reel types. However, make sure that the line you are using is light.


As one of the most difficult reels to control, baitcasting reels deliver great precision. Unlike the spinning reel, baitcasting reels release the line straight.

Experienced anglers know that when you cast out your line while using this type of reel, you must keep the spool in total control by adding a little pressure to avoid tangling the line. It is best to use this type of reel with heavier lines and lures. 

The main advantages of using this reel are power and precision. However, there is a lot of skill involved when learning how to use this type of reel. 

Elements to Keep in Mind When Choosing the Best Bass Fishing Rod and Reel Combo


When you are bass fishing, the rod length and reel are very important. Having a longer rod is very helpful for long casts and better control of the lure. An extended rod length is also very useful if you are trying to catch finicky bass that is easily spooked. 

When going after the finicky bass, do your research on the best worms for bass. Once that’s determined, choose a rod 6 to 8 feet. If you want to rig the worm weedless, look for the best shaky head rod.

Finally, using a larger reel is very helpful because it can hold more line and power if you are going after a largemouth. 


Because it is the part of the rod that you hold on to, having a comfortable handle should be one of your top priorities, especially if you are going on a long bass fishing trip.

An uncomfortable handle causes hand fatigue and a weak grip that can lead to a lack of control of the rod and reel. The two most popular materials used in creating handles are EVA foam and cork.

EVA handles are more lightweight, resistant to water and sun damage, and require little maintenance. Like EVA, cork handles are also comfortable. However, they are used in more luxurious fishing rods and can also mold to your hand shape with time, offering the utmost comfort.

Rod Material

Bass fishing rods are usually made out of two materials: fiberglass and graphite.

Fiberglass is a heavier and more flexible material, making it an ideal option for monster bass fishing. And because fiberglass rods tend to be slow-action rods, they aren’t really suitable for windy weather. Instead, they work best when fishing in heavy cover.

Unlike fiberglass, graphite makes for a lightweight and sensitive bass rod, making it a perfect choice for beginners. Graphite rods are usually fast-action rods that help bass anglers to make more accurate casts.


If you want to fish bass in different locations, portability is one of the most important factors you need to consider when it comes to choosing the best bass fishing rod and reel combo.

Having a good portable rod and reel is useful because portability is: convenient for traveling, versatile for fishing in different conditions, and provides you with accessibility to reach more difficult fishing spots.

Many rods come in 2 pieces, but a lot of them can also be broken down into more. The more pieces a rod is made out of, the more easily it can be stored in confined spaces.


The action of the rod determines where a rod can bend. Fast-action rods bend on the rod tip, while slow-action rods bend on the entire length of the rod.

The action of the rod determines the sensitivity and hook setting options. Slow-casting rods are better if you are after a largemouth bass and if you are using heavier lures.


The power of the rod determines how much the rod can actually bend. It is a deciding factor of the weight of the lure and the mass of the catch.

If you are targeting smallmouth bass, a light-power rod is best. But if you are after a largemouth, you should use a heavy-power rod.

Usually, power and action go hand in hand when choosing a rod, and in order to make the right decision, you need to consider the type and size of the fish you are going after. Fast-action rods with light power are used for fishing with light lures and finesse fishing. A slow-action rod with heavy power is used to target large and heavy fish.


The size and quality of the guides affect the casting distance. If the guides are small, they’ll create more friction and minimize the casting distance. Good quality guides also make sure that the line doesn’t get tangled while it moves through the rod.

Ball Bearings

Ball bearings reduce the friction between moving parts in a reel and provide a longer casting distance. High-quality ball bearings help the reel to operate more smoothly. When making your purchase, go for combos with at least four ball bearings.

Gear Ratio

Gear ratio is important because it determines the retrieve speed of the lure – the higher the ratio, the faster the speed. The gear ratio should always match the size of the lure. If you are using quick-moving lures like crankbaits or spinnerbaits, a higher gear ratio is required.

Drag System

To adjust the resistance on the fishing line, you need a good drag system. The drag system is essential when fighting off a bass without risking a break-off on the line. When choosing your combo, look for a reel that has an easy-set drag system.


The size of the rod affects the casting distance, line capacity, power, action, control, and comfort. So, before determining the size and affecting the way your fishing session will go, think about the fish you want to catch. If you are after a largemouth, you should look for a combo with a long rod and a big reel. 


The weight of the rod and reel affect the sensitivity. For example, light rods and reels are more sensitive. As such, they should be used for smallmouth bass fishing so that you can detect the bite easily.

Retrieval Rate

The retrieval rate is crucial because it determines how quickly anglers can retrieve the lure. A fast retrieve gives anglers a chance to cover more water in a small amount of time, giving them plenty of opportunity to find the bass.

Line Capacity

Having a big line capacity on the reel allows you to spool more line on the reel. It also lets you fish for bass in deeper waters, leading to better coverage.

Real Seat

A well-placed real seat determines the balance and feel of the rod, providing anglers with the needed comfort and control. When choosing a rod and reel combo, you should always try and hold it first to see if the balance feels right.

Frequently asked questions

This all depends on your chosen fishing technique and the size of the bass. A good place to start is a medium-heavy power rod around 6 feet long with a baitcasting reel and a ratio of 6.4:1.

The lures pro bass fishermen use all depend on the water conditions they fish in. Some of the most common lures include jigs, soft plastic worms, swimbaits, crankbaits, and topwater baits.