Are Spinning Rods Good for Bass? The Pros and Cons

If you’re thinking about hitting a lake or river to haul in some bass, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make includes what type of rods to use due to the species’ feisty nature. Our spinning rods the answer?

Spinning rods are good for bass if you choose an option that matches the bass’s size you’re targeting. These rods are useful when fishing for bass because they can hold thick lines that can reel in fish weighing up to 10lbs (5kg). For weightier bass, however, most spinning rods will fail.

This article will look at why spinning rods are good for bass, their pros, and cons and how you can choose the perfect options for your fishing trip.

Why Bass?

Bass is one of the most popular groups of game fish species in the US. Smallmouth, largemouth, and spotted bass are the species you’re most likely to find. The first two are more common and are distinguishable from their mouth (as the names imply). When you catch largemouth bass, you’ll see a jawline that extends well beyond its eyes.

They come in a variety of sizes, but the most publicized catches are often very heavy. This has given bass the reputation of a massive, tough-fighting fish that will be hard to catch with conventional gear like spinning rods. While part of the reputation is true (they leap out of the water and are stubborn to reel in), you can still catch average-sized bass with your rod.

The species’ aggressive nature is also an advantage for you as an angler because they are almost certain to attack any bait that comes near them. With the right spinning rod (and fishing line), the bass’s aggressiveness will mean very little in the end.

You can find different bass species in ponds, rivers, lakes, and streams across the country.

What Is a Spinning Rod?

The main difference between a spinning rod and other fishing rod types is the spinning reel that is typically built into it. When combined with thicker lines, you can use spinning reels to catch fish up to 10lbs (5kg) in weight.

Spinning Rod Pros

  • It’s great for new anglers. Many novice anglers will find the learning curve required for alternatives like casting rods a bit steep. On the other hand, spinning rods are easy to understand and don’t need much skill to use. Spinning rods eliminate hangups and backlash, and they have a higher casting accuracy—all of which are micro benefits that newbies will appreciate.
  • It casts lightweight lures further. Spinning rods come with wide guide-loops that ensure maximum line flow. This leads to reduced line friction, making sure you enjoy longer casts. This is why they are preferred when you need to cast bait from around 20-24 feet away. With just a single flick of your hand, you can be sure of getting a nice distance when casting.
  • It’s good for fishing on windy days. Spinning rods’ versatility means that they can handle windy days better than other options—even with lures attached to the line.
  • It’s accurate. Spinning rods don’t just make it easy to cast lines as far as possible; you can rely on them better when it comes to targeting a specific part of the water. Your rope will land very close to your target. The accuracy will be even higher if you use light lures.

Spinning Rod Cons

  • It’s hard to use in difficult water conditions. If you’re fishing in waters filled with lots of tall grass and other such impediments, it may be harder to control your spinning rod or achieve the level of accuracy.
  • It’s hard to reel in heavy fish with it. Even the best spinning rods will start to struggle once the fish that has taken the bait weighs north of 10lbs (5kg). Some bespoke models (often used by pros) can haul in bass weighing double that figure, but most market options will disintegrate under heavy pressure. They are not designed with the torque or strength to handle such sizes.

How to Buy the Best Spinning Rods for Bass Fishing

To improve your chances of success when fishing for bass with a spinning rod, you need to ensure you’ve chosen the right rod for the situation. You don’t want a rod that will disintegrate as soon as you try to pull the bass out of the water or one that will be a pain to grip and control. Here are the top factors you should watch out for:

Rod Size

Most bass fishing rods you’ll find in the market today are generally around 6-7ft in length. You need to ensure you choose an option you’re comfortable with, or you’ll have more difficulty with casting and ruin your chances of success and increase the overall problem.

A good rule of thumb is always to make sure the rod length is in line with your height. If you’re less than 6ft tall, you don’t need the longest bass fishing rods of 7ft. You should use the shorter 6ft—variants to ensure a pleasurable fishing experience.

While on the rod’s size, you should also pay attention to the overall length of the handle. The size should come down to how you’re fishing. If you’re out on a full-size boat or a dock, you can choose a more extended rod handle

 If you’re on a kayak or canoe, however, you should go with the shorter handles. Longer handles give you more leverage, but they require more room for casting, which you won’t get on a canoe or kayak.

Number of Guides

The number of guides on your bass fishing spinning rod (also referred to as the eyes) and the material is made from an important selection factor. The guides are there to deliver signals to the rod, letting you feel the fish tugging on the bait. Guides have metamorphosed over the last few years. They mostly used metals and ceramics, but today, you’ll find materials like alconite, titanium, or silicon carbide in use.

The material used in the guides is important because you want to keep the friction caused by your line to the barest minimum. The modern materials used in guides help maintain a low level of friction between them and your lines. With guides made of good quality material, you won’t have to deal with your line breaking cases in the process of casting or reeling in your bass catch.

If you intend to spend many hours on the boat, you should consider getting a spinning rod with stainless steel guides featuring ceramic inserts. These are the best options for people who go on long fishing trips and spend a lot of hours casting and reeling in their lines.

Rod Action

The rod action is another important feature you should look at when buying a fishing rod for bass. This refers to the part of the rod that gets bent when it’s under pressure from the fish. In most cases, the action is around the tip of the rod. Some rods have the action in the middle, and you can also find others with the movement towards the rod’s rear or handle.

Fast action rods are the most sensitive, and they typically bend near the tip, while medium action rods bend near the middle of the rod. Spinning rods that bend towards the handle are known as slow action variants.

Faster action rods are more sensitive, so you’ll easily notice when a fish has taken the bait. If you must use a slow action rod for your bass fishing, you need to be sure of the water’s typical fish sizes, as it’s almost guaranteed to break when you catch any mid-sized bass. Such rods are best reserved for light fishing.

Rod Power

When discussing a spinning rod’s power, some of the words you’ll hear include heavy, medium-heavy, medium, and light. This refers to the rods lifting power or overall strength. When fishing for bass, you don’t want to use any spinning that has been classified as light power. You will need a heavy power option that can hold heavy lures and be strong enough to pull in any fish you catch and get through lily pads and weed in the water.

So, the higher the rod’s power, the heavier the size of bass fish it can handle. Light spinning rods are a disadvantage from the start because they can only handle lighter lines and lures—which are not useful when fishing for bass. If you use a heavy lure on a light rod, the tip will break off. Similarly, if you’re using a light lure on a heavy rod, you may have issues with casting as well as lower sensitivity.

Overall Rod Construction

The materials used in the making of the spinning rod are crucial. You need to take into consideration the overall construction. Most spinning rods are good for bass fishing and are typically made from composite, fiberglass, and graphite. Fiberglass is a tough material that leads to a heavy rod that isn’t quite as sensitive as the other materials. If you use a fiberglass spinning rod on a long fishing trip, you’ll feel the effects on your arms at the end of the day.

Spinning rods made of graphite, on the other hand, are generally very light and more sensitive. However, they are typically more fragile when compared to other possible options. They’ve been known to get damaged in transit, so if you use one for bass fishing, get ready for it to fall apart when an average-sized bass puts it through its paces.

High-power composite spinning rods are mostly recommended for bass fishing, but the final choice should come down to the size of fish you’re targeting. Although graphite spinning rods are lightweight, they can still catch some decent-sized bass. If you’re targeting bass that’s 10lbs (5kg) in weight or more, however, you can go with fiberglass spinning rods, and also hope that your arm strength is up to par for a long fishing session with one of those!

Reel Seat Material

The reel seat refers to the joint on the rod that holds the reel in place. The seat can be made of different materials, but graphite options tend to be the most durable. Spinning rods with a graphite reel seat will cost you a bit more than options with the seats made from cheaper material. However, the more affordable options will rust faster and break away long before the graphite-based models.

Whatever model you choose, you should make sure the reel’s lockdown is either made of metal or properly reinforced with it. If you choose a spinning rod with plastic lockdowns on the reel seat, they’ll break under pressure.

The Fishing Conditions

You also need to consider where you’d be fishing when choosing a spinning rod for bass. You need to know how much room you’ll have for casting, whether you’ll be standing on land or a kayak in the water, and other such details. As we’ve mentioned above, you need a spinning rod with a bigger handle if you’re fishing on a large boat or land, while a smaller handle will be more comfortable in tight situations.

Brand History

Most people are comfortable with going with the generic, cheap options for most things to save some money. Still, when it comes to necessary fishing gear like spinning rods, it’s essential to stick to brands you can count on—those with a proven history of producing quality rods trusted by anglers worldwide.

Some of the famous names you can go with include Entsport, Penn, Ugly Stik, and St. Croix. Check out a few of the products from these brands and then decide, keeping in mind all the points we’ve raised here. Don’t go with just the cheapest among them either. Make sure that the product you choose aligns perfectly with your specific angling needs. That extra few dollars you’ll pay might be the difference between a successful bass fishing trip and a waste of time.


What’s the Best Spinning Rod Size for Bass Fishing?

The best spinning rods for bass fishing are those that are 6-7 ft long. If you’re tall, you should lean towards the upper limit. Longer rods ensure you can cast further and faster, but shorter rods can give a bit more accuracy as long as they match your height and weight.

What’s the Right Spinning Rod Action to Go With for Bass Fishing?

It would be best if you went with faster action spinning rods when you’re fishing for bass. They offer better sensitivity, and you can set the hook faster. If you’re fishing for largemouth bass, you can get by using fast to moderate-fast action spinning rods. On the other hand, with smallmouth bass, you need a rod that’s as fast as possible.

What’s the Right Spinning Rod Power to Choose for Bass Fishing?

Medium power spinning rods can work when fishing for mid-sized bass. However, if you’re fishing in waters known for larger-sized bass, you should go for heavy-power spinning rods. This is especially true if you’re fishing in deep water. On the other hand, in rivers, you can use lightweight rods as the shallow waters rarely have supersized bass.

What Spinning Rod Material Is Best for Bass?

As we’ve seen above, spinning rods can be made from graphite, fiberglass, and composite. They all have their pros and cons, so the best option to go with will vary from one angler to the other.

If you’re targeting big fish and looking for the most durable material, fiberglass spinning rods are the best. However, they are less sensitive and generally heavier.

If you want your spinning rod to be lighter and very sensitive, you should go with graphite. However, it would be best to exercise caution when using one of these as they can break down easily. Spinning rods made of composite material offer the best of both worlds.

Are Spinning Rods Good for Beginners?

Spinning rods are easier to handle when compared to the alternative. This is why they’re an excellent option for beginners. They are also less prone to entanglements and work well if the fishing technique calls for regular recasting.

What Are the Most Recommended Spinning Rods for Bass Fishing?

Some top spinning rod models that will work great for bass fishing include:

Final Thoughts

Catching bass with a spinning rod might seem daunting, but lots of anglers around the country make light work of it every day. You only need to make sure you choose the best spinning rod for the occasion.

As you’ve seen above, most spinning rods will come under strain when the fish is too big. Therefore, you should consider other alternatives if you’re fishing intending to smash fish weight records in your area.

However, there’s no denying the usefulness of spinning rods in the water for traditional bass fishing. They simplify the process for both experts and beginners alike.

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