Best Crankbait Rod - Our Top 6 Choices For 2023

These are our choices for the best 6 crankbait rods for 2023.

Best crankbait rod
Our top 6 crankbait rods are reviewed here

If you love to fish, then you know that having the best gear is essential to a great day out on the water. And while there are a lot of different factors that go into choosing the right rod, in this guide we're going to focus on the best crankbait rods.

When it comes to fishing with crankbaits, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. First of all, you need to make sure that your rod has the correct action for the type of crankbait you're using. And secondly, you need to make sure that your rod is durable enough to handle the wear and tear that comes with fishing with these lures.

In this guide, we'll take a look at some of the best crankbait rods on the market and help you choose the right one for your needs.

So whether you're new to fishing with crankbaits or you're an experienced angler, this guide will help you choose the best crankbait rod for your needs.

How We Choose

We know that the only thing better than having the best crankbait rod is the peace of mind that comes with it, knowing you don’t have to worry about your gear.

Our team has read through thousands of user reviews and star ratings to come up with a list that makes it easier for you to decide on the best crankbait rods. You don't need to take a bunch of time reading over many many reviews, we’ve done it for you and have come up with the top 6 rods that should be best for you.

There’s a crankbait rod here that’s best for you!  Read below for details and you can check the price on the rod that you like.

So what are the top 6 crankbait rods?

1. KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods

Best Value In A Crankbait Rod

KastKing Perigee II

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Why We Love It

Looking for a great value spinning rod or baitcasting rod that doesn't skimp on quality? Look no further than the KastKing Perigee II.  This versatile rod comes in a one-piece or two-piece design, and you can choose from a light, medium, or heavy power option depending on what you need. The Perigee II features Fuji O-Ring guides, ergonomic graphite reel seats, high-density EVA grips, and a Saf-T Keeper hook holder when you don't want to untie. Plus, the unique twin-tip design means you can use either the medium light or medium heavy tip end depending on your preference.

This company is a pretty good success story. In 2011, some buddies from college with a love of fishing started talking about their passion, and boom, now we have KastKing. It's a newer brand, but they're really making noise.

This works whether you're just getting started in fishing or you're a seasoned angler. The KastKing Perigee II is a great option, and it's a great value at about 75 bucks.

What To Look For

Toray 24-ton carbon matrix KastFlex blank technology
Available in 29 sizes
Fuji O-Ring line guides, tuned ergonomic graphite high-strength reel seats
High-density EVA grips with Saf-T Keeper hooker holder
KastKing PTS (Power Transition System) hybrid spigot joints transition power smoothly
iCAST award winning manufacturer
Best Value – one of the lightest and best rods you'll find under $100.

2. 13 FISHING - Defy Black

Best Value In A Crankbait Rod

13 Fishing Defy Black

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Why We Love It

This high-quality rod is perfect for anglers who really like more of a finesse approach. The Japanese 24 ton blank construction is designed to absorb hard charges and headshakes, while the lengthened tip sections provide supple forgiveness. Whether you're fishing horizontal or vertical presentations, this rod will give you the sensitivity and responsiveness you need.

This is a really good rod for the price. Yes, you can spend more money on other options that we review, but it's great if you're guiding and have people that might be first time fishermen with you.

This company started in 2011 with a focus on the ice fishing market but realized that ice anglers also like open water too.  It's been a bit meteoric for them because of their great products, and in 2019, Rapala purchased the brand and added 13 Fishing to their product line.  They make great products, and that's why this rod makes this list as "Bert's Best".

What To Look For

Japanese 24 Ton Blank Construction
Evolve Stainless Steel Alconite Guides
Evolve Snaggle Tooth Hook Keeper
Custom Evolve Reel Seat
Premium Full Grip Cork Handle
1 Year Limited Warranty

3. St. Croix Mojo Bass

Best High-Performance Crankbait Rod

St. Croix Mojo Bass Crankbait Rod

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Why We Love It

We like this because you can never go wrong with a St Croix rod. They're some of the best fishing rods made today.

The St Croix Mojo Bass Fishing Rod is perfect for anglers who want strength, sensitivity, and hook-setting power. St Croix uses proprietary IPC tooling technology and premium, high-modulus graphite blanks and SCIII carbon to make this rod.   Also, they use what they call Kigan Master Hand 3D guides with slim, strong aluminum-oxide rings and black frames for durability and performance, and for smooth surfaces against your line.  There's no problem with friction.   The 6'8" medium heavy power, fast action rod is a good all-purpose length that works with crankbait and top water techniques.

This is a really good crankbait rod, and a good way to get into the St. Croix family without breaking the bank.  They've come a long way since 1948, when they started making the first bamboo pole with metal connectors so it could be taken apart.  They keep innovating, and they make great rods.

What To Look For

Advanced graphite construction
High-performance and value
High-modulus, high-strain graphite fiber produces sensitive and lightweight rods with great durability
Integrated poly curve tooling provides smoother action and increased strength
Slim-profile ferrules
Kigan Master Hand 3D guides w/ slim, strong aluminum-oxide rings and black frames
Fuji ECS reel seat w/ black hood
Split-grip/premium-grade cork handle
Kigan hook-keeper
Two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish
5-year transferrable warranty

4. Abu Garcia Ike Signature

Mike Iaconelli Designed Crankbait Rod

Abu Garcia Ike Signature

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Why We Love It

The Abu Garcia Ike Signature fishing rod is one of the best crankbait rods on the market.

These rods are designed in collaboration with pro fisherman Mike Iaconelli.   It's a glass blank and Abu says it's the result of over five years of intense research and development.  With their unmistakable looks and specific actions catering to Mike's fishing style, these rods are sure to set you apart.  It's a beautiful rod and does the job as it's described.  The tip is really flexible, and the backbone is stiff, so you won't have problems hauling bass out of the muck.  At the same time, it loads up well for whip action when you're going for that long cast with lighter lures.

It's made with high-quality materials and is designed for anglers of all levels. The rod is also comfortable to use and comes with a great warranty.

What To Look For

HSG construction creates a parabolic action that is ideal for crankbait fishing
Fuji reel seat for greater comfort
Durable stainless-steel guides with Zirconium inserts
Designed by Mike Iaconelli
EVA grips ensure comfort

5. Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod

Best Value In A Crankbait Rod

Ugly Stik Elite Fishing Rod

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Why We Love It

The Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite is the updated version of the classic Ugly Stik.  It's made with 35% more graphite so it's lighter weight, while still maintaining the ruggedness that made the original so popular.

The cork handles are comfortable and make for a firm grip, even when wet, and the Clear Tip design is sensitive to even the lightest bites. The one-piece stainless steel Ugly Tuff guides are practically indestructible and eliminate insert pop-outs.  The exposed blank style reel seats with cushioned stainless-steel hoods are rugged enough to keep your reel in place.

This rod is versatile and can be used for a variety of fish, from trout to catfish. It's a great choice for all-around fishing and is carries Shakespeare's seven-year warranty.

What To Look For

35% more graphite for exceptional strength and feel
Virtually indestructible blank construction
Combination of graphite and fiberglass
Clear tip design for added responsiveness and strength
Cork handles
1-piece stainless steel Ugly Tuff guides

6. Lew's KVD 7'10-1 Med Crankbait Rod

Crankbait Rod Designed By Kevin VanDam

Lew's KVD 7'10" Medium Crankbait Rod

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Why We Love It

There's nothing like fishing with great equipment, and that's exactly what this Lew's KVD Crankbait Rod is. This top-of-the-line rod will help anglers who want to kick things up a notch.

Kevin VanDam helped design these rods with premium IM8 graphite blanks, split-grip EVA handles, and brand new Lew's proprietary full contact reel seats. The increased blank contact and a rear locking reel seat on spinning models give this rod comfort and durability. Plus, the stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts can stand up to braided lines, while the patented "No Foul" hook keeper keeps your line tidy, with line friction reduced to almost zero.

Kevin wants to make sure these are affordable, and they are, even though they're a higher end rod.  And of course, it wouldn't be a KVD rod without Kevin VanDam's signature on the butt cap.

What To Look For

7'10" length
Medium action
1-piece construction
Split grip EVA handles
Full contact proprietary reel seats
Stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts
"No Foul" hook keeper

Best Crankbait Rods FAQs

Fishing for bass can be a lot of fun, but it's hard to know where to start when choosing the right gear.

There are so many different types of fishing rods on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Do you need a rod designed specifically for crankbaits? What about a rod that's sensitive enough to feel the lightest nibble?

We've created a guide with these frequently asked questions to help you choose the best crankbait rod for your needs. This guide will help you understand what to look for when choosing the rod that works for you. With our help, you'll be able to find the perfect fishing rod and start reeling in those big bass in no time!

What rod is best for fishing crankbaits?

KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods
13 Fishing - Defy Black
St. Croix Mojo Bass
Abu Garcia Ike Signature
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod
Lew's KVD 7'10-1 med crankbait casting rod

Are spinning rods good for crankbaits?

Yes.  A medium heavy or medium moderate rod works well for crankbaits.  Check out our review of the Best Spinning Reels For Bass here.

Is a medium heavy rod good for crankbaits?

A medium heavy rod will not provide enough flex if you use light lures, are trying to make the longest cast possible, or anything you want to “load up” when casting. So crankbaits, even if they're ⅜ ounce or so, are best on a medium rod because it's just easier to cast.

What is a good deep diving crankbait rod?

What is the best deep cranking rod? Deep crankbaits are often heavy and feature treble hooks, this means you need a rod to deal with these attributes. The rod many anglers will go with is a 7' to 7'6”, moderate action rod. This moderate action means the rod will bend lower and further.

What gear ratio is best for crankbaits?

Most bass anglers prefer a low gear ratio reel, 5.1:1 thru 5.4:1. A lower fishing gear ratio reel is ideal for big baits that pull a lot, such as deep diving crankbaits. These reels have the highest amount of torque, allowing you to put less effort into retrieving the bait and more energy towards finding the fish.

Is moderate fast good for crankbaits?

Medium heavy fast will work for crankbaits, and many people prefer that rod for shallow running square bills.

What is considered a deep diving crankbait?

A deep diving crankbait typically has a bill of 1” or larger, depending on the overall lure size. The larger the lure, the larger the bill needs to be, as more weight and volume needs to dive. A 2” lure with 1” bill will dive deeper than a 5” lure with the same 1” bill.  Medium crankbaits will run shallower than a deep diving crankbait.

Can you use braided line with crankbaits?

Braided line is a great choice when bass fishing with crankbaits.

What are cranking rods good for?

Most crankbait rods are typically softer than rods used for fishing other types of baits. The parabolic bend helps keep fish hooked on the small treble used by a lot of lipless crankbaits. They also need decent power to rip crankbaits through cover, which triggers strikes.

What does action mean on a crankbait rod?

It's all about where a rod flexes along the blank. Slower rods flex down into the butt section. Moderate action rods flex near the middle of the bank, and a fast action rod will flex mostly near the tip.  Rods using a high modulus graphite blank will be stiffer.

Conclusion On The Best Crankbait Rod

So what's the best crankbait rod?  The answer may vary from person to person but we've tried to provide a variety of best options for you based on thousands of reviews.

A crankbait rod is an important tool for anglers of all experience levels.  If you’re looking to buy your first crankbait rod, or even add one to your current arsenal, we hope this article has helped you make the best decision possible.

All you have to do now is just click the orange button to check the price on the best crankbait rod for you. Thanks for reading!

Cheers To The Outdoors,


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