Best Baitcasting Rods 2018 Reviews & Buyer Guide

Best Baitcasting Rods reviews

Baitcasting rods fall under the general category of casting rods, the latter of which includes spincasting rods and baitcasting rods. They are essentially the same, but the main difference is what type of reel you combine with the rod. Rather than using a spinning reel, baitcasting rods use baitcasting reels, which are becoming increasingly popular as of late.

In the past, baitcasting setups were thought to be more advanced combinations, usually reserved for highly experienced anglers. The main reason for this was due to the finicky nature of baitcasting reels, which were way more susceptible to backlash many years ago. However, with the advancement in magnetic braking systems for the reels, as well as other backlash-preventing mechanisms, these reels have become much more user-friendly, and and their benefits are becoming more recognized by recreational and competitive anglers alike.

In this article, Flannel fishermen and his team provide our top picks for the best baitcasting rods that will combine nicely with a baitcasting reel. These baitcasting rods are not ranked in any particular order, as we try to highlight a few from different price ranges, mainly so you can see what is available across these price ranges, and what you get in each baitcasting rod. Below our reviews of the best baitcasting rods, we will provide more general information about baitcasting rods, and a little bit about the reels as well. For now, to get straight to the point, here are our reviews of the top baitcasting rods.

Best Baitcasting Rods Reviews:-

  • Basic
  • Mid-Range
  • High-End
saltwater Baitcasting Rod under 100


  • Great value
  • Hybrid design
  • SS304 guides
  • Lightweight
  • Medium power - Fast action


  • Lower durability than some higher end baitcasters
  • Flexible, but weak tip. This is likely where it will break first.

General Consensus

The Berkley Cherrywood HD baitcasting rod comes in at a decent price point, one that isn't the absolute cheapest, but slightly above that. The hybrid design allows for maximum sensitivity while still providing a through-handle construction. The SS304 guides are supposedly 20x tougher and 55% lighter than the traditional aluminum oxide guides, and we personally like th ecork handle over EVA foam as well.

These high quality features combined with the specs (fast action, medium power, 7 feet length) make it a great choice for baitcasters who want a good all-around fishing rod without spending much money at all. It's ideal for line in the range of 6-14lbs, which makes it ideal in many different situations.​ You can also get this baitcasting rod in lengths of 5.6 feet, 6 feet, and 6.6 feet, in case you prefer a more specific setup based on your own personal preferences.

Overall, we highly recommend the Berkley Cherrywood baitcasting rod for anyone looking to make the switch from a spinning rod, or at least want to start learning the baitcasting technique, particularly if you go with the 7-feet length. If you use it heavily, don't be surprised if it breaks after a while, especially at the tip. While this is definitely a disadvantage, the cost is low enough that it still offers solid bang-for-your-buck.

Advantages of a Good Baitcasting Rod

To be honest, the main advantages of baitcasting rods simply depend on your personal preference. That being said, there are some common themes of when anglers tend to use them more than spinning rods. Many anglers prefer a baitcasting rod when fighting bigger fish. The fact that the reel sits on top of the rod, as well as the guides, provides more leverage than a spinning setup, so you can fight the fish in a slightly more efficient manner.

Other advantages of baitcasting rods include more precise casts, although some anglers contend that they are just as accurate with spinning setups. One of the reasons casts can be more accurate with a baitcasting setup is because the thumb brake allows you to cut the distance at any point while the lure is still in the air. In fact, this is highly recommended as your reel will be highly susceptible to backlash otherwise. For example, if you're fishing for bass and looking to flip a topwater lure in or around heavy cover, a baitcastin rod and reel will allow you to do this efficiently and with maximum control. Moreover, when casting a lure off a baitcasting rod, the lure will more or less be projected in the direction of the rod, whereas a spinning rod can be more of a 90-degree angle. Again, this last point is personal preference. 

Some anglers say baitcasting rods and reels are better for heavier lures, and we tend to agree; however, not all anglers agree with this point, so this is one that boils down to personal preference. No matter what type of lure  you use, baitcasting rods are typically more sensitive to bites, so you can have a better overall feel for the line. In many instances you will also have a little more feel for the drag, as the drag system on baitcasting reels are quite smooth and the additional feel provided by the baitcasting rod gives you a better overall sense of the drag in general. 

Casting with a Baitcasting Rod

For tips on casting techniques and increasing your casting distance with a baitcaster, check out this informative video by professional angler Jonathon VanDam.