What’s the Best Crankbait Rod?
As you get deeper into bass fishing and start experimenting with different lures and techniques, you realize a single rod won't cover all your bases. This is especially true when fishing crankbaits. In this article, we will feature our Top 3 Picks for the Best Crankbait Rods current on the market.
While you can fish crankbaits with any old rod, using a rod that's built specifically for the task has some huge benefits. To show you what we mean, we'll take a look at the qualities of a good crankbait rod and why you should consider adding one to your arsenal. You can find this information immediately below our Top 3 Picks, and hopefully this information will help you to make your own informed decision about what may be best for you, or maybe you'll have more confidence in our picks. Either way, the end goal is to help you land more beautiful trophies!
3 Best Crankbait Rods
1. Fenwick Elite Tech Bass Cranking Rod
This rod is found in Fenwick's mid-range line of bass casting rods and checks all the boxes for a superb crankbait rod. It's made of graphite and has a true moderate action flexing deep into the butt section while still having plenty of backbone to horse in a rowdy bass.
One feature that sets the Fenwick Elite apart from the rest is its hidden reel-seat grip that conceals the threads used to secure the reel for a more comfortable grip.
This rod is available in several different actions, powers, and lengths, but for cranking you'll want either the ETB72MH-MC or ETB78MH-MC models.
2. St. Croix Mojo Bass Crankster Series
If you're searching for a high-performing fiberglass cranking rod, it's hard to beat the St. Croix Mojo Bass Crankster. Within the series, there are three crankbait-specific models, each designed to cover the full spectrum of crankbait sizes and styles.
There's the Target Crankster, clocking in at 6'10" with medium power for more accurate, close-range cranking. There's the Crankster at 7'4" with medium power. And finally, there's the Big Crankster, a medium-heavy rod that's 7'8" long, perfect for cranking big squarebills and other deep-diving crankbaits.
St. Croix is known for producing extremely high-quality rods at a great value, and the Mojo bass rods definitely lives up to that reputation. For under $150, these rods are some of the most impressive crankbait rods on the market.
3. Abu Garcia Veritas
If you're looking for a more budget-friendly crankbait rod, check out the Abu Garcia Veritas, specifically the VTSC71-6 model. It's a graphite rod with all the crankbait-friendly features we touched on before and has a slick-looking white finish that will look great on the bow of your bass boat.
Moderate Action for Better Feel and Lure Presentation
The vast majority of bass rods on the market have either fast or extra-fast actions. While these stiff rods work great for flipping jigs and pulling spinnerbaits, they aren't ideal for fishing crankbaits.
Instead, a rod with moderate action is much better suited for crankbait fishing. Rod action terminology gets a little confusing but think of a moderate action rod as one that flexes a lot from tip to butt. Moderate action rods are typically described as slower, softer, or more flexible than fast action rods.
The increased flexibility of a moderate action rod provides three main benefits when fishing crankbaits:
1. When you're fishing tight to cover and deflecting your crankbait off of logs and stumps, the extra cushion of the softer rod helps the lure bounce off structure more easily reducing the risk of getting snagged.
2. The softer rod allows you to make a firm hookset without pulling the hook out of the fish's mouth which happens frequently with stiffer rods.
3. A moderate action rod loads and stores more energy during the cast, making it easy to throw even the smallest crankbaits a considerable distance. In other words, it acts like a slingshot.
Medium or Heavy Power
Whereas action describes the flex of a rod, power describes what anglers like to call the "backbone" or the "muscle" of a rod.
Most crankbait-specific rods on the market have either medium or medium-heavy power. Which you choose depends on the size of crankbait and how deep you want to fish it.
For smaller and shallower running crankbaits, medium power is plenty, but if you want to throw the big boys to get down 10, 15, or even 20 feet deep, a rod with medium-heavy power is a better choice.
If you want the most versatility and want to fish any style of crankbait, going with a medium-heavy power rod is better for all-purpose cranking, though you'll lose a little finesse when fishing smaller baits.
Choose Rod Length Based on Lure Size and Casting Distance
Similar to power, crankbait rod length selection should be based on lure size, and perhaps more importantly, desired casting distance.
The general rule of thumb is the longer the rod, the further it'll cast. However, the longer a rod gets, the less accurate it is. So like most things in fishing, there's a trade-off.
Here's a breakdown of the most common crankbait rod lengths and when to use each:
Graphite, Fiberglass, or Composite?
Like most modern fishing rods, many crankbait rods are made of graphite and are extremely lightweight and strong.
You'll also find crankbait rods made of fiberglass. While fiberglass rods are slightly heavier, the material is more conducive to the slower moderate action desired in a crankbait rod.
Some of the best crankbait rods on the market, such as the Quantum KVD Cranking Rod, are made of a composite of both graphite and fiberglass giving you the best of both worlds.
While each material certainly has its pros and cons, keep in mind that the rod material you choose is mostly a personal preference. Graphite and fiberglass rods feel considerably different to fish and you should give both a shot to see which you like better. As long as you choose a rod with the right action and power, you'll be in good shape.