How to Choose a Bait Casting Rod

How to Choose a Bait Casting Rod

This article gives you a detailed overview of everything you need to know about bait casting rods. Choosing the right fishing rod is an uphill task for both professional anglers and the novice alike. There’s a range of bait casting rods on the market and that makes the situation even worse. The rod styles are categorized into two – spinning and bait casting.

Spinning and bait casting rods are tailored to fit respective reels that represent different fishing styles and casting. At the end of this article, you’ll be well conversant with everything there is to know about bait casting. Let’s dive right in!

What is Bait Casting?

The most common misconception in the fishing world is that all rods cast bait. A bait casting rod is designed to fit a bait casting reel. The reels are tailored to mount on the top part of the fishing rod while the guides are aligned at the tip of the blank. Most anglers, especially beginners are guilty of using the bait casting rod upside down. Don’t fret, it’s an honest mistake and is quite normal.

bait casting rod

The design element makes the line transfer pressure down to the guides before turning to the blank especially when battling fish. It doesn’t pull onto the guide just like with spinning reels. This idea works remarkably well when battling heavy and large fish that you can find offshore like tuna and marlin. However, there more to it than just bait casting.

Bait casting reels release fishing line in a tighter pattern as compared to spinning reels. This means that guides can be a bit smaller which in turn makes casting smooth with less drag which is quite the opposite with their spinning counterparts. The angler can use the thumb to release the line slowly when casting then apply pressure to the spool owing to the orientation of the reel at the top.

All these characteristics strike a perfect balance since they work together to give the angler accuracy and precision when casting. It also presents a steeper learning curve for the novice. Most of us can relate to this so well especially if you have dealt with a bird’s nest or rat’s nest when casting.

Sougayilang Fishing Rod


The casting rod category comes in a wide range of styles specially designed for different types of fishing ranging from heavy-duty trolling rigs, professional bass fishing outfits to ultralight fresh water set-ups and anything in between.

How to Choose a Bait Casting Rod

All the fun starts when you know what a bait casting rod is or how to use them. Let’s now look at how to choose a bait casting rod. This article outlines the most important attributes to help narrow down the options when looking for the best bait casting rods on the market.



One of the biggest factors to put into consideration when choosing a bait casting rod is the type of fishing. Most rod and reel manufacturers use this principle as they design and name the fishing rods for different niche applications. This makes choosing the best bait casting rod a breeze. The designation could be best suited for general application like saltwater or fresh water.

Alternatively, it can be something more specific like for instance, a rod tailored for a particular fish species, technique, lure or bait. These categories include pier fishing, trout, walleye, steelhead, snook, bass, offshore, inshore, pitching and flipping, top water and jigging among others.

Lew's Laser SG1 7'0" Medium Heavy Casting Rod


Build Materials

Bait casting and spinning rods are made of two different materials – fiberglass and graphite. The former offers long-lasting durability and endurance and was typically the standard in the industry for the longest time. Currently composite, which is a mixture of both fiberglass and graphite rules the market with graphite giving it a run for their money coming at a close second.

Graphite is relatively stiff and has a high sensitivity to the slightest of bites as compared to fiberglass. Graphite fishing rods offer greater sensitivity and fast action and that is what sets them apart. What’s more, the rods lure remarkably well, cast further, can put leverage on the most powerful fish and detect light strikes effortlessly.

Guide materials are equally important as they play a significant part when it comes to the cost of the fishing rod. They are mostly found in proprietary material, ceramic, titanium and zirconium. Guide material along with the reel seat help determine the suitability of the rod in corrosive environments usually associated with saltwater fishing.


Another important consideration to factor in when choosing a bait casting rod is the handle material as it plays a huge role when it comes to the overall design. Most rod handles are made of EVA foam or cork. The only difference between these two materials is durability. EVA foam is easy to clean and is equally durable as compared to cork. However, most anglers prefer cork owing to its classic feel and look.

Action, Power and Length

The length of the rod is an important attribute to factor in when shopping for a new one as it greatly impacts on the fish fighting ability, accuracy, precision and casting distance. Generally, long rods about 7ft and beyond are best suited for long distance casts but tend to compromise on accuracy. Short rods, on the other hand, are quite accurate in terms of casting, offshore rods and trolling, battling large species and working heavy baits.

Rod usually have power ratings that help determine the size of the bait casting reel that pairs perfectly with the rod and the weight of the line. Most anglers prefer using lighter rods that can withstand the strength of the target species. Rod action, on the other hand, measures the power transmitted to the blank.

Ergonomics and Looks

Comfort is key especially when fishing for an extended period. Ergonomics is important for different casting styles and fishing techniques. And like everything else, the bait casting rod should also look good! Thankfully, they come in different finishes with exquisite touches to make them more appealing.

Okuma Longitude Surf Graphite Rods



The best bait casting rod should give you value for money. It’s always advisable to get a rod that has the elements you need for a better fishing experience.

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