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best rod and reel combos for bass

Best Bass Fishing Rod and Reel Combos

Bass fishing is a popular sport, but you need the right gear to successfully catch bass. From the best fishing line for bass to bass lures and more, there are plenty of options when it comes to bass fishing. The most important gear you’ll need to go fishing, however, is a fishing rod and reel.

It would be pretty difficult to catch bass, or any fish, without a rod and reel. These fundamental pieces of equipment are complex, and some rods and reels are tailored specifically for bass fishing. Whether you prefer casting gear or spinning gear, find the best bass rod and reel to make your next great catch! These rod and reel combos are perfect for catching bass. 

Best Bass Baitcasting Combos

Casting rods and reels are great for catching bass, and we’ve rounded up the top bass baitcasters so that you can invest in the best equipment for your next fishing trip. Try out these bass baitcasting combos. 

These are the Best Baitcasting Rod and Reel Combos for Bass Fishing: 

  1. Lew’s Mach Crush Speed Spool SLP Combo
  2. Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Baitcast Combo
  3. KastKing Cadet Casting Combo
  4. Abu Garcia Black Max Baitcasting Fishing Rod and Reel
  5. Tailored Tackle Bass Fishing Rod and Reel Baitcasting Combo

Lew’s Mach Crush Speed Spool SLP Combo


lew's mach crush speed spool slp rod and reel combo

A favorite among bass fishermen, Lew’s Mach Crush Speed Spool SLP Combo is a great baitcasting combo for bass. With high-end performance, Lew’s stands up against bigger names in fishing. The Mach Crush Speed Spool SLP Combo is lightweight but powerful. 

The reel features a strong but lightweight, super low-profile graphite frame and side plates. It has a high strength solid brass main gear and crankshaft, and a machined and double anodized aluminum spool. Lew’s Speed Spool Reel has a 10-bearing, zero reverse system for super smooth casting. A dual cast control system has magnetic and centrifugal braking. Its carbon fiber drag system provides up to 20 pounds of drag power. 

Lew’s baitcasting rod is a one-piece IM8 graphite blank with Nano technology and American Tackle Airwave guides. It is fitted with Lew’s exclusive SoftTouch graphite skeletal reel seats. This baitcaster also has Winn Dri-Tac split grips. Lew’s Mach Crush baitcasting rod is comfortable to hold over a long day of fishing.  

This rod and reel combo is smooth casting, and the perfect balance of strength and sensitivity. Lew’s Mach Crush Speed Spool SLP Combo is great for bass baitcasting. 

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Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Baitcast Combo


ugly stik elite baitcast bass rod and reel combo

The Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Baitcast Combo is another killer rod and reel combo for bass fishing. This rod and reel combo is great for bass and other game fish, and all components are high quality and durable. 

The reel on the Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Baitcast Combo is smooth casting, two two ball bearings and one anti-reverse ball bearing. It has a durable, machined aluminum ported spool. With adjustable magnetic cast control, this reel is super smooth and great for targeting bass. It has a drag strength of up to 20 pounds.

The Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Baitcast Rod is a graphite and fiberglass hybrid, with 35% more graphite for a lighter weight than other rods. It has Ugly Tuff stainless steel guides, and an Ugly Stik clear tip for extra strength and ultra-sensitivity to the lightest nibble. The rod is 6’6”, and can be purchased in one piece or two. 

This rod and reel combo is durable and perfectly tuned to catch bass. It’s also extremely affordable, making the Ugly Stik Elite Baitcast Combo a great investment for your next bass fishing trip.

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KastKing Cadet Casting Combo


kastking cadet casting bass rod and reel combo

The KastKing Cadet Casting Combo is another great choice for a bass baitcaster rod and reel. KastKing is known for fishing gear that performs without breaking the bank, and the Cadet Casting Combo is no different. This rod and reel combo was made for bass fishing specifically, making it a great choice for serious bass anglers.

The KastKing Cadet Casting Reel has a high strength graphite frame, 5+1 shielded ball bearings for super smooth casting, and magnetic casting control. This reel makes it easy to learn how to use often complex baitcasting equipment. The aluminum spool and handle have rubber paddles, so it’s comfortable for long days of fishing. 

The rod is made with super light and sensitive IM6 graphite blanks in two pieces for easy storage. It comes in two lengths, either 6’6” or 7’0”, both ideal for bass fishing. The 6’6” rod has a medium power rating and moderate fast action, while the 7’0” has a medium heavy power rating and fast action. Both rods have stainless steel guides and o-rings, and high quality nylon reel seats.

The KastKing Cadet Casting Combo is perfect for catching bass. It was made for the most popular bass fishing techniques for bass jigs, bass spinnerbaits, jerkbaits for bass, bass crankbaits, and more. It is also incredibly priced at only $70. 

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Abu Garcia Black Max Baitcasting Fishing Rod and Reel Combo


abu garcia black max bass baitcasting combo

Abu Garcia is a well-known and trusted fishing brand, so it’s no surprise that their Black Max Baitcasting Rod and Reel combo is one of the best for bass fishing. High quality materials and construction and cutting-edge features make this rod and reel combo a great investment for bass or other gamefish anglers. 

The Abu Garcia Black Max Reel has a sleek, lightweight design with a one piece graphite frame and graphite side plates. It has 4 stainless steel ball bearings and one roller bearing, for smooth casting and effortless retrieve. A Power Disk system allows for smooth, strong drag up to 15 pounds. A MagTrax brake system improves cast range and accuracy.

The Abu Garcia Black Max rod is incredibly sensitive, with an extreme exposure reel seat so you feel every nibble. The 24-ton graphite rod has stainless steel guides with titanium oxide inserts. It comes in lengths of either 6’6” or 7’0”, both ideal for bass fishing. The Abu Garcia Black Max rod is powerful, with a fast action.

This rod and reel combo is high quality and great for bass fishing. The Abu Garcia Black Max Baitcasting Combo is extremely sensitive and strong, so you’ll feel every bite have the strength to reel in big bass. 

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Tailored Tackle Bass Fishing Rod and Reel Baitcasting Combo


tailored tackle bass fishing rod and reel baitcasting combo

The Tailored Tackle Bass Fishing Rod and Reel Baitcasting Combo was designed specifically with bass in mind, so it is ideal for catching bass. It is inexpensive and easy to use, making it a great first baitcaster for those looking to learn how to master this style of fishing.

The Tailored Tackle Bass Reel has seven ball bearings, creating smooth casting and retrieve. It has a speedy 6.3:1 gear ratio, so you can reel in quickly without sacrificing torque. A pop-out spool makes it easy to fix tangles and knots in your line. It has a magnetic breaking system and a maximum drag of up to 17.5 pounds. 

The rod included in the Tailored Tackle Bass Fishing Combo is a 7” long baitcaster with a strong backbone. It is a medium heavy rod with a fast action, perfect for catching bass. This rod can cast long distances accurately, and can handle tough fighting fish. It comes in two pieces for easy storage, and has EVA foam for an ergonomic pistol grip. 

The Tailored Tackle Bass Fishing Rod and Reel Baitcasting Combo is afforable, durable, and made for bass fishing specifically. This is a great beginner baitcaster. 

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Best Bass Spinning Combos

If you prefer spinning gear, there are plenty of options. Spinning technology has improved, making this gear great for catching even the toughest bass. Find the best spinning rod and reel combo for your next outing.

These are the Best Spinning Rod and Reel Combos for Bass Fishing: 

  1. Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
  2. KastKing Centron Spinning Reel Fishing Rod Combos
  3. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Reel and Rod Combo
  4. Pflueger President Spinning Combo
  5. Tailored Tackle Universal Multispecies Rod and Reel Combo

Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combo


Penn battle ii spinning bass fishing rod and reel combo

Penn is a trusted name in fishing, and their Battle II gear is some of the most durable and powerful spinning gear out there. This gear is made for saltwater fishing, so it is incredibly tough, but it can also be used in freshwater with great success. The Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel combo can handle the biggest bass with no problem. 

The Penn Battle II reel is our top spinning reel pick for the best bass reels. It has a full metal body, side plate, and rotor, as well as an aluminum bail wire. It has a powerful drag up to 12 pounds, depending on your reel size. The Penn Battle II Spinning Reel has 5 stainless steel ball bearings plus an anti-reverse bearing. It is braid ready and the spool has line capacity rings.

The Penn Battle II rod is ultra responsive, with great strength and sensitivity. It is constructed from graphite composite blanks, and has aluminum oxide guides. The Penn Battle II rod was made to be the perfect companion to their best-selling reel, so it matches the reel’s strength for fighting tough fish. 

The Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combo comes in a range of sizes, from 2000 to 8000 for the reel and matching 6’6” to 10’ rods. All are fast action, and range from medium light to heavy power. 

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KastKing Centron Spinning Combo


kastking centron bass spinning combo

The KastKing Centron Spinning Combo is another favorite for bass anglers from KastKing. This versatile spinning rod and reel combo is great for a range of fish, including bass. A range of size and strength options help you tailor your choice to your preferred form of bass fishing.

The KastKing Centron Spinning reel is one of our top picks for bass reels, and for good reason. It has 9+1 ball bearings and a powerful triple disc felt drag system for smooth casting and retrieve. The Centron reel has a lightweight graphite frame and a durable aluminum spool. Depending on your size choice, it has a max drag of 14 to 30 pounds. 

The matching Centron rod is made from IM6 carbon fiber blanks. It has stainless steel guides and O-ring inserts, creating a perfectly balanced rod blank. The action ranges from moderate fast to fast based on size, and the power ranges from medium to heavy. 

The KastKing Spinning Combo comes in sizes from 2000 to 5000 for the reel, and 6’0” to 8’0” for the rod. For bass, we recommend the 6’6” or 7’0” rod with the 2000 or 3000 reel, although the larger or smaller sizes can work well depending on your fishing conditions, the size of your target bass, and other factors. 

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Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Reel and Rod Combo


ugly stik gx2 spinning bass fishing reel and rod combo

Another great rod and reel combo from Ugly Stik, the Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Reel and Rod Combo is a great choice for those who prefer spinning gear. This rod and reel combo works well for anglers of all skill levels, and makes a good starter rod and reel for beginners. 

The Ugly Stik GX2 reel has three ball bearings plus an anti-reverse bearing for smooth cast and retrieve and improved hooksets. A machined, double anodized aluminum spool is durable, and comes with an oversized bail wire. The reel has compression bail springs so that the reel lasts, and it is ergonomically designed for comfort. The medium heavy option has a max drag of up to 20 pounds. 

The Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning rod has a graphite and fiberglass construction for lightweight durability. The clear tip adds extra sensitivity and responsiveness, perfect for bass. It has lightweight EVA grips for comfort during long days of fishing. This rod has a medium heavy power and a fast action.

The Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel combo comes in various sizes, but we recommend either the 6’6” or 7’0” medium heavy rods for bass fishing. 

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Pflueger President Spinning Combo


pflueger president bass spinning combo

Pflueger is an acclaimed fishing brand, and their Pflueger President Spinning Combo is some of their best fishing gear. This rod and reel combo is lightweight but durable, and it is perfect for targeting bass.

The Pflueger President Spinning Reel is one of our top bass reel picks, with a lightweight graphite body and rotor. It has 10 corrosion resistant ball bearings, so casting and retrieve will go smoothly. A smooth drag system allows for up to 10 pounds of drag strength. This reel is braid ready, making it especially easy to use. 

The Pflueger President Rod is made of IM8 graphite, so it is strong but sensitive. It has a strong, corrosion resistant guide system with stainless steel guides. The handle is ergonomically designed for comfort, so you can handle long days of fishing. The Pflueger President Spinning Rod has a fast action and ranges from ultra light to medium heavy power. 

The Pflueger President Spinning Combo ranges in size from 20 to 40 for reel size and 4’8” to 7’ rod lengths. For bass, we recommend the size 30 or 40 reel and a rod length of 6’6” or 7’ with medium power. 

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Tailored Tackle Universal Multispecies Rod and Reel Combo

tailored tackle universal multispecies bass rod and reel combo

The Tailored Tackle Universal Multispecies Rod and Reel Combo is a versatile combo, but it works great for bass fishing. It is both saltwater and freshwater safe, so you can catch any species of bass with this rod and reel combo.

The spinning reel has seven ball bearings and an anti-reverse switch, so casting will be super smooth. It has a 10 pound max drag system, perfect for most bass. A 5.2:1 gear ratio allows for fast retrieve with good torque for tough fish. Tailored Tackle’s soft touch reel makes for comfortable fishing, even on longer days. 

The Tailored Tackle Multispecies rod has a medium rod power and fast action, ideal for catching bass. It has a fast action tip for extreme sensitivity. The rod is 6’6” long, so it can cast long distances but can finesse shorter, more accurate casts as well. 

Tailored Tackle Universal Multispecies Rod and Reel Combo is great for those who love bass fishing, but want a versatile rod and reel for other forms of fishing as well. It also works well for catching walleye, trout, and inshore saltwater species. 

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How To Choose a Bass Fishing Rod and Reel

Fishing rods and reels are the most important pieces of fishing gear. Bass fishing is an expansive field of fishing, and depending on your environment, water conditions, and the type of bass you’re targeting, you’ll need more or less strength, distance, and sensitivity from your gear. 

Picking the best rod and reel combo for bass requires some research and knowledge. Consider these factors when choosing a bass rod and reel combo. 

Baitcasting vs. Spinning Gear

First, decide if you want to use casting or spinning gear. Baitcasting gear is harder to learn how to use, but many professionals prefer baitcasters. Spinning gear has grown in popularity, however, and it is easy to master for beginners. 

If you’re using lighter line and tackle or casting shorter distances, spinning gear may be the better choice for you. For finesse fishing, opt for a spinning reel. 

If you’re casting longer distances with heavy tackle or targeting larger bass, use a baitcaster. Baitcasting rods and reels are considered stronger and better for power fishing. 

Either baitcasting or spinning gear can work fantastically for catching bass. Ultimately, you can catch big and small bass with either type of gear as long as you invest in strong, durable, high quality rods and reels like the ones on this list. 

Bass Fishing Rod Factors to Consider

When choosing the best bass fishing rod for you, there are a few things to consider. 

Power: Power is how much strength it takes to bend the rod, and ranges from ultra light to extra heavy. For most bass fishing, aim for a medium, medium heavy, or heavy power fishing rod. If you know you’re targeting extra small or extra large bass, you can opt for a medium light or extra heavy rod. You should also consider the water and weather conditions and how they may affect your rod power. 

Action: Rod action refers to the rod’s ability to flex when pressure is applied.  Action ranges from slow to extra fast. For bass fishing, aim for a fast or extra fast rod action. Bass can be difficult to set hooks in, so a fast, sensitive rod action can help you feel lighter nibbles and set hooks before they get away. 

Length: Rod length can affect power and action. It also affects how long you can cast. If distance is not a factor, you can opt for a shorter rod. For bass fishing, most anglers use rods ranging from 6 to 7 feet, but outside of this range can work well depending on your casting conditions. 

Bass Fishing Reel Factors to Consider

Reels are complicated pieces of equipment. Consider these factors when choosing a bass reel.

Drag Strength: This refers to how much weight the reel can pull in without breaking or losing your catch. Bass average from 2 to 10 pounds, so aim for a reel with at least 10 pounds of max drag strength. If you’re targeting bigger bass, look for a reel with greater drag strength.

Ball Bearings: Ball bearings keep the reel turning smoothly, and they are necessary for casting and retrieve. Quality is more important than quantity, so while extra ball bearings can be helpful, it is more important that they are made of quality materials and are protected from the elements, as dirt or debris can cause friction.

Construction: The materials that make up your reel are very important. Is your reel saltwater safe? Are the ball bearings protected so that the reel doesn’t rust or break with debris? There are different factors to consider with construction. Graphite is better for a lightweight reel, while aluminum is preferred for durability. 

Gear Ratio: Gear ratio is how many times the spool turns with one turn of the handle. A super fast gear ratio will retrieve a catch faster, while lower gear ratios allow for more power and torque on the retrieve. Aim for a mid-range gear ratio for bass; you want to pull them in quickly without sacrificing strength. Anywhere in the 4:1 to 6:1 range is good for bass fishing. 

The Best Rod and Reel Combo for Bass and More

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a rod and reel combo for bass. Pick from our top 10 baitcasting and spinning rods and reels to ensure that you have quality equipment. For all things bass fishing and anything fishing related, check out Fishmasters. Fishmasters has all the info you need to get out on the water.

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