Best Baitcasting Rods For The Money – 2021 Reviews & Buying Guide

The Best Baitcasting Rods for Money

You need a baitcasting rod that has a lot of backbone and can protect your line from damage. It should also be able to throw large lures on the longest lines possible. This is true whether you are hunting for monster walleyes, catfish, or lake trout.

Baitcasting rods that are designed to withstand the brutal fights these predators offer can be very expensive. Most of us cannot afford to spend more than $500. We’ve reviewed some of our favorite rods and explained why we chose them.

The list includes everything from extremely affordable to moderately expensive casting rods. We believe you will find the best casting rods dollar for dollar.

  • Dobyns Rods 734C FH Champions Series –Our Choice!
  • Cadence CR7B
  • Daiwa Tatula TXT731MHFB
  • There are no products.
  • St. Croix Mojo
  • Ugly Stik GX2

Best BaitCasting Rods Reviewed

Dobyns Rods 734C FH Champions SeriesOur Choice!

Dobyns Rods 734C FH Champion Series Heavy Fast Casting Rod, 7'3', Black/Blue

Length 7’3″
Power/Action Heavy/Fast
Material Graphite
Handle: Cork/casting
Guides 10 + tip/Zero Tangle Knit with SiC Inserts
Size of the lure: 1/4 – 1 ounce
Line weight: 10-20 lb

Dobyns rods are a well-known brand to bass anglers. They have proven their reliability season after season, tournament after tournament. The 734 from Dobyns is a remarkable addition to our reviews.

The 734 is 7’3″ in length and has a graphite blank that provides both strength and sensitivity. This rod is powerful enough to cast jigs and crankbaits as well as jerkbaits and worms. This is the best all-rounder rod I have ever seen. If you only have one rod, it would be a great choice.

This rod can throw 1/4 ounce jigs, despite being rated for heavy lures. This tells you a lot more about the tip sensitivity and quality of the blank.

Your line will stay cool and free from fraying with 11 Kigan guides that have silicone carbide inserts. This rod will be your first quality rod. You’ll notice a decrease in break-offs during hard fights if you use it.

The Dobyns 734’s cork handle is one of my favorites. A continuous handle is what I prefer on my rods. If you like this, it’s a great choice. This design is perfect for big fish.


  • Amazing, just-in-all blank
  • Excellent guides
  • Excellent handle
  • Extremely sensitive
  • Use a variety lures and techniques to attract them.

Cons?? ??

Cadence CR7B

Cadence CR7B Baitcasting Rods Fast Action Fishing Rods Super Lightweight Sensitive Portable Casting Rods 40 Ton Carbon Fuji Reel Seat Stainless Steel Guides with SiC Inserts Baitcast Rods(CR7-761B-HF)

MaterialCarbon Fiber
Handle:Split EVA foam/casting
Guides7+ tip/Stainless steel with SiC inserts
Size of the lure:1/4 to 3/4 ounce
Line weight:12-20 lb

A good rod can cost a lot and quickly become expensive. While it is true that you get what your pay for, not everyone can afford to spend a few hundred on a rod. It’s important for budget-minded anglers to look for quality that is affordable.

Cadence CR7 rods offer features you would expect from a higher-priced model. These rods are made from carbon fiber, not graphite. We’re impressed with the components of the Cadence CR7 series.

If you are looking for an all-purpose rod, the 7′ multi-purpose is a good place to start. This rod is medium-heavy and has enough backbone to handle large fish. It also features a tip with excellent strike detection and lure action.

There are certain compromises that must be made to reduce costs. This is evident in the guide and handle.

The CR7 uses stainless guides with silicon carbide inserts. These rods are an excellent choice but they don’t compete with more expensive rods. We’d love to see more of these rods, but there are only eight.

The handle of the CR7 is a split EVA foam design. It’s not flashy or fancy, but it’s sufficient comfortable to be a pleasant surprise.

Blank quality is where the rod shines.


  • Amazing, just-in-all blank
  • Extremely sensitive
  • Use a variety lures and techniques to attract them.
  • It’s affordable


  • At this price point, corners must be cut
  • OK guides
  • OK

Daiwa Tatula TXT731MHFB

Guides9/Fuji aluminum oxide
Size of the lure:1/4 – 1 ounce
Line weight:10-20 lb

Fishing is a hobby, so you should know Daiwa’s name. Their Tatula series rods will add serious value to your fishing gear that won’t break the bank.

The Tatula 7’3″ medium-heavy casting rod with fast action is our favorite. This versatile rod, similar to the Dobyns 734 is great for a wide range of fishing techniques. It is extremely sensitive and will allow you to get the best action from your lures, whether you are jigging or topwater.

Excellent strike detection is also possible.

A graphite blank is used in the Tatula series. It’s light-weight and stiff, making it an ideal combination. This blank has enough backbone to muscling a bass from cover. With the drag properly set on a quality reel, it would make me feel confident fighting a large pike.

As you would expect from Fuji components, the guide quality is excellent. We would like to see a few more guides, just as we did with the St. Croix. But that’s just a quibble.

This rod’s long, continuous cork handle is amazing. If you like Dobyns, the Tatula should be a consideration. This length is especially appreciated when you are dealing with large fish.

This rod is a great all-rounder for freshwater fishing.


  • Amazing, completely blank
  • Excellent guides
  • Excellent handle
  • Extremely sensitive
  • Use a variety lures and techniques to attract them.


  • Dobyns has two guides less

Lew’s Speed Stick casting tip

Handle:Split Dri-Tac handles made by Winn grip/casting
Guides8 + tip/American Tackle Guides for Microwaves
Size of the lure:1/4 – 7/8 ounces
Line weight:12-25 lb

Lew’s Speed Stick casting tip, such as the Cadence CR7 offers a lot for your money. It may actually be the best value for money you will find. We are impressed by the amazing handles and the blank.

The 7′ medium-heavy rod is recommended. The rod is strong enough to handle a large bass fighting or turning a pike away from cover. It also has a tip that will help you use your lures. Although it’s not as good as some of the top rods on the list, we can’t complain about a rod for half the price!

The American Tackle Microwave guides are incredibly smooth. These guides are a little small so you will need to be careful with your leader knots. We would like to see a few more, especially if we are after a really large pike or muskie.

The Speed Stick’s handle is truly distinctive. No matter what Winn’s Dri-Tac material is, it’s soft, grippy and very attractive. This rod’s split design allows for all-day comfort, regardless of how big or small your hands are.


  • Amazing, just-in-all blank
  • Extremely sensitive
  • Use a variety lures and techniques to attract them.
  • Amazing handle
  • It’s affordable


  • Leaders may have problems when the guides are small.

St. Croix Mojo

St. Croix Rods Mojo Bass Casting Rod

Length 7’4″
Power/Action Heavy/Fast
Material Graphite
Handle: Split cork/casting
Guides 8 + tip/Kigan master Hand 3D guides with aluminum dioxide inserts
Size of the lure: 3/8 to 1 1/2 ounces
Line weight: 14-25 lb

St. Croix is fast on its way to being a legend in the fishing industry. They’ve quickly established a reputation for making some of the best rods available. The Mojo will not disappoint, especially considering its price.

We recommend the Mojo 7’4″ baitcasting rod. It has heavy power and fast action. The blank is stiff like many St. Croix rods. We find this rod to be very consistent with that. The Mojo’s sensitive tip and fast tip will complement your ability to detect light strikes and work your lures efficiently. You’ll also have the muscle you need for controlling a monster.

The Mojo’s guide quality is great, but it could use an extra guide to keep up with its competitors. You won’t notice it most of the time. But, if you tie into an extremely large muskie, you might.

Split cork handles are both attractive and comfortable. Although I would prefer a little more length, that is largely personal preference.


  • Excellent blank
  • Excellent guides
  • Good handling
  • Extremely sensitive


  • You could use a guide to help you get started
  • Handle may be a little short

Ugly Stik GX2

Ugly Stik USCA662MH Casting Rod , Black , 6'6' - Medium Heavy - 2Pc

MaterialUgly Tech Construction (Fiberglass/Graphite mix)
Handle:EVA foam/casting
Guides7 + tip/ Stainless steel
Size of the lure:1/4 – 3/4 ounces
Line weight:10-25 lb

Ugly Stik GX2 is a popular choice because it’s both durable and affordable. The GX2 is an excellent choice if you need a rod that will withstand a beating, a back-up or to outfit small groups with rods.

Ugly Stik creates their rod blanks out of ultra-tough fiberglass mixed with graphite. One of my rods, as many anglers have, is mine and I can attest their durability. It was able to withstand a lot more than I should have, and it never failed me. The GX2’s tip detects strike detection and lure action, so it’s easy to break the bank (or the blank). .

It will still flex differently to a graphite or carbon fiber blank, and tend to a more parabolic arc. The GX2 has more backbone than the Ugly Stik’s from the 80s, and is also stiffer. Although hooksets may not be as sharp as those of the competition, they are still a fraction of what this rod costs.

The 7′ GX2 is recommended for medium-heavy power. This is a great all-rounder, especially if your budget is tight.

The guide quality is poor. This rod is tough, but your line can. If there’s an issue with the GX2, it’s this. This rod is not made with the quality necessary to prevent friction. I wouldn’t hesitate to use it in a fight against a beast.

The GX2’s EVA foam handle is long and comfortable, making it easy to get big fish to move in your direction.


  • Blankets that are good
  • It is unbelievable how difficult it is
  • Good handling
  • Extremely sensitive


  • You could use a guide to help you get started
  • Poor guide quality

Our Pick: The Dobyns Rods 734C FH Champions Series!

The Dobyns 734C has everything you need in a baitcasting rod.

Its blank is strong and sensitive making it one of the most versatile we have ever handled. It has enough backbone to fight hard, plenty of power and speed to turn a pike from cover, as well as plenty of sensitivity to use your lure or feel a tentative strike. We are impressed and so will you.

They are great guides, and there are many! The Dobyns were able to beat out the Daiwa, but both rods are highly recommended. The 734C has 10 Zero Tangle Kigans with SiC inserts. It is very, very difficult to beat.

The 734C’s cork handle is long and comfortable. We think it is the best, although the Daiwa is close.

The Lew’s Speed Stick is a great choice for budget-minded fishermen. We’d love to fish for pike, walleye and muskie with this rod. The blank is very good and the handles are great. The only problem is the small guides.

We hope that these reviews helped you to find the right rod. As always, we would love to hear from your feedback!

Baitcasting rods – Why use one? The basics of baitcasting rods – Why use one?

Most of the information below is about reels and not rods. This may sound strange, but it’s actually very important.

The rods that are accepted by them must match their design. The best casting rods can be paired with casting reels just as spinning reels are paired together with spinning rods. The exception to this rule is the spincasting reel. It can be ordered in spinning or casting configurations and will fit rods of these types.

A casting reel is a fishing rod that can be used to cast bait.

Casting tackle is a great option, but why bother?

Each tool has its own place. Baitcasting tackle works best with heavier lines, or when fluorocarbon is used as the main line. The best casting reels offer a few additional advantages that other reel designs. This makes them a popular choice for many fishing adventures.

Let’s talk more about these strengths:

Heavier line –Baitcasting designs have a spool that spins, unlike a fixed spool on a spinning rod. However, physics is not a good judge of quality.

This means that friction will occur regardless of how many bearings are used, how viscose the lubrication is, or what materials are involved. Casting will be affected if monofilament line is less than eight pounds or the equivalent in diameter. This also applies to very light lures of between 1/32 and 1 oz. This is why most ultralight and light rods use a spinning reel.

The baitcasting reel is able to handle 10-pound lines or heavier and heavier lures. Baitcasters can perform just as well, or even better, than spinning alternatives with heavier line.

Fluorocarbon main line –Fluorocarbon mainline has been discussed before. For some applications, it is the best option. It is waterproof and UV-resistant and offers greater sensitivity than nylon monofilament. It is extremely flexible and provides great shock strength.

Fluorocarbon is a wonderful choice.

One of the less impressive characteristics of elephantine memory is however. Even fluorocarbon lines that are the most durable, except for Sunline Super FC Sniper’s, are significantly stiffer than mono and braid. They will want to keep the same shape as before they came off the spool.

That can lead to problems on a spinning reel. And tight curls of fluoro will ruin your day. A baitcaster is able to handle fluorocarbon much more easily, and line conditioners are also helpful. If you are running fluorocarbon, we recommend that you use them.

  • More controlThis is something that not everyone agrees on, but many anglers find having their thumb on a spool gives them more line control and feel than a spinning reel.
  • Higher gear ratios =This is something that everyone can agree on! Baitcasting reels have a higher gear ratio than spinning reels. This means that for every crank of a handle, the reel will pick up more line. This allows you to cover more water faster, pick up deeper lures and jigs more quickly, and it can also help you work with fast-moving crankbaits.
  • Amazing dragThe drag system is the final strength of baitcasting reels. Casting reels have a star drag, which tightens on the spool and is not as complicated as spinning reels. They aren’t ideal for light lines, but they are smoother, stronger and more efficient than any other heavy line-handling device.

There are many benefits to baitcasting reels. This makes the rods that can hold them very popular. This is especially true when you are fishing for larger, more aggressive fish such as pike and bass, where heavier lures and lines are the norm.

How to Choose a Baitcasting rod

Take Action

The rod’s action is the point along which its length will bend under load. Fast action rods bend near the tip and are stiff for most their length. Slow action rods, on the other hand, bend closer to their handle and reel seat and curve over a greater portion of their length.

Fast action is essential for finesse techniques such as jigging. The rod tip should be sensitive and the tip should be whip-like. You also want to be able use the tip to give action to your jig. However, you want the rod’s backbone strength to show its strength quickly to allow for hooksets.

For other applications and techniques, however, a slow or moderate action is preferable. This is because a soft hookset will cause less problems than one that’s too stiff, and the rod acts as a cushion or shock absorber.


The force required to bend a rod is called power. A rod’s power, along with its action, tells you a lot of about how it will perform.

Baitcasting rods should be used with heavier lures and line. They are often designed to catch and fight large fish such as bass. You won’t find many ultralight and light power casting rods. We recommend that you start your search at medium.

There are many options for medium-heavy.


We’d recommend 7′ for a general purpose rod.

Casting rods that are shorter may be a bit more precise, but each extra inch gives the blank more strength.

We review rods from 7’0″ up to 7’4″.

Line and lure weight

These rods can be used to cast baitcasting lures and heavy lines.

These weights are for nylon monofilament. You can also run heavier braids of the same diameters.


Casting rods are meant to be tough and require high quality guides. They are essential for helping your rod and line withstand the stress of big fish. Also, you want as many guides as possible. Each guide distributes friction and force so more guides means less stress.

This video demonstrates how to best test guide quality. Try sawing the line against a large guide. If the line breaks fast, that’s a sign you should give the rod a pass.


Modern fishing rods are made of a variety materials including graphite and carbon fiber. Some fishing rods feature composite construction that uses more than one material as their backbone.

  • GraphiteIt is strong, stiff and light. It is a durable and strong choice for rods due to its stiffness.
  • FiberglassIt is usually more expensive than graphite, but it is heavier. Although it isn’t as sensitive nor as stiff as graphite, it can still be extremely strong and deserves a place in your arsenal of angling tools. This is a good thing, especially for crappie. Cushioned hooksets work well.
  • Carbon fiberIt is the strongest, strongest, lightest and most expensive material for rod blanks. Its performance is unmatched, but so too is its cost!


The decision about which handle you choose is personal. What’s easy for me may not be right for you. There are generally two main handle materials: EVA foam and cork.

  • CorkIt is more appealing and warmer, but it is less forgiving of rough treatment.
  • EVA foamIt’s softer to the touch and more flexible than other materials.

Final Thoughts

These rods are great all-rounders and would be a good choice if you were looking for the best casting rod. While there may be better options for certain techniques, such as drop shotting, crankbaiting or jigging these are not recommended.

Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.