st croix crankbait rod
st croix crankbait rod

Best Crankbait Rods Reviewed For 2021

Best Crankbait Rods

Crankbaits are a common item found in any bass anglers’ tackle boxes. Soft plastics may have the edge but crankbaits can be deadly for largemouth. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t throw them.

However, I do know of a lot of people who have missed some nice fish by using the wrong technique and rod. It’s a sad fact that no matter how effective your lure, your overhead hookset and worm rod are going to land you in serious trouble.

We’d love to help you if you have any questions about crankbaits, or if you are thinking of getting a specialized rod. You’ll find helpful tips and a detailed discussion on what to look for in a crankbait rod. We also have reviews of some of our favorite crankbait rods.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular crankbait rods on the market today.

  • St. Croix Legend Glass casting LGC74MHMOur Choice!
  • Abu Garcia Veritas Winch Crankbait Rod
  • Dobyns Champion 705CB Glass
  • Lew’s David Fritts Perfect Crankbait speed stick LDFP76MH
  • St. Croix Mojo Bass Glass Crankster MJGC74MM

Best Crankbait Rod Reviewed

St. Croix Legendglass Casting LGC74MHM –Our Choice!

St. Croix Rods Legend Glass Casting Rod

Take action Moderate
Power Medium-Heavy
Material Fiberglass
Length 7′ 4″
Line weight: 10-20 lbs
Weight of lure: 3/8 to 1 oz
Guides Fuji K-Series tangle-free, tangle-free guides with Alconite rings. Corrosion Control matte-finish frames.
Handle: Split cork 16″
Pieces1

St. Croix’s Legend series is uncompromising in performance and their Glass Casting rods are some of the best available for crankbaiting.

The 7’4″, moderate-action, medium-heavy power model is my favorite. It’s long enough to cast into another county, but it’s still light enough to be accurate and maneuverable enough to cast.

This rod’s fiberglass blank loads like a charm. It allows for great casting and provides the constant pressure and cushioned hooksets you need to keep your lures in bass. It’s actually a joy to fish with and will improve your crankbait performance immediately. This rod is often called the “Cadillac” and “Lamborghini of crankbait rods. One afternoon with it will show you why.

St. Croix uses 11 high-end Fuji guides to protect your line. Comfortable split-cork handles provide ample space for snap casting, even if you have large hands.

This St. Croix recommends a variety of lure weights and lines. As you would expect, the blank loads well even with the lightest crankbaits.

The St. Croix Legend Glass Casting offers great distance and precision options. It’s a great choice if you are willing to spend a little extra for a crankbait rod that isn’t cut at all.

Pros

  • Amazing blank
  • Sensitive
  • Amazing guides
  • Easy loading
  • Handling of excellent quality
  • Long, accurate casts

Cons

  • One of the most expensive items on our list

Abu Garcia Veritas Winch Crankbait Rod

Abu Garcia 1430493 Veritas Casting 1Piece Rod, 7'6' Length, 12-25 lb Line Rate, 3/8-1 1/4 oz Lure Rate, Medium/Heavy Power

Take action Moderate-Fast
Power Medium-Heavy
Material Graphite
Length 7′ 6″
Line weight:10-20 lb
Weight of lure: 1/2 – 1 3/8 oz.
Guides Frames made of 10+ tip Titanium alloy with Zirconium inserts
Handle: 15 1/2 “split” EVA
Pieces1

Abu Garcia’s Veritas rods are a departure from the standard rules of crankbait sticks. They use an all-graphite blank. Normaly, I would pass on this, but in real life, the Veritas is an incredible performer.

Graphite can be stiff and won’t load well in a rod of medium weight. This Abu Garcia casts like an angel, even at the lowest weight of its recommended lure weights. It’s clear that rules can sometimes be broken. One of the most sensitive rods, this Abu Garcia is able to tell if the lure is working as it should.

This rod is flexible and, while it’s not parabolic, provides enough pressure and cushion to keep fish from your crankbaits.

The Veritas has a comfortable, long-split EVA foam handle. Snap casting is easy. The reel seat is also worth noting: this stick features a ratcheting Abu Garcia Abu Garcia design, which locks in your reel tightly, countering torque that a sideways hookset can cause. This is a nice addition that I believe you will appreciate.

Abu Garcia used 11 titanium guides with zirconium inserts to keep the cost of this rod affordable. These are not the most expensive components, but they do the job well and keep costs low, just like the St. Croix Mojo.

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This rod’s recommended line and lure weights are fairly conservative. However, you can push these limits a little without affecting performance. This makes the rod very versatile, which is something that every angler should appreciate.

Although it is not the best performer, this rod is an excellent alternative to the St. Croix Mojo Glass and a great choice if you want more sensitivity than fiberglass.

Pros

  • Amazing blank
  • Extremely sensitive
  • Amazing guides
  • Easy loading
  • Handling of excellent quality
  • Excellent casts

Cons

  • Some components have a price limit

Dobyns Champion 705CB Glass

Dobyns Rods 705CB Glass Champion Series Heavy Fast Glass Crankbait Rod, 7'0'/Medium, Black/Blue

Take action Quick
Power Medium-Heavy
Material Fiberglass
Length 7
Line weight: 8-20 lbs
Weight of lure: 1/4 – 1 oz.
Guides 10 + tip, Fuji Alconite
Handle:13 1/2 “continuous cork
Pieces1

Bass anglers are renowned for their Dobyns Champion XP 705CB Glass. If you’re on the water and have a chat, it’s almost certain to be mentioned.

This rod has a remarkable taper, which you will notice right away. Dobyns has done some magic with this fiberglass blank, which is often less than ideal for crankbait running. It is stiff, but it loads easily and fishes more like graphite until it strikes. It suddenly becomes more sensitive and stiff, providing the tension that you need to keep your lure in place.

This unusual act has won many converts. I can’t think of anything negative about the rod fishing.

The 705CB crankbait rod is quite short. I love it for precision casting in tight spots and heavy cover. It has a shorter handle than average and a high-end continuous cork design that is extremely comfortable. You can still snap cast but this is not the purpose of this rod.

You can be sure that your line will be treated well in heavy fighting with 10 Fuji Alconite guides and the tip.

It is suitable for nylon monofilament weighing between 8-20 pounds and lures weighing 1/4 to 1 ounce.

This rod is easy to load, even with lighter lures. The casting distance is great for its length.

The 705CB crankbait rod is a great choice if you want to cast accurate.

Pros

  • Amazing blank
  • Extremely sensitive
  • Amazing guides
  • Easy loading
  • Handling of excellent quality
  • Casts are accurately

Cons

  • ?? ??

Lew’s David Fritts Perfect Crankbait speed stick LDFP76MH

Take action Moderate
Power Medium-Heavy
Material Graphite and fiberglass
Length 7′ 6″
Line weight:15-30 lbs
Weight of lure:1/2 to 1 1/4 oz
Guides 10+ tip, stainless guides with aluminum dioxide inserts
Handle: 16″ continuous cork
Pieces1

David Fritts’ signature crankbait rod Lew shows that high-performance doesn’t have to cost a lot. You can expect lower quality components and some compromises at this price point. The heart of any rod’s blank is the core, and for a small amount you can get a lot.

This model is recommended for 7’6″ moderate action and medium-heavy power. The blank is made of graphite/glass and allows for plenty of give, while still keeping the rod light and sensitive. It is easy to load and casts well with heavier crankbaits. It flexes easily, absorbs shock, cushions hooksets and keeps bass on your hooks.

Lew will have to make some concessions in order to keep the price at its current level. This rod has a lot of stainless steel guides and aluminum oxide inserts. They’re not Fuji-quality, but they’re still very good and I wouldn’t be surprised if a rod with more advanced features was used, even if it were a weekend angler.

David Fritts’ crankbait rod has a 16-inch continuous cork handle. It is comfortable enough to fish all day and long enough for snap casting.

It’s heavier than our top choices and a great choice if you are able to drag big bass through thick cover. If you have a limited budget, this rod is worth considering.

Pros

  • It’s affordable
  • Beautiful blank
  • Sensitive
  • OK guides
  • Easy loading
  • Handle of high quality
  • Casts a lot with heavier crankbaits

Cons

  • Quality is not a compromise on price

St. Croix Mojo Bass Glass Crankster MJGC74MM

St Croix MOJO Bass Glass Casting, MJGC74MM

Take action Moderate
Power Medium
Material Fiberglass
Length 7′ 4″
Line weight: 8-14 lbs
Weight of lure: 1/4 – 3/4 oz.
Guides 8 + tip, Kigan Master Hand3D guides with aluminum oxide inserts
Handle: 15 1/2 “Split Cork”
Pieces1

The Mojo Crankster from St. Croix is an excellent alternative to the Legend series. This rod still features premium components but is affordable and delivers top-end performance.

The Glass Crankster’s name refers to the fiberglass blank. It offers remarkable sensitivity and the parabolic flexibility you want. It can load with even small crankbaits and bends deep when a bass hits your lure. This provides the cushion and pressure needed to lock fish to your hooks. This is an excellent value for the money. Real-world users have reported that it works well both with deep-divers and shallow-divers and keeps bass close to their lures.

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Your line is protected by nine high-quality Kigan guides. These aren’t as impressive as the top-of-the line Fujis, but they are still very good components. You can be confident that they will prevent break-offs if your part is done right.

The Mojo Bass Crankster has a split cork handle measuring 15 1/2 inches in length, which allows for snap castings. This rod is a beast! Expect to cast a surprising distance with the 7’4″ rod.

It offers a lot of lure and line options, which is a plus considering the price.

Pros

  • Amazing blank
  • Sensitive
  • Amazing guides
  • Easy loading
  • Handling of excellent quality
  • Casts that last a long time

Cons

  • Some components have a price limit

Our Pick: The St. Croix Legendglass Casting LGC74MHM

We have a great list of crankbait sticks and it is hard to compete for the number one spot. In the end, however, I decided to give the St. Croix Legend Glass my nod.

This rod will deliver no compromises in performance if that is your goal. The 7’4″ medium action, medium-heavy powerrod has a fiberglass blank that can load under the lightest lures within its recommended range. It also offers the action you need to keep your hooks in their place. This rod is my choice. Everything from the guides to handle screams quality.

It’s still the most expensive rod that we reviewed and is up against the Dobyns Champion XP705CB glass. The Dobyns may be your best choice if you need a rod that is more sensitive and offers more precise casting. The Dobyns are legendary and you can’t pass it up considering that they’re only 80 percent less expensive than the St. Croix.

Anglers who are budget-minded should look into the Abu Garcia, Lew’s and the St. Croix Mojo Bass. Each rod is a great crankbait rod, with its own strengths and weaknesses. They all have one thing in common: they deliver outstanding performance for the price.

This is why I am confident that you will be satisfied with any rod you choose.

Why buy a dedicated crankbait rod?

Although it’s true that weekend anglers can fish with just one rod, it is not impossible to find the right rod for all types of bass fishing. The ideal rods for Texas-rigs and drop-shot rigs as well as crankbaits are so different that you will struggle to catch any fish, regardless how great it may be.

A Texas-rigged worm requires sensitivity at its tip and a strong backbone to engage quickly. First, you can detect the subtle sensation of a bass sucking your bait into its mouth. The second allows you to drive the single hook home.

However, the best worm rods are also weak when it comes to fishing crankbaits.

A crankbait rod’s sensitivity is not very important, and bass won’t nibble on your Rapala treble-hooked Rapala. They’ll hit it hard, in fact. When that happens, you will need to remove your lure from their mouths.

A dedicated crankbait rod will have a lower sensitivity, a slow to medium action, and a blank that is more flexible.

Why?

Slower action will improve hooksets, there is no doubt about that. But it’s also going keep your rod loaded during fights. This is a crucial factor that matters more than you may think. Fast action rods will unload faster during fights, especially when the bass jumps. It will release more pressure from your hooks, which makes it easier for the bass throw them.

Slower rod action means that your rod is loaded for longer, even if it takes a fraction of second. This results in steady, consistent pressure on the hook.

A good crankbait rod is a must-have for anglers. It improves hookups and keeps their hooks in the right place, leading to more fish catches.

Take a look at our top picks to find the best spinning rods.

How to Choose the Best Crankbait 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 the majority of 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.

A rod with a rapid action will generally offer more sensitivity at the tip. This allows you to detect strikes easier. A rod with a slower action will generally provide more cushion at the hookset.

However, fast is not better than slow and slow is not better than fast.

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You should match the rod’s action with the technique you are using.

A good pitching rod should have moderately fast action and bend near the tip. A good drop shot rod, on the other hand, will bend closer to its handle.

Hookset is a function of power. The faster the rod, and the stronger the set, the more powerful it will be. If you’re worm fishing using a single hook, it’s easy to notice the difference between a fast and slow rod. However, crankbaits that have sharp treble hooks will give the fish an extra moment to eat your lure if the rod is slower.

A crankbait rod with good action will typically have moderate to fast action.

Power

The force required to bend a rod is called power. A rod’s power, together with its action, tells you a lot of about how it will perform. A stiffer blank will allow you to catch bigger, more powerful fish, all other things being equal.

Power is what really matters to a bass rod. It’s your ability to turn big fish who are heading for bad cover or trying to run around a stump or tree. A heavier od will give you enough control and backbone.

A crankbait rod that is good will weigh in at least medium to heavy.

Length

The rod’s length will determine how far you can cast, but it will also affect how precise your casts. While shorter rods can be deadly precise, casting distance will suffer.

Crankbaits can be useful in many situations. You need to consider where you tie your crankbaits. You might prefer a shorter length if you fish in tight areas or cover. However, a longer line will work well if you fish open water a lot.

7′ 6″ is a good starting point for a casting rod. You can adjust the length to suit your fishing style.

Line and lure weight

Near the reel seat, a rod will almost always include a designated line and lure weight. These limits can be exceeded, but performance will suffer.

These weights are indicative of the rod’s power, action, and casting ability.

Guides

A good rod has a great guide. Bad guides can cost you more fish than dull hooks or cheap line.

The guides divide the strain you experience fighting fish with your line by the number of their numbers (roughly). The friction between your line and the guide material can become intense. If they aren’t made of high quality materials and designed to perform, guides will wear your braids.

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

As a general rule, more is better. An increase in the guide count means that each one takes less strain and creates less friction.

One guide per foot is a good rule of thumb.

Material

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.

However, this stiffness is not what you want in a crankbait rod. You can combine it with fiberglass or use fiberglass completely to get the action you need.

However, there are exceptions and a crankbait rod made from graphite blanks can be excellent.

FiberglassIt is usually more expensive than graphite, but it is heavier than graphite. Although it isn’t as sensitive as graphite and can be less stiff than graphite, it can still be extremely strong and flexible, making it an excellent material for crankbait rods.

Carbon fiberIt is the strongest, strongest, lightest and most expensive material for rod blanks. Its performance is unmatched, but so too is its cost!

It’s an amazing material but it is not the best choice to make a crankbait rod unless it is mixed with fiberglass. It can be used to make a rod lighter and offset the heavier material.

Handle

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.

It is important to remember that a longer handle allows you to snap cast, which increases your range. This is important for open water crankbaiting and something you should consider.

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.