The Best JerkBait Rod – Buying Guide and Reviews

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One of the most fun and rewarding ways to catch bass is by fishing with jerkbaits. If you want to get into this awesome technique and land more fish, you’ll need to ensure you have the proper equipment for the job. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the best jerkbait rods for angling!

If you go into jerkbait fishing with your grandfather’s old beat up rod and push-button reel, chances are you will not have an enjoyable time on the water. However, geared up with the proper rod, you can use a sound technique for the jerkbait and catch more fish!

Jerkbaits get their name from the jerking action you use on the rod to make the lures move. Unlike most other lures which are set into action by reeling them in, jerkbaits solely rely on you quickly moving your rod. Because of that, not every rod is up to the challenge.

Luckily for you, we have listed our favorite jerkbait rods below. Here they are, along with our top pick:

Here’s a quick glance at the best jerkbait rods available today”

Criteria For Choosing the Best Jerkbait Rod

Jerkbaits are designed to be fished in a way that makes them look like a swimming minnow. Each jerk of the rod sends the lures into a nice quick motion, erratic and enticing to the bass in the vicinity.

This is a very intensive fishing technique with a lot of motion, and you’ll need a rod that is both durable and comfortable to hold. If you miss out on either of those criteria, you’ll end up with either a broken rod or a nasty blister on your hand–and neither of those options is exactly appealing.

We’ve listed the best things to look for when purchasing a new jerkbait rod below. If you try to match all of these criteria, you’ll be a well-informed shopper and angler, ready to buy with confidence.

Length

Choosing the right rod length when fishing with jerkbaits is more important than it is with many other techniques. You want to make sure the rod has enough length to allow you to cast the lure a decent distance–without being too long to prevent the proper jerking motion on retrieval. The best length for a solid jerkbait rod is between six-and-a-half and seven feet. If you go under six-and-a-half feet, you tend to lose quite a bit of casting distance, making for a less than ideal fishing experience. If you go over seven feet, you’ll be dealing with a bulkier, more cumbersome rod. Stick between six-and-a-half and seven feet, and you’ll be in the “sweet spot” for using jerkbaits and landing those lunkers!

Power

You’ll want to choose a jerkbait rod with a power of either medium or medium-light. This will allow you to really work the lure in the water with your jerkbait retrieval technique, while still maintaining enough backbone to land large fish. If you get a power that’s too heavy, you’ll lose some of that natural motion of the jerkbait. On the other hand, too weak of a power could cause you to miss fish due to the hook not setting properly. Finding that balance is the key to selecting the correct rod power for jerkbait fishing.

Action

You want to find a rod with a nice fast action when using it for jerkbait angling. Using a rod with an action that is too slow and you lose out on the quick hook setting ability. A rod with a fast action also provides better sensitivity, allowing you to feel even the faintest strikes. Settling in at the fast range of the scale will give you the best ability to cast, retrieve, and catch a ton of fish while fishing with a jerkbait!

Line Weight

To get the most out of any fishing rod, you want to make sure you’re using a line weight that’s compatible with what’s listed in the product specifications. In the case of jerkbait rods, this will generally be somewhere in the ten to fifteen-pound test range. Line in that range will be strong enough to handle the rigors of casting and retrieving a jerkbait and fighting the fish after the strike.

Reels

Do you prefer to fish with a spinning reel or a baitcaster? Given the fact that you’ll have to buy a rod specifically for the type of reel you’ll be using, this is quite the important question. While there are a ton of casting rods available for jerkbait fishing, there are many spinning rods available as well. We’ve given you a mix in our reviews so that you have options, no matter which style of reel is your preference.

Durability

The last main criteria you need to look for is how tough and durable the rod is. You want to make sure it’s made of the highest quality materials, such as graphite, carbon, and stainless steel. A durable rod will last for fishing trips years down the rod while preventing you from having any hardware malfunctions. This will not only make you a happier angler, but will save you money, too!

Best Jerkbait Rod Reviews

KastKing Speed Demon Pro Tournament Series – Our Pick!

Length: 6’10”

Power: Medium

Action: Fast

Line Weight: 10 – 20 lbs

Reel Type: Casting

If you only get to buy one rod for your jerkbait fishing endeavors, do yourself a favor and pick up the KastKing Speed Demon Pro Tournament Casting Rod! This rod is chock full of features and quality build materials. We fell in love with it, and we know you will too!

Coming in at six feet, ten inches in length, the size of this rod is right where we want it to be. Combine that with the medium power and a fast action, and you get a nice softness to move the lure realistically. At the same time, the Speed Demon Pro has enough backbone to catch large bass and pull them into the boat.

This rod has a reel seat for a baitcaster, and can handle lines from ten to twenty pounds. This gives it a good range, even on the upper end of the spectrum at twenty pounds. We would suggest a line weight of ten to fifteen pounds with this rod, as that will give you the best results.

The build quality of the Speed Demon Pro Tournament is fantastic. It’s made with very high-quality carbon blanks, Fuji guides and reel seat, and some of the most comfortable grips we have ever used. The Winn Grips are also great at keeping the handle from getting slick from water and sweat. There are absolutely no negatives when it comes to the build quality.

Wrapping up, the Speed Demon Pro is what we consider the greatest jerkbait rod on the planet. It checks off all of the boxes, and does so at the highest of qualities. This rod is all positives, and thus wins our pick.

Pros:

  • Perfect length
  • Fast action
  • Medium Power
  • Fantastic build quality

Cons:

  • None

Lew’s TP1 Speed Stick

Length: 6’8”

Power: Medium-Light

Action: Fast

Line Weight: 6 – 12 lbs

Reel Type: Baitcaster

Lew’s is known for making quality rods, and this one is no exception. The TP1 Speed Stick is a great option, and it certainly should be one you look at when picking out some new jerkbait gear.

With a length of six feet, eight inches, the TP1 is ideal for not only using the proper technique for jerkbaits, but also landing fish. The medium-light power gives this rod an extreme amount of sensitivity, which when combined with the fast action, allows for realistic lure movement and superior hook setting.

The Speed Stick features a line weight of six to twelve pounds, which we think stops a bit low on the chart. However, you should have no problem using your favorite line, and will not have to worry about it catching on the American Tackle MicroWave guides. These are great for helping eliminate wind knots while keeping casting distance and accuracy at a high level.

The high-quality IM8 graphite blanks are great, and the Lew’s exclusive graphite skeletal reel seat works flawlessly. They opted for Winn Grips for the handle material, and they feel amazing in the hand. This rod is built with the highest quality materials, and it shows.

Lew’s makes great rods for almost all fishing techniques, and this version of their TP1 Speed Stick is a real workhorse. It’ll get you jerking and catching fish like a pro in no time!

Pros:

  • Great length
  • Medium-light power
  • Fast Action
  • Winn Grips are comfortable

Cons:

  • Supported line weight stops at twelve pounds

St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod

Length: 6’6”

Power: Medium

Action: Fast

Line Weight: 6 – 12 lbs

Reel Type: Spinning

When most anglers think of the brand St. Croix, they probably envision a handcrafted luxury rod. The Triumph Spinning Rod stays in line with this vision, giving you a fantastic option for using a spinning reel while fishing a jerkbait.

With a length of six-and-a-half feet, the St. Croix is on the shorter side of our list, but still plenty capable. We tend to gravitate toward the short side of the range rather than the longer, as the shorter options are easier to handle. The medium power and fast action give this rod a lovely, smooth feel when casting and retrieving. Setting the hook is also nice and quick, meaning you will miss less fish.

The line weight ranges from six to twelve pounds, and again, we wish the manufacturer would give us a bit more on the top end. However, this range is okay and will give you options to choose from when buying line.

The build quality on this rod is fantastic. Made from premium graphite and featuring tough aluminum oxide guides, the Triumph is a rod capable of handling even the roughest fishing trip. The cork grips feel great in the hand, comfortable enough for a full day of fishing. The Fuji DPS reel seat with its frosted silver hood is a great addition as well.

Overall, the St. Croix Triumph is a fantastic rod if you’re looking to use a spinning reel for jerkbait fishing. The packaging used to ship these rods is our only real gripe, as it certainly leaves a lot to be desired. The rod itself? Superb.

Pros:

  • Medium power
  • Fast action
  • High-quality build

Cons:

  • Terrible packaging that could lead to a broken rod

Shimano Curado Casting Rod

Length: 6’10”

Power: Medium

Action: Fast

Line Weight: 8 – 15 lbs

Reel Type: Baitcaster

Not many companies in the angling world can rival the reputation of Shimano. Say the name, and people listen. The quality and effectiveness of their rods is tried and true, and the Curado Casting Rod is another superb rod for jerkbait fishing.

With a length of six feet and ten inches, the Curado is the perfect size. The medium power and fast action give this rod a perfect symphony of strength and performance. You won’t have to worry about the rigors of casting and retrieving a larger jerkbait, nor setting the hook nice and deep.

The build quality, while still really good, falls behind the other competitors on this list a bit. Though everything should perform fine, the Curado just doesn’t have the fit and finish of the top competitors above. It uses Fuji guides and a nice matte finish Fuji reel seat, which are great choices. The high modulus carbon construction is nice and durable. But it just doesn’t have the wow factor. Everything works as intended, but it’s just kind of boring.

When your biggest complaint about a rod is “it’s boring,” though, you know the performance is outstanding. That rings true here, as the performance of the Curado is as good as any on this list. If you don’t care about the looks and finish of a rod, you can’t go wrong with the Shimano Curado Casting Rod!

Pros:

  • Perfect length
  • Medium power
  • Fast action
  • Tough build quality

Cons:

  • Not the best fit and finish

Abu Garcia Ike Signature Casting Rod

Length: 6’6”

Power: Medium-Heavy

Action: Fast

Line Weight: 6 – 14 lbs

Reel Type: Baitcaster

Bass fishing equipment has many rod and reel manufacturers fighting for position as the best on the market. Look at the top of most people’s list and you’ll find the name Abu Garcia. It would be criminal to not include their Ike Signature Casting Rod on this list.

Coming in at six feet and six inches long, the rod is on the shorter end of our scale. We have no issue with that, as combining it with a nice fast action gives this rod a nice balance. Where this rod differs from many of the competitors is the medium-heavy power. That’s a bit above our sweet spot of medium, and you can feel it in use. It’s just a bit too stiff for our liking. That said, the rod is strong, and still has enough feel to make it a contender for being a great jerkbait rod.

The build quality is great. Mike Iaconelli, who Abu Garcia worked with to develop this rod, has made some fantastic choices here. The stainless steel guides with Zirconium inserts are top-notch, the Fuji reel seat is extremely comfortable, and the graphite blanks are of the highest quality. They didn’t skimp on the build quality, and you can feel it the moment you pick this rod up.

It’s an Abu Garcia rod made in conjunction with famed angler Mike Iaconelli, so you get exactly what you’d expect. A highly efficient, well-made rod ready to go out and catch fish!

Pros:

  • Fast action
  • Nice line weight range
  • Comfortable and well made

Cons:

  • Medium-Heavy action is a bit too much

KastKing Speed Demon Bass Series

Length: 6’8”

Power: Medium

Action: Fast

Lure Weight: 8 – 17 lbs

Reel Type: Baitcaster

Does the name of this rod seem familiar? That’s because it is! This is the “non-pro” version of the KastKing Speed Demon line of rods. It’s a cheaper alternative, while not being quite as top-of-the-line as it’s bigger brother. Does that mean it isn’t a good rod for using with jerkbaits? Absolutely not!

The rod comes in at six feet, eight inches in length, which is right in the middle of our range for acceptable rod lengths. The medium power and fast action compliment the length nicely, giving this rod a great feel and plenty of power to move the lure, set the hook, and land the fish!

You won’t get some of the nice finishes like the Winn Grips on the handle, but this rod is still plenty durable. It features Fuji reel guides and a Fuji reel seat, and a great graphite blank technology that makes it strong, yet agile. The EVA foam grips, while not Winn Grips, are still decent.

If you’re looking for a lower-priced option with a lot of the same performance qualities of our winner–the KastKing Speed Demon Pro Tournament Series–this is your best bet. It maintains a decent quality, and performs well as a jerkbait rod.

Pros:

  • Great length
  • Medium power
  • Fast action

Cons:

  • Build quality not as nice as the Pro Tournament Series

Our Pick – the KastKing Speed Demon Pro Tournament Series!

If you want the “king” of jerkbait rods, you cannot find a better choice than the KastKing Speed Demon Pro Tournament Series. This rod has everything you need for fishing with a jerkbait, and everything it does it does better than the competitors.

While every rod on this list is a capable rod, and we could easily recommend any of them, the KastKing Speed Demon Pro Tournament Series is definitely the cream of the crop. If you’re looking to buy the best of the best, it is without a doubt our favorite.

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