Best Jig Rods for Bass: Our Favorites Reviewed

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Flipping, casting, swimming, dragging–jigs can do it all! It’s no surprise, then, that they’re a popular choice for largemouth, especially in high summer when the vegetation gets thick.

Because you can run jigs in weedless versions, and because they’re ideal for pitching into nearly impenetrable cover, they let you fish places that other lure choices just can’t reach.

But to make the most of this fantastic option, you need a specialized rod with just the right mix of strength and sensitivity.

If you’re interested in a dedicated jigging rod, we’d like to help. Below, you’ll find a basic explanation of what makes a good jigging rod, some in-depth considerations, and reviews of a few of our favorites.

Quick glance at the best jig rods available today:

Jigging for Bass: The Basics of Rod Selection

In spring, when the bass move from winter holding areas to the shallows to spawn, fishing a finesse jig is simply fantastic. You want plenty of action, lots of flexibility at the tip, and as much sensitivity as you can get from a rod. As with other finesse techniques like drop shotting, you can use a medium to medium-light rod, and spinning tackle is often the best choice when you’re running lines as light as six pounds.

We’ve discussed and reviewed some of our favorite drop shot rods before, and if you’re looking for a finesse rod for jigging, any of those would be excellent choices.

But a specialized jig setup is a thing of beauty in full summer, when pitching a jig into impossible cover can produce a monster. For this, a drop shot rod just won’t do, and you’ll need a full-on jigging rod. That means a heavy power, fast action beast, running a slick casting reel and using strong line.

Weedless jigs will give you access to some of the nastiest cover Mother Nature has to offer, and you’ll need a strong rod with a rigid backbone to muscle big bass from stumps, lily pads, grass, and downed trees.

Hooksets can also be a problem if you run a weedless jig, as the weed guard softens the set. We recommend a jigging rod be at least seven feet long. Slightly longer rods will improve hookset and help you use the blank’s strength to your full advantage when you need to muscle a brute from cover.

But a broomstick isn’t a great jigging rod. Control in a fight is critical, but you need sensitivity to get you to that point!

A large bass will often take a jig with a very light strike, sometimes more of a swallow than a hit. As Greg Hackney, a dedicated jigging pro explains, “Bass rarely slam a jig; sometimes it’s just a ‘pressure’ bite, where you feel a little weight on the line but nothing convincing. Other times it might be a slight ‘tick.’”

Your jigging rod needs to be able to transfer that subtle motion to your hands, and we recommend a fast or even extra fast action paired with that heavy power.

In short, you want a sensitive tip on a powerful rod.

What We Consider When Selecting a Jigging Rod

Action

A rod’s action describes where along its length it will begin to bend under load. Fast action rods are stiff for most of their length, bending near the tip. By contrast, slow action rods begin to give closer to the handle and reel seat, curving over a much greater percentage of their length.

For finesse techniques like jigging, a fast action is important. You want the rod tip to be sensitive, and you want to be able to use that whip-like tip to impart action to your jig, but you also want the rod’s backbone to start showing its strength relatively quickly for good hooksets.

describing power and action

Power

Power describes how much force is required to bend a rod. Together with its action, a rod’s power tells you a lot about how it will perform.

For jigging, you need about as much power as you can get. Not only will this help with your hooksets, as we mentioned above, but it’ll help you control and muscle bass during a fight.

Length

7’ is about where we’d start with a jigging rod for bass, going up to about 7’6”. All of our favorites are either 7’3” or 7’4”, right in the sweet spot.

Why?

That extra length helps in flipping, and it allows the backbone to work more efficiently when you go to set the hook.

Line and Lure Weight

Dedicated jigging rods should be rated for heavy jigs and line. While your jigging technique needs to be subtle, these are not finesse tools. Designed to throw large lures to big bass, you need to count on these rods to muscle fish from nasty cover.

Guides

Guide quality is essential for bass fishing. Since they help your rod and line take the strain of a big fish, this is not a point for compromise. You also want as many as you can get. Since each one helps distribute friction and force, more means less stress on each guide.

The best way to test guide quality is also demonstrated below. Just try sawing the line you use against a large guide. If the line breaks quickly, it’s a sign to give that rod a pass.

video demonstrating how fragile line really is and how quality guides can be tested

Material

Modern fishing rods can be made from a variety of materials, including carbon fiber, graphite, and fiberglass. Some feature composite construction, using more than one material in the blank that provides their backbone.

  • Graphite is strong, stiff, and ultra-light. Due to its high stiffness, it’s also quite sensitive, and it makes a great, durable choice for a rod.
  • Fiberglass is heavier than graphite and usually less expensive. It’s not quite as sensitive or as stiff, but it can be incredibly strong, earning it a place in your angling arsenal. Especially for crappie, this is not necessarily a disadvantage, as cushioned hooksets are ideal.
  • Carbon fiber is the stiffest, strongest, lightest, and most expensive material used for rod blanks. Its performance is unparalleled, but so is its price!

Handle

Much about which handle to choose is a personal decision, and what’s comfortable to me may be misery for you. Generally, there are two primary handle materials: cork and EVA foam.

  • Cork is warmer and more attractive, but less forgiving of rough treatment.
  • EVA foam is softer and cooler to the touch, and it’s pretty tough stuff.

Reel Selection

When you’re jigging in the thick stuff, you want strong line–and plenty of it. And as you step up in line weight, spinning reels suffer relative to baitcasters.

For that reason, the rods we review are all casting designs.

Jig Rod Reviews

Doomsday Tackle “The 47”

Length: 7’3”

Power/Action: Heavy/Fast

Material: Carbon Fiber

Handle: split cork/casting

Guides: 9 + tip/Fuji Tangle Free K guides with Alconite inserts

Lure size: 3/8 – 1 1/2 ounces

Line weight: 12 -30 lb.

Pieces: 1

Doomsday Tackle’s “The 47” may look like a rod your father or grandfather fished when you were young, and its creme and red styling is certainly a nod in that direction. But make no mistake: it’s as high-tech as they come!

The 47 is 7’3” of carbon fiber, making it both surprisingly light and supremely strong. The tip is supply and sensitive, allowing you to get the most from your jig before quickly stiffening to a powerful, bass-dragging backbone. Hookset and control are all but guaranteed by this blank, and for me, I’d say this is the best of the rods we review in that sense.

10 Fuji guides with Alconite inserts are more than enough to protect your line.

The handle is made from premium grade cork, offering a comfortable split design and plenty of room for casting and fighting.

The 47 is rated for really heavy jigs and line, a testament to its blank strength and guide quality.

Especially at this price point, it would be hard to find a better rod.

Pros:

  • Awesome blank
  • Excellent guides
  • Excellent handle
  • Very sensitive

Daiwa Tatula TXT731MHFB

Length: 7’3”

Power/Action: Medium-heavy/Fast

Material: Graphite

Handle: cork/casting

Guides: 9/Fuji aluminum oxide

Lure size: ¼ – 1 ounce

Line weight: 10 – 20 lb.

Pieces: 1

If you fish, you know the Daiwa name, and their Tatula series rods are serious additions to your fishing arsenal that won’t break the bank.

Our favorite Tatula is the 7’3” medium-heavy with a fast action. Like the Dobyns 734, this is a versatile rod that can do more than jig, while still offering you top-notch performance in nasty cover. The tip is admirably sensitive, and you’ll feel it when a bass gently sucks your jig into its mouth. And while it doesn’t offer the backbone of the 47–what does?–it’s blank is more than sufficient to handle a massive bass in the weeds.

Guide quality is excellent, as you’d expect from Fuji components. Like the St. Croix, we’d like to see an extra guide or two, but that’s really just a quibble.

The long, continuous cork handle on this rod is awesome, and like the Dobyns, if that’s your thing, you should take a close look at the Tatula.

As an all-arounder, this rod makes a lot of sense, and if you’re limited in your budget, you should definitely give this rod a chance to shine.

Pros:

  • Awesome, all-around blank
  • Excellent guides
  • Excellent handle
  • Very sensitive
  • Great for a variety of lures and techniques

Cons:

  • Maybe not as purely good for jigging as the 47

Denali Lithium L884WJ

Length: 7’4”

Power/Action: Heavy/Fast

Material: Graphite

Handle: split EVA foam-cork/casting

Guides: 13 + tip/304 stainless steel, semi-micro Duraloc

Lure size: ½ – 1 ounce

Line weight: 15 – 25 lb.

Pieces: 1

Denali’s Lithium series rods are designed with tournament anglers in mind, and whether you’re pitching jigs for prize money or just to spend an exciting morning on the lake, you’ll appreciate what they bring to the table.

The 884 is fully 7’4” long, giving you a lot of length for casting, as well as sufficient space for the blank to strut its stuff. The tip is fast and sensitive, just as it should be, and it offers plenty of action to work a jig. But shortly beyond the tip, you’ll find the blank strong enough to ensure a solid hookset and muscle even the largest bass out of thick cover.

Guide quality is excellent, and with 14 of them, you can be sure that your line is pampered during even the toughest fights.

The 884 offers a combination handle, mixing cork and EVA foam in a split design. It’s attractive and functional, contoured to fit, and most people find it works really well all day long.

With lure sizes of ½ to 1 ounce and heavy line weights, especially if you’re running braid, this isn’t a finesse rig by any means! But if you’re hunting the nasty stuff for a real brute, the Denali 884 is a very good choice.

Pros:

  • Excellent blank
  • Awesome guides
  • Excellent handle
  • Very sensitive

Dobyns Rods 734C FH Champion Series

Length: 7’3”

Power/Action: Heavy/Fast

Material: Graphite

Handle: cork/casting

Guides: 10 + tip/Zero Tangle Kigan with SiC inserts

Lure size: ¼ – 1 ounce

Line weight: 10 – 20 lb.

Pieces: 1

Dobyns is a name known to pretty much every bass angler, and their rods are trusted tools that have proven their effectiveness season after season and tournament after tournament. It’s no surprise that a Dobyns rod made our short list, and the 734 is an impressive addition to our reviews.

7’3” long, the 734 offers both sensitivity and strength from its graphite blank. In fact, this rod is sufficiently powerful, light, castable, and sensitive enough that you could pretty much stick with it for crankbaits, jerkbaits, worms, jigs, and anything else you’d want to throw. Perhaps the best all-arounder I’ve seen, if you can only bring one rod to the lake, this would be an awesome choice.

11 Kigan guides with silicone carbide inserts will keep your line cool and fray-free.

One of my favorite things about the Dobyns 734 is it’s long, high-quality cork handle. I generally prefer a continuous handle on my rods, and if you do, too, this is an excellent choice.

It’s rated for heavy jigs and line, but can still throw ¼ ounce jigs!

Did I mention that it’s a fantastic all-arounder?

Pros:

  • Awesome, all-around blank
  • Excellent guides
  • Excellent handle
  • Very sensitive
  • Great for a variety of lures and techniques

Cons:

  • Maybe not as purely good for jigging as the 47

St. Croix Mojo

Length: 7’4”

Power/Action: Heavy/Fast

Material: Graphite

Handle: split cork/casting

Guides: 8 + tip/Kigan Master Hand 3D guides with aluminum oxide inserts

Lure size: 3/8 – 1 1/2 ounces

Line weight: 14 – 25 lb.

Pieces: 1

St. Croix is on the path to become a legendary name in the fishing world, and they’ve quickly built a reputation for some of the finest rods you can buy. Their Mojo won’t disappoint, especially at its price point.

The Mojo we recommend is the 7’4” featuring heavy power and a fast action. Like many St. Croix rods, expect the blank to be on the stiff side for the description, and we find that this heavy sticks to that trend. When complimented by the sensitive, fast tip, you’ll find the Mojo lets you detect light strikes, work your jig well, and still have the muscle you need to control a monster.

Guide quality is excellent, though the Mojo could probably use an additional guide or two to compete with its competition.

The handle is a split cork design that’s comfortable and attractive. I might like a touch more length, but that’s largely a matter of personal preference.

Like the Denali 884, this rod is rated for big jigs and heavy line, making it a great choice for a dedicated jig rod.

Pros:

  • Excellent blank
  • Excellent guides
  • Good handle
  • Very sensitive

Cons:

  • Could use an additional guide or two
  • Handle might be a tad short

Our Pick – Doomsday Tackle’s “The 47”!

If you’re looking for a dedicated jigging rod, I doubt you can find one better than the 47.

Built with a carbon fiber blank that combines excellent sensitivity with awesome power, it’s about as perfect for jigging as they come. You won’t have a problem feeling light strikes or working your jig like a pro, and when it does come time to fight, the bass are in for a nasty surprise.

Its guides are superb, its handle is comfortable and capacious, and it’s rated for supremely heavy tackle.

What’s not to like about that?

And perhaps best of all, it’s priced right.

But if you can’t afford a rod just for jigging, you might be better off with the Dobyns 734 or Daiwa Tatula. Both offer serious jigging performance with an all-around applicability that allows you to use them with everything from crankbaits to worms.

Whatever you choose, you’ll be impressed by the rods on this list–we promise!

As always, we’d love to hear from you. Have we forgotten about one of your favorites jigging rods? Do you fish one of these?

Please leave a comment below.

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