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8 Best Jerkbait Rods of 2021

Best rods for jerkbaits bass fishing cover image

Specialized Jerkbait Bass Fishing Rods

Experienced anglers know that there are many types of specialized bass fishing rods. The good news is, not all technique-specific jerkbait rods have astronomically high price tags. Many of the best jerkbait rods on the market cost well under $100.

If you’ve considered investing in specialized rods, there’s certainly a lot of misinformation on the web. You shouldn’t trust the companies that have brand-associations and only recommend the most expensive equipment.

Our team is dedicated to changing the marketing culture and supplying our angler community with 100% unbiased reviews and recommendations. We test products and hunt for the best value bass fishing rods on the market.

KastKing Perigee II – Best Overall Jerkbait Rod

4.5 Stars | 2,431 Angler Reviews | $50 – $70

KastKing Perigee II jerkbait series bass fishing rod

The KastKing Perigee II is the best all-around jerkbait fishing rod, especially if you’re looking for a two-piece design. We recommend the 6’7″ Medium Power model for a one-piece design or the 6’6″ Medium-Fast Two-Piece rod.

Other brands make two-piece rods that sacrifice build-quality, strength, and performance. KastKing’s joints are designed with technology that makes their two-piece rods perform just as well as one-piece rods.

Rod Features

This rod only costs around 50$, which is incredible. The 24-ton carbon fiber blank, Fuji line guides, graphite reel seats, and EVA grips alone make it worth over $200. KastKing’s Perigee II will blow your mind.

Since this rod series includes 40 models with different lengths, actions, and numbers of pieces, there’s a bass rod for everyone. If you’re getting into technique-specific rods, you won’t find a better place to begin.

St Croix Bass X – Most Technical Jerkbait Rod

4.6 Stars | 140 Angler Reviews | $95 – $110

St Croix Bass X technical jerkbait rod

The St Croix Bass X is the best jerkbait rod on the market with Extra-Fast action. We recommend the 6’8″ Medium Power Extra-Fast model for the perfect darting action.

Other brands have been known to sacrifice strength and balance in their Extra Fast bass rods. St Croix, however, ensures their lightweight products are also well-balanced with strong backbones.

This rod gives you the benefits of heightened sensitivity for technical fishing without making sacrifices. You’ll get the same amount of power, strength, balance, and control that one would expect from a Fast-Action rod.

While the Bass X is slightly more expensive than the Perigee II, it’s a phenomenal product. This is St Croix’s entry-level model, which makes it a great value for the money.

If you’re looking for an affordable jerkbait rod from the most highly-regarded fishing rod brand in the world, the Bass X is your best option.

KastKing Royale Select – Best Value Tournament Rod

4.6 Stars | 1,131 Angler Reviews

KastKing Royale Select bass fishing rod

The Royale Select Jerkbait Rod is an incredible bass fishing rod that almost won the top spot on this list. It’s slightly more expensive than the Perigee II model, which is the most significant drawback. At the end of the day, KastKing has always delivered high-quality fishing equipment that doesn’t break the bank.

This series has many technique-specific models, specifically rated for individual types of lures. The 6’6″ and 7’0″ Medium-Fast designs are exceptional for casting jerkbaits.

KastKing’s Royale Select Series has more sensitivity and power than the Perigee II. This increase in performance makes it a great value tournament fishing rod for the more serious anglers.

The real deciding factor is appearance. Some bass fishermen love the aggressive look of the Royale Select. This rod looks like it belongs in the FLW tour, even though it costs well under $100.

When you’re moving side-to-side, casting, and fighting fish, the rod has a phenomenal effect that makes you look more professional than you are.

Dobyns Fury Series – Best Rated Jerkbait Rod

4.8 Stars | 129 Angler Reviews | $100 – $150

Dobyns Fury Series bass fishing jerkbait rod

If you’re looking for the highest-rated jerkbait rod, look no farther than the Dobyns Fury Series. It’s a great value rod for advanced anglers with a larger budget. The Fury Series proves you don’t have to spend $200 – $300 to start fishing with top-notch gear.

We recommend the 6’6″ Medium-Fast model for jerkbaits. This model is rated for 10lb to 17lb line and throws lures that weigh between 1/4 and 3/4 ounces. A high-modulus graphite blank and sensitive tip helps you feel every tap and quickly identify strikes.

Even though you’re getting more sensitivity, you won’t have to sacrifice power. The Fury Series is powerful enough to get a good hook-set.

Jerkbaits use treble hooks that make it more difficult to set the hook. If you’re looking to advance in the sport of bass fishing and want to increase your hook-up ratio drastically, this is the best option.

St Croix Legend Tournament – Top Professional Rod

4.7 Stars | 18 Angler Reviews | $270 – $310

St Croix Legend Tournament fishing rod

Anglers looking for the best-of-the-best should strongly consider the St Croix Legend Tournament. It may cost twice as much as other models, but it’s the best jerkbait rod ever made. The 6’6″ Medium-Fast model paired with jerkbait has won tournaments and bass fishing competitions across the country.

St Croix uses specialized carbon fiber to make the Legend Tournament far stronger than any other jerkbait rod. No additional weight is added, which keeps it weighing only 4 ounces!

You’ll get more power for your hooksets and a stronger backbone for fighting big fish. St Croix’s proprietary IPC Tooling technology eliminates any transition points, giving the Legend Tournament smoother action and more sensitivity.

The best part about buying a rod from St Croix is that they care for their customers. Every Legend Tournament comes with a 15-year transferrable warranty. This fishing rod will quite literally last over a decade, or St Croix will replace it with their most recent model.

Ugly Stik GX2 – Best Budget Jerkbait Rod

4.6 Stars | 1,690 Angler Reviews | $30 – $40

Ugly Stik GX2 bass fishing rod

The Ugly Stik GX2 is the most affordable option for anglers on a tight budget. Whether you’ve just started your technique-specific rod collection, or you know a large-investment will upset your wife, the GX2 is for you.

This bass rod is suitable for all ages and experience levels. It’s super easy to use, making it the most beginner-friendly option on this list. An EVA handle makes it just as comfortable as professional-level products.

We recommend the 6’6″ Medium Power Rod for jerkbait fishing. You can pair this model with an 8lb to 13lb fishing line, which is a generous range. The GX2 covers any bait between 1/4 and 3/4 ounces, making it compatible with almost all types of beginner lures.

A combination of graphite and fiberglass materials keeps the GX2 strong but sensitive at the same time. Ugly Stik’s addition of a clear tip makes it more sensitive and durable than every other entry-level fishing rod on the market.

Okuma Serrano – Best Technique Specific Series

5 Stars | 50+ Angler Reviews

Okima Serrano technique specific fishing rod for jerkbait lures

The Okuma Serrano Series is an entire line of specialized bass fishing rods, each designed for a unique situation. A few years ago, anglers had to spend hundreds of dollars for professional-grade technique-specific rods.

This series has changed bass fishing as we know it since most anglers can now afford specialized equipment.

Okuma’s jerkbait model is the SRN-C-6101M, which is linked above. This rod is 6’10” long with a Medium power rating. Originally designed for competitive tournament anglers, it’s remarkable that Serrano rods are so affordable.

A 24-ton carbon blank and UFR (Ultimate Flex Reinforcement) tip technology are used. Okuma uses multiple types of carbon fiber, making it far stronger than comparable products. The Serrano Series has 400% the lifting strength of other rods.

Favorite White Bird – Most Versatile Rod

4.7 Stars | 87 Angler Reviews | $69 – $79

Favorite White Bird bass fishing rod

Some anglers want an amazing Jerkbait rod that also fishes other types of lures well. If this sounds like you, the Favorite White Bird is a phenomenal option. Specifically, the 6’6″ Medium-Heavy Fast model is what we love so much.

Normally, we wouldn’t recommend a Medium-Heavy rod for jerkbait fishing. However, Favorite Rods has developed high-power rods with the flexibility to cast lighter baits. The soft-tip allows the rod to feel like a Medium power model when casting.

The benefit of a Medium-Heavy rod is it helps you fight bigger fish and cast larger baits. This is a great option for larger jerkbaits, many of the best bass lures, and targeting multiple species. You can throw Soft Plastics, Crankbaits, Small Topwater, Live Bait, and more.

Favorite’s White Bird features ultra-comfortable cork split grips. This design makes it easy to fish jerkbaits all day, even though they’re among the most labor-intensive bass fishing lures.

Jerkbait Rod Buyer’s Guide

A specialized jerkbait rod will help you catch more fish. There are many decent jerkbait rods that we weren’t able to feature on this list. As long as you find something with Medium power and a length between 6’6″ and 6’10”, you’ll be in good shape.

Rods that are too long are difficult to fish. The tip will slap against the water or show every time you pull your bait along. When it comes to power, rods with Medium ratings will give your jerkbaits the best “darting” action.

Blanks and Backbones for Jerkbait Rods

The best jerkbait rods have different qualities than your traditional bass rod. You want to avoid super-soft blanks, which are far better crankbait setups. A pole with more backbone and rigidity will help you achieve an aggressive presentation.

However, you don’t want to sacrifice tip sensitivity. A soft-top will give you more control and allow the bait to pause in the water periodically. Overall, the best jerkbait rods are well-balanced, performance-orientated products.

Choosing your Rod Length

As we’ve discussed, 6’6″ to 6’10” is the best rod length for jerkbait fishing. The most important consideration to make when choosing a rod is your height. Taller anglers can fish longer 6’10” rods without hitting the ground, while shorter anglers will benefit from smaller 6’6″ rods.

The best jerkbait technique is to pull straight down during your retrieval. Many beginner anglers will pull their rod to the side, which is bad form. You’ll quickly wear yourself out if you haven’t mastered the vertical retrieve technique.

Jerkbait Rod Power Ratings

The best rod power rating for jerkbait fishing is Medium. This will give you the ideal “darting” action to get the fish’s attention.

If you’re rod’s too powerful, you lose the side-to-side retrieval motion. On the other hand, Medium-Light or Light rods won’t give you the strength to drive your jerkbait’s treble hooks into the bass’s mouth.

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