Fishing Rods for Shaky Head Rigs
During the late spring and summer months, fishing a Shaky Head rig becomes a highly effective method for catching bass. However, since these baits come in various shapes and sizes, many anglers aren’t sure which rods to fish them on.
In this guide, we’ll break down the seven best Shaky Head rods of the year and discuss the qualities that earned them a spot on this list.
Our team considers over a dozen factors when ranking fishing rods, and we’re confident we’ve included products that suit every angler’s needs. For other technique-specific rods, see our guide to the best bass fishing rods of 2021.
Most of the rods we discuss are versatile enough to fish all types of Shaky Heads. However, if you’re building an ultra-specific rod arsenal, we have suggestions for the rod qualities to look out for.
The best rods for Deep-water Shaky Heads are typically rated as “worm/jig” models. While this seems confusing at first, the extended build gives you more leverage to set the hook at greater distances.
Finesse Shaky Head rods are usually around seven feet long and feature fast action with a sensitive tip. These builds are ideal for smaller Shaky Heads, such as 3/8 ounce rigs paired with a plastic worm.
TFO Professional Series TFG Rod
4.4 Stars | 62 Angler Reviews | $100 – $120
The best bass fishing rod for Shaky Head Rigs is the Temple Fork Outfitters Professional Series TFG. This pole is engineered and designed with high-quality components that are usually only found in expensive rods. TFO produces some of the most impressive and affordable blanks of the modern era.
This is lightweight, easy to handle, and has the ideal lure weight ratings for Shaky Heads. We like the medium-power model the most, as it’s a versatile “do-it-all” rod for freshwater and even inshore situations.
When paired with a lightweight reel, you’ll have no problem throwing Shaky Heads and other baits all day. Whether you’re jigging large Shaky Heads in deeper waters or fishing smaller finesse presentations along the shoreline, this TFO rod will become one of the best in your arsenal.
Fenwick HMG Spinning Rod
4.4 Stars | 277 Angler Reviews | $100 – $185
Another exceptional Shaky Head rod for the 2021 bass fishing season is the Fenwick HMG Spinning Rod. We found the medium-light model pairs perfectly with the Daiwa BG 1500 spinning reel. However, you would probably still see decent performance from 2500 and 3000 series models as well.
This rod is sensitive enough to detect light bites from both Spotted Bass and Smallmouth. Our favorite feature is that Fenwick includes a second tip, so you’ll get the benefits of medium-power and a medium-light setup from the same setup.
You’ll love the Alien handle just as much as we do. After casting all day, it’s comfortable in your hand and gives you direct contact with the blank for heightened sensitivity. When a rod has the power to handle gargantuan largemouth bass and has premium sensitivity simultaneously, it’s the ideal rod for Shaky Heads.
- Soft-touch Alien Reel Seat with Positive Lock Design
- Carbon Bound Blanks with Spiraled Carbon Thread
- Fuji Line Guides with Alconite Inserts
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
Speed Demon Pro Fishing Rod
4.6 Stars | 716 Angler Reviews
This rod has been featured on several of our technique-specific rod guides for a reason. KastKing’s Speed Demon Pro is an incredibly innovative series with models specifically designed for different bass fishing presentations. It’s surprisingly light in your hand, the blank is robust, and the line guides are superb.
The Speed Demon Pro is an ideal rod for fishing Shaky Heads. With a fast action tip, strong backbone, and streamlined design, you’ll get plenty of sensitivity and strength.
We applaud KastKing for ensuring the rod guides are in line with the slight curve in the blank. Other manufacturers frequently fail to keep the components perfectly straight, and it severely hinders the performance. The Speed Demon Pro will always load with the natural arc in the rod.
- Carbon & Nano Resin Blanks (30% Weight Reduction)
- Fuji Guides & Reel Seats
- 15 Technique-Specific Actions & Lengths
- True Tournament Shaky Head Rod
G. Loomis IMX Shaky Head
5 Stars | 1 Angler Review | $345 – $355
The G. Loomis IMX Shaky Head Rod may be expensive, but it’s the most refined rod for Shaky Head presentations on the market. This medium-power spinning rod is designed for fishing lakes with heavy cover and casting in deeper waters.
This premium medium-power blank allows you to fish heavier lines and larger Shaky Heads than you otherwise could. It’s extremely sensitive and helps you maintain positive lure control and keep your presentation on the bottom.
Using IMX-Pro technology, G. Loomis was able to keep this model extraordinarily lightweight. Overall, the main benefits you’ll get from an expensive rod like this are increased comfort and a dynamic feeling in your hand.
St Croix Mojo Inshore
4.6 Stars | 358 Angler Reviews | $130 – $215
While the St Croix Mojo Inshore is a versatile rod series, its responsiveness makes it great for Shaky Head fishing. If you’ve ever fished a St Croix rod, you’ll know they offer unparalleled performance, strength, and weight reduction.
We recommend you don’t opt for a top-of-the-line St Coix rod for a technique-specific Shaky Head setup. This mid-range model gives you more than enough sensitivity and strength for any situation where you need a larger finesse presentation.
Our favorite model of this series for Shaky Heads is the Jig-n-Worm. While its power rating is on the heavier side, St Coix’s seamless blank construction allows it to be sensitive and strong at the same time.
- Advanced SCIII Graphite Construction
- IPC Tooling Technology
- Kigan Master Hand 3D Guides
- St. Croix 5-year Warranty
Dobyns Sierra Series
5 Stars | 3 Angler Reviews | $160
The Dobyns Sierra Series Spinning Rod has an incredible strength-to-weight ratio. While it’s sensitive enough for Shaky Heads, this rod is versatile enough for many types of bass fishing lures.
It features Fuji Alconite guides, Kevlar wrappings, and a Fuji Reel Seat. We recommend the model linked above as Dobyns rates it for jigs, Texas Rigs, Senko Worms, and Shaky Heads. Many anglers find the Sierra Series becomes the best rod in their arsenal.
Dobyns Champion Extreme HP Rod
5 Stars | 4 Angler Reviews | $325 – $340
If you’re willing to break the bank on a top-of-the-line Shaky Head rod, the Dobyns Champion Extreme HP Rod is ridiculously sensitive and balanced. The creator, Gary Dobyns, hit it out of the park with this new bass rod series.
This rod is perfect for small to medium Shaky Heads and works well with Texas Rigs, dart heads, and soft plastic baits. If you’re a tournament angler or want to make a long-term investment into your hobby, this series is ideal for building a technique-specific arsenal.
Dobyns recommends using a 4-10 pound test line on this 7’0″ fast action spinning rod. We’ve found the ideal lure weight range is between 1/16 and 3/8 ounces.