Buying Fishing Rods on a Budget: What You Need to Know

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Do you really need the most expensive fishing rod for every technique? Pro bass angler Justin Lucas says no! Justin provides an honest and insightful breakdown on when an affordable rod (under $100) can get the job done. Conversely, he explains when pushing your budget a little will help you catch more fish. For an upfront base of comparison, you get a lighter and increasingly sensitive rod, the more money you spend.


Topwater Baits:
Abu Garcia Vendetta Casting Rod, 7’4″ MedHvy, Moderate
Abu Garcia REVO MGX Casting Reel

Moving Baits:
Abu Garcia Veritas Casting Rod, 7’3″ Heavy
Abu Garcia REVO STX Gen 4 Casting Reel

Bottom Contact Baits:
Abu Garcia Fantasista Premier Casting Rod, 7′ MedHvy
Abu Garcia REVO MGX Casting Reel

Lucas selects rods based on the chosen technique. There are 2 categories, 1) moving baits like crankbaits, spinnerbaits, bladed jigs, or topwaters, and 2) bottom contact baits — think jigs, Texas rigs, drop shot, Neko rig, or shaky head. With moving baits, bites are usually aggressive, so you’re not gaining much by using an expensive, super-sensitive rod. However, with bottom techniques, a sensitive rod telegraphs details like bottom composition and helps you detect subtle and delicate bites much more effectively.

At the end of the day, we’re all on a budget, and fishing doesn’t need to cost a fortune. This guidance provides good direction on how to spend your hard-earned dollar.