SPRO KGB Swimbait Rod Review

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SPRO started collaborating with a few different anglers to bring technique-specific rods to market that are tailored to use with their baits, as well as other lures like them. Their latest rod design collaboration involved Dean Rojas, designer of the beloved SPRO Bronzeye Frogs. I’m currently testing the RkCrawler rod that SPRO released a little while back as well; a 7-foot, 2-inch medium-action cranking rod built for for the Mike McClelland-designed crankbaits bearing that name but has doubled as a great finesse casting rod. This review focuses on the SPRO KGB Swimbait Rod, which I have been testing for a few months now. This thing is legit. 

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The SPRO KGB Swimbait Rod is designed specifically with the SPRO KGB Chad Shad in mind. This glide bait quickly became a cult favorite and a best seller on Tackle Warehouse. I’ve been fishing the Chad Shad for the last few months and this is a dynamic and exciting bait to fish with. 

The Chad Shad weighs 2.4 ounces, which makes it too heavy to fish on standard bass gear. The big and stiff swimbait rods that are required for baits over 4 ounces are far too heavy to use with this lure as well. Additionally, the stiff action of most of those rods leaves something to be desired with a bait this size. 

SPRO and KGB linked up to bring this 7 foot 9 inch heavy power, moderate action rod to life. It is simply a pleasure to fish with; especially in comparison to many of the other swimbait rods I’ve fished with. Even with its parabolic bend, it’s still strong enough to handle a bait up to 3 ounces, introducing many anglers to a new era in big swimbait rods. 


This rod is light, long, strong and has a moderate action. This makes it great for fishing the 7-inch Chad Shad and other similarly-sized baits. Casting it doesn’t wear you out. It loads up well on the hookset. The action absorbs surging runs from the fish to keep them from tearing off of treble hooks. The soft tip of the rod allows for accurate and near effortless roll casts. 

The moderate action of the rod also makes it easier to work the bait. Instead of having to twitch the tip like you would with a stiffer rod, little chops of the reel are all that’s needed to get the bait walking back and forth. The action is smoother too since the tip bends and rebounds as you work the bait with the reel, allowing the lure to take off and coast to a stop in a more natural motion. 



For the good ole boys that like the “Made in America” mantra, this one’s for you. The SPRO KGB Swimbait Rod is made in the great old US of A using a 40-ton carbon fiber high modulus graphite blank, Fuji guides and a Fuji exposed-blank reel seat. The extra-long 20.25-inch split grip handle uses a combination of a cork grip and an EVA foam butt. 

The long handle is one of the keys to this rod working so well. Two-handed casts are almost always necessary with big baits, whether you’re lobbing a lure way out or trying to lay it between a pontoon boat and a dock. With a longer handle, you can grip the reel with one hand and the butt with the other and cast the bait much more effectively. 


When you take into account the handle of this rod is 4 or 5 inches longer than a typical casting rod, you can actually see that this 7-foot 9-inch rod is really more like a 7-foot 4-inch rod from the forward grip out. It certainly fishes like one. That’s what I like most about it. 

Even with it’s heavy power, the moderate action of the SPRO KGB rod paired with the sheer weight of the baits that are fished on it make it perform more like a big 7-foot medium-heavy rod with a fast action than what most anglers would probably think of with big stiff swimbait rods. 


This rod is also perfect for harnessed swimbaits like the Berkley Cull Shad and especially for the larger Megabass Magdraft. It is also great for large wakebaits, as long as they come in under 3 ounces. These two lure types, in addition to the glide baits it was designed for, pair well with this rod because of its strength and action. It’s strong enough to cast these baits and haul in big fish, while also being limber enough to keep the treble hooks from pulling free. 

I think it would make for a good umbrella rig rod as well, though I haven’t tried it for this yet. It’ll be a little light for some of the bigger rigs, but something like a YUM Yumbrella Flash Mob Jr should work well on it. The long handle is conducive to the two-handed lob casts that are needed for umbrella rigs. The moderate action would allow the rod to load up on the hookset and let fish fight without tearing free or bending out hooks. 


The SPRO KGB Swimbait Rod has quickly become a favorite of mine. I’ve dived into the big bait world a lot more the last few months, and this rod in particular has made the process far more enjoyable. Throwing large lures often means no bites for long periods of time. If you’re not getting bites—and wearing yourself out heaving a big rod around in the process—you can get discouraged pretty quickly. 

That makes this the perfect rod for the angler looking to get into big bait fishing. It’s capable of handling most glide baits, wakebaits and harnessed swimbaits. The price isn’t astronomical, at $280. Finally, the quality of the rod build leads me to believe this one will serve well as a big bait staple for several years.

Buy at Tackle Warehouse

Buy at FishUSA.com 

Buy at Omnia Fishing