Jerkbait fishing is a unique fishing technique that enables you to catch many different types of fish. It’s a little challenging to master, but that’s what makes it fun to begin with.
Jerkbaits mimic the movement of small distressed fish, which can act as a trigger for fish like bass to attack and fall right into your trap.
Because jerkbaits are quite unique, you’d need a rod with unique specifications that can keep up with the fish’s pulling and fighting. For example, you need a rod with faster action and a medium to medium-heavy power rating.
Because those specifications are not as easy to find as you might think, I’ve decided to come to the rescue. I created this list of my top picks for the best jerkbait rods in 2020. Are you ready to meet your next jerkbait rod?
List of the Best Jerkbait Rods:
- KastKing Speed Demon Pro – Best Overall
- Ugly Stik GX2 Casting – Runner-Up
- Cadence CR5 – Budget Pick
- Lew’s TP1 Speed Stick – Best Selection of Models
- Fenwick Elite Tech – Best for Bass Fishing
- Okuma Scott Martin – Premium Pick
Our Top Picks:
|KastKing Speed Demon Pro||Carbon and S-glass||
Ugly Stik GX2 Casting
|Graphite and fiberglass||EVA|
|Cadence CR5||30-ton graphite||
Cork and EVA
Lew’s TP1 Speed Stick
Fenwick Elite Tech
|Graphite||EVA and TAC|
Okuma Scott Martin
The 6 Best Jerkbait Rods in 2021
1. KastKing Speed Demon Pro – Best Overall
The KastKing Speed Demon Pro easily topped my list of the best jerkbait rods with its unmatched advantages over any other rod on the list.
The rod is made using a unique construction of an elite carbon and S-glass composite. It’s also made using nano resin technology, which provides the rod with lightness and strength. Besides, the rod is quite sensitive and durable.
Furthermore, it also comes with fuji O-ring guides for minimal friction on your line and increased accuracy when casting.
If you’re worried about comfort, the Speed Demon Pro comes with a Winn grip that has the design of a golf club and a fuji reel seat. It’s near impossible to find a rod as comfortable to hold as this one.
The rod comes in fifteen different models; each one has the perfect measurements for various fishing techniques. It comes in lengths starting at 6’8” up to 8’ and power ratings ranging from medium to extra-heavy.
Moreover, the rod comes in both spinning and casting styles in fast action, except for a few models that come in moderate-fast or moderate actions.
For jerkbait fishing, though, I strongly recommend the 6’10” casting model in a medium power rating and a fast action.
My only complaint is that the rod is a little pricey, but keep in mind that you’re getting your money’s worth. All the materials used to make this rod are of high quality, which ensures that the rod will last for years.
- High-quality materials
- A little on the pricey side
The KastKing Speed Demon Pro comes in different models for different purposes. For jerkbait, the 6’10” model in a medium-power rating should be your optimum choice. Moreover, the rod is durable, lightweight, sensitive, and well-balanced. I honestly couldn’t ask for more.
2. Ugly Stik GX2 Casting – Runner-Up
Coming in second place is the Ugly Stik GX2. Even though GX2 is available in both spinning and casting styles, I mostly recommend the casting ones for jerkbait fishing.
The GX2 is made from a graphite and fiberglass composite. The fiberglass provides the rod with the required durability for jerkbait fishing.
On the other hand, graphite contributes to the rod being light and sensitive.
It also comes with stainless guides for casting accuracy. Moreover, the rod comes with an EVA grip for comfort and a strong reel seat that can withstand any pulling or fighting.
Furthermore, the GX2 is one of the most affordable ones on the market while still offering high-quality materials. It also comes with a clear tip design for providing the angler with more control over the casting.
The rod comes in a wide selection of models with lengths varying from 5’6” to 7’ and power ratings of medium-light all the way up to heavy.
However, for jerkbait fishing, I recommend one of the 6’6” or 7’ models in a medium-heavy power rating.
Make sure you double-check the grip’s shape and length before making your final purchase because they differ depending on the model.
- Affordable price
- Some models are a little too stiff
The GX2 has everything you should be on the lookout for when searching for a jerkbait rod. It is durable, lightweight, and sensitive. In addition, it is available in a wide selection of models that you can choose from. However, for jerkbait fishing, I recommend going for a medium-power rating or higher.
3. Cadence CR5 – Budget Pick
The Cadence CR5 easily takes the title of the best budget jerkbait rod. It retails at a relatively low price without any loss in quality or performance.
The CR5 is made from 30-ton graphite, which is known to be a lightweight material that also provides sensitivity and balance to the rod.
It also comes with stainless steel guides for accuracy when casting and two possible handle configurations.
The configuration depends on which model you’re purchasing, but your two possibilities are either split or full grips made from cork and EVA. Lastly, the rod comes with a fuji reel seat.
The rod comes in a wide selection of models. However, they’re not all suitable for jerkbait fishing. The lengths start at 4’8” to 7’ with power ratings ranging from ultra-light to medium-heavy.
The jerkbait-friendly models are the 6’6” model in a medium-heavy power rating and a moderate-fast action, or the 7’ model with a medium-heavy power and a fast action.
Sadly, there’s a huge downside to this rod that must be addressed. Its reel seat could come loose after a few fishing trips, which is not ideal for jerkbait fishing. Make sure you double-check the reel seat and be prepared for any adjustments that you might have to make.
- Affordable price
- The reel seat is a little too weak
The CR5 is the best budget-friendly jerkbait rod that you could find. It is lightweight and sensitive due to its graphite construction. In addition, it is comfortable to hold with its cork and EVA handle and fuji reel seat.
4. Lew’s TP1 Speed Stick – Best Selection of Models
You must have noticed that over the previous three jerkbait rods, I only had one or two models that I recommend. That is not the case for the Lew’s TP1 Speed Stick whatsoever.
The rod is made from premium IM8 graphite, which provides the rod with lightness and sensitivity. It also comes with American Tackle Microwave Guide System that dramatically increases casting accuracy.
Moreover, the rod comes with split Dri-Tac Winn grips that add a whole new level to comfort along with a graphite reel seat.
For models, the rod comes in length varying from 5’9” to 7’6” with power ratings of medium-light to heavy. It also comes with moderate and fast actions.
Here’s the reason I believe this rod has the best model selection: most of the models are suitable for jerkbait fishing. The range of power ratings and actions are all jerkbait-friendly except the medium-light ones, but still, they’re usable.
Unfortunately, the rod has some downsides to it. Multiple users reported that the guides aren’t the strongest and break off after a short while. Besides, the packaging is not strong enough to protect the rod from potential damage during shipping.
- Comfortable to hold
- A wide variety of models
- A little pricey
- Poor packaging
- The guides are prone to breakage
The Lew’s TP1 Speed Stick is the perfect rod for you if you’re looking for a unique length and power rating combination. It comes in a huge selection of models, and most of them are suitable for jerkbait fishing. Not to mention, it is durable, lightweight, and comfortable.
5. Fenwick Elite Tech – Best for Bass Fishing
The jerkbait techniques can be used for catching different kinds of fish. One of the most popular targets of jerkbait fishing is bass.
If you know anything about bass, you’d know that they’re more aggressive and can put up a good fight. Fenwick Elite Tech is your best bet if you’re looking for a jerkbait rod that can withstand the bass’ fights.
The Elite Tech is designed and marketed as a bass fishing rod, which means that it has the perfect specifications for bass fishing—duh.
This is mainly because it’s made from graphite, which is a lightweight material that also provides the rod with sensitivity. Besides, it comes with titanium guides that are a great help when it comes to improving the casting accuracy.
Moreover, the Elite Tech comes with an EVA and TAC grip that is comfortable to hold and eliminates any possible wrist fatigue. More on that, the rod comes with a unique reel seat that has a hidden handle design that combines both comfort and functionality.
The rod comes in various length options starting at 6’6” all the way to 7’9” with power ratings ranging from medium to extra-heavy. It also comes with moderate, fast, and extra-fast actions.
Because this is a bass rod, most of the models are suitable for jerkbait fishing. However, I recommend going for a moderate or moderate-fast action rather than an extra-fast one.
- Comfortable to hold
If your main target from jerkbait fishing is bass, I strongly recommend the Fenwick Elite Tech. The rod’s graphite construction provides it with lightness and sensitivity. In addition, its unique reel seat and EVA grip eliminate wrist fatigue.
6. Okuma Scott Martin – Premium Pick
If you’re looking to invest a little extra money in a high-quality rod that guarantees longevity, the Okuma Scott Martin is your best bet.
The premium rod is made from 30-ton carbon that provides lightness, sensitivity, and durability. It also comes with hard aluminum-oxide guides that reduce friction on braided lines.
It’s also equipped with an EVA handle that provides comfort to the angler. In addition, the reel seat is made from C-40X carbon for even further comfort and lightness.
The rod comes in both casting and spinning styles. For spinning models, the lengths vary from 6’9” to 7’2” with a medium power rating.
On the other side, the casting models come in lengths starting at 6’6” to 7’11” with power ratings ranging from medium all the way up to extra-heavy.
Honestly, most of the models are suitable for jerkbait fishing, so I can’t commit to recommending just one model. My only recommendation is not to go for a power rating as high as extra-heavy unless you know precisely what you’re doing.
The only possible let-down of this rod is that its packaging is not protective enough. Just make sure you double-check the rod as soon as it arrives for any potential damage.
- High-quality materials
- Poor packaging
The Okuma Scott Martin is the best high-quality jerkbait rod that you can possibly run into. It is lightweight, durable, and sensitive. Moreover, the rod is comfortable to hold because of its EVA grip and C-40X reel seat. This rod screams longevity and high-quality.
How to Pick a Jerkbait Rod
Before committing to a jerkbait rod, you need to know exactly what you’ll be getting. Multiple factors should be considered and weighed before making your final decision.
1. Spinning vs. Casting
Both spinning and casting styles can be used in jerkbait fishing. Choosing between them just depends on your own personal preference; there’s no right or wrong.
However, casting rods are more popular for jerkbait, and that’s what experts would pick. Casting rods are a little challenging to master, but you won’t go back to spinning rods once you do.
Casting rods provide more control and power to the angler. However, spinning rods are much easier to use.
So, to sum things up, if you’re a beginner to jerkbait fishing, I strongly recommend going for a spinning rod. Otherwise, casting rods offer more advantages over spinning ones that are hard to ignore.
As you’ve seen throughout the article, each rod has its own materials used, and some even use composites. Each material has advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the right rod depends on how you want your rod to perform.
The most popular material used in the rod’s construction is graphite. There are many derivatives of graphite, but their benefits mostly remain constant.
Graphite provides the rod with lightness, sensitivity, and balance, which are all critical factors that you need in a jerkbait rod.
Moreover, if you’re looking to increase the rod’s durability, then you’d need a composite of glass and graphite. Glass adds that extra durability while graphite helps to maintain the rod’s lightness.
Your rod’s action is a critical factor that you need to take into consideration before committing to a rod. I’d even go as far as saying that it is the most crucial factor of all.
For jerkbait rods, you’d need a fast action rod because jerkbait fishing depends on mimicking a jerking movement.
I recommend going for moderate-fast or fast actions. They provide the angler with more control and react quickly enough to hook your fish before it can escape.
The power determines how sensitive your rod is and how much pressure must be applied for your rod to bend.
Generally, for jerkbait fishing, I recommend that you stay in the range of medium to medium-heavy.
However, power is entirely subjective. It depends on the fish you’re targeting, how much they weigh, how much they can pull on your rod, and how heavy your lure is. Make sure you double-check your rod’s power before making your final purchase.
Much like choosing between spinning and casting rods, there’s no right or wrong when choosing your rod’s length.
Shorter lengths offer more control over the rod, while longer rods offer a longer casting distance.
The optimum or rather the average length of jerkbait rods is 6’6”, so I recommend going for that or a close length. Just stay in the 6’ to 7’ range.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is Jerkbait Fishing?
Jerkbait fishing targets fish, like bass, that feed on smaller fish. Jerkbaits are used to mimic the movement of a small hurt fish. That movement can trigger bass to attack your jerkbait.
Jerkbait fishing is very popular in colder weather because a dying or a struggling fish is the perfect target for bass.
What Kind of Jerkbait Should I Use?
Jerkbait could come in either neutral or bright colors. Your first instinct might say you should go for a neutral colored jerkbait, which is absolutely correct if you’re fishing in clear, calm waters.
Bright-colored jerkbaits are used in cloudy or windy conditions because they’re easier to spot by the fish, and they won’t just blend in with the water.
What is the Difference between Jerkbait and Crankbait?
Although jerkbait and crankbait might seem similar from afar, they’re not. Crankbaits are wider and shorter, while jerkbaits tend to be longer and thinner.
Moreover, jerkbaits are more popularly used in shallower water than crankbaits. Don’t get me wrong, some jerkbait can go quite deep, but that’s just the rule of thumb.
Picking the perfect jerkbait rod is easier said than done. There are many factors that you’d need to consider, like material, power, action, and length.
Each product had its pros and cons, and it’s on you to weigh both sides and go for the rod that mostly fits what you’re looking for without making any significant sacrifices. In case you’re looking for a quick memory jog of the three best jerkbait rods on the market, here’s a recap.
My top pick for the best jerkbait rod is the KastKing Speed Demon Pro. It offers everything that you might be looking for, from lightness and sensitivity to durability and high-quality. It’s one of those rods that you can’t go wrong with. The only downside is that it’s a little pricey.
My runner-up is the Ugly Stik GX2 Casting. Its unique construction provides it with durability and sensitivity like no other. Besides, it is quite affordable, and some people would even describe it as ‘unbreakable’.
After that, my budget pick is the Cadence CR5. One of the most common issues with ordering rods online is that their packages are not protective enough. Cadence eliminates any possible damages because the rod comes in a sturdy package. Moreover, it is the best cheap jerkbait rod that you can find.