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Whether you’re just getting into bass fishing or you’re in the market for a high-quality rod and reel, the search for the best bass fishing rod and reel combo can be downright overwhelming.
As an experienced angler myself, I know how difficult it can be to find the perfect rod and reel.
Shopping for them each individually is stressful enough, but then add in the challenge of not knowing whether the reel you picked out will match the rod can be downright stressful.
Buying a rod and reel combo takes a lot of the guesswork out of the equation.
You won’t have to worry about finding the perfect pair because the manufacturer will have taken care of the matchmaking for you.
So, without further ado, here are some of the top rod and reel combos you can buy for bass fishing – but don’t forget, many can be used to fish for other types of fish, too!
Best Bass Fishing Rod and Reel Combo 2021
If you’re in a rush to get out there on the water, don’t feel obligated to sit through the full read.
Here are the best rod and reel combos for bass fishing:
Last update on 2021-02-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Top Bass Fishing Rod and Reel Combo – Reviews
Here are the top good quality rod and reel combos for bass fishing
Cadence CC5 Spinning Combo
The Cadence CC5 is a spinning combo that is perfect for bass anglers in more brackish environments.
It has corrosion-resistant stainless steel inserts and guides along with a durable carbon composite frame and side plates.
Not only that, but this reel has a lightweight and super comfortable EVA handle knob. This knob is ergonomic and easy to grip.
It is equipped with eight ball bearings plus one that is anti-reverse. The result? A reel that operates smoothly with minimal resistance.
- 8+1 ball bearings offer a consistently smooth performance
- Rods come in a variety of lengths, power ratings, and actions for all kinds of fishing
- Strong and corrosion-resistant reel
- Not equipped with the most durable guides
Ugly Stik Elite Baitcast Combo
Ugly Stik is one of the leading brands in the fishing world, and when you buy from this company, you’re guaranteed a rod and reel combo that will work just as hard as you do.
In fact, this company’s motto is, “Ugly won’t quit!” This durable rod is lightweight and versatile, featuring 35% more graphite than past models to lower its overall weight.
It has one-piece stainless steel guides and a clear tip so that you’ll not only have more strength but more sensitivity when the fish bite, too.
The spool of the reel is made out of ported machined aluminum. It’s a medium-heavy rod that is just six and a half feet and has premium cork handles.
It’s incredibly comfortable to use while offering all the added strength you could ever need and want.
- Reel offers minimal backlash
- Good baitcasting rod and reel for beginners
- Guides eliminate insert popouts
- Not ideal for heavier braided line
Lew’s Mach 2 SLP Baitcast Combo
Lew’s is a fishing tackle company that has been around since 1949. Over the years, this company has continued to produce products that are not only durable but also incredibly strong, too.
This combo comes with a reel that has a low-profile and compact “speed spool” design. It’s enclosed in a graphite frame and has graphite slide plates for lightweight resilience.
With a whopping ten double-shielded stainless steel bearings, this reel is worthy of the price all on its own. However, you’ll get a pretty impressive rod, too.
It has a one-piece IM8 graphite blank that’s made using Lew’s proprietary nanotechnology for the perfect combination of sensitivity and strength.
- Available as both a left-hand and right-hand baitcasting combo
- Come with Winn Dri-Tac handle knobs for a better grip and excellent control
- Has a double-anodized aluminum spool tension adjustment with an audible click
- Some users have reported about the longevity and overall durability of the rod
PLUSINNO Fishing Combo
When you buy this fishing rod and reel combo from Plusinno, you’ll get everything you need for a fun-filled (and successful!) day out on the water.
You’ll get the bass rod and reel, of course, but you’ll also get a carrying case, a set of fishing line, and a box of lures.
Perfect for sea fishing and boat fishing, this rod collapses into multiple pieces for easy travel.
The rod has aluminum oxide guide inserts and is telescopic. It has sensitive graphite blanks and comes in multiple actions and lengths.
Made out of a blend of carbon fiber and fiberglass, this rod is durable and equipped with stainless steel hooded reel seats for ultimate corrosion resistance.
And let’s not forget about the reel! The reel has a thick-coiled bail spring and an s-curve oscillation system for exceptional line winding.
It is made out of aluminum and has a handle that is interchangeable for both right – and left-handed people.
All in all, there’s very little that this reel and rod combo leaves to be desired.
- Comfortable EVA fore grip
- Stainless steel hooded reel seat holds up well for multipurpose use in saltwater along with freshwater
- The telescopic rod is portable and durable
- Doesn’t come fashioned with the best line
KastKing Centron Spinning Reel – Fishing Rod Combos
The KastKing Centron Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo can be found in multiple sizes and actions, with options varying from six feet to seven and a half feet.
No matter which option you choose, you’ll find that the rod is sensitive and lightweight. It is equipped with IM7 graphite blanks that will give you great value and performance.
Perfect for bass along with other fish species, like catfish, trout, bass, and panfish, the rod is equipped with stainless steel guides.
These guides have premium O-ring inserts that allow you to use the rod with both braided and mono lines.
It has a lightweight stainless steel frame that not only looks great but helps keep the weight down on your rod, too.
- A lightweight and sensitive rod
- Contoured EVA foam handles and fighting butt for exceptional comfort
- Available in multiple lengths and actions
- Should not ever be used in saltwater
KastKing Crixus Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
Another option by KastKing is the Crixus Fishing Rod and Reel Combo. It offers great value and is made out of durable carbon fiber.
With light, strong, and sensitive IM6 graphite rod blanks, this premium fishing rod is worth the buy all on its own.
Available in a variety of lengths from five and a half to six and a half feet long, this fishing rod offers exceptional performance and is perfect for bass along with a variety of other species, including walleye, panfish, and trout.
There are seven different combos you can choose from in this series.
All are high-performing and come with reels equipped with carbon-infused frames, 5+1 stainless steel ball bearings, aluminum spools, and smooth drags.
There is simply no better value than a KastKing Crixus!
- Available for both right-handed and left-handed people
- Smooth bearings
- A lightweight and sensitive rod
- Can be difficult to adjust the reel for casting
Zebco 33 Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
The Zebco 33 Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is available in both five and six feet, both as a spincast and spinning option as well as a micro trigger spin.
With a medium-fast action, this telescopic rod is great for bass along with trout, panfish, walleye, and more.
It comes with fiberglass rod blanks for added strength and durability, along with tough D-Ring guides.
You’ll get a smooth cast and retrieve, and you will love how comfortable the EVA handle is on your hands.
It also has a QuickSet Anti-Reverse for a solid hookset. You can switch up the right and left hand retrieve for a more versatile configuration.
The reel comes with all-metal gears for added durability and gear life.
Plus, all Zebco products are warrantied for one year from the date of purchase – you’ll rest easy knowing that your rod and reel are designed to last for quite some time.
- Telescopic rod has an impressive line capacity
- Medium power with medium-fast action
- Fast lure retrieval time
- Not the best for using in saltwater
Choosing a Good Bass Fishing Rod and Reel
Baitcasting vs Spinning
The first decision you’ll need to make when you’re shopping for your rod and reel combo is whether you want to buy a spinning rod and reel setup or a baitcasting rod and reel setup.
The decision is entirely yours, but there are several key differences to pay attention to.
Baitcasting rods have guides that face upwards while spinning rods have those that face downward and are generally a bit larger.
Spinning rods also have triggers on the handle for reel placement.
While these sound like minor differences, it’s important to note that spinning rods need to be operated with an overhead cast controlled by the reel.
This is a casting style that many beginning anglers find much easier. It requires less timing, finger work, and attention than a baitcasting cast.
Professional anglers generally opt for baitcasting rods, but if you’re new to fishing, I would recommend going with a spinning combo setup.
When it comes to the reel, the main difference between baitcasting and spinning reels is that spinning reels have a mixed spool. They are controlled by using the bail arm.
They are best for light lures and lines.
Baitcasting reels, on the other hand, offer anglers more control, but also more room for error. They are preferred by serious anglers.
The beauty of choosing a bass fishing rod and reel combo is that you don’t have to worry about mismatching baitcasting or spinning rods and reels with each other – everything will be done for you.
Rod length is also something you’ll want to pay attention to while you’re shopping. Generally speaking, your length will be directly related to your casting distance.
A longer rod will be much better at sending out lines than a shorter rod. However, shorter rods tend to be lighter in weight and more convenient to travel with.
Depending on how strong and agile you are, a shorter rod might also be easier for you to maneuver.
Ultimately, to decide what length of rod you should choose when selecting your combo, you’ll want to consider where you are going to fish and what kind of fish you are going after.
Next, think about the handle on your rod. Rod handles can generally be broken up into two categories – single grip and split grip.
Neither makes a huge difference, but the split grip will give you more opportunities for customization.
You can swap out your reel more easily than you would be able to with a single grip. However, since they’re multiple pieces, they are more likely to break and can be harder to handle.
Consider the material of the handle, as this can also play a major role in your comfort levels.
Cork is the most comfortable material, for the most part, but EVA foam is a lot cheaper (and often just as comfortable).
Cork also wears down quickly, so that’s something to consider – but it’s easier on the eyes.
You’ll want to pay attention to the materials that your rod is made of, as this will impact the weight and feel of your rod.
In general, if you’re a beginner, you will want to choose the lightest possible rod.
You won’t’ find yourself getting fatigued as often as you might with a heavy rod and you’ll also enjoy the added sensitivity.
A graphite rod is a good option, even though it’s not quite as durable as fiberglass.
Some rods can be broken down into multiple pieces. The more pieces your rod has, the more time you’ll spend putting it together and then taking it apart before and after fishing.
However, it will also save you space if you have tight living quarters or plan on traveling or hiking a lot with your rod and reel combo.
Rods that break apart into multiple pieces are much more portable.
Although they’re more likely to break, many combos come with helpful carrying cases that will make it easier for you to tote your gear through the woods.
Action and Power
Look for a rod and reel combo that has several options when it comes to action. You shouldn’t have to settle for just one type – most combos can be purchased in a variety of options.
What is the action?
This refers to the spot on the rod shaft where the bend is pronounced. The faster a rod is, the more sensitive it is. Ideally, as a beginner, you will want a medium-fast action rod.
You won’t have to deal with the wrist strain of a slow action rod, yet you’ll also avoid the ultra-sensitivity of a rod that is too fast.
You also need to consider power.
Power refers to how much bend is found in a rod (rather than just where it bends). This is measured from light to heavy and can be used synonymously with the term “strength.”
The heavier the power is, the less bend you’ll experience.
Usually, you’ll want a light to medium power rod. This will give you a longer cast with increased flex.
A medium rod will give your fish the ability to swallow lures further into their mouths, making it more likely that you will hook the fish.
Don’t forget about the guides, either. These should be distributed along the length of a rod and help offset some of the friction of the line running off the reel and into the water.
You will want guides that are durable and not easily broken (ideally those made out of titanium or aluminum).
Pay attention to the ball bearings on your reel. These help support the gears and contribute to the reels’ overall stability and smoothness.
The more bearings a reel has, the more optimal the performance. Ideally, you will want a reel in your combo that has a minimum of four ball bearings.
That way, you’ll enjoy problem-free retrieval each time.
Stainless steel is usually the way to go over plain bearings since they’ll offer you more durability, control, and corrosion resistance.
Luckily, this is the standard now when it comes to ball bearings.
Gear ratio is another important factor to consider. This measurement refers to the turn of the handle and how many times the spool turns with that.
If your gear ratio is 6:1, for instance, that means that a single turn leads to six rotations of your spool.
A lower gear ratio will be best for fishing crankbait and swimbait lures, while a higher gear ratio goes best with jerk baits and topwater.
The drag system has to do with the friction plates in your reel that adjust when a fish bites your hook and begins to run.
You’ll want a combo that has a reel with a drag that can be easily set before your cast and also during your fight.
You may find that it has an adjustment button so you can turn the drag easily.
Other Major Considerations to Make
There are a few personal decisions you need to make when shopping for a bass fishing rod and reel combo.
For example, what kind of fishing will you be doing? Some rod and reel combos are engineered specifically for certain styles of fishing, like ice fishing or fly fishing.
Others are designed specifically for beginners, meaning they lack the bells and whistles needed for true customization but enable you to get out on the water quickly and easily.
You’ll also want to factor in your budget. Combos are generally more cost-effective than their alternatives, but they aren’t all super cheap.
When you’re just getting started, you’ll want to find an option that will hold up well but doesn’t have all the frills of the more expensive models.
Should I Buy a Bass Fishing Rod and Reel Combo?
Bass fishing rod and reel combos aren’t for everyone – but I really think they are the way to go.
They’re perfect if you are a beginner that is new to bass fishing.
If you’re more experienced, a bass fishing rod and reel combo might not be the best choice, since you won’t be able to select an individual reel and rod that will better suit your preferences and needs.
The pairing is left up to the manufacturer, which for those of us with a bit more experience, can be a bit disappointing.
Plus, if you have a ton of gear already, you won’t get a lot of benefit out of a combo that matches a reel type with a specific rod.
But if you’re new to bass fishing, a combo is the way to go. You’ll have two pieces that are compatible with each other, rather than buying a reel just to find out that it doesn’t fit with the rod you already have.
Plus, it can help you keep your gear on-brand. That way, if there are any issues that require you to troubleshoot one piece or the other, you only need to go to one source.
Buying a bass fishing rod and reel combo can also help you save money since you’ll get more bang for your buck in this one purchase.
Warranties are often easier to come by and you won’t have to spend a ton of time and energy chasing independent manufacturers for more information on the separate pieces.
So, should you buy a bass fishing rod and reel combo? The decision is up to you – but I say go for it!