Call them striped bass, call them striper, call them whatever you want – striper fishing is a ton of fun.
These fish have been popular game fish species for centuries, and there’s nothing quite like the sense of accomplishment that comes from reeling in a huge striper.
However, you won’t be able to do that if you aren’t armed with the right gear. Not only do you need the best reel and tackle, but you also need to invest in the right rod.
If you’re new to fishing striper, these are the best striper rods you can buy.
I will also cover some tips on how to find the perfect one for your preferences, budget, and unique fishing needs.
Best Striper Rods for the Money in 2021
If you’re in a rush, don’t waste time reading the full post. Instead, consider our quick list of the best striper rods that money can buy.
Last update on 2021-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Top 6 Striper Rods For The Money
Here are the top 6 striper rods on the market today
Okuma Classic Pro GLT & Rods
The Okuma Classic is a rod that offers superior value at a low price. It is made out of high-quality materials and comes in several sizes, including 8’6” to 10’6” with various weights (medium and medium-heavy).
It has a durable glass fiber blank construction but can be broken down into two separate pieces for maximum convenience.
It has a durable shrink tube over an EVA butt for easy removal from a rod holder, if you select the downrigger variety.
However, Okuma also offers precision trolling, copper/lead core, dipsy diver, and salmon options, too.
No matter which option you select, know that this rod is powerful enough to catch large fish without compromising flexibility for smaller guys, too.
- Flexible yet sturdy
- Versatile selection of rod styles, lengths, and strengths
- Attractive design
- Butt section can be too long for some users
Ugly Stik Tiger Elite Spinning Fishing Rod
With a medium power and a sturdy backbone, the Ugly Stik Tiger Elite is another one of the best striper rods you can buy.
It can be used for other kinds of fish and is suitable for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. At a versatile seven feet in length, this rod casts further and sends bait exactly where it needs to go.
You’ll be able to hit your target without spooking your fishing – something that is essential when you are fishing for striper in the early spring when they tend to hang out closer to the water’s surface.
This rod is unique in that it has a blank that runs throughout the entire rod, including the reel seat. You’ll have excellent control since you’ll be able to feel everything that’s happening to your line.
This rod has more line guides than you might be accustomed to, each of which is made out of single-piece stainless steel.
With a thick middle section and plenty of power, this rod offers excellent comfort and leverage when you need it the most.
- Long-lasting, durable design
- One of the most comfortable to hold
- Great for beginners
- Not the best for casting far with lighter lures
Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Rod
Two picks from Ugly Stik on the same list? You bet. The GX2 is another option from this leading brand that is sure to impress when you are going after monster stripers.
It’s made out of a composite of fiberglass and graphite that makes it incredibly durable without compromising on your sensitivity.
It is simple yet effective, making it easy to use for novice anglers.
Nonetheless, it’s also a good choice for more experienced anglers, as it’s quite adept at going after large fish. Every inch of it is reliable, from its strong stainless steel guides to its durable handle.
Available in medium to heavy action, it is also available in several different lengths. It’s ideal for long casts and can easily be used with most types of line.
- High-quality guides made out of stainless steel
- Lightweight fiberglass and graphite composite
- Effective but simple design for novice anglers
- Handle can be too short and feel too stiff for some users
PENN Carnage II Boat Spinning Rod
Made out of spiral-wrapped carbon and fiberglass, this rod is tough and strong. It has an action that is a bit slower than what you might be used to – but trust me, you’ll love it.
The line guides on this rod are meant to be used with braids. They do require inserts, which is something to be aware of.
The split handle of this rod is cultured and uniquely textured to help improve your grip. It has a machined aluminum reel seat to keep the rod balanced.
Plus, each rod is equipped with a gimbal so you can leave it in the rod holder without having to worry about it sliding out.
- One of the best striper rods for using on a boat
- Has a non-slip grip
- Machined aluminum reel seat
- The line guides require inserts
SHIMANO TREVALA Spinning, Graphite Saltwater Jigging Rod
Shimano offers some of the best spinning rods on the market – this one for stripers is no exception.
It’s meant to be used specifically with the butterfly jigs from Shimano and works well at faster speeds. It can also be used in saltwater, meaning it’s a good option if you are going after ocean targets.
With a moderate-fast action, you’ll love how easy this rod is to use for both ocean and surf fishing. It’s ideal for fishing around structure, too, like rocks.
You’ll be able to get a firm grip on this rod’s handle, which is comfortable and easy to use in wet weather.
- Designed to be used with Power Pro Line
- Can be used at faster speeds
- Does well when fishing around structure
- Some users find it a bit too stiff
EatMyTackle Sabiki Rig Bait Fishing Rod (7ft.)
Great for long casts, this fishing rod from EatMyTackle is also great for striper fishing. It has a medium to fast action and is exceptionally powerful.
Built out of fiberglass and with unique plastic fittings, it is sensitive and lightweight. It can be broken down into two separate pieces, which makes it easy to store in small places and take with you wherever you want to go.
It’s available only in a seven-foot length, and while most anglers find the break-down design the most useful, you can also buy it in a single rod design.
Backed by a limited lifetime warranty, this rod comes with excellent customer service that you’ll appreciate for life.
- Powerful medium to fast action
- Sensitive, lightweight, and easy to store
- Can be purchased in two and four-packs
- Not compatible with all types of reels
How to Find the Perfect Striper Rod: A Buying Guide
Believe it or not, all striper rods are not made the same. While you can catch bass on several different types of rods, there are some differences between them.
Deciding which is best for you will depend primarily on your skillset, personal preferences, and environment.
Some of the most common rods for fishing for stripers include baitcasting, spinning, and trolling rods.
Baitcasting rods are best for anglers with a bit of experience. Meant to be used with a baitcasting reel, these rods can admittedly take a bit more time to master.
However, when you use a baitcasting rod correctly, you’ll be able to reel massive fish with the optimal level of control.
Another kind of rod is a spinning rod. Meant to be used with a spinning reel. These rods can be found in all sizes and shapes.
They are usually shorter and more flexible than casting rods and are excellent for casting longer distances on freshwater and saltwater alike.
Finally, trolling rods are great for offshore fishing. They aren’t as commonly chosen for stripers but are more versatile in that they can handle tons of fish of various sizes.
They’re also easy to stick into a rod holder for trolling off the back of your boat. Low-maintenance, hands-free fishing at its best!
When you’re searching for a new striper rod, consider carefully what it’s made out of.
In general, striper rods, like most fishing rods, will be made out of graphite, fiberglass, or a combination of the two.
Occasionally, carbon fiber and aluminum are used, too, primarily in reel seat construction.
Look for a striper rod that is, ideally, between seven and nine feet in length. You’ll find rods in all lengths, but it’s important to consider your environment before choosing.
Length will control how well you can cast as well as how far.
Although a shorter rod will work best in tight quarters like if you’re fishing in an area with lots of structure, a longer rod will be best for casting long distances.
Also, consider the power of the rod – this will play a role in how stiff it is. A stiff rod is great for large fish, as it will give you more backbone to deal with those tough-fighting species, but it will also reduce your overall sensitivity.
You’ll find power described in ratings such as ultra-light, medium, light, heavy, medium-heavy, extra heavy, etc. You’ll also find line tests and weight listed in ranges near these variables, too.
For best results, choose a rod that is medium to medium-heavy. It’s a good compromise, as you’ll be left with a rod that is strong without cutting off its sensitivity.
Another feature to consider is the rod’s action. This will tell you how stiff and flexible the rod is.
A slow-action rod is more flexible, bending more with a fish on the line. However, a fast action rod will give you better sensitivity.
Fast action rods are perfect for setting a hook, as the rod will load more to the stiff part of the rod. You can cast more accurately, particularly if you are throwing light lures on heavy gear.
You will need to be a more advanced caster if you are using a fast action rod since it can be more difficult to feel the rod’s bending point.
It’s also not ideal for vertical jigging, so that’s something to keep in mind, too.
Moderate action will generally be best, as it will allow you to cast a moderate distance with ease.
You can use it for vertical jigging and don’t have to worry too much about your precision if you are new to casting.
For the most part, full grips are the standard handle. However, you should look for one that also has a split grip with a large foregrip.
With this kind of feature, you’ll be able to benefit from all of the power in the rod. A pistol grip can be ergonomic, too, making it more comfortable to use.
However, it’s not ideal for striper fishing as it adds too much torque.
Now, if you’re an expert angler, this feature may not matter much to you. You won’t have trouble getting used to any kind of striper rod, no matter how difficult it is to use.
However, if you are a novice to striper fishing – or if this rod is for a child or someone else who might not quite be adept – you will want to look for a rod that is as user-friendly as possible.
If your rod is not easy to operate, there’s a good chance that the angler will spend more time trying to untangle knots from the line than actually catching fish.
That’s not only disheartening, but it’s a waste of time.
The easiest kind of striper rod will be a spinning rod, but it’s important that you read reviews to make sure the rod is easy for you to use.
While you’ll want to pay close attention to the price of your striper rod, what’s almost more important is that the rod comes with a respectable warranty.
Some companies only offer warranties for manufacturer’s defects while others offer unlimited coverage.
If this is important to you, you will want to do your research in advance – and make sure the warranty is backed by good customer service and a solid reputation.
Do I Need a Special Rod Just for Striped Bass?
If you’re wondering whether a special rod is really necessary just for striped bass, the answer is, “well…kind of.”
You should do your research to make sure the rod you choose holds up well to the challenge of striped bass, but the reality is that all of the rods on this list can be used for a vast array of other fish species, too.
So while you may want to invest in a rod that will work well for stripers, know that this is a versatile purchase that will serve you well in so many other settings as well.
What are you waiting for? Consider these best striper rods and get fishing!