Best Crankbait Rods: Reviews of Top 5 Cranking Rods


There’s a big difference between baitcasting and crankbait rods that is necessary to understand. 

For one, crankbait rods are specifically meant to dive deeper, reach greater distances, and accommodate bigger lures. Using a standard bait rod might serve you well in certain situations, but if you want the big fish, then crankbaits is the best option for you.

More important than the size of the fish is the weight your rod can handle. Crankbait Rods are designed to withstand at least 10-12 pounds of pressure on a test line and flex more fluidly throughout the rod while allowing for a slow, but controlled reel-in of a lured catch.

Furthermore, Crainkbaiting requires flexibility in the tip and strength in the shaft for the best cast and reel. While the market seems flooded with good choices, some stand out more clearly than others.

Let’s take a closer look at choosing and using Crankbait Rods, as well as reviewing the best rods available on the market today.

There are several aspects to a Crankbait Rod that will help you choose the one right for you. The features of these rods include gear ratio, line recovery rate, and torque.

Starting with the gear ratio, you’ll want to choose something with a 5 or 6 to 1 ratio, meaning the spool will revolve 5-6 times for every one turn of the reel handle.

Since that narrows down your rods significantly, you next want to choose a rod with the line recovery rate of 19 to 23 inches per crank.

This is a rapid reel rate and, thus, requires a different torque too. You’ll want more torque to make cranking the handle easier when accommodating increased line recovery rates and gear ratios.

Perhaps it should be mentioned that you need to know what features work best for you as what works for another person may not correctly work for you.

This is a rapid reel rate and, thus, requires a different torque too. You’ll want more torque to make cranking the handle easier when accommodating increased line recovery rates and gear ratios.

Perhaps it should be mentioned that you need to know what features work best for you as what works for another person may not correctly work for you.

How Crankbait Rods Differ

The variance between Crankbait Rods comes down to the following features: flex, load, and drag.

A Crankbait Rod must be flexible for you to feel the fine nuances of movement in a lake or ocean.

It must also have the ability to easily set your hook by having a great load when the hook strikes the bait.

The less effort, the better the Crankbait Rod. Finally, consider that your line must drag in the water with a smooth movement towards the boat. Crankbait Rods have a quick reel ratio for that reason.

Tips on Using Crankbait Rods

Novice anglers miss the concept that attention to detail in Crankbait fishing is essential. It is not a simple bait, hook, and reel.

This type of fishing will challenge you to fine-tune your rod angle and height about the water.

You’ll also need to master the art of side swinging to set your hook into your catch deeply.

Furthermore, crankbaits means pulling not snatching. To pull rather than snatch, you must hone the skill of patience, allowing the bass or other similar fish time to grab the bait.

Finally, take the play time slow. Don’t yank your fish into the boat or sail across the waters with it.

Our Reviews Of Top Rated Best Crankbait Rods 

1. Quantum Fishing Kevin Vandam KVD Cranking Rod

Designed by professional angler Kevin VanDam, the Quantum Cranking Rod has medium heavy power and offers moderate action. This 7-foot rod can handle 10-20 pounds on the line. It is an excellent all-around rod for the average fisher.

Quantum Fishing KVD Medium/Light Cranking Rod

What We Liked

  • Blended material for “backbone and sensitivity.
  • Built to throw longer distances
  • Deep hook set that penetrates well
  • Very lightweight so no hand or wrist fatigue
  • Good for the bottom or topwater fishing

What We Didn't

  • Works best with bait larger than 3 inches
  • Works best with bait larger than 3 inches

2. Ardent Denny Brauer Pro Series Baitcasting Rods

The Ardent Crankbait Fishing Rod was developed by Denny Brauer, a Hall of Famer. It offers medium heavy power with fast action.

Accommodating a 3/8 to 1 ¼ ounce lure, this 7’6” pole maintains a solid 12-25 pounds of line pressure. This rod is meant for the performance conscious crankbait fishing

Ardent Denny Brauer Crankbait Rod

What We Liked

  • Split cork grips for high performance
  • The designer has won awards and entered Hall of Fame
  • Suitable for any angler of varying strength and skill
  • Has a backbone and sensitive tip for crank and jerk
  • Eliminates hang-ups with slower action

What We Didn't

  • Eyes have smaller holes than standard crankbait rods
  • Has a finger grip like used with spinning reels

3. Lews Fishing David Fritts Perfect Crackbait Rod

Lew’s Perfect Crankbait Speed Stick is designed by David Fritts, a top crankbait Fisher in his own right.

It offers both Medium Heavy and Heavy power with moderate taper and accommodates a range of lure weights. His series offers the variety necessary to meet any type of fishing need.

Perfect Crankbait Speed Rod

What We Liked

  • Guides are stainless steel for rugged construction
  • Helps crankbait hooks of all sizes line flow is smooth and comfortable due to aluminum oxide inserts
  • An appropriate amount of flex to prevent solid play
  • The perfect blend of glass and graphite to make it durable and lightweight

What We Didn't

  • Mixed with fiberglass material
  • Not specialized, but rather comprehensive

4. Wright and McGill Skeet Reese S-Glass Crank Bait Rod

Skeet Reese, champion of the 2009 Bassmaster, designed the Wright and McGill S-Glass Crank Bait Rod. It offers medium heavy power and fast action while accepting lures that are 3/8 to 1 ¼ ounces.

This rod is not only sensitive but very robust making it excellent for the more advanced Fisher.

Wright and McGill Skeet Reese S-Glass Crank Bait Rod

What We Liked

  • Geared for all types of fishers
  • Reliable construction making it strong and durable
  • Designed to assist in weight reduction
  • Cast effortlessly with the flexible tip
  • Split handle distributes weight and improves balance

What We Didn't

  • Made of less traditional construction material

5. Okuma Scott Martin Tournament Concept Rod

The Okuma Technique Specific Rods are unique in that they are designed for tournament level fishing.

The rod length ranges from 6’9” to 7’11” with varying degrees of action and taper. This rod offers unique features for fishers looking for specific benefits in the rod.

Okuma Scott Martin Tournament Concept Rods

What We Liked

  • Carbon construction for a most lightweight feel
  • Capable of using a braided line
  • Excellent casting accuracy
  • Sensitive to every bump and tap on the lure
  • Contains no fiberglass material

What We Didn't

  • More product than needed for most applications
  • Designed for specific tournament applications
  • Not useful to the novice or hobby angler

Wright and McGill Trumps All

The Wright and Mc-Gill Skeet Reese S-Glass Crank Bait Rod is undoubtedly a winner in our series of reviews of Crankbait Rods, and the reasons are clear for this.

While it doesn’t have an award-winning designer to back it up, it is known for its versatility with all types of fishers. Its design is sound, and reviews show that, for the price, it is surprising how high in quality the product can tout.

With a feature not spoken of in other rods, this rod offers great weight balance making it easier to handle the slow play of hook and reel. This could also explain the reason for its durability as it comes off as one of the strongest. 

Its rod action is the perfect blend of sensitivity in the tip and flexibility in the shaft, making for smooth play. Since any novice or serious fisher can benefit from this rod, it becomes the most versatile of the list.