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Buying Guide & Reviews

The Best Bass Fishing Rods 2022: Top 10 Picks

by Tom Melton 17 Jan 2022

This Outdoors Writer gives his views about the 10 Best Bass Fishing Rods for 2022.

I have been bass fishing virtually my entire life, and I have used some of the best bass fishing rods an angler has ever seen. One of my favorites early on was an old cherry wood Berkley spinning rod. The rod was a beast, and could handle anything I caught. For today’s angler, there is a plethora of options from spinning rods to baitcasting rods. Let’s take a look at what I feel are the 10 best bass fishing rods for the 2022 season and beyond.

What Does Best Mean?

Before we get into the best, what does best bass rod actually mean in an angler’s eyes? To me, this means a fishing rod that I can use all day, without wearing out my arm. It has to be well balanced, serve a purpose for what I plan to throw, and be versatile enough so I don’t have to carry 30 fishing rods! I run a 20-foot Javelin Bass Boat, so on any given outing I have at least 20 or more fishing rods with me, but by no means do I want 20 rods on the deck.

For a rod to be classified as the “best bass fishing rod” for 2022, I compared a lot of different KastKing models and styles to be able to provide you, the angler, with a good starting point for a possible new arsenal. I looked at what they were rated for. The tip – fast or slow taper. The backbone – could a muscle a fish if needed? The guide type, handle type and what method I would use the fishing rod for. Read on, and I’ll have you considering a few new rods for 2022, and I am sure one will be the best bass fishing rod you will use.

The Spinning Rod List

I will start off on the spinning rod side of things and cover the five I feel will be the top for 2022. I used all five of these on smallmouth and largemouth bass in the Northeast, and they have proven to be well-rounded and suit a specific need, and can also double as a secondary rod.

Fishing For Bass With A Saltwater Rod
kastking saltwater best fishing rods for bass

 Although these KastKing spinning rods are for saltwater fishing, the author explains why they work for bass fishing in certain situations

Believe it or not, the KastKing Estuary Inshore Saltwater Rod, model KRDSPNESI-76M1, was one of my favorites for one specific style. During the year, I watched a video by famed bass angler Tim Horton. Tim was discussing making long casts for smallmouths in the Chaumont Bay area of New York. The idea was to make the long casts (so not to spook wary smallmouths) with a 1/2 or 3/4 ounce jighead tipped with a plain grey Kalin Grub, and then keep it right on the bottom while reeling. The Estuary saltwater rod was perfect for this as it had a slightly longer handle, came in at 7’- 6” in length, and combined with KastKing 13X Finesse braided fishing line in 10-pound test, I could cast a country mile. The rod also has the backbone needed to set the hook on a smallmouth bass some 50 or more yards away from the boat.

Walleye Fishing Rod For Bass
best kastking walleye fishing rod for bass fishing

KastKing WideEye series walleye rods are Toray IM9, 640K strain rate Nano-Resin rod blanks that are extremely sensitive, powerful and light weight

Next up was a new WideEye, model KRDSPNWE-68RJML1. This Rig n' Jig spinning rod, marketed as a Walleye fishing rod, is rated for 4 to 8-pound test fishing line, and 1/8 to 3/8 ounce lures. This rod is a perfect for the presentation of hair jigs and lighter drop shot fishing where the weight is 1/16 to 1/8 ounce. The rod has a fast taper and is a medium light power. Match it up to a smaller size 2000 KastKing Sharkey III and 8 to 10 pound braided line and KastKing Kovert fluorocarbon leader in 6-pound test, and it’s a winner, and a solid addition to the best bass fishing rod for 2022 list.

Best Finesse Fishing Rod
kastking speed demon pro spinning fishing rods for finesse fishing

KastKing Speed Demon Pro offers two options for the best finesse fishing rods

Staying with the spinning rods, the next two are from the KastKing Speed Demon Pro ro series. The Speed Demons are the top-of-the-line KastKing rods. The two I liked most were the KRDSPNSDP-610DS1 and the KRDSPNSDP-7SH1. These spinning fishing rods, named Drop-Shot and Shakey Head respectively, served multiple purposes. They are both relatively light, coming in at line ratings in the 6-10 and 6-12 pound range. They may seem very similar, but the 7 footer is a slightly more-stout rod in the backbone, making stiff hooksets easy in deeper water, specifically while drop shot fishing. They both can double as solid tube, wacky worm rod or Ned Rig rods, making them very versatile.

Best Jig Worm Spinning Rod
winn grips on kastking speed demon spinning rods for bass

KastKing Speed Demon Rods are made with: Elite Carbon blanks that utilize Carbon Nano Tube resin technology to reduce weight, increase breaking and lifting strength by over 30% compared to standard graphite blanks, Fuji Guides, Fuji Reels Seats  and Winn Grips

The last spinning fishing rod in the 10 best bass fishing rods for 2022 is the Speed Demon KRDSPNSDP-73JW1. This bad boy is for all the anglers out there that really do not like baitcasting fishing reels. This rod is a great rod to Texas Rig worms and drag through the heaviest weed cover. The rod will also work a crankbait and spinnerbait very well. It has a fast taper, which equates to easily working a longer 5 to 6-inch wacky worm as well. Add it all up and this rod is a well-rounded addition to anyone’s rod locker.

The Baitcasting Rod List

Best Frog Rod
Largemouth bass caught on kastking royale select frogging rod

KastKing Royale Select fishing rods are constructed with Toray 24-ton carbon matrix KastFlex technology blanks making them a powerful rod at a great value

Moving to the baitcasting fishing pole side of things, there is a multitude of options, but again, my favorites, which I used this past year are mostly Speed Demons, with one Royale Select beast in there for the slop. These five casting rods are easily in the top bass fishing rods for 2022, and should be added to your rod locker.

The “slop” is when you are throwing frogs or topwater paddle baits in amongst the deepest, heaviest surface matt/lily pad field you can find. The Royale Select KRDCSTRS-76XH1 baitcaster rod is rated for 14-30 pound fishing line with a fast taper. When working a frog in the heavy stuff, most times you will be using braided fishing line in the 40-pound plus rating. A big bass knows how to evade, and heading deep into cover is what she will do, immediately after feeling the sting of the hookset. This rod has the backbone to handle the strength of the braided line, plus the pulling power of the fish. It is also a great secondary rod for deep pitchin’ into heavy cover and flipping heavy jigs. One of my easier favorites for the best of 2022 line-up.

Best Punchin’ Rod
lady angler fishing for bass with kastking speed demon pro punchin’ rod and kastking kapstan elite baitcasting reel

KastKing Speed Demon Pro Punchin’ Rod matched with a KastKing Kapstan Elite baitcasting reel makes a perfect rod and reel combo for pulling big bass out of heavy cover

The second rod in my casting fishing rod arsenal is another monster of a rod. It is the KastKing Speed Demon Pro KRDCSTSDP-711PC1 punchin’ rod. This rod is rated for 12 to 25-pound test line and baits from 3/8 to 1-1/2 ounces. Trust me when I say this rod is a monster. Pair it up with the Kapstan Elite 300 baitcasting reel and you can tackle big muskies in Michigan down to tarpon in the keys and everything in between. And, if you want, you can use this as a pitching or flipping rod the nastiest grass and lily pad fields for largemouths! A definite must have best bass fishing rod for 2022.

Best Jig Worm Baitcasting Rod
Largemouth bass caught with kastking speed demon pro jig worm fishing rod

KastKing Speed Demon Pro Jig / Worm rod doing work

Next up is what I consider the most versatile of the Speed Demon lineup on the baitcasting fishing rod side of things. The KRDCSTSDP-73JW1, jig / worm rod comes in with a rating of 10-20 pound test line and baits/lures in the 1/4 to 3/4 range. This rod is more than capable of handling smaller spinnerbaits, all the way up to deep diving crankbaits. The fast tip, and length of only 7-3 also allows the angler to work topwater baits with ease. On the reel end, the new KastKing MegaJaws in either 6.5:1 or 7.2:1 allows you to switch it up for whatever bait/ lure you plan on throwing.

Best Rod For Bladed Jigs
kastking best casting rods and best spinning rods

Speed Demon Pro Tournament Rods could fill several categories on best bass rod lists and are the top of the line for KastKing rods

Staying in the same size range as the jig/ worm rod, the Speed Demo Pro KRDCSTSDP-73CH1 bladed jig rod is slightly lighter in the rating field on the line side (10-17 pound line), but the same on the bait/lure end of 1/4 to 3/4 ounces. For me, this is the perfect rod for throwing spinnerbaits up to 1/2 ounce or bladed jigs to 3/4 ounces. The rod has enough backbone to whip any bass, trout, walleye or redfish you can lay in to.  

Best Swimbait Rod

Last on the list is another very versatile best bass fishing rod, the KRDCSTSDP-76SB1, swimbait rod. This rod falls in the heavier class of baits you may be using. Baits like heavier blade baits or spinnerbaits in the 1-ounce class slow rolling across the bottom. The rod is also a great rod, one I use a lot, for throwing all sizes of crankbaits. Whether you are ripping a smaller bait across milfoil fields, or deep cranking the 25-foot depths, banging ledges, this rod, paired with the KastKing MegaJaws in 5.4:1 or KastKing Royale Legend in 5.3:1 ratios is a perfect combo I also use this rod for Texas rigged works and creature baits dragged through grass humps after making long casts.

Other Best Of Contenders

If your budget does not allow for the Speed Demon Pro tournament rods, the KastKing Resolute, Crixus, and Perigee II spinning fishing poles all offer rods with similar characteristics at a great value. On the baitcasting side, the Royale Select is very budget friendly and a great fishing pole. They also may fit the need better as some models come in two-piece, making it easier to travel with, or walk into your favorite fishing hole.

What’s On Your Best Rod List?

Rods classified as the best bass fishing rods for 2022 is a tough choice as so many others could easily break the top 10 list. Just as they call it fishing, and not catching, picking the best is a similar situation. What I feel is the best, may be slightly different than what you prefer. The bottom line is that the 10 I picked, in my opinion, are the best out there. And, like I said, the specs these rods offer are also available in various other KastKing models across the spectrum. For 2022, the 10 best bass fishing rods above should all be added to your rod locker in some way, whether the exact rod, or one that fits your budget and matches the specs.

Author's Picks for Top 10 Best Bass Fishing Rods 2022

KastKing Estuary Inshore Saltwater Rod, model KRDSPNESI-76M1

WideEye Spinning Rod, model KRDSPNWE-68RJML1

Speed Demon Pro Drop Shot Rod, model KRDSPNSDP-610DS1

Speed Demon Pro Shakey Head Rod, model KRDSPNSDP-7SH1

Speed Demon Pro Jig / Worm Rod, model KRDSPNSDP-73JW1

Royale Select Baitcaster Rod, model KRDCSTRS-76XH1

Speed Demon Pro Punchin’ Rod, model KRDCSTSDP-711PC1

Speed Demon Pro Jig - Worm Rod, model KRDCSTSDP-73JW1

Speed Demo Pro Bladed Jig Rod, model KRDCSTSDP-73CH1

Speed Demo Pro Swimbait Rod, model KRDCSTSDP-76SB1

Tom Melton is an expert in all aspects of inshore saltwater fishing and freshwater fishing. As an authority on angling he strives to excel while teaching others, and in his own outdoors adventures. Whether it is a freshwater bass fishing tournament, or recreational fishing with family, his skills and knowledge always shine. Tom has been an outdoor writer for more than three decades.

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