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How To: Baitcaster Rod Selection

by Tom Melton 23 Aug 2022

Are you one of those anglers that has to have every imaginable rod on the market? Rods come in all lengths, styles, power and appearance, so choosing the right baitcaster rod is paramount when heading out. Let’s take a look at a few different styles KastKing has to offer, that are specifically for baitcaster fishing reels, and how to pick the right rod for different types of angling.

Heavy or Light?

When choosing the “right” baitcaster fishing rod, you need to first have an understanding as to what you are targeting. Trying to match a rod to a reel is all based on these factors.

  • Size of Fish
  • Saltwater or Freshwater
  • Size of Bait/Lure
  • Technique

When choosing the “right” baitcaster fishing rod, the size of the bait is a critical component.

Baitcaster fishing rod

If I am looking to target inshore blackfish on a wreck off of the South Shore of Long Island, then I might want a stout rod in the 8-foot class with a lot of backbone to hook and get the fish out of its lair. On the other hand, if I am fishing trout in my local pond using finesse gear, I may want a lighter rod that pairs well with my Zephyr Bait Finesse Casting Reel (BFS).

The Heavyweights

For the heavyweights – tarpon, striped bass, black drum and sharks, you need the Kong series. The Kong Series is built for saltwater (freshwater too), and are tough as nails. They are all two-piece rods (Except the 6-6 heavy rated for 50-100, which is one piece), making for an easy carry on to your favorite private, charter or party boat. These lightweight, powerful, 100 percent graphite blanks are made of high-strength S-Curve graphite reinforced with Nano-Resin technology that delivers amazing strength and lifting power but are still incredibly light and sensitive.

  • Stainless Steel Double Foot Guides
  • Nylon Reinforced Graphite Reel Seats
  • 2-8 up to 8-32 Ounce Lure Weights

When targeting large fish or using heavy baits, the Kong series of baitcasting rods is the way to go.

Best baitcaster fishing rod

Last but not least, the rods come with a chartreuse “strike” tip, making easy detection, especially after dark. These rods will work well with the KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel.

Inshore and Heavy Freshwater

As we slide down in class, there are a few baitcaster rods that are perfectly suited for inshore saltwater angling or the heavier freshwater classes.

The Speed Demon Punchin’ rod is great for heavy freshwater and light saltwater, but you definitely could not throw a small hair jig on it. 

Right baitcaster fishing rod

The first is the KastKing Speed Demon 7-foot, 11-inch “Punchin’ Rod.” This rod is rated for 12 to 25 pounds, comes with a fast taper for detecting bites and a solid backbone to lift a fish buried in the rocks or punch a 1-ounce weight through matted grass fields.

  • Elite Carbon Blanks that Utilize Carbon Nano Tube Resin Technology
  • Fuji Guides and Reel Seats

The next rod is the KastKing Perigee II, 7-foot, 4-inch rod rated for 14 to 25 pounds. Although slightly shorter than the Speed Demon, this rod will give you the same results, and is a lighter on the wallet as well. 

  • Toray 24-Ton Carbon Matrix KastFlex blank
  • Fuji O-Ring Line Guides 

Mid-Range Class 

The mid-range class of baitcaster rods can be classified as those for light saltwater action – kingfish, blowfish, summer flounder, cocktail blues. Basically the smaller fish in the 2 to 5 pound class and the lures associated with them. This is also where you could go absolutely crazy trying to pick the “right” rod for choosing a baitcaster rod.

In the KastKing lineup, the top of the line would be the Speed Demon, followed by the Cliff Crochet Spirale Series Bass Rods, then the Royal Select, and finally the old reliable Perigee II series. All four of these rods will give you the perfect balance, power, taper and “looks” that will match up with any of the standard size baitcasters – Bassinator, Speed Demon Elite or Mega Jaws Elite sizes. For these rods, all of which are top performers, look for the following specs. 

  • 8-17 to 10-20-Pound Test Rating
  • 7 Foot to 7-Foot, 6 Inches in length.
  • Moderate to Fast
  • Medium to Heavy rating 

For throwing crankbaits for largemouths I prefer a rod in the 7-3 to 7-6 range and rated for 10-20 or 12-25 pound test. 

fishing rod

Going Light  

In years past, light rods for baitcasting were non-existent, but thanks to KastKing’s new BFS Reels, anglers have been utilizing a baitcaster rod for this lighter application. For these reels, you need a fast or extra fast taper in my opinion, with a rating in the 4-6 to 6-12 pound test classes. You will be throwing smaller baits in the 1/8 and sometimes lighter class, which can be tough if you do not match it up correctly.

So you want to throw smaller crankbaits, Ned or jigs? Then the Perigee II rated for 6-12 pound test is a great option.

Baitcaster fishing rod for fishing

For this baitcaster rod selection, the Perigee II in either the 6 foot or 6-foot, 7-inch models are best. The reels are rated for 6 to 12 pound test line, and are Fast/M and Fast/ML respectively. I have used the 6-7 model to throw hair jigs a good distance with no problems.

In Conclusion 

Picking the “right” baitcaster rod is a difficult task if you do not analyze the chore at hand. You need to look at what type fish. Where and how deep is the water and weight of the fish? Are you throwing heavy lures/sinkers or fishing a small 1/4-ounce spoon. Every factor must be weighed in to pick the “right” baitcaster reel, but if you take the time, check the specifications against your target and type, the task at hand will be very easy.  


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