Best Swimbait Rods

You might be able to throw small swimbaits with any kind of spinning rod with a decent cast, but if you’re looking to hunt larger species with big swimbaits than your normal go-to rod might not be able to hack the heat. The best swimbait rod is going to need to have a very fast action and have a decent power rating because of the amount of drag larger swimbaits generate as they’re retrieved. Your rod needs to have a lot of backbone to be able to cope with the drag.

Swimbait fishing has steadily grown more popular in the last few years and new brands release more products all the time so if you’ve been finding the hunt for a new rod particularly stressful, don’t worry you’re not alone. This guide is here to cut out the leg work and find the best products for you, and gather them together in one place so you can find a rod that suits you the best with none of the hassles. We’ve also included a guide to some of the features to look out for while you’re looking, and a FAQ section to answer your biggest and most important questions

Best Swimbait Rods

OUR TOP PICK

Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 806HSB Fury Series 8'0' Heavy Power Swimbait Rod Black/Green

Summary

Weighing in at 7.2 ounces, and 8 foot in length, first up we have a well-constructed heavy-duty rod, that’s great value and should be more than capable in helping you land some big prizes. If you need something that can deal with large or heavy baits then this is the rod for you. An excellent all-rounder, this rod can handle lures in the 2-8-ounce range, and it’s a pretty good option for those just trying swimbaits out or those who are learning and don’t want to always be using massive lures. Made from high-quality materials, the blank is made of graphite with Kevlar wraps, adding to its overall durability while retaining a relatively lightweight. 

It can handle some pretty tough fish due to the Fuji reel seat so this isn’t a rod you’ll have to worry about handling lightly. This rod can easily stand up to fish up to 30 lb. in weight and while it may lack some of the bells and whistles of more expensive models, it’s designed to do what it does well and any angler would feel happy to have this rod in their kit.

There’s a lot of power in this rod, and you should easily be able to catch frogs, pike, bluegill, or muskies with relative ease. It also comes in a variety of colors so you can exhibit a little bit of your personal style on the water, it certainly stands up to the Dobyns name and fits into their ethos of creating quality great rods that give a lot of bang for their buck. If you’re a serious angler that wants to throw bait up to 8 ounces than this is a great rod to have by your side, it’s clean, stylish, and durable. It’s also a great rod that’ll really help you out if you’re just starting and it’s a good option if you’re looking for quality without having to break your budget. With the proper maintenance, you’ll have a reliable rod that consistently delivers for a good few years.

Pros

  • Relatively lightweight

  • Excellent construction

  • Durable with a lot of power

  • A versatile option for both beginners and more advanced anglers

  • Comes in a range of colors

Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 806HSB Fury Series 8'0" Heavy Power Swimbait Rod Black/Green
  • 8'0 inch heavy power fast action swimbait rod
  • 20-40Lb. Test
  • 2-8 oz. Lure weight
  • Recommended for swimbaits, umbrella rigs

EDITORS CHOICE

Ardent Denny Brauer Baitcasting Rod, Swimbait, Heavy Action, 7 Foot 6 Inch

Summary

If you’re looking for a rod with a large range of the kind of baits it can cast in terms of size, then this option may be just what you’re looking for. Coming in at around 7.5 feet, this rod is made with high-quality materials and is great value for the quality you receive at the amount you’re spending. Its finish is very clean, and the dark blue will make you stand out of the crowd without sacrificing on performance. If you want to be comfortable for long periods, then the cork handle is a feature worth knowing about that will help keep you comfortable and fishing for longer periods than you thought possible.

The rod has a graphite body that combines durability and portability, and Fuji aluminum oxide guides. This rod is heavier than other similar models, but it’s not as clumsy as you might expect so you won’t lose any catches. Due to its slightly heavier weight, it may take some trial and error before you work out the best line size or lure weight, but as you use this rod you’ll work out the ideal weight. This is a rod that works well for smaller baits like frogs. This is a very well-balanced rod, and it’s a good option for beginners as they’ll find the weight easy to cope with. A more experienced angler who is looking for a great value rod might be interested in this option too.

Pros

  • Well balanced

  • A good option for beginners

  • Comfortable cork handle

  • Great value rod

  • Durable with good smooth action

Ardent Denny Brauer Baitcasting Rod, Swimbait, Heavy Action, 7 Foot 6 Inch
  • Best used with swimbait fishing methods; comes with a 3 year limited warranty
  • A heavy action fishing rod; 7 feet 6 inches long
  • One piece construction from lightweight IM-8 graphite for superior durability
  • Equipped with high quality Fuji aluminum oxide line guides
  • Features cork split grips to reduce hand fatigue for all-day comfort on the water

BEST VALUE

Okuma Guide Select Swimbait Rod, 15-40 lb/2-10 oz/7'11'

Summary

One of the newer offerings from Okuma, this rod is the perfect option for anyone looking for a rod perfect for baits from 2-10 oz. It casts perfectly, and you may find you don’t even feel the line go out at all. This is a lightweight rod thanks to the carbon blank construction which makes this option very light but tough and resilient too.

You won’t have to worry about knocking this nonsense a bite thanks to the sensitive grips which easily handle vibrations. This is another rod that’s suitable for a range of abilities and everyone from beginners to professionals will be able to enjoy this rod’s smooth and powerful action.

Pros

  • Lightweight and durable

  • Very comfortable grips which help reduce fatigue

  • Very sensitive

  • Capable of handling even the larger heavier fish

  • Titanium guides that are 43% lighter than normal stainless steel options

Cons

  • A little more of an investment than some of the options on this list

Okuma Guide Select Swimbait Rod, 15-40 lb/2-10 oz/7'11"
  • Made using the highest quality materials
  • Tested for reliability and quality
  • Used by professionals worldwide

RUNNER UP

Okuma Sbx Swimbait Graphite Fishing Rods- SBX-C-7111XH

Summary

If you want a rod that means business then look no further than this offering from Oxuma. Unsurprisingly, given the manufacturers this carbon-blank high-quality rod, with guides made from titanium which are 43% lighter than what you’re probably used to from stainless-steel options usually found on rods of this type.

The rod is very responsive, and with inserts made from Sea-Guide RS, you’ll find that you can get larger openings in lines as well as knots that can pass through easily. The grips are also made from carbon fiber, which gives you a great comfortable grip that’s still strong and secure. The fore-grip is integrated into the reel seat which helps secure the reel and helps keep your hands and wrists comfortable without fatigue for long periods.

These are great for swimbaits for bass, and you may even want another one for other fish like pike. A lot of time and effort has been spent on the quality of this rod and you’ll find that it can deal with 2 oz to 10 oz when it comes to lure weight, and the line weight comes in at 15 to 40 lbs, so you’ll be able to handle even the heaviest of fish. You’ll also be able to easily sense a bite thanks to the sensitive grips which easily handle vibrations. This is another rod that’s suitable for a range of abilities and everyone from beginners to professionals will be able to enjoy this rod’s smooth and powerful action.

Pros

  • Lightweight and durable

  • Very comfortable grips which help reduce fatigue

  • Very sensitive

  • Capable of handling even the larger heavier fish

  • Titanium guides that are 43% lighter than normal stainless steel options

Cons

  • A little more of an investment than some of the options on this list

Sale
Okuma Sbx Swimbait Graphite Fishing Rods- SBX-C-7111XH
  • 24/30-Ton ultra-responsive carbon blank construction
  • UFR: Unidirectional fiber reinforced rod tip technology increases rod tip lifting power by 3 times
  • Zeus premium series Titanium guides from Sea guide are 43% lighter than comparable stainless
  • Premium Fuji trigger reel seats on all models
  • Sbx swimbait rods are Backed by a limited Lifetime Warranty

RUNNER UP

Okuma Scott Martin Tournament Concept Rods TCS-C-691MH

Summary

Finally, we have this excellent option coming in at just under 8 feet, with a heavy backbone and incredibly fast action. A partnership between Okuma, and world-renowned professional angler Scott martin, this rod had an outstanding pedigree to live up to, coming from one of the best-known tackle manufactures and the recipient of the FLW Angler of the Year award, and boy does it deliver.

This isn’t the rod to use for the larger swimbaits available, but if you’re just looking at swimbaits up to 2 ounces, or you just want a rod to have fun with than the Scott Martin Tournament Concept Rod is an option well worth having a look at. With ultra-sensitive blanks made from 30-ton carbon, this rod is very tough with an excellent feel to it. The split-grip is made from EVA and it’s a really good rod if you’re looking for something comfortable to use for long periods. This rod is designed to be able to cope with pretty much every situation thanks to the inclusion of custom C-40X reel seats and aluminum oxide guide inserts. Simply put, this rod is comfortable, with great length and a good backbone, it’s a lot of fun to use, and if you’re looking to get into using swimbait then it really is worth giving a try.

Pros

  • Very comfortable grip

  • A great length

  • Good fun for all skill sets

  • Great backbone

  • Durable and resilient, designed to cope with most things you can throw at it

Cons

  • Not suitable for lures over 2 oz. If you want more than that than there are better options available.

Okuma Scott Martin Tournament Concept Rods TCS-C-691MH
  • Scott Martin designed rods for tournament concept fishing
  • All rods have been designed for specific tournament applications
  • 30-Ton carbon, ultra sensitive blank construction
  • Customized C-40X carbon reel seats on casting and spinning
  • Hard aluminum oxide guide inserts for use with braided line

Best Swimbait Rods Buying Guide

Hopefully, now you’re feeling a little more prepared to go looking for the perfect swimbait rod for you. As you can see, they come in a range of prices, sizes, and suitable types of fishing so you’re certain to find something suitable for you. If you’re still feeling a bit confused or overwhelmed then this is the section of the guide you should focus on. Here, we’ll take you through some of the things you need to consider, some of the most important features on any swimbait rod you look at, and how you can find the best rod for you. At the end of the day finding the most suitable rod for you and your needs is the most important thing, so don’t worry if it takes a little bit of time.

First of all, what actually is swimbait? Swimbait is what we call paddle tail lures, no matter what their size. These lures normally ‘swim’ which is why they’re called swimbait. The rods used with these baits are usually larger and heavier than you might usually use, and you need to pick the right rod for large swimbaits to get the most out of your fishing adventure.

Length

Length is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a rod to use with swimbaits. You’re going to want a rod that’s at least 8 feet long, but don’t worry too much about a few inches either side of that. Look for j8 foot long rods and you won’t go far wrong.

A rod that’s too long won’t be sensitive enough for you to feel the lure, and they can be too bulky to easily work the bait. Too short and you’ll lack the power you need to land big fish like muskies. If in doubt 8 foot is the way to go.

Backbone

The backbone or the power of your rod is another important factor that essentially tells you how stiff your rod is. The heavier the power, the stiffer the rod is, and you want something that’s got a particularly heavy backbone to be able to cope with large lures. The best swimbait rods are either heavy or extra heavy so you can fish easily with larger lures. Look at the sort of fish you want to go after and the kind of lures you want to use and adjust for the power of your rod accordingly.

Durability

As with every big purchase you want to make sure that the product you’re buying is going to last and not need replacing quickly, and your swimbait rod is no exception. You need a rod that’s going to be able to handle the fight of the larger fish and will last you a good few years with no problems. Make sure the rod you buy is made from good quality materials, that are durable and comfortable where necessary. Try and find a rod with good quality blanks, guides, and comfortable grips. After all, you’re hoping to use the rod a lot and you want to make sure your rod can fulfill all the requirements you need comfortably, quickly, and efficiently.

FAQs

Are swimbaits good for bass?

Yes, most swimbait enthusiasts will tell you that swimbaits are great for almost all types of fish, but they do have a proven track record with bass and lunkers.

Do I need a new rod to use swimbaits?

A specialized swimbait rod is best, but you can use any rod with a good amount of power and backbone. Don’t be afraid to try something a bit new though, and a good swimbait rod is a great tool for any angler to have in their kit.