Throwing crankbaits with a spinning or casting rod is a popular technique to target a variety of fish, especially bass, walleye, and pike. But you can only be successful if you get the right rod. Many anglers believe that they have to spend hundreds of dollars on a good crankbait rod but that’s not necessarily the case. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best crankbait rods under $100. With these rods, you can enjoy the thrill of crankbait fishing without breaking the bank.
Your best rod for crankbait fishing should be sensitive to detect the slightest bite, allowing you to react quickly and hook your catch. Moreover, it should enable you to cast your crankbait lure accurately and at a good distance and must have enough backbone to handle the weight of the fish and to set the hook firmly. These are some of the qualities mentioned, read till last to learn about the right power, action, and weight in detail.
What are crankbaits and crankbait rods? How crankbait rods are different from regular rods?
Crankbait lures are hard plastic lures that imitate natural smaller fish. These crankbaits have a lip or bill that causes the lure to wobble as it is retrieved through the water. Learn more about crankbaits in our guide to “Types of lures”.
The main difference between crankbait rods and regular fishing rods is their action. Crankbait rods are designed to work with the unique characteristics of crankbaits, which require a slower action to achieve the desired movement and provide the necessary sensitivity. Regular fishing rods, on the other hand, are designed to be more versatile and can be used for a range of fishing techniques, including trolling, jigging, and spinning.
Top 3 Picks for the Best Crankbait Rods Under $100
- IM7 Graphite construction
- 10-20 lb. Line rating
- ¼- ¾ oz. Lure rating
- 1-year warranty
- Graphite rod construction
- 10-20 lb. Line rating
- ¼ to 2 oz. Lure Rating
- Action 3 different Lengths 7, 7.4, and 7.9 feet
- Graphite rod
- ¼ oz. to 3 oz. Lure ratings
- 12-25 lb. line rating
- Available in 6 different rod styles
Best Crankbait rods Under $100 Reviewed in Detail
If you are searching for an exceptional quality rod with an affordable price tag, Lew’s Match spinnerbait casting rod is the perfect match for this. The best part about this rod is that it is suitable for all skill-level anglers.
I bet you will be impressed by its quality from the very first moment. The standout feature of this rod is its IM7 graphite construction. This makes this rod lightweight, stiff, and incredibly strong. Moreover, it’s a medium power rod perfect rod for throwing crankbaits weighing ¼ to ¾ oz. It is enough sensitive to detect strikes while still providing the backbone to reel in big fish.
This moderate action rod also makes it suitable for crankbait fishing. It enables the angler to make quick and precise casts, allowing you to cover more water in less time. This is especially important when you’re trying to find where the fish are biting.
Next, there are its high-quality stainless steel guides, which help reduce line friction and increase casting distance. This budget-friendly rod also features top-notch handles. At first, I thought these plastic handles wouldn’t last for long. Making all my assumptions wrong the dynamic polymer handles were easy to hold for extended periods without experiencing any hand fatigue.
I am also impressed by the rod cosmetics. Its white and black appearance gives it an attractive look and the hook keeper wouldn’t let the hook disturb the rod cosmetics.
Overall, the Lew’s Mach Spinnerbait Casting Rod is an exceptional fishing rod that delivers on both performance and affordability. Lew’s Mach Speed stick series are available in many different techniques and lure-specific rods i.e. crankbait rods, swimbait rods, jerk bait rods, worm casting rods, and much more. Each rod comes with a specific line and lures rating the exact match for the technique. So it is worth considering that wouldn’t break the bank at all. It is recommended rod for lipless and square bill crankbaits.
- Lightweight yet strong construction
- Technique specific rod
- Durable handles
- The rod’s action allows quick and precise casts
- The affordable price point makes it an excellent value for anglers on a budget
- The rod has enough backbone to reel in big fish
- Stiffer rods have no flexibility
- Some anglers may prefer a longer rod for increased casting distance
As an avid angler, I have tried many different types of rods. Recently I have had the pleasure of using 13 Fishing, defy black, the specifically designed rod for crankbait fishing.
These Crankbait casting rods are made from Japanese 24-ton HTC 2 blanks, which provide excellent sensitivity and the perfect amount of flex to work your crankbaits effectively.
Its EVA handles provides a comfortable grip, making it easy to hold onto the rod even with wet hands without experiencing any hand fatigue. But there is room for improvement on the handle i.e. the hook keeper position. Its placement disturbs the rod fixing in a rod holder.
Next, there are the rod guides. The guides are stainless steel so lightweight, durable, and corrosion-resistant. At this point, I have some advice for the designers to increase the guide’s size as bait. Due to their tight and narrow design, it is recommended to use mono as the main line without any line leaders. As the joining knot can disturb your casting experience.
Although there are some improvement factors, this doesn’t break the deals. It is still one of the best crankbait rods under $100 due to its versatility feature. These rods are available in three different lengths i.e. 7, 7.4, and 7.9 feet, and lure ratings i.e. 1/4-1 oz., 1/4-1 1/2 oz., and 1/2-2 oz. So you can choose the perfect rod for the type of crankbaits you’re fishing with and the conditions you’re fishing in.
Another great feature of these rods is their ability to cast crankbaits accurately and with great control. The sensitive graphite blank allows you to feel every bump and wiggle of your crankbait, and the perfect amount of flex allows you to work your bait in a way that is sure to entice even the most finicky of fish. These rods aren’t stiff like Lew’s Mach speed rods.
Overall, these rods will help you catch more fish while crankbait fishing. Whether its lipless, square bill, or round bill crankbait it can throw all.
- Designed specifically for crankbait fishing, delivering exceptional performance
- Sensitive blank allowing to detect the slightest nibbles
- Available in a wide range of lengths
- Flexible rods
- Narrow Line guides
- Wrong placement of hook keeper
Abu Garcia Veritas is slightly over $100 so you can slide to 13 fishing if you are strictly bounded to the budget. But these rods are designed to provide maximum sensitivity and strength with perfect flexibility.
One of the things I love about the Abu Garcia Veritas Casting Fishing Rod is its versatility. This rod is available in a range of lengths and power ratings, which makes it easy to find the perfect rod for your needs. Whether you’re throwing small crankbaits or larger lures, this rod can handle it all with ease.
It is a graphite rod but what makes it different from Lew’s Mach and 13 Fishing graphite construction is the rod flex. These rods aren’t stiff even fully graphite.
Another standout feature of this rod is the reel seat. It firmly holds the reel and wouldn’t let it loose and leave its position. So it’s a secure and smooth casting experience with Abu Garcia Veritas.
Although it is a bit expensive rod, each premium feature just makes it fair on investing in this rod. The rod features titanium alloy guides. These guides aren’t easy to bend, handle heavy catches accurately, and reduce tangles and twists.
The hook keeper is perfectly placed above the reel seat and saves your lure and the rod cosmetics.
These are versatile rods available in a range of lengths i.e. 6.6 to 7.6 feet and power ratings medium to heavy, which makes it easy to find the perfect rod for your needs. Whether you’re throwing small crankbaits or larger lures, this rod can handle it all with ease.
Whether you’re fishing for bass or trout, these rods deliver outstanding performance that will help you catch more fish. I am fully impressed by its lightweight and durable design now it’s your turn.
- Durable rod
- Sensitive rod tip
- High-quality rod guides
- Available in 8 different lengths
- Attractive Cosmetics
- Expensive rods
- It is only available as fast action rod which makes it difficult to work the bait effectively
Spinning rods are also a reliable option for crankbait fishing and a recommended option, especially for beginners who aren’t skilled yet to use the baitcasting set. This rod truly exceeded my expectations and proved to be a valuable addition to my fishing arsenal.
These goods are very good with maneuverability. Its lightweight design and carbon fiber blank construction, make it ideal for targeting a wide range of fish species. It has a line rating of 8-17 lbs. and a lure rating of 1/4 – 1/2 oz., which allows for versatile use in a variety of fishing scenarios.
This spinning Cranker can handle heavier crankbaits easily along with lighter ones. From my side, it is a recommended rod for square bill crankbaits.
The Falcon Bucoo SR comprises many different types of models like finesse, open hook, cranker spin, panfish, etc. Pick according to your fishing style.
This medium power and moderate action rod absorb the shock of the fish hitting the bait and provide a more forgiving hookset, allowing the hook to penetrate deeper and increasing your chances of landing the fish.
As it’s a Cranker Spin model, a specially designed rod for crankbaits it is incredibly responsive to even the slightest of movements, allowing you to feel every bump, tug, and nibble on your line. This makes it much easier to detect when a fish is biting and gives you a better chance of setting the hook.
These split-grip Eva handle rods with fuji guides and reel seat is an excellent choice for any angler who wants a high-performing rod that won’t break the bank. Its sensitivity, power, and a comfortable handle make it a top choice for crankbait fishing.
- Spinning fishing rod best for beginners
- Lightweight design
- Graphite construction makes them sensitive rods
- The rod has enough backbone for heavy crankbaits
- Unbeatable price point
- Unbeatable price point
- Attractive cosmetics
- The rod isn’t suitable for fishing in areas with heavy cover or debris as due to graphite construction, its stiffness might cause rod breakage
Berkley Lightning rods are another great addition to the crankbait rod collection. It was a game-changer as it exceeded my expectation. It is highly suitable for crankbait fishing mainly because of its flex and backbone.
The standout feature of this rod is its composite construction. So you don’t have to deal with the graphite stiffness. These strong, durable, flexible, and lightweight spinning rods make it easy to cast your crankbaits repeatedly without getting tired or fatigued, allowing you to fish longer and more effectively.
One of my fellow anglers tried this rod for throwing a lighter 3/8 oz. lure with a 12lb. monofilament fishing listing. He narrated,
“This rod is incredibly responsive, which allowed me to feel even the slightest nibble or bump on their lure. This level of sensitivity is essential when fishing with crankbaits, as it allows you to detect when a fish is striking your bait and gives you the ability to set the hook at precisely the right moment.”
These are the perfect rod for your freshwater fishing conditions. Although I think its action is a bit fast for crankbait fishing, overall it’s a recommended rod for lighter lures and lines.
- Highly affordable rod
- Unmatched sensitivity for detecting the slightest bites
- Available in a range of lengths
- Its flexibility translates into a longer casting distance
- Not suitable for heavy crankbaits and fishing lines
If you don’t want to compromise on the rod’s durability, Ugly Stik Carbon casting rods are the best choice. Shakespeare rods are always the perfect balance of strength and budget.
The Ugly Stik Carbon Casting Fishing Rod is a game-changer for any angler looking for a reliable and affordable crank bait rod. With its high-strength 24 Ton Graphite blank and Ugly Stik’s signature toughness, this rod can handle the toughest shallow water fishing conditions.
The 10-20 pound line has a crankbait weight rating of 3/8-1 oz., making it perfect for catching a wide range of fish species. But I am sure that Ugly Stik Carbon can handle 3 oz. lures accurately. Whether you’re targeting bass or pike, this rod is designed to deliver excellent sensitivity and control.
Moreover, its stainless steel guides are durable and sturdy enough to handle all types of fishing lines. The guides can easily handle the braided line abuse and handle the load accurately.
Overall, the Ugly Stik Carbon Casting Fishing Rod is a fantastic option for anyone on a budget who needs a high-quality crankbait rod that won’t let them down.
This carbon series is also available as spinning rods. It features medium power and moderate action. With its soft tip and backbone can land your medium-sized fish with ease. Available in a variety of lengths so pick right according to your fishing style.
At last, I am also impressed by the rod cosmetics. Its red and black appearance gives it a very catchy look and the fishing experience becomes more amazing.
- Premium quality features
- Corrosion resistant components
- It’s an exceptionally durable rod and can handle tough fishing conditions
- Its affordable price makes it an excellent value for anyone on a budget
- It is versatile enough for a range of fishing styles
- Some anglers might find the rod to be a bit heavier than they would like
- The handle might not be comfortable for everyone, depending on personal preference
How to choose the best crankbait rods under $100
Crankbait rods are typically shorter than other types of rods. You don’t need a 9-10 feet long rod for throwing crankbaits the best length range for crankbait rods is 6-8 feet. Your fishing style, location, and type of crankbait also matter in selecting the right length.
However, longer rods i.e. 7-8 feet are better suited for throwing heavy, and deep diving crankbaits far at a distance, while shorter rods (6-7 feet) are better for shallow water fishing and lighter baits.
The power of a rod refers to its strength and its ability to handle heavy weights. Fishing rods are available as heavy, medium, and light power. The higher the power rating is, the bigger and heavier catches it can land. However, the heavy power rods are also heavy and cause arm fatigue when held for longer hours.
For crankbait fishing, a medium power rod is the best option. This power rod has enough backbone to land bigger catches with heavy baits and is sensitive enough to detect bites of smaller catches when casting lighter lures. Medium Power rods are also good with maneuverability.
The action of the fishing rod describes how much of the rod bends and where it bends along the length of the blank. Fishing rods have three basic actions i.e. Fast, moderate, and slow.
A moderate action is best for crankbait fishing although some anglers prefer the slow actions but slow action rods have a slower response time when setting the hook. This can be a disadvantage when fishing with crankbaits because the fish tend to bite quickly and then spit the bait out just as fast.
While the moderate action bends evenly throughout its length, these rods bend in the top half of the rod i.e. from the middle to the tip, which is important for proper lure presentation and hook set. It also helps to absorb the shock of a fish striking the bait, reducing the likelihood of the hook pulling free.
There are a few options when it comes to selecting the material for the best crankbait rods. The fishing rods are available as fiberglass, graphite, carbon fiber, and composite rods.
Fiberglass rods are known for their durability and flexibility. This type of rod has slower action, which is ideal for throwing larger and heavier crankbaits that require a slower presentation. Although they are the most durable rods, they are heavier and less sensitive than graphite rods to detect nibbles, but this can be an advantage when fishing in cover, as the rod will help absorb the shock of the fish hitting the bait and reduce the risk of the hook pulling free.
Graphite rods are lighter and best known for their sensitivity in comparison to fiberglass rods. They have a faster action, making them ideal for fishing with smaller and lighter crankbaits that require a faster presentation. They are also more responsive when setting the hook, allowing for a quicker and more accurate hook set. However, they can be more brittle and less durable than fiberglass rods, making them more susceptible to breakage.
Carbon fiber rods are enhanced forms of graphite rods. They have the same features as graphite with advanced ratio i.e. lighter, more sensitive, and more expensive than graphite rods.
Composite rods are a combination of fiberglass and graphite rods. These rods comprise the features of both. You will have a lightweight, yet durable and sensitive rod. So they are also good options to consider for crankbaits.
The material of the fishing rod reflects an important impact on your casting experience. Fishing rods have typically two types of handles the cork and the EVA foam.
Cork is lightweight and offers a firm grip when wet hands. It is a recommended handle type for summer fishing because of their natural breathability, which can help keep your hands cooler and drier in hot and humid weather. Cork also has natural shock-absorbing properties, which can help reduce fatigue during long fishing sessions.
Another common material is EVA foam, which is also lightweight and provides a good grip. EVA foam is more durable than cork and can be more resistant to damage from sunlight and chemicals. Eva foam handles are a good option for winter fishing and being more durable they are recommended for trolling fishing.
The small loops on the fishing rods throughout their length are the rod guides. These guides maintain the line’s strength and prevent it from tangling or breaking.
Fishing rod guides are available in different construction materials. Selecting the right material guides that are best for crankbait fishing depends on several factors, including the weight and size of the bait, fishing line strength, and the type of fishing i.e. freshwater or saltwater conditions.
One popular material for fishing rod guides is titanium oxide, which is best for its durability and smoothness. Titanium guides are often used for heavier baits and lines, as they can withstand the friction and wear that can occur during casting and retrieval but they are expensive choices and mostly fixed on the high-end rods.
Another material commonly used for fishing rod guides is stainless steel, which is strong, lightweight, and top of all that corrosion-resistant so a recommended option for saltwater fishing. Stainless steel guides are a good choice for crankbait fishing, as they can help maintain sensitivity and responsiveness in the rod while also providing durability and protection against damage.
In addition to these two materials, there are also aluminum oxide guides. These are durable rods but heavier than titanium and stainless steel guides. Aluminum oxide guides are mostly used for bigger catches as they wouldn’t bend easily under heavy loads. But they aren’t fully corrosion-resistant. Make sure to give them a freshwater wash and clean them properly after exposure to saltwater.
Line and Lure Ratings
In general, most crankbait rods are designed to handle line weights in the 8-17 lb. range and lure weights in the 1/4 to 1 oz. range.
However, it’s important to choose a line and lure rating that is appropriate for the specific type of crankbait fishing you plan to do. For example, to target larger or heavier fish, you may need a higher line and lure rating to handle the additional weight and resistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
No doubt it’s a daunting task to find the best crankbait rods under $100 because technique-specific rods typically come at higher prices. The six rods we have reviewed above are all great options for anglers on a budget, offering excellent performance, sensitivity, and durability. No matter what level angler you are, these rods are sure to deliver exceptional results and help you reel in that big catch. So, take your pick and hit the water with confidence, knowing you’ve made a smart investment in a quality crankbait rod that won’t break the bank