best rod and reel combo for bass fishing

The Best Rod and Reel Combo for Bass Fishing Review

Last Updated: 02/16/21

There are numerous rod and reel combos for bass fishing in the market today. It can be challenging to find the one best suited for you, whether you are an experienced or beginner bass angler.

If you are on a budget, a rod and reel combo can save you money and significantly improve your game.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
College Choice
Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo
Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo
  • Graphite/Fiberglass
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Sold Option
Penn Fierce III LE Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
Penn Fierce III LE Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
  • Graphite Composite
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Best Choice
Quantum PT Reliance Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
Quantum PT Reliance Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
  • Graphite/Fiberglass
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Beginner’s Choice
Abu Garcia Virtual Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
Abu Garcia Virtual Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
  • Graphite Composite
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Max Options
Abu Garcia Silver Max & Max STX Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
Abu Garcia Silver Max & Max STX Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
  • Graphite Composite
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Best Value
Quantum Fishing Zebco Bite Alert Spinning Reel and 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo
Quantum Fishing Zebco Bite Alert Spinning Reel and 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo
  • Fiberglass
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Brand Leader
PENN Battle II, Battle III Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
PENN Battle II, Battle III Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
  • Stainless Steel
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Budget Option
Daiwa DSK20-B/F602ML D-Shock Freshwater Spinning Combo
Daiwa DSK20-B/F602ML D-Shock Freshwater Spinning Combo
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Best Rod and Reel Combos for Bass Fishing

College Choice
Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo

Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo

  • Construction: Graphite & Fiberglass

No matter your skill level, the Ugly Stik GX2 fishing rod, and reel combo will work great when bass fishing. The composite rod features both graphite and fiberglass construction to be lightweight and durable for weeks of fishing.

The mix of these materials adds to the sensitivity of the rod. With EVA grips, you will be comfortable even during extended periods out in the water. 

This combo’s precise tip design delivers the strength and quick response for a more straightforward experience when bass fishing. It is a nice rod to catch a variety of fish, including large freshwater fish.

The reel lifespan is longer than other models because of the compression bail springs on this combo. The handles are also soft for added comfort when bass fishing. This spinning rod will not disappoint you when it comes to catching bass. 

PROS

  • The grips are lightweight for comfort while fishing
  • This combo ensures smooth operations due to the three ball bearings and one-way clutch
  • Composite rod material which is more sensitive and durable
  • The handle knobs are soft for comfortable fishing
  • Oversized bail wire adds to the combo’s durability

CONS

  • Not the best option for experienced anglers
  • The drag of this combo isn’t as smooth

CHECK CURRENT PRICE: Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo


With the Penn Fierce III LE Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo, you will have various sizes to choose the best one for you.

This combo’s reels are set up with graphite composite rods to create robust and durable fishing equipment. The side plate and full metal body of this rod and reel combo keep the gear aligned even under heavy loads. 

You will get smooth retrieves with the Techno-balanced rotor of this rod and reel combo when bass fishing. It features four shielded stainless steel ball bearings for ease of movement and better speed when fishing.

These make it easier to cast and retrieve your line each time. EVA grips on this combo are excellent and more resistant to wear and tear. The smaller and ergonomic Winn grips also provide excellent traction while bass fishing. 

PROS

  • The Techno-balanced rotor allows for easy and smooth retrieval
  • Four ball bearings provide ease of motion when casting
  • The graphite composite rods are durable and robust for bass fishing
  • EVA grip handles on the rods are easy to clean

CONS

  • The EVA grips are not as sensitive compared to cork handles
  • Hard to tell when getting a bite using plastic lures

CHECK CURRENT PRICE: Penn Fierce III LE Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo


The Quantum PT Reliance is a fast action rod and reel combo suitable for saltwater and freshwater fishing. This is a heavy-duty composite rod combining the benefits of fiberglass and graphite to get long-lasting fishing equipment that will improve your game.

The reel seat is cushioned with stainless steel to be more comfortable when using it. The EVA handle is also durable to use for years of bass fishing. 

With this rod and reel combo, you get instant anti-reverse for instant hook sets due to the roller bearings. The PT bearings are also anti-corrosive when you need to catch fish in saltwater.

This combo will also offer smooth and trouble-free operation even while freshwater fishing. The ceramic carbon drag system reduces the reel’s temperature for smooth and reliable drag performance and less friction. 

PROS

The anti-corrosion bearings are not affected by saltwater fishing

  • This combo offers smooth and consistent drag performance
  • The aluminum body of the combo is corrosion resistant
  • Graphite rod ensures peak performance when fishing
  • Interchangeable handle from right hand to the left hand

CONS

  • This combo costs more than other bass fishing rod and reel combos

CHECK CURRENT PRICE: Quantum PT Reliance Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo


The Abu Garcia spinning reel and rod combo have a lightweight graphite body ideal for beginner bass anglers to better their game. This is one of the world’s first digitally integrated rod and reel combos for fishing.

You can now quickly log your catches with the push of a button. Easily record your location, water data, and weather condition to go back to when you need it. 

Using Bluetooth or the Anglr app on your smartphone, you can pair to your rod and create a private logbook for all your fishing adventures.

The machined aluminum spool offers power and strength to this combo without making it heavier for you. With three ball bearings and one roller bearing, you will have a smooth and easy time using this rod and reel combo. 

PROS

  • This rod and reel combo features Bluetooth and app compatibility
  • The ball bearing provides a smooth operation when on your boat
  • Easily log and record information like weather and location while fishing
  • The graphite body is lightweight for more comfortable bass fishing

CONS

  • Not suitable if you want to disconnect with technology when fishing

CHECK CURRENT PRICE: Abu Garcia Virtual Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo


This rod and reel combo from Abu Garcia Store is the ideal equipment for serious fishing performance. With cutting edge design, this spinning reel and rod combo have all the features you need to catch bass.

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The Abu custom reel seat offers a comfortable grip due to the molded polymer. The Rocket Line ™ system better controls all line types with the mechanical coil, offering more strength without increasing the weight.

It has five ball bearings and one roller bearing for a smoother and stress-free operation when on the boat. These stainless steel bearings are ideal for freshwater and saltwater fishing.

This rod and reel combo’s graphite body is lightweight to be quick for casting and reeling in fish. It also features the everlast bail system for better durability of the combo.

This is the modern combo you need at a comfortable price range. 

PROS

  • The ball bearings and roller bearing offer smooth operation when fishing
  • You get better control of the line due to the Rocket Spool Lip Design
  • The Everlast bail system increases the durability of this combo
  • Lightweight and durable rod and reel combo for a better fishing experience

CONS

  • The handle may not be comfortable for all users. 

CHECK CURRENT PRICE: Abu Garcia Silver Max & Max STX Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo


6 | Quantum Fishing Zebco Bite Alert Spinning Reel and 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo

  • Construction: Fiberglass

The Quantum Fishing Zebco spinning combo is convenient and reliable when it comes to bass fishing. With a 7-foot durable fiberglass rod, you will have the power and action to catch bass when you go fishing successfully.

You will be able to experience bass fishing in a whole new way with the bite alter feature on this combo. You can switch the alert on and off and adjust the sensitivity according to your needs.

This combo is comfortable using the interchangeable retrieve and instant anti-reverse bearing technology to enhance your fishing trip.

The reel features two bearings and a dial-adjustable drag system that works well with the medium power rod to smoothly reel in your next catch.

The Quantum Zebco spinning combo is versatile when fishing for medium to heavy fish species like catfish, bass, and saltwater fish.

With an extended EVA rod handle, you will be comfortable and enjoy better leverage when fishing. 

PROS

  • The electronic bite alert informs you of any fish activity below the water
  • EVA rod handles are comfortable for a firm grip
  • The aluminum spool offers strength and is more durable than plastic spools 
  • The bite alert uses one long-lasting battery for days of fishing

CONS

  • The screw holding the bail arm can strip quickly, which causes issues while fishing

CHECK CURRENT PRICE: Quantum Fishing Zebco Bite Alert Spinning Reel and 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo


When saltwater fishing, you will need corrosion-resistant and quality equipment to catch the fish you want. The PENN Battle II, Battle III spinning combo is one of the best ocean fishing combos you can find.

The drag systems feature carbon fiber that can handle big bites without affecting your pull. The full metal body and aluminum bail wire offer exceptional durability for saltwater fishing. 

The reel on this combo is suitable when it comes to precision. Although this PENN combo is slightly pricey, when it comes to saltwater fishing, they perform well.

It comes in a variety of sizes to offer smooth, fast, and fluid performance when fishing.

PROS

  • The rigid metal body protects the gears and keeps them in alignment
  • It is corrosion-resistant, which is ideal for saltwater fishing
  • This combo is long-lasting, with drag washers resistant to wear and tear
  • The tailored rubber gasket prevents the super line from slipping

CONS

  • Insufficient packaging that can damage the products
  • It costs more than other rod and reel combos for bass fishing

CHECK CURRENT PRICE: PENN Battle II, Battle III Spinning Reel, and Fishing Rod Combo


With the Daiwa D-Shock Spinning Combo, you will get an affordable rod and reel that will perform great when freshwater fishing. This is a two-piece rod with medium and light power for a better fishing experience.

The rod is 6 feet long and is suitable and comfortable for bass fishing. With a fiberglass rod and graphite body already set up, you will be ready to go once you get it out of the box. 

It features the powerful Digigear ™ digital gear system for smooth and easy operation. The Abs Machined aluminum spool also makes casting much more comfortable to ensure that your line is usable.

This combo also features two ball bearings for better performance. This combo is lightweight with a split grip design to be comfortable even when casting the whole day.

PROS

  • The rod on this combo is lightweight which is easy to use for beginners. 
  • EVA foam grips provide added comfort when casting
  • The graphite composite body is flexible and durable for all types of fishing
  • It is more affordable than other spinning rod and reel combos
  • The twist buster feature keeps the lines straight to catch fish in less time

CONS

  • The reel is not as smooth as other combos
  • You can’t separate it for storage in small spaces

CHECK CURRENT PRICE: Daiwa DSK20-B/F602ML D-Shock Freshwater Spinning Combo


Benefits of Using a Rod and Reel Combo

Investing in a high-quality rod and reel combo is one of the best ways of improving your performance while fishing. Besides saving you money, rod and reel combos also save you the time you would have spent looking for the ideal bass fishing rod.

With a rod and reel combo, you also save time while fishing. 

You no longer have to spend most of your time assembling different parts of your fishing equipment before going into the water. The stress of trying to combine features from various manufacturers will also be a thing of the past with a rod and reel combo.

When it comes to balance, rod and reel combos already have the perfect balance for bass fishing. The balance of the combo helps maximize smooth casting abilities and generally improves the rod’s performance.

rod and reel best combo bass fishing

The best thing about getting a rod and reel combo is you can immediately start fishing once you buy it without any additional set up required. For beginner anglers, rod and reel combos help nurture better casting habits.

Experienced anglers on a tight budget looking for high-performance equipment will also benefit from combos.

With the many hazards that surround the rivers and streams. It will be better for you to wear wader. Remember, your life is more important than even those trout. The wader acts as a shield and you will be safer.

How to Choose a Bass Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Whether you choose a baitcasting or spinning rods and reel combo, you need to consider the power, action, and material used to make these combos.

With the right combo, you will spend more time on the water than setting up your fishing gear. This article is all about finding the best rod and reel combo for you, which best suits your fishing techniques, preferences and is comfortable for a whole day of fishing.

Here are more factors to consider.

Rod Length

The right rod with the right kind of reel can significantly improve your performance when bass fishing. It would help if you considered the power ratings of each rod too.

The rod power and action of the combo you chose to get should be enough to catch the type of fish you want. Ultra-light and medium-light rods are ideal when fishing small fish in lakes or saltwater bays.

When fishing for small to medium size fish, medium power rods are likely to work better.

Medium and fast-action rods are more likely to help you catch big fish like catfish or striped bass. Getting the ideal bass fishing rods also depend on your comfort levels and height.

Longer rods are more comfortable for taller anglers, while shorter rods are easy to use for shorter anglers. The most popular rod length is around 7-feet.

Rod Materials

Most common rod materials include fiberglass and graphite. For beginner anglers, the ultra-light bass rod is ideal when starting. Lighter rods also have higher sensitivity to allow anglers to better detect bites in the water.

Graphite rods are lightweight, allowing better mobility when casting and reeling in the fish. You will be able to produce more substantial hook sets with a graphite rod due to its stiffness. Most graphite rods are fast action due to the less flex of the material.

best combo rod and reel bass fishing

Fiberglass rods are much heavier than graphite rods, which can be tiresome for beginners learning the ropes. They are also less sensitive when it comes to detecting bites.

They still work well for anglers who want to give the fish more time to get the bait. Experienced bass anglers will go for fiberglass rods because of their durability, and they cost much less than graphite rods.

These rods are medium or slow-action rods for fishing.

Composite rods are a result of combining both fiberglass and graphite materials. This results in a rod with higher sensitivity and strength for bass fishing.

Graphite composites are the best choice when it comes to finding a versatile yet robust rod material for your combo. Most composite rods are medium to fast action rods.

These rods can, however, be less potent when lifting fatty fish from the water.

Types of Reels

When it comes to bass fishing, different types of reels will perform well. The most common bass reels include baitcasting reels, spinning reels, and fly reels.

Baitcasting reels are popular among bass anglers.

They are more robust than spinning reels and offer more control and casting accuracy. Choosing the right fishing reel comes down to reel combo knowledge to get the most compatible rod to combine it with better performance.

The right reel setups will be useful in catching bass in different fishing locations. Gears in reels are often overlooked but very important when choosing the right reel.

The gear ratios in reels refer to the number of times the reel spool has to turn with every turn of the reel handle when fishing.

Depending on the bass fishing techniques and applications, you will require either a high or low gear ratio reel. There is also a wide selection of spinning reel seats for your specific application, like casting heavy lures.

Rod Handles

There are different rod handles available, including ones made of cork, EVA foam, or a combination of both. Both of these rod types are comfortable and light to grip when bass fishing.

According to your personal preferences, you will find the best one for casting. When long-distance casting, especially with heavy lures, longer handles will work much better.

You will be able to use both of your hands for the right amount of force you need when casting.

Shorter handles work well when casting short distances and using light bait. The handles come in different grips like full grip, pistol grip, and split grip.

When casting long distances, maximum grip handles work well to accommodate both of your hands better. You can use a split grip or pistol grips when using lightweight lures or when target casting.

These grips usually have less material on the handle, which adds to the rod’s sensitivity.

Cost

Although rod and reel combos are popular because of their low price, there are still some costly options available in the market.

For bass fishing beginners, you have a wide range of pocket-friendly options to choose from before getting to the advanced fishing levels.

Once your game improves, you will want baitcasting and spinning combos with added features and durability for a better fishing experience. The cost of combos may vary due to the additional features or materials of the equipment.

Fishing Experience

Rod and Reel’s combos are mostly suitable for beginner anglers due to their ease of use and versatility when fishing. They are great for novice anglers because you can be out in the water casting as soon as you make a purchase.

More experienced anglers may want to get specific rods and reels for the type of fish they want to catch and their most comfortable techniques. They know whether a spinning rod or baitcasting rod will provide the accurate cast they need.

With all the options available today, you are more likely to find all the features you desire in one purchase.

Type of Fishing

Before you start picking out the perfect bass fishing combos, you need to know which type of fishing you want to do. Some combos work best for specific fishing types like fly fishing, while others may not give you the desired performance.

The bass fishing techniques you like also play a key part in the best spinning rod or baitcasting rod and reel combos to choose from.

Knowing the location and conditions like temperature and water cover can help determine the best rod and reel combo to ensure you reel in the fish you want.

Final Thoughts

When choosing the perfect rod and reel combo for bass fishing, you need to consider the type of fishing you will carry out, rod handles, rod materials, and the power they have for the best performance.

Most anglers go for rod and reel combos to save on cost and time setting up before they start casting. 

Compared with the other quality combos on the list, The Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo stand out as the ideal bass fishing choice.

It consistently performs and is durable enough to handle versatile fishing for a considerable price range. This combo is lightweight and comfortable for hours of bass fishing.

Your performance will significantly improve and be more enjoyable with the Ugly Stik GX2 as part of your fishing equipment arsenal. 

Fishing Booker
rod and reel combo for bass fishing

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