Upgrading to a Better Fishing Rod


As a beginner, you bought a low-cost rod or combo to try fishing. You are an angler that buys low-cost or second-hand tackle to save money. The time has come for upgrading to a better fishing rod. You lack the experience in choosing a better rod in either case. What makes a better fishing rod?

Estimated reading time: 18 minutes, 29 seconds. Contains 3698 words

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The better rods start with a better blank. It is the blank that the handle, reel seat, and guides are attached to on a fishing rod.

The blanks are designed for specific actions and power. The action describes how the rod bends. A fast-action bends about 1/4 down from the tip. A moderate will bend down to 1/3 or a little more.

The power is how hard it is to bend a rod, plus what weight lures it can handle. The power can also be species-specific. A medium heavy bass rod is not the same as one for catfish or musky. They all have different lure ratings and the pressure needed to bend.

Components of Better Fishing Rods

In addition to the blank, the reel seat, guides and handle are of better quality. The low-cost rod uses guides made of steel frames with aluminum oxide inserts. A higher-quality rod uses titanium or stainless steel frames. The inserts are a composite blend of aluminum oxide and various ceramic compounds.

The three common materials for guides include silicone carbide (SIC), Alconite, and Hardloy. Essentially these are ceramics with exceptional wear resistance to the newer super-lines. The material also is lower in weight. Modern rods use lighter materials to make a lighter rod.

In other words, a newer rod of high quality is better performing and lighter in weight. This reduces fatigue on long days of casting lures. Plus enhances casting length and accuracy.

Upgrading to a better fishing rod means understanding what you need from the rod. The higher quality rods excel in specific uses.

Features of a Better Fishing Rod

Explaining the features of quality fishing rods is important. An angler needs which action and power to choose. The species or style of fishing has an impact on this choice. Using finesse baits needs sensitivity. The reaction lures use a different type of rod, requiring more flex and backbone. In some cases, an angler wants a rod for all-around fishing.

So it is imperative to understand how the rod will be used. What is your favorite or confidence lure? What weight do you typically throw in lures? Anglers getting very specific can judge the purchase by a single point or treble hooks. The rods are made to work better based on lure type and weights, plus the hook types.

The following rods will be rated on specific use in regards to lure types and weights. This allows an angler to choose the right rod for how they fish. This will result in a better hook-up rate. Every angler’s goal is to catch more fish and the correct tackle will help.

Choosing the Best Rod Based on How You Fish

The best way of choosing a rod is by how you fish. An angler throwing crankbaits most of the time needs a rod designed for the lure. The same applies to soft plastics, spinnerbaits, and live baits. Choosing the right action is key in this regard.

Power is the force or strength of the rod. How hard is it to bend? What size lures work best on the rod? An angler needs to combine power and action with the length of the ultimate rod for themselves. In other words, there is not one rod with all options.

There are a few rods considered all-around rods. They perform adequately with any style of fishing but do have some limits. An angler may give up some hook setting power or flex to have an all-around rod.

Upgrading to Better All-Around Fishing Rods

The rods in this category are suitable for any type of fishing. They may be listed for specific purposes but have options. The majority offer a moderate fast action. This will perform well with any lure or hooks. It has hook-setting power and some flex to keep treble hooks pinned.

A few of these rods will fall into many categories on the list. An example, the G Loomis E6X comes in many actions and powers. The rod has a model for almost every fishing application.

The difference will be in the action and possibly power. The power and action as mentioned before determine what is the best rod for the purpose. Upgrading to a better fishing rod an angler needs to know the purpose of the rod.

G. Loomis E6X Mag Bass

The Mag Bass model has 4 choices available. These are the universal rods in the G Loomis E6X lineup. The Medium power is limited to 6’6″ and the medium-heavy has 3 lengths, 6’6″, 7′, and 7’6″. All models have fast action. The rods will work jigs, rigs, and spinnerbaits very well. Plus the rods will work top-water above average. Lures with treble hooks will be average with hook setting power.

The G Loomis E6X is upgrading to a better fishing rod.

G Loomis starts with superior blanks to build a rod. Then adds in a Fuji ECS reel seat, full cork handle, and Fuji guides for a high-performing rod. The painting process eliminates the sanding of the blank. This increases the impact resistance. Sanding can cause weak areas on a blank. The G Loomis lineup is for serious anglers wanting the best.

  • Affordable technique-specific models
  • Lightweight with tremendous strength
  • Amazing sensibility
  • Reduced guide sizing
  • Full cork grip handles,
  • Slim, contoured grip design
  • Fuji® aluminum oxide guides
  • Great with braided lines
  • Fuji ECS reel seats

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St. Croix Avid

The Avid is an all-around rod with exceptional sensitivity. These rods have very good power and are lightweight. It comes in 10 models with 8 being suitable for all-around fishing. I would recommend not choosing extra-fast action. It will not perform well with lures with treble hooks.

St. Croix Avid

The rod uses Fuji Alconite guides and a Fuji reel seat. The full cork handle has a great feel. Plus the rod comes with a 15-year transferable warranty.

  • High-modulus SCIII graphite blanks
  • Black-framed Fuji Alconite Concept guides
  • Fuji reel seats
  • Select-grade cork handles
  • 15-year transferable warranty

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St. Croix Premier 

The choices with the Premier range from medium-light to heavy power. A Premier is one of the rods anglers choose as a higher-performing rod to start. The rod is well designed for walleye, bass, and many other species. The lightweight, sensitivity, and strength are all better than any rod costing less.

The Premier is upgrading to better fishing rods

Built with the SCII graphite blanks, graphite reel seat, and aluminum oxide guides. The rod is a quality investment in your angling performance and pleasure.

  • Advanced IPC Integrated Poly Curve technology
  • Fitted with genuine Fuji graphite reel seats
  • Select-grade cork handles

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Dobyns Fury Series FR 703C

Dobyns makes a series of rods for the entry-level performance tackle. These rods are gaining popularity among anglers. They are lightweight and use quality components. In addition, Dobyns uses Kevlar wrapping to secure a hold on the guides.

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The Dobyns starts with a high modulus blank. Then adds a Fuji Reel seat and adds a high-density cork handle with a Hypalon butt section. The cork adds a better feel, while the Hypalon is durable.

  • High modulus graphite blanks
  • Performance balanced
  • Fuji reel seats
  • Kevlar wrapping
  • AA-grade hi-density cork grips
  • Hi-density EVA butt

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Fenwick HMG

Anglers looking for performance and value will love the HMG. The lowest-priced rod on the list. It performs above its cost. The rod is lightweight, comfortable, and has the power for any freshwater fishing application. Simply choose among the 4 models all designed for all-purpose use.

Fenwick HMG an upgrade to a better all-purpose fishing rod.

Starting with spiral-bound fibers to the tip for extra strength. Add in Fuji Alconite guides and a Positive lock reel seat. You have a rod that performs. The handle is cork for a great feel with a synthetic butt cap for durability.

  • High-end lightweight blank technology
  • Carbon Bound spiral-wrapped
  • Fuji guides with Alconite inserts
  • Positive Lock soft-touch reel
  • Premium-grade cork handle

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Upgrading to Better Jig and Worm Fishing Rods

A worm rod is all about hook setting power. They range from medium to heavy power in general, and a few go extra-heavy for very specific applications. The actions are fast to extra fast. These two factors help greatly in setting a single-point hook.

The rods are made to pull fish out of cover also. In other words, the rods are for power fishing in heavy cover. If you fish in weeds or fall downs with jigs, soft plastics, or other single hook lures. This is the rod you want for that purpose.

G. Loomis E6X  Jig and Worm

The Jig and worm model has 7 choices available. These are the Fast or extra fast action rods in the G Loomis E6X lineup. The lengths vary from 6’8″ to 7’5″ with 3 powers available. Lighter use or open water has 2 medium power offerings. The medium-heavy has 3 options and there are 2 heavy power rods. The medium-heavy is the better choice for most anglers.

The G Loomis E6X is upgrading to a better fishing rod.

The heavy power model is for the thickest cover. The rods have the cork handle, Fuji Reel seat, and aluminum oxide guides as the previous model of the E6X. These rods have more backbone and fast actions to pull bass out of cover.

  • Affordable technique-specific models
  • Lightweight with tremendous strength
  • Amazing sensibility
  • Reduced guide sizing
  • Full cork grip handles,
  • Slim, contoured grip design
  • Fuji® aluminum oxide guides
  • Great with braided lines
  • Fuji ECS reel seats

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St. Croix Avid X Casting Rod

Avid has six models all good for soft plastics. The medium power extra fast action is designed for jigs. Anglers will find very good performance with any of the Avid series. The angler can choose from medium, med-heavy, or heavy power rods. This means you can fine-tune your fishing style. Anglers fishing heavy weeds will like the heavy power option. It will work well with swimbaits also.

St. Croix Avid Baitcast upgrading to better fishing rods

The rod has Fuji Concept guides, a Fuji reel seat, and a cork handle. Add in a 15-year transferable warranty for protecting your investment. It is a good option for anglers wanting more value in the choice of rod.

  • High-modulus SCIII graphite blanks
  • Black-framed Fuji Alconite Concept guides
  • Fuji reel seats
  • Select-grade cork handles
  • 15-year transferable warranty

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Shimano Curado

The Curado is available in medium, med-heavy, or heavy power. The 3-rod choices are all fast action. They are considered all-around but fast action is for single point-hooks. These are rods good for worms and jigs. The rods will work with treble hooks also. The chance of a fish throwing the lures does increase. Anglers using single-point hooks primarily will enjoy the action and power of this rod.

The rod incorporates carbon and Nano resins in the blank. The Fuji reel seat and Fuji tangle-free guides add to the performance. The AAA cork handle is of very good quality with a nice feel and durability. This rod is well suited for soft plastic, spinnerbait, and top-water presentations.

  • An optimal blend of responsiveness and strength
  • High modulus UD carbon with nano resin
  • Soft-touch coated Fuji reel seats
  • Fuji tangle-free guides
  • AAA cork grips

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St. Croix Mojo

The St.Croix Bass Mojo is another technique-specific rod. The medium, medium-heavy, or heavy power with fast action is for worms or jigs. The medium-heavy is the best all-around for these presentations. In thick cover with jigs, the heavy power may be a better choice.

St. Croix Mojo

The rod is built on an SCIII blank with Kigan guides, a Fuji ECS reel seat, and a split-grip cork handle. These components reduce weight and add to the performance. The guides with the aluminum oxide inserts allow easy casting for distance and accuracy.

The reel seat holds the reel firmly for solid performance all day. Cork handles are more comfortable and lighter than other materials. The Mojo is an affordable rod with everything you need for a long day on the water.

  • Premium-quality SCIII graphite
  • Technique-specific bass series designed and built for superior performance
  • Kigan Master Hand 3D guides
  • Fuji ECS reel seat/black hood on casting models
  • Split-grip/premium-grade cork handle
  • Two coats of Flex Coat slow-cure finish

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Abu Garcia Veritas

The Veritas is often overlooked by anglers. The rod has 3 models designed for use with many lures. The medium-heavy or heavy rod with fast action will get the job done. These rods have a larger lure rating. You can throw 1/4 to 1 ounce with the rods. The rods come with the power to haul bass out of thick weeds.

upgrading to better fishing rods Abu Garcia Vertitas

The rods are built on 30-ton blanks, with plenty of strength. An exposed blank reel seat with an uplocking, ratcheting hood makes a direct connection between rod and reel and secures the reel tightly. Plus, the titanium guides with zirconium inserts handle plenty of stress.

As a lower-cost rod, the handle is made from Eva. These handle grips are durable, lightweight, and comfortable while wet. Anglers wanting to upgrade at a low cost will find the Veritas a better performing rod for the price.

  • Extremely lightweight, sensitive, and balanced
  • 30-ton graphite blank with SubLayer Armor
  • An exposed blank reel seat
  • Ratcheting hood
  • Titanium-alloy guides
  • Zirconium inserts
  • ROCS guide train
  • EVA split grips

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St. Croix Bass X

Bass anglers on a budget will like the Bass X. The rod has a good feel and performance at a friendly price. This rod is a better performing rod than many beginners or combo rods. Anglers wanting an upgrade from a Walmart or superstore combo will find this a nice option. It lets you upgrade without blowing a paycheck.

St. Croix Bass X

The rod uses the St. Croix SCII blank coupled with a Fuji ECS reel seat, Aluminum oxide guides, and a cork handle. This rod is lightweight with good sensitivity and casting performance. Includes a 5-year warranty to protect your purchase.

  • Legendary quality, wallet-friendly price
  • Premium SCII graphite blanks
  • Black-framed aluminum-oxide guides
  • Split-grip handle design with premium-grade cork
  • Fuji ECS reel seat with black hood
  • Finished with 2 coats of Flex-Coat slow cure

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Upgrading to Better Crankbait Fishing Rods

Crankbait rods are designed with more flex. This keeps treble hooks stuck in the fish better. The additional flex keeps the rod loaded applying steady pressure. Anglers fishing lures with treble hooks know fish can throw treble hook lures. These rods reduce the throwing of the lure by fish.

G. Loomis E6X Crankbait

Once again the E6X is on the list. This rod is designed for many applications. The crankbait version is moderate-fast action in either medium or medium-heavy power. The lengths are 7 feet for casting crankbaits long distances. An angler needs length for crankbaits. A short rod does not cast far enough.

The G Loomis E6X is upgrading to a better fishing rod.

The slightly slower action keeps treble hooks stuck in the fish’s mouth. This rod is best for lures with treble hooks. It will be adequate with single-point hooks. You may need a little more of a hook set. The rod is for someone throwing mostly crankbaits, jerk-baits, and many top-water lures.

  • Affordable technique-specific models
  • Lightweight with tremendous strength
  • Amazing sensibility
  • Reduced guide sizing
  • Full cork grip handles,
  • Slim, contoured grip design
  • Fuji® aluminum oxide guides
  • Great with braided lines
  • Fuji ECS reel seats

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Shimano Curado

The Curado is limited in options. An angler can choose the 7’2″ medium power or the 7’4″ medium-heavy power rod. Each rod is moderate action giving plenty of flex to keep the treble hooks stuck in the fish. This rod is strictly for crankbaits and other treble hook lures. The action is too slow for jigs or rigs.

The rod is built with a hybrid blank, it uses carbon and nano-resin. This gives the rod more flex. The handle is AAA-rated cork. The best quality. The tangle-free Fuji guides have Alconite inserts. They hold up to today’s super-lines. Add in the soft-touch reel seat and you can cast for hours.

  • An optimal blend of responsiveness and strength
  • High modulus UD carbon with nano resin
  • Soft-touch coated Fuji reel seats
  • Fuji tangle-free guides
  • AAA cork grips

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St. Croix Mojo Bass Glass Casting Rod

The glass Mojo is a crankbait-specific rod. The S-glass blank has a better flex to ensure solid hooksets with crankbaits. An angler that fishes crankbaits often will find this rod superior. The added flex from the S-glass keeps a fish hooked.

These types of rods get better with age. The glass goes through a break-in period. After using a while the flex improves the hooksets and keeps the hooks pinned in the mouth of the fish.

St Croix Mojo Crankbait rod

Built on an S-glass linear blank for better crankbait performance. Kigan Master Hand 3-D guides with aluminum oxide inserts, Fuji reel seat, and split-grip cork handle for comfort and performance. Includes a 5-year warranty to protect your investment.

  • Premium, 100% linear S-glass
  • Technique-specific bass series
  • Designed for superior durability
  • Kigan Master Hand 3D guides
  • Fuji ECS reel seat/black hood on casting models
  • Split-grip/premium-grade cork handle
  • Two coats of Flex Coat slow-cure finish
  • 5-year manufacturer’s warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service

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Lew’s Custom Speed Stick Casting Rod

The Lews custom speed stick comes in 3 models for crankbaits. Anglers can choose from the power they need in moderate fast action. There is one model for square bill crankbaits. It will work for all crankbaits. It is not necessary to have multiple rods for different crankbaits. Look at a 7′ to 7’6″ length for longer and more accurate casts.

Lews Custom speed stick

The rods have Eva Handles, Fuji concept guides, and a matched graphite blank. The rod has the Lews reel seat designed for sensitivity. This rod is a good performing rod. Anglers wanting a handle other than cork will find this rod a good choice.

  • G Clutch Handle System and with Midas Touch for direct blank contact
  • Premium HM60 graphite blank delivers style-specific performance
  • Concept O guides with deep-pressed aluminum-oxide inserts
  • Split-grip EVA handles with duracork inlays add hand comfort
  • Stainless steel corrosion-resistant hook keeper

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Upgrading to Better Walleye Fishing Rods

Walleye rods are lighter power and fast action rods. These rods are designed for sensitivity. The sensitivity allows an angler to feel the lightest of bites. A few of the rods have reel seats and handles improving the sensitivity the blank provides.

These are the rods for a serious walleye angler. They perform well for larger trout and similar species also. If going after light-biting fish, one of these rods is ideal.

G.Loomis E6X Walleye Spinning Rod

The E6X has design features for maximum sensitivity. The lengths and actions are matched to detect the lightest bites. This allows an angler to give lures a better lifelike action. Plus enables quick and solid hooksets. These are crucial when walleye fishing.

G Loomis E6X Walleye rod

Along with the matched blanks the E6X comes with Fuji aluminum oxides guides, Fuji reel seat, and a premium cork handle. The handle comes with rubber/cork accents. The handle gives the angler a comfortable hold and feel with the rod.

  • Actions and lengths to match walleye techniques
  • Excellent strength-to-weight ratio and sensitivity
  • Fuji aluminum oxide guides
  • Premium-grade cork handle
  • Fuji reel seat

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St. Croix Avid Series Spinning Rod

The Avid series by St. Croix is light, strong, and extremely sensitive. The medium-light power with an extra-fast action will enhance an angler’s ability. The Aid comes in other powers and actions also. The medium-light to medium power with an extra-fast or fast action works for walleye. An angler can choose a rod with the exact needs of how they fish.

St Croix Avid Series

The rods have a weightless feeling when paired with the right reel. St Croix uses the SCIII blank with Fuji Concept Alconite guides, Fuji reel seats, and select-grade cork handles. The handle is comfortable and provides very good leverage for fighting the fish. Add in a 15-year transferable warranty and the rod is a good investment.

  • High-modulus SCIII graphite blanks
  • Black-framed Fuji Alconite Concept guides
  • Fuji reel seats
  • Select-grade cork handles
  • 15-year transferable warranty

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Fenwick Elite Tech Walleye Spinning Rod

The Fenwick Elite Tech rod is a long-time favorite with walleye anglers. The rod comes in several lengths, actions, and powers. The medium-light power with an extra-fast action will detect the lightest bites. This combo of power and action is ideal for walleye fishing. It offers the best sensitivity and responsive hooksets.

Fenwick Elite Tech

The rod features sturdy titanium guides for lighter weight. The cork and Tac handle to provide a solid comfortable feel even in wet conditions. The hidden handle reel seat offers a slim comfortable grip. Plus a limited lifetime warranty makes Elite Tech a top choice for walleye fishing.

  • Actions designed for walleye fishing
  • Ultimate in sensitivity
  • Titanium frame guides
  • Cork and TAC handle

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St. Croix Eyecon Walleye Spinning Rod

A high-performing rod at an affordable price. This rod is becoming a favorite with anglers fishing for walleye, trout, and similarly sized species. The rod comes in a dozen options. Anglers can choose a shorter or longer rod. The powers come from medium-light to medium. Plus have fast or extra-fast actions. An angler can find a rod good for shore, kayak, or overall fishing.

St. Croix Eyecon

Built on an SCII blank with Batson aluminum oxide guides, Fuji IPS reel seat, and split-grip cork handle. The rod is a good value in the higher-performing rods. The rod carries a 5-year warranty to protect your investment.

  • Technique-specific walleye rods designed and built for superior performance
  • Premium-quality SCII graphite
  • Batson Forecast hard aluminum-oxide guides
  • Fuji IPS reel seat
  • Split-grip/premium-grade cork handle with EVA trim
  • Two coats of Flex Coat slow-cure finish
  • Five-year warranty

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Summary

Upgrading to a better fishing rod has many choices. The power and actions are designed for specific applications or fish. A few will cover the all-around use. An angler must evaluate how they fish. Then choose which rod is best for their fishing techniques.

After choosing a rod, the reel needs consideration. Upgrading the reel will help with fishing pleasure. Choose a spinning reel or baitcast reel based on your rod. A well-matched rod and reel are pleasurable during a day of fishing.