Some people will insist that a fisherman’s greatest asset is his raw skills. We disagree! We believe that a fisherman is only as good as his tools, and the most important tool at his disposal is his fishing rod. And not just for the obvious task of catching the fish, but also to securely place things onto the water. You can put in bait or sonar gadgets at the end and do a variety of things. And if your rod does specialized tasks well, even better. So with that said, we will help you with one such task. We will tell you what the best bait casting rods under $100 are.
10 Best Baitcasting Rod Under 100 in 2019:
1. UglyStik GX2 Casting Rod
We start off this list with the UglyStik GX2 Casting Rod. A medium-sized rod this one, boasting a humble 6 ft. 6 inches in size. Of course, that is the default size, and you can vary it to as low as 6’ and as high as 7’6. Nonetheless, it is clear that this is a mid-length rod, which doubtless provides balance overall.
Further keeping up with the balance theme is the rod construction. It features the next-gen technology known as Ugly Tech, and also features a through reel seat design and is made of fiberglass and a hint of graphite. What this provides is a hint of gloss and also a rod that is sturdy, yet light, at the same time. The entire thing also has a black color theme, which makes it look appealing, especially with a few patches of red and white in between.
The overall build gives the rod medium power. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Although your main goal would ultimately be to catch fish, a medium power rod can help with delivering somewhat heavier bait out into the water while still maintaining some of the mobility of shorter rods.
It also has Ugly Stik’s unique clear tip. This is how you know this rod is also an Ugly Stik rod because this is what makes the end of the rod extra-sensitive to tugs from hungry fish in the water. At the same time, it is also tough enough to take quite a load, even from heavier fish or bait.
The GX2 also has a 1-piece guide. Fondly named Ugly Tuff, the guide comes as a single, whole component in the rod. You no longer have to worry about the ceramic insert having to be popped out and risk getting damaged. It has now been changed into a stainless steel piece that can take a beating.
Lastly, let’s talk about the grip. It is made of EVA material, which makes it easier for you to hold on to the handle for long hours. The handle is also relatively light too, making it easier to maneuver the entire rod.Overall, taking the middle group in many polarizing qualities may seem like a Jack of All Trades case, Shakespeare’s UglyStik GX2 does a great job pulling it off.
2. Berkley Cherrywood HD Casting Rod
The next name on this list is the Berkley Cherrywood HD. As with the other name on this list, this rod, too, features a few choices in length, starting from 5’6 and all the way up to 7 feet long. Again, despite the variations, these are still considered medium length, so apart from personal preference factors, you don’t need to worry much about that.
What you should think of is the build. It comes in a rustic look, with a wooden grip along with plastic, black fittings. Beyond the handle, it is almost fully a narrow rod of metallic red. Though we have our qualms about the color combinations with this one, we won’t judge you if you like it!
The body is made of SS304 aluminum oxide, which is 20 times tougher and less than half as heavy as regular aluminum oxide. It is made of a hybrid design, which adds to the already tougher yet agile body.
This one is also moderately powerful because the overall length combined with the build makes it stiff enough for moving around heavier bait but at the same time agile enough to move around bait seamlessly. More powerful ones would be necessary for fish, of course, so this hits the sweet spot.
The key differentiator of this particular rod is the natural look corks on it. This basically lets you hold on to the front part while pulling by enhancing the grip and also stabilizing the rod when moving it around. You can basically carry out a whole range of motion without worrying about it wobbling out of control. Easy does it!
Of course, this means that this is a two-piece rod, where the front going towards the tip can be detached. You also need to worry about the corks potentially being damaged, since they do protrude out somewhat.Finally, the handle is also quite nice. As you saw earlier, the handle looks rustic. It is also simplistic, the boring and plain kind that you may find on a cheap fishing rod. But hey, it is light, you can hold onto it easily and it will get the job done. I wouldn’t complain about that!
3. SHIMANO FXC 2 Piece Casting Rod
The Shimano FXC is one of the more typical budget casting rods out there. This too comes in a variety of sizes, with the default size being 6 ft. 6 inches, while you also get to choose from a 6 feet and 7 feet as well. The lengths change the overall power of the rod.
The rod itself is made of aero glass. Aero glass is a good choice of material for its lightweight alongside sturdiness. The end result is a rod that moves around really well but is also capable of pulling quite a bit of weight.
Additionally, the reel seat is made of graphite, which locks the reel seat to the rest of the rod into place. As for the guides, they are made of reinforced aluminum oxide, making them resistant to damage and corrosion free.
As we already mentioned, the various lengths give various levels of power. The default one has medium-heavy power, in part due to the length and the construction of the rod. What this means is that this rod is not just good for casting, but also for outright catching decently-sized fish too. But it also does a stellar job on the baits too, because it is able to move around any sized bait with relative ease.
And of course, even with the power, the aero glass body makes it quite agile. With something capable of pulling heavier objects while retaining the ability to move smoothly, you get the best of both power and easier movement.
It comes in 2 pieces, with the handle and ceramic ring portion separate from the rest. The tip portion gives it fast action, which is why it is much more sensitive towards the end. However, the backbone of the rod is somewhat stiffer than most, which does give away a bit of sensitivity for easier movement.
Rest assured, the final piece of the puzzle is the grip, which is made of EVA. It is comfy to hold on to thanks to its ergonomic design, and the grip material is quite solid and capable of undertaking wear and tear from nature.
Whilst this isn’t a champion of sorts, it gets the work done. And for the price you pay for this, that is good enough!
4. Rippin Lips Super Cat Casting Rod
The Rippin Lips Super Cat is another casting rod that is a mix of aesthetics and functionality. It is 7 feet 6 inches in size and is a blend of red body with black fittings. The rod is made of Rippin Lip’s special combination of E-Glass, S-Glass, and graphite.
With this combination, you get something that is sturdy and easy to move around at the same time. The guide wraps are made of chrome plated stainless steel and coated with Epoxy as well, which gives them a bright, silvery glitter and also makes them durable.
Of course, with this, you get a medium-heavy power on the rod. This is ideal for casting bait into the water and moving it around in general. It also applies for mid-sized bait too, so you can basically get a lot of choices with a medium-heavy power rod.
And of course, they are good for catching the fish as well. Unless you are talking about extremely large fish, this fishing rod can do more than enough. This makes it quite versatile because it can work with the bait of all kind and also fish of almost all sizes.
Of course, to maintain the level of power the backbone needs to be quite stiff. This will mean that while you are able to tug larger objects out of the water, you are at risk of causing permanent damage to the rod. You wouldn’t want to crack it now, would you? That is why you need to be a bit cautious with handling it, especially when the load gets quite a bit too much to handle.
As for the end, it has a neat little glowing tip! Yeah, you read that right! It glows at the end, which lets you see even as the sun is beginning to set. The rod also has fast action thanks to the stiff backbone. It was fairly obvious because you need a fast action rod to maneuver bigger objects.
With that said, you do lose out on a bit of control which you would get with a slower action. But given the fact that we are looking at bait casters, this should do the trick.An overall solid casting rod, with certain tweaks that make it unique albeit disadvantaged in some cases, the Rippin Lips Super Cat is one great casting rod.
5. Shakespeare Ugly Stik Striper Casting Rods
The Ugly Stik Striper is another typical Ugly Stik rod, but one that comes with slightly longer alternatives. The default rod comes at 7 feet, while the longer choice is 7 feet 6 inches. You also get them in variations of medium heavy, medium light, and light in terms of power.
The basic rod looks quite cool, with black grips and fittings. The rod is a clean white with the logo of Shakespeare and Ugly Stik. On the base of each guide are two patches of black on each side of the guide which adds a basic pattern onto the body.
The rod itself is made of Shakespeare’s signature construction, known as Ugly Tech Construction. This is unique for all Ugly Stik rods, and what it actually is, is a combination of fiberglass and trace amounts of graphite.
This is a material combination that makes the rod quite light, yet very durable and strong. As for the guides, they are made of stainless steel, supporting a reel line of size 20 with two ball bearings.
The build also gives the rod moderate-heavy power. For the purpose of casting bait, do you really need more power than that? This rod can work with most bait and give you decent mobility alongside carrying a bit of weight. Of course, on top of this, you get a feature to turn off the bait via a clicker. When it comes to handling bait, the Ugly Stik Striper does a stellar job.
The entire rod comes in one piece as well, so you do not have to worry about protruding ceramic rings or potentially frail connecting fittings on the rod. Of course, that does make it more difficult to carry around, but rather have something that lasts over something that can be carried easily, right?
The rod action is moderate fast, which means that it bends more towards the end of the rod. This allows you to carry a heavier load and react faster to the bait being tugged into. Plus, this makes it more sturdy since the backbone needs to be sturdy.
Overall, this is a solid yet agile rod that does bait casting really well.
6. Falcon Rods HD Casting Rod
The Falcon Rods HD is a unique casting rod that is sure to catch your attention. It comes in several sizes and several power levels. There are variations with lengths of 6 feet 6 inches, 6 feet 8 inches, 7 feet, and 7 feet 6 inches. These are combined with a choice of medium or medium-heavy power.
The rod has an old-fashioned look to it, with a cork handle and cork fittings in certain areas. The rod itself is a rustic black with the usual colored logos and designs. The older cork look, however, does look good with the black rod. The color contrast is pleasing to look at, and you can be certain people will be staring at it while you are out fishing!
The rod is made of graphite on most of the parts, including the blank. Graphite is a good choice because it is highly resistant to damage and wear and tear, but it is also quite lightweight and will not make it insanely difficult to maneuver the rod.
As for the rest, the blank reel seat is Fuji exposed, which basically makes it robust and good to work around. The guides are fully made of Fuji, which makes them strong and durable too.
All this damage resistance does not in any way make it heavy either. The entire rod is quite light, and with the power, it packs you can do quite a bit of casting with it.
The power the rod packs depends on the type of rod that you buy. But for the most part, they vary between medium and heavy, which means that you will not get it to bend much. Of course, this means you can move around the bait and whatever fish you catch easily, although you do have some stiffness across the backbone.
Given the medium to heavy power, it comes as no surprise that the action of the rod is medium fast. Much of the movement happens towards the tip while the backbone remains steady. The handle is also quite large, so when you put the large cork grip with moderately heavy power and fast action, you get a rod that does bait casting and fishing well while you comfortably hold onto it.
7. Penn Rampage Boat Casting Fishing Rod
The Penn Rampage Boat Casting Fishing Rod looks good, even with all the various lengths that you can find it in. The shortest length is 5 feet 6 inches, and the others are in 6-inch increments all the way up to 7 feet 6 inches. There are also power variants for each of the lengths, with medium variants and medium heavy variants.
The rod itself is made of tubular glass blanks. Penn uses its own Solid Tip Technology on the rod so that you can maneuver your rod much more easily. In addition, it uses Pac Bay stainless steel rollers on the fishing line for extended life, which it does by reducing the friction between the reel and the fishing line.
The frame is made of stainless steel while the inserts are made of aluminum oxide. This overall shape not only makes the rod light, but the turbo frames also prevent tangling. Again, this is easy to move around. The rubber gimbal further reduces difficulties when dealing with heavier weights.
Now, much of the variants pack either medium or medium heavy power with this rod, with the occasional heavy rod thrown in the mix too. It makes sense, of course, because with the heavier variants you can manipulate all kinds of bait and also catch quite the larger fish too. It does give you a lot of options regarding how you want to use it.
The mediums are pretty much all-rounded but are available for only the 7-feet variants. Meanwhile, the medium heavy variant is available on all sized rods, presumably because it is the ideal power for the rod.
The heavy power variant comes in all sizes except for the 5 feet 6 inches’ version, undoubtedly because the length is significant in generating power. But as you can see, you get to choose between length and power without compromising one for the other. Unless you need the shortest one, of course!
The handle has a distinctive grip as well. It is made of EVA like many others, but unlike others, it is triangular in shape. This makes the foregrip on the handle really comfy. To even the comfort out, the handle’s butt is slick for your rear grip.
Without a doubt, this fishing rod ticks many boxes which makes it a go-to for many.
8. Berkley E-Motion Casting Rod
The Berkley E-Motion is another appealing rod, at least on the eyes. It has a unique, modern look to it with a black color theme with small patches of white and logos. Even the handle is unique, with a small, conical grip at the front of the handle and ergonomically shaped fittings right before the reel seat.
There are also so many choices to choose from with regard to size and power that your mind will be blown. Sizes start from 6 ft. 4 inches and increases in 2 or 3 increments with every size. In total there are 9 sizes to choose from, with the largest of them a mammoth 7 ft. 9 inches. Needless to say, you can pick out whatever suits your needs with regard to length.
The unique part of this rod is that each size comes with its own level of power. The smallest is medium, and then there are some medium heavy ones, some heavy, and even one (the 7 ft. 3 inches variant) which is extra heavy.
And since we are talking options, there are 8 different styles with the casting rod. Each of these styles is specially designed for a particular purpose. The basic is a general purpose style which can adapt to all types of work. Then there is the top water style, target style, and other styles suited to particular tasks.
The blank and rest of the rod above the reel seat is made of a unique blend of two forms of graphite, 30T, and 24T graphite. Not only does this make a sturdy structure for the rod, but it is also quite lightweight and easily moved as a result.
While the reel seat is also made of graphite, it is a H.E.T. (High Energy Transfer) reel seat, meaning it does tugging work much more efficiently so that you don’t have to reel in with as much effort. It is also made of soft, coat texture.
Although the guide material is pretty straight forward they come in a hybrid design. These are basically guides with 3 openings, with a small circular opening on the top and two other, irregular shaped ones under it. They are also smaller than the usual guides, but larger than micro guides, making them just about right with certain properties of both.
The fact that a lot of thinking has gone onto this casting rod is undebatable. And with a plethora of choice to spoil you, can it really go wrong?
9. Shakespeare Tidewater Casting Rod
The Tidewater casting rod is another of Shakespeare’s unique rods. It has an enormous handle with large grips separated by fittings. The front part of the rod is a combination of black and blue, with blue segments under the reel seat and each guide ring. The dark color theme and elegant look make it quite pleasing to the eyes, like, definitely something that will make you stop and look.
And needless to say too, that you are given many choices. But unlike in terms of power, the difference here is that you get different lengths and different guide weight limits instead. There are 8 variations to choose from, with lengths of 5’6, 6’, 6’1, 6’6 and 7’ to choose from. The smallest ones can carry the largest weights, and as they get longer they can carry increasingly less weight. Yeah, it’s always the short ones taking the burden!
The rod is made of glass, with either a solid glass on stand up rods and tubular glass on surf and boat rods. Although these are minor adjustments, these nonetheless help to keep the rod intact while letting you manipulate the rod with your hands without giving you much trouble.
The reel seats are made of graphite which makes it light and durable. A light reel seat will make it easier to move around the rod while gripping the handle. There are also different roller guides on different models too.
There are also choices with regard to power. However, power is limited to medium or medium heavy, which is the quintessential sweet spot with regard to bait casting. You can move around pretty much moderately sized to large bait. You can also use it for particular types of fish, but the fact that it is quite light makes it good as well.
It also comes in EVA grips on the handle. We already mentioned how big it is too, so with a large area covered by material that helps hands naturally sit on the handle will doubtless be a good combination.This is what would be a designer rod (if they were a thing, which they should be!) and it gets the job done! Beauty with………... a bite!
10. Wright and McGill Skeet Reese S-Glass Crank Bait Rod
The last name on this list, this is another cool looking casting rod from the bunch. It comes in a color combination of black and yellow. It measures a decent 7 feet in size, which is quite standard. Pretty obvious after all the ones we have already gone over in this list. And why not, averagely sized casting rods bring a bit of everything on board.
The rod is made of fiberglass. This, too, is a common material for use in the rod. The choice of fiberglass makes the frame durable while also quite lightweight as well. It has an S-Curve blank construction which makes the rod much stronger while also making it more responsive to tip movement. Plus, even holding the rod will make it feel top-notch, not a simple, cheap glassy feel which budget casting rods may have.
The rod comes with medium power and medium fast action. The power here is important because you want to be able to deploy a wide variety of bait, especially ones that are larger and heavier. But with too much power, you would lose out on some mobility, which is needed to cast the bait itself. The middle ground in terms of power gives you both.
As for the action, well you want to have some degree of control over how you maneuver the bait. And with medium-fast action, you do get a bit more than usual. It does require a bit more effort to manipulate the bait, but having it slightly slower gives you the ability to have more sophisticated and heavier bait.
Another unique feature of this is the split handle design. The gist of this is that while most handles tend to carry a bit of weight, this one is quite light and evens out the weight across the entire rod as a result. The rod butt is also quite large, with molded rubber on to make it easier and comfy to grip. By gripping the two rubber portions you will have good control over the rod.
Although this isn’t the most unique rod you will see, it does a solid job of casting and unlike the rest tilts slightly towards balance instead of solely focusing on weight. If you are that kind of person, you will like this a lot.
Why Should You Buy a Baitcasting Rod?
There are several things that make a baitcasting rod different from traditional spinning reels. People prefer them for various reasons, but overall we could boil it down into a few key reasons.
Baitcasting rods do a great job when it comes to sending bait farther into the water. That is because of the fact that both the rod and the reels tend to be lighter, and you can make it go farther than spinning reel rods as a result.
Baitcasting rods can also be cast much more accurately into the water, even with lighter bait. With a bit of dexterity and patience, you can place the bait, no matter what kind of bait it is, into the water very close to where you intend to catch the fish. This is particularly true for the smaller and lighter bait, which whose trajectories tend to be distorted by air and wind. With baitcasters, you no longer have to worry about that.
With spinning reels, you do much of the work with the spinning. With baitcasters, you do much of the work more directly with your arms. This makes it necessary to use your senses to find if a fish took the bait, for example. While some people may argue that it makes your job harder, we would say that the extra effort is worth it. After all, is there anything much better than your own senses at work?
Catch Larger Fish
Most anglers now prefer to use a baitcasting rod to catch fish, because larger fish are easier to catch using a baitcasting rod. This is because with baitcasters you need to put in significantly less effort when reeling it in. The reel seat usually sits atop the rod and above a trigger grip.
This makes it much easier to cast bait into the water and also resist the movement of fish stuck on the bait. Because of the fact that much of the work is done by your hands, you can catch larger fish much easier.
What To Look For When Buying a Baitcasting Rod
When it comes to specific features there are so many to look at, it would overwhelm almost anyone. We will try to consolidate it into a few simple things.
The first thing that should be apparent is the length. The length of the rod will determine a lot of things, starting from what the other properties might be like to whether a particular individual can even wield the rod.
First thing first, people come in all shapes and sizes. And for each person, there is an ideal size for a rod, based on their own size and strength. Petite individuals probably won’t enjoy using mammoth 12 feet long rods. Likewise, a 7 feet tall giant may not be able to use a 6-inch rod very comfortably.
Secondly, the length of the rod may determine how much effort you will need to move it around. Although other considerations will come into effect too, this is one that works. Longer ones will need a lot more effort to maneuver, for obvious reasons.
On the other hand, shorter rods allow you to fish more effectively since they have less stretching and take up less space. Meanwhile, longer rods will allow you to cover a larger ground from your immediate position, a property especially good for casting bait.
Next up, we have the construction material of the rod, particularly what the blank is made of. There are several materials that are commonly used for blanks, mostly forms of carbon such as graphite and fiberglass. However, aluminum oxide has been in use as well.
The material of the rod will first determine how much stress and strain it can take before giving up. In simpler words, it is a question of how easily it can get damaged. You obviously know that if you were given the choice, you would prefer the one that isn’t damaged easily.
Next, you also want to make sure it suits the work you need to be doing. For example, graphite does not stretch much, so catching fish that may cause stretching with a graphite rod may have some unintended consequences.
You also need to balance out between the feel and durability. Graphite, for what it is worth, can give a better feel but is more at risk of damage. On the other hand, fiberglass, for example, is more sturdy but gives less tactile feedback to your hands.
The grip of a rod may not be the most significant, but a poor grip will definitely hamper your fishing experience. A basic cork material can, in theory, do the trick. But if you have to fish for longer periods, you will need a grip that you can hold onto for a much longer time. Modern times have advanced rubber grips or EVA grips, all of which are good for using a rod for long hours.
Power and Action
The rod power is basically the amount of bend on the fishing rod. Heavy power rods have a sturdy backbone that does not stretch or bend much. On the other hand, light power rods bend more easily and are able to withstand more movement.
Light power rods are good for lighter and more agile fish so that you can follow their movement better without risking the rod breaking. The heavy power rods, on the other hand, are good for less mobile objects, such as frogs and jigs. Moderate power rods are good for baits of all kinds.Action refers to how close to the end the tip the bend occurs on the rod. Fast action rods bend closer to the tip while slow action ones bend closer to the butt. The issue is somewhat similar, in that fast action ones have stiffer backbones and are good for stronger jerks. Slower action rods, on the other hand, generate more power, so they do well with heavier or moving bait.
Phew, that was one heck of a short course on baitcasting rods! And the best part is that all of the ones on that list are below $100, so they are extremely affordable while doing a great job.
Take our word for it, if you are someone not willing to risk much on a rod, anyone from this list will leave you ecstatic for sure!