The best rods for chatterbaits should feature medium-heavy power to handle the lure weight, fast to moderate action for good hook setting, and be approximately 7′ long for optimal casting distance. They should offer sturdy construction, high sensitivity, and a comfortable grip.
The St Croix Mojo Bass Casting Rod is my top choice because it is made from premium-quality SCIII graphite. It features a 5-year manufacturer's warranty and is built specifically for bass casting in mind. It is ideal for bass anglers who want high performance equipment that will help catch more fish.
I have also written a guide to the best rods for spinnerbaits that share a few options.
- Premium-quality SCIII graphite
- Specifically designed for bass
- Split-grip/premium-grade cork handle
- Titanium alloy guides with zirconium inserts
- Custom designed reel seat delivers hypersensitivity
- Robotically Optimized Casting System guide train
Table of Contents
1. St. Croix Mojo Bass Casting Rod
St Croix have quickly become one of my favorite fishing rod brands. They certainly target premium price tags, but their designs are hard to beat. The Mojo Bass Casting rod is no exception. It has the ideal combination of superior materials and targeted specifications.
I am a big fan of graphite blanks for lure fishing due to the reduced weight and improved sensitivity.
I also prefer cork handles, which remain comfortable and non-slip even when it rains. The Mojo also has the pistol grip design which is brilliant for improving your casting accuracy – a must-have for chatterbaits.
There are also 2-piece options available for easier transport and storage, but I personally prefer single-piece rods for the improved sensitivity.
- 5 year manufacturer’s warranty
- Premium-quality SCIII graphite
- Built specifically for bass casting in mind
- Comfortable cork handles
- Limited range of power and actions (but ideal for chatterbait requirements)
2. Abu Garcia Veritas Casting Rod
Abu Garcia has released their new Veritas design, which comes with 10 titanium alloy guides. This provides a more even strain across the line and reduces any breakage risks.
I love the all white design, especially the handle grips, but I did notice that it can get dirty over time. After a year or two of use you will notice the all-white becomes an all beige-design.
The split handle design is very common among modern casting rods to reduce total weight. This is an extremely lightweight rod, due to its Powerlux 100 graphite construction which claims to reduce weight by 5% while increasing the strength by 15%.
- Extremely lightweight at only 4.6 ounces reduces muscle fatigue when frequently casting all day.
- Aesthetically, the Veritas design is stunning – you will get positive comments!
- The all-white handles get dirty over time, reducing the rod’s aesthetic look.
- I personally prefer cork handles over the EVA in this rod.
3. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod
The Ugly Stik GX2 is one of my most recommended fishing rods. It is extremely well built, affordable, and versatile enough to suit most scenarios. If you only want to own a single spinning rod to fish multiple situations, I would recommend the GX2 every time.
It is made with a combination of graphite and fiberglass to give a create balance between durability and weight.
It is available in both one and two piece options, depending on your transport and storage needs.
It also has a 7 year warranty, that shows you how much the manufacturer’s believe in this rod’s robustness.
- Extremely durable and versatile design – you can take this rod anywhere and fish anything.
- 5 or 6 Stainless steel guides.
- It isn’t available in anything longer than 7-feet in length.
- I prefer cork handles over EVA.
4. Shimano Zodias Casting Rod
The Shimano Zodias is easily the most sensitive casting rod I have ever used. This is important for chatterbaits so you can feel the slightest bite of a species and strike early for a strong hookset.
Simply put – this rod catches more fish.
This sensitivity is achieved through the monocoque grip – which is essentially a hollow eggshell design. This allows the vibrations to move more quickly through the rod to your hand. Shimano claims this makes it 30% more sensitive than traditional rods, and I would have to agree.
Sometimes it can be difficult to differentiate between fishing rod technologies other than weight and flexibility, but in the Zodias the improvement in performance is noticeable. If you are targeting finicky fish species where sensitivity is critical, then buy a Shimano Zodias.
- Pistol grip handle design for improved casting accuracy
- The most sensitive rod ever made due to the hollow monocoque grip.
- Although the monocoque grip gives improved sensitivity, I do worry about its durability in the long term.
5. Kastking Royale Select Rod
Moving to a more affordable option is the Kastking Royale Select. Kastking are renowned for their reduced cost while retaining high quality. This is because they avoid most retailers and sell directly to the public.
The Royale Select is made from a 24-ton carbon matrix with fuji guides. The handle is made from EVA, and it has a pistol grip design for high casting accuracy. When it comes to fishing chatterbait lures, accuracy is everything.
It is available in both one and two-piece designs, depending on your requirements. It also has 8 to 9 guides to help even the strain across the length of the rod and reduce the risk of fishing line abrasion.
A wide range of options exist, although they are all fast action with medium to heavy power.
- An extremely affordable price tag gives this rod high value for money.
- Pistol grip design increases the accuracy of casting.
- I prefer cork handles over EVA.
- Limited range of actions available, although it is well suited for chatterbait fishing.
6. Temple Fork Professional Spinning Rod
This Temple Fork Professional spinning rod is a brilliant performer at a reasonable price tag. You know they care about their products when they offer a lifetime warranty.
All the designs have a Moderate-Fast action (a little slow) and Light to Heavy power (choose moderate-heavy). It is extremely lightweight – the 6’6″ rods are under 4 ounces in total weight.
It is available in both a split grip and full grip design. The handle is made from cork, which I love due to the comfort even when wet and slippery.
- It comes with a lifetime warranty. This demonstrates the faith the manufacturer has in the quality of construction.
- Wide range of lengths, powers, and actions to get the ideal rod for chatterbait lures.
- I love cork grip handles.
- The action is a little slow at moderate-fast, compared to my preference at fast.
7. Daiwa Tatula Rod
Last on my list is the Daiwa Tatula. It is available in both spinning and casting rods. The casting rod has a pistol grip design (trigger grip), which I love when requiring accuracy for chatterbait lures.
It has 8-10 fuji guides, depending on the length which evens the strain across the entire length of the rod. This reduces the likelihood of a fishing line breaking or abrasion at a weak point.
It is available in 6’9″ to 7’6″ lengths, so you can pick whatever suits your height and needs.
- 5 year limited warranty
- Graphite fiber construction
- Another reel with an EVA handle over my preferred cork
- Only available in a one piece design.
Chatterbait Rod Buying Guide
Choosing the right rod for chatterbaits can be tricky, but with some knowledge and firsthand experience, you can certainly make the right choice. Let’s dig into the specifics.
A chatterbait rod’s length is crucial. They typically range from 6.5 to 7.5 feet. You want to get enough length to allow a long cast and fast hookset without getting in the way when fishing around structure and under trees.
I’ve found that a 7-foot rod provides a good balance of casting distance and control.
For chatterbait fishing, a fast to moderate action rod works best. Fast action provides the sensitivity to feel the lure’s action and the strikes. I once landed a massive bass thanks to the quick hook-setting capability of my fast-action rod.
I recommend a fast action rod for chatterbait fishing.
Medium-heavy power rods are great for chatterbaits. They provide the right amount of backbone for solid hook sets and battling larger fish. I’ve found them particularly effective when dragging chatterbaits through thick cover.
I recommend a medium-heavy rod power for chatterbaits.
There are a few different options when it comes to the rod blank: graphite, carbon fibre, or fiberglass. You can even get a blend of materials for more balance.
In my personal experience, graphite rods have been fantastic for chatterbait fishing due to their sensitivity and stiffness. Sensitivity is a significant factor when fishing with chatterbaits because the angler needs to feel the lure’s vibration and detect even the slightest bites.
Graphite rods are generally stiffer than fiberglass, which translates into faster power application when you set the hook. This is particularly important when you’re dealing with bigger, stronger fish that require a solid hookset.
However, graphite rods are a bit more fragile compared to fiberglass rods. A heavy blow can crack or break them, so you must be careful when handling and storing them. If your fishing often involves bushwhacking to your spot or boating in rough conditions, you might want to consider this.
Fiberglass rods, on the other hand, are known for their durability and toughness, making them a great choice when fishing in heavy cover or conditions where a rod might take a beating.
Although less sensitive than graphite, they do have a slower action, meaning they bend more along the length of the rod. This makes them more forgiving when fighting a fish, reducing the chance of pulling the hook out of its mouth.
They also offer more flex, which can give a fighting fish room to thrash and run without putting too much pressure on the line or the rod itself. I remember one instance where a trophy bass made a sudden, powerful run just as I was about to land it. The fiberglass rod absorbed the shock beautifully, likely preventing a broken line or rod.
While fiberglass rods are generally heavier than graphite, technological advancements have led to lighter and more balanced fiberglass rods in recent years.
A sensitive tip is crucial for detecting bites, especially when the fish are tentative. I’ve often noticed a small twitch in my rod tip, signaling a bite I would’ve missed with a less sensitive rod.
Type of Rod
Your choice between a spinning rod and a casting rod depends on your technique and comfort.
Spinning rods are versatile for many fishing situations, including chatterbait fishing. They are generally more user-friendly and an excellent option for those still learning the ins and outs of chatterbait fishing. They’re perfect for light lures and line, which is helpful if you’re working in clear water where fish might be line-shy.
The guides on spinning rods are large, reducing the chance of line tangles, and the rod design reduces line friction, allowing for longer casts. The underhand casting method is intuitive, reducing fatigue for long fishing days.
As I developed my chatterbait fishing skills, I moved on to casting rods. The advantage of a casting rod comes in the form of power and accuracy, especially when using heavier lures and lines. You’ll find casting rods handy when casting into heavy cover or precise spots like under docks or along weed lines.
Casting rods, with their line guides on top, distribute the load evenly along the rod providing the strength you need to haul it out of heavy cover or from deep water. You can confidently tackle bigger, stronger fish with a casting rod.
However, casting rods can be a bit trickier to master. The risk of a “backlash” or “bird’s nest” (a tangled mess of line that occurs when the reel spool spins faster than the line is being cast out) is a common issue for beginners. But once you’ve got the hang of thumbing the spool to control line speed during a cast, you’ll appreciate the distance and accuracy a baitcasting setup can provide.
When it comes to chatterbait lure fishing, the best rods have a fast action, a medium-heavy power, are around 7-feet long, and are lightweight. I recommend the St Croix Mojo Bass Casting Rod as a good balance between performance and price.