When used properly, a jerkbait is an extremely effective way to lure in bigger fish. This is because a jerkbait plays on a fish’s natural feeding habits, and will bring them right up close to the bait, where they will be fooled into thinking they're getting a meal.
For those who aren’t sure, a jerkbait is a replica of a baitfish, often made of plastic, that does not move independently but instead requires the angler to create the jerking, twitching movements a live baitfish would make in the water themselves.
Sounds simple enough, right?
But, it’s actually tricker to pull off than it sounds, so to do it right you’ll need a good jerkbait rod to make that little plastic fish dance, and in turn, lure in the big boys!
But which jerkbait rod is the best one to use for this?
With so many options available, it can be difficult to know which one will give you the most effective results. That’s why we’ve put together this list of our favorites, as well as a useful buying guide that will help you find the perfect jerkbait for your needs.
If you’re in a hurry and would like to know which jerkbait rod will help you draw in a good catch, our top pick is an absolutely fin-tastic choice!
Best Jerkbait Rods - Comparison Table
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Best Jerkbait Rods - Reviews
Made from carbon fiber and weighing in at only 6.5 ounces, the Speed Demon Pro from KastKing is the lightweight, durable, sturdy jerkbait rod you’ve been looking for.
It’s side plates, handle and star drag are all designed to reduce the weight of the frame and provide you with hours of comfortable use, whether you’re fishing in saltwater or freshwater.
Its spool is constructed from lightweight anodized aluminum, not only ensuring it is strong, but also helping to keep the spool rust free for a smooth cast each and every time.
An impressive 9:3:1 gear ratio, constructed from manganese brass gives you a quicker line pick up and delivery, while the handle grips are interchangeable from left to right, so you can fish comfortably regardless of which hand you prefer to use.
13 double shielded, stainless steel ball bearings deliver smooth casting and easy retrieves, even at accelerated speeds, and the triple carbon disc drag allows you to effortlessly reel in fish weighing up to 13.2lbs.
On top of all of these amazing features, this rod also has a split main shaft that lets you cast further with reduced noise, preventing any fish that are in your chosen area from getting spooked and swimming away.
With a spinning rod made using 30 ton carbon fiber, and the rest of the body constructed from High Power X, this spinning rod from Cadence offers you a lightweight, but strong, fishing performance.
The stainless steelFuji guides with SiC (silicone carbide) inserts help to ensure that the line doesn’t stick, minimizes friction, and enhances sensitivity by transferring vibrations through the line to your hand.
An exposed reel seat offers you a firm hand grip, even when reeling in tough-fighting fish, while still allowing a comfortable hold, while the handles are constructed from premium cork and EVA for fantastic control.
It also has a unique two-piece design, that allows you to easily disassemble the rod, making it more compact for traveling and storage.
Constructed from a combination of fiberglass and graphite, this jerkbait casting rod from Ugly Stik is flexible enough to allow you to make those delicate movements needed when using a jerkbait, and strong enough to help you reel in your catch.
In fact, this jerkbait rod is so strong it can lift a fish out of the water that weighs up to 45lbs without snapping!
It’s sensitive, clear tip design responds to even the slightest nibble, meaning you’ll increase your chances of getting a successful catch each time, and the non-slip EVA grip will give you ultimate control over the rod once you’ve felt that bite without sacrificing on comfort.
Sleek and modern looking, this jerkbait rod is available as either a one-piece or as a two-piece, the latter coming with an extra reel, and offers you a choice of sizes from 5’6 right up to 7’6.
Built using SC II Premium graphite fiber for a heightened strain rate, the Triumph spinning rod from St Croix is lightweight, durable and sensitive.
The premium cork handle offers you a sturdy and comfortable grip for fishing in both freshwater and saltwater, and the guides are constructed from hard, but lightweight, aluminum-oxide with black frames.
Featuring Fuji reel seats with frosted silver hoods, and strong enough to reel in a fish up to 18lbs in weight, the whole rod is finished with a double coat of Flex-Coat finish for extra protection.
It also breaks down into four pieces for convenient portability and storage.
This rod also comes with a 5 year warranty, so you can rest assured you’ll be covered in the unlikely event that anything should go wrong with it.
This incredibly strong rod from Fiblink is constructed from top-quality, extra tough E-glass graphite composite blanks, and has been specially designed to handle the pressure that comes from reeling in even the biggest fish.
It’s heavy duty roller guides minimize the strain on both you and the line, and provide extra leverage when you're battling with your catch.
An aluminum alloy reel seat helps to keep your reel in place without any corrosion, and the aluminum gimbal gives you an added advantage in keeping the rod solidly planted during the toughest reel-ins.
The EVA foregrips give you the solid, non-slip handle that you need for tackling strong fish, while still feeling lightweight enough to hold without adding to the strain.
This rod also comes with a one year guarantee, so you’ll have extra piece of mind that you’re covered if anything goes wrong.
Best Jerkbait Rods - Buyers Guide
From the length of the rod itself to the aesthetics of it, there are going to be many things to bear in mind when you’re looking for the perfect jerkbait rod.
We’ve broken down some points that you should consider before making your final decision, which will simplify the process and help you find the perfect jerkbait rod for your fishing needs.
When you’re shopping around for jerkbait rod, you’ll notice that you’re mostly given the choice between a baitcasting and a spinning rod. But which one should you go for? Well, it really comes down to your level of experience.
If you’re fairly new to fishing, we would recommend opting for a spinning rod as it will be easier to master, and is the most effective for casting jerkbait lures on a lighter line.
Baitcasting rods offer more power and control, especially when you’re fishing with a heavier tackle, and are better suited for more experienced anglers that know how to control the line without running into problems.
Essentially, they are both great choices for using jerkbait, it just depends on which one you’d feel more comfortable using, and the fishing expertise that you have.
A jerkbait lure needs to be moved around manually by the angler, and the action of your jerkbait rod will need to make your bait dance in the water realistically enough to trigger a strike from a fish.
Generally speaking, the best action to look for in a jerkbait rod is a fast action that will react quickly and allow the angler a good amount of control over the movement, meaning they can recreate the natural, jerking movements of a small fish.
You will also be given a variety of strengths to choose from when looking for a jerkbait rod as well, such as ultralight, medium or medium-heavy. The strength that you choose will determine how much power your rod has over its power, flexibility and sensitivity.
For jerkbait fishing, the ideal power would be medium or medium-heavy as this will provide a good balance of both flexibility and strength, allowing you to pull a fish out of the water without accidentally unhooking it.
Medium powered rods also tend to have enough power behind them to reel in bigger catches without the rod snapping or breaking.
Another decision you’ll be faced with is the length of your rod, with multiple sizes on offer across the board.
When you’re fishing with a jerkbait, shorter rods are more beneficial as they will allow you to have better control over the movement of the lure, and will also have less of an exhausting effect on your arms when you’re sat twitching the bait for hours.
Longer rods will launch the bait further out, but can be a lot more awkward and tiresome to use when making the jerkbait dance.
There are many different styles of rod available and, although you’re obviously going to want to find one that delivers a great performance, you might also want to give some thought to how it looks.
So whether you go for a sleek, black one, or choose a rod in a more vibrant color, you’ll want to make sure that it’s aesthetically pleasing to you.
Give some thought also to how easy it is going to be to pack away and transport. One-piece rods are going to be harder to fit into a car, or take with you on a long fishing trip, and will also take up more space in your house when you’re not using it.
Try looking for a rod that can be broken down into several parts and then reassembled when you need it. Not only will this save on storage space when you’re not using it, but will also be much easier to transport.
Once you feel a bite, and the time has come to reel in your catch, you’re going to need a good, sturdy handle that won’t fly out of your hand as soon as battle commences.
Many rods offer non-slip handles, that will ensure you have a good grip and ultimate control over your rod while you pull the fish towards you.
Some rods also offer an interchangeable handle, which lets you choose between left-handed and right-handed operation. This is a great feature for the much-overlooked left-handed person.
Another thing to consider when looking at the handle of your rod, is how comfortable it is. You could be sat out for a long time before you get a catch, and as jerkbait fishing requires constant manual movement from the angler, an uncomfortable handle could affect the movements that the bait makes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is jerkbait?
Ordinarily made from plastic, jerkbait is a lure that is modelled after a baitfish. Completely inactive, the angler then uses their rod to recreate the movements and twitches that a baitfish would make, which then draws in bigger fish that would normally feed on these smaller fish.
What should I look for in a jerkbait rod?
To get the realistic, natural looking movements of a baitfish that you need to mimic when jerkbait fishing, your rod will need to be lightweight and flexible. It will also need to be strong enough to reel in a large fish, and be able to withstand a good amount of weight without breaking or snapping.
How long should a jerkbait rod be?
Fishing rods come in varying lengths, but for jerkbait fishing a shorter rod (around 5’ long) is most effective. A shorter rod will allow you better control over the movements, and will be less tiresome on your arms over a long period of time.
Should I go for a baitcasting or a spinning rod?
This comes to do both personal preference, and where your level of skill is. Spinning rods are much easier to use, and are better for casting lighter lines, so would be more beneficial for a beginner angler. Baitcasting rods offer more power and control over larger catches, and are better for using heavier bait.
What material should a good jerkbait rod be made from?
Any jerkbait rod needs to be constructed from a tough, durable material that is going to be able to withstand a lot of weight without snapping. Carbon fiber, fiberglass and graphite are the most commonly used materials in fishing rods, and are all great options.
What’s the best reel seat material?
We would recommend looking for a jerkbait rod that has reel seats constructed from anodized aluminum. This will not only make them tough and lightweight at the same time so you can reel in heavier catches, but will also be less prone to rust or corrosion.