Rods are an integral part of the baitcasting setup and significantly impact the overall experience. Therefore, you should choose the right one for your desired fishing. If you don’t want to spend a hefty amount, the wide variety can easily help you with the best baitcasting rods under 100.
It is foremost to choose the right length, action, and power for your rod considering the type of fishing. After testing numerous casting rods, we found Daiwa Aird-X as the best baitcasting rod under $100. It’s beginner friendly and can be used for different fishing applications.
Ugly Stik GX2 and Berkley Cherrywood HD Rod are the next best options for a casting rod under 100$. Be it bass fishing or managing bulky species, these superb baitcasting rods provide great power. Enjoy fantastic castability with less effort and make the most of your fishing experience.
Find out which baitcasting rod fits your requirements best and works fine for your desired techniques below.
- 1. Daiwa Aird-X – Overall Best Baitcasting Rod Under $100
- 2. Ugly Stik GX2 Rod – Best Baitcaster Rod Under $50
- 3. Berkley Cherrywood HD Rod – Best Bass Casting Rod Under $100
- 4. Abu Garcia Vengeance Casting Fishing Rod – Best Baitcasting Rod For The Money
- 5. Dobyns Fury Series Rod – Best Surf Casting Rod Under $100
- 6. Abu Garcia Veritas Rod – Best Baitcasting Rod For Light Lures
- 7. Fenwick HMG Rod – Best Premium Rod
- 8. Falcon Coastal Rod – Best For Inshore Fishing
- 9. SHIMANO SLX Rod – Best Durable Rod
- 10. Daiwa TATULA XT – Best Versatile Casting Rod
- Related Guides:
- 1. Are baitcasting rods better than spinning rods?
- 2. What is the best rod length for a longer casting distance?
10 Best Baitcasting Rods Under $100
1. Daiwa Aird-X – Overall Best Baitcasting Rod Under $100
It is one of the best 7’ rods that we have tested. Compared to the Falcon Coastal at a similar price range, the Daiwa Aird-X is less stiff and a lot more comfortable to handle. Its 10 to 17 lbs. line rating makes it perfect for jigging as well.
Despite being a one-piece rod, it is super easy to carry and use, thanks to its extremely lightweight. We paired it with 1/2 oz. spoons, chatterbaits, and 3/4 oz. spinnerbaits. The castability with every lure was unbelievably amazing.
The only issue any angler would face with this rod is the unavailability of configurations. However, the 7’ model itself is quite sufficient for catching a variety of species. Using this rod, we caught smallmouth bass, muskie, sea trout, redfish, and salmon.
- Braiding-X eliminates blank twists
- Superb sensitivity
- Suitable for beginners
- No rod length options
For everyone in search of a capable rod that does the job well and can be used by beginners, the Daiwa Aird-X is an excellent choice.
2. Ugly Stik GX2 Rod – Best Baitcaster Rod Under $50
The composite material used to construct the rod speaks for its durability. Be it thrusting in the rigors of saltwater or deep sea fishing, the Ugly Stik rod won’t complain. Its length ranges between 5’6” to 7’ and power between medium-light to medium-heavy.
This rod is quite versatile and light on the hand but is not as sensitive as the classic Ugly Stik model. We used the 6’6” rod and there were no size limitations on it. That said, our angler reeled in a 48” kingfish and a 40” red drum.
Be it a light lure or a heavy swimbait, you can use these easily with the compatible rod length. Out of all variants, only the 7’ ML rod comes in two-piece construction. If you have a narrower budget, the Ugly Stik GX2 can be your best baitcasting rod under $50 as well.
- Casts incredibly
- Holds up well in saltwater
- Clear tip offers increased strength
- Could be slightly heavy for beginners
Imagine getting all the right specs, premium construction, and incredible all-around performance. The Ugly Stik GX2 wins the race with its tremendous performance for every kind of fishing. Combine it wit saltwater baitcasting reels for overall best experience.
3. Berkley Cherrywood HD Rod – Best Bass Casting Rod Under $100
Enjoy an unmatched sensitivity, better than the Ugly Stik with the Berkley rods. Considering the power and performance, Berkley Cherrywood is hard to beat for bass fishing. The 5’6”, 6’6”, and 7’ rod lengths allow you to perform various fishing techniques. Remember, only the 6’6” rod comes in two-piece construction.
We caught multiple basses using 20 lbs. braided line and various lures such as jigs, worms, chatterbait, etc. The casting range was excellent. However, the rod felt a bit slower for the medium action when compared to its competitors. That said, you might not feel the minute
The 5’6” medium rod offers the right power for all new learners. Whereas, the 7’ model enables you to get a hold of mighty species. The most impressive thing about this rod is its lightweight regardless of the length you choose. Different lengths also make it one of the best baitcasting rods for beginners.
- Suitable for freshwater and saltwater fishing
- Can be used by beginners
- Comfortable cork handle
- Limited line rating
- Only available in medium action
Bass fishing is an ultimate favorite of baitcaster anglers. Berkley Cherrywood is beginners friendly and the best cheap baitcaster rod for bass under 100. And suitable for both fresh and saltwater fishing experience.
4. Abu Garcia Vengeance Casting Fishing Rod – Best Baitcasting Rod For The Money
This rod from Abu Garcia is one of the best baitcasting rod for the money and capable of catching a wide range of fish. It is available in medium and medium heavy power. The fast action of the rod ensures a great fishing experience which lacks in the Berkley Cherrywood rod.
Our team loved how there was zero drag in the eyelets and rod casts a country mile smoothly. Lots of backbone ensures great strength when pulling large fish such as catfish, northern mike, musky, and more.
We tried this amazing rod for bank fishing and used live baits as well as buzz baits. The rod cast impeccably with light lures as well such as 6” weightless Ocho worms and 1/2 oz. one knockers. Unlike our top rods i.e., Ugly Stik and Berkley, this one is a lot stiffer.
- Lasts season after season
- Great sensitivity
- Powerful enough for heavy fish
- Stiff rod
The Abu Garcia Vengeance is one of the best baitcasting rods under 100 that offers valuable fishing time. For the specs and performance, its price is justified. You can combine it with any best baitcasting reel for the money and make a combo.
5. Dobyns Fury Series Rod – Best Surf Casting Rod Under $100
Looking for a surf casting rod that goes well with a wide range of baits? Say no more with the Dobyns Fury rod. From 6’6” to 8’ length options and specified variants for baits, this rod offers some serious performance. No other rod including our champion product doesn’t have bait-specific variants.
Using the 8’ medium-heavy variant, we achieved exceptional casting distances. The rod has an incredible backbone and holds in different water conditions pretty well. When used with diamond jigs and bucktails, our anglers reeled in Mackerel, Flounder, and Rockfish.
The rod is slightly stiff and heavy. Shorter rods of the Fury series are a lot better with sensitivity and less heavy or stiff. All lengths offer impeccable casting accuracy.
- Works for a variety of fishing techniques
- Decent line capacity
- Ergonomic to use
- Longer rods are less sensitive
The Dobyns rod lets you achieve casting distances beyond your expectations with high accuracy while surf fishing.
6. Abu Garcia Veritas Rod – Best Baitcasting Rod For Light Lures
The one-piece rod might not be extremely easy to transport but is tremendous with the performance. Regardless of the length, it is much lighter than the Dobyns Fury and Ugly Stik GX2.
Speaking of durability, it falls a bit short here when compared to the cheaper Abu Garcia Vendetta rod. The hookset came off for several of our team members. Designed to work like a charm with best baitcasters for light lures, we mostly used it for topwater fishing.
With the soft plastic lures, the anglers could throw the line quite far without any issues. The sensitivity of all configurations is impeccable. It also worked like a charm with a weightless Texas rig and we caught a couple of 1.5 to 3 lbs. bass.
- Robotically Optimized Casting System
- Weather resistant grips
- Available in multiple configurations
- Mediocre hookset durability
- Greater castability with light lures
Abu Garcia Veritas is easily the best baitcasting rod for 100 if you wish to perform fishing with lighter baits.
7. Fenwick HMG Rod – Best Premium Rod
Style, durability, and performance, all packed in a single rod? Fenwick HMG is incredibly versatile and suits most fishing applications. This newer model comes with greater sensitivity than the older HMG rod.
During our experience, we found the newer rod less stiff than the older one. However, both have equally great backbone strength. The casting distance and accuracy on the newer 7’2” medium rod were convincing enough.
Considering the rod’s power, it is ideal for use with small jerkbaits and crankbaits. The premium cork handle on the new Fenwick rod ensures high ergonomics. That said, we could fish all day long with ease. Some of the team members found the rod blank a little thick than the other choices.
- Premium durability
- Plenty of backbone
- Older models are stiffer
- Rod blank is a bit thick
Fenwick HMG is one of the finest casting rods introduced in the world of fishing. The newer model comes with the right features and a reasonable price tag.
8. Falcon Coastal Rod – Best For Inshore Fishing
Not every baitcaster rod can handle inshore fishing and you need one that excels in the technique. For that purpose, the Falcon Coastal rod comes as an incredible choice. It comes in 6’6” to 7’6” lengths with medium power. Only the 7’ rod comes in medium-heavy power.
For inshore fishing, we opted the 7’6” medium rod and it did wonders with light line. When paired with a 12 lbs. braided line, the rod cast more than a mile flawlessly. Even with the heavier lines, this baitcasting rod offered ample power to handle a big Tarpon.
Unlike its competitor Dobyns Fury, Fenwick’s longer rods are equally sensitive as the shorter ones. The only flaw of the rod could be its doubtful durability whereas, Dobyns Fury ensures high-end durability.
- Enough strength to tackle hefty species
- Comfortable Fuji reel seat
- Suitable with topwater lures
- Not highly durable
If you wish to purchase a casting rod that works well for inshore fishing as well as topwater fishing techniques, the Falcon Coastal has the best configurations.
9. SHIMANO SLX Rod – Best Durable Rod
Shimano has earned a reputable spot in the industry because of its impressive variety of fishing gear. The SLX models are among the best baitcasting rods under 100 that live up to one’s expectations. Made out of superb materials, it ensures durability as incredible as that of the Abu Garcia Vengeance excellent rod.
The 7’ medium-heavy rod works like a dream with numerous baits including swimbaits, chatterbaits, spinnerbaits, etc. Speaking of sensitivity, it doesn’t match that offered by Abu Garcia Vengeance or Berkley Cherrywood. Considering its slightly greater price than its competitors, the lacking could bother some anglers.
We used the rod for deep sea fishing as well as chasing species in heavy, nasty covers. The overall casting distances were amazing. With the Shimano SLX rod, our team caught a few largemouth bass, trout, and catfish as well. When it comes to the tip, the SLX is slightly on the heavier side.
Anglers usually prefer this model for use with their Texas rig and for numerous fishing techniques. If you love fishing in saltwater, this rod might not be the best choice. For a corrosion-free experience, you can consider the Ugly Stik GX2 Rod for saltwater fishing.
- Ergonomic handle
- Casts well
- Suitable with a variety of lures
- Not highly sensitive
- Unsuitable for saltwater
All in all, the Shimano SLX doesn’t fall short of the right features that anglers look for in a budget choice. From superb performance to easy handling, it offers so much more under $100.
10. Daiwa TATULA XT – Best Versatile Casting Rod
Starting from 7’ in length and available up to 8’ in heavy power and fast action configuration, this rod is incredibly versatile. Unlike the Daiwa Aird-X model, the Tatula XT is slightly pricey for all the right reasons. The blank not only looked but felt robust in hands too. It has plenty of backbone.
What we loved the most about this rod is the easy handling. While casting and fighting with a specie, it didn’t feel harsh on the hand or wrist. Even our top choice i.e., Ugly Stik GX2 felt slightly stiff. However, it is not as sensitive as other Daiwa casting rods usually are.
It worked well with multiple lures and we reeled in quite some basses easily. This rod can also withstand saltwater hence an overall excellent choice. Compared to the Daiwa Aird-X, it is a bit on the heavier side.
- Suitable for all fishing techniques
- Comfortable EVA foam grip
- Casts with high precision
- Less sensitive than most Daiwa rods
- Slightly heavy
No less than a premium all-purpose casting rod, the Daiwa Tatula XT knows how to satisfy the anglers with its versatile performance.
To nail your selection for the best casting rods under 100 dollars, it is essential to consider the following factors.
You will find casting rods in a couple of different materials. While bamboo and fiberglass rods look quite appealing, these fail to ensure longevity. Whereas, rods having a composite or graphite construction are incredibly durable and go perfectly in the long run.
2. Length, Action, And Power
Make sure to match the length, action, and power of your rod with the type of fishing you perform. Baitcaster rods can be as short as 5’ and as long as 9 to 10’ or even more.
Slow-action rods are used for smaller species. Whereas, moderate to fast rods are used for medium and larger fish.
Similarly, a light power rod will work best with light lures for species like trout and panfish. For using the most common lures to catch bass and walleyes, you can opt for a medium-power rod. For hefty species such as catfish, large bass, pike, etc., choose the heavy power rod. It will also facilitate larger lures and baits. If you are a beginner, check out our guide on best baitcaster combo under $100.
Here is a breakdown of rod length, power, and action for different applications:
|Application||Rod Length||Rod Power||Rod Action|
|Saltwater||6’ to 7’||Medium||Moderate|
|Beginners||6’ to 7’||Medium||Fast|
|Surf Fishing||Minimum of 10’||Medium-Heavy||Moderate|
1. Are baitcasting rods better than spinning rods?
Some anglers find baitcasters exceptional for reeling large species because of better control and enhanced power. Whereas, others believe that spinning rod lands more accurately on big catches.
However, it all depends on how the angler casts. Sometimes a less powerful baitcaster can perform better than a spinning rod because of the handling and vice-versa.
2. What is the best rod length for a longer casting distance?
Simply put, the longer the rod length, the greater will be the casting distance. However, you must have the skills to cast it appropriately.
Finding the right baitcaster under a budget is not as difficult as it sounds. All you need is to keep an eye on the essential specifications according to your fishing needs. The best baitcasting rods under 100 dollars will vary from angler to angler based on the type of fishing.
One product that we can swear by for numerous fishing styles and the best baitcasting rod under $100 is the Ugly Stik GX2 Rod. It is powerful and highly versatile. You can choose from different configurations and have an unforgettable experience.