Here’s a look at some of the best largemouth bass rods and reels for 2018, as featured in Game & Fish magazines.
Text by Peter Robbins
Abu Garcia | Ike Signature Casting Rod
This stick is made for crankbaits. Heavier cranks will be easier to toss, and when a bass hits, it will give just enough but have backbone as well. The blank construction consists of 36 ton high modulus graphite for the majority of the series along with some unique, high strain glass (HSG) cranking rods. Fuji reels seats, stainless steel guides and Mike’s unmistakable cosmetics set these casting rods apart from the competition.
Bass Pro Shops | Johnny Morris CarbonLite 2.0
Cabela’s | Tournament ZX Rods
These striking white rods, available in many technique-specific actions, are built with HM64 graphite blanks and offer subtle but meaningful touches found on much more expensive sticks. Winn Grip overlays and stainless steel guides with titanium oxide inserts are standard.
Abu-Garcia | Veritas Winch
Ark | Sniper
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Shimano Curado K
The latest iteration of Shimano’s workhorse Curado baitcasting lineup includes much of the technology found in the company’s flagship models, including the SVS Infinity Braking system, MicroModule gearing and X-Ship technology for ultra-precise gear alignment. It’s available in three speeds from 6.2:1 up to a blazing fast 8.5:1, in both left- and right-hand retrieves. With a total of seven bearings it still only weighs 7.6 ounces.
Daiwa Tatula LT
Daiwa has created these “Light and Tough” spinning reels with a Zaion housing and aircraft-grade aluminum gearing in a lightweight package that remains butter-smooth. Even the 4,000-sized version weighs a scant 7.4 ounces, thanks to features like the Air Bail and Air Rotor. Yet these features do not sacrifice strength.
Quantum Smoke S3
Lew’s Mach Crush
Coming soon to G&F.com: Top Smallmouth Bass Lures for 2018
Abu Garcia’s Andrew Wheeler: Keep It Simple