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Best New Fishing Rods Under $200 at ICAST 2023

These fishing rods were featured at the trade show's New Product Showcase.

Best New Fishing Rods Under $200 at ICAST 2023

Thousands of fishg rods were on display at ICAST 2023 in Orlando. (Photo by Lynn Burkhead)

These new fishing rods were released at ICAST 2023 in Orlando, the largest fishing-tackle trade show in the world. Here’s a look at what’s new. (Product info courtesy of ICAST New Products Showcase)

KastKing Assegai Rods

KastKing Assegai
KastKing Assegai
  • Info: kastking.com
  • MSRP: $139.99
  • Thoughtful design, premium craftmanship and precision engineering make these rods 5-percent lighter, 10-percent stronger and 30-percent more twist-resistant than the competition. 15 technique-specific models ranging from 6 feet, 4 inches to 7-10.

Halo BB Frog Rod

Halo BB Frog Rod
Halo BB Frog Rod
  • Info: americanbaitworks.com
  • MSRP: $179.99
  • The Halo BB Frog Fishing Rod is designed for topwater frog fishing and named to honor American Baitworks founder Bassin Bobby. These rods are made with a high-modulus graphite blank and are available in three lengths and actions. Designed with a fast action to easily create the perfect frog action while being highly parabolic to load up easily and drive those frog hooks with max penetration.

Lew's Custom Lite Rods

Lew's Custom Lite Rods
Lew's Custom Lite Rods
  • Info: lews.com
  • MSRP: $149.99
  • The new Custom Lite Rods have HM85 graphite blanks for sensitivity and stainless-steel guides with titanium oxide inserts for durability—with spinning rods featuring a new Comfort Plus ergonomic reel seat and casting rods featuring a Full Contact reel seat for direct blank contact. The new Custom Lites have split-grip handles with Lew's exclusive Winn Dri-Tac ProWeave Grips for all-day comfort and control. The lineup includes 20 casting models (two are BFS) and eight spinning models.

Double Down 7' Medium BFS Rod

Double Down 7' Medium BFS Rod
Double Down 7-foot Medium BFS Rod
  • Info: jenkofishing.com
  • MSRP: $129.99
  • Jenko's second iteration of the best-selling "Double Down" rod is made a bit heavier for bass and inshore applications. The Paratek carbon blend allows the rod to cast lures down to 1/16 ounce, still with plenty of backbone for hooksets on small jigs, ned rigs and swimbaits. Premium Alps guides. Custom-tapered full grip.

Spro Slayer Rods

Spro Slayer Rods
Spro Slayer Rods
  • Info: spro.com
  • MSRP: $119.99
  • SPRO's Slayer Rods provide a balance of sensitivity and strength, with lightweight Toray carbon-fiber blanks. Featuring bass-fishing specific actions, they are suitable for many techniques, from drop-shotting to flipping. Designed for pros and weekend warriors alike. Nine models are available with five casting and four spinning rods.

Vexan Copperhead

Vexan Copperhead fishing rod
Vexan Copperhead fishing rods
  • Info: vexan.com
  • MSRP: $199.99
  • The Vexan Copperhead fishing rod is built with cutting-edge TitanTM technology and meticulous craftsmanship. Whether you're a seasoned angler or a passionate beginner, this rod is engineered to deliver exceptional performances and unmatched durability.

St. Croix Mojo Bass TRIGON

St. Croix Mojo Bass TRIGON
St. Croix Mojo Bass TRIGON fishing rods
  • Info: stcroixrods.com
  • MSRP: $175
  • Featuring St. Croix’s new proprietary ergonomic TRIGON handle and Dynamix reel seat designs are based on anthropometric data. The next-generation Mojo Bass TRIGON Series expands to 34 models – 25 casting and nine spinning – for 2024. The comprehensive Mojo Bass TRIGON Series features premium SCIII carbon or 100-percent Linear S-Glass blanks (reaction-bait models only), with lengths, powers and actions to perfectly support any bass-fishing technique from BFS to eight-ounce swimbaits.

Fitzgerald Fishing Rods

Fitzgerald Fishing Rods
Fitzgerald Fishing Rods
  • Info: fitzgeraldrods.com
  • MSRP: $189.99
  • New from Fitzgerald: The Bryan Schmitt Carolina Rig Rod is designed by Bassmaster Elite Series Champion Bryan Schmitt to be the perfect Carolina Rig rod (7’5” Hvy). Fitzgerald’s Bryan Thrift XL Skipping Special is designed by pro Bryan Thrift, channeling all of his angling experience to provide the ideal actions and tapers to fish a full range of baits. This rod is designed to accommodate taller anglers who love to skip lures into hard to reach places (7’1” Hvy).

Temple Fork Outfitter Rods

Temple Forks Outfitters rods
Temple Fork Outfitters rods (top to bottom): Option Bass, Taction Bass, Trout Panfish, Stelldriver.
  • Info: tforods.com
  • MSRP: 119.95 to $199.95
  • TFO’s new rod offerings: Option Bass, Taction Bass, Trout Panfish and Steeldriver series. Option Bass rods are the every-angler rod series—from the seasoned angler to the first-time boat owner taking their skills to the next level. Powerful, responsive and light, with a fast-action carbon fiber blank. Two-tone high-density EVA grips. 10 models, with seven casting and three spinning models. Taction Bass Series are tournament angler-focused from the elite level to the weeknight working-man events. Offered in 13 models, with nine casting and four spinning models. Features TFO’s proprietary power color coding system. From strategically placed micro jigs to launching a float and fly across the lake, or trekking into the wild, there’s a rod in TFO’s new Trout Panfish series to cover your needs. Ten models in one, two, and three-piece configurations, ranging from 5-6 to 8 feet. From small tributaries to large river systems, TFO’s new Steeldriver series of rods were designed to cover the most successful techniques used by the modern steelhead and salmon angler. Light, responsive, and extremely durable carbon fiber blanks. All models are two-piece and range in length from 9 to 13 feet.

Molix Outset Rods

Molix Outset Rods
Molix Outset Rods
  • Info: molix.com
  • MSRP: $149.99
  • The blanks are made using the best production processes, such as the exclusive HMSHM Technology, obtained from the combination and shielding of premium Toray carbon sheets with differentiated modulus. This process gives the blanks a gradual taper, a progressive increase in power and high resistance to torsion, raising the parameters of casting precision, sensitivity, control and hook setting performance. The handles of the Molix Outset have been designed to be ergonomic, functional and light.

Eagle Claw Starfire Rods

Eagle Claw Starfire Rods
Eagle Claw Starfire Rods
  • Info: eagleclaw.com
  • MSRP: $54.99
  • Rediscover the iconic Starfire Trolling Rod Series, launched in 1978 and now revamped. Upholding its legacy of durability and affordability, Eagle Claw worked with legendary anglers Mark and Jake Romanack to refine Starfire's features for modern anglers. The result: StarFireX, with 13 revamped and new trolling rods and four combos, each fine-tuned for specific techniques. Experience the trusted Starfire heritage combined with modern, technique-specific design with StarFireX.

Dark Matter Multiverse Bass Casting Rods

Dark Matter Multiverse Bass Casting Rod
Dark Matter Multiverse Bass Casting Rod
  • Info: darkmatterfishing.com
  • MSRP: $199.99
  • With so many freshwater bass rods on the market the goal was to create an amazing series of casting rods that truly deliver performance and undeniable style. Few rods can match the Dark Matter Multiverse Bass Casting Rods on price, performance and style. Available in three technique specific models.

Drew's Ultimate Ned Rig Rods

Drew's Ultimate Ned Rig Rods
Drew's Ultimate Ned Rig Rods
  • Info: zmanfishing.com
  • MSRP: $179.99
  • Cutting-edge rod crafting meets retro finesse, Drew’s Ultimate Ned Rig Rods were perfected by Drew Reese—co-creator of Z-Man’s TRD bait series. A true-to-technique two-rod series designed explicitly for light lines, finesse baits and exceptional bite detection. Specs: Primo carbon fiber blanks, Toray 12K High Modulus fibers with a tensile strength of 640 Ksi, feathery SSR guides, Tennesse handle for optimizing rod/reel balance. (5'4" and 5'10" Med-Lt power/fast action)

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