The right equipment is crucial for successful bass fishing. Understand the options and choose the right setup.  Invest in high-quality equipment. You will trust your equipment and save money in the long run. Jimbo uses only G-Loomis and Shimano rods and reels and has never been let down. The quality is something you can count on every time.


The top four reels to be familiar with:

Spinning Reel: Spinning reels, also known as open-face reels, are popular among bass anglers. They have a fixed spool and are mounted below the fishing rod. Spinning reels are versatile, easy to use, and allow for long and accurate casts. They are ideal for finesse techniques and light to medium-sized lures.

Baitcasting Reel: Baitcasting reels, also called overhead reels, are widely used in bass fishing. They are mounted on top of the fishing rod and offer greater casting accuracy and control, especially when using heavier lures or fishing in heavy cover. Baitcasting reels require more skill to operate due to the need to manage the spool’s rotation and avoid backlash.

Spincasting Reel: Spincasting reels, also known as closed-face reels, are beginner-friendly and feature a covered spool. They are simple to use and involve pressing a button to release the line before casting. Spincasting reels are suitable for beginners or anglers who prefer an easy-to-operate reel for lighter bass fishing applications. Note that cast distance and accuracy are often sacrificed with this option.

Casting Reel: Casting reels, also called conventional reels, are similar to baitcasting reels but are typically larger and designed for heavy-duty applications. They are commonly used for targeting trophy-sized bass, especially in deep water or when trolling. Casting reels have a higher line capacity and provide exceptional cranking power.


Casting Rod: Casting rods, also known as baitcasting rods, are designed to be used with baitcasting reels. They typically have a trigger grip and line guides on top of the rod. Casting rods are sturdier and offer more power, allowing you to handle heavier lures, make accurate casts, and have better control when fishing in heavy cover.

Spinning Rod: Spinning rods are designed to be used with spinning reels. They have a straight handle without a trigger grip and line guides facing downward. Spinning rods are versatile and suitable for a wide range of bass fishing techniques. They offer good casting distance and are ideal for finesse techniques and lighter lures.

Crankbait Rod: Crankbait rods are specifically designed for fishing with crankbaits and other diving lures. They are often longer than standard rods and have a more moderate action, allowing the rod to flex and absorb the shock of a bass striking a crankbait. Crankbait rods provide better lure control and help prevent fish from throwing the hooks.


Flipping and Pitching Rod: Flipping and pitching rods are designed for precise and short-distance casting techniques used when fishing in dense cover or around structure. These rods are typically heavy or extra-heavy power with fast or extra-fast action. They provide the backbone and sensitivity required to haul bass out of heavy cover.

Jigging Rod: Jigging rods are designed for fishing with jigs and are typically shorter and stiffer than standard rods. They offer excellent sensitivity to detect subtle bites and provide the necessary power to set the hook and control the fish during the fight.

Topwater Rod: Topwater rods are designed specifically for fishing with topwater lures like poppers, walkers, and buzzbaits. They are typically medium to medium-heavy power with moderate or moderate-fast action, allowing for accurate casting and proper action of topwater baits.

Swimbaits Rod: Swimbaits rods are specialized rods used for fishing with large swimbaits, which imitate larger prey fish. They are longer and have heavy power to handle the weight of swimbaits and provide the necessary leverage for casting and retrieving these larger baits.

Carolina Rig Rod: Carolina rig rods are designed for fishing with the Carolina rig, a popular bass fishing technique. They are typically medium-heavy to heavy power with fast or extra-fast action, allowing for proper hook sets and control when fishing with a longer-leader Carolina rig.

Getting the Right Combo

Matching the right reel with the appropriate rod is crucial for achieving optimal performance and balance in your bass fishing setup. Here’s a general guideline to help you determine which reels go with which rods:

Baitcasting Reels and Casting Rods:

Baitcasting reels are typically paired with casting rods. Casting rods have a trigger grip and line guides on top of the rod. Look for a casting rod with a reel seat that is compatible with your baitcasting reel. The reel seat should securely hold the reel in place.

Spinning Reels and Spinning Rods:

Match spinning reels with spinning rods. Spinning rods have a straight handle without a trigger grip and line guides facing downward. Choose a spinning rod that matches the specifications and line rating indicated on your spinning reel.

Power and Action

It’s important to note that both casting and spinning rods and reels come in different power, action, and length options. Consider the following factors when matching your reels with rods:

Power: Rod power refers to the amount of pressure required to bend the rod. It is categorized as either ultra-light, light, medium-light, medium, medium-heavy, heavy, or extra-heavy. Match the power of your rod to the fishing technique, lure weight, and line strength you intend to use. Heavier power rods are suitable for heavier lures and stronger lines.

Action: Rod action refers to how the rod flexes or bends when pressure is applied. It is categorized as slow, moderate, moderate-fast, fast, or extra-fast. Faster action rods provide a quicker response and better sensitivity, while slower action rods offer more flexibility. Match the rod action to the fishing technique and the type of lures you plan to use.

Line Rating: Both rods and reels have line rating specifications. Ensure that the line rating on your reel matches or is within the recommended range of the line rating specified on the rod. This ensures the rod is strong enough to handle the weight and strength of the line. See our guide to lines here.

Additionally, consider the overall balance of your setup. When the reel is mounted on the rod, the combination should feel comfortable and well-balanced in your hands. The weight of the reel and the rod should complement each other, allowing for easy and controlled casting.

Pairing your rods and reels well will increase your odds of landing the fish that you are targeting. Don’t overlook how quality equipment can change your game! While Jimbo uses exclusively Shimano and G Loomis, you can find amazing deals on other quality products from Kast King, Cashion, and others at the Jimbo Expo.