A properly fished jerkbait is a very powerful and effective lure as it triggers the fish’s natural feeding response. To fish a jerkbait to its fullest potential, the best jerkbait rod is essential. It will enable you to work the bait, walking and twitching it to realistically imitate the jerky motions of an injured baitfish and trigger the fish’s inbuilt feeding instinct forcing them to strike. Once hooked, the pole should have the strength to handle the fish.

Generally, the ideal jerkbait rod is 6.6 feet long for ease of use, has a fast action for moving the lure effectively, and a medium to medium heavy power rating for playing fish without ripping the hook out of their mouth. To simplify the search for the best jerkbait rod, we evaluated spinning and baitcasting rods picked the top ten jerkbait fishing rods and have reviewed them below. We have also explained what to look for when shopping for a jerkbait rod.

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How To Choose The Best Jerkbait Rod – Buying Guide


When choosing what jerkbait rod to buy, you will have to make a number of decisions. Is a short rod or a long rod better? What power should you go for? What is the best jerkbait rod action? To simplify the choosing process, this buying guide explains the factors to consider when choosing a fishing pole for jerkbaits and how to make the right choice depending on how your work jerkbaits.


Jerkbaits can be fished using both spinning and baitcasting setups. The most popular jerkbait rods are baitcasting styles. So should you go for a jerkbait spinning rod or a baitcast rod?

If you only started fishing recently and are still in the learning stage, a spinning rod will suit you best as it is easy to master and offers the best experience for beginners. A spinning pole is also the most effective for casting lightweight lures using light lines. 

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Professional and avid anglers who’ve years of experience under their belts are best served by a baitcaster. It offers more power and control, especially when fishing with heavier tackle. However, it can be frustrating for new anglers who haven’t learned how to control the much-dreaded line backlash or birds nest. 

It is also a matter of experience and preference. Some seasoned anglers prefer to fish a jerkbait with a spinning jerkbait rod setup.


When fishing with a jerkbait, its behavior in the water is what triggers a strike. A jerkabait lure has no action on its own. You control its action using your fishing rod. The action of the rod is what determines how the jerkbait moves in the water. As such, jerkbait rod action is the most important factor to consider when choosing a fishing rod for working jerkbaits. 

The action of a rod describes how and where the rod bends when pressure is applied at its tip. In general, the best jerkbait rod action is a fast action. It acts and reacts quickly and gives the angler more control over the lure movement. A fast action tip also loads up with power during casting acting like a sling-shot and launching the lure farther away.

The ideal action will also depend on how you plan to work your lure. The most popular way to work a jerkbait is using quicker movements where an angler uses the rod to twitch the lure so it looks like a small fish floundering around. A moderate fast or fast action rod will give you more control over the action of the bait.

If you prefer to fish it slow and steady instead or are fishing in frigid water, a moderate to slow action rod will be sufficient as not much action is required. It is also more effective with treble hooks. 


The power of a rod determines its lifting strength, flexibility, and sensitivity. The ideal power rating for a jerkbait fishing rod is medium or medium heavy. Such a rod will have the right balance of flexibility and strength to handle fish without pulling the hook out of their mouth. These medium powers also provide enough backbone to handle larger and stronger fish without the rod snapping like a twig. 


What jerkbait rod length to choose is another decision you will have to make. Shorter rod lengths work best for jerkbait fishing. Most jerkbait poles are between 6 and 7 feet long with a 6”6’ length being ideal.

A short rod is easier to control, less exhausting when twitching baits for hours, and you don’t hit the water while working the lure. A long rod will launch the jerkbait farther away during the cast. However, a long rod can be cumbersome and tiresome to move the jerkbait with. It also tends to hit the water when moving the bait. 


You also need to keep in mind the style of jerkbait you will be using so you can select the right rod for it. The style depends on the depth of the water you will be fishing and the amount of cover present. In shallow waters, floating styles are the best. Fishing in still waters calls for suspended jerkbait styles. Sinking styles are the most effective when fishing deep rocks and structures. 

Speed of Retrieves

The speed of retrieve required will depend on the temperature of the water. In winter or when the water is frigid, action needs to be slow with slow pulls or sweeps and long pauses. The speed of retrieve is also slow. When fishing in warmer water and tropical climates, the action is quick and so is the retrieve. 


Handling comfort is very important when jerkbait fishing. You will work your fishing rod a lot in order to control the action of the jerkbait. The handle on your rod should offer a firm, comfortable grip so you have the control and leverage you need to work the lure. A short handle is easier to handle, more comfortable and gives you less fatigue when jerking lures for hours.



Q: What Are The Benefits Of The Jerkbait Rods?


The benefits of jerbait rods is that they enable the angler to work the lure and mimic the twitching movements an injured fish makes, which triggers the natural feeding response in fish causing them to strike. This is more effective than enticing the fish to want to bite. Jerkbait rods are especially beneficial when fishing in frigid waters.

Q: When To Fish Jerkbait?


Jerkbait can be fished throughout the seasons, to catch all kinds of fish species and can be fished in both shallow and deep waters. They are especially effective at catching fish when fishing in extremely cold water because the fish become sluggish and a jerkfish offers an easy source of food. Other prime opportunities for jerkbait fishing include spring, fall, pre spawn, clear waters, transitional structures, and where schools of fish congregate.

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Jerkbait fishing requires a short length fishing rod with sufficient backbone for effective casting and working of the bait and a soft tip for better control of lure action in the water. All the best jerkbait rods we’ve reviewed above are great at fishing jerkbaits. A testament to this is that they’re are all top rated. Other great casting and spinning jerkbait rods you can check out include Dobyns jerkbait rods, Abu Garcia jerkbait rods, and Shimano jerkbait rods.

Once you have the best fishing pole, you’re ready to hit the water, throw your jerkbait, work it to mimic a dying fish, and anticipate the bite. You will be pleased with the performance of your jerkbait rod setup especially when fishing in cold conditions. Your action, cadence, and timing will improve over time. Be forewarned that a jerkbait bite is very addictive and might soon become your favorite fishing technique. 

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