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10 Best Bass Fishing Rod and Reel Combos (Expert Review)

Written by: Catchmefishing
Date Published:  July 12, 2021 
Updated: July 18, 2021

As a bass angler, you know how important it is to have the best gear for your fishing. Unfortunately, many different types of rods and reels on the market can overwhelm even seasoned anglers.

It's never easy to find the right rod and reel combo for your needs. There are so many different types, prices, sizes.

What if you're not sure what gear is best for bass fishing? Well, don't worry, I have you covered!

To help simplify things, I have compiled a list of the ten best bass fishing rod and reel combos that will make sure you never come up empty-handed when out on the water.

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

SHAKESPEARE UGLY STIK GX2 FISHING ROD AND REEL COMBO

The Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 fishing rod and reel combo is the perfect choice for beginner anglers. The lightweight graphite and fiberglass construction offers durability, sensitivity, and responsiveness.

This fishing combo features a clear tip design that delivers added strength and sensitivity while providing a smooth action through the handle. In addition, the EVA grips provide comfort during lengthy fishing outings.

The Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 is the perfect fishing rod and reel combo for beginners or experienced anglers.

The GX2 has a comfortable, lightweight graphite composite rod blank that reduces fatigue and increases sensitivity. The graphite composite material also provides a sturdy backbone to pull in even the largest fish.

This fishing rod and reel combo comes equipped with an oversized handle for increased leverage when fighting big fish, as well as 3 ball bearings plus 1 one-way clutch instant anti-reverse bearing for smooth gear feel and instant hook sets.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Brilliant bass fishing rod
Great tip design and function offers excellent sensitivity
Very cheap for the price
Really comfortable with the EVA grips
Great for beginners
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Cons
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Penn Battle II Rod and Reel Saltwater Combo

Penn Battle II Rod and Reel Saltwater Combo

The Penn Battle II is one of my favorite rod and reel combos for striped bass fishing. It is an excellent saltwater rod and reel combo. It has a 6.2:1 gear ratio, which can handle even the largest fish and their strength.

The reels body is made from aluminum, so it will not rust or corrode easily against the saltwater. It also has an anodized aluminum spool that will resist corrosion as well.

This baitcasting reel features five stainless steel bearings used in its system to ensure smooth performance when reeling in your catch. In addition, the drag system on this product is strong and durable due to its design and construction.

The Penn Battle II is possibly one of the most powerful and durable reels in the industry. Featuring graphite composite blank and aluminum oxide guides, this reel is built for battle.

The whole metal body, side plate, and rotor are designed to stand up to any punishment you can dish out. In addition, the lightweight design makes it easy to cast all day long without tiring your arm out.

With its fast retrieve, smooth drag system, and rugged construction, the Penn Battle II will help you conquer any fish that comes your way.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Brilliant for saltwater fishing.
The entire body is metal for durability.
Smooth bearing system
Fully protected spool to prevent corrosion from saltwater.
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Cons
Mostly for experienced saltwater anglers
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KastKing Centron Spinning Rod & Reel Combo

KastKing Centron Spinning Rod & Reel Combo

KastKing Centron Spinning Rod & Reel Combo is a new brand of fishing gear that combines high quality and reasonable price.

This combo includes a 1-piece spinning rod, reel, 4+1 bearings, graphite handle with EVA grip, and more. In addition, the CNC machined aluminum spool has been designed to be stronger than any other brands’ products.

It comes with a Saf-T hook holder so you can keep your hooks safe while not in use. The line roller allows smooth power transition for long casts, and the strong graphite handle makes it easier.

The KastKing Centron rod and reel combos are an excellent choice for anglers that don't want to spend a lot of money but still want quality. The lightweight, sensitive IM6 graphite blank provides a sensitive feel that is perfect for detecting even the lightest bites.

These combos are also equipped with aluminum oxide guides, and durable EVA handles. Two-piece design allows you to conveniently transport your gear in your vehicle or boat without sacrificing any fishing space!

Pros & Cons

Pros
Contoured handles in EVA and a fighting butt.
Two versions lightweight and heavyweight.
Great value for money.
Premium reel with this combo
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Cons
Lacks instructions
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Shakespeare Alpha Rod and Bait Cast Reel Combo (2 Piece)

Shakespeare Alpha Rod and Bait Cast Reel Combo

The Shakespeare Alpha Rod and Bait Cast Reel Combo is a great value for the money. The lightweight graphite rod features an aluminum frame and a two-piece design that makes it easy to transport.

A durable bail wire offers line control while fighting fish, and the reel comes pre-spooled with an 8-pound test monofilament line for convenience.

The Shakespeare Alpha Rod and Bait Cast Reel Combo is a lightweight, durable fishing rod and reel combo that will help you land the big one.

The Alpha Rod features an EVA grip for a comfortable handhold, while the bait cast reel has a tubular glass blank construction for responsiveness as well as durability.

With this Shakespeare fishing rod and reel combo, you’ll be able to catch anything from catfish to bass.

This combo has all you possibly need to start fishing right away!

Pros & Cons

Pros
Low profile
great performance for the price
Eva grip for great handling
Lightweight graphite design
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Cons
Slightly short grip end.
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Pflueger President Spinning Reel and Rod Combo

Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Rod Reel Combo

The Pflueger President Spinning Reel and Rod Combo is the perfect setup for any angler looking to get out on the water.

The reel features a 10 bearing system with corrosion-resistant stainless steel ball bearings, braid ready spool, which is great as the braid can be tied directly to the reels spool, and an aluminum spool that reduces weight while providing maximum strength.

The reel features an aluminum handle made from aircraft-grade aluminum with extreme durability. I-M8 Graphite with high modulus graphite blank construction, lightweight sensitivity.

Strong corrosion-resistant stainless steel guides to provide smooth line flow and prevent line twists.

The rod has comfortable cork handles a grip for easy handling in all weather conditions. Its robust graphite construction provides the backbone needed to land large fish without breaking or bending.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Durable and light
Easy to use
Good value
Great for bass, trout, and walleye
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Cons
Guide holes a little bit small
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Daiwa D-Shock Freshwater Spinning Combo

Daiwa D Shock Freshwater Spinning Combo

The Daiwa D-Shock Freshwater Spinning Combo is the ultimate fishing combo for freshwater fishing. The rod and reel are both constructed with a fiberglass blank, making it lightweight but still strong enough to handle big fish.

The 2 Ball Bearing reel features Daiwa’s Digigear system that provides smoothness and durability when casting or reeling in fish. In addition, the combo features a 3000 size reel that will make easier work of any fish you are to catch.

This two-piece combo includes a comfortable EVA split grip handle to help reduce hand fatigue during long fishing days. It also comes with an oversized bail wire that provides extra strength for larger baits and lures.

Daiwa D-Shock Fishing Combo is a great all-rounder and excellent value for money.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Feels fantastic in your hand.
The reel has excellent speed.
Heavy-duty and durable.
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Cons
A little bit floppy.
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Lew's Mach 1 Speed Spool Baitcast Combo

Lews Mach 1 Speed Spool Baitcast Combo

The Lew's Mach 1 Speed Spool Baitcast Combo is an excellent reel for anglers of all experience levels, whether you are just getting started or an old pro.

This Baitcasting Combo features a lightweight, graphite frame and side plates with three drain ports, a premium eight bearing system with stainless steel double shielded bearings, and zero reverse 1-way clutch.

The Speed Spool reel also features a large arbor design for fast line pick up, and easy line retrieve.

The Lew’s Mach 1 Speed Spool Baitcast Combo is the perfect rod for fishing any cover. This combo has all the right tools to get the job done, from light line finesse presentations to heavyweight Texas-rigged plastics.

The Multi-Setting Brake (MSB) provides three braking settings that allow you to dial in your cast and control your distance with ease. Available in various sizes, this versatile rod will be sure to make a great addition to any angler’s arsenal.

The baitcaster combo is perfect for freshwater fishing applications such as bass fishing or walleye fishing.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Long and smooth casts
Great look and feet
The reel is very well made
Durable and robust.
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Cons
The pole is mediocre.
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Abu Garcia Revo X Low Profile Baitcaster Combo

Abu Garcia Revo X Low Profile Baitcaster Combo

The Abu Garcia Revo X Low Profile Baitcaster Combo is a durable, high-quality baitcasting rod and reel that features polymer Winn Dri-Tac grips and 7 stainless steel ball bearings plus 1 roller bearing.

The Abu Garcia Revo Baitcaster Combo is a great choice for anglers who want to experience Revo-X's powerful, smooth performance.

The Revo X baitcasting rod combo features an aluminum frame that helps keep weight down without sacrificing strength or durability.

A carbon matrix hybrid drag system provides smooth, consistent pressure no matter what the conditions are like outside. It also has a brass gear for maximum corrosion protection and durability.

This combo is brilliant if you want a professional-grade fishing rod and reel combo for a fraction of the price.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Light to hold
Smooth reel action
Comes in nice colors
Handles bass really well
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Cons
It can be a little bit delicate
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KastKing Crixus Baitcasting Combo

KastKing Crixus Baitcasting Combo

KastKing Crixus Baitcasting Combo is a perfect combination of the best technologies and components.

This Crixus combo features lightweight, carbon-infused frames with CNC aluminum spools. The 5+1 double shielded stainless ball bearings are powerful and durable. In addition, it has a strong carbon drag that can handle all your fishing needs!

KastKing Crixus Baitcasting Rods are the ultimate casting tool for anglers who demand versatility and power. The blank’s medium-fast action is ideal for targeting a wide range of species, emphasizing bass fishing.

KastKing Crixus rods feature SuperPolymer handles that provide comfort and durability without adding weight. Stainless Steel Guides with Zirconium Oxide Rings reduce weight while increasing casting performance. Power Transition System (PTS) technology provides smooth transitions from the butt to the rod's tip.

KastKing Crixus Baitcasting rod is a 2-piece fishing rod with IM6 graphite blanks designed to deliver incredible performance for any budget. Crixus powerful and sensitive IM6 Graphite 2-pc fishing rod blanks.

The KastKing Crixus rod and reel is the perfect choice for all types of anglers, from beginners to professionals.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Great value.
Great design quality.
Strong and fast.
Top-tier equipment.
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Cons
Drag has no noticeable clicking sound.
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PLUSINNO Freedom Traveler Spinning Rod and Reel Combo

PLUSINNO Freedom Traveler Spinning Rod and Reel Combo

The PLUSINNO Freedom Traveler Spinning Rod and Reel Combo offer a great value for the price. It’s lightweight, sensitive, and durable.

The rod is made with high-quality material to ensure long-term performance. Its super-smooth power makes it easy to cast even in windy conditions. Plus, it has a portable design that makes it easy to carry around when traveling or on your fishing trip.

The PLUSINNO Traveler spinning rod is a 6 piece high-quality 30 Ton carbon fiber rod that is lightweight and has tremendous overall strength. The reel seat has corrosion resistant ABS hoods,

EVA handles are comfortable, durable, and exceptionally slip-resistant. It is a brilliant bass fishing rod combo.

This rod is perfect for travel or fishing around the lake. It is a great 6 piece fishing rod that will fit in most fishing backpacks perfectly.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Solid 6 piece rod
Easy to travel with
Light and sensitive
The reel has smooth motion
Great price for a rod and reel combo
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Cons
Top guide holes are pretty small.
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What's the Best Bass Fishing Combo for You?

Let's talk about rods and combo types. Of course, there are many different kinds, but I want to help you understand what each one is and which will be best for you to use depending on your situation.

Baitcasting combos

Baitcasting combos (also called Conventional) are a relatively new invention that has revolutionized fishing in the last 20 - 25 years.

Unlike spinning reels, baitcasting reels sit on top of the baitcasting rod and have some different settings.

Baitcasting offers a better casting range and much smoother retrieval due to its weight and mechanics.

The castability of a rod and reel combo is very important when choosing which one to use. Baitcasting rods cast a lot further and offer a longer drag, and a lot more line can be spooled.

Conventional rod combos offer better cranking ability, and most sea anglers use a baitcasting setup due to the robustness and heavy-duty power of the rod and reel.

Spinning Rod and Reel Combos

Most people choose spinning rods for lightweight fishing applications in lakes, rivers, and pond fishing.

Unlike casting rods, spinning rods sit below a spinning rod and have a bail that you need to open and close to cast and retrieve your bait.

Spinning rods and reels are suitable for bass fishing because they are more lightweight and flexible than casting rods. Due to the rod's lightweight, you feel the bites more efficiently and have much more success.

You won't be able to use a heavy-duty line with spinning reels as you could with a baitcasting setup. Although, most spinning rod and reel combos will be more than enough to catch all the bass you will be targeting.

Spinning reels can come with extra features such as magnetic brakes, which allow you to control the amount of free spool when you are reeling in your lure or bait.

Rod and Reel Combo vs. Separate Rod and Reel

You might be asking yourself, what's the best option. For example, should you buy a rod and reel combo or buy each component separately?

It all comes down to convenience and how much you are willing to spend on your gear.

I have created information below about the benefits and drawbacks of buying combo rods and reels below:

Benefits of Rod and Reel Combos

Saving money is an excellent reason to purchase a rod and reel combo, as most are a very affordable option for customers.

Rod and reel combos are made to work together, so you don't need to worry about matching a rod with a reel. The hard work has been done for you.

If you want to save money, then the best option is to buy a combo. But if you feel like being creative and not having something already set up, then buy separately.

For anyone on a budget, these rod & reel combos are the way to go. Saving time and stress is an important factor for everyone.

Drawbacks of Rod & Reel Combo

A rod and reel combo shares the same benefit as a single component; it is versatile. With that being said, for someone who enjoys changing things up often it may be better to purchase items individually rather than purchasing combos.

You don't have as much freedom when you use a bass fishing combo.

You have a lot more freedom when you select a rod and reel separately. But you also have to do your research beforehand as It will be much more expensive than buying a rod and reel combo.

Who should buy a rod and reel combo?

It depends on what you want because both rod and reel combos and separate purchases have pros and cons.

For a beginner or casual angler, I would say go for a Combo setup. The rod and reel are designed to work together, so you won't have any problems using them.

For more experienced anglers, I would say buy separately. You will be able to spend the money more wisely, and you can find what works best for you.

If you are interested in buying your rods and reels separately. Check out my in-depth reviews on the best bass rods and also bass fishing reels to compliment them.

In the end, it is up to you what you prefer but remember that they make combos for a reason. To make your life a lot easier.

Final thoughts

Knowledge is power. And when you have the proper knowledge, you will be able to make a much more informed decision about buying.

Hopefully, my article above has provided you with the right knowledge to make a good decision regarding what rod and reel combo suits your needs.

All the recommendations I have made are from my own experience. Every Rod and reel combo has got excellent ratings all over the internet.

If you want rods that are more easily to travel with then take a look at my 10 best telescopic rods review.

Once you have chosen the best rod and reel for your needs, then it's time to catch some of the big largemouth bass.

I wish you the best of success on your next fishing trip!

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