Hey there anglers and welcome to my post where we will check out my three best spinning rod and reel combos for Striped Bass this year. ‘Striper’ fishing gives us a unique angling experience however for many, they can be a challenging proposition as well.
And unless you are appropriately equipped with the best rod and reel combos to handle these Sea Bass, this can be even harder. So for those of you looking to get yourself a good combo for your Striped Bass fishing exploits, I have had a good look around and come up with three good options below.
Let’s check them out…
My three recommended spinning rod and reel combos for Striped Bass
I will review these in more detail below, but if you just want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience:
What are rod and reel combos?
As we know, a fishing combo is a rod and reel sold as a matched set. In most cases, the rod and reel are from the same manufacturer or matched by the retailer due to compatibility. Whichever the case however, the idea behind purchasing a combo is that they are matched in terms of balance in size and also usually a bit cheaper.
When it comes to catching Striped Bass, the combo you choose needs to be large enough to handle the fight of the fish and durable enough to manage salt water conditions as well.
What should you be looking for?
Now, as you have probably guessed, when it comes to purchasing a new rod and reel combo there are things to consider for both the rod and the reel. In my experience, I would always place greater scrutiny on the reel over the rod however you should still consider size and weight there too.
Let’s then check out some of the factors to consider in a reel and then the rod…
- Line capacity
- Drag system
- Gear ratio
- Braided-line compatibility
- Other considerations
Considerations for the reel include:
The reel’s line capacity is the maximum length of line that the spool can hold without getting overloaded. Because the diameter of the fishing line increases with its strength, generally the stronger it is, the more space takes up more space on the spool.
Braided fishing line of course assists with this however large Stripers can take a real lot of line as they ‘run’. Hence, you will need to consider the size of the fish you intend to catch when choosing a reel and match the line capacity accordingly. For Striped Bass, look for a reel that can hold 300 – 400 yards.
The drag’s purpose is to limit how much force can be applied to the line before the spool slips and lets out more lines. This avoids line breakage giving it a little more strength as well as protecting your reel at the same time.
Granted it is almost impossible to purchase a spinning reel that doesn’t have a drag system included these days however you should always check the manufacturer’s strength limitations to ensure it can handle the type of fish you will be chasing.
Most work via the movement of internal aluminium plates that ‘give’ under pressure however some are also made from carbon fiber for greater strength and smoothness as well.
Another critical aspect of a good spinning fishing reel is its gear ratio. The gear ratio indicates how many times the rotor revolves for one handle rotation. With a 6.2:1 gear ratio, the line will wrap around the spool 6.2 times for every handle rotation.
When it comes to Striped Bass fishing, you will find that the larger reels tend to sit around the 5.2 – 6.0 mark which is good as you can play with the drag without the line coming in too fast which can place extra strain on the line and gear.
Braided line compatibility
Because of its strength, casting distance and sensitivity, braided fishing line is a popular choice for most Striped Bass fishing. On the other hand, a braided line is known to either slide around on spools when reeling in or ‘bite’ into itself when casting.
To counter this most reels are lined with a mono backing to keep the braid tight however some also offer a rubber grip material where the line makes contact with the spool to help mitigate the effect. Instead of slipping around, the line will catch on the rubber material and provide you with leverage to pull some of that line back.
Of course you could also try a line spooler as well…
Other considerations include:
- Ball bearings – Ball bearings in a reel work in the same manner as a car wheel in that they provide extra smoothness as the handles etc. are turned. When it comes to a reel, the greater the number of ball bearings you can get for the price, the better. And if the reel will be used for ocean or surf fishing, anti-rust or shielded bearings are also highly recommended.
- Anti-reverse – This feature prevents the handle from turning backward allowing the line to be reeled in but not released. Some spinning reels have an anti-reverse feature that lets the angler spin the reel back to let the line out while keeping the bail closed.
- Corrosion-resistance – The best saltwater fishing reels are designed using corrosion-resistant materials, such as anodized aluminum or carbon. Furthermore, excellent saltwater fishing reels typically have sealed components to keep saltwater out of the gears allowing them to remain smooth, precise, and fully functional.
- Handle – Most are plastic or EVA but make sure it fits comfortably in your hand (more expensive models are carbon fiber).
Considerations for the rod include:
Choose a fishing stick made of ideal materials for your fishing needs. Most rods are made of one of three materials:
- Fiberglass – Very strong and durable with very little maintenance required (rinse off after fishing is generally all that is needed). Also, very cost-effective with many good options available that don’t cost the earth – although these types of rods appear to be less available these days due to the introduction of carbon fiber technology.
- Graphite – Graphite rods are generally more rigid with higher power ratings (see below) however tend to have greater sensitivity than their fiberglass cousins. Their composition also means that a little more cleaning is required over time to avoid them becoming brittle and snapping. These are good for shorter rods too as they can handle bigger fish without the ‘give’ that longer rods have.
- Carbon Fibre – This is a newer compound in fishing rods being more rigid than the fiberglass/ composite rods but also lighter – which is great for heavy offshore fishing. These types are becoming more and more popular for all levels of experience due to their toughness and versatility.
Good rods for Striped Bass typically measure around 6′ to 7′ in length. Such lengths make them easy to work with when using both bait and lures and the best options carry a lot of power as well making them incredibly strong and reliable.
Some modern Striper rods are longer and have greater strength, lightness, and flexibility making them adaptable for chasing other species too.
Choose a rod with the appropriate power for your needs. The amount of force or weight required to bend a rod is called its power. It is typically defined as:
- Ultralight – really bendy – even whippy
- Medium light
- Medium heavy
- Heavy – hardly any bend
For Striped Bass, look for a rod in the medium to medium heavy range with heavy options also good for trolling in deeper waters.
A rod’s action is affected by its construction material and method. When you apply pressure to the fishing rod’s tip, the action describes where the rod bends and how quickly it returns to its neutral position. This feature can be slow, medium, fast, or a combination of the three.
This applies whether you are casting or have a fish on the end of the line with settings as follows”
- An extra-fast action rod bends only at the tip.
- A fast-action bends in the upper 1/3 to 1/4 of the rod.
- A rod with a moderately fast action bends over the lover by one-third.
- A medium/moderate action rod bends over the last half.
- A slow action bends all the way to the rod’s handle.
For Striper fishing, I would recommend a moderate to fast action so that the rod will bend over the water and allow you to feel when it is fighting and/or running.
- Bent butt – Using a bent butt fishing rod relieves strain on your body and allows you to concentrate on reeling in your catch.
- Reel seat – This fishing rod component secures the reel to the rod, typically with locking metal rings or sliding bands. Inside diameters of reel seats are always larger than those of the fishing rod blanks on which they will be installed.
- Rod handles – Cork and EVA foam are the two primary materials used in fishing rod handles (also called Duplon). Cork handles are lighter than foam handles and retain residual heat in cooler temperatures. On a cold day, this means they are warmer to the touch. EVA foam handles are generally less expensive than cork handles, but they are also far more durable. Unlike a cork handle, a foam handle does not dent or chip when mistreated.
What size reel should I use for striped bass?
Striped Bass can get quite large and hit pretty hard as well. For this reason I would be looking at a reel around the 4000 – 6000 mark. Load it with 20 – 40lb braid and a flouro leader and you are good to go.
What size rod should I use for striped bass?
This depends on whether you are fishing from the beach or in a boat. For the beach go 8 – 10ft and in a boat stick to around 7 – 8ft. The longer the rod, the farther you can cast but shorter rods give greater accuracy and movement in a boat.
My three recommendations broken down
So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:
1. KastKing Crixus Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
My first rod and reel combo option is lightweight, fast, and powerful which makes them perfect when looking for Stripers. It is desgned for comfort with a golf club style handle and excellent specifications as below:
- Model: Kastking Crixus
- Bearings: 7 + 1 double shielded stainless ball bearings
- Ratio: 5.2:1
- Composition: Carbon infused frames with precision CNC machined internal components
- Drag: Front of spool – carbon fiber drag washers
- Weight: not stated
- Superpolymer Handle
- Brand: Kastking
- Composition: IM6 graphite
- Length: 5’6″ – 7′ (I would go the 7′)
- Power: Light – Medium heavy (go medium heavy)
- Action: Moderate – fast
- Non-corrosive reel seat
- Stainless Steel Guides w/Zirconium Oxide Rings
- Golf Style Superpolymer Handle
Why have I chosen it?
This spinning combo is a well-balanced, light to medium-heavy action setup ideal for targeting anything, including striped bass. The rod is a medium-heavy IM6 graphite blank with enough backbone to bring in big fish without giving up sensitivity. The spinning reels are made of carbon and have an aluminum spool. This is a fantastic option for those looking to get themselves into some Stripers on a budget.
2. Daiwa BG5000 Saltwater Pre-Mounted Spinning Combo
This second rod and reel combo option offers a rugged build to help you in many angling seasons. The reel is saltwater ready and with the rod, able to handle anything that the ocean can throw at you, including Striped Bass. See its specifications below:
- Model: Daiwa BG
- Bearings: 6 + 1 CRBB corrosion resistant ball bearings
- Ratio: 5.7:1
- Composition: Aluminum body and side plate with Digigear II components
- Drag: Front of spool – Tournament quality carbon fiber drag washers
- Weight: 405g
- Infinite anti-reverse
- Lightweight rotor
- ABSII reverse taper spool
- Brand: Daiwa
- Composition: Graphite & carbon composite
- Length: 7′
- Power: Medium heavy
- Action: Moderate – fast
- Non-corrosive reel seat
- Cut proof aluminum oxide guides
- EVA foam & cork grips
Why have I chosen it?
This product is extremely reliable and durable with the perfect rod length and a heavy duty reel able to handle all salt water conditions. I have Daiwa reels myself and have always found them reliable and long lasting. This is a great option for avid fishers who like to chase Stripers and a few other species as well.
3. Penn Battle III Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
This last option is a high-quality reel that is reasonably priced and will last you for years if properly cared for. It is incredibly smooth in both casting and retrieval and is perfectly balanced with a 7ft graphite composite rod. See its specifications below:
- Model: Penn Battle III 6000
- Bearings: 5 + 1 fully sealed stainless steel
- Ratio: 6.2:1
- Composition: Full Metal body and side plate with precision CNC machined internal components and soft EVA handle
- Drag: Front of spool – HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers – up to 25lb
- Weight: 12 oz (352g)
- Stainless ball bearing
- CNC gear technology
- Brand: Penn
- Composition: Tubular graphite composite
- Length: 7′
- Power: Medium heavy
- Action: fast
- Line weight capabilities: 12 – 25lb mono, 20 – 40lb braid
- Non-corrosive aluminum alloy reel seat
- Rod Butt Gimbal
- EVA handle and fore grip
Why have I chosen it?
I take a Battle III 4000 size with me out on the boat lined with 40lb braid. It is low in maintenance and withstands the rigors of saltwater perfectly. If you are in the market for something that will last for years and not let you down then you could do a lot worse than this one.
There you have it – my three best rod and reel combos for Striped Bass. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual, let me know of your experiences with them.
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections, or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time.