Do you need a new baitcasting rod without breaking the bank? We have tested and compared the best baitcasting rods under $100, and in this guide, we will share our findings and review our top 10 choices.
Your fishing rod can be one of the most valuable assets in your fishing hobby, aside from your fishing skills. Your baitcasting rod is not only important for the obvious task of catching your fish, but also for various things like put in sonar gadgets or heavier lures.
Baitcasting rod, or just casting rod, is a fishing rod that is designed to cast the line with a baitcasting reel. The key benefit of a baitcasting rod comes from this reel, which is the significant increase in casting distance. Also, with a casting rod, you have better sensitivity and control over the hook and line. So, baitcasting rods are the better choice for catching bigger fishes, although they are also very versatile for general purposes.
Yet, baitcasting rods can come in various different lengths, power, action rating, and can feature different sets of unique components and/or materials. This is why choosing the right baitcasting rod according to your preferences and needs can be quite confusing.
Not to mention, baitcasting rods are famous for being expensive, but here we will show you that there are affordable options available on the market that still offers great overall qualities.
With that being said, here are our reviews for the top 10 best baitcasters under $100.
Falcon Rods HD Casting Rod
SHIMANO FXC 2 Piece Casting Rod
KastKing Royale Select Fishing Rods
Abu Garcia Vengeance Casting Fishing Rod
Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Rod
Rippin Lips Super Cat Casting Rod
KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods
Berkley E-Motion Casting Rod
St Croix Triumph Casting Rods
Daiwa ARDT703MFB-TR Rod
|SiteStripe Image||Model||Score||Price||View On Amazon|
|Falcon Rods HD Casting Rod||4.3/5.0||$$||View Product On Amazon|
|SHIMANO FXC 2 Piece Casting Rod||4.5/5.0||$$||View Product On Amazon|
|KastKing Royale Select Fishing Rods||4.6/5.0||$$||View Product On Amazon|
|Abu Garcia Vengeance Casting Fishing Rod||4.0/5.0||$||View Product On Amazon|
|Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Rod||4.5/5.0||$||View Product On Amazon|
|Rippin Lips Super Cat Casting Rod||4.6/5.0||$$||View Product On Amazon|
|KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods||4.5/5.0||$$||View Product On Amazon|
|Berkley E-Motion Casting Rod||4.1/5.0||$$$||View Product On Amazon|
|St Croix Triumph Casting Rods||4.4/5.0||$$$||View Product On Amazon|
|Daiwa ARDT703MFB-TR Rod||4.5/5.0||$$$||View Product On Amazon|
The Falcon Rods HD is a rather unique baitcasting rod under $100 that offers several interesting features. First, it comes in several variations in the length of 6 feet 6 inches, 6 feet 8 inches, 7 feet, and 7 feet 6 inches. You can also choose between medium or medium-heavy power. In total, it comes in 7 models.
It’s important to note that the HD Rods are not made in the USA (it’s made in China), unlike Falcon’s high-end rods. However, it is still a pretty decent baitcasting rod, quality-wise, that features 100% graphite blanks, Fuji exposed blank seats, Fuji guides, and natural cork handles.
A key highlight of the HD is the blank-through (or blank-exposed) seat, which provides more direct contact with the rod blank. This, in turn, will produce better sensitivity, which is a quality desired by many anglers nowadays and popular among rod manufacturers.
A minor downside is that Falcon HD only comes in one-piece, so it’s hard to store and transport.
Shimano is one of the most well-known rod manufacturers in the market today, and the FXC is a great, affordable baitcasting rod designed for anglers of all ages and all skill levels. Great overall value with its affordable price, one of the key highlights of this rod is the aeroglass bank, making it a durable rod with great sensitivity. It is accompanied with aluminum oxide guides for better line flow.
The handle is made from comfortable EVA foam in a split-grip style. As a result, you get a very firm and comfortable in almost any conditions. You can choose between a 6-feet and 7-feet rod, and as usual, the lengths change the overall power of the rod. The default one offers a medium-heavy action due to the length and the construction quality of the rod.
So, it’s not only great for casting but also for catching medium to big fishes too. Its key highlight, however, is that you can move around any bait sizes with relative ease. One of, if not the best baitcasting rod under 100, without a doubt.
Simply one of the best baitcaster under $100 for several reasons. First, there’s the lightweight and durable Toray 24-ton carbon matrix blanks, which can produce the right amount of power and flex.
Also, there’s the Fuji fishing line guide that is very effective in reducing friction and drag when you cast out your line. This is paired with KastKing’s trademarked KastFlex technology to improve accuracy, power, and sensitivity. The grip is of a high-quality EVA material that is very comfortable all-day long with a very firm grip. Also, there’s the split-grip to promote better control and versatility.
Comes with a medium-heavy action, the KastKing Royale is also an ideal choice to pull medium and bigger fishes while it is still very effective in far casting distance (due to the Fuji line guide). Some minor downsides are that they are relatively heavy and it features a one-piece design, but is a great overall choice, especially for its price. The 2 piece models offer 2 interchangeable rod tips, so essentially you get two rods with the price of one.
Arguably the best baitcasting rod under 100 for its great overall qualities.
Being a very affordable baitcasting rod, and one of the most affordable on this list, surprisingly you get a pretty decent set of quality components and features from this Abu Garcia Vengeance Casting Rod. A key highlight is a 24-ton lightweight, high-modular lightweight blank, durable EVA split-grip, and stainless-steel line guides with titanium oxide SiC inserts. There’s also a blank-through reel seat to promote even better sensitivity.
Comes in 6 different models ranging from 6 feet 6 inches and seven feet six inches with medium to heavy power settings. Meaning, there are plenty of choices for any fishing needs. Fast and moderate-fast tip actions available to allow better bite sensitivity and more hookups.
Also, there’s a Texas-rigged hook-keeper that allows us to easily fit your lure in place even while moving. If all these features are not enough, there is also a 3-year limited warranty if you are located in the U.S. and Canada.
The UglyStik GX2 Casting rod is a medium-sized rod where you can choose between 6′ and as high as 7’6″ and the average size of 6’6″. Being a mid-length rod, it is made from a graphite and fiberglass blank with a stainless steel Ugly Tuff guide. As a result, this is a pretty well-balanced rod overall.
The GX2 features several state-of-the-art technologies dubbed the Ugly Tech with a through-reel seat, allowing great feel while holding the baitcasting rod and allowing a sturdy but lightweight overall design.
Another unique feature is the unique clear tip of Ugly Stix. This is not only here for aesthetics purposes but also allows the end of the round extra-sensitive to tugs. Also, it is tough enough to handle bigger fishes and heavier baits.
The Ugly Stik GX2 also has a 1-piece guide design. Meaning, the guide comes as a single whole component in the rod. So, there isn’t any ceramic insert that is often prone to damages.
A great overall value, probably the best baitcasting rod under 100.
The Rippin Lips Super Cat is 7’6″ in length, and is made from Rippin Lip’s unique composite material, a combination of E-Glass, S-Glass, and graphite. This material allows durability while also producing great enough versatility. The guide used chrome-plated stainless steel, coated with Epoxy. This allows the guides to be durable while also giving them bright, silvery glitter to aid visibility and aesthetics.
The rod is a medium-heavy power and comes with a blank construction. This is ideal for casting the bait into the water and also to move around. The rod comes with a fast action due to the stiffer backbone, which can tremendously help in catching bigger catfish and other large-sized fishes.
The casting rod also features an EVA handle with split-grip design, which is comfortable enough to handle but provides a pretty secure grip. Also, the glowing tip of the rod is a nice additional feature to improve your visibility. So, you can easily monitor fish lures even at night.
Being very affordable, The Rippin Lips Super Cat is a very decent pick. Although it is designed especially for catfishing, it is still a great baitcasting rod under $100 for all-around purposes.
The KastKing Perigee II is one of our recommendations as the best baitcasting rod under $100 for several reasons. It’s very durable with great overall performance. It comes in various lengths between 6′ to 7’6 and from medium-light to heavy action, so it’s a very versatile choice.
It features a carbon matrix blanks with KastFlex technology to ensure durability while maintaining its lighter weight. The line guides are made of high-quality Fuji-O rings which help with accuracy and also to protect your lines. Graphite reel seats that fit well with most baitcasting reels, that is also lightweight.
24-ton Toray carbon matrix fiber blank, which is a very high-quality blank with great performance. The thermal/carbon fiber compression process allows 10% stronger design while maintaining an ultra-lightweight design. Offered in both 1-piece and two-piece models with fast action and medium-light to heavy power. Also, the 2 piece models offer 2 interchangeable rod tips so essentially you get two rods with the price of one.
The Berkley E-Motion is an attractive choice for casting rods for several reasons. You can choose between eight models in total from 6’4″ to 7’9″, available in medium, heavy, medium-heavy, and extra-heavy power for extra versatility.
Each size comes with a different level of power, with the smallest being medium power and the 7’3″ variant is with extra-heavy power.
It is also a great-looking baitcaster with a unique and modern look to it: thin with a mainly black color scheme with small hints of white logs and designs. The handle also features a unique design with a conical grip at the front of the handle. This is to ensure a more ergonomically-shaped design so it’s more comfortable and secure to hold.
The St Croix offers several great features to ensure its position as one of the best baitcasters under $100. First, it features a premium, high-quality and durable cork handle which is really comfortable to hold all-day. It also features high-quality aluminum oxide line guides and SCII graphite blank for extra sensitivity and flexibility. It comes with a Fuji TCS reel seat, which has a frosted silver cover for extra durability. The blank is also coated in two coats of flex coat.
The St Croix is a very lightweight and compact baitcasting rod with its four-piece design, but still offers great accuracy and overall sensitivity. It is also a very powerful rod that can provide great strength in various situations.
The rod belongs to the medium action category, so it bends near the center up to the top half of its length. So, it’s a versatile choice and you can use it for both smaller and bigger fishes. Also, it offers a great casting distance and hook setting strength.
The key highlights of the Daiwa Travel Trigger Rod are its compactness and durability. It is a 3-piece rod that is 7′ long, a great choice for beginners and general-purpose fishing.
It is a fast action rod. So, it only bends near the tip at the ⅓ end of the rod, and it doesn’t bend as much. As a result of this faster action, it is much more sensitive than slower or medium action rods, but is relatively difficult to use.
With that being said, this rod is a great choice for catching bigger fishes since it has enough power and strength to pull the fish without breaking the rod. Another great value from this rod is how it includes a decent semi-hard case, which also includes dividers. So, it’s a very secure case to carry this rod to your fishing spot.
A minor downside is that the parts of the rods joining together might not be very comfortable to hold, especially in a prolonged time. Nevertheless, considering its below $100 price, the Daiwa Travel Trigger Rod offers more than what you would expect on this price range. A very strong contender for the best baitcasting rod under 100.
There are two main types of fishing rods: baitcasting (or just casting) rods and spinning rods. You can easily differentiate the two types by looking at the reel’s position.
In baitcasting rods, the reel is placed above the rod. As a result, all the rod guides also face upward. When pulling a fish with a casting rod, the rod bends downwards over the line guides while the guides are facing up. As a result of this design, the fish pushes the line down on the rod blank and the eyelets, and so the fish won’t pull the eyelets off of the baitcasting rod.
On the other hand, the reel is placed below the rod on a spinning rod. So, it is the guide that is pulled downward. This is why spinning rods will often break off when pulling bigger fishes. This is why spinning rods are typically more suitable for catching small fishes and casting in quick, shorter distances.
Baitcasting rods allow greater casting distance and are more durable in catching bigger fishes and handling heavier baits. This is why baitcasting rods are typically more expensive than spinning rods. Here are the pros and cons of baitcasting rods over spinning rods:
To learn further about baitcasting and spinning rods. You might want to check the video below:
Pros of baitcasting rods:
Cons of baitcasting rods:
Baitcasting rods can come in different sizes and materials and offer different features. So, here are some key factors to consider when choosing the best baitcasting rod under 100.
Typically a baitcasting rod is manufactured from either fiberglass or graphite (also known as carbon fiber).
Graphite is lighter than fiberglass and produces better sensitivity or response. In baitcasting, sensitivity is a very important feature so the angler can easily respond to any bite. Many rod manufacturers today are aiming to produce better and better sensitivity without compromising other qualities like power and lightweight design.
Graphite, despite its lightweight, is fairly durable under steady force but can break with a sudden load. If, for example, the angler is pulling a big fish, it can cause fractures and even snap.
Fiberglass rods are generally cheaper, but they are less sensitive and less powerful than graphite rods. However, they are also more durable and so are more suitable for handling large-sized fishes.
So, if you want sensitivity, choose a graphite casting rod. On the other hand, if you want durability, choose a fiberglass rod.
Different brands can offer different baitcasting models, which in turn come in different weights and sizes. The typical length sizes for casting rods are between five and eight, although sometimes they can get as long as nine feet.
how should you choose between different sizes?
Shorter rods are suited for quick, shorter casts. For example, when you cast into limited space and confined areas. On the other hand, longer rods are better in open spaces.
The rod’s weight, on the other hand, dictates the rod’s strength. In general, the heavier your lure or bait, then you’ll need a heavier rod. There are seven categories of fishing rod weights. However, typically baitcasting rods come in four different weight categories: medium, medium-heavy, heavy, and extra-heavy.
So, if you want to catch bigger fishes with heavier lures, you should get a casting rod that can hold both the fish and lure without snapping.
In a fishing rod, the term action refers to how far it can flex when there is any load or force put on the rod. There are typically three action types for baitcasting rods:
Baitcasting rods are typically faster in action and generally bend near the tip of the rod, 25 to 30 nearer to the tip than spinning rods. Faster action translates into more power, and so are useful when fishing for larger fishes. Typically you can see the rod’s action style on the handle of the fishing rod.
“Power” in a baitcasting rod is related to the rod’s weight, as discussed above. So, medium-heavy and heavy rods are effective in fishing larger fish. On the other hand, use lighter power to attract smaller fishes.
To learn further about power and action, you can check the video below:
In choosing your rod’s grip or handle, the most important factor to consider is whether it is comfortable enough to hold and secure enough to grip. It’s important to ensure that it doesn’t slip when you are casting.
Don’t forget that our hands are often wet and even slimy after holding the fish. So, a fitting, secure grip is extremely important.
With that being said, there are two main materials used to make the handles or grips:
A relatively new synthetic foam material that is now very popular for rod handles due to two main reasons: first, it is very affordable, and second, it is very comfortable to hold. Being a foam, EVA won’t corrode, which is a very important factor to consider if you are going to mainly fish in saltwater. Also, EVA can provide a good grip even when wet and in any temperatures.
The traditional, classic material to make rod handles for a long time, cork is a natural material that is very light, comfortable, and can provide a secure grip. Cork handles are especially secure when your hands are wet due to their porous quality.
Cork handles are slightly more expensive than EVA foam and other synthetic materials. Also, keep in mind that corks can come in different qualities. Low-quality corks are not very comfortable to hold and can fall apart relatively quickly.
Baitcasting rods are typically used for spin cast and baitcasting fishing reels. While they are great for various fishing conditions, they are better when used to attract larger and heavier fish species.
Assuming the power and action are the same, the longer rod will cast further. However, if the rod has different sizes, actions, powers, and other factors, all of these elements will come into play to casting distance.
Washing and proper storage of your rod are very important if you want longevity. Always wash your baitcasting rod with fresh water after you’ve taken them fishing. Especially clean the guides thoroughly.
To prevent corrosion, you can use some light reel grease on the rod moderately. When you are applying grease, also check that all guides aren’t cracked. Damaged guides can cause your fishing line to snap, so pay extra attention to the guides.
Always store your rod upright without putting any pressure on the blank. Invest in a good fishing rack that you can keep indoors. Improper storage is the most common cause of rod damage.
If you don’t have any clue, then a 6’6″ or 7′ rod is the safest pick. A seven-foot rod is the most well-rounded pick that you can use for almost any purpose. Rods below 6 and a half feet in length won’t reach longer distances, but they are very agile. If you are going to fish in a confined area or a hard-to-reach area, then a shorter rod is the better pick.
In general, we’d recommend getting a 7′ rod instead so you can get that little extra reach while still retaining versatility.
You are probably new to baitcasting, and the sheer number of choices might have overwhelmed you.
With that being said, for general-purpose fishing, we’d recommend just getting a medium-light or medium power and medium action rod. This can be a great well-rounded choice if you are just learning the ropes of baitcasting.
As mentioned above, we’d also recommend 7′ rods to accompany it. It’s hard to go wrong with a 7′, medium or medium-light power beginner baitcasting rod especially if you are going to fish inland.
The length of your grip is actually very important, more than you might realize at first. Grip lengths can vary greatly from very short to very wide to allow for more handling room.
In general, if you are fishing with lighter lures and use finesse techniques, you’d appreciate shorter grip length. Shorter grips will allow you to easily move your wrist, which can be hard to do when you have to hold the rod further from your body to allow room for the longer grip.
On the other hand, if you are using heavier baits or are planning to fish larger, heavier species, then you’d want a longer grip. Longer grips can help a lot with leverage, and so it’s much easier to hold your rod and pull a bigger fish.
All ten of the best baitcasting rods we have reviewed above are of great qualities and each comes with their own advantages and disadvantages. So, choosing the absolute best among them is a very difficult task.
However, for the sake of this buying guide, our choice goes to:
KastKing Royale Select Fishing Rod
The KastKing Royale select is a great overall choice who wants a great rod for any occasion. A very durable casting rod with Toray 24-ton carbon matrix, Kastking’s KastFlex technology, and Fuji fishing line guides with medium-heavy power. Great for catching big fishes, and with all its features, it’s our choice for the best baitcasting rod under $100.
Yet, if that model is out of your price range, our budget-friendly pick goes to:
Falcon Rods HD Casting Rod
One of the most affordable casting rods in this list, but still offers a very decent set of features especially with the blank-through seat design for better sensitivity.
That’s not saying the other casting rods we have reviewed are bad quality. As we’ve mentioned, each offers its own unique features and advantages.
We hope you’ve gathered enough information from this buying guide, and can make a better purchase decision with what we’ve shared.