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Spinning Rods: Just For Noobs Or A True Tournament Tool?

Spinning Rods: Just For Noobs Or A True Tournament Tool?

I must confess that I dislike using a spinning rod when bass fishing. I lose casting accuracy and the rods are generally too light for the power fishing tactics I enjoy using to catch bass. I prefer using baitcasting gear for topwater fishing, pitching and flipping jigs or soft plastics, cranking crankbaits or spinnerbaits and working suspending stickbaits in the wintertime. So I can somewhat empathize with southern anglers who call spinning rods fairy wands.

The Walmart fishing rod aisle is where it all began for many anglers.

Even though I am not a fan of spinning rods for bass fishing, there are times when I will rely on a spinning rod to catch bass, especially in the spring for prespawn bass or when bass are on nests. If the water is clear, it is essential to scale down to lighter line and finesse lures and that is when a spinning rod shines. I use a spinning rod then for casting soft plastic jerkbaits, plastic tubes, wacky-rigged Senkos or floating worms, Mojo-rigged plastic lizards and finesse worms on lightweight shaky jigheads. A spinning rod and reel also works better for me when I need to skip soft plastic lures in hard-to-reach areas such as under dock cables or dock catwalks.

Any time I am fishing clear water I have a couple of spinning rods in my boat for drop-shot rigs or casting small suspending stickbaits. On windy winter days, I also switch to a spinning rod for throwing my suspending stickbaits because casting these lightweight lures in the wind tend to cause too many backlashes with baitcasting gear.

A highly visible braided line tied to a fluorocarbon leader is a popular and effective presentation for fishing with a spinning rod.

I will also toss finesse lures on a lighter rod in murky water when fishing heavily pressured waters. A Mojo-rigged plastic lizard dragged along the bottom with a spinning rod is one of my favorite finesse tactics for catching prespawn and spawning bass in murky waters. Martens continually catches bigguns on his spinning outfit.

With increasing fishing pressure and more tournaments being held each year on clear Northern waters, I am seening the pros use spinning gear more now than ever before. Touring pro Aaron Martens has won a lot of tournaments and placed in numerous events employing a spinning rod. One of his latest wins was a Major League Fishing event at Table Rock Lake where he fished a drop-shot rig on a spinning rod and collected a $100,000 check.

So I can see why many tournament anglers now consider these rods as money makers.

Updated December 16th, 2021 at 3:51 AM CT