Best Striper Rods of 2019 – Complete Round-up

Striped bass, commonly known as striper, is a super fun fish to hunt nowadays.

They’ve been a popular catch for centuries, and the feeling of accomplishment that results from pulling in a huge bass remains.

This article will walk through some awesome rod options that can assist in reeling in your next striper. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Striper Rods

Product

Our Rating

Price

​UglyStik GX2 Casting Rod

Ugly Stik USCA662MH Casting Rod

Best Overall

​Ugly Stik Tiger Elite Spinning Fishing Rod

Ugly Stik Tiger Elite Spinning Fishing Rod

Runner-up

​Okuma Classic Pro GLT

Okuma Classic Pro GLT Downrigger Rod (8-20 Lbs, 7-Feet 6-Inch, Medium-Light)

Best for the Money

​Sabiki Fishing Rod Bait Rod

​Ugly Stik Striper Round Combo

Ugly Stik Striper Round Combo

Are All Striper Rods The Same? 

While it may seem like striper rods are very similar, it’s not true! All bass can be caught on several different types of rods. It really depends on an angler’s personal preference and skill set. Some of the most commonly used rods for striper fishing are spinning, baitcasting, and trolling rods. 

Spinning Rods

Spinning rods are made to be used in conjuncture with a spinning reel. They come in all shapes and sizes but tend to be a little more flexible and shorter than a casting rod. Spinning rods are created for buttery smooth, long casts on fresh and saltwater. 

Baitcasting Rods

Baitcasting rods are a common choice for anglers with a little more experience in the fishing world. They’re used with a baitcasting reel which takes quite a bit of practice to master. When used correctly they can provide incredible control and power when reeling in a big ole’ bass. 

Trolling Rods 

While not as common as the previous rods, trolling rods are a popular pick for offshore ocean and freshwater anglers. They tend to be a little more heavy-duty, created to handle fish of all sizes. These rods can be stuck in a rod holder and hung off the back of a boat for easy bass fishing. 

Why Are These the Best of the Year? 

We did the research to find the best Striper rods this year, but you may be wondering— how did we choose? Great striper rods will follow a similar pattern in terms of quality and features. Most, if not all, great bass rods will take the following into consideration:

Length 

A great striper rod will be somewhere between seven and nine feet in length. The length of a rod will contribute to the control an angler has as well as the casting distance.  Shorter rods work a little better in close water situations while longer rods can provide mile-long casts. 

Power

The power basically has to do with the stiffness of the rod. Stiffer rods are great when it comes to hunting huge fish, but can reduce the amount of sensitivity. For striper, one of the best versatile power levels to go for is medium or medium-heavy as it will provide the strength needed to pull in fish without compromising sensitivity. 

Action

Action corresponds with a rod’s flexibility. Slower actions will bend more with a fish on the line. The best action for striper rods will be between moderate and fast action as it provides added sensitivity.

Quick Take - The Best Striper Rods

Review of the Best Striper Rods

In honor of all the dedicated striper anglers out there, we’ve put together a list of the top striper rods of 2019. Check it out! 

Ugly Stik USCA662MH Casting Rod

Pros

  • Cool Design
  • Quality Construction
  • Durable Stainless Steel Guides
  • Graphite and Fiberglass Composite
  • Strong Without Compromising Sensitivity

Cons

  • Handle is Too Short
  • Too Stiff For Some Tastes
  • Rod Can Be Uncomfortable on the Wrists

What Recent Buyers Report

UglyStik is a reliable company for many anglers, and the majority of those who purchased the GX2 have owned an UglyStik in the past. Buyers were impressed by its high-quality construction and materials and are continually surprised by the strength. The main complaint among buyers is that it’s not a comfortable rod to use for lengthy fishing trips— the short handle can be hard on the wrists and hands.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The UglyStik GX2 earns a spot on our list because it emulates the saying, “simple but effective.” The company took time and care constructing the design of this baitcaster and it shows in production. The graphite and fiberglass composite is a construction that is great for a variety of angling.

Who Will Use This Most

The GX2 line is a good pick for the more advanced anglers who are planning on chasing after big fish. While the rod is fairly sensitive, it really shines in terms of sheer power. It’s great for pulling in big ones.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the UglyStick GX2 is an ultra-reliable rod that we would recommend to any angler in the baitcasting world. It’s a no-frills design that leans on strength and durability to make catches. This is a great pick for anglers looking to step up their game.

Ugly Stik Tiger Elite Spinning Fishing Rod

Pros

  • Very Sensitive Tip
  • Durable and Long Lasting
  • Comfortable in the Hand
  • Awesome Value For the Price
  • Created With High-Quality Materials

Cons

  • Won’t Cast Very Far With Light Lures
  • Some Buyer’s Line Guides Are Misaligned
  • Not a Very Versatile Length Range To Choose From

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers who went for the UglyStik Tiger Elite spinning rod were wowed by its performance in more ways than one. The main praises for this rod had to do with the sensitivity of the tip and the durable, long-lasting construction. Some users complained about the line-guide design, but for the most part, the feedback was very positive.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We’re huge fans of UglyStik. It’s a reliable brand and the products they put out are consistently high-quality and high-performing. The Tiger Elite rod is no different. We love the sensitivity this line of rods provides and the fact that it is virtually indestructible. It also comes at a super reasonable price.

Who Will Use This Most

If we were to recommend this rod to anyone, it would be a beginner. This is an awesome rod to start out on fishing for striper. It’s a spinning rod, so there is virtually no learning curve to master, and although the limited size range may be a con for more expert anglers, for beginners it makes the choice super simple.

Bottom Line

Overall, the UglyStik Tiger Elite rods are a great choice for beginners or any angler who wants a simple but effective spinning rod to pull in their next striper. This rod is the perfect combination of strength and sensitivity.

Best for the Money:
​ Okuma Classic Pro GLT

Okuma Classic Pro GLT Downrigger Rod (8-20 Lbs, 7-Feet 6-Inch, Medium-Light)

Pros

  • Great Action
  • Excellent Value For a Low Price
  • Powerful Enough For Large Fish
  • Sturdy Without Compromising Flexibility
  • A Versatile Range of Rod Styles To Choose From

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Guide Eyes Could Be Bigger
  • The Butt Section is Too Long

What Recent Buyers Report

The buyer feedback for the Okuma Classic Pro GLT was positive overall. Anglers were very pleased with the low price of this rod and appreciated the action, sturdy backbone and power is provided on the water. Some thought there were minor design flaws with the size of the butt section and line guides.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This wouldn’t be a complete list without a budget pick, and Okuma is a great company for affordable fishing products. They’ve made a commitment to accessibility and they do a great job of not compromising quality along the way. The Classic Pro GLT is one of our faves because of the exceptional power it provides for anglers hunting big fish.

Who Will Use This Most

This rod is our budget pick, so first and foremost, this would be an incredible choice for anglers who want a high-quality rod at a super reasonable price. This is also a great choice for anglers who want something powerful enough that won’t crack under the pressure of a couple of trophy fish.

Bottom Line

Aside from some design flaws, the Classic Pro GLT is a super reliable pick for anglers of all fishing styles. Whether you want a spinning rod or a trolling rod, this line has got you covered with the strength and consistency needed to pull in fish after fish.

Pros

  • Sleek Design
  • Powerful Action
  • Long Casting Ability
  • Great Control on the Water
  • Durable Materials Used in Construction

Cons

  • Difficult To Use
  • Rod Butt is an Awkward Length
  • Tough To Feed the Initial Line Through

What Recent Buyers Report

The Sabiki bait rod drew a line in the sand between buyers— those who learned how to thread the initial line through were pretty satisfied, and those who couldn’t were quite frustrated. Users commented that this has a learning curve, but were happy with the action and overall performance of this baitcasting rod on the water.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This particular rod earned a spot on our list for several different reasons. It’s got a unique design with internal guides to prevent line tangles, which we thought was interesting and beneficial. It also provides awesome action, a must-have for fishing striper. We also appreciate the durable construction.

Who Will Use This Most

This rod from Sabiki is more suited towards the experienced angler. It’s quite tough to learn how to thread the initial line through and it can only be used with baitcasting reels, which have a sizable learning curve associated with them. But for those with experience, this rod can provide excellent action and control.

Bottom Line

Although this is a tough rod to use initially, with a little practice, it can provide serious control and reliable performance, a combination that often results in angling success. Don’t let the difficulty turn you off— ask a sporting goods store employee help you thread it the first time.

Ugly Stik Striper Round Combo

Pros

  • Well-Balanced
  • Great Price For the Value
  • Very Sturdy Construction
  • Smooth Casting and Retrieval
  • Powerful Backbone, Great For Pulling in Larger Fish

Cons

  • Rod Outshines the Reel Quality
  • Length is a Little Long For Some
  • Line Guides Need Improvement

What Recent Buyers Report

Those who purchased this UglyStik combo were big fans of the rod but thought the reel could use some improvements. Buyers appreciated the durability of the UglyStik rod, which they thought easily stood up to the company’s high standards. Although the combo was balanced, some buyers thought the reel could have better features, like a higher-quality drag system.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Another UglyStik product makes an appearance on our list— not a surprise, eh? This combo earned major points from us because we loved the melding of a super sturdy, powerful rod with a reel that provides super smooth, long casts. This is a convenient, cost-effective pick, and therefore, a worthy contender for a top-notch striper rod list.

Who Will Use This Most

Combos are an awesome pick for anglers who want a “one and done” purchase for fishing striper. This particular combo from UglyStik is an awesome pick because it is super well balanced which provides excellent control and casting. It’s a pretty versatile combo, so this is also a nice choice for anglers who want an all-around quality rod.

Bottom Line

If you’re in the mood to just buy one product for striper, this combo is a great option for you. With excellent balance, easy operation, and incredible durability, UglyStik has done it again! Are you surprised? No, neither are we.

Perks of Getting a New Rod

We know that purchasing a brand new rod can be daunting. They’re not always cheap and it’s a huge commitment. But rather than going for the cheapest rod that’s available, think about the pros of purchasing a higher-quality, new rod. 

Quality

For the most part, rods that are a little more spendy tend to be more thoughtfully made. It’s not a great idea to go for a rod that has lots of plastic parts that can break easily. Quality will shine through in the materials that are used and the look and feel of the rod. 

Durability

It is no fun to take a rod out to the water for the first time and have it snap on you. This situation is much more likely with cheaper rods. If you splurge on a rod that is a little higher quality, you’ll spend less time and money in the long run. 

Ease of Use

As mentioned above, quality-made rods tend to be more thoughtfully crafted. This usually results in special features that can make the angling process a lot more fun and comfortable. 

Conclusion

Now that you know the best of the best striper rods, there’s nothing stopping you from pulling in that next giant bass. Don’t forget that quality always trumps a low price, so don’t be afraid to splurge on your purchase. Good luck, and happy fishing! 

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