Rods & Reels for Spotted Bass

Choosing a Fishing Rod for Spotted Bass

When choosing a fishing rod for spotted bass, the most important thing to consider is, "Where are the fish?" The spotted bass is a very structure-oriented fish, but as you know, structure is different in various water bodies, whether it is rock piles in deep water or large tree roots near the edge of a deep lake.

Bridge fishing for spotted bass.

A Spinning Rod and Reel for Spotted Bass Fishing

For many fishermen, spinning tackle is a good overall type of gear than can be used in every situation. They tend to be a bit easier than other types of fishing reels when it comes to working a lure, such as a soft plastic worm or crayfish, making it come alive with very subtle and distinct movements. Since spotted bass are most commonly found between 1-to-5 pounds, a light or medium reel may be all that you need.

Spinning reel for catching spotted bass. A light or medium spinning reel is perfect for catching spotted bass. Image taken from Fluegerfishing.com

The “Perfect” Spinning Rod and Reel for Spotted Bass:

  • A 6-foot spinning rod with fast action. When working soft plastic lures like worms, crayfish, or fish, a fast action will allow you to control the lure with finesse, and will also allow you to feel the bite better.
  • A light or medium spinning reel. Spotted bass reach a maximum size of around 10 pounds, so depending on the size the fish you find (they tend to school), either a light or medium reel with 4-to-10 pound test-line will work fine.
  • A Spinning reel with a fast (high) gear ratio. Spotted bass are aggressive fish, which means that many casts and fast retrievals will bring more bites. The higher the gear ratio, the faster you can retrieve the lure.

Using Conventional Rods and Reels for Spotted Bass

Although spotted bass only reach a maximum size of around 10 pounds, it is very important to point out that they are hard structure-orienting, as opposed to their cousin the largemouth bass, which prefers more of a vegetative structure. For this reason alone, conventional tackle will help land more big fish. Conventional reels allow you to have more leverage against the fish, and it helps you pull fish away from those structures, avoiding getting pulled between some rocks or ledges, cutting the line.

Spotted bass conventional reel. Conventional reels like the one shown here will help you pull fish out of hard structures - an important fact for the structure-loving spotted bass. Image taken from fish.Shimano.com

The Perfect Conventional Rod for Spotted Bass would be:

  • A 6-foot casting rod with fast action. Similar to a spinning rod, a fast action conventional rod will allow you to work the lures with more finesse, and feel the bite better than a slower action rod.
  • A light or medium-sized conventional reel. While conventional reels give you more leverage over the fish, they put more tension on the line, so put the heaviest line on your light reel, or a modest 8-pound test line on a medium reel to avoid tension breaks.
  • A fast (high) gear ratio reel. A faster gear ratio will allow you to retrieve the lures faster and easier even if you want a slow retrieval (just reel slower!).

A General Comment about Spotted Bass Tackle

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that the spotted bass is a structure-oriented fish, so just be sure to appropriately prepare for getting the fish away from those structures. Conventional tackle tends to help with this, but a decent medium spinning reel with 8-to-10 pound test-line will also work fine for the majority of the fish.

The Online Fisherman

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