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Bass Fishing Rod Action – What Does It Mean?

After all these years of bass fishing, when you get down to the nitty-gritty of it, I realize one thing; I have no idea what in the hell the rod action means for a bass fishing rod.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, should you make a purchase by clicking through – and using – one of them, I will receive a commission on any of those sales.

I know what feels good in the hand. And I know whether a rod has enough ‘backbone’ to wench them out of thick grass. Or that I can feel the thump thump vibration of slow-rolling a spinnerbait.

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay 

However, those descriptions don’t necessarily describe action qualities (in my mind at least) but more about rod power.

I’ll cover rod power in a future article.

First, let’s learn about rod action.

Since all of a rod’s power is in the butt section, it is important to understand where and how that power decreases along the rod as you move away toward the tip.

For this article, and according to my knowledge, there are essentially 4 categories of rod action:

  • Slow
  • Moderate
  • Fast
  • X-Fast

Bass Fishing Rod Action – Slow

I’ll start off with the action I am the least familiar with, slow.

Come to think of it, I don’t have any slow-action rods.

Slow action rods tend to bend all the way down the rod towards the butt. I immediately think about smaller ultra-light underspin styles of rods (although I don’t personally have any of them or the figures on any at this time).

Bass Fishing Rod Action – Moderate

With Moderate action rods, the flex is more towards the center of the rod.

Many Crankbait rods are moderate action which allows the treble hooks to stay in place when using a lighter action hook set.

Moderate action rods can be more forgiving since their flex takes place in the middle section.
I don’t do a lot of Crankbait fishing so I don’t have a personal preference to recommend. However, Lew’s KVD Composite Cranking Rod looks like a good one.

Bass Fishing Rod Action – Fast

A Fast action rod is probably the most universal and widespread out of all the actions for the reason it’s great for most bass fishing applications.

Where Slow and Moderate action rods flex from the middle to essentially the butt, Fast action rods flex in the top 3rd area from the tip down.

Bass Fishing Rod Action – X-Fast

The Extra-Fast action rod is the one I like and use the most.

I’m mostly – 90% of the time at least – a Jig and/or Worm fisherman (for better or worse).

X-Fast action rods have a more sensitive tip and quicker power for those single hook baits and lure hook sets. (I’m looking at purchasing a Denali Lithium Flippin’ Casting Rod, 7′ 6″, Extra-Heavy for my next jig rod.)

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There you have it, a high-level overview of bass fishing rod actions. Feel free to post comments below so everyone in the bass fishing community can learn more about bass fishing rod actions.

Thank you for reading

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