Cheap Vs. Expensive – Best Fishing Rods

Before you buy new fishing rods check out this video! What are you really getting for your money? Are all of these different rods worth it or are some a better value? Matt explains his 4 favorite rod lines (from cheap to expensive) and what sets each one apart.

When choosing the best rod lines to invest your money Matt used the follow criteria… How sensitive are the rods? How consistent is the entire line? Do they make enough models to cover the average angler’s needs? Is this the best all-around rod in its class?

Dobyns Colt Series:

The Colt is a great line of rods in the $80 price range. They cover all of your basic techniques with fairly slow actions that will help you land fish. Quality is excellent for the price and best of all, they seem to be consistent.

Standout Models…
7′ Medium spinning- All around finesse
7′ Medium Heavy Crankbait – lipless and deep cranks
7′ Heavy- jigs, Texas rigs, small swimbaits

Dobyns Fury Series:

The Fury line covers everything from finesse to giant swimbaits. Its a true “do everything” line of rods and you can do if for $120 a piece. These are fantastic rods for the price which some great models to choose from.

StandOut Models…
-7′ Medium Spinning – Finesse Fishing
-7′ Medium heavy – all around
-7’3″ Extra Heavy – Frogging
-8′ Heavy- Big Swimbaits and Glidebaits

Shimano Expride:

The Expride is currently our favorite rod line on the market. They’re incredibly light and sensitive and perform along side rods that cost nearly twice their price. At $279, these rods are amazing!

Standout Models…
-7′ Light + Spinning- Dropshot, Ned Rig, Tubes
-7’2″ Medium Heavy- All Around topwater, Texas rigs, reaction
-7’3″ Extra Heavy- Frog fishing
-7’11” Extra Heavy- Best Flipping Stick On The Market (at any price)

G Loomis NRX:

The NRX is the industry standard for sensitivity and ultra light performance. These rods are second to none and offer a variety of amazing models. If you’re looking for high-end performance that you can rely on year after year, the NRX is for you!

Stand Out Models…
– 802S JWR: Light Dropshot and Ned Rig
– 852C JWR: Shaky Head, small keitech, worms, finesse
-853C JWR: Light Jigs, Texas Rigs
-894C JWR: Heavy Jigs, Texas Rigs, Jig Head Swimbaits, big spinnerbaits

Matching Reels…
-Casitas 150:
-Curado 200K:
-Chronarch MGL:
-Metanium MGL:

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Craig Vaughn says:

I think for those of us on a budget you are spot on with the Fury! I have 6-8 different $100-$200 rods and the fury takes the cake. I started building rods last year and I can’t build a rod that nice for the price.

Jeremy Erdman says:

I’m curious if I could get away with throwing the S-Waver on the 7′ MH Fury Casting model?

Kigai11 says:

I have 2 of the dobyns and they are nice rods, I have to fish on a budget so good rods for a cheap price is right up my alley, if I bought a 500.00 rod and then another 400.00 on a reel at 900.00 that’s is ludacris for a man on a middle class salary that likes to fish. I’m still having fun on my cheap gear and catching fish. Great video as always very informative

Thomas Kasekamp says:

Hi guys, are you going to do any black friday specials that you recommend?

Bass slayer says:

Buy Powell’s , best rods out

taizer says:

this is coming from a random fisherman. I have bought in the past 400 dollar g loomis rods and many cheaper rods. And honestly sometimes the cheapest rods are way more sensitive, imo you are buying the name 100%. All the rods for 500$ are overpriced. In fact the gloomis glx rods I had were pretty shitty. I have used abu garcia veritas alot and many of the 13 fishing lineup along with carbonlite from basspro. also have used berkley and st.croix rods. The carbonlite rods were by far the lightest rods and most sensitive because of that. A light rod will be sensitive and vice versa. Put 25oz on any rod and it wont be sensitive. The sensitivity difference is so mynute that it will never make a difference. Unless you are using some fiberglass uglystick they are perform good. if Berkley made their lightning rods in specific sizes then Id buy only those. they are 40$ and will compare to any 500 dollar rod. Also the carbonlite rods are very good but they have a reputation for snapping because they are so light. I have yet to use okuma but heard good things, some of their rods have lifetime warranty too

Also used 15$ gander rods and those rods were feather lite and were so sensitive I use them primarily now for dropshot. Yes they are 10x more sensitive then any gloomis rod. They are built with very little material which is why they are so sensitive but I have never snapped one yet. I have since bought about 10 of those rods and use them for perch and walleye and bass dropshot.

These rods companies sell are so overpriced its crazy. they spend 5 dollars on the blank and 5 dollars on guides. every rod they build cost them maybe 15$.

Justin Echlin says:

You guys rock…I love this channel..

John Strand says:

I for one am sick of the way that modern rods are being constructed. Many feel good for the first few months but I could swear that the tubular rods are trash that get brittle in the sun. I have now had St Croixs, Carbonlites, Abu Garcia Veritas, and Loomis and two Tsunamis all fold over like a melting candle, either while trolling a crank or simply casting.
I have not tried a Dobbins. Anybody had one break like an eggshell?

Grey Graham says:

You remind me of Shawn dawson

Ross Best says:

I need a durable rod, I thought that ugly stick were durable as it seems they boast strength but I’m getting 10years and they are done. Whereas I have others 40+years old still going.

Jason Bourne says:

How about kastking rod? Also under $80 on amazon

James Corsiglia says:

I own a number of St. Croix premier rods. I like them and and feel a lot of the bites. How does the sensitivity of these compare to others like the Expride?

Joshua Corns says:

Everyone on their “buy an ugly stick” rant, if you fish as much as these guys do its not gonna cut it. This is truly a get what you pay for scenario. A low end fishing rod is going to be almost twice as heavy and nearly half as sensitive. Theres a divide here, if you only fish occasionally sure get and ugly stick and be done with it. If you spend tons of time on the water your investments will be justified by comfort, all day fishability, increased sensistivity, and sheer enjoyment .

miguel sanchez says:

ON 10-2-18 I Just picked up a “Dobyns Fury series 735 C” on sale at Academy normally 110 bucks got it for 80 they’re on clearance guys I got it 2 days ago and yes it’s every bit as nice as everybody says!!! Hope some of your other guys can also score on them before they’re gone, good luck!

Alan Crump says:

Hey TacticalBassin, you should check out Piscifun’s reels and rods.  I have several and love them.  Nice Quality for the money.  I would love to see you guys try them and do a review on them.

Roddin n'Reelin says:

Everyone commenting about cheap, $30 rods. You get what you pay for, I went from fishing those rods when I first got into bass fishing and working my way up and notice a huge difference in every aspect of the rods. When you’re talking about serious fishing and fishing bottom baits when the fishing is slow, a higher dollar rod for finesse and what not is extremely important.
From experience I would never take an under $80 rod ever again with the amount of fish missed, lost and what not from crap rods not being able to pin fish properly or not being able to feel light bites and what not.
Sure a cheap rod and reel combo is always “efficient” for beginners, but high end rods are worth it in most cases. The new Dobyns Xtasy rod for example, I could feel every single change in the bottom while running a texas rig worm off a drop off, and the fish were being picky and could easily tell when they bumped it or took a nip at it, compared to a much cheaper same action rod. Setting the hook was much more efficient and the short strikes or quick lipping were producing fish.

Slipsch says:

@TacticalBassin How do the Bantam Rods perform as compared to the Expride Rods?

Gx Goy says:

I was lucky enough to find a Dobyns Champion Extreme on sale for around $275. Its like holding a feather and the sensitivity is literally mind blowing.

Ezra Baier says:

I don’t know if you’ve tried them, but I would like to see y’all do reviews on favorites brand!!!

Tracy Cardwell says:

You can find good rods for 150 to 100 shimano crucial . Nobody needs to buy a 500 rod for bass fishing Gloomis are a rip off over priced !!! iROD, shimano,st croix diawa light and tough rods If you cant feel a bite or the bottom unless you buy a 500$ rod you got problems buddy. Lol

Adam Turner says:

Ugly stiks are my choice of rods

Billy Tarpon says:


Fatboi Fishing says:

You guys should try out some favorite fishing rods, I’m curious about them.

Vandy Niyomkham says:

nothing beats g loomis, but the GX2 is the best budget rod you will ever need.

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