Four Great Fishing Rods for Freshwater

A new fishing rod can improve your catch rate.
Top fishing rods for freshwater
Selecting a new fishing rod can be exciting and help you catch more fish. Courtesy Lamiglas, PureFishing, St. Croix, Kastking

Lamiglas Walleye Closer

Lamiglas is one of the oldest, most prestigious names in fine tackle, and its Closer series of spinning jig rods is targeted to savvy walleye anglers—and savvy walleye. The notoriously subtle bite requires the utmost in concentration and sensitivity of equipment to detect a hit. Because walleye often bite as the lure is descending, the Lamiglas Closer series is designed to help anglers feel the bite on the drop. The rods do it with high-modulus graphite that transmits the slightest vibration from the hook to the woven CFX graphite handles. Guides are extra-large to prevent icing in cold climates because, well, walleye seem to like the nastiest weather. A 5.8-foot, 6-foot and 6-foot-3-inch are best when spooled with 15-pound-test braided line for working jigs from 1/4- to 1-ounce. $279.99;

Ugly Stik G2X

The Ugly Stik lives on, and bass fear the G2X series. In its founding years in the ’70s, the Ugly Stik was portrayed as just that—like a brute, tough, invincible, and anglers loved them and their economical price. Its design might be retro, but its technology is proven over decades. Premium fiberglass and carbon fiber are blended, and the rod tip is the classic clear glass that can take punishment, sometimes as extreme as being stepped on or shut in doors. This legacy ­baitcasting rod has an EVA pistol grip shaped to balance a reel in the integrated grip seat. Guides are stainless steel, won’t chip and won’t rust. It’s available in lengths from 5 feet, 6 inches to 7 feet in actions from medium-light to heavy. At this writing, a ladies-model G2X spinning line is available in several actions and at bargain prices from $24.95. $49.95;

St. Croix Mojo TRIGON Rods

Made in the USA is the first thing we like about St. Croix rods. A reputation for quality, strength, balance and sensitivity are four more attributes we admire. St. Croix built the Trigon series with layers of SCIII carbon fiber and SCVI exotic carbon fiber. The SCIII balances strength and weight, while the higher-modulus SCVI carbon fiber adds fast action and sensitivity, traits usually found only in more-expensive rods. Split-cork and EVA grips provide an angler connection with light taps transmitted through the tip. Guides with stainless-steel frames and tough, slippery aluminum-oxide inserts resist line wear. Models are available in 6 foot-6-inch to 8-foot-3-inch casting rods and 6-foot-8-inch to 7-foot-10-inch spinning rods. $170 to $190 (spinning); $175 to $279 (casting);

Kastking Assegai Bass Rods

Kastking nailed it with the Assegai series of technique-­focused rods. They are sleek, beautiful in appearance, and more lethal in application. Choose a model for jerkbaits with the ideal tip action to make it dance. Models for cranking, spinning, finessing and more will help you choose the exact rod for the application. These rods have six layers of graphite for ultimate sensitivity and hook-setting backbone. A white finish integrates nicely with tangle-free K-frame guides that minimize friction as mono or braid passes through. Split grips let anglers keep their hands on the pulse of the line, detecting the softest strikes. Twelve casting styles and three spinning models cover every pro tactic on the water, from jigs, jerkbaits and ­crankbaits to pitching and finessing the lightest lures. $159.99;