Squarebills are one of those lures that you should be throwing enough to have a rod devoted to it if you’re serious about fishing. They catch fish almost all year long, with winter being the only time I’m unlikely to be throwing squarebills.
They also require a unique rod because you want something that can cast light lures but also fling them a mile and be easy to use.
Some people might think a spinning rod is the obvious answer – and you can certainly do that. But look at the pros. Do they use spinning rods for any crankbait? Nope, they use baitcasters.
The difference the pros use is they have rods meant for squarebills, specifically glass casting rods like the St. Croix Mojo Bass Glass Casting Rod – my choice for the absolute best rod for squarebill crankbaits.
What is a glass fishing rod?
Glass rods are unique because of the material used in the blank. Everything else about them is the same as you would expect in any other rod. And while they are typically referred to as “glass”, they actually made from varying different types of fiberglass, e-glass, or s-glass. But really – all glass rods have very similar characteristics when compared to anything else.
So what is it about a glass rod that makes it perfect for crankbaits? They are more flexible than graphite or any other material that you commonly see fishing rods made from.
This flexibility is ideal for crankbaits because you need something that loads up on the cast and can absorb fish when they bite. Think of your fishing pole like a whip – the strength of your cast is based on how much you bend the pole back when you cast it. If it’s like a broomstick you get no bend and therefore no distance. If it’s nice and flexible, which a glass pole is, you can get all that momentum built up and really fling your bait a mile.
When a fish bites a squarebill you don’t need a stiff rod to actually hook the fish. Unlike many lures, squarebills come with two sets of treble hooks. This means instead of one point of contact you would have with normal lures – you have six chances of contact. You don’t need to set the hook home because you just have so many opportunities to hook a fish.
Also, they are open hooks and the bass is likely to hit it hard on the move. There is nothing to get in the way of the fish’s lips and the hook – so a hard hookset isn’t needed. Most of the time they’ll hook themselves and you just need to keep tension. Which, by the way, a super flexible pole is great for keeping tighter tension as you have more flex to play with.
All of these add up to one thing – a glass rod is simply the best thing you can buy for squarebills. And I really like the St. Croix Mojo Bass Glass Casting Rod.
Baitcaster v. spinning for crankbaits
There are really two main reasons to use baitcasters for squarebills. Improving accuracy and decreasing the time between casts.
Accuracy is probably the most straightforward. Once you get good with a baitcaster, read this article to learn more about that, you can pinpoint casts pretty easily. Bass don’t really roam waters all that often. They usually stay tight to cover or structure under the water waiting for prey to come by so they can attack.
So if a bass is sitting on a dock piling, they want the bait to be within a foot or two of the piling they are sitting on. This is the ideal location for them to hide and strike quickly. They don’t want to go chasing small baitfish in open water – it’s a much harder meal. They don’t know your crankbait isn’t going to dart off before it even gets there.
So accuracy is extremely important, as you might need to put your crankbait within a few foot circle to get bites. A spinning rod is much harder to control your accuracy and distance on. Use a baitcaster to make sure you can get it right in the area you want to catch the most fish.
Another underlooked factor for why baitcasters are the rod of choice is that you can cast much more quickly. Think about the throwing motion of a spinning rod vs. a baitcaster. Spinning rods you click the bailiff, hold the line, fling it, make sure the line sits, click the bailiff back, and start fishing. A baitcaster you push a button, cast, and reel.
You can save a couple seconds on every cast when you use a baitcaster. Which seems minimal, until you realize you make hundreds if not thousands of casts every day. So lets say you are just going to spend a morning fishing – that’s probably about 500 casts at a minimum. Lets say you save just 3 seconds by using a baitcaster instead of a spinning rod each cast. Over the entire morning, you would have saved 25 minutes that you could have been fishing using a baitcaster. Crazy isn’t it?
So use a baitcaster for squarebills because you’ll get more casts in less time and you’ll be more accurate with the casts you do make. Remember, bass fishing is a numbers game. Even professionals only actually catch a bass on maybe 1% of casts. Increasing the number of casts is important to catching more fish.
Why the St. Croix Mojo Glass Casting Rod
Now you know why a baitcaster, and why a glass rod. Last thing to answer is why the St. Croix Mojo Glass Casting Rod?
The reason I recommend this over any other squarebill rod is because its price to performance is top notch. The Mojo series from St. Croix in particular is a great lineup providing the same performance other rod companies offer for $50 above the St. Croix price. So you could by a $300 crankbait specialty rod. But frankly it won’t be much better than the St. Croix Mojo Glass rod, so instead spend that money on a bunch of new crankbaits!
St. Croix is maybe the most trusted rod brand in bass fishing, read this article to learn more about that. They also have great customer service and warranty programs, so you don’t have to worry about your investment as this rod comes with a 5 year warranty. Which frankly, with St. Croix I’ve never had to actually cash in on, but it’s nice to have just in case.
The St. Croix Mojo Glass also comes with a ton of upgraded features including Kigan Master Hand 3D guides for smoother casting. A Fuji reel seat for extra comfort and durability. Split grip cork design – generally the most preferred option for most fishing situations. Two coats of Flex Coat, needed for the repetitive use this rod will get. And a 100% linear S-glass blank that means it won’t break as easily like some glass rods can.
Your two best models for squarebills is going to be the MGC72MM or MGC610MM. The difference is simply that one is 7 foot 2 inches long, the other is 6 foot 10 inches long. Both have medium/moderate actions which is exactly what you want for squarebills. So just pick whichever length matches your style. Remember that shorter rod won’t cast as far, but is more accurate. So do you want accuracy or distance? Pick the longer rod for distance, shorter rod for accuracy.
Thanks for reading and follow us on our socials below to keep in the loop on all new fishing equipment and bass fishing guides as we publish them. Also remember to visit Bass Pro Shops for all your fishing needs, as every purchase through our website gives us additional money at no cost to you so we can provide more helpful guides, reviews and information.
If you read the whole article, let us know below what you found helpful. And tell us what your favorite squarebill crankbait color is? An article on ours is upcoming shortly!