5 Best Fishing Rods for Smallmouth Buffalo (Reviews Updated 2021)

The smallmouth buffalo is the most popular commercial fish and comes as a medium-large species that is often mistaken for the carp. With an average length and weight of 20’’ and 40 lbs. respectively, they are decent challengers and choosing the right fishing rod to reel one in should be done properly. The ideal fishing rod for smallmouth buffalo should be able to withstand the reeling strain, should be lightweight, sensitive, very durable, and shouldn’t cost a fortune.

Best Fishing Rods for Smallmouth Buffalo

We have compiled a list of fishing rods for smallmouth buffalo that check all these boxes and stand above the vast options on the market.

1. B’n’M Sam Heaton Fishing Rod

B'n'm Sam Heaton Fishing Rod

As expected for smallmouth buffalo, this long rod has a length of 11 ft, and its body is made from IM-6 graphite, ensuring that is lightweight. For smoother and more accurate casting, the rod is equipped with brass-plated aluminum oxide guides. To diminish the stress faced by anglers, the rod has a Portuguese cork handle, and its sensitivity makes it easy to know when catch make contact.

  • Comfortable cork handle.
  • 2-piece build.
  • High sensitivity.
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2. Okuma Battle Spinning Rod

Okuma Battle Spinning Rod

The Okuma Battle rod features an E-Glass blank construction ensuring that it is both strong and durable. The rod’s heavy power makes it strong enough to hold on to smallmouth buffalo, and it is boosted by its heavy-duty hook keeper made from stainless steel. At the rod’s rear, there is a slip-resistant cork grip, and casting accuracy is boosted by the double-foot welded stainless-steel guides.

  • Comfortable EVA fore grip.
  • 10 ft long rod.
  • 2-piece build.
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3. Fiblink Surf Spinning Rod

Fiblink 4 Piece Surf Spinning & Casting Fishing Rod

The carbon fiber construction of this rod delivers heightened sensitivity and makes it powerful enough to handle smallmouth buffalo. Along the body of the rod are guides that are made from stainless steel and ceramic, and which eliminate friction and improve the smoothness and accuracy of casts. Also, the rod’s handle is made from slip-resistant rubber shrink tube, and the rod’s reel seat comes with stainless-steel hood transitions.

  • 4-piece build.
  • 11 ft rod length.
  • Medium-heavy power.
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4. Okuma Longitude Surf Graphite Rods

Okuma Longitude Surf Graphite Rods

The body of the Okuma Longitude rod is a graphite composite blank, making it sturdy, while remaining sensitive enough to detect light bites. In order to keep the fishing line steady and straight, there are double-footed stainless-steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts along the body of the rod. The heavy power of the rod ensures that its strength is sufficient to overcome large-sized smallmouth buffalo.

  • 12 ft rod length.
  • Non-slip fore and rear grips.
  • Stainless-steel reel seats.
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Rods for Smallmouth Buffalo Buying Guide

When targeting fairly large species like smallmouth buffalo, the performance specifications of the fishing rod become very important. While your reel sure does the work of playing tug of war with your catch, the fishing rod provides all the support and is the battle stage in some way.

We have given you a rundown of the best rods for smallmouth buffalo that stand above most options based on their specified features and tested performance. We will now give you an outline of the deciding factors you should put into consideration when comparing a set of rods for smallmouth buffalo to ensure you end up with the best option.

Rod Type

The first thing you want to consider is the type of fishing rod for smallmouth buffalo you want to go for. Most anglers go for spinning rods because of their convenience and exceptional versatility. Baitcasting rods will work with baitcasting reels to give you some extra reeling power and more accurate casts of heavier lures.

Rod Length

Rods for smallmouth buffalo stand out with their impressive lengths. The ideal rod for smallmouth buffalo will usually sit anywhere between 10 and 12’. This helps increase the rod’s sensitivity for the required power ratings. The longer the rod, the farther you can make casts.

Rod Power and Action

The power and action ratings on your fishing rod for smallmouth buffalo is another important factor set to consider. The ideal fishing rod for smallmouth buffalo should come with medium/heavy to heavy power to ensure enough strain capacity. It should also come with fast action to improve sensitivity.


A major problem that arises with the superior lengths typical of rods for smallmouth buffalo is the diminished portability. To compensate for this, you want a rod that comes in a multi-piece or telescopic configuration for carrying convenience and is very easy to set up.