Skipping jigs under docks is one of the most rewarding ways to catch trophy bass. Fish that hand out in hard-to-reach areas aren’t used to seeing artificial baits and tend to strike jigs more aggressively.
Anglers that skip jigs frequently look to build technique-specific rod and reel setups. This guide will discuss the best dock skipping rods of 2022 and the qualities to search for.
We review rods for anglers with all budgets and experience. Whether you’re an aspiring professional angler or occasionally fish for bass, we’ve found the perfect rods for everyone.
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Rod Qualities for Skipping Docks
Before you begin skipping jigs under docks, you’ll want to dial in your gear. Often, you’ll need to adjust your equipment and baitcaster drag before you get to fishing.
This time-consuming process is why many anglers invest in a dock skipping rod. If you have the budget for technique-specific equipment, having a dedicated skipping rod on your boat will save you time and help you cover water quickly.
While general-purpose bass fishing equipment is sufficient, some rod models have superior qualities for dock skipping. Technique-specific skipping poles have better performance, improved control over fish, and will help you make accurate casts.
The best dock skipping rods are 6’8” to 7” long. You don’t want a pole that’s too long, as shorter rods will give you more accuracy for precise castings.
When skipping baits around tight obstacles, a few inches of improved accuracy can make all the difference.
Rods under 6’8” can have better accuracy, but they tend to sacrifice power and leverage while fighting fish. Shorter rods also lack versatility and are a waste of money.
Power and Action
A dock skipping rod needs enough backbone to pull fish into open water quickly. If you hook onto a trophy fish with a weaker rod, the bass could have enough time to swim around a piling and break the line.
Medium-heavy power and fast action rods are the best for dock skipping. While most anglers use casting rods for skipping jigs, spinning rods should also have a medium-heavy power rating.
Rods for Dock Skipping
1. Dobyns Champion XP 683 - Best high-end rod
5 Stars | 3 Angler Reviews
The Dobyns Champion XP 683 is the best dock skipping rod money can buy. As a high-end rod designed for tournament fishing, this pole is loaded with features. This 6’8” medium-heavy fast action rod was designed for fishing jigs and other lures with similar weights.
We found this rod is extremely lightweight for the amount of strength it offers. You can place precise casts, and the reduced weight keeps your wrist from fatiguing. This pole simply has a balanced, dynamic feeling that other brands haven’t figured out.
Dobyns makes some of the best-performing rods in the fishing industry. Many professional anglers have caught tournament-winning fish with this exact blank.
The Champion XP series features a thin modulus graphite blank and simply has the dynamic feeling of professional equipment. We love the Portugal cork grip and Kevlar Wrapping, which is comfortable and gives you more control over your presentation.
A Fuji reel seat and premium line guides transfer the vibrations down the blank. Overall, there isn’t a single thing we would change about the Dobyns Champion XP.
The one downside of the Champion XP is that after using it to skip jigs, you’ll never want to use anything else! Dobyns even includes a lifetime warranty, which protects you from damage and manufacturer defects.
2. Daiwa Tatula Casting Rod - Best value
4.6 Stars | 30 Angler Reviews
If you’re searching for a high-end rod, but don’t want to spend tournament-quality prices, the Daiwa Tatula Casting Rod offers a ton of performance for the price. For under $200, this is one of the best dock skipping rods we’ve ever fished!
While we loved all the rods on this list, the new generation Tatula model is phenomenal. Daiwa improved the graphite blanks by integrating “braiding-x” carbon fiber technology, making the rod lighter and stronger than older models.
Our favorite specification for skipping docks is the 6’10” medium-heavy fast-action rod. This pole is slightly longer than the Dobyns Champion XP but it still has pinpoint accuracy. You can throw baits within an inch of your target on every cast.
The specialized carbon fiber blank technology gives the rod a perfect parabolic curve. It “loads up” well while skipping but has a super-strong backbone for hauling fish into open water.
Other premium components include Fuji’s new FazLite K-guides, significantly reducing line friction. These guides are insanely strong and are designed to prevent braid and fluorocarbon lines from wearing down.
Lastly, the rod has fantastic styling. The Tatula Series has a black coating and partially exposed graphite. The Portuguese cork grips look professional and feel comfortable in your hand.
This rod has a super-car-inspired design. Daiwa also includes a 5-year warranty, so you don’t have to worry about damaging your expensive gear.
3. St. Croix Premier - Best spinning rod
4.6 Stars | 590 Angler Reviews
Talk to any experienced angler about high-quality spinning rods, and the St. Croix brand is sure to get mentioned. The St. Croix Premier is the best spinning rod for dock skipping and has industry-leading performance.
While most anglers prefer baitcasting setups for skipping jigs under docks, spinning rods have their advantages. A spinning rod has a smaller learning curve and gives you more sensitivity. However, casting rods have better accuracy, casting distance, and strength.
If you’re going to skip with a spinning rod, the St. Croix Premier has the best balance between strength, accuracy, and sensitivity. We prefer the shorter 6’6” medium-heavy fast-action rod, as the high-quality construction improves casting distance, even with a shorter length.
The Premier Rod is an affordable model from the St. Croix collection but has many of the same professional-grade components as high-end models. A lightweight SCII graphite blank with advanced Integrated Poly Curve technology makes this rod compete with rods that cost twice the price.
Other premium components include a Fuji graphite reel seat, select-grade cork handles, a Kigan hook-keeper, and Kigan Master Hand 3D guides with aluminum-oxide rings.
The St. Croix Premier is comfortable in your hand, with the dynamic feeling of tournament-rated bass fishing rods.
4. Abu Garcia Veritas - Coolest styling
4.4 Stars | 192 Angler Reviews
The Abu Garcia Veritas may have even cooler aesthetics than the Daiwa Tatula rod. A new generation was recently released, and the rod is now 5% lighter while gaining 15% more strength. We enjoy dock skipping jigs with this pole, and it makes for an excellent technique-specific pole.
Abu Garcia aims to create high-end fishing equipment that doesn’t break the bank. The Veritas rod has perfect weight balance and a futuristic design when paired with a low-profile baitcasting reel.
Our favorite specifications for dock skipping are the 6’9” or 6’10” medium-heavy fast-action models. However, there is also a 7’ model for anglers that prefer longer rods with more versatility.
This pole features a 30-ton carbon fiber blank with a “pencil-thin” design. Abu Garcia incorporated their proprietary Robotically Optimized Casting System guide train, which uses fine-tuned titanium alloy guides and zirconium inserts to improve casting distance.
The EVA split grips are comfortable, but it would be nice to see a version with cork grips. Nonetheless, the handle is balanced and transfers vibrations well.
Lastly, Abu Garcia included a 3-year warranty to support their build-quality claims.
5. Cadence CR7B - Best budget dock skipping rod
4.4 Stars | 195 Angler Reviews
You don’t need to take out a second mortgage to build a technique-specific rod arsenal. The best budget rod for dock skipping is the Cadence CR7B Casting Rod, and you can’t beat it for the money.
While you can’t expect tournament-quality performance for under $100, you can get decent equipment. The CR7B has a lightweight design and comfortable handles that make long hours on the water more enjoyable.
We were surprised by the amount of backbone in this rod because it has plenty of strength to pull 5lb+ bass out from docks quickly. This model also has a balanced weight that gives you more leverage and fish-fighting power.
With a Fuji reel seat and SiC guide inserts, the CR7B is an excellent value for the money. The blank is constructed from 40-ton graphite, with carbon fiber wrapping for added strength and incredible aesthetics.
Our favorite part of this rod is the comfortable handle, made from a combination of cork and EVA materials. The comfort of your rod can significantly affect your fishing experience and give you more confidence in tournaments.
Lastly, Cadence offers a “worry-free” 1-year warranty, which is unexpected for the price. Usually, manufacturers know their budget rods are prone to damage and won’t include a warranty.
6. Dobyns Fury Series - Entry-level Dobyns rod
4.6 Stars | 571 Angler Reviews
If you want the quality of a Dobyns rod but don’t want to pay Champion XP prices, the brand offers entry-level models. The Dobyns Fury Series Rod is an excellent value for the money and effortlessly casts jigs under docks. Like the Champion XP, this Fury model is specifically rated for fishing jigs.
The best part about Dobyns rods is a professional bass angler designed them. After years of tournament fishing, Gary Dobyns wanted to make the best technique-specific rods on the market for a fraction of the price.
With a Fuji reel seat, Kevlar Wrapping, and a Portugal cork grip, this model has many components found on the famous Champion XP Rod. The blank doesn’t feel quite as dynamic, but some minor drawbacks are expected for the price.
Compared to rods from other brands in the same price category, this pole blew us away. It’s incredibly smooth, has pinpoint precision accuracy, and the 14” cork split grip handle is comfortable in your hand.
Even though this is an entry-level Dobyns rod model, the Fury Series has a lifetime warranty. This shows that Dobyns has high confidence in the Fury rod’s build quality.