Bass Finesse Fishing (Tackle, Techniques, Tips, And Recommended Products)

Finesse fishing is about taking a more subtle and flexible approach instead of aggressively baiting. This type is best used during periods of high atmospheric pressure when the water temperature is cold. This type is often used for bass finesse fishing when they are lazy active, and hunting. It makes the bass believe there is an easy meal right before them.

When it comes to finesse fishing, having the right tackle and techniques are essential to being a successful angler. The rod and reel are two of the most crucial components of any finesse fishing setup. With the right rod and reel combo, you’ll be able to make longer casts, detect every bite, and ultimately catch more fish. So, what is the best finesse fishing rod and reel? The Dobyns Fury Spinning Rod paired with the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ FB is, in my opinion, the ultimate finesse fishing setup. It’s challenging to pick the best because it depends on personal preference.

Today’s post will cover tackle, techniques, tips, and some recommended finesse spinning rods and reels to help you control bass finesse fishing.

What Is Finesse Fishing?

Finesse fishing typically involves lighter action spinning rods and smaller reels. This combination allows you to use a light line and throw smaller finesse baits and lures. This setup is ideal for catching smallmouth and largemouth bass, trout, and other game fish.

Finesse fishing is one of those techniques in which spending as much as your budget allows is critical. Why? Higher-end rods and reels provide more sensitivity, which is essential for this technique, allowing you to cast farther and detect subtle bites. Not to mention that higher-end products will last much longer.

Nonetheless, spending a large amount of money does not ensure getting the best finesse fishing gear for your needs. As a result, I’ve put together this quick guide in which I’ll share with you the best finesse fishing setups, including the best rods, reels, and lines to use when fishing this technique.

When To Go Bass Finesse Fishing?

Does the big question remain what the best time for you to finesse fish for bass is? This type works best when the fish aren’t biting, usually when a cold front passes through them. I’m about to get scientific on you, so hold on tight. Because cold air is much denser than warm air, the barometric pressure rises when it is cold outside. Because the excessive force on their bodies can cause discomfort, bass bite better when moderate or low stress. Furthermore, prolonged exposure to cold air lowers water temperature, slowing their complex blooded metabolism, and resulting in more lethargic fish.

Bass are most active during periods of low barometric pressure and warm temperatures. As a result, I always recommend warm and rainy days for the best Bass fishing. The pressure is low, and the water temperature is warm during these conditions. So, when a sudden change in temperature due to a cold front, bring out your finesse tackle.

Where To Go Bass Finesse Fishing?

Finesse fishing is typically done in deeper water because the barometric pressure in the shallow is too high—the Bass retreat to deeper areas with more stable conditions. This is the general rule of thumb, and I’ve repeatedly tested it. While I’m not saying you can’t finesse bass in four feet of water, it’s not the best option, and you’ll do much better in 10-20 foot depths. When looking for sudden changes in the bottom of the lake or river to find the bass, your fishfinder will be your best friend. They typically congregate near dips, peaks, and drop-offs. If you’re fishing in the spring, I’d recommend staying closer to shore because they’ll still be guarding their spawning grounds.

How To Choose A Bass Finesse Fishing Rod And Reel

Let’s move on to the gear. The common misconception is that you must go out with a child’s rod and cast 18 oz jigs until your arms fall off. That is an urban legend. We can still do finesse fishing with standard tackle. These are my suggestions. They are not authoritative, but this is how I do it.

Finesse Reel

The gear ratio is the most crucial factor to consider regarding finesse reels. The gear ratio is the number of cranks required to turn the spool. So, if your gear ratio is 6.1:1, that means that every time you crank the handle, the spool turns 6.1 times. 

A high-gear ratio spinning reel is essential for finessing bass for various reasons. To begin, because lightweight lures generate a lot of slacklines, you’ll need to retrieve them quickly, or you won’t feel small nibbles. Second, because finesse fishing requires you to work the rod much more than other methods, keeping the line tight is critical to the lure’s presentation.

Finesse Line

Believe it or not, your line is one of the most important considerations. Finessing works best when the bass isn’t biting but also when they’re skeptical. You’ll understand what I mean if you’ve ever fished in a significantly “overfished” area. When you arrive at the lake and see 25 trailers lined up to get their boat into the water, you know it’s time to break out the finesse tackle.

Selecting a finesse line is all about nuance. You want to present your lure as naturally as possible, and the best way to do so is with a fluorocarbon line. Because fluorocarbon has the same light refraction properties as water, it is nearly invisible. As a result, this is to your benefit. While everyone else is spooking the bass on the lake with mono and braided, you sneak up with fluorocarbon and make the fish look twice. A 6-6.9 foot light action spinning rod, a high gear ratio spinning reel, and a 6-8 pound clear fluorocarbon line would comprise a complete finesse fishing tackle set.

Top 3 Rigging For Bass Finesse Fishing

There’s a lot of misinformation about what lures to use for finesse fishing out there, but I’m here to clear it up and cover the only three rigs you need.


When everything else fails, take an 18-ounce jighead, hook up a small grub, and vertical jig around dock pilings, and you’ll never doubt whether finesse fishing works again. Regardless of the circumstances, use natural colors. When fishing for skeptical bass, the last thing you want to do is scare them away.

Drop Shotting

Using a drop shot gives you a nearly unfair advantage. No other presentation can compete with the realism of this technique. Because you’re fishing with such a light tackle, the sinker is also essential to your casting accuracy. Try a lightweight Senko worm and a drop shot rig if you’re having trouble getting the bass to take your standard tackle. Toss it near the weed beds and around the structure to see what happens.

Soft Plastic Worms

Soft plastics will always be the preferred material for this technique. Get a 14-ounce or smaller Senko worm, rig it wacky, and vertical jig it in open water at 10-15 feet. In terms of colors, you should consider your surroundings. If you’re working with clear water, choose a natural color like brown or pumpkin. When the water is murky, I prefer a red or maroon worm. You don’t want to go overboard with the colors because you don’t want to scare the bass.

Our Tips And Recommended For Finesse Spinning Rod

Finesse Spinning Rod Tips

In finesse fishing, sensitivity is everything. Having a sensitive rod designed for this application can give you that edge and make you a better angler. There is a remarkable difference in sensitivity between price points. Spend less money on your reel and get the best finesse spinning rod your budget allows to save money on your setup. The investment will be well worth it.

The best finesse spinning rods will have the following characteristics:

  • Lighter Action
  • Sensitive
  • Durable
  • Faster Tip

The right rod is essential for taking your finesse fishing game to the next level. If you’re looking to add a finesse rod to your arsenal, check out the options below.

Spinning Rod Recommended For Finesse Fishing

Croix Premier Series

A high-quality spinning rod that is ideal for any finesse technique.

The St. Croix Premier is another excellent finesse fishing spinning rod. The St. Croix brand is well-known for producing some of the best rods in the industry. This brand was especially evident with the Premier rod series. You get the same high quality as their more expensive rods at a lower price. This rod will complement any finesse fishing setup.

Dobyns Fury Spinning Rod

The most sensitive rod for the money.

The Dobyns Fury spinning rod is fantastic for any finesses fishing situation. Finding a more sensitive and durable rod at this price point will be nearly impossible. If you’re seeking a new spinning rod, I highly recommend looking at this one.

Team Lew’s Custom Pro Series Spinning Rod

All anglers will love this finesse spinning rod.

One of my favorite rods is Lew’s Custom Pro. It’s tough, light, and one of the best finesse spinning rods available. I’ve owned several Lew’s rods and reels and have been very impressed with the quality, overall craftsmanship, and customer service that Lew’s provides. To learn more about this rod, please click the button below.

Our Tips And Recommended For Finesse Spinning Reel

3 Tips Finesse Spinning Reel

The reel is another essential component of any fishing setup. As previously stated, buy the best equipment you can afford, but save it on the spinning reel if you must save money.

The benefits of fishing with a spinning reel include the ability to use lighter lines and smaller lures and baits, which are ideal for finesse. Pairing the right reel with our finesse fishing rod is also important.

The best finesse spinning reels will have the following features:

  • Quality Drag System 
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Solid Spool/Line Capacity

The following are the three best finesse spinning reels on the market:

Spinning Reel Recommended For Finesse Fishing

Abu Garcia Revo SX

A high-quality spinning reel at a reasonable and affordable price.

The Abu Garcia Revo is another excellent spinning reel that is versatile and long-lasting. The Revo is light and comfortable in your hands, with a smooth bearing system that allows you to play with any fish. The Revo is a great finesse spinning reel that can also be used for other purposes. The Revo is an absolute must-have for any spinning angler.

Shimano Stradic Ci4+ FB

The ultimate spinning reel for any fishing situation.

Shimano is well-known for producing high-quality spinning reels. The Shimano Stradic Ci4 doesn’t get much better than this. This is one of the best spinning rods ever made and is an excellent choice for any finesse angler. If you can afford it, this rod is well worth the money.

Lew’s Mach 2

The best-quality spinning reel on the market.

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money but still want a good spinning reel that will last a long time, Lew’s Mach 2 is your reel. This is a versatile reel with a plethora of built-in features. This reel provides incredible value to anglers and is a must-have.

Fishing Line Tips and Recommended For Finesse Bass

When finesse fishing, you’ll typically want to use a light line with low visibility. Most anglers will use straight fluorocarbon (4-8 lb) or a more delicate braid with a fluorocarbon leader. Monofilament can also be used, but its high stretch and sink rate make it unsuitable for this technique.

Braid Line For Finesse Bass Fishing

Many excellent finesse anglers use braid as their mainline, paired with a fluorocarbon leader. Braid has no stretch, is more durable than fluorocarbon, and can save you a lot of money simply by adding a leader.

Because there is no stretch, you can feel every detail happening with your bait at the bottom. Because of its durability, you can use it for years without having to replace it. The disadvantage of braid is that it is evident, necessitating a fluorocarbon leader.

Using a braided mainline and a fluorocarbon leader provides durability, sensitivity, and the ability to cast farther. Because of these benefits, this combination is popular among finesse anglers.

The following are the top braided lines for finesse fishing:

  • Suffix Performance
  • PowerPro

Fluorocarbon Line For Finesse Bass Fishing

Fluorocarbon is the most commonly used and possibly effective line for finesse fishing. Straight fluorocarbon is a no-brainer if you’re fishing in clear water. It’s sensitive, has little stretch, and works well with most finesse fishing techniques.

The following are the benefits of using straight fluorocarbon:

  • In clear water, this is ideal.
  • Insufficient visibility
  • Sensitive
  • Sinks quickly
  • Low elasticity

The following are the top fluorocarbon lines for finesse fishing:

  • Seaguar INVIZX (Fantastic Fluro)
  • Sunline Super FC Sniper (Best All-Around)
  • Stren FluorCast (Budget-Friendly)

The Bottom Line

When finesse fishing, having the right rod and reel setup is critical. A good rod and reel set will help you detect more bites, feel every bait/lure movement, and catch more fish. Do yourself a favor and put what you’ve learned in this post to use by going out and purchasing a high-quality finesse fishing setup. The investment will be well worth it.