Berkley Lightning Rod Review

Reviewed: Berkley Lightning Rod

Our overall rating: 

Performance

Handles

Guides

Build Quality

Weight

PROS

  • Moderately priced.
  • The Shock series is specifically designed for use with braided lines.
  • Shock series casting rods feature 1K Power Helix carbon construction.
  • Shock series casting rods have a Suspended Reel Seat for Maximum Energy Transmission.
  • Spinning rods feature Multi-Modular graphite construction for super sensitivity.

CONS

  • All casting rods are single piece.
  • The spinning rod reel seat is somewhat uncomfortable due to the lack of palm support.
  • Cork handles are less durable than EVA foam.
  • Spinning rod guides are so light they bend easily.
  • Spinning rod tip guide develop grooves even with monofilament lines.
  • The tips are prone to break.

Although Berkley Lightning Rods may not have the reputation of high end rods such as those made Gary Loomis, they are nonetheless a good choice for the fisherman who is looking for an affordable rod that will provide them with the level of sensitivity needed to feel what is going on down below while also providing a moderate level of durability.

In addition, Berkley offers this rod in both casting and spinning models in a wide range of lengths and line weights so you are sure to find one that meets your needs. In fact, the casting rod is part of Berkley's Shock Rod series which is specifically designed for use with braided line and, the spinning rod is a good choice for fishing anywhere from tiny trout streams to inshore waters.

So, in this review we will look at the pros and cons of both models to help you decide if the Berkley Lightening Rod is for you.

If you are looking for Berkley Lightning rod alternatives, we've got some suggestions in the bottom of this article. ​​


Berkley Lightning Rod Key Features

Berkley Lightning Rod
Berkley Lightning Rod

Blank Construction 

Both the casting and spinning rods in this series feature graphite blank construction with a fiberglass scrim in an effort to make the rods both lightweight and durable.

Also, the casting rods are part of Berkley's Shock series and thus, they feature extra strength in the butt section of the rod to handle the extra stress placed on the blank during hook sets when using braided lines.

Plus, due to their stiffness, both series provide good sensitivity


Handles 

The handles featured on the Berkley Lightning Rod casting series are ergonomically designed and, they also suspend the reel foot above the blank which is combined with an exposed section of blank below the reel seat to provide increased sensitivity.

However, the handle featured on the Berkley Lightning Rod spinning series has a long gap on top that also leaves the blank exposed for increased sensitivity but, which also makes it somewhat uncomfortable to hold and cast the rod due to the lack of palm support.


Guides

The guides on the Berkley Lightning Rod casting rod series appear to be standard, double foot, Fuji guides with silicon carbide ceramic inserts and thus, they are well suited for use with braided lines since silicon carbide inserts are significantly tougher than traditional aluminum oxide inserts.

However, the guides on the Berkley Lightning Rod spinning rod series lack ceramic inserts of any sort and thus, while they are very lightweight, they are not particularly durable and are prone to develop grooves even when monofilament lines are used.

However, the lightweight, single foot, guides do contribute to making the rods more sensitive.


Lengths, Line Weights and, Actions

Both the casting and spinning rods in the Berkley Lightening Rod series are available in a range of lengths and line weights that are appropriate for a wide range of different types of fishing.

For instance:

  • Ultra light action spinning rods are available in a 2 pc. 5' model with a line weight range of 2-6 lbs.
  • Light action spinning rods are available in a 2 pc. 5'6" model with a line weight range of 4-8 lbs.
  • Medium Light action spinning rods are available in both 1 pc. and a 2pc., 6', models with a line weight range of 6-12 lbs.
  • Medium action spinning rods are available in both 1 pc. and 2pc. 6', 6'6" and, 7' models with a line weight range of 8-14 lbs.
  • Medium Heavy action spinning rods are available in 1 pc. 6', models with a line weight range of 10-17 lbs.
  • Medium action casting rods are available in 1 pc. 6'6" models with a line weight range of 8-20 lbs.
  • Medium Heavy action casting rods are available in 1 pc. 6', 6'6" and, 7' models with a line weight range of 10-25 lbs.

Also, it should be noted that the action of any rod determines not only the range of line weights it can handle, it also determines the range of lure weights it can cast as well as the size of the various fish species it is appropriate for.

Furthermore, it should be noted that short rods provide a fisherman with greater accuracy and more leverage whereas, longer rods provide greater casting distance but, less leverage.


Is Berkley Lightning Rod a Good Choice?

As for whether the Berkley Lightening Rod series is for you, that all depends on the level of durability and performance that you demand from your fishing rods.

While they certainly have the advantage of an inexpensive price tag and, they are very sensitive due to their graphite blank construction and relative stiffness.

However, they are available in a wide range of lengths and actions and thus, you are sure to find a model that it is suitable for the type of fishing that you like to do.

Therefore, they are a good choice for youths as well as adults who are looking for an inexpensive rod that provides the sensitivity needed to feel subtle strikes.

So, as the old adage says, "You get what you pay for" and, this is certainly the case with the Berkley Lightning Rod since they have a relatively inexpensive price tag but, they also necessarily incorporate relatively cheap components in order to deliver that inexpensive price.

On the other hand, they do provide a significant level of sensitivity for such an inexpensive rod even though they can be somewhat lacking in durability.

Thus, the answer to the question of whether or not the Berkley Lightning Rod is a good choice for you all depends on whether or not you are willing to sacrifice durability and quality components for an inexpensive price tag but.

If so, then these rods are a good choice for you.


Berkley Lightning Rod Alternatives

Fenwick Eagle

Fenwick's Eagle is quite frankly a legend. Besides its great looks, Eagle has found praise for its magnificent sensitivity, durable guides and a wide casting range. Eagle's casting range truly is incredible - it can easily handle both extra-light lures and heavier lures. 

The model options on this rod are also vast: models range from 3.7 to 10oz with lengths between 5'6" to 8'. You'll be sure to find the perfect one from this selection! ​

St. Croix Premier Casting

St. Croix is another name that I'm sure you are familiar with. The Premier rods are casting rods that are available in 12 different models, ranging from 3.5 to 5.4oz with lengths between 5’6” to 7’ and come in both one and two piece sets. Safe to say, there are plenty of options! 

What's even more noteworthy is the fact that the Premier rods are close to perfect - there's not much you could complain about. Fast action, stiff and powerful, great balance and amazing casting ability - it's one heck of a great rod! 

Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite

Source: uglystik.com

Similarly to Berkley's Lightning rod, Shakepeare's Ugly Stik is perfect for even those who don't have much fishing experience under the belt. What's significant in Ugly Stik Elite's rod is the 7-year warranty which is enough to show how seriously this rod has been built. 

Besides the durability, Ugly Stik has loads of different length, action and power options and it features Ugly Stik Clear Tip which is known for its sensitivity.​

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Berkley Lightning Rod
Author Rating
41star1star1star1stargray
Adam
 

I'm Adam and I run Cast For Fish to share my passion for fishing as well as give some advice so you could enjoy this great hobby in the best possible way.