Guide to Shimano’s rod lineup

Editor's Note: This story is part of a larger package on Shimano gear. Click here to see more.

The following is a basic guide to the Shimano lineup of bass fishing rods.  As you go up in price, the main advantage is the gain in sensitivity with a higher quality rod blank. For instance, the Crucial line features an IM10 blank while the Convergence lineup uses IM7. All rods have the Shimano threadless reel seat.


Made strictly for the bass tournament angler, the Crucial series rods are the most technique specific rod Shimano makes. There are 66 models ranging from jig & worm to crankbait to the relatively new technique of underspin lures.

  • IM10 rod blank, the most sensitive available. Crankbait, topwater and underspin models are made with TC-4 – two layers of graphite and two layers of T-glass, which is fiberglass woven in a unique pattern and different than the E-glass used by many manufacturers.
  • Shimano rubberized reel seat with no threads on the handle, making it more comfortable and allowing you to wrap your hand around the reel and rod.
  • High density EVA grips, which are split, so you can have three or four fingers on the rod blank, increasing sensitivity.
  • Fuji Concept Alconite guides.


Twenty years ago, this was Shimano’s hardcore bass fishing rod, but it wasn’t technique specific. Shimano is putting it back on the bass fishing map this year with 59 models. It’s a popular choice for a tournament angler that needs a spinnerbait rod or a flipping stick that he might not use as much as a Crucial rod. The emerald green color matches well with Curado reels.

  • IM9 rod blank with TC-4 in crankbait and topwater models.
  • Reel seat same as Crucial.
  • Fuji Concept Alconite guides.


This is the model that made Shimano popular with bass anglers more than a decade ago. There’s a new look. Instead of a green metallic color, the rods are now a charcoal gray. There are 26 models that are bass technique specific. This might be an angler’s first technique specific bass rod.

  • IM8 rod blank with TC-4 in crankbait and topwater models.
  • Shimano threadless reel seat, but it’s not rubberized.
  • Fuji Concept Alconite guides.


This is for an entry level angler or someone who wants to expand his arsenal with an additional rod. It’s still technique specific, with 15 models for the bass angler. Convergence rods are now a deep burgundy color.

  • IM7 rod blank with TC-4 in crankbait and topwater models.
  • Shimano threadless reel seat, same as Clarus.
  • Fuji Concept Alconite guides.