I rarely bottom fish (by this I am referring to dropping bait to the bottom using some type of bottom rig; light tackle jigging on the bottom is a different technique that I do using spinning tackle) these days, so I cannot tell you what I think is the "best" rod for your planned use. I'm sure you will get a range of opinions about what is the "best" rod. When looking for new rods, reels, or tackle (or just about anything else I shop for) I typically prefer to have a search range and look for the "best bang for the buck" rod or reel or any other tackle. You might think that rod A is the best fit for your use, but it costs $150. You may find rod B on sale for $75 that comes very close to the performance of rod A. Or you may find rod C, with extremely high quality, that is on sale for $200. If I am the shopper in that scenario, I typically look at rod B or rod C, because I am getting more value for my money in either case. As a senior fisherman who has gone through several generations of rods and reels during the past 30 years of fishing, I now avoid buying low end rods and reels and spend the extra money on higher quality gear -- but I make sure I am getting a value-laden deal when I buy the expensive tackle. I have the expendable income to afford it, the better gear tends to last longer, and it makes for a lighter or smoother performance.
Another consideration is new vs. used. For example, I sold two used G. Loomis rods this week. Normal retail is >$250. Because I did not need those rods, I wanted to move them out of my rod collection and priced them at $125. In this case, the rods were in nearly-new condition. They buyers got a good deal on rods that had a higher value to them than what they paid. Used rods in very good to moderate condition and with a range of starting quality are often listed on Snaggedline.
As noted above, I rarely bottom fish, and when I do bottom fish, I use the same medium spinning rigs that I use for other styles of fishing and typically no more than 2 oz of weight. But my experience is that if you plan to use more than 2-3 oz of weight, you are better off using a revolving spool reel on a stout rod. Winding a heavy bottom rig up and down many times, especially if you are working in deep water, is not the best fit for a spinning rod and reel. Whether you buy an expensive Avet reel or a more moderate Penn combo, you have better control of your rig with the revolving spool reel.
If you plan to bottom fish near structure (e.g., jettys, pilings, wrecks, etc), you may want to stay away from expensive rods that can get scratched and beat up by bumping against the structure -- especially when fishing in a kayak that is subject to movement by waves.
I will finish by noting my opinion that there is no "right" or "wrong" or "best" rod out there. Your budget and preferences will help you choose something that should catch fish.
Last edited by J.A. Veil; 03-16-2017 at 04:11 PM.
Native Watercraft Manta Ray 11 and Slayer Propel 10
Member - Pro Staff team for Native Watercraft
Author - "Fishing in the Comfort Zone" - light tackle fishing techniques for kayaks and small boats