The Shimano SLX DC provides the legendary performance of Shimano’s DC series of reels but without the expensive price tag. This reel has gained popularity in the recent past, but many anglers often get confused when it comes to which rod to pair with their SLX DC. Although Shimano offers an excellent rod specifically designed for this baitcasting reel, you can still pair it with many other rods. And since the DC reels are specifically designed to reduce backlash, make long casts, and elevate performance, you need to find a rod that won’t reduce any of these qualities.
This guide highlights some of the best rods for Shimano SLX DC and compares various poles made by Shimano against third-party models. We also compare the SLX DC vs. Curado DC to help you make a more informed decision between the two reels.
Shimano SLX DC Vs Curado DC
There are several differences between the Shimano SLX DC and the Curado DC, but the price tag is the most outstanding. Shimano’s SLX DC is less expensive but offers exceptional performance. If you want to crank the reel quickly and smoothly, the Curado DC features high-end components that allow for smooth cranking. It achieves that by using very fine mesh gears, while the Shimano SLX DC features durable gears constructed with durable materials.
This is important as it makes the Shimano SLX DC more reliable and ideal for beginners and intermediate anglers. But the Curado DC can cast a bit further than the SLX DC, but it costs more. Many anglers don’t feel that the difference is worth the price premium.
SLX DC Rod Qualities
The SLX DC is a versatile baitcaster that works well with any medium- to heavy-power rod. Poles that are designed like these are excellent for fishing soft plastics, jerk baits, jigs, crankbaits, and many other lures. If you plan to cast crankbaits or jerk baits, using a rod with moderate action is best. However, the fishing rods we review here are balanced and work well with most bass lures. You don’t have to build a complete rod collection that features only a few specific fishing techniques to catch fish.
Rods that have a medium power rating are more versatile and work well with the SLX DC. Medium-power rods are best if you plan to cast lighter baits, but it’s easier to get a good balance of weight from heavy-duty rods if you use them on a reel that can handle all that. Here are some of the best rods for Shimano SLX DC:
Fenwick’s HMG Casting Rod is a great combo for the SLX DC. Fenwick started out making fishing rods using graphite, so they have had adequate time to refine the features of the HMG and enhance its qualities. Combining that with the SLX DC, this rod allows you to cast far, is very sensitive, and is comfortable to use.
Among the most popular models for the SLX DC is the 7 fast action, medium-heavy rod. You might need a rod that is a little more sensitive, but the medium-power model is strong and has a very good balance of weight and strength. Fenwick uses premium materials for their rods, like premium cork handles, stainless steel guides, zirconium inserts, and a custom-built reel seat. Fenwick uses premium rod components, but the brand is able to keep the price reasonable.
Shimano made a rod specifically for their baitcaster that offers superior performance and is made to weigh precisely the same as the SLX DC. Shimano’s SLX CST Casting Rod has a sleek design and is made using the same material that is used on the SLX DC reel. Shimano’s new SLX CST is made for the SLX DC, which is a heavy-duty fishing rod that will give you high-level performance while being affordable.
Shimano’s baitcaster rod was designed to perfectly match the SLX CST. It delivers the same performance as the SLX DC. The SLX CST extends the SLX DC’s performance and increases its distance and sensitivity. The line is pushed straight through your reel seat to the tip of your hand, where it lands. Using this rod with your baitcaster will allow you to achieve exceptional weight balance and improve line control. Shimano matched the weight distribution on this rod to that of the Shimano SLX DC.
If you want to use a more advanced St. Croix rod, the Mojo Bass Casting Rod pairs pretty well with the SLX DC. Mojo Bass is a bit more expensive than Bass X, but it has superior power. The Mojo Bass is made from SCII graphite, and the Bass X is primarily made from carbon fiber. This rod is made from carbon fiber, which allows it to be stronger and more sensitive, and it also helps to save weight.
Although this pole is less expensive than other St. Croix models, it also features advanced IPC tooling technology that prevents rough transitions in the rod’s blank. IPC tooling eliminates transition points along the blank and promotes smooth power flow. IPC tooling technology allows rods to be stronger, more sensitive, and have more control.
Most people prefer a medium-heavy rod to pair with the Shimano SLX DC. This rod comes in a two-piece design, which reduces its performance. But, using high-tech joints gives you plenty of power and sensitivity. St. Croix utilizes high-tech rod joints that allow the rod to be used without reducing its power or sensitivity.
St. Croix Bass X casting rods offer some of the best value for the money. St. Croix makes some of the best bass fishing rods you can find on the market. A rod like this is an excellent investment since it’s very affordable, and it will easily match the SLX DC.
Although this isn’t one of St. Croix’s top-level rods, it has many of the same top-tier qualities found on the most expensive poles. The St. Croix Bass X features premium carbon fiber construction and includes a graphite blank.
The St. Croix Bass X handle is made with premium cork and feels great in your hand. St. Croix rods look great when paired with a Shimano baitcaster, since both brands take a low-profile design approach. The 7’1 medium-heavy rod with strong action works best with the SLX DC. Overall, this combo will deliver great results.
How do you set up a Shimano SLX DC?
Here is a quick video to show you how to set up Shimano SKX DC.
Is the Shimano SLX DC worth it?
The Shimano SLX DC moves super smoothly, and the braking system works great. If you’re a beginner with baitcasters, you can set this to ‘4’ (maximum braking) and cast absolutely without a thumb, and you’ll get great results. But if you use braid, set it to ‘1’ (minimum braking), cast very lightly, and the fish love it.
What line should I use for SLX DC?
With its 150 size, the Shimano SLX DC is very comfortable to use. It is large and will hold up to 90 yards of 14-pound line or 110 yards of 12-pound line.
Can the Shimano SLX DC be used in saltwater?
SLX is ideal for both saltwater and freshwater lure fishing. What will make the difference is the gear ratio that you choose to purchase.
If you want a good rod for catching fish, start by getting what gives you the most bang for your buck. Fortunately, some rods can do everything. But should you use a baitcaster or a spinning reel to spin your reel? If you can answer all these questions about fishing rods, you will undoubtedly find top rods that every angler should own. With these rods, you’ll be able to get the most out of your Shimano SLX DC fishing reel. They offer great lengths, actions, and powers.
Raymond Smith is a fishing enthusiast who has been obsessed with fishing and boating since childhood. He used to accompany his father to every weekend fishing escapade along the banks of the Madison River, where they would try to catch as much fish as possible, each time targeting different species to add to their belts. Smith loves angling, travel, and exploration and has amassed more than ten years of experience in trout and steelhead fishing techniques. He shares all his fishing experiences and tips on this website and other online outdoors magazines.