Brandon Lester’s Key Rod Builds from the 2019 Classic

Get the inside scoop on Elite Pro Brandon Lester’s MHX Pro Tour Rods that helped catch him a sensational super six finish at this year’s Bassmaster Classic.

Bassmaster’s Top MHX Pro Bass Fishing Rods

If you’re wondering how the Tennessee native, Brandon Lester climbed from 21st place on Saturday to seal a 6th place finish on Sunday, we have the exclusive story straight from the bright lights of the Bassmaster Classic’s biggest stage.

The conditions on the Tennessee River seemed to change by the day.

In order to adapt and keep climbing the ranks, Lester cycled through his luckiest lures on his favorite MHX rods to keep catching ’em. Being able to readily change it up on the water, yet stay comfortable and confident with his equipment is a huge benefit that Brandon Lester believes comes from his experience building his own custom rods.

By building an arsenal of bass fishing rods to compete on the Bassmaster Elite Series, Brandon knows what rod blanks work best with each lure and each technique in every location. All he needs are 5 of the right bass to bite!

See how Pro Brandon Lester fishes each custom rod:




*Click the menu tab in the top left for more Brandon Lester MHX Pro Tour Rods*

Start Building with Brandon Lester’s All-In-One Turnkey Rod Kit 

If you’re looking to start rod building with the perfect kit, let Brandon Lester help you out with his Signature All-In-One Rod Building Kit. With this turnkey kit, you get all of the components, tools and supplies you’ll need to build and fish your first custom bass rod!

What’s included?

This kit has every tool, supply, and instructional material you’ll need to get started in DIY custom fishing rod building and rod repairing. Start DIY fishing rod building today and see why top pro anglers are raving about custom rod building!

  • HWS-1 professional hand wrapper
  • RDS 9RPM rod dryer with 3 rod stands
  • Complete Step-by-Step instructional DVD
  • Full-Color How to Build a Fishing Rod book
  • ProKöte & ProPaste epoxy finish & glues
  • 5 grit tape reamers
  • 5 Spools of ProWrap rod building thread
  • Mixing cups, mixing sticks & finish brushes
  • Thread pick, clippers, alcohol burner & more

Plus, all the components to build a performance driven all-purpose bass fishing rod:

  • Mag Taper MB843-MHX Rod Blank
  • MHX WinnDry Polymer Grips
  • LZR Guides by CRB
  • CRB Deluxe Graphite Reel Seat

Brandon Lester’s MHX Pro Tour Rod Building Kits

Pro Angler Brandon Lester knows custom rod building is the most effective and fun method of fishing. Enhancing his knowledge and maximizing his performance, Brandon Lester’s Pro Tour Rods are optimized for everything from casting and spinning, to drop shotting, and pitchin’.

Now with these exclusive Brandon Lester Pro Tour Rod Kits, you can see and experience a superior fishing performance for yourself!

Flipping, Pitching, & Punching Rods

FP936-MHX Flipping and Pitching Rod

On the Bassmaster Elite Series, Brandon Lester definitely needs a beast of a fishing rod for flippin’ and punchin’ applications. From the extra-heavy power and moderate-fast action, to it’s 7’9” length and lightweight, his FP936 is this animal of a flippin’ and punchin’ rod truly unleashed. This rod will easily handle the biggest bass that bites.

Specifications: 7’9″ | 15-30 lb. | 3/4 – 2 oz. | Mod/Fast Action | Extra Heavy Power

“My FP936-MHX Flippin’ and Punchin’ Rod will fish heavy lures and braid in the densest cover extremely well. I like to add some weight in the butt of the rod for balance and then, I really like to take it out to hook the hungriest hog in the water.”
– Brandon Lester, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Angler

BUILD FP936 NOW!


FP885-MHX Flipping and Pitching Rod

For flippin’ and pitchin’, Bassmaster Elite Pro Brandon Lester’s FP885 Rod brings the combination of a superior performance, a strong backbone, and 7’4” length for more accuracy and added versatility in these applications. This rod works extremely well for targeted pitching, such as around docks, or along a stretch of lily pads, but also packs the punch to handle throwing heavier lures, like a whopper ploppers, bull shad, and frogs.

Specifications: 7’4″ | 12-30 lb. | 3/8 – 1 1/2 oz. | Mod/Fast Action | Heavy Power

“With I want to pitch or flip with incredible accuracy and unbeatable power, I immediately grab my FP885 Rod and get to work. It’s a mean all-purpose pitchin’ rod that’s deadly accurate, yet the superior sensitivity in the tip might actually surprise you!”
– Brandon Lester, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Angler

BUILD FP885 NOW!

Elite Pro X-Fast Spinning Rods

Elite Pro NEPS81MLXF-MHX Rod

This is one of Elite Pro Brandon Lester’s favorite finesse drop shot and ned rig rods. For spinning applications, this rod casts with superior accuracy, while its extra fast tip gives bait the ideal action, and the medium-light power bends to become the perfect shock absorber that guarantees fish stay buttoned up. The extra fast tip and medium-light power also provide excellent performance advantages when vertical fishing the drop shot.

Specifications: 6’9″ | 6-15 lb. | 5/32 – 7/16 oz. | Extra Fast Action | Medium-Light Power

“The NEPS81MLXF is definitely my favorite rod for drop shots, ned rigs, and wacky rigs. My 6’9″ Spinning Rod effortlessly skips wacky rigs under docks, but also works just as well in finesse and drop shot applications. The sensitivity of this one is very hard to beat.”
– Brandon Lester, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Angler

BUILD NEPS81MLXF NOW!


Elite Pro NEPS81MXF-MHX Rod

This is one of Elite Pro Brandon Lester’s favorite finesse drop shot and ned rig rods. For spinning applications, this rod casts with superior accuracy, while its extra fast tip gives bait the ideal action, and the medium-light power bends to become the perfect shock absorber that guarantees fish stay buttoned up. The extra fast tip and medium-light power also provide excellent performance advantages when vertical fishing the drop shot.

Specifications: 6’9″ | 6-15 lb. | 5/32 – 7/16 oz. | Extra Fast Action | Medium-Light Power

“The NEPS81MLXF is definitely my favorite rod for drop shots, ned rigs, and wacky rigs. My 6’9″ Spinning Rod effortlessly skips wacky rigs under docks, but also works just as well in finesse and drop shot applications. The sensitivity of this one is very hard to beat.”
– Brandon Lester, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Angler

BUILD NEPS81MXF NOW!

Elite Pro Heavy Casting Rods

Elite Pro NEPS86HF-MHX Rod

Bassmaster Elite Pro Brandon Lester reaches for his 7’2″ NEPS86HF Casting Rod when he needs its unique combination of heavy power, fast action, and ultra-lightweight. This casting rod is super strong and ultra-responsive, making the perfect Carolina rig for picking up line, open water frog rod that can handle slop froggin’, and casting swim jigs in open water or in dense cover.

Specifications: 7’2″ | 12-25 lb. | 1/2 – 1 oz. | Fast Action | Heavy Power

“This NEPS86HF Casting Rod is my go-to for swim jigs, open water froggin’, Carolina rigs, and even heavy football jigs. The 7’2” length is great for casting further out and then picking up line, and the backbone comes in right on time to help me fight bigger fish and win.”
– Brandon Lester, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Angler

BUILD NEPS86HF NOW!


Elite Pro NEPS90HF-MHX Rod

While Bassmaster Elite Pro Brandon Lester is competing across the country, he often turns to this 7’6″ NEPS90HF Casting-Pitchin’ Rod when up next to a bank, between heavy cover, in tight places, or even around docks. Capitalizing on the 7’6″ length, heavy mid-butt power, and fast tip, he knows that whether he is casting, flippin’, or pitchin’, this high-performance rod will put fish in the box.

Specifications: 7’6″ | 10-20 lb. | 1/2 – 1 oz. | Fast Action | Heavy Power

“I would be happy to call this is my meat and potatoes flippin’ and pitchin’ rod. Whether I’m fishing near a dock, along a bank, or in heavy cover, the performance and confidence I get from this 7’6″ Casting-Pitchin’ Rod is just awesome. If you get into big fish in heavy cover, this rod is a serious performer.”
– Brandon Lester, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Angler

BUILD NEPS90HF NOW! 


Elite Pro NEPS92HF-MHX Rods

For longer casts, more leverage when fighting fish, and boost in power for flippin’ in heavy cover, Elite Pro Brandon Lester selects the 7’8” NEPS92HF Casting Rod every time. The longer length has many performance benefits, especially when fishing heavy cover for big bass. Although it is very light in weight to minimize fatigue, its backbone is without a doubt one of the strongest around.

Specifications: 7’8″ | 12-30 lb. | 1/2 – 1 1/4 oz. | Mod-Fast Action | Heavy Power

“Whether I want to cast my lure a country mile, or pull big fish from heavy cover, this is one of my favorites. My NEPS92HF Rod is a really good long rod that I can fish with confidence all over the country.”
– Brandon Lester, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Angler

BUILD NEPS92HF NOW!

Elite Pro X-Fast Casting Rods

Elite Pro NEPS81MXF-MHX Rod

When Bassmaster Elite Pro Brandon Lester needs a shorter rod with an extra-fast tip for the perfect action with smaller jerkbaits and topwater lures and lightning fast hooksets, he chooses the NEPS81MXF Casting Rod. At 6’9”, this Elite Pro rod provides precise casting, especially when zipping lures underneath tree limbs, by docks, and around structure.

Specifications: 6’9″ | 8-17 lb. | 1/4 – 5/16 oz. | Extra Fast Action | Medium Power

“With my NEPS81MXF Casting Rod, I can easily target fish and pinpoint a cast in the perfect range to maximize strikes. Between the shorter length, extra-fast action, and superior sensitivity, I’ll be able to work a jerkbait more efficiently for longer periods of time to catch any bass ready to bite!”
– Brandon Lester, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Angler

BUILD NEPS81MHF NOW!


Elite Pro NEPS81MHXF-MHX Rod

For an extra-fast tip and a step up in power to medium-heavy for medium to larger sized jerkbaits, while still maintaining a shorter 6’9” length, Elite Pro Brandon Lester grabs his NEPS81MHXF-MHX Casting Rod. From precision casting and superior sensitivity, to the ideal lure action and backbone strength, this lightweight rod is truly unbelievable and always has a spot on Lester’s boat.

Specifications: 6’9″ | 10-20 lb. | 5/16 – 13/16 oz. | Extra Fast Action | Med-Heavy Power

“I really like a shorter option for casting accuracy paired with an extra-fast tip for incredible lure action, strike sensitivity, and quick twitch hooksets. This rod has an excellent backbone for fighting fish, and I’ll throw anything from lighter Texas rigs, small jigs, and even spinnerbaits with the utmost confidence.”
– Brandon Lester, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Angler

BUILD NEPS81MHXF NOW!

Elite Pro 7’2" Casting Rods

Elite Pro NEPS86MF-MHX Rod

Elite Pro Brandon Lester goes to his 7’2″ NEPS86MF Casting Rod for its medium power and superb fast action. Lester’s NEPS86MF Casting Rod is strong and incredibly responsive, making for excellent versatility for topwater, treble hook baits, jerkbaits, and more. Lester loves fishing topwater walking baits like spooks with his NEPS86MF because it’s length and action helps move baits with minimal effort and maximum results.

Specifications: 7’2″ | 8-17 lb. | 3/16 – 5/8 oz. | Fast Action | Medium Power

“It’s easy to say that I’m all about the MHX Elite Pro Series Rods—I always have my NEPS86MF 7’2″ Casting Rod in the boat because it has a really crisp action and bends extremely well, plus it’s ultra-lightweight and durable—with a solid backbone to win any fish fight that I can start.”
– Brandon Lester, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Angler

BUILD NEPS86MF NOW!


Elite Pro NEPS86MHF-MHX Rod

Bassmaster Elite Pro Brandon Lester’s NEPS86MHF Casting Rod is a lightweight and all around great rod, especially when throwing spinnerbaits, lightweight finesse jigs, and up to ½ ounce football jigs. Lester loves this rod because it’s ultra-lightweight to avoid fatigue, yet has plenty of tip for precise casts and enough backbone and leverage for solid hook sets. Light and durable as well as incredibly accurate, Brandon Lester calls on this casting rod to catch tons of fish and with it, you can too.

Specifications: 7’2″ | 10-20 lb. | 5/16 – 13/16 oz. | Fast Action | Medium-Heavy Power

“My 7’2″ NEPS86MHF Casting Rod is ultra-lightweight, yet incredibly durable with superior accuracy and strength that makes for a superior all-purpose bass fishing rod. As long as I’m fishing and big bass are biting, this NEPS86MHF-MHX Rod has a place on my boat.”
– Brandon Lester, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Angler

BUILD NEPS86MHF NOW!

Elite Pro 6’10" Casting Rods

Elite Pro NEPS82MF-MHX Rod

Bassmaster Elite Pro Brandon Lester’s NEPS82MF Rod features a fast action, medium power to bring the perfect blend of finesse and power. This one of his favorites for jerkbaits and topwater, but also for wacky rigged senkos and shaky heads. If you are looking to work lures like jerkbaits without slapping the water or the boat and then landing larger bass—his NEPS82MF 6’10” Casting Rod is hard to beat.

Specifications: 6’10” | 8-17 lb. | 3/16 – 5/8 oz. | Fast Action | Medium Power

“Between the fast action and medium power, there are plenty of bass fishing applications that lead me to fishing the NEPS82MF 6’10” Casting Rod. I love its slightly shorter length and lightweight design because it allows me to give lures the perfect action without causing any added commotion and also helps me avoid fatigue after long days on the water.”
– Brandon Lester, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Angler

BUILD NEPS82MF NOW!


Elite Pro NEPS82MHF-MHX Rod

With a fast action and a medium-heavy power, Bassmaster Elite Pro Brandon Lester’s 6’10” NEPS82MHF Rod brings excellent versatility across bass fishing applications. Whether fishing spinnerbaits in tight cover, looking for a shorter Texas rig worm rod, or even pitchin’ jigs around docks, the specs of Lester’s NEPS82MHF will help catch bass all over the country with an unbeatable all-purpose performance.

Specifications: 6’10” | 10-20 lb. | 1/4 – 3/4 oz. | Fast Action | Medium-Heavy Power

“This NEPS82MHF is truly one of the most versatile bass rods I’ve built. Regardless of what I decide to tie on, I can target fish in tight cover with precise casts or even fish in open water, and know that I’m catching whatever bites. If you want a performance driven bass rod with superior sensitivity and a slightly shorter length, this is your best bet!”
– Brandon Lester, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Angler

BUILD NEPS82MHF NOW!


Elite Pro NEPS82HF-MHX Rods

Bassmaster Elite Pro Brandon Lester whips out his 6’10” NEPS82HF when he wants a shorter rod to fish larger soft plastics with unbelievable sensitivity and a really strong backbone. From the length, to its heavy power and fast action, this Elite Pro NEPS82HF Rod will work great with 10 inch worms, speed worms, Carolina rigs, football jigs, and even open water frog fishing.

Specifications: 6’10” | 12-25 lb. | 1/2 – 1 oz. | Fast Action | Heavy Power

“If you want the combo of a nice fast tip for sensitivity and a heavy power to fight big fish, my NEPS82HF is one of the best to do it. Whether I want to fish larger soft plastics, football jigs, or an open water frog, I’m confident this rod can handle it very well and help me cash checks at each stop on the Bassmaster Elite Series.”
– Brandon Lester, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Angler

BUILD NEPS82HF NOW!

Crankin’ Casting Rods

Crankbait CB845-Blend MHX Rod 

When he needs a medium-heavy power and moderate-fast action for smaller crankbaits, such as square bills and 6-8 foot divers, Bassmaster Elite Pro Brandon Lester grabs his 7’0″ CB845 crankbait rod. Once fish strike and dart into cover or under the boat, Lester is confident the CB845 will be the best shock absorber to control line tension and reduce line tightening too fast, which often leads to losing fish.

Specifications: 7’0″ | 10-20 lb. | 3/8 – 1 oz. | Mod-Fast Action | Medium-Heavy Power

“My CB845 is a great all around crankbait rod, but I really enjoy using it with square bill crankbaits because you will not find a rod more dialed in for fishing smaller crankbaits, especially around creek channels and structure lines. The action and power combo is simply unbeatable with crankbaits!”
– Brandon Lester, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Angler

BUILD CB845 NOW!


Crankbait CB907-Blend MHX Rod

There is a time and place for bigger crankbaits, and Bassmaster Elite Pro Brandon Lester always uses his CB907 to answer that call. Between its 7’6” length, moderate-fast action, and heavy power, Lester’s CB907 is the premier fishing rod for deep diving crankbaits because it maximizes the lures time in the strike zone, while allowing the action to sense strikes and set the trebles, and then packing the heavy power to land even the biggest bass.

Specifications: 7’6″ | 12-25 lb. | 1/2 – 1 3/8 oz. | Mod-Fast Action | Heavy Power

“There is no doubt that my 7’6” CB907 is a stud for fishing bigger, deep diving crankbaits. I like to build it with a longer handle to get more leverage and cast my crankbaits much further out, which maximizes the time each one spends diving through the strike zone and results in far more bites.”
– Brandon Lester, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Angler

BUILD CB907 NOW!

Mag Taper Bass Casting Rods

Mag Taper MB843-MHX Rod

The first rod Bassmaster Elite Pro Brandon Lester ever built and put on his boat as a professional bass fisherman, the MB843-MHX 7’0” Casting Rod helps Lester cash checks across the country. With a fast action and medium-heavy power, his MB843 packs an all-purpose performance that’s perfect for bass fishing. From spinnerbaits and Carolina rigs, to topwater baits and jigs, Brandon Lester’s MB843 can do it all!

Specifications: 7’0″ | 10-17 lb. | 1/4 – 3/4 oz. | Fast Action | Medium-Heavy Power

“This MB843 is the first bass rod I built and it’s the perfect rod to start with. If someone asks me what bass rod they should build, the MB843 7’0” Casting Rod is my answer every time. You will love it!”
– Brandon Lester, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Angler

BUILD MB843 NOW!


Mag Taper MB842-MHX Rod

Bassmaster Elite Pro, Brandon Lester likes to go with the slightly lighter power of his MB842-MHX when throwing small crankbaits and jerkbaits. Featuring an excellent tip and a healthy flex for superior sensitivity, while boasting a great backbone for fish fighting, this medium-light power MB842 is engineered for high-performance bass fishing.

Specifications: 7’0″ | 8-15 lb. | 3/16 – 5/8 oz. | Fast Action | Medium Power

“I really like throwing smaller crankbaits and lighter jerkbaits with my MB842 rod because it has the perfect balance of tip flex and backbone to sense subtle strikes and win the fight. I build mine with a slightly shorter handle to work jerkbaits perfectly in the cold without catching my sleeves in the handle.”
– Brandon Lester, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Angler

BUILD MB842 NOW!

Shop all the Brandon Lester Pro Tour Rod Kits now with the link below!