Hey there anglers and welcome to my post where I we will check out my three best spinning rod and reel combos for Crappie this year. For many fishers, especially those starting out, investing the time and money to buy individual rods, reels, and fishing lines is a daunting task. Hence, rod and reel combos are an excellent option as they are matched by the retailer for effective use.
So for those of you looking to get yourselves set up with a good rod and reel combo for your Crappie fishing adventures (I should have worded that better hey haha), I have had a good look around and come up with three good options below.
Let’s check them out…
My three recommended spinning rod and reel combos for Crappie
I will review these in more detail below, but if you want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience:
What are spinning rod and reel combos for Crappie?
A rod and reel combo is a matched set of a rod and reel setup up to give you the best chance of landing this type of fish. This is most often a spinning rod and reel from the same manufacturer however in some cases, consists of a fishing rod from one manufacturer and a reel from another, which a retailer usually puts together.
To achieve proper balance and function, the length and action of the rod are adequately matched with the reel’s size, weight, and line capacity.
What should you be looking for?
In light of the above, the following considerations can assist when looking for a spinning fishing rod and reel combo suitable for Crappie:
- Rod length
- Rod power
- Rod action
- Rod material
When it comes to Crappie fishing, size can definitely matter. If you are on the bank of the river or lake, then a longer option can be used. However if you are on a kayak or small boat, then a lack of space can mean that something like a surf rod is just not going to work. Shorter rods also provide for greater accuracy which can be helpful if you are fishing amongst structure however, slightly longer rods are better if you are looking to cast a little further away or want to ‘jig’ a lure.
Most Crappie anglers prefer a length of 5 to 7 feet from a boat or 7 – 9ft from the bank.
There are plenty of technical terms for the power settings of a fishing rod but in simple language, I have always known the power rating as a measure of how ‘bendy’ it is. Light power rods bend with little force and heavy ones need a lot of pressure to bend. So, in short:
- Light – very bendy – even whippy – will bend a lot with even the smallest fish. I like these, however for beginners it is easy to get the bottom confused with bites.
- Medium – needs a bit more pressure to bend – In general, this is a good measure for a Crappie fishing rod and my suggestion for all-around use.
- Heavy – takes a lot to make it bend – I would recommend these in areas where the current is quite strong or you want to troll from your Walleye
There is also a measurement that some rods have in regards to what they call Action or Speed. This is determined by where the rod bends. Fast action bends from the top third whereas slow rods bend down towards the reel. For general use, I would go moderate or medium, unless I need to cast a long way or are chasing larger fish, then maybe edge towards a faster rod as they allow for heavier lures/rigs.
Generally, fishing rods are made from one of three main materials: Fiberglass, Graphite, and Carbon Fiber. These three have different features and qualities that can help you with your fishing. These are outlined as follows:
- Fiberglass – Very strong and durable with very little maintenance required (rinse off after fishing is generally all that is needed). Also, very cost-effective with many good options available that don’t cost the earth – although these types of rods appear to be less available these days due to the introduction of carbon fiber technology.
- Graphite – Graphite rods are generally more rigid with higher power ratings (see below) however tend to have greater sensitivity than their fiberglass cousins. Their composition also means that a little more cleaning is required over time to avoid them becoming brittle and snapping. These are good for shorter rods too as they can handle bigger fish without the ‘give’ that longer rods have.
- Carbon Fiber – This is a newer compound in fishing rods being more rigid than the fiberglass/ composite rods but also lighter – which is great for Crappie fishing. These types are becoming more and more popular for all levels of experience due to their toughness and versatility.
- Glass Tip – Glass Tips or ‘Hybrid’ rods are made from a combination of graphite and fiberglass. These are designed to give the best of both worlds with extra strength of the graphite rod added to the sensitivity of the glass tip. Great if you are using the rod in a number of locations and water types.
Good carbon fiber rods have severely come down in price in recent times as well making them, in my opinion, a great choice for Crappie fishing.
- Reel type
- Reel drag
- Reel material
One factor influencing the selection of your Crappie reel is the techniques you use. If you intend to cast jigs, spinners, soft baits and the like, then I recommend that you use an appropriately sized spinning reel. This is due to the ease with which such a type can be cast in most conditions.
This feature helps in reducing the friction once a fish takes your lure. The drag’s purpose is to limit how much force can be applied to the line before the spool slips and lets out more lines. This avoids line breakage giving it a little more strength as well as protecting your reel at the same time.
Granted it is almost impossible to purchase a spinning reel that doesn’t have a drag system included these days however you should always check the manufacturer’s strength limitations to ensure it can handle the type of fish you will be chasing. In general, you should set your drag to about 1/3 times the tensile strength of your line, and a good drag on a walleye reel should release line smoothly whether you’re using 6-pound mono or 12-pound braid.
In general, spinning reels are made from a corrosion-resistant metal, carbon fiber, and/or aluminum body with variations of the following:
- Bearings – As with a car wheel, the spinning mechanisms inside a spinning fishing reel generally incorporate ball bearings for smoother operation. From my experience, most come with between 3 and 10 and I was always told that the more you can get for the price, the better. If the specifications are listed as 10 + 1 for example, this means that there are 10 ball bearings in the main housing and also a roller bearing incorporated into the bail to make line retrieval easier.
- Ratio – One advantage of a fishing fishing reel is the winding ratio. This is usually set anywhere for 3:1 up to 6 or 7:1 (often listed as 6.0:1 etc.) This simply means that for every time the user turns the handle a full rotation, the spool holding the line has actually turned 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 times meaningless winding for faster line retrieval. Higher ratios are good for fast retrieval fishing such as with a lure or if there are a lot of snags etc. Lower rations assist with the big fish catches. For a beginner, I like a ratio anywhere in the 5 – 6 range myself.
- Casing – This is the part of the reel that contains the springs, levers, gear cogs, etc. that make much of the stuff above work. For a beginner, avoid any reel that doesn’t have this all housed in a sealed, waterproof casing. These are low maintenance and the components will not rust.
- Handle – Most are plastic but make sure it fits comfortably in your hand (more expensive models are EVA or rubber).
- Weight – The lighter the reel, the better.
- Anti-reverse switch – These are usually found in the underbelly of the reel and simply put, will stop the reel from going backward. Some like to reel in reverse to let the line out slowly but don’t want this to happen with the rod in a holder.
- Line holder – This is the little tab on the side of the reel housing that holds the end of the fishing line if it is not rigged up. These are not often thought of when a reel is purchased but something that is really missed if it is not there.
What size rod is best for Crappie?
Most Crappie anglers prefer a length of 5 to 7 feet from a boat or 7 – 9ft from the bank. Stick to the medium range in action and power as these will give you good control over the fish as being able to handle a jigging lure if that is what you like to use.
What size reel is best for Crappie?
Crappie are not the biggest fish around so anything around the 3000 – 5000 mark will do the trick. Attach it to a 5 – 7 ft rod, throw some 8-12lb braid on there and you should be good to go.
My three recommendations broken down
So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:
1. Lew’s Mr. Crappie Slab Daddy Jig/Troll Spinning Crappie Combo
This first combo comes with a super-sensitive rod with a secure reel seat that holds your reel effectively. This brand is one of the most sought-after crappie rod and reel combos and a good all-round option for most conditions. See its specifications below:
- Brand: Lew’s
- Rod construction material: Fiberglass
- Rod length: 7 feet
- Rod action: Light action
- Reel line capacity: 90 yards/6 lb. mono
- Reel construction material: Plated metal frame
- Reel gear ratio: 3.6:1
- EVA foam grips
- Anti-reverse lever
- Audible bait clicker
Why have I chosen it?
The rod’s light action provides the sensitivity required to land Crappie. It comes with a 7-foot fiberglass rod blank, contributing to the ultralight rods’ extreme durability, strength and sensitivity. The reel is housed within a rugged plated metal frame with an audible bait clicker that alerts you when a crappie takes the bait. It has a quick anti-reverse gear system and comes with 4 pounds of solid fishing line pre-spooled as well.
2. KastKing Centron Spinning Rod And Reel Combo
My next rod and reel combo for Crappie is equipped with an ambidextrous reel and a super smooth 10-ball bearing system. With a length range of 6 – 8 feet, the rod is the perfect length as well. See its specifications below:
- Brand: KastKing
- Rod material: High modulus carbon fiber graphite
- Rod length: Available in 6 feet, 7 feet, and 8 feet
- Rod action: Fast, Moderate fast
- Rod power: Available in medium and medium heavy
- Reel bearings: 9+1
- Reel line capacity: Not indicated
- Reel gear ratio: 5.2:1 and 4.5:1
Other inclusions :
- Hook holder
- Rod and reel perfectly wight matched
- Full or split rear handle options
Why have I chosen it?
The rod is equipped with several guides, ranging from 7 to 9, depending on the model you buy. This feature will help you control the rod even if a sizable fish takes the baitr. For comfort, the product has finished EVA handles and a fighting butt. A 9 + 1 internal bearing system also leads to smooth use of the reel in every fish fight. A great option for beginners and experienced fishers alike.
3. Pflueger President XT Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
This is another well-known brand with premium components to create a high-performing crappie rod and reel combo. See its specifications below:
- Brand: Pflueger
- Rod construction material: Aluminum
- Rod length: 6 to 7 feet
- Rod action: Fast action
- Reel line capacity: 4/200, 6/140, 8/110
- Reel construction material: Graphite body
- Reel gear ratio: 5.2:1
Other inclusions it has:
- Ambidextrous reel
- 10-bearing system
Why have I chosen this?
The 6’6″ 2-piece rod includes a high-quality graphite blank with excellent sensitivity. It is also classified as fast-action and casts well with bait and lures of all sizes. The reel is excellent, easily competing with higher-end alternatives while outperforming its price point. Even with a light line, the front-mounted drag is smooth and reliable and the aircraft-grade aluminum handle with a soft rubber knob guarantees a secure grip.
There you have it, my three best rod and reel combos that will increase your fighting chance against Crappies. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual, let me know of your experiences with them.
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time.