10 Best Crappie Fishing Rods and Reels in 2023: Reviewed & Tested

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Best Crappie Fishing Rods and Reels

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Crappie fishing is one of the most popular types in the United States. This fishing style involves catching small fish that weigh less than 2 pounds. Crappie fish have an oblong bodies with a slender mouth. These fish are commonly found in freshwater.

Crappie fishing enthusiasts often refer to their catch as “crappies,” which makes their catch “crappie fish.” Crappie fish are known for their small size, which makes it easy to catch them. This fish has small scales, which makes it distinctive from other fish species.

Our testing lab tested crappie fishing gear to ensure it offers top performance and quality. We test for durability, ease of use, and functionality using controlled lab conditions.

We also test crappie fishing gear for performance under different weather and water conditions. Our tests show which crappie fishing gear performs best.

Our Top 2 Favorite

Best Value

Best Crappie Fishing Rods and ReelsBest Crappie Fishing Rods and Reels

Zebco Crappie

The rod is light, has a tube grip, and at 5.5 ounces, it’s light enough to use all day.

Best Overall

Best Crappie Fishing Rods and ReelsBest Crappie Fishing Rods and Reels

Ugly Stik GX2

The 3 ball bearings plus instant anti-reverse bearing provide smooth gear.

Best Crappie Fishing Rods and Reels

  1. Zebco Crappie Fighter Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
  2. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
  3. Shakespeare Crappie Hunter Spinning Rod and Reel Combo
  4. Zebco Crappie Fighter Triggerspin Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
  5. Pflueger President Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
  6. Zebco Crappie Fighter Spincast Reel and Fishing Rod Combo
  7. Sougayilang Fishing Rod
  8. Sougayilang Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
  9. SOUTH BEND Microlite Spinning Combo
  10. American Hero Camo Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

1. Zebco Crappie Fighter Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

Top pick

Best Crappie Fishing Rods and ReelsBest Crappie Fishing Rods and Reels

The Zebco Crappie Fighter Spinning Reel and Rod Combo have a simple design and multiple line retrieval options, and it’s billed as a crappie-specific rod. That’s unsurprising, as the rod is 10 inches, the same as the stated maximum crappie size.

The rod is light, has a tube grip, and at 5.5 ounces, it’s light enough to use all day without tiring out your arms. The Spinning Reel comes with a 35-pound braided line that’s about 25 percent stronger than monofilament, and like all Zebco reels, the Crappie Fighter is reasonably well-made.

It’s clear, however, that the rod is intended for smaller crappie bodies, as the 10-inch rod didn’t cast much farther than expected. The rod has a decent grip, and the split handle does a good job of spreading our weight and helping us keep the rod upright.

The rod tip is bright, which the manufacturers say helps you detect crappie bites, but we found that the line tip didn’t detect bites as well as it had on some other rods.

The reel has two line retrieval options, and we liked that this one didn’t require thumb manipulation to flip the dial. And we liked that the line counter was labeled in both feet and yards. The reel’s drag is adjustable, and we found it strong enough to keep the larger crappie from biting off our baits.

We also like this rod and recommend it for crappie fishing, but we can’t recommend it as a rod for other species.

2. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

Top pick

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The Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Combo is a decent deal for anyone looking for an inexpensive, lightweight, compact spinning combo. We love the versatility of the reel and rod combo, as well as the ability of the Ugly Stik reels to be fine-tuned for various angler preferences.

However, the Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Combo is lacking a bit in performance in terms of rough water performance.

The reel’s bearings felt rough and bouncy, and when throwing lures in rough water, keeping the line on the spool was difficult. The Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Combo is a good value at $49.99.

Overall, the Ugly Stik GX2 spinning rod is a solid choice for anglers starting or looking for a budget-friendly option. The rod is lightweight and comfortable, making it easy to cast for extended periods.

The 3 ball bearings plus instant anti-reverse bearing provide a smooth gear feel and ensure quick hook sets, which is crucial for landing fish.

Additionally, the compression bail springs help extend the reel’s life. While the performance in rough water may not be the best, the Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Combo is still a great value for its price point.

3. Shakespeare Crappie Hunter Spinning Rod and Reel Combo

Top pick

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This Shakespeare Crappie Hunter combo is ideal for various crappie fishing techniques. The rod has premium graphite construction with an aluminum spool and handle, allowing you to get plenty of use out of it, even if it’s something you use a few times yearly.

The Shakespeare spinning reel’s multi-disk drag system ensures that you’ll always be able to land a fish. The rod and reel combo is pre-spooled with a 4-pound fishing line, so you’ll have it ready to go right out of the box.

In addition to its durable construction and reliable performance, the Shakespeare Crappie Hunter combo also offers excellent sensitivity and accuracy.

The 9-foot length of the rod provides plenty of casting distance, while the light power rating allows you to detect even the slightest nibbles from crappie or other panfish.

Whether fishing from a boat, dock, or shoreline, this combo will enhance your overall fishing experience. So if you’re looking for a high-quality crappie fishing setup that won’t break the bank, the Shakespeare Crappie Hunter combo is worth considering.

4. Zebco Crappie Fighter Triggerspin Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

Top pick

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The Zebco Crappie Fighter lives up to its name, delivering just enough power to cast light lures to light to medium species, such as walleye, bass, and panfish.

The rod’s medium-light power, fast action, and 4-10-pound line rating make it a versatile choice for crappie, bass, and panfish. The reel’s 4-pound pull and 3:1 gear ratio, paired with the rod’s 6-foot length and 6-pound line rating, makes it a great choice for smallmouth bass.

The heavyweight line rating, paired with the rod’s 6-1/2-foot length and 2-pound reel rating, is also a great option for light to medium trout. Like all Zebco products, this rod and reel combo is built to last, backed by Zebco’s legendary customer service.

For this review, we paired the rod and reel with a Rapala X Rap Shad in 1/32-3/16 oz., but the rod and reel combo is great with a wide variety of lures. This is a solid choice if you’re looking for a rod and reel combo for crappie, bass, or panfish.

The Zebco Crappie Fighter Triggerspin Reel and Fishing Rod Combo are designed to provide a comfortable and enjoyable fishing experience.

The split-grip EVA handle offers a comfortable and firm grip, allowing you to fish for long hours without experiencing any discomfort. The quickset anti-reverse fishing reel ensures that the line never slips, and you can easily retrieve your catch.

Additionally, the combo’s gray/orange color scheme adds a touch of style to your fishing gear. Overall, this combo is an excellent choice for any angler looking for a reliable, durable fishing rod and reel combo.

5. Pflueger President Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

Top pick

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For the money, it’s hard to beat the Pflueger President. It’s reasonably priced, has a graphite body and rotor, and has enough features to attract entry-level and seasoned anglers.

This spinning combo comes with five 6′ 6″ braided fishing lines that spool up with the included spool cap. Even with a braided line on the reel, the President can handle monofilament up to 10lb test, which makes it ideal for most freshwater fishing.

The President’s sealed drag system and quiet oscillation gear mean this combo is quiet and smooth when reeling in. It also has a nice low-profile design, a machined aluminum spool, and a decent-looking handle.

The Pflueger President Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo is easy to use and comfortable to handle. The rod is made of graphite, which makes it lightweight and easy to cast. It also has a comfortable cork handle that provides a good grip even when wet.

The rod has different lengths and powers, so you can choose the one that suits your fishing style. Overall, this combo is a great choice for anyone looking for a reliable, affordable, versatile spinning reel and rod combo. Whether a beginner or a seasoned angler, the Pflueger President is a great investment serving you well for years.

6. Zebco Crappie Fighter Spincast Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

Top pick

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Based on the strength of its materials, the performance of its components, and its construction, the Zebco Crappie Fighter Spincast Reel and Fishing Rod Combo, 5-Foot 2-Piece Fiberglass Fishing Pole with Split-Grip EVA Handle, Size 10 Reel, Quickset Anti-Reverse Fishing Reel, Black/Orange, earns our highest possible score.

The rod’s lightweight design is well-suited to freshwater fishing and casting large lures for medium-size fish, and its oversized EVA handle ensures a comfortable grip even on long days on the water.

The reel features a quickset anti-reverse clutch that stops the handle from moving backward when a fish gets hooked, creating a solid hookset in the mouth of the fish when reeling it in.

The reel comes with a 6-pound Zebco line, which is plenty for most freshwater fishing conditions, and it comes with a spare spool. The reel’s 4.3:1 gear ratio, super-smooth stainless steel gears, and a pick-up pin ensure a buttery-smooth retrieval, extended life, and ultra-high abrasion resistance.

Additionally, the Zebco Crappie Fighter Spincast Reel and Fishing Rod Combo are incredibly easy to set up and use, making them an excellent option for novice anglers.

The rod and reel are designed to work seamlessly together, ensuring a smooth and efficient fishing experience. The fiberglass construction of the rod provides excellent sensitivity and responsiveness, allowing anglers to feel even the slightest nibble on their bait.

The Zebco Crappie Fighter Spincast Reel and Fishing Rod Combo is a reliable and durable option for anglers looking to catch medium-size fish in freshwater environments.

Its high-quality components and construction make it a great value for its price point, and its user-friendly design makes it accessible to anglers of all skill levels.

7. Sougayilang Fishing Rod

Top pick

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Sougayilang Fishing Rods are made of carbon rod blanks. Carbon rod blanks are lighter than fiberglass, providing better balance and sensitivity. Sougayilang 2 Pieces rods are sensitive and powerful carbon rod blanks with less weight and better sensitivity and trajectory.

Sougayilang fishing rods have 2 sections which make them more sensitive for fishing. The spinning rods are born for crappie, trout, bass, and any species in freshwater.

The 2-Piece Sensitive Spinning Rods is a lightweight, sensitive, powerful, and reliable fishing rod that can cast farther and more accurately for bass, crappie, and trout fishing. Perfect for beginners, advanced, and experts.

In addition to its lightweight and sensitive design, the Sougayilang Fishing Rod also features stainless steel line guides that provide smooth and easy casting.

The comfortable EVA grip rod handle ensures a comfortable and non-slip hold during long fishing sessions. This fishing rod is also easy to assemble and disassemble, making it convenient for travel and storage.

Whether you’re fishing in a lake, river, or stream, the Sougayilang Fishing Rod is a great choice for any angler looking for a reliable and high-performing fishing rod.

8. Sougayilang Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Top pick

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Fishing is relaxing, but having a good fishing rod to ensure your safety is even more important. The Sougayilang Megalodon Spinning Rod and Reel Combo are extraordinarily powerful and durable.

The carbon matrix blank technology provides powerful and accurate performance, and, most importantly, the 30-ton carbon matrix blank technology makes the fishing rod far more durable than ordinary models. The rod and reel combo is sensitive and durable, too, and the spinning rod and reel combo are 5.9ft and

The Sougayilang Megalodon Spinning Rod and Reel Combo are suitable for saltwater and freshwater fishing. The stainless steel guides and ceramic inserts provide smooth and efficient casting, and the anti-corrosion coating on the reel ensures it can withstand the harsh saltwater environment.

The reel features a high-speed gear ratio of 6.2:1 and a smooth drag system, making it easy to catch even the largest fish. The handle is made of high-density EVA foam, which provides a comfortable grip and reduces fatigue during long fishing trips.

The Sougayilang Megalodon Spinning Rod and Reel Combo is great for novice and experienced anglers who want a powerful, durable, versatile fishing rod and reel combo.

9. SOUTH BEND Microlite Spinning Combo

Top pick

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The South Bend Microlite Spinning Combo is a decently priced, durable, and versatile spinning combo. It can cast long distances with minor adjustments, making it ideal for freshwater fishing.

The rod and reel are fairly light, making it easy to handle (and carry) for extended periods. The design and performance are on par with more expensive combos, and the price is competitive.

The Microlite Spinning Combo is suitable for beginners and experienced anglers alike. The fiberglass rod blank is sturdy and can handle small to medium-sized fish, while the 2-ball bearing drive ensures smooth and consistent performance.

The cork handle provides a comfortable grip, even when wet, and the aluminum spool is durable and can hold plenty of lines. The stainless steel cushioned hoods also add to the durability of the combo.

Overall, the South Bend Microlite Spinning Combo is a great value for the money and a reliable choice for anyone looking for a versatile spinning combo for freshwater fishing.

10. American Hero Camo Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

Top pick

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The Lew’s American Hero Camo Speed Spin Combo is one of the best-feeling combo rods we’ve tested. Its rods feel light, balanced, and responsive, and it’s one of the few combo rods we’ve tested that comes with a patented “No Foul” hook keeper that ensures effortless transport to and from your favorite fishing destinations.

The reel spool also rotates smoothly and quietly, and it’s built of high-quality components. The reel has a smooth drag and good stopping power, and it doesn’t feel quite as clunky as some of its competitors due to its composite frame and speed gear.

The reel also fits relatively well in your hand and has a rubberized handle that feels comfortable even when wet. The spinning reel comes with an assortment of extra spools and line weights, making it easy to start.

The rod is standard fare, with a single IM7 graphite blank construction, stainless steel guides, and a split-grip EVA handle. The “combat” grip lets you hold the rod comfortably even if you’re using one hand, and it offers a good feel for fighting a fish.

However, we had some trouble with this combo with our left-handed retrieve spinning reel and left-hand retrieve rod. The reel would not spin correctly and would not spin at all when holding the rod in the left hand.

After contacting customer support, we learned that the reel is not designed to be mounted in the left-handed retrieve. But it’s nonetheless a well-designed combo, and users looking for a top-quality combo rod and spinning reel should consider this combo.

Buying Guide for Choosing the Best Crappie Rod and Reel

Material and Build Quality:

The material and build quality of the rod and reel are crucial factors to consider. The most common materials used for rods are graphite and fiberglass, while reels can be made of aluminum, graphite, or other metals. Choose a rod and reel that are durable and efficient.

Power and Action:

The power and action of the rod are essential for catching crappie. The rod’s power determines its strength, while action refers to flexibility. A medium-light to medium-power rod with fast action is ideal for crappie fishing.

Length:

Choose the rod length based on the type of fishing you will be doing. A shorter rod is ideal for fishing in tight spaces, while a longer rod is better for casting farther.

Line Capacity:

Consider the line capacity of the reel. A larger spool can hold more lines, which is necessary for catching bigger crappie.

Gear Ratio:

The reel’s gear ratio determines how quickly the line is retrieved. A higher gear ratio is ideal for catching crappie, allowing for faster retrieval.

Drag System:

The reel’s drag system is essential for controlling the fish during the catch. A good drag system can prevent the line from breaking while reeling in the fish.

Price:

Consider the price of the rod and reel. While high-end products are often more durable and efficient, they may not be necessary for a beginner or occasional angler. Choose a product that fits within your budget and meets your needs.

Captivating the world with its compelling versatility, the crappie fishing market continues to defy the odds. With various trends shaping this expansive landscape, we, as anglers, are eager to embrace this treasured pastime.

From innovative gear to groundbreaking technologies, the crappie fishing world constantly evolves to new heights. By carefully assessing these trends and incorporating them into our fishing practices, we will ensure that our passion thrives for years.

The evolution of rod and reel technology has transformed the crappie fishing landscape. Today, anglers have access to a plethora of high-performance gear. These rods and reels are game changers with advanced features such as lightweight carbon composition, durable graphite material, and advanced ergonomic design.

While tried-and-true rods and reels remain popular, many fishermen are veering toward the more cutting-edge options. The ever-evolving world of fishing gear allows anglers to customize and personalize their fishing experience.

Quality is a critical component in this ever-evolving landscape. When it comes to rod and reel technologies, choosing wisely is essential. Manufacturers increasingly rely on cutting-edge materials to produce high-performance products. However, these products’ durability, efficiency, and affordability vary greatly.

As avid anglers, we are responsible for assessing the quality and characteristics of these products. For example, quality rods and reels from industry leaders such as Shimano, Costa, Fenwick, and Shakespeare offer superior craftsmanship, optimum durability, and unmatched performance at a competitive price.

By analyzing these key trends and incorporating them in our fishing practices, we can ensure that our beloved pastime will continue to thrive. By embracing innovative technologies, we can maintain our competitive advantage.

By focusing on quality, we can elevate the crappie fishing experience. And by becoming astute consumers, we can ensure that our passion remains as dynamic and exhilarating as ever. So, let’s celebrate this glorious pastime by mindfully assessing it’s evolving landscape.

Crappie Rods and Reels: Highlighting Key Features and Their Competitive Advantages

Whether seasoned anglers or fresh-faced newbies, avid crappie fishermen know that not all rods and reels are created equal. For a successful fishing trip, choosing a rod and reel combination that offers optimal performance, durability, quality, and affordability is crucial.

The crappie rods and reels market is flooded with many options, and it can be difficult to sift through them all to find the most suitable ones for your fishing needs.

Fortunately, many experts have done the heavy lifting by researching and reviewing various crappie rods and reels.

Through these in-depth reviews and tests, they were able to curate a list of top-performing products, highlighting their key characteristics and features and outlining how they measure up against each other.

Their collective expertise and passion for crappie fishing allowed them to recognize which rods and reels made the most sense in their quality and price range.

This will undoubtedly aid you in your quest for the perfect crappie combo, allowing you to explore uncharted territory and reach new heights in crappie fishing.

As you embark on your quest, it is important to keep an open mind and to be willing to experiment with different products to find the ones that resonate with you.

These experts understand the struggles and frustrations of fishermen, which is why they devoted countless hours combing through user reviews and conducting rigorous tests to find the best crappie rods and reels on the market.

Their insights serve as a critical guidepost for anyone looking to embark on a crappie fishing journey, and they undoubtedly embody the pinnacle of innovation in the world of crappie rods and reels.

These rods and reels are a testament to the dedication and vision of these experts, and they are already proving to be a game-changer in the crappie fishing world.

These groundbreaking products embody the pinnacle of innovation, and they embody the pinnacle of innovation in the world of crappie fishing.

Don’t limit yourself to what the market has to offer. Challenge the status quo and push the boundaries of crappie fishing. Immerse yourself in this vibrant pond of anglers and experts, and tap into their knowledge and experiences to find your unique groove in crappie fishing.

So, open your mind and embrace unexplored territory. Embrace the rod and reel that will empower your crappie fishing journey.

Conclusion

Choosing the best crappie rod and reel requires careful consideration of several factors, such as material and build quality, power and action, length, line capacity, gear ratio, drag system, and price.

You can choose a product that meets your needs and budget by analyzing these factors. Remember that a good fishing experience requires equipment, technique, and patience. Happy fishing!

Choosing a crappie rod and reel that is comfortable for you to use is important. Consider the weight and balance of the equipment, as well as the handle grip and overall design. A comfortable rod and reel will help you fish longer without experiencing fatigue or discomfort.

Additionally, consider the type of fishing you will be doing and the environment you will be in. If you are fishing in rough waters or heavy cover, you may want a rod and reel that is more durable and can handle these conditions.

Considering all of these factors can help you choose the best crappie rod and reel for your needs and preferences.

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