10 Best Crappie Reels


Over my years of fishing, I’ve learned that the reel you choose can make or break your fishing […]

Best Crappie Reels

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Over my years of fishing, I’ve learned that the reel you choose can make or break your fishing experience. Smooth drag, durability, and ease of use are key factors when it comes to catching crappie.

That’s why I’ve tested and compiled a list of the 10 best crappie reels that offer a perfect combination of performance and reliability.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, these top picks will ensure a smooth and successful fishing trip every time.

Lew’s Crappie Thunder Custom Rod

For crappie anglers looking for a top-quality spinning fishing reel, the Lew’s Crappie Thunder Size 50 is a game-changer.

The premium graphite body and skeletal rotor provide the durability needed for any fishing conditions. It comes pre-spooled with 6lb mono line for effortless fishing straight out of the package.

The lightweight rotor and 5.0:1 gear ratio offer exceptional performance, with a smooth and consistent retrieve every time. With a one-year warranty, you can fish with confidence knowing you have rock-solid reliability.

Cool feature of this reel is the interchangeable right- or left-hand retrieve, making it versatile for all anglers. An added bonus is the 19″ recovery per turn, giving you an edge in out-casting and out-jigging the competition.

An issue I found with the Lew’s Crappie Thunder reel is its limited mono capacity of 120/4 yds/lbs, which could be a drawback for some anglers.

Premium graphite body for durability Limited mono capacity
Comes pre-spooled with 6lb line
Lightweight skeletal rotor for smooth retrieve

Lews Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker Reel

To start off, I recently got my hands on the Lews Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker Reel, and I must say, I’m impressed. The compact design caught my eye right away. At just 0.45 pounds in weight and with dimensions of 11.43 x 12.7 x 5.842 cm, it’s easy to handle and fits perfectly in my fishing gear bag. It

It operates smoothly, providing a satisfying drag that helps me reel in those crappies effortlessly. I’ve been using it for a while now, and I can confidently say that it’s reliable and durable. Whether I’m casting near the shore or out in the open water, this reel performs consistently. Crappie

Crappie fishing can sometimes require precision and finesse, and this reel delivers just that. The only drawback I’ve found is that the handle could be a bit more ergonomic for extended use.

Despite that, I still find the Lews Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker Reel to be a great value for its performance and durability.

Smooth dragHandle could be more ergonomic
Compact and lightweight design 
Durable construction 

Wally Marshall Speed Shooter Reel

Before I explore my review of the Wally Marshall Speed Shooter Reel, let me tell you this – I have put this reel through its paces. This lightweight graphite body and skeletal rotor design make it an absolute dream to handle.

The quality 4-bearing System with Zero Reverse one-way clutch bearing ensures smooth operation every time. And let me tell you, the double anodized ported aluminum spool with a strong and balanced aluminum bail on this spinning reel? It’s a game-changer.

Cool, right? The collapsible handle on the spincast reel not only makes for easy storage but also adjusts for left/right hand retrieve.

A thin compact gear box means this reel is both sturdy and easy to use. And let me just say, I’ve never had an issue with line twists or tangles on this one.

Even with all its amazing features, there is one thing about the Wally Marshall Speed Shooter Reel that I’m not a fan of – the price tag. It’s a bit on the higher side compared to some other options on the market. But hey, you get what you pay for, right?

Lightweight graphite body and skeletal rotor designPrice may be on the higher side
4-bearing System with Zero Reverse one-way clutch bearing 
Double anodized ported aluminum spool with balanced aluminum bail 
Collapsible handle for left/right hand retrieve 

Pflueger President Spincast Reel

Little did I know that the Pflueger President Spincast Reel would quickly become my go-to fishing companion. It offers a smooth operation thanks to its high-quality components, making every fishing experience a breeze.

The lightweight aluminum frame and cone, along with the dual titanium pins, make it durable yet easy to handle.

Reel in your catch with ease with the 6lb max drag and 3.4:1 gear ratio of the Pflueger President Spincast Reel. I was impressed by the 14.5″ recover for every turn of the crank, allowing for quick and efficient retrieval.

A reliable ally, the Pflueger President Spincast Reel features a 5 ball bearing system plus Multi-Stop for smooth operation. However, I found the line capacity of 145/4 a bit limiting for longer casting distances.

Smooth operationLimiting line capacity
Durable lightweight design 
Efficient retrieval 

Lews Signature Series Crappie Reel

While testing the Lews Signature Series Crappie Reel, I was impressed by its one-piece graphite frame and smooth drag system.

The Multi-stop anti-reverse and selective on/off bait clicker feature added convenience and efficiency to my fishing experience.

The aluminum dual-grip reel handle and Speed Lube technology provided exceptional smoothness in all weather conditions. I appreciated the pre-spooled 6lb. Mr. Crappie monofilament fishing line, making it ready to use right out of the box.

There’s no denying that the Precision machined brass gearing of the Lews Signature Series Crappie Reel ensures durability and reliability on the water.

The graphite spool and sideplates keep the reel lightweight and easy to handle during long lining and spider rigging techniques.

On the downside, I found that the reel handle could be a bit small for larger hands, leading to some discomfort during extended fishing trips.

However, this minor issue doesn’t overshadow the overall performance and value of the Lews Signature Series Crappie Reel.

Lightweight graphite constructionSmall handle size
Smooth drag system 
Pre-spooled with quality fishing line 

Sougayilang Lightweight Aluminum Spinning Reel

One of my favorite fishing reels, the Sougayilang Lightweight Aluminum Spinning Reel, has quickly become my go-to choice for all types of fishing excursions.

With its corrosion resistant smooth ball bearings and high-performance drag system, this reel offers incredibly smooth performance on every cast.

Even after hours of use, this reel maintains its ultra-smooth performance. It’s impressive how the precision brass gears and hardened metal main shaft work together to provide strong and reliable reeling power.

It’s also worth noting that the Sougayilang Lightweight Aluminum Spinning Reel is incredibly lightweight, making it easy to handle for long fishing trips.

It’s a versatile reel that can handle any fishing environment, from ocean boat fishing to lake and river fishing.

Corrosion resistant smooth ball bearingsLimited color options
Precision brass gearsSlightly higher price point
Lightweight and durable aluminum construction

Lew’s Laser Lite Spinning Combo

Even after testing various crappie reels, I found the Lew’s Laser Lite Spinning Combo to be a standout option.

The rugged, lightweight graphite body and skeletal rotor design make it a breeze to handle, especially during long fishing sessions.

The 7-bearing system ensures smooth operation, and the Zero reverse one-way clutch bearing provides reliable performance.

There’s a noticeable difference in the overall feel and performance of this reel compared to others I’ve tried. The LaserLite Speed makes casting a joy, and its durability gives me confidence when reeling in large catches.

A minor downside I noticed is that the handle can feel a bit small for those with larger hands, which may cause discomfort after extended use. However, this is a minor issue compared to the reel’s overall performance and features.

Rugged and lightweight graphite bodyHandle may feel small for larger hands
Skeletal rotor design 
7-bearing system for smooth operation 
LaserLite Speed for easy casting 

KastKing Centron Spinning Reels

Not all spinning reels are created equal, but the KastKing Centron series stands out with its impressive features and performance.

I have extensively tested the Centron spinning reel and I am excited to share my experience with you.

There’s something truly special about the Centron’s Superior Drag System, which offers incredible stopping power of up to 17.5LBs.

This, combined with the premium quality inner parts like the 9 ball bearings and one-way anti-reverse bearing, results in ultra-smooth performance that any angler would appreciate.

On the downside, I found that the Centron spinning reel can be a bit bulky compared to other models on the market.

However, this is a minor drawback considering the overall performance and value it provides.

Superior Drag System up to 17.5LBs
Bulky compared to other spinning reels
9 quality ball bearings for smooth performance
Lighter and stronger CNC machined aluminum spool
Attractive appearance with two color options

Lew’s Wally Marshall Classic Trolling Rod

Your go-to crappie reel, the Lew’s Wally Marshall Classic Trolling Rod, is a dream to use on the water.

The lightweight graphite body and skeletal rotor design make it easy to handle, while the double anodized aluminum spool with gold accent lines add a touch of style.

I love the strong and balanced wire aluminum bail, which ensures smooth casting and retrieves every time.

Marshall, the 6.4 oz weight of this reel is perfect for long days on the water, allowing me to fish comfortably without getting fatigued. To top it off, the 120 yd./6 lb./5.2:1 gear ratio provides the optimal balance between power and speed.

To be honest, the only downside I found with this reel is that the bail can sometimes be a bit stiff, causing issues with line retrieval.

However, with some practice, I was able to work around this minor inconvenience and continue enjoying all the other great features of the Lew’s Wally Marshall Classic Trolling Rod.

Lightweight graphite bodyStiff bail
Double anodized aluminum spool with gold accent lines 
Strong and balanced wire aluminum bail 

Zebco 33 Spincast Fishing Reel

Despite trying out various crappie reels, the Zebco 33 Micro Trigger Spincast reel stands out as a top choice for both beginners and experienced anglers.

The lightweight graphite frame and stainless steel cover make it easy to handle, while the patented no-tangle design ensures smooth operation every time.

The built-in bite alert is a game changer, giving you the advantage of knowing when there’s action below the water.

For effortless fishing, the Quickset anti-reverse clutch and 4-pound Zebco Cajun line pre-spooled in this reel make for quick and easy catches.

The all-metal gears and dual ceramic pick-up pins provide durability and smooth performance, even when reeling in larger fish.

These features, combined with a mono line capacity of 90/4 yds/lbs, make the Zebco 33 spincast reel a versatile and reliable option for targeting light species like crappie and trout.

My favorite aspect of this reel is the buttery-smooth retrieve and solid hookset it provides, making every fishing experience a memorable one.

Lightweight and easy to handleMay not be suitable for heavy species
Bite alert for added advantageSlightly limited gear ratio
Durable construction with all-metal gearsLacks advanced features for experienced anglers

6 Quality Features To Consider When Choosing A Reel For Crappie Fishing

When it comes to crappie fishing, having the right reel can make all the difference in landing those elusive slabs. Here are 6 key factors to consider when choosing a reel for crappie fishing:

1. Gear Ratio

A reel’s gear ratio determines how quickly you can retrieve your line. For crappie fishing, a slower gear ratio (around 3:1 to 4:1) is often preferred, as it allows for a more subtle presentation and gives you more control when fighting fish.

2. Line Capacity

Crappie fishing often involves using light lines and small lures, so you don’t need a reel with massive line capacity. Look for a reel that can hold at least 50-75 yards of 4-6 lb test line, which is suitable for most crappie fishing applications.

3. Drag System

A smooth, consistent drag system is crucial for landing crappie, which can be notorious for their sudden, strong runs. Look for a reel with a reliable drag system that can handle the occasional strong surge.

4. Reel Size and Weight

Crappie fishing often involves long periods of casting and retrieving, so a lightweight reel can be a blessing. Look for a reel that’s compact, yet still has enough power to handle larger crappie.

5. Handle Type and Material

A comfortable, ergonomic handle is essential for crappie fishing, as you’ll likely be holding the reel for extended periods. Consider a reel with a soft-grip handle or one made from durable, lightweight materials like graphite or aluminum.

6. Price and Brand Reputation

While you don’t need to break the bank on a crappie reel, investing in a reputable brand can ensure you get a quality product that will last. Look for reels from trusted brands like Abu Garcia, Shimano, or St. Croix, and expect to pay between $50-$200 for a high-quality crappie reel.

By considering these factors, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect reel for your crappie fishing adventures!

How To Properly Maintain And Care For Your Crappie Fishing Reels

Taking proper care of your crappie fishing reels is vital for the overall performance and reliability of the reel. A well-maintained reel can give you years of use, so it’s important to stay on top of its maintenance. Here are a few tips that’ll help you do just that.

First and foremost, always clean your reel after every use. This will prevent dirt and grime from building up and interfering with the reels’ performance. Be sure to use fresh water to avoid any damage to the internal components.

Also, lubricate your reel periodically to reduce wear and tear on the internal parts, especially if you’re using it in saltwater environments.

Next, inspect all the components for signs of wear or corrosion. Any worn-out parts should be replaced immediately before they cause further damage to your reel or lead to an accident while fishing.

It’s also important to keep an eye on the drag system and make sure it is set correctly each time you go out fishing. Lastly, store your reel in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture when not in use; this will ensure that your reel stays in good condition for many years to come.

All these steps will help ensure that your crappie fishing reels last longer, perform better, and catch more fish! With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy angling like a pro every time you hit the water. Now let’s move on to where one can find the best-rated crappie fishing reels.


Taking this into account, I truly believe that the 10 best crappie reels outlined in this guide offer smooth drag systems and durable construction that will enhance your fishing experience.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned angler, these reels provide the reliability and performance needed to reel in those prized crappie.

By investing in a high-quality crappie reel, you can feel confident in your ability to make accurate casts and bring in your catch with ease.

The smooth drag systems of these reels ensure that you can adjust the resistance to suit the size of the fish you are targeting, while their durable construction guarantees long-lasting use season after season.

So, if you are looking to up your crappie fishing game, I highly recommend considering one of the 10 best crappie reels mentioned in this guide.

With their smooth drag and durable build, you can focus on enjoying your time on the water and reeling in those impressive crappie without any worries about your gear holding up.


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