7 Best Crappie Fishing Rods (2021)

Crappie Fishing Rods
 

Highly specialized skills such as crappie fishing call for specialized tools. As the fishing season approaches, crappie fishermen need to find the best fishing rod for their hobby. If you have experience with crappie fishing, you know that you need the right fishing technique, the right bait, and the best crappie fishing rod to get the job done. 

In this review, we take a quick look at some of the most prolific crappie fishing poles in the market and give you some excellent tips on how to enjoy crappie fishing success.


Best Crappie Fishing Rods – Winners

Check out our quick recommendations here, or keep scrolling for detailed reviews:


Best Overall Crappie Fishing Rod

1. Candence CR5 Spinning Crappie Rod

Length: 6’6″

Material: Stainless Steel

Power/action: Light/Moderate Fast

Lure size:  4-8 lbs.

Line weight: 1/16-3/8 oz.

Handle: Cork

Guide material: Stainless Steel

Pros

  • Highly sensitive
  • 2-piecedesign
  • Stainless steel guides
  • Good for game fishing
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • A comfortable reel seat
  • 2-handle configuration
  • Moderate fast action

Cons

  • Some parts easily come off

Manufactured by a reliable brand, this Candence CR5 Spinning Crappie Rod is a highly dependable piece of fishing equipment. Made out of 30-Ton carbon fiber, this rod is not only strong enough for crappie and bass fishing, but it’s also lightweight and durable enough to serve you for quite a while.

As an extremely sensitive rod, you will feel it the moment your catch takes the bait, whether you are fishing in freshwater for walleye or trout or you are fishing inshore for redfish and flounder. 

What makes this the perfect crappie fishing rod is that the manufacturer has used nothing but premium materials to make it. Apart from the strong 30-ton carbon, it also features SiC guides, a rather comfortable Fuji reel seat, durable stainless steel frames, and a durable carbon-wrapped blank.

You get two-handle configurations with these rods; full grip featuring premium EVA and cork as well as carbon split grip, all of which delivers a premium fishing rod at a surprisingly friendly price. Complete with stainless steel guides coupled with SiC inserts, this crappie rod offers smooth power with minimized friction.

Designed for enhanced sensitivity, the line transfers vibrations from the fishing line through the stainless steel guides to the fishing rod. Finally, it’s travel-friendly, thanks to the 2-piece design that makes it easy to fit into your boat hatch or car trunk. 

View on Amazon >>


Best Premium Crappie Fishing Rod

2. St. Croix Rods Premier Spinning Rod

Length: 4’6″

Material: Carbon

Power/action: Ultralight/Moderate

Lure size: 2-6 lbs.

Line weight: 1/16 – 1/4 oz.

Handle: Cork

Guide material: Aluminum oxide

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • It offers clean casts
  • No “dead zones” in the blanks
  • Aluminum oxide guides

Cons

  • Slightly expensive

Most anglers are familiar with the St. Croix brand. This St. Croix Rods Premier Spinning Rod is often the first point of contact with the brand for most crappie fishing enthusiasts. Designed to offer you nothing but excellent service, this fishing rod is not only loaded with wonderful features but also better and stronger than most of its competition.

Featuring lightweight SC graphite blanks coupled with aluminum oxide guides, this crappie fishing rod handles about as well as a custom stick would. 

It has advanced IPC Integrated Poly Curve technology that goes a long way towards eliminating “dead zones” in the blank, giving you a clean cast every time. The action is finely tuned, and the genuine Fuji graphite reel seats offer you easy handling and extreme sensitivity. 

View on Bass Pro Shops >>

Also Available on Amazon


Best Budget Option

3. Lew’s Fishing Mr. Crappie Slab Daddy 2

Length: 10’0″

Material: Fiberglass

Power/action: Light/Fast

Lure size: 1/16-1/4

Line weight: 2-8 lbs.

Handle: EVA foam

Guide material: Stainless Steel

Pros

  • Stainless steel guide
  • EVA foam handle grips
  • Longrod
  • Unique rod indicators
  • Made out of fiberglass
  • Graphite reel seat
  • Affordable
  • 2-piece fishing rod

Cons

  • Not as sensitive as the rest
  • Reel mount doesn’t always line up with the guides

Designed to be one of the most reliable crappie fishing rods on the market today, this Lew’s Fishing Mr. Crappie Slab Daddy 2 is made out of fiberglass material. Not only does that make it lighter than most fishing rods on this list, but it also makes it quite durable and strong. Equipped with EVA foam handle grips, this fishing rod is comfortable and has non-slip qualities, essential for successful reeling. 

Featuring unique rod length indicators and a graphite reel seat, the rod has durable stainless steel guides and stainless steel inserts, making casting a smooth and joyous experience every time. For a number of good reasons, Mr. Crappie is by far one of the most reliable brands in the market. Their reals are durable, strong, dependable, and quite affordable. 

View on Amazon >>


Best of the Rest

4. St. Croix Rods Panfish Spinning Rod

Length: 5’0″

Material: Carbon

Power/action: Ultra-light/Moderate

Lure size: 1/16-1/4 oz.

Line weight: 2-6 lbs.

Handle: Cork

Guide material: Stainless Steel

Pros

  • Ultra-light/moderate action
  • Stainless steel guides
  • Five-year warranty
  • The cork handle is very comfortable
  • Strong carbon construction
  • Durable

Cons

  • Quite pricey

This St. Croix Rods Panfish Spinning Rod was specifically designed for crappie fishing, although it works well with perch and bluegill. Featuring premium SCVI carbon (an excellent blend of premium quality SCII carbon and super high-modulus SCVI carbon) as well as FRS, it offers you unmatched durability and strength.

Couple all that with a comfortable cork handle, offering you nothing but a strong, reliable grip, and you have a spinning rod designed for your crappie fishing pleasure. 

With ultra-light/moderate action, this crappie fishing rod has stainless steel guides, spinning Sea Guide XMS reel seats (split style), and is finished off with custom inserts that give it extra comfort and sensitivity.

It also features two coats of slow cure flex-coat finish, which is excellent for fishing bluegill, crappie, and most other panfish.

View on Bass Pro Shops >>

Also Available on Amazon


5. B’n’M Duck Commander Ultralite Crappie Spin Rod

Length: 5’6″

Material: Synthetic

Power/action: Ultralight/Fast

Lure size: 1/16-1/4 oz.

Line weight: 2-6 lbs.

Handle: Portuguese Cork

Guide material: Stainless Steel

Pros

  • Portuguese cork makes the handle comfortable
  • Pocket-friendly price
  • Corrosion-resistant ball bearing
  • Excellent performance
  • Durable
  • Reliable

Cons

  • It does not have a hook holder

The B’n’M Duck Commander Ultralite Crappie Spin Rod is an affordable graphite ultralight spinning rod that features a “double-touch” system, giving you extra stability. With a history of excellent performance, this crappie fishing rod has proven itself to be both reliable and effective. It’s quite comfortable, too, thanks to the Portuguese cork handle and stainless steel guides. 

This crappie rod has a carbon fiber drag and corrosion-resistant ball bearings that give it a distinguished look. While it’s generally quite affordable, the price depends on several factors, including the reel selection and rod characteristics. 

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6. Bass Pro Shops Crappie Maxx Tightline Special Crappie Rod

Length: 18’0″

MaterialGraphite

Power/action: Medium Heavy/Moderate 

Lure size: 1/4 – 1 oz.

Line weight: 10-25 lbs.

Handle: EVA foam

Guide material: Stainless Steel

Pros

  • Ultra-sensitive tip
  • Hi-vis tip
  • A comfortable, non-slip EVA grip
  • It has stainless steel guides
  • It fits well into rod holders
  • Ideal for specialized crappie fishing techniques
  • Graphite blanks for enhanced sensitivity
  • Aluminum oxide inserts for reduced friction when tossing

Cons

  • It’s a single-piece rod, which makes storage and portability an issue

If you are a specialized crappie fisherman who prefers to use a variety of fishing techniques such as drifting, trolling, spider rigging, or deep-water bottom bouncing, then you might want to get your hands on this Bass Pro Shops Crappie Maxx Tightline Special Crappie Rod.

Specifically designed for that level of specialized crappie fishing, this crappie rod offers a host of features that make it the ideal tool for crappie anglers who enjoy their craft.

Invented by some of the best slab slingers, the rod has an extended handle, making it ideal for any rod holder. It also has RTI graphite blanks which give you the perfect combination of sensitivity and backbone.

Finally, it has a hi-vis tip that is not only visible in dark conditions but also ultra-sensitive. This rod is perfect for tossing light crappie baits with stainless steel framed guides and aluminum oxide inserts that reduce line friction.

View on Bass Pro Shops >>


7. Jenko Fishing Hypersense Lucky 13 Crappie Rod

Length: 13’0″

Material: Carbon Blend

Power/action: Medium/Moderate

Lure size: 1/16 – 1/4 oz.

Line weight: 2-10 lbs.

Handle: Cork

Guide material: stainless steel

Pros

  • Ultra-sensitive
  • Extra-long for improved jigging action
  • Comfortable cork handle
  • 2-piece rod which is very portable
  • Mid-seat reel seat
  • Well balanced

Cons

  • Expensive

Most avid anglers know that being able to detect even the subtlest of nibbles when they happen is not only an excellent fishing skill to have but could also mean the difference between landing or losing that catch.

This Jenko Fishing Hypersense Lucky 13 Crappie Rod has been designed with blanks made of an extremely sensitive carbon blend, allowing you to easily pick up on the most subtle nibbles as soon as they happen. Additionally, the crappie rod is much longer than usual, which allows for high-end jigging. 

As a 2-piece fishing rod, not only is it easy to transport, but it also offers the kind of ideal balance that allows for a comfortable, all-day casting experience. Complete with a premium cork handle plus a traditional mid-seat reel seat, this crappie fishing rod is perfect for the expert crappie angler who values efficiency and comfort. 

View on Bass Pro Shops >>


What Is a Crappie Rod, and What Is it Used for? 

As the name suggests, a crappie rod is a fishing pole specifically designed for catching crappie fish. It can also be used for fishing for other small fish that are similar to crappie, such as panfish.

These types of fishing rods tend to be very lightweight (ultralight) and quite durable. In most cases, the most notable difference between a crappie rod and any other fishing rod in the market is often the length of the fishing pole. 

Crappie fishing poles tend to be much longer than most fishing rods on the market, with some of the longest options available reaching up to 16 inches. This particular characteristic of crappie fishing poles offers the angler a unique advantage as far as sneaking up on the fish is concerned. 

How to Choose a Crappie Rod – Buying Guide

As you may have already picked up, crappie fishing isn’t quite like every other type of fishing. To succeed in this, you need to have a lightweight rod that has an extra-long pole so you can sneak up on the fish.

The rod also needs to be sensitive since crappie fish are generally smaller fish. With that in mind, here are some of the most important factors you should consider when choosing a crappie fishing rod.

Material

The material used to make the fishing pole will determine how lightweight and sensitive it is overall. Some of the most common materials used in making crappie fishing rods include:

  • Graphite: This is one of the best and lightest fishing rod materials on the market today. Graphite is not only very lightweight but also extremely durable, which makes it perfect for manufacturing fishing rods. Another major quality is how sensitive graphite is to even the slightest of nibbles. 
  • Fiberglass: The biggest advantage that comes with fiberglass rods is durability. In fact, only graphite rivals fiberglass crappie fishing poles when it comes to how long they can serve you. Another advantage is that these rods tend to be tough and can withstand the abuse that comes with portability. If you intend to go fishing in different locations frequently, you might want to consider a fiberglass rod; it can take the hassle and bustle of traveling. 
  • Carbon fiber: Fishing rods made out of carbon fiber are tough. This material offers you a fishing pole that gives you excellent fish-fighting power. The biggest issue with this type of fishing pole is that it’s quite rigid, which means you will need to apply a great deal of your own fishing techniques to get the line and lure to move the way you want them to move. Other than that, it’s a dependable material that is lightweight and durable. 

Power

Crappie are generally small (up to 8 inches long, but most are 4 inches), so you don’t need a rod with much power. This is mostly because the higher the power the rod has, the less sensitive it generally is, and that can be problematic when angling for such small fish. The ideal crappie fishing pole is ultralight to light, which can easily bend under the slightest of pressure. 

Action

Whenever we speak of the “action” when talking about fishing poles, we are referring to the speed at which the tip of that rod comes back to the straight position once the rod has been flexed. There are three main types of action:

  • Fast
  • Medium
  • Slow

When it comes to crappie fishing poles, slow action is often best despite losing a bit of sensitivity. The main reason for this is that slow-action rods tend to absorb a lot of the shock that comes from you pulling the rod. This means that you are less likely to pull the hook and rip it out of the crappie’s mouth. The perfect combination of power and action for such small and delicate fish is light, ultralight, or medium-light power and slow action. 

Length

The length of the fishing pole often determines how well you can sneak up on the fish you are looking to catch. Crappie are small yet skittish fish that like to hide under rocks and debris in shallow waters. This means that you need an extra-long fishing pole if you are to experience any crappie fishing success.

That being said, the length of your fishing pole comes down to personal preference. There are crappie fishing poles that measure up to 16 feet (probably the longest available). On average, however, these poles measure around 10 feet. 

Line and Lure Weight

Since crappie fishing rods tend to be ultralight, you need to match them with lightweight lines and lures. These lures need to be light to avoid tearing the crappie’s mouth when you exert pressure. 

Guide

The best fishing poles tend to have guides: these are the rings found along the fishing pole that keep the line in place. In most cases, these guides are made out of stainless steel because that material is lightweight yet durable. 

Handle

Fishing is a hobby that takes a long time. It’s not unusual for an avid angler to spend upwards of 8 hours on the water just trying to land that perfect catch. This means that they need a rod that has a comfortable handle. Some of the best crappie fishing poles have cushioned or padded handles for increased comfort. 

How to Use a Crappie Rod

As you would expect, different techniques pair well with using a crappie rod. Some anglers prefer casting past the target and slowly retrieving their jig to trigger a strike, while others like to vertically present the jig and let it sit there until it elicits a strike.


FAQs

Are all crappie rods created the same?

No. Crappie rods tend to be different. Some are longer, others are made out of fiberglass, carbon fiber, and even graphite, and they all tend to have different prices. Crappie rods made out of graphite tend to be the most popular because they are lightweight, durable, and comfortable to use. 

Are crappie fishing rods easy to use?

Yes, with a bit of curiosity, you can easily learn how to efficiently use crappie fishing rods and fish for crappies. The video above should help you get you on the right track. 

What’s the best rod length for a beginner?

Anything between an 8′ and a 10′ rod should be good enough for beginners. With these rod lengths, you can jig, cast, and practice a host of other crappie fishing techniques before settling on what works best for you. 

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    Riley Draper

    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.