Best Crappie Rod and Reel Combos Reviewed For 2024

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There’s nothing quite like some good crappie fishing. 

That sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?

But truth be told, crappie are one of the most enjoyable freshwater fish you can go after. 

Many people enjoy fishing for crappie, as you can fish for them in a variety of ways. Not only can you use underwater fishing lights to draw them in, but you can also go after walleye while ice fishing

Despite the various fishing techniques, there’s one thing that remains constant no matter what. If you’re going to fish for crappie, you need to arm yourself with a good rod and reel. 

An easy way to save money – and to make your shopping experience easier – is to choose one of the best crappie rod and reel combos. 

Best Crappie Rod and Reel Combos

Here are the best crappie rod and reel combos so you can skip the list and get to the good stuff. 

Last update on 2024-05-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What to Look for in A Good Crappie Rod and Reel Combo?

Rod Length

When you’re shopping for a new crappie combo, you will have to evaluate the quality and performance of both the rod and reel. 

The length of the rod can have a notable impact on the way you fish, so it’s important to find the perfect length for your unique fishing style.

There isn’t one single length that’s perfect for everyone, but it’s important that you find the length that’s right for you. Depending on how you fish and what your style is like, this might vary.

Crappie poles are generally sold in several different lengths, with options ranging from 6 to 10 feet long. Other rod lengths can be used, too, varying anywhere from 14 to 16 feet in length. 

However, if you plan on taking your crappie rod out on the ice for a day of ice fishing, keep in mind that a lighter rod will likely be more appropriate – shoot for one that is only two or three feet long. 

Otherwise, there are benefits to both long and short crappie rods. Short rods are ideal for short and quick casts where you need to be highly precise and accurate. 

You will also be able to cast into tight areas with ease. 

A longer rod is best for tackling fish that are in heavy cover. Obviously, you will also be able to cast a longer distance, too.

Rod Sensitivity

Crappies are known for having very thin mouths. If you are already a skilled, experienced crappie angler, you probably already know this.

However, what this means is that you will need to be careful about how you approach the fish. If you’re too aggressive when you set your hook, you can not only injure the fish but lose it, too. 

Look for a rod with lots of sensitivity so you can feel the slightest nibble. It should also be relatively light to make it easier to cast. 

Reel Type

When it comes to the best size for crappie fishing, you have several options.

Ideally, you should choose one that is between 1000 (10) and 3000 (30). If you know anything about fishing, you know that these are smaller reels. 

When you’re fishing smaller fish like crappie, that’s exactly what you want. 

A smaller reel will also help you fish in confined areas like lakes, rivers, and bays. 

Crappie reels can be designed either for casting or spinning. In most cases, a spinning reel will be the right choice, but that can vary depending on your own individual preferences. 

Regardless, you should look for a reel with a fast gear ratio. The faster the gear ratio, the easier and quicker you will be able to hook your fish.

The drag should have at least three ball bearings – in many cases, more ball bearings do not always equal higher quality. Three seems to be the magic number, as long as they are high-quality.

Reel Sensitivity 

As with the rod, it’s important that you look for a reel that is highly sensitive. Sensitivity can help let you know when a potential catch is there, so look for a reel that’s ultra-light or light

The lighter the reel, the better – this will let you feel nibbles more easily. It will also help you cast lightweight bait more efficiently. 


Look for a reel and rod that will last a long time. Quality counts, especially when you’re in it for the long haul!

Durability is often indicated by the materials out of which your rod and reel are made. Graphite tends to be the best rod material, as it offers sensitivity without compromising strength.

See Also: What is The Best Fishing Line for Crappie?

Top Crappie Rod and Reel Combos

Here are top 7 crappie rod and reel combos on the market today

Shakespeare C9025 SPBO Crappie Hunter Spinning Rod and Reel Combo

This fishing rod was designed specifically for crappie fishing. As a result, it’s one of the best options if you are looking for a rod and reel combo that is uniquely tailored to crappie fishing needs.

At nine feet long, this rod is just the right size for fishing from a boat. It can be used for other types of fishing, too, but the nine-foot length is ideal for this setting. 

The rod is sensitive with a light action, offering exceptional performance and quality. 

The reel is a 25-size spinning reel with a super-smooth drag system that is multi-disc. It comes with instant anti-reverse, too, making it easier for you to reel in tons of crappies. 

Built for professionals, this fishing reel comes pre-spooled with 4 lbs of strength line. It’s ready to go right out of the box.


  • Lightweight graphite construction
  • Comes pre-spooled
  • Has a multi-disk drag system


  • Small eyelets

>>Check Latest Price on Amazon<<

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo

Shakespeare is the name to know when it comes to the best fishing rods – and this combo is no exception. Since 1976, Shakespeare has been producing high-quality products that perform great. 

The Ugly Stik GX2 is a great choice for crappie fishing. It has three ball bearings along with a one-way clutch instant anti-reverse bearing.

This allows for practically instant hook sets and a gear feel that is overall smoother than anything you’ve ever experienced. 

The reel is made out of machined double anodized aluminum and has an oversized bail wire. It also has compression bail springs that improve overall durability and increase the lifespan of the reel. 

Offering unrivaled sensitivity and durability, this rod is comfortable lightweight, and particularly well-made. 


  • Durable and difficult to break
  • Has a comfortable, ergonomic handle
  • Lightweight but solidly made


  • Reel has no reverse toggle

>>Check Latest Price on Amazon<<

Zebco CRFUL/S802L Spin Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Another top pick on our list of the best crappie rod and reel combos is the Zebco CRFUL/S802L. 

This fishing rod is a bit shorter than the Shakespeare we just reviewed, so if a longer rod is not what you have in mind, this one should do the trick.

It consists of an 8-foot light action rod and a size 11 spinning reel.

Customers love this fishing pole because it is packable, able to be broken down into two separate pieces. 

You’ll have all kinds of freedom when it comes to taking this combo out on the road with you. 

It’s also durable. In fact, the gears used to build the components of this combo are made out of metal, allowing for long-lasting performance no matter how often you lug this combo into the backwoods with you. 


  • Has all-metal gears
  • Comes with right or left-hand retrieve
  • Has selectable anti-reverse


  • Customers report that some components are fragile

>>Check Latest Price on Amazon<<

Cadence CC5 Spinning Reel & Rod Combo

The Cadence CC5 is one of the most durable crappie rod and reel combos you will find. 

Although it can be used for other species of fish, too, it is best for crappie as it is made out of 24-ton graphite. 

The guides and inserts of this rod are made with corrosion-resistant stainless steel, which can help you enjoy the rod for years to come. 

With five different lengths and actions available, you might have a tough time choosing! 

However, there’s truly something for everyone with this rod, allowing you to experience a variety of types of fishing. 

And let’s not forget the reel, either – with eight ball bearings and a single instant anti-reverse bearing, it leaves nothing to be desired. 


  • High-quality carbon fiber blanks
  • Comfortable Fuji reel seat
  • Has stainless steel guides


  • Low-quality eyelets

>>Check Latest Price on Amazon<<

Pflueger President Spinning Rod and Reel Combo

The Pflueger President Spinning Rod and Reel Combo has the best performances out of all the other combinations we have reviewed. 

Even if you are a serious angler with super high standards for what you want out of your fishing gear, this product can meet the test. 

The reel has ten corrosion-resistant ball bearings made out of stainless steel. These come with a braid-ready spool that allows you to tie braid directly onto the spool. 

An ultra-responsive reel, it is paired with a IM-8 graphite rod. At four feet and eight inches, this rod isn’t the longest one you’ll find – but it’s perfect for transporting into your favorite backwoods pond. 

It can even be broken down into two pieces!

Even the handle is high-quality – it is made out of aircraft-grade aluminum for durability, yet also has a soft rubber knob to give you an excellent grip in all weather and fishing conditions. 


  • Sensitive rod with good action
  • Has a smooth drag system and reel
  • Ideal size for backpacking 


  • Reel bearings have a tendency to grind

>>Check Latest Price on Amazon<<

KastKing Centron Spinning Reel – Fishing Rod Combos

Another excellent value choice is the KastKing Centron Rod and Reel Combo. 

Great for experienced anglers as well as those who are just getting started in the wonderful world of fishing, this package consists of a lightweight, sensitive rod and your choice of reel. 

The reel can be purchased in sizes starting at 2000 and going all the way up to 5000. Regardless of which size you select, rest assured that your reel will have nine ball bearings and an instant stop one-way anti-reverse bearing, too. 

The rod is made out of graphite and has stainless steel guides. You don’t have to worry about this reel wearing out on you – because it’s in it for the long haul and has exceptional durability. 

With a contoured EVA foam handle and fighting butt, this rod is also comfortable to use. It can be used by people who are both left and right-handed. 

Fish all day long and still be comfortable? We’ll take it!


  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight and sleek
  • Extra sensitive and flexible


  • Some customers report issues with durability 

>>Check Latest Price on Amazon<<

Zebco/Quantum Crappie Fighter Spinning Combo

The Crappie Fighter Spinning Combo comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and models. The best for crappie, though, are the two that are ultralight. 

One comes in at just five feet long and the other is five feet, six inches. Both rods are two-piece rods that are perfect for packing. 

These ultralight rods offer sectional casting, sensitivity, and hooksets. With five guides, the rod is rated for 6 lb line and lures that weigh anywhere from 1/32 to 3/16 oz. 

We’d be careless not to mention the reel, too. The reel is well-designed, equipped with a single bearing along with a quick-set anti-reverse. 

While we normally recommend reels with more bearings, this one is the exception. It has a 4.3:1 gear ratio and a retrieve rate of 18 inches per turn – something that is nearly unmatched in the world of crappie fishing. 


  • Reel comes pre-spooled with 6 lb line
  • Can be used either left- or right-handed
  • Ultralight power


  • Can be a bit short for some settings

>>Check Latest Price on Amazon<<

Fish for Crappie Anywhere with the Perfect Rod and Reel Combo

Often, when you purchase a rod and reel combo, you feel as though you must sacrifice on the quality of the one in order to make up for the other. 

This is not the case when choosing the best crappie rod and reel combos. 

Not only can you rest assured that you will receive highly effective equipment if you purchase one of these combos, but you also don’t have to worry about their durability. 

Like your love of crappie fishing, these combos are here to stay. 

See Also: What Are The Top 5 Ice Rods to Choose?

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Sean Ward

Hey there, my name is Sean – OnTrack Fishing is my site. I’ve been fortunate enough to catch bass in the States, barramundi in Australia, trout here at home, and carp on the Danube delta. If I’m not fishing, or talking about fishing, then….I’m probably asleep.


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