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7 Best Crappie Rod And Reel Combos (2021 Reviews)

Crappie fishing is an art. It’s not just about the right lure, but also the right hook and line, rod and reel.

You can spend hundreds of dollars on a crappie rod set-up that may or may not be suitable for your needs.

We’ve put together this list of best crappie rod and reel to help you find one that works for your situation. They are all great options at different price points so there should be something here for everyone!

Our Top Picks

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Best All-Around Spinning Combo
Ugly Stik USSP702UL/25CBO GX2 Spinning Combo, 7'
Best For Freshwater Fishing
Cadence Fishing CR5 Spinning Rods | 30 Ton Carbon | Fuji Reel Seat | Stainless Steel Guides with SiC Inserts | CR5-702S-ULM
Best Value
Shakespeare CH9025SPBO Crappie Hunter Spinning Rod and Reel Combo, 9 Feet, Light Power , Black
Feature 1
Lightweight, robust, and responsive for immediate hooks
30-ton Carbon Fiber making it strong for water actions
The four-pound light lines pre-spooled on the reel
Feature 2
Long EVA foam handle, which is ideal for large hands
Portable two-piece structure
An instant anti-reverse gear mechanism 
Best All-Around Spinning Combo
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Ugly Stik USSP702UL/25CBO GX2 Spinning Combo, 7'
Feature 1
Lightweight, robust, and responsive for immediate hooks
Feature 2
Long EVA foam handle, which is ideal for large hands
Best For Freshwater Fishing
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Cadence Fishing CR5 Spinning Rods | 30 Ton Carbon | Fuji Reel Seat | Stainless Steel Guides with SiC Inserts | CR5-702S-ULM
Feature 1
30-ton Carbon Fiber making it strong for water actions
Feature 2
Portable two-piece structure
Best Value
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Shakespeare CH9025SPBO Crappie Hunter Spinning Rod and Reel Combo, 9 Feet, Light Power , Black
Feature 1
The four-pound light lines pre-spooled on the reel
Feature 2
An instant anti-reverse gear mechanism 

7 Best Crappie Rod And Reel Combos

1. Ugly Stik Spinning Combo

Best All-Around Spinning Combo

Ugly Stik USSP702UL/25CBO GX2 Spinning Combo, 7'
  • Ugly StikGX2 spinning rod
  • 3 ball bearings plus one way clutch instant anti reverse...
  • Machined double anodized aluminum spool with oversized bail...

Key Features

  • Three ball bearings with a one-way clutch instant anti-reverse bearing 
  • Lightweight, robust, and responsive for immediate hooks
  • Reel seat with a twist lock
  • Long EVA foam handle, which is ideal for large hands

The Ugly Stik Spinning Combo is an excellent option for crappie fishing. It has three ball bearings and a one-way clutch instant anti-reverse bearing, enabling almost immediate smoother hook setups and gear feels.

The construction of this crappie fishing pole accounts for its well-balanced finish and lightweight feel and a graphite construction with a transparent tip design for maximum sensitivity and response.

The fishing reel seats on the rod are designed with a twist-lock mechanism to grip the reel and prevent unwanted movements firmly. Plus, the reel features an oversized bail wire.

The continuous EVA foam handles provide enough space for large hands and various grips used while dipping, casting, and jigging. Its aluminum spool contributes to the rod’s lightweight, and it has a 5.2:1 gear ratio.

The Ugly Stix Spinning Combo is particularly for anglers concerned about an ultralight rod breaking since this product is highly durable because of its compression bail springs. They are not a costly component, but they truly outperform their price.


2. Cadence Spinning Rod 

Best Spinning Rod For Freshwater and Shallow Fishing

Cadence Fishing CR5 Spinning Rods | 30 Ton Carbon | Fuji Reel Seat | Stainless Steel Guides with SiC Inserts | CR5-702S-ULM
  • What You Get From Cadence: Cadence fishing poles offer...
  • Ultra-High Quality 30-TON Carbon Fiber Blank: All CR5...
  • Premium Materials: Cadence CR5 spinning rods are made from...

Key Features

  • 30-ton Carbon Fiber making it strong for water actions
  • Stainless steel guides 
  • Portable two-piece structure

The Cadence is one of the toughest crappie combos with its 30-ton carbon and a body reinforced with High Power-X, making it stronger than its counterparts.

This rod’s guides and inserts are composed of corrosion-resistant stainless steel, allowing you to enjoy the rod for many years to come.

It is ideal for freshwater and shallow fishing because of its unique carbon blank composition and 6.2:1 gear ratio.

The spinning reel has eight ball bearings and a single anti-reverse bearing. It’s smooth, retains a fair quantity of mono for crappie anglers, and the drag is excellent. 


3. Shakespeare Crappie Hunter Spinning Rod and Reel Combo 

Best Value Spinning Rod and Reel Combo

Shakespeare CH9025SPBO Crappie Hunter Spinning Rod and Reel Combo, 9 Feet, Light Power , Black
  • Fishing rod and spinning reel combo designed for a variety...
  • Lightweight graphite construction with aluminum spool and...
  • Pre-spooled with 4-pound fishing line

Key Features

  • Has a multi-disk drag system for an outstanding fishing performance
  • The four-pound light lines pre-spooled on the reel
  • An instant anti-reverse gear mechanism 

The Shakespeare Crappie rod and reel is one of the finest alternatives specifically designed for crappie fishing.

The rod has a delicate action and a light action, and it provides outstanding performance and quality. It includes a 9-foot graphite rod blank, contributing to the ultralight rods’ extreme durability, strength, and sensitivity.

The reel is a 25-size spinning reel with a multi-disc drag mechanism. It has a quick anti-reverse gear system, making it simpler to reel in crappies, best for an experienced crappie angler.

It even comes pre-spooled with 4 pounds of strong fishing line. 


4. Zebco Crappie Fighter Spin Combo 

Best Spin Combo For Ice Fishing

Key Features

  • Adjustable front drag system for improved casting, spider rigging, and shooting performance
  • Quick-set anti-reverse technology for  smoother spooling and casting
  • EVA Rod Handle with Split Grip that  improves grip and comfort 
  • Rod Tip with High Visibility that helps anglers recognize even a smaller fish

The Zebco Crappie Fighter Spin fishing combo is designed specifically for crappie fishing and improves casting, spider rigging, and shooting performance.

The crappie rod and reel combo include a front drag mechanism on the fishing reel alongside the fast-set anti-reverse gear system that contributes to smoother spooling and casting.

It features a Split-Grip EVA foam handle that improves grip and comfort for extended periods allowing you to fish for hours without becoming tired of your grasp.

It has a high-visibility rod tip with vivid color that helps anglers recognize even a smaller fish on the line by highlighting movement at the rod’s tip.

Moreover, the efficient spool is chrome coated, while the rod has a crack-free fiberglass blank and secure reel seating with a 4.3:1 gear ratio. Its rod is shorter than Shakespeare which is ideal for cold fishing trips on ice.


5. Pflueger President Spinning Combo 

Best Spinning Combo for an Effective Throw

Pflueger PRESSP President Spinning Combo fishing Reel Rod
  • 10 Bearing System Corrosion resistant stainless steel ball...
  • Braid Ready Spool Allows braid to be tied directly to spool
  • Aluminum Handle Aircraft grade aluminum, extreme durability

Key Features

  • 10 Ball bearings made of corrosion-resistant steel
  • The extreme durability of the handle for a very effective throw
  • Reel of high grade

The Pflueger President Rod and Reel Combo are equipped with ten stainless steel corrosion-resistant reel bearings. It includes a braid-ready spool, allowing you to tie the braid straight onto the spool.

It is coupled with an IM-8 graphite rod and is an ultra-responsive reel. The front-mounted drag is also smooth and reliable.

It throws effectively, and it is for crappie anglers who like bigger bait. Moreover, its handle is made of aircraft-grade aluminum for durability, including a soft rubber knob for a secure grip.


6. Panfish Series Casting Rods 

Best Slow Action Casting Rod

Key Features

  • Lightweight but durable; best for casting spoons and jigs
  • Has excellent sensitivity and is shock absorbant
  • Outstanding casting

Another good rod and reel combo are the Panfish Series, with its lightweight reel. It’s a fantastic choice for crappie since it’s sensitive and shock-absorbing, and it’ll help soften your hooksets while still providing you the feel you need to identify light hits. 

Its rod is well suited for casting spoons and jigs for still water trout, and, as the name implies, it works for panfish and even to catch smaller crappie.

However, the handle may be too short for large-handed anglers. Overall, this crappie fishing combo quality is outstanding and durable. 


7. Legend Elite Panfish Spinning Rods 

Best Spinning Rod For Beginners

Key Features

  • Taper Enhancement Technology (TET) blank design
  • Split reel seat for maximum lightness and sensitivity
  • Split grip handle made of high-quality cork

Legend Elite Panfish crappie combo has two ultra-light power, quick action rods ideal for targeting shallow fish.

It has excellent crappie reels and is an alternative for casting, drifting, or trolling light jigs dressed with soft plastics. The rods’ sensitivity and extra-fast tip make them capable of detecting even the smallest bites.

It features a Taper Enhancement Technology (TET) blank design with curved patterns for enhanced movement and sensitivity. Lastly, SCVI carbon with FRS in the bottom portion for optimum power, durability, sensitivity, and strength while weighing less.


best crappie rod and reel
Source: Canva Pro

Things to Consider When Buying Crappie Rod And Reel Combos

Today’s best fishing rods and reels on the market offer great features, lightweight design, and durability. Here are some things to consider when you shop for a crappie rod and reel combo.

Power

The best crappie fishing combos should have powerful rods, the force required to bend a rod. A light to medium power rating is excellent for an all-around crappie fishing rod because crappies are tiny fish; therefore, their crappie lures and baits are likewise lightweight.

Also, you can use medium-power crappie rods for the bigger fish species.

Length

When selecting the best crappie rod and reel combo, you must consider the rod length. Keep in mind that there is no single ideal length for everyone; all anglers have a unique best rod length varying on your crappie fishing techniques.  

Crappie poles are often available in various lengths ranging from 4 to 10 feet, though 14 to 16 feet in length can also be utilized.

However, if you want to take your crappie rod out on ice fishing where a line twist may occur, light rods with just two or three feet long would likely be more suited.

In general, for rod lengths, a longer rod allows you to cast it further, but it is less precise. Shorter rods are more accurate, but their casting distance suffers.

Action

The action of a rod describes where it begins to bend under weight along its length. Fast action rods are rigid throughout most of their length before turning at the tip and are preferred because of the sensitivity it gives. 

On the other hand, slow-action rods begin to yield closer to the handle, allowing the rod to absorb more shock, making it less likely to harm your catch. Slower actions, all the way down to moderate, can improve your bite-to-catch ratio.

Durability

Choose a reel and rod that is durable and will endure for a long time. The materials used to make your rod and reel are frequently used to suggest durability, so examine the fabric of your fishing rod and reel combo first before purchasing. 

Furthermore, the reel should be constructed to keep water and dust out of the gear system. A fiberglass or graphite blank is more durable due to its break-free toughness.

Also, products with a three-layer carbon and graphite composite construction increase the rods’ longevity.

Compatibility

The best crappie reel and rod combo include a well-matched rod and reel. Compatible rods and reels will complement each other’s functions better.

Thus, examine factors like the spinning reels’ size and the operating capability of each, such as power, length, and action, to determine whether they can operate effectively together.

Material

It is critical to consider the material utilized to make crappie fishing reels and rods for overall performance and durability.

Carbon fiber, graphite, and fiberglass are a few materials used to make high-quality crappie rods and reels. 

Graphite is a more delicate material but strong, rigid, and ultra-light. At the same time, fiberglass is heavier than graphite and does not shatter from strain or bending.

Plus, some rods feature aluminum oxide inserts to boost their durability. Lastly, carbon fiber is the stiffest, strongest, lightest, and most costly material utilized in rod blanks.

Handle

Choosing the handle for your crappie rod and reel combo is a personal choice depending on what you find more comfortable fishing in long hours.

Cork and EVA foam are the two most common handle materials, where cork features a more appealing and warmer, tough less tolerant of severe handling. Meanwhile, EVA foam is durable, softer, and cooler. 

Guides

Rod makers may undoubtedly take shortcuts on guide quality to keep prices low, and the good news is that this isn’t a major problem for crappie fish.

However, you still need smooth guides. It is advisable to test the principles of your fishing rod with the line you want to use. 

Conclusion

Crappie is a freshwater fish that people typically catch when fishing from shore. There are many different crappie rods and combos on the market, so it can be hard to find the best set for you. 

To help you out, consider your fishing technique and choose from the discussed best crappie rod and reel combos above that will help you catch more crappies!


The Anglers Behind This Article:

Johanes Godoy
Editor

Jon Stenstrom
Founder

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