Crappie-rods

Best Crappie Rods 2020 – Top 7 for Crappie Fishing

Best Overall

Cadence Spinning Rod CR5-30
Available at Amazon
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Very Popular

St Croix Panfish Series Spinning Rods
Available at Amazon
Check price
Best Premium Choice

Fenwick Elite Tech River Runner Spinning Rod
Available at Amazon
Check price

Best crappie rods

Catching crappie isn’t as easy as it might seem. You have to prepare well for it, which includes getting the right tools and bait. There are various categories of fishing rods, and the crappie rods fall in an extensively separate category.

They’re designed specifically for crappies and thus, can make the difference of a catch and a big one getting away.

No matter if you are looking for a rod to yourself, your son or as a reserve in case your main one gets broken – we’ll help you find the best one to suit your needs.

Although we have tested and reviewed a lot of them, we gotta admit that one of them (the CR5) really excelled everyone else. Now, let’s get straight to it.

In a hurry? Here are the best crappie rods on the market today.

Best Overall: Cadence Spinning Rod CR5-30
“It’s very lightweight and has tons of sensitivity, but can still haul in the bigger fish without any issues”


Very Popular: St Croix Panfish Series Spinning Rods
“The Panfish Series Spinning Rods are super durable and light in weight”


Best Premium Choice: Fenwick Elite Tech River Runner Spinning Rod
“A well-balanced rod that gives you great value for the money”


Best Budget Choice: Lew’s Fishing Mr. Crappie Slab Daddy 2 Piece Rod
“Even though the price is cheap, the quality is still high”


Great lightweighter: Shakespeare CH9025SPBO
“mainly designed for crappie fishing and is suitable for both beginners as well as experts”


Great Budget Choice: B’n’M Duck Commander Ultralite Crappie Rod
“It’s reliable, sensitive and feels good to use”


Good for light baits: Zebco CRFUL/S802L
“The coil of this rod features an anti-reverse system for uninterrupted reeling”


Best Overall: Cadence Spinning Rod CR5-30

Reasons to buy:

  • Affordable
  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Comes in a variety of lengths, power, and actions
  • 2 types of handles
  • Durable
  • Comfortable
Reasons not to buy:

Verdict:

One of the most popular crappie rods out there. It gives you great value for the money. Every part of it is premium quality. It’s very lightweight and has tons of sensitivity, but can still haul in the bigger fish without any issues. Even if other rods are good, nothing beats this one. Nothing. If you want the most for your money, this is the one.

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Cadence, a relatively new fishing rod manufacturer in the market, is already quite well known for their highly-performing products.

Cadence Spinning Rod CR5-30 is without a doubt a great rod. No wonder it’s so popular at Amazon.

Let’s get to the hard facts.

CR5 is available in a range of lengths ranging from 4’8,” and 7’0″ and their actions are fast, moderate and moderate fast. This variety of measures, power, and actions makes the crappie rod suitable for various fishing activities, including inshore fishing or freshwater fishing.

The 30-ton carbon fiber blanks make CR5-30 robust, durable, and lightweight. The choice of handles given on the CR5-30 offers flexibility, making it a premium product.

It comes with two types of handles; one is of the EVA foam and the other of cork. They also offer the choice of split grip and full grip. This customization enhances performance, comfort, and removes limitations.

The CR5 has stainless steel guides and SiC inserts, which minimizes friction and heat, increasing sensitivity at the same time. The adjustable FUJI spinning reel is firm and comfortable to fight a hard-fighting species.

The two-piece design of the CR5-30 makes it quite portable. It easily fits into your car, boat hatch, and trunk. And the greatest thing is that you get all these features at a very affordable price.  We can assure that this 2-piece does not affect its durability and gives you the feel of the one-piece rod when fishing.

This is our favorite rod, no question about it. Judging by the number of positive reviews all over the Internet – we are not the only ones who fell in love.


Very Popular: St Croix Panfish Series Spinning Rods

Reasons to buy:

  • Portable
  • Durable
  • Comfortable cork handle
  • 5-years warranty
  • Versatile
Reasons not to buy:

  • Pricey
  • Single handle

Verdict:

These rods are undoubtedly durable and super sensitive, but their high price can be a drawback if you are short on a budget. If it’s within your price range, then it’s for sure one of the best crappie rods that money can buy.

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St Croix has been in the industry for over 70 years. They have mastered the production of fishing rods, incorporating a variety of technology in their rods. The company aims to provide the best fishing experience for every angler.

The Panfish Series Spinning Rods are super durable and light in weight. The exceptional sensitivity of these rods is a fantastic feature to ponder. They give you a perfect idea of what’s happening on the other end of the line.

These rods vary in length ranging from 5ft to 10 ft., along with the power that’s either light or ultra-light. The range of actions St. Croix offers includes moderate, fast, X-fast, and moderate-fast. The versatility of these rods makes them suitable for a variety of Panfish, including crappie, perch, bluegill, etc.

These reliable guides are made up of stainless steel to reduce friction and heat, which ultimately increases the casting distance. This increase also enhances sensitivity. The Sea Guide split style reel offers custom inserts to enable you to catch your preferred prey.

The cork handle of the rod is comfortable and offers a firm grip to help you fight a stubborn fish comfortably. The St. Croix rods are based on two sections to grant them portability along with comfort and ease. You can easily rely on St Croix based on their five years warranty. However, these rods are not as cheap as its competitors.


Best Premium Choice: Fenwick Elite Tech River Runner Spinning Rod

Reasons to buy:

  • Quite sensitive
  • Amazing guides
  • Comes in a variety of lengths and power
  • Hidden handle design
  • Portable
Reasons not to buy:

  • Pricey

Verdict:

After the CR5 from Cadence – this is our second favorite. It’s a great rod of very high quality, sensitivity and superb comfort. The handle design is very nice. You can cast the bait surprisingly far for a rod with this length. A well-balanced rod that gives you great value for the money. Highly recommended!

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The Fenwick Elite Tech River Runner Spinning Rod is one of the most expensive fishing rods, but it’s worth every penny. The company is a legendary brand that has been serving for over 50 years. Its unparalleled expertise and passion are visible in its products. This rod is no exception.

The River Runner is available in a variety of lengths and power. The length ranges from 5’8” to 8,’ and the power is either light or ultra-light. This variety of lengths and power offers versatility and ease of choice and makes the fishing rod perfect for almost all crappie species.

This model features the Hidden Handle Design of the reel, which is not available in any other model in the market. It’s quite easy and practical as it does not force you to feel the reel threads, unlike traditional reels.

Moreover, the split-design cork handle offers a firm grip, which reduces the chances of it slipping away from your hands even when wet. The use of titanium makes the rod super sensitive and corrosion-free, enhancing its durability. However, this adds to the increased price of the product.

This fishing rod is also highly portable with its two-piece design and its lightweight build.


Best Budget Choice: Lew’s Fishing Mr. Crappie Slab Daddy 2 Piece Rod

Reasons to buy:

  • Cheap
  • Good quality
  • Durability
  • Comfortable handles
Reasons not to buy:

  • Less sensitive
  • Quite heavy

Verdict:

A great choice for serious fishermen who wants to be economical when buying equipment. Even though the price is cheap, the quality is still high. The rods are a little less sensitive than others, but they are of high quality and feels nice in the hands.

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Lew’s is not new in the business. They have been producing a lot of equipment over the years. Lew started making fishing poles with homegrown bamboo and, in no time, changed them into high-tech rods.

This rod is designed explicitly for crappies and is available in two lengths, 9 and 10 ft. Based on the specific purpose of the product, the power offered is restricted to ‘light’ only. The superior quality fiberglass makes it super cheap, durable, but heavy too.

Moreover, the EVA foam grip of the rod is comfortable, smooth, and soft. So you can enjoy a blister-free and firm grip.

The graphite reel seat along with stainless steel guides and aluminum oxide inserts reduces the weight of the rods and adds durability. It reduces friction and improves sensitivity. Their two-piece construction makes them portable, so you are not restricted to only nearby fishing areas.


Great lightweighter: Shakespeare CH9025SPBO

Reasons to buy:

  • Comfortable grip
  • Multi-disk drag system
  • Anti-reverse reeling
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Pre-spooled reel
Reasons not to buy:

  • Restricted size and power
  • Slightly pricey

Verdict:

A very sensitive rod with a light feel. Definitely a high-quality one, although the price could have been a bit lower. The reel is great. It’s a nice rod that will be with you for some time to come. A bonus for the line that comes with the rod, it’s not superb – but it’s much better than we are used to.

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This rod by Shakespeare is mainly designed for crappie fishing and is suitable for both beginners as well as experts.

We second its ability to get various species of crappies regardless of their size. You’ll find these rods in various combinations of rod and reel to get you started right away.

Its length is up to 9ft, which is usually preferred by people who use their boats for fishing. The rod comes with a pre-spooled reel, having a 4lb line. The anti-reverse feature offers steady and peaceful reeling.

Moreover, the multi-disc drag system allows you to pull out large species, keeping the rod intact. The blank of the rod is made up of high-quality graphite, while the spool is aluminum-based. This construction makes them light, durable, and quite sensitive too.

The handles consist of EVA foam for a comfortable and firm grip. So you can hold it for as long as you want without any chances of a blister.

Since it features a two-piece construction, it’s highly portable. The bright tip enables you to keep an eye on fishes’ activities near your tip underwater.


Great Budget Choice: B’n’M Duck Commander Ultralite Crappie Rod

Reasons to buy:

  • Durable structure
  • Comfortable cork handles
  • Portable
  • Super sensitive
Reasons not to buy:

  • Lacks versatility

Verdict:

Considering the low price, this is actually a very good rod. It’s reliable, sensitive and feels good to use. The only down-size is that lack of length variety. It might also be a little too flimsy for top water poppers, but other than that, it’s a great rod. If you are looking for a good rod to your son, then this one would be a good fit!

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B’n’M is a leading fishing rod brand with a lot of effective and popular equipment for us fishermen.

This two-piece superior quality fishing rod is among the most preferred anglers’ choices. It features excellent graphite blank and original Portuguese cork handle for lightness and durability. The handle offers a firm and secure grip even in wet conditions. So you can efficiently deal with a hard-fighting fish. The use of graphite enhances the rod’s sensitivity, enabling you to enjoy the feel of underwater activities.

The Dyna-Flo stainless steel guides are durable, light, and sensitive. The reduced friction ad offers better casting. 

The double touch system of the rods makes it easy to cast along with the depth-monitoring wraps. Because of its two-piece construction, you can transport it wherever you want.

These rods don’t offer a great choice when it comes to length but are only available in 4 and 6 ft. This limitation undoubtedly makes them suitable for crappies but not for many others.


Good for light baits: Zebco CRFUL/S802L

Reasons to buy:

  • Affordable
  • Durable and lightweight
  • Pre-spooled reel
  • Left or right hand retrieve
Reasons not to buy:

  • Lack of versatility

Verdict:

This fishing rod by Zebco can be a good option if you are mostly looking to use light baits. However, you probably won’t be able to get bigger fish with it – as it’s quite delicate. We recommend that you only fish light bait with this one.

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Zebco has been a trusted brand for over 60 years. This 8 ft. Zebco pole comes with a specific size spinning reel. This combo makes the pole suitable for crappies but not for other more massive species. Its metal gears offer exceptional functionality and lightness. The coil of this rod features an anti-reverse system for uninterrupted reeling. Zebco offers a pre-spooled reel with 6 lb. line to let you get down to business right away.

Moreover, its two-piece structure is neat and portable. It can easily be stored and transported. The adjustable hand retrieve is a great feature enabling you to control from both the left and right side of the rod.


Find the best crappie rod for you

Crappie rods come in a variety of materials, lengths, weights, and many other factors. The most appropriate crappie rod is the one that best meets your needs. To share duties with getting the best crappie rod, we have come up with the most descriptive buying guide for you.

Materials

You’ll find three different crappie rod materials, including fiberglass, carbon-fiber, and graphite. Some people consider carbon-fiber and graphite the same, but that’s not the case. Carbon-fiber is a type of graphite with slightly different properties.

Carbon-fiber

It’s the most expensive material used in crappie rods. But its high price also brings in exceptional strength and lightness. So if you have a higher budget, carbon-fiber crappie rods should be your primary consideration.

Graphite

Graphite-based crappie rods are the most sensitive rods, offering a great feel of the underwater activities. They’re quite lightweight and durable. Expert fishers mostly prefer them.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass makes the most inexpensive crappie rods. They’re reliable and durable but less sensitive and more cumbersome.  So, if you are looking for cheap and durable crappie rods, directly jump to the ones made up of fiberglass.

Handles

You have to choose from the two types of handle materials based upon the comfort they offer to you. EVA foam is usually considered more comfortable due to the soft and relaxed feels it imparts. The use of cork results in warm and dry handles, which helps fishers keep a firm grip. However, they’re slightly rough. Make sure to choose the one that best fits your desired specification.

Reel Selection

The most preferred reel type is the spinning reel. Its weight is well balanced with that of the rod and offers less friction when casting. With this reel, you can see the line on the spool and easily untangle it when needed without having to take the coil off. However, the spinning coil needs practice and can be a little more expensive.

The other type of reel is the bait-casting reel or the spin-casting reel. These are easy to use and more durable. To cast with these reels, you just have to press the button. The line hides under the spindle, which protects it from knots or snarls. But in case it develops a noise, you’ll have to disassemble the reel to untangle it, which serves as a drawback. Moreover, this type of reel creates friction upon casting, slightly reducing the casting distance.

Length

An optimal length for a crappie rod is between 5 and 7 ft. The longest you’ll find is 16 ft. That’s because of their heavy-weight and less portability. Shorter rods are more accurate but have shorter casting distance. They’re great for catching crappies hidden in bushes and rocks. So if weight and portability are not an issue, you can opt for longer rods, but it’s preferred not to exceed 7 ft.

Rod Action

Action describes how much the rod will bend upon pressure and how rapidly it will come back to its original position. It’s measured as fast, medium, and slow.

  • Fast action rods bend slightly at the end of the rod. Their hookset offers immediate reaction.
  • Medium action rods bend from the middle and have a moderate hookset impact.
  • Slow action rods start to bend from near the reel, which shows delay in their impact and protects your line from breakage if a large fish decides to make an unexpected presence.

For crappies, fast to medium rods are the most suitable as they provide cushioned hookset for the crappies.

Line and Lure Weight

The ideal line and lure weight vary with the target. The crappies require ultra-light to light lure so that it doesn’t damage the mouth of the fish. The fishing line, too, is kept lightweight to ensure unnoticeable movements in the water. These rods can also catch trout.

The ultra-light rods have lines weighing around 2-6 lbs. and lures around 1/64th-1/8th oz. The light rods have a wire weighing between 6 and 10 lbs. and the lure between 1/8th and 3/8th oz. Other than these two is the medium rods that are suitable for fishing deep. Their line weighs about 8-14 lbs. and lures about 3/8th to 3/4th oz.

Guides

Guides are the rings present throughout the length of the rod to keep the wire in place. Due to the durability and lightness, stainless steel makes the most appropriate material for the guide. It prevents friction and damage during the fight. Although crappies are not so huge, they can damage the line trying to break free.

Warranty

Warranty is an important factor when investing your money in any product. No one wants the hustle of buying a new fishing rod after every second fishing trip. That’s why it’s crucial to choose products that have a more extended warranty. The length depends upon the manufacturers. Some offer five years or longer, but some offer relatively shorter.

Price

We have noticed a drastic price difference among various brands. Some brands like Cadence provides exceptional quality at a cheaper rate than St Croix. The brand ‘Lew’s’ offers even cheaper products without compromising on their deliverable. So, if you are concerned with prices to look for affordable brands.

Conclusion

Buying anything can be confusing if you are not aware of its technicalities. Thus, itis always recommended doing a little research before stepping into the market. Prior research can save a lot of your time and ensures you get a suitable product according to your requirements. Our buying guide mentions all the pointers in detail to help you with buying a fishing rod.

If you want to check out some of the best products available for you, then you must read our review list. For beginners, you can consider Shakespeare CH9025SPBO. Its smart and robust build adds comfort and efficiency in one package. But it’s a little expensive. So if you are short on a budget, you can turn to the cheaper alternatives like the Lew’s Fishing Mr. Crappie Slab Daddy 2 Piece Rod. For experts, Cadence Spinning Rod CR5-30 is a good option.