If you’re a freshwater angler, or you’re thinking you might want to try fishing in freshwater than you’ll probably at some point end up going after Crappie. Crappie is one of the best tasting freshwater fish, but they’re so small and delicate it’s easy to damage them when you haul in your catch.
For the best chance at a successful catch, you need a proper crappie rod that suits your style and location. Crappie is known to run away at the slightest provocation, so having a rod that’s designed to sneak up on them is a useful feature to have on your side.
Crappie rods need to be durable and robust, but as they tend to be long poles a lightweight rod should also be a priority so you can fish for long periods without getting tired or risking injury.
Finding the right crappie rod for you can seem very daunting, especially considering the amount of choice you have, so we’ve done the leg work for you and put together some of our top picks for you to have a look at, these rods are the best when it comes to catching crappie, and we’ve also created a buyers guide to take you through some of the most important features on a crappie rod so that you know you’ve got everything you need to find the right rod for you.
Top 5 Best Crappie Rods
OUR TOP PICK
St Croix is a premier brand among fishing gear manufacturers and their reputation for crafting well-constructed, durable rods that put in consistently high performances holds up with this wonderfully sensitive model.
St Croix is constantly looking to improve their products and this new addition to their range is a great example of how St Croix is always on the lookout for how they can deliver what their customers need out on the water. This fast action, supple rod is made from ultralight graphite which is responsible for the incredible sensitivity this rod provides its user. If you worry about missing a bite than this could be just what you’re looking for to put your mind at rest.
The rod lets you feel even the lightest, most hesitant bite and as crappie has a very soft mouth also gives you the soft hook set you need to successfully catch crappie. The downside of this sensitivity is that it is not the best rod to use with live baits simply because you will feel every jump and wiggle which may be distracting from sensing the bites that you’re looking for.
The rod is very well-constructed and durable thanks to the aluminum oxide guides which also make the line run very smoothly. The casting on this model is also smooth and easy thanks to the guides and the rod casts well no matter what lure size you use which is a usefully versatile feature for making sure you get the use out of this rod.
The included reel with this model is also high quality and very smooth to use, with excellent drag. The handle is also very comfortable to use as the cork construction provides a lot of cushion for your grip and makes it easy to find and maintain a sturdy hold on the rod.
This is an excellent investment for novices beginning to take their angling a little more seriously, and seasoned anglers will find a lot to like about this sensitive model. This is a well-constructed and durable rod with a sensitivity that’s off the charts. Fishing with this rod will land you a lot of fish and a lot of fun.
- An incredibly sensitive tip that lets you feel even the softest nibble
- Well-constructed and durable thanks to the high-quality materials used
- Casts very well
- Comfortable cork handle
- A great option for beginners looking to take a step up
- Rod sensitivity makes using live bait more tricky
- PREMIUM SCII GRAPHITE CONSTRUCTION: Perfect for anglers who appreciate high-performance without high cost; Mid-modulus graphite fiber with a higher strain rate than common fibers; Most popular material that is lightweight, durable and sensitive
- PREMIUM-GRADE CORK HANDLE: Ensure you maintain a strong grip on your fishing rod
- MORE FEATURES: Fuji DPS reel seat w/ frosted silver hoods; Kigan Master Hand 3D guides w/, strong aluminum-oxide rings and black frames; Kigan hook-keeper; Two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish; Made in USA
- SPECIFICATIONS: Length – 7’; Power – MH; Action – Fast; Pieces – 1; Line Wt. – 8-14 lbs; Lure Wt. – 3/8-3/4 oz; Rod Wt. – 5.0 oz; Handle - 5
- 5-YEAR WARRANTY: Backed by St. Croix Superstar Service
If you’re after a great performance at a better price than this sensitive model from Cadence may be a good fit. This moderate action rod has ultralight power which makes it perfect for going after crappie, this graphite rod has a very soft touch which is perfect for setting hooks in the crappie’s soft mouth.
Available in a range of lengths this option gives you a great level of choice to let you find the rod that bests suit your location and style. The medium length and moderate action of this model provide excellent and easy casting especially is smaller bodies of water like ponds. The stainless steel guides are very durable and tough, but also run smoothly and help to reduce friction so the line runs smoothly.
The rod is versatile but still great for crappie fishing as you can use light lines under a lot of stress which will catch crappies but also might land you slightly larger fish like a small bass. If you want to use your rod for other species apart from crappie than this might be a good option.
The ultralight power of this rod will be able to handle any smaller fish, and maybe even some medium-sized species as well, while the sensitivity of this option makes it easy to tell when you have a nibble and adjust your technique to the size of the fish you’re fighting.
This is a great option for anglers with some experience looking for a versatile rod that’s perfect for catching a range of different sized fish, or anglers looking for an affordable and high performing rod they can use exclusively for crappie. Cadence is a relatively young company, but they’ve created an ultralightweight rod that feels premium as soon as you take it out of the box.
The rod is capable of casting amazing distances without any issues and while it bends a great deal under load, it has more than enough backbone to haul in the fish. Beginners may find this a good rod to start crappie fishing on as it’s not going to break the bank but it will be a lot of fun, and at this price, it won’t be a big deal if you decide freshwater fishing isn’t for you.
- Durable and well-made guides
- Comfortable to use
- Excellent casting distances
- Very sensitive
- Great for a range of skill levels
- Not a good option for large fish but will be fine with small bass
- 【What You Get From Cadence】Cadence fishing poles offer high-performance premium features at an unbeatable value. Fishing with quality, dependable gear should not mean breaking the bank. Cadence has a reliable customer service team and we will solve any problem you have. Customers have a risk-free guarantee when purchasing from us!
- 【Ultra-High Quality 30-TON Carbon Fiber Blank】All CR5 1-piece and 2-piece fishing rods are constructed with 30-ton carbon matrix graphite blank offers strongest ,lightweight, durability and sensitivity than other rods. Ideal for game fish including freshwater fish like bass, walleye and trout as well as popular inshore species like red fish, speckled trout and flounder with a rinse after fishing.
- 【Premium Materials】Cadence CR5 spinning rods are made from materials that bring strength and sensitivity without weight. Made of 30 ton carbon, SiC guides with durable stainless steel frames, a comfortable Fuji reel seat and a blank wrapped in carbon veil to enhance the durability. Rods comes in 2 handle configurations; carbon split grip and full grip using a premium cork and EVA, is made to deliver a premium rod at a greater value than the competition.
- 【Super Smooth Power】Stainless steel guides with SiC inserts makes it more smooth and durable, avoids line sticking into the guides, minimizes friction while also enhancing sensitivity by transferring vibrations from the line through the guide to the rod and to your hand.
- 【Travel Friendly】Unique 2 piece design makes it easily and affordable to fit in car, trunk, boat hatch than traditional one piece,but using feel like a one-piece fishing rod ! 2 piece spinning rod allows you to travel to your favorite fishing spot and enjoy fishing whenever and wherever you want.
If you’re an adventurous angler than this option from Fenwick might be just what you want as it is pretty indestructible. Fenwick is a well-known name in the angling world, and even if you’ve just started you’ve probably seen the name or heard of them somewhere before, they’re well-known for making very high-quality rods and any angler would jump at the chance to get their hands on one of their rods.
A Fenwick rod is a great choice if you want to a high-value rod that’s going to help you catch a lot of fish. This fast action rod is a great option for hunting crappie because it won’t tear through the crappie’s soft mouth accidentally as it immediately relieves the pressure if there is too much stress on the line. The rod has very smooth casting and retrieval with a titanium frame which is incredibly lightweight and durable.
The titanium guides and inserts make the line run incredibly smoothly while also giving your casting a boost and it’s hard to see that you’re going find better quality or performance on this anywhere else. The frame of this rod means that you can throw yourself after the fish without worrying about damaging your rod. The rod is very comfortable to use and it’s lightweight enough to relieve some of the pressure off your back and shoulders so you can fish comfortably for longer.
The rod has a cork split-grip handle which is very comfortable to use and gives you more control which is a great bonus when you’re going after a delicate fish like crappie. When fighting crappie, you need as much control as possible to avoid damaging the fish as you haul it up which the hidden handle design provides while also being very comfortable to use because you can’t feel the threads.
The handle offers a solid and sturdy grip even in poor or wet weather, and it remains comfortable to hold even after long periods. If you often fish on the river than this rod might be suited to the kind of conditions you’re used to seeing, but it’s a decent rod for most locations. This is an excellently balanced, durable rod that most anglers would be more than happy to have in their arsenal.
- Comfortable hidden handle design for maximum control
- Very lightweight
- Ultra-sensitive tip
- Excellent casting and retrieval
- Practically indestructible due to the titanium frame
- Cork handle may not last as long as the rod’s body
- Hidden Handle Design reel seat allows function and comfort to co-exis; Extreme comfort; not seen on the market today; Don't 'feel the threads' of traditional reel seats
- Titanium frame guides are extremely lightweight and are virtually bulletproof!
- TAC and cork handle design provides a solid grip even when the handle becomes wet
- Perfected actions designed specifically for light and ultra light applications
This fiberglass option from Lew’s is a great option if you’re after length in your crappie rod as the options for the model go all the way up to 12-feet long. This rod comes with 2pcs construction which helps make this a portable option despite the lengths it’s available in.
If you want to take your rod with you to some exotic locations, or hard to reach fishing spots than this option lets you take a longer rod to places that you might not be able to fish otherwise. If you’re an angler who wants to be able to make very long casts than this is a rod that can easily fulfill that need.
The rod has an EVA handle that’s very comfortable to use and can relieve some of the pressure from your hands and wrists during a long day fishing. The handle also can stop blisters from forming and helps you to maintain a good grip however long you’re out on the water.
The rod has stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts that reduce friction to the point that your line feels like is gliding through the air. The rod is very sturdy and has been made with high-quality materials and has features like stainless steel hook grippers which stop your line from getting tangled while you cast which is an excellent feature for beginners who may not have handled a longer rod before.
Beginners who may not have fished with a pole this length before may get a lot of this model but be warned. The length of this model makes it more likely to break or get damaged and its durability is not on the same level of other shorter rods.
With the right care taken though this rod can help you reach some harder to fish places from the bank while river fishing, and you may notice a dramatic increase in your success rate as you fish in places that have never been reached before!
- 2 pcs design makes it an easy option to take on the rod
- Very long for ultra-distance casting
- Very comfortable handle
- Good for beginners who want to start using a longer rod
- The length makes it more likely to get damaged during use
If you’re looking for a versatile rod that’s capable of catching a range of crappie species and others then this is a good model for you to take a look at. This rod and reel combo has everything you need to get out on the water, and it’s a great option for beginners who want to get out there and start working on their skills while catching some fish.
This option is another one that’s more portable due to its 2 pcs construction. This light action rod isn’t as sensitive as some of the other models on this list, but it’s still going to tell you when you’ve got a bite and most anglers will find that there’s plenty to work with. The rod is around 9-feet long and is made from graphite which keeps this set-up lightweight and gives you a nice amount of sensitivity.
The spool is made from aluminum and the reel is anti-reverse which contributes to your success rate. The 4-pound lightweight fishing line, perfect for catching even the smallest fish. The rod has a sturdy backbone which is more than enough to haul your catch in. If you want a rod that’s going to be great for fishing crappie, but can handle some of the larger, heavier fish than this might be one for you to give a go.
- Comfortable to use
- Easily portable
- Includes everything you need to get started
- Great backbone
- Durable rod and reel
- Not the most sensitive option
- Fishing rod and spinning reel combo designed for a variety of crappie fishing techniques
- Lightweight graphite construction with aluminum spool and handle
- Pre-spooled with 4-pound fishing line
- Instant anti-reverse lets you reel smoothly without interruption
- Multi-disk drag system for reliable performance
Best Crappie Rods Buying Guide
Hopefully, this guide has given you something to think about and you now feel more prepared to pick out your crappie fishing rod. If you would still like some more information about what features to look out for than this next section is for you. We’ll take you through some of the most important features of your crappie rod so that you have all the information you need to make the right decision.
As we mentioned earlier most crappie rods are long, though this is of course a matter of your preference and fishing style. Most rods are about 10 feet in length, but some crappie anglers go all the way to 16 feet or well below 10 feet. It’s all about where you’re fishing and how far you want to cast, the further you want to cast the longer you need your rod to be is the general rule. Longer rods are harder to transport and are normally heavier so keep this in mind when picking your rods.
Crappie rods are longer because crappies like to hide in shallow water with a lot of vegetation and obstacles. This means that you have to constantly be on alert to stop your line from getting caught or tangled. A longer rod lets you sneak up on the crappie and just drop your line in the water, this makes it much easier to catch them once you know where they’re hiding which is why most crappie rods are very long.
As crappie are smaller fish you don’t need a rod with a lot of power to catch them. The average-sized crappie is about 4-inches, though the largest will probably only be 8 inches which means that stealth and sensitivity are the main features of a crappie rod. Rods with a lot of power tend to be less sensitive, so a light or ultralight rod is the norm to give you the best chance at success.
There are three types of action that a fishing rod can have: slow, medium, and fast. If you’re hunting crappie than a slow action rod is best, even if they can be less sensitive. Crappie has very soft mouths and your rod needs to be able to absorb more of the shock when you pull the rod. Otherwise, you will easily rip the hook from the crappie’s mouth which is why ultralight to light and medium-light power is the best rod power for hunting the delicate crappie.
Best Crappie Rods FAQ's
What is the best color jog for crappie?
Go for chartreuse which is the best all-rounder. It works in clear and stained water and looks like a fish when its underwater.
What depth is crappie at?
You can normally find crappie at 6-15 feet. As we’ve said earlier crappie like the shallows, so make sure your line isn’t going to get tangled or caught on vegetation when you go after crappie.