Best Crappie Rods

by John Wren

Crappies have delicate, paper-thin mouths that are easily damaged, especially if you’re too rough setting your hook.

This can quickly turn a catch into a miss, causing disappointment to the angler and leaving a fish swimming around with a nasty wound.

One of the easiest ways to improve your odds in catching a skittish crappie is to choose a rod that can help absorb some of the shock during the bite, giving you some cushion during the hookset.

Despite what their name might suggest, crappies are considered one of the best tasting freshwater fish.

A part of the sunfish family, these small fish are an attractive catch for many anglers across the US.

Below we’ll detail our favorite crappie rods on the market, considering things such as how they’re going to make your crappie fishing easier and more effective.

Best Crappie Rods – Reviews

Bestseller No. 1
BnM Sam Heaton Super-Sensitive Series Pole 7ft 2pc Spin
  • IM6 Graphite Blank
  • Dyna-Flo Guides
  • Portuguese Cork Handle
  • Super Sensitive
  • Cork Knob Handle
Bestseller No. 2
Shakespeare Micro Series Spinning Rod , 7-Feet/Light
  • Micro Series Spinning Rod 7'
  • Micro Series Spinning Rod 7'
  • Micro Series Spinning Rod 7'
  • Micro Series Spinning Rod 7'
  • Micro Series Spinning Rod 7'
Bestseller No. 3
Zebco Crappie Fighter Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo, 5-Foot 2-Piece Fiberglass Fishing Pole, High-Visibility Rod Tip, Split-Grip EVA Rod Handle, Ultra-Light Power, Size 05 Reel, Gray/Orange
  • 10 inch crappie ruler printed on the rod blank
  • Split-Grip EVA handle
  • High-vis rod tip to detect light crappie bites
  • Loaded with bi-color depth locating line
  • 2-piece rod blank
Bestseller No. 4
BnM Duck Commander ULTRALITE Crappie Rod 6' 2 Pc Spin DCSPIN
  • 40 Million Modulus IM6 Graphite
  • Unique "Double Touch" System
  • Genuine Portuguese Cork Handle.
  • Dyna-Flo Stainless Steel Guides
  • Chartreuse Depth-Monitoring Wraps
Bestseller No. 5
South Bend Crappie Stalker Jigging Rods
  • Graphite composite rod blanks
  • Aluminum oxide guides; High-vis rod tip
  • Graphite reel seat; Stainless steel cushioned hoods
  • Hook keeper; EVA handle
  • Rod size: 12' Pieces: 2 Action: Medium/Light Line weight: 4 -12 lb. Lure weight: 1/16 - 1/2 oz.

Best Crappie Rods – Buyers Guide

Power and Action

The rod’s power describes how much force is required to flex a rod. For smaller fish like crappie, it’s vital that you choose an ultralight rod so as to not rip the mouth and lose the catch. Ultralight rods with medium to fast action have cushioned hooksets that help to finesse the fish and land it.

Because ultralight rods bend so easily, they’re incredibly sensitive to even tiny nibbles. This is extremely helpful for skittish fish as long as you have good reaction times. Delicate mouths need a delicate rod, in which an ultralight model is best.

The action of a fishing pole is the speed at which the tip of the rod returns back to the straight position after it has been flexed. This is dependent on where the rod flexes along its length. Together with its power, a rod’s action tells you a lot about how it will perform.

Action can either be slow, medium or fast. For crappies, slow action is the best even though you will lose some sensitivity. This is because the slow action will help absorb a lot of the shock from you pulling the rod, which is less likely to rip the fish free.

Ultralight rods will often have a medium action, which is the best compromise for crappie fishing.


Modern fishing rods can be made from a variety of lightweight materials, including carbon fiber, graphite and fiberglass. Some use a hybrid of more than one material which increases the strength and provides more of a backbone. The best crappie rods are ultralight and therefore likely to be made from graphite.

Graphite is strong and stiff, making it super sensitive. Carbon fiber is the stiffest, strongest, lightest and most expensive material used for rod blanks. Fiberglass is heavier than graphite and usually less expensive. It’s not as sensitive or stiff but it’s incredibly strong.

All of these materials have advantages for being used for crappie rods, but their price points differ greatly. Choose a material that suits your budget best.

Line and Lure Weight

To avoid making your ultralight crappie rod heavier, you’ll want to use a lightweight line and lure too. The best crappie baits and lures will be light so they don’t tear the mouth, either.

A heavy fishing line will cause too much movement and scare them away as crappies are known to be more skittish than the rest.


The length of your fishing rod will depend on your personal preference and how big the body of water you’re going to be fishing in is. The longer the length of your rod, the longer you can cast out, but this reduces the preciseness of your shot. The shorter the rod, the more accurate you’ll be, but the casting distance may suffer.

Longer rods often mean more weight and less portability, as well as a higher price point.

Crabbie tend to reside in shallow waters with lots of plants and rocks to hide in. On one hand, a shorter length will suffice for casting out as you wont need to go too far. On the other, however, with a longer rod you can sneak up on  the fish and simply drop your line into the water without having to cast.

This can be a huge advantage if you’ve found where the crappies are hiding, which is why longer rods are a popular choice. This method will also reduce the likeliness of getting your line tangled in the plants and stones, which is another advantage.


Guides are the rings that are attached to the fishing pole to keep the line in place. Good guides will prevent friction and damage to the line during the struggle of a catch. Crappies may not be the biggest fish, but they’ll sure put up a good fight if provoked so good quality guides are a must.

Stainless steel is an excellent material for guides as it’s lightweight but durable, which is important when preventing line breakage.


The handle is an important factor to consider as crappie fishing rods should be easy to control and use, and the handle is the guide for the pole. Some crappie poles have padded or cushioned handles which are more comfortable for the angler and prevent blisters or stiffness.

Handles are usually made from either cork or EVA foam. Cork is warmer and more attractive, but less durable in more intense conditions. EVA foam is softer and cooler to touch, and it’s pretty resistant to damage. Ultimately the material of the handle will come down to your personal preference and what’s more comfortable for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s a crappie rod?

A crappie rod is designed specifically for catching crappie or other small fish. They’re ultralight but also durable, and work much better than regular rods for skittish fish like crappie.

Crappies have incredibly delicate mouths that often rip when the angler is using the wrong type of rod, causing unnecessary pain for the fish. This can also be very annoying for the person fishing as it’s easy for the catch to get away.

What’s the difference between a regular rod and a crappie rod?

The biggest difference between these two rods is the length of the pole. Crappie fishing rods are the longest designs with some reaching up to 16 feet in length, whereas regular fishing poles reside around the 7 foot mark.

Regular fishing rods also tend to be heavier and sturdier than crappie models, as the latter comes with pretty specific vital features that are needed to be able to catch anything.

How long should a crappie rod be?

Crappie rods can be both short and long, however most crappie fishers prefer a rod measuring between 10 and 16 feet. There are a few reasons for this, the first being that it offers a quiet approach. Crappies tend to be very skittish and like to hang out in shallow waters.

They have good hearing and will most definitely run and hide if they feel you near. A longer rod offers a quiet approach to decrease the chance of the fish running away from you.

Another benefit that you get from using a long rod will give you a longer reach. Shorter rods can make quite a bit of noise when the line hits the water. Longer rods mean you don’t have to cast as hard, therefore reducing the movement and noise, and leading to the crappie staying put.

You can more or less hold the super long rod over where you’ve found the crappie and drop your line into the water which also reduces the noise.

Finally, crappie rods are long to reduce line snagging. Crappies love shallow water with plenty of rocks, stumps and weeds to hide around, which can be a real problem for reeling your bait back in.

Like we mentioned before, with a long rod you can slowly drop the line in from above and remove the annoying task of having to untangle your line from a load of underwater debris.

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