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8 Best Crappie Rods For Fishing On The Market

Written by James Schulz

Crappies are a very common fish belonging to the sunfish family Centrarchidae.

They are very plentiful in the waters around the country and are one of the most commonly hunted game fish.

Over time, crappie fishing has evolved to become a sport on its own.

While you can catch crappie fish with the simplest of gears (such as a fishing pole and a fishing line), modern crappie fishers have become incredibly specialized.

Nowadays, crappie anglers have plenty to choose from when looking for crappie fishing gear.

They can pick between ultra-light and light rods, although a heavy power rod might not have the same level of flexibility for smaller fish.

Fast action rods are also preferred since slow action rods begin to flex too far into the blank for comfort.

You can also pick between fiberglass or lightweight graphite construction and more. Each one of them is optimized to catch this delightful fish.

For this reason, the discerning angler needs to choose their own rods specific for the kind of crappie fishing they want to do.

To help you compare the various options, we’ll discuss the best crappie rods of 2022 in the following sections.

At a Glance

Top 8 Crappie Rods For Fishing

1) Best Overall: St. Croix Rods Premier Spinning Rod

St. Croix Rods Premier Spinning Rod.jpg

When discussing the best crappie rod, you need not look further than the premium quality that the St. Croix Rods Premier Spinning Rod offers.

Key Features

  • Length: 6’
  • Material: Premium SCII carbon.
  • Power: Ultralight
  • Action: Fast
  • Line Weight: 2 to 6 lbs
  • Lure Weight: 1/32 to 3/16 oz

Pros

  • Great aesthetics
  • Lightweight yet powerful rod
  • Premium design and build quality
  • Outstanding warranty and customer service

Cons

  • Not the most sturdy offering
  • Price runs toward the high end
  • Handle grip can be a bit smaller than usual

St. Croix has long been known to make high-performing rods, and it’s that quality that makes this rod our most recommended crappie rod.

Crappie fishing rods tend to be light enough to be agile yet sturdy enough to execute various techniques.

In that sense, the lightness that you can expect from these St. Croix Premier Rods is top-notch.

The rod is made with premium SCII graphite reinforced by St. Croix’s Fortified Resin System.

This technology stiffens the rod’s base and reinforces where the rod bend is likely to occur.

Where slow-action rods are not ideal for crappie fishing, this rod maintains a fast action but with an added strength that will see this rod pull bigger fish.

The St. Croix Premier Spinning Rod also has high-end components.

The rod can boast sleek-looking Kigan Master Hand 3D guides, fitted with aluminum oxide inserts for better line flow.

There’s also a well-designed Fuji reel seat where you can securely mount any spinning reel for the catch and a full-length premium cork handle.

All of these factors combine to provide excellent functional aesthetics. The rod looks sleek and deadly, and its appearance heralds smooth casting power and great action in the water.

That said, this rod isn’t perfect.

This quality comes at a steep price, and although it’s not necessarily the most expensive rod on the list, it’s still not a price to scoff at.

Moreover, the all-graphite construction makes for a brittle rod that can shatter if you nick it slightly — although an excellent replacement policy somewhat mitigates that.

Lastly, this rod’s grip might feel a little too thin for some anglers.

2) Most Budget-friendly: Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Graphite Spinning Rod

Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Graphite Spinning Rod.jpg

Made to perform at its best at an accessible price point, the Bass Pro Micro Lite Graphite Spinning Rod is a highly sensitive lightweight gem that will have you hauling in crappie like it’s nothing.

Key Features

  • Length: 5′
  • Material: RT2 Graphite blanks
  • Power: Ultra Light
  • Action: Fast
  • Line Weight: 1 to 6 lbs.
  • Lure Weight: 1/32 to 1/4 oz.

Pros

  • Super sensitive
  • Accessible price
  • High-strength construction
  • It comes in longer rod varieties
  • The handle is made with tough cork

Cons

  • Components are not as well-made

This ultralight rod from Bass Pro Shops is made to be budget-friendly, yet it’s still one of the most well-performing rods on the list.

This light crappie pole is made with RT2 Graphite, which means that the rod blanks of this series are composed of uniquely-layered fiber layers.

Because of this method, this crappie rod can maximize its power even without putting on much weight, creating the perfect balance for crappie rods.

As a result, this rod has enough whippiness to cast even lures at the lighter end of the scale. At the same time, it’s also strong enough to fight with fishes slightly above its rated weight.

The layered graphite construction also makes this crappie rod very sensitive.

Most crappie anglers will be able to feel the slightest fish bite from the most elusive crappie with this rod.

Among its components, the handle of this crappie rod stands out.

For one, it’s very pleasant to hold, made with tough cork that will keep your hand comfortable for long hours.

The handle is also long enough to maneuver for finesse tactics crucial for crappie fishing, although it might not be as ideal for high-frequency casting.

The MicroLite Graphite crappie rod also comes in more varieties to choose ultra-light to medium light types in different lengths.

Best of all, this quality rod comes at a very accessible price.

It does come with a few sacrifices, though. The first is the quality of the components; the guides specifically are made only of stainless steel and are liable to damage braided lines because it doesn’t have friction-less inserts.

3) Most Versatile Application: St. Croix Rods Panfish Spinning Rod

St. Croix Rods Panfish Spinning Rod.jpg

Great for panfish of all sizes, the St. Croix Rods Panfish Spinning Rod can serve the most versatile array of crappie fishing techniques you can ever do on ultra-light crappie fishing spinning rods.

Key Features

  • Length: 6’9”
  • Material: Premium SCII carbon.
  • Power: Ultralight
  • Action: Fast
  • Line Weight: 2 to 6 lb
  • Lure Weight: 1/32 to 3/16 oz

Pros

  • Highly sensitive and flexible
  • Reinforced lightweight blank
  • Premium construction and materials

Cons

  • It might not be the most durable
  • Only stainless steel guide rings

Made for both saltwater and freshwater fishing, this lineup of ultralight crappie poles can do everything that a light rod is supposed to do to catch light fish.

These crappie rods are made with SCII carbon, St. Croix’s brand name for durable and sensitive mid-modulus carbon fiber construction.

Plus, it’s also reinforced with proprietary Fortified Resin System technology, which coats critical parts of the rod with strengthening resin to increase durability with less added weight.

As such, these crappie rods remain feather-light while exerting an impressive amount of flex and force.

Moreover, this crappie fishing rod from St. Croix also sports premium-grade components. It has a Sea Guide NPS reel seat that double-locks with the integrated rear nut.

It also has a premium cork handle that keeps your hands comfortably grippy.

As a result, this ultra-light rod sports impressive flexibility that retains its strength even when flexed to points that other rods have long past given up.

Thus, the St. Croix Rods Panfish crappie rods are something that you can execute whatever panfish and crappie fishing technique you want.

Whether you want to perform light strikes, simple spider rigging, trolling, skipping, or what have you.

You can use it for saltwater crappie or be on the hunt for the best tasting freshwater fish you can find.

Nevertheless, it also comes with a few cons.

For one, the guides only feature stainless steel inserts. While it’s great for durability, your line can easily get damaged because of the increase.

Lastly, this rod might not be the most durable within the St. Croix Rods lineup. It is one of the most affordable St. Croix rods, though, to experience a premium feel with these high-quality materials.

4) Best Components: Cadence CR7 Spinning Rod

Cadence CR7 Spinning Rod.jpg

The Cadence CR7’s impressive performance is further enhanced by its top-notch components accessible at an unbelievably cost-effective price.

Key Features

  • Length: 6’8”
  • Material: 40-ton graphite
  • Power: Medium
  • Action: Extra Fast
  • Line Weight: 6 to 12 lb
  • Lure Weight: 3/16 to 5/8 oz

Pros

  • Accessible price point
  • Rigid but sensitive blank
  • High-quality components
  • Wide variety of length options

Cons

  • It doesn’t have portable varieties

For something priced in less than a hundred dollars, the Cadence CR7 Spinning Rod features exceptionally significant components that further enhance its capabilities for something priced in less than a hundred dollars.

Cadence fishing poles are made with a high-quality 40-ton graphite blank that rarely comes at such a price point.

The rod construction is further reinforced by carbon wrapping on the bottom third of the blank, which creates an extra fast action while maintaining strength and flexibility.

This creates a very responsive and flexible rod that still has the strength to pull in larger fish than crappie.

Additionally, the premium-level components integrated into the crappie rod setup are its best aspects.

The CR7 features sturdy stainless steel guides with hardened silicon carbide inserts.

These inserts create lesser friction than just typical stainless steel, which means that you can cast a braided line without creating additional drag to damage it.

It also has a well-renowned Fuji reel seat, universally accepted as one of the most well-designed components of spinning rods.

These are graphite reel seats, which means that it’s extra protective and sturdy. The stresses created by the multiple fishing actions won’t damage your spinning reels.

The seats also allow anglers to exert extra maneuverability.

As a cherry on top, this crappie rod also comes in 12 different varieties — so there’s plenty there for crappie anglers and hunters of other game fish.

However, despite the many varieties, not one comes in a 2-piece component. This length restriction means that the rod might not be the easiest to transport.

5) Most Classic Design: TFO 5.5 Foot Trout-Panfish Rods

TFO 5.5 Foot Trout-Panfish Rods.jpg

Specifically created to elicit the nostalgia of fishing with a basic rod yet integrated with highly-technical design, TFO’s Trout-Panfish Rods will take you back to the glory days of your youth.

Key Features

  • Length: 5’6″
  • Material: Standard modulus carbon fiber
  • Power: Ultra Light
  • Action: Fast
  • Line Weight: 2 to 6 lb
  • Lure Weight: 1/32 to 3/16 oz

Pros

  • Sturdy guides
  • Eliminates tip bounce
  • Impressive lifetime warranty
  • Has both 1-piece and 2-piece varieties

Cons

  • Classic aesthetics might not suit most anglers

These rods are built to be fun yet technical, with a somewhat old-timey moss green coat and gold accents.

Granted, this is not a look that will suit all anglers, but its performance is superb if you don’t mind the color.

The blank is lightweight and sensitive, and it’s further coupled with the TFO skeletal reel seat.

The skeletal reel seat design creates a slight gap on the reel set for your fingers to fold into while gripping the rod, ensuring that your skin touches the exposed carbon fiber rod.

This design increases your feel for the water, allowing you to detect the barest nibbles of this delicate fish species.

Moreover, it also has great-quality guides.

Its guides are somewhat unique in design. It features wire-like stainless steel frames as tough as the thicker versions.

It also has hard anodized guides, allowing for a braided line setup without any fuss.

The cork split grip is also lightweight and comfortable.

These factors combine to create an extremely sensitive rod that works incredibly well for finesse techniques, especially great for catching small fish like crappie.

6) Most Ergonomic Design: GS12SG Crossover

GS12SG Crossover.jpg

The GS12SG Crossover has a blank and components specifically designed to be the perfect jigging rod, which translates to excellent crappie fishing applications.

Key Features

  • Length: 12′
  • Material: 30-Ton Graphite
  • Power: Medium
  • Action: Fast
  • Line Weight: xx
  • Lure Weight: 1/16 to 1 oz

Pros

  • Well-balanced
  • Specialized Super Grips
  • Extra length ideal for sniping crappie
  • Much longer handle for better leverage

Cons

  • Not as sensitive
  • Rear-seated reel might not be for everyone
  • A little bit heavier with common crappie application

The GS12SG Crossover will give you a different crappie fishing experience that will indeed create memories.

There’s a lot that’s different in the design of this crappie rod: every inch is made to optimize fishing for crappie and small fishes.

First off, the blank is a hulking 12-feet construction that reaches far into the water, perfect for when you’re planning to snipe the school of crappie from a boat offshore.

While they might move away from the wake of your boat in the water, you can easily reach them with just a flick of the wrist with this rod.

It’s also ideal for inshore or dock fishing, as it gives you more leeway to place your crappie baits wherever you want.

The handle and reel seat is specifically designed for the ideal crappie fishing.

It’s a rear-seated rod so that the reel will be placed behind the grip.

This allows for a much longer handle – you can leverage your elbow and wrist to give your rod more backbone, hauling the crappie out of the water and straight to you.

Not to mention, the handle itself is specially designed.

The grip is made with a special material called Super Grips, which has a very tactile, rubberized feel.

It will stick to your hand, even if it’s wet with water spray or splashes.

As such, you always have firm leverage for better finesse.

However, there’s a reason why not all crappie rods are like this: this rod might not be for everyone.

For one, the long handle and rear-seated reel might not suit some anglers with a more traditional taste.

The longer rod length, thicker blank, and heavier overall weight also reduce some performance aspects.

You will experience less sensitivity and maneuverability – two things usually sought-after in crappie fishing rods.

7) Best Rod and Reel Combo: Zebco CRFUL/S802L Spin Fishing Rod

Zebco CRFUL/S802L Spin Fishing Rod.jpg

Do you want your rod to be ready for crappie fishing right out of the bag?

You’ll find the best value, fishing-ready combo with the Zebco CRFUL/S802L Spin Fishing Rod.

Key Features

  • Length: 8’
  • Material: Fiberglass
  • Power: Light
  • Action: xx
  • Line Weight: xx
  • Lure Weight: xx

Pros

  • Ready for use
  • Great value for the price
  • Portable in two pieces
  • Ruler markings to measure fish

Cons

  • The reel is also not optimal
  • Blank is not as durable as the rest

Made of fiberglass, the Zebco CRFUL/S802L Spin Fishing Rod is an agile crappie fishing rod that doesn’t diminish its sensitivity.

Crappie anglers can still count on the finesse needed for catching crappie, even with a longer rod made with this material.

The rod is also among the longest on the list.

At eight feet, you can use this rod’s light power to easily snipe crappie from wherever you’re standing on the shore or boat.

Add to that the lightweight feel of the rod and the EVA-covered, full-length split grips, and you can be sure that this rod will whip your lure far out of your boat or land it right under the fish’s mouth just the way you want.

Somewhat uniquely, it also comes with ruler markings on the rod to help you measure the length of your catch.

The rod also comes in two four-foot-long pieces, which are highly portable despite their final rod length.

Of course, its best aspect is that it comes in a set.

The Zebco CRFUL/S802L Spin Fishing Rod comes with an attached reel with an aluminum spool that perfectly matches the setup.

This is a rod and spinning reel combo designed to be cost-effective, so you can have all of these features are yours at below a fifty-dollar price point.

However, this low price does come with a few sacrifices.

For one, the fiberglass blank suffers from a lack of rigidity present in more advanced graphite construction.

It doesn’t have the same power as the more high-end rods on the list, thus being liable to break.

The reel also is not the best.

If you want to make the most use out of it, you need to know that you will likely replace the reel soon after you start using it.

8) Most Portable Rod: Calamus T1 Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Kit.

Calamus T1 Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Kit.jpg

Where others might go somewhere to fish, you bring the fishing with the Calamus T1 Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Kit.

Key Features

  • Length: 5’6”
  • Material: Graphite composite
  • Power: Light
  • Action: Moderate
  • Line Weight: 4 to 10 lb
  • Lure Weight: 1/8 to 3/8 oz

Pros

  • Cost-effective
  • It comes in a complete set
  • It might not be ideal for baitcasting
  • Telescopic and comes with its bag

Cons

  • Delicate rod and components

This rod is made with graphite composite material designed to be telescopic.

As a result, the 5’6” long rod will be compressed into 17”, making the rod one of the most portable on the list.

Plus, it also comes with a carrying kit.

Unlike others in the list that consumes a lot of space in the car and can’t be placed in the trunk, the Calamus T1 is highly portable even while it stays protected in its hard carrying case.

The rod also has solidly-placed components. The guides, stainless steel hook keepers, and tip remain firmly intact despite the telescopic action.

The components themselves might not be the best, but they do improve your fishing experience of catching crappie quite nicely.

It features graphite spinning actual seats that will keep your reel securely in place.

The split-type handle around the reel seat is also made of high-density EVA rubber, comfortable even during long hours of fishing in the sun and surf.

Lastly, these crappie fishing rods also feature Drop Shot stainless steel hook grippers for a more convenient crappie fishing experience.

But the best feature of the Calamus T1 has is that it comes with a complete set of lures, hooks, and sinkers.

If you’re an absolute beginner and don’t know where to start with fishing, buying this complete telescopic fishing kit would be an excellent place to start.

It’s pretty affordable too. The price is highly accessible for beginners looking for a convenient and inexpensive fishing rod.

It’s also ideal for veterans who want to keep fishing gear in their trunk – just in case.

However, this great value does come with a caveat: the rods will break easily.

The telescopic construction itself already lessens the overall integrity of the reel, adding to that the substandard graphite material – making this a rod sensitive to nicks and cracks.

Nevertheless, the rod will sustain easily if you don’t use it roughly when catching crappie and only use very light lines.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the top rods for crappie fishing?

Although crappie fishing is just one kind of fishing sport, there are many techniques that you can use to improve your crappie fishing experience. Thus, different rods cater to those specific needs. Most crappie rods have different strengths; whether you want to have an all-around useful rod, superb ergonomics, or impressive component quality, there's bound to be a rod that will best suit your needs.

We’ve listed the best crappie rods in this article according to the categories you might find helpful. Our top-rated crappie rod is the St. Croix Premier Series Spinning Rod: the ideal balance between quality, performance, and price.

What is the best crappie rod for bank fishing?

Bank fishing for crappie comes with its own set of challenges. Specifically, you need to make your lure land where the schools might be, especially once they move further away from the bank. For this, the best rod we’ve found would have to be the GS12SG Crossover. It’s a highly long crappie rod also ideal for boat fishing, but it has excellent ergonomics and sensitivity that allow you to catch crappie in the best ways possible.

What is the finest crappie rod for ice fishing?

Ice fishing has its own set of challenges. For one, you need to be able to find crappie fish in the first place. Crappie tends to go deeper into the water during winter if they don’t migrate to different areas altogether. Another is that you will need shorter rods nearer to the ice hole, so long rods are out. You also need the rods to be very sturdy to withstand the rigors of inclement weather.

In this sense, the best fishing rod for ice fishing crappie would be the St. Croix Rods Premier Spinning Rod. It’s a very sensitive rod that can detect nibbles even in very deep water, and it’s also very sturdy and well-made.

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