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The Ultimate Rod and Reel Combos That Are Perfect For Crappie

Fishing for crappie is how most anglers get their first taste of the rush that fishing provides.

fisherman holding a crappie caught on a rod and reel combo

While many who catch the fishing bug move on to larger game after starting with crappie, discerning anglers know that a bigger game doesn’t always mean better fishing.

With the right gear, fishing for crappie can be exhilarating as hooking into a monster striped bass or 50+ pound tarpon.

With a light or ultralight spinning outfit and light test line, fishing for crappie can present some of the most challenging fishing on earth. 

person fishing with a spincasting rod and reel combo

Since crappie fishing is so popular with beginner and experienced anglers alike, tons of rod and reel combos are marketed especially to crappie anglers.

With so much choice, it can be difficult to separate the best crappie rod and reel combos from the mediocre outfits that won’t last more than a trip or two. 

Today, we will take a closer look at some of these excellent combos to help you decide on the best crappie rod and reel combos for your next fishing trip.

Top 10 Crappie Fishing Rod and Reel Combos

  1. Shakespeare Crappie Hunter Spinning Rod and Reel Combo
  2. Zebco Crappie Fighter 502Ul Ts Combo
  3. Abu Garcia Ike Dude Crappie Rod And Reel Combo
  4. Cadence CC5 Spinning Combo Graphite Rod
  5. KastKing Centron Spinning Reel – Fishing Rod Combos
  6. Lew’s Fishing Mr Crappie Slab Shaker Spin Combo
  7. Pflueger Monarch Crappie Rod And Reel Combo
  8. Pflueger President Spinning
  9. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Crappie Rod And Reel Combo
  10. Zebco Crappie Rod And Reel Combo

Shakespeare Crappie Hunter Spinning Rod and Reel Combo

The Crappie Hunter is a legendary outfit from Shakespeare that anglers have relied on for decades to pull porkchop-sized crappie from the lake. 

At 9’, this rod is ideal for crappie fishing. It allows for a whisper-quiet presentation, helps you avoid snags, and it’s long enough for crappie-specific techniques like doodlesocking. 

Shakespeare crafts this rod from a lightweight and sensitive IM6 graphite blank with aluminum oxide guides that allow you to cast a country mile.

The rod also offers a bright red high-visibility tip to enable anglers to detect even the smallest bites in any conditions. 

The Crappie Hunter includes a size 25 reel that’s pre-spooled with a 4-pound test Stren line.

The reel offers an adjustable oil felt drag system and holds up to 120 yards of a 4-pound line. The reel handle is reversible, so both left and right-handed anglers will be able to throw this rod with ease.

Critical Specs

Rod Construction: 2-piece IM6 graphite

Rod Length: 9’

Rod Power: Light

Line Rating: 4-10 pound

Lure Rating: Up to 3/16-ounce

Reel Size: 25

Reel Type: Spinning

Gear Ratio: 5.2:1

Pre-spooled: Stren 4-pound monofilament


Zebco Crappie Fighter Combo

Zebco is a brand that elicits fond memories from virtually all anglers. Chances are, the first time you hit the lake to go fishing, it was with a Zebco rod and reel.

Their Crappie Fighter triggerspin combo is the perfect way to recapture that nostalgia the next time you head out for crappie. 

This rod is only 5’ long, making it ideal for fishing from a boat or tight quarters around dock pilings or overgrown areas along the shore.

The rod is 2-pieces, so it’s a breeze to travel with, and it’s made from ultra-sensitive fiberglass, so you’ll have no trouble detecting a bite with this rod. 

When you land a crappie, there’s no need to reach for the ruler to check if it’s a keeper. The Crappie Fighter rod has a 10” ruler printed directly on the blank, so you can quickly check if the fish is going into the box or back into the lake. 

The Crappie Fighter combo is outfitted with a size 10 triggerspin reel, perfect for beginners and more experienced crappie anglers alike.

The reel is pre-spooled with 6-pound test Zebco monofilament, so you’re ready to fish right out of the box.

Critical Specs

Rod Material: 2-piece fiberglass

Rod Length: 5’

Rod Power: Ultralight

Line Rating: 2-6 pound

Lure Rating: 1/32-3/16-ounce

Reel Size: 10

Reel Type: Triggerspin

Pre-spooled: 6-pound Zebco monofilament


Abu Garcia Ike Dude Crappie Rod And Reel Combo

Inspired by the legendary tournament angler Mike Iaconelli, the Ike Dude combo from Abu Garcia pairs a premium composite rod with a better reel than you’ll find on most crappie combos to deliver an outfit that’s perfect for beginners and experienced anglers alike. 

At its core, the Ike Dude combo starts with a two-piece medium-power 6’ composite rod blank that comes apart for ease of traveling!

The outfit is a bit heavy for crappie fishing, but it’s one of the few rods on our list that performs admirably for other species, including large and smallmouth bass. 

The size 30 reel is also a bit beefier to make it easy to target larger freshwater species beyond crappie.

The reel holds up to 145-yards of a 6-pound test line, so you’ll also have plenty of room to play with if you hook into a large fish that starts running. 

Critical Specs

Rod Material: 2-piece composite

Rod Length: 6’

Rod Power: Medium

Line Rating: 6-12 pound

Lure Rating: ¼-⅝ ounce

Reel Size: 30

Reel Type: Spinning

Gear Ratio: 5.2:1

Pre-spooled: 6-pound monofilament


Cadence CC5 Spinning Combo Graphite Rod

This versatile and feature-packed spinning combo comes to us by way of one of the new and exciting brands in freshwater fishing, Cadence.

What the brand lacks in experience, they make up for in quality, offering excellent rods and reels to anglers at direct-to-consumer prices. 

This combo starts with a 2-piece 24-ton graphite rod blank that’s outfitted with stainless steel guides, and EVA split grips.

The rod is available in sizes from 5’6” to 7’, so there’s a rod for you whether you’re hunting crappie and sunfish or larger species like bass and trout.

The reel is sized to match depending on the rod length you choose. Reels in sizes from 1000 to 4000 are available, with the smaller reels outfitting the shorter rods. The 5’6” and 6’ models are your best bet for crappie.

The included reel is one of the nicest on any combo, with 8+1 ball bearings for an exceptionally smooth retrieve.

Critical Specs

Rod Material: 2-piece 24-ton graphite

Rod Length: 5’6”, 6’6”, 7’

Rod Power: Ultra-light, medium-light, medium, medium-heavy

Reel Size: 1000-4000 depending on rod specs

Reel Type: Spinning

Gear Ratio: 6.2:1 (5.2:1 for 5’6” combo)

Pre-spooled: No


KastKing Centron Spinning Reel – Fishing Rod Combos

The Centron from KastKing is a versatile combo available in a wide array of sizes to meet the needs of all anglers. 

These rods start with an ultra-sensitive IM6 Toray graphite blank, outfitted with stainless steel guides and a split grip with an EVA fighting butt.

The 6’ medium power rod is ideal for freshwater fishing, while the larger rods are tailor-made for fighting larger species like catfish or steelhead. 

Each rod is matched to a Centron spinning reel in sizes from 2000 to 5000, depending on the rod size.

These reels are ideal for all freshwater techniques with 9+1 ball bearings and a moderate retrieve rate. 

Critical Specs

Rod Material: 2-piece Toray IM6 graphite

Rod Length: 6’, 6’6”, 7’, 7’6”, 8’

Rod Power: Medium, medium-heavy, heavy

Line Rating: 8-14 pound, 10-20 pound, 15-30 pound

Lure Rating: ¼-⅝ ounce, ½-1 ounce, ¾-1 ½ ounce

Reel Size: 2000-5000 depending on rod specs

Reel Type: Spinning

Gear Ratio: 5.2:1 (4.5:1 for 4000 and 5000 sizes)

Pre-spooled: No


Lew’s Fishing Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker Spin Combo

The Mr. Crappie name from Lew’s is synonymous with crappie fishing, and they offer some of the most value-packed and eye-catching combos on the market. 

This fabulous outfit starts with a 2-piece fiberglass blank finished in bold neon yellow. You’ll never have to wonder which rod is yours when you’re at the lake if you’re toting this stick with you. The rod is a two-piece, making it a breeze to transport, whether in a car or on foot.

Lew’s also includes a Mr. Crappie reel in sizes 50 or 75, depending on the rod length. Each reel is pre-spooled with premium Mr. Crappie 6-pound monofilament, so you’re ready to fish right away.

Critical Specs

Rod Material: 2-piece fiberglass

Rod Length: 5’6”, 6’6”, 7’

Rod Power: Light

Line Rating: 2-8 pound

Lure Rating: 1/16-¼ ounce

Reel Size: 75

Reel Type: Spinning

Gear Ratio: 4.3:1

Pre-spooled: 6-pound Mr. Crappie monofilament


Pflueger Monarch Crappie Rod And Reel Combo

For anglers looking for a combo that’s a bit more classic than the bright and bold colors of the other models on our list, the Pflueger Monarch could be ideal. 

This rod starts with a 2-piece IM6 graphite blank in sizes from 5’6”-7’, so there’s an ideal rod for any freshwater fishing scenario. We recommend the 5’6” ultralight model when hunting crappie. 

The rod is paired with a Pflueger Monarch reel in various sizes depending on the rod size. Each rod offers an ultra-smooth retrieve thanks to its five ball bearing system, and the deluxe aluminum bail with roller ensures tangle-free casting. 

Pflueger Monarch is ideal for seasoned crappie anglers searching for an affordable rod that can take them from crappie to bass and anywhere in between.

Critical Specs

Rod Material: 2-piece IM6 graphite

Rod Length: 5’6”, 6’, 6’6”, 7’

Rod Power: Ultra-light, medium-light, medium

Line Rating: 2-8 pound, 4-10 pound, 6-12 pound

Lure Rating: 1/16-⅜ ounce, ⅛-⅝ ounce 

Reel Size: 20, 25, 30, 35

Reel Type: Spinning

Gear Ratio: Varies depending on reel size

Pre-spooled: No


Pflueger President Spinning

Representing a step up from the Monarch line, the Pflueger President combo offers even more premium features to delight seasoned anglers as they hunt for the best crappie rod and reel combo. 

The President rod begins with an incredibly sensitive IM8 graphite blank available in one and two-piece configurations depending on size.

The stainless steel guides have updated eyelet inserts to allow for casting braided or monofilament lines. 

Each rod is paired with a President spinning reel in sizes from 20-40, depending on the rod length.

With ten ball bearings, the President reel offers an exceptionally smooth retrieve with a moderate retrieve rate ideal for crappie techniques.

With up to 10-pounds of maximum drag, the President reel has the power you need to muscle a slab out of heavy cover.

Critical Specs

Rod Material: 1-piece or 2-piece IM8 graphite

Rod Length: 4’8”, 5’, 5’6”, 6’, 6’6”, 7’

Rod Power: Ultra-light, light, medium

Line Rating: 2-6 pound, 4-8 pound, 6-12 pound

Lure Rating: 1/32-3/16 ounce, 1/16-⅜ ounce, ⅛-⅝ ounce, 

Reel Size: 20, 25, 30, 40

Reel Type: Spinning

Gear Ratio: 5.2:1

Pre-spooled: No


Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Crappie Rod And Reel Combo

The Ugly Stik from Shakespeare is one of the most popular rods globally, and their GX2 line delivers bulletproof reliability in a combo that you can add to your collection without breaking the bank. 

These combos feature an UglyTech graphite and fiberglass blank available in one or two-piece configurations. UglyTuff one-piece guides allow for long casting distances while also eliminating a common breaking point on rods. 

Each rod is paired with a matching GX2 reel in sizes ranging from 20-50. Each reel features a double anodized aluminum spool with heavy-duty bail wire with four bearings for a smooth retrieve.

Ugly Stik is known for making rods that offer bulletproof durability, and the matching GX2 reel is no different. If you’re looking for a combo that can handle tons of abuse, this is the one.

Critical Specs

Rod Material: 1-piece or 2-piece UglyTech graphite and fiberglass

Rod Length: 4’8”, 5’, 6’, 6’6”, 7’

Rod Power: Ultra-light, light, medium, medium-heavy

Line Rating: 2-6 pound, 6-15 pound, 8-20 pound, 

Lure Rating: 1/32-¼ ounce, ⅛-⅝ ounce, ¼-¾ ounce

Reel Size: 20, 25, 30, 40, 50

Reel Type: Spinning

Gear Ratio: 5.2:1 (5.1:1 size 50)

Pre-spooled: No


Zebco Crappie Fighter Rod And Reel Combo

Our final offering is the iconic Zebco Crappie Fighter, a solid combo available in tons of different sizes at a price as low as it gets. 

Each Crappie Fighter rod offers a 2-piece fiberglass blank in sizes ranging from 5’-12’, so there’s an ideal rod for every type of crappie angler.

Whether you’re fishing from a boat, the dock, or through heavy vegetation, the Crappie Fighter is up to the task. Plus, it has a 10” ruler printed onto the rod, so you never have to guess about whether you caught a keeper or not. 

This combo includes a spinning reel with adjustable drag and Zebco’s patented QuickSet anti-reverse bearing.

The reel is perfectly sized for crappie, so you’re in for a thrilling battle when you hook into a slab crappie on this ultra-light outfit. 

Critical Specs

Rod Material: 2-piece fiberglass

Rod Length: 5’, 5’6”, 6’, 6’6”, 7’, 8’, 10’, 12’

Rod Power: Ultra-light, light

Line Rating: 2-6 pound, 4-8 pound

Lure Rating: 1/32-3/16 ounce, 1/16-¼ ounce

Reel Type: Spinning

Gear Ratio: 4.3:1

Pre-spooled: 6-pound monofilament


Final Thoughts

When it comes to crappie fishing, discerning anglers know that with the right equipment, there’s no better thrill than the feeling you get as a big crappie tugs on your rod. 

Each of the excellent outfits above represents the best crappie rod and reel combos on the market, and each one would be a worthy addition to your tackle box. 

The Abu Garcia Ike Dude combo is our top choice as the best crappie rod and reel combo because it offers the ideal blend of features, value, and performance. So check out this impressive rod as you gear up for your next trip.

Rocco Smith

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