Crappie fishing is a popular pastime for anglers of all levels. These small, tasty fish are found in lakes, rivers, and ponds throughout North America and can be caught using a variety of methods. One of the most important aspects of crappie fishing is using the right equipment, and the reel is a critical component of any angler’s arsenal. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, this guide will help you choose the best crappie reel for your next fishing trip.
What reel is best for crappie?
There are a few key characteristics to look for in a good crappie reel. First and foremost, you want a reel that is lightweight and easy to handle. A high-quality drag system is also important, as it will allow you to adjust the tension on the line and reel in fish smoothly. Finally, you want a reel that is durable and built to withstand the rigors of regular use.
Top Crappie Reels on the Market
- Daiwa Revros LT
- Shimano Nasci
- Pflueger President
- Kastking Centron
- Lew’s American Hero
- Abu Garcia Max X
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Daiwa Revros LT
|Line Capacity||2/220, 3/160, 4/110|
|Max Drag||11 lbs.|
The Daiwa Revros LT is a great choice for crappie fishing with its lightweight design and durable construction. It features a smooth drag system and is great for any crappie fishing situation.
- High quality components
- Tends to be out of stock a lot
|Line Capacity||2/270, 4/160, 6/110|
|Max Drag||7 lbs.|
The Shimano Nasci is a high-quality spinning reel that is perfect for crappie fishing. It features a sturdy construction, excellent drag system, and smooth operation that makes it easy to catch even the most finicky crappie.
- Incredible quality components
- Full metal body
- Saltwater safe
- No reel-reverse switch
|Line Capacity||2/200 4/100 6/80|
|Max Drag||6 lbs.|
The Pflueger President is a popular spinning reel among crappie fishermen. It features a lightweight design and smooth operation, making it easy to cast and retrieve. It also has a strong drag system that can handle larger crappie.
- Good quality
- Easily available anywhere
- Price can be high at some retailers
|Line Capacity||4/240 6/155|
|Max Drag||11 lbs.|
The KastKing Centron is a budget-friendly option for crappie fishing. It features a lightweight design and smooth operation, making it a great choice for beginners. It also has a strong drag system that can handle larger fish.
- Strong Drag
- Amazing Price
- Deeper spool than other ultralight reels
Lew’s American Hero
|Line Capacity||4/150 6/120|
|Max Drag||13 lbs.|
The Lew’s American Hero is a durable and reliable spinning reel that is great for crappie fishing. It features a smooth drag system and is easy-to-use making it perfect for both novice and experienced fishermen.
- Durable construction
- Portion of this reel’s cost goes towards supporting Veterans
- Deep spool will take a lot of backing to fill
Abu Garcia Max X
|Line Capacity||4/140 6/110 8/80|
|Max Drag||7.5 lbs.|
The Abu Garcia Max X is an affordable spinning reel that is great for crappie fishing. It features a lightweight design, smooth operation, and solid drag system that can handle larger fish. Its compact size also makes it easy to cast and retrieve.
- Mainly a graphite body
Things You Should Know Before Buying A Crappie Reel
The size of the reel you choose will depend on your personal preferences and fishing style. In general, smaller reels are better suited for crappie fishing because they are lighter and easier to handle. Look for reels in the 500 to 1000 size range. You could bump up to a 2000 size reel, but it might be a bit much when paired with an ultralight crappie rod
When selecting a reel for crappie fishing, pay attention to the line capacity. A reel that can hold 4 to 8-pound test line is ideal for crappie fishing. However, if you plan to fish in deeper waters or with heavier lures, you may want to opt for a reel with a larger line capacity.
The gear ratio of a reel refers to the number of times the spool rotates per turn of the handle. A higher gear ratio means that the spool will rotate more quickly, which is ideal for techniques like jigging. For crappie fishing, a gear ratio of around 5:1 or 6:1 is recommended.
The drag system of a reel controls the amount of resistance applied to the fishing line. For crappie fishing, you don’t need a lot of drag, but you’ll want to make sure that the drag system is smooth and consistent. Look for reels with a maximum drag of around 8 to 10 pounds.
What is The Best Gear Ratio for Crappie Fishing?
The gear ratio of a fishing reel refers to the number of times the spool rotates for each turn of the reel handle. When it comes to crappie fishing, a gear ratio between 5.2:1 and 6.2:1 is generally considered optimal. This range allows for a good balance between speed and power, making it easier to reel in crappie without wearing yourself out.
How Much Drag for Crappie Fishing?
The drag system on a fishing reel refers to the mechanism that allows you to adjust the resistance on the line. This is important because it can prevent your line from breaking if a fish pulls too hard. When it comes to crappie fishing, the optimal drag setting will depend on a few factors, including the size of the fish and the strength of your line. As a general rule, you want to set your drag to about 25% of the breaking strength of your line. For example, if you’re using 8-pound test line, you would set your drag to around 2 pounds.
Spinning or Baitcast Reels for Crappie?
When it comes to choosing a reel for crappie fishing, anglers typically have two options: spinning reels and BFS baitcasters. BFS stands for “Bait Finesse System,” and these reels are designed for casting ultra-light lures with finesse and precision.
Spinning reels are a popular choice for crappie fishing because they are lightweight and easy to use. They also tend to have smaller spools, which can be beneficial when using lighter lines. However, spinning reels can be less accurate than BFS baitcasters and may not be as effective in windy conditions.
If you are looking for the ultimate finesse setup for crappie fishing, a BFS baitcaster is an excellent choice. That being said, spinning reels are still a popular choice for crappie fishing, especially among novice anglers. If you prefer a lighter setup or are new to fishing, a spinning reel may be the best choice. Regardless of which type of reel you choose, it’s important to select a reel with a good gear ratio, drag system, and other features that are well-suited for crappie fishing.
What’s the Best Line for Crappie Fishing?
Selecting the right fishing line is crucial when it comes to crappie fishing. The most common types of fishing line include monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided lines. Each type of line has its own unique characteristics that can affect casting distance, sensitivity, and overall performance.
Monofilament line is the most widely used line for crappie fishing. It is affordable, easy to handle, and comes in a variety of strengths and colors. Fluorocarbon line is virtually invisible underwater and has low stretch, making it ideal for finesse techniques. Braided line is the strongest and most sensitive of the three types, but can be more difficult to handle and is less abrasion-resistant.
We prefer to use braided line with a monofilament leader. We pair 8lb Daiwa 8x Grand in Hi-viz Chartreuse with Trilene Sensation in 2-6lb test.
Which Rod Should I Use for Crappie?
Selecting the right rod for crappie fishing is just as important as selecting the right reel and line. There are several types of fishing rods on the market, each with their own unique characteristics.
Spinning rods are the most popular type of rod for crappie fishing. They are easy to use, have a versatile range of action, and allow for long casts. Baitcasting rods are less commonly used for crappie fishing but are preferred by some anglers for their accuracy and power. Spincast rods are beginner-friendly and easy to handle, but are limited in terms of performance.
When selecting a rod for crappie fishing, it’s important to consider the rod’s length, power, and action. A good crappie rod should be light and sensitive, yet strong enough to handle the weight of the fish. A shorter rod, around 6-7 feet, is preferred for crappie fishing as it allows for better accuracy and control. The power and action of the rod should also be matched to the type of fishing technique used, such as jigging or casting.
Now that you have all the information you need, it’s time to hit the water and start crappie fishing! Remember to always follow local fishing regulations and safety guidelines, and to respect the environment and other anglers. Crappie fishing can be a fun and rewarding experience, and with the right gear and technique, you’ll be reeling in those crappies in no time!
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