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The Best Rods for Crappie: Sticks for Every Technique Reviewed

The best crappie rods will cast with pin-point precision or allow you the reach to dip a jig near vertical cover like submerged tree trunks or pilings.
Reviewed by: John Baltes
Last Updated:
crappie fishing rods

MY TOP 3 CRAPPIE RODS

Slab hunters know that a good rod is essential, and whether your preferred technique is shooting docks, casting slip floats into a submerged field of stumps, or dipping jigs near vertical cover, you’ll need the right stick to make the most of your time on the water.

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Summary
Specifications
Pros & Cons

If you’re a sniper who likes to shoot docks with tack-driving precision, ACC Crappie Stix makes your dream rod.

Their new 6-foot, 6-inch one-piece stick is simply perfect for this technique.

The blank is manufactured from high-grade carbon fiber, making it light, strong, and incredibly sensitive. The “crappie medium” power is perfect for launching a small jig or fluttering creature bait way up under a dock, and the accuracy of this rod is striking, allowing you to target the piling of your choice with ease.

The fast tip provides more than enough sensitivity to feel bumps, soft strikes, and hesitant hits - an essential in cool water. And there’s more than enough backbone to wrestle any slab into your boat.

ACC Crappie Stix now supplies this rod with a one-piece blank, giving you the very best tackle for this technique.

Expect amazing American Tackle Company MicroWave Guides, which are among the very best in the business. And the well-executed premium cork handles are not only beautiful, they’re perfect for a long day on the water.

If you’re looking for a rod for shooting, your search is over.

Material: carbon fiber

Length: 6’ 6”

Power/action: “crappie medium”/ mod. with a fast tip

Guides: American Tackle Co. MicroWave Guide System

Line weight: 2 - 6 lbs.

Lure weight: 1/32 - ⅛ oz.

Handle: split cork

Pieces: 1

Pros:

  • Awesome blank for dock shooting
  • Sensitive and strong
  • Awesome guides
  • Awesome handle
  • One-piece blank!

Cons:

  • Expensive!
Summary
Specifications
Pros & Cons

Long-time readers of USAngler will know that we’re big fans of St. Croix rods - heck, everyone is!

Crappie anglers who like to cast jigs, crankbaits, and slip floats should take a very close look at the 7-foot light rod in St.Croix’s Panfish lineup. It’s simply amazing for casting, offering everything you should look for in a stick for this technique.

St. Croix manufactures the blank from high-grade SCII carbon fiber, and their rods are known for amazing sensitivity. This one is certainly no exception, and for detecting light strikes and hesitant nudges, there’s nothing better on the market.

It loads and casts well with light lures, enabling both respectable distance and fantastic accuracy.

This rod wears Sea Guide Atlas guides, guaranteeing that your light lines are protected against friction in a fight.

And of course, the reel seat and split cork handle are premium-grade, just what you’d expect from St. Croix.

If casting lures or slip floats is your preferred way to target slabs, this St. Croix is as good as they come.

Material: SCII carbon fiber

Length: 7’

Power/action: light/extra-fast

Guides: Sea Guide Atlas

Line weight: 2 - 6 lbs.

Lure weight: 1/16 - 3/16 oz.

Handle: split cork

Pieces: 1

Pros:

  • Ultra-sensitive blank
  • Casts light lures a reasonable distance with pin-point accuracy
  • Awesome guides
  • Awesome reel seat
  • Awesome handle

Cons:

  • Expensive!
Summary
Specifications
Pros & Cons

When tournament pros reach for a trolling rod for their spider rigs, more often than not, it’s a B’n’M.

The reasons for that are clear.

The ideal trolling rod is long and sensitive, with a tip that’s easy to monitor, enough flex and load to facilitate a hook up without ripping a jig or tiny lure out of a papermouth’s jaws, and plenty of tough handle.

That’s exactly what the Pro Staff Trolling Rod delivers.

Every inch of this three-piece, 14-foot rod is designed around spider rigging, and whether you run jigs, crankbaits, or prefer long lining, this B’n’M is as good as it gets.

Material: graphite

Length: 14’

Power/action: trolling

Guides: stainless steel

Line weight: 2 - 6 lbs.

Lure weight: 1/32 - 1/8 oz.

Handle: continuous foam

Pieces: 3

Pros:

  • Great length
  • Excellent, high-vis tip
  • Great guides
  • Perfect power and action for trolling
  • Durable, no-nonsense handles

Cons:

  • ???
Summary
Specifications
Pros & Cons

For anglers whose budget can’t comfortably reach the St. Croix, the 7-foot ultralight Ugly Stik Elite is a great choice.

Die-hard durability, excellent sensitivity, and a reasonable price combine to create an excellent rod for casting lures, jigs, and slip floats to crappie.

Shakespeare builds the Ugly Stik Elite’s blank from a potent combination of fiberglass and graphite, creating a rod that has never-say-die toughness while loading and casting really well.

It’a also plenty sensitive, especially in its ultralight configuration.

Now of course, it’s not going to fish with the feel of the St. Croix, but it’s still very good - and about half the price. And if you have a habit of breaking rod tips - we’ve all been there - the Elite is far more durable, shrugging-off abuse that would break any other rod.

I own and fish several of these Elites, and though the guides are simply stainless steel affairs, they work far better than you'd think to protect light lines. The cork handles are really nice, too, especially for the price.

If you’re a stickler about guides that are laser-straight or want bragging rights from your stick, the Elite probably isn’t for you. But if you want a great rod for casting at a fair price, or have broken delicate ultralights before, Ugly Stik has the crappie rod for you.

Material: graphite/fiberglass composite

Length: 7’

Power/action: ultralight/mod. fast

Guides: Ugly Tuff

Line weight: 2 - 6 lbs.

Lure weight: 1/32 - 1/8 oz.

Handle: continuous cork

Pieces: 1

Pros:

  • Die-hard durability
  • Great blank that loads and casts well
  • Penty sensitive
  • Effective guides
  • Nice handles

Cons:

  • Lacks the fit and finish of the St. Croix
  • Not as refined or as sensitive as the St. Croix
Summary
Specifications
Pros & Cons

Slabs hold tight to vertical cover and brush piles, and veteran crappie anglers know that vertical jigging is an amazingly effective technique at the right times of the year.

Lew’s Wally Marshall Pro Target is a phenomenal stick for vertical jigging, and the 10-foot, medium-light option is long enough to let you stand off a bit without being so long that it’s difficult to use in tight quarters.

Lew’s delivers this rod with a high-grade graphite blank that’s ultra sensitive, allowing you to detect every bump and soft strike without missing a beat. The guides are well-executed and work well to protect light lines from friction. And the Winn Dri-Tac grips are comfortable and plenty spacious.

If vertical jigging is one of your favorite ways to hunt slabs, you should check out the Wally Marshall Pro Target.

You won’t be sorry you did.

Material: IM8 graphite

Length: 10’

Power/action: medium-light/fast

Guides: stainless steel with aluminum oxide inserts

Line weight: 4 - 10 lbs.

Lure weight: 1/32 - 1/8 oz.

Handle: Winn DriTac grips with EVA butt sections

Pieces: 2

Pros:

  • Great length
  • Excellent blank that’s very sensitive
  • Great guides
  • Awesome handles with a durable butt section

Cons:

  • ???

Final Thoughts

When you’re looking at crappie rods that are designed for a wide range of techniques, there’s no one quality you can use to compare them.

You’ll want the longest rods for trolling, slightly shorter rods for vertical jigging, limber deeply-loading blanks for shooting, ultra-sensitive blanks for casting a slip float…well, you get the idea!

But rest assured that the sticks that have made our shortlist today are truly fantastic options, well-suited to the techniques we specify.

As always, we’re here to answer any questions you might have, so please leave a comment below.

About The Author
John Baltes
Chief Editor & Contributor
If it has fins, John has probably tried to catch it from a kayak. A native of Louisiana, he now lives in Sarajevo, where he's adjusting to life in the mountains. From the rivers of Bosnia to the coast of Croatia, you can find him fishing when he's not camping, hiking, or hunting.
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Jim stone
Jim stone
3 years ago

Iam thinking about getting a 8 foot light fàst action rod for pan fish ? will this work thanks

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