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Best Crappie Fishing Rods for 2024

Crappie fishing has become a real passion for a lot of anglers over the years. Personally, I don’t enjoy fishing with live bait and I don’t enjoy trolling. So the idea of spider rigging with 8 minnows or idling around aimlessly for hours hoping to pass through a group of fish on the lake never really appealed to me. So I learned to cast to brush, laydowns, rocky points, dip brush with long rods, shoot docks with short rods and finally stalk them in open water with Livescope. Over the course of that learning and experimenting I’ve tested a plethora of the best crappie fishing rods.

With so many ways to catch crappie literally 12 months out of the year now, anglers are asking a lot of questions about rods, reels, rigs, line, jigs, jigheads, weights and more. And there are dozens of rods out on the market for crappie fishing in just about every way you can imagine from trolling, jigging, casting, pitching, shooting, dipping, pushing, pulling and more. So the space has gotten a lot more crowded and confusing for some folks who just want to be consistently catching fish.

I’ve spent the last year really narrowing down and refining my approach to be efficient with my time and put fish in the boat every time I go. I hope my trial and error process will help some others simplify their crappie fishing too. So here is a quick run down of some of our favorite crappie fishing rods and some additional info on how best to choose a rod and implement it into your fishing.

OUR PICKS FOR BEST CRAPPIE RODS

Jenko Big T X Series Rods

Originally Jenko came out with the X-13 rod to showcase the quality and innovation crappie anglers could experience going forward in crappie fishing tackle. Now they have the 10-foot and 15-foot models to get the exact rod that fits the type of crappie fishing you want to do.

The X Series of Jenko crappie rods feature ultra lightweight minimalist carbon fiber grips and ALPS guide systems as well as a carbon fiber nut on the reel seat. But the real feature is the power of these rods and the integrated weight balance system in the butt of the rod that allows you to balance your rod with your reel so your rod won’t be so tip heavy and wear you out holding a 13-foot rod out in front of you all day.

These are some of the most advanced crappie rods ever developed in the space and they are expanding to give anglers what they have been asking for. I have caught more crappie on this rod than any of the others because I’ve been fishing them for 3 years.

Read our full review of the Jenko X-13 Crappie Jigging Rod.

Buy at Bass Pro

St. Croix Avid Panfish Rods

These rods have lots of intricate detailing and design throughout. The blanks looks sharp, the grips offer comfort and sleek handling, great guides and hook keepers for your jigs to keep your ready to go in seconds when moving spot to spot.  They are the total package ranging from 6-foot ultralight powers with fast actions to 7-foot, 3-inch medium-light powers with mod fast actions.

I have experimented a lot with ultralight actions sizing down to 2 pound line and 1/32 ounce jigs and they are so refined and perfect for light line applications. These are superbly built rods that can play down big fish on light line exceptionally well. I’ve had crappie over 2 pounds and bass over 4 pounds that I’ve landed on these rods as well as a few catfish over 7 pounds. Well worth the money. The tips are very soft so be sure to be mindful of that when jamming them in your truck or rod locker.

See my full review of the St. Croix Avid Panfish Rods here.

Buy at Bass Pro

B’n’M Poles Sharp Shooter 6 Rod

I’ve used the SharpShooter Deluxe 6 rods obviously shooting under docks, but I’ve also been shooting a jig into and around shallow cover where I need the jig to land in a real precise spot so as not to hang the cover. So while it was designed as a dock shooting rod, it’s a lot more than that. I’ve enjoyed it as just a great shallow fishing crappie rod in general. So to me, it’s really an all purpose spinning rod for crappie fishing.

I like that they are stiffer than most shooting rods so I can put a significant load on them and it launches my 1/16 ounce jig for distance. It’s the perfect balance of flex and load to shoot a jig better than most other rods I’ve tried.

See my full review of the B’n’M Poles Sharp Shooter 6 Rod.

Buy at Bass Pro

Jenko Double Down BFS Rod

The Jenko Double Down BFS Rod exceeded my expectations by a lot. I am a big fan of the grip and handle on this rod. They chose the exact right guides. And the taper and action of the rod is dead on for throwing light little crappie jigs. I talked a lot about bait finesse system for crappie previously, and I have caught a bunch of fish on 1/32 and 1/16-ounce crappie jigs on this BFS since I got mine in May of 2022. They are perfectly constructed to cast jigs on light line with baitcasting gear.

See my full review of the Jenko Double Down here.

Buy at Tackle Warehouse 

bnm tcb trout crappie panfish rod

B’n’M TCB Combo

Yes I know that is not a picture of a crappie with the TCB rod, but the TCB actually stands for Trout Crappie Bluegill. Meaning this rod is balanced and blended to cast small lures and baits for a variety of panfish and trout. But it’s got enough backbone to lift big crappie without issue. The rod comes with a reel in the TCB combo or you can by the rod separately on its own. The rod is 7 feet and offers casting distance and power for good hooksets. If you want a multipurpose combo without breaking the bank, this is a great option.

Buy at Amazon 

BEST CRAPPIE ROD MANUFACTURERS

Some brands have storied history of making the best crappie rods and others have added new age technologies to crappie rod design but for the most part, all offer a range of rods to cover the variety of techniques you find in crappie fishing from casting, vertical jigging, spider rigging, trolling, float fishing, and more. Some of the best brands in crappie we recommend include the following:

  • BnM Poles
  • St. Croix
  • Lew’s Mr. Crappie Wally Marshall
  • Jenko Fishing
  • Huckabee Rods
  • ACC Crappie Stix

Best Crappie Rod Types to Cover Everything

I’ve basically dialed down to three rod sizes and actions that cover all of crappie fishing for me.

3 Jenko crappie fishing rods

Small, Medium and Large rods

I basically boil it down to a very simple system. I have a small, medium and large rod. In other words,  I have a short rod or what I call a small rod for close quarters fishing and for really accurate shooting. I have a medium rod or what I call a do-it all casting rod that can handle open water casting, closer pitching and even a bit of vertical jigging. Then I have a large rod — a long rod that I can stay off the fish and dip cover or hold a jig in place over a suspended fish until he feels like biting. The long rod can be a rod for pushing jigs, maybe even some trolling too. I don’t make it much more difficult than that.

Some anglers always want to know what’s the best brand, best length, best action. All of that depends on the angler. I tell people this system is a better approach because you can pick a brand or set of rods that you like and fits how you fish. I will share my favorites for lengths and actions and show several examples from several brands to illustrate.

For instance, in this picture are three of my favorites from Jenko Fishing — The X-13, the X-series 7-foot casting rod and the 6-foot Hypersense Marksman shooting rod. The Jenko Trick Stick Light and the X-series Casting are my go-to’s when it comes to casting for crappie at a distance.

Jason with a long rod crappie

Long rods for the stubborn crappie

Now that we’ve been able to study crappie behavior for a couple of years thanks to Livescope, we’ve all been educated on how stubborn crappie can be. For the thousands of crappies I’ve caught, I’ve not caught at least that many. Meaning I saw fish come and look at my jig and turn away on the screen way more than I’ve seen them bite. Nature of the game now.

But when the fish get very stubborn, like they can do in really cold weather, during fronts, during other seasons like spawn, a long rod that lets you stay off the fish, dip a jig down deep into the cover and coax them out with a long pause in their face. When they are really down in the cover and won’t come out to chase a jig, a long rod is indispensable. You can pendulum a jig out 20 feet and let it swing down and back to the fish. So it’s more versatile than just right under the boat.

Get good at holding your jig real still just above the fish or just above the cover and let them ease up and suck it in. At times it will catch you some of the biggest fish around. The 13-foot to 15-foot rods seem to be all the rage but honestly I like a 10 or 12-footer. Not to much to fight with and still can keep back off the fish a few feet.

The small rod is more than docks

Originally, I wanted a short 6-foot rod for shooting docks. And bar none, it’s my favorite. Specifically the B’n’M Sharp Shooter (review) is my favorite for shooting docks. Put 4-pound line and a 1/16-ounce jig on that setup and you can shoot a jig to the back of the dock. But the short rod will do so much more than just get you underneath boats and dock walkways. When you’re fishing a piece of visible cover and you want to stay back and shoot into the cover, the short rod and the shooting cast is way better than trying to a whip a jig into the cover with an over hand cast. I will shoot at visible stake beds, laydowns, cracks in bluff banks, between weeds, and more.

I shoot a lot in windy conditions where the wind catches a little light jig more the higher it is off the water. A little short rod is handy for tight quarters, precise placement and heavy wind. Other good small rods are the St. Croix Avid Panfish rods and the Wally Marshall Classic rods. You can find the B’n’M Poles SharpShooter 6 for around $60 at these online retailers:

The 7-foot rod for casting is my staple

Most of the time I’m going to start by trying to catch fish casting from a distance. Even with water temps last winter of 37 degrees we were able to stay off and slow down our jig enough to catch big suspending crappie casting from 40 feet away. I will ease in and pitch to fish from 15-25 feet away. And finally get over them and vertical jig. Most of this I will do with a 7 to 8-foot spinning rod. I like a longer rod with medium light action give me enough load and tip to send a small 1/16-ounce jig. Most of the time I can stall my retrieve for a couple of seconds over a fish and get the commit. And when they are really active I can real hot and heavy with 1/8-ounce jigs a pound the aggressive ones. You can do almost everything with a good 7 1/2-foot medium-light spinning rod like the Jenko Trick Stick Light or B’n’M Poles 75 Series Combo or Lew’s Wally Marshall Classic Series.

Find these 3 rods and catch crappie every time

Shoot docks, dip shallow cover, cast to deep suspending fish, pitch to submerged brush piles and stake beds, fish laydowns, tightline jigs to lethargic fish, snipe them, stalk them and catch them. Three rods is all you need to be efficient at all of the casting/jigging techniques that I’ve been able to use to catch crappie every single month last year. Hopefully I can slip out this weekend and keep the streak alive.

I think Jenko and B’n’MPoles have some of the best long rods for vertical fishing and dipping cover. Other good ones include Todd Huckabee rods, ACC Crappie Stix, and Lew’s Pro Target rods.

For a shooting rod, the B’n’M Poles Sharp Shooter is my favorite right now. I also like the Wally Marshall Classic rods. Other good ones include the Jenko HyperSense Marksman and St. Croix Panfish rods.

For casting from a distance, I like the Jenko Trick Stick Light and the B’n’M Poles 75 Series combo.