8 Best Crappie Reels Listed, Reviewed and Compared
There are way too many fishing reels on the market. Amidst the wide choice, how do you make a pick? Well, if truth be told, it depends on a variety of different factors, such as the water where you troll, your budget, and the style of fishing you engage in.
However, if you like to scour the deep waters looking for the crappies in the cooler months, this article will be helpful for you. Do you enjoy casting your rod next to the fall bush or trees and entice the crappies to bite? How about a straightforward setup where all you need to do is drop your line in the water? In all honesty, all of these fishing techniques can be carried out with any crappie reel of your choice.
But, which is the best reel for crappie fishing? Well, to make things easier for you we will review some of the best crappie reels in this article. You can read through the features, pros, and cons of each of these reels, which will help you make an informed choice. However, if you find this information overwhelming, we have a simplified buying guide for you, which details the features that you need to look for when shopping for the best spinning reel for crappie. So, keep reading, and get set fishing.
Quickly Navigate Through The Best Reels For Crappie Fishing
- Best Crappie Reels On The Market
- How To Select a Crappie Reel?
- Final Thoughts
Best Crappie Reels On The Market
|Cadence CS-8 1000
|KastKing Summer 500
|Okuma Ceymar C-10
|Pflueger President Spinning Reel
|Goture Spinning Crappie Spinning Fishing Reel
|SHIMANO Sedona C2000S Crappie Spinning Fishing Reel
|$63.44 – $99.99
|Abu Garcia 5600 Bait Casting Crappie Trolling Reel
|Piscifun Flame Spinning Reels Light Weight Ultra Smooth
1. Cadence CS-8 1000 – Our Pick!
At number one in our list of the best crappie reels is a phenomenal reel, Cadence’s CS-8. It has an impressive build quality and is incredibly smooth. This best spinning reel for crappie comes engineered with ultralight and top-notch components.
This best spinning reel for crappie has a phenomenal drag. It employs a carbon fiber braking system, which is indeed very useful and smooth. The brand claims that this best spinning reel for crappie easily compares with top models, which cost twice as much. Of course, we believe it to be true. You can try it to believe it. With this reel, you will enjoy excellent casting too.
- One-year warranty from manufacturer
- 90-days return policy with 100% return assurance
- Lightweight with Carbon-Magnesium-Carbon Main body
- Machined aluminum spool prevents your line from slipping
- Carbon fiber drag system, which delivers consistent pressure
- Ergonomic EVA handle knob
- Nine corrosion resistant stainless-steel bearings
- One instant stop one-way anti-reverse bearing
- Super low torque imported from Japan
- Blazing fast 6.2:1/5.2:1 Gear Ratio
- Ultra-smooth and fast performance
- CS8 Spinning reel’s Superior Drag System
- Incredible stopping power up to 20LBs
- Can handle big
- Innovative wave spring drag system
- Adjustable drag power to suit your need
- Aluminum OS gear, pinion gear and main shaft
- Strong and durable
- High-performance premium fishing tackle at an unbeatable price
2. KastKing Summer 500
Next in line for the best crappie reels is the KastKing’s Summer 500. It is a great reel, which is available at a super-cheap price. If you are uncertain about making a switch to an ultralight reel or on a super-tight budget or need a second reel, we would recommend you opt for this best spinning reel crappie.
Being one of the best crappie reels, this is as smooth as most of its competitors, which is indeed a rare occurrence for this price. The front drag system of this reel is quite strong and good, and the reel casts well. It sure is impressive and a good crappie reel to add to your collection. The only problem we have with this reel is that it has a low-quality knob on the handle. However, none the less, it is a sweet deal.
Another issue could be the bail. It can be slightly hard to close with a crank, which does mean a moment of stickiness when you try to do it.
- Loaded with phenomenal features yet low on price
- Can turn any beginner angler into pro
- Computer balancing system
- Narrow graphite frame design
- Matches ice rods perfectly and make a perfect ice combo
- A good crappie reel with superior Drag System
- Incredible stopping power up to 17.5LBs
- Hardened metal main shaft
- Perfect mesh drive gear
- Precision machined pinion gear
- Nine quality ball bearings
- One instant stop one-way anti-reverse bearing
- Ultra-smooth performance
- Attractive, brilliant finish
- High strength two color anodized aluminum spool
- More line than competitor’s models
3. Okuma Ceymar C-10
At number three in our best crappie reels list is the Okuma’s C-10. It is a compact reel, which is big on performance. This is the reel that will 100% fit in every budget. The reel rightly showcases that paying more does not necessarily mean that you will end up with the best spinning reel for crappie.
When you crank it, this reel seems silky smooth. Moreover, the spool also closes smoothly on a crank. In the past few years, we have actually seen a lot of people convert to this best spinning reel for crappie from many renowned and well-known brands. It is majorly because of this reel’s phenomenal build quality, which well-translates in the overall performance.
Designed with an excellent front drag system, the C-10 depicts its stuff here as well. It is smooth even with a 2-pound line and has the most fabulous drag setting. So, you will certainly not be disappointed even one bit. Regardless of being an ultralight rod, it does cast very well and effortlessly accommodates 100-yards of 4-pound mono.
- Quick-set anti-reverse roller bearin
- Line capacity: 4 lb./100 yds.
- Machined aluminum, 2-tone anodized spool
- Bearings: 7 + 1 roller bearing
- Multi-disc, oiled felt drag system, Max Drag Pressure – 5-lbs
- Monofilament line capacity (diameter in mm.) – 210/2 (0.12) 110/4 (0.17) 70/6 (0.22)
- Gear ratio: 5:1
- Precision machine cut brass pinion gear
4. Pflueger President Spinning Reel
The Pflueger President spinning reel is one of the best crappie reels, which assures smooth performance in every use. Pflueger has been famous amongst the fishermen for its top-quality and hugely affordable reels as a brand. You will love the gearing system and the sealed-drag system, which are ideal for crappie fishing.
We call it a good crappie reel because of the inclusion of the front-mounted sealed gear, which has significantly improved the reel’s performance and allows smooth casting with minimum backlashes. And don’t we all love a smooth cast?
If you seek an affordable reel that provides you with a butter smooth performance, this is the best reel for crappie fishing. Pflueger President spinning reel is the perfect option to invest in. However, it does have a little learning curve, but you will love it once you get the hang of it.
- Powerful seven-bearing system
- Lightweight graphite reel construction body and rotor attachment
- Corrosion resistant stainless steel ball bearings
- Braid ready powerful spool
- Sealed-drag system always lubricated for smooth performance
- Slow oscillation gearing system
- Better line lay and minimum line twist
5. Goture Spinning Crappie Spinning Fishing Reel
Next in line for the best crappie reels is this phenomenal pick by the Goture. This brand has an excellent reputation when it comes to delivering strong offerings to the fishers. It has completely refined the traditional role of the reels. The rotor and the frame of this reel are made from graphite, which is why it is so well made and very durable.
Being one of the best crappie reels, it can handle good wear and tear, regardless of the severe conditions. This can be quite a motivator when you shop for this reel. The reel also has a double anodized aluminum, which paves the way for its lightweight structure. A notable thing about this reel is that its multi drag system contains Japanese oiled felt drag washers. On the whole, having this reel will always mean a powerful and smooth experience at a killer price.
Further, this reel comes with six ball bearings. Additionally, it also has an anti-roller reverse bearing, which assures a super-smooth experience. Moreover, it is a corrosion-resistant reel.
- Amazing braking power
- Multi-disk drag system
- 6+1 super smooth bearings
- Japanese oiled felt drag washers
- Body of the unit is made up of both graphite and aluminum
- Perfect fishing experience guaranteed
- Freshwater bearing
- Anti-backup bearings
- Anti-twist roller that lowers the entanglement
- Handle is interchangeable
- Perfect even for beginners
- Precision brass gears
- Hardened metal main shaft
- Three-disc carbon-resistance washers
6. SHIMANO Sedona C2000S Crappie Spinning Fishing Reel
Shimano has been around for over eight decades. All this while, the brand has been trendy for producing top-quality and precision-engineered fishing gear. The brand has been behind some of the most high-end and innovative reels that you can get your hands on today.
If you are out there looking for a mid-price range and a good crappie reel, then you can surely consider this Shimano Sedona C2000S. With this best reel for crappie fishing, you can make the most of the brand’s reliability and top-quality and a supremely low priced reel with the Sedona. Believe us when we say this, it is indeed one of the best crappie reels at this price. So, it can be a good pick for anyone who does not wish to spend more than 100 USD on a reel.
Shimano has always been known for its durability and quality. Having said that, the reel does use a few hard plastic components for the drag knob as well as the T-knob at the end of the handle. However, it has a fantastic body made from the composite HGT 7 M. This is the prime reason behind its lightweight design and phenomenal strength.
The reel has a good weight to it and is very split. It casts effortlessly. Several small reels have a very flimsy feel to them, but Sedona is just as solid as the other larger reels. The bail is tight, and unlike the more expensive reels, this one never flips while casting. It has a super-smooth landing, and the retrieve is high-speed.
|$63.44 – $99.99
- Equipped with a Propulsion Line Management System
- Line Retrieve Per Crank: 26 inches
- Gear ratio: 5.0:1
- Longer casting distances
- Equipped with shallow spool
- Cold forged HAGANE gears
- Long-lasting, strong, and durable performance and smoothness
- Suitable for both inshore and offshore action
- Double-anodized machine-cut spools
- Compact body
- Line capacity (mm/m): 0.14/145, 0.16/105, 0.18/80
- Line capacity (lb/yds): 3/125, 4/100, 5/75
- Drag force: 7lbs
- Bearings: 3 S SUS and 1 RB
- Weight: 7.60 ounce
- No backlashes and wind knots
7. Abu Garcia 5600 Bait Casting Crappie Trolling Reel
Next in line of the best crappie reels is a reel that is widely recommended and hugely popular amongst the users for being a Cadillac for trolling. Priced reasonably, it lies on a different price spectrum than the above, and it is mainly the right pick for someone who needs multiple reels.
However, as for the performance, the durability and the smoothness of the reel is entirely worth the price. Being one of the best crappie reels, it is the reel you hold onto for many-many years.
It is a great reel, and it has a synchronized level wind system, a multi-disc drag system, compact bent handle and star, six-pin centrifugal brake, four stainless steel ball bearings, and one roller bearing. Its recessed reel foot that enables the reel to sit low on the rod is appreciable as it makes it effortless for you to cast and palm. This Ambassadeur STX is quite a steal for several different fishing types, such as trolling for crappies.
Well, this best reel for crappie fishing does have a bit of a learning curve for you to be able to cast effectively. If you are an experienced angler, a few casts will get you on the right foot. On the whole, it is a phenomenal pick, and it sure is worth the extra cost depending on your usage.
- Professional grade fishing equipment
- Available in 2 sizes in both right and left handed models
- Tested for durability and quality
- Quality components including a smooth multi-disk drag system
- Synchronized level wind system
- Multi-disc drag system
- Compact bent handle and star
- Six-pin centrifugal brake
- Four stainless steel ball bearings, and one roller bearing
8. Piscifun Flame Spinning Reels Light Weight Ultra Smooth
Last in our line of the best crappie reels is the Piscifun Flame. It is an ultra-light multi-purpose reel, which is super smooth and will surely become your main reel over time. Its design is something that truly stands out. You will love the matte black body paired with the red aluminum spool, which goes well with an exquisite appearance, which is impossible for anyone to ignore.
The retrieve performance and the smooth cast also makes it the best reel for crappie fishing. It comes with nine plus one top-quality ball bearings, which are almost hard to find at this price. Further, its triple drag washers, top-notch drive gear, and precisely machined brass pinion gear assure a phenomenal drag operation for the moments when you are fighting a giant fish.
All of the components of this best reel for crappie fishing are made with top-quality materials, which are very well assembled. Their care to detailing makes this Flame spinning reel a good competitor for many more expensive alternatives.
Assessing just by the looks and features alone, you would not be able to guess this reel’s price. Thus, there is zero surprise element in the fact that it is the top-reviewed and a good crappie reel renowned for its durability, smooth performance, and lightweight design.
- Matte black body paired with red aluminum spool
- Personalized handle
- X shape spool
- Sharp and modern spinning fishing reel with unique hollow body
- Relatively narrow hollow graphite body
- Lightweight reel gears
- Light to 8.5oz
- 9 quality ball bearings plus one roller bearing paired
- Precision gears engagement
- Choose 2000 and 3000 series reels if you are into freshwater fishing
- Pick 4000 and 5000 when chasing big fish or saltwater species
- Incredible drag power up to 19.8Lb
- Reinforced metal main shaft
- High quality drive gear
- Precisely machined brass pinion gear
- Triple drag washers
- Braid Ready Spool
How To Select a Crappie Reel?
Hopefully, after our review of some of the best crappie reels, you have quite a sound idea on all the options available in the market. But of course, we understand that you may have some questions about the crappie reels or the entire buying process. Well, fret no more. We have got you covered. Here, in this guide, we will try to address all your questions one by one.
When you are shopping for the best spinning reel for crappie, you do have to take into account the gear ratio. Let us understand what this ratio is with an example. See, for instance, if the gear ratio is 5:1, this number describes the number of turns of the spool that one complete handle rotation produces. So, in this case, for every one crank, there will be five full spool revolutions. For gear ratio, 5:1 is only a mid-pack, anything lower will only be slower, and anything higher than this would be faster. Now, why is this number significant? See, this number holds value for two reasons.
If the gear ratio of the best reel for crappie fishing is high, the retrieval speed will also be fast. So, when you are casting at a distance or jigging deep and need to cover a lot of water fast, a high gear ratio will be helpful. However, you also need to bear in mind that a high speed can be counterproductive, and you have to get the retrieve right for the crappie and the lure.
The faster you retrieve a spinning lure, the more activity and speed you demand from the fish and the less time you offer it to decide the strike. It can be a great thing in warm, clear water on bright days. However, bear in mind that some lures are best fished quickly, while others work well when retrieved slowly. It would be best to consider how you fish and what you throw when you shop for a lure.
See, when we look for a good crappie reel, the 5:1 gear ratio is indeed a great place to start for the general-purpose reel. All of the best crappie reels that we have listed cluster around this ratio.
Selecting a reel size
For selecting the best spinning reel for crappie, regardless of the fact that the crappie fish have a significantly larger mouth that can swallow larger baits, you must bear in mind that their mouth tissues are quite fragile. Thus, they get easily stuck in the hook. It is for this reason the lightweight reels are the best spinning reel for crappie. Hence, when you shop for the best spinning reel for crappie, opt for something that, despite being lightweight, assures good performance and is easy to handle.
Making a switch to a larger gear will lead to imbalances in the rod, thereby resulting in driving your target away. Another significant advantage of the lighter fishing reel for your crappie fishing is that they provide you with considerable sensitivity. Hence, they can easily detect the slightest nibbles on the line. This makes it the best spinning reel for crappie.
Selecting a quality drag
The drag system is the most vital aspect of any best spinning reel for crappie. It determines whether your line will fall prey to twisting or will go smoothly when you cast it. Both spinning reels and spin cast have a single drag system, while a few may have two.
Usually, the drag system is attached near the tail, either behind the reel or in the spool. When shopping for the best crappie reels, a necessary prerequisite is to look for corrosion-resistant and waterproof drag as they will last you a long time when you are engaging in crappie fishing. Do ensure that the drag works smoothly as it can easily retrieve the catch. You can also gauge other robust spinning reel drag systems, which can withstand extended combat with a more powerful and bigger fish.
The main body or the housing of the reel also determines whether or not it is the best spinning reel for crappie. There are primarily two options, which most people prefer in the crappie reels. These are graphite and aluminum. Graphite offers incredible flexibility, and aluminum, on the other hand, is a very sturdy and lightweight alloy. There are also some reels that amalgamate the two and make durable housing.
This has been mentioned earlier too. The reel’s weight does have a significant role in your success at crappie fishing. The lighter your best reel for crappie fishing is, the higher are your chances of getting a great catch. Usually, these crappie reels are more lightweight than average reels. Many even weigh as little as two pounds.
Picking a drag type
The primary cause of jerks and backlashes in crappie fishing is the poor-quality drag. Selecting a drag that is sturdy enough to hold a two-pound line mono at the least will help you enjoy a good and eventful fishing day. Usually, the following drag types can be found in the best spinning reel for crappie.
Honestly, these systems are quite inaccessible. However, they are undoubtedly the most reliable and powerful picks. They have smoother mechanisms, and mechanical brakes go in this system that prevents the spool speed whenever it is applied.
Such drags are not in direct contact with the spool. These drags are also very accessible, but they are a bit more complex to operate when you are out there chasing the crappie.
One of the best options for spin fishing is the sealed drags. These are waterproof drags and will protect your reel against any water damage, rusting, and corrosion. These are the most recommended and the best drags for crappie fishing.
All of the best crappie reels mentioned in this review are of superior quality and a good pick for crappie fishing. However, the best reel for crappie fishing suited for you will depend on your preferences and fishing style. We believe that no two anglers will have a similar view of what’s best in terms of gear. We cannot point you in one direction and tell you that this is it, you can buy this reel, and it will be the best reel for crappie fishing.
Understand that these are all good crappie reels, so read through our buying guide thoroughly, and make your choice. In the end, you have to pick a good crappie reel that caters to your needs and matches your spin fishing skill set. However, instead of shopping for the cheap-quality and low priced plastic reels, it is always recommended to invest a little more and find yourself a good crappie reel.
Lastly, we hope that this review did help you find a good crappie reel.