Best Crappie Reel | Get Fishing with These Top Reels [2019]

The first time I tried crappie was actually at a dinner party. I remarked on how delicious the fish was, and my host was quick to let me know it wasn’t your typical trout. Soon after crappie fishing became one of my biggest hobbies—and favorite meals.

My obsession with this sport, however, has led to a good deal of experimentation with rods and reels. Finding the best crappie spinning reel turned out to be harder than I expected. So, to help other sunfish lovers out, I thought I’d write up a review to narrow down the best crappie reel on the market in 2019.

 

 

Our Top Pick

I picked the Pflueger President spinning reel as the best crappie reel considering its robust line of features and smooth drag. I like the way the brand has emphasized making the parts corrosions resistant so that the buyers can get good value for their money.

 

 

The Top Crappie Reels Reviewed

Pflueger President Spinning Reel

The Pflueger President spinning reel is the embodiment of smooth performance. As a brand, Pflueger has always been known among the angler’s community for their affordability and high-end reels. You will be impressed by the sealed-drag system and gearing system which are perfect for crappie fishing.

 

Key Features

  • Powerful seven-bearing system
  • Graphite body and rotor attachment
  • Braid-ready powerful spool
  • Sealed-drag system for smooth performance
  • Slow oscillation gearing system

 

What I like about this product

The addition of a front-mounted sealed gear has tremendously improved the performance of this reel, allowing for smooth casting with minimal backlashes—and who doesn’t love a smooth cast?

 

What I don’t like about this product

Pfleuger has missed the sweet spot just a little for crappie fishing due to the rough drag in this reel. I was expecting the braid-ready spool to be easy to use, but it seems that the whole setup is way trickier than I expected.

 

 

Pros

  • Lightweight graphite body
  • Stainless-steel ball bearings
  • Corrosion-resistant spools
  • Sealed-drag washers with great lubrication
  • Minimal line twists for perfect line lay

 

Cons

  • Tricky braided line spooling
  • Rough drag

 

If you are looking for an affordable reel with butter-smooth performance, the Pflueger President spinning reel is a great option to invest in. It does have a bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it—this reel can’t be beat.

 

Overall Rating – 4.8/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Cadence CS8 Spinning Reel

The Cadence CS8 spinning reel is lightweight and smooth casting. This reel is sure to exceed your expectations for a crappie fishing, and it does so at an impressive price. You can count on its powerful drag system to stay by your side on your next fishing venture.

 

Key Features

  • CMC frame for an ultra-lightweight design
  • Machined-aluminum spool with a carbon fiber drag
  • Ergonomic EVA handle knob
  • Nine stainless-steel ball bearings and one anti-reverse bearing
  • Powerful wave spring drag system featuring drag capacity of 20 pounds

 

What I like about this product

The ergonomic handle knob and powerful wave-spring drag system are two of my most favorite things about this reel. It offers you the freedom of smooth casting and catching bigger crappie up to 20 pounds.

 

What I don’t like about this product

The line roller is too noisy, and it can easily scare away the fish. I was hoping that the braided line adjustments would be a bit better in this model, but I was highly disappointed.

 

Pros

  • Aluminum main gear and pinion gears
  • Versatile performance
  • Lightweight yet durable single-piece frame
  • Corrosion-resistant bearing and gearing system
  • Strong spool

 

Cons

  • There is no sealing on the drag to prevent water damage
  • Line roller is loud

 

The Cadence CS8 spinning reel is a good pick for crappie fishing anglers who want an inexpensive yet smooth performing fishing reel. You will love the drag system in this one.

 

Overall Rating – 4.5/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reels – Best Budget Reel

KastKing Summer and Centron spinning reels have easily earned a place among front-liner crappier fishing reels included in this review. This manufacturer always has some fantastic surprises up its sleeve for its loyal fan base. Let’s see what KastKing has in store for us this time.

 

Key Features

  • Reinforced metal shaft
  • Unique mesh main gear and machined pinion gear
  • Attractive design and great finishing
  • Dual-color anodized aluminum spool featuring a power-launch lip
  • Longer casting distance

 

What I like about this product

No other brand focuses on offering quite the range of choices and prices as KastKing does. The KastKing Centron is an excellent example of a quality budget reel considering its myriad of features which are offered at an affordable price.

 

What I don’t like about this product

As I tried to crank the bail, the whole system required too much force. This model may not be great for beginners.

 

Pros

  • Versatile features at an affordable price tag
  • Suitable for beginners and professional crappie fishers
  • Lightweight single piece-graphite frame
  • Perfectly balanced performance
  • Superior drag system featuring incredible stopping power

 

Cons

  • Tricky spool and hard bailing require more effort

 

The KastKing Summer and Centron spinning reels are an excellent pick for crappie fishing on a budget. If you want to try out the best of the features without spending a bundle, this reel is a good option.

 

Overall Rating – 4.5/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Sougayilang Fishing Reel

The Sougayilang Fishing Reel offers quality features with great styling. If you are looking to invest in a reel which will pay for itself, the Sougayilang Fishing Reel is an excellent option for that. This brand has introduced some impressive tweaks to this model, particularly the corrosion-resistant technology.

 

Key Features

  • Lightweight aluminum alloy frame
  • Patented anti-corrosion sealed design
  • Powerfully stable metal base
  • Higher stress-bearing capacity
  • Safe and quick line retrievals

 

What I like about this product

This reel has some appreciable arrangements for prevention against water, rust, dust, and scratch damage. The manufacturer has undoubtedly put a lot of thought into making the operation of this reel smooth and quick.

 

What I don’t like about this product

The manufacturer missed the mark with the quality of the paint used on this reel. While this is mostly for aesthetics, it begins peeling rather quickly. This aspect also exposes the plastic to wear and tear, though, once the paint is gone.

 

Pros

  • Has a multi-disc drag system with oil felt washers
  • Features an impressive gear ratio of 5.21
  • Durable, corrosion-resistant parts
  • Stainless-steel screws and frame resistant to dust, scratches, and water damage
  • 12+1 ball bearing system with infinite anti-reverse
  • Swappable handle

 

Cons

  • A bit too noisy for some fishers
  • Paint peels quickly

 

The Sougayilang Fishing Reel is an excellent value for the money because it offers smooth performance and a durable frame. Any angler with a good sense of crappie fishing will surely appreciate this piece.

 

Overall Rating – 4.2/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

FyshFlyer Fire Premium Spinning Reel

It seems as if your frustration for slippery knobs has finally come to an end with FyshFlyer Fire. This brand is renowned for rectifying the shortcomings which are rampant in other fishing reels. You can invest in this reel without a second thought.

 

Key Features

  • 4+1 stainless-steel bearing system
  • Infinite anti-reverse
  • Stainless-steel bearing washers ensure smooth drag
  • FAS spool featuring superlight graphite rotor
  • Lightweight, compact design

 

What I like about this product

The FAS spool has a graphite rotor, which is a good addition to prevent any twisting in the line when spinning the rod for crappie fishing. I like the lightweight, compact frame and swappable handles.

 

What I don’t like about this product

Limited styling options and negligence in making the frame corrosion resistant are two significant shortcomings of this spinning reel. I was expecting that the brand would have paid considerable attention to safeguarding the reel design, but it seems as though the designers are didn’t take that aspect very seriously.

 

Pros

  • Front-drag system for powerful performance
  • Suitable for effortless casting
  • Foldable plastic handle with swappable design
  • Soft-touch knob to prevent slips
  • Rugged gear and drive with minimal noise

 

Cons

  • The stopping power of the handle may not be robust enough to catch larger crappie
  • Lacks corrosion resistance

 

The FyshFlyer Fire premium spinning reel is going to help you catch a net full of crappie with ease. If you want to prioritize power over styling, this reel is best for you.

 

Overall Rating – 4.0/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Lews Fishing Mr. Crappie Spinning Reel MCS50

The Lews Fishing Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker spinning reel offers bang for your buck considering its stylish body and impressive gear ratio. Whether you are planning to win the next crappie fishing tournament or simply impress your friends with your skills, this spinning reel is a great option for you.

 

Key Features

  • Premium graphite body
  • Durable graphite spool and rotor
  • Dual-bearing construction for simplistic operation
  • Compact gearbox
  • Impressive gear ratio of 5.21

 

What I like about this product

This reel is a cheap investment for such an amazing gear ratio. I was ready to deal with an uneven construction until I opened and aligned this reel. I must say that it has a very straightforward design and beginners will love it.

 

What I don’t like about this product

If you are looking for something fancy for crappie fishing, this isn’t it—it’s one of the most minimalist reels out there.

 

Pros

  • Comes pre-spooled with 6-pound mono yard line capacity
  • Lightweight graphite body and attachments
  • Minimal backlashing and line twists
  • Ready to use
  • Thin gearbox

 

Cons

  • Not much attention is paid to the quality of reel parts.
  • Design is really basic

 

The Lews Fishing Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker spinning reel lets you enjoy hassle-free crappie fishing owing to its simplistic design and great performance.

 

Overall Rating – 4.1/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Lew’s Fishing Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker Reel S01

No, I didn’t accidentally review this reel twice, the S01 is another reel from the Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker line. This reel avows a striking design featuring a large arbor frame and lightweight attachment. Although you may think that the reel is too bulky to handle, the reality is that it offers greater levels of stability and convenience as compared to its competitors.

 

Key Features

  • Lightweight graphite frame
  • Durable graphite spool
  • Large frame for perfect handling
  • Minimal line twists
  • Hassle-free line click adjustment

 

What I like about this product

I was not at all expecting this reel to be so lightweight. Despite all my skepticism, the Lew’s Fishing Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker reel won my vote of favor owing to its lightweight yet durable frame which is capable of withstanding strong drag force and corrosion attacks.

 

What I don’t like about this product

As a beginner to crappie fishing, there is a lot to learn. If you’re still getting the hang of things like handle swapping, this reel might not be suitable for you. Although the construction is simple, the manufacturers have not given any guidelines regarding swapping the reel from the left hand to right-hand alignment.

 

Pros

  • Suitable for beginners in crappie fishing
  • Minimal backlashes, line twists, and tangling
  • Very sensitive reel
  • Corrosion-resistant make
  • Free from any wobbles

 

Cons

  • Some material quality issues with the drag and spool

 

The Mr. Crappie Slab S01 offers good value for the money. It is ideal for anglers with basic knowledge for crappie fishing, and the lightweight frame will win your heart.

 

Overall Rating – 4.1/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Crappie Reel Buying Guide

Alright, now that you have a good sample of what’s available in the crappie reel market, you might have a question or two about the buying process itself or crappie reels. Don’t worry, I thought of that too, and whipped up this guide to answer all your questions.

 

Choosing a reel size

Despite the fact that crappie fish have bigger mouths which can swallow larger baits, you must keep in mind that their mouth tissues are very fragile and can easily get stuck in the hook.

Lightweight reels with high-end performance are the most preferred reels for crappie fishing, owing to the fact that these reels are easier to handle. Switching to a larger gear will only cause imbalances in the rod resulting in scaring away the targets. Another advantage of lighter fishing reels for crappie fishing is that they offer greater sensitivity so you can easily detect the slightest nibbles on the line.

 

Choosing a quality drag

Drag systems are the most important part of spinning reels as they determine whether your line will fall prey to twisting or go smoothly when casting. Both spincast and spinning reels have one drag system; some may have two.

Drag systems are usually attached near the tail, in front of the spool, or behind the reel. Look for a waterproof, corrosion-resistant drag as it will last for longer periods of crappie fishing. Make sure that the drag operates smoothly so that you can easily retrieve catches. You can also check out other powerful spinning reel drag systems that can handle prolonged combat with bigger and more powerful fish.

 

 

Picking a drag type

A low-quality drag is the primary cause of nasty backlashes and jerks while crappie fishing. Choose a drag which is stable enough to hold a line of two-pound mono at the least. The following types of drag are usually found in spinning reels.

 

  • Front Drag These systems are a bit tricky to access. However, they are much more powerful, reliable, and have smoother mechanisms. Mechanical brakes are used in this system, which stops the spool speed whenever they are applied.

 

  • Rear Drag These drags are not in direct contact with the spool. Although they are easier to access, they are more complicated to operate while fishing

 

  • Sealed Drag Sealed is the best option for spin fishing. These drags are waterproof and offer protection against water damage and corrosion. They are the most recommended for crappie fishing as well.

 

Final Thoughts

Any of the reels in this review would be an excellent choice for crappie fishing. The option that’s best for you will depend on your style and preferences. No two anglers are going to have the same view of what’s “best” in gear. Even so, if I had to point you in the direction of a single reel to try first, it would be the Pflueger President reel.

The Pflueger President spinning reel has deservingly earned the title of the best crappie reel due to its advanced features and durable design. The slow oscillation gearing system is good enough to detect the slightest of nibbles on the other end of the line. Since all the parts are coated with corrosion protection, you can expect to enjoy this reel for a long time.

Despite the increasing popularity of crappie fishing, you may find it hard to find a reel which will fulfill your needs and match your spin fishing skill set. It is suggested that you invest a little more to get a good reel rather than buying cheap plastic ones. I hope these reviews helped you establish the top-most priorities to look for whenever you purchase your next reel. Till then, I wish you luck with your hunt!

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