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Go back through the history of crappie fishing and you’ll find that it wasn’t always an exciting, competitive, multi-million dollar industry. For a long time, crappie were considered nothing more than a tasty pan fish that could be caught by anglers of practically any skill level.
While it’s true that crappie remain an easy and abundant catch — assuming you can find a nice honey hole — the competitive crappie fishing scene has absolutely blown up in recent years. Tournaments with high-end payouts are popping up and, perhaps outside of the world of bass fishing, crappie might be sitting comfortably as the second most popular game fish in North America.
When selecting the right fishing reel for slaying slabs, though, a lot of the decision will come down to your own preference as an angler. Many anglers have one specific brand they love and will stick with for a lifetime. Others are constantly looking for the best possible combination to meet their particular desires.
Below, you will find a quick list of some of the more popular brands that we believe hold up as some of the top reels for crappie fishing.
Looking at Some of the Best Reels for Crappie Fishing
This reel is a favorite among many pan fish anglers. Part of the popularity is because this reel seems to be one of the most widely-available at retailers across the nation. Whether you are just starting out or have been fishing for years, however, the Pflueger President is likely to impress and is priced reasonably for its quality.
This particular reel comes with two different bearing options. It comes with a 6+1 in the PRESSP20X and a 9+1 in all other sizes. The other great features with this reel include a lightweight graphite body, stainless steel main shaft, a ported double anonized aluminum spool, braid- ready spool, smooth multi-disc drag, soft touch knob, on/off anti-reverse and the handle can be converted to both left and right.
The Daiwa Regal LT is part of Daiwa’s “Light but Tough” series. Marked at a very reasonable price, it gives many anglers, experienced or novice, a reliable, dependable, and affordable options when looking for their next crappie reel.
There is a 9+1bearing setup with this reel that provides a smooth transition when casting or reeling in. Other features on the Regal include a redesigned workhorse reel, lightweight true carbon frame, air rotor with air bail system, ATD drag for smooth power and an aluminum handle for weight reduction.
Mitchell’s Avocet RZT provides for a good introductory reel into crappie fishing. If you are unable to hit the water as frequently as you would like, or if you are just looking to get started in the world of crappie fishing, the Avocet RZT is a great choice due to its modest, entry-level price.
The features on this reel include a graphite rotor and body, multi-disc drag system, aluminum handle and spool, never fail spring system and an 8 ball bearing system with instant anti-reverse.
Abu Garcia is one of the most recognizable and respected names in the fishing industry, so it is no surprise that we would have the Pro Max on our list for top crappie reels.
This reel is durable and made with quality materials and technology. The features include a machined aluminum spool, Rocket spool lip design, 7 bearing system, rocket line management and a Everlast bail for enhanced durability.
The Shimano Sedona is a high quality reel and an excellent choice for a more experienced angler looking to make an upgrade without making a substantial financial commitment.
While being very appealing to the eye, the Sedona also offers a smooth reeling and casting experience for the angler.
Paired with a Shimano or other quality rod (either a light or ultra-light) and your line of choice, this set up will last you for years. The make up of this reel includes a light-weight G-Free body construction, magnumlite rotor, Cold-Forged Hagane gears for ultimate durability and a smooth, trouble free 3+1 ball bearing system.
A high end reel with top of the line materials and technology, the Quantum PT Smoke S3 is built for the avid angler and comes with a higher price point While priced higher than some of the other entries on this list, it is priced to perform.
The PT Smoke S3 features an 11+1 bearing system, Reel Engine Design 2.0, CL4F Carbon Fiber Razor Rotor, 3 sealed PTAC ball bearings, Dura-Lok clutch, Sealed CSC carbon and ceramic drag, Braid Ready Maxcast 2.0 Spool, Continuous Anti-Reverse, all aluminum uni-body construction and a indestructible NiTi titanium bail.
This reel from Lew’s is packed full with high end components and it also comes with an affordable, mid-range price tag.
If you are looking for a lightweight and extremely durable reel, look no further. The Custom Pro Speed Spin features a 11+1 bearing system, all aluminum body, C60 Carbon skeletal Speed Rotor, braid ready aluminum spool, Zero-reverse on way clutchh bearing, sealed carbon fiber drag, Dri-Tac Knob and Lew’s Speed Lubricant.
If you are just entering crappie fishing, or if you have been fishing for a while and want a nice back up reel that is affordably priced, then the Pflueger Trion is right up your alley.
This reel features a 6+1 bearing system and a 4+1 system in the TRI20X model. Other features include lightweight graphite body, aluminum spool, instant anti-reverse, multi-disc drag system, aluminum handle, stainless steel and oiled felt drag washers.