11 Best Reels For Crappie Fishing – Review & Buyers Guide

Intro Into The Best Reel For Crappie Fishing

Crappie is one of the most popular and tastiest fish to catch and eat in North America. They are one of the most desirable game fish in the world of fishing. Knowing how to catch them is one matter but having the correct gear is another. So in this article, we are going to go over the best fishing reel for crappie fishing. 

We have chosen 11 of our favorite crappie fishing reels for you to choose from. The Water Sporting Adventure team has poured hours of research into finding and testing these fishing reels, so you don’t have to spend hours scrolling the internet. Spend the extra time out there fishing!

We made sure to review all of the key features you should look out for when shopping for the best reel for crappie fishing. Some of these features include the following:

  • Reel Weight
  • Line Capacity
  • Drag Pressure
  • Gear Ratio
  • Materials and Construction
  • Longevity 
  • Ease of Use

If you are still wondering how to choose the best reel for crappie fishing then make sure to check out the buyers guide we have put together at the end of this article.

Let’s not waste any more time and dive right in!

11 Best Spinning Reels For Crappie Fishing

  1. Cadence CS8 Spinning Reel

    Cadence has been one of the market leaders when it comes to producing high-quality fishing reels for quite some time. We believe this reel deserves our top choice due to its high build quality, drag system, ergonomic shape, and weight.

    The Cadence CS8 is produced from materials that bring high strength without weight, the Cadence CS8 series reel offers premium performance at a very modest price. The frame is produced from light magnesium with a carbon rotor gliding on 10 corrosion-resistant bearings - Great for any weather conditions and water type. 

    You won't experience any line slippage due to the machined aluminum spool which also contains a carbon fiber drag system that will deliver a consistent pressure. 

    Another great feature is the comfy EVA handle knob, it's comfy in your hand and reduces the reel weight.

    Premium materials, along with its availability in a variety of sizes, make it a great all-purpose spinning reel.

    The Cadence CS8 is perfect for gamefish including freshwater fish like crappie, bass, walleye, and trout as well as popular inshore species like redfish, speckled trout, and flounder.

    We certainly believe that this spinning reel for crappie will exceed all expectations. The list of high-end features, quality, and design has produced a spinning reel which you'd expect to pay twice the price tag for. 

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  2. Penn Battle II Spinning Reel

    It was a close decision between this reel and the top choice. But this reel from Penn has impressed us very much and deserves the next best spot in our list of best reels for crappie.

    The Penn Battle 2 reel offers you great quality at a very reasonable price. This reel is going to last you for years if you take good care of it. This reel is ideal for both fresh and saltwater. It has a steel body with a classic finish which boosts its durability and makes it easy to maintain as well.

    The rubber knob is comfortable and easy to handle while fishing. The retrieve is smooth, and the line capacity rings on the spool help to put the correct amount of line on the reel. The upgraded washers also allow for better drag.

    You can choose any option you want - there are 8 sizes ranging from 1000 to 8000.

    The paint job is excellent on the Pen Battle II and is sure to give this reel great corrosion resistance in all forms of water.

    Check Latest Price Check Latest Price at PENN
    04/04/2023 06:46 pm GMT
  3. Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel For Crappie

    Another fantastic spinning reel for crappie. This one made our list due to the expansive list of high-quality features, build quality, and reasonable price tag. 

    If you're looking for an affordable yet effective reel, then this one fits the bill. And, since, it has a strong stainless steel, aluminum, and graphite body, its durability is off the charts - look after it and it will be lasting for years to come. 

    The reel is available in 5 sizes, all with different weights, drag pressure, and line capacity, so make sure you select the one ideal for your scenario. 

    The entire series will help you perform light tackles. With this one, you can catch crappie, trout, medium-sized bass, catfish, panfish, and walleye.

    Each of these Pflueger reels includes a braid-ready aluminum spool. And, it also contains a Sure-click Bail system to improve the backing line. One can also customize the retrieves to either left or right as they need.

    Overall this reel is a fantastic choice for any angler with any experience level. Customers' feedback on this particular fishing reel is great. 

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  4. KastKing Crixus Spinning Fishing Reel

    KastKing’s Crixus series brings a fishing reel that will provide great performance at a nominal price. 

    The reel is produced from graphite which gives it good rigidity and makes it very lightweight. This allows anglers to hold it comfortably while fishing. Graphite body increases durability as well as strength making it last for years. The quality of the reel is not compromised since it contains high-quality components. 

    The gear contains zinc alloy and solid brass to give it further strength. The aluminum spool and handle arm provide a lightweight and strong addition to the reel too.

    The handle knob is slip-resistant and made up of SuperPolymer, you can easily handle the knob in wet conditions. A nice little additional design feature is that the shark head logos on the side help drain the water and prevent it from reaching your arms.

    Unlike most reels, you can adjust the drag pressure system to suit your needs on any fishing expedition. You can adjust the pressure from very light to 17.5lbs.

    The ball bearings are set up in the most important locations to give the best performance. The zero lock allows an anti-reverse for quick hook sets. 

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  5. KastKing Brutus Spinning Reel

    Both the frame and the rotor on the KastKing Brutus Spinning Reel is produced from graphite making it durable, strong, and lightweight.

    KastKing guarantees performance with this reel and allows easy casting.

    The gear is a blend of zinc and brass to cut noise. The design is sleek, with an adjustable multi-disc drag system. This is an excellent option for professional anglers.

    There are four ball bearings in the most crucial places to enhance performance. Also, there is a line keeper on the reel to prevent unspooling of the line during storage. 

    Lastly, the flat rubber grips offer a comfortable and tight grip on the handle in any weather condition. 

    It's the best value reel for crappie fishing but don't let the price fool you, it's still a great option for experienced anglers. 

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    04/04/2023 07:57 pm GMT
  6. Okuma Ceymar Crappie Spinning Reel

    The Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel is lightweight, high quality, and affordable. This reel has a smooth and beautiful design.

    Okuma fishing reel is best for freshwater, but it works well in salty water as well making it great for Crappie which can be found in fresh and brackish waters. 

    Constructed on a fluid 8-bearing drive system and featuring Okuma precision elliptical gearing, Ceymar delivers a full line-up of advanced performance features. A rigid, machined aluminum spool creates a foundation of strength for both monofilament and braided fishing lines.

    The solid aluminum bail wire and oversized line roller deliver confident performance over the long term. The rotor system features Okuma RESII computer balancing, so Ceymar spins even at high speed without developing annoying wobble. 

    The handle knob is slip-resistant and comfortable. Users report that the handle is easy to grip and use even when the reel is wet.

    The drag system is multi-disc and oil felt for a super smooth operation. 

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    04/04/2023 01:21 pm GMT
  7. Okuma Avenger Baitfeeder Graphite Spinning Reel

    Okuma has improved the design and quality of the reels in the avenger series, this is a great example. It has 7 ball bearings to allow a very smooth movement of the reel. 

    The 7th ball bearing serves as an anti-reverse to improve the drag. This allows the line to the spool as much as you want.

    You don't have to worry as much about particulates ruining your reel with this one. The gearbox is fully sealed and keeps water, sand, and dirt out. Improving the overall durability of the reel and giving it a much longer lifespan. 

    The body and rotor are produced from graphite which makes it strong and very lightweight. 

    The movement of the line is smooth due to integrated oil-soaked washers. The retrieve is also reversible so you can switch it up between left and right-handed use. 

    Another great feature of this reel is the on/off bait feeding system. Simply put the rod into bait feeding mode and you can let the line freely spool from the reel. Flick the switch back and the reel will apply normal drag tension again. This is one of the main reasons it's set apart from the crowd and made our list of the best reel for crappie fishing. 

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    04/04/2023 03:06 pm GMT
  8. Piscifun Flame Spinning Reel

    This spinning reel from Piscifun is a fantastic reel if you're wanting to go fishing for some Crappie. 

    The reel has a sleek design with a matte black body and a red aluminum spool. Making it perfectly blend in with its name - The flame. 

    The body is produced from hollow graphite with ultralight reel gears making this fishing reel for crappie only 8.5oz in weight. 

    There are 9 high-quality ball bearings and one roller paired with the precision gears to give you a buttery smooth action on the flame. 

    Piscifun recommends choosing the 2000 and 3000 series reels if you are more into freshwater fishing and the 4000 and 5000 options if you are chasing after larger species of fish and saltwater species. 

    Usually, a feature only found on high end spinning reels, the flame has a braid ready spool for braided fishing line

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    04/04/2023 02:33 pm GMT
  9. Daiwa BG Saltwater Spinning Reel

    Daiwa BG spinning reel is said to of been 40 years in the making and is the result of years of design experience in the fishing game. This reel is great for all types of game fish and especially the very desirable crappie. 

    The body is produced from machined aluminum to provide strength, scratch, and corrosion resistance. It is also very aesthetically pleasing to the eye with a black anodized body. 

    This particular reel also has an integrated driver which is the largest in the history of Daiwa spinning reels. This increases the overall gear to tooth contact and provides a smoother and extended gear life. It also improves the power and torque which is great for Crappie fishing. 

    The spool is made from ABS making it lightweight. The spool also has a reverse tapered shape which means it's a 100% useable line. You can fill the spool to the max with your line and use it all. 

    Unlike other reels, this particular fishing reel uses an 'air rotor' which boasts to provide 15% less weight than a standard reel rotor. 

    Daiwa has really increased the standard of fishing reels in the market with this one. It is a great example of what to look out for in a spinning reel. The main reason it's not higher up in our list is the price, but if affordability isn't an issue for you then this would be an amazing choice. 

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    04/04/2023 09:36 pm GMT
  10. KastKing Valiant Eagle Spinning Reel For Crappie

    KastKing is another brand featured numerous times on our website, whether it be for rods, tackle, or reels. This must mean they are doing something right! Over the last few years, KastKing has firmly cemented themselves as a premium fishing brand and their products are now being used by anglers all over the world. 

    The valiant eagle spinning reel is made as a testament to America and they love the country has for fishing. We believe they have captured the American fishing culture perfectly by producing a reel that is excellent for catching Crappie - one of the US's favorite game fish. 

    This spinning reel has power and speed whilst on the hunt for big game fish. The emerald green edition honors America's symbol whilst providing a really fast gear ratio of 6.2:1.

    The frame is produced from graphite, making it strong and very lightweight. The drag system is multi-disc and produced from carbon fiber with an impressive drag pressure of 22lbs. 

    The reel boasts 11 stainless steel ball bearings, which improves the smooth operation and allows for long and accurate casts. 

    Another great feature of the reel is that the spool is 'braid ready'. This means you don't have to load up the spool with a monofilament line backing.

    The aluminum handle with EVA knob is both comfy, lightweight, and easy to operate.

    This spinning reel is yet another awesome choice for the best reel for crappie fishing on our list. An added bonus is that it is one of the cheapest options on our list. In our opinion, it's a bargain!

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    04/04/2023 09:45 pm GMT
  11. RUNCL Spinning Reel TITAN I

    This reel from RUNCL makes our list due to its build quality, performance, and affordability. Many people would place this reel on the lower end of the spectrum of the best reel for crappie fishing, but that's largely due to first impressions of the price. If those same people got their hands on one of these reels I'm sure they would quickly change their mind. 

    The body is metal and has a full anodized finish giving it superb corrosion and scratch resistance. The action is buttery smooth, due to 10 high-quality stainless steel ball bearings. 

    Another great feature is that the reel has an 'entire shield system' which seals off the important components to prevent water, dirt, and other smaller particulates inside the moving parts of the reel. This improves the lifespan of the reel and also reduces the amount of maintenance needed. 

    The weight is reduced, this is because of the extra thought given to the design - the spool is vented and has a hollowed-out rotor. 

    Many users report on the fact the spinning reel performs very well with heavier braided fishing lines

    Overall this reel is affordable and yet very impressive with an extensive list of features. It's going to serve you very well on your hunt for crappie. 

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Best Reel For Crappie Fishing – Buyers Guide

Best reel for crappie fishing

Should I Choose A Spinning Reel?

One of the first questions you should ask yourself is what type of reel should you be buying? Crappie can be caught on any fishing reel type whether that be spinning, fly, or bait-casting reels. However, you will have noticed that all 11 reels on our list were spinning reels. Why? 

Well, Spinning reels are by far the most popular reels used in the fishing world. They typically tend to be the first reel you pick up as a beginner and unless you venture into the world of fly fishing or deep sea fishing then you’ll probably stick with a spinning reel for the rest of your fishing career. 

Crappie is typically found in fresh and brackish waters which include lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. A spinning reel will serve you absolutely fine in these waters. 

What Features Should I Focus On Whilst Buying My Reel?

best spinning reel for crappie fishing

Finding the best spinning reel for crappie fishing can be a difficult task, especially with the huge number of options on the market today. We could talk about fishing reel features all day, but that wouldn’t help you out. Below we will concisely cover the main features to help you out. 


Weight is a key feature often overlooked by anglers. But when you might be fishing and holding the rod for hours on end the extra few oz. of weight can make a difference. If you are big and strong then this probably won’t matter as much to you, but if not then check out the weight of the reel. 

A lighter reel will be easier to carry around, use on your rod, and cast with. 

Spool Size

Spool size is another important feature to look for. Spool size relates to how much fishing line the reel can actually hold and use. I tend to go for the maximum line length I can as it doesn’t hurt to have extra even if it’s not used. However, if you don’t need the extra length, this might not be of much concern to you. 

Check the description of the products, the manufacturer should list the yardage of line your spool can hold depending on the lbs of the fishing line whether it is monofilament or braided

Metal Used and Durability

Fishing reels come in a wide variety of materials. The Material choice will determine how strong the reel is, the weight, and the durability. The most common reel materials are plastic, steel, aluminum, carbon, and sometimes magnesium. 

I would opt for a metal or carbon body. Carbon is strong and lightweight. When choosing a metal, I would opt for aluminum or magnesium as they are both strong, lightweight, and corrosion-resistant. Steel reels aren’t common nowadays, they are too heavy and rust easily.

Even though all of our best reels for crappie fishing are highly affordable they are all produced from high-quality materials that will serve you well. 


Anti-reverse is a feature that prevents the reel from un-winding unexpectedly, which can quickly put your line into an irreversible bird’s nest tangle. If possible always go for a reel with this feature. 


Bearings ensure the spool and handles can rotate in a buttery smooth motion without causing friction and ‘wobbling’. Most good reels will have at least 5 bearings, some on our list have up to 11! 

Drag Pressure

Drag pressure is the pressure placed onto the spool to stop it from releasing more lines. The system allows you to pull on big fish without breaking the line. Choosing a quality drag system ensures your line won’t break and you’ll be more confident in holding onto a strong fish. 


So that’s it! We truly hope you have found the best reel for crappie fishing. We believe any of the 11 on our list will serve you very well and for many years to come. 

If you still aren’t sure what to choose, they check out our buyers guide or review the customer feedback for each reel. Customers tend to provide the best insights into the quality of a product. 

To recap our list, our top 2 best spinning reel for crappie was the Cadence CS8 Crappie Spinning Reel and the Penn Battle II Spinning Reel

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