Best Crappie Reels of 2021 – Ultimate Round-up

| Last Updated January 19, 2022

Fishing for crappies is a sport enjoyed by many anglers. In fact, it is one of the most popular catches when it comes to freshwater fish.

The crappie fishing experience can be enhanced even more if one has the right equipment for the task. However, selecting the perfect equipment can be a daunting task.

To make things easier for our anglers, we have created this ultimate round-up that will tell you everything you need to know about the best crappie reels available today. So without further ado, let's dive right in!

Comparison of the Best Crappie Reels

  • Contains 9 quality ball bearings
  • One-way anti-reverse bearingfor better performance
  • High-strength anodized aluminum spool
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  • Contains 6+1 super smooth bearings
  • Well-balanced and lightweight
  • Features a powerful anti-twist roller
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  • Best for the Money
  • Carbon fiber rotor for significant weight reduction
  • Superbly strong and durable
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  • Best Crappie Spinning Reel
  • Durable and made to last
  • Body, rotor and spool made of graphite
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  • Best Mr Crappie Reel
  • Multi-disc drag with click function
  • Unique design reduces line twist
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Can Any Reel Be Used For Crappie Fishing?

Technically speaking, there is no hard and fast rule about which reels can and cannot be used for crappie fishing. However, if you use just any reel, results may not be guaranteed. The best-suited reels for crappie fishing are spinning reels and baitcasting reels. Usually, anglers tend to pair up a super light or light reel and rod to get the best results. In addition to that, the faster the reel, the better chance you have of getting a good catch. So, if you want a good catch, do not settle for just any reel.

What Should I Look For When Buying a Crappie Reel?

Before you go out to find the perfect crappie reel for yourself, you must know what to look for. The following are some characteristics that will help you in distinguishing between a good crappie reel and a not so good one:


The housing or the main body of the reel is very important. There are two options that are preferred for crappie reels. These are aluminum and graphite. Aluminum is a lightweight and sturdy alloy. On the other hand, graphite offers flexibility. You can even find reels that integrate both aluminum and graphite to make up the housing. 


This was mentioned earlier on as well. The weight of the reel plays a key role in crappie fishing. The lighter your reel is, the more chances you will have of getting a good catch. Crappie reels are lighter than your average reels. They can weigh as little as 2 pounds. 


Yet another aspect to look out for in a crappie reel are the ball bearings. These are placed in reels to reduce friction and allow the spool to move without any hindrances. Generally speaking, the number of bearings in a reel will directly translate to how smoothly the spool can function. 

Key Terms to Know

To help compare products in this review, we have included a few key specifications for each. Here is a quick summary of what they mean.

  • Materials: The materials the reel is made of.

  • Weight: The actual weight of the reel.

  • Hand Orientation: Which dominant hand the reel is made for.

  • Bearing Type and Material: The number or type of bearings inside the reel and also the bearing material.
  • Gear Ratio: This tells you the number of times the reel spool turns with each crank of the handle.

  • Maximum Drag: The amount of force the reel can withstand without the line slipping.

  • Line Compatibility: Which line types the reel is meant to be used with.

Review of the Best Crappie Reels

This section is comprised of the reviews for the best crappie reels available on the market. Everything from the pros to the cons and other relevant details will be covered for each of the reels. So let's take a look at what each of these models has to offer. 

Best Overall:
KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reel

KastKing Summer Spinning Reel,Size 2000 Fishing Reel


  • Narrow graphite frame makes the reel lightweight
  • Reel is sturdy overall and can withstand wear and tear
  • The two-color spool is attractive and enhances the look of the equipment
  • Equipped with 9 high-quality ball bearings that make the spool function better
  • Anodized surface of the reel protects it from damage caused by weather and other elements


  • The spool function is a bit tricky and can take some getting used to

What Recent Buyers Report

Pretty much every other review for this reel talks about how well made it is and how well it functions. The affordability of this unit has been mentioned repeatedly in the reviews as the buyers consider it to be its main selling point.

Why it Stands Out to Us

First things first, this reel is as light as a feather. It truly feels as if you are holding nothing. Despite that, it has been constructed in such a way that it has a sturdy structure and is not flimsy at all. Moreover, the surface of the reel is anodized, which is always appreciated in any type of reel.

Who Will Use This Most

This model is a great option for anglers that already have some experience with using such reels. Although it is easy to use in general, the spool function may require some practice.

Bottom Line

This reel does not miss a thing. It has a smooth spool function with 9 bearings in total, a graphite housing, and it weighs next to nothing. In addition to that, it looks good as well! So, if you are looking for a well-rounded reel, this one is definitely a good bet.

Goture Spinning Fishing Reel

Goture Spinning Fishing Reel - Metal Spool 6+1BB Freshwater Fishing Reel 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 Series


  • Reel is lightweight and easy to handle
  • Body of the unit is made up of both graphite and aluminum
  • Equipped with super smooth 6+1 bearings, as well as anti-backup bearings
  • Handle is interchangeable and can be utilized on both the right and the left side
  • Anti-twist line roller prevents entanglement of fishing line and protects from wear and tear


  • The assembly screws are not made from stainless steel and can get rusty faster than the rest of the reel

What Recent Buyers Report

The buyers have a lot of good things to say about this crappie fishing reel. It provides great performances, because of which, it has been reviewed positively by many buyers. The overall construction of the reel has also gained some positive reviews.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This model uses the best materials which are especially suitable for crappie fishing. It incorporates both aluminum and graphite, which are lightweight and sturdy as well. Apart from that, the reel functions marvelously thanks to its smooth bearings.

Who Will Use This Most

Beginners would really enjoy using this reel as it has no complex settings or other processes. The anti-twist line roller will also help them get used to fishing, as well as, aid them in finding their own fishing style.

Bottom Line

There is no doubt that this is one of the best fishing reels when it comes to crappie fishing. It is a great option for those who have just started out and is suitable for all freshwater bodies.

Best for the Money:
Piscifun Honor Spinning Reel

Piscifun Honor Spinning Reel Sealed Carbon Fiber Drag Light Weight Ultra Smooth 13.2LB Drag Fishing Spinning Reels (2000 Series)


  • Unit is corrosion-resistant, therefore has great durability
  • Reel can be used in both saltwater and freshwater bodies
  • Equipped with 10+1 sealed bearings that function very smoothly
  • Body is made from aluminum reinforced graphite and is perfectly aligned
  • Carbon fiber motor helps reduce weight significantly while maintaining the sturdiness


  • Some buyers have faced quality control issues with this reel

What Recent Buyers Report

The general response to this reel is positive. There are a lot of features that have been mentioned in the reviews, however, the affordability of this reel takes the spotlight. According to buyers, the price vs. quality pays off.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The body of this reel is made from aluminum reinforced graphite. This gives the user the best of both worlds as the reel becomes lightweight and flexible. In addition to that, the carbon fiber motor helps as it further reduces the weight, yet it does not comprise on the quality of the reel.

Who Will Use This Most

Getting used to this reel may not be that easy, therefore, this unit is best suited for enthusiast and intermediate level users. Since they know the ropes of crappie fishing, they can easily utilize this reel to its full potential.

Bottom Line

All in all, this is a great budget reel. It offers a lot of features compared to the price point. In addition to that, it has a great design and is constructed with high-quality materials.

Best Crappie Spinning Reel:
Lew's Fishing Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker MCS50

Lews Fishing Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker Spinning Reel MCS50


  • Gearbox of the unit is very compact
  • Graphite makes the reel very sturdy and durable as well
  • Body, rotor, and spool are made completely from graphite
  • Does not weigh very much, hence is a good option for crappie fishing
  • Equipped with a dual bearing system which makes the operation of the reel simplistic


  • The function is not as smooth as other models

What Recent Buyers Report

The reviews for this reel are mixed, however, there are more positive reviews than negative ones. Buyers have liked how simple and easy the reel is to use. Apart from that, the buyers also like how it provides good performance, despite its simplistic design.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Even though this model is quite different than the models discussed previously, it is not to be taken lightly. It has great construction and is able to carry out its functions pretty well. It is a sturdy and durable reel, although it only uses graphite as its primary construction material.

Who Will Use This Most 

This would be perfect for beginners as the unit is unbelievably easy to use. All the functions are pretty straightforward, and this is just what someone would need if they are just starting off on their crappie fishing adventure.

Bottom Line

To put it simply, this reel is a great choice and should not be disregarded just because it is cheap and simple. On the contrary, it can serve as the perfect tool for someone who just wants to get the hang of things.

Best Mr. Crappie Reel:
Lew's Fishing Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker Reel

Lew's Fishing Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker Reel, 3.0 oz.


  • Designed to keep line twists to a minimum
  • Graphite frame is lightweight and easy to handle
  • Frame of the reel is on the larger side, so it can be handled easily
  • Extremely durable and can withstand a good amount of wear and tear
  • Equipped with a line click adjustment feature which is completely hassle-free


  • There have been reports of quality control issues for this model

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of the reviews for this unit are positive. The features of this reel are comparatively simple, yet they have left a lasting impression on the users. The drag system has been mentioned in several reviews. Apart from that, the ease of use has also been praised.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Although the reel may not look very fancy or flashy, it functions very well. It is a lightweight product, therefore, it meets one of the main criteria for a crappie fishing reel. Apart from that, it ensures that line twists are kept to a minimum and that the reel is easy to handle in general.

Who Will Use This Most

This is another unit that would be great for beginners. It has all the elementary features that a crappie fishing reel should have. The general structure of the model will also help newbies get used to the feel of crappie fishing reels.

Bottom Line

Overall, this model is a good option to consider if you are a beginner looking for a crappie fishing reel. With this reel, you can get the hang of all the basics without having to spend a lot.

Benefits of Investing in a Quality Crappie Reel

As mentioned earlier in the article, one can technically use any type of reel for crappie fishing. However, that will not bring you desirable results. To further elaborate that point, let's check out a few benefits of investing in a quality crappie reel.

Great Experience

The most obvious benefit is that you will be able to enjoy your experience much more with a quality crappie fishing reel. 

Not only will it make the entire process a whole lot smoother, but it will also get you some great catches as well! 

Add to Your Collection

Crappie will always remain a popular catch. Therefore, it is better to invest in a quality reel and make it a part of your collection. This way, you will always be ready when crappie season comes around. Plus, there is no harm in adding a versatile model to your collection!


A quality reel will last you a very long time. There is no doubt about that. Compared to a second-hand reel or a reel that is only inexpensive, a quality unit will serve you better and give you fewer problems. Therefore, do not opt for anything that is just inexpensive, but go for something that is worth the price. 

How to Assemble a Crappie Reel

This section will tell you all about assembling a crappie reel. The process has been broken down into steps, so it is easier to understand. There is a video link provided at the end of the round-up, so be sure to check that out for further assistance!

1. Loosen the top of the rod seat and slide the reel into place. Hold the reel down at the end with your thumb and tighten the top again. Make sure to get it as tight as possible without breaking it. 

2. Next, the line needs to be set up. The line needs to be put on the spool of the reel. Make sure to use the line from the bottom of the line spool as it will minimize line twist.

3. Tie an overhand knot with the line and the excess off. Run the line through the first guide on the rod and then start to reel it up. You can go as fast or as slow as you like. Do not overfill the spool of your reel. 

4. Pull out some extra line and clip it off. Then just thread the line through all the leftover guides.


A good reel can make a huge difference when you go out for crappie fishing. Therefore, it is better to get the right equipment for the occasion, especially if you are a beginner. Although there were a lot of things discussed in this round-up, make sure to remember these few things when you make the final decision. The ideal reel for crappie fishing is one that is lightweight yet sturdy. That said, we hope this round-up helped you pick out the best reel for yourself. Happy fishing!

People Also Ask

Last but not least, let's take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions regarding crappie fishing. These might help clear any confusion or queries related to the topic at hand. 

What is the Best Month to Catch Crappie?

You can catch crappie regardless of the time of the year. However, fish swim in shallow water during spring and fall, and deep during summer and winter time. 

What Color Jig is Best for Crappie?

The color of the jig will depend on the water. For light water, use brighter colors like yellow, white, or hot pink. For darker water, use dark browns, black, or dark green.

How Do You Attract Crappie?

Minnows are a great way to attract crappie. They are the primary food source for this fish, therefore, it does a great job of attracting them. 

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My name is Jeff and I have been hunting and fishing for over 40 years. I am an avid archery lover, bass fisherman, and all-around outdoorsman. Currently, I'm obsessed with elk hunting but I'm sure I'll move onto a different favorite soon. You gotta love hunting for that reason :) If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at Read more about Big Game Logic.