The Best Rod Length for Crappie – A Complete Guide

Kristian Ole



Crappie is a type of all-season fish that delivers a thrilling catch. Knowing how to hunt crappie is a sure-fire way to hone your fishing skills for all kinds of fish. 

You do not need a professional or expensive rod to reel in your first crappie. However, if you want to fish these speckled guys consistently, finding the best rod length for crappie fishing should be on your to-do list. 

The best rod length for crappie fishing will be on the longer range, anywhere between 6ft to 16ft, while still feeling comfortable in your hands. Ideally, you’ll want a lightweight rod that allows you to sneak up on the fish and drop your line without needing to cast. 

St. Croix Rods Premier Spinning Rod
617 Reviews
St. Croix Rods Premier Spinning Rod
  • PREMIUM SCII CARBON CONSTRUCTION: The premium SCII carbon rod combines with the Fortified Resin system (FRS) for unparalleled strength and durability

Last update on 2023-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Finding the best rod length for crappie is a matter of personal preference, but some sizes are better suited for different conditions. We will cover all of this and more below. 

Continue reading for more about what the best rod length for crappie is so that you can reel in the big one again and again. 

Why Rod Length for Crappie Fishing Matters

Crappie is a delicious type of fresh-water fish that can be found nearly all over the United States and in southern Canada. 

The reason that a longer rod length for crappie is necessary is due to their habits. Any time of year, they are attracted to cover. 

Crappies prefer reeds, wood, and rocks to hide behind and underneath. They can be found in shallow and deep lake water, mainly if there is cover in that area. 

Since many crappies dwell amongst things that may snag your line, being able to vertical jig reduces how often your hook will catch debris from the lake instead of a fish. 

Of course, rod length for crappie fishing will depend on your location as well as your personal preferences.

Also, read our guide on finding the perfect crappie fishing depth

Best Rod Length for Crappie for Each Season 

A long and lightweight fishing pole is suitable for catching crappie in any season. Crappies always seek out the cover of rocks and debris regardless of whether they are in shallow or deep water. Vertical jigging is one of the best and most common techniques for crappie fishing. 

Verticle jigging done with a longer fishing rod enables you to reach the fish and drop your line without alerting them to your presence. 

Crappie fish often gather in large schools, so scaring them away would be detrimental. This is why the longer rod has a benefit over shorter ones; there is less chance of startling your prey with that reach. 

And when it comes to crappie, once you catch one, chances are you will find and catch a lot more. 


spring crappie fishing

Spring is by far the best time to fish for crappie. Not only is the weather favorable for you, but this is when the water begins to warm, and crappie spawning season comes into full swing. They gather in big schools during the spring and travel to shallow water to lay their eggs. 

As schools of crappie gather in shallow water during this season, they become more accessible for anglers to spot and catch. This is an excellent time for both shore fishing and boat fishing for crappie. 

The best rod length for shore fishing crappie in the spring is between 12 feet to 14 feet. A longer fishing pole will enable you to get the reach you need into the shallow waters without straying far from the shoreline. 

The best rod length for boat fishing crappie in the spring is between six feet to nine feet. This gives you enough reach to sneak up on the schools of crappie as they spawn. 

Since crappie frequent shallower waters in the spring, your line will not need to sink nearly as far down as it would in other seasons. 


summer crappie fishing

During the summer season, schools of crappie opt for deeper waters meaning shore fishing is not as successful as boat fishing. Like all other seasons, crappie fish still search for areas with cover, even in the deeper water. 

Summertime is the best season for vertical jigging for crappie. Rod length for crappie fishing during the summer should be around six to ten feet. However, some anglers even go up to 16 feet, depending on their preferences and the area they are fishing in. 


fall crappie fishing

Similar to the spring, in the fall season, schools of crappie fish head to shallower waters. Typically they choose coves and points that have docks, wood, or brush piles. 

When shore fishing for crappie in the fall, choose a longer rod around 12 feet to 14 feet. 

Similar to boat fishing in any other type of season, the best rod length for crappie when boat fishing is between six feet up to 12 feet. Even 16 feet will do the trick based on your fishing style and what feels the most natural in your hand. 


winter crappie fishing

Crappie is all-season freshwater fish, so even in the winter, you can reel in these fighters. The downsides to winter crappie fishing are the cold conditions for yourself and the fish’s preference for deeper water during this season. 

Just like the summertime, the rod length for crappie fishing in the winter can be anywhere between six feet up to 16 feet. 

The Right Rod Length for Crappie Fishing 

The right rod length for crappie fishing is the longest rod that feels the most natural in your hand. We recommend heading to your local tackle store and getting a feel for the different lengths and materials available. 

While it is recommended to opt for a longer rod than what you may usually use, you may find that what works best for you is different than what works best for another fisher. 

You might not necessarily need a 16-foot fishing pole, which is the biggest size they make for crappie fishers. However, while some prefer an eight-foot pole, others do just fine with a six-foot pole. 

The right rod length for crappie fishing, therefore, is up to personal preference.


About Kristian Ole

Kristian Ole Rørbye, a marine biologist and seasoned angler, shares his fishing adventures and expertise on FishingKris. Join him as he explores the world's waters, one cast at a time.

Leave a Comment