Gone Outdoors

How to Set Up a Rod & Reel for Crappie Fishing

by John Lindell

The crappie, both the white and black variety, is a favorite of anglers for a number of reasons. Once you find a school of them, the action will be nonstop for a while as they chase your offerings one after the other. Crappie are enjoyable to catch on ultralight equipment. Crappie fillets are sweet and tasty, and you can catch enough to make a meal, as long as you rig your fishing pole properly.

Use an ultralight spinning rod and reel combo for crappie. Purchase a spinning reel that can handle about 110 yards of 4 lb. test monofilament. The typical crappie weighs much less than a pound, and you will have no problem with 4 lb. test line. Attach the reel to a flexible rod, about 6 feet in length.

Tie a No. 6 long-shanked hook onto the end of your fishing line using an improved clinch knot. The long-shanked hook this size is small enough for the mouth of a crappie to handle and has a shaft long enough for you to grasp securely when removing the hook.

Attach a weighted spring bobber to your line, about 2 feet up from the hook. Pull back on the spring until it reveals a slot for your line to go into, then wrap the line around the slot twice before releasing the spring. This will hold the float into place on the line. This type of bobber is sensitive enough to alert you to the slightest nibble of a crappie.

Use this rig to deliver live bait to crappies such as night crawlers or small minnows. The bobber keeps the bait at a depth where crappie will exist in most ponds, lakes and river backwaters.

Remove the bobber and replace it with a pair of small split shots to fish for crappie suspended in deeper waters when fishing from a boat. In lakes and deep ponds, you would use this method to access crappie swimming close to the bottom. You might decide to attach a small panfish jig to the line, using the same improved clinch knot, and remove the weight. An up and down motion with this set-up can produce results from crappie down deep where the water is cooler in the summer.

Items you will need
  • Ultralight rod and spinning reel
  • No. 6 long-shanked hook
  • Weighted spring bobber
  • Split shot
  • Small panfish jig

About the Author

Married with 2 girls of my own, I live in Connecticut with my wife and currently work in the greyhound industry.{{}}{{}}{{}}