Best Panfish Rod

Fishing with the right equipment can mean the difference between catching a lot of fish or catching no fish at all. This is especially true when fishing for panfish such as crappie, bluegill, and other small fish. Here we will review some of the best fishing rods for panfish.

Best Panfish Rods

  1. Cadence Fishing CR5 Spinning Rods
  2. Shakespeare Micro Series Spinning Rod
  3. Berkley Lightning Rod Trout Rod
  4. South Bend Rod and Reel Combo
  5. St.Croix Trout Fresh Water Spinning Rod

1. Cadence Fishing CR5 Spinning Rods

 

Product Features

Brand Name: Cadence
Rod Length: 4’8″ – 7′
Power: Ultralight – Medium Heavy
Number of Pieces: 1-2

The top spot on our list goes to the Cadence Ultralight Spinning Rod. With this option, you can choose a wide variety of rods ranging from 4’8″ to 7″ in length. They have a huge selection of rods, but the moderate-fast to fast options are the best for panfish and other smaller species of fish. These rods come in either 1 to two pieces depending on the size you choose. The rods are made from durable carbon and graphite which makes them lightweight, durable, and incredibly sensitive. The rod is designed so you can feel the vibrations in the water while also providing a comfortable split grip and full grip with a cork and EVA handle.

Overall this is an excellent rod for both beginners and experts. It’s reasonably priced but has the performance of the higher-end models, making this a great value for a panfish spinning rod.

Pros
  • Wide range of sizes and actions
  • Great value
  • Good sensitivity
Cons
  • This is a good mid-range rod, but you may want something either a little cheaper or higher end depending on your budget

 

2. Shakespeare Micro Series Spinning Rod

 

Product Features

Brand Name: Shakespeare
Rod Length: 4.6′ – 7.6′
Power: Ultra-light – Light
Number of Pieces: 2

The next spot on our list is the Shakespeare Micro Series Spinning Rod. This rod is available in sizes ranging from 4.6 feet to 7.6 feet in length with powers ranging from ultralight to light. Each rod is built from 2 piece construction with a graphite composite body, a conventional reel seat and comfortable cork handles. It also has stainless steel guides which make the rod ultra durable. Overall this is a pretty well-made spinning rod for crappies, trout, bluegill, sunfish, and other panfish. This is one of the cheaper options you will find, but it performs great for the price.

Pros
  • Great rod for the money
  • Sensitive with great action
  • Not a lot of other brands offer 7+ foot ultralight rods
Cons
  • The longer ultralight rods may be a little bit fragile, so you have to be careful with them

 

3. Berkley Lightning Rod Trout Rod

 

Product Features

Brand Name: Berkley
Rod Length: 6’6″‘ – 8”
Power: Ultra light – light
Number of Pieces: 2

The third spot on our list goes to the Berkley Lightning Trout Rod. This rod is available in either a 6’6″, 7′, or 8′ length. The 6’6″ and 8′ rods are ultralight and the 7′ rod is a light rod in terms of power. The rods are spinning rods which are made to cast light lures. This makes them great for catching smaller fish species. Each rod is constructed from a carbon composite material with stainless steel guide inserts that are made to provide durability, strength, and sensitivity.

Pros
  • Reasonable price
  • Flexible and sensitive
Cons
  • Not as many length options and some of the other brands

 

4. South Bend Rod and Reel Combo

 

Product Features

Brand Name: SouthBend
Rod Length: 5′
Power: Ultralight
Number of Pieces: 2

If you’re shopping for a great rod and reel combo you need to check out this SouthBend 5′ Rod and Reel. The fiberglass rod measures 5′ in length and has a comfortable cork handle. It is made from 2 pieces with an ultralight power.  The reel features 2 bearings and an aluminum spool. It has a good drag with solid smooth action. It can easily be converted from left to right-handed depending on your preference. Overall this is a great value for a ready to go rod and reel setup that works well for trout, bass, crappie, and other panfish.

Pros
  • Rod and reel combo
  • Good drag and smooth action on reel
  • Great value
Cons
  • They only have the one size option and power option

 

5. St.Croix Trout Fresh Water Spinning Rod

 

Product Features

Brand Name: St Croix
Rod Length: 4’10” – 7′
Power: Ultra-light- Light
Number of Pieces: 2

The final spot on our list goes to the St.Croix Trout Freshwater Spinning Rod. This rod is available in sizes ranging from 4’10” to 7′ with powers ranging from ultra-light/fast to light/x-fast. Each rod is built from 2 pieces and made of premium graphite for great balance and sensitivity. Each rod has a comfortable cork handle and is coated with a flex coast finish. If you’re looking for a high-quality rod, this is it. It’s lightweight, comfortable, with great durability and sensitivity. Although it is specifically designed for trout it works great at a variety of other fish too. The only drawback would be that this a higher end rod that is a little more expensive than other options on the list.

Pros
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Great sensitivity
  • Very durable
Cons
  • This one is a little more expensive than some other options

 

How To Choose a Panfish Rod Guide

When shopping for a good rod for fishing panfish and other smaller species of fish, there are a few things you want to consider

  1. Rod Type
  2. Length
  3. Power
  4. Action

Rod Type

For fishing panfish such as crappie, sunfish, bluegill, rock bass and other smaller fish we usually recommend spinning rods over casting rods. Spinning rods are very beginner-friendly and easy to use. They work great for smaller fish where you don’t need as much drag and power in a reel.

Length

Another thing to pay attention to is the length of the rod. Longer rods are typically better for casting long distances, but usually, when you’re going after panfish you aren’t casting out very far. If you’re a beginner we recommend something around 5 foot to 6 foot. If you have a preference for longer rods, or your favorite fishing spot requires a long cast, then feel free to go with a longer length.

Power

The power of a reel represents how much pressure it will take to flex the rod. Each power is designed for certain types of lure weights and line sizes. For panfish, we usually recommend ultralight rods. But a good light rod would be fine as well.

Action

Lastly, the action of the rod is something you need to consider. The action refers to where the rod flexes. Faster action rods flex near the tip of the rod, moderate towards the middle of the rod, and slower action rods flex need the butt of the rod. For panfish, we recommend faster action rods. These offer better sensitivity for quick hook setting.