The Shimano Stradic reel is a step above both other reels mentioned. If you are truly looking for the best ultralight spinning reel for panfish, you have found it. The drag on the Shimano stradic makes it truly one of the best crappie reels available. ONe of the hardest things while fishing for large crappie is to keep them on the hook without tearing their mouths. The Stradic will handle that with ease. While it costs 2x than the Pflueger reel listed above, it is also in a class all it’s own. The stradic has a legendary drag system and is truly as smooth as any fishing reel on the market. The price is not for everyone, but if you want to own the best fishing reel for bluegill and panfish, you are looking at it. Throughout my years of fishing bass tournaments and extreme fishing adventures I have used several Shimano Stradic’s. These reels are certain to put a smile on every bluegill anglers face.
Another factor to consider is your reels ability to land larger fish that tend to hit bluegill baits. If you are out for a calming bluegill fishing trip and you happen to hook a large bass or a trophy sized crappie, you will need a good drag if you plan on landing that fish. Crappie are known for having a very delicate mouth, (that’s why they are called papermouths) If you want to get the best crappie reel for bringing in those hard to land lunker crappies, you’ll absolutely need a smooth drag. Below you will find my top picks for the best bluegill and crappie reels for the price.
As much fun as fishing was as a kid, I wanted to get started casting again. That brings me to this article: What are the best crappie reel brands, and what do I need to know when buying a spinning reel? I did some research and write about it here.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to what is the best crappie reel and rod. Everybody will have different opinions and different needs — i.e., are you dock fishing, casting jigs, trolling, vertical jigging, etc.