Most of the market manufacturers have been mostly focused on the strongest and the most challenging fishing equipment. While the equipment for the smaller fishes like panfishes has never been thought of well. But still, there are sets of equipment that are solely targeted for the panfish like bluegill, crappie, and other small fishes.
Different sets here are combined with varying types of equipment from the market, and as these come in a combo, you will get a good deal out of these reel and rod combo.
There are professionals out there who use these combos and also recommend them for professional usage. Today, we will be taking a look at some of the bests in the market.
Best Overall Spinning Combo – Ugly Stik GX2 Rod and Reel
The ugly stick combo package is one of those combos considered to be the best suited for each other. The best crappie rod and reel combo should be like this. It is lightweight, handy, and yes, this is made for pan fishing.
I like the light action of this rod for long term fishing without any issue. The rod is made of fiberglass, and the durability has been enhanced with the use of graphite. You will feel the weight distribution as soon as you take it on the hand.
Just so that the top only does not flex, you will get an equally distributed flex that is important for small fishes. In terms of sensitivity, you will not get a lot of competitors with this inexpensive unit. It will help you join in many games in the ice fishing season and have an excellent experience.
The reel that has been provided talks of high quality. For the best grip, it has both above and below the wheel. The grip is foamy and does have the comfort you always want. The Eva grip is perfect for long fishing sessions.
Moreover, the Screw-on reel seat on this best panfish rod will allow you to set-up any kinds of reels. Giving their price point this rod, the reel seat is a big bonus to use various types of the reel on the rod.
The light power rod is a perfect choice if you are targeting smaller fishes. Also, the line guide and the tips are well designed for small fish fights. These are also designed in a way that the lines work without any tangling and looping.
- The rod has been designed to work on small fishes.
- The lightweight and light power of the rods makes it comfortable for long holds.
- Graphite and fiberglass combination rod are super lightweight for carrying.
- Comes with a super lovely Eva grip for long fishing sessions
- The EVA grip might get worse after use in damp conditions.
Best Affordable – Penn Battle II & Battle III Combo
This is the best affordable panfish rod and reel combo that professionals suggest for any kind of anglers. The rod feels smooth both outside and when using. Penn has provided 6.6 inches rod so that you can also take this for sports purposes. This is more versatile than more of a pen fishing rod and reel combo.
Despite being an affordable option, the design and comfort make it a premium experience while fishing in sports or recreation.
The black and gold color combination looks super nice. The reason for coloring is to get the right coating for the best performance for a long time. We will be looking at the reel first because it has been well engineered to be safe from water and humidity. The bail is made of aluminum, and that glides the line like butter.
You can get both left and right-handed reel with it, and for better grip and control, the reel handle has better gripping handles. The line dragging system makes it a versatile set.
You can use it in summer or in any ice fishing season. Also, using banks to clear and shallow water is not a problem with the combo. Manufacturers have suggested that you can use likes from 4 to 10 ratings.
The reel is an outstanding piece of gear that should be highlighted more in this set. The smooth ball bearing has consistent cranking and better line management.
- The nice wooden handle is the best in comfort and classic feel.
- Can be a great companion with spinner rigs
- A versatile set for using lines over 4 to 10 rating
- The stainless bearing system on the reel is something else.
- The rod tip is not ready for the big fishes and might break with high rating lines.
Most Comfortable: Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Reel and Rod Combo
If you are talking about the premium quality fishing rod combo, Ugly Stik Bigwater is the perfect choice for you. Ugly Stik is one of the major brands in the angling arena along with the G Loomis, and this model is one of their popular items among the anglers.
This is the rod and reel combo that is rated for comparative big crappies in freshwater. From all of this rod’s elements, the most attractive feature of this combo is the rod. Using in shallow water or heavy water is quite easy with the power you can drag with this combo.
The rod you will be getting in this package is super versatile. You can use this on both pan fishing and also on big fishes. The combination of fiberglass and graphite makes it more ground heavy. And the comfortable rod holder area makes sure you can hold this rod for a long time without any problem.
This means it has tighter flex on the handle side and the tip has more flex for small fishes. For gripping comfort, Penn has EVA grips that serve more comforting than the traditional wooden handles. The weight has been reduced by using the EVA grips here.
The reel is something worth talking about. Also, it has a nice gripping handle with a dual finish. You get a better grip on the handle while winding the fishing line on the reel. The reel feels very smooth while casting or winding. This is a set worth becoming a versatile set for any situation.
- A versatile set for any type of fishing
- A smooth and premium quality reel
- Clear tip design is a bonus for a smooth experience.
- The steady anti-reverse design for better fighting with comparatively big fishes
- The ceramic finish on the outer layer might get bad very soon.
Best Lightweight Combo – Berkley Lightning Reel and Rod Combo
If you look at the design, you can consider this as the best panfish rod and reel combo. The rod is super sleek and slim. It almost feels like that it is weightless—a perfect rod for pan fishing. The overall weight and weight distribution are nice and balanced for any kind of angler.
For reel enforcement, the manufacturer has used the graphite shield. That makes it smooth and better in handling. The bearing in this is also made smooth for faster winding.
Inside this small reel, there are more than seven bearings that make it so smooth in hand. When you are holding the rod, you will feel the metal on your palm, which feels super nice.
According to your choice of surface, you can choose the handle type. The reel has an instant anti-reverse mechanism. With this, you can stop the line release suddenly and get the fish you have always wanted.
The rod has the perfect flex that almost every angler wants for small fishes. The flex also helps you to get better casting distances. These can be maneuvered easily, and you get a faster draw when a fish is getting in the hooks.
- A very lightweight reel and rod combo for small fishes
- Can cover a long casting distance
- Premium quality handle with a better grip on the hands
- Smooth bearing system for fast winding
- The reel to rod attachment gets loose fast and has to be taken care of often.
Best Ice Rod & Reel Combo – Pflueger Trion
If you want the best ice rod and reel combo for panfish yet the versatile one from a bunch, this is the one. As the company name has not been on the top tier list, this has an affordable price range that every beginner will love.
When you have the reel in your hand, you will realize how lightweight and smooth the system is. It has a very soft bearing system that makes it more reliable for a long lifetime. You can literally get only the reel at the price of this combo.
The handle feels super nice as it is made of aluminum. It is light rod yet doesn’t feel that flimsy. Pflueger used graphite quite elegantly so that flexes on different parts remain different.
This rod is equipped with stainless steel guides. No matter what type of line it is, you can always rely on this hardware piece that will not decay off very soon. You can even use pound mono and other braided lines and yet get a very smooth performance for a very long time.
- Stainless steel reinforcements made this an overall corrosion-resistant weapon.
- Special graphite is super useful for efficient flexes on different parts.
- Strong and corrosion resistive line guides are great for every type of line.
- The rod tip is questionably flimsy.
What to Look for In a Panfish Combo
If you are looking for a reel and rod combo for the small fishes, you might get lost in the whole market’s lightweight packages. There are certain things to notice before buying a set for pan fishing. The weight, balance, reel type should be well matched so that you don’t feel the need for a second reel and rod combo. Here we have a list of things that you should always consider checking.
What reel are you getting in the combo?
Not all the reels are the same things in the spec sheet though they look the same. But you can always check what type of fishing reel you are getting from the package by looking at it.
It would be a questionable discussion to take a baitcasting reel inside the combo pack. Baitcasting reels are for the bigger fishes.
Because, it has more durability than spinning reels. But in the case of pan fishes, you should always go for the spinning reels.
With the spinning reels, you can cover a wide and open area, and it also rings all the bells and whistles to choose for small fishes. Always check the quality of the spinning reel you are getting. If most of the elements and parts are made of aluminum or stainless steel, it is more likely to stand the water and humidity.
How is the flex
This part is about the rod. You should be careful to not get stiff rods. As you will be going for the small fishes, it will be better to have a flexible angling rod.
Almost all of the companies and models have their rating of weight on their spec sheet. You should get something that can stand up to 10 pounds, and you are ready to go.
Some of the market rods have an advanced design strategy where they use graphite and carbon fiber that makes it more flexible and yet durable to the pulls. You also have to make sure that the flex distribution is efficient for you or not. You cannot use the rod that has heavy tips.
How smooth is the reel?
The smoothness of a reel generally depends on how the inside of this reel is designed. Most of the smoothness of the reel can be defined by the number of ball bearing in it. Mostly this number varies from 5 to 7.
Most of the reels and rods we have recommended here meet these criteria. So, you are good to go.
How much does the overall combo weights
The overall weight of a reel ad rod combo will define how portable this combo will be for you. Most of the weight depends on the reel. A lightweight combo will be the best panfish rod and reel combo for the anglers who love to go deep into the lakes with their pontoon boats. Try avoiding the rods that are long and have a heft to them. The long rods tend to be broken easily with less flex.
How is the grip on it?
The grip will play a part in your usability as well. Most of the rods nowadays have the EVA grips. These are light and comfortable for long fishing sessions.
Keep in mind that wooden handles are also good for pan fishing. Wooden grips don’t get worse due to water and splashes, where EVA grips might get worse due to water splashes.
Have you ever owned a combo before?
Think twice before buying the combo you have got in your mind. If you are a professional angler and own a set of reels and rods before, the new one should have the same spec as before. This is because of your subconscious memory.
You can feel the senses of fishes making their movements, and you will also know about the momentum you will need to pull.
Tips for Panfish with the Rod and Reel Combo
Among types of all fishes, pan fishing comparatively easy and straightforward to pull off. You can easily get a ton of results out of a small lake or a small amount of shore. Some things have to be taken care of and have to be super careful when going for the fishes. Here we have some tips and tricks that you might want to take a look at.
Banks Are the Perfect Spot for Pan Fishing
The deeper you will go, the larger the fishes will be. Crappies, bluegill, pumpkin seed, and other breeds of fishes live by the shores. Most of the time, they get food from small seaweeds and other insects. This is why you will have to look around the corners and shores. These are the places they live under a very deep level.
Panfishes sometimes hide them under the mud. As the muds around the shores are not that dense and hard, you will be able to catch them quickly and easily.
Get the best rig that suits you.
This is a part when you will be deciding what is good for you to buy. Never get overwhelmed by the brands and the price range. With the budget, you can get the best affordable panfish rod and reel combo that suits your fishing style.
We have mentioned some of the best reel and rod combos that might interest you. These are all recommended by the professionals, and you might like them as well.
Dive deeper for panfishes
Some people might get this word wrong. Deep diving is not like that. You have to be around the shore and look for the fishes living on the ground level. Panfishes generally hide in the muddy part of the shores.
You have to ensure how deep the shore area and make sure that your bait is reaching the right depth needed to get them.
Be gentle on the falls.
This is like a behavior thing. You never want to scare the panfishes from the lure. Generally, when you through your bait on the water surface, that will make the water rippling all the way in the water. You have to make sure that you are not making a lot of movement on the water and disturbing the fishes that are ready to be caught.
Experiment on different types of baits
When you have just discovered a lake that is full of small fishes, you have to educate yourself about what these fishes are used to eating. This is why the first time, you might not get a good result.
You can buy packages of baits and lures that are made especially for small fishes. This is a nice package to have to get your exploration wide open.
Get the swimming right.
Most of the panfishes are interested in baits that are imitating other insects and small fishes. You have to practice the swimming action accordingly so that you can attract the fishes to your bait.
Use gentle tickles to make the bait bounce and dance.
Try not to cast on the same place again and again
As pan fishing is only bounded to the shores and less deep areas, you have to constantly move along the shore to get the lake’s best fishes.
When you have got four to five fishes from a spot, you should frequently change the spot and frequently move to the next spot. You can divide the spots by estimation and then move in between them as you are not getting any signals from the baits.
How to Choose the Best Rod and Reel Combo for Panfish
Panfishing rods are super easy and straightforward when choosing. Here, you don’t have to go for the most expensive rod to be the perfect ice fishing rod and reel combo for panfish. You can easily get one rod in a budget that is rated for professional panfish anglers. Here we have a guide for pan fishing rods.
Don’t use the heavy rods.
The better flex the rods have, the more it will be good for fighting with the small fishes. If you got the hard and less flexible rods. They might be heavier and less efficient for maneuvering. This is why it is always recommended to have a lightweight rod.
Looking for the lightweight rods, don’t go for the lighter ones that are flimsy and don’t have the rigid built quality. The rod and reel combos we have mentioned here are lightweight and can fight with panfishes.
What type of rods is ideal for panfishes?
After coming all the way through this review, we can all agree that you will need an ultralight rod and a flexible rod that will be good for maneuvering.
Panfish rods are flexible and thin all the way through. After the handgrip or cork handles, you will see that these rods are made thin. This construction provides a well-distributed flex for small fishes.
The length of the rod
Due to the length, you will see a significant difference in weight and overall weight distribution. When you are offered a pan fishing rod with a length over 6.5 feet, you must not go for it. This will be hard to carry. Thin rods this long have the tendency to break at a very low amount of pulls. A 7 feet rod is not going to be able to stand weight up to ten pounds. This is why you should invest your money on rods with a length of around 6 feet or 6.5 feet.
Enforcement is necessary
If you have gone through this review of the best pan fishing rod and reel combo, you will see that most rods have graphite and fiberglass reinforcement. With the fiberglass and graphite combo, you will get better durability and less on the rod’s weight spec.
Stainless steel rail guides
Most of the companies use stainless steel rail guide due to the corrosion. As the lines will constantly be traveling through the line guide, it will burn the material out. For this reason, if you are not investing in rods that have stainless steel guides, it might lose the performance very soon.
The action points of the rod
No matter how much you spend, you can never get an unbreakable rod. The breakability of a rod will depend on how it flexes. If the top has the most flex, it is most likely to be broken easily.
People who catch fishes occasionally might not know how much a professional angler spends on a rod that has a strong tip. This is why before you buy the
Best Panfishing Reel Buying Guide
This will be a short revision for the people who wants to go for a separate purchase of their rod and reel choice.
What type of reel will be ideal?
In this case, we will need to know what types of reels are there in the market. Spinning and spin cast reels are the most popular ones in the market, ready to use for all beginners and professionals. The main advantage of this type of reel is that these are more dynamic.
You can cast in the further distance with it. The downside would be the pulls you will be expecting.
Due to not having efficient gears for faster wrapping, you will not get good pulls and fighting potential from this type of reel. But with advanced systems like instant line stop and anti-skid line mechanism, you will be able to get a good potential to fight.
The baitcasting reels are useless for pan fishes. These are made for big fishes and does not have a long-distance coverage for casting further.
The drag system
The drag system will keep the casting smooth and more efficient for a tangle-free experience. If the drag and rod length match each other, they will be the best rod and reel combo for panfish. Drag systems on a reel are mainly located behind the reel.
Water resistance and the protection
The better the elements on the reel will be, the longer it can last. It is highly recommended to not buy a reel that metal parts that are not corrosion-resistant.
As the reel will always be in the field where it has to deal with water splashes, you will have to be sure that it is water-resistant.
The most sensitive part of a reel is the drag mechanism. If water somehow gets inside, that will kill it very quickly. Make sure that the reel drag system is isolated from water and other liquid substances.
What is the gear ratio?
The gear ratio is a figure that means how much spins and how much line will wrap up inside the spool. Generally, this gear ratio will change the time you are spending on winding the lineup. The gear ratio fluctuates from 5:1 to 9:1.
The higher the ratio is, the faster the winding will be. But if you want to be relaxed and be controlled, you should choose 5:1 or 6:1. This is a good ground to start and a good ground for professional usage.
We have to keep in mind that when you are up for purchasing and investing in something, the sky is the limit. The more you will spend, the better gears you will find. But the most expensive gear might not be the best thing for you. It is because of the values and the ease of use.
If you are a total beginner or an intermediate user, you must not purchase the most expensive rod and reel combo for a good experience. You will have to start from the ground, and that will not be very expensive. We have recommended several of those combos that are made for intermediate and professional anglers.