In the vast world of fishing, there are many species to target. One great freshwater option is crappie. Not only are they tasty, but they are fun to catch. Having the right gear is important. Today we’ll talk about the best line for crappie fishing.
Crappie are fish bigger than panfish and smaller than most in the bass family. There are two main types of crappie: White and Black. White crappie is usually lighter in color with more defined lines as black crappie have a darker complexion with more sporadic spots and patterns.
The size of crappie is usually 6-16 inches in length depending on the subspecies and weight. Harvesting the catches for food has specific regulations and laws depending on your specific location, so keep that in mind.
Types of Fishing Line
In the fishing world, there are three main types of line. Monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braid control the space. Each one has strengths and weaknesses, so you can specify setups for certain things.
The cheapest and most popular fishing line in the game is monofilament. This is a strong, clear line that is easy and affordable to rig up.
However, monofilament is stretchy and is not the most sensitive option out there. Especially with fish as small and sensitive as crappie, you need to feel that subtle action. This is why monofilament ranks in second as the best line for crappie on our list.
Fluorocarbon is the pricier of the two clear lines and is an awesome option for crappie. Firstly, there is very little stretch and line memory. However, it is a bit expensive, so budget anglers can have a hard time justifying the purchase.
Fluorocarbon takes the cake for the best line for crappie because of its minimal stretch, strength, and immense invisibility.
Although you will have to spend some extra money on it, it will be well worth the investment.
Braid is the strongest of the three options, but since crappie are not very strong nor heavy, this is not a huge factor to consider. Braid is also not clear, so visibility is an issue. This can be combated with using a clear leader to keep the identity of the line a secret from the crappie.
This is the last of the three listed, but that does not mean you can’t use it. If you are targeting crappie with braid, it is crucial to have a clear leader attached so the fish does not get spooked by the line.
What to look for when picking crappie line
The weight of your line is in reference to a rating that determines how much that line can hold. For example, an 8-pound line can handle eight pounds of force or weight before snapping. This is super important to consider, because mismanaging this variable can change a lot.
For crappie, lighter is better. When you can tap into more sensitive setups, you can really feel those small bites. Also, if you use a line that is too heavy or thick, you lose visibility which can scare away potential bites.
The color is another variable that all too often goes unnoticed. There are lines out there are not just clear. There are blue, green, and even camo option! (Scroll down for a camo line). Stay away from red, yellow, or anything bright. In our experience, these don’t work as well as the darker colors.
Sticking with the top brands is a good plan, especially for beginners. When you can go with the top brands like P-Line and Seaguar, you can take advantage of their high reputation and upgraded customer service departments.
Obviously, there are tons of great, small brands out there. But, if you are in a pinch, going with the top brands can keep you feeling good about the purchase.
Cheaper lines normally don’t last as long. Buy nice or buy twice!
Best line for crappie
Understanding the market is one of the tougher jobs out there. When going to your local bait shop or online retailer, there can be an overwhelming amount of options. So, below we are going to break down a few of the best line brands for crappie to give you a better idea of what options can get the job done well.
P-Line is up at the top of our list. This brand is a high-end option last longer and costs less. As the name suggests, it’s nearly impossible for Crappie to see this line underwater.
Seaguar Red Label Fluorocarbon
Seaguar is a similar brand to P-Line in that the product is superior to many others in the space. Seaguar makes all three types of line at a high level, so you cannot go wrong with any of the specific types. Our favorite is the Red Label.
Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon
Berkley is a rather quality brand that makes great fishing gear. This is one of the most affordable fluorocarbons out there that can be found just about anywhere. It has a long life and will not break the bank.
Spiderwire EZ Fluoro
Spiderwire is another top-tier brand that offers fluoro, mono, and braided options. We like the fluoro for crappie. This is a product easily found and used on all types of reels. If you need something steady that won’t spook crappie, Spiderwire can get it done.
Sufix Siege Monofilament (Camo!)
The cheapest option on our list is Sufix Siege Monofilament. Suffix can be found in any place that sells fishing equipment and at a very affordable price. Although it’s a monofilament, the camo pattern is difficult for crappie to see.
Trilene is another great product from Berkley. The Trilene model is one of the cheaper and readily available brands out there. If you just need something versatile, this is one to go with.
Crappie rods should be much closer to panfish rods than bass ones. You need something subtle and sensitive, so the best crappie rods are six feet or less and have very light action. This ensures that you can feel the light bites on the end of the line.
Simply put, your reel needs to match and work well with your rod. Generally, spinning setups are best for crappie because the rigs are light and baitcasters do not work with very light lures. Using a reel that is also light and solid will give you a quality setup. We listed our favorite crappie rod and reel combos.
The smaller the better when it comes to hooks for crappie. Well, for the most part. You will not be using some weird, micro hooks, but you do need them to be smaller than bass hooks, for example.
Using small bass hooks or regular panfish will keep the presentation small and efficient. If you have too big of hooks, the crappie will not want to commit. If they are too small, then you cannot properly set the hook. So, finding the middle ground is best.
Whether it be live bait or artificial lures, you need to specify your presentation to increase hookups. On the artificial side, jigs and small grubs are great options. The key is to keep it subtle and the bites will come. Even small spinnerbaits will get the job done.
Some anglers choose to go the live bait route, and worms, grubs, and small baitfish can do the trick. However, live bait requires a bit more work and maintenance, so artificial is the way to go for many crappie anglers.
Tips for catching crappie
Like with many species, crappie love structure. When there are down trees, docks, brush piles, and many other examples, crappie could be there chilling out or looking for their next meal. Don’t be afraid of getting snagged, because this is where a lot of quality bites will come from.
Working the areas around the structure can lead to reaction bites. So, look for cuts, drop offs, and structure piles to increase your chances of hooking up.
Use electronics when applicable
This is not feasible for everyone, but when you have access to electronic fish and depth finders, your fishing can be elevated to an entirely new level. These tools give you insight to how the water columns change and where fish can be.
Consider fish attractant
Although fish attractant is despised by some anglers, it can be a very valuable tool. Crappie especially use a ton of site and scent when picking their next meal. The attractant will take care of the scent part and the site in some cases.
The best variation of fish attractant is the liquid you big your lure in or pour it over. This liquid can be very smelly and also add a certain coloration.
Target the mornings and evenings
Especially in the dog days of summer, you need to target the cooler times of day. When you can do fishing closer to dusk and dawn, you will take advantage of prime feeding times. This is because the water temperature will be cooler and fish will be more active.
Setting the hook correctly
There is no one way to correctly set the hook, but crappie fishing does change the strategy. You cannot set the hook into a crappie like you would a 5-pound bass. Crappie are known to have paper lips, and the structure of their mouth is not strong. One of the best ways to set the hook on a crappie is by pulling straight up. This digs the hook into a more reinforced spot.
Crappie fishing can be super fun and constantly engaging. Knowing what the best line for crappie is can prepare you in the best way possible. Whether you want to fill your freezer or just want to have some fun on the water, crappie fishing can fill that fix. Good luck, and happy fishing!
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Hello! My name is Tim and I’ve been fishing for over 30 years. I’ve learned a lot about fishing during that time and I love sharing that knowledge with others. I’m also a member of the International Game Fish Association (IGFA). Thanks for checking out the site!