Reel in the Big (and Small) Ones: The Best Fishing Rod for Panfish

Are you looking to reel in the little ones? Panfish, such as bluegill, crappie, and perch, may be small fry in terms of size – but make no mistake, they can pack a lot of fun into your next fishing trip! Get the best fishing rod for panfish, whether you’re an experienced angler or are just getting started on your angling adventure.

Understanding which type of rod will best help you catch those savory panfish is key. Learn more about selecting the perfect fishing rod for your target species by reading on. I’ve prepared the top three rods that will completely change your fishing experience.

What Are Fishing Rods?

Fishing rods are long, flexible tools used to catch fish. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials and are an essential component of any angler’s arsenal. At their core, fishing rods are basically long sticks designed to help you cast your line farther and feel the fish biting at the other end. The best ones are lightweight, strong, and sensitive enough to detect even the slightest nibble.

Some rods are designed specifically for certain types of fishing, such as fly fishing, saltwater fishing, or panfishing (which involves catching small fish like bluegills and crappies). Others are more versatile and can be used for a variety of species and techniques.

Are Regular Rods the Same as Ones for Ice Fishing?

Regular rods and ice fishing rods may look similar at first glance, but they are actually quite different and designed for specific purposes. While both are used for fishing, they are designed for different purposes and environments.

Regular rods are typically longer and designed for casting over long distances in open water. They are also generally made from materials that are more sensitive and flexible, allowing for greater accuracy and sensitivity when casting and retrieving.

On the other hand, ice fishing rods are shorter and more compact, designed to be used in the confined space of an ice fishing shelter. So, be sure to choose the best ice fishing rod for panfish because they also tend to be stiffer and more durable. After all, they need to withstand the rigors of being used in sub-zero temperatures.

a person ice fishing
Be sure to choose the best panfish rod for ice fishing

Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod

With Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod, you’ll get ultra-durability and performance. But don’t worry, it’s all at an unmatchable price with this well-made spinning rod. It’s perfect for targeting trout, bluegill, crappie, and more – you won’t find a better deal for your money!

Specifications and Key Features

Check out the most important specs and features this rod has:

  • Brand name – Shakespeare,
  • Material – Blend,
  • Color – Multicolour,
  • Rod length – From 4.6′ to 7.6′,
  • Power – Ultra-light to light,
  • Number of pieces – Two,
  • Item dimensions – 1 x 1 x 1 inches,
  • Action – Fast
  • Tension level – Low,
  • Grip type – Split,
  • Handle material – Cork,
  • Price – From $19.97 to $39.99.

Pros and Cons of Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod

Before you decide to spend your well-earned money, be sure to evaluate this product in the best way possible. So, here’s a table of some pros and cons to check out.

Pros Cons
Ultralight design for increased sensitivity Not suitable for larger fish species
Short length for greater portability Limited casting distance
Well-balanced design for comfortable use Not ideal for use in rougher water conditions
Durable construction for long-lasting use Require more frequent line re-spooling
Sensitive tip for detecting subtle bites
Quite an affordable quality rod

Customers Reviews

It’s always a good idea to do your research and read reviews before making a purchase to ensure that you find the right rod for your specific needs and preferences. When it comes to this particular rod, many customers can’t believe how lite this product is. This is actually a good thing since dealing with small fish can be quite a bit of work.

person holding a fishing rod with reel
This rod is known for its sensitivity

Berkley Lightning Rod Trout Rod

The Berkley Lightning Rod Trout Rod is a specialized fishing rod designed for targeting trout in freshwater streams and rivers. This rod is known for its sensitive and fast-action design, making it an ideal choice for trout anglers who require precise casting and line control.

These spinning rods are made with a carbon composite material and stainless steel guide inserts – the perfect combination of toughness and sensitivity. Plus, they’re designed specifically for casting light lures so you can target everything from panfish to trout in style.

Specifications and Key Features

The rod features stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts, which are designed to reduce friction and improve casting distance. Here are other key features:

  • Brand – Berkley,
  • Material – Blend,
  • Target species – Trout,
  • Number of pieces – Two,
  • Item dimensions – 1 x 1 x 1 inches,
  • Action – Moderate,
  • Rod Length: 6′ – 8′,
  • Power: Ultra light – light,
  • Grip type – Full wells,
  • Handle material – Cork,
  • Price – $39.

Pros and Cons of Berkley Lightning Rod Trout Rod

Here are some general pros and cons of this product that will help you get a better picture of it.

Pros Cons
Reasonable pricing Not ideal for use in larger bodies of water
Sensitive and fast-action design for precise casting and line control
Graphite blank construction for a lightweight and sensitive feel
Stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts for reduced friction and improved casting distance

Customers Reviews

The reviews for this product are pretty much the same – people who have been using this rod are amazed by its quality and lighter weight. Many anglers praised its sensitivity and comfortable grip. Some reviewers did note that the line can get tangled at times, but this was not a major issue for most.

Fishing rod with reel close-up
Berkley rod is lightweight and easy to cast

SOUTH BEND Microlite Spinning Combo

If you’re looking for both a good rod and reel, check out the SouthBend 5′ Rod and Reel Combo. This ultra-lightweight rod is a reliable fishing companion with its 2-piece fiberglass power, cork handle for comfortability, and aluminum spool featuring two bearings.

This rod and reel combo is here to serve all of your fresh or saltwater fishing needs. Expect smooth performance for an unbeatable price when you’re targeting trout, bass, crappie – even the pickiest panfish.

Specification and Key Features

  • Brand name – SouthBend,
  • Rod length – 5′,
  • Rod weight – 0.54 pounds,
  • Power – Ultralight,
  • Color – Multi,
  • Material – Blend,
  • Number of pieces – Two,
  • Fishing technique – Spinning,
  • Price – $22.88.

When it comes to the reel specifications from this combo, be sure to check them out too:

  • Gear ratio – 5.2:1,
  • Ball bearings – 1,
  • Line capacity – 2-6 lbs / 100 yds,
  • Drag system – Multi-disc.

Pros and Cons of SOUTH BEND Microlite Spinning Combo

Check out the most important pros and cons of this product in the table below.

Pros Cons
Ultralight design that provides increased sensitivity Limited casting distance
Compact size for portability and ease of use Single ball bearing may not provide as much smoothness compared to higher-end reels
Durable fiberglass rod construction
EVA handle for a comfortable grip and reduced fatigue
Affordable price point for beginner and casual anglers
Lightweight reel with a smooth drag system

Customers Reviews

The customer reviews for the SOUTH BEND Microlite Spinning Combo are positive, with many anglers praising its lightweight design, portability, and affordability. Some reviewers noted that the reel can feel a bit flimsy at times but have not mentioned it as a major issue that affected the overall impression.

Person holding a spinning reel
This is a great ultralight combo for targeting small fish

How to Choose the Best Fishing Rod for Panfish?

When it comes to choosing the best fishing rod for panfish, there are a few key factors to consider. The brand and price of the rod surely is the first thing to research. While expensive rods may have higher-quality components and materials, a mid-range rod can still provide great performance at a more affordable price point. Check other criteria you should apply when choosing a rod for catching smaller fish.

Power and Action

Panfish are generally small and don’t require a lot of power to reel in, so an ultralight or light power rod with a fast or ultra-fast action is a good choice. This will allow you to detect even the slightest bites and provide a more sensitive feel when casting and reeling in.


When it comes to panfishing, a shorter rod is often better as it provides greater accuracy and control when casting. A rod length of 5-7 feet is usually sufficient for panfishing.


Fishing rods can be produced from a variety of materials, such as fiberglass, graphite, and composite materials. For panfishing, a rod made from graphite or composite materials is often a good choice as they are lightweight, sensitive, and provide a good casting distance.


Look for a handle that is comfortable and provides a good grip. Handles made from cork or EVA foam are common choices for fishing rods and can help reduce fatigue during long fishing sessions.

Get Some Other Tips Before Buying the Product for the Best Fishing Experience

In addition to considering the factors mentioned above, there are a few other things to keep in mind before buying a fishing rod for the best fishing experience. That’s why I prepared some additional tips to consider before buying a fishing product to enhance your overall fishing experience:

  • Determine your fishing needs – Consider the type of fishing you plan to do and the species you want to catch. This will help you select the right fishing product, such as a rod or reel, with the right specifications to meet your needs.
  • Consider your budget – Set a budget for your fishing gear and stick to it. Keep in mind that you don’t always need the most expensive gear to have a successful fishing trip.
  • Try before you buy – If possible, try out the fishing gear before purchasing it. This will give you a better sense of how it feels and performs and can help you make an informed decision.
  • Take good care of your gear – Once you’ve purchased your fishing gear, make sure to take proper care of it. This includes cleaning and storing your gear properly to ensure it lasts for many fishing trips to come.

With the Right Combination of Experience and Gear, Catching Panfish Has Never Been Easier

Whether you’re an experienced angler or just starting out, this versatile tool can help you land more and bigger catches. Remember that whatever rod you choose, make sure it matches your fishing style so that your success isn’t dependent on luck. So don’t delay – grab the best fishing rod for panfish today and enjoy hauling in those sweet catches.