I've come to accept being asked questions about the gear and tackle I use for Crappie fishing as just a part of life these days, and in particular, questions about rods and Jig-poles. I've been known to set the hook on a fish or two, and I've done it with just about every brand of jig pole there is at one point or the other.
In this article we will break it down by price range, 2 good budget rods, Allstar and B'n'M, and 2 that are a bit more on the higher end, ACC Crappie Stix and Outlaw Crappie & Walleye Poles, below is what I like and dislike about them.
B'n'M- Buck's Best 10' Rear Seat Ultralight Jig-pole
Overall it's a pretty solid pole although I have a problem with snapping the tips, which, when your out three to five days a week, is going to happen to any of them eventually. But these have really light tips, although super sensitive, they tend to snap pretty easy, so be careful when that braided line wraps the tip, take it from me, if you tug on it a bit to hard trying get it to unwrap,..it'll snap.
Even with that being said, for no more than they cost, (around forty dollars or so), As long as you pay attention to the line wrapping the tips, it's a pretty good deal. Super light, well balanced with the right reel on it. It has a super soft tip with a pretty solid backbone about half way down. I like to fish single pole/ single jig, and it's an easy rod to fish with 8 hours straight in Tournaments, as well as people I take out on Guide trips.
They are pretty easy to find, just about any store with a fishing Dept. will have them. Overall, not a bad pole to have in the boat, and like I said, as long as you pay attention to the line wrapping the tip, and not try to use an Ultralight to drag fish out of heavy timber cracking limbs when you set the hook, you won't have any problems. B'n'M have been around for a long time, have a solid reputation, not to mention the Tournament Teams they have.
AllStar 10' Mid Seat
Altogether it's a pretty good pole, I don't think the quality or attention to detail put in to building it is as good as B'n'M, but it has held up well over the two years I've had it, with the exception of the 2nd and 3rd eyes from the tip wore loose and had to be reset with the help of some super glue. I put an Okuma reel on it, probably one of the best balanced rods I've ever fished with, pretty sensitive, decent backbone. Not as easy to come across, I've only seen them at Academy, but for the money, $49.00, not a bad deal. If I could catch them on sale, I'd buy another one, but to be honest, If I was going to go out right this second and buy a good budget jig pole, I'd go the B'n'M route.
ACC Crappie Stix- Mid Seat 10'
I bought a couple of these about 2 years ago or so. It's been through it all and is as solid as a rock. Well built, very sensitive, tough as nails too. I have caught countless fish with it, especially in thick, standing timber. I've smacked the tip on tree limbs on hook sets more times than I can count dragging Slabs out of that heavy stuff, beat three or four water snakes in the head that were trying to come hangout in the boat with me, and still catching fish on it. The only complaints I would say I have is it isn't very well balanced, Kind of heavy on the front end, and just kinda heavy overall compared to others, and there is an eye about 3 inches from the tip that loves to grab your line and wrap it all over itself. Pretty hard to find here in Kansas, we only have one shop that carries them as far as I know of.
Outlaw Crappie & Walleye Poles 10' Mid Seat
If I had to put my finger on any one pole and say it was my favorite, this would be it. It's about a seventy five dollar pole, but worth every penny. Super light, soft tip, rock solid backbone that kicks in about 1/3 of the way down. Nothing to hold it 8 hours straight in a Tournament, I've had mine for 3 1/2 years and still going strong. Kind of a smaller company, you won't see them at too many shops, the same shop that has the ACC's , Don & Tom's in Topeka, is also the only shop I know of with Outlaws. I've pulled Slabs out of trees, beat snakes in the head, cracked my bird dog on the butt a few times trying to rescue my lunch,...seriously, set a sandwich down to put a fish in the livewell around that dog and he will show what being a sammich ninja is all about. My Outlaw is the rod I keep to myself and don't let anyone else use and is my go to pole without a doubt. I hope this helps answer a few questions, any of the rods I've written about are worth the money and will get the job done, but like anything, after a while you start to prefer certain things over others, and this is just how I feel about mine.