Over the years crappie anglers have fished for crappie with everything from bamboo to telescopic poles and now fishing rods. Yes there is a difference between a fishing pole and fishing rod. A fishing pole is normally made from natural elements while a rod is from composite materials, however, new technology along with advances in materials are quickly changing the dynamics of crappie fishing poles and rods.Crappie fishing anglers have come a long ways since bamboo poles; however, there are still anglers that fish with one or a jointed bamboo pole. It’s noted that the best bamboo for poles is grown and processed in China. Today there are still several companies building and selling bamboo poles.

“Crappie fishing rods have evolved over the years. It began with bamboo poles and still is influenced by the same parabolic action, little bit of backbone and a loose tip for light bites of a bamboo pole. Again, it’s the bend we are looking for regardless of the materials it’s made from when it comes to fishing poles and rods,” said owner of B’n’M Poles Jack Wells.

After a period of time crappie poles and rods began to be built from fiberglass blanks. Over 60 years ago, B’n’M Poles (www.bnmpoles.com) came out with the Black Widow Pole. “Even with fiberglass being a more lightweight material it still emulates the action of a bamboo pole,” said Wells.
“As time goes on and we all know that crappie feed upwards so to be able to see or feel a strike, we began to make rods out of graphite. Graphite was a great choice for allowing the angler to feel a strike. We introduced B’n’M Poles Buck’s Graphite rod back in 1979 and was the first graphite crappie rod introduce in to the United States. Lightweight, sensitive and you could feel the bite, however, Buck’s Graphite rod still emulates the action of a bamboo rod in many ways,” said Wells.

Buck’s Graphite rod features a long handle and fore grip allowing the angler to balance the rod and reel easily. This allowed anglers to vertically jig fish easily.

Another driving force in the development of crappie rods was new, innovative fishing techniques. Crappie anglers are still vertically jigging, however, spider rigging or trolling has become extremely popular. It’s not unusual to see anglers trolling in the front, back or both decks.

One rod that has evolved from a new specific trolling method is the Pow-R-Troller. This heavy action trolling rod can handle a weight up to 3-ounceswith little bend in the rod tip. It’s constructed from high density graphite with durable EVA handle, short foregrip and rear-mount rod collar to fit into rod holders.

With the introduction of graphite rod blanks a new premium crappie rod has been established for vertical jig fishing. “We discovered that a bottom mounted reel seat gives you more extension of the rod, a shorter foregrip and will balance perfect when vertically jigging with less fatigue,” said Wells.

New crappie fishing techniques are also demanding new rod lengths. “In the old days, we had our one length bamboo poles that went up to 12 feet at the most. Then we had 14- or -16-feet rods for anglers. Now anglers are wanting their rods out away from the boat even farther so now crappie anglers can select from 8- to 20-feet long rods,” said Wells.

There have been so many changes in fishing rods over the years and so many more to come. Crappie anglers can expect rod materials to change for the better as new techniques demand for fishing rods to change to fit the technique.

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