Minnesota guide Brain Brosdahl shares his ultimate panfish set-up and breaks down when and why choose this set-up.
The Ultimate Panfish Set-Up
When it comes to choosing the right panfish set-up there are a lot of things to consider. First and foremost you have to decide which presentation/ presentations you plan on using throughout the year.
For instance if you prefer to fish with bobbers, make long cast with small jigs, or utilizing the dipping technique; you will prefer a longer rod which is typically longer than seven feet.
If you prefer to vertically jig for panfish directly below you boat or are fishing in tight quarters with lots of overhanging trees and cover you may prefer a rod shorter than seven feet long.
Up here in Northern Minnesota it pays to have a longer rod. Whether you are making long cast towards schools of finicky panfish, or dipping for crappies sitting in a bed of reeds; a longer rod is a must and will help you get your bait in front of hungry crappies, bluegills, and perch.
St. Croix’s Avid panfish series comes in a variety of lengths and actions ranging from 6-feet up to 9-feet long. I prefer to use St. Croix’s Avid Panfish 8-foot rod with moderate-fast action. It’s the perfect length and action for all types of presentations. Now I’ll pair this rod with a 1500 or 2000 sized reel spooled up with ten-pound braid and a six-pound fluorocarbon leader.
I prefer braid, because it cuts the wind better and casts small presentations further.
There are a lot of different panfish jigs out on the market, but I have a few that I typically am using at any giving time. The first is the Northland Firefly jig in a pink and white color. This is typically my go-to panfish jig, because it’s slow fall rate and feathered body are deadly for big bluegills and crappies. It can be fished as is or paired with live bait.
If the fish are in an aggressive mood I like to use the a jig & plastic like the Northland Rigged Gum-ball jig in a 1/16-ounce. Depending on the time of year its also very helpful to have a handful of different impulse plastics available in a variety of colors. Sometimes a change in color can make all the difference when targeting panfish.
When the bite is tough that’s when I’ll make the switch to plain Gum-ball jig paired with a piece of nightcrawler or crappie minnow.
When choosing the right panfish set-up factor in what presentations you will use most often. This will help guide you in what length of rod is going to best suited for you. Grab a handful of small jigs and plastics and you’ll be ready to go.
Hopefully this helps you when choosing the right panfish set-up.