rod, reel, line size/type for pan fishing, especially crappie
What kind of conditions you'll be fishing in will play a part in rod/line selection.
I love my 6'6" 3wt glass rod for 'gills & crappie, but I've found it is a poor selection for windy conditions.
If the wind is a factor (and it usually is this time of year here in southern Ohio) I'll go to a longer 4 or 5wt rod depending on the severity of the wind.
For panfish reel quality isn't a big issue for me. Most of the time it's simply a place to store line. I keep the drag set only tight enough to prevent spool overrun.
My panfish rods are relatively inexpensive outfits, and I've never had any major failures with any of them.
*6'6" 3wt glass (custom built on 2 pc Lamiglas blank) w/Okuma SLV 2/3 reel & wf3f line
*Ross Essence FS 8'6" 4 pc rod w/Ross Flystart reel & wf3f or wf4f line.
*Echo Solo 8'6" 4wt 3 pc rod w/Echo Solo 4/5 reel & wf4f or wf5f line.
*Riverbeast 8'6" 5wt 3 pc rod w/Okuma Magnitude 7/8 reel (these reels are very lightweight but hold very little backing with the rated size lines) & wf5f line).
*Eagle Claw 6'6" featherlite (2 pc fiberglass) rod w/Okuma SLV 4/5 reel (this rod will handle a wf3f, wf4f, or wf5f line, but I usually stick with a wf4f)
*Scientific Anglers 8'6" 2 pc rod w/Pflueger 1495 reel & wf5f line.
*and if I really feel adventurous I'll grab my split cane (Custom "vintage Sport King" rebuild by Beck) 5/6wt 3 pc rod w/Pflueger 1459½ reel & wf5f or wf6f line.
Nothing like having a few choices to fit the mood of the day.
Today it was the Echo Solo with a wf5f line (fighting a brisk headwind) and I managed to catch 5 or 6 'gills, 3 or 4 crappie, and one stocked rainbow about 12" long. About an hour of fighting that wind was all the fun I could stand for one day.
Tomorrow's plan is for the 6'6" 3 wt custom glass rod and find a location with the wind at my back.