Thanks for the input guys. Here's a little more info, I will be boat fishing and I am looking at going with a bait cast type reel. BPS has a 9 foot rod and BC type reel for crappie fishing. I think its called the MAXX Slab Grabber.
Cabellas had the Abu Black Max reel for $29.00. in their bargain cave online. It weighs less than 8 oz. pair that with a Pro Angler 8 ft rod. This would be a great rig for brush, timber and bridges.