Walleye fishing is absolutely fun and the species isn’t as aggressive and persistent in comparison to other game fish. Still, they can be elusive and difficult to catch unless you have one of the best walleye rods to help you.
Best Walleye Fishing Rods
The ones we’ve shortlisted for you in this article are what we’ve found to be strong enough to handle the weight of walleye while being highly sensitive that they’re able to detect walleye’s discrete movements.
1. Fenwick Elite Tech Walleye Fishing Rod
First on our list is often overlooked as it’s a product of an underrated brand. Unlike other manufacturers, Fenwick doesn’t keep on producing fishing gear randomly.
It produces a few but ensures that their quality is absolutely the best. This is the reason why the Fenwick Elite Tech is the first on our list of the best walleye rods. From this very rod, you can expect both performance and comfort you’ll need for walleye angling.
You’ll find 11 different models from the Elite Tech series and they vary in size. The rod comes with a cork handle to provide adequate grip.
What makes the rod unique is the handle reel seat which is hidden. It also makes casting more comfortable compared to the traditional ones.
2. St. Croix Eyecon Spinning Rod
St. Croix is popular across the globe as a producer of premium fishing rods. As you would expect from them, the Eyecon Spinner is equipped with the best attributes you would want on a fishing rod for walleye angling.
There are various spinning rods you can select from the Eyecon series of St. Croix. Power varies as well.
It can let you do various fishing techniques and tactics like drift-n-float, riggin’, snap jig, vertical jigging, crankin’, and slip-n-rig.
Its cork and EVA grip feel comfortable even after prolonged use. It also has a set of guides that consists of ceramic inserts and aluminum-oxide rings for added durability.
3. St. Croix Legend Tournament Walleye Spinner
The Legend Tournament Walleye Spinner of St. Croix incorporates the brand’s PolyCurve tooling technology to eliminate transitional points in the blank.
This results in smoother actions, greater sensitivity, and increased strength. This isn’t just a promise of the company as it’s evident when you put the spinning rod to use. The rod features the Fuji SK2 split for the reel seat which contributes to its sensitivity and lesser weight.
Though designed specifically for walleye fishing, we would also consider using it as an all-around rod.
While there are specific attributes that limit the ability of a rod in fishing other lures, this walleye spinning rod from St. Croix can work for other fishing applications.
4. Cadence CR5 Spinning Rod
The CR5 rod series of Cadence offers high-quality materials and components which exceed most rods sold on the market today, hence why it landed on the 4th spot of our list.
The rod is configured with two handle types: full grip and split grip with both using EVA and cork in order to optimize both comfort and performance.
The 6’6″ with medium power and fast action is ideal for walleye fishing while the other variations on length and power rating accommodate different fishing applications perfectly. The rod has a 30-ton carbon fiber material construction.
5. Tica Libra SMHA Series Rod
The Libra SMHA Series of Tica is designed for angling a variety of medium to large species of fish.
The high modulus graphite TC2 material gives the rod great strength. Although the product is strong and durable, it boasts of a very sensitive blank.
What we like most is it’s a very reliable rod yet it’s budget-friendly. It didn’t compromise at all so it’s great for fighting with fish.
6. Lew’s Speed Stick Rod
Lew’s Speed Stick, specifically the 6’7″-1 Medium Spinning Rod, was designed specifically for fishing walleye.
A medium, extra-fast action spinning rod, it’s perfect for those who prefer having extra sensitivity on their rod when jigging.
The cork grips are essential in ensuring you have a firm hold of the rod even when your hands are wet. The blanks are made of premium IM8 graphite and the skeletal reel seats are exclusive for Lew’s.
The one for trolling features a heat shrink handle with a cork grip area in order to come out easily of a rod holder while still offering a comfortable grip.
7. G.Loomis Walleye Rod Series
One of the most under-rated but the best that money can buy when it comes to walleye rods, the G.Loomis Rod Series consists of rods that are very accurate, high-performing, and technique-specific.
The rods are just all about performance. When you want to prioritize sensitivity and having a lightweight rod, you should check this one out.
It has Recoil guides that offer smooth line flow, and premium grade cork grip with composite rubber and cork accents which balance nicely.
The blended fibers used in making the blank offer greater strength without increasing the rod’s weight or blank diameter.
8. Shakespeare Store Ugly Stik GX2
Last on our list already comes with a reel! What makes the product a favorite among seasoned anglers is the durability and versatility which are both higher in comparison to most alternatives.
The rod, in particular, makes use of both fiberglass and graphite for extra strength and sensitivity without sacrificing either of the two.
The shaft is primarily graphite for stiffness along with clear, flexible fiberglass at the tip. It also comes with a 7-year warranty, giving you the assurance of the brand’s confidence in the quality of their product.
How to Pick the Best Walleye Rods
This section of the article is especially crucial for beginners. There’s a couple of factors that need consideration prior to deciding on a product from the good walleye rods.
The majority of the time, the newbies simply stick to the most expensive option from the best trolling rods for walleye as they don’t know anything about them.
Getting the most expensive instead of the best fishing pole for walleye and for your needs is definitely fine. But, you may suffer down the road.
After all, the price tag isn’t the same thing as value or even quality. If you’re still unsure of which walleye trolling rods you should get, go through our guide.
We’ve listed the crucial aspects for you to consider.
The rod length has a critical role in providing you with an effective and enjoyable fishing experience. In comparison to the longer rods, the shorter ones are less effective when it comes to trolling.
Professionals prefer the 7 ft rods for jigging, but this length may not be the best for you. The rod length that’s perfect for you will depend on your ability.
The best all-around walleye rod is somewhere between 7-10 ft. Just remember that a trolling rod is ideally 10 ft long while the 6 to 7 ft rod is best for jigging.
The longer rod allows you to fight fish that’s in deeper water easily. For jigging, sensitivity is key which is why you would want a short, fast action rod.
Type of Walleye Rod
There are different types of rods.
The best for you will depend on the technique you plan on implementing, but there are some which you can use interchangeably between different techniques.
A spinning rod of walleye is one that’s built to use with a spinning reel. It’s often shorter compared to a casting rod.
The spinning reel also hangs lower on a spinning rod. It’s known for being one of the easiest to use, hence its popularity among anglers with less experience.
Spinning rods don’t only offer simplicity but also excellent casting.
Jigging rods are made specifically for jigging. They’re short and lightweight, which is why they’re for jerky, vertical motions that anglers try to achieve using their baits.
A jigging rod is very flexible and can bend in fights with fish so the pressure is taken off the angler.
A trolling rod is used for fishing on boats and it tends to be robust in size and length. It doesn’t require the same flexibility as casting rods but it definitely has to be stronger or with a backbone.
A fishing rod can rust, depending on the material it’s made of. Unless you maintain it properly which entails cleaning the rod daily, your rod’s effectiveness and quality will deteriorate.
It’s, therefore, wise to get corrosion-resistant fishing gear. This characteristic is present on all of the best walleye rods.
Fiberglass and graphite are two materials of great quality. A graphite rod, in particular, is light and sensitive. It lets you feel the light bites of fish but it’s prone to breakage.
As for fiberglass, it’s less breakable with added versatility. Will you be using your rod in varying water conditions? If so, look for a rod that’s built with both materials.
Fishing rods with lower quality often have plastic construction. After a couple of operations, they will render useless.
The power of a rod is the total amount of resistance that acts on the rod’s bending.
The heavy-powered walleye rod has a quick hook set and it grabs the bait from the water much faster compared to a walleye rod with a lighter rod. It has a stiff spine, too, which means it doesn’t bend as easily.
Do you want to catch a larger walleye? If so, then pick the one with more power. Otherwise, choose a light rod that bends freely. Just remember that with less powerful gear, subtle bites are sensed less as well.
As you shop around, you’ll find the following rod options:
- Light – It’s great with various species of fish but it shouldn’t be used with heavy bait.
- Ultralight – An ultralight rod is ideal for smaller fish. It bends easily and it’s not suitable for a large walleye.
- Medium Light – It’s between light and medium power fishing rods.
- Medium – Covers a wide range of games.
- Medium-Heavy – It’s a rod that’s good at handling medium to large species of fish.
- Heavy – This is a pro at hunting bigger fish.
- Extra Heavy – It’s suitable for the largest and heaviest species. It’s a very powerful rod.
The line weight refers to the breaking strength of the line of a rod. If the line weight of a fishing rod is anywhere between 8 to 12 lbs, then make sure the rod is able to tackle baits with decent drag.
This means it won’t break as you pull fish out. Remember that the line weight doesn’t equal the fish’s weight. Action and power for the fishing rod can change with a rod’s line weight.
Every fishing rod has a particular range that aligns with the rod’s line weight. To give you an example, for a line weight that exceeds the maximum scope of the rod, the rod might break before the line parting. There’s a couple of line types available. Choose from monofilament or braided lines.
If line weight is lower in comparison to the suggested range of the rod, the line’s going to part earlier than it’s supposed to. This can also hamper the performance of the rod when you pull fish from the water.
When there’s stress placed on the rod’s tip, the bending and speed at which the rod returns to the original position are both determined by the action. Actions vary and are categorized as extra fast, fast, moderate-fast, medium, or slow.
A fast-action rod limited deflection. Just a third from the top of the rod will bend. A moderation action fishing rod, on the other hand, will bend up to the center of the rod. A slow-action rod will bend from the lower portion of the rod. The deflection is more compared to the other two.
Action is also the aspect of the rod that’s responsible for its flexibility. A fast-action rod puts more pressure onto the fish; however, it’s less flexible.
In comparison to a slow-action rod, it’s more sensitive. A slow-action rod is better at casting. Medium action rods would prove to be great for most anglers as they provide decent casting and power for hook-setting.
The best walleye jigging rod or for any fishing application is durable. The durability of the best budget walleye rod will depend on the specific materials it’s made of.
The different parts of a fishing rod suitable to use with walleye angling can be made using various materials.
If you’ll go for the inferior quality rods, they won’t last long. A high-grade carbon or graphite rod is great, most especially if it has tough metal guides. It will be your companion for the years to come.
For the handle, choose one with cork or EVA grip. Still, it’s important to remember you still need to maintain and take care of your fishing equipment properly in order to ensure longevity.
Sensitivity is going to make a huge difference with an angling rod. A rod’s ability to flex under heavy weight for storing energy then release the energy in a cast is referred to as sensitivity.
When a walleye pulls the bait, the sensitivity will allow you to realize what’s happening faster. The higher the sensitivity of your rod, the greater are your chances of catching fish.
The best rod and reel for walleye consists of a rod that has high sensitivity. We recommend graphite as it transmits even the slightest vibrations towards your hand.
The other factors that contribute to a fishing rod’s sensitivity include the use of fewer materials, coating or uncoating with paint, balance, blanks, and the reel.
Number of Pieces
There are fishing rods that are divided into sections. They can come as a one-piece or a two-piece rod.
A one-piece fishing rod is more common but it’s often hard to travel with. A two-piece rod in the best walleye rod and reel combo is joined with ferrule and it’s more portable.
However, for everyday anglers, it may not be the best choice as a two-piece rod can lose some of its strength and sensitivity.
Good rods can cost anywhere between USD$50 to USD$300. There are cheaper and more expensive ones even costing around USD$600.
Rods vary on their manufacturers, size, and model, not to mention the rod type, material construction or build, action, line weight, fishing style, and power.
There are so many aspects that can impact the price. For this reason, it’s best to set a budget based on the factors that are crucial to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I land more walleyes using the best walleye rods?
The following are a few helpful pointers that can assist you in landing even more fish using a quality rod:
- Make the Necessary Changes – Walleye is known for its finicky behavior based on an angler’s lure choice or bait. While the lures that you have in a certain color perform well one day, they may fall flat during your next fishing trip. You must remain vigilant as you attempt to determine the specific lures you throw on certain conditions. Whenever you start to feel you’re not succeeding on landing walleye, don’t hesitate to experiment and make adjustments to your approach.
- Vary Your Depth – When it comes to trolling for walleye, it’s absolutely critical to cover a broad range of depths. This is so you increase your chances of landing more fish. Many anglers concentrate their efforts on working bottoms of lakes. But, they often miss suspended walleye which are often found higher up in a water column. Try to vary the depth of how lures are presented. This way, you’ll have better chances of capitalizing on available opportunities.
- Consult Your Sonar – Modern fish finders revolutionized the way anglers seek out fish, most especially walleye. You can study their sonar to locate walleye staging at varying depths below. Whenever you’re unsure on where you should start your walleye fishing excursion, consult your sonar. Start scanning the drop-offs and the points which feature nearby structures. You may just locate the potential honey holes.
- Try Night Angling – Walleye is notorious for being very sensitive to light. This is the reason why walleye are forced in diving to a much deeper depth during the day. But, at night, the fish moves up and into the shallows. This is so it can feed in an opportunistic way. A savvy angler has to take advantage by fishing as the sun goes down or even when it’s already below the horizon as this is the perfect time wherein walleye swims into the shallows.
What is the pound test line that’s suitable to use for walleye?
This will depend on the specific technique you employ in catching walleye. However, for a braided line, an 8 to 10 lbs test line is fine. For monolines, 6 to 8 lbs would be sufficient. If you prefer a fluorocarbon line, opt for 10 to 12 lbs, and 12 to 18 lbs for a lead core line.
Can jigging rods work for bottom fishing?
Yes, a jigging rod can be used to bottom-fish. Not only that, good jigging rods can also work for course jigging, bottom casting, and trolling.
Everyone wants to try to catch walleye as it can be done in many different ways. But, there’s a need for a specific rod in order to achieve good results within the shortest period.
We’ve tested the ones that are highly recommended by seasoned anglers and based on our extensive review, the Fenwick Elite Tech takes the win.
It doesn’t only have the essential features of the best walleye rods, it also has increased durability and strength. Give it a test run soon!