As an angler, choosing the right rod is crucial to your success on the water especially when it is about specific fish. Here to target walleye, the right rod can make all the difference in the casts. But with so many options on the market, it can be perplexing to decide which rod is best for you. But fear not, we’ve done the research and compiled a list of the best walleye rods available.
From fast action to medium power, these rods offer the perfect balance of sensitivity and strength needed to land those elusive walleye. But what makes a rod burst with the kind of power and responsiveness required to reel in these fish? Is it the type of material used in the construction, or the length of the rod? Perhaps it’s the number of guides or the type of reel seat? Whatever the case may be, we’ve identified the top rods that deliver the perfect combination of performance and budget to make your walleye fishing dreams a reality.
Top 3 Picks for the Best Walleye Rods
- Carbon fiber rod construction
- 1 piece rod style
- 7.1” feet long Medium Power
- Fast Action
- Composite rod
- 2 piece rod
- 7.6 feet length
- Medium-Light Power Fast Action
- Graphite construction
- Available in 7 different lengths
- 1/8 to3/8 oz. lure rating
- 6-12 lb. line rating
List of Best Walleye Rods Reviewed in Detail
I am already a St. Croix Triumph happy user, so I thought why don’t give a try to another hyped fishing rod i.e. St.Croix Eyecon. Actually, I was search for a jigging rod for which sensitivity is top requirement and St. Croix’s premium SCII carbon fiber construction make them an ultimate winner among the rod’s with sensitivity feature.
The Eyecon rod with the same construction impressed me with its performance as it let to feel even the slightest tucks by walleye. It was a full day trip and it ended without any arm fatigue.
With a 8 pound monofilament fishing line on 7.1” feet medium power and medium power rod I first used live minnows as they are the popular option for jigging especially for walleye. Then I switched to 5/8 oz. crank bait. For summer fishing, I prefer heavy weights up to 1 oz. when fish go deeper.
After all, with all this set up I ended with successfully catching a 17 inches walleye approximately of 2 pounds and a 22 inches walleye, almost 4 pounds or bit heavy. With this rod you can pick 6 lb. to maximum 20 lb. line weight.
Summing up for St. Croix Eyecon spinning rod, its an excellent choice for deep rocky structure jigging walleye. It features a split grip cork handles that offers perfect grip and wouldn’t let the rod to slip from your hand.
The aluminum oxide guides although require cleaning maintenance after saltwater fishing but are strong and durable enough and wouldn’t bend easily under pressure.
So it’s a trusty investment on St. Croix Eyecon, make sure to add it your walleye rod arsenal and as it’s a St. Croix so it suits your other fishing types too. Although it is available as an 8 feet long rod but power is medium and for trolling heavy power rods are better suited.
Overall, if you are looking for a rod that wouldn’t break easily go for it.
- Well-crafted rod
- It’s a Long lasting rod wouldn’t break easily
- Sensitive tip to feel even the slightest fish nibbles
- Not suitable for trolling
The best spinning combo for walleye title goes to the Ugly Stik combo, which is a technique-specific combo specially designed to help you reel in your next big walleye catch.
With a length of 7’6″ and a medium-light power rating, this rod is the perfect size and strength for catching 20 pounds of walleye. It’s a recommended combo for casting and jigging but thanks to its high-quality graphite and fiberglass construction, which also makes it a volunteer for trolling too. The fiberglass makes it flexible and durable to serve as a trolling rod so you won’t have to worry about this combo breaking down after just a few fishing trips.
Moreover, the EVA grips also retain their shape even placed in the rod holders. But what sets this combo apart is the attention to detail that has gone into its design. The Ugly Stik® Walleye Spinning Combo features stainless steel guides, which help to reduce line friction and improve casting distance.
And let’s not forget about the reel that comes with this combo. With a 5.2:1 gear ratio and a maximum drag of 4 pounds. Honestly, I wasn’t impressed by the reel quality although it is fair according to the price but I replaced it with PENN Fierce 4000 size reel with 10lb max drag power and used 20 lb. braided fishing line
The Ugly Stik’s clear tip design offered the sensitivity required for walleye fishing although not the same as the St. Croix Eyecon. It is also slightly heavier than graphite and carbon fiber rods but this doesn’t breaks the deal.
Overall, the Ugly Stik® Walleye Spinning Combo is the best spinning combo for walleye on the market. I mostly recommend this combo to my fellow beginner anglers and at this level, you can stick to the same reel included in the package.
With its technique-specific design, you can be sure that you’ll have the right tools for the job.
- 2-piece rod easy to transport
- Long warranty span
- Long-length handles make it easier to hold
- Also suitable for trolling
- Budget-friendly combo
- The reel is of poor quality with a plastic body
- The rod is heavier than other carbon fiber rods
If you’re looking for a top-quality spinning rod without any budget constraints, the Shimano COMPRE Walleye Spinning Rod is an excellent option. This rod is designed to deliver excellent performance and sensitivity with its versatility being available in 12 lengths and 3 medium power variation suitable for the average angler too.
The COMPRE Walleye Spinning Rod is built with high-quality graphite materials and features a sensitive tip that allows you to feel every bite and movement of your lure. The rod is also incredibly lightweight and easy to handle, making it suitable for long days of fishing.
Out of all the size and power ratings to target up to 10 pounds of walleye, I chose the 6.8 feet medium-heavy rod, extra fast action tip, and hooked a Rapala Shad Rap size 7 crankbait. I used a 12 lb. monofilament fishing line. So it’s a durable set for heavy fishing.
One of the standout features of the COMPRE Walleye Spinning Rod is its versatility. Whether you’re jigging or casting, this rod is up to the task. It can handle a wide range of fishing techniques and is suitable for use in both freshwater and saltwater environments as zirconia guides wouldn’t be rusted.
Overall, the COMPRE Walleye Spinning Rod is a fantastic option for anglers of all skill levels. Moreover, they are recommended for both Speed and Slow Pitch jigging.
Pair it with one of the best 3000 size Shimano spinning reels for best results.
- Perfect rods for vertical jigging
- Sensitive tip
- Lightweight rod comfortable handle
- Versatility in sizes
- Strong ferrule points
- Stiff being whole graphite than composite rods
- Not available in heavy power for trolling fishing
4- OKUMA Deadeye Telescopic Trolling Rod
best trolling rod for walleye
I recently had the opportunity to try out the OKUMA Deadeye Telescopic Trolling Rod, and I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed with its performance.
One of the standout features of this rod is its ultimate reinforcement tip technology, which provides unparalleled strength and sensitivity. The flexible tip is designed with the perfect blend of fiberglass and 24-ton graphite.
While trolling, the crucial part is to detect fish strikes and nibbles but luckily with Okuma Dead Eye, I found that I was able to detect even the slightest nibble on my line.
Speaking of walleye, this rod is truly perfect for targeting this species. The OKUMA Deadeye 8.6 long rod has a lure rating of 1/2 – 2 oz. and a line rating of 10-20 lbs. which I selected out of all other models, it perfectly suited for trolling with bigger lures and heavy lines. I found that I was able to easily maneuver my bait through the water with precision, and the sensitivity of the rod allowed me to detect even the most subtle strikes.
Being available in 13 different variations you can either pick these rods for casting lighter lures up to 1/16 with a 4-6 line rating. Moreover, the stainless steel guides with titanium inserts are all able to resist rust.
In addition to its impressive performance, the OKUMA Deadeye is also incredibly convenient to transport and store, thanks to its telescopic design. This makes it the perfect choice for anglers who are always on the go, or for those who simply don’t have a lot of storage space.
Overall, I would highly recommend the OKUMA Deadeye Telescopic Trolling Rod to any angler who is serious about targeting walleye while trolling. Its ultimate reinforcement tip technology, combined with its perfectly balanced lure and line ratings, make it a true standout in its class. You might not see many reviews but it’s a recommended rod.
- Easy to transport
- Heavy lure and line ratings
- EVA rips retain their shape for a longer time
- Flexible and durable rod
- Highly sensitive rod
- Not available as heavy power rod only comes medium power ratings
- The telescopic design can also make the rod slightly more fragile and susceptible to breakage if not handled with care
- While the ultimate reinforcement tip technology is undoubtedly impressive, it may take some getting used to for those who are used to a more traditional rod with less sensitivity
With experience using a wide range of fishing rods, I was intrigued to test out the Daiwa Aird-X Spinning Rod. As I heard a lot about this rod from a friend of mine. This particular model stands out due to its innovative “Braiding-X” construction, which reinforces the blank and reduces blank twist this saves the rod’s natural action and saves from the sudden failure of rods under heavy loads while jigging.
In terms of its construction, the Braiding-X technology lived up to its reputation. The reinforced graphite blank provided ample strength and durability, allowing me to reel in walleye with ease. Additionally, the reduced blank twist made for more accurate casts, minimizing the risk of tangling or losing my bait altogether.
Upon taking the Aird-X out for a spin, I was impressed with its overall performance. The rod felt sturdy and well-balanced in my hands, which made for a smooth and effortless casting experience. I particularly appreciated the sensitivity of the rod, which allowed me to feel even the slightest nibble from walleye lurking below the surface.
These medium heavy and fast action rods offer to throw lures up to 1 oz. lures. You can try night crawlers and line minnows to attract walleye. From 4 to 17 lb. line rating you can land different pounds of walleyes from 2 to up to 20 pounds.
The Daiwa Aird-X is available in relatively shorter lengths as compared to other walleye rods i.e. 5.6 to a maximum of 7 feet. These length ranges make them more suitable for Speed Jigging than slow pitching which requires longer rods up to 8 feet.
Overall, I would highly recommend the Daiwa Aird-X Spinning Rod to any angler looking for a reliable and high-performing rod for walleye fishing. Its innovative construction and sensitivity make it a standout choice among spinning rods on the market.
- Sturdy and well-balanced design for smooth casting
- Sensitive enough to detect even the slightest nibble from walleye
- Provides ample strength and durability for reeling in fish
- Recommended rod for speed jigging
- If using for saltwater fishing make sure to thoroughly clean the aluminum oxide line guides to save them from rusting
Ice fishing anglers mostly prefer comfortable handle rods that offer a strong grip even wearing gloves in cold temperatures. The 13 Fishing Microtec Walleye Ice Fishing Combo proves to be the right pick here. What immediately caught my attention was the rod’s custom handle designs, which promised to enhance the walleye fishing experience.
Taking the Microtec Walleye out on the ice, I was struck by the rod’s overall balance and sensitivity. The custom handle design provided a comfortable and ergonomic grip that allowed me to maintain precise control even in the coldest temperatures. The rod’s sensitivity was also impressive, allowing me to feel the slightest nibble from a lurking walleye with ease.
Moreover, I found that it handled a wide variety of other species with ease too, making it a great all-around option for ice fishing.
It’s a fiberglass rod so durability and flexibility are its top features. I wasn’t expecting this to be highly sensitive but the manufacturers proved me wrong. It also comprises durable bigger loops of stainless steel guides for an enhanced casting experience.
Rather than Rapala jigging Shad rap, I would recommend going with the smaller rattle spoons to fool cold water walleye. Try to pick lures ranging from 1/8-1/4 oz. weight and use a dead stick and you can easily land 2 to 6 lbs. walleyes.
The rods are available in medium to medium heavy power ratings to land bigger walleye from an ice hole. These rods are available in three different styles i.e. full grip, split grip, and dead stick. Each model features a different length (26, 36, and 28 inches).
As it’s an ice fishing combo, there is also a reel attached that features 3 ball bearings along with an instant anti-reverse clutch for more control. It’s an aluminum spool reel so can easily handle loads and aggressive reeling.
Overall, it is a pretty good deal under $50 to get an ice fishing rod and reel. Their components and construction ensure that they will stand up to the rigors of ice fishing season after season. So you wouldn’t regret buying it.
- Custom handle designs
- Strong rods
- Comfortable and ergonomic grip for better control in colder temperatures even wearing gloves
- Versatile enough to handle a variety of other fish species
- You can feel the fish nibbles
- Affordable price range
- May not be suitable for beginners who are still learning the ropes of ice fishing
When it comes fishing for walleye from shore a 6.6 feet medium power long spinning rod is an ideal pick and when it comes with the already paired reel, it’s a treat for shore anglers. Pflueger President XT Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo is best as a shore set up for walleye jigging.
While this combo may be slightly more expensive than the popular Ugly Stik, I believe that it is well worth the investment for serious anglers looking for a high-performing setup.
The combo features a Fenwick HMS carbon fiber rod and a Pflueger President size 30 reel. This setup will surely be the best gear to help you land big fish from shore.
With 8-14 lb. line rating and lure rating 1/8-1/2 you can throw bigger and land bigger too. Use moving baits like spoons, swimbaits, jerkbaits, and jigs to catch spring walleye from shore. These lures have fast action and dive quickly.
In addition to the rod, the standout features of the reel is its 10 ball bearings and sealed dag system which provides an incredibly smooth and responsive experience on the water.
This combo is capable of handling a wide range of fish species, making it an ideal choice for anglers who like to switch up their fishing tactics. Whether you’re fishing in freshwater or saltwater, the President XT Combo can handle the job with ease.
Overall, I would highly recommend the Pflueger President XT Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo to any angler looking for a high-quality jigging and casting setup that will deliver exceptional performance on the water as it is light enough to be used for extended periods without causing fatigue.
- Lightweight set up
- Versatile for use in both freshwater and saltwater
- More ball bearings count
- Some users have reported issues with the reel handle becoming loose over time, although this seems to be a relatively rare occurrence
- Slightly more expensive than some other options on the market
8- St.Croix Legend Tournament Walleye
best walleye fishing rods for the money
St. Croix is a name you can blindly trust. They offer the best walleye rods for every skill level from beginners to seasoned pros. As an avid angler who has spent countless hours on the water, I can confidently say that the St. Croix Legend Tournament Walleye rod is the best walleye rod for sure.
One of the key features of this Walleye rod is its sensitivity. The credit goes to its advanced carbon fiber blank design that enables you to feel every nibble and bite, even when fishing in deep or murky waters. This makes it easier to detect when a walleye is on the line, giving you a better chance of landing that trophy fish you’ve been dreaming of.
But sensitivity isn’t the only feature that sets the St. Croix Legend Tournament Walleye rod special, it also has an innovative Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) tooling technology that eliminates all transitional points in the blank. This results in a smoother, more responsive casting experience, allowing you to cast longer distances with greater accuracy and control.
In addition to its performance, the Legend Tournament Walleye rod is also incredibly well-designed. The rod is lightweight and well-balanced, which makes it comfortable to use for extended periods. The guides and reel seat are also of the highest quality, ensuring that the rod is both durable and reliable.
Whether you’re a seasoned walleye angler or just starting, whether you are searching for trolling rod or looking for a jigging rod for walleye, it is a must-have piece of equipment.
It’s a rod fully packed with premium quality features like Fuji K-Series tangle-free guides, machined-aluminum wind check & trim pieces; Kigan hook-keeper that saves lures and prevents the hook from disturbing the rod’s cosmetics.
For ideal setup pick 10 lb. monofilament fishing line, 3000 size reel, and 3/16 to 5/8 oz. crankbaits or better recommended to use a live minnow that a walleye can resist. Invest in the best walleye rod on the market and get ready to reel in some big catches!
- Specially designed for walleye
- Excellent sensitivity that make it great for jigging
- The rod is designed to be comfortable to use for extended periods of time
- Responsive casting experience due to IPC tooling technology
- Suitable for saltwater fishing too
- It comes with a higher price point than some other rods on the market
How to choose the best walleye rods
Choosing the walleye rods depends on the technique you are adopting. One rod can’t fit in all types of fishing types. Each technique dictates the length and power and action of the rod you need. The popular techniques anglers adopt for targeting walleye are trolling, jigging, and casting.
But with a few key considerations, you can select the perfect rod for your fishing needs. Here are some steps to follow when choosing a walleye rod:
Type of Rod for Walleye Fishing
Spinning rods are a popular choice for walleye fishing, as they are versatile, easy to use, and one of the cheapest rods available in the market. They work well with lighter lures and lines and are ideal for finesse techniques such as jigging or drop-shotting. Spinning rods are the top recommendation for beginners.
Casting rods are another common choice for walleye fishing, particularly when using heavier lures and lines. They are often used for trolling or casting crankbaits and spinnerbaits. However, it is a bit tricky for novice anglers to handle baitcasting setups as it is more prone to line tangles.
Trolling rods are designed specifically for trolling, which is a popular technique for catching walleye which involves dragging lures behind the boat. This type rods are specifically made long and flexible to catch fish in deeper water as they are fixed on the boat edges.
Jigging rods are designed for vertical jigging, which is a popular technique in which the jig is typically dropped down to the bottom of the water column, then lifted and lowered in a rhythmic motion to entice the fish to bite. They are typically shorter, stiffer, lightweight, and sensitive. Sensitivity is the top requirement for jigging.
Fly rods can also be used for walleye fishing, particularly when targeting them in rivers or streams. They are lightweight and flexible, allowing for precise casts and delicate presentations.
Learn more about different types of fishing rods in this guide.
Power of Walleye Rods
Each fishing technique requires different power ratings because rod power refers to the amount of force required to bend or flex the rod. It is typically described in terms of its power rating or line weight, which indicates the maximum weight of the fishing line that the rod is designed to handle.
The fishing rods are available in heavy, medium, light, and ultra-light power. The heavier the rod is the more pressure is required to make the rod bend. For walleye fishing, skip the light and ultra-light power rods.
For trolling, heavy and medium-heavy rods are required to cast heavy lures, for jigging, medium to medium-light power rods are suitable for most walleye jigging situations.
To cast lighter lures, medium power rods are suitable for casting in shallow and deeper water conditions providing the necessary backbone to set the hook and control the most-sized walleye.
Learn more about the rod power in this guide “Fishing Rod Power and Action”.
Fishing rod action refers to the rod’s bends or flexes when pressure is applied to it, such as when a fish is hooked or when casting a lure. The action of a fishing rod is determined by its taper or the way the rod’s diameter decreases from the butt to the tip.
Fishing rods are categorized as fast-action, moderate, and slow-action rods. The choice of rod action is based on the specific fishing technique and species being targeted.
So for walleye fishing when trolling, the rod must have enough sensitivity to detect strikes and bites, while also having enough backbone to set the hook and handle the fish. A moderate action rod best suits this fishing with the perfect blend of sensitivity and strength.
For jigging, the shorter and more flexible rods are the optimal choice to move metal lures animatedly through the water column, between the bottom and the top surface. The jigging rod musts be sensitive enough to detect the slightest fish nibble and a fast and extra-fast action rod best suits this situation.
For simply casting lures with spinning rods from rivers and lakes, a fast action rod has enough backbone to cast lures up to ½ oz. lures to catch bigger walleye.
Learn more about the rod action in this guide “Fishing Rod Power and Action”.
Walleye rod Material
Walleye rods are typically made of graphite or fiberglass, each offering unique benefits.
Graphite rods are lighter and more sensitive, making them ideal for finesse fishing techniques. Carbon fiber rods are a more enhanced form of graphite and are more lighter and sensitive than graphite rods but also more expensive.
Fiberglass rods, on the other hand, are more durable and provide more power, making them better suited for larger fish and heavier lures. They are cheaper but less sensitive graphite rods.
Composite Rods are a blend of graphite and fiberglass having features of both materials.
Length of the rod
Each different walleye fishing technique requires a different length. For casting and jigging with spinning or casting rods 5.6 ft. to 7 feet rods are the optimal pick. Jigging rods are typically shorter. For speed Jigging, 5.6 to 6 feet rods are perfect while for slow pitch jigging 6.6 to 7 ft. long rods are used to animate a jig.
For trolling, typically longer rods i.e. 9 to 12 ft. in length are required because you have to cast deep. The length can vary as it depends on the depth of the water, the size of the boat, and the size of the lures being used. Overall, these length rods can provide leverage and also allow longer casts.
A comfortable grip is essential for long fishing sessions, and you’ll want to choose a handle that fits comfortably in your hand. Handles are typically made of cork or EVA foam.
Cork handles offer a firm grip and is recommended for jigging and casting while the EVA foam handles are the best choice for trolling as their shape wouldn’t be disturbed when placed in rod holders.
Line Guide Materials
In addition to the number of line guides on the rod, their material matters too. Line guides are typically made of stainless steel, aluminum oxide, titanium oxide, and ceramic. Out of all of them, titanium-oxide guides are of top-notch quality but also the most expensive.
Stainless steel guides are the best alternative to titanium guides budget-wise. They are resistant to corrosion and do not add any additional weight to the rod.
Aluminum oxide guides are durable and the best option for heavy fishing but not fully corrosion-resistant, they need regular cleaning after saltwater fishing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Opting for a technique-specific rod that is designed to meet the specific demands of walleye fishing can make a significant difference in your ability to catch fish. Ultimately, investing in a quality walleye rod that is tailored to your technique and style can lead to greater success on the water and a more rewarding angling experience. So take your time to research the best walleye rods and make an informed decision.