Top Rods for Walleye Fishing 2023

Top Rods For Walleye Fishing
Photo by Simon Hurry on Unsplash

Best Rods for Walleye Fishing

You’re in the right place, fellow angler. We understand your love for walleye fishing, and we’ve got your back.

In this guide, you’ll discover top-notch walleye rods that’ll enhance your fishing experience. Whether you’re a pro or just starting, we’ll cover all the essentials: length, material, grip, and more.

With our help, you’ll make an informed choice. So, gear up, embrace the thrill of the chase, and let’s reel in the perfect walleye rod together.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Rod Compatibility: It is important to ensure that the reel you choose is compatible with your chosen rod and vice versa. Avoid assuming that you need a separate reel for each rod and look for a reel that fits multiple rods in your fishing arsenal.
  • Size: Consider the size of the fish you normally catch when selecting a reel. Look for reels that are rated for six, eight, and ten-pound test lines and have the flexibility to switch up your line depending on your needs.
  • Weight and Reel Body: Look for reels made of durable materials like aluminum or graphite. Consider a reel with a powerful blend of aluminum and graphite, as aluminum reels offer strength without adding much weight. Choose a reel with a sturdy construction and fewer parts to minimize breakdowns.
  • Line Capacity: Choose a reel with enough line capacity to reach the depths where walleye swim. Consider the fishing situation and the depths you plan to fish in order to determine the ideal line capacity for your reel.

Best Rod for Walleye Fishing

Choosing the right rod for walleye fishing can significantly improve your catch rate. Let’s explore some top options:

  • St. Croix Rods Premier
  • Ugly Stik 6’6” Elite Spinning Rod
  • Okuma Fishing Tackle Okuma Dead Eye Classic
  • Penn Battle III Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

We’ll also discuss the merits of the St. Croix Eyecon Walleye Trolling Rod for specific fishing scenarios.

St. Croix Rods Premier

St. Croix Rods Premier Casting Rod Medium/Fast Classic Black Pearl, 6’0″
  • PREMIUM SCII CARBON CONSTRUCTION: Premium quality SCII carbon with FRS for unparalleled strength and durability
  • PREMIUM-GRADE CORK HANDLE: Comfortable cork handle ensures you maintain a strong grip on your fishing rod
  • FEATURES: Kigan Master Hand 3D guides w/ aluminum-oxide rings and black frames; Fuji ECS, TCS or PSS reel seat w/ frosted silver hoods; Kigan hook-keeper; Outstanding sensitivity and hook-setting power
  • SPECIFICATIONS: Length – 6’0”; Power – M; Action – Fast; Pieces – 1; Line Wt. – 10-17 lbs; Lure Wt. – 1/4-3/4 oz; Rod Wt. – 3.9 oz; Handle – 2
  • 5-YEAR WARRANTY: Backed by St. Croix Superstar Service

Last update on 2024-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re in search of the best rod for walleye fishing, look no further than the St. Croix Rods Premier Casting Rod. This rod offers a blend of strength, durability, and sensitivity, thanks to its premium SCII carbon construction with FRS. It boasts a cork handle for a strong grip and Kigan Master Hand 3D guides with aluminum-oxide rings and black frames.

Regardless of the conditions, the St. Croix Rods Premier Casting Rod provides outstanding hook-setting power that’s perfect for reeling in those elusive walleyes.

Ugly Stik 6’6” Elite Spinning Rod

Ugly Stik 6’6” Elite Spinning Rod, Two Piece Spinning Rod, 6-14lb Line Rating, Medium Rod Power, Fast Action, 1/4-5/8 oz. Lure Rating
  • UGLY STIK 6’6” ELITE SPINNING ROD: 35% more graphite than the Ugly Stik GX2, plus premium cork handles. From the makers of the #1 rod series in the world.
  • 6-14LB LINE RATING, MEDIUM POWER, FAST ACTION: Built tough to stand up to what’s next. Lure rating of 1/4-5/8 oz. Two piece fishing rod features Ugly Stik Clear Tip design for strength and sensitivity.
  • DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: Constructed from graphite and fiberglass for a lighter weight rod, while maintaining legendary toughness and strength. Ugly Stik Fishing Rods are covered by a 7 year warranty you won’t find anywhere else.
  • 7 DURABLE GUIDES: Ugly Tuff one-piece stainless steel guides provide excellent corrosion resistance and durability and eliminate insert pop-outs during rough treatment.
  • REEL SEAT: Exposed Blank reel seats with cushioned stainless steel hoods provide comfort for your hands and protection for your reel. Premium type-C Cork rod handle is lightweight and slip-resistant, so you can hold on when fishing gets tough.

Last update on 2024-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

When it comes to walleye fishing, you’ll find the Ugly Stik 6’6” Elite Spinning Rod to be one of the best options available. This rod boasts a perfect blend of graphite and fiberglass, offering 35% more graphite than the Ugly Stik GX2. This means it’s not only durable but also highly sensitive, allowing you to detect even the faintest nibble. It’s lightweight with medium power and fast action, making it ideal for walleye fishing.

The Ugly Stik Elite’s premium cork handles provide a comfortable, non-slip grip, and its clear tip design adds strength where it’s needed most. Despite its high-quality features, it’s a cost-effective option, giving it an edge over higher-priced rods.

Okuma Fishing Tackle Okuma Dead Eye Classic

Okuma Dead Eye Classic Walleye Rods DEC-S-661-MLFT
  • Quality fishing equipment all made with advanced materials with dynamic designs
  • OKUMA FISHING’s fishing tackle is your best choice for freshwater and saltwater fishing.
  • OKUMA FISHING delivers excellent quality fishing rods and reels in order to meet each customer’s demands

Last update on 2024-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You’re going to love the Okuma Dead Eye Classic Technique Specific Fast Taper Graphite Walleye Rod, known for its durability, performance, and affordability. Crafted with advanced materials, this rod is perfect for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, meeting all your fishing demands. It offers the right flex for handling larger fish and is sensitive enough for walleye fishing.

This rod’s performance is praised by many, even when compared to pricier alternatives like St. Croix rods. It’s the go-to rod for walleye fishing, and thanks to its backbone, it can handle a 14-pound channel without problems. Despite its superior performance, it remains an inexpensive option, making it a favorite among those who value affordability without compromising quality.

Penn Battle III Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod ComboReel

PENN Battle Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo Kit with Spare Spool and Reel Cover, Black, 4000 – 7′ – Medium – 1pc
  • Kit includes spare anodized aluminum spool and a durable neoprene reel cover. The perfect pairing to go along with this high-performing Penn Battle spinning combo
  • 5+1 stainless steel bearing system, ideal for conquering big saltwater game fish
  • With the HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers you can pull in 100 miles of line off the reel with no wear on the washers
  • Full metal body, side plate, and rotor and heavy-duty aluminum bail wire offer exceptional durability
  • Dependable graphite composite blank rod design and aluminum oxide guides

Last update on 2024-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Let’s dive into the details of the Penn Battle III Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo, a top contender for the best rod for walleye fishing. This combo is known for its superior construction, with a one-piece graphite composite rod and 8 one-piece Penn Dura-Guides. Its recovery rate is impressive with 30” per turn of the crank, and the HT-100 front drag has a max drag of 10lb. The gear ratio of 6.2:1, along with its butter-smooth operation, makes it stand out.

The cork handle is suitable for both right- and left-handed anglers. Its line rating is 6–12 lb, and it has medium light power, fast action, and a lure rating of 1/16–5/8.

St. Croix Eyecon Walleye Trolling Rod

St. Croix Rods Legend Tournament Walleye Spinning Rod, LWTS71MF
  • SCIV+ Carbon Fiber primary material. Alconite guides ring material, Stainless Steel frame material.
  • Nylon reel seat, Aluminum & Stainless Steel nut material.
  • Super Grade Cork handle, Cork Composite accent material & Cork Composite butt cap
  • SPECIFICATIONS: Technique – Rip-N-Rap; Length – 7’1”; Power – M; Action – Fast; Line Weight (lb.) – 6-20; Lure Weight (oz.) – 5/16-7/8; Pieces – 1; Handle – 4
  • 15-YEAR WARRANTY: Backed by St. Croix Superstar Service

Last update on 2024-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re seeking superior performance in trolling for walleye, the St. Croix Eyecon Walleye Trolling Rod is your best bet. This rod is a blend of premium SCII carbon and 100% linear S-glass, making it stronger and more dynamic than traditional glass rods. The superior production technology, including IPC tooling, ART, and TET, ensures smoother actions, increased strength, and greater sensitivity.

The Kigan Master Hand 3D guides with aluminum-oxide rings, a Fuji TCS reel seat, a premium-grade EVA handle, and a Kigan hook-keeper further enhance its performance. It’s light, sensitive, and provides an enjoyable fight with the fish, all backed by a 5-year warranty.

St. Croix Rods Legend Elite Spinning Rod

St. Croix Rods Legend Elite Spinning Rod, 7’6″ (ES76MF)
  • High-modulus SCVI and SCV carbon with Fortified Resin System (FRS) for maximum power, strength, and sensitivity
  • Fuji Torzite tangle-fee guides with titanium frames for unrivaled, 100% corrosion-proof performance
  • Fuji TVS blank-touch reel seat. Super-grade cork handle
  • SPECIFICATIONS: Length – 7’6”; Power – M; Action – Fast; Line Weight (lb.) – 6-12; Lure Weight (oz.) – 3/16-5/8; Pieces – 1; Handle – 4
  • 15-YEAR TRANSFERABLE WARRANTY: Fishing pole backed by St. Croix Superstar Service

Last update on 2024-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

When it comes to walleye fishing, the St. Croix Rods Legend Elite Spinning Rod stands out as a top contender. This rod features a high-modulus SCVI and SCV carbon construction with a Fortified Resin System (FRS) for unmatched power, strength, and sensitivity. Its design ensures optimal performance and longevity, even under the most rigorous conditions.

Equipped with Fuji Torzite tangle-free guides with titanium frames, the Legend Elite offers unrivaled, 100% corrosion-proof performance. Additionally, the rod boasts a Fuji TVS blank-touch reel seat and a super-grade cork handle, enhancing your comfort and control. Plus, you’ll appreciate the peace of mind that comes with a 15-year transferable warranty.


  • Unmatched power, strength, and sensitivity
  • Corrosion-proof performance
  • Comfortable and easy to control


  • Might be pricey for some anglers
  • May not be suitable for all types of fishing

1. Length

When it comes to walleye fishing, rod length is a key factor to consider.

If you’re fishing in clear waters where walleye tend to be cautious, longer rods, ranging from 5 to 8 feet, allow for farther casting.

On the other hand, if you’re trolling or jigging, a shorter rod will give you more control.

The length of a walleye rod typically ranges from 5 to 8 feet. A longer rod can cast further, which can be advantageous in clear water where walleye are more cautious. Shorter rods offer more control and are suitable for trolling or jigging

Consider the length of your walleye rod carefully, as it can significantly impact your fishing success. Walleye rods typically range from 5 to 8 feet.

A longer rod, up to 8 feet, allows you to cast further. This is particularly useful in clear water where walleye can be more cautious and keep their distance.

Shorter rods, around 5 feet, provide more control. These are ideal for techniques such as trolling or jigging.

A mid-length rod offers a balance of control and casting distance.

Always match your rod length to the fishing technique and conditions you’re facing.

Remember, the right rod length enhances your performance and enjoyment on the water.

Let’s now delve into the topic of ‘power’.

2. Power

When selecting a rod for walleye fishing, it’s crucial to consider the power of the rod. This term refers to the amount of pressure needed to bend the rod.

Typically, a medium-light to medium-power rod is an ideal choice for walleye as it balances sensitivity and strength effectively.

Rod power refers to the amount of pressure required to bend the rod. For walleye, medium-light to medium power is often ideal as it provides a good balance of sensitivity and strength

Understanding rod power, which refers to the amount of pressure needed to bend the rod, is crucial for successful walleye fishing. It’s all about the balance between sensitivity and strength.

For walleye fishing, you should aim for a rod power that falls within the medium-light to medium range. This ensures that you have the right mix of:

  • Sensitivity to detect those subtle walleye bites
  • Strength to reel in those trophy-sized catches.
  • Flexibility to withstand the fighting spirit of the walleye
  • Durability to last you many fishing trips.

3. Action

Now let’s turn our attention to the action of the rod.

The action refers to the part of the rod that bends, with fast action rods bending nearer to the tip, providing heightened sensitivity.

This is especially useful in walleye fishing, where detecting light bites can be the key to a successful catch.

Action refers to where the rod bends. Faster action rods bend closer to the tip and are more sensitive, which is beneficial for detecting light bites common with walleye

In your pursuit of walleye, you’ll find that rods with faster action, which bend closer to the tip, are an excellent choice due to their heightened sensitivity for detecting those light bites this species is known for.

  • Faster action rods are more sensitive; they can detect even the slightest nibble.
  • The bend closer to the tip allows you to react quicker when a walleye bites.
  • These rods give you an edge, especially when walleye are being extra finicky.
  • Their design allows for better hook sets, increasing your chances of landing the fish.

Understanding the action of your rod and how it impacts your walleye fishing is crucial. With this knowledge, you’re one step closer to mastering the art of walleye fishing.

Next, let’s dive into the subject of ‘material’.

4. Material

When choosing your rod for walleye fishing, you’ll find that most are made from either graphite, fiberglass, or a combination of the two materials.

Graphite rods are lighter and offer greater sensitivity, making them perfect for detecting those subtle walleye bites.

On the other hand, fiberglass rods provide superior durability, ensuring your rod can withstand the rigors of walleye fishing.

Most walleye rods are made of graphite or fiberglass, or a combination of both. Graphite is lighter and more sensitive, while fiberglass is tougher and more durable

You’ll find that most walleye rods are crafted from either graphite or fiberglass, or a blend of both materials. Each has its unique benefits.

Graphite, being lighter and more sensitive, allows you to feel even the slightest nibble, making it a fantastic option when the fish are biting lightly. Here’s what you should know:

  • Graphite provides excellent sensitivity.
  • It’s light, reducing fatigue during long fishing sessions.

Fiberglass, on the other hand, is tougher and more durable.

  • It’s an ideal choice when fishing in rough conditions or targeting larger walleye.

Keep in mind that the ideal rod depends on your specific needs and preferences. Whether you choose graphite, fiberglass, or a mix, make sure it suits your style of fishing and comfort.

5. Handle

When it comes to the handle of your walleye fishing rod, you’ve got some choices to make.

You’ll find that cork and EVA foam are the most common materials.

Cork is both lightweight and sensitive, while EVA foam scores high on durability and comfort.

Cork and EVA foam are common handle materials. Cork is lightweight and sensitive, while EVA foam is durable and comfortable

In terms of handle materials for your walleye fishing rod, you’ll often encounter either cork or EVA foam. Both have their own unique benefits that can enhance your fishing experience.

Cork handles are lightweight and sensitive. This helps you feel even the slightest nibble, ensuring you never miss a catch. Cork also provides a comfortable grip, reducing fatigue during long fishing sessions.

EVA foam, on the other hand, is known for its durability and comfort. It’s a long-lasting material that can withstand harsh weather conditions. Moreover, it offers a firm grip, even when wet.

Choosing between cork and EVA foam largely depends on your personal preference and fishing style. So, go ahead, choose the handle that best suits you, and enjoy your walleye fishing adventure.

6. Guides

When choosing your ideal rod for walleye fishing, don’t overlook the importance of the guides. They need to be robust enough to endure the pressure of the line, enhancing both the longevity of your rod and your fishing experience.

The guides should be durable to withstand the line running through them under tension. Quality guides can also improve casting distance and accuracy

Ensure you choose rods with durable guides because these can significantly impact your casting distance and accuracy when walleye fishing. The constant tension as the line runs through the guides can wear them out over time, so their durability is crucial.

Moreover, the quality of your guides can affect not just your casting distance but also your casting accuracy. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking at the guides on a rod:

  • Look for guides made from durable materials such as stainless steel or ceramic.
  • Check the alignment of the guides. Misaligned guides can affect your casting.
  • Ensure the guides are smooth. Rough or damaged guides can damage your line.
  • Large guides can help reduce line friction, enhancing your casting distance.

7. Reel Seat

When it comes to walleye fishing, don’t overlook the importance of the reel seat.

It’s not just about comfort; it’s about securing your reel firmly in place.

A loose or ill-fitting reel seat can severely impact your casting and reeling efficiency, so ensure your rod has a high-quality reel seat.

A comfortable and securely fitting reel seat is crucial as it holds the reel in place

While you’re deciding on the best rod for walleye fishing, don’t forget that a comfortably fitting and securely holding reel seat is key, as it’s what keeps your reel firmly in place.

Consider these factors when choosing a suitable reel seat:

  • Material: High-quality reel seats are typically made from durable materials like graphite or aluminum. These materials withstand the pressure and stress of fishing, ensuring the reel remains secure.
  • Design: A well-designed reel seat should have a smooth finish and ergonomic shape for comfort during extended use.
  • Size: The reel seat should match the size of your reel’s foot. Too large, and the reel may wobble; too small, and it won’t fit.
  • Locking Mechanism: A reliable locking mechanism prevents the reel from shifting or falling off during use.

8. Technique-Specific Rods

When fishing for walleye, technique-specific rods can greatly improve your performance. These rods are tailored for particular techniques such as jigging, trolling, or casting.

There are rods designed specifically for different walleye fishing techniques like jigging, trolling, or casting. Picking a technique-specific rod can enhance your performance

Consider your preferred walleye fishing technique, be it jigging, trolling, or casting, when selecting a technique-specific rod to boost your performance.

  • Jigging rods are typically shorter with a fast action to provide sensitivity and control.
  • Trolling rods are generally longer and more flexible to withstand the continuous pressure from the moving boat.
  • Casting rods are designed with a fast or medium action for greater casting distance and accuracy.

Selecting a rod tailored for your technique allows you to maximize your effectiveness on the water.

Remember, the right rod can make the difference between a successful day of fishing and going home empty-handed.

Now, let’s transition into discussing how brand and price factor into your decision.

9. Brand and Price

When it comes to choosing the best rod for walleye fishing, consider the brand’s reputation for quality and durability.

Yet, don’t ignore your budget, as prices for fishing rods can vary significantly.

Balancing both aspects will ensure you get the best value for your money.

It’s advisable to choose a reputable brand to ensure quality and durability. However, also consider your budget as prices can range widely

You should always prioritize reputable brands when looking for a quality and durable walleye fishing rod, but remember to keep your budget in mind as prices can vary significantly. Brands like Shimano, Fenwick, and St. Croix have proven their reliability over the years.

  • Shimano’s rods are known for their durability and high performance.
  • Fenwick offers a range of rods for both beginners and seasoned anglers.
  • St. Croix rods are a bit pricier but are worth the investment due to their superior quality.

But don’t let price alone guide your decision. A higher price tag doesn’t always equate to better quality. Finding that perfect balance between cost and quality is key.

Now, let’s move onto the topic of warranties.

10. Warranty

It’s crucial to check the warranty period of your chosen walleye fishing rod, as it’s an indicator of the manufacturer’s confidence in their product’s durability and performance. Warranties can vary significantly, ranging from one year to a lifetime.

Below is a simple table comparing the warranties of three popular walleye fishing rods:

St. Croix PremierSCII Carbon5 years
Ugly Stik EliteComposite7 years
Okuma Dead Eye24-ton carbon/E-glass1 year

A good warranty can be a reflection of the manufacturer’s confidence in their product. It’s advisable to opt for a rod with a solid warranty to safeguard your investment

Often, choosing a rod with a robust warranty isn’t just a smart move, but also a reflection of the manufacturer’s faith in their product. Selecting such a rod not only gives you peace of mind but also shows you’re part of a community that values quality and durability.

When selecting your walleye fishing rod, consider the warranty as an essential factor. Here’s why:

  • A good warranty covers repairs or replacements, saving you additional costs.
  • It shows the manufacturer’s confidence in their product’s performance and longevity.
  • A solid warranty is a sign of the manufacturer’s commitment to customer satisfaction.
  • Lastly, it helps safeguard your investment, ensuring you get the most out of your purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Time of Day to Fish for Walleye?

You’ll find the best time to fish for walleye is during dawn and dusk, as they’re most active then. Consider overcast days too, since walleye tend to feed more when it’s less bright.

What Kind of Bait Should Be Used When Fishing for Walleye?

“You know what they say, the right bait catches the best fish. For walleye fishing, you’d want to use live minnows, leeches, or nightcrawlers. They’re irresistible to walleye and can significantly increase your catch rate.”

How Can I Maintain and Care for My Walleye Fishing Rod?

To maintain your walleye fishing rod, clean it after each use with a soft cloth and mild detergent. Regularly check for damage, especially to the line guides. Store it safely to avoid bending or breaking it.

Are There Any Special Fishing Regulations or Limits for Catching Walleye?

Yes, walleye fishing regulations vary by location. You’ll need to check local regulations for bag limits, size restrictions, and seasons. It’s essential to follow these rules to maintain healthy walleye populations.

What Are Some Techniques for Successfully Catching Walleye?

To successfully catch walleye, you’ll need to master a few techniques. Try casting jigs, spinners, and soft baits, or use conventional reels for precision trolling. Keep in mind that walleye are known for light strikes.


So, are you ready to reel in the big one? Choosing the best walleye rod could make all the difference.

Whether you’re considering rod length, power, action, or material, remember that the perfect rod is waiting for you. Think about your technique and your budget, and don’t forget that warranty.

Your walleye fishing adventure is about to get a whole lot more exciting. Stay hooked; the chase is only beginning.

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