Walleye Rod Ideas

March 13, 2017 by  

I had a conversation recently with a friend who was new to fishing and wanted to catch walleyes. He’d been watching fishing shows on television and reading articles and going to fishing seminars, and while the information he got from the various outlets was helpful, he was still a bit confused about what rods he would need to effectively chase walleyes. His budget was not endless, so he needed some ideas for getting some rods that were beyond basic, but still reasonable in number and cost. Here is what we came up with.

Fishing rods for an angler can be compared to golf clubs for a golfer. Golfers need several different clubs: one for teeing off, one for putting, one to get you out of the sand, and so forth: certain clubs for certain jobs.

Tim Snyder Walleye

The right rod enabled Tim Snyder to feel this light biting walleye from Kabetogama Lake in northern Minnesota.

Fishing is similar. While you can present a bait better with a rod designed for a particular presentation, you certainly don’t need as many rods to go fishing as you do clubs to go golfing. For most of us, that’s not necessary.

What you need to do is determine how you’ll be fishing for walleyes most of the time. In some regions, pulling planer boards is a popular and productive technique.

In other regions, walleye anglers do more jigging. You don’t want a jig rod for pulling boards, and you don’t want to use a board rod for jigging. You’re not going to be very efficient.

If you’re going to be jigging a lot with jigs ranging from sixteenth to quarter ounce, a medium action seven foot spinning rod would be a good choice. If you think you’ll be using mostly jigs on the lighter end of that range, maybe a medium light action would be better: if you think you’ll be using mostly heavier jigs, go with a medium heavy. For the majority of anglers, a seven foot medium action rod will enable them to jig effectively, and that rod will also be good for live-bait rigging, slip-bobbering, throwing walleye crankbaits, and pulling spinners with light bottom-bouncers. It will be a good all-around rod. As you get more into walleye fishing, you might want to get a rod that will be more appropriate for specific techniques.

Another rod you should consider would be a seven foot medium or medium heavy action casting rod for trolling crankbaits and pulling spinner rigs with heavier bottom bouncers. You could even pull planer boards with this rod. This rod won’t be as versatile as the spinning rod suggested earlier, but it will allow you to do some things more effectively than the mentioned spinning rod would.

As you get more into walleye fishing, you may find that much of your fishing is done with, for example, light jigs in shallow water. At that point you may want to find a rod that is made for that technique, or whatever other technique you might find yourself doing a lot of.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on rods and reels either. The more expensive stuff is usually noticeably better, but mid-range priced rods will do a great job. Cabela’s has an outstanding selection of rods from top to bottom. Their Fish Eagle Series is very nice and priced right. A step or two up would be something in their Walleye Prodigy Series. If you can, go to the store and hold them and shake them to get the best fit for you. Then get a reel on it, spool up, and you’ll be ready to hit the water for walleyes.

To see all the newest episodes of the Fishing the Midwest television series, new fishing related tips, and fishing articles from the past, go to fishingthemidwest.com.


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