7 Best Walleye Trolling Rods ( Top Picks for 2021)

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If you are targeting the largest Walleye, you need to have a good trolling rod. Walleyes are known for their light bites, and if you are not careful, you could miss them. Going out fishing and coming back without a catch can be quite frustrating. Sensitivity is one of the main considerations when choosing a walleye rod.  Other than sensitivity, it would help if you also had a rod that could withstand the pressure and strain involved with Walleye fishing. For this reason, we have reviewed the best Walleye trolling rods.

Here are the list of Top 7 Walleye Trolling Rods for The Money . If you are in a hurry, you may choose your desired one from it.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Okuma Classic Pro GLT & RodsOkuma Classic Pro GLT & Rods
  • Action : Medium
  • Power : Medium
  • Length : 8' 6"
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Fenwick Eagle Telescopic Trolling RodFenwick Eagle Telescopic Trolling Rod
  • Types : Spinning
  • Power : Medium
  • Length : 8' 6"
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St. Croix Eyecon Trolling Fishing RodSt. Croix Eyecon Trolling Fishing Rod
  • Action : Moderate
  • Power : Medium
  • Length : 7'
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Our Top Pick
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod
  • Types : Spinning
  • Power : Medium
  • Length : 7'
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Lew’s Speed Stick Telescopic Walleye Trolling RodLew’s Speed Stick Telescopic Walleye Trolling Rod
  • Action : Moderate
  • Power : Medium
  • Length : 8' 6"
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Daiwa RG Walleye Freshwater Casting RodDaiwa RG Walleye Freshwater Casting Rod
  • Types : Casting
  • Power : Medium/Heavy
  • Length : 7' 6"
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Shimano Compre Walleye Spinning Freshwater RodsShimano Compre Walleye Spinning Freshwater Rods
  • Action : Extra Fast
  • Power : Medium
  • Length : 7' 6"
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Okuma Classic Pro GLT & Rods

The Okuma Classic rod is undoubtedly the best budget trolling rod for Walleye as it only goes for 29 dollars. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced angler, you can be assured that this rod will not disappoint. This rod ranges between 7’6″ to 8’6″ depending on the series, so you can easily make long casts. It is made with the highest quality materials for improved durability.

These rods feature a glass fiber blank construction. Therefore, you can be assured of the rods’ quality and durability. In addition to this, it also maintains impeccable strength. Additionally, it comes with stainless steel hooded reel seats with graphite cushion inserts and stainless steel double foot guides with titanium oxide inserts.

The rod also features a durable shrink tube EVA Butt that makes it easy to disengage it with the rod holder. To top it up, there is a tip over the Butt ferrule connection that helps improve the rod’s strength giving it the power to fight different species.

Pros

  • Glass fiber blank construction
  • High sensitivity
  • Very comfortable with great action

Cons

  • The fitting of the rod section is a little loose.

Fenwick Eagle Telescopic Trolling Fishing Rod

The Fenwick Telescopic trolling rod is one of the best trolling rods you can own.  Its strength and impeccable performance make it stand out from other rods. Unlike most fiberglass rods, this rod is pure graphite giving you unparalleled performance while maintaining little weight. Additionally, it consists of stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts that maintain accurate and precise casts.

The Fenwick Eagle series rod’s length range is between 7’10” to 8’6”, making it ideal for Walleye trolling. The rod also comes with a premium cork handle with TAC grips that maintains a firm grip and maximum comfort. Additionally, the rod comes with a small reel seat and blank construction, which improves the rod’s sensitivity to transfer even the tiniest bites.

Pros

  • Lightweight and highly sensitive
  • Comfortable handle
  • Sturdy construction

Cons

  • The warranty is limited

St. Croix Eyecon Trolling Fishing Rod

St Croix Eyecon trolling fishing rod stands out for its quality construction and five-year transferrable warranty. It is also preferred for the amazing performance in moderate actions with only 10 to 20lbs. This rod is 7 inches long with unmatched performance for Walleye trolling. Its construction is 100% Linear S-glass construction with high modulus and more dynamic compared to the subsequent rods.

Additionally, this rod comes with IPC tooling and ART tooling. The IPC tooling enhances smooth action and increases the rod’s sensitivity, while the ART tooling provides greater strength in hook settings, making it easy to battle different fish species.

For easier handling and improved comfort, this rod is powered with a premium-grade EVA handle. Additionally, it features Kigan Master Hand 3D guides with slim, strong aluminum-oxide rings with black frames and a Fuji TCS reel seat with a black hood. With these features, you can be assured of unparalleled strength and impeccable performance.

Pros

  • Five years transferrable warranty
  • Superior technology
  • Increased sensitivity and better action

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning rods are unmatched for their performance and lightness. Their length range is from 5’6″ to 7′.

This range provides application from ultralight to medium-heavy power. Here we will be focusing on the 7′ rod.

Unlike other rods made of graphite or fiberglass, this 7’ rod is a combination of graphite and fiberglass construction. This combination enhances the rod’s strength, sensitivity, and lightness. It also features stainless Ugly Tuff Stainless steel guides that enhance maximum durability and eliminate insert pop-outs.

Additionally, the rod features a premium cork grip handle that gives you comfort and a tight grip, especially when battling fish. Also, the Xposed blank style reel seats come with cushioned stainless steel hoods for increased durability.

Pros

  • Comfortable handle
  • High strength and sensitivity
  • Sturdy construction

Cons

  • The guides feel a little soft

Lew’s Speed Stick Telescopic Walleye Trolling Rod

This rod was specifically built for Walleye trolling. Every angler will enjoy fishing with this rod. Its performance is unmatched, plus the sturdy construction. The rod features premium IM8 graphite blanks and  Lew’s exclusive graphite skeletal reel seats that maintain the rod lightness while ensuring its strength and durability.

This rod makes it easy to remove the rod holder as it comes with a shrink tubing grip. Additionally, it features a full-length cork grip handle with duracork inlays, ensuring all-day comfort while maintaining a powerful grip.

The 8’6” length is perfect as it keeps the line between the rod tip and planner board above the water, making it excel in Walleye trolling. The Fuji Concept O guides with pressed Aluminum oxide inserts improve the durability and performance of the rod.

Pros

  • Shrink tubing grip
  • Lightweight and highly sensitive
  • Fuji guides with aluminum oxide inserts for improved durability

Cons

  • The warranty is limited

Daiwa RG Walleye Freshwater Casting Rod

This fishing rod consists of a GLATECH construction, meaning it’s a fiberglass composite rod combined with graphite material. The combination of these materials renders the rod strong and lightweight.

The 7’6” rod is perfect for medium-heavy power and Extra fast action application, especially in freshwaters. It features exclusive  SVG graphite black and reel seats that enhance the rod’s durability. In addition to this, it comes with a unique handle that is a mix of natural cork and EVA making it highly durable at the same time increasing the angler’s comfort.

Other additional features include a power lift triangular foregrip, X-tube rear grip, and a hook keeper. These features are meant to improve the functionality of the rod and increase the angler’s satisfaction.

Pros

  • The rod is quite affordable
  • Comfortable and strong handle
  • Power lift triangular fore grip and X-tube rear grip

Cons

  • Limited one year warranty

Shimano Compre Walleye Spinning Freshwater Rods

Shimano products have remained the anglers’ favorite products. Shimano Compre Walleye is no exception and is the best freshwater trolling rod. These rods are specifically built for Walleye anglers. Their weight range is 5’6″ to 7’6″, offering Extra fast action and medium to medium-heavy power. Here we will be focusing on the 6’ rod.

This rod features Fuji reel seats with Sea guide Zirconia guides that helps ensure maximum durability. They are designed with a sensitive tip so that you can feel even the tiniest bites and movements. Additionally, they feature full AA cork handles that maintain a solid grip while enhancing maximum comfort.

Pros

  • Sensitive Tip
  • Full AA cork Handles
  • Zirconium guides

Cons

  • It is a little expensive

Best Trolling Rod and Reel Combo for Walleye

When targeting Walleye, you need a perfect match of your rod and reel. Imagine how many fish you’ll miss if the reel and rod you are using are not compatible? You do not need the most expensive fishing combo. On the contrary, you will find affordable and high-performing rods and reels.

I would recommend a 6’6″ medium-fast action rod paired with a 35 reel if you are a beginner. A size 30 reel also works perfectly, especially where sensitivity is paramount. As you gain experience in Walleye fishing, you can upgrade to using a longer rod and bigger reels depending on your liking.

Penn Squall 30 Level Wind Fishing Rod and Trolling fish combo is a favorite for me. This fishing combo is light, sturdy, and quite smooth. Okuma Great Lakes Trolling Combos are perfect for anglers looking for bigger combos with impeccable strength and sensitivity.

What Makes a Good Walleye Trolling Rod?

Without the right guidance and knowledge, you will probably end up with a poor-quality walleye trolling rod or the wrong-sized rod. So, before you purchase your rod, make sure you are getting the best rod for your money. Below are some of the factors to look for in a Walleye trolling rod.

Action

The best action for Walleye trolling rods is moderate action. Moderate action rods allow the blank to bend to the middle of the rod. Therefore, they give the rod enough flexibility so you can cushion the load on your tackle from fighting big Walleye.

Power

When picking the power of your Walleye trolling rod, you need to determine where you will be fishing from and the size of Walleye you are eyeing. A medium or medium-heavy power rod gives you enough backbone, especially under strain. However, when flat line trolling, you can choose a medium-light rod as it’s more sensitive and lets you feel the Walleye better.

Material

Walleye trolling rods come in different materials. The most common materials are carbon fiber and graphite. Initially, people were more accustomed to using Fiberglass material. This material is durable and also very flexible. This material makes it possible to pull planner boards in rough water and fight Walleye without experiencing any breakages. Graphite and E-glass materials, on the other hand, have gained popularity in the recent past because Walleye do not put up a vigorous fight. Therefore, manufacturers are coming up with purely graphite rods and also a mix of graphite and fiberglass.

Length

The choice of a rod’s length is quite relative to every angler. For Walleye trolling, the rod’s length will be determined by your setup. While flatlining, you can choose to work with both short and long rods. 5 to 6′ rods can be used with the innermost lines, and 8 to 12′ rods can be used with the outer lines. However, if you plan on using the planer boards, longer rods at least 8′ long work perfectly.

Rod Handle and blanks

The rods handles and blanks ensure your success while fishing and maintains your comfort. Blanks are made of graphite and fiberglass. When choosing the handle, comfort should be the first thing you consider. When choosing blanks, consider their material and weight. Graphite is lighter, while fiberglass is stronger.

How to Set up Walleye Trolling Rods

Setting up Walleye trolling rods should not be a complicated ordeal. Setting up and fishing will be fun and easy with a rod with the right length, power, and action. Below is the setup process.

  • First, you need to ensure you have the right gear. This trolling equipment includes trolling rods, line counter reels, monofilament lines, rod holders, plane boards, and lures.
  • Make sure your rod falls within the 6 to 9′ range and offers medium to medium-heavy power and moderate action.
  • Determine the number of rods you need. If you go for four rods, take two long rods and two short rods.
  • Keep the long line in the long rods and spread two big rods around the boat. Hence, the long rods will be on the outside and the short rods on the inside.

Care and Maintenance of Walleye Trolling Rods

To improve the longevity of a rod. You need to take good care of them. Walleye trolling rods are no exception. Care and maintenance are essential to ensure their durability and safety.

The first step you ought to take in their care and maintenance is cleaning the rods. When cleaning the rod, first, make sure to secure or remove your line.  Then, avoid using petroleum products or very strong detergents when cleaning reel parts.

After cleaning the rod, make sure to grease your gear. However, it would help if you were careful not to over-grease the rod and the different parts.

Thirdly, get it checked regularly and in case of any damage. Most rods will come with warranties. Make use of these warranties and let the Walleye trolling rod get checked by professionals.

Final Impression

When purchasing a Walleye trolling rod, you do not have to spend a fortune. With the many brands available, you can easily get an affordable rod that offers superior performance. Anglers have different preferences in rod length, materials, and components. Therefore it’s not possible to dictate which rod is best. Go with the rod that gives the best results for you.

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