7 Best Walleye Rods of 2023 – Buyer’s Guide

Last updated on August 17th, 2023

Leonard Friedrich

For the best walleye rods, experienced and novice anglers alike should look no further. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced angler, there are certain features to consider when selecting your rod that will make all the difference in your fishing success. From backbone and weight considerations to jigging vs trolling rods for walleye fishing – we’ll cover it all so you can find the perfect rod. Let’s dive into our guide on choosing the best walleye fishing rods today.

If you want to take the shortcut, go for the St. Croix Legend. It doesn’t come cheap but it performed amazingly well during our review process. I particularly like its versatility since it can do it all from jigging for walleye to spinning for walleye. If you want something a little more affordable, make sure to check out the Okuma Fishing Tackle Dead Eye.

Table of Contents:

Best Walleye Fishing Rods Review:
Best Walleye Fishing Rods Review: A walleye caught with a trolling rod

Top 7 Editor Picks

Types of Walleye Rods

Walleye fishing is an enjoyable and rewarding activity for anglers of all levels. To maximize the enjoyment of walleye fishing, having a rod suited to the task is essential. There are different rod types for walleye angling, such as spinning, casting, jigging and trolling rods.

Spinning Rods

Spinning rods are a great choice if you’re looking to cover a lot of water quickly while casting lures like crankbaits or spinnerbaits. These lightweight yet powerful tools feature a fast action tip that allows them to cast long distances with ease. They also offer excellent sensitivity so you can feel even subtle strikes from walleyes in deeper waters.

Casting Rods

Casting rods are ideal when targeting shallow-water walleyes with live bait rigs or bottom bouncers. The longer length gives you more control over where your bait goes and how far away it is from the boat when drifting or trolling along shorelines and weed beds. Plus, these heavy-duty sticks feature strong backbones that will help prevent breakoffs on big fish.

Jigging Rods

Jigging rods provide increased sensitivity due to their shorter length compared to other types of walleye fishing poles – making them perfect for vertical jigging applications like drop shotting open water presentations around structure such as points, humps, reefs etc. Plus they usually come equipped with special guides designed to reduce line twist caused by repetitive jigging motions which helps keep your presentation accurate throughout each retrieve.

Trolling Rods

Trolling rods are essential gear if you’re planning on chasing down migrating trophy sized predators. Most models feature extra long handles, allowing anglers greater control over their spread while still providing plenty of power thanks to their stiffer blanks capable of handling larger baits without sacrificing accuracy during retrieves.

Key Takeaway: Walleye anglers need the right rod for the job, so it’s important to choose from spinning rods for casting lures, casting rods for live bait rigs and bottom bouncers, jigging rods with increased sensitivity or trolling rods with extra long handles. No matter what type of walleye fishing you’re doing, having a quality rod is key to success.

Best Walleye Rods of 2023: Fisherman with walleye in hand
Best Walleye Rods of 2023: Here are the winners

Best Walleye Fishing Rods of 2023

Disclaimer: All products in this article were independently researched and reviewed by our team of experienced anglers. We use so-called affiliate links in this article offered by program such as the amazon associates program. This means that if you click on one of the links provided in this article and end up making a purchase, we might earn a small commission at no extra cost for you. We only recommend products we’ve tested and believe in.

Best Overall: St. Croix Rods Legend

St. Croix Rods Legend
St. Croix Rods Legend


  • Blank made from carbon fiber
  • Smooth cork grip
  • Fuji guide rings
  • Action: different styles from moderate to super fast
  • 15 year warranty

Why we picked it: The St. Croix Rods Legend is a top-of-the-line walleye fishing rod that’s sure to turn heads and make your fellow anglers jealous. This rod has been designed with the serious walleye fisherman in mind, offering an incredible combination of power, sensitivity, and durability.

I like it’s premium look and feel which starts with the SCII graphite blank construction for maximum strength and lightness, as well as a Fuji® ECS reel seat for superior comfort and control when casting or fighting fish. Yes, these components make the St. Croix Rods Legend expensive but it’s worth it in the long run since this rod will last you for years or even decades to come.

When it comes to backbone, this rod has plenty of it! Its fast action provides the perfect balance between power and finesse so you can easily set the hook on even the most stubborn fish without having to worry about breaking your line or losing your catch due to lack of power. Additionally, its moderate weight makes the St. Croix Rods Legend easy to handle all day long without tiring out your arms or shoulders too quickly.

One thing that sets this rod apart from other models is its versatility – whether you prefer jigging or trolling techniques while fishing for walleyes, this one will do both exceptionally well! With its medium heavy power rating (MH), you can easily cast heavier lures further distances while still maintaining good accuracy thanks to its excellent sensitivity ratings; likewise if you prefer trolling with lighter baits then no problem either – just adjust accordingly depending on what type of presentation you’re going after at any given time.

Overall we think the St. Croix Rods Legend is an outstanding choice when it comes to selecting a high quality walleye fishing rod; not only does it offer great performance but also looks fantastic too – making it an ideal option both onshore and off!.

If there was one downside though we would have liked more options in terms of length-power combinations available. But aside from that minor issue everything else about this product is spot on!



Most Exclusive: G. Loomis E6X Walleye Fishing Rod

G. Loomis E6X Walleye Wur Walleye Fishing Rod
G. Loomis E6X Walleye Fishing Rod


  • 1 pc and 2pc options
  • Cork grip
  • Multi taper design
  • Action: fast
  • Made in the USA

Why we picked it: The G. Loomis E6X Walleye is my favorite walleye rod when it comes to durability and longevity. This rod has been designed with the serious walleye fisherman in mind, and it’s packed with features that make it an ideal choice for any angler who wants to up their game.

G. Loomis has been in the business for more than 40 years and they’ve improved and innovated their products time and time again. The G. Loomis E6X Walleye measures between 6.6 feet and 7.6 feet and has a medium-light power rating, making it perfect for trolling or jigging techniques when targeting walleyes.

The clue about the G. Loomis E6X Walleye is its multi-taper design which only G.Loomis uses. It means that the parts of the rod that are most prone to breaking are reinforced whereas other areas are made more lightweight resulting in a powerful, yet very lightweight rod overall. During our test, I’ve found the G. Loomis E6X Walleye to be the most fun to cast. When you pick up this rod you can feel its quality construction right away – there’s no doubt that this is a top-of-the-line piece of equipment built specifically for catching walleyes!

Its combination of strength and sensitivity makes it perfect for both jigging and trolling techniques; whether you’re using live bait or artificial lures, this rod will help you detect even the slightest bite so you don’t miss out on your chance at success. Plus, its light weight means less fatigue after hours spent casting – something every dedicated angler appreciates!

Of course, no fishing rod would be complete without some drawbacks as well – one potential downside here is price point; at more than $250 retail, this isn’t exactly an inexpensive option but if you’re serious about landing trophy sized fish then investing in quality gear like this could be worth every penny!

In conclusion: If money isn’t an issue then we highly recommend giving the G. Loomis E6X Walleye – its combination of strength and sensitivity make it ideal for anyone looking to take their walleye fishing game to new heights! Plus, it’s made in the USA.



Best Budget: Okuma Fishing Tackle Dead Eye

Okuma Fishing Tackle Dead Eye Walleye Rod
Okuma Fishing Tackle Dead Eye


  • Length: 7 ft
  • Split Cork grip
  • 1pc and 2pc versions
  • Stainless steel guide frames and tip
  • Trolling and Jigging models

Why we picked it: The Okuma Fishing Tackle Dead Eye is a great choice for any walleye angler who’s on a budget but does not want to compromise on quality. Despite its comparably low price point, this walleye fishing rod has many of the features of premium rods. The Okuma Fishing Tackle Dead Eye features slow to fast tapers (depending on your preferences) graphite blank, which provides maximum power when fighting large fish while still offering excellent sensitivity and feel for smaller catches.

The lightweight design makes it easy to handle, even in windy conditions or when trolling from a boat. The Okuma Fishing Tackle Dead Eye also has some great features designed specifically for walleye fishing. The backbone is strong enough to handle big fish without sacrificing casting distance or accuracy. All models from this series feature stainless steel guide tips and titanium oxide inserts in the guide rings which I’ve found to increase durability as well as bite detection – which is invaluable when hunting walleyes since their take is often very subtle.

I’m also a big fan of the Okuma Fishing Tackle Dead Eye‘s split handle design which again increase sensitivity when it comes to strike detection.

Overall, if you’re looking for a reliable walleye fishing rod that won’t break the bank but still packs plenty of punch then look no further than the Okuma Fishing Tackle Dead Eye. With its impressive specs and specialized features tailored towards catching those elusive wallies, this rod should definitely be at top of every serious angler’s list!



Best Walleye Jigging Rod: Fenwick Elite Tech

Best Walleye Jigging Rod: Fenwick Elite Tech
Fenwick Elite Tech Walleye Spinning Fishing Rod


  • Only 1pc options
  • Cork grip
  • Titanium frame guides
  • Action: fast
  • Ultra light design

Why we picked it: The Fenwick Elite Tech Walleye is the perfect choice for walleye anglers using the jigging technique as this rod provides the utmost in sensitivity and lightweight. It has been designed with walleye fishing in mind, featuring a medium-fast action and an ultra-sensitive blank that allows you to feel even the slightest nibble. The backbone of this rod is strong enough to handle larger fish while still providing plenty of flexibility when it comes to casting and retrieving lures.

What makes the Fenwick Elite Tech Walleye stand out in my view is its handle design. Cut from one big piece of cork the handle features a continuous design which provides an increased degree of sensitivity. I have to admit that I liked this innovative approach during our tests. Overall, the Fenwick Elite Tech Walleye feels like a high end rod and if you’re looking to fish an ultra light setup for walleye, make sure to take a look at this rod.

Titanium inserts on the guides also add to the premium look and feel and ensure a smooth flow of your line – yet again this increases your chances of success when walleye fishing since it adds another layer of sensitivity to your setup.

To be honest, the only downside – if you want to call it a downside at all – is the fact that the action of the Fenwick Elite Tech Walleye is rather stiff. This can be advantageous on bigger sizes walleye but takes away a little when trying to detect subtle takes and setting the hook on these fish. Nevertheless, the Fenwick Elite Tech Walleye is definitely a rod that I can recommend to any fisherman or woman looking for the best walleye fishing rod.



Best Walleye Trolling Rod: St. Croix Rods Eyecon

Best Walleye Trolling Rod: St. Croix Rods Eyecon
St. Croix Rods Eyecon


  • S-Glass Construction
  • EVA foam grip
  • Fuji TCS reel seat
  • All-black design
  • 5 year warranty

Why we picked it: The St. Croix Rods Eyecon – in my eyes – is the best walleye trolling rod for the buck. Coming in at 8’6″, it has the perfect length for trolling (a little longer than when using the jigging technique) and features a medium-fast action. Made from a single piece of S-Glass, the St. Croix Rods Eyecon boasts a great mix of sensitivity paired with a strong backbone which helps when setting the hook on big walleye and making sure they come to your net safely.

When choosing a walleye rod, one of the most important factors is the backbone strength – this will determine how much pressure your line can take before breaking or bending out of shape. The St. Croix Rods Eyecon offers just the right amount of backbone strength for any type of fishing situation, allowing you to confidently troll in deeper waters where bigger walleyes are likely hiding out.

At 8.9 oz the St. Croix Rods Eyecon is not particularly lightweight which is not crucial when using the trolling technique since you don’t cast your lure but troll it behind the boat. Hence you only have to pick up the rod when you’ve hooked a fish. In that case a little added weight can be an advantage as you’ve got more power to deal with the fish – that’s one of the aspects that make the St.Croix the best walleye trolling rod out there on the market today in my eyes.

Finally, there’s also the issue of durability; no matter how well made your rod may be, if it isn’t built tough enough then all those hours spent on the lake could end up being wasted due to breakage or other damage caused by wear and tear over time – something that won’t happen with this sturdy little St. Croix Rods Eyecon.

With its combination of strength, versatility and affordability – there’s really nothing else quite like it on today’s market if you’re looking for the best walleye trolling rod!



Best Walleye Rod and Reel Combo

If you’re still new to walleye fishing, a great way to find a well working setup for your passion, is to take a look at so called rod and reel combos. These sets include both, a rod and a reel, which match perfectly. That means you don’t have to worry about picking the right reel for you walleye fishing rod. Here are our two favorites for the best walleye rod and reel combos. 

Best Walleye Rod and Reel Combo: Penn Pursuit IV

Best Walleye Rod and Reel Combo: Penn Pursuit Iii & Pursuit Iv
Best Walleye Rod and Reel Combo: Penn Pursuit IV


  • 1 pc
  • Split EVA foam grip
  • 4 stainless steel bearings (on the reel)
  • Material: Graphite
  • Rod Power: Medium

Why we picked it: When it comes to walleye fishing combos, the Penn Pursuit IV is a great choice. This combo offers anglers an ideal combination of power and performance in one package. The rod features graphite composite construction for lightweight strength, while the reel has a smooth drag system that provides consistent pressure throughout your retrieve. It also has an aluminum spool with line capacity rings so you can easily monitor how much line you have left on your reel.

During our test I was surprised about the backbone of the rod on the Penn Pursuit IV set. It’s rated at medium power but that’s definitely on the upper end. The blank itself is designed to be both sensitive and powerful, allowing you to feel even the slightest nibble from a fish without sacrificing any casting distance or accuracy.

The guides are made from stainless steel frames with zirconium inserts which provide maximum durability and corrosion resistance over time as well as increased sensitivity when detecting bites. The weight of this combo makes it easy to handle all day long without fatigue setting in too quickly – something that’s essential if you’re planning on spending hours out on the water trying to catch those elusive walleyes!

Its balance point also helps keep your hands comfortable during longer casts by reducing strain on them due to its light weight design. Additionally, the Penn Pursuit IV‘s ergonomic grip allows for better control over your movements while reeling in those hard-fighting fish!

Overall, you get a lot of value for money in my eyes, considering this combo comes in at under $100 dollars (USD), making it one of most affordable options currently available yet still offering excellent quality components throughout!

So whether you’re just starting out fishing or looking for a reliable setup without breaking the bank, then look no further than the Penn Pursuit IV – guaranteed not disappoint!



Best Walleye Fishing Rods and Reels: Ugly Stik® Spinning Combo

Best walleye fishing rods and reels review: Ugly Stik® Spinning Combo
Ugly Stik® Spinning Combo


  • 2 pc version
  • EVA foam grip
  • Length: 7’6″
  • Action: medium-light
  • 7 year warranty (on the rod)

Why we picked it: The Ugly Stik® Spinning Combo is another excellent option if you’re looking for one of the best walleye fishing rods and reels. This rod and reel combo has the backbone to handle big fish, but also enough sensitivity to detect subtle bites from finicky walleyes.

The lightweight design makes it easy to cast all day without getting tired, while the durable construction ensures you can use this setup season after season. When choosing a rod for walleye fishing, backbone is an important factor. You want something that will have enough power to set the hook and fight larger fish when needed.

The Ugly Stik® Spinning Combo offers plenty of strength in its graphite-fiberglass composite blank construction with stainless steel guides that won’t corrode over time. Weight is another key feature when selecting a walleye rod; too heavy and you’ll tire out quickly, too light and you won’t be able to land bigger fish or feel those subtle bites from smaller ones. This combo strikes just the right balance between weight and strength so anglers can enjoy their time on the water without feeling fatigued by lunchtime!

With its 7-foot length, this spinning combo provides both options depending on what type of presentation you prefer using while targeting these tasty gamefish species!

The only downside on this walleye fishing combo we’ve found during our test, was the reel. It gets the job done but in terms of build quality, it can’t match the rod in this set. If Ugly Stik manage to upgrade the reel a notch this combo would be even better.



Best walleye rod review: A big walleye caught while jigging
Best walleye rod review: A big walleye caught while jigging

Features to Consider When Choosing a Walleye Rod

When selecting a walleye rod, one must consider its backbone strength and flexibility, weight and balance, as well as length and action to ensure the best performance. Backbone strength and flexibility, weight and balance, and length and action all play an important role in determining the performance of a walleye rod.


The backbone of a walleye rod is critical as it determines how much power can be applied when fighting large fish. A strong backbone will provide the angler with enough leverage to fight bigger fish without sacrificing too much sensitivity or responsiveness. Additionally, having some flex in the backbone allows for more control when playing smaller fish while also providing cushioning against shock if they suddenly take off running after being hooked.


Weight plays an important role in any fishing setup since it affects how easy or difficult it is to cast and maneuver your line throughout the day. It’s essential that you find a balanced weight between handle size/length, reel size/weight, blank material type (fiberglass vs graphite), guide type (ceramic vs stainless steel) etc., so that you’re comfortable casting all day long without fatigue setting in prematurely.


Rod length has two main purposes – firstly, longer rods allow for greater distance casts which can be beneficial depending on where you’re fishing; secondly, longer rods offer more leverage when playing larger fish giving them less chance of breaking free from your line during battle. Shorter rods on the other hand often have a stiffer action providing more backbone when playing fish and can also offer an advantage when fishing in tight quarters.


When it comes to walleye fishing, the action of your rod is one of the most important factors to consider. Whether you’re trolling or jigging for walleye, having a rod with the right action can make all the difference between success and failure. As far as action goes, this refers mainly to how fast or slow energy travels along the blank once pressure is applied – fast actions are better suited for jerkbaits whereas slower actions are great for jigging techniques such as vertical jigging or drop shotting.

Key Takeaway: When selecting a walleye rod, take into account elements such as rigidity and flexibility, mass and equilibrium, size and behavior for the most value. Finding an appropriate combination of handle sizelength, reel sizeweight etc., will ensure you can cast comfortably all day long while also having enough power when battling big fish. Ultimately it comes down to selecting a rod that offers distance casting capabilities as well as sufficient leverage for larger species – fast or slow actions depending on the technique being employed.

Walleye Lures
Walleye fishing is a demanding challenge

Tips for Choosing the Right Walleye Fishing Rod for You

To ensure a successful walleye fishing experience, it is important to consider the species and technique when selecting the right rod. Knowing your target species and techniques is essential for making an informed decision. Depending on what type of fish you’re after and the technique you plan to use, different rods will be better suited for success. For example, if you’re targeting smallmouth bass with spinning gear, then a light-action rod would be best as opposed to using a medium-heavy action trolling rod.

The budget and quality needs of each individual angler should also be taken into consideration when selecting the perfect walleye fishing rod. Anglers who are just starting out may want to opt for more affordable options while experienced fishermen may want higher end models with more features such as graphite blanks or specialized guides. Before making a purchase, researching the various brands available can be beneficial in terms of both cost and quality.

Finally, testing out different models before purchasing is one of the most important steps in finding the ideal walleye fishing rod. Trying out several different types at local tackle shops or even borrowing from friends can give anglers a good idea of which ones feel best in their hands and suit their specific needs best. This can also help narrow down choices by eliminating those that don’t work well with particular techniques or lures used for catching walleyes. With these tips in mind, anglers will be equipped with all they need to make an educated purchase when looking for their next walleye fishing rod.

Key Takeaway: As a savvy angler, it’s important to take into account target species and techniques when selecting the perfect walleye fishing rod. Consider budget and quality needs along with researching different brands before testing out various models for comfortability in order to make an informed purchase decision.


When it comes to finding the best walleye rods, there are a lot of features and brands to consider. It is imperative to recognize your angling necessities so as to pick the ideal pole for you. By understanding the different types of rods available, considering key features such as backbone and weight, researching top brands for walleye fishing rods, and taking into account tips that can help narrow down your choices – you will be able to find a great rod that suits all of your walleye fishing needs.

FAQs in Relation to Best Walleye Rods

What rod is best for walleye?

When selecting the ideal rod for walleye fishing, one should consider the size and weight of their bait or lure as well as the desired action they wish to achieve when casting. The type of rod should be based on the size and weight of your bait or lure as well as the desired action you wish to achieve when casting. Generally speaking, a medium-heavy spinning rod is recommended for most situations; however, if you plan on using heavier lures then a heavy power fast action baitcasting rod may be more suitable. It’s essential to be aware that distinct rods will offer various degrees of sensitivity and strength, so make sure you pick the one which is right for your requirements.

How long should a walleye rod be?

The ideal length of a walleye rod depends on the type of fishing you plan to do. For trolling, an 8-9 foot long medium action rod is best for casting crankbaits and other light lures. If you are bottom bouncing or jigging, a 7-7 ½ foot long medium heavy action rod will provide more control when working the lure. When using live bait such as minnows or worms, a 6’6” – 7’0” extra fast action spinning rod will give you better feel and sensitivity when detecting bites from walleyes.

Is a medium-light rod good for walleye?

Yes, a medium-light rod is suitable for walleye fishing. This type of rod provides the perfect balance between sensitivity and power, allowing anglers to feel even light bites from smaller fish while still having enough backbone to land larger specimens. The medium-light action also allows for more accurate casting in areas with limited space or obstructions. With its versatility and performance capabilities, a medium-light rod is an ideal choice when targeting walleye.

Which rod gives the highest accuracy for fishing?

The rod that gives the highest accuracy for fishing depends on a variety of factors, such as the type of fish being targeted, water conditions and technique. Generally speaking, rods with faster action tips provide more accurate casts when targeting smaller species like panfish or trout. Conversely, slower action rods are better suited to larger species like bass due to their increased power and heavier line weights. Ultimately, it is important to match your rod’s action and power level to the size of fish you intend to target in order to maximize accuracy while casting.

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