Best Walleye Fishing Rods In 2021: Top 7 Reviewed

Kenneth ReavesEdited by: Kenneth Reaves
Michael DarmontReviewed by: Michael Darmont

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall: St Croix Eyecon Spinning Rod (click to see)
“St Croix Eyecon Spinning Rod has the perfect balance between strength for serious anglers. Its lightweight and durable build will make you enjoy endless hours of fishing.”

Best High End: St. Croix Legend Tournament Walleye Rod (click to see)
“If added strength and increased sensitivity is your priority, the Croix Legend is for you. With the premium grade material used for its design, you’ll surely make the most of your time on the water.”

Best Budget Rod: Daiwa Telescopic Accudepth Trolling Rod (click to see)
“The Daiwa Accudepth is designed to increase casting distance and reduce line drag. All top-notch features for a rod that will not make you go out of budget.”

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Walleye fishing is exciting and challenging, and having the right gear during your fishing trip is essential for you to snag one, like a fishing rod designed to catch walleyes.

The best walleye rods are robust yet responsive enough to allow proper lure presentation. The majority of these rods have moderate length, though this can vary from one particular form of walleye fishing to the next.

Sources researched
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Sources researched
Customer reviews
16, 785
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
15
Hours spent testing
Products tested
7
Products tested
Our Ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
St. Croix Rods Eyecon Spinning Rod
St. Croix Rods Legend Tournament Walleye Spinning Rod
Daiwa ACDPB86TMHFB Accudepth Trolling Rod, 8'6" Length, Telescoping, 10-20 lb Line Rate, Medium/Heavy Power, Fast Action
Our Grade
Our Rating 94/100
Our Rating 92/100
Our Rating 90/100
Feature 1
SCII graphite fiber construction for improved durability
Advanced reinforcement technology for added strength
Resilient composite graphite construction
Feature 2
Fuji IPS reel seat for sturdy mounting
IPC tooling technology for increased sensitivity
Aluminum Oxide guides for smooth casting
Best Overall
Our Ranking
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
St. Croix Rods Eyecon Spinning Rod
Our Grade
Our Rating 94/100
Feature 1
SCII graphite fiber construction for improved durability
Feature 2
Fuji IPS reel seat for sturdy mounting
Best High End
Our Ranking
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
St. Croix Rods Legend Tournament Walleye Spinning Rod
Our Grade
Our Rating 92/100
Feature 1
Advanced reinforcement technology for added strength
Feature 2
IPC tooling technology for increased sensitivity
Best Budget Rod
Our Ranking
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Daiwa ACDPB86TMHFB Accudepth Trolling Rod, 8'6" Length, Telescoping, 10-20 lb Line Rate, Medium/Heavy Power, Fast Action
Our Grade
Our Rating 90/100
Feature 1
Resilient composite graphite construction
Feature 2
Aluminum Oxide guides for smooth casting

Best Walleye Rods 2021

  1. Best Overall: St. Croix Eyecon Spinning Rod
  2. Best High End: St. Croix Legend Tournament Walleye Rod
  3. Best Budget Rod: Daiwa Telescopic Accudepth Trolling Rod
  4. Best Telescopic: Tica WMVA Fishing Rod
  5. Most Responsive: Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod
  6. Most Sensitive: Cadence Spinning Rod
  7. Most Durable: Ugly Stik Walleye Round

St. Croix Eyecon Spinning Rod

Best Overall: A rod that quite literally goes the distance

St. Croix Rods Eyecon Spinning Rod
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KEY FEATURES

  • SCII graphite fiber construction for improved durability
  • Fuji IPS reel seat for sturdy mounting 
  • Backed by a five-year warranty

If you are currently searching for a lightweight, yet highly responsive walleye rod, the St. Croix Eyecon Spinning Rod is hard to beat. The Eyecon is constructed from premium SCII graphite fiber with a higher strain weight than most common fibers, thus producing a unique combination of durability and sensitivity.

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The St Croix Eyecon Spinning Rod features Kigan Master Hand 3D guides. This fishing rod also features a Fuji IPS reel seat with an integrated hood for increased protection. Additionally, the Eyecon is treated with two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish. 

A significant number of anglers should also appreciate the Eyecon’s premium handle, which is constructed from premium-grade cork with an EVA trim, for added strength and comfort. This is a feature that should be appreciated by anglers who spend endless hours on the water. Additionally, this walleye rod is backed by a five-year warranty.

St. Croix Legend Tournament Walleye Rod

Best High End: As rich in features as any premium rod on the market

St. Croix Rods Legend Tournament Walleye Spinning Rod
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KEY FEATURES

  • Advanced reinforcement technology for added strength
  • IPC tooling technology for increased sensitivity
  • Features a 15-year transferable warranty

If you are currently searching for a highly durable lightweight walleye rod that should last a lifetime. You will likely find immense favor in the St. Croix Legend Tournament Walleye Rod. This rod is constructed from exotic carbon fibers for added strength in a process known as Advanced Reinforcement Technology (ART).

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The St. Croix Legend Tournament Walleye Rod also features Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) Tooling Technology. It eliminates all transitional points throughout the rod’s length to provide smoother actions, increased strength, and greater sensitivity. This gives anglers the confidence they need to make the most out of their time on the water.

Many anglers should also find favor in the Legend’s Fuji K-Series tangle-free guides, which feature specialized Alconite rings & a corrosion control matte frame. In addition, the St. Croix Legend Tournament Walleye Rod comes backed by a 15 year, transferable warranty.

Daiwa Telescopic Accudepth Trolling Rod

Best Budget Rod: High in quality, not in price

Daiwa ACDPB86TMHFB Accudepth Trolling Rod, 8'6' Length, Telescoping, 10-20 lb Line Rate, Medium/Heavy Power, Fast Action
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KEY FEATURES

  • Resilient composite graphite construction
  • Aluminum Oxide guides for smooth casting
  • Features a telescopic handle

The Daiwa Telescopic Accudepth Trolling Rod should be the perfect fit for those who are looking for a high-quality rod at an economical price point. The Accudepth is engineered with a specialized trolling action and is intended for use by the avid Salmon, Steelhead, and Walleye angler. This fishing rod is constructed from a resilient graphite composite blank, offering superb performance, yet retails for less than the cost of a tank of gas. 

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The Daiwa Telescopic Accudepth Trolling rod also features cut-proof aluminum oxide guides, which dramatically reduce line drag when casting and retrieving one’s line. The use of these frictionless guides also has the potential to increase an angler’s effective casting distance.

Many anglers should also find favor in the Daiwa Telescopic Accudepth Trolling Rod’s air foam handle, which provides all-day comfort during even the lengthiest of outings. In addition, the Accudepth features a graphite trigger reel seat, hook keeper and shortens to a compact 6’7” when telescoped inward.

Tica WMVA Fishing Rod

Best Telescopic: A telescopic walleye rod that any angler could be proud of

TICA WM-VA711XXH2 Tactica Xp Series XXH 7'11' 2 Section, Multi
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KEY FEATURES

  • Constructed of 40T high modulus and graphite for strength
  • FUJI Alconite ring guides for increased sensitivity
  • Two-piece telescopic design for added convenience

The Tica WMVA Fishing Rod should be perfect for any angler who is in search of a rod that is designed to deliver the strength, durability, and sensitivity required to battle the most active bass and walleye. The Tica WMVA is constructed of 40T high modulus and high-density graphite, which features a light, sensitive blank that is pronounced in strength.

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Many anglers are also likely to be fond of the Tica WMVA Bass and Walleye Casting Fishing Rod’s two-part telescopic design. Though many anglers shun the idea of using a telescopic rod for heavy-duty applications, this walleye rod is more than capable of holding its own. 

The Tica WMVA Bass and Walleye Casting Fishing Rod is equipped with FUJI Alconite high-quality ring guides, a unique graphite trigger reel seat, and a stainless steel hook keeper. The Tica WMVA’s cork tape handle is an additional note, which should provide all-day comfort to any angler on the water.

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod

Most Responsive: Equal parts strength and agility

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod 7' - Medium Heavy - 1pc
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KEY FEATURES

  • Graphite and fiberglass construction for enhanced durability
  • Stainless steel 1-piece guides for versatility
  • Clear Tip design improves responsiveness

If you are in the market for a lightweight spinning rod that is also highly durable, then the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod should be worthy of your consideration. This rod’s combination of graphite and fiberglass construction offers the perfect blend of characteristics, making it outwardly responsive yet more challenging than the vast majority of similar rods on the market.

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The Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod also features a stainless steel Ugly Tuff guide, which reduces insert pop-outs, eliminates the need for guide inserts, and can be used with various lines. This should be highly appreciated by those looking for a walleye rod of unsurpassed versatility, strength, and durability.

Also of note is the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod’s Clear Tip design, which delivers added responsiveness and strength. Among the rod’s comfort features are a premium cork fore and rear grip, a non-slip design. This should be appreciated by all who spend countless hours on the water.

Cadence Spinning Rod

Most Sensitive: The sensitivity you need to detect even the lightest of bites

Cadence Fishing CR5 Spinning Rods | 30 Ton Carbon | Fuji Reel Seat | Stainless Steel Guides with SiC Inserts | CR5-661S-MF
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KEY FEATURES

  • 30-ton carbon matrix graphite blank for superior strength
  • Stainless steel guides for smooth operation
  • Two-piece design for easy portability

The Cadence Spinning Rod is likely to be the perfect choice for any angler who is looking for quality performance at a cost-effective price. This rod is constructed from a 30-ton carbon matrix graphite blank, which offers more strength, durability, and sensitivity than the vast majority of comparable rods on the market.

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The Cadence Spinning Fishing Rod features stainless steel guides with SiC inserts,,,, providing a smooth and durable operation. These SiC inserts minimize friction within the guides and prevent binding while also enhancing sensitivity by transferring line vibrations through the rod and to your hand. 

This walleye rod is also offered with two different grips — a carbon split grip and a premium cork/EVA full grip, which are both designed with angler comfort in mind. This is sure to reduce hand and arm fatigue when hitting the water for your next all-day excursion. Additionally, the unique two-piece design of the Cadence Spinning rod allows it to easily fit within one’s car, trunk, or boat hatch.

Ugly Stik Walleye Round

Most Durable: Tougher than nails, yet refined in performance

Ugly Stik USCAWAL762ML/RNDCBO Walleye Round Combo, 7'6'/Medium Light
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KEY FEATURES

  • Graphite and fiberglass composition for ultimate durability
  • Stainless steel guides for increased corrosion resistance
  • Clear Tip design for maximum responsiveness

The Ugly Stik Walleye Round should be ideal for those that are looking for a highly durable rod, which is sure to provide years of service. This rod is constructed of a graphite/fiberglass composition, which is durable yet sensitive to the slightest vibrations. 

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The Ugly Stik Walleye Round Fishing Rod also features corrosion-resistant, double-footed 1-piece stainless steel guides for maximum durability. Additionally, the use of these guides also eliminates concerns regarding guide insert pop-outs. Finally, the clear tip design on the Ugly Stik Walleye Round Rod should also provide any angler with the sensitivity and responsiveness they seek to detect even the lightest of bites. 

Many anglers are also likely to favor the lightweight EVA grips featured on the Ugly Stik Walleye Round Fishing Rod. These grips should help anglers make the most out of their time on the water by reducing hand and arm fatigue. This walleye rod also features a seven-year warranty.


Things To Consider When Buying Walleye Rods

Action

A rod’s initial point of flex is known as its action. Fast action rods flex most notably toward their tip and load rather rapidly. Likewise, slow action rods flex further toward their butt end and take longer to load when placed under strain. A rod’s action plays a pivotal role in determining its range of sensitivity and reflex.

Power

A manufacturer’s designated power rating categorizes a rod’s ability to bear a load. These ratings range from ultralight to heavy, with the latter being more capable of enduring significant stress. However, lighter rods tend to be far more sensitive than heavier alternatives. Light rods are used primarily for jigging or spinning when walleye fishing, while heavier rods are the most popular option for trolling.

1-Piece vs 2-Piece Rod

The vast majority of today’s walleye fishing rods come in one of two different configurations, including 1-piece and 2-piece designs. In general single-piece rods tend to be stronger and more sensitive than 2-piece rods. However, 2-piece rods are far more portable and tend to be a favorite of those who travel extensively from one lake to the next.

Size

Walleye rods come in numerous sizes, depending upon the one’s choice in the application. When jigging or spinning, many anglers prefer rods that measure 6-7 feet in length. However, when trolling, longer rods of 7-9 feet are often favored. Before selecting a rod for purchase, one must first determine the method of fishing that they intend to employ most frequently.


Rod Types To Catch Walleyes

Walleye can be effectively fished for in several different manners. The most popular of these methods include trolling, spinning, and jigging. Each of these tactics can prove highly effective when utilized under ideal conditions. However, one must also pair their rod of choice to match their tactic of choice.

Trolling Rod For Walleye

Trolling rods tend to be of greater length than other walleye rods and often measure 7-9 feet. Rods of this type also tend to be heavier in power and action than their spinning and jigging counterparts. Therefore, most consider a medium or heavy rod, with a medium action ideal for use when trolling for walleye.

Spinning Rod For Walleye

Many anglers choose to fish for walleye with spinning tackle in much the same way as one would fish with the same equipment for bass, crappie, or sunfish. When employing this method, most anglers select a rod 6-7 feet in length and is of medium power. However, some anglers opt to use an ultralight rod to optimize their enjoyment when fighting an aggressive walleye to the bank.

Jigging Rod For Walleye

When walleye are suspended at various depths, many anglers turn to vertical jigging as their method of choice. When jigging, an angler drops a spoon or similar lure to the depth at which walleye are expected to be holding, thereby attempting to entice a bite. Fishing of this type is most commonly conducted with light to an ultralight rod in a bid to increase sensitivity. Most jigging poles measure 6-7 feet in length.


Tips to Landing More Walleyes

The following are several helpful pointers to assist you in landing more walleye than you might have ever thought possible.

Vary Your Depth

When trolling for walleye, it is extremely important to cover a wide range of depths, in order to maximize your chances of success. Many anglers concentrate on working the bottom of any lake. However, by doing so, these same anglers often miss any suspended walleye that are found higher in the water column. By varying the depth at which your lure is presented, you stand a better chance of capitalizing upon any available opportunity.

The Night Bite

Walleye are notorious for their sensitivity to light. This condition forces walleye to dive to deeper depths during daylight hours. However, at night, walleye move into the shallows, in a bid to feed in the most opportunistic of ways. Savvy anglers have learned to take advantage of this fact, by fishing after the sun has sunk below the horizon, and walleye have graduated into the shallows.

Make Necessary Changes

Walleye are known for their finicky behavior, in regards to an angler’s bait or lure choice. While a lure of one particular color might perform flawlessly one day, it can fall flat the next. One must stay vigilant when attempting to determine which lure to throw on a given day. If success has proven difficult to come by, do not hesitate to change up your approach.              

The Sonar Advantage

Modern fish finders have revolutionized the way that anglers seek out walleye. One can now study their sonar, in a bid to locate walleye that are staging at various depths below. If you are unsure as to where to begin the day’s walleye fishing excursion, consulting your sonar can be a wonderful place to start. Begin scanning drop-offs and points that feature nearby structures, in order to locate potential honey holes.      


Conclusion

Walleye fishing is a favorite pursuit of many anglers, and for a good reason. These hearty fish can be pretty enjoyable to catch and are known as some of the finest freshwater table fares to be found. However, walleye fishing success, or a lack thereof, often comes down to an angler’s choice in rods.