River Walleye Fishing

 5 Tips on Selecting Walleye Fishing Rods

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Which Walleye Fishing Rods are the best?

Fact: Talk to 10 different walleye fisherman and you'll probably get 10 different answers.
Fact:  Those same 10 walleye fisherman will tell you to get the walleye fishing rods that best matches your type of fishing.  

So, what is the best walleye fishing rod?  Use these tips on selecting the walleye fishing rods that best fit your needs especially the price tag.  If you are looking for more technical stuff, I would say visit this link for a somewhat technical breakdown on walleye fishing rods.

Tips on Selecting Walleye Fishing Rods:

1.  Length

2.  Action

3.  Feel

4. Price

5.  Demo Partner Rod

6.  Guess

walleye fishing rod


As you can imagine you've probably seen a lot of different fisherman catch walleye using the cheapest rods in the world and you've seen fish caught on the most expensive.  What differentiates these people are the fisherman who use the expensive rods are usually avid fisherman who have a lot of experience and need that extra feel that tells them when a fish is biting.

When it comes to river fishing for walleye, you need a little strength in the rod. Most walleye fisherman on the Columbia river are either jig fishing or trolling bottom bouncers and worm harnesses.


I personally like to use 6' 6" walleye rods or longer.  My bottom bouncer rod is 7' 6", has great tip action and a solid base.  It is graphite and that is all I will use.  When I go to jig fishing I like to use a medium light action rod but plenty of my friends are medium to medium heavy.  They also tend to use shorter rods in the 6' range.

The reason I use the medium light action rod for jigging on the river is because many times you are jigging behind the dams where the current is slow.  I treat fishing behind dams much like lake fishing because it truly is lake fishing.  That is why I go small and light.


I like x-fast action tips. I want the hook setting on the tip because in the summer these fish will bite light and a simple quick set with your wrist is all it takes to set the hook.  Many times you can pull the hook right out of them and that's no fun.  I don't need a deep set that a medium action tip will provide because I am a finess type fisherman even with warm harnesses.

My tip action when crankbait fishing is not x-fast but rather medium because with all those hooks in their mouth I need a delayed reaction.  Again, this is my style based on years of experience and knowing my strengths and weaknesses.


A lot of people will pick up a walleye fishing rod and notice how light the darn thing is. Heck, most rods are really like because there is no reel attached to it.  The best tip I can give you on selection walleye fishing rods is to mount a reel on the rod you are testing because it will give you a better idea of how it will feel on the river.  My line of thinking is: "when was the last time you went fishing with just a rod"?

Feel for the balance of your rod with a reel attached.  Wiggle the tip, put the tip on a wall and bend it, hold the rod in the same position you will be fishing with it.  Have someone touch the tip, tap the tip and other movements to get a positive feel for how it will react on the river or lake.


Serious walleye fisherman want a quality rod backed by a quality guarantee.  Many walleye fisherman are American born and breed.  I do like to support American made products (hard to find sometimes) but it all will boil down to what will work, what is cheapest and still work.

I love my St Croix rods and would never trade them in.  I do own many other brands but I find myself always taking my Avid rods on any trip whether it's walleye, bass or steelhead.  Salmon fishing I have been using Lamiglass for 30 years and it's hard to leave that rod behind.  I never do.

A good walleye fishing rod will cost a few dollars.  $100 walleye fishing rods are good rods but they won't help you catch more fish if you don't know what you are doing.  $50 bass pro or cabela rods are good rods but they won't help you catch more walleye if you don't know what you are doing.

It's kind of like the beginning golfer who goes out and purchases $1000 clubs and can't hit the stupid ball to save their life.  Same with fishing, a $300 rod will do you know good unless you know how and where to fish for walleye.

I've seen the trend where guys will purchase the cheap rods and when they get a hang for it, will then step up into the more expensive rods because they want a certain feel.  That is my advice to you.  Start fishing and then as you get better, understand the type of fishing you will be doing, then match the rods to your presentations.

5.  Go fishing and have fun:

You could be like me, have all the equipment in the world and you can't go fishing because your house burnt down in January and the boat is blocked from use because all the contractors crap is sitting in front of it.  

My sanctuary is the river and that is where I find peace and harmony.  I long for the day I can get back on the river but first we need to get our house re-built.  If I wasn't doing a lot of the work, I would be on the river just to forget what happened.

My advice to you: get on the river as often as possible and build your walleye experiences.  So stop reading and get fishing.  You'll never land a fish sitting in front of the monitor but you can gain wisdom to help you on your next trip.  We have a lot of information on this site to help you catch more walleye, use it and good luck.


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 tips on selecting walleye fishing rods