Walleye Fishing Rods

Fish with the Right Stick

Anglers are always looking for the ultimate walleye rod. At many seminars anglers will approach me and ask; “What one rod do you prefer when going after walleyes”? I usually tell them that I like at least six different types of walleye rods. More important is that fact that I also team up my rods with reels that provide balance and I think Shimano has the balancing act down to a science.

The problem that many anglers have is they like one or two types of presentation and they continue to purchase rods that will only allow them to do these two types of presentations. For example, how many of you are jig only fisherman? Or how many of you are only trollers for walleyes? If so, you are limiting yourself to the amount of fish that you can catch on any given day. If you make you livelihood fishing, like I do, you can’t afford to stay with one pattern all day long. Fish move, and their activity might decrease so you have to vary your presentation.

The rods that I carry with me are jigging rods, rigging rods, bottom bouncer rods, planner board rods, and slipbobber rods. I prefer the Shimano™ Rods, mainly because they have all the properties in rods that I like and the design of the rods helps me in my own presentations.

The Clarus jigging rods that I carry with me are 6 footers. One of these rods is a medium action rod that allows me to vertically jig breaklines and weedlines. The other rod is the same length, but is a light action rod. This allows me to pitch jigs and with the light tip gives me more of a feel as the jig drops through the fish column. These rods have cork handles for sensitivity and good grip even with wet hands. The reel seat unscrews and allows me to attach Shimano Stradic™ or Stella™ spinning reels and not lose the sensitivity of the cork handles. The material that these rods are made of is high modulus graphite. In fact the jigging, rigging and bottom bouncer rods are all made of graphite.

My Clarus rigging rod is 6’10” and it has an extra fast tip. The last 6 to 20 inches loads up real fast and allows me a super sensitive rod when the walleyes pick-up the live bait. These rods are so sensitive that I can feel the walleye on before it has even lifted the walking sinker off the bottom. Again, the rods have the Portuguese cork handles, for security and sensitivity, and the graphite transmits the lightest touch to the angler's fingertips.

The Shimano Talora/Tekota™ trolling, downrigger, planer board and deadstick rods are longer and are a combination of fiberglass and graphite. They range in lengths of 7’ 0” to 10’ 6”. An angler wants to get the line away from the wake of the boat and into a strike zone where spooky walleyes are when they hear or see a boat approaching. The rod is constructed of a double inner layer of T Glass with an inner and outer spiral of high modulus graphite. This gives the rod more backbone and ability to take the shock from a hooked fish on no stretch line. The handles on these rods are made of EVA foam, because the rod holders have a tendency to tear up the cork handles. The balance with this rod comes when you put on a Calcutta™ or a Catala™ bait casting reel with Dartainium drag and Super Stopper™ features to reel in those monster fish.

My Symitar™ bottom bouncer rods are 6’5” to 7’ 0” in length and are the casting variety. One of the rods has a light tip to be used with finesse bottom bouncers. Using bottom bouncers in 1/2 to 3/4 ounce demands a fast light tip. Again, here I want the most sensitive rod possible. I want to be able to feel the bottom bouncer tick the rock and the stumps on the bottom of the lake. I also want to be able to feel the walleye strike the spinner and have a positive hook set. Again, the balance for this type of presentation will come with the added Calcutta™ in the 250 model.

Last of all are my Compre™ slipbobber rods. The medium action with an extra fast tip in the 7’0” length allows me to fish over even the tightest cover. Plus the rods length gives me a sweeping hookset and springs or loads up fast to allow deep hook penetration. Currently, all these rods are at your local sporting goods store and you can select the proper rod or “tool” for the presentation. But, don't just stick to one rod for all your walleye fishing, you have to remember the balancing act when it comes to being on the water this year.

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