Best Walleye Fishing Rods of 2019: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

By Richard | Fishing Rod Reviews

best walleye fishing rods
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A timeless joy, fishing is something most people encounter in their childhoods, making it both a competitive and nostalgic sport. As experienced anglers will tell you, a great fishing challenge involves patience and experimentation.

On the lookout for one? Well, walleye fish are some of the hardest ones out there. As they have a soft bite, walleyes require you to get the best walleye fishing rods on the market. It’s very hard to detect when the walleye bites. Consequently, you need more in-depth equipment at your side.

Comparison Chart

St. Croix Eyecon Spinning Rod

Fenwick Elite Tech Walleye Spinning Fishing Rod

KastKing WideEye Walleye Fishing Rod

KastKing Crixus Fishing Rod

KastKing Brutus Fishing Rod

Best Walleye Fishing Rod Reviews

1. St Croix Eyecon Spinning Rod

In business since before 1977, St Croix is a fishing rod company based in Park Falls, Wisconsin. The company sells all sorts of fishing equipment, including rods for both salt and freshwater, rod shoppers, fishing apparel, and accessories, such as tumblers, croakies, waterproof backpacks, and decals.

Product Highlights

Available in gold dust and green metallic, the St Croix Eyecon Spinning Rod has product-type rods with aluminum-oxide rings and black frames. These make them resistant to water and rust.

Moreover, the rods come with Kigan Master Hand 3D guides, as well as a mid-modulus graphite fiber reel. The best part is the split-grip cork handle with EVA trim, which gives you faster action.

What's to like about the St Croix Eyecon Spinning Rod

The St Croix Eyecon Spinning Rod is a spectacular rod for walleye fishing. The guides make it easier to cast the reel (particularly for beginners). Speaking of, the graphite fiber of the reel gives you a higher strain rate than other spinning rods.

The cork handle is precisely what makes the St Croix Eyecon a dependable and durable spinning rod. As mentioned, this product is a good walleye fishing as it is both lightweight and easy to use.

What's not to like about the St Croix Eyecon Spinning Rod

The guides aren’t as aligned as they should be, making it difficult to throw the reel in, particularly for inexperienced anglers. Experienced anglers shouldn’t have too much trouble handling this rod, though.

PROS

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    Comes in several sizes
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    Good rod power
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    Premium construction quality
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    Warranty available

CONS

  • The price is a bit high
  • The rod leans a little to the left

2. Fenwicks Elite Tech Walleye Spinning Fishing Rod

Established in 1952 in Kent, Washington, Fenwicks has a rich history within the global fishing community. The company manufactures high-quality fishing rods for spinning, ice fishing, and jegging. It even sells travel rods and flying rods, including rod combos, lines, and terminal tackles.

Product Highlights

The Fenwicks Elite Tech Walleye rods have a hidden handle design, which allows you to fish without feeling the “threads” like in traditional fishing rods. The guides are made with titanium frames, making them highly durable and prone to rust, even in a saltwater environment.

Also, another cool feature is the TAC on the cork handle, which is highly slip-resistant. Lastly, the Fenwicks Elite Tech is specifically for light and ultra-light fishing applications, making it a good choice for walleye fishing.

What's to like about the Fenwicks Elite Tech Walleye Spinning Fishing Rod

With the hidden handle design, anglers get a more functional and lightweight spinning fishing rod. Since you don’t feel the threads, your fishing experience is much more comfortable.

If you’re an experienced fisher, then you know how hard it is to keep your grip on the reel once it’s gotten wet. The TAC cork handle solves this problem by giving you more friction and more edge.

Additionally, since it has light and ultra-light rods, the Fenwicks Elite Tech is more sensitive to bites, making it ideal for spin fishing, as well. The light rods also give you more versatility.

What's not to like about the Fenwicks Elite Tech Walleye Spinning Fishing Rod

The eyelet and cork handle tends to loosen, needing to be glued in place. This can be quite annoying, but it is an easy fix. Then again, if it keeps happening, you can always contact the company’s customer service.

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PROS

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    Comes in 11 different sizes
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    Relatively affordable
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    Fast action
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    Multi-functional

CONS

  • The mount cork is not glued in place
  • Slow customer service

3. KastKing WideEye Walleye Fishing Rods

Looking for something innovative and high tech? KastKing, a company based in upstate New York, provides only the best fishing lines and reels made with their specialized SPT banks.

On the market since 2011, KastKing product designs are award-winning and recognized in the global community. The KastKing WideEye Walleye Fishing Rod is just one example of their high-quality fishing equipment.

Product Highlights

This rod has a highly sensitive Toray IM9 and a 64 million modulus graphite blank. Moreover, the 3A cork handle adds to the sensitivity of the rod, and the cork has an EVA fighting foregrip and butt.

In the KastKing WideEye series, you’ll find more than 13 different lengths, actions, and models. Therefore, you can buy one that specifically caters to your fishing technique, whether that is jigging, rigging, or trolling.

As mentioned, KastKing products utilize Soloscopic Performance Technology (SPT) banks. The KastKing WideEye Walleye is no exception, coming with one-piece telescopic rod models.

What's to like about the KastKing WideEye Walleye Fishing Rods

As mentioned, it is highly sensitive, with both the graphite blank and cork handle allowing you to feel the slightest tug to your reel. The cork is very lightweight, but at the same time, it works to give you more strength and friction.

Lastly, the SPT and one-piece telescopic model improve line performance and deliver a full-length transition.

What's not to like about the KastKing WideEye Walleye Fishing Rods

You need to be careful of the tip. It may need replacing after a few months of use, particularly if you’re fishing for larger fish.

PROS

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    Perfect for walleye fishing as well as bass fishing
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    Very versatile
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    Extremely light
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    Great handle

CONS

  • Some quality control issues
  • The taper is a bit flat

4. KastKing Crixus Fishing Rods

The KastKing Crixus Fishing Rods are high-performance graphite fishing rods. This makes them ideal for walleye fishing trips.

KastKing likes to create innovative yet environmentally friendly products that enhance your fishing experiences. Therefore, the KastKing Crixus, like many of their products, is made with biodegradable reels.

Product Highlights

The Crixus handles have a specialized compound called the SuperPolymer, which gives you enhanced grip and durability in all types of fishing conditions. You can use the KastKing Crixus for both freshwater and saltwater fishing trips.

Depending on the power, action, and length you get, these rods are good for any fishing conditions. You’re not limited to walleye with these rods as they can also reel in catfish, salmon, trout, bass, panfish, and crappie.

Additionally, the guide frames are stainless-steel with external zirconium oxide rings. Moreover, the fishing lines are made with fluorocarbon monofilament.

What's to like about the KastKing Crixus Fishing Rods

The Crixus is ideal for spinning and casting fishing styles. If you need something with high slip-resistance, this is the walleye fishing rod for you.

One of the best things about the KastKing Crixus is that it’s easy to store and transport. The Crixus have two pieces (as opposed to one), which are easy to fold.

What's not to like about the KastKing Crixus Fishing Rods

This isn’t a good fishing rod for trolling because it is too light for the pressure needed for trolling. Moreover, the line would break in too deep waters (typically needed for trolling).

PROS

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    Very sturdy
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    Durable and long-lasting construction
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    Great value for money
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    Good for both beginners and experienced fishers

CONS

  • The line is a bit heavy for inexperienced users
  • The end eyelet needs improvement

5. KastKing Brutus Spinning Rods

Last but not least, the KastKing Brutus Spinning Rods are one of KastKings most popular products. As the name implies, this walleye spinning rod is designed for the toughest of fishing conditions. If you’re interested in something tough yet efficient, the KastKing Brutus may be the one for you.

Product Highlights

The rod itself is made of Brute Tuff Composite Glass and carbon fiber. Moreover, it has a Strike Tip, so you can detect your target even with limited visibility.

The KastKing Brutus also has full-length EVA handles with extra cushioning and crack-resistance for cold weather. This not only adds to the durability of the rods but also gives you more grip and sturdiness over the reel. If you’re planning an ice-fishing trip, the KastKing Brutus is a handy and reliable tool to have with you.

What's to like about the KastKing Brutus Spinning Rods

The tough construction makes the fishing rod incredibly strong and sturdy. Consequently, you can use this rod in tough weather conditions (such as rain or snow), with strong fish, and in low-light conditions. Consequently, if you’re reeling in a large fish, you don’t have to worry about slipping.

What's not to like about the KastKing Brutus Spinning Rods

Line guides are a bit off-center, making it a bit uncomfortable for anglers to reel in fish. The guides bend a little to the left, giving you more resistance. This is fixable, though. Simply contact customer service, and they’ll help you out.

PROS

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    22 different spinning and casting models
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    Comfortable to use
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    Flexible reel
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    Moderate, moderate-fast, and fast actions are available

CONS

  • A bit heavy for smaller anglers (like children)
  • Joints are not properly fitted

BUYER'S GUIDE

Don’t know much about choosing fishing rods? Luckily for you, we’ve listed everything you need to know in this buying guide. The smart thing to do before any purchase is to look at a buying guide.

If you’re completely new to fishing, it’s always best to seek out advice from professionals. So, what are the criteria for choosing the top walleye fishing rods?

1. Types of Walleye Fishing Rods

Firstly, let’s start with the types of walleye fishing rods. You must know what fishing technique you’ll be using as different rods are made for different techniques.

With walleye fishing, most people use spinning rods, as they’re more versatile and easier to handle. However, the technique depends on preference, environmental conditions, and the overall experience of the angler.

  • Trolling

For starters, trolling is a popular fishing method. Trolling for walleye means to draw one or more fishing lines (with bait) through the water. You usually move the line either through a moving boat or by slowly twisting it from a fixed position.

Trolling usually requires a heavier setup than other fishing styles. This is because, if you’re trolling for walleye, you’re putting more pressure on your fishing gear, particularly your planer boards and core line. You need the line to go deep down the water, so you need to use something with medium or heavy power.

Also, a trolling rod has moderate-fast to fast action. Consequently, heavier spinning rods like the KastKing Brutus are also good for trolling. However, getting a rod specifically for trolling is ideal.

  • Jigging

Secondly, we have jigging, which is an easy fishing technique for beginners. In contrast to trolling, jigging simply means to fish with a jig. Jigs are a type of rod, which consists of a lead sinker and hook.

Jigging rods are more sensitive to the movement of the fish, so you’re more attuned to what’s happening down under. If you’re specifically looking for jigging rods, they’re generally short. For jigging, light-powered or medium-powered rods work best.

Additionally, jigging rods have lighter tackle, which makes them more sensitive. Consequently, smaller jigs, which are even lighter, give you the most sensitive fishing experience.

  • Spinning

Lastly, spinning rods are the most multi-functional and common fishing methods. Spin fishing means to use a spinning lure or bait to tempt a fish to bite. You can use the spinning method in all fishing conditions: freshwater or saltwater.

While trolling rods are heavy and jigging rods are lightweight, spinning rods sit in the middle. Spinning rods have moderate to fast action and light or medium-light power. Additionally, a good spinning rod will have either an ultra-light or medium-light setup. Don’t go for anything too light.

As mentioned, spinning rods are multi-functional, which means that you can use them for many different baits. For example, you can use light bait, such as Rapala’s, as well as heavy bait, such as crank balls.

As all anglers know, the type of bait you use depends on where and what you’re fishing. For walleye, heavier bait is ideal. Therefore, a decent spinning rod is a must-have in any serious angler’s toolbox.

2. Length

Walleye fishing rods should generally be between six and seven feet in length. The length of the rod isn’t as important as other factors, but it does make things easier for the angler.

For example, if you’re taking your children fishing, a small to medium length will help them grip the rod more easily. For adult anglers, a nice six-foot rod gives you more sturdiness and a fast tip.

If you’re looking for more strength, you can get a longer rod. However, with walleye fishing, a medium-length rod is enough.

3. Line Weight

The line weight is very important for walleye fishing. Line weight is directly related to the rod’s power. With a higher line weight, you have more flexibility and more power. Usually, the line weight ranges from four to 12 pounds.

If you’re jigging or trolling, in particular, a higher line weight is ideal. Get one that’s between eight to 12 pounds. Walleye are strong fish, so to counter their strength, you need something equally durable and strong.

4. Power

Don’t look at line weight alone. As mentioned, line weight correlates with power, so you need to check both before purchasing. Power, in fishing, means the amount of pressure an angler has to put in to make the rod flex. Needless to say, high-powered rods are more difficult to handle than low-powered ones.

Most fishing companies classify power as either light, medium, or heavy. For walleye fishing, the rod power shouldn’t exceed medium. For jigging rods, the power should be either light or medium. Alternatively, for spinning rods, the rod should be medium-heavy.

5. Action

Action means how well your fishing rod can bend and return to its original shape. For walleye fishing, the action is particularly important because the fish is so strong. You need to throw the reel in deep.

Fast or very fast action rods are perfect for walleye fishing. A fast action rod bends at the tip, so the walleye’s soft bite is more detectable in this way. However, if you’re trolling for walleye, you may need something less flexible. Consequently, you should get a low-fast action rod.

6. Strength

Lastly, when buying a walleye fishing rod, you need to look at strength or durability. A strong, sturdy construction comes under good durability. If you’re buying from reliable sources, you won’t have to worry about second-rate materials.

We recommend buying directly from the manufacturer and registering for a warranty. In this way, if there’s an issue with your rod, you won’t be losing money and can simply get a replacement.

Good-quality rods either have premium carbon or graphite builds. The handles should be EVA or polymer. These are long-lasting and highly strong materials. While they may bring up the price a bit, it’s better to get stronger rods than ones with the second-rate build quality.

F.A.Q.

1. How long should a walleye rod be?

As mentioned, the length isn’t as important as other factors. The length you get depends on your comfort level and height. However, as a general range, a walleye fishing rod shouldn’t be less than six feet and more than 10.  Expert anglers recommend eight feet, six inches as an ideal length for walleye fishing, particularly for trolling.

2. What kind of rod is used for jigging?

Jigging rods are usually used in saltwater. They are longer, thinner, and more lightweight than other rods. Jigging rods aren’t more than six feet, six inches long. Also, as mentioned above, jigging rods have light to medium power, which gives you higher sensitivity in the water.

3. What is the best time of day to fish for walleye?

As experienced anglers will tell you, dusk and dawn are the perfect times to catch large walleye. To be more specific, go fishing exactly a half-hour before dusk or dawn. This is because, around this time, walleyes are out and about in the water, looking to feed.

Walleyes have a highly advanced vision that allows them to see predators without being seen themselves. This ability helps them hide, especially during the day. Dusk and dawn are the perfect times to catch them as they’re looking for smaller fish to eat.

4. How do you catch walleye at night?

Walleye are nighttime predators, making dusk a perfect time to go fishing. If you’re new to fishing, nighttime fishing isn’t as difficult as it sounds. While it’s true you’re in low-light conditions, it is easy to do as long as you are prepared.

What you need to do:

  • Locate the minnows (where walleye live) during the day.
  • Try to learn the walleye feeding schedule if you can. This isn’t necessary, but it’ll help.
  • At night, move to water no more than 15 feet deep (for trolling, especially).
  • Set your bait at a maximum of three feet into the water. Make sure the bait is live (as the walleye are looking for live prey at night).
  • Use glow-in-the-dark jig heads. This is because walleyes are attracted to light.
  • Make sure to reel in the rope before setting up the hook.

However, nighttime fishing has a set of safety risks, and you can cut yourself on hooks and lines. Make sure to use a small light inside your boat, preferably a fog light. Some nighttime anglers like to use a night light, which helps mask their movements.

5. What is the best water temperature for walleye fishing?

Technically, walleyes are cold-blooded creatures, which means that water temperature is very important. As water temperatures decrease throughout the year, walleyes migrate elsewhere. To find walleye, look for water bodies with a surface temperature of 45 to 52 degrees in May.

Walleye are usually found in warm water rivers and creeks. For fishing them, go towards the northern sections of the water body, such as the area where the sun hits first (as this is the warmest).

FINAL VERDICT

In sum, walleye fishing is a challenging task for which you need only the best walleye fishing rods on hand. With this guide, we hope you know more about walleye fishing rods.

Out of all these rods, our recommendation for the best fishing rod is undoubtedly the KastKing WideEye Walleye Fishing Rod. It is the most versatile, strong, and efficient of all our five picks. We realize fishing rods are an investment for any angler, so keeping that in mind, we urge you to make a smart purchase.

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