Walleye fishing is something I’ve done with my family for about 25 years now (which is impressive since I’m only 34…updated for 2019 – I’m 35 now). Walleye fishing ranks right up there with Northern Pike fishing as one of my favorite outdoor activities. I’ve done serious week-long walleye fishing trips across the Midwest and Canada, casual 3 or 4-hour fishing trips at my favorite lakes, and more serious weekend walleye fishing tournaments.
All of these incredible walleye fishing trips got me thinking: what are the best walleye fishing rods?
Most walleye anglers are going to love fishing with St. Croix Legend Tournament Walleye Fishing Rods, Fenwick Elite Tech Walleye Fishing Rods, and KastKing WideEye Walleye Fishing Rods; but there are also some other phenomenal walleye fishing rods as well.
I have also learned during these fishing trips that walleye fishing is much easier when you have the right fishing equipment.
Walleye fishing rods require a unique combination of touch and strength that you don’t normally need when fishing for a lot of other species of fish.
I wanted to put together a list of the best walleye fishing rods that you can buy today – plus other tips on what to look for when buying your next walleye rod!
Enjoy! And we always love hearing other people’s fishing stories – so feel free to contact us by email or social media if you have any fun stories to share!
Tips on Picking the Best Walleye Fishing Rods
Everybody has some slightly different preferences for their fishing rods. However, there are a few things I always look for when picking a walleye rod.
Power – You always want a fishing rod that has great touch, but enough power to handle the fish you are fishing for. With walleye, you don’t need nearly as powerful of a fishing rod as you would need with Pike, Muskie, or even Largemouth Bass. For Walleye I’m looking for a Medium-Light or Medium Powered fishing rod – because the touch is so important with walleye fishing techniques.
Size – Size can really depend based on what walleye fishing techniques you use. My personal preference is 6’6” in size, but I’ve had great success with 6’3” rods and 7’2” fishing rods. I will tell you, the extra size is nice when I’m doing things like trolling, bottom bouncing, or casting crank baits. Smaller poles can be nice for things like jigging for hours at a time. However, 6’6” to me is the ideal size for most situations.
1-Piece or 2? – I always prefer 1-piece fishing rods. To me, they provide more strength to help me set the hook, and more touch to really feel what the fish are doing. The benefits of a two-piece rod include being much easier to transport, which can be important depending on where you will be fishing.
Action – For walleye fishing, I prefer a fishing rod that is either fast or extra fast in the action category. For crankbaits, a little stiffer action is perfectly acceptable.
Quick List of the Best Walleye Fishing Rods
Here is a quick review of the best Walleye Fishing Rods. Below this list is a much more detailed review of each rod – plus some other great information and even a video we did from our last Walleye Fishing Trip.
|Rank||Description||Link to Amazon|
|#1||St. Croix Legend Walleye Tournament Rods||Link|
|#2||St. Croix Eyecon Spinning Rods||Link|
|#3||Fenwick Elite Tech Walleye Fishing Rods||Link|
|#4||KastKing WideEye Walleye Rods||Link|
|#5||Okuma Dead Eye Walleye Rods||Link|
|#6||G. Loomis Walleye Series||Link|
|#7||Cadence Fishing CR5 Spinning Rods||Link|
|#8||Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod||Link|
St. Croix Legend Tournament Walleye Spinning Rod
I do 90% of my fishing with St. Croix fishing rods – so I’m probably a little bit biased on my lists (although my favorite rod/reel combination of all time was a Quantum rod with an Abu Garcia Reel; but that is a story for a different time).
So with that being said, if you are a serious Walleye fisherman, budget isn’t a concern, and you want the best of the best when it comes to walleye fishing rods – the St. Croix Legend Tournament Walleye Spinning Rod is our top option.
It all starts with the rod being handcrafted and tested in Park Falls, WI. This means St. Croix is going to use the best materials – like Fuji guides – when building the rod. It is going to be built with the best graphite materials and it is going to be coated with the best finish to make sure this fishing rod doesn’t get worn down in the elements.
It has a 15-year transferable warranty – and St. Croix has superior customer service. This is a rod you are buying for a long time!
This line of walleye fishing rods has a tremendous amount of options to pick from – helping ensure you find a rod that fits your personal preferences.
The length can range from 5’9” to 8’6” – with my personal preference being the 6’6” option – or the 7’ option if I’m doing a good chunk of crankbait fishing.
In terms of power, they will range from one light option, to a handful of Medium, Medium Light, and Medium Heavy rods. Personally, I normally go with either the Medium Light or Medium choices for Walleye fishing.
They also have a handful of 2-piece rod options, although most are going to be 1-piece rods. For me, I’m all about the 1-piece fishing rods.
My top choice of walleye fishing rods from this line is going to be the Model LWS66MLF – which is a 6’6”, Medium Light, fast action, one-piece fishing rod. I also like the LWS70MM – which is a 7-foot, medium power, 1-piece moderate action rod! But really, you are going to be happy no matter which option you pick based on your personal preferences.
This is also going to be the most expensive fishing rod on our list, because you are paying for a high-quality fishing rod specifically designed for Walleye! The price is going to depend on what size and features you decide to pick from!
St. Croix also does a great job of giving this fishing rod line yearly updates to make sure it stays the ultimate walleye catching machine we want it do be!
If you are a casting rod fan instead of a spinning rod – you do have the St. Croix Legend Tournament Walleye Casting Rod to pick from! It is a 7-foot, Medium Heavy, 1-piece rod that comes with the same high quality standards listed above!
St. Croix Eyecon Spinning Rods
When most people think about walleye fishing and St. Croix rods, they are probably going to think about the St. Croix Eyecon Spinning Rod series. This series of rods doesn’t have all the amazing bells & whistles the legend series has – but it is more affordable and still built to perform!
These rods are still going to be made with all the top of the line materials and workmanship that we expect from St. Croix rods.
This rod line has a great selection of specs – with rods ranging in 6’3” in length to 8’ feet in length. There is one light power option to pick from -otherwise they are all going to be either Medium Light or Medium.
There are about five 2-piece rod models to pick from, but the vast majority of rods are going to be 1-piece. Most of the action ratings for these rods are going to vary from Fast to Extra Fast – which is ideal for walleye fishing in my opinion.
My favorite options are the ECS66MF option – which is a 6’6”, Medium Power, Fast Action, 1-piece rod. I also like the ECS70MM which is a 7-foot, Medium, Moderate Action, 1-piece walleye fishing rod. If you are looking for a light, vertical jigging type of fishing rod – the ECS63MLXF is a 6’3” medium light, extra fast action, 1-piece fishing rod that is extremely popular.
Of course, I’m not going to forget about you Casting Rod fans. St. Croix also makes the model ECC70MHM Walleye Fishing Rod.
This fishing rod is a Medium-Heavy (so it packs some power) – 7-foot, Moderate action fishing rod. It has a great build to it and is awesome for trolling or using bottom bouncers to catch those deeper dwelling walleyes.
These rods are a little more affordable than some other St. Croix variations, but still are designed to catch a lot of walleyes with the high-quality fishing experience we have come to expect from St. Croix.
If you couldn’t tell, I had to include St. Croix rods on the top of my best walleye fishing rods list due to the great experiences I’ve had with them!
Fenwick Elite Tech Walleye Fishing Rods
These walleye fishing rods from Fenwick have various sizes and features to pick from – helping you find that fishing rod that checks all the boxes for your fishing situation.
From a length standpoint, you have rods varying from 5’9” in length to a very large 7’6” in length. You can also pick from 6’3”, 6’6”, 6’9”, and 7’2”. There is a length for pretty much any angler!
The rod power ranges from medium light to medium – which is what I prefer when walleye fishing. The rod action will range from fast to extra fast, and you have both 2-piece and 1-piece rods available.
There are really three 1-piece models that fit my personal preferences. The ETW63ML-XFS is a medium light, extra fast, 6’3” one-piece fishing rod. The ETW66M-FS is a medium power, fast action, 6’6” 1-piece fishing rod.
For a larger rod, the model ETW72ML-FS is a 7’2”, medium light, fast action 1-piece fishing rod. All of these models should have no problem catching fish!
My favorite 2-piece Fenwick Elite Tech Walleye Fishing Rod is the model ETW66M-FS-2. This model is 6’6” in length, medium power, fast action – and an all-around walleye fish catching rod.
If you are looking for a comfortable, durable, and well-designed fishing rod – look no further than the Fenwick Elite Tech on our list of the Best Walleye Fishing Rods. You won’t be disappointed.
KastKing WideEye Walleye Fishing Rod
The KastKing WideEye Walleye Fishing Rods are a very affordable, high quality line of walleye fishing rods.
If you aren’t familiar with them, KastKing is a young & upcoming company in the fishing world. I believe they were originally founded by a couple of friends from Syracuse University – and their goal is to create innovative, durable, and very affordable fishing equipment.
This company’s vision statement is about keeping fishing fun – and who could argue with that!
This WideEye fishing rod line has numerous options you can pick from – ranging in size from 5’6” to a crazy long 8’6” trolling style rod. However, your most popular versions are going to range from 6’2” to 7’7” in size – with the 6’8” versions being my favorite choices.
Most of the versions are 1-piece fishing rods, but they do have a nice variety of 2-piece spinning rods ranging from 6’8” to 7’7” in size.
These fishing rods will vary from either medium power to medium light power – and will vary from fast to extra fast action. There are a couple of moderate action rods when you get to those tall fishing rod options.
I’m a big fan of the 6’8” – fast action, medium powered & 6’2” -extra fast, medium light powered options.
What is also neat about this line of fishing rods is they have a spinning rod, casting rod, and even a telescopic casting rod you can pick from!
My big selling point with these rods is the great design that you are going to get for an incredible price – they are a great bargain!
Okuma Dead Eye Walleye Rods
These rods provide a nice mixture of durability, usability, and affordability.
These rods are very durable, normally made from stainless steel guides and high-quality carbon blanks.
Most models have a limited lifetime warranty – showing you how much faith Okuma has in their rods.
Like most fishing rod lines, the Okuma Dead Eye line has numerous different options to pick from. The size will range from 6’ to an 8’6” telescopic casting option – so there is a size for pretty much any angler.
Most of the rods are 1-piece but they do have a 2-piece, medium-heavy, 6-foot rod; a 6’6” medium-power 2-piece rod; and a 7’ medium, 2-piece rod you can pick from. If you are in the market for a walleye rod, but need it to be a 2-piece option, the selection of sizes from Okuma is a major plus!
The 1-piece rods are going to vary from medium powered to medium-light power – and they have varying handle options to provide you with the maximum comfort.
I’m a big fan of option: DE-S-661-MLFT – which is a Medium-Light, 6’6”, 1-piece walleye rod & the DE-S-701-MLFT option, which is a 7-foot, Medium-Light one-piece fishing rod. Those two rods check the boxes for what I normally look for in a good rod!
These rods provide a lot of flexibility in being able to be used for different fishing techniques – and provide that great combination of power and sensitivity that most of us are looking for in a good walleye fishing rod!
The G. Loomis Walleye Series
This is a high-end line of fishing rods that has some incredible features, but also a pretty hefty price tag. This line of rods isn’t mean for the anglers that are going to be walleye fishing once or twice a year – but rather the more serious walleye anglers.
These fishing rods are going to provide a great look, but more importantly, an incredible blend of power and sensitivity that is going to excite just about any walleye angler.
All of the fishing rods in this G. Loomis Walleye Series (GLX model numbers is what you are looking for here) are going to be one-piece – and they are going to range in length from 6’3” to 7’6”.
Depending on the option you pick, they are going to range in rod action from extra fast to fast – but all of them are made from the highest quality materials.
My favorite options are going to be item number 11794-01 (model number WJR752S GLX) – which is 6’3” in length, fast action, and can handle fishing line in that 6-12-pound range (as well as lures in that 1/8 – 3/8 oz. range).
Rod 11795-01 (Model Number WPJR821s GLX) is the 6’10” version with extra-fast rod action. It also handles 6-10-pound test line. The tallest option is rod 11799-01 (model number WRR9000S GLX) which is 7’6” in size, extra fast in action, and handle 6-12-pound test line no problem at all.
There are enough varieties to this line of fishing rods that you should be able to find just the right combination of features for your personal preferences. But it is the incredible combination of durability, strength, and sensitivity that you are buying with these rods.
If I was still doing a lot of tournament walleye fishing, this is the line of fishing rods that I would take a good, hard look at purchasing!
Cadence Fishing CR5 Spinning Rods
We understand that not every walleye angler is going to want to spend $100 – $500 for the perfect walleye fishing rod. So, our next two options are still very good fishing rods – but a little bit more affordable in price.
The Cadence CR5 Spinning Rods are a great example of a high-quality fishing rod that doesn’t require you to break the bank when buying.
There are actually 17 different Cadence CR5 spinning rod options (I hope I didn’t miss a couple) that you can pick from. Not all of these options are perfect for walleye fishing, but they certainly do have a couple of options that work extremely well.
These rods will range from 4’8” inches in length to 7 feet in length – with plenty of options in between. The power of these rods will vary from ultralight to medium-heavy – with my preference for walleye fishing being either medium or medium-light.
On a side note, I have had a ton of fun fishing for walleye and northern pike with an ultralight rod. The battles are pretty epic, and you might lose your lures, but it’s a ton of fun. Not ideal for walleye fishing (and definitely not ideal for Northern fishing) – but it can be a unique fishing experience that will provide plenty of great fishing tales.
Since this article is about walleye fishing, my top Cadence CR5 Spinning Rods for walleye fishing would include the CR5-661S-MF, CR5-661S-MLMF, and CR5-662S-LMF.
These rods are 1-piece, either medium light or medium in power, and either fast or moderate fast in terms of action. All of those should help you catch some nice walleye!
They do also make 2-piece rods; the CR5-662S-MF and CR5-662S-MLMF are great for walleye fishing. They are medium or medium light in power, and they are both 6’6” in size.
Again, there are a lot of variations you can pick from based on what you prefer and plan to use these rods for, but our recommendations are based on walleye fishing.
These are some very high-quality rods at a great price -which should make most anglers very happy!
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod
One of the fishing rods that my dad had me learn to fish on was an Ugly Stik. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Ugly Stik Rods, and the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod line is a great option for walleye fishing.
For the price, it is hard to find fishing rods that are built with better materials, and their clear-tip design is so recognizable it is easy to see who is fishing with an Ugly Stik.
In the Elite Spinning Rod line, there is about 17 different options you can pick from. They range from 4’6” ultra-light rods to 7’6” medium 1-piece rods. There are a couple of medium heavy rod choices, but with Ugly Stik I’m going to steer you towards their medium powered rods.
If your ideal rod is 6’6” in length, you want to pick the USESP661M – which is a 1-piece medium powered rod. If you like the 7-foot rod variety, you will want to pick from either the USESP701ML or USESP701M. Both of those are 1-piece rods, one is a medium powered rod and one is a medium light rod.
Again, based on your personal preferences you have a lot of other rod choices you can pick from. These rods are also very good for bass fishing, and maybe even northern pike fishing depending on what power type you pick.
That flexibility is a big selling point if you are going to be fishing for a lot of different species of fish.
Normally priced right around $50 or lower – that price point is very attractive for a lot of people! And I can see why my dad choice this type of rod to be the one I learned on.
Walleye fishing is a lot of fun, and when you have the right fishing rod to help you land those big walleyes, you are really going to enjoy your fishing trips!
Here are some other fishing & walleye fishing articles we have done that should be of great use to you!
The Best Fillet Knives (You know, for cleaning all those walleyes you are going to catch)
2019 Update: Here are some new walleye related articles for 2019 that we feel you might enjoy!
Now for that video I promised you. Frankly, we like to show off a little bit, here is a video of our last Lake Erie Walleye catch. We caught 36 great looking walleyes in about 4 hours of time. It was a blast!