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7 Best Walleye Rods For Fishing in 2022

Written by James Schulz

Walleyes are one of the most enjoyable fishes to catch and eat.

Due to their popularity, walleyes are always sought after by anglers and have even developed gear designed for catching them and others like them.

A core part of the walleye fishing setup is the fishing rod, but with so many choices around, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

But don’t worry – you’re in the right place!

This article will discuss the best walleye fishing rods that you can buy in the market so that you can pick the ideal type of rod for your walleye fishing trips.

At a Glance

Top 7 Walleye Fishing Rods on the Market

1) Best Overall: St. Croix Legend Tournament Walleye Spinning Rod

St. Croix Legend Tournament

The best walleye fishing rod is one that combines superb build quality and excellent performance, all while maintaining an attainable price, such as the well-loved Legend Tournament Walleye Spinning Rod from St. Croix.

Key Features

  • Length: 7 feet
  • Rod Weight: 4.3 oz
  • Material: SCIV Graphite
  • Action: Moderate
  • Line Weight: 4-10 lbs
  • Lure Weight: 1/3 to 3/8 oz

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Very sensitive
  • Well-balanced and true-to-action
  • Quality materials
  • Lightweight yet sturdy

Cons

  • Slightly expensive
  • Shorter than usual rear grip

Our top contender for the title of the best walleye rod is a premium specimen of what the best walleye fishing rods should be.

First of all, it’s an elegant number with well-finished aesthetics.

It boasts an iridescent cobalt blue coat with fine, retro-style detailing in the blanks that make it rod an interesting visual spectacle as well.

This beauty is not just for show: the color comes from two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure and Corrosion Control matte finish to keep your rod safe from the elements.

The Legend Tournament Walleye Rod is also the first fishing rod line by this brand that utilizes high-modulus SCIV Graphite: a very strong material with a lot of flex.

It’s also made with the company’s proprietary Advanced Reinforcing Technology (ART), which increases strength without adding weight or diameter by adding a layer of extra-strong carbon fiber material.

It also features IPC, or integrated poly curve, which uniquely eliminates transitional points in the rod to

As such, this rod is very sensitive to bites and can cast very well, even while it can give out the maximum power for fighting with walleye or other similar fish.

More than that, this rod also has tangle-free guides, aluminum wind checks, a Kigan hook keeper near the handle, and a Fuji reel seat.

This series also offer versions with medium light power and more. If you want a more specialized variety, consider its cousin, the St. Croix. Eyecon Spinning Rod.

However, some anglers might find the rear grip to be shorter than they’re used to.

If you like having plenty of room on the handle, ensure that these will fit you well – especially because you can buy two regular fishing rods for the price of one Legend Tournament.

Still, this option still deserves the title of the best walleye fishing rod you can buy on the market today.

2) Classic Choice: Ugly Stik Tiger Elite Spinning Fishing Rod

Ugly Stik Tiger Elite

The Ugly Stik is a well-loved classic in the hobby for decades specifically because of its quality – and this is epitomized by the Tiger Elite Spinning Fishing Rod.

Key Features

  • Length: 7 feet
  • Rod Weight: 10.4 oz
  • Material: Stainless steel and graphite
  • Action: None
  • Line Weight: 14-40 lbs
  • Lure Weight: 1-5 oz.

Pros

  • Superbly balanced
  • Stainless steel guides
  • Added graphite composite for max durability
  • 1 piece UglyTuff construction for rigidity
  • Comfortable but sturdy premium grade cork grip

Cons

  • Relatively heavy
  • Impossible to replace damaged parts

If you want maximum durability for your walleye fishing rods, then look no further than the Ugly Stik Tiger Elite.

The rod has a one-piece design, which means that its components were fused to the rod itself to eliminate any joints.

This makes the fishing rod highly rigid and even eliminates any preferred action, allowing you to easily translate the power that you put into it when fighting walleye trophy catches.

It’s obviously made of high quality materials, with one whole piece of stainless steel, which minimizes the possibility of damage or corrosion common in walleye rods.

However, lightweight graphite inserts were also added to the rod, further increasing strength without adding to the weight.

This Ugly Stik is so confident about its durability that it offers a 7-year warranty on its website.

As a walleye jigging rod, it features a cork grip for your fishing comfort, a diamond shirk tube, and a conventional reel seat to match whatever reel you slap into it – all in a very affordable price range.

One thing that can’t quite match up with the Legend Tournament fishing rod is the weight.

That walleye rod weighs just 4.3 ounces, while this Ugly Stik is more than twice as heavy, coming in at 10.4 ounces.

Another disadvantage is that since it’s a one piece rod, replacing parts is basically impossible.

Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a walleye fishing rod with fast action.

3) Most Budget-Friendly: Cadence CR5 Spinning Rod (CR5-701S-MHF)

Cadence CR5 Spinning Rod

If you want a fishing rod that’s good for catching walleye but won’t burn a hole through your pocket, the Cadence CR5-30 Spinning Rod is the one for you.

Key Features

  • Length: 7 feet
  • Rod Weight: N/A
  • Material: 30-ton graphite
  • Action: Fast
  • Line Weight: 10-20 lb
  • Lure Weight: 3/8 – 1 oz

Pros

  • Highly sensitive rod
  • Great warranty service
  • Whippy feel for smooth casting
  • Ultra-lightweight graphite material
  • Option for a one-piece or two-piece construction

Cons

  • Finicky graphite rod liable to breaking
  • Some might find the nearly-flush hook keeper annoying

If you’re looking for a fast action walleye rod, look no further than the Cadence CR5 series.

This is a line of fishing rod for walleye that can enhance your experience without breaking the bank.

One of its main features is its stellar construction. The rod is made of 30-ton graphite, roughly equal to IM6 rating, or 30 million moduli in strength.

More than that, you can also choose between a 1 piece and 2 piece construction in this size level – of course, with a corresponding variation in the rod power.

You can get four versions of the 7-feet rod, but we maintain that the one-piece medium heavy fast (CR5-701S-MHF) version of the 7-feet rod is the best for a fighting fish like walleye.

You can make your own choice, though, especially if you want the additional portability of a split rod.

This walleye spinning rod feels very ultra light, yet powerful – with plenty of whip to its cast.

As such, the  Cadence CR5 is also fairly sensitive and flexible, great when fishing for walleye.

As if those weren’t enough, the company also features stellar customer service.

But the best feature of this walleye rod is its price: for all of those advantages, you can get the Cadence CR5 for a fraction of the other rods in this list.

Nevertheless, it does have its failings. For one, the lightweight graphite rod is not the most durable, and thus is prone to breaking.

The hook keeper that it has might also be unappealing to some because of its bent, flush design.

4) Best Rod and Reel Combo: Ugly Stik Catfish Spinning Rod Combo

Ugly Stik Catfish

If you don’t want to bother with looking for a new reel to match this Ugly Stik rod, then you don’t need to worry: this one comes with a reel so that you can begin to enjoy fishing right out of the box.

Key Features

  • Length: 7 feet
  • Rod Weight:
  • Material: Graphite and fiberglass composite
  • Action: Medium-heavy
  • Line Weight: 15 – 30 lbs.
  • Lure Weight: 1/4 – 3/4 oz

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Two-piece and portable
  • Lightweight construction
  • Comes with a 500-size spinning reel

Cons

  • Durability problems

This Ugly Stik Catfish Spinning Rod Combo is also very ideal for catching walleye, and the best feature of this rod is that it comes with its reel.

The Ugly Stik reel that comes with it is not the best, but it gets the job done for any kind of walleye fishing that you might want to go.

The reel features a durable stainless steel spool and a depth counter that any angler will appreciate.

Counting that side, the rod is made of a composite material of both graphite and fiberglass, which means that you get the maximum rod strength while maintaining minimal rod weight.

As a walleye spinning rod, it has a medium-heavy power.

Perfect for walleye fishing, as well as catfish, which is its original design. Despite the power, the rod can be split into 2 piece for better portability.

More than that, it also comes with a durable yet still comfortable EVA grip overlaid on top of cork underlayment.

It also features Ugly Stik signature designs, such as UglyTuff stainless steel line guides, and ClearTip for better strength and sensitivity.

However, it’s not the most durable offering around, with the reel especially very liable to break first. Nevertheless, we believe this level of quality is more than enough for its price.

5) Best Telescopic Design: Tica Tactica Bass and Walleye WMVA Casting Rod Series

Tica Tactica Bass

Every one of the Tica WMVA series is good for fishing both walleyes and bass, so if you want an extra fast action rod with wide range, you can have your pick among these competent rods.

Key Features

  • Length: 7 feet to 7 feet 11 inches
  • Rod Weight: 5.64 to 7.41 oz
  • Material: 40-ton graphite carbon
  • Action: Fast to Extra Fast Action
  • Line Weight: 12 to 40lbs
  • Lure Weight: 3/8 to 1, 1/2 to 3, 2 to 6, 2 to 10

Pros

  • Attractive finish
  • Light but strong materials
  • Works great for bass fishing as well
  • Telescoping model for extra portability

Cons

  • Hook keeper location is not ideal

The Tactica Bass and Walleye casting rod have the durability and finesse necessary for walleye, bass, and any other hard-fighting fish.

All of the rods in this series are designed to be tough and unforgiving: its graphite material will get it through the toughest walleye you might encounter.

It features fast to extra fast action, great for fishing highly sensitive species.

It’s lightweight too, which means that despite its strength, it’s flexible and maneuverable.

Most of the other rods in this list are 1-piece designs, which are definitely durable but can be difficult to transfer from place to place.

The Tactica WMVA Casting Rod retains the same level of strength but introduces a telescopic design for better stability.

As a result, you can bring this rod wherever your next fishing spot might be, without it being too much of a hassle.

To top it all off, it comes in a wide range of adventurous finish that is both attractive and protective to the material.

If there’s anything to say about it, it would be about the hook keeper, which is located too far back for many anglers’ comfort.

It might rub on your skin if you decide to tuck it into your armpit as you set the hook or change the bait.

Nevertheless, if you want an extra fast action walleye rod, the Tica WMVA is a great choice.

6) Best Casting Rod: St. Croix Rods Legend Tournament Bass Casting Rod

St. Croix Rods Legend Tournament

Casting rods for walleye fishing need to have the power and flexibility to execute a far, flawless cast, and the Legend Tournament Bass Casting Rod from St. Croix Rods has got that in spades.

Key Features

  • Length: 7 feet and one inch
  • Rod Weight: 4.9 oz
  • Material: SCIV graphite
  • Action: Fast
  • Line Weight: 12-20 lbs
  • Lure Weight: 3/8 to 1 oz

Pros

  • Impressive flex
  • Split-grip cork handle
  • Strong and supple blank
  • Features Fuji IPS Reel seat
  • Technique specific construction

Cons

  • Expensive
  • A little heavy
  • Actually medium light power

Comparable to the Fenwick Elite Tech walleye rods, the St. Croix Legend Tournament Bass Casting Rod will have the bass flying out of the water.

But it’s also ideal for times when you believe the walleye to be far out of your stationary fishing spot or boat.

In that case, quality, fast action, technique-specific walleye rods are essential for achieving the perfect cast: the rod needs to be strong and supple, with enough flex to throw weighted bait like a dream.

The Legend Tournament Bass Casting Rod performs admirably.

With the ultra-light, high-modulus carbon that this blank sports, you get the necessary strength.

St. Croix’s Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) technology gives it an absurd flex for covering the distance and remaining strong while fighting the fish.

As mentioned, this walleye rod also features fast action, which means that you’re much more sensitive to your walleye mark. Not as much as extra fast action, but good enough.

More than that, it also sports a split-grip handle with cork as the main material for all-day fishing comfort.

Although, it does have its disadvantages.

For a casting rod, this one is a little heavy compared to others in the same category, including Fenwick Elite Tech Walleye.

The amount of flex it has and the lightness of the material also mean that it doesn’t seem to match the medium-heavy power rating as much.

In fact, it feels more medium light than anything.

Thus, potential buyers need to think twice, especially because this rod sits on the high end of the scale in terms of price.

7) Best for Beginners: Lew’s Speed Stick Spinning Rod (LSS70MFS)

Lew Speed Stick

If you want to balance price and ease of use in your walleye spinning rod, the Lew’s LSS70MFS Speed Stick Spinning Rod is the one you should pick up off the shelves.

Key Features

  • Length: 7 feet
  • Rod Weight: 5.4oz
  • Material: IM-8 Graphite
  • Action: Moderate
  • Line Weight: 6 to 14lbs
  • Lure Weight: 3/16 to 5/8oz

Pros

  • Strong enough for hook sets
  • Lightweight and very sensitive
  • High-modulus graphite material
  • Cork grip is comfortable and solid
  • Remains comfortable despite long use

Cons

  • Guide durability issues

Extra features are not necessary when talking about a beginner’s pole, but they should do their job well and remain easy to use.

In that sense, the LSS70MFS Speed Stick from Lew’s is the ideal reel – even comparable to KastKing WideEye Walleye Fishing Rods.

Made of IM-8 graphite, the highest-rated graphite material on the list, it can take a lot of abuse from daily use and still come out on top.

Because of its high-quality materials, this walleye rod also remains very lightweight, remaining sensitive while being able to transfer plenty of power from the user – ideal for hook sets.

Again, like the KastKing WideEye Walleye Rod, it’s also very comfortable to use.

Not only does its lightness works to its advantage during long hours of fishing, but the comfortable grip afforded by the cork handle also remains reliable whatever the weather conditions are.

It also works well as a trolling rod.

This kind of reliability and ease of use is ideal for beginners, balanced even further with its affordable price point.

This is a painless training rod for beginner walleye anglers – no bells and whistles but good with all the basics.

However, the line guides are not as durable as they can be.

In fact, these line guides are liable to be bent or snapped, during shipping, especially if not packaged properly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best rod for walleye fishing?

The best rod for fishing walleye is the St. Croix Legend Tournament Walleye Rod. It has top-notch build quality with St. Croix Integrated Poly-Curve technology that gives you the best performance when fishing for walleye.

What makes the best walleye rod?

Walleyes are notorious hard-fighting fishes that require a little bit more preparation to target than just your average fishing trip. The best walleye rods need to have the right material for a trolling rod, have medium to medium-heavy power (light to medium or even medium light normally won’t do), and the right length of more or less 7 feet.

In that sense, the best walleye rods are jigging rods or spinning rods, such as the St. Croix Rods Legend Tournament Spinning Rod or Croix Eyecon Spinning Rod. These rods can set the hook easily for walleye fishing.

What are the top walleye rods for jigging?

The best walleye jigging rod needs to be light and sensitive, but also be able to handle the fight that these fishes put out. This means that light or medium power rods won’t do.

Beginners should look to the Ugly Stik Tiger Elite Spinning Fishing Rod as the best rod for jigging. It's a rigid walleye rod with plenty of strength, although it's somewhat heavy. For a more delicate and sensitive vertical jigging feel, consider the Cadence CR5 or the Ugly Stik Catfish Spinning Rod.

What is the best for ice fishing?

Ice fishing is generally a much different sport compared to typical walleye fishing, but if you need to do it, consider getting a rod that's durable or flexible, or even both. In that case, try the Ugly Stik Catfish Spinning Rod for durability and Legend Tournament Spinning Rod for the flex.

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