Best Walleye Fishing Rod and Reel Combo: Your Ultimate Guide for 2024

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When you’re gearing up for a day out on the water with the hopes of catching the elusive walleye, having the right equipment can make all the difference. Walleye fishing is a sport that requires precision, patience, and the appropriate gear tailored to this unique fish’s behavior and habitat.

The rod and reel combo you choose can play a crucial role in your success. It directly affects your ability to feel bites, set the hook, and land these prized fish.

Selecting the best walleye fishing rod and reel combo means paying close attention to a few key features: sensitivity, rod length, power, and the reel’s gear ratio.

Sensitivity is vital because walleye bites can be subtle, and you need to feel the slightest nibble to react swiftly.

The rod length should match the type of fishing you plan to do. Longer rods are typically better for casting, while shorter rods offer more control for trolling.

Regarding power, look for a medium-light to medium rod to balance responsiveness with the ability to handle a decently sized-walleye.

Lastly, a reel with a moderate gear ratio will give you the best balance between retrieval speed and torque. This lets you adapt to both jigging and trolling techniques.

With these factors in mind, finding the best walleye fishing rod and reel combo will not only enhance your fishing experience but also increase your chances of a bountiful catch. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting out, investing in the right combo can pay off immensely when you’re out there waiting for the walleye to strike.

Let’s look into further details to determine which rod and reel combos stand out this season.

Top Walleye Fishing Rod and Reel Combos

Embarking on a walleye fishing adventure? Great choice! You’ll need the right gear, and there’s nothing like a seamless rod and reel combo to enhance your fishing experience.

You’re in luck; we’ve scoured the market for the top-rated options to ensure your time by the water is both productive and enjoyable. It’s all about the perfect blend of sensitivity and strength to reel in those elusive walleyes. Get ready to cast your line with the best of them!

Ugly Stik Walleye Combo


This Ugly Stik combo is a reliable choice for anglers targeting walleye due to its solid construction and sensitivity.


  • Highly durable Ugly Tech construction
  • Sensitive enough to feel light nibbles
  • Backed by a 7-year rod warranty


  • The reel may not be as robust as some higher-priced counterparts
  • Limited to right-hand orientation
  • Best for moderate fishing, may not suit heavy-duty applications

I just got off the water, and this Ugly Stik combo felt fantastic in hand. Its durable Ugly Tech construction could handle every tug and pull throughout the day.

Angling for walleye often requires a perfect blend of strength and sensitivity, and this rod didn’t disappoint. I could detect those subtle nibbles with ease.

I appreciate a good warranty, and Ugly Stik’s seven years on this rod gives me peace of mind. Plus, the comfortable EVA handle made fishing a breeze.

Although I favor versatility, the right-hand orientation is something to consider if you’re left-handed—it works for me but might not suit everyone.

While the 20-size reel operated smoothly for the most part, seasoned anglers might yearn for something a tad more substantial, particularly for those intense walleye battles. However, for most fishing trips targeting medium-sized catches, this combo should hold up nicely. Just keep in mind that while it’s well-equipped for regular use, it might not be the best choice for heavy-duty fishing scenarios.

Pflueger Trion Combo


If you’re in search of a reliable walleye rod and reel without breaking the bank, the Pflueger Trion Combo is a solid pick.


  • Offers a great balance of sensitivity and strength
  • Smooth reel operation with a durable aluminum spool
  • Comfortable cork handle for longer fishing sessions


  • The reel might feel a bit heavy for some
  • Might not suit anglers looking for an ultra-light action rod
  • Drag system may require adjustments for optimal performance

Out on the lake, the first thing I noticed was the Trion Combo’s graphite rod offering a lot of feel. Whether lightly jigging or casting, detecting bites from even the most hesitant walleye was a breeze.

The strength of the medium power rod provided enough backbone to confidently battle and land the catch.

Reeling in felt smooth, with the seven-ball bearing system gliding without hiccups. I was quite impressed by the tight line lay, which noticeably improved my casting accuracy.

Remember when that tricky walleye nibbled without committing? The quick anti-reverse feature was a godsend — setting the hook at the right moment without losing the fish.

The overall construction was a pleasure to hold, with the cork handle sitting snug in my grip during long hours by the water. A rubber cork rod butt added to the comfort and ensured a non-slip experience, even when hands got wet.

Despite these perks, I did find the reel a touch heftier than expected. It wasn’t enough to cause fatigue but might be something light-tackle enthusiasts may want to consider.

While the action was perfect for my general walleye ventures, those strictly aiming for an ultra-light setup might deem the rod a bit stiff.

Lastly, while initially using the drag system, I noticed it required a bit of tweaking to find that sweet spot for maintaining tension on the line. It’s a minor hiccup, easily fixed with some field adjustments, and once dialed in, it performed reliably.

Shakespeare Wild Combo


If you’re eager to reel in those walleyes, this combo will get you out on the water without breaking the bank.


  • The 4+1 bearing system offers a smooth retrieve.
  • It’s crafted with sensitivity in mind, thanks to the IM-6 graphite rod.
  • The multi-disc drag system provides decent control with various fish sizes.


  • Durability might be an issue; some users reported broken rods.
  • There have been concerns about the reel’s build quality.
  • Packaging and shipping handling have led to damage for some buyers.

Holding the Shakespeare Wild Series Walleye Combo in your hands, you’ll feel ready for a serene day of fishing. The tactile feedback of the soft handle knob and the lightweight feel of the rod allows for a comfortable experience casting from dawn to dusk.

The smoothness of the 4+1 bearing system complements the gentle tug of a nibbling walleye, giving you a fair chance at a great catch. Each cast promises precision, a vital partner to the silent anticipation shared between the sky, the water, and you.

Yet, the day’s end brings reflection. While the Shakespeare combo enables a pleasant fishing expedition, some fellow anglers have raised flags about its longevity. Thinking of future outings, you wonder about the reliability of your gear. Thrilling as the initial catches are, the combo’s resilience lies in a mist as thick as morning fog on the lake.

Overall, nature’s embrace is felt with each use. The Shakespeare combo serves as a means to peacefully connect with the underwater world, making each trip a chapter in your angler’s tale.

PLUSINNO Telescopic Combo

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You’ll appreciate the versatility and portability of this fishing rod and reel combo, making your angling trips both convenient and enjoyable.


  • Highly portable and easy to carry
  • Smooth casting and retrieval experience
  • Comfortable, non-slip grip for prolonged use


  • May not be ideal for extremely heavy fish
  • Telescopic rods are generally less durable than one-piece rods
  • Limited in customizability compared to purchasing rod and reel separately

Hooking a walleye can be tricky without the right equipment. The PLUSINNO combo creates a comfortable balance, making it less of a chore to reel in those stubborn fish. Its lightweight design doesn’t tire your arms, and you can feel the bites clearly thanks to the sensitive construction.

Traveling to your fishing spots needn’t be a hassle anymore. The rod’s telescopic feature and the included bag make it a breeze to transport. Whether you’re trekking to remote streams or paddling to the center of a lake, your gear will be compact and manageable.

Every angler knows the importance of a reel that operates smoothly. This combo delivers with a reel that turns without hitches, ensuring that your focus stays on the catch and not on fighting the gear. Even after hours by the water, the ergonomic handle keeps your hand comfortable, and the grip assures that the big one won’t slip away when it takes the bait.

Sougayilang Fly Combo


Cast with confidence as the Sougayilang Fly Fishing Combo offers you a balanced and effective setup right out of the box.


  • Exceptional value with comprehensive accessories included
  • Lightweight and portable design with a comfortable cork handle
  • Easy to convert for left or right-hand use


  • May require better lines or leaders for optimal use
  • Some users reported durability issues after extended use
  • Not ideal for those preferring separate rod and reel purchases for customization

The cork handle of this Sougayilang combo feels ergonomic and comfortable during long hours by the water. The IM8 graphite rod feels ready to perform, flexing with precision as you cast your line. It’s the kind of tool that fits into the rhythm of your fishing with seamless ease.

Reeling in with the CNC-machined aluminum reel is a joy, too. The smooth drag system adds a sense of reliability while you listen to the satisfying sound it makes. Bundled with all the gear you need, this setup saves you the hassle of purchasing accessories separately, and everything fits neatly into the rod case.

I appreciate how simple it is to swap the reel for left or right-hand use, a feature that exemplifies versatility. It’s a great starter package, and even seasoned anglers can find value in this all-in-one combo. Some users suggest upgrading the lines, but given the range of what’s included, the Sougayilang Fly Fishing Combo is set up to be a great companion for your next angling adventure.

Buying Guide

Considerations for Rod and Reel Combo

Before settling on a walleye fishing rod and reel combo, you’ll want to assess several key considerations to ensure you have the right gear for a successful fishing trip.

  • Rod Length: Choose a rod that best fits the type of fishing you plan to do. A good range for walleye is between 6 and 8 feet.
  • Action and Power Make sure the action of the rod is fast to very fast, and the power is medium-light to medium.
  • Reel Features: Look for a reel with a smooth drag system and sufficient line capacity for the waters you’ll be fishing.
  • Material: A rod made from graphite or a composite of graphite and fiberglass offers a good balance between sensitivity and durability.
  • Handle Comfort Lastly, make sure the handle feels comfortable in your hands, as you might be holding it for extended periods. Handles often come in cork or EVA foam.

Key Features to Look For

FeatureDescriptionWhy it Matters
Gear RatioHigh or moderate speed reel (5.2:1 – 6.2:1)Balances retrieval speed and power
BearingsMore ball bearings for smooth operationReduced friction and smoother casting
Rod GuidesQuality guides like aluminum oxideMinimize line friction and enhance casting

Maintenance and Durability

Your rod and reel combo should have a reputation for enduring the test of time. It’s also important that the components are easy to maintain and clean.

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to walleye fishing, selecting the right rod and reel combo is crucial for a successful haul. Below, you’ll find the answers to common questions about the best gear for your walleye adventures.

What are the top-rated rod and reel combos for walleye fishing that are also budget-friendly?

The Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Combo and the PENN Battle II Combo rank high for their durability and affordability. Both offer exceptional value, providing sensitivity and strength without breaking the bank.

Which rods are considered the best specifically for catching walleye?

For targeting walleye, many anglers turn to the Fenwick Elite Tech Walleye Rod due to its sensitivity and toughness. The St. Croix Eyecon Walleye Rod is another favorite known for its specialized walleye action.

What are the recommended spinning reels for targeting walleye?

The Shimano Sedona FI and the Pflueger President are widely recommended for walleye angling. They offer smooth drag systems and reliable performance that are perfect for finesse presentations often used in walleye fishing.

For ice fishing enthusiasts, which rod and reel combos are best for walleye?

The Frabill 371 Straight Line Bro Combo and the St. Croix Mojo Ice Rod paired with a Shimano Sienna FE Reel are prime choices for ice fishing walleye. These combos allow for precision and feel, critical when fishing through the ice.

What are the features that make a walleye rod highly sensitive?

A walleye rod should have a fast action and a light to medium power rating. The use of high-modulus graphite in the construction also enhances sensitivity to detect even the slightest nibbles.

How do I determine the ideal size for a walleye rod and reel setup?

A 6.5 to 7.5-foot rod is ideal for most walleye fishing situations. It offers a good balance of casting distance and sensitivity.

Choose a reel that matches the rod’s weight rating. Typically, a size 2500 to 3000 spinning reel is ideal for the perfect balance.


Hi, I’m Kurt and I’m the author of walleyemania. I’ve been fishing for Walleye since I was a kid and I love sharing my tips, tricks, and stories with other anglers. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll find something useful and entertaining on my site. I cover everything from the best gear, baits, and techniques to the best spots, seasons, and recipes for Walleye fishing. Join me on my journey to catch more and bigger Walleye!

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