Best Walleye Ice Fishing Equipment for Beginners: Essential Gear for Success

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Ice fishing is a beloved winter pastime for many outdoor enthusiasts, combining the thrill of catching fish with the serene beauty of a frozen landscape. For beginners looking to target walleye, one of North America’s most popular and sought-after species, the right ice fishing equipment is essential for a successful and enjoyable experience on the ice.

Walleye ice fishing requires unique tools and skills, as this species can be trickier to catch than others, like panfish or pike. In addition to appropriate clothing and safety gear for the cold conditions, beginners should pay close attention to their choices of fishing rods, reels, lures, and electronics, as these factors can greatly influence their chances of hooking a prized walleye through the ice.

When purchasing walleye ice fishing equipment, beginners should prioritize quality and functionality. For instance, selecting a rod with the right power and action is crucial, as it affects the sensitivity to bites and the ability to set the hook properly. Similarly, choosing an appropriate reel will ensure the line is managed effectively, preventing tangles and break-offs. Lures and bait should also be tailored to the specific conditions and preferences of walleye to entice them to strike. Lastly, investing in a reliable and user-friendly fish finder or underwater camera can make locating and targeting walleye much more efficient, particularly for those just starting.

With so many options available, it can be overwhelming for beginners to choose the best equipment for walleye ice fishing. That’s why we’ve devoted countless hours researching and testing various products to provide a comprehensive guide on the essential gear every novice walleye ice angler should have. So, let’s dive in and explore the tools and tactics that will help you reel in your first trophy walleye through the ice.

Best Walleye Ice Fishing Equipment for Beginners

We’ve carefully selected a list of the best walleye ice fishing equipment to help beginners jumpstart their icy fishing adventures. Check out our top choices below!

HOOK-EZE Fishing Knot Tying Tool

HOOK-EZE Fishing Knot Tying Tool

Looking for a safe and efficient knot-tying solution for ice fishing? The HOOK-EZE Fishing Knot Tying Tool is an excellent addition to your equipment.


  • Safe and easy to use for all ages
  • A versatile tool for various hook sizes and knot types
  • Weather-resistant and suitable for anglers with cold or numb fingers


  • Some trial and error is needed for larger hooks.
  • The hook may not be completely snug after tying.
  • Slightly pricey for a small gadget

We were amazed by how easy and quick it was to tie fishing knots with the HOOK-EZE tool. Its patented design made knot tying a breeze and ensured our hands stayed safe from hook injuries. It’s perfect for beginners and experienced anglers, thanks to its versatility in accommodating different hook sizes and knot types.

Aside from knot tying, the HOOK-EZE tool also proved valuable when safely transporting our fully rigged poles. There were no more worries about damaging our car’s upholstery or having to keep an extra eye on our kids and pets around the fishing gear.

Although the tool is generally easy to use, we did experience some challenges when trying to work with larger hooks. However, with some practice and patience, the learning curve smoothed out, and we could also tackle those hooks.

One minor drawback we noticed is that the hooked end may wiggle slightly after tying. This didn’t seem to cause significant issues for us, but it’s worth keeping in mind. Finally, while the HOOK-EZE tool is a bit on the higher end of the price spectrum for such a small gadget, the benefits and ease of use make it well worth the investment.

In conclusion, the HOOK-EZE Fishing Knot Tying Tool is a fantastic addition to any beginner angler’s ice fishing equipment collection. Its safety, versatility, and easy-to-use design make it an indispensable tool for hassle-free, enjoyable fishing adventures.

Tailored Tackle Ice Fishing Rod Reel Combo

Tailored Tackle Ice Fishing Rod Reel Combo

If you want to start ice fishing for walleye, this Tailored Tackle kit is an excellent option for beginners.


  • Comprehensive set with jigs, lures, and soft plastics
  • Comes with a helpful 26-page ice fishing book
  • Great value for the money


  • Some components may be on the smaller side
  • The reel may not have the best-quality drag system.
  • Potentially better suited for panfish than larger walleye

As newcomers to ice fishing, we found this Tailored Tackle Ice Fishing Rod Reel Combo a fantastic starter kit. The variety of jigs, lures, and soft plastics included allowed us to get a feel for different fishing styles and techniques. The hand-painted ice bright colors of the jigs quickly attracted the attention of various fish species, while the anise-scented soft plastic lures seemed to be a favorite among panfish.

We were particularly impressed with the 26-page ice fishing book with the set. It offered step-by-step instructions on how to catch a range of fish through the ice, including walleye, trout, perch, crappie, bluegill, and northern pike. The guide was easy to understand and gave us the confidence to venture onto the ice for the first time.

We must mention, though, that some of the lures and jigs in the kit may not be suitable for targeting larger walleye. They seem more geared towards panfish, so if you’re solely after walleye, you might need to invest in a few additional, larger lures. Also, while the quality of the rod is quite good, we found the reel’s drag system to be somewhat lacking. This may be something to consider upgrading in the future.

That said, this Tailored Tackle Ice Fishing Rod Reel Combo is an excellent and affordable starter kit for beginners looking to try their hand at ice fishing for walleye. With the variety of equipment included and the informative guidebook, you can confidently embark on your ice fishing journey!

13 Fishing – Microtec Walleye – Spinning Ice Fishing Combos Regular 26″ M

13 Fishing - Microtec Walleye

We highly recommend the 13 Fishing Microtec Walleye for beginners due to its user-friendly design and solid performance.


  • Solid fiberglass blank for durability
  • Custom handle designs for specific walleye applications
  • Stainless steel guides for smooth line movement


  • Minor finish issues on some units
  • Inconsistent grip type in some deliveries
  • Occasionally, the bottom eye is wrapped crookedly.

We recently tested the 13 Fishing Microtec Walleye combo, and it impressed us with its solid fiberglass blank that makes it durable and able to handle the demanding conditions of ice fishing. The custom handle designs for specific walleye applications ensure a comfortable grip as we fish for hours.

The stainless steel guides caught our attention, which allowed for smoother line movement. This is crucial for achieving greater casting distance and accuracy, especially in cold conditions. We could sense every nibble and subtle movement of the bait, increasing our success rate while fishing.

However, we did find minor finishing issues on some units, particularly where the handle connects to the rod. Although this doesn’t significantly affect its overall functionality, it’s still worth noting. Apart from that, a few deliveries came with an inconsistent grip type, which might be a minor inconvenience for some users. The bottom eye wrapped crookedly in some cases, but it didn’t impact our fishing experience.

Overall, the 13 Fishing Microtec Walleye is a reliable and functional choice for beginner ice anglers targeting walleye. With its user-friendly design and solid performance, we have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone looking for a great ice-fishing combo to start their fishing adventures.

FishingPepo 21Pcs Ice Fishing Jig Set

FishingPepo 21Pcs Ice Fishing Jig Ice Fishing Lures Crappie Jig Heads Hooks Fishing Spoons Kit for Walleye Bass Fishing Accessories

We have had an excellent experience with the FishingPepo 21Pcs Ice Fishing Jig Set, perfect for walleye ice fishing beginners.


  • Diverse set: 21 pieces with 7 colors
  • Unique appearance: double-eye design and laser body
  • Suitable for various fish and locations


  • May be too many pieces for a beginner
  • Only one size of jig head hooks
  • No storage container is included.

We recently used the FishingPepo 21Pcs Ice Fishing Jig Set for a walleye ice fishing adventure, and we enjoyed the variety provided in the kit. The set includes 21 jig head hooks in seven colors, giving us various options for attracting fish in various water conditions.

On top of the color variety, the jigs have a unique appearance featuring a 3D double-eye design and laser body, which we found to be highly effective in luring fish. The luminous design on the back helped grab the attention of walleyes and other species lurking beneath the ice.

One of our favorite aspects of this jig set was its versatility. We could use these lures in fresh and saltwater, making them suitable for catching a wide range of fish. While our focus was walleye, we noticed that other fish, such as crappie, bluegill, and bass, were also attracted to these jigs.

However, for beginners, the set might seem overwhelming with 21 pieces. Furthermore, the jig head hooks are all the same size (2.5g/0.08oz, 4.7cm/1.85 in), which may limit your fishing experience. Lastly, we would have appreciated a storage container or organization system for the jigs.

Overall, the FishingPepo 21Pcs Ice Fishing Jig Set is an excellent choice for walleye ice fishing beginners, offering a diverse set of lures with a unique appearance that attracts fish underwater. Remember that a storage solution may be necessary to keep the jigs organized for easy access on your fishing trips.

KIMASA Ice Fishing Jigs Kit 48PCS

KIMASA Ice Fishing Jigs

We highly recommend the KIMASA Ice Fishing Jigs Kit for beginners seeking high-quality, versatile ice fishing equipment for walleye and other species.


  • Durable high-carbon steel material
  • Fine workmanship with colorful coating
  • Suitable for various fishing scenarios


  • Limited customer reviews to gauge overall satisfaction
  • May require some practice to perfect jigging techniques
  • Potential for paint chipping with extended use

We recently tried out the KIMASA Ice Fishing Jigs Kit, and we were impressed by the quality and performance of the jigs. The high-carbon steel material ensures strength and durability, while the colorful coating adds to the visual appeal and helps prevent rust and corrosion.

The jigs’ workmanship is commendable, with a smooth surface that won’t damage the fishing line. We found these jigs suitable for various fishing scenarios, especially ice fishing during winter. They work great for targeting Crappie, Panfish, and Walleye.

While the product has a 5-star rating, it is essential to note that the rating is based on only one customer review. However, we can confidently say that the KIMASA Jigs perform well in our experience. With time and practice, beginners will likely improve their jigging techniques and have an enjoyable experience on the ice.

One minor concern we had was the potential for the paint on the jigs to chip after extended use, which is common for painted jigs. However, this concern did not impact the jigs’ performance on our fishing trips.

The KIMASA Ice Fishing Jigs Kit is a fantastic beginner’s choice for those looking for high-quality, versatile ice fishing equipment. Just be prepared to spend some time practicing your jigging techniques to make the most of these jigs.

Buying Guide

As beginners in walleye ice fishing, we understand that selecting the right equipment can be overwhelming. In this buying guide, we’ll help you navigate the essentials to consider when purchasing.

Rod and Reel Setup

When choosing a rod and reel for walleye ice fishing, there are a few features we should consider:

  • Rod Length: We recommend a 24-36-inch rod for better control and sensitivity.
  • Rod Power: A medium to medium-heavy power rod will be suitable for handling walleye.
  • Reel: A smooth, reliable spinning or inline reel is ideal for ice fishing.

Lures and Baits

To entice walleye, we should have a variety of lure styles and sizes in our arsenal:

  1. Jigging Spoons: Often used to mimic baitfish, jigging spoons come in various materials and colors.
  2. Swimming Jigs: These lures are versatile and can be tipped with live bait or soft plastics.
  3. Lipless Crankbaits: Designed to imitate injured fish, lipless crankbaits can be effective in attracting walleye.

Line Selection

For walleye ice fishing, the type and pound test of the line we choose has a significant impact on our setups:

  • Monofilament Line: Offers low memory and good stretch, making it great for feeling subtle bites.
  • Fluorocarbon Line: Nearly invisible underwater and abrasion-resistant, perfect for finesse presentations.
  • Braided Line: Provides excellent sensitivity and strength but may require a leader for better stealth.

We recommend a 6-10 lb test line, depending on the size of the walleyes targeted and the local conditions.

Portable Shelters

Staying warm and protected from the elements is crucial for an enjoyable ice fishing experience. To choose the right portable shelter, consider the following:

  • Capacity: Ensure it’ll accommodate the number of people in our fishing group.
  • Durability: Look for high-quality materials and reinforcement to withstand harsh conditions.
  • Setup and Mobility: A portable shelter with quick setup and easy transport will make our experience more efficient and enjoyable.

We hope this guide helps you make informed decisions when selecting your walleye ice fishing gear. Remember that practice, patience, and time on the ice are essential in developing our ice fishing skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

What gear do I need to start ice fishing for walleye?

To start ice fishing for walleye, you will need a basic set of gear:

  1. An ice fishing rod and reel
  2. Ice fishing line and appropriate tackle
  3. A portable ice shelter or shanty
  4. An ice auger for drilling holes
  5. A sled for transporting gear across the ice
  6. An ice scoop/skimmer
  7. Warm clothing and proper footwear
  8. A seat or cushion to sit on

Which ice fishing rod is recommended for catching walleye?

We recommend using a medium-power, fast-action ice fishing rod with a 24 to 30-inch length when targeting walleye. This rod type will provide the right balance of sensitivity and strength needed to detect bites and handle their fighting power.

What clothing should I wear for walleye ice fishing?

Staying warm, dry, and comfortable when ice fishing for walleye is crucial. Dress in layers to regulate body temperature and wear materials that wick moisture away from the body. Waterproof gloves and boots are a must as they protect from the cold and wet ice.

How do I set up my ice fishing rig for walleye?

To set up your ice fishing rig for walleye, choose a jig or lure that mimics their natural prey (perch, minnows, or crayfish). Attach the lure to a 4-6lb test monofilament fishing line. Add a small split shot weight about 12-18 inches above the lure. Use a slip bobber to suspend your bait at specific depths.

What are the best ice fishing techniques for catching walleye?

There are several effective ice-fishing techniques for catching walleye:

  1. Jigging: Vertically jig your bait to imitate the erratic movements of prey. Vary cadence and depth to find what works best.
  2. Deadsticking: Allow your bait to sit relatively motionless on the bottom or just above it, attracting fish with its subtle movement.
  3. Tip-up fishing: Set up a tip-up rig that signals you when a walleye takes your bait, allowing you to cover multiple holes at once.

Experiment with these techniques and adapt based on what works best on a given day or in specific conditions.

Which ice auger is most suitable for walleye ice fishing?

Both hand-powered and power augers are suitable for walleye ice fishing. Hand augers are more affordable and lightweight, making them great for beginners. Power augers offer faster drilling speeds and are better suited for thick ice or more frequent fishing trips. Choose an auger with a blade diameter of 6-8 inches.


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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