Best Walleye Jigging Rod and Reel Combo: Top Picks for 2023


Fishing enthusiasts know that having the right gear can make all the difference in their angling adventures. One popular species that attracts anglers nationwide is the walleye, a feisty fish known for its elusive behavior and exceptional taste. The right rod and reel combo tailored for walleye jigging is crucial to catch these challenging yet rewarding fish.

Jigging, a technique where anglers manipulate their lures vertically, is an effective method for catching walleye. A good combo should give anglers sensitivity, strength, and balance, ensuring they can feel every nibble while maintaining enough power to reel in their catch. When choosing the best walleye jigging rod and reel combo, the material, length, power, and gear ratio significantly enhance the fishing experience.

In our quest to find the best walleye jigging rod and reel combo, we considered these critical factors and thoroughly evaluated various options to determine which combos stood out in terms of performance, durability, and value. Investing in the right equipment will improve your angling skills and make your time on the water more enjoyable.

After countless hours researching and testing numerous rod and reel combinations, we are confident that our selection will help novice and seasoned anglers find the perfect walleye jigging setup to elevate their fishing game. So, let’s dive into walleye jigging with our top picks!

Best Walleye Jigging Rod and Reel Combos

We’ve researched and tested numerous rod and reel combos to bring you our top picks for walleye jigging. Below is the best products to help you up your angling game!

Wakeman Strike Series Spinning Rod and Reel Combo Blackout

Wakeman Strike Series

The Wakeman Strike Series Spinning Rod and Reel Combo Blackout is a solid choice for beginners and budget-conscious anglers looking for a versatile and lightweight setup.


  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable


  • May struggle with larger fish
  • Fragile tip
  • The reel’s drag system can be inconsistent.

We recently had the opportunity to try out the Wakeman Strike Series Spinning Rod and Reel Combo Blackout and were pleasantly surprised by its overall performance. The lightweight design made it easy to carry around and comfortable for extended periods. Whether fishing in freshwater or dabbling in saltwater, this combo held up well and allowed us to catch many fish.

That being said, we did notice a few drawbacks to this combo. While it was effective for catching smaller fish like bass and crappie, it struggled when we hooked a larger bluefish. Additionally, the rod’s tip seemed somewhat fragile, so extra care should be taken when storing or transporting the rod.

The drag system was slightly inconsistent on the reel side – sometimes too tight or loose. This could wear out the reel over time, so it’s necessary to be mindful of this aspect.

Despite these minor issues, the Wakeman Strike Series Spinning Rod and Reel Combo Blackout is still an excellent choice for beginners or those looking for a budget-friendly option. Its strengths in ease of use, portability, and affordability outweigh the potential drawbacks, making it a great addition to your next fishing adventure.

Ugly Stik Spinning Combo Walleye Round – 7’6″ – ML – 2pc

Ugly Stik Spinning Combo

The Ugly Stik Walleye Round Spinning Combo is a reliable choice for anglers targeting walleye, combining quality and affordability.


  • Durable and sensitive Ugly Tech construction
  • Smooth size 20 conventional reel with 5.1:1 gear ratio
  • Comfortable EVA handle with right handle position


  • Rod may be too flexible for some anglers
  • Reel quality is not as robust as a rod.
  • Limited to medium-light power applications

We recently took this Ugly Stik Spinning Combo out for a day of walleye fishing, and we were pleased with its performance. The 7’6” rod provided a good balance of strength and sensitivity, thanks to its Ugly Tech construction that combines graphite and fiberglass. The Clear Tip also added an extra level of sensitivity, which was a great help when detecting subtle bites.

The size 20 conventional reel was smooth to operate, with a 2-ball bearing system and 5.1:1 gear ratio, making it easy to gain a mechanical advantage when reeling in fish. We also appreciated the comfortable EVA handle, which felt good in our hands and balanced well with the right handle position.

However, we noticed the rod was quite flexible, perhaps too much for some anglers who prefer a stiffer action. Additionally, the reel quality didn’t match the rods, which could be an issue for those demanding a more robust setup. Lastly, this combo is limited to medium-light power applications, which might not suit everyone’s fishing preferences.

Overall, the Ugly Stik Spinning Combo Walleye Round offers a reliable, affordable option for those targeting walleye, but it may not be the perfect choice for everyone. Its durable construction and comfortable handle make it a pleasure to use, but potential buyers should consider the flexibility of the rod and the reel’s quality before making a purchase.

Lew’s Crappie Thunder Jig/Troll Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

Lew's Crappie Thunder Jig/Troll Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

We highly recommend the Lew’s Crappie Thunder Jig/Troll Reel and Fishing Rod Combo for avid walleye anglers seeking a reliable, high-performance combo.


  • Lightweight with fast action for easy jigging and trolling
  • Durable and strong thanks to the premium graphite blank and metal frame
  • Comfortable EVA handle and quality reel components


  • Designed primarily for lighter species like crappie
  • Limited to right-hand retrieve
  • It comes pre-spooled with a monofilament line, which all anglers may not prefer.

We recently put the Lew’s Crappie Thunder Jig/Troll Reel and Fishing Rod Combo to the test and couldn’t be happier with how it performed. At 12 feet, it offers ample reach for casting and trolling, while the two-piece design makes it easy to transport and store. The lightweight graphite blank and fast action impressed us, allowing us to feel even the slightest bites while jigging for walleyes.

The durability of this rod and reel combo is outstanding. We loved the premium graphite blank and metal frame construction, which provided strength and high resistance to wear and tear. The comfortable EVA handle and graphite reel seat ensured maximum comfort during extended fishing sessions.

While using Lew’s Crappie Thunder Jig/Troll Reel and Fishing Rod Combo, we also appreciated the quality of the reel components. The size 75 reel features a right-hand retrieve, anti-reverse lever, and audible bait clicker that made our fishing experience smoother. However, the combo comes pre-spooled with a 6lb monofilament line – some anglers might prefer using their line of choice, like a braided line, for better sensitivity.

In conclusion, the Lew’s Crappie Thunder Jig/Troll Reel and Fishing Rod Combo is an excellent choice for those seeking a top-performing walleye jigging and trolling combo. Remember it’s best suited for lighter species like crappie, but it will undoubtedly make your walleye fishing sessions more enjoyable and successful.

Shakespeare Wild Series Walleye Combo

Shakespeare Wild Series Walleye Combo

This Shakespeare Wild Series Combo suits those seeking a budget-friendly yet effective walleye jigging rod and reel experience.


  • 4+1 Bearing system for smooth reeling
  • Sensitive IM-6 graphite rod for detecting light bites
  • Versatile aluminum spool and handle for durability


  • Some quality control issues reported in packaging and shipping
  • May not be suitable for very heavy use
  • A few users experienced early breakage or defects

Having recently tried the Shakespeare Wild Series Walleye Combo, we appreciated the sensitivity of the IM-6 graphite rod, which allowed us to feel even the lightest of bites. This is especially important when jigging for walleye, as their bites can be very subtle. The 4+1 bearing system was smooth and allowed easy reeling, making the overall experience enjoyable.

The aluminum spool and handle showcase the combo’s durability and versatility, which is valuable considering its budget-friendly price point. However, the affordability may come at a cost, as some users reported quality control issues with packaging and shipping. A few were unlucky to receive a broken or incomplete product. We recommend checking the condition of the combo upon arrival to address any possible issues promptly.

Additionally, this combo may not be suited for heavy use or anglers who frequently target larger, stronger fish. We found it perfect for casual to moderately heavy sessions, but it might not withstand extensive wear and tear.

In conclusion, the Shakespeare Wild Series Walleye Combo is a reasonably priced option that offers sensitivity and durability for walleye jigging enthusiasts. Be aware of potential quality control issues and be prepared to contact customer support if needed. The Shakespeare Wild Series could be a promising choice for those investing in a combo for casual to moderately heavy use.

13 Fishing Microtec Walleye Spinning Ice Fishing Combo

13 Fishing Microtec Walleye Spinning Ice Fishing Combo

We believe the 13 Fishing Microtec Walleye Combo is a reliable option for ice fishing enthusiasts who want a solid, budget-friendly rod and reel combo.


  • Durable carbon fiber material
  • Custom handle design specific to walleye applications
  • Stainless steel guides for smooth casting


  • Some users reported minor finish issues
  • The reel is not as high quality as comparable products
  • Instances of misaligned bottom eye

Having used the 13 Fishing Microtec Walleye Spinning Ice Fishing Combo, we can genuinely say that its performance on the ice is impressive. The solid fiberglass blank provides the necessary sensitivity for detecting bites, and the custom handle design catered towards walleye fishing ensures a comfortable and efficient fishing experience.

The 3BB reel with a soft touch handle knob and aluminum spool reel may not be the best available on the market, but it does get the job done. We found the reel quite smooth, but you might want to explore other options if you’re looking for a higher-quality reel.

We did notice a few minor finish issues, such as where the handle connects to the rod, but they don’t seem to impact its overall performance. One thing to consider is that some users reported receiving a full grip instead of a split grip, shown in the product’s images, and answered questions.

Despite these minor flaws, the 13 Fishing Microtec Walleye Spinning Ice Fishing Combo remains a solid choice for anglers seeking a reliable and budget-friendly walleye jigging rod and reel combination for ice fishing adventures.

Buying Guide

When searching for the best walleye jigging rod and reel combo, there are several factors to ensure you’re making a well-informed decision. This guide will walk you through essential features when choosing the right combo.

Rod Length and Power

The rod length is important, as it will impact your cast distance and control. Generally, walleye jigging rods range from 6 to 8 feet. A longer rod offers better leverage, which can help fight larger fish. The rod power refers to the rod’s resistance to bending under pressure. We recommend a medium to medium-heavy power rod for jigging, as this provides the right combination of sensitivity and strength.

Reel Gear Ratio

The gear ratio of a reel determines how fast the line is retrieved for each crank. A higher gear ratio retrieves the line more quickly, while a lower one provides more power to reel in larger fish. Walleye jigging typically requires a gear ratio between 5.1:1 and 6.3:1 for the right balance of speed and power.

Bearing Count

The bearing count of a reel affects its smoothness and performance. Generally, a higher bearing count translates to a smoother reel. However, it’s also important to consider the quality of the bearings. Look for reels with sealed or shielded bearings, as these are more durable and require less maintenance.

Line Capacity

Make sure the reel has ample line capacity for the type of line you plan to use and the depth at which you’ll be fishing. Walleye jigging often requires a larger line, especially when fishing in deeper waters.

When considering all of these factors, you’re well on your way to finding the perfect walleye jigging rod and reel combo. Remember, choosing a combo that suits your skill level, preferred fishing techniques, and local conditions is essential to ensure a great fishing experience. Good luck and tight lines!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal length for a walleye jigging rod?

When choosing the perfect length for a walleye jigging rod, we usually recommend something 6 to 7 feet. This length provides a great balance of sensitivity and control, making detecting subtle bites easier and efficiently working jigs through various depths.

What are the top walleye rods and reels under $100?

There are several quality walleye rods and reels available for under $100. Our favorites include the Berkley Lightning Rod and the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 for budget-friendly rod options. We recommend the Pflueger President or the Shimano Sienna for reliable performance without breaking the bank for reels.

Which St. Croix rods are best for walleye jigging?

St. Croix offers excellent options for walleye jigging enthusiasts. Two of their most popular rods for this purpose are the St. Croix Premier and the St. Croix Eyecon. Both are made with high-quality materials and feature fantastic sensitivity, making them perfect choices for feeling those subtle bites.

What makes PENN Battle III a suitable combo for walleye?

The PENN Battle III combo is an excellent choice for walleye jigging because it offers a durable and high-quality rod paired with a powerful spinning reel. The rod is made from graphite and boasts a sensitive tip, while the reel features a full metal body and HT-100 drag system, ensuring smooth and consistent performance.

What should I look for in a spinning reel for walleye fishing?

When choosing a spinning reel for walleye fishing, we recommend looking for features like a smooth and strong drag system, high-quality bearings, and a lightweight design. These elements will help ensure that the reel operates smoothly and efficiently, ultimately making it easier for us to land those elusive walleye.

How does Fenwick’s walleye rod compare to others?

Fenwick is another brand known for producing top-quality walleye rods. For example, their Fenwick Elite Tech Walleye Rod is specifically designed for this species and features a graphite blank, good sensitivity, and a strong backbone for solid hooksets. While it may be pricier than other options, its performance and durability make it popular among anglers.


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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