The Best Walleye Trolling Rod

best walleye trolling rod
best walleye trolling rod

There are different ways to fish for walleye. You can cast, drift, vertical jig, and troll. Trolling for walleye is the fastest and most efficient way to catch a limit. Trolling for walleye involves setting the boat speed and pulling lures with trolling rods. Casting for walleye is still popular on Lake Erie, but trolling has taken over the scene with fast limits. In this article, we will help you choose the best walleye trolling rod.

Best Walleye Trolling Rods | 3 Picks

Best Budget Trolling Rod

The Okuma Classic Pro gets the best overall budget walleye trolling rod pick. The trolling rod performs very well for the price. The Okuma Classic Pro will last for years if taken care of. This rod has a price point of around $25-$50, depending on the model. The Okuma Classic Pro comes in all popular action and length. The rod is readily available online and in retail bait shops along Lake Erie.

Best Midgrade Trolling Rod

The Daiwa Great Lakes Trolling Rod is a great mid-range walleye trolling rod. This rod handles rough conditions and will last for years. This trolling rod has a starting price point of $49. Different options may increase the price. You have a choice of rod action and length to suit your style of trolling for walleye. These rods are available online and at any bait shop.

Best Elite Trolling Rod

The Okuma Dead Eye Pro walleye trolling rod is the best rod for professionals. If you are a tournament walleye fisherman, this is the rod for you. These rods are sensitive. Feeling every movement the walleye makes while reeling in. The rods track planer boards evenly and straight. The price point for this rod is $95. This price fluctuates, so shop around.

Trolling Rods: What to Look For in a Walleye Setup

If you are in the market for a walleye trolling rod, chances are you have seen a lot of choices. When looking for a walleye trolling rod, quality should be number one. All the major companies mentioned have great track records in building trolling rods for the Great Lakes. Although, sometimes choosing the right trolling rod comes down to budget. That is understandable since a walleye fisherman will be looking for 6-10 rods depending on crew size. In that case, the Okuma Classic Pro is a great choice that won’t break the bank.

Top Walleye Trolling Rod Brands

Some of the most trusted names in walleye trolling rods include:

  • Okuma
  • Shimano
  • Daiwa
  • St. Croix
  • Lamiglas

Each of these brands offers a range of trolling rods suited for different techniques and budgets.

Trolling Rods: Quality of Build

The build quality of all mentioned walleye trolling rods is good enough for Lake Erie. The rods are built tough enough to take on rough water and abuse. For the most part, you don’t have to worry about the rod breaking, unless it’s due to misuse. The guides have sometimes been in question. Some people have reported guide inserts missing. Most of the time this is due to storage issues or the guides getting crushed.

Key Components of a Quality Trolling Rod

When assessing the quality of a trolling rod, pay close attention to:

  • Blank construction and materials
  • Guide quality and durability
  • Reel seat and handle design
  • Warranty coverage and customer service

Investing in a well-built trolling rod will pay off in the long run with better performance and longevity.

What is a Trolling Rod Made of

Two types of material make up fishing rods: carbon fiber and fiberglass. Fiberglass is more for a crankbait casting rod used for bass fishing. Most trolling rods made for walleye are carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is the material that suits Lake Erie. Trolling rods made out of carbon fiber are durable and have good sensitivity. If you would like to know the feel of each, go to a bait shop and ask to see one of each. Compare each rod side by side.

Pros and Cons of Carbon Fiber vs Fiberglass

Here’s a quick breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of each material:

Carbon Fiber:

  • Lightweight yet strong
  • High sensitivity for detecting strikes
  • Durable and resistant to corrosion
  • Can be more expensive


  • Affordable price point
  • Durable and forgiving
  • Less sensitive than carbon fiber
  • Heavier overall weight

Ultimately, carbon fiber is the preferred choice for most dedicated walleye trollers.

Best Walleye Trolling Rod Length

Choosing a trolling rod length comes down to storage space, boat size, and style of fishing. Measure your rod lockers and pick a trolling rod accordingly. Keep in mind there are trolling rods that have collapsible butts; Okuma makes one. Your boat size can play a key part in choosing a rod length. If you have a small boat, a 7 ft. rod may be a good choice due to netting fish. The style of trolling can affect what rod length you need. If you are trolling with dipsy divers, a longer rod may be necessary. Choosing a rod length when trolling with planer boards is a preference.

Common Trolling Rod Lengths

Walleye trolling rods typically come in lengths ranging from 7 to 10 feet. Here are some common sizes:

  • 7 feet: Good for smaller boats and tight spaces
  • 8 feet: Versatile length for most trolling applications
  • 9 feet: Ideal for longer leads and diving devices
  • 10 feet: Specialized for long-lining or copper-line trolling

Consider your specific needs and techniques when selecting the right trolling rod length.