Walleye are an aggressive and rewarding species to catch. Many anglers passionately target this species and build rod collections specifically for walleye fishing.
Building a walleye rod selection can get expensive because there are many different techniques for catching these fish. However, if you only fish walleye a few times a year, we recommend versatile rods that work for most situations.
Whether you’re looking to get decked out on technique-specific gear or want an affordable general-purpose rod, we’ve got you covered. Using our years of experience reviewing fishing tackle, our team has compiled a list of the five best walleye rod and reel combos in 2022.
People catch walleye mainly by trolling, casting, and jigging. While we’ve already covered the best walleye jigging rods, this guide recommends poles for all styles of walleye fishing.
Regardless of your fishing style, it’s always a good idea to have at least one versatile spinning combo when targeting walleye.
Fenwick HMX and Pflueger President Combo
President: 4.7 Stars | 2768 Angler Reviews
HMX: 4.3 Stars | 135 Angler Reviews
Strength and sensitivity are essential criteria when you’re fishing for walleye. The 6’6” and 7’ medium-light action HMX rod paired with a 20 or 30-size president reel is the perfect combo for jigging and casting.
Fenwick’s HMX rod has a fast-action tip, which is crucial for anglers that primarily jig for walleye. The blank is made with modulus carbon fiber, making it strong and sensitive.
This rod also has advanced guides that reduce the friction on your line. Not only will this keep your line from wearing down quickly, but the guides will help you cast further. The cork handle is comfortable in your hand, and the rod has a dynamic feeling when casting.
The Pflueger President spinning reel is the best spinning value reel for walleye fishing. It has a smooth cranking action, durable frame, and tons of power for reeling in monster fish.
Pflueger has excellent standards for build quality. Even though this is an entry-level model, the reel’s components are fitted well together, meaning there’s no play in the handle or spool. It casts a mile and has more line capacity than most similar spinning reels.
Fenwick Eagle and Piscifun Carbon X
Carbon X: 4.6 Stars | 1390 Angler Reviews
Eagle: 4.4 Stars | 552 Angler Reviews
Anglers that don’t fish as frequently might be searching for an affordable way to get out on the water. The Fenwick Eagle paired with the Piscifun Carbon X is the best budget walleye rod and reel combo on the market.
Even though the rod and reel are inexpensive, the Eagle rod and Carbon X reel are durable, lightweight, and have more than enough performance for occasional walleye anglers.
The cork and TAC grips on the Fenwick Eagle are very comfortable. They offer a ton of dexterity and help you keep control over your presentation. With a graphite blank, it’s lightweight and an excellent value for the money.
Fenwick makes exceptional walleye fishing rods. The Eagle and HMX models have a ton of sensitivity but don’t sacrifice strength. These qualities make Fenwick rods versatile and suitable for most walleye fishing situations.
The Fenwick Eagle also comes with a 5-year warranty, which is generous for a budget rod.
Piscifun is changing the fishing industry by making performance-oriented reels more accessible. Lightweight and sensitive carbon fiber reels used to be very expensive and only fished by professional anglers.
The Carbon X has a 100% carbon fiber body with carbon rotors and side plates. This design makes it lighter than nearly all other reels in the same price range and helps you fish for long hours without getting tired.
Lightweight carbon fiber reels also have increased sensitivity, helping you feel the lightest bites while jigging in deep waters. Other Carbon X features include high-speed gear ratios, eleven ball bearings, and a hollow nest-shaped spool.
G. Loomis IMX and Daiwa Tatula LT - Jigging Combo
IMX: 5 Stars | 1 Angler Review
Tatula LT: 4.7 Stars | 335 Angler Reviews
A high-end setup could be a wise investment if you frequently fish for walleye. The G. Loomis IMX Rod paired with the Daiwa Tatula LT is our favorite professional-grade combo for walleye fishing. This rod and reel setup has the best balance and most dynamic performance for walleye fishing.
We prefer the 6’6” to 7’ medium-power rods for walleye fishing. When it comes to action, the extra-fast and fast action models are the best options. This combo will surely become your favorite walleye jigging setup; however, it also has the right specifications for casting.
G. Loomis spared no expense making the IMX rod. This “Walleye Spinning Rod” is specialized for walleye fishing, with fine-tuned power and sensitivity.
While G. Loomis offers technique-specific actions, we like the universal or “general-application” model the most. When you’re spending a significant amount on a rod, it’s nice to be able to use it all the time.
The IMX rod features proprietary IMX technology that increases the sensitivity. You can literally feel everything that’s going on under the water, which helps you detect bites and increase your hook-up ratios.
This model includes Fuji line guides and a full-length cork grip. Many anglers prefer a full-length grip over a split-grip design when jigging for walleye.
The Daiwa Tatula LT offers the perfect weight balance for the IMX rod. It’s made with a dense carbon-strain body that improves vibration transfer from the reel seat to your hand. This enhances the sensitivity of the IMX Pro and brings out the best qualities of the rod and reel.
With an Air Bail and Air Rotor system, the Tatula LT is exceptionally lightweight and smooth. Daiwa included seven bearings which make the cranking action buttery smooth.
We also love the responsive handle because it puts much less resistance on your hand. This keeps you from getting fatigued and gives you more control while fighting fish.
St. Croix Legend Elite and Stradic FL - Casting Jigs
Legend Elite: 4.9 Stars | 14 Angler Reviews
Stradic FL: 4.7 Stars | 346 Angler Reviews
When building technique-specific setups, many anglers start with a lightweight spinning combo for casting jigs. The St. Croix Legend Elite Rod paired with the Stradic FL Spinning Reel is an exceptional finesse combo for walleye fishing.
The Legend Elite and Stradic FL are the most sensitive equipment in the industry. While this combo isn’t as versatile as others, it’s ideal for technique-specific applications. Our team couldn’t get enough of the 6’3” and 6’6” Legend Elite models. We even made this our exclusive walleye combo for casting along the shore.
St. Croix is known for making the most sensitive spinning rods on the market. This Legend Elite model features advanced IPC tooling technology and an SCV graphite blank. The IPC tooling technology eliminates the transition points in the blank, ensuring power flows seamlessly through the rod.
The Legend Elite is simply the most dynamic, slim profile, comfortable walleye pole we’ve fished. While it’s not as versatile as the IMX model, this is the best rod series for building technique-specific walleye setups.
The Stradic FL reel is a great value for the money. While it’s certainly not a budget reel, you won’t find another model that offers the same performance for the money. This reel has a SilentDrive, making it incredibly smooth and effortless to fish.
With a cold-forged drive gear, and Hagane body, the Stradic FL has the power to stop the biggest walleye. When a reel is this strong, it usually sacrifices sensitivity and performance. However, the Stradic FL is incredibly sensitive and lightweight.
Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Spinning Combo
4.5 Stars | 147 Angler Reviews
The Bass Pro Shops Platinum Signature Spinning Combo is one of the most under-appreciated walleye combos. This setup was designed by professional angler Johnny Morris and offers all the best walleye rod qualities for a fraction of the price.
Johnny Morris had one goal when designing this rod. He wanted the Platinum Signature combo to outperform almost all high-end equipment and cost less than half the price. After spending a day with this setup, this combo exceeded our already high expectations.
This combo features a lightweight rod blank with five layers of carbon sheeting. The carbon fiber materials are wrapped around an advanced graphite core, giving you both materials' best qualities.
A new updated design makes this rod 15% lighter and 35% stronger than the previous generation. While we liked the first model, the new series is even more impressive.
The Platinum Signature reel is tailored to have the best weight and performance balance with the matching rod. We found the reel is durable, sensitive, ultra-smooth, and allows you to cast a mile. It seemed suspiciously smooth for the price until we discovered the reel houses eleven ball bearings.