8 Best Walleye Spinning Rods for Jigging

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Written By Russ Egan

Russ is a professional fisherman with over 20 years of experience. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ comprehensively tests and reviews all his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. There is nothing he prefers than heading down to his local tackle store, buying the latest fishing reel, and taking it to the water to test.


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The best walleye spinning rods are 7 feet long, medium power, and fast action, depending on the style of walleye fishing you will be doing.

The Fenwick Elite is my top choice because of its versatility which can be used in a wide range of different environments. It's medium-light power is ideal for trolling near weed beds. It is ideal for walleye anglers who want a dependable rod that can be used for both jigging and trolling.

There are different ways you can fish for walleye. Your choice of fishing rod for Walleye depends entirely on the method you want to use for fishing. Each method is useful in specific techniques such as jigging or trolling.

All of this information is based on my insights from decades of fishing. I have also written a guide into the top spinning rods if you want a versatile option to catch multiple species.

Best Trolling Rod
Fenwick Elite Spinning Rod

Fenwick Elite Spinning Rod

  • Fast and Extra-Fast Action
  • Medium-Light Power
  • 6'6" Length
Best Spinning Rod
Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod

Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod

  • Strong, yet balanced graphite and fiberglass construction
  • Durable one-piece stainless steel guides
  • 7-year warranty
  • Comfortable EVA handle
Best Jigging Rod
Cadence CR5 Spinning Rod

Cadence CR5 Spinning Rod

  • Cork and EVA Handle
  • Fuji Reel Seat
  • Stainless Steel Guides
  • Lightweight and Strong

1. Fenwick Elite Jigging Rod

fenwick elite tech river runner rod

Jigging for Walleye is usually done deep in large lakes. For baits, crankbaits are used that resemble deep-diving species of minnow.

If you are jigging in shallow waters, you don’t need to use any kind of weight, no down-rigger at all. The crankbait’s lip might need to be adjusted for shallower waters. You can also adjust the diving depth by changing the boat speed.

Jigging next to the weed beds can be more productive and would not require a powerful walleye setup as you may in trolling. If your lure involves the top 10-15 feet of water, you can even fish with a medium power spinning setup.

Even in the shallow waters, you can use jigging tackle but there is no need to use whatever you use to get it at a depth. 

The Fenwick Elite is my recommendation as the best walleye jigging rod.

  • Length – 6’6″
  • Power – Medium Light
  • Action – Fast and Extra Fast


  • The Fenwick Elite is adaptable to deep and shallow trolling, meaning it can be used in different environments and for varying fishing techniques.
  • With a medium-light power, this rod is sufficient for trolling near weed beds.


  • Additional tools like weights, down-riggers, and Plano boards could strain the rod, affecting its durability and longevity.
Fenwick Elite Spinning Rod
  • Graphite Blend Material
  • Extremely Sensitive
  • Excellent Durability
  • Titanium Guides

2. Cadence CR5 Spinning Rod

Jigging is a popular method for catching walleyes. A good-quality jigging rod should be highly sensitive at the tip. This would ensure you get prompt feedback on what’s going on at the hook.

The feedback is necessary to choose the right setting for the hook. For this reason, you need a rod with medium power but with fast action. 

When you are using the jigging method, you need to know precisely what’s happening to the jigs. Therefore, a fishing line with low stretch and fast action features is necessary.

  • Length – 6’6″
  • Power – Medium
  • Action – Fast

The Cadence CR5 is my recommendation as the most sensitive rod if you are looking to detect even the most subtle bite.


  • The Cadence CR5 is highly sensitive at the tip, providing immediate feedback on what’s happening at the hook, which is crucial for successful jigging.
  • With its medium power and fast action, this rod is optimally designed for jigging.


  • You will need a fishing line with low stretch and fast action.
  • While it’s great for jigging, it’s less versatile compared to other rods.
Cadence CR5 Spinning Rod
  • Cork and EVA Handle
  • Fuji Reel Seat
  • Stainless Steel Guides
  • Lightweight and Strong

3. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod

Although trolling and jigging are more popular ways of catching walleyes, spinning can be the most productive method. A spinning setup requires a rod with light to medium power, and medium to fast action. 

You can throw lighter lures to a greater distance with a spinning setup. Baitcasters do not allow the lures to go lighter beyond a point, unlike spinning.

A heavier spinning rod can be used for light trolling. This means spinning setup can be used for all three methods of walleye fishing – trolling, spinning, and jigging. However, you may need a lighter line in a spare spool for jigging.

  • Length – 6’6″
  • Power – Medium
  • Action – Fast

The Ugly Stik GX2 is what I recommend for a variety of different angling types, from bass to saltwater and inshore fishing. It is extremely versatile and robust. If you are looking for only a single rod, pick the GX2.


  • The Ugly Stik GX2 can be used for all three methods of walleye fishing – trolling, spinning, and jigging, providing versatility for different fishing situations.
  • The spinning setup allows the angler to cast lighter lures to a greater distance than possible with baitcasters.


  • For jigging, it might require a lighter line in a spare spool, which means additional purchases are necessary.
Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod
  • Solid Construction Yet Lightweight
  • Comfortable EVA Handle
  • Graphite and Fiberglass Combination
  • Stainless Steel Guides

4. Tica Libra Spinning Rod

This spinning rod by Tica is a seven foot graphite rod with a fast action and medium power that almost perfectly fits the description of the ideal walleye rod. It has extreme sensitivity so you can feel every strike.

The graphite also has great strength for larger fish and even trolling.

It comes with a non-slip cork handle as well as stainless steel guides.

  • Length – 7’0″
  • Power – Medium
  • Action – Fast


  • The seven-foot Tica spinning rod with medium power and fast action is ideal for walleye fishing.
  • The graphite construction provides exceptional sensitivity, enabling you to detect even the lightest of bites.
  • The non-slip cork handle ensures comfort and a secure grip, while the stainless steel guides enhance the rod’s overall durability.


  • Although this rod is ideal for walleye fishing, its specific design and features is not as versatile for targeting other fish species.
  • Its seven-foot length makes it less portable and slightly more challenging to handle.
Tica SMHA Libra Series Trout, Bass, & Walleye Spinning Rods
  • Extremely Sensitive to Feel Every Strike
  • Non-Slip Cork Handle
  • Stainless Steel Guides
  • Lightweight Graphite Material

5. KastKing WideEye Spinning Rod

This rod by KastKing suits walleye fishing – even its colors match a walleye’s. It is made with Toray IM9 graphite to give lightweight feel and extra sensitivity that is ideal for walleye. It has fuji line guides and reel seats, an indicator of high quality construction.

The handle is made from high-quality AAA cork handle with an EVA butt.

  • Length – 6’8″
  • Power – Medium Light
  • Action – Fast

KastKing have become my go-to brand based on their high quality and low prices. Their products are extremely affordable, and give great value for money. If you compare their specifications to more well-known brands, you will often find the price is less than half of compatible rods.


  • Made with Toray IM9 graphite, this rod is designed to be lightweight and sensitive, perfect for walleye fishing. Including Fuji line guides and reel seats is a strong indicator of the rod’s high quality.
  • The high-quality AAA cork handle coupled with an EVA butt ensures a comfortable and secure grip.


  • With a medium-light power rating, this rod isn’t suited for catching larger, fish species.
  • The color matching and specific design for walleye limits its versatility for other types of fishing.
KastKing WideEye Spinning Rod
  • High-Grade AAA Cork Handle
  • EVA Butt
  • Lightweight Toray IM9 Graphite
  • Fuji Line Guides and Reel Seats

6. St Croix Eyecon Spinning Rod

The St Croix Eyecon is specifically designed for Walleye fishing. This is a top quality rod and should be considered an option. It is made from Premium quality SCII graphite which makes it very lightweight to fish with and has the strength to handle any walleye you hook.

The other components are also extremely high quality with fuji reel seats, Kigan 3D guides, aluminum oxide rigs, and cork handle with EVA trim.

The graphite makes its action very fast with high sensitivity so you can easily feel strikes.

If you have the budget then give this rod a closer look.

  • Length – 6’3″
  • Power – Medium
  • Action – Fast


  • Made from premium quality SCII graphite, this rod offers the optimal combination of light weight and strength necessary for walleye fishing.
  • With Fuji reel seats, Kigan 3D guides, aluminum oxide rigs, and a cork handle with EVA trim, the St Croix Eyecon delivers exceptional quality and durability.
  • The fast action enabled by the graphite construction ensures high sensitivity, allowing you to detect strikes more easily.


  • Given its premium quality, the St Croix Eyecon won’t fit within all budgets.
  • At 6’3″, this rod is somewhat shorter than many alternatives.
St Croix Eyecon Spinning Rod
  • Premium SCII Graphite
  • Kigan 3D Guides
  • Aluminum Oxide Rigs
  • Cork Handle with EVA Trim

7. Shimano Clarus Fishing Rod

The Shimano Clarus is a two-piece rod which gives much better portability. This rod is very well built, as all Shimano products are, durable and robust. It can be on the heavy side when targeting small walleye species.

The guides are made from titanium oxide for better durability and lower friction leading to further casting distances.

The Clarus also has a great grip made from an anti-slip material giving the angler better control and comfort.

This is a versatile rod and you can use it to catch many different species and walleye.

  • Length – 6’6″
  • Power – Medium
  • Action – Fast


  • As a two-piece rod, the Shimano Clarus offers better portability compared to single-piece rods.
  • The rod is well-built and features titanium oxide guides for enhanced durability and reduced friction, aiding casting distance.
  • The grip is made from an anti-slip material, providing improved control and comfort.


  • This rod may feel a bit heavy when targeting smaller walleye.
  • While the rod’s versatility allows it to catch many different species, this means it is less specialized for catching walleye.
Shimano Clarus Spinning Rod
  • Titanium Oxide Guides
  • Anti-Slip Grip Material
  • Durable and Robust Design

8. St Croix Legend Fishing Rod

The St Croix Legend is a premium walleye rod, and if you have the budget for it then go for it. It is made from carbon fiber with Advanced Reinforcing Technology. This makes it a lightweight yet strong and durable rod. It also featured Integrated Poly-Curve technology that eliminated the transitional points on the rod – this gives it improved sensitivity.

This is shorter than the other rods I have considered at 5’9″ but has a medium power and extra fast action.

It also has a 15 year warranty so you can sleep easy.

  • Length – 5’9″
  • Power – Medium
  • Action – Extra Fast


  • The St Croix Legend is made from carbon fiber with Advanced Reinforcing Technology, making it lightweight yet strong and durable.
  • The rod features Integrated Poly-Curve technology, which eliminates transitional points on the rod and provides better sensitivity.
  • It comes with a 15-year warranty, assuring your investment.


  • This rod is shorter than other rods, at 5’9″, limiting my casting distance.
  • The St Croix Legend is a premium rod and might be out of budget for some anglers.
St. Croix Legend X Spinning Rod
  • 15-Year Warranty
  • Carbon Fiber with Advanced Reinforcing Technology
  • Integrated Poly-Curve Technology

Walleye Fishing Rod Buying Guide

The three the most popular ways of fishing walleye are:

  • Trolling
  • Jigging
  • Spinning

Each of these methods of fishing needs a different tackle configuration and setup. The difference lies in the sensitivity with which the rod can function in a given set of conditions.

While trolling rods are the least sensitive, spinning rods fall in the middle range and the jigging rods are always the most sensitive.

Rod TypeActionPowerLengthMaterial
Spinning RodsMediumLight to Medium6-7 FeetGraphite, Fiberglass or a Composite of both
Trolling RodsModerate to SlowMedium to Heavy7-9 FeetFiberglass, Composite
Jigging RodsFastMedium6-7 FeetGraphite

Trolling Rods

In contrast to spinning and jigging, you need a heavier setup in the trolling method of fishing for walleyes. Trolling brings a lot of pressure to your gear. This is more so if you use a heavy lead core fishing line or planer boards to ensure you reach deep enough.

A trolling setup will require a longer rod, medium action, and a medium to heavy power. A heavier spinning rod can work well for trolling but you can also find rods that are designed to be used in troll-fishing.

Spinning Rods

Spinning rods are extremely versatile and can also be used when trolling. In contrast to other fishing rods, it’s not as heavy as trolling rods and not as light as jigging rods. In terms of action, it’s medium to fast; in terms of power, it’s light to medium.

Spinning rods’ advantage is that they allow you to cast several different lures. Depending on where you are fishing, you can use Rapala, crankbaits, or even heavier spinners.

A good spinning rod for catching walleyes is neither ultralight nor too heavy but a medium heavy with most other settings in the medium range.

The trick is having a versatile rod, not too light or heavy.

Jigging Rods

The point of having a jigging rod relates to its extreme sensitivity. This kind of rods can also be 6’6″ or extended up to 7 feet. But it must have fast action and light to medium power.

When the tackle is lighter, it offers more sensitivity. You can use small jigs heads in vertical jigging if you have a sensitive rod. The tips will give much more feedback. 

I have discussed the basic features required in different fishing rods for fishing walleyes. Now, let’s have a closer and more detailed look at each type of these rods.

Spending more money on the rod is not always right. In trolling and spinning fishing methods, the reel plays a more important role so you should focus on buying a more robust reel than a pricy rod.

A good walleye fishing rod may not cost you much. But different fishing locations will make you buy different rods, and soon you will have quite a few.

However, the situation changes completely when you use jigging for walleyes. In this case, the rod assumes more significance than the reel. As a lightweight jigging rod, a heavy reel can affect its balance, which can affect how you are jigging. 

Rod Power

The power of a rod describes how stiff it is, and is an indicator of the backbone of the rod. This comes from extra heavy to extra light.

For walleye, you will generally want a Medium Light to a Medium Heavy power range depending on the size and type of fishing you will do.

However, different types of fishing require different power, for example if you are trolling then the pressure of the strike will be higher and you may want to consider a higher power rod to compensate. For walleye trolling this would be medium rod power.

Fishing Rod Power Sliding Scale

Rod Action

The action describes how flexible a rod is, particularly around the tip. This is described from extra fast to slow. A slow action rod will flex uniformly from the base to the tip while a fast action it will only flex at the tip. This gives more sensitivity so you can feel a fish strike more quickly.

For walleye fishing have a fast action rod is more desirable. This tip lets you present your lure with a more attractive movement and strike early with a nibble.

Fishing Rod Action
Source: TailoredTackle.com

Material of Construction

Most fishing rods are made from either carbon fiber or graphite. Both are acceptable but have their own pros and cons.

Graphite rods are lighter and more sensitive but more expensive and less robust.

Carbon fiber rods are heavier and most robust but don’t have the same flexibility or sensitivity.

I would prefer a graphite rod for walleye, but carbon fiber will also work.


Most walleye fishing rods are between 6’0″ and 7’0″, although this depends on how you will be fishing. If you are going for trolling from a boat, you can go with a shorter rod.

This length gives good leverage when live baiting to get a good hook set when striking.

I recommend going for a rod between 6’6″ and 7’0″.

Final Thoughts

The best walleye spinning rod depends on the methods you choose to do the fishing. Your method selection depends on the fishing conditions such as the depth and techniques.

Based on these factors, I analyzed the best fishing rod options for walleye. To be precise, I checked out when trolling, jigging, and spinning setups can work best. I found that spinning rods offer more versatility while trolling and jigging can be more useful in circumstances that favor them.

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