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How to Choose your next Walleye Rod

By Jason Boser

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It's springtime in the Northland and that means only one thing, fishing! This next month or so before the opener people will be going to sport shows, seminars, and looking for new equipment for the big day. In this article we will talk about what to look for in a new Walleye Rod.

First off let me say, all the higher end rods are good. They have made them light, ultra sensitive and use good high density Graphite. You have to pick one up and get the one that feels the best in your own hands. I always try and get the best rod I can afford.

There area few different actions to look for. Medium-heavy, medium, medium-lite and light. They all work for different situations. If you are fishing a lot of deep water or fishing a river with heavy current you might want to go to a medium heavy or a medium action rod. If you are fishing mainly lakes where the fishing takes place in the 5-12 ft like around our area I would stick with the medium-lite to lite action. I have a lot of people come up to fish with me that bring there own rods in the boat. Some of them come in with a medium-heavy, or medium action rod and loaded with 10-12 test pound line because they read an article that says "you gotta really set that hook" so they think heavy is better. Thatís just not the case.

Lets take a look at different styles of fishing and what to look for in a rod. First off we will discuss jigging probably the most popular style of fishing for most of us. Seems like everybody likes something different in a jigging rod, some like short, some like long, some like medium, some like lite. So lets talk about the tip action the key to a good Jigging rod. There are basically 3 types of tip action, X-fast, fast and moderate. This just means where in the rod you get your hook setting power or where the backbone of the rod Is. you use a fast action tip you have the hook setting power more toward the tip of the rod. On the moderate tip it is more toward the middle. The other factor we have to look at is the length of the rod. Most people like to Jig with a rod in the 5í5" to 6í range. That seems to be what I see as the most popular length. Something easy to handle, Lightweight and stiff enough to set the hook. I personally like the longer rods for jigging. I use a St.Croix Avid series 7í medium lite with a fast action tip. I feel like I get a better hook set and can hold onto the fish better with the longer rods. Like I said though you have to match your rod to what conditions you fish. I jig mostly in shallow water 4í to 15íwith a 1/8-oz jig being my bread and butter so I can get by with the lighter rod. One thing I have to discuss before we get off the jigging is the use of the new super lines on the market. I have on many occasions had people in the boat who just get a new rod and put fireline or another brand of no stretch line on their system. So they are there with their new Medium action rod and their 10-pound test fireline and wondering why they are having trouble. If you want to use the new no stretch lines on the market you have to get a rod that matches. If the line does not have any forgiveness than you better have a rod that does. So go with a lite rod so when you get a bite the fish donít feel you right off the bat.

Now lets talk about livebait rigging rods. When it is rigging time the walleyes are usually in the deep water of mid summer. That means you have a lot of line out, on top of that you usually have to give them line to let them swallow the bait no matter if itís a crawler or a leech. So with all that line out when you finally get ready to set that hook you are going to need a lot of backbone to set it. This is where to me the x-fast action tip comes into play. You have a lite tip so when you get that bite you can feel him without the fish feeling you, and you have the hook setting power to really bury that hook with all that line out. I like a 7í rod for rigging. When you use a longer rod in the deep water you get a more sweeping hook set and more power on it. I also found with the longer rod in this situation you loose a lot less fish because you can keep a nice steady pressure on the fish when you are getting it to the boat. So when you are rigging be sure to look at a longer rod.

Now lets just touch on trolling alittle. I like to troll cranks for mid summer walleyes its fun and you can cover a lot of ground to find the active fish. So what kind of rod fits for trolling? I use 7í or 7í6íí lite action rods for my cranks. I usually use a fireline in the 10 LB test range, so when I get that strike I want my rod tip to really bend otherwise you can pull the hooks right out of their mouths with too stiff of rod. If I were using a monofilement line I would go to alittle stiffer rod because then you got the stretch in your line and you donít need as much in your rods.

Buying a new rod can be somewhat of a major purchase anymore and I hope this article helps you in making the right choice. If you have anymore questions or need help with your next purchase, donít be afraid to give one of our professionals on mnfishingpros a holler we would be more than happy to help steer you in the right direction.

Jason Boser

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