What Is a Walleye Trolling Rod?

The walleye is a fantastic fish.

They are predatory fish that are not only wonderful to catch but also to eat.

You fish for walleye by trolling for them in a lake or using a lure in shallow water.

Juvenile walleye school and you find them in open water away from other predatory fish.

The older and much larger walleye tend to find a perch and hunt in that location.

The world record for the biggest walleye is 25 pounds, and that record was set in 1960. 

Because walleye fishing is one of the most popular occasions, it is essential to have the best equipment.

In this blog, we focus on information that allows you to choose the best walleye trolling rod. 


What Is a Walleye Trolling Rod?

Trolling or Trawling means putting your line in the water and then towing it behind a boat.

Usually, a lure is best, but bait or live bait can also work. If you prefer a baitcasting rod, that’s fine.

Most trolling setups keep the lure at a range of depths depending on the temperature of the water, depth of the lake, and whether there are structures around where walleye may lurk. 

All that information means that the trolling rod must be heavy enough to handle the drag of the gear and the weight of a nice-sized walleye.

Those facts make trolling rods a little different from other rods that you would use nearshore or casting fishing. 

The characteristics of a walleye trolling rod include:

  • Medium to Medium-light weight
  • A lead core — you want a rod that has a strong backbone.
  • Ideally, a length between 7.6-8.6 feet. For shallow water casting, you would use a longer rod.
  • Fast action rods are also necessary. Walleye are fussy about what they eat. The fast action allows for better and faster hook sets.

What Action Rod Is Best for Trolling Walleye

Action is the amount of weight it takes to bend the tip of the pole.

For walleye trolling, you want a rod with a strong core that will handle the weight of trolling and a tip that bends easily.

The easier the tip bends, the faster the action, and that action allows you to feel what happens at the hook level.

A slow action rod takes a big strike for you to feel it, and a fast action allows you to feel even the tiniest of nibbles. 

The flexible tip means that the rod absorbs the shock that occurs when a hookset happens.

You already have weight on the line with the gear.

When you add the weight of a fish to that load, the rod must absorb that shock.

A rod that is too stiff will yank the hook out of the fish. 

With trolling, you do not always hold the rod. Instead, you’d place the rod in a rod holder at the back of the boat.

That also means that the fish initiate the hookset.

You may not notice a fish on the line until the fish turns away from the direction of the travel and the line begins to exit the reel.

All of these factors make the action of the rod more critical.

Fast action is an excellent way to go when trolling for walleye. 

How Long Should A Walleye Trolling Rod Be?

Generally, a walleye rod should be between 7.5–8.5 feet. Can you successfully trowel for walleye with a 9-foot pole?

Yep. For flatline trolling, longer poles may be better.

Flatline fishing means the line stays near the surface.

Generally, trolling for walleye means the line is at some depth.

The exact depth where you place the line changes based on the speed of the boat, the water temperature, and the size of the lake. 

If you are new to walleye fishing, it is a good idea to use a fishing guide.

Most guides supply all the gear and are power-packed with knowledge.

If you are going to fish in the local area, a guide will have the knowledge to set you up with the perfect trolling rod for specific lakes or rivers.

Expect that, in terms of perfection, the length of the rod may change from one lake to the next. 

How to Set Up Your Walleye Trolling Rod

Set up for trolling include the following:

  • A line counter reel — allows you to hit the same depth repeatedly as you troll. If you catch a walleye and reel it in, you want to be able to put the lure back in the water at the same depth.
  • Braided line — 12-15 pound test
  • Weights — an L-shaped bottom walker for fishing on the bottom. Ten feet of water equals a 1-ounce lead sinker. For every ten feet of water depth, add one ounce of lead to a max of three ounces. These are already assembled for you. Attach a swivel to which you will attach the line and lure. 
  • Leader — fluorocarbon leaders are good. You can attach them to the fishing line using a blood knot.
  • Snap connector — attach to the end of the leader for easy connection of a lure and then the weight. 

Fishing for walleye is all about water depth.

Generally, walleye are in the bottom one foot of water, and you want your lure to be in that zone.

A bottom walker weight allows you to feel the bottom.

The bottom of a lake is not uniform, so being able to feel the bottom is critical.

When you can feel the bottom, you can adjust the line so that the lure stays in the strike zone. 


Walleye fishing is one of the most popular spring and summer fishing activities.

Therefore, having the best walleye trolling rod is essential.

There are many choices out there for fishing rods and combos.

Choose one that will allow you to fish for years and make sure that the rod is comfortable in your hand.

If you follow the advice in this blog, you can easily find a rod that fits the general guidelines of trolling for walleye and is still comfortable holding for hours.