Choosing Your Walleye Rods, Reels, and Line

20140625-071335-26015941.jpg   A couple of weeks ago I posted a picture it showed 2 guys holding a fair number of fish on my boat, I posted it as we had had a good day on the water and just wanted to share with people. anyhow I had a comment about the pic that was about the equipment, more specifically, the rods and reels on my boat, and did I really need that heavy equipment for catching walleye. My answer to the individual was a bit vague. I told him because I charter for both Salmon and Walleye I need those heavy rods. this statement although true needs much more explaining behind it. So I’ve thought about this over time and thought that this question is actually a very reasonable and valid question to ask, especially if someone would like to get into the sport of walleye fishing. so I am blogging about the rods and reels I use on my boat and why it is essential to have it while chartering for Walleye

I find that there is some equipment that is essential for consistently catching walleye year round. as I have blogged about this, this past spring I will go into another explanation about it now.

1st      you must select a rod with good back bone, and it must also be quite flexible. if you are going to be going after walleye in the spring and the fall on Quinte you must have a rod that can handle large walleye. these fish can be in the 10 + lbs range and they can be very strong if you have a rod that is too lightweight it may snap under the pressure of the fight alone.

There are many methods used to catch these fish. From down rigging, and Dipsey Divers, to line weights and Planer boards. All of these methods used, put a colossal strain on your rods and equipment even on the calm days, but especially in rough weather so you must have a rod that can take the abuse for hours on end, and day in and day out.

2nd     To Match the rod strength you must have a line counter reel. when choosing a line counter reel make sure you do some research on these. Most importantly when choosing a line counter reel make sure you get one that has a good strong gear, and drag system and that can hold enough line for your fishing applications. remember using lead-core line will require a much bigger reel to put enough line on it than if you are just putting 10lbs test Braided line on a reel. Also when choosing a reel take into consideration what time of year you will be fishing  and in and what body of water, This is so you choose one that will be perfect for your situation. and Lastly make sure the counter has a loud enough clicker on it so you will hear it in all kinds of situations when you have a fish on the line.  Line counters are imperative to your success because it is the only way you will be able to perfectly replicate a presentation to the fish when you find something that is working.

A small tip when you do find one make sure you lock-tight any screws that are not meant to come off the reel I have had several different types of reels where the release clips and other screws have suddenly disappeared. Off topic but Maintenance on your equipment is so essential, you do not want to find yourself hours away from home out in the middle of the lake, to find your equipment is not working properly.

3rd Fishing Line. after you have chosen a good rod and reel combo its time to choose the line that will 1st, work for the fish you are going after and 2nd, be able to take the abuse, and wear and tear you will be putting it through. for example if you plan of attaching weights to your line it must be thick enough to be able to hold them securely and if you plan on using planer boards and Dipsey Divers it must be strong enough to be able to withstand the tension of constant pressure from the resistance of the boards against the water. Also choose a line colour that makes the line invisible in the water you are fishing in. A good start in finding a good line is to use a 20-30lbs braided line. on most of my rods I use Power Pro 30lbs test at the moment when I am fishing walleye, I put a 10-30 foot 17lbs  fluorocarbon leader on them,  however I am thinking of trying a 12lbs fluorocarbon leader material and recording the results.

I hope you find this useful when deciding what type of rod you need for fishing walleye this Fall.

Capt James Mathias