Gear for First Time Walleye Fishing: Walleye 101

walleye fishing

Jodie Paul March 25, 2024

If you’re venturing into walleye fishing for the first time, it’s essential to have the right tackle to increase your chances of success. Let’s dive into the gear you’ll need:

1. Rods and Reels:

  • Spinning Combo: Start with a medium-power 6-7 ft. spinning rod paired with a medium-sized reel (around size 35). This combo provides versatility for various walleye techniques.
  • For finesse tactics like jigging and rigging live bait, consider a medium-light power rod. Owning both types allows you to switch between artificial lures and live bait effectively.

2. Fishing Line:

  • Monofilament: If you’re using only the 6’6" medium combo, spool it with 8 lb. monofilament. Monofilament offers forgiving stretch and is readily available.
  • If you have both the 6’6" medium combo and a 6’ medium-light combo, consider:
    • Fluorocarbon (12 lb.) for the medium-light combo. Fluoro has no stretch, allowing you to accurately judge bites.
    • Braid (10 lb.) as the main line on the medium combo, with a 12 lb. fluorocarbon leader. Braid offers smoother, accurate casts compared to fluorocarbon.

3. Lures and Baits:

  • Jigs: Jigs are highly effective for walleye. Choose weights between 1/4 and 1/2 ounces.
  • Crankbaits: These work well for covering water and attracting walleye.
  • Soft Plastic Baits: Experiment with different colors and sizes to find what works best.
  • Live Bait: Leeches, nightcrawlers, and minnows are popular choices.

4. Rigs:

  • Lindy Rigs: A classic choice for presenting live bait.
  • Carolina Rigs: Ideal for dragging live bait along the bottom.
  • Slip Bobber Rigs: Great for suspending live bait at specific depths.

5. Additional Gear:

  • Weights: Split shots, drop shots, and slip sinkers are commonly used for walleye fishing.
  • Polarized Sunglasses: These help you see underwater structures and spot fish.
  • Tackle Box: Organize your gear efficiently.
  • Fishing License: Always comply with local regulations.

Remember, walleye fishing is both challenging and rewarding. Take the time to learn their behavior, study the water, and enjoy the experience. Tight lines!


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