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mathews_hunter

What’s everyone’s favorite walleye trolling rod and reel setup?

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I currently have shamans talora 9’ ML rods with Cold Water 30 series reels that I use for everything browns, eyes, lakers, and saldmon.  I’m looking to get 6 new rods and reels for planer board Walleye fishing to run lighter line on.  Does anyone have any suggestions?

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I run medium action 7.5 ft Great Lakes model diawai with saltist for lead core.   

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The Denali Myriad walleye trolling rods are the best walleye trolling rod out there.  Paired with the new tekota A and that's as good as you can do.  I will say the Saltist is excellent as well, but they are bigger, heavier, and not low profile.  I have the Lexa LC and it's just not even comparable.  When I switched to a graphite trolling rod specifically designed to troll walleye I was absolutely amazed how many more fish I landed, and so many customers wanted them that I now sell them also.  If anyone wants to try before buying I have demo rods or just take a trip with me and you will definitely be impressed with both the rods and the reels.  I prefer the leadcore 8'6" but all of em are forgiving, durable IM 8 graphite rods.  The braid/mono rods are semi micro eyes and lots of them so they aren't fun to thread on the water in low light and wind.   It's almost impossible to lose a fish with them and with a properly set Tekota A drag you certainly aren't breaking off anything.  Another thing that helps land big eyes is fighting fish with the rod tip down or at least horizontal.  If you are fighting big fish perfectly you shouldn't even see a big walleye till it's well within net range.I'm not saying there isnt a 100 guys doing well on big fish with much cheaper stuff, but I almost guarantee they aren't consistently landing fish over 5-6 pounds on small lures and small hooks.  Try to land 10 pounders on number 5 flicker minnows down 30-40 feet and you will immediately see how difficult it is without an extremely forgiving rod and drag especially solo or with inexperienced guests.   Sometimes I only get a bite or two and usually the customer is not a "walleye guy" so for me every single bite is of utmost importance and I wouldn't consider using anything else....and I paid retail for my reels!   I had a stretch this summer where I landed 57 walleye in a row with customers.  None of which were little 3-4 pounders, none were on a decent sized hooks, and I guarantee 50 of em at least didn't have the hook in past the barb.  Nearly every fish comes unhooked the second they hit the net.  Between the walleye, tigers, catfish, and smallmouth Otisco will test your walleye gear and mine flat out performs by any standard.  These rods will make excellent finger lakes trout rods as well and they would be great for spring browns on Ontario.  

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When i first started on Erie I used the same gear I used on Oneida which are basically my browns rods- The Eagle claw 7' med light with 15 series Daiwa lc reels for divers (braid) riggers and cores to 8 colors and walleye coppers. Walleye don't really give you much of a fight and my customers liked maximizing what a walleye is capable of. I was fine with those rigs until I ran into bonus fish like Big lakers, Channel Cats, and Steelhead so I eventually had to gear up a bit and leave the true walleye gear in the lil boat for Oneida because it just proved difficult to muscle the Cats and the pig lakers up with the med light rods. I will say that part of this issue was the difficulty of consistently getting clients their 6 eye limit this year as opposed to the previous 2 years so I began more actively targeting the bonus fish much earlier into the trips. 

erie cat.jpg

erie laker.jpg

Edited by chowder
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image.thumb.jpeg.0cd7c6feb5fa547866883e423a3f888a.jpegCenter rod is the one I use for pulling boards/bottom bouncers with braid and snap weights.  I was looking for a telescoping rod that would fit in my 7’ rod locker and these TFO’s were on sale at Sierra trading for 50-75$.  Notice the real soft tip...that is helpful especially with braid to absorb the head shakes while keeping the hook from pulling.  It’s really the middle of the rod that allows it to pull the boards in rough water.  Have a couple Denalis too with leadcore...they are nice.  My braid reels are low profile cold waters and convectors.  The new low pro convectors have a “flipping switch” which comes in real handy when running boards with snap weights.  Not as nice as shimano but I don’t get to fish everyday....good enough for weekend warrior and 100$ less.

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