Catching walleye will depend on your equipment. In fact, more than the boat, it’s the gear that will matter most in fishing. True, you can successfully catch walleye with the basic rod and a simple bait hanging out from the line but really, when it’s walleye you’re eyeing, don’t you want to increase your chances? Here are some tips on determining what fishing gear you need and how to choose them to catch the elusive walleye:
Choose a good, sturdy rod.
The rod is one of the basic components of your fishing gear. A lot of things ride on the type of fishing rod you buy. If you’ve never fished before, try buying a basic rod. Don’t buy the fanciest gear. As a novice angler, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t know what to do with it, at least for now.
If possible, go to the store yourself and pick your own fishing rod. Hold it in your hands and determine if the weight, size and feel are right for you. If you can grip it comfortably, it’s probably a good choice.
A heavyweight rod?
In terms of weight, consider the type of water you will be fishing in. Most walleye live in lakes and rivers and there will be times when you’ll have to fish in rough waters. Here, you will be better off choosing a fishing rod that is a bit heavier. A heavier rod will withstand choppy waters and heavy fish. They will also allow you to cast faster.
The only disadvantage of a heavy rod is that if you’re a beginner, it can be quite tough to handle. But if it’s the walleye you want, then an active and heavy fish like this will need a stronger rod. Go for a rod that offers medium action and is about 6 +’ to 7′ long.
Other than the weight, choose a rod that feels generally comfortable in your hands. Remember that the walleye is a rather elusive creature and you could be handling that rod for a long time in the water. If you aren’t comfortable, you won’t enjoy fishing at all.
As for material, fishing rods come in different materials. Three of the most popular include wood, fiberglass and carbon fiber. Again, check how well you can handle it. Check also for flexibility. Walleye can grow up to 30 inches and they can be quite heavy. Even if you caught a 15-inch fish, struggling with it can be a challenge if your fishing rod is not flexible enough.
Buy a fishing line with the appropriate weight.
Fishing lines will matter when trying to catch the walleye. If you catch a big fish using a line with a low weight, you could lose it in the struggle because the line simply can’t hold the fish. Go for a fishing line in the mid-weight category. A fishing line with an 8 or 10-lb. test will do nicely.
Pick a reel.
Modern fishing gear will definitely need a good, reliable reel. Otherwise, you’ll be spending a good half of your time trying to untangle your fishing line just to throw it back into the water. A reel is the fishing gear that keeps your line in place, preventing tangles as you go.
Some experts recommend a spinning reel and rod. This type of fishing gear will make it easier for you to use light cranks and jigs, two components often used to catch the walleye. Check for drag. The reel should be smooth and easy, extremely useful if you’ll be faced with a walleye who is more than willing to battle it out with you.
Choose a reel that fits well with your rod. Again, don’t choose gear that will weigh you down or be lighter than what you can normally handle. Check the gear that holds and releases the line. An open-faced reel uses a bail while a casting reel can be operated with a button.
Buy a good lure.
Although you can use live bait with walleye successfully, you might also want to try using flies and lures to complete your fishing gear. In terms of purchase, by the way, this part is the most fun primarily because flies and lures are produced in different shapes, sizes, colors and function.
To attract the walleye, choose a lure that is a bit bigger and colorful. Colors such as red, blue, silver, perch and chartreuse are a hit with walleye. Stock up on lures and bait that come in natural shades as well. In clear water, walleye find these irresistible.