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walleye, walleyes, jigging, jig, jigs


 The Ultimate Walleye Rod
 By Rick Olson

Anglers are always looking for the ultimate walleye rod.  At many seminars anglers will approach me and ask;  “What one rod do you prefer when going after walleyes”?  My answer, probably isn’t something that they would like to hear.  I usually tell them that I like at least six different types of walleye rods.
The problem that many anglers have is they like one or two types of presentation and they continue to purchase rods that will only allow them to do these two types of presentations.  For example,  how many of you only are jig fisherman?  Or how many of you are only trollers for walleyes?  If so, you are limiting yourself to the amount of fish that you can catch on any given day.  If you make you livelihood fishing, like I do, you can’t afford to stay with one pattern all day long.  Fish move, and their activity might decrease so you have to vary your presentation.
The rods that I carry with me are jigging rods, rigging rods, bottom bouncer rods, planner board rods, and slipbobber rods.  I prefer the  Extreme Rods from Bass Pro Shop, mainly because they have all the properties in rods that I like and I also helped in designing these rods for my own presentations.
 The jigging rods that I carry with me are 6 footers.  One of these rods is a medium action rod that allows me to vertically jig breaklines and weedlines.  The other rod is the same length, but is a light action rod.  This allows me to pitch jigs and with the light tip gives me more of a feel as the jig drops through the fish column.  These rods will have cork handles for sensitivity and not allow the rods to slip from wet hands.  Instead of taping reels onto these Tennessee handles, we have introduced a built in reel seat.  The cork handle unscrews and allows me to attach spinning rod and not loose the sensitivity of the cork handles.  The material that these rods are made of is high modulus graphite.  In fact the jigging, rigging and bottom bouncer rods are all made of graphite.  In turn, the trolling and deadstick rods are a combination of graphite and fiberglass.
 My rigging rod is 6’9” and it has an extra fast tip.  The last 6 to 20 inches loads up real fast and allows me a super sensitive rod when the walleyes pick-up the live bait.  These rods are so sensitive that I can feel the walleye on before he has even lifted the walking sinker off the bottom.  Again, here the rods have the Tennessee handles and are made of cork.  The rigging rod is made of graphite that transmits the lightest touch to the anglers fingertips.
 The  Extreme trolling and deadstick rods are longer and are a combination of fiberglass and graphite.  They may range in lengths of 6’ 3” to 8’ 3”.  An angler wants to get the line away from the wake of the boat and into a strike zone where spooky walleyes are when they hear or see a boat approaching.  The rods will have graphite tips and butts, but the mid section of the rod is fiberglass.  This gives the rod more backbone and ability to take the shock from a hooked fish on no stretch line.  The handles on these rods are made of foam, because the rod holders have a tendency to tear up the cork handles.
 The bottom bouncer rods are 6’3” to 6’ 9” in length.  One of the rods has a light tip to be used with finesse bottom bouncers.  Using bottom bouncers in  1/2 to 3/4 ounce demands a fast light tip.  Again, here I want the most sensitive rod  possible.  I want to be able to feel the bottom bouncer tickle the rod and the stumps on the bottom of lake.  I also want to be able to feel the walleye strike the spinner and have a positive hook set.
 My planner board rods and deadstick rods are from 7’9” to 8’ 3”.  The deadstick rod is fairly limber, because it sits in a rod holder and has to offer the bait in a natural manner, yet set the hook by giving more whip when it loads up.  These rods are telescopic and shrink down in size for ease of storage in the boat.
Last of all are my slipbobber rods.  They are also 8’3” in length to penetrate even the tightest snag away from the boat.  Plus the rods length gives me a sweeping hookset and springs or loads up fast to allow deep hook penetration.  Currently, all the rods are stamped on the blank that allows the novice as well as the pro to select the proper rod or “tool” for the presentation.

Therefore, try to select rods for presentations that you want to make and don’t rely on one rod for all the fishing that you will be doing.  You don’t need to purchase the most expensive rod only a rod, that is going to be your ultimate walleye rod.


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