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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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