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If you’re looking for the best walleye reels to help you upgrade your game, you’ve come to the right place.
Different kinds of fish require different kinds of tackle.
While you might be able to get by with using a basic reel for salmon or walleye, you’re going to be much more successful if you take a more targeted approach.
You can go after walleye with several different fishing techniques, including jigging, spinning, trolling, and bottom bouncing.
While some reels work best for these various techniques, most of them can be adapted to any purpose. Here’s what you should look for on your next shopping trip.
Best Walleye Reels: The Short List
In a rush? You don’t need to take the time to read the full overview – after all, you have walleye waiting!
Here are the best walleye reels on the market today:
Last update on 2023-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What to Look For When Buying a Walleye Reel
Don’t buy a walleye reel without making sure it will match the rod you have first! Do some research to make sure your reel will fit the kind of rod you have and vice-versa.
While you will want to get a reel that fits perfectly to your rod of choice, don’t fall victim to assuming that you have to have a separate reel for every rod.
The best reel for walleye fishing reel will fit not only your favorite rod but a variety of rods in your fishing arsenal, too.
See Also: Can You Eat Walleye?
The size of a spinning reel is important. You can figure out which size is best for you by considering the size of the fish you normally like to catch.
Usually, ten-pound test will be the line that you use to catfish walleye, but if you plan on doing a lot of trolling, you may want something a bit different.
Look for reels for walleye fishing that are rated with six, eight, and ten-pound test lines. That way, you’ll have enough flexibility to switch up your line depending on your needs.
Also Read: Best Fishing Line For Walleye
Weight and Reel Body
Look for a walleye reel that is made out of tough material, like aluminum or graphite. Some reels even contain a powerful blend of the two materials.
This will lend your reel power, strength, and durability, without adding a lot of weight.
The top walleye reels (usually those used by professionals) are typically made out of aluminum. This will give your reel strength without adding to its heft.
However, you need to consider how the reel body is constructed beyond just looking at its weight alone. Ideally, the reel should be built without any loose or flimsy pieces.
The fewer parts your reel has, the better, as it will be less likely to break down.
Put some thought into the power of your walleye reel.
Walleye can vary widely in their size, so you’ll need to make sure you are matching the power of your reel to the potential size of the walleye.
You don’t want to use tiny fishing line on a tiny reel when you’re fishing for walleye – you need to make sure you invest in a powerful reel that can hold up to any challenge you throw at it.
Consider the line capacity of your walleye reel before you buy it. Walleye tend to swim deep – usually at least 20 feet deep or so in the water column.
As a result, you’ll want a reel that offers enough line for you to get all the way to the bottom. The higher the line capacity, the better, as this will mean your reel is capable of meeting any challenge.
Bearings are essential components to consider in any reel. The better the bearings, the better the fishing. If you have low-quality bearings, you won’t have the support needed to go after walleye.
You should look for a reel with at least eight bearings along with one quick reverse bearing for the walleye. Make sure these bearings are corrosion-resistant, too.
You’ll find all kinds of drag systems on the market, but if you’re going after walleye, you’ll need a reel that has powerful drag.
Look for a reel with a carbon fiber drag system for best results. Without a smooth, high-quality drag, you run the risk of losing your fish or breaking your line.
Make sure the drag is non-constrictive, too, which means it pulls out steadily and without hesitation no matter what tension you set the drag at.
Anti-reverse handles are important when you are looking for a good spinning reel. To find out some good option for spin reels click here.
These work to help prevent the handle from moving backward.
Because of this, they can help to make your hookset more powerful and precise, too.
Top 5 Reels for Walleye Fishing in 2023
Here are the top walleye reels on the market today
Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG FB Spinning Fishing Reel
Shimano is one of the top brands for you to know about when you are on the hunt for the perfect walleye reel. The Ci4+ is a total powerhouse that leaves very little to be desired.
Not only is it incredibly lightweight, but it is sturdy and stunning to look at, too. It has a patented magnum lite rotor design that gives it a light feel that you’ll notice with every crank.
It is 25% lighter and requires 22% less force on your part compared to other reels. You will be able to start and stop your retrieve with ease.
Plus, this reel has dynamic Aero Wrap Ii machinery that reduces friction and makes it easier for you to cast farther and with more precision.
It has an original “worm” gear scheme, too.
This means that the reel will rapidly shift the spool up and reduce its speed on the way back down. It resists corrosion and can be used in both saltwater and freshwater alike.
- Lightweight build
- Has watertight reel housing and corrosion-resistant features
- Includes cold-forged aluminum internal gears
- Has some issues when operating at low speeds
Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel
The Pflueger President is yet another fantastic spinning reel if you’re going after walleye.
However, you’ll find that this adaptable reel works well for fish of other species, too, making it one of the most versatile products you can buy.
It has nine bearings, each of which is incredibly durable, along with a study graphite body and rotor. It has an aluminum handle, too.
These elements not only make the reel more lightweight, but they don’t compromise on its durability, either.
The President has its own multi-disc system of drag that is made out of lubricated felt and stainless steel washers. You’ll love how smooth the drag is – no friction, no matter what.
There are several reels in the prestigious President lineup, each of which has a different drag weight and line size.
Although you can customize your pick based on the species you are going after or the rod you already have, all of these options are perfect for use with light tackle.
This reel can be used with super light lures and tackle. It doesn’t twist or snag your line when you’re reeling in. Plus, it has anti-reverse bearings so you can set the hook as soon as you get a hit.
These bearings also prevent the likelihood of the bail turning backward while you are setting your hook or reeling your fish in.
- Made out of high-grade materials
- Several sizes available
- Has a buttery smooth drag
- One of the top reels for walleye fishing
- Can suffer from corrosion if you try to use it for fishing other species in saltwater
Daiwa Tatula LT 6.2:1 Left/Right Hand Spinning Fishing Reel
Daiwa has made an excellent product for going after walleye in its Tatula LT 6.2:1 fishing reel.
Although the company markets this reel heavily toward bass fishermen, it is also incredibly effective when you are going after walleye, too.
It is lightweight and has a rugged design, made out of high-grade aluminum within a patented Zaion housing unit. Your bail will rotate seamlessly – without any snags or hiccups – each and every time.
The reel includes high-density carbon compound features and offers the perfect compromise between a lightweight feel and unparalleled durability.
Its design allows for its weight and pressure to be evenly distributed across the rotor. It includes seven ball bearings that are made out of a state-of-the-art composite.
While most fishing reels incorporate stainless steel ball bearings, this reel has ball bearings that are instead corrosion-resistant while also introducing any friction to your reel.
Finally, the Daiwa Tatula has one more feature worth mentioning – the DigiGear internal system.
Although this sounds high-tech, it’s actually quite simple. This DigiGear system means that the gears were digitally machined and designed to allow for optimal performance.
As a result, you’ll be able to use this reel for all kinds of species, including walleye along with large stripes, flounder, trout, and panfish.
- Super lightweight construction
- Offers a smooth retrieval
- Durable co considering its lightweight build
- Some reviewers report backlash during casting
Abu Garcia Revo MGX Spinning Fishing Reel
The Abu Garcia Revo MGX is another top walleye fishing reel for you to consider if you’re on the hunt for massive walleye. It comes with a slightly higher price tag, but the quality makes the extra expense worth it.
It has a single-piece gearbox made out of magnesium alloy. Its rotors, stem, and body are made out of ultralight C6 carbon. In fact, this is one of the lightest walleye reels you will find.
A premium piece of equipment, the Abu Garcia Revo has an integrated instant anti-reverse function along with an x-mag gearing system.
It also has patented K-Clutch technology with a no-slip anti-reverse mechanism – you won’t have to worry about losing control while you are using this reel.
Durable and easy to operate this reel has a long lifespan with multiple high-grade provisions that only add to its ease of use and overall longevity.
It comes with an eleven-bearing setup and is incredibly corrosion resistant, too.
- Excellent drag and retrieve
- Has a durable, stylish design
- Comes with an extra spool
- Bail is easily bent
Shimano Stella FJ Spinning Fishing Reel
Another option by Shimano that you need to consider is the Stella FJ fishing reel. This one is legendary in terms of its performance, construction, and value.
It has some of the most up-to-date improvements in its sturdiness and sleek design. It has a Micro Module gearbox that promotes solid gear alignment along with an excellent turning force.
It has unique micro teeth on its pinion and primary gears to help provide you with a superior day of fishing.
Not only that, but it also has a Silent Drive powertrain that will make it easy for you to attach your handle to the gear shaft.
This makes the transfer of power more seamless and eliminates any concerns over back play and gear slippage. It has CoreProtect technology that makes it more durable, too.
You don’t have to worry about water getting into the internal component of the reel and you can easily use this reel for both saltwater and freshwater fishing – just in case you want to use it for something besides walleye, that is!
- Can be used for both saltwater and freshwater fishing
- Offer seamless, smooth casting
- Features up-to-date technology and superb gear alignment
- Not much of an upgrade from the 2014 Shimano model of the same name
Finding the Right Reel for Walleye Fishing
Going after walleye can be a challenging, exciting experience, regardless of whether you are a beginner or a more experienced angler.
Walleye are not only fun to catch but their meat is known for being some of the most tender and flavorful, too. Nevertheless, you can’t argue the fact that walleye can be elusive, hard to catch fish!
However, as long as you know what you are doing and are armed with the right equipment – such as the right walleye reels – you shouldn’t have any problem catching tons of fish.
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