Here is our review of the best ice fishing rod and reel combo for walleye.
Walleye are one of the fish species that are nearly sought all year months during both summer and winter. During the summer months, the water is clear, and there are no frozen lakes, so fishing is arguably fun and easy task.
On the other hand, during the winters, the lakes are frozen and covered with a thick layer of snow and ice. So, it requires more skills and especially equipment for successfully getting a hand on a fish. They are needed especially when you are gonna for catching walleye.
We did our research and in the following lines, we will review 5 ice fishing combos that we think are the best for walleye this year.
5 Best Ice Fishing Rod And Reel Combo For Walleye
Here is our list of ice fishing combos that we think are the best for walleye this year:
- PLUSINNO Ultralight Winter Ice Fishing Rod Reel Combo.
- Tailored Tackle Ice Fishing Rod Reel Combo.
- Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo.
- 13 FISHING Thermo Ice Tactical Combos.
- Shakespeare Fuel Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo.
Plusinno ice fishing combo is a great fishing combo for beginners. It’s well suited for those looking for a cheap combo that enables them to learn before breaking the bank with a more expensive item.
The rod is constructed from fiberglass. What I like most about fiberglass is its durability. It can withstand a lot of trials and many fishing days which gives you the chance to learn a lot. It’s also quite lightweight which is good for long fishing days.
The reel body and rotor are made from aluminum. Aluminum is lightweight but is strong and durable at the same time. It includes 4 ball bearings which are not the best but a smooth number for a smooth fishing ree.
The guides are made from stainless. It’s durable and corrosion-resistant. These are also the ceramic inserts that minimize friction allowing better casts. It also has the ability to transfer vibration improving sensitivity.
The handles are ergonomically designed. They offer both soft EVA and cork grips. I generally prefer cork handles because they are more sensitive which is required for fishing walleye. Cork handles are also more comfortable. However, when you think about durability, the EVA grip is a winner. They are also easier to clean.
Tailored Tacke Ice Fishing Combo is a good combo that offers great value for the bucks you pay. The rod is constructed from carbon fiber. Caron is considered one of the best alternatives to fiberglass. It is almost as tough, but it’s lightweight at the same time. It’s also more sensitive, but not as sensitive as graphite.
The handle is ergonomically designed and offers a cork grip. If you know me, you probably know that I am a cork grip fan. For fishing walleye, you need high sensitivity that enables you to feel their fine bites. This is where cork handles come. It offers high sensitivity and good comfortability compared to EVA foam grips.
The reel comes with 5 ball bearings which offer smooth operation even in freezing temperatures. The gear ratio is 5:2 which is suitable for fishing walleye and many other species actually. The drag is specifically designed for ice fishing and it was tested for low temperatures.
What I like about this walleye ice fishing combo is that it’s not only for walleye fishing, you can also use it for Perch, Trout, and Panfish. Something that I dislike about this combo is the reel. It appears to be of low quality compared to the rod. It’s also not very well.
Overall, the Tailored Tackle ice fishing combo is a good one that is lightweight and offers good value for the price. However, it may not be the best in the market.
GX2 ice fishing combo is probably the strongest and the most durable one on our list. The rod is constructed from a balance between graphite and fiberglass. This gets you the best of both worlds. You get the strength and durability in icy conditions of fiberglass along with the sensitivity of graphite.
The rod guides are interesting actually. It’s made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel. I saying it’s interesting because it comes in one-piece style. This way it’s more durable than the old pop-up inserts.
If you used Ugly Stik before, you probably know that they are famous for their clear tip design. This clear tip helps deliver the sensitivity needed to feel some fine bites down under the water. It also provides the durability required to land some big walleye species.
The handles come with EVA grips. I would have really loved it if they used cork grips. However, this adds more to the durability of this combo but sacrifices a little bit on the sensitivity side.
The draw of this ice fishing combo is the reel. It comes in only one size (20). So, if you need a bigger reel, you will face a problem. It also comes with only 1 ball bearing. It may be smooth, but it’s not the optimum nor recommended. However, at this price point, I think that this combo is offering a ton of value.
Overall, If you think about buying a cheap ice fishing rod and reel combo for walleye that can last for many fishing trips (and maybe years), you probably think The Ugly Stik GX2 combo is the right one to choose.
I know you don’t see me putting 13 Fishing gear a lot in my reviews. But, this time 13 Fishing Thermo Ice Tactical combo made it to my list. It is constructed from fiberglass which makes it durable and strong enough to handle walleye.
The rod comes with stainless steel guides and polished inserts. It’s available in 4 sizes from ultralight to medium. We recommend the 28″ medium size for fishing walleye. Taking a look at the reel, the spool is made from aluminum. The aluminum is lightweight and provides strength. The gear ratio is 5.2:1 and is considered suitable for walleye.
Regarding drawbacks, some anglers reported that the anti-reverse isn’t working properly. There are also some reports that guides aren’t lined with each other correctly.
Overall, it comes at a pretty cheap price and you may want to try it if you’re a beginner and don’t want to get involved in expensive gear right from the start.
The second ice fishing combo from Shakespeare on our list. Shakespeare Fuel Ice fishing rod and reel combo are available in only one size 28″-medium and fortunately it’s good for walleye fishing.
The rod is constructed from fiberglass and graphite composite. I don’t want to repeat the same benefits to avoid making you bored. But, you know what fiberglass and graphite composite mean (it’s mentioned above). It also comes with an EVA foam grip.
The guides are made of stainless steel with stainless steel inserts. The reel is available in 20 sizes only which is something I don’t like that much. I prefer the availability of different sizes and models. The rod is of good quality. However, the reel isn’t as good as the rod.
Overall I think that this ice fishing combination is good for walleye and comes at a pretty cheap price. You can try it out if you feel that the above options aren’t for you.
What Are The Factors To Consider When Choosing an Ice fishing rod and reel combo for walleye?
Now, it might be overwhelming to know which one to choose from these 5 varieties. That’s why we made a detailed buying guide to help you through it. First, we came into this video that talks about picking the right ice fishing rod and reel combo. I think you should check it out:
Now, let’s head to our content:
A Buying guide on choosing the Best Ice Fishing Rod for walleye
First, let’s take a look at the factors you need to consider for walleye ice fishing rods:
The action of a fishing Rod refers to the point that the blanks bend at. Rod action helps in detecting the nibbles and tugs on the lure. As with the right rod action, you can
quickly feel the nibbles and easily hook the fish. So It directly influences your casting techniques and baits presentation.
Rods with fast action are bent at the tip, while those that bend at the bottom have slow action. Also, rods bending at the middle of the rod blank have medium action. But what is the best rod action for walleye ice fishing?
If the rod action is so slow, it will reduce sensitivity. So a medium to fast rod action is good for walleye fishing in ice as it enables you to feel every faint nibble.
You might also want to read:
- The Best Ice Fishing Line For Walleye – Comparison, Reviews, And Buying Guide.
- 5 Best Soft Plastics For Walleye – Which One Should You Choose?
Mostly, Ice fishing rod blanks are manufactured from graphite, fiberglass, or a combination of both. Every material of them has pros and cons, and are more preferable for use in some cases and not recommended for others.
While graphite rods are more expensive than fiberglass, they are lighter and more sensitive. So they are recommended for anglers who are interested in feeling hits because of their superior sensitivity.
On the other hand, Fiberglass rods are more durable than graphite and also have a lower price. It is preferable for extremely cold weather conditions, why? Because graphite rods are also more susceptible to being frozen in these conditions.
Ice fishing rods are usually short, generally ranging from 14-42 inches. This range (14-42 inches) includes multiple lengths from short to longer rods that can be used for different purposes.
The big advantage of Long rods is that they provide better shock absorption for lure jiggles and handshakes. But, on the downside, they are not peri for use in smaller or closed areas.
Smaller rods are ideal for use in ice fishing quarters. But they don’t offer adequate shock absorption, so your hand will bear the stress during the fish tackle.
Many anglers prefer the rod length that ranges from 28” to 36” as it works better even if they want to stay mobile or even fish in a pop-up.
Many anglers prefer Lighter rods, as they are usually easier to carry and smoothly handled without getting so tired. That is most needed Especially in walleye ice fishing, which can require more effort than traditional fishing in warm water.
But this point should be well controlled, meaning that you should not choose very lighter rods that have a lower quality build. Another point related to rod weight is that The rod’s weight should be coherent with the line weight you will be working on.
The number of guides that the rod has should be considered. The more guides that rod has, the rod bends more efficiently and its shock absorption will also increase.
Guides with bigger eyes are more recommended as they make it easier to pass the line, also they are less susceptible to ice accumulation. Double-footed eyes provide sufficient support for heavy baits and lures. They also reduce the overall line weight on the rod blanks.
You might also want to read:
Ice fishing rods handle are often made from foam, cork, rubber, and plastic. Foam is lighter and durable but it absorbs moisture, which is a big disadvantage when fishing in extremely wet and cold conditions. Plastic is less durable, and it makes you slip when they are wet.
Cork handles are more recommended in ice fishing. They can effectively conduct vibrations and also easily worm in these conditions.
A Buying guide on How To Choose Walleye ice fishing reels
There are some features that should be considered when you decide to buy a new walleye ice fishing reel. As your reel will be susceptible to snow and other natural harsh elements During ice fishing. These are some essential elements to look for when buying a walleye ice fishing reel:
Reels used in ice fishing should be made from heavy-duty materials that can withstand harsh climate conditions and extremely cold weather. Stainless steel, aluminum, and graphite are the most durable materials that can be effectively used in ice fishing reels.
They are strong and also have a lighter weight. The other big advantage of these materials is that they are corrosion-resistant, meaning that they will work more effectively in Icy conditions.
Graphited reels are more recommended for walleye ice fishing. As it features a lightweight and offers great strength. It can also withstand extremely freezing conditions as graphite is a good conductor material of heat.
Ice fishing requires longer times of holding the fishing rods and it also exposure to fierce attacks of walleye in ice holes. So Using a lighter reel is more recommended in walleye ice fishing, as it is more comfortable in use and can be smoothly handled longer times.
Ice fishing reels face greater difficulties compared to regular fishing reels. That’s why Ice fishing reels usually feature a different design than other fishing reels.
So you should look for a reel design that will withstand these extremely cold conditions and can also protect the line. Using a case around the spool can help in the protection of it from harsh ice conditions.
Your fishing journey will be In harsh cold weather. That’s why you should carefully choose your fishing pieces that are made from antifreeze materials. You should also carry anti-freeze oil or paste during your ice fishing trip, this will reduce Any possible freezes.
Walleye ice fishing is a well-deserved task. You need to pick the right equipment to succeed in it without much fatigue and hardship.
The best ice fishing rod for walleye should be light enough for better feeling the jig swim. At the same time it should be firm enough for providing needed strength. A light-medium to fast action rod that has a 28” to 36” rod length works perfectly for walleye fishing in icy conditions.
When it comes to choosing the reel, a light graphite reel is the best for walleye fishing in Icy lakes. Think also about supplying it with special equipment suited to freezing conditions.