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Best Fishing Reel for Walleye

Last Updated: 01.04.23

Walleye fishing reels – Buying Guide, Reviews, and Comparison


In case you’re searching for the best fishing reel for walleye but don’t have the time to start doing your own research, then you should be happy to learn that we have analyzed dozens of products specs and reviews so that you don’t have to go through all the trouble. After holding each product to intense scrutiny, we have decided to recommend the Pflueger President Spinning Reel. Made of graphite, stainless steel, and aluminum, this reel is both sturdy and lightweight, equipped with a smooth drag system while also costing only a fraction compared to many professional models. However, its high demand might result in it being sold out. If that’s the case and you don’t want to wait for the stock to replenish, then you might also want to give the Daiwa Accudepth Plus-B Line a try.



Comparison table


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14 Best Fishing Reels for Walleye (Reviews) in 2023


If you wish you had some of the best reel models in one short list, with product specs and other details, then look no further. We have compiled a list of the top 3 fishing reels based on comparisons with other products as well as on what a large portion of customers had to say about these in walleye fishing reel reviews.


1. Pflueger 6930 President Spinning Fishing Reel


If you’re looking for great performance at a low price, then the Pflueger President Spinning Reel is a perfect choice. With a body made of graphite, this reel is very strong yet incredibly light, making it a great tool to take with you on any fishing trip. Graphite has a high anti-corrosion resistance, making it ideal not just for catching walleye, but also for saltwater species. The structure is reinforced with a stainless steel shaft that’s perfectly aligned to provide you with accurate casts every time

Each Pflueger President reel comes with nine stainless steel bearings, except for the 6920 model which has just 6. There is also an anti-reverse bearing which ensures that you can always have control over how you handle the catch, and you can turn it on or off with a single turn of the knob. With an anodized aluminum spool, this reel is ready for any type of line, providing smooth action on every cast.

With the Pflueger President, you also get a smooth disc drag system that’s meant to provide you with reliable tension at every drag setting. There’s also a Sure-Click Bail which emits audible signals, as well as an aluminum bail wire.


This unit is a fisherman’s dream come true. It offers top performance at a great price, and its extreme durability and smooth drag are guaranteed by the brand, which is what anglers demand.

The model ensures smooth operation with the help of its nine stainless steel ball bearings.

The instant anti-reverse bearing provides additional crank control, so you can pretty much use the unit for all your fishing adventures.

The aircraft-grade aluminum handle and the graphite body and rotor are two other factors that show you that the piece is ready for years of intensive use. It comes with extreme responsiveness without compromising rigidity, and it feels smooth and great to the touch.


Unfortunately, one buyer mentioned the salty air would most likely corrode the handle arm and trim pretty quickly, which is a shame given that it is made from premium materials.

Another downside could be the fact that the coating on the handle wears off in time.

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2. Daiwa Accudepth Plus-B Line Walleye 


The Daiwa Accudepth Plus-B Line is a solid reel that you can count on to provide you with a reliable performance every time. With a frame that’s made of a strong graphite composite, this reel can withstand heavy use and high loads while also weighing less than all-metal designs. The brass gears are precisely cut to improve crank power while also providing you with control via the auto-engage clutch.

This reel also comes with a spool clicker as well as a line counter which can immensely improve fishing precision, allowing you to cast the line in the best strike zone every time. Not only that but knowing how much line you have out also helps you set up an appropriate trolling speed and optimize your fishing.

Thanks to the high-quality felt drag washers that are impregnated with Teflon, you get to enjoy smooth drag with every spool turn while also ensuring that you keep control of the battle with the fish all the time. The large spool is made of cast aluminum, making it easier to fold and untangle line. The Daiwa Accudepth Plus-B Line comes in both left- and right-handed models.


Count on this rugged and reliable reel to find the balance you need every time you go fishing. It performs flawlessly due to its durable yet lightweight graphite composite frame, and because it comes with machine-cut bronze gears.

The spool is made of forged aluminum, and the dependable Teflon-impregnated felt drag washers are smooth and respond instantly to your commands, so you’ll never miss the chance of a great catch.

As you’ll notice, it has a one-piece composite frame, and it feels sturdy in your hands. It is capable of surviving even if it gets wet repeatedly since it is rust and corrosion-proof.


One complaint that some experienced buyers had is its weight. It seemed to be too light for someone that is used to heavier products.

And we could also include in the setback category the fact that it sometimes stutters when you first get it out of the box.

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3. Abu Garcia C4 Series


The Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C4 is an excellent choice for both novice and veteran anglers. This reel comes with many improvements over its predecessors, from casting performance to weight and drag. This model has a spool that’s 25 percent lighter than its older counterparts, while the aluminum line guide is 65 percent lighter.

This reel comes with four stainless steel bearings as well as a roller bearing for easier operation and performance. Thanks to the Carbon Matrix design, the drag system is finely-tuned and ready to provide you with smooth drag no matter what settings or gear you’re using. And when it comes to gears, the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C4 is equipped with 2 Duragear brass gears which ensure that you’re ready to handle just about any situation. With the 6.3:1 gear ratio, you get to retrieve the line a lot faster while also being able to tackle hard-fighting fish better.

You also get a synchronized level wind system that greatly improves performance for both laying and casting the line. The strong and compact bent handle and star provide you with a lot of crank power while the 6-pin centrifugal brake system gives you more control over casting.


The robust piece is a powerful baitcasting reel created by experts for those who take fishing seriously.

It is just as suitable for saltwater as it is for fresh water because it has corrosion resistance properties. It manages to save you from the cost of having to buy a separate reel for each type of water.

The model is capable of holding more line than traditional units, and its durability is guaranteed since it’s made of polished aluminum.

The reel doesn’t have any alignment problems, and its metal handle feels solid and responsive. The Abu Garcia-made unit rocks an impressive ergonomic design with a six-pin centrifugal brake.


The handle on this piece seems to be less ergonomic than those on previous models. They also say you might not notice that if you didn’t use the older models.

Some other buyers were disappointed with its drag adjustments, which seemed unresponsive and not really making a difference in speed or smoothness.

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4. KastKing Sharky III Spinning Fishing Reel


One of the things that make this spinning reel stand out is the fact that it looks great. The Sharky III is built to last, as well as to land impressive trophy fish in both freshwater and saltwater. Moreover, its construction is lightweight, which means that you won’t have difficulty in handling it, but it’s also sturdy. 

The fact that it contains a high percentage of fiber-reinforced graphite in both the body and the rotor should give you a pretty good idea of what we mean when we say it’s a durable unit. Its drag power should not be overlooked either, as it stands at 39.5 pounds, thanks to a reliable triple-disc carbon fiber construction. 

The main shaft is oversized and made of stainless steel, while the mesh brass pinion gears ensure enhanced precision. If you decide to give it a try, then you most probably won’t be disappointed, but you will enjoy many great fishing adventures. 


This spinning reel is sealed with a KISS unique protection, which means that the body, rotor, and spool are water-resistant and the dirt is kept out as well. 

The silky smooth retrieve will impress any user, while the unique aluminum spool included means that you won’t need to use a backing line any longer when spooling on braided fishing line.

The package includes multiple accessories, as well as 10 high-quality double-shielded ball bearings made of stainless steel, as well as an instant anti-reverse lock. 

Thanks to the Anti-Twist roller, the chances of the line getting tangled are significantly reduced, so you can focus on the task at hand.


This is a lightweight alternative, so this is something you may want to keep in mind, as some users were a bit surprised upon delivery. 

Make sure you check out the measurements since for some this reel is rather small. 

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5. Sougayilang Baitrunner Fishing Reel


When it comes to Sougayilang fishing reels, one of the first things that you should know is that they are ultra smooth. Crafted with high precision, these reels are lightweight and fitted with smooth oil-soaked felt washers. Moreover, the lever located behind the handle helps disengage the spool in order to allow the line to run freely. 

Thanks to the rear adjustment, the tension of the free spool can be controlled to suit the user’s needs at any given point, while the bait feeding system is specially made to get fish to pick up the bait without identifying any drag. This unit feature corrosion-resistant, stainless steel bail wire, while the rotor equalizing system is computer-balanced for excellent precision. 

Built with a high percentage of fiber-reinforced graphite within the rotor and the body, this model is surely not one that you should miss out on, given that it can make any fishing experience better. 


Featuring a 4.7:1 gear ratio as well as an oversized stainless steel main shaft, this reel comes with 13 + 1 shielded ball bearings made of stainless steel. 

Thanks to the durable body structure, as well as to the CNC aluminum steel, this model is one that you can rely on, even when the situation gets rather intense out on the water. 

The instant lock anti-reverse and the stainless-steel hardware are just some of the features that can help you during your fishing trips. 

This model can be used in freshwater, saltwater, rivers, lakes, and any other type of setting where new fishing adventures might take you. 


In one case, the handle started loosening after a couple of uses, but this is something that the seller’s customer representatives can help with. 

You need to make sure that the reel is properly cleaned after each use, to avoid any damage. 

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6. Shakespeare Wild Series Trout Combo


For those who want to have a great time fishing, while using a lightweight and reliable reel, Shakespeare might have the answer in its Walleye Combo model. Established in 1897, the brand has a long history of producing high-quality components and models that are great additions to any fishing gear. 

The Walleye Combo model features a 1-piece rod with sturdy IM-6 graphite construction that you can rely on during your outdoor adventures. Moreover, thanks to the smooth multi-disc drag system, the motion is easy yet strong, which means that you won’t have any problem catching those fish that you want to add to your list of trophies. 

Given that the spool and handle are made of aluminum, you will be able to rely on their durability, while the fact that they are light means you can maneuver the entire reel with more ease, in order to quickly respond to whatever changes on the spot. 


The 4+1 bearing system is effective in reducing friction, thus meaning that the user can enjoy a smooth overall experience. 

The multi-disc drag system is made of top-quality materials, with high precision, so there’s nothing you need to worry about in terms of being able to rely on it. 

The handle features an aluminum construction that makes it durable, as well as a soft touch knob which enhances comfort for the user’s hands during use. 

The model’s backbone is strong and stiff, and many previous buyers say that this is an excellent overall combo that offers great value for money. 


In one case the reel arrived missing a few elements, but customer support was able to help right away. 

You should see properly clean the reel after each use if you want to make sure you will be able to use it for a long time. 

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7. Shimano Sedona C3000 FI Fishing Reel


The Sedona FI is the first in the brand’s lower-end models that includes cold-forged HAGANE Gears. This is an upgraded model that now offers enhanced drag power, as well as increased gear ratios, which means the series is suitable for use in all kinds of environments, from light freshwater species to heavier ones found offshore. 

Another aspect that you might want to know is that the unit’s weight has been significantly reduced, which translates into more comfort for the user, as well as improved maneuverability. Moreover, the risk of experiencing fatigue during long fishing days is diminished as well. 

Shimano is known for focusing on precision engineering, in order to create what are seen as some of the most innovative products in this field. Of course, this translates into great experiences for anyone who decides to give Shimano reels a try, which means that you should not hesitate to see the results for yourself. 


This model includes the brand’s flagship HAGANE gearing system that provides strong, durable, and long-lasting performance, as well as smoothness. 

The Sedona FI works for both inshore and offshore use, thanks to the HAGANE gearing technology. 

Given that this reel features double-anodized machine-cut spools that ensure increased line capacity, at the same time keeping the body compact, there is nothing you need to worry about in terms of durability. 

The Propulsion Line Management System included provides longer and more comfortable casting distances, at the same time preventing the formation of backlashes and wind knots. 


You might need a bit of time to get used to this model, as some of the components might be a bit tougher to handle at first. 

The model doesn’t have a reverse switch, which is something that some users want, so you should be aware of this before placing an order. 

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8. Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel


If you are in the market for a durable reel that you can use when you want to conquer saltwater trophy fish, then the Battle II one offered by Penn is one that you should keep in mind. Featuring excellent craftsmanship, this product is a high-range reel that makes it ideal for many applications and various outdoor adventures. 

Given the fact that it features a full-metal body, rotor, and side plates, you don’t have much to worry about when it comes to its durability. Furthermore, the aluminum bail wire is heavy-duty, which means that you will be able to face any situation that appears, even when large fish come your way. 

Another aspect worth considering is the fact that it comes with an HT-100 carbon fiber drag system that ensures enough power, at the same time without sacrificing smoothness, which is something that anyone who is passionate about fishing will surely appreciate. 


The construction includes 5 sealed ball bearings that are made of stainless steel, which ensures fluid cranking, as well as an instant anti-reverse bearing. 

Given the super line spool included, no backing is required, while the line capacity rings that are marked at 1/3, 2/3, and full capacity come in handy as well. 

Since the rotor, body, and side plates are fully made of metal, while the bail wire is made of heavy-duty aluminum, this is a sturdy and reliable alternative. 

Thanks to the smooth HT-100 carbon fiber drag system, you will be able to rely on its power to conquer the larger fish, for exciting fishing trips. 


According to some of those who have purchased this reel, it might be a bit heavier than expected, so you may want to read the details provided by the manufacturer. 

The reel needs to be properly cleaned after each use, especially if it’s used for saltwater fishing. 

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9. Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel


Okuma is a brand that aims to deliver more than just fishing gear, and what it means by this is delivering motivation and energy, as well as excitement. In order to achieve this, its products are made using top-quality materials, they feature a dynamic design, and include advanced technologies. 

Since rods, reels, and combos are the foundation of an enhanced and complete fishing experience, Okuma created the Cold Water model which follows the same principles. Moreover, since there are almost as many left-handed anglers as there are right-handed ones, this reel is a premium line counter that can be used in both types of hand retrieve. 

Based on a powerful drag foundation, the Cold Water includes heavy-duty machine-cut brass pinion gears, as well as a dual anti-reverse system. Given the full Carbonite drag system, you can rest assured that the reel can withstand the test of time, especially as it’s made using materials of the highest quality.


Its internal elements and components are held solid within the Mechanical Stabilizing System, which means that long-term alignment of gears and shafts, as well as extreme durability, are ensured.

The unit is heavily tested for quality and durability, so there is little that might go wrong when using the Cold Water reel. 

Both the frame and the side plates are lightweight, as well as resistant to corrosion, and the fact that this model is used by professionals worldwide says a lot about its quality. 

The reel features a multi-disc Carbonite drag system, that also ensures precise settings for stability and ease of use. 


According to a few previous buyers, the rest button on the feet gauge might get sticky after a couple of uses.

If the reel is not working, then it might be a defective unit and the manufacturer can help in this matter, although this rarely happens. 

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10. Cadence Spinning Reel


When it comes to the CS6 Series reel offered by Cadence, what you should first know is that it was designed to offer durability and strength, which translates into its construction. Features such as the 7 ball bearings system that also includes an instant anti-reverse one or the corrosion-resistant aluminum frame set it apart from other similar options available for sale. 

Moreover, you might also be happy to know that the rotor and side plate feature a heavy-duty carbon composite construction, while the ergonomic EVA handle makes things easy in terms of maneuverability since it ensures a firm grip. 

According to many of those who have already given it a try, this spinning reel exceeds expectations, given that it provides the quality, features, and design of lightweight premium models. Another aspect worth considering is that this is an all-purpose reel, so you will be able to take it with you on any fishing trip. 


Semi-braid ready design, as well as the machined aluminum spool, ensure a smooth casting move that will help you get the desired results. 

The CS6 spinning reel includes a sturdy frame made of aircraft-grade aluminum, which renders it strong and reliable in dealing with large fish. 

Thanks to the high-performance 7 + 1 ball bearings system that is also corrosion-resistant, the reel can be safely used for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. 

This is an all-purpose spinning reel, so you will be able to use it for all types of gamefish, from bass and trout to redfish and walleye. 


According to one review, you can feel the rotation when reeling, and that particular buyer would’ve liked for the motion to be smoother. 

You should make sure that the reel is properly cleaned after each fishing trip if you want to enjoy it for a much longer period.

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11. Cadence CS8


The one piece-braid design of this reel makes letting out line much smoother. At the same time, it protects the line from getting damaged when casting. This model features a powerful machined aluminum spool. Its role is to prevent the line from slipping and to ensure internal grooves for lube retention as well as more fishing capacity. 

The Cadence CS8 Spinning Reel is built with a premium magnesium frame that is anodized, as well as ten corrosion-resistant stainless steel bearings. This makes the piece more durable and even more corrosion resistant. Since the main body is made from a combination of carbon and magnesium, the entire unit is 34% lighter and also 1.5 times stronger than aluminum. 

This certainly pushes lightweight to the next level! The weight is further reduced by the ergonomic EVA handle knob. CS8 spinning reel’s superior drag system delivers outstanding stopping power of up to 20LBs which can definitely handle the big fish you are following. 

The innovative wave drag system helps you precisely adjust the drag power you need at the moment. Durability and strength are also ensured by the aluminum OS gear, pinion gear, and main shaft. Therefore, any fishing scenario can be managed due to the fish fighting power it offers.


If you are looking for smooth operation, you should consider this model’s one-piece design, which also protects the line from getting damaged.

The strong machined aluminum spool prevents the line from slipping and also ensures internal grooves for lube retention. Moreover, you will get more fishing capacity.

The spinning reel is constructed with premium anodized magnesium. The unit is equipped with ten stainless steel bearings that are also corrosion-resistant.

The model’s construction makes it lightweight. From this perspective, the EVA handle knob is also very helpful.

The superior drag system produces excellent stopping power for targets of up to 20 pounds. This is very helpful when the angler is fighting that big fish he or she was after.


According to some buyers, the drag is very touchy. You need to either lock it down or you bump it and it is loose. It is a thing that can take some time to get used to.

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12. Okuma Linecounter


It could be the high level of Omega-3 that is in their diets, but the areas where steelhead, salmon, or walleye swim have a few of the highest concentrations of left-handed fishermen in the world. This model is a way of serving anglers with a superior line counter in both left and right hand retrieve. 

The unit is made on a strong drag foundation which includes heavy-duty machine cut brass pinion gears, full carbonite drag system, and dual anti-reverse system. All of the internal components are held securely within the Mechanical Stabilizing System which offers incredible durability and long-lasting alignment of shafts and gears. 

There are other things you will definitely appreciate when it comes to this piece. One of them is represented by the side-plates and frame that are lightweight and corrosion-resistant. Furthermore, this model features a multi-disc drag system and 2BB+1RB stainless steel bearings. 

The self-lubricating gearing system and the speed lock pinion gear system are other features of this unit that are very appreciated. Moreover, you can also take advantage of the ratcheting star drag for increased precision. You should know that if you decide to try this model, you will also get a one-year limited warranty.


If you are looking for a reliable spinning reel that will help you catch big fish such as salmon, walleye, or steelhead, you should keep this model with right and left hand retrieve.

The piece is built from a combination of high-quality components like a full-carbonite drag system, a dual anti-reverse system, and heavy-duty cut brass pinion gears.

The internal components are held within the Mechanical Stabilizing System. This offers increased durability as well as long-lasting adjustment for the gears and shafts.

What is more, the side plates and the frame are corrosion-resistant and they also help cut the overall weight of the unit down.

Many customers also like the speed lock pinion gear system as well as the self-lubricating gearing system.


Even with the spool fully loaded, some users would like the retrieve to be a bit faster.

Also, there are a few who would prefer the drag to be stronger.

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13. Okuma Magda Pro


This left-handed crank line counter series is represented by lightweight, corrosion-resistant reels with stainless steel reinforced side-plate rings. Furthermore, the mechanical line counter function has the role of measuring in feet and also has a rubber push-button reset. 

The Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel comes with a carbonite drag system, self-lubricating gear system, and long-lasting machine-cut brass gears. In other words, this reel is ready for anything! The lightweight corrosion-resistant frame and side plates, as well as corrosion-resistant graphite spools, are other features which make this model stand out.

You will certainly also appreciate the two stainless steel ball bearings and the stainless steel level wind line guide system. All in all, this reel is made with the highest quality materials and it passes numerous tests in terms of reliability as well as quality. Moreover, the unit is used by professional anglers all around the world. 

Buyers say that this model is sensitive and also very easy to use, making fishing even more pleasurable than it already is. Also, most customers agree that the price is excellent for the value, which is a great advantage if you don’t want to spend a fortune on a new reel, but still want quality.


This lightweight and corrosion-resistant spinning reel with reinforced side-plate rings is a great option if you are looking for such a piece of fishing equipment for big fish.

Moreover, the carbonite drag system, the durable machine-cut brass gears, and the self-lubricating gear system make this model an excellent option in its category.

The reel is also equipped with two ball bearings made of stainless steel which is the same material used for the steel level wind line guide system.

Many anglers who used it appreciate this piece of equipment, and they are pleased with it in terms of performance, reliability, durability, and overall quality.


There are a few users who do not like the fact that plastic parts have also been added in the construction of this reel.

Also, some anglers noticed that the line counter is a bit temperamental, and would get a bit off the number alignment in the viewing point.

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14. KastKing Kapstan Elite


This amazing unit is a large frame with high capacity and low profile baitcasting reel. It is a fully-featured and even tournament-ready baitcasting tool that is ideal for large game fish such as muskie, salmon, walleye, steelhead, catfish, or bass. This model can just as well be used for inshore fishing for redfish, stripers, snook, or bottom fish. 

The KastKing Kapstan Elite Size 300 is a perfect option for baitcasting or trolling due to its low profile design with a high line capacity and outstanding drag power. Moreover, it is very comfortable and easy to use. 

It uses a solid and robust graphite frame and side covers in order to maintain weight down, while the manganese brass main and pinion gears offer power and durability. The stainless steel main shaft delivers a high level of performance. 

In addition, this model uses MaxiDur, double-shielded stainless steel ball bearings which reduce noise and increase the casting distance. Since the unit was designed for big fish and rough conditions, it features a strong triple disc carbon drag system. 

At the same time, it is smooth and it can deliver 35 pounds of fish stopping drag. The CNC aluminum braid-ready spool also provides a larger line capacity. 


As an option worth considering for baitcasting, this reel comes with a large frame as well as a low profile. Since it is fully-featured, it is ready for many types of fishing scenarios.

What impresses the most about this model is its outstanding line capacity and incredible drag power. In addition, the unit is incredibly easy to use.

It is constructed with a robust and reliable graphite frame and side covers. This keeps the overall weight down. The manganese brass main gear and pinion gears give the unit strength.

You may also like the fact that this model can carry up to 35 pounds of fish stopping drag which is very impressive.


Other than a buyer who finds the line-guide a bit wobbly, another one who thinks the unit is a little too heavy, and one more that considers it too small, this reel is highly appreciated.

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Buying guide


Finding a good fishing reel for walleye can be tough, with so many good-looking models out there, the variety of materials, features, and advertising claims. There are some essential things, however, that you might want to look for first when deciding on a model to buy. Here is a short guide that might help you make the right choice.

Reel materials explained

When it comes to reel materials, you have a variety of options to choose from, although the two most popular choices are aluminum and graphite. With aluminum, you get a sturdier frame, but the reel will be somewhat heavier. You may want to choose an anodized aluminum version for the extra protection against corrosion.

With graphite, you don’t get the same strength as with aluminum, but the reel will be lighter and easier to hold for long periods of time. Graphite also has a higher resistance against corrosion and might make the reel model a bit cheaper. Steel also plays an important part in reels, with bearings and shafts usually made of this strong material.


A good drag system makes all the difference

The key to catching any fish, and especially walleyes, is to have a good drag system. You need to have the line properly tensioned, yet not too tensioned so that when the fish bites the bait, it doesn’t encounter too much resistance. The best walleye fishing reel models will have all sorts of disc drag systems which won’t just increase the chances of catching these tasty fish, but also improve smoothness and the overall fishing experience.


Choose extra features for easier fishing

If you’re considering a reel to catch walleye, then you probably want to make sure you get a reliable model that comes with some extra features to give you an upper hand against this elusive fish, especially since it loves feeding in low-light conditions.

Many models up for sale have spool clickers which come in handy when casting and making fish bite, line counters which can improve casting precision – especially in low light, anti-reverse knobs for more control, and a host of other features that will help you catch these highly appreciated fish.




1) Walleye description and where you can find it

2) What is a fishing reel

3) Types of fishing reels

4) Choose the right reel



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