Best Walleye Fishing Reels
To save you the shopping hassle, we have compiled a list of our top five walleye fishing reels that all boast of excellent functionality and don’t cost a fortune.
The Okuma Cold Water comes as a conventional fishing reel that stands out with its line counter, sports a single handle, and comes with 2BB+1RB bearings for smooth performance. It boasts of the best materials for superior durability, is highly corrosion-resistant, and delivers up to 20 lb. of drag. It also comes with a 4.2:1 gear ratio for excellent cranking torque, large ergonomic handle for the most comfort, and a line capacity of up to 580 yards of 20 lb. line, and is ideal for trolling walleye.
- High reeling torque, comfortable to use.
- Superior durability and drag performance.
- Large line capacity, smooth performance.
The Penn Battle II comes as a size 4000 spinning reel and is built to handle large fish. It is fully adaptable to both freshwater and saltwater applications, sports a full-metal aluminum construction, and comes with a quick-retrieve 6.2:1 gear ratio. It also comes with six ball bearings for smooth performance, a 260 yard/20 lb. line capacity, and a unique line-level indicator.
- Very versatile.
- Full-metal construction, highly durable.
- Quick-retrieve, extra features.
The KastKing ReKon comes as a trolling reel in two sizes suited to large fish and sports a durable graphite construction. It runs on three main bearings and an anti-reverse bearing, comes with a 5.1:1 gear ratio, and boasts of a powerful 25 lb. drag. It also comes with a large 250 yards/20 lbs line capacity, double EVA grip handles for the most cranking comfort, and an overall sleek design.
- Durable, lightweight construction.
- Smooth performance, high reeling power.
- Comfortable, decent line capacity.
The Okuma Helios is a top-of-the-line spinning reel that boasts of a carbon fiber construction for the best lightweight and strength performance. It comes with two 5.0:1 and 5.8:1 gear ratios, runs on 8 + 1 bearings for the smoothest performance, and the unique Okuma Torsion Control armor. It is also designed to encourage quick-drying, generates up to 13 lbs. of drag, and can accommodate up to 180 yards of 20 lbs. line.
- Exceptionally lightweight and tough.
- Highly versatile, smooth performance.
- Unique features for outstanding performance.
The Daiwa Tatula LT spinning reel boasts of the Daiwa unique ZAION body for the most durability and lightweight performance. It comes with a high-grade aluminum spool, an air rotor, and runs on 8 bearings for smooth casting performance. It also comes with a 6.2:1 gear ratio, a powerful 22 lb. drag, and a decent 210 yards/10 lbs. line capacity.
- Very lightweight and durable.
- Exceptionally smooth performance.
- Powerful drag, quick-retrieve.
Walleye Fishing Reels Buying Guide
Walleye tops the list of sportfish that put up a challenge for even the most experienced anglers. They are well armed with a light bite for stealth and impressive fighting power even when caught.
Our buying guide reviews the best walleye fishing reels on the market based on their specified features and tested performance to give you the best options to choose from. We then take it a step further to outline the particular factors you should consider and qualities you should look out for in a walleye fishing reel before you make a purchase.
While fishing reels come in many different types, spinning and conventional reels are the most commonly used for walleye.
Spinning reels are the most popular reel type and are very easy to use. They offer the advantage of being less prone to backlash, impressive casting range, and are very beginner-friendly.
Conventional reels are specifically designed for more power to handle large fish like walleye. They also usually come with extra features like a line counter and clickers. They are typically used on mounted rods and are great for techniques like trolling.
The gear ratio of any fishing reel you’ll be using for walleye is especially important. The species are very strong fighting fish, and so, the fishing reel should emphasize lower retrieval speed and more reeling torque with a lower gear ratio. Walleye fishing reels will typically come with gear ratios between 2.0:1 and 6.5:1 at most.
When fishing walleye, the right reel with the right amount of drag will help you conserve your energy and minimize the risk of your line snapping. Instead of relying totally on your reeling effort to slow and tire out your catch, the drag does this for you allowing the line to unspool under resistance. The drag rating will determine the size of walleye you can reel in. Higher drag ratings will allow you to work larger fish. The drag setting, however, should never be set above the load capacity of the line as the latter will snap before the reel is forced to turn. Walleye fishing reels with adjustable drag settings should peak at anywhere between 10 lbs. to up to 50 lbs.
Another important consideration to make when scouting for a walleye fishing reel is its line capacity or the amount of line it can hold. Line capacities are usually specified as a two-figure value representing the length of a particular load-tested line the reel can accommodate.
So a walleye fishing reel with line capacity 165 yards/12 lb. can take 165 yards of fishing line with a maximum rated pulling load of 12 lb. Walleye fishing reels should come with large line capacities to store a decent length of line with high load ratings.