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Best Trolling Rods For Walleye and Sauger

If you’re looking for a way to step up your fishing to something more fun, you should try trolling. Many anglers enjoy trolling due to the challenge since it takes lots of practice to master it.

It requires a lot of practice and skill when it comes to trolling (fishing), as well as having the appropriate equipment. The most essential component in any trolling kit is having a good trolling rod. If your trolling rods are low-quality, you’ll get a broken line that’s extremely inconvenient.

As a fisherman, you’ll need a trolling rod that can support large fish and extreme conditions. It has to be easy to work with and simple to carry around at all times.

We’ll go through the best trolling rods on the market in this article.

Best Overall


Ugly Stik Walleye Round Combo (7′ 6″ Medium Light)

Best For Beginners


OKUMA Classic Pro GLT Trolling Rod

Best by Budget


Fiblink Saltwater Offshore Trolling Rod

1. Ugly Stik Walleye Round Combo (7′ 6″ Medium Light)

Best Overall

Standout Features:

The Ugly Stik Walleye Round Combo rod is quite modern and popular for its efficiency and overall durability. It’s a medium-action casting pole that’s 7’6’’ long.

It features Ugly tuff one-piece guides made from stainless steel for better durability and smooth operation. Another thing worth mentioning is the Ugly Stik clear dip design that makes the pole that much easier to use, and perfect for trolling walleye.

Its 20-size line counter reel has two ball bearings for more efficiency. Another one of its best features is also the on/off bait clicker for easier use. Plus, the rod comes with a 7-year warranty deal from the manufacturer. In terms of what this rod is made out of, it’s both graphite and fiberglass.

If you’re looking for a top quality walleye trolling rod, the Ugly Stik Walleye Round Combo is definitely worth considering.

2. OKUMA Classic Pro GLT Trolling Rod

Best for Beginners

Standout Features:

The Okuma trolling rod is made with materials of the highest quality, which means it can endure some rough handling and extreme conditions.

If you’ve been searching for a trolling rod, you may have heard people recommend this product. It’s among the most popular choices due to its ergonomics and durability.

The Okuma features a durable glass fiber blank construction. It can handle rough conditions and heavy fish with ease. Also, it comes with stainless steel hooded reel seat and graphite cushion inserts. The combination provides smooth operation and overall ease of use.

It features a shrink tube over the EVA butt that allows you to remove the rod from the holder. Another thing worth mentioning is its tip-over-butt Ferrule connection for better strength.

Best by Budget

Standout Features:

If you’re going after larger fish, you should consider purchasing the Fiblink Saltwater Offshore trolling rod. It’s resistant to the corrosion often caused by saltwater while it’s also flexible and durable.

It’s among the most popular saltwater rods on the market due to its top-quality construction. It features extra-tough one-piece tubular E-glass graphite composite blanks and five roller guides for smoother operation.

The rod offers a machined aluminum alloy reel seat that keeps its reel in place during rough handling. It’s resistant to corrosion allowing longevity and durability.

This one also has an aluminum Gimbal butt with cap. It comes with a high-density EVA foam handle and fore grips allowing non-slippery and easy maneuverability. It’s a heavy action rod that’s 5’1’’ long.

Standout Features:

The Fiblink 1-Piece is another top quality trolling rod that we recommend. It is built with a lot of power and is perfect for those who are looking for a heavy-duty trolling rod. The Fiblink 1-Piece is easy to use and makes it a great choice for both novice and experienced anglers alike.

Its solid E-glass graphite composite blanks deliver supreme pulling power for the largest fish. The structurally improved solid glass fiber construction enhances strength.

With the length of 5’6’’ for IFGA fishing, the rod maintains sensitivity and strength. It features polished stainless steel roller guides that protect the line from wear and tear. They also protect against saltwater and corrosion. Even though this rod is only 5’6″, we find the Fiblink great to use when trolling from a kayak.

Its aluminum alloy wheel seat features hood transitions below and above the reel seat. This protects the cap. The pole also has EVA handle for better durability and sensitivity. It’s comfortable and won’t become slippery when wet.

This product stands out thanks to the precise calculation and supreme manufacturing. As a result, the Fiblink is flexible, versatile, and lightweight.

We think the Fiblink is the top choice for any fisherman regardless of the level of experience.

5. Okuma Great Lakes Trolling Rod & Reel Combo

Standout Features:

If you’re looking to buy something durable and easy to use, you should consider this Okuma rod. It’s among the best-selling trolling poles on the market. Also, it’s a great rod and reel combo for both beginners and advanced anglers.

With its E-glass blank construction, the rod sports supreme durability and ease of use. It also offers a double-footed aluminum oxide guides for smooth operation and less strain. Add the stainless steel hooded reel seats to the combination, and you get a versatile rod for trolling.

One of the best features is the EVA foam grip included for comfort and overall ease of use. It’s not slippery when wet so you can use the rod in different conditions and types of fishing. Power handles are included in all Okuma models, this one as well.

Buying Guide: Trolling Rods

Heavy Duty

The trolling rod of your choice has to be durable because you’re going after large fish. The weight of the fish will add stress on the rod, but so will the dragging the bait and lure through the water.

You need a heavy-duty pole that can endure the rough handling.

Stable & Stiff

Trolling fishing rods must have the perfect ratio of stiffness and flexibility. However, if a trolling rod is too flexible, it will also be slow in action.

This usually results in difficult control and maneuverability of the bait and lure. Go for a trolling rod that’s stiffer in order to achieve realistic movement and faster action.

Top Mounted Reel

Controlling the line is another big issue when it comes to trolling. It’s especially tricky for beginners. For this reason, consider the poles that have the reel mounted at the top.

This allows an easier time controlling the line in different water.

Butt Ends

Make sure to select a trolling rod with a butt end. This allows it to sit securely inside a socket. The choice comes down to straight and bent butts, depending on how you plan to troll.

A straight one usually works for all kinds of trolling while a bent butt is best for boat trolling.

Rod Length

A good rod length range for a trolling rod should be 8″6′ to 10″6′. Most trolling fishing rods tend to be longer than other rods because you’re able to troll with multiple poles at the same time. Keep in mind that the length of a trolling fishing rod also determines on various conditions and preference as well. Conditions such as wind, fishing on a lake or ocean, type of boat, and the type of fish that you’re trying to catch.

This means that trolling rods are one or two-piece rods, making storage and transporting easier.


I don’t usually go cheap when it comes to trolling rods. I strongly advise that you buy a trolling rod as a one-time investment. A top-notch rod helps you avoid spending money repeatedly.

That doesn’t happen too often with high-quality rods. So, rather than wasting money on low-end trolling rods or something that’s too affordable, save up and get the one you want.

For instance, I’ve been using a Fiblink 1-Piece trolling rod for several years now, and to be honest, it wasn’t my first choice initially. I was recommended the Fiblink 1-Piece by someone who has fished longer than me and so I had to trust them. It’s not cheap — well over $100 — but you get what you pay for.

Various Guides For Trolling Rods

Quality guides are essential for smooth operation and fishing line support. It’s important you pick the right ones depending on the type of fishing.

Standard Eyes

These are the simple circles usually attached to the pole exterior with the line going through them. It’s the least expensive option that’s best for smaller fish such as salmon.

They might put additional stress on the line at times.

Roller Guides

Roller guides are a bit more secure as they allow you to thread the line. They are a bit more expensive but don’t put as much stress on the line.

These guides are better for bigger fish and rougher handling.

Inner Flow

This is a unique design. It runs the line through the blank or middle which eliminates much of the stress that’s usually put on the line.

It creates a smooth bend in the curve and helps you catch bigger fish. However, it’s the most expensive option.

Final Thoughts on The Best Trolling Rod

If you can’t make up your mind, we recommend you consider the Ugly Stik Walleye Round Combo. It’s among the best-selling trolling rods for the price.

All in all, it’s a matter of your preference since all of these poles are durable, reliable, and easy to use.