What Is the Best Fishing Line For Walleye?


What Is the Best Fishing Line For Walleye

Walleye are a great fighting species when they start to gain some weight. They can be caught on soft plastics, crank baits and for decent specimen fish live baits will be successful. However choosing the wrong line will at best put off the fish and at worst may lose you fish as line breaks. We take a look at some of the best walleye fishing line.

What Fishing Line Is Best For Walleye Fishing?

Walleye fishing line or leader should be monofilament or fluorocarbon of about 10lb test. Braid can be used, but mono or fluoro should be used as walleye have excellent eyesight and braid will be overly visible. Mono can be chosen if you want to keep the line off the bottom or are presenting floating lures.

Fishing for Walleye with Braid:

Braid is useful for Jigging, its lack of flexibility and stretch allows you to move the jig instantly and naturally and also allows you to feel bites much earlier and stronger. A quick flick should set hooks.

As braid is coloured and walleye have very good eye sight it is strongly advised to use 3-5ft of leader. this can be fluorocarbon or mono and be of a similar test weight to the braid. Fluoro will be less stretchy than mono but this can be down to preference.

We use Power Pro as our go to brand for most of our fishing, walleye and other species as it has been crazy reliable and is not over priced or gimmicky which can be a real risk in all things fishing related!

You can check the details with the link below.

Fishing For Walleye with Monofilament

This give you some stretch, and is often use for beginners / day trips etc. if you are specimen hunting it allows you to scale up lures and gear a little. Also if you are fishing a Walleye Chop ( see later) then it will allow you to add some weight to the gear and give some flexibility to combat the wind and waves.

Monofilament floats so if you are surface fishing or slow trolling or slow retrieving then this will make sure your lure stays were you need it to be. Fluorocarbon sinks so it has a chance it will drag your surface lure down with it as well.

The advantage with monofilament is price. You can buy yards of these pretty cheaply. However, seeking out some level of quality is always advisable. Berkley are a well regarded, less stretchy ( in our experience) Monofilament producer. It is the most common walleye fishing line.

you can check them out below.

Fishing For Walleye With Fluorocarbon

It seems a little pricey to use fluorocarbon to fill a whole reel with this. It will, however, be very well suited to use as leader and this is how we use it. We fish with a 10lb braid with and 8lb leader for most methods of fishing.

The only use case, and we don’t really see the need is to use this if you are fishing deep waters and need to get your bait or lure down quickly to the bottom or near bottom. This may be needed on sunny days when the Walleye may retreat deeper in water to get away from the light.

Unless your really wanting to put it on the whole reel the suggestion below has 200 yards an will set you up for a great number of rigs for multiple species.

What is the Walleye?

The Walleye is a Northern American Predatory fish that is related to the European Zander. It edible fish and often caught for both recreation and consumption. They grow over a meter in length and weigh over 20lbs. Walleyes of this size are known to put up decent fights and test the strongest of fishing line.

What Is the Best Fishing Line For Walleye

How To Catch A Walleye

This needs its own post, and will get one in time. However a few quick tips to get you out on the water and ready to catch walleye are listed below.

  1. Windy and cloudy days are better for walleye, see below for where the term walleye chop comes from.
  2. Walleye prefer live bait, but crack baits and deep divers ( on sunny days) will work as well.
  3. Jigging, trolling and shore casting will catch walleye but the more water you can cover the more chance you have.
  4. Look for raised areas, inlets and river mouths and sand banks. These should hold walleye.
  5. Fish shallower in Spring and deeper in autumn and look for weeds and shade on sunny days.

What Is Walleye Chop?

Walleye Chop is used to describe the water and weather conditions that encourage walleye to bite. These conditions consist of winds of around 8 to 18 miles an hour, overcast skies and small waves with rough water. These combine to add oxygen to the water, stir up the bottom and reduce the light in the water.

All this makes it easier for walleye to see bait fish and puts them in to a feeding frenzy, or at least makes them more inclined to feed. They are often found closer to shore as bait fish move closer in rough conditions.

It is advised to add some weight to your gear if fishing a Walleye chop, heavier bottom weights or Jigs, to help with presentation of baits and lures in moving water.

How Big Do Walleye grow?

Well normally a quick google search would tell you this pretty quickly but there is a little drama and controversy surrounding the walleye record. The official ( and it changed a couple of times) record is from 1960 when Mabry Harper says he caught a 25-pound Walleye in Old Hickory Lake, Tennessee. However photo analysis 30 plus years later said there was no way this could have been 25lbs and 41 inches long.

So they reverted to a 1982 fish caught by  Al Nelson’s which was a 22lb 11 once Walleye, for which there is considerably more evidence. However once again they ( the IGFA) changed their minds and gave the record back to Marby Harper.

Which even one turns out to be accurate is is safe to say any Walleye over 20lb is a monster of a fish. You can ready more about the story of the largest walleye here.

Other Tackle and Gear for Walleye

Depending what method of fishing you influence what fishing great you will use, however we have full articles on this on the site. ( we have linked to these at the bottom.

If you are in a rush we own a couple of Okuma Trolling reels, and for casting we prefer the Abu Garcia models due to both their great drag and reasonable price. You can check out both at the bottom or in the articles linked.

Other Species Fishing Line Test Weights

Below you will find a table of links and information that discusses which line is best for different species of fish.

The links will take you to an article on that fish that highlights line, tackle and method of fishing. As we finish writing them, it all takes time! we will fill in the links. No link, well its on a list to be written!

Of course some will be fine on anything around 10lb test line, but just to be sure we have written them separately. We have included 2 tables the most popular North American (including Canada), and UK Species for fresh water.

Fishing Line Test Weight for USA Freshwater Fish Species

Freshwater Fish SpeciesTest Weight Fishing Line
Walleye (USA)Jigging: 6lb to 8lb Mono
Trolling: 10Lb
Braid: 10lb ( with leader – they have great eyesight)
Largemouth Bass (USA)Mono: 10lb to 20lb (floating lures)
Fluro: 10lb to 20lb (for longer casting)
Braid: 25lb ( for weeds and snags)
Muskellunge (USA)Braid: 100lb Test
Fluorocarbon Leader 120lb+
Wire trace potentially if not using large lures
Crappie (USA)2lb Test for both fluorocarben and Mono ( if crappie are structure free)
scale up to 10lb if snags or rocks around.
Bluegill (USA)2 to 6lb mono or fluoro or braid with a leader.
Redear Sunfish (USA)2lb to 8lb Mono or fluoro ( scale up if structures)
Smallmouth Bass (USA)8lb to 12 lb mono or fluoro ( mono if surface fishing)
Stripped Bass (USA)10 to 30Lb for freshwater.
Braid with leader if trolling.
Blue/Flathead Catfish (USA)30lb Mono for stretch ( up to 80lb if you know there are big ones)
30lb test braid up to 80lb if there are monster’s around) – use a leader
Lake Trout (USA)Mono: 20lb Test +
Braid: 20lb Test +
Pike (USA)Braid or Mono 15lb + ( up to 30lb if specimen fishing)
Wire or Fluorocarbon leader for those teeth.
Carp (USA)If larger fish then 50lb Test braid with fluoro leader.
If average then 20lb Test mono or braid.

Fishing Line Test Weight for UK Fish Species

Here are the most popular Fish in the UK and their test weight fishing lines

Freshwater Fish SpeciesTest Weight Fishing Line
Roach (UK)mono: 1lb to 4lb test. We advise 4lb as its still very light and covers you for larger fish.
Bream (UK)Braid and Mono: 5lb to 10lb. bream are not big fighters, but you may hook something that is
Carp (UK) If larger fish then 50lb Test braid with fluoro leader.
If average then 20lb Test mono or braid.
Pike (UK)Braid or Mono 15lb + ( up to 30lb if specimen fishing)
Wire or Fluorocarbon leader for those teeth.
Tench (UK)Braid and Mono: 8lb to 10lb test plus
Eel (UK)10lb test + Braid or mono with Fluoroor wire Leader ( eels teeth are sharp)
Perch (UK) Braid and Mono: 5lb to 10lb. Although a little smaller they do fight.
Chub (UK) Braid and Mono: 5lb to 10lb.
Dace (UK)3lb Mono or braid ( these guys are not big)
Rainbow Trout (UK)Mono or Braid around 4lb to 6lb will be fine, if you know there are larger fish then scale up to 10lb. Leaders recommended with trout.
Barbel (UK) Braid and Mono: 5lb to 10lb. Barbel put up a fight!
Zander (UK)Mono: 10lb test plus ( stretch to cope with their head shakes) and a wire trace (pike will be hanging about )
Salmon10-15lb for Pink and up to 25lb for Chinook.

Marc

Hi I am Marc, when I am not in a classroom teaching you will find me, or more likely not find me, on a boat, trekking through the woods, sitting by a river or pier hoping for tight lines or a straight shot. I have been teaching Outdoor skills, fishing, archery, shooting, Kayaking, Climbing and more for over 30 years. Its about time I shared some of that with you all.

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