This is no doubt that the thrill of catching Walleye is unmatched. It's a game of patience and strategy, and having the right fishing gear is crucial. A recurrent question that anglers pose, and we're here to answer is - "What Size Reel for Walleye?"

Whether you're an experienced angler or a beginner, the size and type of reel you use can make a big difference. So, what size reel is best for Walleye? Let's find out!

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the basics of the size of reels and why the choice of reel size is significant in successful Walleye fishing.
  • Lighter reels, like the 1000 size, provide excellent casting distance and an optimized feel for fish nibbles.
  • Larger size reels such as the 2500 or 3000 provide a balance of line holding capacity and casting distance.
  • Brands like Shimano, Okuma, Daiwa, and Creed X offer excellent models for Walleye fishing in various sizes.
  • The choice of reel size should reflect the specific fishing conditions you predict and your personal comfort.

Understand The Size Of Reels

Spinning reels, feature a stationary spool next to the rod, are classified by their sizes. The sizes are often labeled with numbers such as 1000(10), 2500(25), 3000(30), and so on.

Knowing these numbers and their consequences can help you navigate your fishing strategy effectively.

Typically, the size of a spinning reel determines how many lines its spool can accommodate, affecting its total capacity. The bigger the size of the reel, the bigger the line capacity.

For example, a size 1000 reel is smaller and has limited line capacity, making it perfect for thin lines and long-distance casting.

On the other hand, a larger 3000 size reel has a greater capacity and can accommodate thicker lines, which is perfect for heavier lines.

A 1000 size reel from one company may not be the same size as a 1000 size reel from a different company. Before purchasing, it is always advisable to review the reel's specifications regarding line capacity and weight to make sure it meets your fishing requirements.

What Size Reel Is Best For Walleye Fishing?

If you already have fishing reels on hand, should you get a new one specifically for walleye fishing or stick with what you have? Choosing the right reel size can greatly affect your walleye fishing experience, as it depends on the type of fish you're targeting.

While there are many responses provided online, we have rounded up some top opinions from experienced anglers.

Some anglers prefer to choose smaller reels, like the 2000 or 2500, for Walleye fishing. A lot of fishermen choose a 3000 size fishing reel due to its adjustable line capacity and they found that larger 3000 size reels significantly increase casting range compared to smaller reels.

Here is a general summary of various spinning reel sizes for various fishing options:

  1. Ultralight Reels (500 – 1000 Size): Great for casting lightweight baits, ideal for catching smaller fish such as trout and panfish. Their low line capacity is perfect for delicate, fine lines.
  2. Light Reels (2000– 3000 Size): These sizes are adaptable and suitable for a diverse array of fishing situations. Light spinning reels are excellent for catching freshwater fish such as bass, walleye, and catfish, and are also suitable for fishing inshore saltwater environments.
  3. Medium Reels (4000 - 5500 Size): These reels offer generous line capacity and are advantageous for use with thicker lines and bigger types of fish. They are suitable for heavy freshwater fishing as well as medium saltwater fishing.
  4. Heavy Reels (6000 - Unlimited): These heavy-duty reels are utilized when going after large saltwater fish. Their wide range capacity is ideal for handling thick lines required for deep-sea boat fishing and large game fishing.

Comparison of Different Reel Sizes

Each reel size, whether 1000, 2500, or 3000, has its unique advantages.

If you prefer making long fishing casts, a 1000 size reel is an excellent option. For example, consider the Shimano Stradic Ci4+. This reel makes your setup very light in a 1000 size, making it easier to cast further distances. Basically, it enhances your Walleye fishing adventure by optimizing the natural feel of angling.

On the contrary, if your preferred setup incorporates a larger line capacity without loading too heavily on the reel's weight, a 2500 or 3000 size reel could be your go-to equipment.

These models, though marginally weightier than their 1000 size counterparts, wield an equitable balance between line-holding power, casting distance, and handling ease. It's hence no unexpected wonder that these sizes are a popular choice amongst Walleye fishing enthusiasts.

If you prefer a setup with a bigger line capacity without adding too much weight to the reel, a 2500 or 3000 size reel may be the best option for you. These reels are a bit heavier than the 1000 sizes, but they offer a good combination of line-holding strength, casting range, and ease of handling.

It's not surprising that these sizes are a common choice for Walleye fishing enthusiasts.

different sizes of reels

Factors To Consider For Choosing Reel Size

There are four major factors to consider when you make a decision on the preferable reel size: line capacity, rod compatibility, casting distance, and versatility.

Line Capacity

Reels have designated line capacity ratings. Make sure the reel has the capacity for the amount of lines you will need based on the type and weight of the line you plan to use.

Rod compatibility

The reel must be suitable for the fishing rod that will be used. Make sure the size of the reel matches the reel size range recommended by the manufacturer of the rod.

Casting Distance

The spool size of the reel is a factor in deciding how far you can cast. A bigger reel can store additional lines, enabling longer casts. If you often need to cast at long distances, think about getting a reel with a bigger spool size.


A versatile reel can adjust to various fishing scenarios and manage a range of fishing styles. Selecting a flexible reel size allows you to adapt to various fishing situations without requiring multiple specific reels. It provides ease, adaptability, and the ability to confidently handle different fishing methods and target fish species.

Recommended Reel Brands And Models

There are various fishing reel models that focus on providing an excellent Walleye fishing experience. We gathered feedback from customers after they had tested their choices for reels.

For instance, the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ is highly recommended by many fishing enthusiasts. The reel's 1000 size variant stands out due to its light weight, robust build, and exceptional performance.

Other reel models that deserve a mention include the Okuma Inspira in size 20 and 30, and the Daiwa Exist & Luvias which are highly reliable for rigging.

The Creed X's 1000 series won't let you down and boasts quite the performance in both open water and ice fishing conditions. Daiwa's Fuego in sizes 20 and 25 is an absolute catch considering its super lightweight build and ultra-smooth drag system.

Lastly, if you prefer the handle and feel of larger reels, the 3000 models from Penn, Daiwa, and Shimano are good choices.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the appropriate reel size for Walleye fishing can be both stressful and confusing at times.

With the detailed information in this article, we hope that you already have a better understanding of the sizes of reels and how to choose a perfect for your fishing needs.

No matter what reel size you prefer, it's important to prioritize having a fun and fulfilling experience while fishing. Enjoy fishing!

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