Tackle basics to put walleyes in your boat

  • Updated: May 8, 2014 - 4:21 PM

JIM GEHRZ ï jgehrz@startribune.com Taylors Falls/June 10, 2009/11:00AM The basement workshop of world famous fisherman Larry Dahlberg is decorated with lures, fishing line, rods and reels. Dahlberg is the host of televisionís ìThe Hunt for Big Fish,î and he also crafts his own baits and lures. ORG XMIT: MIN2014050514075633

Photo: Photos by JIM GEHRZ • jgehrz@startribune.com,

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Spinning rod. Costs of graphite rods vary widely, from about $25 to more than $200, so seek guidance from a knowledgeable salesperson. A “medium’’ action (denoted on the rod near the reel seat) rod in the 6- to 6.5-foot range works reasonably well for jigging, trolling and casting. Cheaper rods are club-like, while more expensive ones are light yet maintain the proper stiffness. Expect to pay $40 to $75 for a reasonably durable rod that fishes well.

Spinning reel. Reels costing $50 to $100 are far better and more durable than anything your mother or father used. Higher-priced reels usually have more bearings, allowing for smoother operation. And they’re lighter weight, often made with materials such as carbon fiber and titanium. Still, $50 will buy a perfectly acceptable reel. (Note: Make sure the reel “matches’’ the rod in weight and balance.)

Line. Various hi-tech “super lines’’ dominate the market. Some can be used well in various situations. Others are for specialized applications. But quality monofilament lines work well. Many shops offer Trilene XL or XT as their mono options. If so, choose the XL. Another choice: Sufix Elite or Siege.

Jigs. The jig is by far the most widely deployed and productive walleye lure ever made. Initially, buy 10 each in a variety of colors (but especially chartreuse and white) in three sizes: 3/8 ounce, 1/4 ounce and 1/8 ounce.

Sliding sinker rigs. Commonly referred to as “Lindy” rigs these live-bait outfits place a sliding sinker ahead of a swivel that is connected to a leader (and, on the end, a hook). Again, weights vary: Buy three of these packaged rigs in 3/8 ounce and three in 1/4 ounce. Also, vary the leader lengths (check package description) between 4 and 6 feet.

Slip bobber rigs. These can be very effectively deployed for walleyes day or night (buy some of the battery-lighted bobbers for nighttime). Buy three packaged outfits. Read accompanying instructions and practice setting one up before leaving the dock.

Crankbaits. Manufacturers are many, but Rapala is the market leader for a reason: Its lures catch fish. Buy two SR07 Shad Raps (at least one in silver fluorescent chartreuse) or comparable lures; a Scatter Rap Minnow or comparable in gold; an F09 Original Floating Rapala in bleeding copper flash or comparable; and a Scatter Rap Shad in yellow perch or comparable. Read the accompanying instructions (or go online at www.rapala.com) to learn how deep these lures run so each can be used properly. Cost: $5 to $9 apiece.

Tackle box. Buy a satchel-style case that holds plastic covered trays. Use one tray for jigs, another for crankbaits, another for various tools (clippers, scissors), extra spools, “terminal’’ tackle such as weights and swivels, and the packaged sliding-sinker rigs. Mark each tray, noting its contents, for quick retrieval.

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  • JIM GEHRZ ï jgehrz@startribune.com Taylors Falls/June 10, 2009/11:00AM The basement workshop of world famous fisherman Larry Dahlberg is decorated with lures, fishing line, rods and reels. Dahlberg is the host of televisionís ìThe Hunt for Big Fish,î and he also crafts his own baits and lures. ORG XMIT: MIN2014050514075331

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