One of the greatest things about fishing is that it can be enjoyed at so many levels, whether you take it up as an occasional angler, or go at it full steam ahead like the pros. This is especially true for walleye angling. You don’t need the big boats and every piece of gear we use to successfully catch walleyes on most waters, but it does help to be equipped with a few essentials. In fact we like to categorize walleye gear into two groups … the Necessities and the Accessories. Necessities are those items that any walleye angler shouldn’t be without, while Accessories are things that, while not absolutely needed, are very helpful especially for the more advanced angler. So whether you’re making out a wish list for yourself, or looking to help stock-up your favorite angler, consider their level of Walleye Fever, and use the following guidelines for some neat gift suggestions that will be sure to put not only more walleyes in the net this next season, but a big smile on your fisherman’s face.
Let’s begin with one of the most important pieces of gear to any fisherman, the fishing line. Of course the line you choose has a lot to do with the technique you’re planning to use it for so we’ll break this down that way. For jigging, the necessity would be to spool up with 6 pound test FireLine. Especially for the novice jig angler, the no-stretch characteristic of FireLine gives it great sensitivity to help you feel every bite. As far as Accessory lines, having a reel or two spooled up with the highly visible Flame Green FireLine that is very helpful when line watching becomes an issue (like when pitching jigs in windy conditions) or for fishing at night. For fishing extremely clear water, another Accessory line would be Vanish Transition Fluorocarbon in 6 or 8 pound test. The attributes of fluorocarbon line make it nearly invisible under water, but the neat feature of Vanish Transition is that it "transitions" to gold above water for higher visibility to the angler.
Trolling calls for a little different line choice. For a Necessity line, you need to have a good strong mono like Trilene XT in 10 pound test. It’s the first choice because it stands up to the abuse a trolling line is subjected to like planer boards and Snap Weights, plus is has just the right amount of stretch for fighting in big fish especially when you’re reeling them in with a lot of line out. This is a great all-around choice for Bottom Bouncer fishing as well. The more advanced angler may wish to accessorize his trolling line choices by adding 10 pound test FireLine. Because of FireLine’s thin diameter, it’s possible to get crankbaits to dive as much as 30% deeper than they would on 10 pound test mono. Also, the sensitivity of FireLine allows you to "monitor" your lure because it will telegraph the lure’s vibration right to your rod tip. If you happen to pick up a weed or other debris, the lure will stop vibrating and thus the rod tip will stop vibrating, letting you know you need to reel