You can fish for walleye using a plethora of different styles, so finding lures and jigs to help you land more fish is of the utmost importance. Whether you’re spinning, jigging, or using a swimbait, you’ll need a lure featuring traits that’ll drive the walleye crazy!
Walleye are very fun fish to try to catch. However, attempting to reel them with the wrong gear or gear that is not quality can lead to frustration. When you get a bite, the last thing you want is for your hook to slide out of the fish’s mouth allowing it to swim away.
We’ve created a list of the greatest walleye lures on the market. Each of these are solid choices and worthy of being nominated. We did crown an overall champion as our pick, but the list is chock full of lures we think every walleye fisherman should try.
Check out our list of the best walleye lures and jigs below:
- Cotton Cordell Wally Diver – Our Pick!
- Rapala Jointed Shad Rap
- Dynamic Lures Vertical Jig
- Hildebrandt Hammer Time Walleye Spinner
- Rapala Jigging Shad Rap
- Bassdash Jigging Lures
- Sougayilang Hard Bait Minnow
- Trulinoya Spinner Bait
- YONGZHI Blade Bait
Table of Contents
- 1 Criteria for Choosing the Best Walleye Lures
- 2 Reviews
- 3 Our Pick – Cotton Cordell Wally Diver!
Criteria for Choosing the Best Walleye Lures
We wanted to make sure we included a wide selection of great walleye lures on our list, so our criteria are generalized in nature. This will allow you to make a good choice no matter what type of angler you are or what fishing style you prefer.
There are definitely a few things you want to be aware of, such as the weight of the lure, which needs to be usable on your walleye rod. Also, the material the lure is made out of is supremely important for not only longevity, but also the style you employ as well.
The following criteria are put in place to give you a guide on what to look for in your hunt for the ultimate walleye lure. While your mileage may vary, sticking to these criteria will be helpful if you want to land more fish.
Type of Lure
Do you plan on jigging for walleye? If so, then a nice jig will be what you’re looking for. Want to troll instead? Look for a solid crankbait: they’ll land you some beauties! How about spinnerbaits? Yep, you can use those too! The type of lure you choose will be almost exclusively dependent on how you want to fish, or the type of fishing that works well on the body of water you’re angling in.
The main issue to consider regarding lure weight is its compatibility with the rod you’re using. Rods have a lure weight range. You’ll want to make sure the lures you buy fall into that weight range in order to avoid unnecessary wear or even failure of your gear. Weight is also a big factor in the depth that you will be fishing: the heavier a lure is, generally, the deeper it will go.
With walleye not being the largest fish, you can use lures that are on the smaller end of the spectrum. You can use larger baits, but smaller lures are optimal for the soft biting walleye. You want to generally look for lures that are up to three-and-a-half inches in length. This will give you the best results when trying to land some walleye for dinner!
When purchasing a hard lure, you want to make sure you choose one that can stand up to all the strikes without taking too much damage. When a lure gets damaged, it will flow differently through the water. This makes the lure less effective and can even cause fish to become spooked and swim away.
Whether you’re jigging or using a spinnerbait or something in between, you’ll want to make sure you have the sharpest hook possible to penetrate into the fish’s mouth for a nice deep set. Some lures on this list will have a single hook, while others will feature multiple single or treble hooks. Again, to determine the best hook type for you, you’ll need to consider the area you’ll be fishing (and the surrounding hazards) as well as the type of angling you’ll be doing.
Length: 2 1/2 in
The Wally Diver is lauded as the greatest fishing lure ever created for catching walleye by anglers throughout the years. Who are we to disagree? It just flat out works! If you’re out on the lake and you want to catch the most walleye possible, you would do yourself a disservice by not bringing along a Cotton Cordell Wally Diver!
If you’re trolling, the Wally Diver will sink to a depth of somewhere between twelve and fifteen feet deep. This is a great depth to catch walleye, and you can be confident that it’ll end up right in front of the fish.
Coming in at a length of two-and-a-half inches, it’s the perfect size to attract walleye with a robust enough hook set to land even the largest one in the lake. This lure is truly the perfect companion to any walleye anglers’ gear.
If you’re wanting a single lure to go out and either cast and retrieve or troll for walleye, we would wholeheartedly suggest buying the Cotton Cordell Wally Diver. There simply isn’t a better lure on the market.
Length: 2 3/4 in
It’s hard to recommend a lure to someone without at least mentioning a Rapala crankbait. In this case, the Jointed Shad Rap is a fantastic choice for the walleye fisherman. If you decide to not pick up the best crankbait on the market, or want more options, this lure is a fantastic second option.
The Rapala Jointed Shad Rap will dive to a depth between seven and fifteen feet, where walleye will be waiting to chomp down on it. That’s a nice wide range that’ll be great for both trolling and casting and retrieving.
We chose the larger of the series, as it’s a nice length of two-and-three-quarters of an inch. This is a great size to not scare the walleye off, and yet be robust enough to catch one larger than fifteen pounds easily.
What more is there to say? Rapala is known for quality, and this lure is no exception. The two-piece design gives it a nice swimming action, and the sheen on the outside is bright and vibrant. Tie it on, and get ready to catch some fish!
Length: 2 in
One of the most popular ways to fish for walleye is ice fishing with a jig. The Dynamic Lures Vertical Jig is a great lure for this very task, and will easily land you some keeper walleye!
The hollow body construction gives the perfect combination of sound and action. Combine that with the perfect weight to help it sink rapidly and attract nearby fish. Everything about it is designed for ice fishing and attracting fish in this limited setting.
The bright and flashy paint job helps the lure shine in even the darkest conditions, and there is even a glow version if you’d like. This is the perfect finishing touch for an already great lure.
If you’re planning an ice fishing trip where you want to jig for walleye, you won’t find a better option than the Dynamic Lures Vertical Jig!
Blade Type: #5 Colorado
When it comes to spinners, the Hildebrandt Hammer Time is as good as they come for catching walleye. Manufactured and designed specifically to attract walleye and catch them as easily as possible, this spinner is a great addition to any tackle kit.
With a hammered #5 Colorado blade, the turbulence this spinner creates in the water is irresistible to any walleye in the vicinity. Couple that with the glow beads and UV paint on the blade and you can fish in even the lowest light situations.
There are ten different color combinations giving you multiple options for the different water conditions and seasons you will be fishing. The quick change clevis will allow you to change up the design on the blade on the fly as you see fit.
If you plan on using a spinner to catch walleye, the Hammer Time is as great of a spinner as you will find. It has everything you need to catch walleye and is well made. You can’t go wrong with the Hildebrandt Hammer Time Walleye Spinner!
Length: 1 1/2 in
If you’re looking for a new jig to fish with on your walleye fishing excursions, you should definitely consider the Rapala Jigging Shad Rap. It features the same amazing build quality of the normal Rapala Shad Rap line, while also giving you the ability to fish in a style they would normally never work.
At one-and-a-half inches in length, it is plenty large enough to attract walleye while being small enough to not create any unnecessary challenges. With single reverse hooks on either end and a treble hook hanging from the center, you can load bait on the treble and never worry about missing a bite, no matter where the hit comes from.
This lure also comes with a tail fin that helps give it a very unique motion in the water. It has a nice slow circle down action, and a quick snapping motion will cause much faster circles. This can stir up the fish, causing otherwise lackadaisical fish to bite.
Zinc weighted with precision balance and a large shad profile, the Rapala Jigging Shad Rap is quite possibly the greatest jigging lure on the market.
Length: 2 15/16 in
Crankbaits are extremely versatile when it comes to walleye fishing, as you can both cast them and troll them. This means you can get multiple uses out of them with differing styles. The Sougayilang Hard Bait Minnow is a fantastic hard bait to add to your walleye fishing gear.
Each of these minnow lures comes with a vibrant paint job that is highly reflective, giving them great visibility in a variety of water conditions. Combine that with the rattle on the inside, and fish will not be able to resist!
Coming in at a hair under three inches, these are a great size for fishing for walleye. They’re equipped with sharp treble hooks, so you won’t have to worry about missing a fish no matter where they strike.
The last, and possibly best thing about these lures is that they come in packs of five! That means you’ll get a nice variety of colors to test out so you can determine what works best in your local fishing hole. It also makes this set an extremely great value!
Length: 3 5/64 in
Though Bassdash may not have the name power of some of the other lure manufacturers on this list, you shouldn’t write them off so quickly! These jigs are fantastic, and can compete with any others we have tested.
The super shiny holographic body, combined with the 3D eyes, create a stunning lure that’s sure to get you more strikes. The slow jigging motion creates the illusion the lure is a dying minnow, and it draws in feeding fish in the surrounding area.
A single hook on the head and a treble hook on the bottom ensure that you have every opportunity to hook a pursuing fish. This jig is on the small side, but don’t let the size fool you. It packs a huge punch when it comes to landing walleye.
While there may be other jigs on the market, from larger and more well-known brands, this lure can stand toe-to-toe with any of them.
Weight: 3/8 oz
If you’re looking for a good traditional spinnerbait to take walleye fishing, the Trulinoya Spinner Bait is a great choice. Jigging and trolling for walleye are both great ways to catch the fish, but spinning for walleye can get you in tighter spaces than the other two options. Casting into areas you could never otherwise get to can often land you the larger fish, so giving this lure a shot could be a game-changer.
This spinnerbait has a very subtle and natural look while still offering flashy blades to get the fish’s attention and provoke strikes. Those blades have an extremely fast spinning action, creating a beautiful vortex in the water causing the fish to go crazy.
The build quality is nice, with a quality skirt and extremely sharp hook. We would have liked to see a guard on the hook to keep it from getting stuck on obstructions, but that’s a minor complaint and more in the category of “nice to have.”
We love this spinnerbait. It catches fish, which is the true testament of the lure. \So if you love fishing spinnerbaits and want to catch more fish, the Trulinoya Spinner Bait is a great choice.
Type: Blade Bait
Length: 2 7/8 in
Most crankbaits are very similar. However, blade baits work the same, but are quite different in appearance and how they work. The process of fishing a blade bait is a bit different than a normal crankbait, and if you’re curious and want to give it a shot, the YONGZHI Blade Bait is a fantastic choice.
This blade bait is just under three inches, making it a great size for attracting and catching walleye. The black nickel treble hooks on the front and back of the lure are strong and extremely sharp. This lure has no problem setting deep into the fish and fighting them all the way into the boat.
When using an all-metal blade bait, it makes a different motion in the water, creating a nice sound vibration that drives the fish crazy. While a normal crankbait is a fantastic lure, these take it to a whole new level.
If you’ve heard of blade baits and always wanted to give them a try, we highly suggest picking up the YONGZHI Blade Baits. They could change the way you fish for walleye!
Our Pick – Cotton Cordell Wally Diver!
The Cotton Cordell Wally Diver is a tried-and-true lure for catching walleye. It’s been the de facto standard for crankbaits in walleye fishing, and is still the best today. With its excellent build quality, smooth diving action, and sharp hooks, it takes the win for the best walleye lure on the market.
We’ve listed a number of different lures here that could be a better fit for your fishing needs than the Wally Diver. If you want a spinnerbait or a jig, we’ve given you other options, as we know not everyone will be using a crankbait.
We can’t recommend strongly enough that you give the Cotton Cordell Wally Diver a try, as it will certainly catch you a lot of fish. Other baits and lures are capable of landing walleye as well, but none with the ease of the Wally Diver!