We present a synthesis for selective growth of economical Ni tips on CdSe@CdS nanorod photocatalysts. This procedure enables control over morphology, in particularly over catalyst location, size, and number of domains, which is vital for optimization of the materials potential for hydrogen reduction. The activity of the Ni decorated photocatalyst towards the water reduction half reaction was evaluated, and was found comparable to that of the Pt decorated nanorods when operated under identical conditions. We obtained an apparent quantum yield of 23%, and a turnover frequency of about 80,000 moles of hydrogen per 1 mole of catalysts per hour. The synthetic procedure presented here is expected to benefit future design of more economical photocatalysts for solar-to-fuel energy conversion.