Best Ice Fishing Rods of 2020 – Ultimate Review

Are you on the hunt for the best ice fishing rods to make your fishing experience enthralling?

Well, look no further, because this article has got you covered!

In this review, you’ll find the best ice fishing rods on the market. So, without further ado, let’s begin!

Comparison Chart of the Best Ice Fishing Rods

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2

  • Size 20 spinning reel best-suited for ice applications
  • Very good strength and durability
  • Great balance with a light feel
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Fiblink Saltwater

  • Designed specifically for vertical jigging
  • Reduced friction for better results
  • High-density EVA handle and foregrips
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Fenwick Elite Tech

  • Best for the Money
  • Good strong backbone with a fast tip
  • Well-built and suited to ice fishing
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HT Enterprise Polar Light

  • Best Noodle Ice Fishing Rod
  • Reliable and good quality
  • Genuine cork handle and twist-down reel seat
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Abu Garcia Venerate

  • Best Ice Fishing Rod for Panfish
  • Very light and ideal for smaller fish
  • Very well-balanced with smooth rotation
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HT Enterprise LIC-25MSC

  • Best Pink Ice Fishing Rod
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Made specifically for women
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Tinksky Telescopic Carbon

  • Best Ultra Light Ice Fishing Rod
  • Manufactured from durable hard carbon
  • Small and compact design
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Can Any Rod Be Used For Ice Fishing?

Technically, you can use a regular rod for ice fishing. You can easily catch fish using a regular rod, especially if you do not plan on going ice fishing occasionally. However, if you want to amp up your fishing experience and get a better catch, then investing in an ice fishing rod would be advantageous for you. Since ice fishing rods are shorter than regular ones, you will be closer to the hole, and it makes maneuvering it in a tight space more useful. They are also built for extra sensitivity, and fighting fish is far easier using an ice fishing rod than using a standard regular one. 

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2

How Do I Choose an Ice Fishing Rod?

Before you head on to the reviews, let’s go over some of the key features that you must look for before purchasing an ice fishing rod. Here are the main characteristics that a good model must have: 

Length

The ice-rods mostly must be shorter in length than regular rods. When you are ice fishing, it is crucial for you to use a rod that is short so you can reach the fish below and be in close proximity to the hole. Hence, the unit you pick must be no longer than 48 inches. This also makes it easier for the fishermen to fight the fish when it gets caught on bait.

Fish Species & Power

According to the type of fish that you want to catch, the power of the rod is a very good determinant of what will be most suitable for you. Medium, light, ultra-light, and heavy are the different classifications of power, and they determine which rod to pick. If you want to catch panfish, an ultra-light one will be more suited for you. 

Blank Material

The rod’s blank material is also a very important characteristic that should not be ignored. The main two materials to choose from are graphite and fiberglass. Graphite can be more costly but is more sensitive and lighter to use. Fiberglass, however, bends better than graphite. It is also more durable than graphite. 

Quick Take | Best Ice Fishing Rods

Just looking for the top three best ice fishing rods? Here they are:

  1. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2
  2. Fiblink Saltwater
  3. Fenwick Elite Tech

Review of the Best Ice Fishing Rods

Now that you’ve gone over the basics of ice fishing, let’s dive into the reviews of the most sought-after ice fishing rods that will amp up your fishing game. 

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo, 26” Light Action Rod, USGXICE26LCBO

PROS

  • Easy to use and handle EVA grips
  • Comes with a twist and lock reel seat
  • Smooth draw and durable construction 
  • Equipped with an aluminum spool that is ported
  • Stainless-steel guides and sensitive fiber-glass tip 
  • Strong, sturdy and very flexible and promises excellent value for the money

CONS

  • Not the best at casting
  • Some users prefer the cork model
  • Finesse fishing is not ideal for this rod

What Recent Buyers Report

Ugly Stik is a brand name that most fishermen are familiar with, mainly because of its high-quality design and construction, as well as, reasonable prices. This rod was nothing short of an impressive find, as it performs just as advertised, and works like a dream. It is strong, sturdy, and very easy to use. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The reason ​this is the best overall is because of its high functionality and superior design. It is designed to make your ice fishing experience a great one each time and guarantees to work for long periods of time. It also has a sensitive tip, which is great for detecting fish bites. 

Who Will Use This Most

This is the best ice fishing rod on the market and is a great addition to the kit for fishing enthusiasts or serious ice fishers. It is also a great pick for users who ice fish professionally and are looking for a sleek, durable, and smooth rod that comes with extra sensitivity. 

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a top-of-the-line ice fishing rod, then this is the one for you. Not only is this one designed to make sure that you have a great catch each time, but it also comes in an aesthetically pleasing outlook that is sleek, smooth, and durable.

Fiblink Saltwater 1-Piece Jigging Jig Spinning Rod

PROS

  • Designed for vertical jigging
  • Has a bag to keep the rod in
  • Roller guides make casting a breeze
  • 1-year warranty included with the rod
  • Comfortable and easy to handle EVA grip
  • Durable construction with non-corrosive materials
  • Comes with 5+1 stainless-steel guides and aluminum alloy reel seat 

CONS

  • Not as lightweight as other rods
  • Need to cash out more on a reel
  • Requires a ring at the bottom of the shaft

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the users who purchased this rod were very happy with its performance. It is strong, durable, and very good at detecting fish. It comes with a multi-purpose hook holder and is able to catch large fish such as Tuna and Amberjack. The blue anodized reel seat is one of the greatest features of this rod.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rod is equipped with many different features that make it stand out among others. It has stainless steel frames with ceramic inserts that reduce the friction from the lines. The cross-shaped aluminum butt also allows for greater strength while fighting with the fish and is also non-corrosive.

Who Will Use This Most

This is very useful for fishing enthusiasts who want a rod that can work for most types of fishing. It is a good pick if you have fishing experience and know how to maneuver a fishing rod. Anglers will also be impressed with it because of its simple outlook and the guides’ design.

Bottom Line

If you want a multi-purpose fishing rod that you can add features to, then this is the one for you. It has a simple and sleek design, which is durable and non-corrosive, and the EVA handle is also very comfortable with a sturdy grip to make sure you can fight the fish.

Best for the Money:
Fenwick Elite Tech

fenwick ETICE24ML Elite Tech Ice Spinning Rod,Multi

PROS

  • High-quality graphite blanks
  • Great quality for an affordable price
  • The cork handle provides a solid grip
  • Comes with a down locking reel seat so that it is easy to attach 
  • Stainless-steel guides with zirconium insert to prevent corrosion

CONS

  • A little stiff compared to the other rods
  • Eyelets may not match with the reel seat’s center
  • Casting handle does not work with spinning reels

What Recent Buyers Report

If you’re looking for a reasonable, high-quality and impressive ice fishing rod, then this is the one for you. It has made a lot of customers happy and is well designed with a strong backbone and a fast tip. It is also very sensitive and ​ensures that every draw holds a catch.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The reason this fishing rod stands out is because of the high-quality features that it provides. The functions of this fishing rod are quite impressive, making it a bang for the buck. It's also very versatile and can be used for many different fishing types.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great rod for those looking for sensitivity in a small pond or lake. It is also good for those who want to stay in a specific budget and do not want to overspend. Its quality is also phenomenal for the price, making it a great choice for beginners

Bottom Line

If you’re on the hunt for a reasonable yet high-quality ice fishing rod, then you have landed in the right place! This rod is a great device to help you get the best catch of fish in very little time. It comes with high sensitivity, durable materials, and a sleek and lightweight construction.

Best Noodle Ice Fishing Rod:
HT Enterprise Polar Light

HT Enterprise Polar Light Noodle Ice Rod

PROS

  • Easy to use and handle the grip
  • High-quality materials and components
  • Cork Handle with a twist-down reel seat
  • Comes with a fast tip for greater sensitivity
  • Ice-out guides, increasing effectiveness and ease
  • Ultra-light 96% graphite rod for increased durability

CONS

  • Average performance compared to other rods

What Recent Buyers Report

Users loved this rod for noodle fishing. It is a high-quality rod that does the job at a reasonable price. It functions just as advertised and has the features of a great ice fishing rod. It is ultra-light and comes with great sensitivity to detect bites of tiny fish.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The main reason this fishing rod stands out is that it is specifically designed for noodle fishing and to capture the fish in the most unique way. It can tackle and fight any fish and is designed for greater strength and durability. It also comes at a very reasonable price.

Who Will Use This Most

If you are an experienced noodle fisher, then this is the ice fishing rod for you. It is designed for experts who are looking for a unit that will make noodle fishing easier and more convenient. It also has deluxe ice-out guides that are easy to use and handle. 

Bottom Line

If you are on the hunt for the best noodle ice-fishing rod on the market, then you should invest in this one. It is of high-quality, works like a charm, and is made of up good materials that will ensure an effective catch with greater sensitivity and strength.

Best Ice Fishing Rod for Panfish:
Abu Garcia Venerate

Abu Garcia AVNRTICE23ULCBO Venerate Ice Combo

PROS

  • Tip is sensitive to notice fish bites
  • Ultralight power handle for panfish
  • Comfortable grip with a strong handle
  • Equipped with a sturdy and strong carbon blank 
  • ​The fishing rod is aesthetically pleasing to look at
  • Comes with an extended reel stem and stainless steel guides 

CONS

  • Reel may stick a bit
  • Poor packaging may damage the rod

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the users who used this fishing rod were heavily impressed. It is an impressive device that helps the user catch fish very easily. The grip is comfortable, the rod is sturdy, and the overall quality is stellar. It is also very efficient in balancing and ensuring a smooth draw.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This fishing rod is an amazing device that comes with a multitude of different features. It is packed with efficiency and high-quality smooth rotation. It also comes with a smooth and comfortable grip that makes it easy for the user to hold the rod and fight the fish for longer periods of time.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great fishing rod if you want to catch panfish as it has a sensitive tip that detects fish bites, and a comfortable and smooth grip if you want to fight the fish. It is also highly comfortable, making it a great fishing rod for beginners to use. It is also a light unit for fish houses.

Bottom Line

If you’re on the hunt for a high-quality, comfortable and precise fishing rod, then this is the one for you. It is a good ultralight ice fishing rod that is excellent for panfish and small trout fish. It is also made of durable materials, which means it lasts for a long time for extensive use.

Best Pink Ice Fishing Rod:
HT Enterprise LIC-25MSC

HT Enterprise LIC-25MSC Pink Lady Ice Fishing Combo

PROS

  • Bearing reel is pre-spooled
  • Aesthetically pleasing to look at
  • Medium action rod made of fiberglass
  • Fiberglass material makes it very durable 
  • Very versatile and easy to use for beginners
  • Premium EVA handles that are easy to use and grips with rings inclusive

CONS

  • Not good for experienced/professional fishermen
  • Does not have as many features as the other rods

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the users of this fishing rod enjoyed using it for ice fishing. It is versatile and has comfortable EVA handles that are very easy and comfortable to use. The overall design is very aesthetically pleasing to look at, and the quality is above satisfactory, and it is able to catch a lot of fish.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The reason this fishing rod is stellar is because of its high-quality design and aesthetically pleasing outlook. It is sleek, stylish, and high in effectiveness and performance. The fiberglass is also durable, and the tip has a sensitivity to detect fish bites when fishing. Overall, this is an impressive fishing rod.

Who Will Use This Most

This rod would be most suitable for novices or beginners, and even ladies if they want to learn fishing. It is easy to use and understand and performs just like any other high-end fishing rod. It is also appealing to look at and is versatile for different types of fishing or catching.

Bottom Line

On the hunt for a bright-looking and sleek fishing rod that works just as amazing as it looks? This fishing rod will not disappoint you. With its high-quality design and durability, it is designed to catch many different types of fish and works great for beginners or amateurs. 

Best Ultra Light Ice Fishing Rod:
Tinksky Telescopic Carbon

TINKSKY 60cm Telescopic Carbon Mini Ultra-Light Ice Fishing Rod Pole Fishing Tackle Tool

PROS

  • Excellent quality and versatility
  • Lightweight design for greater portability
  • Durable construction made of hard carbon
  • 2 water and corrosive-resistant fishing guides
  • Cork handle is easier to maneuver and manage
  • Telescopic design with durable and water-resistant guides

CONS

  • Fishing reel is not included
  • Lines may tangle into each other
  • Lightweight handle cannot cope with larger fish

What Recent Buyers Report

Many users loved using this fishing rod as it was lightweight and compact, and wasn’t very hard to use. It is great for catching small fish and was excellent for ice fishing. It is also a great backup fishing rod for emergency situations and is made of high-quality, durable materials.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The reason this fishing rod stands out is that not only is it impressively made with durable materials, but because it is also very pleasing and appealing to look at. The handle is also made of cork, so it will float if the pole drops in the water, making it easier to pick it up.

Who Will Use This Most

This is an excellent rod to use if you want to travel around different areas for fishing. It is very compact and lightweight and does not take up much space in the car or van. It is also very versatile and can be used for catching small fish for ice fishing or lake fishing. 

Bottom Line

If you’re on the hunt for the perfect travel-friendly fishing rod, then this is the one for you. Not only is it compact, but it is also made of high-quality materials to enhance your fishing experience. It is also very cute and appealing to look at, and any user would be impressed with this fishing rod. 

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Let’s wrap up this article by focusing on the main features and aspects that you should keep in mind before buying a fishing rod for ice fishing:

Length

You need to look for a fishing rod that has a short length. Since these fish are smaller than other types of species, the rods should be no longer than 48 inches. The shorter length will provide you better manageability and ease of use when fishing. It will also give you better casting and accuracy.

Power

Power can be Light, Ultra-Light, Medium, or Heavy. You need to determine the power required by looking at the species that you want to catch. Since smaller fish fight easily and is harder to get hold of, you need a rod that has a sensitive tip. The power depends on the type of species you want to catch.

Action

Action can be described as the flex of the rod and can be slow, medium, medium-fast, and fast. If you want to capture small fish, then you need a fishing rod with fast action. But if you want to capture bigger or heavier fish, then you need a rod with a slower action so it can fight the fish for some time and capture it in the bait.

Conclusion

This article is to be followed as a guide on choosing the best ice-fishing rod. Make sure to check the specifications and match them for your intended use, so you get the best possible one that is suited for your fishing needs. Hopefully, this article was helpful to you. Good luck fishing!

People Also Ask

If you still have some doubts or queries that need to be cleared out, then you can go over this portion to get answers. This will help clear out some ambiguities and make it easier for you to make the purchase for an ice fishing rod:

How Long is an Ice Fishing Rod?

An ice fishing rod is no longer than 48 inches. This is because the smaller the rod is, the better it will be able to stay in close proximity to the hole or lake, making it easier for the fisherman to fight and capture the fish that fights it.

Why Are Ice Fishing Rods so Small?

The reason ice fishing rods are small is because of the sensitivity required to catch the fish. Since the fish are tiny, you need a sensitive tip to detect the fish bites on the bait, and lightweight rods are helpful in determining those. They also make it easier for the user to capture the fish.

Ice Fishing Rod Reviews

Below are all our buyer guides surrounding ice fishing reels. To make your experience a bit smoother, we have organized them in one place. Feel free to browse through a few and find exactly what you're looking for.
Thanks for reading.