Best Ice Fishing Rods of 2020 – Ultimate Review

Jeff
| Last Updated December 2, 2020

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!

Our Top Picks for Best Ice Fishing Rods

  • Size 20 spinning reel
  • Strong, durable
  • Great balance
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  • For vertical jigging
  • Reduced friction
  • High-density handle
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  • Best for Panfish
  • Very light
  • Very well-balanced
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Comparison of the Best Ice Fishing Rods

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Size 20 spinning reel best-suited for ice applications
  • Very good strength and durability
  • Great balance with a light feel
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  • Designed specifically for vertical jigging
  • Reduced friction for better results
  • High-density EVA handle and foregrips
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  • Best Ice Fishing Rod for Panfish
  • Very light and ideal for smaller fish
  • Very well-balanced with smooth rotation
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  • Best Ultra Light Ice Fishing Rod
  • Manufactured from durable hard carbon
  • Small and compact design
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  • Has a comfortable, durable cork handle
  • Very lightweight with maximum security
  • Comes with high quality components
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  • Ice combos made for ice fishing applications
  • Lightweight and very simple to use
  • Has a Cherrywood combo
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  • Made from solid carbon for superior performance
  • Has a super-sensitive carbon handle
  • Very lightweight with low-profile running guides
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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. 

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 three best ice fishing rods? Here they are:

  1. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2
  2. Fiblink Saltwater
  3. Abu Garcia Venerate

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 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 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. 

Best Walleye Ice Fishing Rods:
13 Fishing Widow Maker

13 FISHING - Widow Maker Ice Rod - 28' M (Medium)- Tennessee Handle - WMTH28M

PROS

  • Graphite blank makes it flexible and easier to use
  • Improved blank tip technology for perfect hook setting
  • Lightweight with ultra-high sensitivity to slight movements
  • Cork handles offer excellent hand grip and comfortable positioning
  • Guarantees accuracy and toughness, owing to the diamond-coated ALPS guides

CONS

  • Not many advanced features

What Recent Buyers Report

Who can say no to the top-notch features and robust build of the 13 Fishing Widow Maker? This rod excels in style and performance, which is quite evident from the buyers' positive reviews. Offering unreal results with its lightweight construction and enhanced sensitivity, ice fishing was like a piece of cake for most of its buyers!

Why it Stands Out to Us

If we had to name a product with no drawbacks, this ice fishing rod tops the list. It can be used for light power movements with rapid action to catch any fish in winters. Graphite is an outstanding choice of construction material, making the rod exceptionally lightweight and flexible.

In addition to being light, the Widow Maker is very sensitive and precise. These two factors greatly influence the catch rate by detecting subtle movements instantly. Feel free to use it for rapid jigging or spinning because of its sensitivity and flexible tips. The guides are double-coated with diamond, hence improving longevity and strength for a lasting investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, this unit has everything to make ice fishing easier by adapting to various methods to tackle fish. The blank tip technology is incredible for solid hooksets and lifting heavy fish.

Best Ice Fishing Rod and Reel Combo:
Berkley CWIS30M Cherrywood Combo

Berkley Cherrywood Ice Fishing Spinning Combo

PROS

  • Can be purchased at an economical price
  • Quality construction with enough power to lift fish
  • Better handgrip with cork handles to maximize comfort while fishing
  • Stainless steel guides and inserts make the rod lightweight and strong
  • Fiberglass blanks keep the tip soft, enhancing durability and sensitivity

CONS

  • Drag system needs to be readjusted
  • Quality of stainless-steel guides can be improved

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are particularly fascinated by this rod because it boasts many useful features at a highly reasonable price. It can be used for small to medium fish, particularly perch, trout, etc. The fiberglass augments the sensitivity to detect small species, and the cork handles offer firmer hand support for long fishing.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Berkley Cherrywood Combo is an ideal choice for beginners and amateurs and is also great for introducing your kids to the fishing world without breaking the bank. It's a feasible option with a range of features that are a delight to use. Sensitivity and flexibility are plus points for this product because the fiberglass keeps the tip soft for fast-action.

To boost the durability, the rod has a graphite sliding ring with added stainless-steel guides that also play a crucial role in keeping the rod's weight minimal. It serves its purpose well because the blanks feature enough flex to display any kind of movement, making it a versatile choice. 

Furthermore, you'll be pleased to learn that the manufacturers have selected cork for the handles, which provides improved hand control.

Bottom Line

To conclude, this unit's simplified features and cost-friendly price tag are major factors to develop anyone's interest in fishing and angling. It is perfect for ice fishing and for tracking small and medium-sized fish.

Best Ice Fishing Jigging Rod:
St. Croix AIR27M

St. Croix Avid Ice Fishing Rod, 36' - Inches, Black (AIR36M)

PROS

  • Flexible tips with decreased stiffness at the ends
  • Light-weight, fast-action, versatile, and ultra-sensitive
  • Good choice for jigging due to the ultra-sensitive carbon handle
  • Solid carbon blank ensures rod precision and accurate detection
  • Better performance and energy transmittance, owing to the stripper guide

CONS

  • Not suitable for trolling
  • Seems slightly stiffer than its competitors

What Recent Buyers Report

The St. Croix AIR27M sets the bar high when it comes to sensitivity and fine precision. Equipped with premium-grade materials, it is a crowd-pleaser featuring unrivaled sensitivity and performance. It satisfied customers with its fast-action and flexible tips for tackling tricky fish with subtle jigging movements.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Jigging is truly a challenging skill to master, and the St. Croix Custom Ice Fishing Rod is just what you need to perfect your fishing sessions. With highly professional features, it's a class apart in construction and transmitting fine movements all along the length of the rod. Crafted with solid carbon, the blanks maximize the intensity and detection power of the slightest movements in the water.

Not only this, but carbon is also used in the handle for superior functionality, better grip, and improved power to lift heavy fish. The tips can be easily flexed to mimic realistic movements and attract the fish with fast-action.

Bottom Line

This rod is a must-buy if you're looking for a perfect complement for your jigging techniques. The sensitivity comes through the fine tips and precise carbon blanks to lure all kinds of fish to your bait. It transfers jigs instantly to the tips with just the niftiness you're in search of!

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 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. 

What Makes a High-Quality Ice Fishing Rod?

The right gear increases your catch rate when ice fishing. You'll need to be particularly cautious about the material, action, power, length, line guide, durability, and comfort while making a purchase. We've come up with a small guide on the top features that make an ice fishing rod stand out from the crowd.

Graphite Construction

This is a key determinant of the rod's durability and longevity. Rod materials may vary from graphite, fiberglass to carbon fiber. Although each of them has its pros, graphite and carbon fiber are the leading choices for premium quality. 

Most top-notch fishing rods are built out of graphite to enhance robustness under steady loads. It is exceptional in its sensitivity and lightweight properties and adds to the strength of the rod at the same time.

Fast Rod Action

Rod action is all about the bend and recoil of your fishing rod to its original shape. Extra-fast or fast action refers to the bending of the tip only, under pressure. The choice of rod action comes down to your fishing requirements. 

However, fast action can tackle a wide variety of fish. If you're a pro at jigging and spinning, fast action will suit your style for better sensitivity and transmittance of strikes.

Moderate Rod Power

Quite similar to rod action, the power is the amount of pressure and force that the rod can bear without breaking off. This is essential to determine how much weight it can bear. A heavier rod can withstand great pressure, so it's best for heavier fish with a huge weight; otherwise, moderate power will suffice too.

Ice Fishing Rod Types

Knowing your gear well can help you choose what's ultimately best for you. Once you surf the market, you'll see that there are two distinct types of ice fishing rods. Let's have a look at each of them.

Baitcasting Rods

Excelling in power and accuracy, baitcasting rods are suitable for professional anglers and fishermen. They're attached with a baitcasting reel, and the guides are mounted on top. As the name suggests, they cast out heavy baits in water by accommodating big game fish.

Unparalleled in terms of strength, they bear heavy lines but may lead to tangles if handled unprofessionally. A baitcasting rod provides excellent precision and has accurate distances to offer greater torque for heavier weights.

Spin Casting Rods

Paired up with a spinning reel mounted beneath the rod, the guides in a spin casting rod are also situated on the underside. These are simpler to use and ideal for beginners and amateurs. They are easy to understand and can be good for controlling longer lines. 

However, there's a certain restriction because spin casting rods can only be used for small-sized fish species such as walleye, trout, panfish, etc.

Surf Rods

Typically designed for aiming at long distances, surf rods have very extensive coverage to target the fish away from anglers and surfers. Their length varies from three to five meters, making it convenient to fish from shoreline or rocks. 

Along with having a desirable length, they are pretty sturdy in construction and are meant to tackle heavyweights.

Telescopic Rods

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2

Featuring modern functions and design, telescopic rods can be adjusted to your desired length for convenience. This is a very useful feature that allows one to extend or shrink the rod while traveling or for storage purposes. Such rods can bear small to medium-sized fish in working with spinning reels.

How to Care of an Ice Fishing Rod

If you don't want your money to go down the drain, you'll have to be particularly considerate towards regular cleaning and maintenance of your fishing rod. Read along to find out some tips and tricks to keep your ice fishing rod as good as new!

Cleaning the Rod

After you're done fishing, make it a habit to rub your fishing rod with a soft cloth to remove any dirt specks or annoying marks. If you've got plenty of time on your hands, we recommend doing a thorough cleaning with warm soapy water to remove stubborn stains or any ice crystals. Allow the rod and reel to dry properly before using or storing it.

Lubricating the Reel

Using any oil as a lubricating agent for your reel will maximize the efficiency of the device. It permits smoother operation of the reel and also cleans out dirt residue effortlessly. Make sure that the oil reaches every nook of the reel; however, overusing it may meddle with the drag power.

Storing the Rod

It is important to store your rod in the best condition possible because it won't be needed till the next year's season. For this purpose, moisture-absorbent storage packs make the best choice because they prevent rust and mold formation.

You can also store it in the reel case for improved lifespan. Also, never store your rod with the tip loaded because this will permanently alter its shape and affect the performance. Keep the line free of any tension or load to avoid breakage.

Abu Garcia Venerate

Other Important Tips

Apart from general cleaning and oiling, you must remember to check out the reel's drag and action to yield top performance. In case of transporting and moving your rods around, a soft foam padding will eliminate the risk of damage.

Lastly, bear in mind that heat exposure is very harmful to your ice fishing rods. Hot surfaces mess up with the blank construction, cork handles, and line guides by weakening them over time.

What Size Ice Fishing Rod?

Ice fishing rods come in a range of sizes, from small to longer ones, so that everyone can find something they're comfortable using. The general size chart for ice fishing rods is much smaller as compared to saltwater or freshwater fishing. Typically, the sizes vary from 16" to as long as 42".

To be more accurate and specific, the rod length depends on the area you're fishing in. If you're in an indoor setup such as an ice hut or shelter, you'll have to make do with a 16 to 28-inch rod, which will be suitable enough to fish without hitting the walls.

For outdoor ice fishing, longer rods of 36 to 42 inches will come in handy with maximal coverage.

Longer rods provide more leverage, power, and shock-absorbing capability, which is why you can even fish large species freely. Nonetheless, shorter rod length poses a restriction on chasing big fish. Why? Because it won't be able to handle the pressure and would only amplify arm stress.

Ice Fishing Rods - Comparison Overview

If you're new to the world of ice fishing, there are a few commonly used terms you need to be familiarized with. This comparison overview will prove to be decisive in purchasing the best fishing rod for winters.

Ice Fishing Pole vs Fishing Rod

Both of them serve the same purpose, which is to catch fish. So, where does the difference lie? Fishing poles are crafted out of natural substances such as reed, cane, etc. They are used to catch fish by hooking the bait on one end of the pole and swinging it over the water's surface.

Meanwhile, fishing rods are combined with a line ending in a hook for the bait attachment. They are used for fishing by luring the bait deep under the water and attracting fish. Casting and spinning rods are famous among fishers because they are versatile and easier to use.

Ultra-Light vs Light Rod Ice Fishing

An ultra-light fishing rod will bend on the slightest application of pressure and offer additional flexibility to bend the rod. Since they can only withstand extremely small weights, such rods can be used for panfish.

Utilizing lighter lines and weightless lures, ultra-light rods will guarantee a thrilling experience due to increased line sensitivity.

Moving on to light rods, they are pretty much the same as ultra-light fishing rods but with only slight differences. They have a fast action to bend slightly only over the tip of the rod, but they cannot bear the weight of large fish.

Medium vs Light Ice Fishing Rod

Medium fishing rods come with moderate action and power, making them a viable option for catfish, walleye, black bass, and whitefish. The medium action means that the rod bends somewhere in the midway, and the power is strong enough to carry an average size fish. Medium units with fast action provide better casting and can be used for jigging, owing to their sensitivity.

Contrary to that, light ice fishing rods pair up fast action and only slight bending properties to attract small fish. They feature low power and are adapted to fish, panfish, bluegill, etc. Fishers must refrain from using light rods on heavier fish because they can bend the rod way more than its original capacity.

Baitcasting vs Spincasting Rods for Ice Fishing

With greater power, accuracy, and strength, baitcasting rods are the perfect gear for large fish. They require great skill and mastery; hence, professionals and experienced anglers know the right way to set up a baitcasting rod. The heavier line enhances torque and pulling power; resultantly, one can lure large fish more smoothly for precise targeting.

Spin casting rods are a favorite for using light lures with longer lines. Having reduced drag and simplified operation, amateurs and hobbyists can make the most out of this product. Although it lacks a bit in power, it allows you to lay long casts and lure fish by soft baits. Such a fishing rod has great applications in all kinds of waters and is particularly versatile in ice fishing.

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:

What is an Ice Fishing Rod with a Quick Tip?

The quick tip describes the fast action of a fishing rod. This means that the rod remains stiff throughout but only bends at the last one-third or near the rod's tip. A quicker tip enables the strikes to be transferred quickly with improved sensitivity and is best for jigging purposes.

What Rod for Ice Fishing Bluegill?

The best rod for bluegill is a spinning rod or an ultra-light or light fishing rod. Such rods utilize a fast action and lighter line, which yields better results to be sensitive for detecting slight nibbles. The rod's length is not quite long, somewhat around 24 to 36 inches, which would make a pretty good choice.

What Action Rod for Ice Fishing Walleye?

Walleye can be targeted successfully by jigging the fishing rod's ends, and nothing beats a fast-action rod for this purpose. Fast to medium action bends the rod near the tip to augment sensitivity near the ends. This will help locate and sense vibrations during jigging to attract walleye even if they're not responding.

What is a Dead Stick Ice Fishing Rod?

A smart and innovative way to trap fish if they're not paying attention is using the dead stick method. Fishermen keep an active jigging rod to instigate the fish constantly, while at the same time, they add a dead stick in a nearby hole. 

There is no particular choice with the type of line used in dead sticking, but live baits are preferred, such as minnow heads. The dead stick bobs away, and often the fish ends up biting onto the live bait on the dead stick.

What Does Switch at the Bottom of Ice Fishing Rod Do?

This is an anti-reverse switch. Often the reel turns backward, and it becomes tiring to fight off drag while fishing.

Here's where the anti-reverse option comes in handy. This feature prevents the reel from spinning in the opposite direction. Furthermore, anglers can back-reel in a reverse direction without depending on the drag.

Berkley CWIS30M Cherrywood Combo

How to Set Up an Ice Fishing Rod?

Start by setting your rod in such a way that the line guides are perfectly aligned together. Then grab your rod from the farther end and insert the line working your way down to the guides till it reaches the reel.

Tie a knot on the reel to secure the line and continue by winding the reel to wrap up the line's required amount. Now, attach the sinker, swivel, and the hook on a separate piece of line and make sure all the parts are tightly tied and secured. Once you're done, set up bait on the hook, and you're good to start fishing.

What is a Noodle Ice Fishing Rod?

Noodle rod is a high-precision rod that wins from the rest in terms of finesse and tip sensitivity. It is exceptionally sharp in detecting even the smallest fish bites with enhanced visibility. By making use of a light line, it is a class apart in terms of delicacy and multiplying catch rate. Hence, it is ideal for panfish, trout, etc.

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. 

Jeff

My name is Jeff and I have been hunting and fishing for over 40 years. I am an avid archery lover, bass fisherman, and all-around outdoorsman. Currently, I'm obsessed with elk hunting but I'm sure I'll move onto a different favorite soon. You gotta love hunting for that reason :) If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at admin@biggamelogic.com. Read more about Big Game Logic.