Best Ice Fishing Rods

Ice Fishing Rods - Reviews & Guides For 2024

Our Top Ice Fishing Rods

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Ice Fishing Rods Buying Guide

Thinking of using your regular rod for ice fishing? Wait a second. Explore this guide, and you will be surprised to know that you are missing so much fun of the actual sport.

In ice fishing, you need a rod that can even catch the slightest nibbles made by the fish. On the other hand, the sensitive rod should be tough enough to handle heavyweight lures and fish.

Ice fishing rods are explicitly developed to fulfill all these requirements. These are smaller than the regular ones but allow you to enjoy the sport properly.

While picking the best rod, you have to deem about several factors. Action, power, spool, weight, size are some of the critical features that are the deciding factors. However, without the proper knowledge of all these factors, you cannot sort the best option.

Also, there are tons of models available in the market. The process of selecting the best rod can become tiring and waste a lot of your time. Moreover, you can easily fall for the trap set by the greedy salesman in the market and invest your money in the wrong option.

To save your money and ease your selection process, we have prepared a comprehensive guide. This guide contains all the necessary information on all the crucial factors. Everything is laid out in a proper structure.

Just analyze your requirements with the pointers in this guide and funnel down the best pick. So without any further ado, let us dive into this immense pool of information.

What are Ice Fishing Rods, and Why Should You Buy Them?

Ice fishing is a fun activity, but it involves strategizing in the right manner, then only it will proffer you some benefit.

It is the best ice fishing rod, making you the genius of diversion, enjoyment, and relaxation.

Ice fishing rods are distinctively outlined for Ice fishing and make the work easy and convenient compared to regular rods. They are the best blend of sensitivity and toughness.

Ice fishing is just about pleasure and recreation during winters as it is considered the best sport for fishing.

On the other hand, it is quite risky, which makes it more exciting. It is a satisfying and pleasing activity with many advantages.

It's quite exciting when you are surrounded by an enormous amount of cold and frozen water and feel pleased and look forward to going on fishing.

Ice Fishing Rods V/S Regular Rods

As the difference between the two can easily be located by holding a regular rod in one hand and an ice fishing rod in the other hand.

  1. If both are compared based on size, the Ice fishing rods are shorter in size than regular rods as they are longer in length.
  2. Ice fishing rods are constructed with more responsiveness, whereas traditional rods are less sensitive.
  3. As in winters, due to the temperature, the cold-blood fish becomes more inactive, so the ice fishing rods constitute an extra sensitive tip making it more comfortable in comparison to Regular rods.
  4. As compared to Regular rods, which are used in open water where a fish is free to swim anywhere.

It is convenient to hold off against fish with the help of a small hole in the ice. So that's why the rods are considered better than Regular rods.

Ice fishing is dissimilar to open water fishing. So it's crucial to know which is the best ice fishing rod for being comfortable in fishing.

The best ice fishing rod is the brawny one, which is rough and tough to handle the harsh environmental conditions.

On top of all, Ice fishing rods should also possess more sensitivity to assist in ice fishing in cold water.

Things To Deem About While Selecting Appropriate Ice Fishing Rods

All the best ice fishing rods are not equally designed or constructed.So, it makes it quite challenging to choose the best ice fishing rod.

Firstly, you should know which kind of fish you look forward to, whether in open water or ice.

Some of the factors to be considered while choosing the best and suitable ice rod for fishing so that the price you pay is worth it.


Usually, ice fishing rods are shorter in size. The length of the rods ranges from 16 to 42 inches.

It means that these rods are small in size. Angling involves dribbling decoy and further elevating bowed fish. So, there is no requirement for longer rods.

The rod's length relies on the fish you are going to target and whether you will do fishing from an ice shelter or in open water.

If you are going to do fishing in the constricted area, you should look forward to the fishing pole, which size varies from 16 to 30 inches relying on shelter space.

Whereas, if you are going to do fishing by standing and sitting, then you need to utilize the long length rod.

It is because a long rod will make you strong enough to target big fish and pull it quickly.

The size of the rod also relies on the method you use for fishing.


Weight is an essential factor to be taken into consideration. You should go for the rod, which is light in weight as it makes it convenient enough to hold it out.

Whereas, if you go for the rod, which is heavier, it will make you feel harder to hold.


The best fishing rod is the one that is constructed with good quality material.

The three primary raw materials used in the preparation of fishing rods are Graphite, Fiberglass, Composites.

  1. Graphite

Rods made up of Graphite are much more light, robust, sturdy, and sensitive than other material rods.

On the other hand, these rods are quite costly. But they are much faster in taking action.

So to handle big and tough fish, Graphite rods are used as they prove to be reliable.

  1. Fiberglass

Rods made up of high – grade Fiberglass easily mold as per requirement. It makes it relatively easy to handle them.

However, fiberglass rods prove to be much stronger and more powerful in the case of frozen temperature.

Fiberglass rods constitute magnificent power and are sturdy.

  1. Composite

Composites rods are those which are made up of both Graphite and Fiberglass. They proffer you the combination of both the materials, making it stronger, reliable, sensitive, and durable.


The best grade ice fishing rod is the one constructed from Graphite, Fiberglass, or both.

Other elements should also be constructed with good quality material so that they perform well in harsh conditions.

In this, the reel seat needs to be well fitted in the right position so that the rod is stable enough.


There are two types of rods.

  1. Spinning rods

These rods are used for targeting small fish as they are convenient to use and lead using insubstantial lines and decoy.

They are popularly used by beginners and those who are average.

The spinning reel is arranged underneath the rod.

  1. Baitcasting rods

These are best suited for targeting big fish by slinging heavy lines and lures.

They proffer you much more strength, power, correctness, and command, but they are quite hard to lead. The baitcasting reel is arranged on top of the rod.


It is an essential factor to be considered while picking the rod. The durability of an ice fishing rod relies on the material used to design it, the quality of the other elements, and the rod's construction.

As compared to Graphite, Fiberglass rod is considered to be longer-lasting and sturdy.

Whereas, if it comes to Composite rods, they are made from both, they also tend to be strong and durable.

But, a Fiberglass rod is considered on top of all based on durability.


Comfort is a crucial aspect while fishing in freezing conditions as one of the best ice fishing rods is the one that proffers more comfortability.

So, it needs to be constructed well so that it is light, stable, and balanced.

Also, most important is the handle should be comfortable enough.

Cork handles are considered to be the best of all as they provide much more comfort and warmth and are soft.

Ease Of Use

The best ice fishing rod is one that is convenient to utilize and well suited for harsh weather conditions.

As it is considered that as much as guides are on the rod, it will become more smooth and easy to use and mold.

Also, the rod should be lighter in weight to have a comfortable grip. Otherwise, heavier rods may reduce relaxation and make you feel disinterested.

Bearing Number

It is also considered as an essential factor that there should be a bearing number on the rod.

Reels are basically provided with the ball bearings for convenient performance. More number of ball bearings makes the operations more convenient and smooth.

Also, it's crucial to consider that it is made up of high–grade quality.


When you purchase an ice fishing rod, it's essential to access the spool on the rod.It should be of suitable size and volume to hold on to the weight as well as length.

It should also be constructed to operate efficiently and smoothly in cold and freezing weather conditions.


It is also an important aspect. The best handle is one that is comfortable and provides an easy grip.

Ice fishing handles are usually made of cork, plastic, or foam.

Cork handles are considered very soft, light, gives warmth, offers more sensitivity, and is comfortable enough.

There are some premium rods too, which have handles made up of Graphite, They are also much more sensitive, but they are quite costly.

The handles made of EVA foam are light and sturdy.


The action factor is determined by comparing how much faster the fishing rod molds and how much time it takes to retrieve after the load is detached.

There are various types of action ice fishing rods.

  1. Extra Fast Action Rods

Extra fast action rods only mold at the tip and are rigid.

However, it's necessary that the fish can see the lure, and you can catch the fish.

  1. Fast Action Rods

These types of rods mold in the uppermost third area from the tip.

  1. Moderate Action Rods

Moderate action rods are mold in the lower half of the tip.

  1. Slow Action Rods

Slow action rods are versatile, flexible, and mold accordingly.

Extra fast, fast, and moderate action rods are best suitable for targeting big fish.

Slow action rods are suitable for small types of fish.


The best ice fishing rods are constructed from good quality material and are sturdy. They are good enough to perform in harsh conditions.

On the other hand, the high-quality fishing rod will be of a high price. Every ice fishing rod serves its purpose in a very well manner and pays the value.

Its price ranges from quite costly to affordable. But you need to consider all the factors and then look forward to one of the best rods so that it pays you more value than the money paid for it.

Fish Species

You need to know the type of fish species you are going to target, and accordingly, you need to buy the rod.

Different rods indicate different signals. Like, heavy rods are used for big fish and are more powerful.

Lightweight rods are used for small fish and are less powerful. However, you need to buy a rod that can perform well in catching the fish.


  1. Why Should I do Ice Fishing?

One of the thrilling winter sports is Ice fishing. With a white cover all around, the fishing adventure feels different. While you cannot see the battle being fought underneath, you feel victorious like never before when you get a catch. Like other winter sports, Ice Fishing comes with its own set of challenges and risks.

Besides, some fish breeds like panfish, perch, crappie, trout, etc., can be caught only during the winters. Hence, by indulging in Ice Fishing, you can catch these breeds and take them home for supper.

  1. Does the size of the ice fishing rod matter?

If your ice fishing rod is small, you cannot use it from a distance, like from places such as a hut or a little far away from the main fishing site. Also, the size of the rod determines the type of fish that can be caught.

Through a small rod, you cannot catch large fish because the rod will break into two. While on the other hand, a large rod enables you to catch fish of any size and shape. Hence, whenever you are looking for a suitable rod, ensure that you opt for the right size because a wrong decision to purchase an ice fishing rod can ruin your entire game.

  1. Can I shop for my ice fishing rod online?

Trying out your preferred rod physically is the most effective way to decide if that rod is suitable for your angling technique or not. But the risk of a wrong choice lies when you shop for an ice fishing rod online.

However, these days the technology is improving and most of the retailers are offering you return facilities. So, if you shop online and don't like your rod, you can return it within the specified period. Even If you shop online, there won't be any harm to your angling, and you will always return home with a healthy catch.

  1. What material is the best for my ice fishing rod?

The answer is Carbon Fibre. This material is very lightweight and flexible, which enhances its lifespan. It makes your rod durable and provides strength to it. If you want high performance from your rod, you should always opt for carbon fiber rods.

Also, the sensitivity of carbon fiber rods is more as compared to rods made of other materials. Since these rods have several features, they all come at a price and are a little bit costly.

  1. Which length of ice fishing rod should I opt for to catch my favorite fish?

Different breeds require rods with different dimensions. To catch your favorite fish, you should know the rod's dimension that is used to catch such fish. For panfish or crappies, you should opt for shorter rods, while for medium-sized fish like trout, walleye, and pike, etc., a medium-sized ice fishing rod is suitable. If you love to catch lake trout or fish like muskie, remember to opt for longer and stronger ice fishing rods.

  1. Is a well-balanced rod required for an ice fishing rod?

A weak and non-durable rod will break any moment while you are angling. Also, you will get easily fatigued by the end of the day because of the long struggle. While on the other hand, a well-balanced rod makes your task much more comfortable.

Due to the stability and high-strength, you will find angling to be a breeze. You won't get fatigued and will enjoy your angling till the end. Besides, a well-balanced rod yields high performance, due to which lifting heavy fish becomes easier.

  1. Can an ice fishing rod be replaced by an ordinary rod?

An ordinary rod is almost similar to an ice fishing rod with minor differences. It can be undeniably used for ice fishing. However, you need to emphasize the rod's desired length and flexibility that you are opting to go on your ice fishing trip.

  1. What type of lure works effectively in Ice fishing?

For getting a healthy catch in such adverse conditions where you cannot see anything, you should use live baits. These live baits, hanging at the other end of your rod, increase the chances of getting a good catch. Since your vision cannot penetrate through the ice, live baits like maggots, worms, etc., will do the entire job for you.

  1. When should the used lines be removed from my ice fishing rod's reel?

After every angling trip, you should remove the used line from your ice fishing rod's reel. A new line should be put on the reel because if you use the already used line, that might break, and you won't need that to happen. Hence, change the lines after every session and carry some extra lines in your tackle box to use them in case of any damage mid-fishing.

  1. How can I increase the lifespan of my newly bought ice fishing rod?

The key to an ice Fishing rod's life is proper cleaning and maintenance. You need to clean the rod whenever you return from your fishing trip. Also, store them properly so that the material doesn't degrade and stays intact and the lines don't get damaged. The reel and the spool should also be compatible with the rod to assist it with angling. Hence, by following these small tips and tricks, you can enhance your rod's lifespan.

Final Verdict

Here is everything to know about ice fishing rods. Give a quick look at the section where we have made a clear difference between ice fishing and regular rods.

We have compiled all the aspects that define the usability of the rod. Skim through details and pick the best rod for yourself.

We have added answers to several important questions too. Hopefully, you will get all the answers to your queries and questions.

Arm yourself with an elite rod and enjoy your upcoming adventures. / - © Copyright 2020