Best Ice Fishing Rod and Reel Combos
To save you the shopping hassle, we have compiled a list of our top five ice fishing rod and reel combos that all boast of great functionality and don’t cost a fortune.
The Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 is a high-performance ice fishing spinning combo that comes in 26’’ to 30’’ lengths. It comes with ultralight to medium-heavy power ratings, the Clear Tip design for improved strength, and twist-lock reel seats with EVA handles for comfort. It also sports a size 20 spinning reel that features a durable aluminum spool, runs on 1 bearing for minimal friction, and comes with an overall sleek design.
- Excellent performance variety.
- High strength, ergonomic design.
- Very durable, smooth performance.
The Eagle Claw Cold Smoke combo comes as an inline combo and features an S-curve graphite construction for lightweight, sensitive performance. Its rod sports a slim design, an ergonomic EVA grip, low-friction elevated guides, and durable reel seats. Its inline reel runs on 4+1 bearings for smooth performance, comes with a smooth Teflon drag, and features a sleek, composite design for aesthetics.
- Excellent jigging performance.
- Lightweight and very sensitive.
- Comfortable, smooth performance.
The Tailored Tackle combo comes as an ice spinning rod and reel combo and boasts of excellent versatility to different target species. It is 28’’ long, comes with medium-light power and fast action, and is exceptionally sensitive. It also comes with a size 20 smooth performance reel that comes with a decent line capacity, drag control, and sits in between the dual grip cork handles that yield excellent comfort.
- Very versatile.
- Comes as a spinning combo, includes guide.
- Very sensitive, excellent controls.
The Berkley combo comes as a spinning rod and reel combo and comes in lengths between 24’’ and 32’’. It features blanks that are exceptionally lightweight, tough, and sensitive, and come with full cork handles that boast of a hidden thread design for the most comfort. It also comes with a size 20 spinning reel that features an aluminum spool, a sleek design, and delivers smooth drag.
- Great variety.
- Lightweight and sensitive.
- Ergonomic design, smooth performance.
The Abu Garcia Veritas 3.0 comes as a spinning combo with different performance ratings and stands out with a sleek, camouflaged design. It features a lightweight and sensitive graphite construction, EVA handles for the most comfort and other durable components including the guides and reel seats. It also comes with a high-performance spinning reel that runs on 3+1 bearings, features a durable aluminum spool, and is extended under the rod for more reeling allowance.
- Sleek, camouflaged design.
- Lightweight and very durable.
- Smooth casts, ergonomic design.
Ice Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Buying Guide
Ice fishing is a thrilling sport and emphasizes the angler’s genius to access species hidden under the ice. But as it is as challenging as it is thrilling, getting the right ice fishing rod and reel combo is important for success.
Our buying guide reviews the best ice fishing rod and reel combos on the market based on the specified features and performance to give you the best options to choose from. We then take it a step further to outline the necessary factors to consider and the qualities to look out for in an ice fishing rod and reel combo before you make a purchase.
Choosing the type of ice fishing combo you want to go for is the first step you want to take. Generally differentiated based on their reel types, spinning and inline rod and reel combos are the most widely used for ice fishing. Spinning ice fishing combos are easier to use, are the most versatile, come with higher drag ratings to handle larger fish, and are more affordable. Inline ice fishing combos are better than spinning combos at techniques like jigging, are less prone to line twists, and are less prone to the effects of water infiltration.
The typical rod lengths found in ice fishing is an important distinguishing. As ice fishing doesn’t require casting, anglers tend towards short rods for carrying convenience. Unlike other traditional combos where longer means better for farther casts, ice fishing rods are usually short to emphasize portability and strength. Most ice fishing combos will come in lengths between 2’ and 4’.
The sensitivity of the rod in your ice fishing combo is one of the most important factors to consider. As you can’t see whether the fish has taken your bait, you are relying completely on vibrations that will be transferred through your line to your rod. To maximize sensitivity, your ice fishing rod and reel combo should come with ultralight to medium power ratings and fast action.
Unlike other fishing combos where mounting options may be available, ice fishing is mostly hands-on and thus the ergonomics play an important role. You want the most comfortable, non-slip grips made from EVA or cork and that will also keep your hands insulated.