Best Ice Fishing Rods
To save you the shopping hassle, we have compiled a list of our top five ice fishing rods that all boast of great functionality and don’t cost a fortune.
The Shakespeare Ugly Stik comes as a spinning fishing rod and features a unique fiberglass/graphite blend for superior performance. It comes with a single-material guide design that eliminates inserts pop-outs, a high-strength and ultra-sensitive tip, and ergonomic EVA grips for comfort. It boasts of a sleek overall design, comes in lengths between 26’’ to 30’’, and with powers between light to medium-heavy.
- Excellent durability.
- Lightweight performance.
- Sleek design, great variety.
The St. Croix Avid spinning rod is specially designed for ice jigging and features a lightweight, high-strength carbon blank. It sports a slim profile for the most sensitivity and a unique full-grip handle for comfort. It also comes in different lengths and performance ratings, features a Kigan stripper guide, and smooth line guides for line durability.
- Specially designed for jigging.
- Very sensitive and comfortable.
- Very versatile.
The Fenwick HMG is a top-notch fishing rod that comes as a spinning rod and features a high modulus graphite blank. It comes with a tapered construction for strength and sensitivity, comes with moderate action, and different power ratings for versatility. It also comes with aluminum-oxide lined guides, premium-grade cork handles, and a twist-lock reel seat for a solid hold.
- Lightweight and sensitive.
- Highly ergonomic design.
- Very durable and versatile.
The Tailored Tackle ice fishing rod comes as a 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 owner’s
- Very sensitive, excellent controls.
The Fiblink ice fishing rod comes with a graphite blank construction that runs through the handle for efficient power transmission. It is lightweight, comes with ultra-smooth guides that ensure line durability, and features an ergonomic cork handle for comfort. It also comes in different lengths, varying performance ratings, and sports an overall sleek design.
- Lightweight, smooth casting performance.
- Highly ergonomic.
- Sleek design, highly versatile.
Ice Fishing Rod Buying Guide
Ice fishing rods are specially designed to handle the slight complexities that come with ice fishing. The limited space for luring your target has allowed the sport to evolve more specialized techniques like jigging and the ideal ice fishing rod must be exceptionally efficient for these techniques.
Our buying guide reviews the best ice fishing rods 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 before you make a purchase.
Ice fishing rods stand out from other rods, especially in their lengths. Unlike other traditional rods where longer means better for farther casts, ice fishing rods are usually short to emphasize portability and strength. Most ice fishing rods will come in between 2’ to 4’ lengths.
Power and Action
The power and action of your ice fishing rod are other criteria to consider. The power measures how much strain the rod can handle before deflecting and will depend on the size of the fish you are targeting. The action measures the level of the reaction of your rod’s top to movement in the line or simply its flexibility. Ice fishing rod power is rated as ultralight, light, medium, and heavy. Ultralight, light, and medium power rating are the most common in ice fishing rods are used with small lures and to target small to medium-sized fish.
Ice fishing rod actions are rated as slow and fast action rods. Fast action rods are the most sensitive and deflect close to the tip while slow action rods defect closer to the handle of the rod under load.
The materials and weight of your ice fishing rod is the next important factor to consider. The materials of your ice fishing rod should be as lightweight and durable as possible. Fiberglass, graphite, and composites like carbon fiber are the most common materials, fishing rods are made from. Fiberglass travel rods are the most affordable and are common and decently lightweight. Graphite fishing rods are lighter and more sensitive than graphite fishing rods and are also more expensive. Composites offer the best balance between low weight, sensitivity, and power and are also the most expensive. In all, any ice fishing rod you go for should be as light as possible so you can carry it around conveniently.