Best ice fishing rod: Tips and Recommendations

It is the middle of winter, and it is time for the most adventurous activity. It is really cold outside, but there is no need to wait for the sun to come out because you can go ice fishing! This angling activity has gained in popularity because it has a big success rate because most fish species are very indolent.

For this technique, you do not need much equipment. Bait, something to cut out the hole on the frozen surface and an ice fishing rod. Choosing an ice fishing rod can be a dilemma for every angler. This article will discuss some tips and provide a detailed review of the best ice fishing rods.

What is an ice fishing rod and how does it work?

Angling on the ice requires tough and high specialized tools that can handle the harsh elements of nature like ice and snow.

Furthermore, this rod is usually small (>1m) because the angler must be close to the hole to make the jig effect.

To make things clear, as far as flexibility is concerned it is an important factor because it must bend without breaking.

Learn what features to look for in a great rod


It refers to the amount of power needed to bend the pole and manufacturers split them into three categories: heavy, medium and light.

For instance, heavier power rods require more pressure to bend than light power rods. The power depends on the fish species you are after.


Image source: Mud Hole Blog –

  • Light Power: A light power ice fishing rod is perfect for small fish like perch. They are extremely lightweight and easy to handle.
  • Medium and Heavy power: Most anglers think that bigger fish require much more effort, so they prefer heavy power rods, but they are considered to be stiff and bulky. The purpose is to feel the flutter of your bait so a medium power ice fishing rod should be ideal.

Fish Species

There is no doubt that ice fishing is a unique experience, giving you the opportunity to catch fish that you have never seen. It is scientifically proven that during the winter most fish are approaching the shore to find food.



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This fish is the most popular catch for every angler. It is a freshwater fish with tremendous visual acuity, and you can fish them during the daytime.

Many people would describe it as very active because once you get a bite, it, will not stop until he steals it or you catch it!

  • Bait: Live bait



Image source: Angling Buzz

It is a close relative of the walleye as they look similar and you can find them in large lakes and deep waters. You can recognize this fish from the white patch on their tail.

Moreover, they do not get as big as the walleye, but they are still interesting to fish.

  • Bait: Mayfly larvae, jigs, spoons or small fish

Northern Pike

Northern Pike

Image source: American Expedition

Every angler can admit that this fish is the best ice fishing catch ever. It is a carnivorous fish and can reach the length of 150m. They are living in shallow water, and they are extremely active and will give a great fight.

  • Bait: Minnows, jerk baits, and bright colored spoons.



Image source: ClipartFest

There are many categories of perch as yellow perch and white perch. Emphasis should be laid on the fact that they are considered to be delicious. Do not forget that you can use them as bait for bigger fish.

Many fishing lures are similar to this fish, especially the yellow perch because it is the most important prey source for walleyes and northern pikes.

  • Bait: Worms, minnows, and bobbers

Rod material

This factor can be a great dilemma when it comes to buying the best ice fishing rod. You can choose between three materials: graphite, fiberglass, and carbon.

  • Graphite: Sensitive material used for light power rods so you can feel every bite.

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  • Fiberglass: Expensive and high durable material. Most fiberglass rods have a solid body and are protected from the water and salt water corrosion.

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  • Carbon: Carbon is a lightweight material and unsuitable for walleyes or northern pikes as it is not extremely durable. They are recommended for people who want to have a portable rod and easy to handle.

Image source: YouTube

Ice Rod Action and Taper

The taper is the thickness of the rod, and the blank’s walls and action describe how much the ice fishing rod will bend.  It affects action but is not the same as it.

For instance, a rod with fast tapper means the diameter gets smaller toward the tip, so the action will also be faster.

Power Taper Calculator:

Lures and Bait Power Action
Topwater Lures Medium Medium
Crank baits Medium Medium
Shaky Head Medium Fast
Jerk baits Heavy Fast
Flipping Heavy Fast
Worms Light Medium
Minnows Medium Medium

Best Value Best Ice Fishing Rod Reviews

1.Fiblink Graphite Ice Fishing Rod (24-30 Inches Medium and Medium Light Power)

This ice fishing rod comes in two sizes 24 inches and 30 inches. We can figure out that Fiblink tried to use fine materials to design a rod that will fulfill every need. It is meant for ice fishing due to the perfect rod length.

Main Feature

  • Length and Material: Short rods give less shock absorption, and you can be closer to the fishing spot. The material of this rod is graphite. Just thinking of the construction material should be enough to make you understand that it is a durable ice rod.

Key Features and Specifications

  • 24-Inch Rod
  • Power: Medium-Light
  • Rod Weight: 2oz
  • 30-Inch Rod
  • Power: Medium Power
  • Rod Weight: 3oz
  • Rod bag: You can carry your rod everywhere with that bag.
  • Warranty: Fiblink provides a one year guarantee
  • Guides: Aluminum oxide guides
  • Cork grip


  • Affordable
  • One year Warranty
  • Extremely lightweight
  • High Durable Material
  • Large guides


  • The handle is not corrosion safe
  • The reel seat is placed too low, so when you retrieve line you can hurt your fingers of the other hand

Final Verdict

The cost is a major factor when considering the purchase of an ice fishing rod. It is extremely affordable and stable enough to fight big fish. Summarizing, it is recommended for newbie or expert anglers.

2.Master Fishing Tackle Brush Spinning Combo Kit, 2-Feet, Ultra-Light (Colors May Vary)

Are you an avid angler? If yes, this fishing rod is constructed for you. It is a combo kit with a rod and a reel and can be a perfect present for a child as it comes in many colors. Underlined should be the fact that it weighs only 6.4 ounces so you can transport it in your backpack.

Main Feature

  • Length: 2 feet ice fishing rod which are extremely portable

Key Features and Specifications

  • Dimensions: 24 x 3 x 5 inches
  • Reel: One ball bearing reel.
  • Action: Ultra-Light

Colors: Pink, red, green and blue


  • Lightweight
  • Low-cost
  • Solid body
  • Minimal Design


  • Only three guides
  • Sensitive reel
  • Very thin

Final Verdict

To sum up, it is affordable and ideal for a child. The combo kit is a complete fishing package, so you only have to buy a line and the bait. Overall, it is perfect for each angler who wants to be mobile.

3.Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Combo

Most people who buy this fishing rod wonder how can be such quality combined with such a good price. It gives you a lightweight feel with and will help you to have control of the fish. It is recognizable by its eye-catching design.

Main Feature

  • Great balance and sturdy reel: The reel (size 20) utilize a one ball bearing system. Additionally, it was built using high-quality aluminum to provide a nice balance on the retrieve without the wobble in your hands.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Guides: Stainless Steel line guides which will protect it from corrosion and rust.

EVA handles

  • Size 26.”
  • Line Rating 2-6 lbs.
  • Size 28.”
  • Line Rating 4-8 lbs.
  • Size 30″
  • Line Rating 6-10 lbs.


  • Great balance due to the stainless steel guides
  • Ideal for ice fishing
  • The combo kit will surely help you to save money
  • Easy to clean


  • Should have more ball bearings

Final Verdict

This rod is a good choice for sure, combining high quality and balance. The majority of the customers could characterize it as ‘’low-cost’’ as it utilizes so many features. Manufacturers used top quality materials to craft a rod which will meet even the most demanding expectations.

4.13 Fishing Widow Maker Ice Rod 32

If you want an alternative that can do well in any weather conditions, then you have to take a look at this ice fishing rod. The 36-ton graphite will make it able to withstand any harsh abuse. Despite the fact that it is considered to be expensive, it gains in durability and performance.

Main Feature

  • Handle: The handle is hand-made and is made in Portuguese using high-quality cork. It is of vital importance to have extra convenience while you are ice fishing due to the cold weather conditions. The handle will help to transmit the vibrations of the fish.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Special Guides: ALPS guides which are also coated
  • Two reel seat
  • Material: 36-ton graphite for extra durability and sensitivity


  • High tensile strength
  • Well-constructed guidelines
  • High-quality handle
  • Comfort
  • Perfect for walleyes


  • Expensive
  • No carry bag

Final Verdict

Overall, this ice fishing rod will last you a long time and will withstand hard weather conditions. If you want to invest in a good rod, you have to take a closer look at this. The only negative point is the price and the fact that there is no carry bag.

5.Frabill Fin-S Pro 30-Inch Medium Ice Fishing Rod and Reel Combo, Black

Not only will a sturdy ice fishing rod save you from troubles, but it can also help you catch really big fish. The Frabill Fin-S Pro 30-Inch is constructed of materials which are used by the firearm industry. That means that manufacturers tried to lay emphasis on the performance without sacrificing any other specifications.

Main Feature

  • Material: The blank is made of extra tough carbon fiber so you can feel every bite. Thanks to the carbine gas tube roll pin, it is considered as a unique rod as you cannot see this feature in any other rod.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Dimensions: 30 x 3.5 x 5.5 inches
  • Power: Medium
  • Guides: Rigid stainless steel guides which will protect the rod from water and corrosion
  • Reel: One ball bearing made of CNC Aluminum
  • Cork grip


  • Sensitive tip
  • Flexible rod
  • Good reel
  • Special design


  • Reel position is too low
  • Some customers say that it cannot hold the reel steady

Final Verdict

Sold as package combination (rod and reel), it is a good choice for every angler. It looks great and performs even better as it combines high-quality materials and special design.

Frequent Asked Questions

Q: Can I use a big ice fishing rod for that fishing technique?

Answer: It is impossible to use big fishing rods for ice fishing as you have to be close to the ice hole. Not to mentions that small rods absorb less shock and you can use them in cramped quarters. As you can see the rods above, they are small and lightweight. Every ice fishing angler will appreciate a small rod.

Q: Will harsh weather conditions affect my ice fishing rod?

Answer: There is no doubt that ice fishing rods are sturdy as they are constructed for cold weather conditions. Even if you drop it accidentally in the water, you can be sure that the rod will be ok. Moreover, it is important to say that the guides are corrosion resistant.

Q: Can I use my ice fishing rods for other fishing techniques?

Answer: The truth is that they cannot be used for all fishing techniques. However, they are ideal for boat fishing and bottom fishing. Furthermore, if you have a floating cork, you can use the rod for freshwater trout.


If you are a fan of fishing and do not want to wait till summer, ice fishing is the best activity for you. Despite the fact that it is adventurous and interesting you have to be careful. Choose the appropriate clothing and follow all the safety precautions.

Choosing the best ice fishing rod is a great dilemma for every angler. The review will help you to select the right one, so you do not regret buying the wrong rod. Grab your rod and supplies and let’s go fishing!