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7 Best Ice Fishing Rods To Pick From

Written by James Schulz

Ice fishing is fun and a surprisingly effective way to catch fish.

And with the equipment and apparel now available, there’s no need to be left out in the cold!

Ice fishermen comprise a surprisingly large and growing group within the fishing community.

If you are somehow wondering why ice fishing continues to gain in popularity, well, once you taste a meal of freshly caught perch or crappie caught through the ice, any lingering doubts will disappear in a rush of mouthwatering delight!

That may come as a surprise to many. The idea of cutting a hole in the ice to drop a tiny bait on the nose of a fish may seem like finding a needle in the haystack.

Despite that, with a little thought, planning, and the right equipment, finding and catching fish through the ice can be surprisingly easy – and incredibly fun!

But how can you get off on the right foot with the equipment when there are so many ice fishing rods in the market?

In this article we are going to help you choose the right option, therefore we have compiled a list of the best ice fishing rods that are currently available in the market.

At A Glance

Top 7 Best Ice Fishing Rods To Buy From

1) Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo.jpg

If you’ve been in the ice fishing business for long, you must know about Shakespeare fishing reels and rods.

They’ve been carrying the industry for several years.

Since they have several options to choose from, it often gets confusing to get the one that suits their style of ice fishing best.

For an all-rounder fisherman, the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo is the way to go.

Since you’ll often find them sold out on the internet, place an order quickly for a sweet ice fishing experience.

Being the successor of its previous variant, it delivers on the original promise the Ugly Stik made with it’s strength and durability.

Pros

  • One-piece stainless steel guides
  • Better balance for a lighter feel, improved components
  • Eye-catching cosmetics for a more modern look
  • Extremely lightweight

Cons

  • More expensive than usual.
  • Clear tip design which isn’t ‘usual’ in ice fishing rods

When you got bigger fish to fry, the GX2 is the way to go because it is one of the most commonly used ice fishing rods in the world.

No matter what kind of fish you need to catch, the size 20 spinning reel is unbelievably well suited for ice fishing to say the least.

Apart from that, the twist-lock reel seat with EVA handles is also well built when it comes to being user-friendly.

There’s also a ported aluminum spool which adds durability to the rod while also making it feel a lightweight.

Try it out for yourself, order from the link above.

2) Cabela’s Whuppin’ Stick Ice Combo

Cabela's Whuppin' Stick Ice Combo.jpg

There aren’t many ice fishing rods in the market that are as clean and reliable as the Cabela’s whuppin’ stick ice combo.

That’s because not only is it extremely reasonable in such a saturated market, it is one of a kind when it comes to the specifications.

Often times during ice fishing, due to the cold atmosphere and the toughness required to break through the icy water, one can get hand fatigue.

Luckily though, with the design of the Cabela ice fishing rod, the easy grip reduces hand fatigue by a considerable percentage.

What more could you ask for?

Pros

  • Extremely reasonable price
  • Lightweight reel.
  • Strong polymer fiberglass rod blank
  • Eye catching cosmetics for a more modern look
  • Several length and power options.

Cons

  • Not built for extremely icy water, as ice particles do not hold cast well.

The pairing of a quality lightweight spinning reel with a featured tough aluminum spool and a single ball bearing system is one not to be messed with.

The design team over at Cabela’s is proud of this one because of it’s admirable attributes, that you’ll not often find in ice fishing rods.

The cushioned lock-down reel seat makes for a user-friendly grip, which is all you can ask for in an ice fishing rod.

Alongside the cushioned lock-down reel seat, there’s also a simple, effective and strong mechanism to it that makes for a sensitive tip in this cheap ice fishing rod.

Despite there being several rod and reel combos, get your hands on this specific one to find out why Cabela’s popularity is deserving.

3) Ugly Stik Ice More Fish Panfish Spinning Combo

Ugly Stik Ice More

You may feel like a Munchkin the first time you pick up an ice fishing rod, but the 24- to 36-inch rods designed for the hard-water game will make sense when you hover over a six- to eight-inch hole in the ice.

Ultralight reels prevail, and those designed for ice fishing tend to be significantly less expensive than corresponding open water reels.

This is why the Ugly Stik Ice More Fish Panfish Spinning Combo is the best option for you to get started on ice fishing.

Alongside it’s numerous attributes, which we’ll get into; The Ugly Stik ice fishing rods are genuinely one of a kind with their aluminum oxide inserts.

The rod and reel combo makes for an easy ice fishing season, as it gives a new meaning to the feasibility of catching fishes in cold waters.

Pros:

  • A considerably cheap ice rod.
  • Unparalleled rod power
  • Ultralight rod that is just priceless.
  • Utility box with panfish lures

Cons:

  • Graphite over carbon.
  • No fiberglass rods.

When going through of options of rods that are good at catching panfish and small trout, this fishing rod is the way to go.

It has a specialized tackle, rod and reel combo which makes you ready to hit the hard water.

The graphite blank alongside the sensitive tip makes for a durable rod and reel.

That’s not even the best part though.

The best part about the Ugly Stik Spinning Combo is how it comes with a utility box that is pre-packed with ice fishing lures that are already proven.

Here’s a tip, get that clear tip and go ice fishing with a rod that’ll get you what you need.

In short, at such a reasonable price you get something that’s proven to work in severe conditions, so why not take advantage of it.

4) FISHING Widow Maker

FISHING Widow Maker.jpg

For those who have been in the ice fishing business for long, you know that the Widow Maker Series is no regular fishing rod.

Species like bluegill, crappie, redear sunfish, and perch are the primary prey of most ice anglers, and the equipment you will need for them is simple and inexpensive.

Suited for extreme cold weather, the 13 Fishing Widow Maker has extreme attention to detail when it comes to the design and mechanism.

The performance is unbelievable, which can be said for all Widow Maker fishing rods.

Weighing only 0.25 Kilograms makes it a lightweight stainless steel guide option.

Using the Japanese 36 Ton Today Solid Body graphite, the durability can be trusted without a shadow of a doubt.

The amazing integration of high-quality and top-notch components is cutting edge when it comes to the old business of ice fishing.

These rods offer the same combination of durability and sensitivity that have characterized the brand since its inception.

Light rods like these are used all over the world, but not at dimensions of 28 x 1 x 1 inch.

Pros:

  • Available in several different sizes.
  • Available in several different styles.
  • Carbon fiber material.
  • High-performance graphite blank.

Cons:

  • Have to tape the reel to the rod.
  • Tickle tip can crack under pressure.
  • Expensive.

So what makes the Widow Maker series the crown of ice fishing rods? Is it the performance? The attention to detail? The specifications?

In simple words, all of it. It’s a beautiful integration of components that have been leading the industry in their concerning department for ages.

The evolve reel seat, the endless options of sizes and styles, the Mono, Fluro, Braid fishing line type and the handle material cork make for a fishing rod that gives you the ice fishing experience you’ve been looking for.

There’s likewise a high-performance 36Ton solid body toray graphite blank with a hand-selected 5A Portuguese cork handle, and endless options in the rod and reel combos for you to choose.

So what are you waiting for? Rack up those dollars and get yourself a 13 Fishing Widow Maker with an ALPS thin wire guide.

5) Fiblink Graphite Ice Fishing Rod Pole Gear Equipment for Walleye Perch Crappie Pike Trout

Fiblink Graphite Ice Fishing Rod.jpg

Coming with a one-year warranty that just can’t go unappreciated, the Fiblink Graphite Ice Fishing Rod is now available!

Likewise offering a full money-back guarantee with customer service that is unparalleled, what else could you want?

The thing about Fiblink is that if there’s anything wrong with the fishing rod, contacting them will be helpful as they’ll solve your problem as soon as possible.

It’s the go-to rod for people who love ice fishing as it can adopted to different fishing styles.

This fishing rod is a light, strong and sensitive rod. Available in different lengths and specifications, it has a few pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Durable in harsh conditions
  • Different styles to match different preferences.

Cons:

  • Works with targeted species
  • No reel provided

This ice fishing rod is unlike any I’ve personally seen, it has the proper class to it that even Shakespeare can’t provide in their best of works.

Other than the touch of elegance, the rod proves to be consistent in even the harshest of weather conditions.

The fishing rod features ‘technique specific actions’ that match fishing styles so one can go get their targeted species.

The solid cork handle is another item that is made for the comfort of the user, made with the graphite that just gets you the grip you’ve been looking for.

Making ice fishing seem easy, the Fiblink Ice Fishing Rod comes in several different sizes.

The 24″ medium light power-rod weights 2.2oz, whereas the 30″ medium power-rod weighs 2.3oz.

Another option for those heavy-hitters is the 32″ medium heavy power-rod which weighs 2.4oz.

Made with the idea of keeping it lightweight, you’ll find in the fishing rode durable aluminum oxide guides.

The line flows effortlessly through these stainless steel guides which can’t be said about any other ice fishing rod.

Graphite rod blanks,blank through handle construction

Lightweight and durable aluminum oxide guides,Line flows effortlessly through stainless guides

What are you waiting for? Get the package which includes an ice fishing rod and 1 rod bag.

6) Abu Garcia Vendetta Ice Fishing Spinning Rod

Abu Garcia Vendetta Ice Fishing Spinning Rod.jpg

The tradition of advanced design and precision performance might be gone for several ice fishing rod suppliers in the world, but not for the Vendetta® Ice rod.

The Abu Garcia Vendetta Ice Fishing Spinning Rod, which is one of a kind on it’s own, is more a piece of fashion and luxury than it is of ‘fishing rods’.

Giving your fishing an exclusive look, while having attributes that provide increased durability and sensitivity that are unmatched is just what you’ve been looking for.

Weighing only 0.09 Kilograms, the Abu Garcia ice fishing rod has made it’s way in the ultra light-weight category.

Although Spinning rods can’t be used for heavy cover as they can only accommodate trolling and still fishing, that is the perfect option for ice fishing as you’ll be in still water.

Pros:

  • Super lightweight.
  • Reasonably priced.
  • Increased durability

Cons:

  • Available in one size only.
  • No money-back guarantee.

Apart from the solid carbon blanks and high density EVA, Abu Garcia offers a multi-colored ultralight rod for pure ice-fishing fans.

Although it doesn’t have fiberglass blanks, it supports all skill levels and fishing styles.

The spinning rod is one of a kind made with the comfort of it’s user in mind, provided through high density EVA, which you won’t find on many ice fishing rods.

So treat yourself this summer, and get the highly anticipated ultra light rod from Abu Garcia!

7) St. Croix Rods Mojo Ice Fishing Rod

St. Croix Rods Mojo Ice Fishing Rod.jpg

The St. Croix Ice Fishing rod is an exemplary piece of hardware that you won’t find in the world just anywhere.

This quality rod applies to several ice fishing applications, with a solid carbon blank that gives you the real ice-fishing experience.

It has a precision-taper solid carbon construction, which provides performance at its the highest level when it comes to a fishing rod.

The premium split-grip cork handle or eva handle likewise provides comfort even in the roughest of days as you maintain the strong grip on the medium rod.

Having a medium light power, and a 28″ length. Whether you take the lake, wade the rivers, or cast from the shore, St. Croix provides responsive performance.

Weighing at 0.2 Kilograms, this custom ice rod is there to make your fishing experience on to remember.

Pros:

  • Split grip type
  • Reliable and trusted by many.
  • High performance

Cons:

  • Only one length available.
  • Not reasonably priced

The split-grip type and ‎Ethylene Vinyl Acetate material used in the making of this rod make it a Croix custom ice rod.

With a St. Croix rod in hand, you are a part of a celebrated tradition.

Faster action rods flex mostly near the tip. Different rod powers are engineered to efficiently handle a certain range of lure weights and line sizes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What size rod is best for ice fishing rod?

The recommended length for ice fishing rods in the 25-to 27-inch range for fishing inside most portable fish houses, especially flip-overs. Longer 27-to 30-inch models can be great options in hub or the more spacious wheelhouses. You may feel like a Munchkin the first time you pick up an ice fishing rod, but the 24- to 36-inch rods are designed for the hard-water game.

Can an ice fishing rod be used with a bait casting reel?

An ice fishing rod is meant for Ice-Fishing. For that reason it is very short and not meant for casting. However, the reel-seat is a traditional type and allows for any reel to be fixed into position.

What Should Be Included In Ice Fishing Gear?

There should be an ice fishing rod, a reel, and an ice fishing guide. Although most options you'll find on the internet have only fishing rods, you can apply your own reel to it and get fishing.

What is the best gear ratio for saltwater fishing?

The recommended gear ratio of ice fishing rods is 5.2:1. So, that means the spool rotates 5.2 times for every full turn of the handle.

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