Bait, Line, and the Best Ice Fishing Rods - What More Do You Need?

Looking for the best ice fishing rods? Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced ice fisher, these rods offer top performance and make for incredible catches. Find out what to look for and how to make the best choice from our list of the best ice fishing rods.

Are you tired of using poorly made ice fishing rods that just can't seem to catch a big one?

Well, look no further! In this article, we will dive into the world of ice fishing rods and help you find the best one for your needs.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or a newcomer to the ice fishing world, we've got you covered with our top picks for the most durable, lightweight, and sensitive rods.

So get ready to upgrade your ice fishing gear and make the most out of your next trip!

Selecting the Best Ice Fishing Rods

Selecting the best ice fishing rod can be overwhelming as there is a wide variety of different models and brands. You don't want to end up with a rod that's not fit for purpose!

What if you go ice fishing and the rod you've chosen breaks? What if it fails to perform when needed? What if it's too expensive and not worth your money?

We've done extensive research on all the popular ice fishing rods on the market, narrowing down features such as price, durability, number of controls, weight, size, and more. Our team then compared these specs with user reviews to identify the best options for any situation. Finally, we compiled our list of the top-rated ice fishing rods so you can make an informed decision.

We know you want the best, so we work hard to provide it. Our team of experts is constantly selecting products for our site that meet high standards and offer great value too! Our opinions are based on independent trials and tests but as an Amazon Associate, we may earn from some qualifying purchases. This helps us to keep the site running without costing anything extra for you.

St. Croix Rods Mojo

Best Ultralight Rod

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St. Croix's Ice Fishing Rods are our old favorite and these rods keep surprising us with their results even now! If you are searching for ultralight ice fishing rods, then St Croix Mojo is the best pick for you.

This ultra light fishing rod is surprisingly durable. Despite feeling fragile, the Solid Carbon material of this fishing rod ensures maximum performance on ice and makes it easier to catch bigger fish. Plus, the comfortable cork and EVA handle will ensure your grip stays strong for longer periods of time.

Whether you're a veteran angler or just starting out, this impressive product will surprise you with its exceptional performance - try St. Croix Mojo today and see why it's one of the best ice fishing rods available!

What You Should Know

·      Available in sizes of 24 and 28 inches.

·      The Mojo series also features medium and medium-light rods.

·      Comes with a traditional reel seat making it easier for you to fix your ice fishing reel.

Why You Will Love This

·      The unique slit grip with EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) foam makes it comfortable to hold.

·      High-quality and lightweight stainless steel guides are smooth and properly directed to prevent any tangling in your lines.

What Could Have Been Better

·      Unfortunately, they are known to sporadically make mistakes with orders, so if you're unlucky you may have to switch out your fishing rod for the proper size.

13 Fishing Tickle Stick

Best Medium Light Rod

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Experience best-in-class ice fishing with the 13 Fishing Tickle Stick! This age-old rod has been recently upgraded and improved, featuring a cork handle with soft touch reel seat and unique Flat-Tip Blank Construction.

You won't believe your results until you try them! You don't have to settle for just panfish, with proper fishing line and drag settings, you can even catch a large walleye with these rods. The 13 Fishing Tickle Stick is an ideal ice fishing rod due to its unique flat tip which increases the angler’s sensitivity and ability to detect strikes.

The flat tip also adds extra rigidity to the blank making it more resistant to rolling over when pressure is applied, allowing for a quicker response time when a strike occurs.

Whether you're a professional fisherman or amateur angler, this rod is sure to tickle your fancy as you catch the best fish in ice town.

Ice fishing with the 13 Fishing Tickle Stick
Ice fishing with the 13 Fishing Tickle Stick

What You Should Know

·      Comes in several lengths of 23 inches to 38 inches.

·      Tickle Stick is available in 6 varieties of rod power.

·      Made of Carbon materials.

Why You Will Love This

·      The Cork handle provides a comfortable grip.

·      It is easy to feel bites with this rod.

·      The rubber reel seat allows for a secure fit of your ice fishing reel.

What Could Have Been Better

·      The long-term durability of the cork handle is questionable.

Fenwick HMG

Best Spinning Rod

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The Fenwick HMG ice fishing poles are perfect for those who want to catch big, without spending a fortune. HMG strikes a nice balance between its backbone stiffness and tip flexibility.

It ensures great power without losing sensitivity. Plus, with graphite blanks, it offers durability that won't break under pressure.

No matter what you are fishing for, be it a lake trout or a crappie, this rod will do the job. With its stainless steel guides, and aluminum oxide inserts, it can handle any line diameter you throw at it without snagging up or tangling your line.

Get your hands on this lightweight but sturdy ice fishing spinning rod today for an unforgettable adventure!

What You Should Know

·     Available in lengths of 26 inches to 38 inches

·     Comes in 4 power options from light to medium heavy.

Why You Will Love This

·     Light and fast tip with plenty of backbone.

·     Versatile for heavy and light jigs.

·     Enjoyable solid cork handle that allows you to hold it comfortably.

What Could Have Been Better

·     It is difficult to lock in your fishing reel.

Berkley Cherrywood HD Ice Spinning Combo

Best Budget Rod & Reel Combo

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If you don't want to spend a fortune for a seasonal sport and just want a cheap ice fishing rod and reel combo, the Berkley Cherrywood HD Ice rod and reel combo is the best option for you on the market! It's lightweight and very well-built, giving you unmatched value for your money.

Plus, its hybrid design provides excellent sensitivity so you won't miss a bite. And with it being secured through the handle, this rod is highly durable - perfect for any fisherman looking for a reliable catch!

So don't wait to purchase your own Berkley Cherrywood HD and start reeling in those fish today!

What You Should Know

·     Available in lengths of 24 inches.

·     This fishing rod is constructed with lightweight stainless steel guides and inserts.

·     Made up of solid fiberglass materials.

Why You Will Love This

·     Comes with graphite reel.

·     Thanks to the wood finish and the red color, this rod looks great.

·     The cork handle provides comfort and superior grip.

What Could Have Been Better

·     It works fine with small fishes, but avoid this if you are in search of walleyes or lake trouts, as the tip can break.

Worthy Mentions

St. Croix Rods Custom Rod

St. Croix Rods Custom Rod

If you want a quality ice fishing pole and don't mind paying the price, this St. Croix custom ice rod is a great choice for you. Featuring a hi-vis tip made from carbon, you'll be able to easily see the rod react to bites allowing for an even finer-tuned performance.

The reel guides are designed to smoothly return to position after every bend of the rod. With five distinct blank platforms and both solid and tubular configurations, these rods have it all!

These rods are impressive, yet just like the Mojo series, it can be tricky to find exactly what size you need when shopping online. Congratulations in advance if you get it right on the first try; you won't be disappointed!

Clam Jason Mitchell Meat Stick Rod

The Clam Jason Mitchell Meat Stick Rod is a sanded graphite/fiberglass rod that comes with a feather-light tip leading to an ultra-responsive backbone.

It’s perfectly balanced so you can fish with heavier ice fishing lures one moment, and be ready for even the lightest pickups the next. Plus, it comes with a handle that adds weight above your reel to increase sensitivity - so you’ll never miss another bite.

Undoubtedly, this is a great rod, but it is not suitable for beginners. If you are not cautious you can break the tip.

Dive into our article on the best surf fishing rods and equip yourself with the gear you need to conquer the waves and land those trophy catches.

Frequently Asked Questions

Without a clear understanding of ice fishing rods, it's difficult to make an informed decision when purchasing gear. This can lead to frustration and disappointment and potentially ruin your ice fishing trips.

You deserve to have the best equipment for a successful and enjoyable ice fishing experience, but with so much information to sift through, it can be tough to know where to start.

In this article, we've compiled a list of frequently asked questions about an ice fishing rod to help you better understand the various components and features of these essential fishing tools. With this information, you'll be able to make an informed decision and find the perfect pole for your needs. So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn all about ice fishing rods!

What type of rod is best for ice fishing?

If you are looking for the best type of rod for ice fishing, a medium-light spinning rod of short length with fast action and a sensitive tip is ideal and the most versatile rod for maximum ice fishing scenarios.

These rods provide the perfect balance of sensitivity, strength, and maneuverability making them ideal for icy conditions. They also feature guides that allow lines to flow smoothly so you can feel even the slightest bites.

Whatever your choice may be, make sure to pick a robust rod that will last you through your many ice-fishing trips!

What is the best length of ice fishing rod?

Generally speaking, shorter rods in the range of 24"-36" are great for accurate casting and tight line control without being too unwieldy. Shorter rods (24-28 inches) are easier to handle and maneuver in tight spaces, making them ideal for jigging or finesse techniques.

Longer rods (30-36 inches) provide greater leverage and are better suited for tip-up fishing or fishing in deep holes.

You can choose even longer rods in the range of 36"-48", which are better for long-distance casting and have more power when reeling in larger fish. But for most ice fishing scenarios, these are not required.

Ultimately, it depends on your fishing style and preferences.

Can I use a regular fishing rod for ice fishing?

Yes, you can definitely use a regular fishing rod for ice fishing, but it might not be the best option out there. An ice fishing rod is specifically designed to handle the unique challenges of fishing through the ice, such as cold temperatures and the need for sensitivity to detect light bites.

They're also shorter and lighter which makes maneuvering your line through the ice easier. That said if you're just starting out or don't have the budget to invest in a dedicated ice rod, using a regular rod can still get the job done.

What does it mean to choose the right size of fishing rod?

Choosing the right size of a fishing rod refers to selecting a rod that is appropriately matched to the type of fishing you plan to do and the species of fish you hope to catch. The size of a fishing rod is typically determined by its length and power, with longer and more powerful rods being better suited for larger, stronger fish and more heavy-duty fishing techniques.

Choosing the right size of rod for fishing is really important, as it affects your comfort, control, and ability to land a fish. Generally speaking, if you are fishing in shallow or tight spaces, like streams or ice fishing, you'll want a shorter rod so that you can have more mobility. For larger bodies of water such as lakes or ponds a longer rod can give you greater casting distance, accuracy, and power.

How do I choose an ice rod?

When buying the best ice fishing rods, there are a few key things to keep in mind:

· Length: Consider the size of the body of water you'll be fishing in and choose a rod length accordingly.

· Weight and durability: Choose a rod that is lightweight but still tough enough to hold up in cold temperatures.

· Action: This refers to how flexible the rod is. Make sure you pick a rod that has enough flexibility to detect even the lightest bites. A fast-action rod is better for quick hooksets and reeling in, while a slow-action rod is better for longer casts and detecting bites.

· Rod Power: This measures the strength of the rod, or how much pressure is required to bend it. Choose a rod with the right power for the size of the fish you're hoping to catch.

· Material: Ice rods are typically made of either graphite or fiberglass. Graphite is lighter and more sensitive, while fiberglass is stronger and more durable.

· Line guides: Ensure that the line guides are spaced appropriately and are of good quality.

· Comfort: Look for a rod with a comfortable handle and grip. You'll be holding onto it for a while, so it's important to choose a rod that won't cause discomfort.

· Price: Set a budget for your purchase and try to find the best rod within your price range.

How many ice fishing rods do you need?

The number of ice fishing rods you need depends on a few factors, such as the type of fishing you plan to do and the target species of fish you hope to catch. For basic jigging or tip-up fishing, one or two rods are typically sufficient. However, if you plan to fish multiple holes or use multiple fishing techniques simultaneously, having more rods can be helpful.

It will also depend on your personal preference. Some anglers prefer to have multiple rods set up at once to increase their chances of catching fish, while others prefer to fish with just one or two rods. Additionally, some prefer having backup equipment like an extra spool of line or extras lures can help out in a pinch!

Can you ice fish with a fly rod?

Yes, it is definitely possible to ice fish with a fly rod! Although it's not the most traditional way of ice fishing, fly rods provide accurate and precise casting in tight spaces. Additionally, their light weight makes them perfect for maneuvering on slippery surfaces. 

However, they are not always the most powerful choice and it is important to use specialized ice fishing lines and lures that can keep your line from freezing while you fish. And if you are looking to really target larger species, a different type of rod may be best.

Should I get a light or medium rod for ice fishing?

It's totally up to your preference. Generally, a light rod is comfortable to hold and is great for small fish, while a medium rod will provide you with more power to reel in a larger fish.

Something to keep in mind is that a light rod will be more sensitive, so you'll need to use lighter bait and lures. However, a medium rod can handle heavier baits and lures, making it easier for larger catches! We suggest trying both types out before deciding which one works best for you!

Do you need special rods for ice fishing?

Yes, it is advisable to use special rods are necessary for ice fishing! An ice fishing rod is typically shorter and more sensitive than regular fishing rods, with a sturdier build to handle the harsh environment of fishing through the ice. They are also designed to be more sensitive to light bites, which is important when fishing through a small hole in the ice.

While you can technically use a regular fishing rod for ice fishing, it's not recommended due to the increased risk of damage to the rod and decreased effectiveness in detecting and reeling in fish.

Investing in a good quality ice pole is well worth it, as it will make your fishing experience on the ice much more enjoyable and successful.

Why are ice fishing rods so small?

An ice fishing rod is typically smaller than regular fishing rods for a few reasons:

· Fishing through a hole in the ice - The smaller size of these rods makes it easier to fish through a small hole in the ice without getting tangled or having difficulty reeling in a catch.

· Sensitivity - Ice rods are designed to be highly sensitive, allowing anglers to feel even light bites from fish through the ice. A smaller rod allows for better sensitivity and an improved feel for light bites.

· Portability - Ice fishing often requires anglers to move from one spot to another, and a smaller rod is more easily transported and stored.

· Ease of use - A smaller rod is generally easier to handle, especially for children or anglers with smaller hands.

Are longer ice rods better?

Not necessarily. Shorter ice rods are better suited for most fishing situations and generally do a better job of detecting subtle bites. Longer rods may be helpful in certain scenarios like when you’re fishing in deep water or need to cast further away from your spot. 

But they’re typically less sensitive and less precise for fishing through the hole you just drilled up with your ice fishing auger.

Why do ice rods not have reel seats?

Ice rods don't usually have reel seats because the extra weight and size can interfere with the subtle vibrations that help you detect bites. Most ice rods are lightweight and designed for easy maneuverability.

Adding a traditional reel seat would add bulk that could easily throw off your range of motion or make it harder to feel the slightest movements. So, for optimum sensitivity, most anglers opt to go without a reel seat.

How do you keep ice rods from tangling?

Preventing tangles while ice fishing can be achieved through a few simple techniques:

· Line management - Make sure to properly spool your line and keep it organized, avoiding tangles by preventing twists or knots from forming.

· Rod holder - Using a rod holder or a rod bag can help keep your rod steady and prevent tangles when you're not actively fishing.

· Line guides - Make sure that the line guides on your rod are aligned and functioning properly to reduce friction and minimize tangles.

· Line condition - Keep your line in good condition and replace it if it becomes frayed or damaged, as this can lead to tangles and knots.

How do you store lots of ice rods?

When storing, always hang the rods vertically or place them on a flat surface in a single file line rather than trying to stash them all together. Be sure to clean off any excess snow, water, and mud from your rods after each session, as this can help prevent corrosion and reduce the chance of them getting tangled up in the future.

Final Thoughts on the Best Ice Fishing Rod

Now that you know the best rods to choose from depending on your need, it's time to make the most of this ice fishing season. After careful research and testing, we have determined the top choices for the best winter fishing rods on the market. Our top picks are :

Best ultralight ice fishing rod - St. Croix Rods Mojo

Best Medium Light Rod - 13 Fishing Tickle Stick

Best Ice Fishing Spinning Rod - Fenwick HMG

Best Budget Rod & Reel Combo - Berkley Cherrywood HD Ice Spinning Combo

Best of Rest - St. Croix Rods Custom Rod

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced angler, these rods offer incredible performance and are sure to help you make some amazing catches.

So don't wait any longer--click the "Check Price on Amazon" button and add one of these quality rods to your shopping cart now before you go out to catch that big fish under the ice!

Some other articles that you might be interested in as an ice angler:

best ice fishing rod