Best Ice-Fishing Rod for 2020

Get The Best Ice Fishing Rod with our Reviews and Buying Guide

Having the very best ice fishing rod and equipment is the goal of most avid ice fishing enthusiasts. But the best doesn’t always equal the most expensive. When it come to ice fishing rods, there are some great deals online that make ice fishing a pretty affordable sport or hobby, depending on just how serious you are.

I’ve compiled the top three rods you need to know about. These are the highest quality, yet completely affordable at any budget. Then under that I have written a quick buyer’s guide in case you still had any questions on ice fishing rods.

Best Ice Fishing Rods for Winter Fishing

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Review

For a nice ice fishing rod and reel, this combo is priced fairly cheap. But don’t make up your mind about it only depending on it’s price. Blank, being part of legendary Ugly Stik series, has fantastic feel and balance. This ice fishing rod is durable and high quality itself, and very comfortable to use with it’s EVA handle and twist-lock reel seat.

This rod can handle any fish, including pikes, lake trouts or other big fish up to 6 lbs. In my opinion, this reel and rod combo would be ideal for beginner ice anglers or seasonal fishermen.

Berkley Lighting Rod Ice Fishing Spinning Reel & Rod Combo

Priced fairly cheap, this combo is the best for it’s price. The rod is lightweight, comfortable to hold and very durable. Berkley made this rod’s guides larger than usual, to make sure they won’t freeze. An ultralight graphite spinning reel with front drag and a ball bearing drive makes this combo even better deal compared to its price.

To sum up, it’s the best combination of ice fishing rods and reel for the money. If you’re not planning on catching very rare and extremely big fish, this combo is good to get.

Clam Dave Genz Split Handle Series Ice Fishing Rod

If you’re planning to ice fish more frequently, and you catch massive fish that your regular ice fishing rod can not handle – This rod is perfect for you. Material used for building this rod is graphite-wrapped fiberglass. Guides on this rod have stainless steel frames and chromed rings. And it uses screw-in technology for reel seat.

Unlike the other two on this list, this rod does not come with reel – but it’s pretty advanced compared to them, as well. This is best ice fishing rod for large predator fish. It’s available in 6 sizes.

Buying Guide

Balance of the Rod With Your Bait

Most of the time, the balanced rods are sensitive and allows one to feel even light bites. This balance is extremely critical for proper fishing. The power of the blank to the weight of the bait should be in perfect line and sync. A fish can easily be missed if the balance is not synchronized.

If in doubt, its best to choose slightly lighter action graphite blank instead of heavier one for baits which are less than half an ounce. A properly set drag combined with plenty of patience can get you your trophy fish even if your fishing rod may be slightly underpowered. It’s best to stick to one sort of lure or bait that keep trying different types of lures and baits.

Balance of the Rod With Your Reel

Balance does not entail only how a rod performs with the given weight of a lure, but also pertains to how the entire rod balances with the reel. It’s best to buy them together and assemble them either yourself or with the help of an expert so that they balance correctly together.

Most of the time, a light combo is preferred since it not only allows the anglers remain comfortable while jigging all day but also enhances the sensitivity. Today many big brands sell properly outfitted rods with suitable reels online very affordably. Be sure to purchase some quality ice-fishing line for the complete package.

Rod Length

The fishing conditions are the deciding factor for the rod length. In general, longer rods are more forgiving as they absorb head shakes and hard hook sets. They also arm the anglers with better leverage when fighting fish.

On the flip side, longer rods render fishing in closed quarters difficult. Short rods work just the opposite and your arms are required to compensate for the stress of the fight.

However, fabulous for fishing in cramped quarters, they are the best ice fishing rod, when fished in ice-fishing huts or the best ice fishing shelter. A graphite short rod is preferred over fiberglass as it provides more strength and backbone. These rods are also ideal for children to experience epic battles even with pint-sized panfish scraps.

Opt for Big Guides

Very few realize that the quality and number of “eyes” or guides directly affect the rod performance. More number of guides ensures a more uniform rod bend along with better unit’s performance and shock absorption. A minimum of 4 guides but preferable 5-6 guides is best. They should taper in size and get smaller towards the tip.

Even though large guides are a bit expensive, they really pay off with regular reeling up and dropping baits.

Final Thoughts

Shopping for ice fishing rod can be fun at par with the fishing experience itself. However, it’s important to understand one piece of equipment is not a fit all for fishing multiple species.