Best Ice Fishing Rods Of 2020: Reviews & Buying Guide

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1. Fenwick2. Shakespeare3. Tinksky
Fenwick Best Ice Fishing RodShakespeare Ugly StikTinksky Telescopic Carbon Mini
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Comparing an ice fishing rod and a conventional fishing rod, it will be difficult to accept that the small ice pole can also perform the other’s job.

This observation proves the uniqueness of an ice fishing rod. The short length is convenient for fishing from a minute crack in the ice.

This length is not recommended if you are fishing from the shelter. The most reliable and best ice fishing rod have enough sensitivity to carry the minute bites from the lazy and fussy fish in cold waters.

It should have good strength and must have the capacity to draw the attention of even big and struggling fish within the hole in the ice against gravity.

It should also be sufficiently strong to endure the cold surroundings and function properly. Further, the handle should be easy to grip and comfortable to work with on the ice.

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The restricted ability of cold or gloved hands should not affect your fishing.

So which of the best ice fishing rods available in the market should be purchased that satisfy these requirements?

Here, we’ve critiqued the best ice fishing poles that fit the above demands and work exceptionally well for ice fishing.

The way you fish with your ice fishing rods and the species you usually fish for are two important factors to be considered before purchasing one.

There are so many factors one should consider before purchasing this fishing gear.

How To Select The Best Ice Fishing Rod

If you are troubled by the thoughts of which ice fishing rod will suit you from so many available options, just remember every fishing rod is unique and has different strengths and weaknesses.

But if you have an idea of factors such as the size of fish, type of fish and the surroundings, then you can surely opt for an ice fishing rod which will fulfill all your needs and demands.

Here are some factors which should be kept in mind while choosing a suitable rod for yourself and your fishing technique.

1. Size

Ice fishing poles are available in various lengths to satisfy diverse ice fishing techniques and purposes.

The available lengths in the market range from 16″ to 42″, which is quite short if you compare it with open and warm water angling poles.

Then, what is the logic behind the short length of fishing rods? The reasoning behind it is that hard water fishing requires dropping baits and raising angled fish through a crack in the ice.

Longer rods are needed for the casting of baits at a distance. But since it is not at a distance, longer rods are not required.

The rod length you desire to purchase should also depend on the type of fish you want to catch or target. Another factor to consider is whether you plan to fish from the convenience of a warm ice fishing tent/shelter or in the icy cold open.

When angling larger fish, using a longer length rod is more useful as it delivers more power. The shock you experience while battling to pull out strong species will be absorbed by the rod.

A short ice fishing rod will make you utilize more energy and work harder which will cause you fatigue and tiredness.

2. Material

The severe and tough ice angling conditions and fishing methods demand a solid and sturdy rod. At the same time, the fussy fish hidden below the ice requires fine-tuned and sensitive rods.

The sensitivity means the rod is capable of conveying the smallest of bites. This will make the rod’s backbone strong and it will not snap when you are pulling a heavy fish from the icy water through a crack in the ice hole.

Generally, fiberglass, graphite or both are used to make ice fishing poles. Lightweight graphite has exceptional sensitivity.

This does not mean that it lacks strength. To enhance strength, fiberglass is used. It also makes it long-lasting and durable. However, fiberglass is less sensitive and not light in weight when compared to graphite.

To master the defect of poor feel and touch that you will experience because of fiberglass, ice rods are customarily provided with an added feature called spring bobbers.

They are attached to the rods and act as a strike indicator. Hence it can be stated that to make an outstanding and comfortable ice fishing rod, both graphite and fiberglass should be used.

3. Type Of Action

The operation of a fishing rod exhibhit the quickness in the bending of the rod when weight is present at the rod’s tip. Most of the weight is concentrated at the tip and hence most of the bend occurs there.

Also how swiftly the fishing rod recovers back when the weight is removed. There are fishing rods with extra fast action, fast action, moderate action, and slow action.

Extra fast action ice fishing rods are remarkably stiff and strong which means they only bend at the tip. The rods which are fast action will bend chiefly at the top third area from the tip.

When the rod bends in the bottom half, it is working in moderate action. Slow action means the rod is the most flexible. Hence, the rod will be bending evenly throughout its length.

It will assume a parabolic shape when it is pulling a heavy fish. For conveying bait strikes, fast action and extra-fast action ice fishing rods show outstanding sensitivity and hence are preferred.

While angling small fish such as perch and panfish, slow action is suitable and fulfills all the requirements.

Larger fish require moderately fast to fast action rods. Acting as shock absorbers, they also prevent the hook from tearing out of the fish’s mouth before their proper setting, for example, while using treble hooks.

4. Material Of Handle

If you plan to wear gloves during fishing or even try to operate the rod with cold hands, the rod displays decreased dexterity.

Thus, it can be said that the grip of an ice angling pole is a very significant and relevant consideration. The most desirable fishing pole should have a durable and comfy grip.

The handle should be warm and soft enough to let you have a memorable experience. Foam, cork or plastic is usually used in the making of handles for ice fishing rods.

Cork handles are soft, lightweight and warm, which makes them an excellent choice for ice angling. Such cork handle intensifies the overall sensitivity which makes it even simpler to sense light and subtle strikes.

Some premium and very expensive ice fishing rods emphasize handles made of graphite, which make the rod astonishingly sensitive.

Handles built of EVA foam are light in weight and long-lasting. While a split-handle design provides more finger touch with the rod blank. This makes handling more comfortable and even the slightest pull can be sensed.

5. Money

It is obvious that everyone desires an ice fishing rod that is top-quality and works admirably, and will assist you in your adventures for a long time to come.

An ice fishing rod with outstanding performance that is available at a reasonable price is always desired and coveted. A tight budget doesn’t necessarily imply that you have to make do with low-quality rods that might frustrate you on the ice.

The most reliable and extraordinary ice fishing rods which have been reviewed in this article are available at a reasonable price and they are well built for durable assistance in fishing.

They are made using high-quality materials and work well in the tough surroundings. Also, all these poles have an accessible price tag.

6. Weight

A fishing rod which is light in weight is the most desirable, as it lets you handle the rod comfortably even for prolonged durations.

It should not tire you while you are waiting to catch a big fish. You ought to be able to wait for hours without feeling fatigued. A heavy rod will exhaust you quickly and will give you pain in your wrists and aching shoulders.

But in the name of comfort, durability and quality should not be sacrificed. As said earlier, fiberglass rods are generally heavier while graphite rods are sensitive and lighter.

Composite rods – made from graphite and fiberglass both – has a weight somewhere in between. Another consideration about the weight which should be made is that the weight of the ice fishing line should be what the rod is rated for.

Make sure that these ratings are the same as the line’s weight and the bait’s weight you will be using to entice fish. All this will make for a good ice fishing kit.

7. Durability

Durability is an indispensable feature to consider when purchasing a fishing rod for wintertime or cold surroundings.

The durability or long-lastingness is a characteristic dependent on the materials using which the ice fishing rod is built.

The way it has been constructed should also be judged. The quality of its parts, such as reel seats and guide, makes a lot of difference in the quality and pricing of the pole.

8. Bearing Number

If you plan to buy an ice fishing rod and reel combo, then pay attention to the bearing number written on the reel, as it is an essential factor.

Reels are customarily furnished with ball bearings, which help in reducing friction, and hence, a smooth operation is delivered.

The more the count of ball bearings the reel has, the smoother and better will be its performance. The bearings must be of great quality so that they can serve their purpose.

9. Construction

Expertly built and high-grade ice angling rods are usually formed of a blank which is made of fiberglass, graphite or a combination of both.

The other rod parts such as the line guide frames, handle and inserts also affect the rod’s performance and hence should be well built using best-quality supplies.

It should be devised and designed to work perfectly even in the freezing conditions in which you will be fishing. The guides should be accurately adjusted and aligned, which will let the line pass through easily without twisting or friction.

The fishing rod should be positioned well so that it feels balanced. Also, it must be built to secure the reel tightly in its place.

Benefits Of Ice Fishing Rod

Just like snowboarding, ice skating, sledding, skiing, ice climbing, and numerous other winter sports, ice angling is a thrilling and fun-filled adventure.

Though it is a risky and dangerous activity, it is these dangers and difficulties that make it a thrill. One of the advantages of ice angling is that you can cook delicious freshly caught fish.

It is a chance to catch fish species like perch, trout, walleye, panfish, bluegill, pike and crappie. When you are waiting to catch and lure a finicky fish in icy cold temperature it can be very relaxing and therapeutic and you can be tranquil.

Top 10 Best Ice Fishing Rods Of 2020

1. Fenwick Elite Tech

Fenwick Best Ice Fishing RodFenwick is well known and trusted for its excellence. Elite Tech Fenwick fishing rod fulfills all your specifications and demands so that you can experience comfort while fishing.

It is one of the best ice fishing rods and a must-have. It is manufactured using a hundred percent graphite blanks which are high modulus.

Hence you can expect it to be lightweight and convenient to work with even for lengthy durations. You will be amazed by its incredibly remarkable sensitivity for subtle strikes’ effortless detection to make solid hooksets.

You can trust it while lifting a big fish because it is quite tough. Smoked stainless steel guides have been used to make the rod with inserted Zirconium oxide and its durability and performance have been enhanced using reel seat which is down locking.

You can experience the control and comfort you always wanted with the efficiently and purposefully designed solid cork handle. It is soft to touch and feels warm in the hand.

Adjust it to a shorter length for an excellent fishing experience from the luxury of a warm shelter or adjust it to a longer length for fishing in the open.

Trout and walleye are big and strong fishes that need lifting strength by using longer lengths of rods. Smaller fish can be easily caught by using less power and shorter length of rods.

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2. Shakespeare Ugly Stik

Shakespeare Ugly StikUgly Stik rods gives you the excellent and high-grade fishing rods for various sorts of angling methods and techniques. This outstanding ice fishing rod is counted among the best fishing rods.

The original Ugly Stik was first introduced to the world in 1976 and Ugly Stik is just a new and modern version of it with the same traditional durability and endurance.

The looks have been enhanced and the comfort level has increased in this version. The rods are lighter and sleek.

It is a durable composite and sturdy build, using the Ugly Tech construction method. In this, a mixture of graphite and fiberglass is used to manufacture a fine, sensitive and lightweight yet sturdy and durable pole.

Are you concerned about insert pop-outs? Then worry no more, because of guides made of one-piece stainless steel.

The ergonomic handle is easy to grip. The sensitivity and durability are promoted by a unique Clear Tip design of the brand. It is economical and has a reasonable price.

All these features mean that it is possible to sense light bites. To conclude, this ice fishing rod has backbone capacity to extract various sizes of fish through that ice crack.

Another characteristic that has helped include the Ugly Stick ice fishing rods in the list of the best ice fishing poles is that they will fit into your budget. And they will stay and serve you for many years.

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3. Tinksky Telescopic Carbon Mini

Tinksky Telescopic Carbon MiniIf you desire a reasonably priced and best ice fishing rod that is comfortable to transport, then the Tinksky ice fishing rod is the one to purchase.

It is light in weight and its compact nature will leave you in awe. Its telescoping design lets it collapse so that it is 24cm/9.5 inches in length. You can comfortably adjust it in your fishing bag or equipment box.

Since it is light, it is not difficult to carry and it will not weigh you down on that icy ground.
The compact rod with its short length makes it easy to catch small fish like panfish. However, it will snap quickly when you are trying to catch heavier and larger fish.

The complete length of the rod is a 60cm/23.5 inch. This is a suitable length of the rod if you plan to fish from a shelter.

This will guarantee you that you are not too distant from the ice hole. It is a well built and strong rod that is built using tough and long-lasting plastic materials and carbon.

The two wear-resistant rod designs increase the durability of this fishing rod. This design also means to assure its purchaser that sensing bites will not be a concern. A spinning reel can be used with it.

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4. Frabill Fin-S Pro 30-Inch

Frabill Fin-S Pro 30-InchThis is one of the best-quality ice fishing rods available in the market at a reasonable price. The reel combo has been constructed out of top-quality materials and ingredients which contribute to the stability and extraordinary performance of the rod for a prolonged duration.

If the Frabill Fin-S Pro setup is used in the Frabill ice fishing rod then it has a firm carbon textured blank which makes it flexible and lightweight. Even after this, it is sturdy and strong with unbelievable sensitivity.

You don’t have to be concerned about missing the tiny bites. The firm build and average power furnish the rod with a fabulous backbone to handle larger fish.

The highlight of the rod is that it is made of exceptional stainless steel and single foot ice guides.
The handle is made of cork and is easy to hold. All this just adds to the feel of the rod.The rod is balanced well by the reel attached.

It is a top-quality reel provided for a continuous reeling operation. This is possible because it has three-plus-one quality ball bearings which facilitate the smooth and continuous operation.

The welded aluminum reel enhances this smooth operation. The entire set up is fully balanced and light in weight which makes it simple and comfortable to handle even if you have to live a whole day on the ice.

Its simplicity makes it an excellent choice for beginners to start fishing in icy cold winters. It comes assembled already, and is a reasonable price.

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5. Celsius Chill 24 Inch

Celsius Chill 24 InchPre-spooled with three ice jigs, afloat and a line, this excellent ice fishing rod is ready to be used immediately. It’s a great combination of a reel jig and a Celsius ice fishing pole.

It can escort and assist you on numerous ice-fishing excursions. This ice-fishing rod is very comfortable as it is built using top-grade materials.

The rod is lightweight and strong at the same time because it is constructed using graphite and fiberglass. Its sensitivity and appealing color will leave you in wonder. It is durable enough.

Using this ice fishing rod is pleasant to work with when you are working your jigs. Even the slightest strike can be felt.

You can easily pull a fish vertically out of the ice hole because of its strong backbone. You can get this whole ice jigging set at an accessible and reasonable price.

If you are a beginner and this is going to be an initial learning stage in your ice fishing adventure, then it will be a great start with Celsius Celsius 24 Inch C/CEL-SPN Reel/3 ice fishing rod.

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6. Berkley LR24ULS

Berkley LR24ULSThe Berkley Lightning ice fishing rod with a short length of 24 inches satisfies light ice fishing purposes.

It uses lines that are lighter and easily tempts small fish such as the perch, bluegill crappie, small trout, and panfish.

If you want the convenience to do ice fishing from your shelter or shack or tent so that fish fall within your boundaries then the short length is ideal for you. Its ultra-light power rating makes it a perfect choice for beginners.

The rod blank is intended to be sturdy and strong but sensitive and light in weight for better ease of use on the ice, and for enhanced durability.

It is also provided with features to survive in harsh conditions. There are stainless steel guides that are large enough and well-positioned. And the best part is that it will not freeze out there in the cold.

This well-balanced rod has grips made of cork which is an insulator to the cold and feels warm and cozy. It is also sensitive and lightweight because of the split-grip design.

This design ensures that there is more contact between the angler’s hand and the rod blank, which intensifies sensitivity.

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7. Berkley Cherrywood HD

Berkley Cherrywood HDThis Berkley Cherrywood ice angling rod is sturdy and long-lasting as it is formed of one-hundred percent fiberglass blanks.

This sturdiness is intensified by the ring reel seat which is sliding and made of graphite. The stainless steel inserts and guides also play an important role to ensure stability and durability.

It is sturdy and strong enough to lift light to medium fish from the icy waters. However, this implies that its responsiveness and capability to give small bites is not good enough.

The handles are made of cork fully. This adds to the great features of this ice fishing rod as cork handles feel soft and warm on the hand. It increases sensitivity so that you can easily detect strikes.

The smaller length utilizes its power to catch small-sized fish such as perch while the lengthier rod enables you with average power so that you can lift medium-sized fish easily and comfortably.

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8. Celsius Team Fish

Celsius Team FishCelsius is a brand most trusted for producing hard water anglers. It has unmatched quality and toughness. The extraordinarily performing ice gear is a bonus for beginners and professionals as well.

This Celsius Team Fish Purple is a well-balanced ice angling rod and is combined with a reel combo to furnish an uncommon appearance. It is well-equipped for the icy cold surrounding.

The strength is improved by tubular glass blank. And the harsh conditions are managed by the chrome guides which furnish the rod with extra stability.

The vertical ice angling styles can be conveniently performed with this rod. It has the required power to pull for both the small and medium-sized fish such as catfish, perch, panfish and walleye.

The rod emphasizes handles that are made of durable EVA and are lightweight. The handle also has a fluorescent tip.

The only shortcoming that exists is due to added strength and durable fiberglass construction – reduced sensitivity.

Which means there will be a poor feel for bites. To master this fault, the rod is provided with a spring bobber. This added device makes detecting even the lightest strikes easy.

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9. ​Piscifun 6’6 Medium

Piscifun 6'6 MediumThe Piscifun Portable Fishing Rod is suitable for long casting spinning. The fishing pole is made of graphite which makes it highly sensitive and light in weight.

The less weight makes it very portable. The core of the rod is made of 24-ton carbon fiber. Carbon fiber gives sensitivity to the rod, and its overall performance is enhanced.

For durability and flexibility, a cover of 8-ton E-glass has been added. The 6’6’’ in the rod’s name signifies the rod’s length.

It comes with four detachable pieces which makes it easy to carry while traveling. You can carry it with yourself easily and without any damage.

It has been stated before already that EVA handles are durable and provide the best comfort. The rod comes with with 7+1 top-quality ceramic guides and hence makes the line flow friction-free and smooth.

The hook keeper in the rod is multi-purpose and is made of stainless steel. It is easy to assemble and disassemble this rod.

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10. Fiblink 1-Piece Jigging Jig

Fiblink 1-Piece Jigging JigIf you don’t go for just imprisoned fish in a tiny shelter and have a desire to go for bigger fishes too, then this ice fishing rod is counted as one of the best for this purpose.

It is optimized to vertically jig and this special feature makes it a fabulous ice fishing jig pole. With this ice fishing pole, your jig will be dropped down deep to, which will trigger a big fish.

To let you feel even the small and light bites graphite and fiberglass have been used to construct the tubular one piece. Hence this light-weight rod will not tire you while you work your jigs and wait for a big fish.

The rod should be tough and strong enough to not snap when a heavy big fish is caught. It should be able to work heavy jigs.

This rod is a stunning blue color that suits the white icy background. The performance is unparalleled and the rod is very durable. It is comfortable to use and well balanced.

It is formed of suitably arranged 5+1 guides constructed of frames of long-lasting stainless steel with inserted ceramic for reducing friction and avoid its exhaustion from braided and mono lines.

A reel made of non-corrosive aluminum alloy mounts the seat and adjusts the reel in position. The foregrip and EVA handle are long-lasting, tough and offer control.

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FAQ

1. How Do Carbon Fiber Rods Work?

Carbon atoms made very thin fiber make up carbon fibers. Crystal alignment technology is used to bond these fibers together.

This is the reason behind the strength of carbon fibers. Rods made of graphite or carbon are usually extraordinary -performance fishing rods because they are light in weight and sensitive.

This does not imply that their strength is sacrificed. They are extremely strong and long-lasting at the same time.

This is possible due to a very large strength to weight ratio of carbon fiber. These rods have higher price tags to agree with their perfection and supremacy.

2. How Does One Get To Know What Length Of The Rod Should Be Maintained?

Before you plan an ice fishing trip you should be aware of the species and the size you are going to target.

This knowledge is important to determine the power rating and the length of the rod you should use. For shorter fish species like crappie and panfish, a shorter length of the pole is required and light power rating will be adequate.

As for medium-sized fish like trout, walleye, and pike, a medium length with a medium power rating will be enough.

But for heavy fish like lake trout and musky, more power is needed so as not to break or snap the ice fishing rod.

This is only delivered in high power rated poles which give you more control to handle those large fishes’ resistance and weight.

3. How Can I Check An Ice Fishing Rod For Comfort While Purchasing It?

So if you plan to buy an ice fishing rod from a shop, then you can feel the handle and can perform dummy fishing. And if you have been looking for a suitable pole online, then you can see the rating, read the review and its details and then order it.

And if you don’t like it, you can return or exchange it according to the site’s policies. Whether you are testing an ice fishing rod in a shop or at home, feel the handle and handle it in the position of fishing.

You should feel that the rod is well-balanced and light in weight while holding it. Read about its primary components online or ask the shopkeeper.

Some important components to judge are: reel seats, line guides, and inserts. Connect the reel you plan to use. And test the feel and touch of the outfit. It should be well-balanced and easy to handle.

Test the bail operation of opening and closing efficiently. It should work easily. Test the operation of the drag knob.

The handle should be cozy and warm when touched. If you find the rod satisfactory then take it to your next ice angling trip.

Conclusion

Ice fishing is an exhilarating and satisfying winter sport. However, it requires going out in sub-zero temperatures, and surviving in harsh conditions.

In such surroundings having the most appropriate gear is essential to make the best of it. An ice angling rod is one of the numerous required equipment. You will let the bait lie in icy waters and lure the target fishes.

You depend on it to feel for nibbles and ensure that the hook is set correctly.

Best ice fishing rods by reputable brands have been reviewed in this article, like Berkley, Fenwick, Celsius, Frabill, Fiblink, and Shakespeare.

Although these are the most reputable brands, one might consider St. Croix ice angling rods and ice fishing noodle rods.

We believe our article reviewing the best ice fishing rods will make it easier and more comfortable to select the rod which fits your demands. Have an enjoyable and successful ice fishing trip.