Best Ice Fishing Rods – Reviews and Buyers Guide

best ice rods 2018

Ice fishing is not for the faint-hearted. However, those who have tried it know how rewarding it can be. It can be thrilling to pull a fish out of the water, seemingly without any effort. Ice fishers would not trade this experience for anything.

You won’t have much fun on the ice or be very successful without the right fishing equipment. Your rod is one of the most important pieces of equipment you will need. Although you may be an expert at traditional fishing rods there are many differences when it comes to specialist fishing rods.

PreviewProductPrice
Shakespeare SWSICE27M Wild Series Icing RodCheck price
Berkley Cherrywood HD Ultralite Spinning Ice Rod, 24″ – 1323297$14.99Check price
Fenwick HMG Ice Spinning Rod HMGICE28MHMCheck price
St Croix Legend Black Ice Fishing RodCheck price
13 Fishing Tickle Sticks – Ice RodCheck price
Fiblink Graphite Graphite Ice Fishing Pole Gear Equipment for Walleye Perch Crappie TroutCheck priceAkasaka Ice Fishing rod Ultralight Fishing Pole, Carbon Fiber Constructions Sensitive Tipp 3A CorkCheck price
Abu Garcia AVOLICE29M-C Volatile Ice Casting Rod$36.99Check price
Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 ice fishing rod, 30 inches, medium heavyCheck price

You can read on to find out the top rods available for ice fishing.

The Best Ice Fishing Poles For 2020 Season

Ice Rod Reviews

St. Croix, a global brand that makes ice fishing equipment, has been around for more than seventy years. The Mojo series is no exception to this tradition of excellence. The company’s products are some of the most expensive on the market. However, their popularity has grown. The Mojo series is a lightweight carbon model that offers professional-level fishing experiences to anglers.

Features:

  • Carbon blank made from solid carbon with precise taper
  • Lightweight stainless steel guides
  • Reel seats adaptable to all types of techniques
  • Tensions ranging from ultra-lightly to heavy
  • Cork/EVA handle

Pros:

  • There are 10 models to choose from so that you can find what you need.
  • Guides made of stainless steel to prevent freezing
  • You can feel the fish nibbles easily with a high level of sensitivity

Cons:

  • Complaints about stiffness
  • Price point higher

Verdict

St. Croix is a respected and well-respected company in the fishing rod industry. It is hard to go wrong with any of their products, such as the Mojo Series.

This company was founded in 1897 and has a long history of excellence in fishing. The company not only makes a great ice fishing rod but also sells outdoor clothing and fishing accessories. The Wild Series is a low-cost line of models that deliver outstanding results on the ice.

Features:

  • Fiberglass blanks with moderate action
  • Guides made of light-weight stainless steel
  • Hybrid tech grips

Pros:

  • It is claimed by many users to be one of the best ice fishing rods for walleyes.
  • Low cost, high value
  • Strong, yet light in weight

Cons:

  • Delivery complaints of unaligned or bent eyelets
  • It’s not the most extravagant option

Verdict

This fishing rod is a great value for the money. This model is a reliable and affordable ice rod.

Shakespeare SWSICE27M Wild Series Ice Spinning Rod

  • Blanks for moderate action in solid fiberglass
  • Guides made of light-weight stainless steel
  • Comfortable HTG – Hybrid Tech grips

Berkley is a market leader in fishing equipment since 1945. The Cherrywood HD rod is made from a variety of materials including cork, stainless steel, and fiberglass to be as light and flexible as possible while maintaining superior structural integrity.

Features:

  • Fiberglass blanks
  • Cork handles
  • Slider seat for a ring reel made from graphite
  • Guides and inserts in stainless steel

Pros:

  • Low price point
  • Strong but flexible
  • It has been called the best ice fishing rod to panfish by many users

Cons:

  • Not the most sensitive

Verdict

Another example of a bargain rod in terms of price is this one. This rod has been used with great success by many users, and you can too.

Berkley Cherrywood HD Ultralite Spinning Ice Rod, 24″ – 1323297

  • Blanks made of 100% fiberglass
  • Durable rod finish
  • Cork handles in full
  • Sliding Graphite ring reel seat
  • Guides and inserts in stainless steel

$14.99

Fenwick is named after a Washington lake. The rod manufacturer has been providing high-quality rods to the world for over a century. HMG Ice Fishing Spinning Rod is made from high modulus graphite with premium AAA cork. It’s a balanced device that can be used by all skill levels.

Features:

  • A blanket of high modulus graphite
  • Aluminum oxide inserts with stainless steel guides
  • Handles made from premium AAA cork
  • Twist-lock reel slot
  • Tapered construction with moderate actions

Pros:

  • Good at handling fish
  • Action and sensitivity are outstanding
  • Healthy and balanced

Cons:

  • Weak in comparison to other brands

Verdict

Many users claim that this rod is the best they have ever used for ice fishing. This Fenwick model is a great choice if you’re looking for a sturdy rod at an affordable price.

HMGICE28MHM – fenwick HMG ICE Spinning Rod

  • The blanket of high modulus graphite
  • Tapered construction with moderate actions
  • Guides made of black stainless steel with aluminum oxide inserts
  • Handles made from premium AAA-grade cork
  • Twist-lock reel chair

Next up on the list is another St. Croix Rod that the company has released for the 2017/2018 fishing seasons. It is not the most affordable on the list but it’s worth considering for ice fishers who have more experience. It stands out from the rest with its unique features, such as the Spring Bobber attachment.

Features:

  • Includes a Spring Bobber to indicate every strike
  • Anglers have the option to interchange this bobber (sold separately by St. Croix)
  • Locking reel seat with EVA trim
  • Precision-taper solid carbon blanks
  • Guides made of stainless steel with anodized frames in black

Pros:

  • High-tech spring bobber is extremely sensitive, particularly in deep water.
  • Sleek all-black look
  • Walleye fishing is a great sport

Cons:

  • Point of high price

Verdict

This is the ultimate ice fishing rod if you want to fish, look and feel professional. The Legend Black was designed to replace the Legend Gold and Legend Silver models. It is a perfect blend of innovation and classic. Although you’ll pay a little more for this model, most people agree that it is well worth it.

  • Ice-rods, ice18, and newic

Next is 13 Fishing. This company is located in Florida but they have made a name for themselves by supplying all kinds of fishing equipment, including ice fishing rods. This rod’s special technology allows anglers to feel subtle bites and makes it a popular choice among dedicated ice fishers.

Features:

  • PC2 (parallel composite construction) blank construction
  • New evolve finesse ice reel seat
  • Positive and negative bites can be detected
  • Flat tip technology
  • ALPS thin wire guide

Pros:

  • Anglers can detect any type of strike on their line
  • Because the rod doesn’t roll, a flat tip allows for perfect hook-sets every single time.
  • It is lightweight and easy to use

Cons:

  • Price point higher
  • Reported misalignment of the eyes, flat tip, and reel seat
  • Flat tip complaints of poor durability

Verdict

This model has technology you won’t find on other models. This offering by 13 Fishing is a must-see for serious anglers who are looking for the best products on the market.

13 Fishing Tickle Stick Ice Rod

  • Blank construction of PC2
  • New evolve finesse reel seat
  • ALPS thin wire guide
  • Flat tip technology
  • Positive and negative bites can be detected

Fiblink believes that anglers around the world can enjoy the joy of fishing with their motto “happy fishing, Happy life.” They offer everything you need, from tackle backpacks to nets. This model is comfortable and effective. It’s perfect for anglers who enjoy spending hours on the ice.

Features:

  • Blanks for graphite rods that extend beyond the handle
  • 1-year warranty and a 100% money-back guarantee
  • Aluminum oxide guides
  • Cork handles for a solid handle

Pros:

  • For comfort and precise grip, the handle is shaped
  • Bring a rod bag
  • Price point lower

Cons:

  • Delivery damage complaints
  • Reports of alignment problems

Verdict

This rod received the least positive reviews. Most complaints were due to issues that occurred upon delivery, which the company promises to rectify through their warranty. This is a solid choice if you are looking for a rod that’s both durable and affordable.

Fiblink Graphite ICE Fishing Rod Pole Gear Equipment For Walleye Perch Crappie Pike Trout

Akasaka emphasizes the many benefits fishing brings to the whole family. Through their products and company policies, they promote strong family values and support the community. This is the perfect starter rod if you want to get your children involved in ice fishing. It even comes with a fantastic warranty.

Features:

  • Blanks for carbon fiber rods
  • Sensitive tip
  • 12-month warranty
  • 3A cork handle

Pros:

  • Comfortable ergonomic handle for children and adults
  • Fisherman tiredness can be relieved by lightweight
  • Easy to install reels
  • Low price point

Cons:

  • Some people felt that it was more of an ultra-light pole than a medium-light one.

Verdict

This fishing rod is a great choice, especially if your goal is to inspire the next generation. The rod’s performance has been well received by most users.

Akasaka Ice Fishing rod Ultralight Fishing pole, Carbon Fiber Constructions Sensitive Tipp 3A Cork Handle For Kids and Adults 26″

Abu Garcia’s unconventional beginnings in taximeter manufacturing have led to a successful career in the fishing industry for the past seven decades. One of their newest products, the AVOLICE29M–C Volatile Ice Casting Rod keeps comfort and precision at its core.

Features:

  • High-density EVA handles
  • 24-ton graphite blank
  • Comfort reel seat for uplocking
  • Guides made of stainless steel with titanium oxide inserts

Pros:

  • Constructed for comfort in even the most difficult conditions
  • For greater sensitivity and longer durability, we have designed our handles
  • Highly rated ice fishing rod for jigging

Cons:

  • Reports of alignment problems
  • Complaints about stiffness

Verdict

This Swedish company is well-known for producing high-quality products. The ice casting rod fits right in with the rest.

  • 24-ton graphite blank
  • For greater durability and sensitivity, high-density EVA handles are better
  • Comfort reel seat for uplocking
  • Guides made of stainless steel with titanium oxide inserts

$36.99

Our last suggestion is from a company that we’ve already discussed. This model is from Ugly Stik which is one of their subsidiaries brands. The Shakespeare Ugly Stik Ice Fishing Spinning Rod is made from top-of-the-line materials and has a sleek design that will impress everyone on the ice.

Features:

  • Combination graphite with fiberglass blanks
  • Guides made from stainless steel in one piece
  • Clear tip design
  • EVA grips

Pros:

  • One-piece guides eliminate insert dislocation
  • Tip design provides enhanced strength and sensitivity
  • Grips are lightweight and durable
  • Look sleek
  • Low price

Cons:

  • There have been reports of people receiving the wrong sizes

Verdict

The most common complaint about this ice fishing rod is not the pole but the ordering process. If you can find the right rod, there is a good chance that you will be satisfied with it. This model is also a fraction of what you would pay for other Shakespeare models.

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 ice fishing rod, 30 inches, medium heavy

  • Ugly Tech construction uses a mixture of graphite and fiberglass
  • To eliminate insert pop-outs, Ugly Tuff guides are made of one-piece stainless steel guides
  • Clear tip design by Ugly Stik for added strength and sensitivity
  • EVA grips are durable and lightweight
  • Cosmetics with enhanced features for a modern look

Ice Fishing Rods Buyer’s Guide

This section will provide more information on how to choose the right fishing rod. This decision should be made with care.

Ice fishing rods may not be the most expensive, but it can be difficult to evaluate the pros and cons of each one without outside assistance. These are some factors to consider to determine the best ice fishing rod for you.

Tension Level

Many ice fishing rods are available in a range of tension levels, from light to heavy. Different tension levels are best for different fish sizes and strengths. To determine the best model to help you catch the fish of your dreams, consider the specifications and recommendations of each supplier.

Guarantee/Warranty

Is there any guarantee or money-back guarantee on the rod you are looking at? If it does not come with a warranty or money-back guarantee, you might have to fork out extra to get a replacement rod.

Most warrants cover the rod for approximately one year. Sometimes, however, they can only be redeemed to exchange.

You are more likely to get money-back guarantees for a shorter period, but they are usually “no questions asked.”

Comfort

This is mostly due to the handle of the pole. There are different types of handle materials. Comfort is key because you will be gripping the pole for many hours. It is therefore important to ensure that your handle is well-fitted and comfortable.

If ergonomics is important to you, you might also consider handles with an ergonomic design. Your fishing experience should be enjoyable and rewarding. You can make it more enjoyable with the right handles.

Price

While cost is an important consideration when buying anything, there are a few price trends that you should be aware of before making your final purchase. There are many options available in the $15-30 price range. Some retailers even sell outliers for more than $50.

This price range is acceptable if you’re not serious about ice fishing. If you want the best quality rods, you might need to spend more.

Weight

One of the most important things to be aware of is the rod’s weight. It is difficult to hold a rod over an ice hole. However, it becomes more laborious if the rod is too heavy.

The material used to make the blanks for the rod is the largest contributor to its weight.

Carbon fiber, graphite, and fiberglass are all common lightweight materials. There is no one best construction material, but you can compare them side-by-side to find the best.

Sensitivity

sensitivity is a term that refers to the detection of nibbles on the line.

Anglers love poles that are sensitive. This is because they can quickly set the lines in fish after they have taken a bite. It is much more difficult to catch a fish if you cannot tell if it is biting.

Guide Material

Guides are the tiny eyelets through which your line passes to hold it on your rod. They should be lightweight and not burden your rod. You will want to make sure they can guide your line well and that they aren’t easily broken.

Your guide must allow your line to move smoothly to reel in your big catch quickly. You could lose your prize if there is too much friction. This aspect of the ice fishing pole’s design is popular with stainless steel.

Special Features

Certain ice fishing rods have features that are not available on other models. The St. Croix Legend Black Ice Fishing Rod has a spring bobber attachment for sensitivity. The 13 Fishing Tickle Stick, on the other hand, has flat tip technology.

You, as an angler will have to decide whether these special features and innovations will improve your game or just make you spend more money.

Appearance

Although this is not a major consideration, it’s something you should consider if you want to compete in competitions or impress your friends. Anglers often consider rods that are sleeker and less cluttered to be more professional.

This is a great opportunity to get along with the pros and “dress to impress” if that’s what you want.

Types of Fish

You might be more interested in catching one type of fish than others. If this is the case, you may want rods specifically designed for that fish. You could also consult user reviews to find out what types of fish each model has caught the most.

Panfish can be caught by ice fishing rods for walleye, but they are not as effective at catching them. It is important to know what you are trying to catch and which pole will help you get there.

Conclusion

These tips will hopefully help you feel more confident when buying your first ice fishing rod. Ice rods, unlike tipping, require that the fisherman stay close to the hole. This will allow you to cover less area but still have a greater connection to your lures. Ice fishing can be difficult, but the right rod will help you get there.

Keep these tips in mind to ensure that you get the right rod for you. Keep in mind that even though a friend’s rod may work well for them it doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you.

You’ll have a great time catching large walleye and panfish this season.

Lewis
Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.