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10 Best Ice Fishing Rods of 2021: Review and Buying Guide

Best Overall Choice
Fiblink Graphite Rod

Fiblink Graphite 32" Ice Fishing Rod

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Best Budget Choice
27 Berkley Cherrywood HD Ice Fishing Spinning Rod

27” Berkley Cherrywood HD Ice Fishing Spinning Rod

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Best Premium Choice
Fiblink Saltwater Rod

Fiblink Saltwater 1-piece Piece Jigging Jig Spinning Rod

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Kyle W by Kyle W Updated on May 5, 2021.

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An ice fishing rod is essential equipment to have for fishing during extremely cold weather. They are about 18-42-inch long jigging rods that produce light to medium action.

Although the fundamental structure is the same, there is a wide range of modern ice fishing rods on the market. The variety can make narrowing down to a single or few ice fishing rods a daunting task.

This article has information to make the selection process easier. It reviews some of the best ice fishing rods and offers a buying guide for choosing the right one.

10 Best Ice Fishing Rods

Below is a review of the best ice fishing rods currently available online.

Best Overall Choice

1. Fiblink Graphite 32" Ice Fishing Rod

Fiblink Graphite Rod

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The 32” Fiblink Graphite fishing rod has a medium-heavy rod action. It is light, strong, and sensitive. The blank is made of graphite. Attached to the blank are five aluminum oxide guides, including a tip guide. Each guide has a stainless-steel ring.

The rod has a cork handle that offers a firm and comfortable grip for easy handling while being adequately sensitive. The fishing rod is compatible with reels, and the handle has a high-strength reel seat. The manufacturer offers a 1-year warranty. This fishing rod is available in two other sizes: 24” and 30”.

 

Pros

  • Strong, premium-quality build
  • Medium-heavy power
  • Comes with 1-year warranty
  • Comfortable to hold cork handle
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not ideal for bigger fish
Best Budget Choice

2. 27” Berkley Cherrywood HD Ice Fishing Spinning Rod

27 Berkley Cherrywood HD Ice Fishing Spinning Rod

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The 27” Berkley Cherrywood HD Ice Fishing spinning rod is ultralight and best suited for catching smaller fish. Its blank is made of 100% fiberglass. It has a cork handle, which has a graphite sliding rings reel seat. It has two stainless steel guides and a tip guide.

Pros

  • Super lightweight
  • Made of 100% glass fiber
  • Premium quality cork handle
  • Compatible with reels

Cons

  • Few guides

3. KastKing Konvert Twin Tip Ice Rod

KastKing Konvert Twin Tip Ice Rod

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The 27’ KastKing Konvert Twin Tip Ice Rods are available in two options: medium and medium-light glass and medium and medium-light IM6 graphite. Both are two-in-one fishing rods, with their only difference being the material of the blanks. The blank and tips are made of 100% glass, while in the other, the blank and tips are made of graphite.

The rod is light but strong. It is also highly sensitive but can adequately support solid hooksets. The graphite fishing rods have highly visible chartreuse strike tips, while the glass ones have bright orange tips. These highly visible tips enable you to fish even in stormy conditions or at night. Each blank has five guides, inclusive of the tip.

The rod has a pencil-shaped handle that is made of cork reinforced with rubber. The handle has reel compatibility and high-tenacity reel bands.

When it comes to guides, each type of the KastKing Konvert Twin Tip Ice fishing rods has two different tip sections that offer either medium action or medium-light action. You get to choose which tip to use depending on the rod action you prefer for your bait presentation and fishing technique.

These rods are easy to pack and store as they retract slightly from 27” to 17”. They can be used for fishing in ice shelters and huts. They come with a convenient travel case and a clear storage tube.

Pros

  • Two –in-one fishing rod
  • High-quality build
  • Highly visible tips
  • Comes with a storage tube and case
  • Reel-compatible

Cons

  • None so far

4. 13 Fishing 20” Snitch Ice Rod

13 Fishing 20 Snitch Ice Rod

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The 13 Fishing 20” Snitch Ice medium-light action fishing rod offers top-of-the-line features. It incorporates the quick tip technology and flex-core tip for enhanced sensitivity. Its blank is made of solid graphite, while the cork is made of cork.

The solid graphite blank offers a sturdy backbone that can hold heavier hooksets and handle a fighting fish’s stress. This rod’s design also integrates a reel seat. It has one stainless steel guide and a tip. It is also available in sizes 25” and 30”.

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Reel-compatible
  • Enhanced sensitivity

Cons

  • Has only one guide

5. 26” St Croix Avid Ice Fishing Rod

26 St Croix Avid Ice Fishing Rod

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The 26” St Croix Avid ice fishing rod is built for catching panfish. Its design incorporates the Xtreme-flex solid glass blanks, which are flexible and not prone to freezing or contracting even in extremely cold temperatures. It also has Kigan stripper and running guides, which are light and low profile for fatigue-free fishing for extended periods.

The handle is super sensitive and made of carbon, and it offers a sturdy and balanced control. It is uniquely handcrafted for excellent performance and durability. It is versatile as it can be used from shore, lake, or in rivers. It is also available in size 18’’and 30”.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Handcrafted quality build
  • Lightweight
  • Super sensitive

Cons

  • Not compatible with reels

6. 13 Fishing Microtec Walley Ice Fishing Spinning Combo

13 Fishing Microtec Walley Ice Fishing Spinning Combo

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This 13 Fishing Microtec Walley ice fishing spinning combo is the 13 Fishing company fishing rods’ latest model. It is available in one size and comes with a spinning reel. The blanks are made of fiberglass, while the handle is made of cork. It has stainless steel guides with polished inserts. The rod is super flexible and has 3+1 guides.

The accompanying reel has three stainless steel ball bearings and an instant anti-reverse gear.  Its spool is made of anodized aluminum. It has a soft to touch handle knob.

Pros

  • Comes as a fishing rod and reel combo
  • High-quality build
  • Duper flexible
  • Easy to handle

Cons

  • None so far

7. 18” HT Enterprises Ice Rod

18 HT Enterprises Ice Rod

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The 18” HT Enterprises Ice Rod stands out for its blue color and orange tip. It is a fast-action ice fishing rod. It has a comfortable corkalon handle with rings for reel mounting. The orange-colored tips offer high visibility. It is ideal for jigging bait to the target fish. It is available in the 18” size only.

Pros

  • Unique color design
  • Highly visible tip
  • Ideal as a jiggling rod
  • Comfortable handle
  • Reel compatible

Cons

  • Feels flimsy on the hands

8. 24” St Croix Legend Black Ice Fishing Rod

24 St Croix Legend Black Ice Fishing Rod

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The 24” St Croix Legend is popular for its flexibility and sturdiness in ice. The blanks are made of precision-taper solid carbon. At the tip is a black anodized, high-tension stainless-steel strike indicator for superior performance. Its handle is made of EVA.

It offers superb sensitivity such that you can easily detect even subtle bites. The medium power rating ice fishing rod has a spring bobber system that is fully adjustable and interchangeable for enhancing sensitivity. The black guides and rings are made of Pac Bay minima anodized stainless-steel.

This rod is also available in size 30” with medium, medium-light, and light power rating. It is lightweight and strong, making it ideal for catching small and medium-sized fish. It comes with a 1-year warranty.

Pros

  • Super sensitivity
  • High-quality build
  • Has a strike indicator for enhanced performance
  • Has a spring bobber system
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Some people find the spring bobber hard to adjust
Best Premium Choice

9. Fiblink Saltwater 1-piece Piece Jigging Jig Spinning Rod

Fiblink Saltwater Rod

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Fiblink Saltwater 1-piece Piece Jig Spinning rod is specifically designed for vertical jigging though it can also be used for other techniques.

It assumes a 1-piece blank design that is made of graphite-glass fiber, which offers incredible pulling power. The blank has 6+1 guides whose frames and inserts are made of ceramics.

Ceramic is excellent for use even with braided lines as it produces little to no friction. It has an EVA handle that has foregrips. The handle has an aluminum alloy reel seat. The manufacturer offers a 1-year warranty.

Pros

  • High-quality build
  • Sturdy
  • Comfortable grip
  • Reel-compatibility
  • High line capacity – can be used with braided lines.
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty

Cons

  • A bit heavy

10. Abu Garcia Veritas Ice Fishing Spinning Rod

Abu Garcia Veritas Ice Fishing Spinning Rod

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The 25” ultra-light Abu Garcia Veritas ice fishing rod consists of a 24-ton graphite blank and a split grip high-density EVA handle. It has reel-compatibility and has a micro click reel hood. Its 4+1 guides are made of smoked stainless steel, while the inserts are made of aluminum oxide. It is super light and can also be used by kids. It is compatible with the Abu Garcia baitcasting reel.

Pros

  • Can be used by kids
  • Comfortable non-slip grip
  • Durable
  • Ideal for catching small fish

Cons

  • Not suitable for big fish.

Buying Guide: Factors to Consider When Choosing an Ice Fishing Rod

The following are key factors to consider when determining which ice-fishing rod to buy:

  1. Target species of fish. You require an ultra-light rod for panfish, a light rod for perch, a medium rod for walleyes and trout, and a heavy for pikes and bass.
  2. Rod action. Rod action refers to the point at which the blanks flex. It influences your casting technique and bait presentation. For ice fishing, you want medium to fast rod action. If the rod action is too slow, it will dampen sensitivity. Rods whose maximum bend is on the tip offer fast action, while those that bend at the middle have medium action.
  3. Blank material. Ice fishing rod blanks are mostly made of graphite, fiberglass, or a composite of both. While graphite is more expensive than fiberglass, graphite rods are more sensitive. Fiberglass is more durable than graphite. Also, graphite is more susceptible to freezing in extremely cold weather conditions.
  1. Length. Generally, ice fishing rods are short, with a length range of 14-42 inches, but some are longer than others. Longer rods offer better shock absorption as a result of handshakes and lure jiggles, but they are not ideal for use in closed or smaller areas. On the other hand, smaller rods don’t have adequate shock absorption; therefore, your hand bears the stress during a fish tackle. However, they are ideal for use in ice fishing quarters
  2. Weight. Lighter rods are easier to carry and handle without getting too tired. However, the light weight should not come at the cost of a quality build. The rod’s weight should also be coherent with the weight of the line you will be using.
  3. Guides. Pay attention to the number of guides a rod has. The more the guides, the more evenly the rod bends and the better its shock absorption. Go for guides with bigger eyes – they make it easy to pass the line and are less prone to ice accumulation. Double-footed eyes offer sufficient support for jigging heavy baits and lures. They reduce the overall weight of the line on the rod blanks.
  4. Ice fishing handles are often made from foam, plastic, cork, and rubber. Foam is light and durable but tends to absorb moisture, which is a major drawback when fishing in extremely cold and wet conditions. On the other hand, plastic is not durable, and your hands will tend to slip if they are wet.

Rubber and cork offer a firm grip. Cork is the top pick among seasoned ice anglers as it conducts vibrations through the blanks steadily. Some high-end ice-fishing rods have graphite handles for enhanced sensitivity. Opt for rods whose blanks extend towards the handle as their counterparts do not transmit vibrations sufficiently.

When choosing the type of handle, consider whether you want it to have reel mounting options such as locking seats or adjustable rings. An ice fishing rod can be used alongside a baitcasting reel or spinning reel. A spinning reel is suitable for smaller fish, while a baitcasting reel is best suited for bigger fish.

Conclusion

Don’t miss out on outdoor fun during the cold season. If you like to fish either as a hobby or a sport, you can still keep up with it. All you need is a good fishing rod, some baits and lures, and of course, being warmly dressed.

Different ice fishing rods depend on their length, rod action, and whether or not they are compatible with a reel. You might need several ice-fishing rods for each escapade seeing as one rod may be ideal for catching smaller fish and another big fish.

The best ice-fishing rods are super light, have a visible tip, are made of high-quality materials, and are sturdy. Whichever rod you choose, ensure using fishing lines with a fishing capacity compatible with the particular rod.

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