3 Best Ice Fishing Rods

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Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts and welcome to my post where we will check out my 3 best ice fishing rods to pull em out of the ice with this year. For those of us who just can’t stop over the colder months, fishing in frigid temperatures does give us a unique sense of experience and is the reason why more and more anglers have become very interested in ice fishing.

Like regular angling, using the right ice fishing rod can be the difference between success and failure. But with an overwhelming number of ice fishing rods, hunting the right equipment might present an even more daunting task. So To help you out I have had a good look around and come up with three options below.

Let’s check them out…

My three recommended rods for ice fishing

I will review these in more detail below but if you just want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience:

12/10/2023 07:21 pm GMT

What are ice fishing rods?

Ice fishing rods are designed especially for winter angling and are generally much shorter than the familiar freshwater or saltwater rods. Modern ice fishing rods are typically spinning rods ranging in length from 24 to 36 inches and usually manufactured from graphite or fiberglass, which can withstand cold temperatures.

The added advantage to these rods is that as we know, winter temperatures cause cold-blooded fish to be less active, so their lure strikes are deceptive. Due to this fact, ice fishing rods are equipped with an extra-sensitive tip to assist you in detecting these subtle bites meaning lessened missed opportunities.

best ice fishing rods - ice fishing rod

What should you be looking for?

Below highlights some aspects to consider as you look for a good ice fishing rod:

  1. Build materials
  2. Rod power
  3. Rod action
  4. Length
  5. Additions

Build materials

Choosing a blank material is a significant consideration for any angler regardless of where they fish with the most common manufacturing materials being graphite, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. Although graphite is often more expensive than fiberglass, it offers more sensitivity and is lighter.

Properly engineered graphite blanks are known for their sensitive tips and the backbone required to set hooks for the big fish. On the other hand, fiberglass ice fishing rods bend more than graphite along the blank. This feature leads to smooth hook sets, and top-notch blanks will have the backbone to handle massive fish. One known advantage of fiberglass rods is they are more durable than graphite as the latter can become more brittle in cold temperatures.

More and more however, as technology improves carbon fiber has become popular as it is extremely lightweight, durable and sensitive enough to handle ice fishing as well.

Rod power

The amount of force required to bend the blank is referred to as its power. For this characteristic, the most common classifications are ultra-light, light, medium, and heavy. When selecting an ice rod, match the power to the target species, just as you would when picking a rod for open water.

For smaller fish such as panfish, go light, and then increase the power for larger species such as trout or walleye. However, experts agree that choosing a too stiff rod is the most common mistake anglers make. You will surely land a sizable fish, but it could be overkill when considering the average fish species targeted while ice fishing.

Rod action

Rod action is necessary because it influences how you present lures to fool a fish. Most ice anglers prefer fast- and medium-action rods since they are aiming for sensitivity and strength. Fast-action rods bend primarily at the tip, medium-action rods flex to the center of the blank, and slow-action rods flex to the bottom of the handle.

For ice fishing, look for fast or fast medium for extra sensitivity.


Ice fishing rods are typically short, ranging from 14 to 42 inches, but some are longer than others. Longer rods absorb more shock due to handshakes and lure jiggles, but anglers may struggle to use them in tight or small spaces. On the other hand, smaller rods lack adequate shock absorption, so your hand bears the stress during a fish tackle. They are, however, suitable to use in ice fishing quarters.


  1. Guides: It is imperative to take note of the number of guides on a rod. This is because the more guides there are, the more evenly the rod bends and absorbs shock. Moreover, choose guides with larger eyes because they pass the line easily and do not assimilate ice quickly.
  2. Handles: The handle of your preferred ice fishing rod handles your performance. In the market today, the least sensitive materials are foam and plastic. Most ice anglers would go choose a cork handle because it conducts vibrations from the blank and warms your hands easily. Some rod manufacturers also make high-tech graphite handles for maximum sensitivity.

My three recommendations broken down

So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:

1. PLUSINNO Ice Fishing Rod

This first option is an ultra-lightweight ice fishing rod coupled with impressive sensitivity for seasoned and newbie winter anglers alike. With a fiberglass build and fast action, it has all the necessary elements that we are looking for from an excellent ice fishing rod. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: PLUSINNO
  • Construction material: Fiberglass
  • Length: 17.3 inches
  • Rod action: Fast
  • Weight: 0.97 pounds

Other inclusions:

  • Stainless steel guides
  • Cork handle
  • Plastic reel seat

Why have I chosen it?

This first model I recommend has a soft EVA and cork handle that is lightweight, durable, strong and straightforward to use. The stainless steel guides and ceramic inserts add to the durability and smoothness of keeping the line from getting stuck and the rod’s double locking structure makes it easy for you to disassemble and reassemble the product. All in all a great option for those who like to ice fish every now and then.

2. 13 FISHING Tickle Stick Ice Fishing Rod

This next product makes use of advanced rod design to create a virtual flat tip to significantly increase sensitivity with exceptional durability that guarantees it will last long amid hard fishing. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: 13 FISHING
  • Construction material: Composite construction
  • Length: 28-38 inches
  • Rod action: Moderate
  • Weight: 0.66 pounds

Other inclusions:

  • Alps thin wire guides
  • Cork handle

Why have I chosen it?

The flat tip of the rod gives the product strength and prevents it from rolling over, resulting in a consistent hook setting. The lightweight rod handles are all made of cork, which allows you to hold the rod comfortably. This is a great option for those who like to sit it in the holder for extended periods.

3. St. Croix Rods Custom Ice Fishing Rod

The last rod on my list is made from high-precision materials making sure it is equipped with incredible precision and sensitivity. It comes from a well-known and trusted brand featuring a carbon fiber blank for increased strength and durability as well. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: St. Croix
  • Construction material: Carbon fiber
  • Length: 20-38 inches
  • Rod action: Fast
  • Weight: 0.09 pounds

Other inclusions:

  • Recoil guides
  • Cork handle

Why have I chosen it?

The installed recoil guides return to position smoothly following the rod bends, resulting in a fine-tuned performance with hi-vis tips for visual detection as well allowing you to see how the tip reacts to fish’s subtle bites. Finally, this ice fishing rod features split-grip cork handles give you comfort as you ice fish for extended periods. This is a great rod!

12/10/2023 07:21 pm GMT


And there they are, my three best ice fishing rods for your successful winter angling. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual, let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time

Have fun


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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.