If you want to catch a lot of fish when ice fishing, you should get the tools best suited for the job, and that might mean getting a good ice fishing rod.
While it is possible to go ice fishing with any fishing rod, ice rods are especially suited for the task. They’re shorter than normal fishing rods, designed to help you pull up big fish from the small holes you will make, and they generally have other features special to ice fishing, too.
With so many rods available, I’ve made a list of 9 of the best ice fishing rods you can find.
1. Akataka Ice Fishing Rod
The Akataka Ice Fishing Rod has a carbon fiber body. This material makes the rod both lightweight and durable. It weighs only 1.4 pounds. This weight is not all that unusual for fishing rods, but it tells us that fatigue from holding the rod for a long time will not be an issue at all.
Carbon fiber is tough and flexible, so it’s perfect for fighting large fish.
The guides (the little rings through which you put the fishing line) are made from stainless steel, making them tough and good at protecting the line.
The tip of this rod is sensitive, so when a fish bites, it’ll bend, letting you know you’ve got a fish hooked.
When ordering, you can choose between a length of 24 or 26 inches. 24-inch is medium-light action, while the 26-inch is medium action, so the 26-inch might be able to handle bigger fish in this case, though the difference shouldn’t be too big.
A cool thing about this product is it comes with a 12-month warranty. If you have any problems, the company will help you out. It’s not completely clear whether this means they will do free repairs or replace your product at a discount or what. Still, it’s always nice to have some insurance. Also, there is a 60-day money back guarantee.
The handle of this rod is cork, which is pretty comfortable.
This product doesn’t come with a reel, so if you want one, you will have to get it separately and attach it.
This is a very nice ice fishing rod. It’s tough, light, and will serve you well out there on the ice. You can get it for a good price on Amazon.
2. HT Arctic Bay Ice Fishing Combo
This is a combo, meaning you will get both the rod and the reel. That makes this a convenient purchase, since reels definitely make it easier to bring in fish, and you don’t need to buy one separately in this case.
You can choose whether you want a 25 or 26-inch rod. The 25-inch is considered medium action here and is more capable against bigger fish, while the 26-inch is light action and is, therefore, less capable of big fish. Figure out what kind of fish you plan to catch when deciding which size you want.
The rod is made out of carbon, so you’ll find it both tough and flexible. The handle is made of cork, so it will be comfortable in your hands.
As you’d expect, it’s nice and light, weighing about a pound. Using it all day will be no problem.
Users of this rod have reported it to be appropriately sensitive, so if a fish bites, you should quickly notice it.
There’s really not a whole lot else to this rod. It’s a good product that should hold up well as you catch fish in the cold. And there’s no need to buy a reel separately because it’s included. You can find this combo on Amazon, making it easy to order.
3. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo
This is a very nice rod and reel combo for ice fishing. Shakespeare Ugly Stik is a brand of fishing rod that many seasoned fishermen are well familiar with, so you can expect good quality here.
You can choose between three sizes when ordering. The 26-inch is light action. The 28-inch is medium action. The 30-inch is medium-heavy action. There is also another option for the 26-inch rod: you can get the reel accented in pink instead of the normal reddish color. Actually, I’d say it’s more of a light purple color, despite the label.
Aside from that, when deciding which size you want, you should mainly consider what kind of fish you are looking for.
The rod is strong and won’t break. At the same time, it’s sensitive. You’ll see the tip bend when fish bite. This is everything you can hope for in a rod because you don’t want to let any fish that have taken your bait get away.
The guides are stainless steel and won’t give you any trouble, so your line will stay right where it should.
The reel you’re getting with this combo is also of exceptional quality.
Another thing to note about this rod is that it’s unusually beautiful. This isn’t all that important for fishing, but many people will certainly appreciate the visually elegant design.
This combo is really one of the best values you can find for ice fishing. The 30-inch version is a few bucks more expensive, as is the pink version for some reason, but overall, you can’t complain about price here. I highly recommend this rod. It will be a great ally to you out on the frozen lakes. You can find it on Amazon.
4. 13 Fishing WhiteOut Ice Fishing Combo
This is an elegant-looking ice fishing rod, the handle sporting a lovely black color.
The blank is made of solid Toray graphite. It’s a tough and very flexible material. This fishing rod can bend significantly and not break.
You are getting a combo here, so a reel is included. The reel is as elegant-looking as the handle of the rod and is made of tough, high-quality materials. It uses 7 ball-bearings. The reel includes a feature called “Instant Anti-Reverse,” which should make working with it easier.
An especially wide range of lengths is available for this product. Most of these options are medium or medium-light power, though the 20.5-inch rod is light.
The guides are high-quality and will do their jobs well, keeping any headaches from happening due to your fishing line.
This is one of the nicest ice fishing rods you can buy. Because of that, it’s a bit more expensive, but it’s definitely worth the cost if you love ice fishing.
I think that’s who this rod is for: people who are experienced in ice fishing and know exactly what they want. That’s why there are so many options for size available. This rod is for people who know exactly what length of ice rod they want.
But even if that’s not you, you’ll still be getting a very good ice fishing rod here. You should probably go for one of the sizes with medium action if you don’t have a specific reason to get one with light action. Then you’ll end up with a rod that will probably become more useful to you over time, as you gain experience. After all, this rod will last for years.
You can find this combo on Amazon. You are definitely going to want to check the 13 Fishing WhiteOut for yourself.
5. Fenwick Elite Tech Ice Fishing Spinning Rod
I will say upfront because most of the rods on this list have been combos, that this Fenwick rod is not a combo. This means that it does not include a reel. It absolutely has a seat to hold a reel though, so you likely will want to obtain a reel and attach it.
This is a nice rod. It’s made from graphite. You should expect it to stay in good shape.
It’s nice and sensitive, so when fish bite, you will be alerted and can reel them in.
As usual, a choice of sizes is given to you. The smallest one available is just 16 inches and is light action. Then there is a 28-inch medium-light option or a 28-inch medium-heavy option. Yes, those two are the same size. The difference is the weight they are designed to handle. Additionally, there is a 36-inch medium option.
When deciding what size you want, consider what fish, in particular, you hope to catch. One designed for light fish will make it easy for you to see if one has bitten, while a heavier option might not bend if the fish is too small. But at the same time, a light rod will have trouble against fish that are too big.
If you’re inexperienced, either one of the 28-inch options is a great pick.
The guides on this rod are stainless steel. They also have Zirconium oxide inserts, which apparently makes them even tougher. You can feel confident that even in cold weather, these guides will let your fishing line do what it’s supposed to.
The handle appears to be cork, though that is unconfirmed. It’s plenty comfortable.
Overall, this is a good fishing rod that will prove nice and durable. You can choose between a good range of sizes and strengths, so if you know exactly what you’re looking for, this is a good rod for you. If you don’t, that’s fine too, because it’s a good rod for a good price.
Remember, though, that if you want a reel, you’ll have to find that separately, which will add to the cost if you don’t have one already.
That aside, this rod will be great for ice fishing. And it’s available on Amazon.
6. Abu Garcia AVOLICE29M-C Volatile Ice Casting Rod
This is another rod that is not a combo, meaning it does not come with a reel. If you want a reel, you will have to get it separately. Reels do make fishing easier, but not every rod comes with one, so I won’t disqualify rods for not coming with them.
This rod is not the most attractive, visually, as it uses a weird blue color. It reminds me of the surface of a bowling ball. However, that’s not the most important aspect of a fishing rod. Looks are nice, but catching fish is the priority.
The rod is made of graphite, so it should be nice and tough while still being flexible and sensitive.
The handle is made of EVA, which is a foamy type of surface, and it feels pretty nice. It should make for a comfortable experience when fishing all day.
Unlike most of the products I’ve listed, you can’t choose between different sizes when ordering this. So, you’re getting a rod that’s about 29 inches long. Also, it’s a medium action. Not designed for tiny fish, not designed for huge fish.
This rod is not the best I’ve seen, but it is definitely a good one. It’s not going to break on you, and you’ll be able to reel in plenty of fish with it. It’s available for a good price, too, though finding a reel to add to it, if you want one, will cost some extra cash. You can find this rod on Amazon.
7. Shakespeare Glacier Ice Fishing Spinning Combo
Here is another option from Shakespeare, a well-known brand. This rod is not quite as fancy-looking as the Ugly Stik (ironically), but it’s also a bit more inexpensive.
This is a combo, so the rod will come with a reel. It’s always nice to get the full package since most people prefer to use reels anyway.
You can get this one in a 24-inch ultra-light version. You don’t always see ultra-light, so that’s worth considering. Or you can get a 26-inch light version, a 28-inch medium-light version, or a 30-inch medium version. Additionally, there is the 26-inch medium-light “lady” variety and the 28-inch medium “lady” kind too. Yes, these versions do use a pink color for the reel.
So, there are plenty of options. As usual, think about what kind of fish you are going for. All of these lengths are fairly short, so storage or transportation really isn’t an issue here.
The rod is made of fiberglass. Fiberglass is nice and durable, so expect this rod to last a long while.
The guides are stainless steel.
The handle is made of EVA, that soft, kind of foam-like material. It’s fairly comfortable.
This rod seems a bit more targeted towards those who are new to fishing than most. If that’s you or someone you know, this is definitely a great choice. You’ll have a lot of fun ice fishing with this combo. You can get it from Amazon.
8. Berkley Lightning Rod Ice Fishing Spinning Reel & Rod Combo
This is a good combo for a surprisingly low price.
It’s made of fiberglass, making it good for inexperienced fishermen and very durable.
The guides are big and designed to not freeze up. Few things are more annoying than your line getting frozen when you’re trying to reel in a fish, but this rod is made to prevent that.
The handle is made of cork and is a nice, comfortable shape.
The included reel is not the fanciest you will find, but it will work pretty well.
When it comes to size, you don’t get a lot of options with this rod. There’s either the 24-inch ultra-light or the 32-inch medium-heavy. I’d probably go with the bigger one, but you might find you need the ultra-light one. It just depends on what you want to catch.
This is a quite good rod for the price. It’s not something I’d recommend to experts, but for beginners, why not? It will serve you very well as you learn to ice fish. It’s available on Amazon.
9. 13 Fishing Tickle Stick
Here is another rod from 13 Fishing. However, this one is not a combo. If you want a reel, you will need to get it separately.
As with most of the rods on this list, you can choose which size you want. It ranges between 23 and 27 inches. Make sure to check if you’re getting light, ultra light, medium, etc. when ordering.
This rod is sensitive, so you will notice when fish are biting. It’s durable so that it can handle tough fish.
This rod has a flat tip, which prevents it from rolling over, which will help you fish more effectively. The flat tip also makes it easier to see when you have a bite.
There’s not much else to say about this rod. It’s a high-quality product, and it’s available on Amazon. If you’re a seasoned fisherman, you will likely be very happy having this as your companion when ice fishing.