12 Best Ice Fishing Rods 2020 – Reviews

You are probably thrilled about your next ice angling trip but what would it be without all the right gear? Regardless of what kind of fish you intend to catch, you will need the best ice fishing rods.

A good rod should be:

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Easy to use

Now, we want to help you get your hands on the best one so keep it here to find out how.

Top-Rated 12 Ice Fishing Rods in 2020: Comparison List

Psst! We have a detailed line up of reviews ready for you. If you don’t have the time to read those, the following list can still be of help.

Picture
EDITOR'S CHOICE
Fenwick AETOS Ice Fishing Spinning Rod
Tailored Tackle Ice Fishing Rod Reel Combo 28 in. Medium...
Berkley Cherrywood HD Spinning Ice Rod, 30"/Medium - 1323300
Abu Garcia AVNRTICE23ULCBO Venerate Ice Combo
Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo,...
fenwick ETICE24ML Elite Tech Ice Spinning Rod,Multi
Product Name
Fenwick AETOS Ice Fishing Spinning Rod
Tailored Tackle Ice Fishing Rod Reel Combo 28 in. Medium...
Berkley Cherrywood HD Spinning Ice Rod, 30"/Medium - 1323300
Abu Garcia AVNRTICE23ULCBO Venerate Ice Combo
Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo,...
fenwick ETICE24ML Elite Tech Ice Spinning Rod,Multi
Style Name
21" -Light
28'' Ice Fishing Rod
30" -Medium
23" -Ultra Light
26" -Light
24" -Medium Light
Weight
1.6 ounces
16 ounces
8 ounces
10.4 ounces
7.2 ounces
2.4 ounces
Prime Status
-
-
-
-
-
EDITOR'S CHOICE
Picture
Fenwick AETOS Ice Fishing Spinning Rod
Product Name
Fenwick AETOS Ice Fishing Spinning Rod
Style Name
21" -Light
Weight
1.6 ounces
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
Tailored Tackle Ice Fishing Rod Reel Combo 28 in. Medium...
Product Name
Tailored Tackle Ice Fishing Rod Reel Combo 28 in. Medium...
Style Name
28'' Ice Fishing Rod
Weight
16 ounces
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
Berkley Cherrywood HD Spinning Ice Rod, 30"/Medium - 1323300
Product Name
Berkley Cherrywood HD Spinning Ice Rod, 30"/Medium - 1323300
Style Name
30" -Medium
Weight
8 ounces
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
Abu Garcia AVNRTICE23ULCBO Venerate Ice Combo
Product Name
Abu Garcia AVNRTICE23ULCBO Venerate Ice Combo
Style Name
23" -Ultra Light
Weight
10.4 ounces
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo,...
Product Name
Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo,...
Style Name
26" -Light
Weight
7.2 ounces
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
fenwick ETICE24ML Elite Tech Ice Spinning Rod,Multi
Product Name
fenwick ETICE24ML Elite Tech Ice Spinning Rod,Multi
Style Name
24" -Medium Light
Weight
2.4 ounces
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price

The Best Ice Fishing Rods – Reviews

1. Fenwick AETOS Ice Fishing Rod

What is better than a secure grip when you are reeling in your catch? You can minimize the chances of disappointments, like your fishing rod slipping out of your hand, by using the Fenwick AETOS ice rod with split cork grips for a safe and sound clasp.

The carbon-fiber frame is said to be highly sensitive hence vibrations (from fish bites) are likely to reach you fast. Moreover, the materials used on the frame may be the reason for the lightweight.

This fishing rod has stainless steel guide inserts which are said to be durable and effective in reducing friction. Unfortunately, the frame on the fishing rod has been reported to be so fragile that it breaks easily.

Pros

  • Carbon-fiber blank
  • Split cork grips
  • Ultrasensitive and lightweight
  • Stainless steel guide inserts

Cons

  • The frame breaks easily

2. Tailored Tackle Ice Fishing Rod Reel Combo

Tailored tackle has a combo kit of a fishing rod and a reel that is likely to make fishing way easier. The handle on the rod is ergonomic for a good grip that is said to be less straining.

The ice fishing rod is said to be sensitive to bites which we can attribute to the carbon-fiber frame. Besides that, the rod action is rated as extra fast for an amazing fishing experience.

You can use fishing lures and jigs of your preference as this rod is said to be compatible with most of the lures and jigs available in the market. However, some customers have complained that the reel is not as efficient.

Pros

  • Ergonomic grip
  • Extra fast action
  • Five guide rings
  • Carbon-fiber blank

Cons

  • Poor quality reel

3. Berkley Cherrywood HD Ice Spinning Rod

Are you searching for a rod reel seat that you can adjust to your fit reel? Well, this rod from Berkley has a sliding ring reel seat that is supposed to make fixing your reel easier.

The stainless steel guides are likely to resist corrosion and they seem like a good choice for saltwater.  Moreover, the guides and inserts are alleged to reduce friction on the fishing line.

Your grip is important and since this rod has cork handles, you are likely to have a non-slip grip. Some customers have reported that the sliding reel seat tends to get loose and you may have to fasten it with tape.

Pros

  • Fiberglass blank
  • Sliding ring reel seat
  • Stainless steel guides
  • Cork handles

Cons

  • Reel seat gets loose

4. Abu Garcia Venerate Ice Fishing Combos

According to Abu Garcia, when using their fishing rod you are likely to have your line flowing smoothly. This may be attributed to the four stainless steel guides with zirconium inserts.

Cork handles are said to be comfortable and easy to use. As such, this rod is alleged to be useable for long hours due to the cork handles.

This combo kit seems like a good choice for ice fishing but the carbon rod pole makes it unsuitable for spooling. When you apply too much pressure, you risk breaking the rod.

Pros

  • Carbon rod pole
  • Cork handles
  • Comfortable and light
  • Four stainless steel guides

Cons

  • Unsuitable for spooling

5. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Combo

When fishing in ice, any movement is worth noticing promptly. For this reason, Shakespeare designed their rod with a highly responsive tip to make sure you get to notice the slightest of movements.

The EVA handle on the rod provides a comfortable and secure grip. In addition, the rod is said to be light in weight and easy to use.

In as much as this seems like a good fishing rod, it only has a one-piece guide. As such, your rod is likely to lack a smooth bend.

Pros

  • Sturdy frame
  • EVA handles
  • Twist-lock reel seat
  • Responsive tip

Cons

  • One-piece guide

6. Fenwick Elite Tech Ice Fishing Rod

Do you prefer a specific rod length and you are yet to find it? Fenwick offers you a variety of rod lengths with different powers to choose from according to your fishing preference.

The guides on this ice fishing rod are made of smoked stainless steel with zirconium inserts. As such, the guides are said to be durable while keeping the lines safe from excess friction.

Apart from being light in weight, this rod that is made of a graphite frame is said to be easy to use and it works well for any fish species. However, some customers have reported that the eyelets are a bit small and difficult to use with ice beaded lines.

Pros

  • Various lengths and power
  • Graphite made blanks
  • Strong and durable
  • Smoked stainless steel guides

Cons

  • Eyelets are somehow small

7. Fiblink Graphite Ice Fishing Rod

Is the rusting of your fishing rod reel seat an issue you finally want to settle once and for all? Fiblink may have a solution in their ice fishing rod that has a plastic rod reel seat which is resistant to corrosion.

You are likely to have an effortless line flow because of the four guides made of stainless steel. Furthermore, the rod bend is said to be smooth.

The graphite blank and plastic reel seat may be the likely reason for the lightweight ice fishing rod. On the flip side, graphite is not as durable and your rod may break under extreme pressure.

Pros

  • Graphite rod blank
  • Plastic reel seat
  • Light and sensitive
  • Stainless steel guide ring

Cons

  • Brittle rod pole

8. St. Croix Mojo Series Ice Fishing Rod

When your fishing lines get beaded with ice, using them can be challenging. With St. Croix fishing rod, you may have an easier time pulling your line since the eyelets are large enough to accommodate ice beaded fishing lines.

The reel seat used on this rod is said to be customizable. As a result, you may use any fishing technique that is compatible with the seat.

The precision-tapered blank is to help you when it comes to the rod’s performance. Moreover, the split-grip cork is said to provide a comfortable and secure grip.

Pros

  • Precision-tapered blank
  • Customizable reel seat
  • Split-grip cork
  • Sufficient sized eyelets

Cons

9. Berkley Cherrywood Ice Fishing Combo

Why not try out this fishing rod with four eyelets for an effortless casting experience? Their rod guides are made of stainless steel said to prevent line fraying and can work with braided and mono lines.

The ice fishing rod is said to be light in weight, without compromising its durability. Consequently, you are likely to use the fishing rod for a long time.

Getting this fishing rod and its compatible ice fishing reel is likely to make your fishing experience memorable. However, some customers have reported that the reel that comes with this fishing rod from Berkley has an inefficient drag system.

Pros

  • Four ring guides
  • Durable and light
  • Comfortable cork handle
  • Features a fishing reel

Cons

  • Inefficient reel drag system

10. 13 Fishing Tickle Stick – Ice Fishing Rod

Have you been having trouble with your rod rolling over each time you set the hook? Well, 13 Fishing has a fishing rod that is designed with a flat tip said to prevent rolling over so you can set your hook effortlessly.

In addition, this flat tip is likely to increase the ability of your rod to detect strikes at any level. This way, you are able to know in which direction to cast your bait.

At the end of this rod, there is fluorescent paint that is supposed to attract fish. Unfortunately, this paint has been reported to come off after just a few uses in water.

Pros

  • Flat tip technology
  • Easy to use
  • Sensitive to bites
  • Tough frame

Cons

  • Fluorescent paint peels easily

11. St Croix Legend Black Ice Fishing Rod

How would it feel to know a fish is about to strike your bait before it actually does? I know it would be awesome. Well, St. Croix promises that their fishing rod can detect fish strike before it happens since it has a strike indicator system.

There is an anodized coil on the fishing rod that is said to be the most sensitive indicator, compared to other indicators in the market. Besides that, the fishing rod’s solid carbon rod is said to perform efficiently.

The spring bobber on this fishing rod is said to help get the bait into the fish’s mouth with minimal resistance. This tends to increase your speed and hopefully, aids in your getting more fish.

Pros

  • Features a spring bobber
  • Locking reel seat
  • Highly sensitive
  • Light and easy to use

Cons

  • The paint on the rod chips fast

12. St. Croix Avid Jigging Series Fishing Rod

For you who needs a sensitive handle, this Avid Series fishing rod may be a choice to consider. The handle is made of carbon and is stated to be sensitive enough to detect strikes better than other handles.

The rod is specifically designed for jigging. As such, the carbon blank is precision-tapered and claimed to be very sensitive.

This may seem like one of the best ice fishing rods but it has no reel seat. You have to tape your reel on to the handle which may interfere with how the rod functions.

Pros

  • Kigan stripper guide
  • Designed for jigging
  • Sensitive carbon handle
  • Precision-tapered blank

Cons

  • Lacks a reel seat

Buying Guide for Ice Fishing Rods

You need to consider several important factors before investing in a fishing rod. Some of these factors include:

Is it Easy to Use?

You do not need to have a hard time while you are out in the water. That is why it is important to get an uncomplicated rod.

The quality and number of eyes and line guides on a rod will determine how easy it is to use. You will know that a rod is easy to use if the eyes are well arranged along the length of the rod and the line guards are large.

Is it Durable?

Longevity is key when purchasing a baitcasting rod especially for ice fishing. Whether a fishing rod will last a long time or not depends on the kind of material it is made from.

From our research, we discovered that fiberglass is known to be very durable when used in cold weather conditions.

What is the Weight of the Rod?

You always want to have a lightweight rod regardless of the kind of fishing you will be doing. Ice fishing in particular requires you to hold your rod for longer as you try to find your targeted catch.

A heavy rod will leave you with painful shoulders and wrist as well as general fatigue and you do not want that.

You should be able to hold your rod for hours without feeling the need to put it down.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions on this topic, you may want to go through the ones we have answered below to see if you can get a clearer picture.

Is it compulsory to choose a well balanced rod?

Yes, it is if you want a seamless fishing experience. A well balanced rod should be comfortable to use and feel right in your hands.

With a properly balanced rod, you will be able to fish for longer without getting tired.

What are the advantages of ice fishing?

Aside from it being a fun activity, if you do it right you get to go home with dinner.

Best Overall Choice

When we look at the features it has, Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Combo comes at the top of the competition as our best ice fishing rod. Besides being comfortable and easy to use, it is durable.

Final Thoughts

Ice fishing is both a rewarding and exciting venture. The harsh weather conditions call for the best gear and we believe you now have the information to make the right purchase.

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