Best Ice Fishing Rod Reviews [2021]


Best Ice Fishing Rods

Top 5 Best Ice Fishing Rods 2021:

  1. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo
  2. Tailored Tackle Ice Fishing Rod
  3. Fiblink Graphite Ice Fishing Rod
  4. Abu Garcia Veritas 3.0 Ice Fishing Spinning Rod
  5. Akataka Ice Fishing Rod

Whether you’re an ice fishing aficionado with a lot of experience, or just a novice angler, you probably know how important it is to have a good ice fishing rod. 

Ice fishing rods are usually inexpensive, and if you’ve ever tried buying one, you know that there are a lot of options available. To help you choose the best one, we’ve reviewed the best ice fishing rods on the market! 

But that’s not all! Stay with us until the end of our buying guide and find out how to choose the best ice fishing rod! So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

Related: The Best Ice Fishing Line


5 Best Ice Fishing Rods In 2021: Detailed Reviews

1. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo – Best Overall

Image Credit: Amazon.com

The absolute winner of this round is this Ugly Stik GX2 ice fishing reel and rod combo by Shakespeare!

Ugly Stik GX2 is available in three lengths, including 26”, 28” and 30”, and the smallest one comes in two colors. The rod is equipped with a 20 size spinning reel so it has the power necessary to handle light lures effectively. In addition to this, it also has a single ball bearing that helps to reduce friction and to enhance the accuracy of its performance.

This model has a ported aluminum spool and it features a genuine Ugly Stik blank with clear tip design. The tip can sense even the weakest bites from fish of any size. The blank guarantees high-sensitivity, reliability, and durability!

This ice-fishing rod also features one-piece stainless steel guides. It has a sturdy construction but it also feels lightweight and comfortable in your hand without causing hand fatigue even after prolonged use. The durability of the GX2 is truly outstanding and you can be sure it’ll go the distance even on the coldest of days!

Another great thing about this model is that it has a twist-lock reel seat that secures the lock and keeps it from flexing against the pull of the fish. Furthermore, it also has an ergonomically designed EVA foam handle that feels comfortable in your hand and improves sensitivity and performance!

Pros

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Has a twist-lock reel seat
  • Sensitive and reliable

Cons

  • The tip is so soft that it can be difficult to feel the bite sometimes

2. Tailored Tackle Ice Fishing Rod – Our Premium Pick

Image Credit: Amazon.com

Not only is this Tailored Tackle ice fishing rod one of the best high-end rods, but it’s also very versatile! If you’re looking for an ice fishing rod that can pair easily with any ice jigs and lure kits you own, this is the one for you. 

This versatile rod is 29 inches long with a line rating of 3 to 6 pounds and with a medium power rating. It’s ideal for fish like walleye, trout, crappie, sunfish, and so much more. This model features a fishing reel with size 20, which means it’s powerful enough to overcome tough fighting fish! It also has 5 ball bearings that enhance performance and durability. The reel has a gear ratio of 5:2:1, which is ideal for handling both lightweight and heavy fish!

When it comes to action, Tailored Tackle ice fishing rod has an extra fast action. Action describes how quickly the rod can bend under load, more specifically, the position of the bend and its rate of recovery when the load is removed. With an extra fast action, this rod can feel even the slightest of bites!

The cork handle gives you a firm grip and full control and the carbon fiber rod blank and base provide durability. All this means that the rod is light enough to feel comfortable in your hand but still durable and able to transmit the bites quickly!

Pros

  • Very versatile
  • Extra fast action
  • Sensitive and durable
  • Ergonomic handle

Cons

  • The backbone is not the best

3. Fiblink Graphite Ice Fishing Rod – Budget-Friendly Option

Image Credit: Amazon.com

When it comes to lightness, sensitivity, and strength, this budget-friendly ice fishing rod by Fiblink is one of the best! If you want to catch fish like perch, pike, trout, bluegill, and crappie, you will not go wrong with this one!

The reason the Fiblink ice fishing rod is so lightweight and sensitive is because it’s made of graphite. Thanks to this, it can pick up the slightest strikes by prey. This model comes in three sizes. You can choose between 24” with ultra-light power, 30” with medium-light power, and 32” also with medium-light power, so get the one based on your fishing techniques!

One of the best things about the Fiblink Graphite rod is that it has a stainless steel guide with aluminum oxide inserts. This makes it durable and it guarantees the smooth flow. The handle of the rod is made of cork and it’s very solid. The shape of the handle is designed to fit comfortably in your hand. This rod is both lightweight and strong, which makes a perfect combo because it won’t feel heavy in your hand, it’s easy and convenient to use it, but it’s also strong and durable enough to perform effectively!

All things considered, this is one of the best affordable ice fishing rods because it’s designed to work smoothly even in harsh conditions. It’s comfortable and effective and you’ll absolutely love it!

Pros

  • Lightweight, sensitive, and strong
  • Comfortable cork handle
  • It can handle different species of fish
  • It can withstand harsh conditions

Cons

  • It can sometimes feel too stiff

4. Abu Garcia Veritas 3.0 Ice Fishing Spinning Rod – Perfect Combo Of Lightness and Strength

Image Credit: Amazon.com

The perfect combo of lightness and strength is definitely the Abu Garcia Veritas 3.0 ice fishing rod!

This ice-fishing rod comes in a variety of sizes. You can choose between a 25” ultralight, 27” medium-length, 29” medium, and 29” ultra-light power. All of them are amazing so you should choose the one that best suits your needs.

The Abu Garcia Veritas 3.0 rod has a 24-ton graphite blank which makes it lightweight and strong at the same time. This means that it’s easy and comfortable to hold it but it’s also capable of withstanding the shock from fish and picking up bites easily. It can effectively pick up even small but stubborn fish!

One of the best features of this rod is the micro cleek reel hood that provides a secure connection needed for a balanced drag. Besides this, the rod also features smoked stainless steel guide frames with aluminum oxide inserts that help to enhance the durability and the efficiency of its performance.

Veritas 3.0 ice fishing rod also has some other great features, like the split grip high-density EVA foam handle that looks good, feels comfortable in your hand, and it’s lightweight so it won’t cause hand fatigue even after using it for a long time. 

All in all, this is a great choice if you’re looking for a lightweight and strong ice fishing rod that comes at a reasonable price! See Also: The Best Spinning Rod

Pros

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Sensitive and strong
  • High-density comfortable EVA handle
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Not ideal for heavy fishing

5. Akataka Ice Fishing Rod – Ideal For Small Targets

Image Credit: Amazon.com

Akataka ice fishing rod is another great, inexpensive choice. This rod is perfectly balanced and convenient to use, and thanks to its carbon fiber blank, it’s very sensitive but also tough at the same time.

The rod is capable of lifting a surprising amount of weight, but you’re most likely to catch fish in the 3-pound range. The guide inserts of the rod are very strong and you can be sure they won’t come out or get lost because they wrap around the guides.

The rod has slow action and this gives it plenty of bend to avoid breaking it if a fish tries to fight. However, this can pose a problem with larger fish like bass because it might be tricky to hook it with such a flexible rod. 

You’ll feel most bites quickly through the tip of the rod. It’s not recommended to overload it with a heavy lure because you won’t be able to feel a soft bite. 

A great feature of this rod is the reel seat which can accommodate reels with seats between 1.6 and 2.3 inches. It also has a cork handle that feels very comfortable in your hand. As we already mentioned, the Akataka ice fishing rod is very convenient to use and that is because it’s so lightweight. You can enjoy ice fishing for hours without worrying about hand fatigue!

Pros

  • Convenient and lightweight
  • Variable reel seat
  • Durable and tough
  • Very flexible

Cons

  • Too flexible for larger targets

Things To Consider Before You Buy An Ice Fishing Rod

Best Ice Fishing Rods

If you love ice fishing, you need the best ice fishing rod. If you’re not sure what separates the best from the rest, we’ve got you covered. Read our buying guide and find out what features are crucial when it comes to ice fishing rods!

1. Material

  • How an ice fishing rod performs is determined by the material it’s made of, so it’s crucial to check what materials are used to make the one you wish to buy. The two most common materials when it comes to ice fishing rods are graphite and fiberglass.
  • Graphite is a sturdy material and rods made of graphite are usually strong, tough, and durable but also lightweight, so using them feels comfortable and convenient. They perform amazingly in the cold and that’s the reason they’re sometimes more expensive compared to others. So if you want to catch heavier loads, you should definitely go with a graphite rod because their tips are more responsive and more effective at luring the fish.
  • Compared to graphite rods, fiberglass rods tend to be more flexible. This makes them ideal for light loads since you’ll be able to feel even the slightest of bites. However, this also means that they may not be the best choice if you want to catch heavier loads.

2. Action

  • Ice fishing rods bend at certain places depending on their action. This is important because it determines how the fish sees the bait.
  • Slow rods bend all the way down, near the handle, while fast rods only bend near the tip. An extra fast rod will bend very close to the tip, and a fast rod will bend a bit closer to the handle. Moderate rods will bend in the middle and slow towards the handle. 
  • Slow rods are much more flexible than fast rods, which makes them great for catching lighter loads. If you want to catch heavy fish, you should go with a rod that has fast, or extra fast action.

3. Power

  • Action and power work hand in hand. While the action dictates where the rod will bend, the power lets you know how much pressure it takes to bend it. The power of rods goes between heavy and ultra-light. Heavy rods take a lot of pressure to bend, a medium-heavy rod a little bit less than heavy, a medium even less, while light and ultra-light require very little pressure. Rods with heavy, medium-heavy, and medium power are better for heavy loads, while light and ultra-light rods are ideal for small targets.

4. Length And Weight

  • Ice fishing rods tend to be shorter compared to standard rods. They come in a variety of lengths, anywhere between 26 inches and 30 inches. You can find some very long ice fishing rods that are almost 40 inches long. The length of an ice fishing rod depends entirely on your personal needs and where you’ll go ice fishing, so make sure to choose the right one.
  • When it comes to weight, an ice fishing rod should be lightweight. This is important because it has to be convenient and easy to use. You don’t want a heavy rod that will cause hand fatigue and take all the fun out of ice fishing. So, always get a lightweight ice fishing rod to prevent your hands from feeling tired and to have the best ice fishing experience!

5. Handle

  • If you’re going to sit on ice for many hours, it’s crucial that you feel comfortable. That’s why it’s also important that the handle of your rod feels comfortable in your hand too. The handle has to be ergonomically shaped to give you a firm grip but at the same time to sit nicely in your hand. The two most common materials used to make handles are cork and foam. 

Final Thoughts And Recommendations

Now that we’ve seen what ice fishing rods made the list as the top five on the market, it’s time to choose the best of the best. So, let us tell you our top choices and recommendations!

Best Overall: Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo 

  • The number one place goes to the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2! This is an amazing ice fishing rod that features everything you’ll need for the ultimate ice fishing experience. It’s lightweight, durable, sensitive, reliable, and it’s very affordable!

Our Premium Pick: Tailored Tackle Ice Fishing Rod

  • One of the most versatile and best high-end ice fishing rods is this one by Tailored Tackle. It’s lightweight and durable, and with the extra fast action, you can use it to catch even the heaviest of loads! If you don’t mind investing a bit more money in an ice fishing rod, you’ll absolutely love this one!

Best Budget-Friendly Option: Fiblink Graphite Ice Fishing Rod

  • There are a lot of affordable options when it comes to ice fishing rods, but this one by Fiblink is one of the best. It’s a graphite rod that’s very lightweight, sensitive, and strong, and because it’s made of graphite, it can withstand a lot of harsh conditions!

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