The Best Ice Fishing Rods – Reviews and Buying Guide

The Best Ice Fishing Rods – Reviews and Buying Guide

Hey, good anglers!

Winter is showing…I have a great feeling that ice fishing will only get better this time if you start off with the right ice fishing gear- most importantly the best ice fishing rods.

If you’re new to ice fishing, you might not get it.

It’s ok. Let me explain.

When ice and snow covers our lakes, ponds and rivers, you don’t stop fishing; you just turn to ice fishing (it’s more fun). To get the most out of it, you’ve to use equipment specially made for ice fishing- from clothing to reels, rods, etc.

The market has varieties and varieties of ice fishing rods and trying to find the best ones can be a journey full of nightmares for you.

Don’t give up though.

I studied the most popular fishing rods on the market today. I got 10 of the best. And I’ll share them with you in a few moments…

What's an Ice Fishing Rod?

If you still don’t get what’s so special about an ice fishing rod, let me explain in a simpler way:

First, let me make it clear that an ice fishing rod is not the same as the regular ice fishing rod.

When winter sweeps through your favorite fishing spots- ponds, rivers, lakes, etc. - you’ve to turn to ice fishing if you still want to catch fish. At this time, most of the fish become more finicky and will, therefore, bite lighter.

With that in mind, using an ice fishing rod allows you to feel the bites quickly, set your hook, and reel in- and doubtlessly you’ll catch a record breaking fish!!

The flipside is also true:

If you decide to just use any other rod for ice fishing, you might have a bad day in the ice fields. Chances are high you’ll catch few fish or none, even when the fish are biting your bait.

It’s worth noting that the modern ice fishing rod have undergone great modifications over the years to help you get the most out of your fishing. The two most notable upgrades include ability to hold line weights that feel heavier and fast action tips.

Enough said!

Now let me introduce you to the ten most popular, modern ice fishing rods that are making every angler want to transit into ice fishing…

10 Best Ice Fishing Rods Review:

1. Master Fishing Tackle Brush Spinning Combo Kit Review:

For those looking for the best ice fishing rod and reel combo, you can never go wrong with the Master Fishing Tackle Brush Spinning Combo Kit. The kit includes a high-quality rod plus a reel- all sold at a fair price to meet the budget as well as fishing needs for all the avid anglers out there.

The combo involves a ball-bearing reel pre-mounted on the 2ft. once-piece fishing rod. The rod comes with an extremely lightweight design (at only 6.4 ounces), so it also makes an excellent choice for ice fishermen who are planning on a backpacking trip or camping.

Note that this combo has undergone thorough real-life test to ensure they’ll give you the ultimate safety and performance in your ice fishing endeavors.

The manufacturer of this kit also goes the extra mile to produce it in an assortment of colors- like blue, pink, green and red. As such, you might consider getting this kid for your young anglers as well. They’ll definitely love it!

​Highlighted Features:

  • Quality rod plus reel at a reasonable price
  • Designed with performance and safety in mind
  • Designed for the toughest ice fishing situations
  • Length: 2 feet
  • Action: ultra-light

2. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Combo Review:

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Combo

Second on our list comes the Shakespeare’s Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Combo. Many ice fishermen who have used it (and more are buying it every day) have rated it as a top-quality product that gives you the actual results.

Its genuine Ugly Stik blank is among the toughest, most durable blanks out there, making this combo a top choice for ice hunting.

As one of the best ice fishing combos, the package comes with a spinning reel, making your ice fishing task much easier. This reel is unique in that it features a ported aluminum spool which promotes its durability without sacrificing the lightweight feel.

The fishing rod features a twist lock reel seat design which ensures that your reel stays in position. Because the line comes in up to three different size options, it’ll offer you unbeatable versatility (especially when fishing in different areas).

Don’t forget that the rod’s tip has a high-level sensitivity, allowing you to quickly sense the fish when they start nibbling and biting.

​Highlighted Features:

  • Genuine Ugly Stik blank
  • EVA handle
  • Twist lock reel seat
  • One-piece stainless steel guides
  • Size 20 spinning reel with one ball bearing
  • Ported aluminum spool ensures added durability and lighter weight

3. Sougayilang Portable Pocket Fishing Rods Review:

Sougayilang Portable Pocket Fishing Rods

If you’re still looking for a highly portable ice fishing rod that you can carry with you to any place you want, I’d suggest that you give this Sougayilang Portable Pocket Fishing Rod a try.

It comes with a telescopic design- such that you can completely collapse it for easy storage/travel- making it one of the most portable fishing rods on the market rod.

As highly mobile the rod is, so is its strength and durability. This is supported by the fact that it features CNC machined stainless steel seat components plus 3-point stainless steel guides that grants you total power control.

The guides also feature ceramic inserts which offer high resistance against corrosion. Furthermore, the fishing rod boasts of .24 ton carbon fiber and E-glass construction that easily deadlifts up to 6pounds!

Available in different lengths and sizes, these rods are suitable for all fishing enthusiast, backpackers, campers, collectors, etc. Oh! Don’t forget that the package comes with a dark cloth bag and plastic cap for protecting the guide rings on the rod.

​Highlighted Features:

  • Highly portable ice fishing rod
  • Rod has adopted carbon material with reliable and lightweight quality
  • 3-point welded stainless steel guides with ceramic inserts for corrosion resistant and total power control
  • Comes in various sizes and lengths for extra flexibility
  • Ideal gift for fishing enthusiasts, collectors

4. Fiblink Graphite Ice Fishing Rod Review:

The Fiblink Graphite Ice Fishing Rod combines an extremely sensitive rod tip with a super-solid backbone, making it one of the top-performing ice fishing rods on the market today.

As an angler using this rod, you’ll be able to feel the nibbles and bites of the fish sooner while the rod body remains robust enough to bring in the fish.

The solid cork handle of this unique rod place it a notch higher than its rivals. That is, it comes specially made to give you smooth, easy-grip and long-lasting comfort with your ice fishing gloves.

As such, you’d not encounter the wrist strains associated with other fishing rods. You’ll enjoy longer and more fun hours in the ice fishing fields.

For the ultimate flexibility, the rod comes in different models, each with varying power specification. You can opt for the 24” rod with ultra-light power or the 30” with medium power.

The combination of the graphite rod blanks and aluminum oxide guides qualifies this rid as one of the most durable (but lightweight) models.

​Highlighted Features:

  • Light, durable and sensitive
  • Graphite rod blanks; blank through handle construction
  • Durable, lightweight aluminum oxide guides
  • Solid cork handle gives a sure grip plus a comfort feel
  • Come in different sizes for added versatility

5. Piscifun Graphite Spinning Fishing Rod Review:

Piscifun Graphite Spinning Fishing Rod

At the center of our best ice fishing rods reviews stands another top-rated ice fishing rod- the Piscifun Graphite Spinning Fishing Rod. Being an ultra-light and compact ice fishing rod, it makes the perfect pick for anglers planning on travelling, camping or backpacking. You can actually split the stick into two for easy transportation.

One of the key features you gotta love in this rod is the flexibility it comes with. I mean, you can easily bend it in half without breaking it- not many rod can do this.

Not only does this further enhance a durable transportation of the rod, but it also makes it easily stand the heavy winter winds when you’re out there hunting fish.

The fact that the stainless steel components are limited to the line guides gives this rod its lightweight nature (ranges between 2.68 and 2.79 ounces) for the best fishing experience. At a length range of 23.6-29.5”, this rod appears smaller than other rods, yet it functions just like its top-rated rivals.

Bottom line: if you’re planning to catch the small to medium sized fish, this ice fishing rod will give you an incredible performance. If you’re planning on a backpacking trip, camping, etc., this is one of the most portable fishing rods you can get.

​Highlighted Features:

  • Triple-bonded hybrid blank
  • 24-ton slit carbon for the perfect action and sensitivity
  • 8-ton E-glass for the ultimate strength and durability
  • Top-quality ceramic guides ensure virtually frictionless line flow
  • High-density EVA handle

6. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Rod Review:

If you want a taste of good quality ice fishing rod at a fair pricing, try the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Rod! It proudly bulges from the Shakespeare’s long-running Ugly Stik line of products and their original Ugly Stik blank acts as enough proof for the same.

Like the Shakespeare combo we discussed earlier, this ice rod also comes with an EVA handle. This fits nicely in your hands; it’s easy to hold and does not keep on slipping from your hands, especially when dealing with the stronger fish.

Combine this handle with the genuine Ugly Stik blank, and you’ll get a super-sturdy rod that will not break or bend in undesired manner anytime soon. Surprisingly, this sturdiness does not stop the rod from being one of the highly sensitive models on the market today.

The guides come with stainless steel construction, enabling them to comfortably take lines of up to size 2000 without any issues. And thanks to the twist lock reel seat, your reel will always stay in its place.

Like most of the other models that made it to this list, the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Rod also comes in a variety of sizes to meet your specific ice fishing needs and requirements.

​Highlighted Features:

  • Genuine Ugly Stick blank
  • EVA handle
  • Twist lock reel seat
  • 1-pc stainless steel guides

7. TINKSKY 60cm Telescopic Carbon Mini Ultra-light Ice Fishing Rod Review:

Don’t let your budget restrictions keep you from securing a quality ice fishing rod while the TINKSKY 60cm Telescopic Carbon Mini Ultra-light Ice Fishing Rod comes at an insanely low price tag! But that doesn’t compromise its mark of quality in any way.

It features a durable construction of hard carbon and plastic parts, not forgetting the two equally durable, wear-resistant guides which come together to give lifelong ice fishing services.

Talking of portability, this fishing rod is among the best deals you’ll get. It comes with a telescopic design that lets you reduce its size all the way from 60 inches to 24cm for easy storage and transportation.

Not only that, it comes with an extremely lightweight design, making it the perfect pick for traveler anglers.

All the fishing enthusiasts who invest in this rod will appreciate how it handles different weights of fish, including the bigger ones, how it works nearly all reels you attach it to, and the wear-resistant guides. All these will indeed give you thrilling ice fishing moments at incredibly low prices.

​Highlighted Features:

  • Durable hard carbon construction
  • Total length- around 60cm23.5”; contraction length: about 24cm9.5”
  • Lightweight and compact ice fishing rod
  • Telescopic design for easy storage/transport
  • Two sturdy and wear-resistant rod guides
  • Works with any reel

8. Fenwick Aetos Ice Spinning Rod Review:

The Fenwick Aetos Ice Spinning Rod is made of ultra-sensitive detection, maximum strength and minimum weight! When you combine all these aspects, it become apparent why this ice fishing rod is a darling for beginner and expert anglers across the states.

The hidden handle design is probably one of the reasons why this ice rod continues enjoying an overwhelming popularity. The design involves sculpted TAC inlays that team up to grant you the ultimate control of your rod, while keeping the overall weight to a minimum.

Aside from the handle, the rod also features stainless steel guides and inserts whose lightweight, durable and anti-corrosion attributes put the model in a class of its own.

Thanks to the fast action tips, this rod gives you unique hook set capabilities and incredibly sensitivity, giving you the very best outcomes in your ice fishing activities.

​Highlighted Features:

  • Maximum durable ice rod
  • Ultra-sensitive rod
  • High-modulus blank construction
  • Fuji skeleton reel seats
  • Titanium frame guides, with lightweight titanium seats
  • Comes in a variety of sizes and actions to meet your needs

9. HT ICE BLUES 48" IB-48 Super Flex Ultra-Sensitive Ice Fishing Rod Review:

Hooray! We're almost coming to an end of our top best ice fishing rod reviews. The HT ICE BLUES 48" IB-48 Super Flex Ultra-Sensitive Ice Fishing Rod comfortably occupies our 9th spot as one of the most popular and highly sensitive ice fishing rods from the HT’s series of Ice Blue Super Flex ice fishing rods.

Because of its thoughtful design and unbeatable sturdiness, this stick is sure to help you catch the bigger fish on your next ice fishing trip. Unlike other larger rods, it comes with an extremely high degree of sensitivity that it will make your fishing experience a total fun! The premium EVA corkalon made handle gives you a firm, comfortable grip on your ice rod all day long.

It’s important to understand that this is an extra-large ice fishing rod, making it ideal for catching the large fish. Moreover, you can fish with it while actually standing up.

It will make a n excellent pick for ice fishing beginners used to the bigger regular rods. At such an attractive price tag, this rod is worth your cash.

​Highlighted Features:

  • Premium EVA corkalon handle
  • Black sliding rings for seeking the best balance point
  • One of the most popular and sensitive rods from HT line of rods
  • Available in a variety of models
  • Sturdy ice fishing rod

10. Piscifun 2 Sections Medium Light Graphite Ice Fishing Rod Review:

Piscifun 2 Sections Medium Light Graphite Ice Fishing Rod

When all you’re thinking right now is catching the big fish on your next ice fishing trip, carry the Piscifun 2 Sections Medium Light Graphite Ice Fishing Rod with you and you won’t regret. The rod comes fully optimized and formatted to give a genuinely exciting ice fishing and real results.

The rod comes outfitted with lightweight stainless guides which efficiently minimizes friction. As you know, this is essential in reducing the cases of line breakage, so you won’t have to run to the stores to buy a new line every week.

Besides, a smooth guide makes your line remain secure and perfectly flat along the shaft- eliminating too much pressure and tangling incidences that might affect your luck out there.

The graphite rod blanks not only gives you an increased sensitivity but also offers you longer, more secure casts to help you get the most out of your ice fishing. Add this to the tough EVA handle on the rod and you’ll enjoy a firm grip and comfort feeling all-day, so you’ll throw all your focus on catching the fish.

​Highlighted Features:

  • Robust and sensitive
  • Lightweight stainless steel guides minimizes friction
  • EVA handle gives you a firm grip
  • Graphite rod blanks
  • Durable performance in the harshest ice fishing conditions
  • Comes in 23.6-inch and 29.5-inch sizes

Ice Fishing Rod Buying Guide - Only One You Need

As I told you earlier, walking into an ice fishing equipment store to look for the best ice fishing rod can feel like a nightmare to you.

But I promise you that things will become much easier if you put these factors in mind:


In other words, power refers to the amount of force needed to make that rod bend. The power of the fishing rod you pick should be directly related to the type of fish you intend to catch.

For instance, if you plan to hunt the larger species, you’ll need a stronger ice fishing rod. However, smaller fish calls for lighter rods as they display higher sensitivity

Rod material

It’s also important to look at the material used to construct the ice fishing rod.

The most common materials include fiberglass and graphite, each coming with its own unique benefits.

Graphite models are known for their high sensitivity and lightweight nature. Fiberglas on the other hand is more durable (as it’s less sensitive to the cold temperatures) and more flexible.


Again, this will be highly dependent on the type of fish you intend to catch in your ice fishing trip. If you’re looking forward to hunt the larger species- say trout or salmon- be sure to go for the bigger rods that measure about 40 inches in size.

For smaller fish like walleye, look for medium sized rods (24-36 inches) and for even smaller fish, invest in the rods with size 24 inches and below.

Action (Speed)

This is measured by the point where your rod bends. Fast ice rods bend at the tip while the medium ones bend at the midsection and the slow ones bend through the full rod length.

What fish you’re chasing plays a role here too- as in fast rods for the smaller fish, medium rods for larger fish and slow rods for the extremely large fish.

Final Verdict

So we’ve made an end to our list of the best ice fishing rods and complete buying guide. If you’re a beginner ice fisherman, I trust that this post will open your eyes into what an ice fishing rod entails and how to pick the best.

If you’re an experienced angler, you’ll truly find an ice fishing rod on our list that matches your needs and expectation from the word go.

Make a difference in your upcoming ice fishing trip by bringing any of the ten high-quality ice fishing rods I’ve recommended with you.

Not only will a top-rated ice rod help you get the best out of your ice fishing, but it also gives you thrilling, memorable winter moments.

  • Updated December 19, 2017
  • Ice
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