Ice Fishing Rods

It's important to choose good, quality ice fishing rods that are right for the type of fishing you will be doing. The rod you choose can mean the difference between a few fish and no fish when the fish are biting light. And most fish are more finicky and bite lighter in the winter.

A pretty common misconception among fishermen is that the fishing reel is more important than the rod. But both professional and avid ice fishermen pay more for their rod then for their reel. Why is that?

Mostly it's because the rod enables you to feel bites, set the hook, and reel in what hopefully is a record breaking fish .

Ice Fishing Rods

If you think that all ice fishing rods are created equal, think again. Here are some of the common differences:

  • The length can vary from about 16" to 32"
  • Rod composition can be graphite, fiberglass or a combination
  • Handle composition can be cork, foam or plastic
  • Power is the amount of force needed to bend the rod. Normally described as Heavy, Medium and Light.
  • Action is determined by where the rod bends. Slow, Moderate and Fast actions are the most common.

In order to decide which rod is best for you, you first need to decide what you'll be fishing for. Here are some general guidelines:

  • For panfish use a shorter ultra-light or light rod.
  • Walleye and Northern Pike will normally require a 24-28" medium or medium-heavy rod.
  • For Muskie and Lake Trout you'll need the strongest ice fishing rod available!

The rod composition of a good, quality ice fishing rod is usually a solid piece of graphite, high quality fiberglass or a combination of both. Graphite is stronger but fiberglass is more sensitive.

Also the composition of the handle is important as well. Cork is usually your best bet since it allows you to fill even light bites and it warms quickly to help keep your hands warm.

A couple of my favorite ice fishing rods are made by Thorne Bros Custom Rod & Tackle and St. Croix Rods.

Thorne Bros Ice Fishing Rods

For over 20 years Thorne Bros, out of Fridley, Minnesota has been creating some of the finest ice fishing rods money can buy. Having worked with professional ice fishermen like Dave Genz and In Fisherman they've built a reputation that's second to none.

Thorne Bros has several models to choose from and if you don't find what you're looking for they'll custom design anything you want.

Thorne Bros most popular models include the Panfish Sweet Heart Plus, the Perch Sweet Heart Plus, the Walleye Sweet Heart, the Finesse Plus and their legendary Dead Stick.

You'll pay anywhere from $45 - $80 for a rod from Thorne Bros. And if anyone complained about the cost of these rods prior to buying one you'd never hear a single complaint after using one.  You're more likely to hear someone say they wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

Click here for Thorne Bros ice fishing rods.

St. Croix Ice Fishing Rods

St. Croix Rods in Park Falls, Wisconsin has been making high quality ice fishing rods since 1959. Today, their ice fishing rods are made from solid carbon fiber blanks and are both sensitive and strong. They use stainless-steel guides and a cork handle for maximum feel.

St. Croix Rods offers Premier and Legend ice fishing rods. Their Premier model ranges in length from 24" to 32" and in power from Ultra Light to Heavy. Premier rods sell for around $20. For $35 you can get the Premier rod plus a three ball bearing open face spincasting reel. This is an excellent value.

St. Croix's Legend ice fishing rods are fairly new to the market place but have been a huge hit with ice fishermen. They feature a patented built-in strike indicator system developed by Greg “The Prowler” Wilczynski.

St. Croix Spring Indicator SystemThe Legend’s ultra- sensitive spring indicator system, attached to the rod’s tip top, is built from durable, high-tension stainless steel plated with 24K gold. The indicator allows you to see the lightest bump or bite before actually feeling it.

Legend ice rods are 24" long and are available in five models from ultra-light to medium-heavy. The Legend rods sell for around $50. Four spring indicators are available in light, medium and medium-heavy and heavy. The spring indicators sell for around $7 and are interchangeable so you can easily switch from light to medium or medium to medium-heavy on the
same rod.

Click here for St. Croix Ice Fishing Rods.

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