The Best Ice Fishing Rod
[New Research] (2021)

Best Ice Fishing Rod FI

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This is the ultimate TopNotch Outdoor Review for the Best Ice Fishing Rod on the market for the year (currentyear)

Catching fishes is a whole lotta work when you don’t have the right gear to see you through. 

When I first imagined how fishing would be, I had a clear vision of myself catching fishes with nothing but a stick and a rope plus a hook tied to it.

Basic right?

But.. here’s the truth…

…if you want to catch real fish, you need to invest in a rod that’s more applicable to your specific goals. 

Just find the perfect combos for your winter fishing trip! 

Start first with the fishing rod that’ll suit your preference. Find the right match for the person you are!

Hmm- well, yes, it’s hard.

That’s why our comprehensive buyer’s guide is here- to help you out in getting the best fishing rod for you. 

Here, we’ll be discussing the following:

  • Features and Benefits of every rod on the list;
  • Back to back comparison between the products;
  • Tips and Tricks on how to use every one of them;
  • Our Personal preferences;
  • Lots more…

See? We got you covered!

Because we know the hassle. Been there done that. We experienced a lot of mess in choosing the perfect one, and we want you to enjoy your experience without having any of these!

It’s tough to choose the perfect fishing rod for your every fishing escapade, but we’ll tell you our secret on choosing the top-tier ones.

Hang on there…

First, look at how valuable it is for its price, then check if it’s easy to handle. Check its durability, its spool, and its action. 

There, the features you have to look for are served!

Check these all out, and you’re ready to go!

Wanna know the results of these criteria?

Then follow me, and let’s get started…

Best Solid Carbon Blank Ice Fishing Rod

1 – Croix Mojo

Editors Choice Award Winner
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Value for Money
7
Ease of Use
10
Durability
9
Action
10
Overall Score
90
  • Manufacturer: St. Coix
  • Length: Available in 24-36 inches
  • Weight: 1.59 ounces
  • Rod Handle: Split grip
  • Bearing Number: 11

Bottom Line : Chosen to be our top pick because of its all-out features!

Pros


  • Ultra-sensitive tip
  • Durable carbon-fiber material
  • Precision-taper solid carbon blank
  • Reliable stainless steel guides

Cons


  • A bit pricey

The Mojo is for anyone who wants the best rod out there.

Wanna know why? 

Sit back, relax and enjoy the Mojo ice rods even as it performs as an open water rod. 

You can enjoy catching as many lake trout as you want and have a feast later.

The material is a double carbon- fiber, so we knew it’s durable as well. 

I’ve been trying different products made with this material, and it didn’t fail to amaze me. It also has a very sensitive tip, so you’ll know when fishes are ready to be caught!

No wonder we’ve decided Croix Mojo to be the top pick for the best winter fishing rod.

To be honest…

…my first impression was that the rod looked like it would break easily. I even wondered if I purchased a knockoff.

But I was proved wrong the moment I fished with it. 

When I say it’s perfect for winter fishing, it really is! 

It has large eyelets to prevent line freeze-ups!

Just a fair warning…

The Mojo rod comes with quite a high price point. 

It’s not the most budget-friendly rod out there, though, so I recommend you to save some money if you really wanna score this bad boy.

But if you’re looking for fishing rods to really invest in, the Mojo should be first on your list.

Best Ice Fishing Rod For Budget

2 – Abu Garcia Venerate

Best Value Award Winner
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Value for Money
9
Ease of Use
8
Durability
9
Action
8
Overall Score
84
  • Manufacturer: Abu Garcia
  • Length: Available in 24-36 inches
  • Weight: 0.57 lbs
  • Rod Handle: Split grip high density EVA
  • Bearing Number: 3+1 Bearing System

Bottom Line : Affordable price but high-quality performance and features

Pros


  • A durable and reliable backbone
  • Comfortable cork handle, perfect for catching big fish
  • Reliable stainless steel guides
  • Premium quality materials

Cons


  • Some anglers report that it could do a better job with sensitivity.

This rod definitely has it all for its price, which is why we awarded it as the Best Value for Money.

Let me tell you why.

It’s made with premium quality materials, so I’m definitely sure that it will last you for seasons just like mine.

You don’t have to worry about maneuverability as well because it’s super easy to handle. Its EVA handle allows a wide range of grip styles which we are big fans of!

Abu Garcia has good sensitivity for a medium/ light rod too. 

Although it didn’t feel much with small bluegill fishes, it worked perfectly for the more prominent bass and catfish kinds through the ice.

Here’s the thing…

You can simply perch this rod on the boat and wait until a fish catches your bait. 

The tip is sensitive enough so you can sense even if the smallest fishes are attempting to peck your rod tip.

However, that’s not always the same case for all ice fishers, considering my experience that I told you about a while ago.

So I can say that this is what the company should improve.

But…

Overall, we consider the Venerate a great all-around medium rod. 

You can use it for almost all sorts of fish species and have a blast catching a good lake trout out!

Best Ice Fishing Rod Under $50

3 – Berkley Cherrywood HD

Top Pick Award Winner
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Value for Money
9
Ease of Use
8
Durability
7
Action
9
Overall Score
82
  • Manufacturer: MarCum
  • Length: Available in 24-36 inches
  • Weight: 1.59 ounces
  • Rod Handle: Split grip
  • Bearing Number: 11

Bottom Line :

Pros


  • Very affordable
  • Light-Medium rod yet strong and durable
  • Comfortable cork handle
  • Reliable stainless steel guides

Cons


  • Stainless steel guides aren’t as strong as other rods

The Berkley Cherrywood is a great contender on this list!

And one of the main reasons why we say that is because of its price.

Yes, it’s very budget-friendly without compromising its features and benefits!

This is why we chose this to be the Best Value awardee among other products on this list.

Believe it or not, this rod is very affordable. I was skeptical at first because it’s just too much for the tag, but it was actually unbelievably amazing!

If you’re trying to stick to a budget, you wouldn’t have difficulty fitting this rod in.

Here’s the thing…

Considering how durable the rod and reel is, their outstanding performance, and many more, this is pretty much a sweet deal.

It has a comfortable cork handle too. The residual heat also helps in making the handle warmer to touch even on a cold fishing day.

Best of all…

…cork handles offer you a higher sensitivity because they usually have lower damping capacities.

Not only that.

Waiting for a catch won’t be difficult for your hands as it’s proven to be lightweight thanks to its material.

A couple of weeks out on icy wonderland and we were able to haul in 4 Northern between 15 to 22 inches while jigging for crappies. This rod will bend and bend and bend but won’t break.

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Best High Modulus Graphite Ice Fishing Rod

4 – Fenwick Elite Tech Ice Spinning Rod

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Value for Money
8
Ease of Use
7
Durability
9
Action
9
Overall Score
84
  • Manufacturer: Pure Fishing
  • Length: 16 inches
  • Weight: 2-6 lbs
  • Rod Handle: Premium Cork Handle
  • Bearing Number: 13+1 Bearing Balls

Bottom Line :

Pros


  • Sensitive graphite blanks
  • Comfortable handle
  • Durable backbone
  • It comes in different rod lengths

Cons


  • Rod guides could be improved.

Suffice to say, Tech Ice rod isn’t that bad at all. 

If any, it’s among the most powerful you can find out there, thanks to the outstanding balance with the handle, rod weight, light, and more.

What do I mean by that?

Tech Ice has different rod lengths that you can choose from, so it’s easy for you to buy your preferred length with this brand.

It has a high-quality, durable backbone, too, so can be sure that this won’t break easily.

And by that, I can say that it’s good for catching big fishes on the lake!

It has a solid carbon rod with its material for increased sensitivity and durability.

I tested this one out one cold morning in Alaska and using and operating it felt so effortless. 

However…

…my experience with its rod guides wasn’t that good since it’s a bit difficult to understand and it wasn’t reliable at some point. 

And this is what I would suggest to this company to be improved. 

The best part is that…

… you’ll be able to absorb all the action and catch tons of fishes in the water. 

You see- Ice fishing has never been more fun and competitive at the same time. Just don’t forget your spring bobber!

Best Reel Combo Ice Fishing Rod

5 – Shakespeare Ugly Stik

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Value for Money
8
Ease of Use
9
Durability
8
Action
6
Overall Score
78
  • Manufacturer: Pure Fishing
  • Length: 5 ft 6 inches
  • Weight: 8-20 lbs
  • Rod Handle: SuperPolymer
  • Bearing Number: 3 ball bearings

Bottom Line :

Pros


  • Reliable stainless steel guides
  • Very durable rod
  • Premium and quality materials
  • Sensitive

Cons


  • The action could be improved

If you’re looking for a durable and all-around ice fishing rod, Shakespeare Ugly Stik gx2 is a great contender. 

This is a lovely all-solid fiberglass rod, making it very tough and a challenge to break.

With its reliable stainless steel guides, fishing rods like this function very well in transmitting line vibrations to the rod.

It combines durability and sensitivity in a single unit, which sums up everything you’d want from an ice fishing rod.

The handle is pretty comfortable too!  

You won’t have a hard time holding it, even for a long period of time.

Polymer grips are known to bring unbeatable performance. Fish in the rain, ice, or under the sun, you choose, and it’ll never fail you!

However…

… the only downside I can see from ice fishing rods like this is its flexibility.

There could be moments when its reel may not work perfectly fine. 

And…

It’s a little bit stiff- maybe because of its material. 

Nonetheless, this product is still a great purchase if you’re not that bothered when it comes to flexibility.

Best Ice Fishing Rod For Beginners

6 – 13 Fishing White Noise Ultra Light

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Value for Money
8
Power
10
Screen Resolution
9
Frequency
7
Overall Score
84
  • Manufacturer: 13 Fishing
  • Length: 24 inches
  • Weight: 8 ounces
  • Bearing Number: 3 ball bearings

Bottom Line :

Pros


  • Reliable patented guides
  • Highly durable and sensitive
  • Performs just as well as medium-heavy rods
  • Soft-touch knob

Cons


  • Sensitivity isn’t at par with 13 Fishing’s braided line

Beginner? 

You’ll definitely feel like a pro when you use fishing rods with a built like this!

It’s perfect for you because it’s amazingly easy to operate.

No fuss. No hassles.

One thing’s for sure…

…this rod is worth your time and attention. It’s sensitive enough to detect the lightest strike underwater and tough enough to withstand any fish fight.

I didn’t have a hard time catching heavy fishes because It has a soft touch knob as well.

Using this for fishing in cold lakes of Alaskas has never been so complicated for our team!

The best part?

You won’t have to worry about going for bigger fishes with this line! Despite being a light rod, it performs just as well as a medium-light or medium-heavy rod!

Suitable for fishing in open water and in icy lakes too.

It’s highly durable as well, which makes me confident enough to say that this will last you for seasons.

Why Trust Us?

Let me tell you the truth.

The TopNotch team has been going outdoors for over a decade now.

The experiences were all mixed up with funny and memorable ones and we want to share all those with you! Not only our experiences but some of the products that we used during our wild adventures!

Not only that…

We also made sure to research and analyze each product to give you the most unbiased and no filter comprehensive buyer’s guide.

We know the hassle of looking for the perfect buddy for fishing, and this is the first step to take you out of the hard part.

We don’t simply look by the brand and ratings. Instead, we look for its quality and performance. 

To do that, we have tested them according to some metrics just like what’s mentioned above.

At the end of the day…

…we all want you to experience the wildest outdoor adventure!

Best Ice Fishing Rod
Skip Buyer’s Guide – Go to Analysis, Comparisons & Ratings

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do you know what type of rod to use with what type of fish?

Choosing the perfect rods for ice fishing depends on what type of fish you want to feast on. Sadly, this is often overlooked, making some fishers unsatisfied with their purchase.

To answer the question, 

Combine both the power and action of the fishing rods.

Light or ultralight rod power is geared more at smaller species like trout and panfish as they have more bend and you can more easily detect a bite.

However…

…moderate power rods are ideal for jigs, topwaters, frogs, and anything else that requires less bend in the rod.

Q. What does it mean to choose the right size of a fishing rod?

Rods can range on the tiny end from 4 feet to the gigantic end of 14 feet.

However…

….most bass fishing rods tend to run between 6 and 8 feet measured tip to butt. 

The general rule of rod length selection is this.

Short ice fishing rods can cast shorter distances while longer ice fishing rods can cast longer distances.

Best Ice Fishing Rod

Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results

1. Value for Money 

Abu Garcia Venerate
9
Berkley Cherrywood HD
9
Shakespeare Ugly Stik
9
Fenwick Elite Tech Ice Spinning Rod
8
13 Fishing White Noise Ultra Light
8
Croix Mojo
7

2. Ease of Use

13 Fishing White Noise Ultra Light
10
Croix Mojo
10
Shakespeare Ugly Stik
9
Abu Garcia Venerate
8
Berkley Cherrywood HD
8
Fenwick Elite Tech Ice Spinning Rod
7

3. Durability

Croix Mojo
9
Abu Garcia Venerate
9
Fenwick Elite Tech Ice Spinning Rod
9
13 Fishing White Noise Ultra Light
8
1Shakespeare Ugly Stik
8
Berkley Cherrywood HD
7

4. Spool

Croix Mojo
9
Fenwick Elite Tech Ice Spinning Rod
9
Abu Garcia Venerate
8
Berkley Cherrywood HD
8
Shakespeare Ugly Stik
8
13 Fishing White Noise Ultra Light
8

5. Action

Croix Mojo
9
Fenwick Elite Tech Ice Spinning Rod
9
Berkley Cherrywood HD
9
Abu Garcia Venerate
8
13 Fishing White Noise Ultra Light
7
Shakespeare Ugly Stik 13
6

Our Final Verdict: Best Ice Fishing Rod

Croix Mojo
90%
Abu Garcia Venerate
84%
Berkley Cherrywood HD Fenwick Elite Tech Ice Spinning Rod
84%
Fenwick Elite Tech Ice Spinning Rod 13 Fishing White Noise Ultra Light
84%
Shakespeare Ugly Stik Berkley Cherrywood HD
82%
13 Fishing White Noise Ultra Light
78%

Conclusion: Best Ice Fishing Rod

There you have it, folks! Some of the best ice fishing rods in the market that’s sure to give you the biggest blast on the waters!

Regardless of what you end up with, we’re sure you’ll be able to score yourself a big fish.

Find your bait, get an orange tip, and let the action begin!

If you have any more questions about an ice fishing rod, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Leave your question down below or on our social media pages and we’ll be glad to chat with you!

And if you love this review, leave a like and feel free to share this with your friends and family who enjoy ice fishing. Who knows?

Best Ice Fishing Rod

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