Top 3 Best Ice Fishing Rods 2021

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Crack Into Ice Fishing With One of These High-Quality Rods!

In a lot of areas, anglers take to the ice of lakes during the winter. This specialized type of fishing has a long history, and it makes for a great amount of nostalgia for those who hail from colder climes. If you’re looking to get into the sport, you should be aware that there’re some pretty specific gear requirements. You definitely won’t be using your bass fishing rod for this one.

Pretty much all ice fishing rods will be under 4’ in length, which can make quite a difference to the fisherman not used to it. Quite often they’ll be much shorter than that for those who like to fish from fish houses. Rods that are a bit longer have gained some traction lately, though since modern technology can make for a rather mobile experience.

ice fishing rod

The qualities you’re looking for depending on the species that you’re pursuing, something lighter if you’re jigging for the little guys and something more powerful if your intended dinner is a pike.

Ice fishing rods, more than almost any other type of fishing tackle, tend to have a lot of novel features attached. This can be great, but sometimes manufacturers can lose sight of the basics when adding gimmicks. The best ice fishing rod remains the best rod overall, not just the one with a bunch of useless additions and questionable durability.

Due to the short rods, fish can really mess with your hands if you don’t have a good grip as well. Foam is preferred here, due to its insulating qualities and the fact that it doesn’t get quite as slick as cork once it’s been wetted.

If you’re looking to get out on the hard water and start some fishing, we hope that one of our suggestions will push you in the right direction. With one of these rods, you can begin a whole new chapter in your personal fisherman’s journey.


Fiblink Graphite Ice Fishing Rod

Fiblink Graphite Ice Fishing Rod

These excellent pieces of equipment come in a couple of sizes, the longest being 30”. This makes them perfectly suitable for in-house fishing since you won’t have to worry about banging up your rod during the hook-set.

The grip on this one is solid cork, not just the cork taping which is common with cheaper rods. You’ll definitely want to try not to get it wet, but it does have an incredible amount of durability.

The rod itself has a strong backbone. The tip is still quick, though, so you’ll be able to get quick alerts as well as benefitting from the strength. This quality comes from the material, graphite rods are absolutely fantastic for this specialized kind of fishing.

The main differences between the two sizes, other than their length, is that the 30” variation is quite a bit higher powered than the smaller one. The ultralight 24” is definitely well suited for smaller fish, and the big step up in power to the 30” model means that one of these models is suitable for any ice fisherman.

Pick the right one for your target species, and you’ll soon be having a great deal of fun pulling up whatever you may please with one of these poles.

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Rod

 Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Rod

Shakespeare provides entry-level poles for pretty much every type of fishing, and their Ugly Stiks will usually outperform any similarly priced model. The Ugly Stik GX2 is in exactly that boat, so let’s take a look at what makes this rod great for the ice fishing novice.

There’re three different sizes, each of which might be suitable for a different angler. For the best all-around performance, the 28” model is probably the most advised, though.

These poles are extremely sensitive as well, which is a boon for any ice fisherman. This extra sensitivity is necessary for you to be able to get more information from the water beneath you, and that little bit of edge can be the difference between a full bucket and going home empty-handed.

The handle is well coated with EVA foam, which means it won’t slip out of your grip while you’re on the ice. The nice thing about a foam handle is that they generally don’t get slick, and that’s an extra bonus when you’re working with numb hands or thick gloves.

If you’re just getting started, snap one of these up and you’re on the right path. They’re all-around great, and come in at a bargain price.

Berkley Lightning Ice Rod

Berkley Lightning Ice Rod

For the angler on a really tight budget, this rod offers the best value per dollar you’ll be able to find.

The grip is very ergonomic, and even though it comes in cork you’re sure to be able to keep a good grip in almost any situation. The unique design will also make it a bit easier on your wrists if you want to be on the ice all day.

The front part of the reel seat is also covered in cork. This is great for those of us with sensitive hands since you won’t need to be handling the threaded portion in front of the reel when you’re using some finesse.

The rod also features oversized guides. These can be important in the truly frozen climates some people inhabit, as regular guides can freeze over. A frozen over guide is a big problem on your retrieve, and definitely, something you’ll want to avoid.

It comes in a couple of sizes as well, although the difference between the two is pretty minimal apart from length.

If you’re in a situation where you have to make every dollar count, consider this the cheapest and easiest rod to jump into the sport with. You’re sure to get a lot of use out of it and the cost is almost negligible.


The Shakespeare Ugly Stik is the stand-out of these products, although it does come in a little more expensive. It’s recommended for both the novice and more experienced angler who wants to dip their toes into ice fishing.

The choice between the option from Fiblink or Berkley will primarily reside on how much money you’re willing to spend. The Fiblink Graphite Ice Fishing Rod is definitely the better of the two and is a respectable pole in its own right, but the Berkley Lightning is a bit cheaper and doesn’t sacrifice much quality to do so.


We hope that we’ve helped you take your first step into ice fishing. With the number of rods on the market, picking out exactly what you need can be a chore but all of these are suitable for most tasks. Pick the one you’re most comfortable with, crack into ice fishing, and start making some memories!



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Hi! I’m Steven!

I am an avid life long fisherman, having caught over 25,000 fish over the years. My life-long passion for fishing began when my father taught me how to fish at the age of ten. I started to share my extensive knowledge of all things fishing.

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