How to Build a Fishing Ice Rod

How to Build a Fishing Ice Rod
Ice fishing rods are short, stout and designed to sit in a static position for long periods of time while slow-moving fish swim to the bait. Handles on ice fishing rods are typically primitive. Many handles are constructed out of several layers of duct or electrical tape. Fishing line is commonly attached to a string holder instead of a reel. Kite string handles make handy ice fishing spools in conjunction with the short rods.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy


Things You’ll Need:
  • Tape measure or ruler
  • 18 inch section of 3/8 inch dowel
  • Marker pen
  • Wood or multi-surface epoxy
  • 2 to 3 fishing guides (closed metal circles to guide the fishing line)
  • Duct tape
  • 75 yards monofilament fishing line
  • Kite string handle
  • Fishing hook
Step 1
Measure five inches from one end of the dowel. Mark the five-inch end with the marker. Measure, from the five-inch marker point, six inches down the dowel and mark with the marker. From the first six-inch mark, measure a second six inches and mark with the marker.
Step 2
Glue one guide onto each six-inch hash mark using the epoxy. Keep the guides lined up straight so the guide circles are uniform on the same side of the dowel. Let the epoxy set and dry.
Step 3
Wrap several layers of duct tape around the first five inches of the dowel, up to the five-inch hash mark. Wrap until there is about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch of tape around the dowel end. This is the handle of the ice fishing rod.
Step 4
Unwrap the fishing line from its spindle and wrap onto the kite string handle. Take the end of the line when finished and unwrap four feet of it. Beginning at the handle of the ice fishing rod (at the duct tape) thread both guides with the fishing line.
Step 5
Thread the fishing hook with the fishing line from the end of the fishing reel (at the end of the last guide, the opposite side of the handle). Wrap any excess line back around the kite handle. Push the hook into the wood of the rod to store it safely until ready to fish.

Tips & Warnings

Never ice fish with bare hands. Pick up fish, bait and hooks with gloves or nets to prevent frost bite or cold-induced injuries.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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