Serious anglers, especially those who live in colder climates, don't turn to billiards or bowling in winter, they gear up and fish through the ice. Ice fishing is done using tip-ups and rods. Depending on the water and species of fish, there are a variety of rods for the job. Like all fishing tackle, some rods are better than others. Some are handmade, designed with performance and precision in mind, while others are cheap imitations of premium designs. Although it's not always necessary to spend hundreds of dollars on top-notch products, using solid jigging rods is a must, as pulling certain fish through the ice sometimes takes some skill that calls for quality tackle. The best ice rods are known for their reliability, strength and solid construction.
St. Croix Fishing Rods
St.Croix has only been making ice fishing rods for a handful of years, however, its products are some of the best on the market. Marked by solid carbon construction, St. Croix rods feature a battery-powered, spring bobber system.
Wonder Strike Rods
Available with a variety of actions, Wonder Strike ice rods are made of strong fiberglass and fitted with graphite, two-bearing spooling reels. The rods also contain stainless steel strike sensors and adjustable guide system.
Jason Mitchell Ice Rods
Jason Mitchell ice rods are made with advanced technology and known for their strong blanks, guides, materials and stellar craftsmanship. With 10 models, Jason Mitchell makes a rod for perch, walleye, trout and panfish as well as multi-purpose rods.
Northland Fishing Tackle
Northland rods are relatively inexpensive and known for their quality construction and wide variety. Made with a combination of aluminum oxide guides, composite blanks and cork handles, Northland rods are between 24 and 34 inches with up to 30-pound capability.
Mr. Walleye Products
Ice rods by Mr. Walleye are made with 100 percent hybrid carbon fiber. They also boast steel and gold eyes, guides and rings. With a combination of medium and heavy weights, the Mr. Walleye Icepro is an industry leader among professionals and recreational anglers.
Berkley ice rods are not fancy, but they get the job done, especially for beginners or those just out to pull whatever is biting through the ice. All five Berkley ice products are sold as rod/reel combos.
Ugly Stik by Shakespeare
A trusted name in fishing rods, Ugly Stik also makes solid multi-purpose ice rods. Each contains a strong graphite seat, blank-through handle design and a strong tip.