Best Ice Fishing Rods 2020: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

1. Vengeance Shimano BX 2. Shimano Alivio 3. Shakespeare Gx2
Vengeance Shimano BX Best Ice Fishing Rod Shimano Alivio Cx Light Feeder Shakespeare Ugly Stik Gx2

For all of you who’re new to fishing gears, ice fishing, or fishing in general, we’ve compiled a list of top ten best ice fishing rod in order to aid you understanding about the field. The list will help you make an informed decision about the right choice of ice fishing rod to invest in.


Looking to catch a lot of fish to show off your ice fishing skills? You should begin by getting the tools that are essential and best suited to your job, and that might mean purchasing the best ice fishing rod that suits your needs.

While ice fishing can indeed be performed with any fishing rod, ice rods are notably suited as the best option for the task. They’re shorter than regular fishing rods, built to help you draw big fish out of the tiny holes and are usually equipped with other special features specific to ice fishing as well.

Top 10 Best Ice Fishing Rods 2020

1. Vengeance Shimano BX

Vengeance Shimano BX Best Ice Fishing RodCombined with shimano guides and vengeance rods, the Vengeance Shimano Sea Bass BX Spinning Rod is an ideal budget friendly option. The spinning rod comes with upto 3 years of the product guarantee.

Structured upon the sea brass series by Vengeance, the weight of the rod can support casts between 20 to 60 grams. This feature grants the user a better hook and fishing experience.

With an XT-30 blank, the rod features a medium to fast action and is lightweight. Medium action allows the rod to bend from the middle of the blank, which isn’t the best option for ice fishing since ice fishers require alertness to every single nibble.

Designed from a modern aspect, the rod is attractive with its metallic white finish. It features an eva handle which provides the user with improved grip and control of the rod.

If you’re looking to fish for bass, perch or panfish, then the BX spinning rod is one of the best ice fishing rods available.


2. Shimano Alivio Cx Light Feeder

Shimano Alivio Cx Light FeederThe Alivio CX Light feeder fishing rod by Shimano is efficient in terms of performance and a good option for entry level ice fishing. Equipped with shimano hardlite guides and stainless steel structure, the fishing rod is durable with increased strength.

With the renowned XT30 blank, it is additionally structured with geofibre which adds rigidity and increases the tensile support of the rod. Additional features include an improved cork handle and two interchangeable quiver tips.

The rod is visually not as appealing as others in the same price range, yet it is a good option for an amateur ice fisher. With this product, you can optimally cast upto 70g. However, with its length at 11 feet, the rod promotes heavy duty action which is not ideal for ice-wishing.

The feeder rod designed by Shimano is indeed a great tool for carp fishing. However, there are better options available specifically for ice fishing.


3. Shakespeare Ugly Stik Gx2

Shakespeare Ugly Stik Gx2 Ugly Stik rods are excellent and the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 falls under one of the best fishing rods available for all various kinds of fishing techniques. GX2, being their model variant as an ice fishing rod, stands true to their brand identity.

The product features a combination of the renowned longevity, durability and stability of the original Ugly Stik, which was first released in 1976, along with the smaller, more balanced and streamlined black feel of the new Ugly Stiks.

With a lightweight handle and EVA grip, the rod also includes a clear tip which adds to its sensitivity and strength. Furthermore, this model is the best ice fishing rod and reel combo.

It is constructed using stainless steel guides and their patented Engineering technology, which means a combination of graphite and fiberglass to create a flexible and lightweight as well as a solid and sturdy base.

All these features mean that you can feel the lightest of tugs and nibbles. In addition to increased sensitivity, it houses the strength to pull all kinds of fishes through the ice hole.

The last yet crucial feature that allows Ugly Stick ice-fishing rods to be one of the best ice-fishing poles is them being budget friendly as well as long lasting.


4. Fenwick Elite Tech Ice

Fenwick Elite Tech IceThe Fenwick Elite Tech is designed to last longer with increased efficiency. Made from graphite, the rod is durable as well as sensitive, which allows the user to be alerted by the lightest of actions as well.

The product comes in several types and sizes, the smallest one being 16 inches with a fast action. If you’re looking to catch bigger fish, then the 28-inch medium-light or the 28-inch medium-heavy model would be advisable. Yes, they come at the same size but house different weight capacity.

The guides are structures with stainless steel, which adds to the strength of the rod. Additionally, the device is rendered thicker for toughening through zirconium oxide inserts.

However, the product doesn’t include a reel but you can always purchase one and add it to the inbuilt reel seat.


5. Frabill Fin-S Pro

Frabill Fin-S ProThe Frabill Fin-S Pro is one of the best ice fishing rod and reel combos crafted from high-quality materials and components that give long-lasting, consistent results at an affordable price.

The cork handle is gripping and the attached reel is equipped with quality ball bearings with matching aluminium spool, thus providing the user with a smooth operation.

The rod functions at medium power which allows the fisher to handle bigger fishes with ease, while retaining full control. Moreover, the device is lightweight in nature thus an ideal choice to bring for a full day on the ice.

The rod is structured with stainless steel guides and a carbon fibre blank, allowing it to be lightweight and flexible with increased strength. Featuring high quality sensitivity, the likelihood of your fish getting away is close to none.

Thus, being an affordable and already assembled combo, it’s perfect for beginners to kickstart their ice fishing journey.


6. Fiblink 1-Piece Jigging Jig

Fiblink 1-Piece Jigging JigIf you’re looking to catch larger fish using jigs without being confined to a small ice fishing area, the Fiblink rod is designed for vertical jigging and is the ideal solution for a great ice fishing jig pole.

The tubular structure, including both graphite and fiberglass, ensures that you will be able to experience light tugs and nibbles. Since it’s lightweight, it will allow the user to operate your jigs and carry fish through the ice hole effortlessly.

With this pole in your hands, you ‘re going to be able to dive the baits deep down and position them adequately to trigger the fish to strike.

Additionally, the device is sturdy and durable enough to catch and reel heavier fish without snapping and breaking. Visually appealing with the blue accents, the rod is also equipped with stainless steel and ceramic insert guides which reduces friction.

Lastly, the aluminum alloy reel seat is resistant to corrosion and secures the reel in place. Thus, the rod is built for increased functionality and performance.


7. Berkley LR24ULS

Berkley LR24ULSFeaturing a short 24-inch length structure with an ultralight power rating, the Berkley Lightning Ice Bar is designed for lighter ice fishing applications. The short length is perfect if you’re trying to fish from the safety of your ice fishing tent because it fits easily inside its walls.

Since it offers sensitivity as well as stainless steel guides, the rod is ideal for tough environments to catch fishes ranging from small to medium sizes. The blank is robust, durable as well as lightweight. The rod uses lighter lines and lures and is the best ice fishing rod for panfish.

The cork handle provides the extra stability and control required out of an ice fishing rod in cold weather conditions. With a split grip design, the structure is lightweight and provides a better connection between the fisher’s hand and the rod blank.

Thus, if you’re looking for a well balanced and durable ice fishing rod, then the Berkeley LR24ULS is just for you.


8. Shimano Speedcast Match 420F

Shimano Speedcast Match 420FThe exclusive Speedcast Match range by Shimano is ideal for fishing enthusiasts, seeking excellent performance and high quality.

The product is one of the higher end models available. However, the equipment falls under one of the best ice fishing rods, clearly manifesting its efficiency and durability.

There are also 5 variants available to choose from. Moreover, Shimano’s exclusive choice of materials ranging from carbon and biofibre demonstrates responsive performance in catching fishes of variable sizes in different conditions.

Structured at 14 ft in length and 228g in weight demonstrates the rod’s agility and strength while fishing.

Additionally, Shimano offers great customer service ensuring both an excellent product and buying experience. Their accessories are world class and effortlessly adaptable to variants of fishing rods.

All in all, this fishing rod is made up of high-quality materials with intricate fishing tips, adding everything you require for ice wishing, in a single rod.


9. Shimano Alivio Dx

Shimano Alivio DxThe Alivio Spinning Rod by Shimano is ideal for individuals who are looking for rods suiting their pocket. It’s meant for casual fishing on weekends or holidays. The DX model is one of the classic variants of the basic models produced by the renowned Shimano brand.

With a length of 2.10m and casting weight of roughly 20g, it can easily match the likes of individuals fresh into ice fishing. Its lightweight body promotes fast action effortlessly and allows you to fish for longer durations.

Moreover, if you’re aiming for a box of pan fishes or brass, then the Shimano Alivio is the best ice fishing rod to go for. Furthermore, the combination of blue and white colour of the rod drives home the sporty and eye-catching look.

The wooden encasing, complemented by cork grips around the hand, besides providing an elite look to the rod also adds agility to the rod.

Lastly, Shimano manufactures the best ice fishing rods and their products can be easily relied upon by amateurs and professionals alike.


10. Vgeby Ice Fishing Rod 20’

Vgeby Ice Fishing Rod 20’The ice fishing rod by VGEBY, demonstrates durability, affordability and efficiency. Priced at below £20, it is one of the best ice fishing rods available in the market.

The 20’’ portable rod is ideal for weekend fishing sprees as you can pack your kit hassle-free. The specially designed handle, with a smooth layer of soft cushion and thick surface area provides great griping, making it ideal for multiple cases of snagging.

The rod is enabled for fast action due to its lightweight nature. Made up of glass fiber and EVA, the device is manifested for durability and stability. With glass fibre, you need not worry about the rod getting dismantled in the cold weather since the material can withstand extreme freezing points with ease.

Moreover, this fishing rod comes with a 180 days guarantee, providing you with an opportunity to test its claims, if not 100% unconditional money guarantee.

However, the box only contains the rod. A set of reels could have complimented the rod, making it the optimum choice for potential consumers. Even so, this lightweight model by VGEBY is the best ice fishing rod for panfish.


There are several aspects to be considered when buying fishing rods. It may seem to some to be a simple hobby. Indeed, a fishing rod is just a pole or a stick with a line ending in a hook. But an ardent fisherman will know it’s more complicated than that.

Here is a list of factors to be taken into account when buying fishing rods and valuable details as to why they are important. Some considerations will be easier to infer and will require less analysis. Whereas, Others might be difficult to work out and will need more comprehensive details.

The more you truly understand about fishing rods, the higher the possibility of a successful fishing experience.

Factors To Consider Before Buying Best Ice Fishing Rod

1. Reels And Rods

If you’re a first time ice fisher, then shifting from the 36-inch rods to an 8-inch ice rod would seem completely out of place. However, it is crucial to select a rod which best suits the type of fish you’re aiming to catch.

Ice rods come in various types, lengths and styles aligning with the forms of lures, actions and baits you’re looking forward to targeting. Even though longer rods are much in trend now, lightweight rods are still preferred to help you maintain control over the instrument.

In addition to stability, a lightweight rod helps enable a fast action as well which is necessary for ice fishing.

Reels for ice fishing are usually inexpensive as compared to those offered for regular open water fishing. The best ice fishing rod and reel combo would include an ultralight feature along with extended durability.

2. Lure Weight Capacity

Before you decide on a product from one of the best ice fishing poles or rods, it is important to factor in their lure weight capacity. Generally mentioned in grams or pounds in their product description, an ideal ice fishing rod would support a range of 20 to 60 grams cast.

3. Rod Material

Ice fishing is a field where every minute detail of the equipment you choose is crucial. The different types of rod materials might scare you, but don’t worry. Let’s look at the boons and banes of some of the widely available rod materials before picking one.

  • Graphite

Graphite is flexible and sensitive, which allows the user with better hook performance and an extra couple of seconds to set the hook. However, it is an expensive yet a lightweight material. Graphite adds the stability and durability in the blank which is essential for ice fishing.

Ice fishing requires a certain amount of jigging, which in turn requires a sensitive tip. Even though graphite is fragile in freezing temperatures, a fast action rod along with graphite as the material choice would form the best ice fishing rod.

  • Fibreglass

The main overpowering element in fibreglass is its ability to withstand the coldest of weathers. It is slightly heavier and eases the process of setting the hook by bending more at the blank.

The sole backdraw is its lack of sensitivity. However, it comes at an expensive price. So, if you’re an occasional ice fisher then this might just be the right material choice for you.

4. Type Of Fish Species

It all comes down to one thing, which fish are you aiming for? Just like you can’t use a basketball in a game of cricket, you can’t use heavy weighted rods to catch panfish or bass.

The fishes in ice water are much calmer than the ones in open water, which is why finding the right type of rod based on the fish you’re aiming to catch, is essential.

The best ice fishing rod for panfish would be extremely ultralight, enabling a fast action process. Bass and perch can be caught by lightweight rods whereas pike and musky can be hooked through heavy weighted rods only. Medium weighted rods are the best walleye ice fishing rod.

5. Rod Actions

All this while we’ve been talking about rod actions and if you don’t know what it means, then read ahead to get an overview about it. Action is the pace at which the rod transitions back to a neutral position.

The Action speed is often affected by certain factors, such as length, weight and other materials used in the blank. The action of the rod could alter if the weight of the fish is greater or less than the given casting weight.

In order to ace ice fishing, you need to strategize the type of action you would prefer. The best ice fishing rod would allow you to feel every tug, enabling you to hook the fish faster.

  • Fast action rods – Bends only at the tip
  • Medium action rods – Bends from the middle of the blank
  • Slow action rods – Bends from the bottom of the handle

A slow action rod would bend the rod a lot, which might increase the chances of the fish getting away with the bait. Hence, in ice fishing, the ideal choice is to use fast action rods in order to be aware of any nibbles.


For all those amateur at fishing, or those who aren’t much aware about fishing, exploring the different types of fish and fishing rods available would be beneficial. Take all the initial considerations and then look at our list of product reviews to choose the best ice-fishing rod that fits those considerations.

Yet, don’t make a mistake, ice fishing takes thinking, detailed preparation and training not just for performance and relaxation, but also for personal health.

Every year, many ice fishers fall prey to sometimes embarrassing and painful consequences due to inadequate planning and poor judgment, along with ill-advised clothing and equipment on the ice. Hence, before you dive your rod in, research and become aware of the field.

Gearing up accounts for only half the race. Go fish and finish it with a gratifying victory!

FAQs on Ice Fishing Rods

1. Can You Use An Ice Fishing Rod For Regular Fishing?

Definitely, yes. You can easily opt for a regular fishing rod to try your hand at ice fishing. However, there are certain advantages that a rod specifically designed for ice fishing can bring. The best ice fishing rod would factor in the ideal rod weight, material and action essential to fish in the ice.

2. Do You Need A Special Line For Ice Fishing?

In addition to ice fishing rods, there are special lines available in the market that wouldn’t break under cold conditions. While you can’t use a regular fishing line, a great alternative would be a line that has low memory and is strong but not too visible.

3. Why Are Ice Fishing Rods Shorter In Length?

Ideally, ice fishing requires a shorter rod in order to equip the ice anger with increased sensitivity. And if you’re especially looking to catch smaller fish, then a lightweight short rod would be the best ice fishing pole to alert you with the tiniest tugs and nibbles.

4. How Do I Choose The Best Walleye Ice Fishing Rod?

When aiming to catch medium to heavy weighted fish such as walleye and trout, you would want to invest in rods that are moderately heavy weighted and favour a medium action pace.