At a Glance: Ice Rods
Ice rods offer all the features of open-water fishing rods, but in shorter versions designed for anglers who target fish offshore in ice huts rather than motor boats or kayaks. The harsh elements of hard water fishing require strong, often heavy equipment. The fish, however, require lightweight, sensitive rods to show the angler the lightest of bites from finicky fish with slower metabolisms in cold water. This isn’t to say all ice rods need to be featherweight, as there are plenty of large, active fish available throughout the Ice Belt. Many ice rods feature super-sensitive, ribbon-thin tips or have spring-bobbers attached to provide that tell-tale bend we all want to see. They also have stiff backbones to handle the fight once a large fish is hooked. Ice rods are available as short as 18 inches for tight quarters in an ice hut, and as long as 48 inches for hole-hopping looking for the schools of fish as they move about. With rod powers ranging from super ultra-light for panfish to extra-heavy rods for pike and lake trout, ice anglers can pack multiple rods for multiple species while remaining very mobile. From softer epoxies which won’t crack in the coldest temperatures, to a variety of handle configurations allowing for near customization of the reel location, ice rods offer sensitivity, strength, and versatility just like their open-water counterparts. Whatever the size of the fish or the size of lures being used, by Fall the FishUSA warehouse is transitioning out of mainly open-water tackle and is filled with ice rod options for all species.
The most popular brands of ice rods at FishUSA are Clam, HT Enterprises, Fenwick, St.Croix and 13 Fishing.