For a great ice fishing expedition, you need to invest in the right fishing rod. With all the choices out there, it can be overwhelming to decide on the right one that suits your needs. A good ice fishing line can make all the difference between getting your catch and coming up empty especially in the winter months when fish are less active during this season.
Fishing rods have over the past years gone through upgrades to make them more efficient and safer to use. There is a common misconception among fishing enthusiasts that the reel is more important than the rod. That is far from the truth as the rod helps you to feel the bites, set hook and reel.
Before purchasing an ice fishing rod, it’s good to know the type of fish you will be catching and the type of fishing you are going to do. After making these decisions, you can make an informed choice in investing the right rod. For instance, if you are going for big fish like pike, a heavy rod will work best whereas a light to medium rod will catch panfish just fine.
Here are tips to help you get a great ice rod for your fishing trips:-
Get a Rod made of a Durable Material
A good rod should be able to withstand the strain exerted on both ends of the line (the hand side and the tip with the bait). Anyone who fishes a lot knows that fish put a good fight upon being baited and the bigger the catch, the more the struggle. So, your rod should be made from a strong substance that can withstand the forces exerted on it.
Fishing rods are made of fiberglass, carbon fiber and graphite. All these materials are strong, durable and offer some unique advantages. Graphite is very responsive and light, qualities a good rod should have. This material has the power to hold on to larger fish without bending. The downside is that graphite is very expensive so expect to pay more for the rod.
Fiberglass is a flexible and durable material that is affordable which is why many brands make rods out of this product. Additionally, fiberglass is not affected by cold temperatures making it ideal for ice fishing rods. Carbon fiber is another material that is used in fishing rods. It’s light, strong and very sensitive. However, rods made out of carbon fiber are more expensive than those made from graphite and fiberglass.
Get the Right Length of the Ice Fishing Rod
Ice rod lengths run from 18 to 48 inches with the most common range being 30 inches. You should get a rod with the right length based on the type of fish you are targeting. Shorter rods work perfectly for small types of fish, but if you are planning to hunt big fish, we recommend you get rods 30 inches and above.
Generally long rods are better because they absorb shakes and hard hook sets and are more balanced. On the downside, long rods are difficult to work with in small spaces like fishing huts. Short rods are best suitable for fishing in small spaces, but they can put a lot of the strain on the arm as the angler has to bear the tension of the fight with the fish once baited. We recommend you go for medium length rods ranging from 28 to 34 inches. They are long enough to bait bigger fish and won’t put a lot of strain on your arms.
Power of the Rod
The power of the rod refers to how the rod endures pressure before it starts bending. The weight of the rod determines its strength meaning heavier rods are stronger than the lighter ones. Additionally, the rod weight often correlates with the diameter of the rod, so, thick rods tend to be stronger.
Ice fishing rods can be categorized depending on the level of strength they have. They can be:
• Ultra light
One rod won’t land them all, so the best rod for your needs will be influenced by the type of fish you are after as well as your fishing style.
Heavy rods are best for the big game while light rods are work best on small catches. Ultimately, your best bet is to get a rod of medium power if you are not sure or new to ice fishing; it’s a sufficient rod that can be used on both small and bigger fish.
Get an Ice Rod with the Right Fishing Reel
The size of a fishing reel on your rod adversely affects its balance. Get a light reel as it will be comfortable when jiggling all day long and it’s more sensitive. You can easily miss your mark if your rod is not well synchronized. If you are buying your first ice rod, its best to choose a graphite one that is light. Most rods come outfitted with suitable reels. However, you can buy the reel separately and assemble the line for yourself.
Get a Rod with Big Guides
Having bigger guides (eyes) on your rod gets you better performance. These guides ensure a uniform rod bend for better performance and shock absorption. A minimum of 4 guides work just fine, but six guides are better for long rods and should taper towards the tip of the fishing rod.
Large guides are better suited for out-door fishing because they won’t freeze up quickly. Less ice on the line means that the line doesn’t lose its sensitivity giving you an easy time when fishing. Such a rod will cost more but will perform exceptionally when reeling up and dropping bait.
Get multiple rods
One size doesn’t fit all. Seasoned fisherman will have at least two or more rods when stepping out to fish. Because you don’t know with certainty if you are going to land a small or big catch, it’s a great idea to have two types of rods, for instance, a short and long rod, so you are prepared for either occasion. Extremely cold temperatures can cause rods to break, so a backup is a must if you are on a long fishing trip.
We know that narrowing down your choices can be exhausting. But if you choose a rod based on your needs, we have no doubt you will get the right rod to make your fishing experience more productive and enjoyable.