Choosing the Perfect Ice Fishing Rod and Reel Combo – 7 Pro Tips

If you are heading out on the ice, then getting good basic gear is important. While you could purchase rods and reels separately, combos are a good way to go as well. A fishing rod and reel combo ensure that the two items work together well.  Your rod and reel are going to be used vertically and are designed specifically for that, especially when using a combo purchase. Finding the right combo means there is a greater chance that the fishing trip will be a success.

Pro Tips to Choosing a Good Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

There are some features to look for when choosing the perfect ice fishing rod and reel combo for on ice activities. If the following features aren’t listed in the rod and reel product description,then do some research to make sure you get all the features you need from a combo that works with your budget.

  1. Good Grip – Ice fishing is a pretty hands-on sport. You want to be able to hold the rod and reel easily. Choose an ice fishing rod that has a quality handle. Most people prefer cork over foam or plastic as it is durable, warm, and sensitive to line movement.
  2. Sensitivity – This is another tip that pros will suggest. Because fish are under the ice, they are harder to detect. Pulls on the line need to be felt through the rod and reel. Look for combos with high sensitivity ranking. This applies to the rod, reel and line.
  3. Rods – When you are choosing the perfect rod and reel combo, it’s important to look at the materials they are made out of. Rod goes beyond the grip. The rod needs to be strong and light while having a certain level of sensitivity. Carbon, fiberglass and graphite are all good choices. If you want sensitivity, then go with fiberglass. Graphite will give you strength. Combination material will give you a balance of both.
  4. Reels –There are different reels for different types of fish, so you want your combo to target the ones being watched for. In-line, spinning, and bait casters are great for out on the ice. They are lighter and they make sure the lines won’t twist. The ice reel is great for small fish and the bait caster for the larger ones. However, bait casters are not used very often for ice fishing. Look for a bearing number so you know how many ball bearings there are. They help detect friction on the line. Go with the higher bearing number for better casting and reeling.
  5. Size – Combo rods can be found in various lengths. You need one that suits your comfort and needs. If you are in a shelter then a shorter one (26-30”) may be better but if out in the open, then longer ones are good as well.
  6. Fast Action Tip – These are found on newer combos. They allow the angler to get better hit detection, flexibility and also makes the rod more sensitive.
  7. Price – Finding the perfect ice fishing reel and rod combo doesn’t have to expensive. There are lots of affordable combos that have the features you want. If you can spend some extra money, then it will be worth it, but there is no need to go for the most expensive.

Some Top Rated Ice Fishing Rod and Reel Combos

Now that you have gone through the pro tips, it’s time to look at some rod and reel combos that will enhance fishing time out on the ice. These are quality combos that have been made well and offer good performance. There is something that will meet all fishing needs, as well as making sure that they fit the budget as well.

Fishing Rod And Reel Combos

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo

This is a high-quality rod and reel that is not only well known in the angling world, but is also more than affordable. It has a good balance,light feel, and has a smooth reel. The stainless steel guides are one piece, and the ported aluminum spool is perfect for cold-weather fishing. Its EVA handle offers comfort as well. Its size 20 spinning reel sits in a twist-lock reel seat. A good product at a great price.

13 Fishing Radioactive Pickle Ice Combos

This combo has a Freefall ghost reel and Tickle Stick rod. The rod has a flat tip blank with a high visibility tip. The handle is a high-density split grip. The Ghost reel has a freefall drop lever and anti-reverse. The gear ratio is 2.5:1 and there are 3+1 ball bearings. The frame is made of a high strength composite so it’s not only sturdy but agile and light.

13 Fishing Wicked Ice Combos

This Toray graphite blank is exceptionally light and sensitive for even the softest strike. It is also strong enough to pull in the big fish, too. It has an Evolve carbon reel seat and good guides. The reel is also light and has 5 ball bears and anti-reverse. The handle is great for gloves, as it has a long stem design. It comes with Defrost reel lube as well. It’s not overly expensive, so it won’t break the bank.

Final Thoughts

Ice fishing is one of the most popular winter activities. To make it successful and enjoyable, it’s important to have good quality equipment. This doesn’t mean it has to be the most expensive, but buying low-end is probably not the best way to go if you are going to be out on the ice a lot. You want gear that is good in the snow, cold, and wet weather conditions. A good ice fishing rod and reel combo can offer good equipment at a reasonable price. It gives you both versatility and convenience. Make sure to look through the pro tips to make sure you purchase the one that is best for you.