When you start ice fishing, all of the gear available can make things confusing with ice fishing rods being one of the most confusing. They’re not quite like your average fishing rods so there’s a little bit more you need to know.
There are several factors to consider and features to look at before you throw your money at one. One thing’s for sure, you need a high-quality ice fishing rod if you want to catch any fish this winter.
Let’s learn all about ice fishing rods and everything you need to know before you buy one.
One of the most important aspects of an ice fishing rod (or any fishing rod, really) is the material it’s made from. High-quality material means your rod is going to stand up to the toughest fish. Otherwise, there’s always a risk it can snap in half.
Most ice fishing rods are made out of two materials – fiberglass and graphite – or composite blends of materials.
Graphite fishing rods are lightweight and easy to use. They have increased sensitivity so setting the hook on these rods works better. Fast-action graphite is an even better choice. The tip is super sensitive and there’s a sturdy blank to prevent fish from taking off.
But graphite fishing rods are more expensive than fiberglass rods and graphite doesn’t do so well in below-freezing temperatures.
Fiberglass fishing rods are super durable and remain strong in the coldest of weather. They also have great flexibility which gives you a wide range to work with so you can set the hook. Plus, the superior flexibility of the blank makes it strong enough to catch the biggest fish.
Carbon fiber is even more durable than fiberglass but it’s still lightweight. Even with increased durability, it keeps tip sensitivity. That said, carbon fiber is the most expensive ice fishing rod option.
Each fishing rod has a different level of power. When speaking of power, we’re talking about the amount of pressure the rod can take before it starts bending. The power of the rod determines what type of fish you can catch with it. So, to decide what power you need in your rod, you need to decide what type of fish you’re going for.
There are four main rod powers which include: ultra-light, light, medium, and heavy. The weight of the fish determines the rod power you need. Ultra-light rods are perfect for panfish. Light rods work well for bass and perch. Medium rods are great for walleye and trout and heavy rods can handle heavy fish like pikes or lake trout.
The action of an ice fishing rod is where the blank flexes when a fish is on the line. If rods didn’t have action, you’d have to hold onto it the entire time you’re out ice fishing.
First, there are slow-action fishing rods. They bend at the bottom of the handle. For you to notice there’s a fish on the line, the fish has to pull the line at least an inch. These aren’t the best rods if you want to relax. This isn’t a good attribute for ice fishing. If the fish is already that far away, they have a great chance of escaping the line.
Medium-action rods bend in the middle of the rod or the blank. They work well if you use minnows.
Ultra-fast rods and fast-action rods bend at the tip. They are more sensitive and all it takes is a nibble on the line for it to bend. When they do, it provides the strength you need to fight any sized fish. It’s not going to break when a fish bites the line or when you’re out there trying to reel that fish in.
If the rod action isn’t advertised, it’s easy to check out what the action is. Hold the handle in your dominant hand. With your other hand, bend the tip. It’ll let you know how much pressure it can take and where it’s going to bend.
So, what size ice fishing rod should you get? It can be difficult to choose between a short rod and a long rod and it all depends on what size fish you want to catch.N When considering this, remember, fishing rods from the tip to the butt.
Short fishing rods are lightweight and portable. They won’t take up much room in your trunk and they’re not heavy to carry around. Plus, they save you room when you’re fishing in an ice house.
But short rods can’t catch big fish or any fish over two pounds. You have to use your arm strength to catch anything bigger and pray that your fishing line can take the pressure.
Long rods have the strength to fight the bigger fish. They absorb more shock so that makes even less work for you. But there are downsides to long rods, too. They’re heavier and can be a pain to carry around. If you fish in an ice house, you’re going to have very little room to work.
Rod Guides (or Rod Eyes)
Ice fishing rods have rod guides, also known as rod eyes. The number of guides on a rod determines how the rod bends and how much shock absorption it has.
The best fishing rods have at least five or six guides and should be a decent size so, if your line has some ice on it, you can still pull it through the guides.
It’s exciting when you buy your first ice fishing rod. It’s even more exciting when you get to try it out. It doesn’t have to be hard to shop for the perfect ice fishing rod. We hope these tips made things just a little bit clearer.
Source of Featured Image: canva.com