When trying to catch walleye while ice fishing, you need to use a very particular kind of rod. This is because you need gear that can balance out your need for sensitivity and power. It is these requirements that set us off on our journey to find the best walleye ice fishing rod.
While ice fishing is a popular pastime, information regarding the activity can be rather scant. Due to this, we put together a guide that would review the top picks on the market as well as show you how to shop for your own rod. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Best Walleye Ice Fishing Rods
What to Look for in an Ice Fishing Rod for Walleye
These are the features that you need to examine closely before purchasing any rod for fishing for walleye in icy conditions:
The Type of Rod
When it comes to ice fishing, the most popular technique used is jigging. Due to this, you have three types of rods to select from – ice fishing rods, jigging rods, and spinning rods. You will find that these rods often meet the specs that you require from rods for walleye.
Nonetheless, it should be noted that types within these categories of rods don’t matter all that much. Rather, it is important to consider the performance of each rod. This will prove to be a much better factor in determining just how much success you will have with a particular rod.
Read : Trolling for walleye
Now, when selecting ice fishing rods for walleye, your two main options are fiberglass and graphite blanks. These hold up best in ice fishing conditions. However, before you select one you should think about the sensitivity of each rod.
As mentioned, sensitivity is key when it comes to catching walleye during the winter season. This is why, more often than not, you will find that graphite rods are your best option. These are lightweight and offer up the best sensitivity.
This doesn’t mean that fiberglass rods are out of the running, though. Stiffer fiberglass rods are composed of less material, making them lightweight. In turn, this allows vibrations from the end of the line to be transmitted more effectively through the rod.
Worth a read : Best ice fishing lures
When ice fishing, it can be difficult to state which length is best for all anglers. This is because the length will be determined by where and how you are ice fishing. For instance, if you are ice fishing in an ice shelter, then you have to be aware of the smaller dimensions of your fishing space.
In the above scenario, you are going to need a shorter rod. So, you should pick out a rod that is between 32 and 36 inches in length. You can even go shorter, depending on your technique. Some anglers will even select rods that are around 26 or 28 inches long.
This length allows you to execute a variety of maneuvers while also ensuring that you maintain a more comfortable position.
If you aren’t fishing from inside a covered area, then you don’t have to follow such rules. You can select rods that are greater than 40 inches in length as well. Just keep in mind that you do need to maintain sensitivity so avoid selecting an overly long rod for this reason.
Read Also : Walleye fishing tips
There are two things to focus on when selecting the action of your rod. The first is the light bites that you can expect from the walleye and your fishing technique which will undoubtedly be jigging. When you take these two elements into consideration, then the action of your rod becomes easier to discern.
In short, you need a rod that has a faster action. Such a rod will make it easier to detect a nibble of a walleye more easily and making it simpler to get the hook set as well.
Don’t forget to read : Best ice fishing bibs.
Finally, you need to consider the power. Since you will be jigging, it is best to select a rod with a medium or medium-heavy power. This is because this kind of power gives you the best of both worlds. On the one hand, it complements the fast action of the rod. At the same time, it also ensures that the backbone is tough enough to endure some of the bigger walleye.
The Top Walleye Ice Fishing Rod Reviews
Now that you know what to look for, here are the walleye ice fishing rods that made the cut:
13 Fishing Widow Maker Rod
- High Performance 36Ton Solid Body Toray Graphite Blank
- High Performance 36Ton Solid Body Toray Graphite Blank
- Hand Selected 5A Portuguese Cork Handle
- ALPS Thin Wire Double Diamond Coated Guides
- High Performance 36Ton Solid Body Toray Graphite Blank
If you want an affordable rod that offers a memorable performance, then this is certainly the rod that you should be reaching for.
- Rod Length Variety: there are both shorter and longer rods to choose from with this brand, allowing you to select exactly what you need.
- Excellent Sensitivity: the graphite blank combined with the well-designed reel ensures that the sensitivity is off the charts with this rod.
- High Quality Components: from double diamond coated guides to a Portuguese cork handle, this rod is chock-full of high quality and durable components.
- Poor Power Choices: the shorter rods don’t have the right power required for ice fishing with walleye.
Berkley Lightning Rod Combo
- 20 size spinning reel
- Aluminum ported spool
- Blanks designed with a unique combination of strength and sensitivity
- Full cork handles utilizing hidden thread technology to reduce wear and tear on your fingers
If you are just getting started with ice fishing and aren’t looking to make an investment, then this rod and reel combo will be right for you.
It offers up a good performance while still going easy on your wallet.
- Good Sensitivity: while it is made from fiberglass, this blank is lightweight and incredibly responsive. As a result, it transmits vibrations well, increasing the overall sensitivity of the rod.
- Good Power and Performance: with a selection of medium, medium-light, and medium-heavy, you can find a rod that offers up just the kind of performance you are looking for depending on your fishing technique.
- Rods for Indoors and Outdoors: there are a wide variety of rod lengths ensuring that you will find something regardless of where you are planning on ice fishing.
- Comfortable: the well-designed cork handles make this a very comfortable rod to hold.
- Questionable Durability: this isn’t the most durable rod on the list so it can be difficult to know how long it can hold up.
Fenwick Elite Tech Ice Fishing Spinning Rod
- 100% High Modulus Graphite Blanks
- Smoked Stainless Steel Guides
- Zirconium Oxide Inserts
- Down Locking Reel Seat
This a rod that boasts both high-quality features as well as an excellent performance. It is certainly a rod that you need in your collection when fishing for walleyes in icy conditions.
- Great Sensitivity: the high modulus graphite blank doesn’t just mean that this rod is lightweight, it also ensures that it is incredibly sensitive.
- High-Quality Features: this rod comes equipped with smoked stainless steel guides with Zirconium oxide inserts that will work well in cold conditions.
- Good for Indoor Ice Fishing: there are plenty of lengths and actions to choose from, making it easier for you to fish indoors comfortably.
- Delicate Tip: the tip may be susceptible to breaking.
St. Croix Mojo Series Ice Fishing Rod
- VARIETY OF FISHING STYLES - Suited for a variety of fishing styles and techniques for panfish,...
- PRECISION-TAPER SOLID CARBON BLANK - Precision-taper solid carbon provides an ideal combination of...
- SEA GUIDE STAINLESS-STEEL GUIDES - The fishing rod boasts Sea Guide lightweight durable...
- SPLIT-GRIP EVA HANDLE - A custom reel-seat and split grip handle give this rod enhanced sensitivity...
- HANDCRAFTED ICE FISHING ROD - Designed in Park Falls and handcrafted in Fresnillo, Mexico for...
Durable and well-designed, this is an ice fishing rod that is versatile enough for a wide variety of fishing techniques.
As a result, you are sure to snag quite a few walleye with this rod in hand.
- Lightweight and Sensitive: with a precision taper solid carbon blank, this rod is as sensitive as it is lightweight. You will be able to detect even the tiniest of nibbles with it.
- Great Variety: there are plenty of lengths to choose from. So, whether you want to fish indoors or outdoors, you will be covered.
- Good Components: with custom reel seats, stainless guides, and a split handle, this is a rod that has been built to last you quite a while.
- Limited Power Options: with longer rods, you don’t have nearly as many power options to choose from.
Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Rod Combo
- Size 20 spinning reel suited for ice applications
- Ported aluminum spool
- Genuine ugly Stik blank with clear tip design
- Twist-lock reel seat with EVA handles
- One-piece stainless steel guides
If you want quality that you can trust, then this is the rod to go with. It is sure to accommodate you, regardless of your fishing technique.
- Good Sensitivity: the Ugly Stik blank and clear tip design mean that the vibrations are translated well from tip to your handle. So, every nibble will be picked up.
- Durable: the rod and its components such as the stainless steel guides have been designed to last through harsh conditions.
- Good Overall Performance: all of the components work well together to ensure that you find it easier to snag walleye.
- Mediocre Reel: the reel isn’t quite as good as the rod.
If you are looking for a more tailor-made fishing rod when ice fishing for walleye, then this will tick all of the boxes for this activity.
- Designed for Jigging: this rod has been specifically designed for walleye jigs which means that you will be able to execute your technique with greater efficiency.
- Excellent Sensitivity: this rod boasts a carbon blank and a handle. As a result, the sensitivity is off the charts and you can pick up on even the gentlest nibble without any problem.
- Good Rod Lengths: there are plenty of rod lengths to choose from whether you are fishing indoors or outdoors.
- Limited Power with Longer Rods: there aren’t as many rod power options to choose from.
The Best Walleye Fishing Rod
All of the rods in this list perform to the highest level. Still, there is one that really stands out from the rest. This would be the St Croix Mojo Series ice fishing rod.
It has been built to offer up the sensitivity and durability that walleye fishing – especially in the wintertime – demands. The high-quality components also work well together to provide all-round impressive performance.
Here are some of the more frequently asked questions regarding walleye ice fishing rods:
Do I Need a Special Rod for Walleye When Ice Fishing?
It is best to buy either an ice fishing rod, jigging rod, or spinning rod when ice fishing. This can increase the likelihood of you catching walleye.
What Is the Best Rod for Walleye Ice Fishing?
There are a number of great rods for walleye. However, currently, the St Croix Mojo Series ice fishing rod is at the top of the list.
How Long Should My Ice Fishing Rod Be?
The length depends on where you are ice fishing. For indoors, pick a rod that is less than 36 inches. For outdoors, there is no limit.
What are the Most Important Features in a Walleye Ice Fishing Rod?
Sensitivity and durability are two of the most important factors to look for in this kind of fishing rod.
What Makes an Ice Fishing Rod Sensitive?
Shorter lengths, fast action, and a lightweight blank are some of the elements that allow your ice fishing rod to be lighter.
These are the main things that you need to know when selecting an ice fishing rod. With all of the tips and suggestions here, making a choice would be simple.
This page was last updated on 2022-08-29. Affiliate links and Product Images are from Amazon PAAPI