Tackle for winter fishing. Fishing rods and accessories on a wooden table. Top view

How to Choose the Right Ice Fishing Rod

In the history of ice fishing, ice fishing rods have come a long way.  Just like anything else, there are a lot to choose from.  The fishing rod you decide to bring out in your skid house depends on where you are fishing and what you are fishing for. Also, every fisherman has their own personal preference. Here are a few tips on how to choose the right ice fishing rod for you.

Targeted Species

The species of fish you are trying to catch is the deciding factor on what ice rod is right for you. Also, the strength of your line is significant, too. Read how to choose what ice fishing line is best for you.

  • Ultra-light Rods: Panfish
  • Light Rods: Bass, Perch, Panfish
  • Medium Rods: Walleye, Pickerel, Trout
  • Heavy Rods: Pike, Musky

Type of Rod Action

In order to catch as many fish as possible, you need to feel the slightest nibble on your lure. When you have an ice fishing rod with the right action, you are able to set the hook quickly and accurately. Fast-action rods help you feel every nibble and it handles large fish. A slow-action rod must bend a lot before you feel it.

  • Ultra-fast action: Rod bends only at the tip
  • Fast-action: Rod bends only at the tip
  • Medium-action: Rod bends to the middle of the blank
  • Slow action: Rod bends to the bottom of the handle

Rod Material

When choosing an ice fishing rod, there are three main options for rod material, graphite, composite, or fiberglass. One is not nearly better than the other, it is a personal preference. Check out the differences between the materials here.


Small ice fishing rods seem to be the perfect option because they are light and do not take up much space. Small rods are handy but do not plan to catch anything bigger than perch or panfish.

Larger ice fishing rods may be a bit more trouble to transport, but they are better for hooking large fish. But, if you are using an ice fishing shelter or fishing in a tight space, a large rod might not be the most logical decision though.

If you are ice fishing in an Ambush Skid House, you will have plenty of room for options and can store your extra rods safely in the rod holder. Check out our skid houses at a dealer near you.


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