As any ice angler knows, all ice fishing poles are different. Some are better for one objective or another, and some are good for several at once.
No matter what, though, there’s no doubt that it’s essential that your ice fishing pole functions properly. It’s the one tool that is a necessity since, without it, you obviously can’t even fish.
With that in mind, this is the item you need to make absolutely sure won’t fail you and will go above and beyond for you. We’re here to guide you and show you the best of the best ice fishing poles you can get your hands on. Without further ado, let’s explore the list!
Our Top Picks
Best Overall Ice Fishing Pole:
13 FISHING FreeFall Ghost Radioactive Pickle Ice Combo
Best Budget Ice Fishing Pole:
Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo
Most Versatile Ice Fishing Pole:
KastKing Konvert Ice Fishing Rods Twin Tip
1. Best Overall: 13 FISHING FreeFall Ghost Radioactive Pickle Ice Combo
The 13 FISHING – FreeFall Ghost Radioactive Pickle Ice Combo is the best ice fishing pole on the market right now. Not only that, but it’s also one of the best-looking ones as well.
Made of high-quality materials from a good brand, there’s no way you can go wrong with this ice fishing pole. It checks all the boxes for what makes a good ice fishing pole with durable materials and made with good quality.
Its radioactive pickle color is also beautiful. With this pole, you’ll not only have a fantastic and reliable product, but you’ll look good with it too. The 13 FISHING – FreeFall Ghost Radioactive Pickle Ice Combo has a solid set of features to make it an excellent choice you can rely on.
It is made of composite and carbon fiber, along with other materials like steel for the reel. The mix of composite and carbon fiber on the pole allows for it to be both flexible and durable at the same time.
The reel is a 3+1 ball-bearing inline reel that enables smooth reeling that works well for fish of any weight you’ll find while ice fishing. The reel also includes anti-reverse, which decreases the chance it’ll ever break.
The thin wire line guides are a durable feature that also reduces the weight of the pole. The tip of the pole is also high-vis, able to be seen at all hours in case of emergencies.
- Made of durable materials in a high-quality fashion
- Comes with the reel
- Has multiple size and weight options
- Is available for both righties and lefties
- Comes in a stylish color
- Higher price point than most on the list
2. Best Budget Pole: Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo
The Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo is our choice for those who have no desire to break the bank for an ice fishing pole they can rely on.
The Ugly Stik is a rod that’s been around the fishing game for quite a while, and the Shakespeare brand is along with it. This is a rod you’ve most likely seen before at a store or in someone’s hand.
This new version is an improvement on previous iterations and will be as much of a joy to use as ever before. Coming with great features and made from a good brand, this pole will be sure to make anyone happy.
The pole comes with a size 20 Ugly Stik GX2 spinning reel designed for ice fishing use. It’s a perfectly suited option for all your ice fishing needs, with one ball-bearing and an aluminum spool for easy line adjustment.
It also has a high-vis white tip that’s easily seen and also features Ugly Stik’s signature blank. The reel seat features an easy-to-use twist lock and EVA foam handles. EVA foam is the foam used in the comfiest running shoes, so these handles will feel nice in your hands as well as easy to grip.
The pole has stainless steel line guides, which are the industry standard and have been a reliable guide choice for many years.
- A reliable style of ice fishing pole that has been around for a while
- Comes with a reel perfectly suited to ice fishing
- EVA foam handles make for a comfortable grip compared to some options
- It’s a pole that has many different iterations and has been relied upon for years
- Aluminum is a “hit or miss” material when it comes to durability
3. Most Versatile: KastKing Konvert Ice Fishing Rods Twin Tip
The KastKing Konvert Ice Fishing Rods Twin Tip is one of the most versatile ice fishing poles you can buy.
This offering from KastKing is a sturdy and versatile option that will serve you well. The pole doesn’t come with a reel, but that just means you can get your own reel on the market without being locked into a stock choice.
It hardly matters that it doesn’t come with a reel because this pole has more than enough features to make up for the deficit.
The KastKing Konvert Ice Fishing Rods Twin Tip’s main feature, as you might imagine, is its interchangeable set of tips. One is considered “medium,” and the other “medium light.”
The pole is made of IM6 graphite blank, which in layman’s terms, allows you to have maximum bite sensitivity while keeping the pole durable. The tips also feature high-vis chartreuse, making it visible at all times.
Since you can remove the tips of the poles, it also makes this rod very easy to store. Just dismantle it and stow it in any space.
Lastly, the pole also comes with a convenient storage case to protect and hold the item while you aren’t out fishing.
- Accessible price point while remaining high quality
- Versatility in the form of interchangeable tips
- Made from a trusted brand
- You can fit the reel of your choice into it
- The need to buy a reel raises the amount you’ll end up paying more than you would for a pole and reel set
4. 13 FISHING Tickle Stick
13 FISHING’s second appearance on this list, the tickle stick is an ice fishing pole that absolutely earns its spot as one of the best out there, thanks to its durability.
It’s a rod known for its good sensibility and excellent durability that is all thanks to its manner of construction and the materials the company used to achieve the final product.
It has a collection of nice features as well to go along with its toughness, and it’s also a nice-looking product thanks to its use of Portuguese cork in the reel seat. The tickle stick features a reel seat made with hand-selected 3A Portuguese cork, which is a fantastic choice for durability while also being very aesthetically pleasing.
As with most poles these days, it features a high-vis tip that can be seen anytime, anywhere. The PC2 linear fibers allow for the rod to have a flat tip, which increases rod sensitivity for an easier fish feel and also increases durability because it keeps rigidity when the rod bends.
The thin wire guides are the same ones that feature on our best overall pick. These line guides combine durability and lightness in a unique way.
- Incredibly durable thanks to the way it was built and what was used to build it
- A flat tip increases durability and sensitivity
- Portuguese cork reel seat combines style and durability in a different way from what you see these days
- You have to buy your own reel which makes it more expensive
5. ST. CROIX ROD Premier Ice Fishing Rod & Reel Spinning Combo
The ST. CROIX ROD Premier Ice Fishing Rod & Reel Spinning Combo is an incredible ice fishing pole that has just about everything you would want in a reliable pole.
It’s durable, comes with a reel, is sensitive, and is made from good materials. It’s an excellent product you won’t regret adding to your arsenal. The price point is a bit steep, especially considering its position on the list, but rest assured, it’s worth the money. It has some great features and is just a great ice fishing pole.
The ST. CROIX ROD Premier Ice Fishing Rod & Reel Spinning Combo comes with a PIC 500 that has two ball bearings for smooth reeling. It also has an aluminum spool and an aluminum folding arm that is coated with special grease for the cold.
The blank of the pole is made entirely of carbon. This makes it very sensitive to bites and incredibly durable all at the same time. The line guides are made of durable and hardy stainless steel. While not as lightweight of an option as other poles have on this list, it is very reliable when it comes to durability.
- Durable and sensitive as a result of its carbon blank
- Very good quality materials you can rely on to last
- Comes with a good reel that has two ball bearings and other features suited to the cold
- Higher price point compared to others and for what it is
6. PLUSINNO Ice Fishing Rod
Last but certainly not on this list of the best ice fishing poles is the PLUSINNO Ice Fishing Rod. A good pole at a solid price point, this is an excellent option for most beginner ice fishermen who are just getting into it.
It’s made with the cold weather exclusively in mind. This option is perfect for catching the most popular ice-fishing targets like walleye and crappie. If you’re looking to start ice fishing or are looking for a gift for that someone who just got hooked on the sport, this is a product where you can’t go wrong.
The PLUSINNO Ice Fishing Rod comes in different sizes, and they also recommend which sizes are best for which type of ice fishing you’re doing. The pole is made of a fiberglass composite that is both durable and sensitive. The reel is made of 3+1 bearings and has slow actions increasing its durability and making for smooth reeling.
The handle is made from a mix of EVA foam and cork, which offers durability, comfort, and, most importantly, a steady and reliable grip. It also features standard but durable stainless steel line guides.
Lastly, this rod has a high-vis tip so it can be seen at all hours of the day and night in case you need to be seen.
- Great price point considering its features
- The reel is smooth and forgiving with its slow action
- Comes in a variety of sizes that have recommended uses so beginners know what to get
- Fiberglass while a good material isn’t on the same level as carbon in terms of durability
- Might be too low level for people with more experience
What to Look For in a Good Ice Fishing Pole
A quality ice fishing pole should be durable but sensitive so that you can feel the fish bite.
A good pole will also be made of reliable materials like carbon and will have no shortcuts in its construction. It’ll be made with attention to detail and, in some cases, with innovations that’ll improve upon tradition.
High-vis paint on the tip of the rod is something that can save you if you ever find yourself in an emergency situation while out fishing. It increases your visibility in conditions where visibility is low.
While this may seem basic, some poles just don’t come with a reel. Not that it’s a bad thing, but if you’re looking to save money then your pole has to come with the reel installed.
While installing your own reel has its benefits, such as you being able to buy the perfect reel, buying your own reel will ultimately be a bigger investment.
Get Your Hands on the Best Ice Fishing Pole for Your Ice Fishing Expedition
Your Ice Fishing Pole is the most essential item in your arsenal. You literally can’t fish without it, so you might as well make this the biggest investment in your gear kit.
There are many different ice fishing poles out there, and all are of significantly differing qualities. Some feature more durable materials, others more sensitive, some bring a reel, and some don’t.
Some poles have been made the same way for many years, and there are others with brand-new takes. No matter what the case is, it’s important that you are able to count on your ice fishing pole when you need it most.
We hope our guide has led you to the pole that can do just that. Need some more Minnesota gear? Trust our recommendations to guide your next shopping trip!
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