Why Are Ice Fishing Rods So Small?

Ice fisherman using a short rod

If you love fishing and have thought about using your skills for ice fishing, you can’t simply pack up the gear you have and head out on the ice. There’s special gear you need for ice fishing, such as an ice fishing rod. But why are ice fishing rods so small?

Ice fishing rods are so small to make them simple to handle while fishing. Most ice fishermen sit to remain comfortable while ice fishing and do not need to cast the lure or bait. They simply drop the hook through the hole in the ice, which doesn’t require a long fishing rod.

Opting for a quality ice fishing rod will make for a much more enjoyable ice fishing experience as you won’t be battling with a rod that’s too large. 

Ice fisherman using a short rod

Why Are Ice Fishing Rods So Small?

An ice fishing rod is as small as it allows the line to go into the water as it needs to, but also makes it easier to handle while sitting down. A seated position is best for ice fishing to see what’s going on under the water. 

You don’t need to be able to cast your rod out long distances when ice fishing, either. Having a rod longer than the standard 28-30 inches for ice fishing is unnecessary. In fact, it would make it much more difficult to go ice fishing with a standard fishing pole that is 6 feet long.

How Do Ice Fishing Rods Work?

The overall design of an ice fishing rod is similar to a normal fishing rod, with a rod, a line, and a reel. You can use any line, but consider using fishing lines designed for ice fishing. 

When you drop your line into the water through the ice, you want to easily move the line up and down so fish will notice the bait. The type of bait you use will depend on where you’re fishing and what fish you could potentially catch there. 

Ultralight ice fishing rod

Can You Ice Fish With A Normal Rod?

Technically, some normal fishing rods could work when ice fishing. However, a jigger rod, or ice fishing rod, is much easier to handle for this particular sport. Normal rods are much longer, so it’s hard to sit and wait for a fish to bite when trying to hold a normal rod. Can You Use an Ice Fishing Rod for Regular Fishing? [Expert Advice] goes into further detail on this topic.

An ice fishing rod tends to have a little more give to it since it’s smaller and lighter, making it much easier to tell that a fish is caught on the line. This is especially important for ice fishing as fish tend to slow down in winter due to the cold. 

What Length Ice Rod Is Best?

Most fishing rods for ice fishing measure between 28 and 30 inches long. Some ice fishing rods can be found as little as 18 or 20 inches long. Ultimately, the length you choose will depend on the fish you want to catch and what’s available at your ice fishing spot of choice. 

What Kind Of Fish Can You Catch Ice Fishing?

The types of fish you find will depend on where you dish, but generally speaking, there’s a lot more variety than you might expect. Some fish many ice fishers enjoy catching are perch, pike, small trout, bluegill, or walleye. 

Since these fish vary in weight, many ice fishers will bring a couple of ice fishing rods with different weights so they can switch as they try to catch bigger fish. 

Old Man Safely Ice Fishing

How To Find A Good Ice Fishing Rod

An ice fishing rod should fit within the standard length so you can get close to the ice and feel the pull of your catch. You want a rod you can get a solid grip on, as pulling a fish out of ice water can be much harder than it seems. 

You should also consider the material the rod is made from. Fiberglass or composite rods are a favorite of many ice fishers because they’re easy to handle but can also withstand freezing temperatures.

There are different levels of sensitivity that you can find for ice fishing rods. The type you want will depend on the type of fish you’re looking to catch. You can find super lightweight ice fishing rods to heavy rods.