5 Best Ice fishing rods For Walleye – Reviews And Buying Guide

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How to choose the Best Walleye Ice fishing rod?  is a common question among many walleye anglers, and it is a worthy thing to be perfectly searched. Selecting the best ice fishing rod will totally improve your Fishing experience. It enables you to catch more fish and also makes it so easier and more enjoyable. Even if you don’t have much fishing experience, you will get results if you have the proper rod.

So, we will help you to choose the rod suitable for your fishing style. We did our search and we are presenting some ice fishing rods that we think are the best for walleye this year. We will clarify some important tips about how to buy a suitable rod for you, through a simple buying guide for walleye fishing rods.

5 Best Ice Fishing Rods For Walleye

an fishing rod next to a hole in the ice

In case you’re in hurry, here is our list: 

  1. 13 FISHING Widow Maker
  2. Fenwick HMG Ice Fishing Spinning Rod
  3. 13 FISHING Tickle Stick Ice Fishing Rod
  4. St. CROIX Mojo Ice Fishing Rod 
  5. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo

13 FISHING Widow Maker

The 10 Fishing Widow Maker is a well-known rod for ice fishing in general and not only for fishing walleye. It’s also available in different sizes and styles of fishing. But which one is better for walleye? 

I usually like to start my review by talking about the construction. This rod is constructed from graphite. Graphite is especially suitable for walleye fishing. It gives you the required sensitivity to feel the finest walleye bites. It’s also lightweight and strong at the same time.

The widow maker ice fishing rod comes with Cork handles. If you know me, you probably know that I am a cork handles fan. Why? Because it’s sensitive and durable. The drawback here is that it’s not as durable as EVA foam handles. They are also harder to clean. 

It also offers ALPS guides. These guides are lightweight and were designed to be used on ultralight to medium-light spinning rods. This serves you well because you will need a light to medium ice fishing rod if you want to catch some walleye. What you will like also about this rod is the versatility it offers. In addition to Walleye, you can use it for panfish and trout fishing also. 

Note: The items aren’t properly described in the pictures. Please double or triple-check the information before purchasing. 

Overall, I think that it’s a worthy fishing rod with great action and an excellent backbone. I don’t like that it somehow limited features. However, if you can afford it, I recommend it to you. Also, keep in mind that it’s better to get the 28 or 32 inches medium power versions.

Fenwick HMG Ice Fishing Spinning Rod

If you’re looking for a strong and durable rod, then the Fenwick HMG ice fishing rod is the one for you. 

Starting with the construction, Fenwick HMG is constructed from solid Carbon blank. In my opinion, graphite would have been a more suitable material for walleye fishing. The main difference between carbon and graphite is that graphite is more lightweight, but it’s also weaker and more prone to damage. Also, carbon delivers less sensitivity compared to graphite rods.

However, if you’re going to use motion detectors like bobbers or other options, you can freely depend on carbon ice fishing rods like Fenwick HMG. Sensitivity isn’t required when your using bobbers. 

I like the design of the reel seat. It was ergonomically designed to provide comfort for your hands while holding the rod. The guides are made from stainless steel. Stainless steel guides are corrosion-resistant, lightweight, and durable. There are also aluminum oxide inserts included which provide durability and smoothness for better casts.

The handles are of the Cork types just like the Widowmaker. They are sensitive and comfortable for your palms. If you’re looking for some drawbacks, then you need to know that you might face some issues while getting your reel attached. The eyes aren’t perfectly aligned with the reel seat. Also, some anglers reported that the real seat doesn’t tighten completely on the reel. You might need to use a couple of wraps of tape around it.

The rod is available in medium and medium-heavy power. I recommend getting the medium power one for walleye fishing. 

13 FISHING Tickle Stick Ice Fishing Rod

If you want a walleye ice rod that is very sensitive and enables you to feel the lightest strikes down there, then 13 Fishing Tickle Stick is one of the great rods to choose from. The Tickle Stick ie fishing rod was constructed using the PC2 linear fibers technology. It’s an abbreviation for parallel composite construction. It’s considered the main feature of this rod. But what does it mean for you?

The PC2 technology works on 2 things:

  1. Enhancing the sensitivity of the rod makes you able to feel all the bites happening in the bottom of the water.
  2. Adding more rigidity and strength to the blank of the rod results in a better hook set. 

The rod comes with Cork handles which are sensitive enough for walleye fishing. The guides are also from ALPS. As mentioned before, these guides are lightweight. They are also characterized by the pressed frame design which keeps them in place with a lightweight frame design keeping it lightweight. 

Overall, the rod is very sensitive which is a flat tip that detects the light bites. It’s suitable for fishing walleye, bass, panfish, and sheepshead. It also has enough backbone to pull large walleye species. 

ST. CROIX Mojo Ice Fishing Rod 

The premium option on our list and yet the most expensive one. St. Croix Mojo ice fishing rod offers some features that make one the best ice fishing rods on our list. Let’s start as usual by talking about the construction. This ice rod is constructed from precision taper solid carbon. The carbon is strong, and durable while being lightweight. However, it’s not as sensitive as full graphite ice rods. 

The guides in this walleye ice rod are from Sea Guide which is a well-established company in the field of rood components. They are made of stainless steel which offers corrosion resistance, durability, and lightweight. 

St Croix mojo ice fishing rod comes with an EVA handle. It’s not as quite sensitive as cork handles, yet they are more durable and easier to clean. It also comes with a split grip which is lighter in weight compared to full grips and enhances sensitivity. 

Something you will like about this rod is the versatility in fishing styles and species. You can use it to catch panfish, trout, and pike fish. 

Overall, though it’s made of carbon, this rod is sensitive enough to feel the nibbles while having enough backbone to set the hook in deep water and land some big species. 

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo

Our budget option! An ice fishing walleye rod and reel combo for a pretty cheap price. Ugly Stik is well known for producing some of the strongest quality rods in the market for affordable prices. 

The rod is constructed from a composite of graphite and fiberglass. It’s a combination of both worlds, the sensitivity of graphite and the durability of fiberglass. The rod also comes with the signature clear tip which delivers the sensitivity required to feel the fine bites of walleye.

This ice-fishing combo offers one-piece stainless steel guides. Stainless steel is a pretty good material for fishing guides as previously mentioned.  The one-piece design makes it extremely durable compared to the old traditional pop-out ceramic inserts. 

The grip is made from EVA material. It’s comfortable and a very durable alternative to cork handles which I personally prefer more. When it comes to the reel, It’s not that good honestly. It comes with a durable aluminum spool and 1 ball bearing. However, at this price point, it’s a pretty good choice that I recommend for beginners. 

Buying Guide On How To Choose The Best Walleye Ice Fishing Rod

A fishing rod with a golden reel

The first element that you should consider when choosing the Ice fishing rod is fish Species as it will save a lot of effort and time, because it narrows down your search circle, for example, northern pike requires totally different rod features than Panfish. In our article, we are focusing on walleye fishing in ice and freezing water.


Fishing rods usually are 6 or 7 feet in length, but walleye ice fishing rod length completely differs from this range. They are seldom longer than 46 inches. These short rods are designed for allowing you to fish inside an ice shelter, Even when there is no shelter, and you are still within reach of the ice holes.  

 The best length for ice rods ranges from 28” to 36”. It is preferable whether you are fishing in a pop-up or want to stay mobile. [1]


It is necessary to detect all little nibbles and tugs on your lure, to quickly set the hook and get to your business. Having the right rod action can determine how quickly you will feel the nibble and how well you are able to hook your trophy fish.

These are rod actions and their bending ability:

  1. Ultra-fast rod action: rod can bend only at the tip.
  2. Fast rod action: Rod can bend only at the tip.
  3. Medium rod action: Rod can bend to the middle of the rod blank.
  4. Slow rod action: Rod can bend to the bottom of the rod handle

Fast rod action is the best choice for walleye ice fishing. You can feel every single nibble, and also your rod is strong enough in the blank that can handle larger fish.

Read also on Walleye: 5 Best Walleye Lures and Rigs for Shore Fishing: Reviews and Tips.


Power refers to the amount of force that is needed to bend the blank. Rod power is commonly classified as follows:

  • Ultra-Light.
  • Light. 
  • Medium.
  • Heavy.

When choosing your new ice rod, you should match the rod power to the target fish species.

  • ultra-light rods for panfish and small trout.  
  • Light rods are best for perch.
  • Light to medium rods is more likely suitable for walleye, whitefish, and most trout. 
  • Heavy rods are best for large lures, jigs, pike, or lake trout. 


Rod Sensitivity is an important factor, especially if you are fishing in hard water. This is applied primarily during the winter. Why? because many species are less aggressive in the winter. So, a rod with higher sensitivity is best for you to be able to detect faint bites.

You should always buy the most sensitive rod that you can afford. Especially if you are targeting walleye, trout, crappie, or perch.

Read also: Best 4 Walleye Rods Under $100 – Reviews And Buying Guide.


Rod Blank Materials: Graphite or Fiberglass

Choosing blank material is an important decision. Especially when it comes to a good Walleye ice rod. You have to choose from these options Graphite, fiberglass, and composite blends. First, if you don’t prefer to read, here is a video that I recommend watching about the difference between graphite and fiberglass fishing rods:

Graphite rods are more expensive than fiberglass rods. However, they are also lighter than fiberglass rods and more sensitive. They can even offer more sensitivity than composite blanks or tubular.

Properly designed graphite blanks feature sensitive, fast tips. They also provide the backbone that is needed to set hooks properly and allow playing large fish.

Another advantage of graphited rods is that it has a fast action that provides stiffness. It also has the limber tip which allows quivering jigs-a critical presentation on the ice to be perfect if enticing shy biters.

On the other hand, fiberglass blanks don’t have the same sensitivity as graphite. But fiberglass can bend more than graphite along the blank. This equates to the smooth hooksets. Also, the premium blanks will have the proper backbone needed for playing big fish.

Fiberglass is also more durable than graphite. Graphite gets fragile in low freezing temperatures. That’s why fiberglass is the preferred choice for anglers who do not care about coddling gear.

Another factor that should be considered when choosing the blank material is using a strike indicator or spring bobber for signaling hits. If you’re using these tools you don’t need the extreme sensitivity of graphite rods, in this case, the fiberglass rod will totally suffice.

Solid fiberglass blanks are preferred for deadsticking rods. The limber tip allows anglers to see the action of the minnow and also signals light hits. 

Another advantage of fiberglass is that the blank’s forgiving bending gives slight resistance during the take. 

Read also on Walleye: What Are The Best Bait For Walleye In Summer?

Handle material

If you need the best ice fishing rod possible, you need to pay attention to the handle material. Handle materials include various options from plastic, foam, and cork to graphite. Plastic and Foam are the least sensitive. A significant downside of foam handles is that they tend to hold water while fishing in freezing temperatures.

Cork handles are preferable in ice fishing as they efficiently conduct vibrations from the blank and get easily warmed when held.  Some rod manufacturers also designed high-tech graphite handles which have superior sensitivity. 

Rod Handles usually feature various options of reel mounting. This includes the locking seats and the adjustable rings. That’s why they are worthy of consideration.

Also, The electrical tape is best for getting a perfect balance and feel. It is commonly used in ice fishing to make it easier to fasten the reel to handle.


What Length Rod Is Best For Walleye?

The best rod length for walleye is from six to six and a half feet. This length will give you a proper fast tip. It also provides enough power for setting the hook and landing a decent-sized walleye.u003cbru003eLonger rods are sometimes used in case of u003ca href=u0022https://fishingcreative.com/gear/rods/best-walleye-trolling-rods/u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 data-type=u0022URLu0022 data-id=u0022https://fishingcreative.com/gear/rods/best-walleye-trolling-rods/u0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003ewalleye trolling u003c/au003eto give the rod a slight more strength, u003cbru003ebut Longer rods are not usually needed for jigging or spinning.

What Line Is Best For Ice Fishing?

The lines for ice fishing are generally similar to open water lines. they are mainly made from monofilament, braid, or fluorocarbon as open water lines. But, The main difference between open water lines and ice fishing lines is that lines designed for ice fishing are much lighter. It needs to have the ability to transmit even the faint bites to the rod. The best line for ice fishing depends on some factors are: u003cbru003e1. the species that you are targeting.u003cbru003e2. the ice fishing techniques you are planning to use. u003cbru003e3. the water depth you will go.u003cbru003eWe will clarify some rod lines to help you in choosing the best line suitable for your fishing style.u003cbru003eu003cstrongu003e4 to 6-pound lineu003c/strongu003eu003cbru003eIf you are fishing panfish,  going depths over 20 feet, a light, braided ice fishing line from 4 to 6-pound test is the best ice fishing line.u003cbru003eThis line will help set the hook quickly and easily detect bites because of its lack of stretch. u003cbru003eu003cstrongu003e2 to 4-pound lineu003c/strongu003eu003cbru003e A Light monofilament line from 2 to 4-pound test is the most commonly used range of ice fishing line during fishing through the ice as it is more durable.u003cbru003eu003cstrongu003e8 to 10-pound test rangeu003c/strongu003eu003cbru003eIs the perfect ice fishing line when targeting larger fish species, such as walleye,  largemouth, or bass.

Is A Medium-Light Ice Rod Good For Walleye?

Yes, the medium-light ice rod is the best rod for walleye, as it provides good power suitable for walleye fishing.

What Size Rod Is Best For Ice Fishing?

A rod somewhere 28 to 30-inches in length, is best for ice fishing.

How Much Is High-Quality Ice Fishing?

You can find excellent species- and fishing techniques-specific ice fishing rods for $130-$200. 


In this article, We’ve covered important information about the best walleye ice fishing rods. We also listed their top features, advantages, and disadvantages.

Also, we presented an extensive buying guide for you. We focused on some specific elements that should be considered when choosing your next ice fishing rod. We included rod length, power, action, sensitivity, and blank material. Let us know your fishing results by contacting us!

Also, if you more about ice fishing gear, you can check ours here: