anglers today will choose a 28 inch jigging rod with medium
action.There are many different options available to the ice fisherman
and because of this, choosing the rod that is right for you can be a
daunting task. By keeping in mind the species of fish you are after,
plus the type of power you are looking for in an ice fishing rod and
your lure selection, you will find it much simpler to reduce the amount
of rods you need to choose from. By reducing the amount of rods you
need to choose from you are now able to concentrate on the three most
important factors when considering a new ice fishing rod, length,
material and construction.
Selecting the Species You are interested In
"Species selection is always my number one factor when choosing an ice
fishing rod," says Clint Gervais, from Stony Plain, Alberta. Very few
companies will manufacture ice fishing rods based on species and for
that reason alone you may need to preselect your ice fishing rods using
rod power as the benchmark.
Ultra-light, light, medium, and heavy are the most common
classes. Use the same criteria you would use in selecting a rod for
summer use. Target species vrs rod power.
Choose ultra-light rods for panfish. Light rods are good for perch, and
light to medium rods are good for walleye, whitefish and
Heavy rods are best for Northern Pike or lake trout. Try to keep in
mind to keep your rod as light as possible for the species you are
seeking. Sometimes it is better to lose a few of the big ones because
of a lighter rod, than to give up that sense of feel you get from using
a lighter rod. It really helps if you can feel the subtle action of
your lure through the rod.
Choosing a Rod
Based on Lure Selection and Species
The next step when choosing an ice fishing rod is figuring out what
types of lures/bait are you going to be using and what methods you will
utilize to ensure success. Different species and methods of ice fishing
require different rods.
One method which seems to be on the rise is to bring about 5-6
different rods having different action characteristics loaded up with
various test lines and rigs. Use a 5 gallon pail to carry them in and
you will find yourself having more success this ice fishing season. As
always it is important to remember that no one ice fishing rod will
encompass all the species you are targeting this year.Give the multi
ice-rod approach a try.
is Rod Action
Action is always an important factor when choosing an ice fishing rod
simply because it always influences your lure/bait presentation. It
will also be a determining factor in the way you play the fish.
Rods which exhibit fast-action will flex at the tip. Flexing in the
middle is a characteristic of medium action rods, while slow action
rods bend to the bottom of the handle. Fast- and medium-action rods are
used by most ice anglers because of their balance of strength and
sensitivity. A slow-action rod is unable in most cases to transmit a
nibble or light strike from your fish.
Fast-action graphite rods are your best bet when using jigging as your
main method of ice fishing. These rods also exhibit a greater degree of
backbone which will enable you to acquire a better initial setting of
Medium-action rods are a good choice if using smelts, shrimp or
minnnows when jigging. If you are jigging more aggressively than
normal, the rod's action will help to keep your bait on your hook.
Your Line and
Creating the proper presentation requires you to choose a rod and lure
that are properly balanced.
When you use an aggressive method of jigging your lure or
your ice fishing rod will need minimum flex in your rod's
tip. Aggressive jigging requires minimal flex in the rod tip from the
lure's weight to allow you to properly work baits. Too much flex and
your presentation will not look the way you want it to.
Generally speaking, when using a medium to heavy action rod you should
be alright with any monofilament. if paired with superline, it is
highly unlikely the rod will bend enough to absorb the shock of setting
a hook hard, which could mean ripping the lure from the fish's mouth.
When using braided line you should go with a lighter ice fishing rod
then when using mono.
vs. Fiberglass Which is Right For You?
Ice fishing anglers have an important decision to make when choosing
the material their rod is made of. To put it simply you have 3 choices,
graphite, fiberglass and composite.Graphite is the most expensive of
the 3 but has many advantages over fiberglass or composite. Weight and
sensitivity are graphite's two main advantages over the other two.
Graphite rods give the angler interested in feeling strikes an
advantage because of its sensitivity.
Fiberglass rods may give up a little in the sensitivity arena, but are
generally more durable than the graphite rods. They also tend to be a
little less expensive than the graphite rods. If you are interested in
a rod that will stand up to even the most extreme temperatures and one
that will have the strength to land the big ones, then a fiberglass rod
is right up your alley.
One aspect of choosing an ice fishing rod is the number of guides a rod
has. Try to find a rod with a minimum of 4 guides. These guides will
enhance bend in the rod giving it a more uniform bend. As always guides
should lessen in size towards the tip of your rod.
Ensure your rod has large guides. Smaller eyes will ice up quickly.
Larger eyes will pay off in the long run as you will spend less time
cleaning line and more time fishing.
By spending some time to match your rod to the species or to your style
of fishing you will go a long way to ensuring a successful day out ice
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