Joel Nelson breaks down ice fishing rods and how to think about rod length as a function of the way you are are fishing.
Ice Fishing Rods: Rod Length Function
When it comes to choosing ice fishing rods for panfish, most anglers tend to choose an ice rods by the length they prefer to fish, but in reality, anglers should be thinking about rod length as a function of how they are going to be fishing and what presentations they are going to use.
Let’s take the St. Croix Pan CCI Pan Dancer rod. It’s 32 inches long which is a fairly long ice rod by a lot of standards, but that length often makes the most sense functionality-wise when you are out hole hopping and doing a lot of fishing outside. The length of the rod allows the angler to stand and still fish comfortable outside all day.
When targeting bluegills and crappies with small tungsten jigs use a 28-inch rod like the St. Croix CCI Tungsten Tamer. This rod is the perfect length for maximizing the action on small tungsten jigs or spoons.
This is also a great option for anglers that like to fish both inside and outside of a house. It’s long enough to fish comfortable outside, but short enough to fish inside flip-over ice shelters and permanent fish houses.
On days when the bite is tough and small finesse presentations are your best option, make the switch to a shorter rod like the 24-inch St. Croix CCI Pan Finesse.
With the shorter CCI Pan Finesse you have more control over your presentations and it allows the angler to create a lot of precise action with your small jigs paired with plastics or live bait, which is crucial when bluegills and crappies are finicky.
Now if you are an angler that likes to do a lot of sight fishing than a short rod like a 20″ St. Croix CCI Sight Bite is the rod length you should be fishing. By utilizing this shorter rod you’ll be able to see down the hole and still keep you rod in a comfortable position. It will also allow you to directly see how you jigging motion is affecting your presentation.
As a general rule of thumb when choosing ice fishing rods, if the fish are on the move and hole hopping is the best method, choose some of those longer rods closer to thirty inches, and if the bite is tough and you need to finesse the fish into biting, shorter rods are going to be the best suited for the job.
When it comes to choosing the right ice fishing rods, it’s all about fishing the right length rod for the job at hand. If you understanding rod length function it will help you presents you baits more effectively and in return you’ll catch more fish this winter.