Ice Fishing Rods & Reels That Rock!

Ice Fishing Rods & Reels That Rock!

Just when we thought ice tackle had reached its hiatus, a new generation of innovative ice fishing rods and reels rock the hardwater world. Two years ago, the fly-reel/in-line revolution attracted attention by eliminating line twist. That ushered development of multiplying reels and new spool designs that pick up a foot or more of line with every turn of the handle. Instead of relying on your palm to slow a big fish, these round reels have state-of-the-art drag systems, too. And enter the upside-down baitcaster concept, "floating blanks," long-stem spinning reels designed for ice, and more. Rods keep getting lighter, more sensitive, and more tactic-specific. Ergonomic designs focus vibration against the palm. Spring bobbers of the past decade are being replaced with strike indicators built into the blank. And as braided ice lines gain in popularity, rods are getting lighter and longer to make up for the lack of stretch. This year's offerings cover the spectrum from ultralight panfish to long lake trout sticks. The trend is toward longer, lighter rods to accommodate ice-specific braids and fluorocarbons. Long rods hold onto fish better when line has less stretch, and they accentuate the fight dramatically.

Clam Dave Genz Legacy Combo

clamoutdoors.com - Ice angling pioneer Dave Genz helped design Clam's Legacy Series — five rods ($59.99) ranging from a 24-inch ultralight to a 28-inch medium-action. 'œThese rods are lighter and have wire guides that enhance lure manipulation,' Genz says. 'œFeel is better. Spring-bobber rods are available, but the tip on the other version is a single-foot guide, which facilitates rapid cadence jigging.'
The spring-bobber version has a tip of durable Nitinol, a nickel-titanium alloy. Legacy reels offer 'œ5 plus 1' ball bearings and a one-touch folding handle for comfort and ease of storage. 'œWe made the foot of the reel a little longer, for use with gloves,' he adds.

13 Fishing Whiteout Combo

13fishing.com - Innovative new ice gear from 13 Fishing includes the Teardrop reel ($119.99), an upside-down baitcaster (no line twist) with a 6:1 gear ratio and carbon drag system, with eight ball bearings and two Japanese Spin Spool Bearings. The WhiteOut Ice Rods ($39.99), 16.5- to 29.5-inch ultralight to medium-light actions, took the Best of Show award at ICAST for rod-reel combos. They feature Toray Solid Carbon Blanks, Evolve Solo ice-shedding guides, and sensitive carbon BlackJack reel seats. 13 Fishing also adds a new Wicked Long Stem Spinning Reel ($34.99), addressing the trend toward specialty ice reels that accommodate gloved hands. The White Noise Combos ($39.99) include 19- to 29-inch, ultralight- to medium-power graphite rod and reel.

13 Fishing White Noise Rod with 13 Fishing Teardrop Reel

13fishing.com - Innovative new ice gear from 13 Fishing includes the Teardrop reel ($119.99), an upside-down baitcaster (no line twist) with a 6:1 gear ratio and carbon drag system, with eight ball bearings and two Japanese Spin Spool Bearings. The WhiteOut Ice Rods ($39.99), 16.5- to 29.5-inch ultralight to medium-light actions, took the Best of Show award at ICAST for rod-reel combos. They feature Toray Solid Carbon Blanks, Evolve Solo ice-shedding guides, and sensitive carbon BlackJack reel seats. 13 Fishing also adds a new Wicked Long Stem Spinning Reel ($34.99), addressing the trend toward specialty ice reels that accommodate gloved hands. The White Noise Combos ($39.99) include 19- to 29-inch, ultralight- to medium-power graphite rod and reel.

Expedition Paddle Reel Combo

expedition-outdoors.com - Expedition Outdoors introduces a rod that looks like a Scottish Claymore. A broad 'œamplification collar' creates a floating blank where vibration is accentuated at the gripping point — meaning the vibration created by lures and bites is readily felt by your hand. The Ultra Feel Combo ($49.99) includes the Fisk Reel with a longer neck, providing increased space for gloved hands. It also tilts the spool toward the first guide, creating more efficient line flow. Four new UltraFeel Combos are 28-inchers from ultralight to medium-heavy.
Expedition's 'œstraight-line' Paddle Reel is now offered in a combo package ($49.99). It has a 12.5-inch-per-crank line pickup, saving time when you're on the move. The unique disk drag allows precise drag control with the option to free spool, creating the perfect light tension for deadsticking. The Lexi Rod Combos ($39.99) include light, free-floating blanks designed to deliver maximum sensitivity to the hand. All Expedition blanks are solid graphite and hand-sanded to specific tapers to match every species and situation.

Expedition Pencil Grip Combo

expedition-outdoors.com - Expedition Outdoors introduces a rod that looks like a Scottish Claymore. A broad 'œamplification collar' creates a floating blank where vibration is accentuated at the gripping point — meaning the vibration created by lures and bites is readily felt by your hand. The Ultra Feel Combo ($49.99) includes the Fisk Reel with a longer neck, providing increased space for gloved hands. It also tilts the spool toward the first guide, creating more efficient line flow. Four new UltraFeel Combos are 28-inchers from ultralight to medium-heavy.
Expedition's 'œstraight-line' Paddle Reel is now offered in a combo package ($49.99). It has a 12.5-inch-per-crank line pickup, saving time when you're on the move. The unique disk drag allows precise drag control with the option to free spool, creating the perfect light tension for deadsticking. The Lexi Rod Combos ($39.99) include light, free-floating blanks designed to deliver maximum sensitivity to the hand. All Expedition blanks are solid graphite and hand-sanded to specific tapers to match every species and situation.

Expedition Ultra Feel Combo

expedition-outdoors.com - Expedition Outdoors introduces a rod that looks like a Scottish Claymore. A broad 'œamplification collar' creates a floating blank where vibration is accentuated at the gripping point — meaning the vibration created by lures and bites is readily felt by your hand. The Ultra Feel Combo ($49.99) includes the Fisk Reel with a longer neck, providing increased space for gloved hands. It also tilts the spool toward the first guide, creating more efficient line flow. Four new UltraFeel Combos are 28-inchers from ultralight to medium-heavy.
Expedition's 'œstraight-line' Paddle Reel is now offered in a combo package ($49.99). It has a 12.5-inch-per-crank line pickup, saving time when you're on the move. The unique disk drag allows precise drag control with the option to free spool, creating the perfect light tension for deadsticking. The Lexi Rod Combos ($39.99) include light, free-floating blanks designed to deliver maximum sensitivity to the hand. All Expedition blanks are solid graphite and hand-sanded to specific tapers to match every species and situation.

Frabill Jiggler Long Rod

frabill.com - One of the most interesting new concepts is the Jiggler series of rods from Frabill, designed with input from guide Brian 'œBro' Brosdahl. The 48-inch version is equipped with a new reel ($29.99). 'œThe telescoping model ($44.99) fits into limited spaces,' he says. 'œIt lets you fish outside and reach other holes nearby without getting up and throwing a shadow. In much of the Midwest, the ice fishing season is short, the ice is thin, and fish are shallow all winter. If you hook something big with this 54-inch stick, it pulls the rod tip right down into the hole.
'œIt's a fast tool that reminds me of match fishing in Europe. Just lift, haul the fish out, and unhook it. You can control an area 14 feet across without moving around, and you never worry about line freeze-up because you're not reeling.'
Frabill's Straight Line 261 Reel ($39.95) and Bro Combo (54.99) have a multiplying, in-line retrieve for speed without line twist. 'œYou wind 17 inches per crank with 3-pound line,' Brosdahl says. 'œIt gets your line up and down fast without twisting. It makes it easy to fish fast to keep a school of fish interested.'

Frabill Straight Line 261 Reel

frabill.com - One of the most interesting new concepts is the Jiggler series of rods from Frabill, designed with input from guide Brian 'œBro' Brosdahl. The 48-inch version is equipped with a new reel ($29.99). 'œThe telescoping model ($44.99) fits into limited spaces,' he says. 'œIt lets you fish outside and reach other holes nearby without getting up and throwing a shadow. In much of the Midwest, the ice fishing season is short, the ice is thin, and fish are shallow all winter. If you hook something big with this 54-inch stick, it pulls the rod tip right down into the hole.
'œIt's a fast tool that reminds me of match fishing in Europe. Just lift, haul the fish out, and unhook it. You can control an area 14 feet across without moving around, and you never worry about line freeze-up because you're not reeling.'
Frabill's Straight Line 261 Reel ($39.95) and Bro Combo (54.99) have a multiplying, in-line retrieve for speed without line twist. 'œYou wind 17 inches per crank with 3-pound line,' Brosdahl says. 'œIt gets your line up and down fast without twisting. It makes it easy to fish fast to keep a school of fish interested.'

St. Croix Gold Series Rod with Shimano Sedona 500

stcroixrods.com - St. Croix introduces Legend Gold and Legend Silver Series rods. The Gold Series ($90) includes five 24-inch rods ranging from ultralight to medium-heavy. The neoprene-skin handles and Fuji SK2 seats are warm, water-repellent, and provide a lock-tight grip. The solid graphite blanks are durable and sensitive. Built-in spring bobbers can be adjusted to the weight of the lure and the aggressiveness of the presentation.
The Legend Silver Series ($60 to $70) provides an even wider scope with 10 models, from a 17-inch ultralight to a 48-inch medium-heavy laker stick. The computer-tapered, solid graphite blanks with stainless-steel coiled spring bobber are sensitive. Locking reel seats and Pac Bay Minima stainless-steel guides finish them nicely.

Temple Fork Outfitters Hard Water Rod with Right McGill Power Ice 1000

tforods.com - Temple Fork Outfitters is the rod company that rod making legend Gary Loomis started after he departed Loomis. His many introductions include Hard Water Rods ($39.95), built light and sensitive with a cork handle to reduce weight and allow reel placement. Lengths from 26 to 30 inches are rated ultralight to medium-heavy, fast action.

Thorne Brothers Stealth Upgrade with Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Elite Reel

thornebros.com - Thorne Brothers has been at the forefront of developing ice rods for decades. Designer and custom-rod manager Lonnie Murphy says, 'œThe new Walleye Tripwire series ($75.99 to $95.99) has handles and black Recoil titanium alloy guides that shed ice better than any other rods. Following the success of our Panfish and Perch Tripwire rods last year, we followed up with our first walleye-indicator rod, featuring a kink-resistant, titanium-alloy indicator that stands up to walleye-sized baits. It's an awesome rod for hole hopping in harsh conditions when fish are finicky.'
Thorne Brothers now offers 'œStealth Upgrades' on all panfish, perch, and walleye rods for an additional $20. Upgrades include new Syncork handles, recesses for the reel foot, and indestructible black Recoil guides.

Thorne Brothers Walleye Tripwire Rod with 13 Fishing Ultra Feel Reel

thornebros.com - Thorne Brothers has been at the forefront of developing ice rods for decades. Designer and custom-rod manager Lonnie Murphy says, 'œThe new Walleye Tripwire series ($75.99 to $95.99) has handles and black Recoil titanium alloy guides that shed ice better than any other rods. Following the success of our Panfish and Perch Tripwire rods last year, we followed up with our first walleye-indicator rod, featuring a kink-resistant, titanium-alloy indicator that stands up to walleye-sized baits. It's an awesome rod for hole hopping in harsh conditions when fish are finicky.'
Thorne Brothers now offers 'œStealth Upgrades' on all panfish, perch, and walleye rods for an additional $20. Upgrades include new Syncork handles, recesses for the reel foot, and indestructible black Recoil guides.

Wright & McGill Tony Roach Signature Ice Finesse Rod with Tony Roach Power Ice Spin Reel

eagleclaw.com - Last winter, Tony Roach and I tested Wright & McGill's new ice reels on their new Power Ice Panfish, Power Ice Noodle, and Power Ice Spring Bobber Rods ($34.99 to $39.99). The company added two reels — a round, nylon-framed Tony Roach In-line Ice Reel ($59.99) that eliminates line twist and combines a sophisticated drag system with accelerated pickup; and the Tony Roach Power Ice Spin Reel ($29.99), with feather-light graphite construction, 5 ball bearings, and a 5.2:1 gear ratio.
Wright-McGill introduced 17 S-Curve graphite Tony Roach Signature rods with actions for everything from smelt to big lakers, meant for duty both in and outside of shelters and houses. Roach, of course, does most of his fishing outside, but didn't neglect the needs of anglers who prefer shelters when he designed these sticks.
'œThe Spring Bobber rod is a fantastic spoon rod,' Roach says. 'œThe Magnum and Max versions are for heavier spoons, baits, and lures. The Inline Reels are smooth, and we worked to get the gears and drag set up for walleyes. They pick up 16 inches of line per crank, ideal for deep water, which was the main drawback for earlier in-line reels. One of my favorites is the 36-inch Power Ice Finesse. I love longer rods for presenting spoons, and fighting big fish is a blast.'

Wright & McGill Tony Roach Signature Noodle Rod with Eagle Claw Tony Roach Signature In Line Ice Reel

eagleclaw.com - Last winter, Tony Roach and I tested Wright & McGill's new ice reels on their new Power Ice Panfish, Power Ice Noodle, and Power Ice Spring Bobber Rods ($34.99 to $39.99). The company added two reels — a round, nylon-framed Tony Roach In-line Ice Reel ($59.99) that eliminates line twist and combines a sophisticated drag system with accelerated pickup; and the Tony Roach Power Ice Spin Reel ($29.99), with feather-light graphite construction, 5 ball bearings, and a 5.2:1 gear ratio.
Wright-McGill introduced 17 S-Curve graphite Tony Roach Signature rods with actions for everything from smelt to big lakers, meant for duty both in and outside of shelters and houses. Roach, of course, does most of his fishing outside, but didn't neglect the needs of anglers who prefer shelters when he designed these sticks.
'œThe Spring Bobber rod is a fantastic spoon rod,' Roach says. 'œThe Magnum and Max versions are for heavier spoons, baits, and lures. The Inline Reels are smooth, and we worked to get the gears and drag set up for walleyes. They pick up 16 inches of line per crank, ideal for deep water, which was the main drawback for earlier in-line reels. One of my favorites is the 36-inch Power Ice Finesse. I love longer rods for presenting spoons, and fighting big fish is a blast.'

Wright & McGill Tony Roach Signature Spring Bobber with Tony Roach Signature In Line Ice Reel

eagleclaw.com - Last winter, Tony Roach and I tested Wright & McGill's new ice reels on their new Power Ice Panfish, Power Ice Noodle, and Power Ice Spring Bobber Rods ($34.99 to $39.99). The company added two reels — a round, nylon-framed Tony Roach In-line Ice Reel ($59.99) that eliminates line twist and combines a sophisticated drag system with accelerated pickup; and the Tony Roach Power Ice Spin Reel ($29.99), with feather-light graphite construction, 5 ball bearings, and a 5.2:1 gear ratio.
Wright-McGill introduced 17 S-Curve graphite Tony Roach Signature rods with actions for everything from smelt to big lakers, meant for duty both in and outside of shelters and houses. Roach, of course, does most of his fishing outside, but didn't neglect the needs of anglers who prefer shelters when he designed these sticks.
'œThe Spring Bobber rod is a fantastic spoon rod,' Roach says. 'œThe Magnum and Max versions are for heavier spoons, baits, and lures. The Inline Reels are smooth, and we worked to get the gears and drag set up for walleyes. They pick up 16 inches of line per crank, ideal for deep water, which was the main drawback for earlier in-line reels. One of my favorites is the 36-inch Power Ice Finesse. I love longer rods for presenting spoons, and fighting big fish is a blast.'

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