The 5 Best Ice Fishing Rods for Panfish Any Angler Should Know

Are you planning an ice fishing trip? Then you need the right gear for such a trip. What most people tend to overlook is bringing along the right fishing rods. It is why this guide is about the best ice fishing rods for panfish.

The best part about such fishing rods is that they can still be used for other species. This makes them a lot more versatile for all your fishing needs.

So, what are these fishing rods? Do they have a special construction? We will look at all that and more in this guide to help you further.

Fishing RodBrandExpert RatingCheck Price
Tailored Tackle Ice Fishing Rod Reel Combo Check Price
St. Croix Panfish Series Spinning Rods Check Price
Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo Check Price
Zebco 33 Gold Spincast Reel and Fishing Rod Combo Check Price
13 Fishing Tickle Stick Fishing Spinning Rod Check Price

How to Pick the Best Ice Fishing Rods for Panfish

  • Decide what you need to fish

The topic of this guide gives it all away. In this guide, we want the best ice fishing rods for panfish. Once you know what you want to catch, then you can decide better on the power of the fishing rod.

The last thing you want to do is overestimate or underestimate the power. You just have to get it right. No need for a heavy action rod as if you were going for the bigger fish when it is only pan fish.

So, if you want the best ice fishing rods for panfish, opt for ultra-light rods and light rods. They should have plenty of power to handling your fishing activity.

  • The rod action

Another thing to consider when looking for the best ice fishing rods for panfish is the rod action. This is because you are likely to be sitting there for a long time holding the rod before catching any fish. So, it is important that you can detect any little nibble or tug on the lure so that you can act fast.

So, which rod action would be ideal for ice fishing? We recommend that you opt for the fast action rods. This is because you will easily get alerted to every single nibble and the rod will also have enough strength to pull a larger fish.

  • The rod material

The rod material determines many things about the best ice fishing rods for panfish. The first would be the durability and then the overall sturdiness of the fishing rods.

You will have the option of graphite, fiberglass and carbon fiber as the mode common materials.

Graphite rods are often more expensive, but they also perform great in terms of increasing the rod sensitivity. They are also more flexible to work in different environments. It is why many love them for ice fishing as they tend to be fast action rods.

Fiberglass material is still good for ice fishing rods. The only difference is that it will not be as sensitive as graphite. You will like such rods for being affordable too. The material is also durable even when exposed to cold weather compared to graphite which can be fragile at freezing temperatures.

So, choose the one that you feel will suit your fishing needs better.

  • The rod size

When you are on ice, you do not want to have too much weight on you, so the rod size is also important. It is why when you go for panfish fishing, consider the small rods. They are light and will not take up much space during your fishing trip.

When we say small, the rod does not have to be the shortest. It can still be small to medium so that it has enough blank to handle the fight with the panfish.

No need to go for the large rods as they will be a pain to carry around. Yes, they can absorb the shock better when dealing with large fish, but they are not the best for panfish.

  • Accessories

Do not overlook at the accessories. This is because they can make your trip even better. When you get the best ice fishing rods for panfish with more accessories, it means you will not have to spend more to get them separately. With the right accessories, fishing should even be more exciting as you have everything you need.

Top 5 Best Ice Fishing Rods for Panfish

Our Top Pick

Our Top Pick: Tailored Tackle Ice Fishing Rod Reel Combo

Product Name: Tailored Tackle Ice Fishing Rod Reel Combo

Product Description: Being a rod and reel combo makes it one of the best to use right now as you will have everything you need to start ice fishing. Thanks to the versatile design of the fishing rod, you will find it being used for different types of fish other than panfish. The same can be used for trout, perch, and walleye. We find that this fishing rod is also great in terms of the size. Being a 28-inch fishing rod means that it is easy to use on overall for ice fishing. It also has a medium light power rating to make it even better for different types of fishing. Keep in mind that the line rating is 3 to 6 pounds. This should still be ideal for different types of fishing. Users will also like it for having a fast rod action for those sensitive bites. This means that you can start reeling from the moment you feel the bite. The cork handle is another top feature to like about this fishing rod. This design is good on overall to give you the best ergonomic grip. The fishing rod will always fit in your hand better than before. Also, the use of carbon fiber for the rod makes it even more durable than what you get with other materials.

Availability: InStock

  • Ease of use
  • Quality
  • Value
  • Versatility
  • Usability


This is a top choice for anyone who wants to do ice fishing. The manufacturer made it to be a reel and rod combo so that you do not have to buy additional accessories to get started with fishing.

The overall size of the rod makes it good in terms of versatility. It is why people use the same rod for handling other types of fish.


✔️It is easy to setup

✔️It is a fast action rod for sensitive bites

✔️Built for durability


❌It could use more accessories

Runner’s Up

St. Croix Panfish Series Spinning Rods

If you want to spend more on the best ice fishing rods for panfish, then this is a nice option for you too. This type of rod is built with durability in mind. This is because the manufacturer uses a blend of SCVI and SCII graphite to deliver the best spinning rods.

The overall construction is about sturdiness too. You need a strong fishing rod that can handle the extreme ice conditions when fishing. Even if it is made to be strong, it is amazing just how lightweight it is also. As such, you will not have any trouble carrying it around.

With a length of 5’, it stands out as the right size for most people who want to do ice fishing. In addition, it has an impressive power and action. You can handle the different types of fish in the same area than panfish would be.

The model also comes with some additional accessories to help with fishing. This is to ensure that you do not buy so many additional accessories just to get down to fishing.

  • The spinning rod is fortified for durability
  • It has an impressive power and action
  • Backed by 5 years warranty
  • You have to buy the reel separately

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo

The good thing about this fishing rod and spinning reel combo is the design. The manufacturer made it to be great for people of different skill levels. It does not matter whether you are a beginner or advanced angler. You will always find it easy to use the fishing rod.

The use of graphite and fiberglass as the construction material leaves you with a lightweight fishing rod. It is lightweight while at same time remains strong. It is why many feel comfortable buying it right now for their fishing activities.

Another thing you will like about this construction type is that the fishing rod is more sensitive. This type of sensitivity is what you like when you hope to do ice fishing.

There is also the clear tip design so that you get more responsiveness and strength with the fishing rod. As such, it stands out as the best ice fishing rods for Panfish.

  • Impressive build quality
  • It comes with lightweight EVA grips
  • The reel has a smooth operation
  • It might need more maintenance to keep it working great

Zebco 33 Gold Spincast Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

If you are still in the market for the best ice fishing rods for panfish, then this is a convenient combo that you can opt for today. The fishing rod is 6.5 feet, making it ideal for any ice fishing scenario. You can stand where you want and cast your bait.

The fishing line is also part of the fishing rod combo. This reduces the number of accessories you have to buy just to get ready for a fishing trip.

Looking at the power, we find that the reel has 3 bearing and all work smoothly thanks to the precision gears too. The result is that now you have medium-heavy power and you get to enjoy having an easy time reeling in your prize.

Many people find this unit to be reliable on overall. This is thanks to features such as the instant anti-reverse technology and the overall build quality.

  • It is a highly versatile fishing rod
  • The medium power makes it easy to reel in the catch
  • It is a reliable fishing rod with its durable construction
  • Overall portability could be better

13 Fishing Tickle Stick Fishing Spinning Rod

For those who are on a budget and they need the best ice fishing rods for panfish, then this is a nice choice for them too. The first thing that you will like is the 3A Portuguese cork handle. This handle is all about making you have a comfortable grip. The result is that the handle does not slip from your hand.

The manufacturer uses parallel composite construction for this fishing rod. This includes the use of linear fibers to end up with a strong fishing rod that can work better in ice fishing conditions.

Having the flat tip is important for any angler on an ice fishing trip. The flat tip will drastically increase the angler’s ability to easily detect the strikes by the fish. This also helps to prevent the rod from easily rolling over thus you end up with perfect hook-sets all the time.

Having the custom evolve reel seat also makes it easier to handle the rod. It also keeps the reel in place so that you can operate it better.

  • It has a flat tip for ease of use
  • The handle is ergonomic and comfortable
  • It is highly durable for years of use
  • It lacks some important fishing accessories


What makes a fishing rod good for panfish?

It is recommended that you choose between light to medium rods for panfish. This is because they will have the right sensitivity that you need to know when the panfish starts to nibble on the lure. Also, such rods would have enough power to help you draw the fish out of the water.

Why are the ice fishing rods often small?

The ice fishing rods can be small because those who go fishing in such areas would be in ice tents. Having the large fishing rods means that they would not fit in the tent where it is warm and out of the elements.

The size of the rods can vary depending on the species a person is fishing. Some might opt for medium fishing rods.

What is the best depth to do ice fishing?

You will need a depth that has the best weed line and then drill holes. The general rule of ice fishing is that the bait should be suspended half the depth of where you are fishing. So, if the ice is 12 feet deep, then you need to suspend the bait at 6 feet.


We have looked at several best ice fishing rods for panfish above. The aim was to give multiple options so that you can have the best fishing rods the next time you take a trip. We recommend that you always take a keen look at the different features of the fishing rods to see if they would be great for your panfish fishing activity.