Regular Rod For Ice Fishing: Can You Use Them?

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Are you all set to go ice fishing but are you wondering which rod to use? You might think a regular fishing rod would do! But is that the case?

Read this article to find out if you can use a regular rod for ice fishing!

Can You Use a Regular Rod For Ice Fishing?

Can You Use a Regular Rod For Ice Fishing


You can use a regular rod for ice fishing, but it is not ideal to do so. Here are some things you need to know before deciding if you can use a regular rod instead of an ice fishing rod.

Ice fishing poles are much shorter than regular fishing rods. Why is that so? 

A short rod allows you to fish in a confined space and also enables you to sit close to your fishing hole and your fish finder while fishing vertically below. This means your regular rod cannot be a good choice as they are pretty long.

Also, a short rod is better for grabbing the fish you caught with your hand when you pull it through the ice. 

Regular fishing rods measure 5-10 feet in length approx while ice fishing rods are 2-4 feet long on average. So if you have a regular ice fishing rod that is shorter, say around 5-6 feet then you could use it for ice fishing. 

But anything longer than this could be a hassle. But why is a short rod preferable?

The shortness of the ice fishing pole allows you to sit very close to the ice hole, and to feel a bite instantly so you can set the hook right away. This means a short rod increases your chance of having a good catch.

Also, you are likely to stay inside an ice fishing shelter when you are ice fishing. You don’t want to freeze, right? 

Short rods like the usual ice fishing poles help you do it in the confined space of your ice fishing tent. This makes your ice fishing experience cozy and warm. 

A short rod gives you much more sensitivity to feel the bite of the fish, however subtle it is. This cannot happen in the case of regular rods that are longer. 

Finally, if you’re going to use an underwater fishing camera or a flasher to observe fish, you also need to be able to sit close to your ice hole and the camera display at the same time. 

Final Words

So it’s not as impossible to use a regular rod for ice fishing. You can do it but it’s not advisable.

If you have a short fishing rod then you can use it for ice fishing. But if your regular rods are quite long then go for ice fishing poles to have a better catch and hassle-free ice fishing.

Photo of author


Charles Adam
Charles is from the state of Minnesota. As Minnesota is one of the coldest states in the US, there is no surprise that he likes ice fishing. Along with ice fishing, he also likes to watch the NHL.