What Are The Best Ice Fishing Rods For Lake Trout?


Ice fishing for lake trout is popular in regions with harsh winters. Anglers seek lake trout for their large size and strong fighting ability. Various factors must be considered when selecting ice fishing rods for lake trout.

For jigging techniques, using longer rods with a sturdy backbone and excellent action is recommended. Medium-heavy rods ranging from 34 to 42 inches in length are considered ideal. The Omen ice fishing rod is a notable choice for this method.

Conversely, medium rods with a softer tip and slightly shorter length (26-34 inches) are preferred for dead sticking techniques. The Widow Maker Deadstick Ice Rod, particularly the 28-inch medium action model, is reliable.

Additionally, choosing the appropriate reel size based on the baitfish size is crucial, with size 20 reels suitable for small minnows and size 30 or 40 spins recommended for larger baitfish.

Ensuring a strong and durable ice fishing line and using a heated ice fishing shelter for comfort are essential considerations for successful lake trout fishing.

Key Takeaways

  • Longer rods with a strong backbone and excellent action are best for ice fishing for lake trout.
  • Medium-heavy rods are recommended for lake trout jigging.
  • Soft tips and medium rods are important for deadsticking lake trout.
  • Reel size should be determined based on the size of the baitfish.

Types of Lake Trout Fishing

Types of lake trout fishing can vary, with jigging being popular for using medium-heavy rods and spinning reels, while dead sticking requires medium rods with soft tips and slightly shorter lengths.

Jigging for lake trout involves using lures such as spoons, jigs, and swimbaits to entice the fish to bite. It requires a strong backbone and excellent action in the rod to provide enough force for a strong hookset. The Omen ice fishing rod is perfect for lake trout jigging, offering the right combination of sensitivity, strength, and length.

On the other hand, dead sticking involves using live bait or dead baits such as minnows or smelt and requires a rod with a soft tip for detecting subtle bites. The Widow Maker Deadstick Ice Rod, specifically the 28-inch medium action model, is recommended for this type of fishing.

Regarding the best ice fishing locations for lake trout, popular destinations include Lake of the Woods and Leech Lake. These lakes offer ample opportunities to catch trophy-sized lake trout.

Rod Attributes

Length, strength, and sensitivity are important considerations when choosing a rod for targeting lake trout through ice fishing. Lake trout can be caught using various ice fishing techniques, including jigging and dead sticking.

For jigging, longer rods with a strong backbone and excellent action are recommended to provide enough force for a strong hookset. Medium-heavy rods with a length between 34 and 42 inches are ideal for lake trout jigging.

Sensitivity is crucial in detecting bites, so a rod with good sensitivity is essential. On the other hand, dead sticking requires a softer tip and a medium rod with a slightly shorter length, typically 26 to 34 inches.

The rod’s sensitivity is important in both techniques, as it allows anglers to feel the subtle movements and bites of the lake trout beneath the ice.

Jigging for Lake Trout

Jigging for lake trout requires rods with a longer length, strong backbone, and excellent action to provide sufficient force for a strong hookset.

When ice fishing for lake trout, it is important to take safety precautions. Always check the ice thickness before venturing out, wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and carry ice picks and a floatation device.

To increase your chances of success, it is helpful to have tips for locating lake trout under the ice. Look for areas with structures such as drop-offs, points, or reefs, as lake trout are often found near these features. Using a fish finder can also be beneficial in identifying the depth at which lake trout are suspended.

These safety precautions and tips for locating lake trout will enhance your ice fishing experience and increase your chances of landing these prized fish.

Dead Sticking Techniques

Dead sticking techniques for targeting lake trout involve using a medium-action soft-tip rod and a slightly shorter length, typically between 26 and 34 inches. This rod type allows for better sensitivity and enhances the angler’s ability to detect subtle bites while dead sticking.

When it comes to bait selection for deadsticking lake trout, the best options include live minnows, smelt, or frozen ciscoes. These baitfish are known to attract lake trout and entice them to strike.

To ensure successful deadsticking techniques, anglers should consider the following tips:

1) Use a light line with low visibility to avoid spooking the fish.

2) Set the bait at different depths to find where the lake trout are most active.

3) Use a slow and gentle jigging motion to mimic injured baitfish.

4) Be patient and allow enough time for the lake trout to take the bait.

5) Pay attention to subtle movements or line twitches that may indicate a bite.

By employing these strategies, anglers can increase their chances of a successful deadsticking experience for lake trout.

Recommended Rod Length

When considering the most suitable rod length for targeting lake trout through ice fishing, choosing a rod within the range of 26 to 42 inches is recommended. This range allows for versatility in different fishing techniques and conditions.

A shorter ice rod in the 26 to 34 inches range is ideal for dead sticking, as it provides a soft tip for detecting subtle bites.

On the other hand, a longer rod between 34 and 42 inches is preferred for jigging, as it provides a strong backbone and excellent action for a strong hookset.

By having a variety of rod lengths at your disposal, you can easily switch between fishing techniques and adapt to changing fishing conditions.

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This rod length comparison allows anglers to experiment with alternative fishing techniques and increases their chances of success when targeting lake trout through ice fishing.

Top Choice for Jigging

Moving on to the top choice for jigging lake trout, the Omen ice fishing rod is highly recommended. This rod possesses the ideal sensitivity, strength, and length for successful lake trout jigging.

With its longer length and strong backbone, the Omen rod provides the force required for a solid hookset while offering excellent action for a thrilling fight with these formidable fish.

Additionally, spinning reels are the preferred choice for effective jigging, and the Pflueger President spinning reel in size 20 or 25 is a popular option among anglers.

Now equipped with the Omen rod and the President spinning reel, ice fishing enthusiasts can confidently employ the best ice fishing techniques for lake trout, such as vertical jigging or tip-ups.

To further enhance success, choosing the best lures for lake trout jigging is essential, ensuring they mimic the natural prey of these voracious predators.

Spinning Reel Recommendations

The Pflueger President spinning reel, specifically in size 20 or 25, is popular among anglers for jigging lake trout. This spinning reel offers several benefits for ice fishing enthusiasts.

Firstly, it provides smooth and reliable performance, ensuring a seamless fishing experience. The Pflueger President spinning reel also offers excellent line capacity, allowing anglers to use various line types and weights to suit their fishing needs. Additionally, this reel features a durable construction, ensuring its longevity even in harsh ice fishing conditions.

There are a few key differences to consider when comparing spinning reels and baitcasting reels for ice fishing.

Spinning reels are generally easier to use and are more beginner-friendly, making them popular among anglers of all skill levels. They also offer better casting distance and accuracy, which can be advantageous when targeting lake trout.

On the other hand, baitcasting reels provide greater control and accuracy when it comes to luring presentation, making them a preferred choice for more experienced anglers. Ultimately, the choice between spinning and baitcasting reels for ice fishing depends on the angler’s preferences and fishing style.

Rod Selection for Dead Sticking

One important factor to consider when selecting a rod for dead sticking is the soft tip, which is crucial in detecting subtle bites while maintaining sensitivity.

Dead sticking techniques involve leaving the bait motionless in the water and relying on the rod to detect any bites.

A medium rod is recommended for deadsticking lake trout, as it provides flexibility without sacrificing strength. Additionally, a slightly shorter ice rod in the 26-34 inches range is best suited for this technique.

When choosing an ice fishing line for dead sticking, it is important to opt for a strong and durable cord that can handle the fight of a lake trout.

By carefully selecting the right rod and line, anglers can increase their chances of success when dead sticking for lake trout during ice fishing expeditions.

Suitable Reel Sizes

When choosing the right reel size for lake trout fishing, several factors must be considered. One of the benefits of using larger reel sizes, such as a size 30 or 40, is that they can accommodate larger baitfish. Lake trout are known for their aggressive feeding habits, so using a reel size that can handle larger baitfish can increase your chances of a successful catch.

Additionally, larger reel sizes often have a higher line capacity, allowing you to use heavier lines and target bigger fish. When choosing a reel size, it’s important to match it with the size of the baitfish you plan to use. A size 20 reel is suitable for small minnows, while a size 30 or 40 rotation is recommended for larger baitfish.

You can maximize your chances of landing that trophy lake trout by selecting the appropriate reel size.

Additional Considerations

In considering suitable reel sizes for lake trout fishing, it is important to consider factors such as the size of the baitfish and the aggressive feeding habits of lake trout. Lake trout are known to be voracious predators, often targeting larger baitfish. A size 20 reel would be suitable for smaller minnows, providing enough line capacity and control. However, when targeting larger baitfish, such as suckers or ciscoes, a size 30 or 40 reels is recommended to handle the increased weight and offer a smooth drag system. Having a reel that can withstand the strong runs and powerful fights that lake trout are known for is crucial.

To enhance the ice fishing experience, anglers should also consider heating ice shelters. These shelters provide protection from the elements and help maintain a comfortable temperature while spending long hours on the ice. Additionally, selecting the best ice fishing lines for lake trout is crucial. Strong and durable lines, such as braided or fluorocarbon lines, are recommended to withstand the aggressive strikes of lake trout and prevent break-offs. By considering these additional factors, anglers can optimize their equipment and increase their chances of success when targeting lake trout through the ice.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Reel Sizes for Lake Trout Fishing
Size of Baitfish Aggressive Feeding Habits of Lake Trout
Size 20 Reel for Small Minnows Size 30 or 40 Reels for Larger Baitfish
Line Capacity and Control Smooth Drag System
Heating Ice Shelters Best Ice Fishing Lines for Lake Trout


In conclusion, it is important to consider several factors in selecting the best rods when it comes to ice fishing for lake trout.

Longer rods with a strong backbone and excellent action are recommended for jigging, such as the Omen ice fishing rod.

Medium rods with a soft tip, like the Widow Maker Deadstick Ice Rod, are preferred for dead sticking.

The ideal rod length ranges from 26 to 42 inches, depending on the technique.

Additionally, selecting the right reel size based on the baitfish size is crucial.

Overall, having a durable ice fishing line and a heated shelter for comfort are essential for successful lake trout fishing.

About the author

Kimberly is an experienced angler and outdoor enthusiast with a passion for all things fishing. She has been honing her skills on the water for over 7 years, mastering various techniques and tactics for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.