How to Make Homemade Ice Fishing Rods

Written by jonathan croswell
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How to Make Homemade Ice Fishing Rods
Ice fishing rods. (Photo courtesy of m.prink on Flickr)

Ice fishing is a popular sport the farther north you go, but it's not quite the same as traditional fishing. Ice fishing is usually done in huts on a frozen lake. These huts have holes cut into their bottoms for fishers to access ice, drill holes and drop their bait into the lake. Ice fishing requires a short rod because of the space constraints and holes in the ice that can be the size of a baseball or smaller. You can go to an outdoor recreation store and buy one, or you can make one at home for a fraction of the cost.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Dowel or scrap wood
  • Hacksaw
  • Wood glue
  • Tip top and fishing line guides
  • Tape
  • Cork or rubber gripping
  • Epoxy

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  1. 1

    Find a dowel (a solid cylindrical rod) between two and four feet long or make your own from scratch wood. The rod stem should be around 3/8 of an inch thick.

  2. 2

    Find a tip top that will fit the end of your rod stem and glue it on. Tip tops are the pointed covers on top of the fishing rod with a guide that absorbs much of the pressure when a fish bites and pulls on your fishing line. The tip top should be able to fit snugly over the end of the rod. You can try using one from an old fishing rod or buy one at a fishing supply store.

  3. 3

    Attach two or three fishing line guides with either glue or tape. These are rings through which the fishing line will pass. Place them at one foot intervals, keeping the guides in line with the guide on the tip top.

  4. 4

    Choose material to use as a rod grip. Cork grip is a popular choice, or you chould choose to wrap a durable rubber grip around the base. If using cork, cut a hole about the diameter of your rod in the middle.

  5. 5

    Coat the handle end of the rod with epoxy and place the handle on it. Allow to dry before using.

Tips and warnings

  • If you don't have suitable material for making a handle, you can try using the rod without it. You might need a glove to avoid wearing your hands out.

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