Making several trips from your car to a possible ice fishing spot is not an excellent way to start ice fishing. Luckily, all you need is an ice fishing rod case. But don’t cheap out because the last thing you’d want is to damage your expensive ice fishing gear.
So, which ice fishing rod case should you get? We’ve narrowed it down to seven options, highly rated by many anglers. We even found a case that can even hold ice fishing tip-ups! Let’s get started.
What to Look For in the Best Ice Fishing Rod Cases
Before picking up an ice fishing rod case online or from a nearby fishing store, you should always consider the following:
Soft vs Hard Case
When buying an ice fishing rod case, you first have to decide whether you want a soft or hard case. Soft cases are cheaper and lightweight, but they offer less protection for your rods. Hard cases are more expensive and heavier, but they offer better protection for your rods.
Ultimately, it’s a decision about the trade-off you want to make between cost, weight, and protection.
Number of Rods
When buying a rod case, you need to consider how many rods you want to carry. Some cases can only hold one or two rods, while others hold up to six. If you plan on taking a lot of equipment with you, it might be worth investing in a larger case.
If you want a soft case, check the denier level or the thickness of the fabric. A soft case ice fishing rod with a lower denier rating is more prone to ripping. So, unless you have dedicated storage for sharp ice fishing equipment, always choose a soft case with a higher denier level.
The best option is a three-point locking system that engages each side latches and one on top to seal your gear securely during transport. However, some cases only offer two-point locks, which may not provide enough security when transporting equipment.
What Is the Best Ice Fishing Rod Case?
With these top 7 best ice fishing rod cases, you can finally keep your ice fishing rods and other small ice fishing gear safe and sound. We’ve rated them based on durability, weight, and rod capacity.
1. Allen Company Cottonwood Fly Fishing Rod & Gear Bag Case
If you need an affordable case to transport your fishing gear, this Allen Company case is perfect. It’s well built and has a ton of space inside. It even comes with movable dividers that come in handy when trying to pack things tight. Plus, the outside pockets will hold anything from your rod brackets all the way down to your low-profile gear. While the case is very well padded and protects its contents, we don’t suggest pushing it to the limit – it can collapse.
2. Frabill XL Ice Combo Rod Case
This case is the perfect way to bring all your equipment and keep your ice fishing equipment in tip-top shape. It has an olive honeycomb frame that seats your equipment nicely, with eight external adjustable dividers for storing reels or other accessories. In addition, you can loosen the soft handle if you need to make storage larger and easier.
3. Plano Airliner Telescoping Rod Case
The Plano Airliner Telescoping Rod Case doesn’t have the standard rectangular shape of other cases. Instead, as its name implies, it has a telescopic three-tier design that somewhat looks like a supersized drawing storage tube.
It protects your ice fishing rod from all sides with its thick and tough construction. However, since it is cylindrical, it is highly recommended to remove the reels.
4. Eagle Claw Ice Rod/Accessory Case
Organizing your gear in this Eagle Claw ice fishing rod case is easy due to its adjustable foam dividers. Also, there’s plenty of room in the eagle claw ice rod case to keep a chest pack, extra reels/spools, and assorted tackle. The only problem is you might struggle to fit in larger rods. The good news is that it can hold a 42″ lake trout rod.
5. Flambeau Outdoors 4455bb Rod Bunk Box
This Flambeau Outdoors is perfect for those who like having their rods ready and accessible. The foam that holds the reels isn’t glued together, so you can easily move them around for a perfect fit. Its heavy-duty latches keep the case tightly closed, preventing your ice fishing gear from falling out when you accidentally drop the case.
6. Lakewood Ice Pack Tip-Up/Rod Case
Another unique ice fishing rod that you should consider is the LAKEWOOD Ice Pack Tip-Up/Rod Case E090-BK. And, there are several reasons why it’s perfect for you. First, the case isn’t too big or bulky, so you can easily take it on fishing trips and store all your gear. Second, there’s also enough room to fit two tip-ups, 4 rods, and an assortment of other gear such as bobbers and hooks.
7. Allen Company Riprap Fishing Rod Case
If you like the tube design of the Plano but don’t want to risk damaging your fishing reel, get the Allen Company Riprap Fishing Rod Case. It addresses the Plano’s design issues by having more room in the lower half where your reel is located. Plus, two pieces 7″ rod holders can fit nicely with room left, so you can still put your hand through them if needed.
However, if you use double rods, you need to be careful when removing them from the hard case because the loop touches the inner surface. And, the handle’s too far back to carry balanced (nose heavy), and surprisingly, it has no strap for carrying.
With a few of the most important factors in mind, you should be able to find a suitable case for your needs. If you have any questions or comments about our list, leave a comment.