As you get more and more into something in fishing, you tend to pay more attention to small areas that need improved. When it comes to something as simple as an Ice fishing rod, there are so many small variables that play into the application. The fish you are targeting, the depths, the line, the lure weight, in a shanty or hole hopping. There are many “do-all” type rods on the market that try to cover a wide variety of applications, but sometimes you want something exactly for how and where you ice fish. You see the ads on the outdoor programs for the big name custom builders in the industry, but if you take a second and look you’ll find small local custom rod builders are right in your backyard.
We came across Misery Bay Custom Ice Rods in Erie, PA a few years ago off of a Facebook group we were in. Sent a quick message over to the page through their Facebook Page and got a response in a few minutes from owner/builder, Adam Franz. After a quick conversation he invited us over to take a look at his “shop”. Now this is not some huge factory, this is an area above his garage he has created and designated to where he builds his ice rods one by one by hand. Misery Bay Custom Ice Rods offers a variety of rod blanks in a variety of action, colors, and construction along with a variety of rod guides to choose from. He had a few available to demo or feel out. And after a brief conversation on how we where and how we planned to use, we had a game plan on the rod action and length. They turned out amazing, the action and quality is on par if not better to just about anything I have picked up.
I now I spend my ice fishing seasons just enjoying the difference a custom built ice rod makes.