Friday, December 14, 2012

Test Drive: Whip'r Ice Rod

Each season I get the "bug" or "itch" to hit the ice way too early, and with no ice in sight the only way I can scratch that itch is by buying new ice gear. If you are a member you have no doubt seen my annual thread entitled "building my arsenal" that follows my purchases throughout each ice season. 

Back in pre-ice 2012 one of the products that made it on that list was the Whip'r rod by K&E Lures. I had heard some decent hype about this decently priced rod, and being a gill chaser, it looks like it would fill a nice hole in my current arsenal.. boy was I wrong 


Don't miss-understand the above statement, this rod is not all bad (more like a bad experience). The rod itself has many redeeming qualities. First off, it comes in a great selection of sizes, I personally prefer to fish medium to longer rods, so having the option of picking up a 28", 36" and even a 48" is a big perk. (there is a con to follow.. see below)

The tip of these rods is sweet, it has great flex and has the perfect feel for small bait pan fishing. One this not common on ice rods is a reel seat, so to see this on a lower priced rod is odd, and a nice perk. The rod is well balanced so the addition of the reel seat should not effect your fishing. But if you are the kinda guy that likes the ability to move the reel around the find the sweet spot, this rod is not for you.

The Whip'r rod is available by itself or in a combo, as always I will recommend not getting the reel as more often then not these are an after thought and not the quality you want when on the ice.


I will start off by finishing the above paragraph in the "pros"section about the rod length. The lengths you see on on the website are deceiving as this rod has a very long handle and extended butt. For Example the 48" rod has an 11" handle making the rod fish more like a 36" rod then a 48". This is even more of an issue on the shorter rods, the fishing end of the 24" rod is very short and even tiny reels like a Tica Cetus (seen above) look huge and weighty. I don't usually fish with a rod under 24" and would not have ordered the 24" if I knew it was so short

A bigger concern then the rod length is the overall durability. My Whip'r rod lasted one outing, one fish, one hook set actually. As you can see from the below image the rod snapped through the blank just above the cork. This was extremely disappointing and left a bad taste in my mouth, so much so that I did not bother reporting the issue or replacing the rod

I was very surprised by the rods response. As mentioned in the "Pro" section the Whip'r has a nice tip and seemed to respond well down the blank. I'm not sure if it seized up in the colder temps causing the loss of action and in turn the blank snapped. Either way a rod designed for ice fishing should hold up to the cold, and a rod designed for pan fish should hold up to medium sized crappies

Below are some of the crappies we landed on the trip in which i snapped my Whip'r rod. As you can see although nice fish they are by no means monsters and any rod calling itself "the ultimate panfish' rod should have been able to handle them. So if you are in the market for pan fish rod that can handle gills, perch and crappie.. keep looking

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