6 Best Ice Fishing Rod Cases + Buying Guide

Updated on April 21, 2022 by

Ice fishing is growing in popularity but one key consideration is how to keep your equipment safe during transport and storage in particular in the form of ice fishing rod cases.

The worst-case scenario is traveling long distances, setting up your ice fishing shelter, digging your hole, unloading your truck, and finding a broken fishing rod. A high-quality ice fishing rod case can prevent that, protect your rod, and make sure you have a successful fishing adventure.

We have put together this article with a buyer’s guide to explain all the different options available as well as have gone through all of the models in the market at the moment. We have picked six of our favorites for you to pick from.

Have a read through our buying guide for ice fishing rods as well.

Let’s go!

Quick Summary – Best Ice Fishing Rod Case

Plano Airliner Telescoping Rod Case, Multi, One Size (458800) , Black
Docooler Portable Folding Fishing Rod Carrier Canvas Fishing Pole Tools Storage Bag Case Fishing...
Number of Rods
8 rods
3-5 rods
Telescoping from 47 to 88 inches
Canvas with 3 x Models of 3', 4 1/2', and 5'
Plano Airliner Telescoping Rod Case, Multi, One Size (458800) , Black
Number of Rods
8 rods
Telescoping from 47 to 88 inches
More Info
Best Overall
Docooler Portable Folding Fishing Rod Carrier Canvas Fishing Pole Tools Storage Bag Case Fishing...
Number of Rods
3-5 rods
Canvas with 3 x Models of 3', 4 1/2', and 5'
More Info

Ice Fishing Rod Case Buyer’s Guide

We have put together a buyer’s guide to help you to make a decision going forward. There are a few different designs and materials of construction that provide different weights and amounts of protection. Have a read through to improve your understanding and find a case that suits your requirements.

Hard Case or Soft Case

A common difference between the rod cases available in the material of construction. These can be in a hard case, made from aluminum or hard plastic, or a soft case, made from fabric or canvas.

The soft cases offer less protection but are lighter and can be stored easily when not in use.

The hard cases offer more protection but are heavier, and take up a lot of room when put away in the off-season.

Neither is better than the other, but just consider your own requirements and which will give your rods, reels, and tackle enough protection – both while on the ice and when sitting in the back of your truck.


There are a wide range of rod sizes available, particularly for ice fishing. You don’t need a rod case for a 9-foot-long surf rod.

If you fishing in summer as well as winter then you may want to use your rod case for both activities and get a rod case that suits longer rods.

Also, think about the longest rod you intend to store – not just now but into the future as well. If you are looking to store longer rods then you may want to think about getting a 2 or 3-piece rod. Rods that can be broken into multiple sections are significantly easier to transport and store.

Value for Money

We always recommend going for durable products, as the best way to get value for money is to make sure your purchase lasts for a lifetime. The worst thing you can do is buy a fishing rod case that doesn’t suit your needs, breaks early, and needs to be replaced before next season.

The way to judge value for money is not only the price  – although this does play a part.

Hard cases are generally more durable and long-lasting than soft fabric cases.

If you want a soft case then go for a higher denier material (we will go into what is denier in the next section). This means it is made from a thicker material and is generally more tear and abrasion-resistant.

After the durability of the product has been taken into account then have a look at the price. This will allow people with all budgets to make good decisions for the long term.

What is Denier?

Denier is a measurement of the thickness of fabrics and is often used to highlight the tear and abrasion resistance of a product. It is a measurement of the weight of 9 km of a fabric. So if 9 km of fabric weighs 1 gram, then it has 1 denier.

I know, a very strange measurement.

For a soft rod case, you will want to look at the denier to judge how likely the material is to rip when in use, such as when a fishing hook or fishing knife rubs up against it. 

  • Human Hair – 20 denier
  • Common Fabrics – 40 – 80 denier
  • Pack Cloth – 200 – 400 denier
  • Canvas – 400 – 800 denier

The denier of a rod case is useful to judge the durability but it is not the deciding factor.

6 Best Ice Fishing Rod Cases

We have gone through the marketplace looking for the best of the best fishing rod cases for ice fishing. These are the best 6 that are available, both in terms of hard cases, telescopic cases, and soft cases.

Have a read through these reviews below, keeping in mind your type and size of the rod to see if there is one that suits your requirements.

1. Docooler Folding Fishing Rod Case

The Docooler folding fishing rod case is made from canvas and comes in a two or three-compartment model. The side compartments have room for your reels and any other tools that don’t fit in your tackle box.

It’s shoulder strap also means that you can put it on your back and transport it with ease. The straps are also adjustable so you can get a comfortable fit no matter how tall you are.

The canvas is water-resistant, wear resistant, and very durable. The zipper has double stitching so you don’t need to worry about it coming loose like some canvas bags tend to do.

Number of Rods: 3-5 rods depending on the model

Length: This comes in 3 feet, 4 1/4 feet, and 5 feet long to suit your needs.

Weight: 1.7 – 2.5 pounds

ON SALE $10.00 OFF

2. Plano Airliner Telescoping Rod Case

The other option is a hard case, but unfortunately, they are bulky to store when not in use. That is where the Plano telescoping hard case comes in handy. When it is extended you get a 4.5″ diameter case that can store 8 x 7 foot long rods. When it is not in use just collapse it down to 4 feet long and tuck it away.

The hard case keeps your rods safe in a way that a soft case simply cannot. This is big and bulky when extended and you will want to make sure you pack some foam or packing inside if you are only storing one or two rods so they don’t bump into each other during transport.

Number of Rods: 8 rods

Length of Rods: 7 feet rods

3. Clam Hard Case Rod Locker

This aluminum hard rod locker is the ultimate protection. If you are worried about the fabric soft cases, then you will want a hard case like this model. No amount of bumps or knocks will damage your expensive rods.

As with all hard cases, you will want to fill the space with cloth or packing so your rods don’t rattle and scratch each other in transport.

The case weighs 11 pounds and is 34″ long, 14″ wide, and 6″ deep. It is a heavy, durable, tough case that will keep your ice fishing gear in good condition.

Number of Rods: 5-6 rods

Length of Rods: 34″ long

4. Lixada Fishing Rod Case

Lixada makes a number of great products that we have reviewed before and this ice fishing rod case is no exception. It has two main compartments for rods as well as a side pocket for the storage of other items. There is also a breathable mesh pocket to store your smelly fishing gloves after use.

It comes in two different colors – black or army green. The shoulder strap makes carrying it easy and it can be folded up and stored without taking up much room when not in use.

Made from 420 denier fabric it is waterproof, tear-resistant, and abrasion-resistant, making it durable that will last for years. This is a number you will want to compare with other models to find the strongest material available.

Number of Rods: Two rods can be stored in each compartment for four total rods

Length of Rods: Up to 5 feet long

5. Striker Transporter Ice Fishing

Striker are a renowned ice fishing brand and specializes in cold temperature products. This highly versatile transporter can store 4-5 rods along with reel storage areas. The main compartment is lined with a tough poly/vinyl material to protect your gear from banging in contact.

The side pockets also give you space to keep your accessories that don’t fit in your normal tackle bag like tip-ups, skimmers, and fishing gloves.

This is not your ordinary rod case and is specifically designed for ice fishermen. The main compartment has the feel of a rigid tube and offers similar protection.

Number of Rods: 4-5 rods

Length of Rods: 3′ long so make sure you have rods that suit

6. UNISTRENGH Fishing Rod Case

The final option in our list is this Unistrength soft fabric fishing rod case. Made from 900 denier fabric, this rod case is waterproof, tear-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and durable.

It comes in multiple different lengths and a number of compartments so you can get the exact size you need – there are 12 different types. This ranges from 2’6″ in length to 4′.

It also has zippered side pockets to store your other accessories like your multitool, pliers, and spare line. The straps also allow it to be carried like a backpack so you can transport it long distances in comfort.

Number of Rods: 4 depending on the model

Length of Rods: 2’6″ to 4′, so you will need to make sure your rods fit.


That brings us to the end – hopefully you have gained a better understanding of what ice fishing rod cases are available and the key differences between them. Ice fishing is an extreme environment and you want to be sure that your gear is in good condition when traveling.

You will need to take into account the strength of the case, how easily it can be carried, how many rods it can hold, and the length of those rods. You will need to be comfortable with how long your longest rod will be, particularly for one-piece designs.

There are also more reviews available online that might help your decision-making.

If you have experience with a rod case that has lasted for decades then I would love to hear about it – please leave a comment below. This allows all of our community to gain from your experience and wisdom.

Happy fishing!

Last update on 2022-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Russ Egan

Russ is an avid fisherman. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. His favorite reel is a Shimano Curado Baitcaster. His dream is to catch a Black Marlin.

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