Are you talking about a regular full length rod Sly?
I've seen a few guys use the full size rods as a means of "sneaking up" on some holes. It's usually guys who like to hole hop a lot. As for the weak backbone on those rods, I'm not sure of the purpose, though I wouldn't want a super stiff rod for panfish.
I have seen guys use longer rods for trout/salmon and I've heard it's so they can get the tip of the rod under the ice to prevent line fraying against the edge of the ice.
i have a noodle rod end section off a 10ft rod that i broke. its about 3ft long tip to end been using it for about 15 years for ice fishing. i love it got 4 lb ultra thin line and spinning real on it. i have pulled in pike, trout, catfish, walleye and buckets full of perch and panfish with it works great.
The longer the rod the less stress put on your line, this is very good with a bigger fish on, it allows the rod to play the fish and not the line and can help tire a fish out faster...that being said, I'm used to short rods in both soft and hard water so I like them.
I was thinkin' rods in the 24" range.
I guess it depends if you fish with a bobber,line watch or feel for the bite through the rod.
I use a spring bobber so I have no need for a super sensitive tip.:SHOCKED:
What I really want is.........................To catch fish like Harry!!!!:help:
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