What Ice Rods Would the Grumpy Old Men Build?

With winter looming, it’s hard not to think of a certain duo of grumpy old men and the ice rods they’d be building for first ice.

Ice Fishing with Max Goldman and John Gustafson

Although they had a lifelong feud as neighbors off the ice, Max Goldman and John Gustafson both enjoyed their time ice fishing.

Picture Courtesy of Warner Bros. Grumpy Old Men, 1997.

In fact, it’s only one of a few loves they shared, but that’s none of our business…

Our business is rod building and this blog is taking a stab at what ice fishing rods Goldman and Gustafson would be rushing to build before winter.

“The Green Hornet Strikes Again… Caught My Limit!”

Well let’s look at Max first, if you don’t think he’s into rod building, you should watch again.

The green hornet was quite a creation. Sure the duck shaped handle was unconventional, but that often becomes the beauty of custom rod building.

Now the only way he wouldn’t use the green hornet, is if Gustafson sabotaged his beloved fishing rod. In this case, Goldman would have to build a replacement… The FIB-26UL-MHX Power Noodle.

The FIB-26UL-MHX Power Noodle is Goldman’s choice for many reasons:

  1. The extra fast action tip is strategically softer in the first 2-3 inches to feel softer takes on small jigs and plastics
  2. The Ultra-light power of FIB-26UL-MHX gets grumpier towards mid-blank
  3. Locking up mid-blank allows for more cushion when larger fish run
  4. The mid-blank locking point also keeps it from flexing down into the grip
  5. Plus, it’s the biggest seller in the MHX line of performance driven ice blanks

Max Goldman Building the Green Hornet 2.0

Next, Max would have to build a new handle to rival the original. The green hornet’s duck handle is hard to beat, but by shaping EVA, it’s not impossible to try.

Shaping the foregrip like the mallard’s head and the rear grip such as the body, Max would add an arbor and a reel seat in between for the complete handle setup. Goldman then glues all three components to the ice blank and thinks well, it just might work!

Shaping a grip into a duck gets pretty fowl, but learn more about Shaping Custom EVA Grips here

With the handle built, Goldman moves on to wrapping on the ice rod guides. To celebrate the return of the green hornet, Max chooses the CFS-A-525 ProWrap Thread for deep, vivid green guide wraps to match.

Maybe Max Goldman would never quack the case of his missing rod, but you know he would have to build an even better one.

Start building your own ice rods with the MHX Turnkey Kit that includes every blank, component, tool, and supply you need to build three fishing rods, including the FIB-26UL-MHX Power Noodle.




“Two… Fish are on There You Bone-Head!”

Although both love ice fishing, we can all agree that one of these grumpy old men came home with far less evidence of success.

But that’s ok because John Gustafson is no moron, he’s just more into the escape and the basic comforts of ice fishing. He really doesn’t even watch his rod tip, but may eye the line from time to time.

And you can bet he only keeps the fish he will eat!

Since John’s known for telling stories about the big fish he hooks with little supporting evidence, chances are Gustafson’s smaller bites would benefit more from a solid carbon blank.

When catching more panfish and taking home the occasional tale of losing something much larger like Gustafson, the CIB-26L-MHX Solid Carbon is the perfect fit.

Why Would Gustafson Choose the CIB-26L-MHX?

  • Great for line-watchers
  • Solid carbon ice blanks allow for better feel on light bites
  • Vibrations travel through carbon for an enhanced bite detection
  • It’s design helps detect negative bites, when fish like crappie pick up the jig and unload the rod

Choosing Ice Rod Components

Unlike Goldman’s green hornet, Gustafson wouldn’t want all the bells of whistles of customization.

He would rather build an ice rod with a more traditional appeal. Let’s say classic cork grips, a reel seat with a little shine, and solid black guides wraps will do for John.

John Gustafson enjoys simplicity, but not at the cost of performance…

And that’s easy because this rod is conveniently available in the MHX Solid Carbon Ice Rod Kit!




**The main image of this blog was is property of imdb.com.  If you haven’t seen the movie, check it out here.**