Panfishing is often the time to use a spring bobber on your ice rod, but not always. When using large search baits for suspended basin panfish (read more on the best search baits for panfish here), Jason Mitchell recommends opting for a rod with a soft, fiberglass tip because the added stiffness will allow you to give those larger lures the bounce that they need to rock blades back and forth, etc.
Shown in this clip is the Jason Mitchell Dead Meat 32″ Medium Action Ice Rod. For fishing deeper water, Mitchell prefers to run braided line with a thin diameter, namely Clam’s Frost Braid in a 6lb test paired with a 4lb Frost Fluoro leader. In clearer water, make sure to use a longer leader than usual. Mitchell generally ties his on with an Alberto knot and then blackens the braid just above the knot with a Sharpie marker to help make it more a little more invisible.
When using bigger search lures over deep water, braid and a glass tip can give you just a bit of an edge to land more fish.