10 Best Ice Fishing Reels: Reviewed, Rated & Compared

Last Updated on

If you're used to fishing in the warm sun, and you're just counting down the days until the next fishing season, then why not try fishing in a whole new way- through the ice! Ice fishing is beloved by anglers for its solitude and atmosphere.

There isn’t too much more magical than setting up your gear on a frozen lake and hoping to catch your lunch from under the ice. You’ll need the right tools and equipment, though. Luckily, Fishing Pax has reviewed and compared some of the best ice fishing reels on the market.

Preview

Product

Gear Ratio

Line Capacity

Check Price

KastKing Summer Spinning Reel,Size 3000...

KastKing Summer and Centron

5.2:1

4/240 6/155 yds/lbs

Eagle Claw In Line Ice Reel

Eagle Claw

2.6:1

190/4 lbs/yds

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel &...

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2

5.2:1

180/2 110/4 85/6 yds/lbs

Penn Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel,...

PENN Pursuit III

6.2:1

255/6 175/8 140/10 yds/lbsc

Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel Size 10 - 5Lb Max...

Okuma Ceymar

4.5:1

210/2 110/4 70/6 yds/lbs

Pflueger MONICEB Monarch Ice Spinning Reel

Pflueger MONICEB Monarch

4.2:1

180/2 110/6 95/8 yds/lbs

Piscifun ICX 5 Ice Fishing Reel - 5.2:1...

Piscifun ICX 5

5.2:1

4/140 4/140 lb/yds

Abu Garcia ICEMAX 4842-1331 Ice MAX Spinning...

Abu Garcia ICEMAX

5.2:1

190/2, 100/4, 80/6 yds/lbs

13 FISHING Black Betty Freefall Ghost Inline...

13 FISHING Black Betty Freefall Ghost

2.5:1

100/4 yds/lbs

Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel 18LB Carbon...

Piscifun Torrent

7.1:1

30/120 10/120 yds/lbs


3 Ice Fishing Reel Types Explained

  • Spinning Reel
    Spinning reels are one of the easiest reels to master. For ice fishing, there are many models available that have been designed specifically for below zero temperatures. They include elongated yolks and antifreeze lubricates. These spinning reels typically made stronger than freshwater or saltwater reels and are very flexible. You’ll be able to catch panfish or larger fish species at ease with this reel type. One big downside to spinners is that the front drag can be challenging to operate in gloves depending on the design and manufacturer.
  • Inline Reel
    If you are looking for an ice fishing reel that’s perfect for jigging, then an inline reel is perfectly designed for it. These reels allow the line to lay on the spool without twisting, which, in turn, allows the bait to be jigged without spinning continuously. They suit a pistol grip technique that is preferred by many ice anglers, and the handy free spool buttons on some models will become a lifesaver for your hands in gloves. Their simple construction lowers their price, too, so you'll be able to find an inexpensive reel or very affordable combo that suits your budget.
  • Baitcasting Reel
    Baitcasters are beloved by anglers for their high level of flexibility and smooth cranking. The drag system is usually located on the side near the handle of the reel and is used to set and regulate the tension placed on the line while fighting fish. New technologies have made baitcasting reels stronger yet compact. And, even though they were once the more expensive reels, there are new and affordable models coming to the market. They require a little more skill to operate, yet no casting is required, making them easy to use.

A Buyer’s Guide for Ice Fishing Reels

Type of Fish & Environment

It's safest to ice fish in frozen lakes, ponds, and rivers when the ice is around 4 - 6 inches. Any area of ice that's below 3" or less isn't safe to walk on. In terms of depth, when you're suspending your bait, it's best to fish your bait at half the total depth of where you are fishing.

If it's 12 feet deep, suspend the bait at 6 feet. This is a great rule of thumb for all ice fishing environments. You’ll catch species like pike, crappie, sunfish, perch, and bullhead in freezing climates. Whereas pike, bass, and walleye fishing can only be found during certain times of the season.

Reel Type

There three main fishing reel types anglers can choose from. Baitcasting reels tend to be heavier in weight and can be challenging to manage as a novice angler. If you do figure out how to use it, they are excellent for catching large and vigorous species like lake trout.

In terms of inline and spinning reels, inline reels may suit the temperature better, and they're much easier on your hand for long fishing trips. The various components aren't too close together, so locking up won't be a huge issue. Spinning reels are great if you're a beginner, and they're the most versatile so you can get extra bang for your buck.

Freeze Resistance/Anti-Ice Protection

Manufacturers are aware of the freezing cold conditions anglers face when they're ice fishing. So, some impressive new materials are being used in reels to decrease the lock-up during freezing temperatures. Materials are finished with freeze-resistant protective layers at the end of production to help this problem. Worst case scenario, you should always have some sort of Antifreeze Paste or spray on hand to reduce freezing on your line and rod guides even if your rod and reel have antifreeze properties.

Body Design

Ice fishing reels aren't made for your typical sized fishing rods. Some specific ice fishing rods range from 16-24 inches in length, which is shorter than most fishing techniques. As the rod is smaller, the reel needs to be smaller in size so that it properly balanced with the smaller ice fishing rods. A good size for a reel is 2500 (25) or smaller. Spinning reels tend to be the smallest and most lightweight reels in this category, but don't forget to check out different styles if it suits your environment better.

Bearings & Gear Ratio

Ball bearings help to ensure the reel is operating smoothly and freely despite the amount of drag. The more bearings an ice fishing reel has, the better it is on performance and for the spin speed of the reel. If you're unsure, then 5 bearings is a good medium. As for gear ratios, If you are fishing under 25  feet, a good gear ratio would be around 5.1:1. The drag on your ice fishing reel is important, too. Choose a reel that allows smaller adjustments on the drag.

Reel Components

An ice fishing reel is composed of either graphite or carbon fiber. Graphite is a great choice when looking at reel components, as it has both highly rated strength and lightweight specs for the harsh winter temperatures. Some other components are clickers, spools, cork or foam handles, and antifreeze features. You'll see some reels will have amazing clickers that work well while wearing gloves.

Line Type & Capacity

If you want maximum success when ice fishing, you'll need a line that can combat the challenges while on your trip. But, there's no need to worry, many manufacturers have made lines to withhold some of the toughest conditions. Monofilament is the most popular go-to ice fishing line because it is strong, durable, and easier to handle in cold conditions. Another trendy line is Fluorocarbon. Fluorocarbon lines also sink faster than mono, which makes for a more natural fall for lightweight ice jigs.

Price & Warranty

The more you spend doesn’t always correlate to better quality when it comes to ice fishing reels. If you buy your reel with a reputable brand, you’ll often get state-of-the-art features and materials specially produced from that manufacturer, and often at a great price and with a warranty that ranges from 1-year to a lifetime.  These warranties will cover non-conformities in material and workmanship on the purchased rod.


10 Best Ice Fishing Reels Reviewed

1. KastKing Summer and Centron

Our Top Pick

Reel Material

Graphite

Weight

0.45 lbs.

Gear Ratio

5.2:1

Line Capacity

4/240 6/155 yds/lbs

Ball Bearings

9+1

We start our list with the KastKing Summer & Centron spinning reel. KastKing is a relatively new fishing gear company that has excelled in making great performing rods and reels at multiple price points. And the Summer & Centron reel proves to be the best ice fishing spinning reel.

The KastKing Summer and Centron reel has a compact graphite frame. Graphite reels are very lightweight, but the shaft on this reel feels strong and durable as it's composed of hardened metal. Each reel has 9 quality ball bearings and one instant stop, anti-reverse bearing that moves in one direction. This gives the reel an ultra-smooth performance. However, for angling, you may need to spin the reel a little longer as it’s higher than your average bearings.

Some of the other features of this high-performing reel are the CNC- Machined Aluminium Spool, which allows the reels to have a precise line-lay. The interchangeable handle which allows any left or right-handed angler to use it with just a push of a button.

And, finally, a precise pinion gear system that is easy to use and delivers incredible performance when ice fishing. The Summer & Centron reel is finished with anti-corrosion paint that protects it from probable damage, so you'll have a strong reel that's extremely durable for your ice fishing adventure.

Pros
  • Great quality reel at an affordable price
  • Can be used in saltwater, freshwater, and ice-fishing
  • Great drag system
  • Good for the novice or experienced anglers alike
Cons
  • Sporty design- may not be every anglers taste

2. Eagle Claw

Best Inline Ice Fishing Reel

Reel Material

Nylon Frame

Weight

0.39 lbs.

Gear Ratio

2.6:1

Line Capacity

190/4 lbs/yds

Ball Bearings

4+1

If you're looking for the best inline ice fishing reel, the Eagle Claw ice fishing reel is excellent for its features and price point. Low price doesn't mean low quality in this case as this reel was built according to the high level of quality standards set by the manufacturer. It may be great value for your money, but there were no compromises made on performance.

This inline ice fishing reel is covered in nylon and provides a smooth touch. The handle is constructed of aluminum, which is one of the most raved features on the Eagle Claw reel. Anglers love its non-slip grip and find it easy to use even with gloves on. Just like our top pick, the handle can be adjusted to suit left or right-handed anglers, too, so no one will have to go without, but be prepared to disassemble and reassemble it to change the position.

This reel is particularly great for all types of jigs and baits as it features a free spool. Anglers can let a jig drop down the hole without having to peel the line off by hand. You can adjust the spool to light or heavy jigs and according to your preferences. The line is released once the button has been pressed, making it extremely easy to use.

The ball bearings are lower than our top pick, but the 4+1 bearings give a ton of smoothness during use. Many anglers alike love this inline reel for ice fishing for its simplicity and effectiveness, and for a reel below $30, it's hard to beat it on price. 

Pros
  • Smooth Teflon drag- won’t freeze in cold conditions
  • Nylon body and spool are great for all weather conditions
  • Features a line clicker
  • Extremely light in weight
Cons
  • Changing the hand position proves to be a little complicated

3. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2

Best Ice Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Reel Material

Graphite

Weight

0.51 lbs.

Gear Ratio

5.2:1

Line Capacity

180/2 110/4 85/6 yds/lbs

Ball Bearings

1

If you're completely new to the ice-fishing realm, you may be on the hunt for a reel and a rod. There are tons of combos for baitcasting rods and reels, and spin casting combos are available, too. Ugly Stik has created a great combo with ice-fishing in mind. The GX2 ice fishing reel & rod combo comes in 4 models, and there’s a light pink option for the lady anglers, too. Ranging from 26" to 30", this rod and reel are an excellent option for new-comers and at a reasonable price.

Ugly Stick prides themselves for combining their heritage and tradition to make reliable, durable products, and the GX2 is no different. It comes with a 20-sized spinning reel with 1 ball bearing. Usually, you'd look for a ball bearing of 5 or higher, but the reel operates quite seamlessly with only 1 bearing.

It has a twist-lock reel seat with EVA handles, and it works on either side, making it easy to switch for left or right-handed anglers. The ported aluminum spool is great for the weather conditions you may face and won't freeze so quickly. It also makes it lighter in weight and gives it added durability.

The reel is accompanied by a genuine Ugly Stick blank with a clear tip design that looks great and goes well with the reel. The stainless steel guides are also a great feature for under zero weather conditions. Overall, the rod and reel combo works a treat and could be an ideal option for new anglers.

Pros
  • Genuine Ugly Stick good-quality blank
  • Ported aluminum spool for lighter weight
  • Durable gears and guides
  • Great combo for beginners
Cons
  • Low ball bearings make it less smooth than its competitors

4. PENN Pursuit III

Best Budget-Friendly Ice Fishing Reel

Reel Material

Graphite Body & Rotor

Weight

0.61 lbs.

Gear Ratio

6.2:1

Line Capacity

255/6 175/8 140/10 yds/lbs

Ball Bearings

4+1

If you have a rod that suits ice fishing environments, then buying a reel on its own might suit your needs better. The Penn Pursuit III is another great reel but at a budget-friendly price. It has a ton of features that many of Penn's reels have and is suitable for saltwater, freshwater, and of course, for ice fishing.

The Penn Pursuit III is a popular model constructed with durability in mind. Its smooth gear system runs like a dream and lives up to the expectation anglers have on Penn products. This reel features an ultra-lightweight, corrosion-resistant graphite body and powerful HT-100 drag system. With 4+1 shielded ball bearings, the smoothness and resistance are pretty impressive for the reels' price. Not to mention, the Instant Anti-Reverse eliminates even the slightest rotor back play for instant hookups every time.

This reel is available in six sizes from 2500 to 8000, so you're bound to find the right size to catch a great-sized perch or bass fish. This reel is versatile, durable, and is made by a well reputable brand that most anglers have bought from before. It's a perfect example that high performing reels don’t need to come with a high price point.

Pros
  • Great price for high performing reel
  • Penn brand is a well-known brand with a good warranty
  • Improved drag system from the Pursuit II
  • Versatile for many fishing environments
Cons
  • Heavier than  other reels on our list

5. Okuma Ceymar

Best Ice Fishing Reel for Panfish

Reel Material

Graphite

Weight

0.45 lbs.

Gear Ratio

4.5:1

Line Capacity

210/2 110/4  70/6 yds/lbs

Ball Bearings

7+1

Fishing ice-cold water for panfish can prove to be quite tricky if you're not prepared. Your tackle and tactics need to match the lifestyle of the fish. You'll need smaller baits, a durable rod, and a tough reel to bring in each catch. The Okuma Cermar is a low cost and top quality reel that has the ability to reeling in panfish in no time.

The Ceymar spinning reel has a sleek design and smooth performance. It’s constructed on a fluid 8-bearing drive system and features Okuma precision elliptical gearing. Not only are these gear efficient, but they’re also precise and easy to use.

It also comes with a solid, machined aluminum spool that creates a foundation of strength for monofilament and braided fishing lines with great line capacity. The heavy-duty solid aluminum bail wire and oversized line roller deliver confident performance over long periods so you can spend dusk to dawn on the ice without problems.

It has a corrosion-resistant body made of graphite that is extremely tough, and a quality multi-disc drag system. The Okuma Ceymar will see you catch and handle panfish in ice water easily but also saltwater fish species like Mulloway, rays, tailor, snapper, morwong, and so much more. It's a great all-rounder for nearly any fishing trip.

Pros
  • Very versatile reel, suitable for boat, beach, rock and ice fishing
  • Great value for money
  • Computer balanced rotor for greater balance
  • Great for novice anglers
Cons
  • No anti-reverse system

6. Pflueger MONICEB Monarch

Best Ice Fishing Reel for Perch

Reel Material

Graphite Frame & Rotor

Weight

0.18 lbs.

Gear Ratio

4.2:1

Line Capacity

180/2 110/6  95/8 yds/lbs

Ball Bearings

4+1

Ice fishing for perch fish is one way to get anglers excited on the ice. A school of feeding fish could come in your midst, and you could easily catch enough perch fish for lunch and dinner. Your reel needs to be smooth and quick, so you'll be able to drop bait time and time again. The Pflueger ice fishing spinning reel by MONICEB has high-tech features to improve its speed and efficiency.

The Pfleuger reel has a 4+1 ball bearing system that resists corrosion, along with a graphite body rotor for extra protection. The aluminum bail is also great for fighting harsh weather conditions. Its stainless-steel outer construction is responsible for the smooth and durable reel layout. It’s been tested to prove its strength and to show anglers that can last for years.

The handle is oversized and made of rubber so you can use it even with bulky fishing gloves. It's also interchangeable, so left and right-handed anglers can use it, too. The reel is only available in one size, but this reel is a perfect fit for shallow ice water so you can jig easily when you're looking for panfish. Furthermore, MONICEB is a popular brand amongst fishers, and even though their prices may be low, it holds as much quality as many higher priced brands.

Pros
  • High-quality materials were used- suitable for all fishing environments
  • Ball bearings make reeling your catch feel smooth
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Great pricepoint
Cons
  • Only available in one size

7. Piscifun ICX 5

Best Ice Fishing Reel for Lake Trout

Reel Material

Graphite

Weight

0.39lbs.

Gear Ratio

5.2:1

Line Capacity

4/140 4/140 lb/yds

Ball Bearings

5+1

If you’re close by to a lake and you’ve got the chance to go lake trout fishing on the ice, you’re in luck. The newly renovated ICX5 reel by Piscifun is specially designed for ice fishing; it could easily be used as a regular reel in freshwater. It has a high strength body made from graphite as well as a graphite rotor that ensures toughness in all of the elements. 

One of the best features of this reel is the quick folding handle. It folds neatly away so you can carry it with ease while traveling.  The instant anti-reverse gives a very smooth performance, particularly when you are wrestling with a big catch like a lake trout. The aluminum spool design is water-resistant and prevents water from getting to the rotor. Not only this, but the line management gives an even line capacity and has no problem holding braided line, for example.

You’ll also have no trouble with the incredible front drag system as it’s easy to adjust, with an oversized spool preventing excessive line coiling. With an extended stem that is perfect when you’re wearing big, bulky gloves, and stainless steel discs that offer twice the drag surface of conventional reels. You'll be glad to experience this high-performing reel catching species on fresh and ice water.

Pros
  • Quick fold handle is great for traveling
  • Has a very smooth performance
  • Budget-friendly
  • Lightweight and compact
Cons
  • Not suitable for saltwater use

8. Abu Garcia ICEMAX

Best Ice Fishing Reel for Walleye

Reel Material

Graphite Body & Frame

Weight

0.51 lbs.

Gear Ratio

5.2:1

Line Capacity

190/2, 100/4, 80/6 yds/lbs

Ball Bearings

3+1

Abu Garcia is a reputable fishing equipment manufacturing company that has been designing fishing equipment since the ’50s. They’ve created reel specifically for game fish, sea bass, walleye, and many more. The ICEMAX spinning reel will be your best friend if you're hoping to catch any of the species listed, but particularly useful for fishing for walleye in icy waters.

It's another quality reel at an affordable price point; a lot of research was put into making this low-medium priced reel operate quickly and efficiently. It has a lightweight graphite body and rotor with machined aluminum spool provides strength without adding excess weight. The reel has three ball bearings that help with some jerkiness but doesn’t eliminate it completely. On the plus side, it comes with an anti-reverse feature that is pretty effective when retrieving the line. 

The adoption of the Rocket line management system provides better control for all line types and showcases Abu Garcia’s commitment that their flowing new-technology and research down from higher-end series to budget-friendly reels. You could be on the lake fishing for trout in no time with this trusty and sturdy reel.

Pros
  • One-touch collapsible handle- ideal for traveling
  • Everlast bail system
  • Big and smooth handle- perfect when wearing gloves
  • Durable in harsh conditions
Cons
  • 3+1 ball bearings tend to leave the reel a little jerky

9. 13 FISHING Black Betty Freefall Ghost

Best Freefall Ice Fishing Reel

Reel Material

Graphite Frame

Weight

0.49 lbs

Gear Ratio

2.5:1

Line Capacity

100/4 yds/lbs

Ball Bearings

3+1

If you’re looking for the best freefall ice fishing reel, the Black Betty FreeFall Ghost inline fishing reel should be at the top of your list. It comes with the latest technology and development for ice reels. This reel sits under the rod and features a revolutionary FreeFall trigger that allows anglers to hit specific depths with instant hookups by releasing the trigger in the target zone. This reel is easy to operate one-handed and perfect for shallow to mid-depth ice fishing.

It's composed of lightweight graphite, which reduces hand fatigue so you can stay fishing all day. The improved slide drag system and instant stop-anti-reverse are features that give you even more control. And the 3+1 stainless steel ball bearings give a smooth inline movement. One of the best features on the reel is its revolutionary FreeFall trigger that allows anglers to hit specific depths with instant hookups by releasing the trigger in the target zone.

If a fish hits on the drop, then no problem. Or if you want to slow the descent of your spoon or jig, you won’t run into any trouble there either. This inline fishing reel has proven to be effective at any depth from 5' to 50' so you can have full control.

Pros
  • Improved slide drag system
  • Drop speed control
  • Effective instant stop anti-reverse
  • Tangle-free spool cap
Cons
  • Anglers can’t switch the handle for use with both left and right hands- not good for hand fatigue

10. Piscifun Torrent

Best baitcasting Ice Fishing Reel

Reel Material

Graphite Frame

Weight

0.51 lbs

Gear Ratio

7.1:1

Line Capacity

30/120 10/120 yds/lbs

Ball Bearings

5+1

If you're looking for the best baitcasting reel for ice fishing, then the Torrent reel by Piscifun is one to consider. This is the second reel from Piscifun on our list and for good reason. The Torrent baitcasting reel is a great example of a cheap, high-quality product that performs exceptionally on the ice.

Firstly, the large foam handles and star drag ergonomics are well designed for comfort, even with gloves on.  The free-spool button is ideal, and the speedy gearing makes it a great choice for fishing much deeper.

The silent but speedy 7.1:1 Gear Ratio is perfect for getting fish quickly out of cover and faster fishing tactics. And its unique side-plate oil port for prolonged maintenance maximizes your baitcasting reels’ life and performance Lastly, the Torrent features a magnetic braking system and an aluminum spool. This provides fishers with pinpoint accuracy and controls typically seen only in professional reels. 

This unit also comes with a spool tension knob that significantly reduces the likelihood of a bird's nest, which is quite common in baitcasting reels. Overall, this is a superbly designed fishing tool that delivers high caliber control, allows accurate lure placements, and accords the power to pull the hard fighting fish with incredible precision.

Pros
  • Features bigger, phenomenal gear
  • finesse design
  • Easy to use & maintain
  • Very versatile
Cons
  • Sensitive adjustment knobs

Understanding Drag System for Ice Fishing

  • Star Drag
    Star drag reels are like baitcasters, but you move a little lever to put it into free spool. It is aptly named for the star-shaped drag adjustment wheel that is used to tighten and loosen the drag system. Anglers have to keep your thumb on them to fight off a backlash of line, this then turns into an inviting birds nest within the reel. Star drag comes in handy when ice fishing as it helps in boosting spool rotation by increasing pressure on it.
  • Front Drag
    Front drag reels have the drag knob on the front of the reel, usually above the spool. Anglers can easily change the drag settings before or while fishing rather than struggling to find the drag knob at the back or bottom of the fishing reel. The drag helps the spool rotate whenever there's a fish on the line. It's a little easier to get the hang of too, so if you want smoother retrievals easily, this system is a great option to start with.

Ice Fishing Reel Sizing Guide

When you’re ice fishing, you can only fish directly below you into the hole you’ve cut. Therefore, it is more important to be as close to your hole as possible, so long fishing rods aren't a necessity. Most ice rods range from 18 to 48 inches in length, whereas open water rods are stouter and longer for casting reasons. 

These reels are smaller in size as the rods are shorter in length. A big bulky reel may work reasonably well with your rod, but it will feel heavy, and your hands will feel fatigued in no time. And in freezing conditions, you'll want to keep as much energy as possible.

A good rule of thumb is to look for a reel that's small, compact, lightweight, but with good-sized handles for when you’re wearing gloves. This will suit both short and long ice fishing rods so you can have the most luck when you’re out on the ice.


Ice Fishing Tips & Techniques for Beginners

Ice fishing is a simple concept; you grab your gear, find thick ice, cut a hole, and wait for a bite. But there are a ton of tips and tricks that experienced anglers would've loved to know before they hit the ice. Here are just a few ice fishing tips and techniques for beginners.

  1. 1
    Decide when to ice fish and where to ice fish. Check the weather forecast, dress appropriately, and educate yourself about fishing safety.
  2. 2
    Check if there are any fishing regulations and if a permit is required, apply to the state and waterway where you will be fishing.
  3. 3
    Check your gear and equipment and then check again. You'd be amazed at the number of anglers who think they're all set and ready for the ice fishing excursion to realize they've forgotten the baits, line, or even their fishing hat or gloves. Make sure you’re well prepared.
  4. 4
    Test the ice and drill a hole using an ice auger. Using extreme care, position the auger blades on the ice, and apply pressure as you drill the hole.
  5. 5
    Rig your lines using your baits or lures and allow your baits or lures to fall to the bottom. Once your line hits the bottom, reel your baits or lures up approximately a foot or two. This should position your line within striking range for a range of fish species.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a regular reel for ice fishing?

You can use many reel types when you're ice fishing, but be aware, not all reels will have antifreeze properties. They may be heavier in weight, too, which is not ideal when you're on the ice all day. If you're want to have a versatile reel, it's better to get a reel that has many features that's suitable for ice fishing and check to see if it's freshwater and saltwater friendly as well. The Okuma Ceymar ice fishing reel is a great example of this.

Can I combine ice fishing reels with a regular rod?

You can combine a high performing ice fishing reel on any rod, but bear in mind; ice fishing rods tend to be shorter in size and for a good reason. A smaller rod tends to be lower in weight and is extremely sensitive. You'll also want to be sitting quite close to the hole you've cut, so the shorter often tends to be better. If you have got a rod that's 28 to 30-inches in length with a solid backbone, then you can easily save money on buying a new rod for your ice fishing reel.

How do I go about spooling an ice fishing reel?

This depends on the type of reel you've chosen for ice fishing. Baitcasting, spinning, and inline reels will have different methods for spooling your line onto the reel. One thing they all have in common, however, is that less line in needed than casting in salt or freshwater. 60-80 feet of line is usually good if you’re planning on fishing in ice water of 20 feet. Once you have the length ready to go, read through your manufacturers’ handbook to spool it on correctly.

Is there any other necessary equipment I need for ice fishing?

It might seem like ice fishing requires a lot of specialized gear, but in truth, some key necessities are an auger, a sled, an ice scoop, a quality ice rod, reel, and a handful of jigs. Some other needs would be extra layers of clothing specifically for fishing, a blanket, and a hot drink in a travel mug to keep you toasty and warm. If you have a high budget for new equipment, then good ice cleats help anglers tackle through the snow and come in extremely handy.

Where can I buy these ice fishing reels?

Thanks to the internet, it's really easy to pick up any of our reviewed reels on Amazon. You can usually get a good deal fairly regularly, and there's nothing simpler than getting the reel delivered straight to your door. Otherwise, you can check in with your local fish tackling shop to see what they have to offer.


Conclusion

From tip to techniques and everything in between, you know have all the information needed to choose the best ice fishing reel for you. The KastKing Summer and Centron spinning reel has proven its worth and reliability to make your ice fishing trip a little bit easier. You'll have a superb reel that is perfectly matched for freezing fishing environments, so you'll be catching perch, panfish, and lake trout in no time