Reels for ice fishing – Buying Guide, Reviews and Comparison
If you want to find the best fishing gear, but you don’t have the time to go through the buying tips and reviews prepared by our research team, this short paragraph should tell you everything you need to know about the best ice fishing reels. After analyzing a lot of feedback that we came across while browsing through the best ice fishing reels reviews, we have concluded that the Eagle Claw ECILIR is the best because it has large rubber handles as well as a double handle just like many baitcasters. In addition, the model features an excellent 2.6:1 retrieve rate which makes it one of the core reasons so many fishermen end up choosing the Eagle Claw unit. This characteristic allows one to target game fish when in deep waters. Plus, the free spool release button is fairly easy to use and lets the angler get the line out with the jig right down through the hole, without peeling it off manually. If the Eagle Claw ECILIR is unavailable, you should consider the Fiblink Inline Ice Reel as it is just as reliable.
Our Top Choice
For ice fishing reels, a lower gear ratio is preferred, which is why this model delivers. Its 2.6:1 gear ratio is ideal for this activity, and, compared to other models in the same category, it has a lower value. Another thing that customers consider excellent is the drag system which will allow you to handle heavier fish without any trouble. The spool release button offers versatility, for extra convenience.
Some people don’t like the double handles as they can make the reel cumbersome and difficult to use.
An excellent choice, featuring a sturdy body and a smooth drag system for handling heavier fish.
This nice looking reel is made from high-quality materials and delivers excellent performance for the price. The shaft is made from stainless steel so it will not show signs of corrosion even when used for long periods of time. Other features that make this such an excellent purchase include a smooth drag system and the instant reverse feature. Your line will not tangle and twist when you’re using this product.
A few customers mention a slight wobble, which can be annoying, even if it doesn’t hinder performance.
Made from superior materials, it is an excellent choice for people who value quality.
The number of ball bearings in an ice fishing reel matters, because it offers smooth performance when you want to pull the fish out of the water. In this case, the 5+1 configuration makes this model superior to other similar products on the market. The total weight is 8 ounces, so you will not feel it straining your hands. Both right-handed and left-handed anglers can use the reel, without any problems.
The line tension adjustment feature does not seem to work as intended, according to some people who tried it.
A model created for all anglers, convenient and lightweight, providing performance.
Our top choices
Eagle Claw ECILIR
While the Eagle Claw ECILIR has a lower gear ratio when compared to other critically acclaimed models in the same line, it does the trick with the 2.6:1, as we have seen that this is the typical gear ratio preferred by people who regularly use baitcasting reels.
Other attractive features include a switchable hand retrieve as well as bulky and strong handles which can be gripped efficiently.
Based on the owner feedback that we have come across, the drag system is smooth yet fully capable of handling heavier weights.
Since the unit has a free spool release button, it goes without saying that it should be easy to work with as it can be adjusted both for light and heavy jigs. Finally, most of the people who’ve bought the Eagle Claw ECILIR say that it’s worth its weight in gold, especially as it costs just under thirty dollars.
This model has a nylon body and spool and a low gear ratio of 2.6:1. So, if you use a bait cast reel, this is the model for you.
Because it comes supplied with a free spool release button, this unit is easy to handle, even by novices.
What is more, the handle of the model is comfortable and it was made of high-quality materials. Therefore, it can surely provide you with the expected results.
This choice is budget-friendly and it is recommended for beginners who have little experience when it comes to ice fishing.
The biggest drawback of the item is that it is made of plastic. As a result, it is not as durable as some had expected it to be.
Although many have spoken highly of it, there were customers who said that this device tends to stop working properly if not cleaned thoroughly.Buy from Amazon.com for ($34.99)
Fiblink is one of the most reputable brands in the industry of manufacturing fishing reels, so it’s rather obvious that this product is in complete accordance with the quality standards imposed by the company.
Right off the bat, the first thing that you’ll notice when deciding whether you should purchase the reel or not is that it’s priced at under thirty-five dollars. However, the fact that it’s so affordable shouldn’t give you the wrong idea considering that this model has been constructed with top-notch materials that help it withstand the test of time.
As is the case with the Eagle Claw ECILIR we described above, the Fiblink features a 2.6:1 gear ratio as well as 4+1BB ball bearings.
Thanks to the smooth drag system it has been equipped with as well as the anti-reverse feature, the Fiblink proves to be a user-friendly reel that can be used both by beginners and advanced anglers. Plus, it has gathered favorable inline ice fishing reel reviews.
Versatile and durable, this choice should be taken into consideration by all ice fishing enthusiasts out there who are scouring the market for a new reel.
This choice also includes 4+1BB ball bearings and a smooth drag system that features an anti-reverse option that you will definitely find practical.
As most buyers claim, this model is suitable for both novices and seasoned anglers out there who love fishing during the cold season.
Because it was made using top-notch materials such as stainless steel, this is one of those products that are durable and that won’t disappoint.
There were a couple of buyers who noticed that the option wobbles at times. Still, not many regard this as a serious drawback.
One aspect that some noted is that this unit can be a tad too expensive for some pockets. Yet, many say that it is worth the investment given its performance.Click to see the price on Amazon!
The Frabill 371 is yet another critically acclaimed option that you may need to check out before deciding on one particular reel or the other. Since it has a lightweight composite construction, the Frabill is both durable and easy to use, given that its 8-ounce weight won’t ever be a disadvantage.
This model has a higher 3.7:1 gear ratio when compared to the one of the previously showcased alternatives. As is the case with the formerly mentioned Fiblink unit, this one features instant anti-reverse, what with its 5+1 ball bearings. The higher the number of bearings in a reel, be it for ice fishing or not, the greater its likelihood of being smooth and balanced.
In addition, the Frabill 371 can be used both by left-handers and by right-handers given that it features an ambidextrous oversized reel handle. Owners praise the smooth drag of this unit.
This choice has a durable construction and it is lightweight, which is a reason why many say that it is easy to use.
It can be utilized by both left and right-handed anglers, as it features an ambidextrous reel handle that is quite sizeable.
Moreover, this device has a 3.7:1 gear ratio, and it includes an anti-reverse function that comes with a 5+1 ball bearing system that works wonders.
The product is versatile and it can be used for both ice fishing and regular fishing, a feature that many speak highly of.
There were some customers who argued that they were shipped defective reels. Still, they said that they were provided with replacements in a short time.
One buyer claimed that the drag wheel that the choice included was too loose. However, the same reviewer was happy with the overall performance of the device manufactured by this distributor.Buy from Amazon.com for ($47.07)
Getting an ice fishing reel nowadays can prove to be a rather complicated task, given that there are many models to choose from. That’s why we’ve decided to help you make up your mind a lot easier by creating a buying guide that you can get back to when you’re having trouble selecting one unit over the next. Regardless of the species you might be trying to target this concise guide will teach you how to make the difference between a well-built reel for your purpose and one that will fail to impress.
As is the case with other kinds of reels, the ice fishing ones can be split up into three categories: spincast, baitcast, and spinning. When choosing one of these, you should consider your degree of ice fishing expertise given that spincast reels are significantly easier to use compared to their counterparts.
They’re popular and rather affordable but they might be less accurate compared to spinning or baitcasting models. Spinning reels do wonders if you’re targeting perch, crappies, bluegills, and walleyes and they’re also rather easy to handle since they’re open-faced and work with a medium-sized line. On the other hand, baitcasters are designed for experienced fishermen considering that they feature complicated construction and functionalities.
Gear ratio and drag system
The gear ratio can be correlated with the speed at which the line can be returned by the reel as one turns the handle. In this case, the rule is relatively simple to grasp considering that with a higher gear ratio comes a higher speed. It all boils down to your personal preferences and the depth of the ice and water where you plan to fish in.
As for the drag system, some say that it is a vital consideration as it is able to control the tension of the line. The drag system proves its worth when you’re trying to catch a light fish, but you need the reel to respond as it should. The same goes for when you’re fighting with heavy fish, so it needs to be efficient enough to avoid snapping.
Handles and retrieve
Many reels come with a fixed retrieve. Therefore, you’ll find that various models have been constructed for left or right-hand orientation. Others are more versatile than this, in that they can be switched. The handles of the reel are another factor to take into account as they need to be big and non-slippery. Things tend to get a bit icy when you’re out fishing in the cold.