Author Topic: Micro reels for ice fishing.  (Read 599 times)

Offline badger132

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Micro reels for ice fishing.
« on: Feb 27, 2021, 05:35 PM »
I have been using 500 series reels for perch. They work fine, but today I spooled one up, and it tool an entire 110 yd spool of 3lb mono, and was not near full. I know this is not as critical as for summer casting distance, but I really can only use 50 feet of line max for ice fishing. Does anyone put backing on their reels to get around this? I was wishing that reels for ice fishing had capacity of maybe 40 yards instead of 150. If the line comes off a greater diameter, it is easier to get a smooth drag for light line with less sticking at the start. I would even buy a reel with a spacer to reduce capacity by increasing the spool diameter.

Offline FishGut

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Re: Micro reels for ice fishing.
« Reply #1 on: Feb 27, 2021, 05:50 PM »
Mono backer on all my spinning reels, whether they're for open water or on the ice.
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Offline Hardwater2

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Re: Micro reels for ice fishing.
« Reply #2 on: Feb 27, 2021, 06:37 PM »
Mono backer on all my spinning reels, whether they're for open water or on the ice.
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Offline SLAYERFISH

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Re: Micro reels for ice fishing.
« Reply #3 on: Feb 27, 2021, 06:50 PM »
Mono backer on all my spinning reels, whether they're for open water or on the ice.
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Offline slipperybob

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Re: Micro reels for ice fishing.
« Reply #4 on: Feb 27, 2021, 08:07 PM »
Yeah, I always have monofilament backing on.
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Offline numbtoes

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Re: Micro reels for ice fishing.
« Reply #5 on: Feb 27, 2021, 08:56 PM »
  X4

Offline RyanW

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Re: Micro reels for ice fishing.
« Reply #6 on: Feb 27, 2021, 11:58 PM »
I mean, if all youíre using the rod/line for is panfish, 110yds is all you are ever going to need. Thatís over 300 feet. If your perch are spooling 110yds of line, Iíll pay you dearly for access to your spots! :tipup:

In all seriousness, panfishing through the ice, your reel is just a line holder. If you arenít using a junk reel, the roller bearing and the bail will keep everything lined up and even. Under spooling really doesnít have much of an effect on the whole catching fish thing.  Not with through the ice anyways and especially not with any panfish any of us are likely to ever catch. Underspooling is the quickest way to have short rough casts during soft water seasons though.

I see no logical reason in spending money on any backer line for ice fishing panfish on any modern quality spinning reel. In any size. Any smaller than a size 500 (if they do exist) doesnít leave a lot of room for error when it comes to getting extremely cold and seized up by ice. Those much smaller (or much fewer) components that would makeup such a tiny reel would have to of the upmost quality to withstand more than a season or two. And be user-serviceable with available parts for purchase. Not saying it canít be done, but i donít see it happening at an affordable and accessible rate anytime soon. There may be a reel out there but given my statements above about line backing for panfish, I donít see the point in it other than novelty. Just donít worry about underspooling for panfish. The fish will NEVER find out and your rod/reel wonít either.

Stop wasting money on back lining for panfish is the short version of the above  :tipup:
ďWhen the fish are biting, it really doesnít matter what youíre using. When the fish arenít biting, it really doesnít matter what youíre usingĒ - Uncle Dave

Offline river_scum

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Re: Micro reels for ice fishing.
« Reply #7 on: Feb 28, 2021, 06:25 AM »
mono off an open water rod that needs line changed.  ill fill half way depending on reel.  less on tiny spools naturally.
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Offline Otto

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Re: Micro reels for ice fishing.
« Reply #8 on: Feb 28, 2021, 06:48 AM »
I will sometimes add a backer to the spool, depending on the size of the spool.  But I have had issues with the Uni-knot not staying down deep enough on the spool and catching my main line as it spools off.  Not matter how small I try to make it and how close I trim that knot, small parts of it stick up enough to catch the line.  This is usually 4# as a backer and 2 or 3# as the main line.  I ended up peeling off everything and putting a whole spool of 2# line on the reel.

Offline slipperybob

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Re: Micro reels for ice fishing.
« Reply #9 on: Feb 28, 2021, 07:12 AM »
I will sometimes add a backer to the spool, depending on the size of the spool.  But I have had issues with the Uni-knot not staying down deep enough on the spool and catching my main line as it spools off.  Not matter how small I try to make it and how close I trim that knot, small parts of it stick up enough to catch the line.  This is usually 4# as a backer and 2 or 3# as the main line.  I ended up peeling off everything and putting a whole spool of 2# line on the reel.

I put enough backing so that I can push my knot to bury itself into the wrapped line.  Usually about 20-25 turns of the handle on most reels.  Therefore the line I want to use will not catch onto the knot.

On those tiny spools, you may want to use a chopstick or a popsicle stick to get into that tiny space to press down the knot.  Maybe the end of a pen of a retractable pen or the pen without the ballpoint pen inside.  I suppose you could use a flat head screwdriver but I rather use wood so that it will not scratch the aluminum spool.
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Offline Otto

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Re: Micro reels for ice fishing.
« Reply #10 on: Feb 28, 2021, 07:13 AM »
Good tip Bob, thanks!

Offline slipperybob

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Re: Micro reels for ice fishing.
« Reply #11 on: Feb 28, 2021, 07:28 AM »
Good tip Bob, thanks!
You're welcome.

I can be cheap and lazy.  Instead of stripping all the line off the reels, often I just put more thin lines over the reel for ice fishing use.  Had to learn to bury the knot into the wrapped line, to prevent that line catch on the knot.
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Offline Icemole

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Re: Micro reels for ice fishing.
« Reply #12 on: Feb 28, 2021, 07:50 AM »
  When I worked in the tackle shop we used cotton butchers twine for backing. I still use it on all my reels - how much depends on reel size and what I'm using that reel for.  Smaller reels or those I use for trolling get less backing..... It can get interesting on occasion though I've had to chase down a couple of "monsters" with the boat and was real close to being "spooled" by a hybrid striper that ate my crappie jig one morning while fishing from shore....  :o


The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.

Offline matt12

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Re: Micro reels for ice fishing.
« Reply #13 on: Feb 28, 2021, 07:53 AM »
i agree with ryan. no need for backing for jigging for panfish.

Offline maddogg

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Re: Micro reels for ice fishing.
« Reply #14 on: Feb 28, 2021, 08:56 AM »
I never fish over 30' so I fill up my reels with cheap6# mono and top it off with 30 yd. of #2 test line. I replace the #2 every season.

Offline badger132

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Re: Micro reels for ice fishing.
« Reply #15 on: Feb 28, 2021, 09:21 AM »
I mean, if all youíre using the rod/line for is panfish, 110yds is all you are ever going to need. Thatís over 300 feet. If your perch are spooling 110yds of line, Iíll pay you dearly for access to your spots! :tipup:

In all seriousness, panfishing through the ice, your reel is just a line holder. If you arenít using a junk reel, the roller bearing and the bail will keep everything lined up and even. Under spooling really doesnít have much of an effect on the whole catching fish thing.  Not with through the ice anyways and especially not with any panfish any of us are likely to ever catch. Underspooling is the quickest way to have short rough casts during soft water seasons though.

I see no logical reason in spending money on any backer line for ice fishing panfish on any modern quality spinning reel. In any size. Any smaller than a size 500 (if they do exist) doesnít leave a lot of room for error when it comes to getting extremely cold and seized up by ice. Those much smaller (or much fewer) components that would makeup such a tiny reel would have to of the upmost quality to withstand more than a season or two. And be user-serviceable with available parts for purchase. Not saying it canít be done, but i donít see it happening at an affordable and accessible rate anytime soon. There may be a reel out there but given my statements above about line backing for panfish, I donít see the point in it other than novelty. Just donít worry about underspooling for panfish. The fish will NEVER find out and your rod/reel wonít either.

Stop wasting money on back lining for panfish is the short version of the above  :tipup:

I think there is at least some reason to get the spool full for ice fishing- the larger radius lets the drag work better, and the larger diameter also makes for less line kink. I have always done as some below suggested, put new line over the old, and put on maybe 30 yds each year or so to keep it fresh. I use the drag- for large perch and the occasional trout that grabs the line, so there is some value to having some extra line and a descent drag.

Offline slipperybob

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Re: Micro reels for ice fishing.
« Reply #16 on: Feb 28, 2021, 09:55 AM »
Different thought process.

Because I'm not casting, I actually want my spool diameter larger, for reducing the line memory coils.  The effect of a spinning reel and the line memory coil affecting very light lures get far worse.  With the line coil it induces more lure spin and also reduces sink rate.  If the lure is heavy enough to straighten out the line pretty much on free fall/sink it doesn't matter.

That's one thing I actually look for when buying a spinning reel.  I'm not as much interested in the small arbor of a spinning reel spool called a deep spool.  I'd rather look for something with a larger arbor, thus giving it a shallow spool as described.  It's amazing when only millimeters makes that much difference in performance results.
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Offline RyanW

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Re: Micro reels for ice fishing.
« Reply #17 on: Feb 28, 2021, 10:37 AM »
I agree with the small arbor contributing to coiling more but if you pull your line out (with drag) to drop your jig, instead of opening the bail, coiling and line twist is virtually gone because youíre stretching the line as it falls. Your jigging cadence does the rest of the work to keep it from twisting farther. Iíve never had underspooling hinder drag either. A maintained drag performs just as well or better than a fully spooled reel. Iíve never caught a trout through the ice but I have caught plenty of pike while panfishing so I can see the argument for adding more line for the occasional trout but thatís where the skills of the angler come into play! I like to test my skills constantly.

Like you said, different thought process. Hey, as long as we are catching fish it doesnít matter. Itís fun to see how everyone else does things!
ďWhen the fish are biting, it really doesnít matter what youíre using. When the fish arenít biting, it really doesnít matter what youíre usingĒ - Uncle Dave

Offline slipperybob

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Re: Micro reels for ice fishing.
« Reply #18 on: Feb 28, 2021, 11:43 PM »
I'm a lazy fisherman, however I do like to try different things at times.  Change my mind later.  Come back full circle just to confirm things again.  It's more fun to catch fish this way for me.
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