Miscellaneous > Ice Fishing FAQ

Reel choices

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Schroeder:
Newbie to ice fishing and I have a question on which reel style to go with:  is there an advantage in using inline reels instead of spinning reels ???
Thanks for any info

maddogg:
Start with an Eagle claw inline to see if you like it. You can move up from there if you want. 


https://www.fishusa.com/product/Eagle-Claw-Inline-Ice-Reel?utm_source=google_ps&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=google_ps&gclid=CMHgjaSil9ECFQIMaQod3xQIsA&utm_source=google_ps&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=google_ps&gclid=CMHgjaSil9ECFQIMaQod3xQIsA

mike1054:
the reels arnt as importent as the line and what your fishing for.

slipperybob:

--- Quote from: Schroeder on Dec 28, 2016, 05:56 AM ---Newbie to ice fishing and I have a question on which reel style to go with:  is there an advantage in using inline reels instead of spinning reels ???
Thanks for any info

--- End quote ---

Spinning reels are easy to use, but are also the most bulky of setup.  Whereas inline reels does require a slight learning curve.  A fly reel is really an art.  Baitcasting reel setup is about winching your catch.

It's all about a hole by your feet and really how one wants to fish with.

RyanW:
Iíll start by saying I buy spinning reels for ice fishing. They play double duty for my warm water ultra light rigs.

For ice fishing, start with how you will be fishing. Mostly, how deep you are fishing and what you are fishing for.

NO REEL: If youíre fishing panfish in <10 feet of water, all you really need is a line holder. Two nails in a wooden handle will work gangbusterts. Since it isnít the 50ís anymore and the market is flooded with engineering, most people donít even consider this option for shallow panfish. Lifting the rod as high as you can then grabbing the line with your other hand brings the fish practically out of the water if not all the way. No reel necessary. PRICE: usually free.

INLINE: The classic inline reel, the De-Ma-Reel found on Schooley rods. A horizontal top-mounted inline reel attached to stout fiberglass rod utilizing a spring bobber. This reel can hold hold a lot of line but isnít necessarily designed  to reel line in like a traditional reel. This, like the nails, is a fancy line holder. Being that it has a larger arbor than a spinning reel resulting in a limper line coil. A limper line cool means less jig spin. Which is the appeal of inline reels for ice fishing. Most guys I know using these reels only put 20-30 yards of line on them and use them much like a rod with no reel by hand lining the fish in. You could reel them in as they use pegs to keep your line depth consistent but hand lining is more practical, in my experience. Also, no drag other than a thumb screw. These reels have a 1:1 ratio. PRICE: ~$5

     Fly reels, for ice fishing, are just a modern version of the De-Ma only they are mounted vertically. They still have a 1:1 ratio and work best in shallower water <20 feet of water or so. Reeling in 50í of line on a 1:1 ratio reel is not very practical or ethical in some situations. However, the act of reeling in the line is a much smoother operation than the De-Ma and the drags are usually quite amazing regarding any style of reel.  PRICE: $10-$1000+

     Modern ice fishing specific inline reels. (Black Berry, Eagle Claw, etc.) De-Ma on steroids! The biggest advantage to these reels are they usually have at least 2:1 ratio so you keep the advantages of an inline setup (line lays down better, less line coil, less line twist, etc.) but you can fish deeper depths because you are physically reeling in more line quicker. With these type of reels it seems like price is a large factor in quality especially in the drag system. PRICE: $10-$200

SPINNING: Without a doubt the most widely used and available style of reel for ice fishing. Throw some line on and youíre good to go. Easy to maintain and most are very user serviceable. It doesnít take much to upgrade drag or swap out grease/oil. A size 20 spinning could handle fish from 4Ē perch to 40Ē pike. They hold a lot of line with a quicker 5:1 ratio. You can fish deeper and quicker (which isnít always a good thing depending on species). PRICE: $5-$700+

BAITCASTING: These really are like mini handheld winches. Slap some braid on and haul in your monster fish. Thatís why you see pro bass fisherman using a baitcaster with 20+ fluorocarbon. When tournament money is on the line you canít afford to lose the big one in the lilly pads...crank them bass out if there! Same goes for huge pike/Muskie and lake trout. You donít want your reel crapping out on you. Spinning reels have bails that flex, bend, and can break if too much weight is pulling against them. Baitcaster spooks are built into the body of the reel. Iíve never owned or used a baitcaster. I know the can have a bigger retrieve ratio than spinning reels and their drags also tend to be much better. Fishing depth is of no concern. If I were to fish for huge pike and trout, Iíd pair my rod with a baitcaster.  PRICE: $30-$300 (Iím sure there are some that cost more)

Iím sure Iíve missed some points and hopefully more will chime in.

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