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Thread: Reel suggestions, thoughts?

  1. #1
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Reel suggestions, thoughts?

    In anticipation of spring break, I'm setting up some new ice fishing rods/reels for my 3 boys. I've always just scrapped something (cheap) together for them when they were young, but now that they're a little older, I'd like to get them something better.

    I've already ordered some 27" ML rods from ebay and now I've got my attention turned to getting some reels.

    I'm partial to baitcasting reels but see a lot of folks using spinning reels. What are you you like it, what would you recommend? I'm looking for quality gear, but I'm not looking to spend money just for the sake of spending money.

    Most of our ice fishing is in the stocked lakes of southcentral.

  2. #2


    Spinning reels are fine...But it twists your line and you really got to get the strecth outta it before u can use them effectivly. Baitcasters in my mind are the best. I use braid main line then a 5 foot mono leader. seems to be a good setup for lakers burbs pike and bows.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006


    What he said. That is my choice too.

  4. #4
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Willow, AK


    It really depends on what you're fishing for and the lakes you're fishing. If I'm fishing super light gear, I go with spinning. Most Anchorage area lakes you'll be setting up for 5-12" rainbows and land locked salmon. 4 or 6 lb test on a light spinning reel will be fine. I like having a spinning reel with a dependable drag, and a rod with good flexible tip and solid butt section, because if the rare bigger trout grabs hold, I'll still be able to land it. Don't break the bank, but don't go too cheap, either. There's a good range of reels in the $20-30 range. Be sure they're not greased with a grease that will freeze, too. The size of the reel is important; too big and the rod doesn't balance at all. Too small and it won't hold any quantity of line, and line twist will be more of an issue. Shimanos in the 2000 and 2500 size are usually my preferred "all around" reel. Were it me, the multi purpose rod has a spinning reel with 6 pound test and a light/medium action as I described. I can catch just about any fish out there on small gear. Having a good drag is crucial though! I eliminate small fish when I put out the big gear. Children usually want fish; size is secondary. (dad's attitude toward what they're catching has a big influence on how much they enjoy it, though!)

    For running larger lures, spoons or herring I have heavier rods with baitcasting reels and braided line. Pike and lakers can be very large, and have hard mouths. Heavier line and a rod with a lot of backbone help with the hook set. If fish are skittish I splice some mono to the end for a leader, similar to what dube said.

  5. #5
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Yellowknife, NWT


    I just use my small open water spinning reels or my open water bait casters.
    I make them do winter duty.
    My go to reel in the hut is a 1000 series ultra light reel that I use on my UL grayling rod during the summer.
    I also use 2000 series spinning reels and 5000/6000 series Abu round bait casters.
    See what you have already for reels as some of these may be fine for your winter fishing as well.

  6. #6
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Central Kenai Peninsula


    For Rainbows and Kokanees I use Shimano Ultra Light AXUL-SA 500 spinning reels.
    They get spooled with 6# berkley micro ice.
    I take the side plates off the reels and use boiling hot water from a teapot to clean out any grease inside. I then add a LITTLE Quantum Hot Sauce reel grease where it is needed.
    I have yet to loose a fish due to reel failure and have caught Rainbows to @ 5# with this setup.
    I like the Berkley lightning series rods but you already have some good rods on order so thats covered.
    You can you these reels in the summertime on ultralight rods for Rainbows and Kokanees as well.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

  7. #7


    I also use spinning reels. I dont use mono prefering the super lines (no twist). I do tie to a barrel swivel on the big sticks and add a hunk of mono for a leader...on the smaller rods I tie direct. Superbraid has treated me well in winter, where I prefer original 30lb fire line (good luck finding it), on my summer king/red baitcasters.

    If you were closer I got a ton of ice reels lol!


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