3 Best Ice Fishing Reels

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Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts and welcome to my post where we will check out my 3 best ice fishing reels to drag them out of the hole with this year. Ice fishing is one of the perfect outdoor activities that we can continue to do during winter.

However even if we are just out there passing the time over the frozen lake, we still want to be able to come home with a catch and as it is with any type a fishing, a reliable reel can go a long way to assisting with this. So for those of you looking to purchase, I have had a bit of a look around and come up with some good ice fishing reel options for you.

Let’s check them out below…

My three recommended ice fishing reels

I will review these in more detail below however if you just want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience:

 Reel for Ice FishingPriceGet it
best ice fishing reels - KastKing Royale Charge Spinning Fishing ReelKastKing Royale Charge Spinning Fishing Reel$CURRENT PRICE
best ice fishing reels - Piscifun ICX Precision Ice Fishing ReelPiscifun ICX Precision Ice Fishing Reel$$CURRENT PRICE
best ice fishing reels - 13 Fishing - Freefall Ghost - Inline Ice Fishing Reels13 Fishing Freefall Ghost Inline Ice Fishing Reel$$CURRENT PRICE

What are ice fishing reels?

Ice fishing reels are specifically made to help anglers catch fish in freezing temperatures. As with rods, they generally come in smaller sizes typically ranging from 500 to 2500. This is not to say that you can’t use your summer reels here however high-quality ice fishing reels are constructed with components and lubricants that will not freeze in subzero temperatures.

best ice fishing reel - ice fishing reel

What should you be looking for?

Below are some of the factors you should consider as you hunt for a good ice fishing reel.

  1. Type
  2. Anti-ice system
  3. Drag
  4. Construction material
  5. Weight
  6. Additions


There are two types to choose from when it comes to ice fishing reels: a spinning reel and an inline reel. These are differentiated as below:

  1. Inline ice fishing reels offer several advantages, one of which is less twisting which makes them a popular choice among ice anglers. Aside from this, they are smooth and consistent and can withstand the elements effectively. One downside of these reels would be they do not hold as much line as other types of reels however ice fishing generally requires less line than regular fishing.
  2. On the other hand, spinning reels are better suited to handle larger fish. These are an excellent choice for ice fishermen who use live bait. The drag adjustments on these reels are superior to those on inline reels.

Anti-ice system

If you are not adequately prepared, the harsh winter environment can negatively impact the functionality of your fishing equipment. This is why in buying ice fishing reels, a primary consideration is the product’s ability to endure extreme temperatures.

As the name implies, the anti-ice system refers to the materials used in your reel to prevent it from seizing when frozen. In this regard, inline reels outshine the spinning reel.

Drag system

As with any other type of fishing, the drag rating is an important specification you should also consider. The drag of a fishing reel is its ability to release a little bit of line when a fish strikes or is being pulled in. This is in place to reduce the chances of a bigger fish snapping the line as it fights. In general, the more you pay for a reel, the better the drag system should be regardless, if the reel you are looking at doesn’t have a drag system on it – put it down.

Construction material

The below zero degrees temperature will definitely affect your reel’s performance and durability. With that in mind, it is only logical to buy ice fishing reels that are heavy-duty because they are built from winter-resistant materials.

Your ice fishing reel should be more specialized than a standard reel. Durable materials, such as aluminum and graphite, are ideal for ice fishing. Not only can these materials withstand more punishment, but they are also corrosion-resistant, which is what ice fishing anglers are looking for.

best ice fishing reel - reel in ice


The reel that you bring with you for ice fishing must be lightweight because it will affect your performance. If your reel is lightweight, it will fit more comfortably in your hand, not hurt your wrist, and give you a long-term holding. This is especially important when wearing thick gloves etc. as you fish.


  1. Handle: Ice fishing reels are equipped with oversized handles since you will operate them using hand gloves.
  2. Ball bearings: You should always pay attention to the number of bearings on your preferred fishing reel. Remember that the more bearings it has, the smoother it will run. Regardless of the drag load, the bearings will ensure a smooth and free operation.
  3. Anti-reverse: This feature is a mechanism that prevents you from winding the wrong way and twisting your line.

My three recommendations broken down

So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:

1. KastKing Royale Charge Spinning Fishing Reel

This first ice fishing reel is a spinning type, giving you the upper hand to seize large fish. It is a lightweight product that rests comfortably on your hands even if you are wearing bulky winter gloves with oversized handles as well. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: KastKing
  • Type: Spinning reel
  • Material: Aluminum, graphite
  • Gear ratio: 5.1:1
  • Dimensions: 4.84 x 4.76 x 3.23 inches
  • Weight: 0.57 pounds

Other inclusions:

  • Extended long reel foot stem
  • Reversible handle
  • 5 + 1 shielded ball bearings

Why have I chosen it?

Thanks to its 5 + 1 shielded ball bearings, the product offers a smooth cranking feel which improves your performance. The extended long reel foot stem is an innovation designed to help you easily control the reel since heavy gloves are worn in ice fishing with gears crafted from manganese brass and zinc alloy that guarantees durability in any fish fight. This is a great option for those looking for a good ice fishing reel that they can use in summer as well.

2. Piscifun ICX Precision Ice Fishing Reel

My second ice fishing reel offers excellent speed and impressive lessened friction than its counterparts due to its unique bearing system. The reel’s body is solid and durable, with waterproof features and bearings for extra protection. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Piscifun
  • Type: Inline reel
  • Material: Stainless aluminum
  • Gear ratio: 2.6:1
  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 5.2 x 3.8 inches
  • Weight: 0.50 pounds

Other inclusions:

  • EVA ergonomic handle
  • 7 + 1 sealed bearings
  • Aluminum spool

Why have I chosen it?

This next ice fishing reel entails a high-performance 7 + 1 bearing system equipped with an anti-reverse system and anti-freeze lubricant. Build to last, the aluminum construction of the body is tough and durable, able to handle any type of harsh conditions. This is a great option for beginners and experienced ice fisher alike.

3. 13 Fishing Freefall Ghost Inline Ice Fishing Reel

This last option utilizes a FreeFall trigger system that enables you to achieve precision as you fish in freezing temperatures. It comes with a lightweight graphite frame that reduces fatigue, allowing you to fish for hours. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: 13 Fishing
  • Type: Inline reel
  • Material: Lightweight graphite
  • Gear ratio: 2.5:1
  • Dimensions: ‎6 x 6 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 0.52 pounds

Other inclusions:

  • Drop speed control
  • Instant stop anti-reverse
  • FreeFall performance window

Why have I chosen it?

The FreeFall trigger system of this product disengages the spool allowing for complete free fall and instantly reengaging it when the trigger is released. For durable construction, the product’s frame is composite graphite. To provide you comfort, the handles have soft-touch knobs. The four stainless steel ball bearings guarantee smooth retrieval of the baited fish, which is further improved by a graphite star drag with infinite anti-revers. This is a great option for avid ice fishers.


And there they are, my three best ice fishing reels to hit the ice with this year. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual, please let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time

Have fun


best ice fishing reels - pinterest

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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.