Best Fly Reel for Ice Fishing

For the most part, spinning reels are used for ice fishing, and fly reels are used for casting off and going after the fish that will put up a fight. However, the fly reel is a good substitute for the spinning reel, although it is not specific to ice fishing.

The best fly reel for ice fishing will be one that fits the criteria you set for your:

  • Comfort
  • Ease of use
  • That will last the test of time

The fly reel is a newer type of reel that is better for ice fishing as there are fewer line twists. There are some great reels, and we will compare a few.

Ice fishing is an activity where you need to have the right tools to be successful. With the proper tools, you will catch the fish of your dreams. It would be best to determine what you need in a good fishing reel. As you follow this article, you will discover the best fly reel for ice fishing.

What Are the Best Reels for Ice Fishing?

The best reels for ice fishing will meet the most requirements suitable for ice fisherman. See the comparisons below to ascertain if these reels work for you.

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The Very Best Fly Reel for 2022

Selected by us as the best fly reel for ice fishing in 2022 is the Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel. This reel is a high-quality reel that is good both for beginners and the more seasoned anglers. The reel is constructed of aluminum and stanless steel which is suitable for the wet and cold environment you’ll experience when ice fishing. It is also comfortable for left or right-handed anglers.

The reel is very lightweight at 3.8 ounces; however, it is a workhorse and has high impact stability even though it is very light. It comes to you set for left-handed retrieve but can be set to right-handed, and the company will help you with that.

The Pros:

  • Well built for the price point
  • The adjustable settings are accurate
  • It is lightweight
  • It has great balance
  • It has a great function
  • It has a perfect fit
  • It feels like an expensive reel
  • Three-year warranty

The Cons:

  • Drag threading is loose
  • Tension is loose
  • Can knock the drag down to the free spool setting
  • Inside of reel is rough

As you can see, the pros outweigh the cons with this particular reel, and the price is excellent.

Drag threading is like bicycle brakes that apply pressure to stop the action. This particular reel has a loose drag that allows the fish to pull the line and run away with it.

If the drag is loose, the tension of the line will be loose, so it is all about tightening the drag. However, it is reported that the drag system on this reel is mediocre and not fully sealed, so mud and such can enter and gum up the works.

Inexpensive But a Good Buy, Maybe?

The reel we selected that gives the “best bang for your buck” is the Croch Fly Fishing Reel. The reel is great value considering its build quality, It is a bit heavy at 5.6 ounces, almost twice the weight of the Piscifun. It is made of Aluminum and stainless steel and has corrosion resistance. 

It has a smoother stainless steel drag system than the Piscifun, which has a cork drag system. Metal is more robust than cork and will provide a tighter grip. It is reported as ultralight; however, it is not as light as the Piscifun.

The reel is cold-forged, creating a more durable and robust piece of equipment.

The Pros:

  • It has a sturdy build considering the lower price
  • Good substantial holding drag adjustment
  • Easy swap from right to left-hand retrieve
  • The stainless steel drag system
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Aluminum alloy spool and body

The Cons:

  • Heavier than the Piscifun
  • Difficulty with balance because of weight 
  • Not suitable for short rods
  • Drag adjustment can lock up when fishing in brackish waters
  • Not much depth for backing line

As you can see, the pros and cons are pretty equal for this rod. The one item that stands out is the drag adjustment of this reel is better than the Piscifun. The downside is that this reel is heavier and may not be as balanced due to the weight, and it isn’t good for short rods.

Also, even though the drag is better, it can lock up in saltwater because it is not made of cork. Additionally, if you are using it in saltwater, you will have to give it a good cleaning when you are done. It is good that most lakes are freshwater, and if there is salt, it is not like the ocean.

How Do You Choose the Best Ice Fishing Reel?

There are different variables that you need to consider if you are looking for a good fly reel for ice fishing.

Some reels are made better than others, and the best way to decide is to compare their features. The following includes nine items you need to take into consideration before purchasing an ice fishing reel:

  • The body design is different from other reels
  • Ice fishing spools are superior to ordinary reels
  • The handle should be improved when compared with a standard reel
  • Better directional smoothness
  • Free spool allows better flexibility
  • Inline reels are better for inclement weather
  • Metal materials will improve performance and withstand harsher condistions
  • Lightweight reels are far more convenient
  • Look for materials more substantial in structure

As you can see, there is a lot to consider when choosing the right fly fishing reel. The best fly fishing reel for ice fishing will have the ideal array of features that best suit your needs. The reel is not made for deep water and has a slow descent. So the fish are not scared away.

Also, line twisting is essential to watch out for because the line can get tangled and messy.

Best Spinning Reels for Ice Fishing?

The best reels for ice fishing will meet the most requirements suitable for the fisherman. The following are some of the best fly reels for ice fishing.

Freefall Ghost Inline Ice Fishing Reel

This reel is for those who are left-handed. The handle material is made of aluminum. The reel weighs 6.6 ounces. It will allow the fisherman to get to the depths necessary to reel in a big one. It also has drop speed control a tangle-free spool cap.

KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reels 

This one is for the serious fisherman, as it is high-powered and has tremendous stopping power up to seventeen and a half pounds. It has nine quality ball bearings and an anti-reverse bearing, which offers an extremely smooth performance.

This ice-fishing reel holds more line than competitor’s models that are far more expensive.   

Abu Garcia

The Max Ice spinning reel operates efficiently as you reel in the fish you lured. Careful fluctuation offers even line lay with all types of lines. The aluminum spool delivers strength without extra weight. It is lightweight with a graphite body and rotor to help you reel in your biggest fish.

 It only weighs close to a one-half pound. It works effectively with a smooth spin.

Frabill Straight Line 371 Ice Fishing Reel

This reel includes a lightweight composite construction for stability. The large spool amplifies retrieval rate, and the line supports the spool, which reduces line coiling. It ensures easy operation in even the most frigid temperatures. 

This product also contains an audible silent/bait alarm switch.

13 FISHING Wicked Longstem Ice Fishing Spinning Reel

The Wicked Longstem Ice Fishing Spinning Reel includes an aluminum spool with a lightweight body and rotor. The knob was created with your comfort in mind, and it offers top-notch performance in the coldest temperatures. It is also treated with defrost lubricant for optimum execution.

Five stainless steel ball bearings ensure successful retrieves with instant stop anti-reverse offers dependable hooksets.

Eagle Claw In Line Ice Reel

This product includes a free spool release button and spool tension adjustment. It is has a nylon body and spool, and it is a left-hand retrieve. It offers excellent performance for a reasonable amount of money. It allows the fisherman to operate with ease and controllability.

It contains a star drag and line clicker. This Eagle Claw ice reel is lightweight and easy to use. It also has a rugged and non-slip handle. 

Piscifun ICX Carbon Ice Fishing Reel

The Freespool trigger permits hard water fishers to quickly drop down under the ice once they spy on their target fish. It offers the maximum strength Aluminum alloy body that ensures the hardness and stability required when you are experiencing severe winter temperatures.

The carbon fiber drag delivers consistent and smooth stopping power while reeling large fish. The water-resistant aluminum spool design keeps water from grasping the inner part of the reel. It also offers precise line lay and superior performance.

Celsius Blizzard Spinning CEL-310P/CP Reel

This reel is top quality for fishing. The extended yoke blizzard spinning reel offers space for use with gloves. The aluminum spool provides stability. It has anti-freeze lubrication. It also offers the user with a smooth retrieve. This spinning reel is ideal for the serious ice fisherman.

Shakespeare Glacier Drop Ice Fishing Reel

This ice-fishing reel features lightweight composite construction. A large arbor spool improves line to pick up, and a free drop button releases the spool and easily lures the bait. It picks up 8.2 inches of line per turn. This product delivers high-quality performance. 

Fiblink Inline Ice Fishing Reel

This product has a super smooth drag system with immediate anti-reverse and a free spool release button. It requires left-handed hand orientation and offers a CNC machined aluminum spool with an extensive line capacity.

It also has incredible apparatus proportion and a plastic star drag handle.

The chart below provides pricing and will take you to Amazon to look at more information and pictures of these beautiful reels.

The reels in the table above are reported as the top reels for ice fishing. As you can see, you don’t have to spend a fortune to outfit your rod with the perfect reel for you. 


When ice fishing, you need a high-quality reel that can withstand frigid temperatures and help you to reel in your bait successfully. When weighing your options check out the pros and cons of the reels. Ice fishing can be a cool and rewarding experience.

If you get the right ice fishing reel, you may impress everyone with a big catch.

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