With the ice fishing season gaining momentum, digital publication Outdoor Life, a go-to source for product reviews for more than a century, has come up with its eight best ice fishing reels of 2023.
The publication’s Cory Schmidt has reviewed the top spinning, inline and wall mount ice reels as well as tip-ups and palm rods.
“Frosty hands, frozen water and the inevitable sharp edges they create have always necessitated simple, streamlined, yet steadfast ice fishing reels,” says Schmidt, who has been using and field-testing ice fishing gear for more than 20 years.
“In terms of gadgetry and cosmetic gizmos, less is more where hardwater angling in concerned,” concludes Schmidt, who tested the reels for a minimum of a season and also received input from guide friends.
Top of Outdoor Life’s list is the Shimano Stradic FL (1000 size, main picture), praised for its low noise and vibration and resistance to freezing up, but viewed as expensive for a reel used just a few months a year.
While both Shimano and Daiwa feature in the great eight, not all the products are from household name brands. The Catch Cover Multi-Flex Rattlesnake (above) was named best wall mount reel, while the Beaver Dam Round Insulated Tip-Up was elected best tip-up.
The other top picks were: