Thursday, January 5, 2023

Don't Overlook Your Reels for Ice Fishing

It's all fun and games...until someone loses a fish!  All too often those "big ones" get away when we are ice fishing.  Most of the time while on the ice, people across the state are fishing for panfish.  This allows anglers to use two or three pound test line.  By doing so you can manage your line much better, keep it flowing off your reels more easily, and stay under the radar of detection from the fish.  All these are great reasons to use small diameter line during the winter, and in most cases is necessary to have a good day of fishing during the cold weather months.  However, there will come a time when a hungry bass, walleye, catfish or pike takes your panfish offering.  All too often this battle is lost very quickly and the larger species of fish is swimming away with your lure.  

This unfortunate event can be the result of many things; weak spot in your line, sharp toothed creatures, a bad knot, or a drag malfunction.  The more and more I tangle with larger fish (mostly a non-target species) the more I believe that it is the latter that will cause heartache or success.  A well manufactured drag system set properly can bring in fish much larger than your line specifications will indicate.  I was reminded of this once again this past weekend while perch fishing.  My Vexilar lit up bright white and without a hesitation a rather large Northern Pike decided that she like my jigging spoon and was going to eat it.  The fight was on, about half way through the battle, as she was stripping drag for the third of fourth time, I said to my friends watching, "I'm sure glad I hooked this fish with this rod and reel".  Of the three ice fishing combos I had brought along that day, the one I was using has the best reel on it.  The drag is smooth and it was working wonderfully.  The pike made run after run, and finally it had to give up.  I won this battle with two-pound test line and the Quantum Smoke S3 reel.  It has the smoothest drag I know, and on that day it was put to the test!  When choosing your next spinning reel, check out the drag components, it is pretty simple, the more parts or discs in the drag assembly, the smoother the drag will be. 

Quantum Smoke S3  Size 15
Ice anglers take a lot of pride in their rods, but we often forget out the reels we choose.  I have seen anglers pay $40-$150 for an ice rod but then get a $25 reel to pair with it.  Take a look around your ice combos when you get a chance, perhaps your next upgrade should be on some reels, not the newest, latest, greatest rod.  Good fishing to you, hope you find this helpful, and you have the chance to catch your next BIG ONE!

No comments:

Post a Comment