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​Best Spinning Reels For Ice Fishing – Catching In The Cold!

Ice fishing is clearly an exciting activity that will bring a bunch of emotions. It makes you feel like a real man – or a powerful woman, but it also provides a rewarding feeling once you get your first fish in such harsh conditions.  You will need special equipment for this venture.

You need an appropriate rod, but you will also have to browse the best spinning reels for ice fishing for good final results.

​Best Spinning Reels For Ice Fishing

You will need to research and determine for yourself which spinning reels are most appropriate for fishing in a cold environment. Thankfully, I have already done the homework for you. 😉

Here are some of the top rated spinning reels in commerce based on customers’ reviews and their efficiency on the ice.

Top Spinning Reels For Ice Fishing:

Best Spinning Reels For Ice Fishing

Piscifun ICX 5 Ice Fishing Reel

Piscifun may not be the most famous reel manufacturer in the world, but the brand can certainly brag with some high quality standards. As you discover one reel or another, you will be impressed by how reliable and efficient they are – no fancy bells and whistles, but just the right features to make things happen.

The ICX 5 reel is designed to handle all your ice fishing requirements. The body is surprisingly strong. It is durable, but also lightweight. It is based on graphite. You have the same material for the rotor, so pretty much every element is tough.

Unlike other reels in this segment, this one comes with a folding handle. It took me about a second to fold and unfold it. It is the piece of cake. While convenient for transportation and storage, the folding profile does not mean that the manufacturer has compromised its strength.

Other than that, you get a 5+1 ball bearing system. All bearings are sealed, so they do not require too much maintenance. The drive gear is made of zinc alloy. The anti reverse is certainly a plus, but you will also love the smooth experience when fighting large fish.

The spool carries similar characteristics. It is made of aluminum and is water resistant. Make sure you know the difference between waterproof and water resistant. While it will take some good splashes, the unit will not handle water submerging.

Furthermore, you will love the line management system – no knots or twists, especially if you pay a bit of attention as you retrieve line.

In terms of design, you can get the reel in two different colors. You will notice an extended stem that allows handling when wearing bulky gloves too. As for the drag power, it is impressive – almost twice as much as other similar reels. After all, there are stainless steel discs and carbon fiber washers.


  • Extremely strong for this segment
  • Quick folding handle for transportation and storage
  • Smooth performance
  • Good value for money


  • Not the best option for saltwater applications

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What do other anglers say?

“This is by far the strongest reel for ice fishing I have ever used. It also has a few features – like the stem – that allows using it with big gloves too. I love it.”

Give it a try here.

Best Value For Money: Pflueger MONICEB Monarch Ice Spinning Reel

Pflueger normally plays with the big boys. In other words, you will see the brand among top reels for freshwater or saltwater, rather than such individualized applications. Nothing to worry about, I was surprised as well to notice a Pflueger reel designed for ice fishing.

How can you tell this reel is designed for ice fishing? Quite easily. I just looked at it and I could tell straight away. The handle is extended and stands out. It is made like this so you can use it even if you wear some of those large gloves. When using it without gloves, the experience is even smoother.

You can use it on either side, whether you are left or right handed. It comes with a secure body that attaches really well to your rod. I know what you are thinking – such an attachment will harm the balance a little, but trust me, it will not.

The reel comes with a five bearing system. Bearings are made of stainless steel and can tackle corrosion with no problems at all. They are not perfectly sealed, yet they do not require too much maintenance. I simply rinse the reel whenever I am done fishing.

As for the body, it is made of graphite. The material is both lightweight and strong. Despite the slightly bulkier elements of the reel, it is still quite lightweight at 11 ounces. It is, indeed, a bit heavier than general reels, but it feels solid and comfortable.

The bail is made of aluminum and ensures a rigid experience. Line insertion is fairly simple, so you can forget about tangles and twists. There is also no pulsing as you reel in. Alright, maybe a little, but still less than in other reels. This is because of the bail angling towards the rod.


  • Very comfortable grip due to the extended handle
  • No tangles or twists due to a simple line management system
  • Little to no pulsing as you reel in
  • Smooth performance


  • No anti reverse, which is quite needed in such applications

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What do other anglers say?

“I have a few reels from Pflueger and I have never been disappointed. I bought this reel without even researching it when I figured it is designed for ice fishing. It is comfortable to use and brings in a good performance.”

Check it out here.

Customer Favorite: KastKing Summer And Centron Spinning Reels

Just like Piscifun, KastKing may not ring too many bells in those used with professional reels. But as you learn more about it, you will be surprised to find out that this manufacturer has a good reputation and quite a few high quality reels out there. These two are designed for ice fishing and they share a bunch of similarities.

The reels come with a sleek construction – a proper statement of style. They will instantly draw some positive attention and get you some compliments. The Summer collection is available in white, while the Centrol reels come with a stunning black design. Both of them have beautiful finishing.

Both reels are made of graphite – at least the frame. I believe this material will become a standard in the reel industry. I am surprised to see manufacturers still rely on other materials. After all, graphite is extremely lightweight, but also durable and strong. As for the shaft, you get hardened metal for strength.

The performance is extremely smooth. You have nine ball bearings. Using these reels is so simple that you will barely feel anything. These are probably the smoothest reels I have ever used for ice fishing. But then, if you need them for angling, you will have to spin them a bit longer.

Both models come in more sizes. You have 2000, 3000, 4000 and 5000. Choose the right reel based on your personal needs. Each size comes with a few particularities. While the gear ratios are constant for every reel, you have different weight standards, as well as different maximum drag numbers. Bigger is stronger, of course.

Whether you are left or right handed, both reels have interchangeable handles. You only need to push a button. It takes less than a second to make the switch, so there is nothing complicated about it. The feature is great if your friends or family members also use the reel.

Both reels are covered in a durable paint. It is not just about looks, but the paint is also excellent against corrosion. Saltwater, chemicals and dirt will no longer cause any problems.

As for the spool, it comes with the CNC technology. Basically, they are CNC machined, so they are extremely precise. As a direct consequence, the reels are fairly simple to use. Spools are made of aluminum.

Spools have a perfect alignment with internal grooves. This specific type of lining ensures your reel will manage to maintain the lubrication and provide a top notch performance.


  • Excellent value for money
  • Lightweight and durable graphite design
  • Beautiful finishing in both reels
  • Excellent drag system


  • Not too many sizes available, but enough to match most people’s needs

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What do other anglers say?

“I own both reels. I had one, then I got the other. I am not sure about it, but I think they are specifically built for ice fishing. Everything about them is so smooth and easy that you will never want to switch to another reel.”

Give these reels a try here.

Editor’s Choice: Abu Garcia 4842-1331 Ice MAX Spinning Fishing Reel

Abu Garcia has gone bananas on this fishing reel. I am not saying that you cannot use it for other applications – go ahead and you may actually get some fish. But generally speaking, it is exclusively built for ice fishing, so it has everything it takes to provide a great experience on ice.

The value for money is what drew my attention in the first place. It is relatively inexpensive considering all the features it comes with, not to mention its specific profile. The rocket spool lip style was one of the features that convinced me. Basically, you are in full control during your fishing application, but you also have unmatched precision.

The spool is based on machined aluminum, yet the bail system is not to be overlooked either. It is extremely tough. Plus, you get superior cold gear lube that keeps the reel going, whether you fish at 0 degrees Celsius or -20 degrees Celsius.

Whether you are left or right handed, the reel will not let you down. There is no need for any mechanical adjustments – just a couple of clicks and bang, a few seconds later you have it on the other side. The feature is helpful if you share it with your buddies or if you feel tired and you need to switch the hand.

There are only three ball bearings, but do not let this aspect put you off. It is still incredibly smooth at low temperatures. On a more positive note, you get an anti reverse feature, which many ice fishing reels lack. This feature eliminated back play.

Finally, I was surprised to find out that the reel is foldable. Push a button and you got a tiny piece of innovation that can go straight to your pocket. Just be careful with the back switch. While it feels alright after many uses, I still find it a bit fragile.


  • Excellent value for money
  • Foldable design for storage and transportation
  • Left or right hand retrieve with no mechanical adjustments
  • Excellent performance in really cold temperatures


  • Not as many ball bearings as you may expect from a quality reel

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What do other anglers say?

“It is not the most professional reel on the market, but I am super happy to have it. It gets the job done. There are no fancy features, but just a proper mechanical tool that will not let you down, regardless of how cold it is. Great buy!”

Give it a try here.

Pflueger Trion Spinning Fishing Reel

Pflueger’s Trion fishing reel is not the most impressive reel at first. As you look at it, you will be impressed. It is sleek, compact and good looking. You will definitely draw some attention with it. But as you research it, there is not much to impress you. Wait until you try it out and you will realize it gets the job done like no other reel.

The body and rotor are made of graphite. It is lightweight and it feels like a feather. Besides, graphite is known for its strength and durability, so get ready to handle some big fish with this baby. Pflueger has also relied on aluminum, but only for the handle and spool. Aluminum means functionality – simple as that.

I know no one really cares about it, but I found the knob to be one of its strengths. It is comfortable and ensures a good grip. As for the drag system, you get stainless steel and a multi disc system that adds to its smoothness. There are seven ball bearings based on steel – durable and great against corrosion.

The aluminum handle is removable, while the roller is made of titanium. The reel comes in more sizes. The 20 size only adds 5.9 ounces to your rod – so you can get an idea about how lightweight it is. The drag adjusts without too much hassle, so large fish is less likely to get away.


  • Beveled edge for superior line management
  • Extremely durable due to the materials used in its composition
  • Double anodized
  • Easy and smooth drag


  • The anti reverse might feel a bit slow at times

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What do other anglers say?

“There is no nonsense about this reel. It does what it is supposed to do and it does it an affordable price. Enough said!”

Check it out here.

Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel

You do not always need to do your homework when it comes to Pflueger – you know you will get great quality at an affordable price. At this point, the President spinning reels are designed with ice fishing applications in mind, so it is less likely to let you down.

In terms of design and construction, it comes with a graphite rotor, a graphite body, an aluminum handle and stainless steel ball bearings. You do not need to know more than that to understand that this reel is durable, strong and lightweight.

It comes with a seven bearing system. In other words, it is in the higher end range of this segment – as some reels in this range will barely have three bearings. It is extremely smooth, but it will also resist corrosion regardless of how harsh the weather is.

Drag washers are well lubricated and sealed. Water penetration is out of discussion. Moreover, this kind of system does not require any maintenance and let me tell you – this kind of seal will not need to be redone, as it is extremely durable.

Finally, let me tell you that the spool is braid ready. What else can you ask for when you go ice fishing?


  • Lightweight and durable
  • Impressive bearing system
  • Resistance to corrosion
  • Braid ready spool


  • Feels a bit noisy at times

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What do other anglers say?

“This is a relatively basic spool, but I love its performance. It does not come with features, bells and whistles that I cannot understand. It is excellent in ice fishing and this is all that matters.”

Check it out here.


Bottom line, finding a good spinning reel for ice fishing is not impossible if you take your time and research the market. There are definitely a few good options out there – especially those particularly designed for ice fishing.

Make sure you understand your personal needs before making an investment though.