Best ice fishing reel & rod combo for the money in 2018. Tried, tested & reviewed
Ice fishing is an extremely fun past time and is something you can do to help rid yourself of cabin fever during those long winter months. Ice fishing is a great way to spend the afternoon, by yourself on the ice, or with a group of friends all crowded into an undersized shanty. The best thing about this type of fishing is the fact that it takes very little skill. Another great benefit of ice fishing is the amazing deals you can get on the equipment that is needed. You don’t need any high end gear or fancy gadgets. You honestly could simply use a string attached to a stick and you would still have a high probability of catching something. Of course you will need some gear such as warm clothing and an ice auger but other than that just about everything else is optional such as a ice fishing heater or fish finder. One thing would would recommend of course is a quality rod and reel. You want to make sure that your rod and reel setup is capable of bringing in any size fish you may have in your area. It’s truly a sight to see when you have an ice fishing rods that’s only 24 inches long bring in a northern pike that’s almost twice as longs. So if you’re on the market for an ice fishing rod and reel you’ve come to the right place. Here or picks for the 5 best ice fishing rod and reel combo for the money in 2018.
Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo, 26” Light Action Rod
The Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 is a rugged reel and rod combination that’s prepared to endure the cold weather demands of intrepid ice fishermen. This rod is durable, lightweight, and responsive – giving you great feel while you fish. A genuine Ugly Stik, it’s made from a reinforced graphite/fiberglass hybrid bank that features the best qualities of both materials. Its 20-size spinning real has a reinforced graphite body with one ball bearing, giving you strength and durability. A cold-forged aluminum spool has a twist-lock reel seat that perfectly anchors it in the center of the rod, so you won’t have to worry about it fracturing. Weighing just 5 ounces, the GX2 is light. The top of the rod includes a fiberglass tip for added sensitivity – allowing you to feel and react to the subtlest nibbles. At just 26 inches long, the GX2 is compact enough to be effective while you fish. For ice fishing, a short, condensed rod is ideal to easily maneuver around small openings in the ice. This rod’s EVA foam handle will also give you a reliable grip – even in icy conditions. The GX2 has a 4.4:1 gear ratio and a maximum drag of 6 pounds. It can hold up to 100 yards of 4-pound test line and has an 18-inch-per-turn recovery. It also has an interchangeable left and right-hand retrieve.
When you head out into freezing temperatures to ice fish, you’ll need a rod that’s tough. The Frabill Fin-S Pro is a 30-inch, medium-action rod that’s hardy enough to withstand extreme conditions and land you fish. Its solid carbon fiber blank-through-handle construction is durable yet sensitive – capable of providing dynamic performance in any environment while still allowing you to quickly react to nibbles and bites. Its stainless-steel, single foot ice guides are corrosion-resistant – so you won’t have to worry about getting them wet – and can be cleaned effortlessly after a long day. The Fin-S Pro’s reel features a 3+1 ball bearing system with continuous anti-reverse, giving you power and control while reeling in fish. Its machined-aluminum spool has a multi-disc, front-load drag with a tapered drag knob – reducing line catch and further putting you in a great position to haul in any fish you hook. It also includes an exclusive sub-zero lube designed to give you smooth performance in cold temperatures. On top of this, the rod has a reliable cork grip that warms up quickly, so your hands will always be comfortable. The Fin-S Pro’s reel also includes a left and right-hand interchangeable handle with a deluxe quick-fold feature – making it both versatile and easy to carry to your favorite fishing spot with all of your other ice fishing gear.
Solid carbon fiber construction
3+1 ball bearing system
Multi-disc, front-load drag with tapered drag knob
Fenwick is one of the most well-known, reputable companies making fishing products today. For more than 50 years, they’ve been providing high-quality gear to anglers worldwide, helping them catch fish effectively and comfortably. The Fenwick NightHawk is one of their best ice fishing reel and rod combinations – an ultra-light setup that’s built with cutting edge technology and expert craftsmanship. Its one-piece, solid glass construction blank is nimble and responsive, allowing you to feel the action on your line while remaining strong enough to endure pressure applied by fish in freezing conditions. Its smoked stainless-steel guide frames and inserts are corrosion-resistant, ensuring top performance for a long time. With features like a stainless-steel and oiled felt washer, the NightHawk’s multi-disc drag and 3+1 ball bearing system will provide you with fish-stopping power. Its machined-ported and double-anodized aluminum spool is also lightweight, strong, and built to withstand corrosion. Additionally, this rod comes with a TAC and EVA split-grip handle that’s designed to give you a steadfast hold on your rod – even while wearing gloves. Its soft-touch knob handle will also give you consistent, premium comfort. The NightHawk is just 24 inches long, making it perfect for fishing in small ice holes. It has a 4.2:1 gear ratio and the versatility to target a wide range of fish, including trout, pickerel, and perch.
The Abu Garcia Venerate Ice Combination reel and rod package will provide you with perfect balance, smooth rotation, and exceptional performance. Created with the needs of ice fishermen in mind, this reel and rod combination features a number of exciting qualities and angler-friendly features – putting you in a position to return home with a cooler full of fish. Its solid carbon fiber blank construction is strong enough to stand up to frozen conditions and hard-fighting fish. This 25-inch, light-power rod is intentionally compact, allowing you to easily place your line in the water while giving you the command to fish through small holes. On top of this, it’s also reactive – providing you with enough sensitivity to feel everything going on with your line. Its robust, stainless-steel line guides and zirconium inserts are durable and corrosion-resistant – improving their lifespan – so you can always fish with confidence. The Venerate Ice Combo’s power is supported by a 3+1 ball bearing system and Abu Garcia’s Ice Max reel. It features an extended stem – leaving ample room for your hands – even while you’re wearing gloves. Its gears are coated in a unique low-temperature lube for further armor against the cold. The reel also includes a collapsible handle for no-hassle transportation. The Venerate Ice Combo is versatile and well-equipped to perform a variety of fishing techniques.
Successful ice fishing requires a rod that’s durable enough to resist frigid temperatures, light enough to be comfortable to use, and sensitive enough to detect hits on your line and flex at the tip. The Frabill Fin-S Pro is a 26-inch rod that embodies all of these qualities – giving you a top-rate fishing experience. This rod’s extra-short body is crafted to allow you to fish successfully in cramped quarters, as is often required during ice fishing. It’s made from a solid carbon fiber blank through the handle, a material designed to give you sufficient strength and flexibility. Special stainless-steel, single foot ice guides are corrosion-resistant and capable of withstanding extreme environments. The Fin-S Pro’s 3+1 ball bearing reel features a multi-disc, front-load drag system, supplying you with the power and command necessary to land feisty, aggressive fish. The reel also comes with an infinite anti-reverse feature and a machined-aluminum spool, giving you increased control and durability. The reel includes a tapered drag knob to help reduce line catch and a sub-zero protective lube as an added reinforcement to its defenses against the cold. It comes standard with a cork grip that will warm up well in your hands. The Fin-S Pro is a light-power rod that can be used to ice fish for a number of species, including walleye, whitefish, and trout, among others.
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