12 Best Ice Fishing Reel 2023 – Ultimate Guide

If you enjoy fishing, you should not be limited to doing it only during the warm months of the year. You will appreciate the fact that ice fishing is now easier with the best ice fishing reels.

A good reel should perform optimally irrespective of the extremely low temperatures. If you want to find out more, we are ready when you are.

Best Ice Fishing Reel

Top 12 Ice Fishing Reels in 2023: Comparison Table

For starters, we’d like to share the following list with you. It’s a brief table bringing together the most sought-after reels out there in the world.

1KastKing Centron Spinning Reelaluminum9.1 ounces
213 FISHING – Black Betty 6061 Machined Aluminum7.8 ounces
3Daiwa D-SPIN1000-B D-Spin Ultralight Spinning Reel73.6 ounces
413 FISHING Black Betty Freefall Ice ReelAluminum4.8 ounces
5Eagle Claw In Line Ice ReelAluminum5.6 ounces
613 FISHING Black Hardwater Inline Ice Fishing ReelAluminum13.3 ounces
7Pflueger MONICEB Monarch Spinning ReelGraphite8.25 Ounces
813 Fishing D2.7-RH Descent Ice Reel
9Celsius Blizzard Spinning CEL-310POther4.8 Ounces
10Ming Yang CL25 Ice Fishing Baitcast ReelMetal
11Shakespeare 1323311 Glacier Ice ReelSynthetic
12Abu Garcia ICEMAX 4842-1331 Fishing ReelGraphite

1. KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reels

Are you in search of a reel with more line capacity? Well, you are likely to find satisfaction in this KastKing product with a spool that is designed to hold more line.

Both left and right-handed customers can use the reel’s handle comfortably as handle operation is interchangeable. Besides that, the launch lip is said to facilitate farther casting.

The reel has nine Maxidur ball bearings and a one-way anti-stop bearing that are said to make it perform smoothly. Unfortunately, some of the product’s users have reported that the bearings rusted after they used the reel in freshwater.


  • Lightweight graphite frame
  • Holds more line
  • Right or left handle operation
  • Superior drag power


  • The bearings rust

2.13 Fishing 2015 Black Betty Reels

You use the reel’s handle most of the time and your comfort is important. As such, a handle made with aluminum plus EVA knobs is likely to be light in weight while offering you a secure grip.

The reel comes in two hand styles, that is left and right. You need to specify which hand style during purchase as the styles are not interchangeable it is either LH for left hand and RH for right hand.

According to the manufacturer, the carbon drag of this reel is smooth and performs well. Some customers tend to disagree because they say the reel they purchased had unstable drag system and made so much noise while at work.


  • Right and left-hand styles
  • Aluminum handle with EVA knobs
  • Bait alarm feature
  • Instant anti-reverse


  • Unstable drag system

3. Daiwa D-Spin Spinning Fishing Reel

Do you also consider speed to be vital, especially when reeling in your catch and casting out your line? Daiwa D-Spin reel is designed with a digigear that is said to enhance the speed plus power to make your work easier.

With a weight of 5.9 ounces, this reel is likely to be light and the size is right, according to most customers. In addition, the reel’s spool is optimized to enhance performance.

The ball bearing drive used in the reel is alleged to make casting smooth and simple. However, some customers have complained that the bail is stiff, making it cumbersome to use.


  • Interchangeable hand styles
  • Light in weight
  • Smooth and easy casting
  • Digigear design


  • The bail is stiff

Also read: 10 Best Ice Cleats for Ice Fishing [with Buyer’s Guide]

4.13 Fishing Black Betty Freefall Ghost Reel

In case your spool has been tangling and giving you a hard time, this reel from 13 Fishing is ready to step right in. The reel is designed with a tangle-free spool cap that is unlikely to get stuck.

The reel is made in such a way that you can use one hand to operate it, which makes it seem like a good choice for fishing. In addition, the reel handles are made of aluminum and likely to be light in weight.

There are four stainless steel ball bearings used on this reel. Besides the high-speed performance that is expected from the bearings, they are said to be resistant to corrosion. 


  • Allows for one-hand operation
  • Stainless steel ball bearings
  • Graphite frame
  • Aluminum handles


  • Frequent backlash

5. Eagle Claw In Line Ice Fishing Reel

When you can fully control your fishing gear, then you are likely to have an advantage over your catch regardless of its size. Eagle Claw has a reel that is said to allow you full control because of the free spool release button feature.

The body and spool of this reel are made of nylon, which is the likely reason for its lightweight. In addition, the reel is said to be very flexible and easy to use.

You have to use the learning curve provided to know how to use the reel, especially if you are a new angler. Knowing how to set the tension right is important in preventing backlash.


  • Spool release button
  • Light in weight
  • Reduced line twist
  • Flexible


  • Not setting the tension well causes backlash

6.13 FISHING Black Betty Freefall Ice Reel

13 Fishing has designed their reel with a pistol or pencil grip to make working with the ice reel an easy task. Moreover, the handle design supports one-hand operation with right and left-hand retrieves.

This reel is said to have a freefall trigger that is supposed to allow you to get your target fish. You can release the trigger at the right depth which is likely to result in a rewarding catch.

It features a magnetic drop speed, meant to make the reel more efficient. Unfortunately, aluminum that is used on the spool does not support the magnetic features leading to lack of magnetic speed.


  • Pencil/pistol grip
  • Machined aluminum spool
  • Carbon drag system
  • Left and right-hand retrieve


  •  Aluminum does not support magnetic drop speed

7. Pflueger MONICEB Monarch Spinning Reel

How about a spinning reel with a five stainless steel bearing system that is likely to result in good performance? The stainless steel nature of these bearings is also likely to make them resist corrosion.

The graphite rotor and body of the reel are said to enhance the reel’s efficiency while it is working. This reel is designed for new anglers who may be learning how to use the product as the clutch action is alleged to be smooth.

However, some customers have reported that it would work better if it had an anti-reverse switch to help to prevent the backlashes.


  • Five bearing system
  • Bail made of aluminum
  • Corrosion-resistant ball bearings
  • Graphite rotor and body


  • Lacks anti-reverse switch

8. ONE3 Fishing Decent Ice Reel

Stainless ball bearings are unlikely to rust when you maintain your reel as required. This ONE3 ice reel has five ball bearings that are said to make the cranking smooth.

You can use the left or right-hand styles models depending on your needs. The reel is alleged to be very easy to use and can be operated by one hand.

This seems like a good reel but the star drag tends to get loose when at the lower level. As such, you are likely to use more effort to bring in fish, especially when it is big.


  • Left and right-hand retrieve
  • Stainless ball bearings
  • Instant anti-reverse
  • Smooth cranking gears


  • Ineffective drag system

9. Celsius Blizzard Spinning Reel

Has your reel been turning backwards so much and you need a solution? Well, Celsius Blizzard Spinning reel may be the one you need to turn to as it has an anti-reverse feature.

You can use this reel with your gloves on as it has an extended yoke for more handle space. In addition, this reel has been said to have a smooth retrieve.

The reel’s spool is made of aluminum, which is likely to make it light for easy use. Besides that, aluminum is durable and so the reel is likely to last long.


  • Aluminum spool
  • Four ball bearings
  • Extended yoke
  • Anti-reverse feature


  • The bearings get rusty

10. Ming Yang CL25 Ice Fishing Baitcast Reel

Are you shopping for an ice fishing reel that operates at high speed? Ming yang reel is said to perform well and fast with its gear ratio of 3.8:1, making it simpler to slow down your retrieve.

An aluminum spool is said to be stronger and more durable. As such, you are likely to use this reel for a long time and it is likely to support your rods sufficiently.

This seems like a reel worth considering, given that it also features a one-way clutch. Given its size of 2.5 inches and 2 inches diameter, the reel is said to work well with pan fish and walleye crappie.


  • Star drag system
  • One way clutch
  • Aluminum spool
  • Brass frame


  • The brakes are a bit unstable

11. Shakespeare Glacier Ice Fishing Reel

In case extreme temperatures have been interfering with your reel, Shakespeare may have a solution. Their reel features cold gear lube that is said to work effectively when you experience very cold temperatures.

When using this reel, it is said that the extended stem helps with clearance. Furthermore, the 15⁰ tilt is alleged to make the line flow optimum.

The reel is has a light aluminum spool and a graphite frame. Unfortunately, the graphite frame is said to be very brittle and can easily break when dropped or hit.


  • Graphite frame
  • Extended stem
  • Cold gear lube
  • Aluminum spool


  • The frame is brittle

Another post of us: The 15 Best Ice Fishing Boots

12. Abu Garcia ICEMAX 4842-1331 Fishing Reel

Has storing your reel been a bother? That may not be the case anymore after you acquire this reel from Abu Garcia that has a switch on the handle that you push and the handle folds up for easy storage.

The Ever-last bail system is said to make this reel durable. In addition, the aluminum spool enhances the lightweight of the reel, making it simple to use.

Back reeling is said to be prevented by the anti-reverse bearing. However, the backreel switch is reported by customers to break easily.


  • Cold gear lube
  • Lightweight body and rotor
  • Anti-reverse bearing
  • Three ball bearings


  • Backreel switch breaks easily

Buying Guide for Ice Fishing Reels

You want to consider several vital features before picking a reel for your ice fishing such as:

Frame Design

Perhaps you do notknow this but ice-fishing reels should have a different frame design from regular fishing reels because of the harsh conditions.

You also want to consider the case that goes over the spool. It should be strong enough to protect the line from ice and harsh elements.

Anti-Ice System

This feature is exclusive to ice fishing. As the name suggests, this system refers to the materials in your reel that prevent it from seizing when frozen.

The anti-ice system will ensure that your reel functions correctly irrespective of the low temperatures.

Bearing Quantity

When it comes to fishing reels, the number of bearings plays an important role. The more bearings, the better the performance of your reel.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Below, we have answered a few questions that we believe can help you get a clearer picture on ice fishing reels.

Can I use a regular reel for ice fishing?

Yes, you can but do not expect it to perform optimally or for long either. The conditions under which ice fishing takes place are extreme and require a reel specially designed for that.

What kind of reel is best for ice fishing?

There are three common types of reels for ice fishing: baitcast, inline, and spinning reels. Among these, inline and spinning reelsare the most commonly used by anglers.

Baitcast reels are not as popular because they normally only come into play when targeting large fish such as trout or when deep sea fishing.

Best Overall Choice

Our best-rated ice fishing reel is the KastKing Summer &Centron Spinning Reel. It has many outstanding features to make your fishing memorable. Besides having more line capacity, the reel is said to be light in weight and easy to use.

Final Thoughts

Ice fishing can be extremely enjoyable because you get to access spots in the lake that you would otherwise not be able to access when the weather is warmer.

However, without the right gear for this kind of fishing, you are bound to have a hard time and you may end up giving up altogether.

We are confident that this guide is the tool you need to make the right purchase when it comes to ice fishing reels.

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