Are Ice Fishing Reels Smaller?

When the weather turns cold, many people come to the frozen rivers to fish – one of the special hobbies of people in winter. So is ice fishing any different? ice fishing reels will be more different than a regular reel, so what is it?

Are ice fishing reels smaller? Yes. an ice fishing reel is quite small compared to a regular reel. This is because their fishing rods are very short and small. This is explained by ice fishing only through a hole drilled in the ice. A bulky reel is not necessary.

To learn more about these reels. Please refer to my article below on this topic. Hope they can help answer your questions.

A Spinning reel for ice fishing

I’m going to start with spinning reel because that’s what everybody’s familiar with. So one of the things with spinning reels is, you know, if you want to drop down to them, you have to pull a line out. Or flutter or flick your wrist, and that will let the line peel off. 

Suppose you’ve got like a fluorocarbon on there or something like that. A real thing: you can constantly flip the bail in the line will fall off on its own. There are a couple of different ways, but I want you to notice one of the key things with each technique. Whether I’m opening the bail and just letting the lines, come out on their own, or I’m flicking my wrist. I’m getting slack in my line as it drops. 

It’s pretty common for me, especially when fishing for a trout. They come up and hit the lure on the drop, and I miss it. Because I don’t have any tension in my line. And I miss that bite. So that’s one of the disadvantages of a spinning reel.

A Spinning reel for ice fishing

The Achilles heel of a spinning reel is in the bale system, especially when ice fishing. Because what happens is ice can build upon the bale and when you open if you have your bail open. You’re dropping the line, and you close the bale. Sometimes the line will catch or freeze on that bale. But the worst spot is the line roller, which can cause problems for making it harder to reel and fight a fish. I can’t bring the fish in anymore.

So let’s talk about an inline reel. It’s a little bit different than a spinning reel. Inline reels, spooler reels, you hear all kinds of terms for this type of setup. I will talk to you about why I lean on this heavily when I’m fishing. And there are multiple reasons to fish this inline reel.

Inline ice reels are direct descendants of fly reels. They were created to eliminate the line twist that spinning reels put on the fishing line. Line twist causes the jigs below the ice to spin and spin. The biggest difference between the inline reel vs. the fly reel is the diameter of the spindle of the spool. Fly reels need to accommodate a thick fly line and backing, while ice anglers need just one thin type of line.

Most inline ice reels feature adjustable disc drags for ultimate line tension control to land large fish on low-test ice lines. Like the fly reel, the 1:1 ratio of the standard inline reel means that the reel rotates once for each turn of the handle.

This allows the inline reel to be a great choice when fishing shallow water.
Inline reels with multiple gears have become very popular for fishing in deeper waters because of the speed of the retrieval and the free-spooling feature.
They have pretty limited applicability on open water. I suppose you could use them from a boat for jigging, but I enjoy using my inline reels when I am out on the ice.

An inline reel

Can you cast an ice fishing reel

Oh, of course not because you normally don’t cast but just lower the lure or bait into the hole in the ice. As mentioned above, ice fishing uses only a rod and a small reel. As mentioned above, ice fishing uses only a rod and a small reel. An ice fishing rod is not the right rod to produce long casts or fight the more energetic fish in warm water.


You already have the answer to the “Are ice fishing reels smaller?”. Remember, everything depends on your personal preferences. Any reels are expensive or cheap, it will still be useless if you can’t master them.

I hope this article is helpful to you. Do you have another idea?

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