Best Ice Fishing Reels


ice fishing rods and reels

As you’re getting ready for ice fishing season, it’s important to find gear that will contribute to your success on the ice. Our SCHEELS fishing experts have compiled their recommendations for the best ice fishing reels based on price-point, the fish you’re targeting, and more! Whether you prefer an inline or spinning ice reel, you can trust these recommendations from our ice experts to take your fishing experience to the next level.

The type of fishing you’re doing will determine whether you need an inline reel or a spinning reel. Inline ice fishing reels are great for jigging for panfish or walleye because the line doesn’t twist. On the other hand, spinning ice fishing reels work great with live bait and provide versatility with plenty of drag and model options. Both ice reels have their pros and cons, it mostly comes down to the type of fish you’re hoping to catch and the technique you use. 

Best Spinning Reels

Pflueger Trion Spinning Reel: lightweight, affordable, and perfect for any type of fish

Pflueger Trion Spinning Reel

If you’re looking for an ice reel at a great price point that provides excellent value, the Pflueger Trion Spinning Reel is a perfect choice. Our experts love the lightweight feel of this ice reel and recommend it for everything that swims below the ice. This versatile reel can also be used for open water fishing so you can enjoy smooth performance all year long. 

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Scheels Outfitters Pro Classic Spinning Reel by Daiwa: ultra lightweight, deep spool, and perfect for big game fish

Scheels Outfitters Pro Classic Spinning Reel by Daiwa

Designed by a collaborative team including Daiwa's reel craftsmen and SCHEELS fishing experts, the SCHEELS Outfitters Pro Classic Spinning Reel by Daiwa is perfect for anglers looking to reel in the big ones. This ice reel has a larger profile and deep spool, making it a great choice for big game fish that require longer rods and heavier lines. If you’re fishing for walleye, northern pike, lake trout, and other predator species, this is the ice reel for you. 

 Shop the Scheels Outfitters Pro Classic Spinning Reel

okuma ceymar baitfeeder spinning reel: lightweight, baitfeeder system, and perfect for deadsticks

Okuma Ceymar Baitfeeder Spinning Reel 

In contrast to the Pro Classic Spinning Reel, the Okuma Ceymar Baitfeeder Spinning Reel has a small profile that comes with a unique baitfeeder making it perfect for deadsticking. Simply disengaging your spool allows the bait to run freely so you can let fish take the bait and swim a little bit. This allows for more solid hooksets so you can reel in your catch with ease. With a lightweight design to reduce fatigue, this ice reel is a great option for long hours on the ice. 

 Shop the Okuma Ceymar Baitfeeder Spinning Reel

Best Inline Reels

13 Fishing Black Betty FreeFall Inline Ice Reel: Instant hookup system, freefall performance window, and prevents twists

13 Fishing Black Betty FreeFall Inline Ice Reel

If you’re looking for the best inline reel on the market, our experts recommend the 13 Fishing Black Betty FreeFall Inline Ice Reel. The trigger system on this ice reel allows for ultimate line control while the inline design prevents line twists, especially when using light line. You can easily operate the Black Betty FreeFall with one hand and trust the durable design to provide next-level performance even in the most chilling temperatures. If you’re fishing inside an ice shelter or ice castle, this ice reel is the perfect choice.


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Clam Dave Genz Ice Spooler Elite Reel: affordable, run and gun style, adjustable drag

Clam Dave Genz Ice Spooler Elite Reel

If you’re a run and gun angler, the Clam Dave Genz Ice Spooler Elite reel is what you want. The natural feel and smooth drag system for easy reeling is what makes this ice reel stand out from more conventional inline reels. With the ability to manually pull out your line, it won’t freeze as easily so you can spend more time focusing on the fish. For anglers targeting fish outside of an ice shelter, there’s no better choice than this ice reel from Clam!


Shop the Clam Dave Genz Ice Spooler Elite Reel

If you’re looking for more ice reel options, we have you covered! Check out our wide selection of ice fishing reels from leading brands like 13 Fishing, Clam, Shimano, and more. If you have any questions or would like some more suggestions, don’t hesitate to reach out! Our Ice Fishing experts at our store locations and or our online customer service team are always happy to help.