Cory Haasnoot
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10 Bluegill Fishing Techniques That Work – Catch Your Limit!

Bluegill fish lying on the grass.

If you want to catch your limit of delicious bluegills then you will want to keep reading. I have compiled a list of 10 bluegill fishing techniques that work wonders and you will catch your limit of these panfish day in and day out!

Bluegills are one of the most plentiful fish species we have in North America. They are stocked and naturally flourishing in most of our lakes rivers and streams. One of the great things about bluegill fishing is that they congregate close to the shore so there’s no need to get into a boat to fish these blue, gill covered beauties! 

I remember as a kid catching bluegills in lakes close to my home. I would pack up my bike with a tackle box and fishing pole and catch a stringer full of panfish every day. Then I would go home and gut and scale them and have my mom fry them up! It makes a youngster feel accomplished by catching his/her own food for the day. Oh, the good old days!

So I decided to write up a list of 10 bluegill fishing techniques that will get you catching your limit. Let’s get right into it. Enjoy!

10 Bluegill Fishing Techniques


Hooked bluegill with hanging worm

Tip 1 -  Farm Ponds Hold The Biggest Bluegills

Believe it or not farm ponds usually hold the biggest bluegills around. This is because ponds that are located on farms are usually clean bodies of water and the fish can live for years unhindered by overfishing and other invasive species that sometimes get into our lakes and rivers from boaters.

So if you want to catch some of the biggest bluegills around you should check out the farms in your area and ask the owners if you can fish in their pond. Most farmers would be happy to let you do this and if not just say thank you and find another farm. Doesn’t hurt to ask, right?

Tip 2 - Best  Baits For Bluegills

When choosing baits for bluegill fishing you want to think small size baits because bluegills mouths are so small.

Canned corn, nightcrawlers, bread and beef sausage sticks.

Bluegills and most types of bream are receptive to all sorts of baits. The best bait I recommend is, of course, nightcrawlers. You will want to cut the nightcrawlers up in little pieces about 10 pieces per nightcrawler. Because if you put a whole nightcrawler on a hook the bluegills will just slip your bait off the hook so that you will have to continually bait your hook.

Another type of worm that works is wax worms because they are just the right size to fit in the mouth of bluegill. Waxworms are a little more expensive then nightcrawlers so you have to consider that when purchasing your worms.

Some other unconventional baits that work well are sweetcorn kernels, slim jim beef jerky, and bread. You will be amazed at what these slabs will feed on. Do some experimenting with these baits and see which ones work the best for your particular fishing situation.

Tip 3 - Present Flies when Bluegills are Nesting

When bluegills are spawning you will want to not disturb the nests. To keep from disturbing the fish in the nests you will want to get a fly rod and present flies to the shallow areas around the nest. 

As long as the bluegills in the nest are not spooked you will be able to fish this technique all day and catch a motherload of bluegills. Wolly worms and Wolly buggers work the best for fly fishing for bluegill while they are spawning.

Check out my article about fly fishing bream for more information.

Tip 4 - Small Hooks and Light Test

Since bluegill slabs are small under 1 pound, “unless you are finding some monsters” you will want to use small size hooks. Using a number 6 hook is just about the perfect size hook to use for bluegill fishing. If you use too big of a hook the bluegills will just nibble your bait away and you will never set the hook because it’s too big to fit in their mouth.

You will want to consider the test of the line you are using as well. Two to four-pound test line is plenty for bluegill fishing.

Tip 5 - Best Time To Catch Bluegills

Two people fishing at dusk.


Like a lot of fish, early morning or late evening is the best time to catch bluegills. That’s because panfish feed this time of day. They will eat all day and night but the optimal time to catch bluegills is in the early morning or late evening.

So what you can do is catch half your limit in the early morning. Cook them up for breakfast and take a nap. Then get up in the evening and catch the other half of your limit and cook that up for supper! The next day does it all over again. The perfect life! Fish, eat, sleep, repeat!

During the spawn is another perfect time to catch bluegills. They are very receptive to all sorts of baits during this time. The usual spawning season for bluegills in North America is between the months of June through August. But female bluegills are known to spawn up to nine times a year between late spring to early fall.

Tip 6 - Deeper Water Holds Big Slabs

Fishing the deeper water you will find the bigger bluegills especially at the end of summer early fall. Find waters that are 7 to 17 feet deep and you will find those big bluegills just waiting for your bait.

Fish along the weed lines at various depths to find the depth that these fish are. Once you find the right depth just keep fishing there and you will be amazed at the number of big slabs you will catch. Using a fish finder can help you find the right depth the bluegills are at more easily.

The big bluegills during the end of summer are done protecting the nests and are out in the deeper water. You will still find smaller bream in the shallow waters because they hide there protected from predators. But the big bluegills go deep because they don’t need the protection.

Fighting monster bluegill is like fighting bass fun and rewarding at the same time. And bluegills are a lot less finicky then bass.

Tip 7 - Use Slip Bobbers

The type of bobber you use can be critical in how far bluegills will take the bait. The longer they have the bait in their mouth the better chance you will have at hooking them. I recommend using slip bobbers instead of the commonly used round bobbers. 

Slip bobbers will go with the fish and bait without very much resistance. Unlike round bobbers that have a ton of resistance that the fish will feel and might not hang on as long. Slip bobbers will tip up a little when there is a nibble so that you will know to get ready.

Tip 8 - Lighter is Better

When I fish for bluegills or any panfish for that matter I usually don’t use sinkers or anything that’s going to weigh the bait down. Because the hook, line, and bait should be enough weight. The more weight you have at the end of your line the more resistance the fish is going to feel.

And the more resistance the fish feels it’s going to think something isn’t right and let go of your bait. This is the last thing you want. So keep it light as possible.

Tip 9 - Jig Fishing For Bluegills

Other than live baits artificial baits work well when fishing for bluegills. Small jigs work well and the smaller the better because of the smallmouths even big bluegills have. That’s one of the only downfalls of fishing for bluegills is trying to get a hook out of those tiny mouths especially when they swallow the hook.

Using tiny jigs that imitate bugs is the best kind of jig to use when fishing bluegills. Bream love small bugs and when they want a little snack they will typically go after these bugs. You will also want to pair the bug jig with a tiny piece of worm or attractor scent because bluegills will smell their bait before the strike. So sight and scent are important in how many bluegills you will catch in a day.

Tip 10 - 3 Types of Float Rigs to Use 

Various types of fishing floats

There are three types of float rigs that work wonders for catching bluegills.

  • Waggler Float

These floats come in two types bodied or straight and are only attached to the bottom of the fishing line. Some of the materials that make up waggler floats are balsa wood, plastic, reed, and cane.

  • The Primal Slip float

The basic primal slip float includes a slip bobber, swivel, split shot, short leader and a jig at the end. You can more accurately fish around objects like fallen sunken trees and fishing docks using a slip float type rig.

  • Bubble Rig

With the bubble rig, you start with an artificial hair jig. Tie the jig to four-pound fluorocarbon line. Tie that to one end of a swivel and then tie the other end of the swivel to four-pound test line and at the top, you have a just a bubble bobber.

There are many types of floats and rigs but I have found that these three work the best for bluegill fishing. I encourage you to experiment with other rigs and floats. You never know what will personally work for you and the way you fish.

Conclusion


Bluegill fish swimming.

Put these bluegill fishing techniques to work and you will be catching more bluegills then you will know what to do with. Here is a summary of the 10 techniques for catching bluegills.

Bluegills usually get the biggest in farm ponds so find a farm and ask the owner if you can fish his ponds.

Best baits to use:

  • Nightcrawlers
  • Sweetcorn kernels
  • Wax Worms
  • Slim Jim Beef Jerky
  • Bread

Present artificial flies when bluegill is nesting so as you don’t disrupt the spawning process.

Use  number 6 small hooks, light tackle, and Four-pound test fishing line

The best time to catch bluegills is in the early morning or late evening and during the summer months when they are spawning.

Deepwater holds the biggest bluegill slabs. The smaller fish will stick around the shallows while the bigger bluegills will generally stay in the deeper waters along weed lines.

Use slip bobber's for less resistance. The more resistance bluegill feels the less likely he will hang onto your bait.

The lighter your fishing tackle the better. This has to do with resistance like the use of slip bobbers. The less resistance a fish feels the longer it will stay at the end of your line giving you a better chance at hooking it.

Use tiny bug looking jigs when jigging for bluegills. Bug jigs work well on bluegills that are being finicky.

3 types of floats that are great for catching bluegills:

  1. Waggler float
  2. Primal Slip Float
  3. Bubble Rig

When you start catching bluegills using these techniques please come back here and let us know how it’s working for you. Thanks for reading.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments section below. And as always Happy Fishing!

Best Electric Ice Augers 2019

Man in yellow bibs drilling a hole in the ice with a red ice auger.

Deciding on the right electric ice auger can be a not so fun task. There are so many on the market today and you are left wondering which are the best ones to buy? Well, I have good news for you. You don’t have to search anymore. I have reviewed and put together a list of the best electric ice augers of 2019.

Up here in the Northern half of America where the winter tundra comes upon us one season a year sometimes spilling over into three, many of us anglers look forward to ice fishing!

Call us crazy, fishing in below zero temperatures but that is one of the things that makes us a hardy people and a lot of us look forward to the hard water fishing season.

Having a great electric ice auger on your side that you can rely on can mean the difference between an excellent day of ice fishing or a horrible day of ice fishing.

Crappy ice augers suck. You get fewer holes drilled because they die out too soon or a plethora of other problems that can go wrong with them. And if your ice auger peters out on you then you end up with the holes you got drilled and nothing more.

Well, say no more, you won’t have to worry about that with the list of electric ice augers that I have compiled.

The Best Electric Ice Augers

Auger Name

Blade Sizes

Blade Length

Weight

Battery

8" or 10"

8" = 34"

10" = 42"

8" = 22-lbs

10" = 25-lbs

Lithium 40v 5ah

Strike Master

Check Price

8" or 10"

N/A

8" = 24-lbs

10" = 27-lbs

Lithium 40v 5ah

6",8" or 10"

40"

28-lbs

Lithium 40v 7ah

Trophy Strike

Check Price

8" or 10"

31.5"

34-lbs

Lithium 120v 2ah

Landworks

Check Price​​

8"

39"

22-lbs

Lithium 48v 2ah

Ion G2

Check Price​​

8"

40"

17-lbs

Lithium 40v 3ah

Ion Standard

Check Price​​

6" or 8"

34"

22-lbs

Lithium 40v 3ah

1. Ion X Ice Auger

Neon green Ion X 40 volt electric ice auger.

First on our list is the Ion X electric ice auger. This auger comes in two models. 8" and 10" circumference drills. Ardisam the maker of Ion products is getting back to their roots with the Ion X. This company started out manufacturing electric ice augers and they have made a superb ice auger in the Ion X. 

Ardisam is located just miles from where I live in northern Cumberland Wisconsin. In Wisconsin, we know ice fishing there is not a better place in the world to manufacture an ice auger from people who actually use ice augers and ice fish. So you know you are getting a product from that use the product themselves.

The Ion X has a 5 amp 40-volt battery. The charging capacity on this batter is over 60% more than the original batteries that were used in the Ions of the past. Making this one of the longest-running batteries around. With one charge you can cut up to 1600 inches of ice with the 8" auger and 640 inches of ice with the 10" auger. You will love being able to hole hop all day long and not have to worry about charging the battery. Now to me, that's astounding for an electric ice auger.

You are also going to love the fact that Ion X has a reverse button. No more getting your blades stuck in the ice. You will also have freshly cut holes with no slush to scope out when you are done the cutting.

The bottom is made of cast aluminum so you know it's tough! With this new bottom, you get a more even cut when you are going in and coming out. It also has a center point that cuts right through the ice with ease and is as accurate as you can get with an auger.

The handlebars are redesigned closer to the powerhead so you can drill in tight spots close to your ice house. This also helps with the accuracy of the cut. You will be able to drill holes at night with the two led lights that are under the powerhead. The lights are an excellent feature that you can use to drill in your ice house without missing a beat. 

The 8" Ion X only weighs 22-lbs and the 10" is 25-lbs so they are both very light ice augers indeed. The auger length is 34" for the 8" model and 42" long for the 10" model.

They are both available on Amazon so pick one up before the ice fishing season starts.


2. Strike Master Lithium 40v

Strike Master lithium 40 volt black electric ice auger

Next up we have the Strike Master Lithium 40v. With this auger you get a 40-volt 5 amp battery. You get a choice of 8" or 10" auger blades. The gear ratio is 15.9:1 This is a lightweight but powerful electric ice auger. It comes with a tough DC brushless motor that will get you drill holes like no tommorrow.

The Strike Master is known for there sharp durable Laser blades as they are called. They are serrated on both edges and made of rust-resistant stainless steel. This auger drills through the ice like butter.The handles are long and absorb the shock to your arms when you are drilling. 

You are going to appreciate the safety deadman's switch that they have included on the Strike Master Lithium 40v. If you run into any problems that hit the switch and the auger immediately will shut off.You will love the reverse switch for clean-up of holes when you are done drilling. I don't know about you but I think a good reverse on an ice auger is priceless. 

They tested this bad boy on ice that was 16" thick and determined you could drill 100 holes with the 8" blade and 70 holes with the 10" blade on a single charge. That's a lot of holes even on a busy day of fishing I have never had to drill even close to that many holes! 

This auger comes with two charging stations that take about 2.5 hours to fully charge the battery.Led lights are included on this electric ice auger so you will be able to see clearly at night if you are drilling holes or in your ice shelter.

The Strike Master Lithium 40v is available on Amazon. Click the button below and check out the prices.


3. Razr Lithium with Reverse

Razr Lithium 40v electric ice auger.

You will be cutting holes like a mad person with the Razr Lithium 40 volt electric ice auger. This thing is bright orange so you will be seen a mile away in case of a snowstorm. You won't lose this ice auger anytime soon. You get a 7 amp hour battery. The reverse on the Razr is excellent for cleaning out slush from your holes and ease of extraction.

The auger length is 40" so you can cut through up to 3' of ice without needing an extension. That saves tremendously on extra costs. The blades are twin serrated making it easy to cut through the ice without having to push it through saving strain on your back and arms. No rusting with these blades because they are made out of stainless steel.

Razr has two different blades to choose from:

  • Curved Blades - Used For drilling new holes.
  • Chipper Blades - Used for Reopening old holes.

If you need light the Razr has that too. Included is an Led light that can be turned on and off even when the auger is not running. This is handy so you can have light in your portable ice house at night or if you have no windows to let light in. There is an indicator light to let you know when the battery needs charging and you get a quick charging station. 

You will be able to fish all day on one charge. You can cut up to 1,785 inches of ice with the 8" blade and 1,326 of ice with the 10" blade on a single charge of the battery.

Razr offers a 3-year warranty on the powerhead and a 1-year warranty of the battery unit. So Razr stands behind their products which is a driving factor when I'm looking for augers or for any product.

You can check out the price of the Razr Lithium 40v on Amazon below.


4. Trophy Strike 120v Lithium Ion

Trophy Strike 120 volt electric ice auger drill kit.

If you're looking for power, you are going to want to check out the Trophy Strike 120-volt Lithium-Ion. This is a lightweight but powerful electric ice auger. You can drill up to 80 holes in 20 inches of ice and you can do it precisely and accurately. It's a powerhouse of ice augers. 

It's the only kind that I know of that has a 120-volt battery for long-lasting power.

The motor is brushless and has 5 planetary gear transmission making the Trophy Strike one of the toughest electric augers around even in harsh conditions. 

You will be loving the reverse drive on this thing making removal of slush and the auger blades a breeze.

The handles are ergonomically designed for a comfortable grip and less wear and tear on your hands. A center ring that is mounted makes opening up frozen holes a breeze. Trophy Strike is engineered in the Rocky Mountains where the ice gets extremely thick so they are made to dig through the thickest of ice.

You will enjoy the smooth cut you get from their revolutionary blades. No more losing a fish from a cut fishing line because of the jagged edges that some auger blades leave behind. And because it's electric you can safely drill holes right in your ice house without having to worry about toxic fumes.

Here's what you get with your Trophy Strike ice auger kit"

  • 8" or 10" auger blade
  • 3.0Ah 120 volt battery
  • Battery charger
  • Battery bag
  • 15" Extension

You can check out the Trophy Strike electric ice auger on Amazon by clicking the buy now button below.


5. Landworks Eco-friendly Cordless Electric Ice Auger

Landworks is a name you can trust. Landworks has made its name by manufacturing post hole digging augers and they are now getting into ice augers. Their auger comes with an 8" blade that is 39" long so no need for an extension unless you are drilling holes in the ice in the arctic circle.

The handles are widely spaced so you can get a good grip on the auger when you are drilling. With a 3 gear planetary transmission and a brushless motor, you get a very smooth and accurate cutting of holes.

A 48 volt 2 amp-hour lithium battery and charger are included. You can purchase a 4 amp battery sold separately if you choose. The Landworks ice auger is light at only 22-lbs but you will be able to drill through the ice with ease. 

When it comes to well-known names in drilling and chipping equipment Landworks is it. On a single charge, you can drill approximately 2340 inches of ice with the 2 amp battery and 4680 inches using the 4 amp battery. That's a lot of holes!

The manufacturer has a note about how to drill the holes with their electric auger. They say before you break through the bottom of the hole to reverse the direction of the blade and then continue drilling through. I thought I would pass that information on to you.

You can purchase the Landworks electric ice auger on Amazon. Check the price by clicking the buy now button below.


6. Ion G2 Electric Ice Auger

Green Ion G2 electric ice auger

Can you tell I really like Ion ice augers? The second Ion on our list is the Ion G2 electric ice auger. This is another excellent ice auger made by Ardisam. The G2 is the second generation ice auger. The G2 is crazy lightweight. Weighing in a only 17 lbs this is 29% lighter than other ice augers of its caliber and it's light to carry. Always nice to lighten the load when you are going out ice fishing.

The battery is a whopping 6ah Gen 2 one of the longest life batteries in the industry. It's also a single cell battery so it will work wonders even when the weather gets extremely cold and when you are ice fishing you all know that well. 

The bottom is made of a polymer composite helping with cutting smooth as silk holes and making re-drilling a cinch. The polymer bottom also helps with keeping the auger's overall weight low.

To flush the slush out of the hole just hold the reverse button for about 20 seconds and the job is done. You will be able to cut through the thickest of ice with the 40", long 8" circumference drill bit. No need for an extension here!

The Ion G2 has a long 3-year warranty on the auger and the battery. This is unheard of in the industry which shows that Ardisam stands behind their ice augers.

I highly recommend this electric ice auger. Do yourself a favor and check out the Ion G2 on Amazon by clicking the blue buy now button below.


7. Ion Standard Series Gen 1

 Neon green Ion Standard Series Gen 1 electric ice auger.

The last electric ice auger in our list is the Ion Standard Series. This is a generation 1 ice auger by Ion. The price is about $100 cheaper then the Ion X only because the technology is a little more advanced on the Ion X but the Ion Standard is still an ice auger that is a powerhouse.

With the Standard Series, you get a lightweight auger weighing in at only 22 pounds which is almost 40% less than gas-powered augers. You will love the center ring for reopening frozen over holes.

You get a 6" or 8" diameter auger bit that is as sharp as a razer for cutting smooth as silk holes making breakage of your fishing line near impossible. The length of the auger bit on both the 6" and 8" versions are 34".

The great thing about battery-powered augers is you don't have to put up with the nasty fumes that gas augers give off and they are much cleaner the handle. And no more mixing gas and oil in the fridged temps. All you do is put the charged battery into place and hit the on button and your off and drilling!

The handlebars are ergonomically designed for comfort when drilling. They also have a large trigger button that you will appreciate. The ice slush gets flushed down the hole when you utilize the reverse option on the Ion Standard. You can cut up to 1000 inches of on a single charge with the 8" blade and 1800 inches with the 6" blade.

You get a generation 1 3ah amp-hour 40-volt battery with the Ion Standard. Even though it is a gen 1 battery it still is a powerful battery for an electric ice auger.

The Ion Standard Series electric ice auger can be found on Amazon. Check out the prices by clicking the blue button below.


Electric Ice Auger Buyers Guide


Electric ice augers buyers guide with ice crystals in the background.

There are a couple of things you want to consider before purchasing an electric ice auger. You will want to determine what size holes you want to drill which will depend on the type of fish you are trying to catch. How long of an auger bit you want. And the type of battery you are looking for. The following buyers guide I will explain each one in more detail.

The diameter of Auger Bit

The first thing you will want to determine is the size of the blade you want. This will depend on the type of fish you are after. Basically the bigger the fish, the bigger the size hole you will want to cut. Most ice augers you get a choice of 6",8" or 10" diameter auger bits. The bigger diameter bit the more the auger is going to cost. 

If you are fishing for bluegills or perch a 6" blade will do just fine. If you want to go after bass or walleyes you could do with an 8" blade. But if you are aiming for catching bigger fish like lake trout or musky you will want to opt for the 10" blade. If the fish you want are monsters you might have to go with drilling two holes next to each other.

The one thing you don't want to happen is have a hole that is too small when you latch onto a fish. Because once you have the fish on the line there is one of two way it's going to end by bringing that fish through the hole or losing it to the waters below. So picking the right size auger bit is a very important piece of the puzzle to think of before purchasing and electric auger.

Length of the Auger Bit

The length of auger bits varies from 32" to 42". The longer the bit will determine how deep of ice you can drill through. If you purchase shorter auger bits you can always get an extension of the ice you are drilling through is too thick. But if you get a bit that's 40" long that will get you through some pretty thick ice. 

And the longer the bit the more it's going to cost but if you don't need to purchase an extension it might be worth the price in the long run. But some augers come with an extension anyway so you will want to check the manufacturer's details about what is included with the auger.

Battery

Last thing to consider is the battery. You will want a battery that is at least 40 volts which most electric ice augers come with. A lithium Ion 40 volt 3-amp hour battery will usually get you cutting through a ton of ice on one charge.

There is one auger in the list that has a 120 volt battery which in my opinion is overkill but you won't have to worry about that one dying out on you.


Conclusion

So there you have it the 7 best electric ice augers for your consideration. These ice augers that I have included in the list are top quality electric ice augers that are worth your consideration. 

Some of these ice augers come with warranties which is an important thing to consider as well. Like I said earlier in this article if a company offers a good warranty that shows that they stand behind their products and you are probably going to get a quality product if they have a 3-year or more warranty which the Ion's do.

The goal in all of my reviews is to bring you the angler information that you need to purchase the right fishing product. I hope I reached my goal with this review.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you. If you own any of these ice augers I would like to hear about your experience with using them. As always Happy Fishing!

8 Different Types of Fishing Rods

8 Types of Fishing Rods. Three fishing rod and reels leaning against a ships railings. Blue Skies and calm sea in background.

Learning about the different types of fishing rods will help you decide which one is best for the kind of fish you want to catch. Fishing rods come in all different lengths and sizes. There are two questions you want to ask yourself before you choose a fishing rod.

  1. What kind of fishing are you going to be doing?

  2. What kinds of fish do you want to catch?

Once you can answer those two questions you will have an easier time choosing the right fishing rod for you. 

All fishing rods are obviously used for one thing to take the brunt of the force when you are fishing. But there are 8 different types of rods that function a little differently from one another and are meant for certain functions and fishing techniques.

The following are 8 main types of fishing rods and in this article, I will explain each one of them and the uses for each.

Rod Type

Function

Casting Rod

Accurate casting long distances

Spinning Rod

Most popular rod

Fly Rod

Used for fly fishing

Telescoping Rod

Extendable/collapsible rod. Saves on space and is convienient

Offshore Rod

Deepsea fishing on a boat or ship

Surf Rod

For inshore fishing

Ice Fishing Rod

Short rods used for ice fishing.

Trolling Rod

Used for trolling for fish.

8 Types of Fishing Rods


1. Casting Rods

Boy fishing with a casting rod and spin-cast reel.

A young angler waits for a fish to take his bait Saturday during Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany's 25th annual Buddy Fishing Tournament held at Covella Pond here.

Casting rods are meant to be used in conjunction with bait-casting reels or spin-cast reels. The eyelets on these types of rods face up and the line pushes against the rod when you are fighting with a fish. The great part about having the eyelets on top of the rod instead of hanging below the rod is that they have a lesser chance of breaking.

The proper way to hold a casting rod is hold it in your hand with your thumb at the top of the rod handle and the rest of your fingers wrapped around the rod handle. The reel should be facing up at you. The eyelets that go down the length of the rod should be sitting up on the rod.

Bait-casting rods and reels are a little harder to learn then spinning rods and reels because of the backlash you can get from bait-casting reels but once you get the hang of them and have experience fishing with them they are much more accurate then the spinning rod and reels are.

You can cast farther with a casting rod than with a spinning rod mainly because of the different reels. These rods come in many different lengths and strengths so you can fish for all types of fish species from bluegills to musky.

Here’s a fishing tip for ya. If you are a beginner angler you could use a casting rod with a spin-cast reel. Spin-cast reels are much easier to learn how to use than a bait-casting or for that matter a spinning reel. You need to use a casting rod with a spin-cast reel anyway.

The casting rod in itself is not hard to learn to cast with. It’s the bait-casting reel that’s the tough thing to learn here. 

2. Spinning Rods

Spinning rod

Free picture (Fishing with spinning) from https://torange.biz/fishing-spinning-20257

Spinning rods usually come in sizes between 5 and 9 feet. They are similar to casting rods but have some main differences that I will explain here. Unlike casting rods spinning rods are just the opposite. The eyelets face down below the rod. The spinning reel also faces down below the rod.

With spinning rods, the eyelets take more of the force of the line pulling down on them. This makes them more likely to snap and break compared to casting rods that have the eyelets on the top. The eyelets are bigger on spinning rods which helps lessen the friction the line causes to the eyelets.

Spinning rods and reels are the most popular of all the rod and reels that you will find on the market. They are easy to learn how to maneuver and cast and they do a pretty darn good job for what they are made for.

An angler will usually hold the rod with his or her dominant hand and reel with their other hand. This is done  so the stronger hand can have a stronger grip of the rod when bringing the fish in.

I wouldn’t recommend fishing for musky using a spinning rod but anything smaller like pike to bass to sunfish is a good choice with a spinning rod. I don’t recommend the bigger fish with these types of rods mainly because they are lighter than casting rods. But I’m sure others might differ from my opinion.

The Best Spinning Reels Can Be Found Here.

3. Fly Rods

Man fly fishing in stream.

U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Bradley Wells, with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Fleet Week New York, casts out a line during a fly fishing event hosted by Project Healing Waters in Long Valley, New Jersey, May 26, 2018. The service members attended the fly fishing event as part of Fleet Week New York, which was hosted to give Marines, Sailors and Coast Guardsmen the opportunity to interact with the public, demonstrate capabilities, and teach the people of New York about America’s sea services. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Bethanie C. Sahms)

Next, we have fly rods. There are many sizes and lengths of fly rods. It all depends on what type of fish you are trying to catch. Fly rods are used for you guessed it fly fishing. This is where you use what is called a fly tied to the end of the line and cast out to the water. There is a big learning curve when it comes to casting a fly rod. It takes technique and timing to get it right.

Fly rods don’t extend below the reel. The eyelets on a fly rod are called snake eyes and they keep the line from tangling when casting. Fly rods can get rather expensive but you can find them in the cheaper range as well. The more expensive they are the better materials they are made of.

Most fly rods are made of composite fiber which is light but durable and the more expensive rods will have a corked reel mount. Fly rods usually come in sections and have a wheel looking reel. Although there is a type of fly fishing called Tenkara that has no reel to it. Tenkara is kind of new to America but has been around for a long time in Japan.

You can fly fish for a number of species such as small stream trout to large saltwater fish like black marlin. It all depends on the size of the fly rod that you use.

If you're interested in getting into fly fishing then check out my fly fishing beginners guide it shows you everything you need to know to get started with fly fishing

4. Telescoping Rods

Extendable rods or telescoping rods are a convenient way to transport your fishing rod. It’s also a big space saver.

All you have to do is collapse your rod when you are done and it will fit in your trunk or the backseat of a car without having to bend the rod which can cause damage if left that way for long periods of time. You can even put it in your backpack.

Most telescoping rods can extend between 6 and 10 feet long or more. Also, most of these types of rods are spinning rods so you will need a spinning reel to go with them. There are combos you can purchase these kinds of rods.

Telescoping rods open and close rather easily but there are a few steps that you will want to follow when opening and closing these rods.

Opening a Telescoping Rod

When opening the rod you want to be careful so you don’t put any side pressure on the rod. Pull each section out starting with the tip and going to the bottom. Making sure each section locks in place as you go. Go slow so sections don’t get stuck, twisted and damaged.

When you have the rod fully extended give it a shake. If you hear a clicking noise that means that one of the sections wasn’t fully extended and locked. Find the section that’s not fully extended and extend it.

Closing a Telescoping Rod

Closing the fishing rod you start at the bottom and work your way until the top is the bottom. Do this slowly holding each section at the joint. You loosen the joints by holding the two joints and pull them apart. Then you slide the sections into each other. 

Every rod will not be the same so make sure that you consult the instructions that come from the manufacturer.

5. Offshore Rods

Man fishing with an offshore fishing rod wearing a fighting belt.

These types of rods are used for fishing in a boat or ship in the ocean. Offshore rods are short extremely tough fishing rods. This allows the angler to have the leverage needed while sitting or standing on a boat to land those monster fish. Think shark or swordfish!

You need to use heavy, thick line when fishing with these rods because of the sizes of fishing you will be going after. 

The tips on these rods are big and the eyelets are extremely large because of the thick line you will be using. Large bait and tackle are used when fishing with these rods

Offshore rods have long straight handles or bent handles. The straight handled rods are to use in conjunction with fighting harnesses when battling a sailfish or other huge deepsea fish.

The bent handled rods are to be put in rod holders that are on the boat. Many of these rods will have roller guides. Having these guides makes the line move smoothly and cause less friction along the rod.

6. Surf Rods

Surf fishing rods in holders on beach.

Surf rods are used for fishing saltwater fishing along the beaches and bays of the ocean. These are extremely long rods up to 15 feet in length. The length of the rods is for long casting that needs to be done because of the high waves that accompany fishing from the shore.

When using these rods you will be casting out heavy terminal tackle and you will be catching enormous fish that fight hard like shark or redfish.

The handles are long and strong which can be placed in a rod holder or you can use what they call a fighting belt with these rods. 

There are travel versions of surf rods which come in one, three, four and five-piece versions making for easy transport while on vacation or flying in an airplane.

You will want to make sure you have the right line and tackle depending on the surf conditions and what type of fishing you are going to fish for. Conditions change fast in the ocean so you might want to have a few different rigs set up when you surf fish.

These rods are paired with spinning reels. And as you would think the reel seats connect the reel to the rod very securely because you don’t want to lose a fish that’s on the end of your line by your reel falling off.

The price of these rods can get expensive as you could imagine. Some of them going as high as $600 for a St. Croix Legend rod. But there also are some more reasonably priced surf rods as well. You will want to shop around before purchasing these types of rods.

7. Ice Fishing Rods

Ice fishing rod on frozen lake.

Ice fishing rods are of course used for ice fishing. These are short rods between 18” to 48” in length. These rods can support a reel but some of them are just the rod with the fishing line wrapped at the bottom. They are compact and short so that you can fish with them in an ice house which usually there is limited space to fish.

If you are going to be hopping from hole to hole you will want the longer versions of these rods. The shorter ones are used for fishing in your ice shack.

When ice fishing you will want to bring a few rods with you so you can cover multiple holes. Many ice anglers will use tip-ups as well to cover multiple ice holes. Ice fishing rods are strong but light so as they can detect the slightest nibble at the end of your line.

The rods that have reel seats use spinning reels so the rod itself is of the spinning rod type. And of course, there are fewer eyelets then there longer spinning rod counterparts.

You can get ice fishing rods by either purchasing the rod individually or purchasing a combo rod reel together. One great thing about ice fishing rods is they won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Which is good because you will be spending plenty of other equipment you will need for ice fishing like an ice house, warm clothes, and an ice auger.

Before you go purchasing a rod and reel combo take a look at my review on 7 of the best ice fishing rod reel combos. You will find some of the best combos on the market.

8. Trolling Rods

Trolling rods on back of a boat.

Trolling rods as the name suggests used for trolling on a boat. You can use these rods for fishing any type of fish fresh or saltwater. They fit in rod holders that you would place in the back of your boat. They are made of fiberglass and graphite with long corked handles that slip into the rod holders.

You can get these rods in one or two-piece and some of them are of the telescoping type for easy storage. Some of the rods you use with downriggers. These rods are more flexible than the other trolling rods because they pull up when the downrigger is triggered.

Trolling reels or baitcasting reels are usually used with trolling rods. These rods need to be strong to hold the terminal tackle that is used and for fighting big fish. Some rods of this type are meant for use with large spinning reels but that’s not the norm.

There are some trolling rods that are designed for certain types of fish species like musky, walleye and salmon.

Some of the trolling rods have roller guides and specialized tips. You would typically find these types of rods in use with wire trolling lines. If you are using braided or wireline you want the guides to be made of stainless steel because of the abrasiveness of the line.

The reel seats need to be secure so the reel stays in place while heavy forces from huge fish fight on the end of the line.

Usually, anglers who fish frequently use these types of reels because they can be expensive especially for the rods that are designed for a certain type of fish species.

Conclusion

There you have it. 8 different types of fishing rods. It’s important to understand the main types of fishing rods so that you can choose the right rod for the type of fishing you're going to be doing. To recap here are the main types of fishing rods.

  1. Casting Rods - Great for casting long distances with high accuracy.

  2. Spinning Rods - Easy to learn how to use and they are the most popular of all rods.

  3. Fly Rods - Used for fly fishing.

  4. Telescoping Rods - Extendable and collapsible rods.

  5. Offshore Rods - Used for fishing on the deepsea on a boat or ship.

  6. Surf Rods - Used for fishing inshore bays and from the beach on the ocean.

  7. Ice Fishing Rods - These are used for ice fishing.

  8. Trolling Rods - Used to troll fish behind a boat.

Many different types to choose from for many different uses. I hope you enjoyed this article and I hope you got some useful information about fishing rods. If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments section below. 

Thank you and Happy Fishing!

Different Types of Fishing Reels – A Helpful Guide

Different types of fishing reels. Baitcasting, fly fishing, spinning and spincast reels.

What are the different types of fishing reels? That is the question. It is also a very good question to ask when you are just getting started in the world of fishing. It’s a good question because the reel is one of the most important pieces of equipment you will want to acquire in your fishing arsenal.

But first, you will want to choose which type of fishing rod you want to use and then choose the reel that is right for the rod. So assuming you have picked a rod I will explain the different types of fishing reels and their uses.

4 Different Types of Fishing Reels


There are four types of fishing reels that you can choose from before going out fishing. The four types of reels are:

  1. Bait-casting Reel
  2. Spinning Reel
  3. Spin-cast Reel
  4. Fly Reel

Bait-casting Reels

Baitcasting spinning reel

There are two main kinds of bait-casting reels. They are round style and low profile.

Round Style

The round style are the more traditional type of bait-casting reels. They hold more line than the low profile reels but your line can get tangled up easily with these reels. This is the style you want if you are fishing for the monsters of the sea because they can put up with the fight of a large fish.

Low Profile Style

Low profile bait-casting reels are lighter and smaller than the round style reels. They produce less backlash and don’t tangle as easily as the round ones do. This style is not quite as accurate as of the round style but still can get your line pretty close to where you want it to be. Low profile reels are best used for large species freshwater fishing like lake trout, musky or catfish.

Bait-casting reels are best for the more experienced angler. It takes quite a bit of practice to learn how to operate a bait-casting reel. You need to control the spool using your thumb which can be tricky to learn.

Once you do get the hang of how they work bait-casting can be one of the best reels to use fishing because they are extremely accurate casting reels. When you cast your line you can stop the line by pushing a button on the reel at the exact spot you want. This makes for excellent pinpoint accuracy that anglers love about the bait-casting reels. 

Most of the bait-casting reels come with an open face. They are best used with heavy test line and big heavy lures. You will be able to fight some monster fish with these reels because there are many gears in these reels. For every revolution of the handle, the spool turns three times giving you extreme power against the fish.

So naturally you probably guessed but baitcasting reels are popular with the saltwater anglers who go after the larger sized fish species like Marlin or swordfish. Saltwater anglers also love these reels because you can cast long distances with them. Which is important when casting into the ocean.

Spinning Reels

Spinning fishing reel.

Spinning reels are the most popular of all the reels. This is because they are easy to use and you can do most types of fishing using these reels. The reel itself hangs below the rod, unlike bait casting and spin casting reels that are located above the rod.

All you have to do with a spinning reel is hold the bail arm open when you are casting and let go when your lure or bait hit the spot on the water that you were aiming for. You also need to keep your fingers on the line before you cast and let go when you cast.

With spinning reels, you want to use light no heavier than 20 pounds test line. Line capacity is excellent on these reels and there's no backlash with spinners.

There are six main components on a spinning reel. They are:

Drag

This component is located in the front of the reel on top of the spool. With the drag you can adjust the tension of the fishing line on your reel. By tension I mean how much the fish is going to feel when its yanking on your line.

Bail Arm

The bail arm is the curved piece of metal lever that you flip when casting your line. Doing this lets your line loose so that it can be cast. You let it flip back when casting is complete.

Reel Handle

The handle that you use to retrieve the fishing line.

Line Spool

The spool holds the fishing line.

Line Roller

The line goes from the spool to the line roller to the rod.

Reel Foot

The reel foot holds the reel to the rod. It’s held to the rod by a screw or some type of tightening mechanism.

It can be a daunting challenge trying to decide on the right spinning reel to choose from. There are so many different kinds on the market.

 If you're in the market for a new spinning reel then do yourself a favor and check out my review of the best saltwater spinning reels here. These spinning reels are rated for saltwater fishing but can also be used for freshwater fishing as well.

Spin-casting Reels

Spincast Fishing Reel.

Spin-casting reels are good reels for beginning anglers to use. There’s not a lot that can go wrong with these reels. All the critical components are enclosed with a cover that screws or pops on and off for protection from line tangling and the elements getting in. You won’t have any backlash with this type of reel.

The fishing line comes out a hole in the cover. A button opposite of the cover lets the line release when you push it and it stops when you let go. Very easy to cast. But this type of reel is not as accurate as the spinning and bait-casting reels. And you won't be able to cast as far as you could with  the other reels.

Spin-casting reels are good reels for beginning anglers to use. There’s not a lot that can go wrong with these reels. All the critical components are enclosed with a cover that screws or pops on and off for protection from line tangling and the elements getting in. You won’t have any backlash with this type of reel.

The fishing line comes out a hole in the cover. A button opposite of the cover lets the line release when you push it and it stops when you let go. Very easy to cast. But this type of reel is not as accurate as the spinning and bait-casting reels.

Fly Reels

Fly fishing reel.

The last of the main types of fishing reels is the fly reel. What are the fly reels used for? You guessed it fly fishing. These reels are a lot different than all the other types of fishing reels.

I’m not sure why they even call these reels because you don’t even reel the fish in with them. They are only on the fly rod to hold the fishing line but they provide tension or drag which is important when fighting big fishing at the end of your line.

The main things you want to consider when choosing a fly reel is that you want one that won’t rust. When you are fly fishing your reel is going to get wet. You are probably going to get wet as well because you are usually in the water likely a river or a stream when you are fly fishing. So a rust-resistant fly reel is very important.

The other thing you want to know is the weight of the line you're typically going to be using and choose a fly reel that’s compatible with the weight for the line you are using. There are various sized fly reels and the prices can vary wildly so due your homework before choosing a fly reel for the first time.

If you're interested in getting started fly fishing then you will want to check out the guide I wrote about fly fishing for beginners. The fly fishing beginners' guide will show you what equipment you need to get started and some useful tips to get you catching those delicious trout that a lot of us crave.

Which Fishing Reel is Right For You?


Now that you have an idea of what different types of fishing reels are out there it is your turn. To recap there are four main types of fishing reels to choose from.

Bait-casting

There is the bait-casting reel used mainly by experienced anglers. They are the most accurate of all fishing reels. You use them when you are fishing large types of fish and for saltwater fishing. They handle heavier weight lines and large lures.

Spinning

Then we have the spinning reels. These are the most popular of all the reels. They are easy to cast for long distances. You can catch a variety of fish using spinning reels. They are ideal for intermediate experienced anglers.

Spin-casting

Next, we have the spin-casting reels. These are great reels to use as a beginner. They are easy to cast but they don’t cast as far as the other reels. These are the most inexpensive of all the reels but they won’t tangle or give you backlash and all the main components are protected by a cover.

Fly

Last, are the fly reels. These reels are used exclusively for fly fishing. There are many varieties and prices vary on these types of reels. You will want to choose a  fly reel that is rust-resistant and is rated for the right weight of line you will be fishing with.

I hope you got some useful information from this article. Thank you for reading and If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them in the comments section below. As always Happy Fishing!

How to Clean a Spinning Reel – Helpful Guide Shows You How

Person's hand holding a spinning fishing reel.

Knowing how to clean a spinning reel is crucial to the continued performance of your spinning reel. Spinning reels are one of the most important pieces of fishing equipment that you could own. So you will want to clean your reel properly by removing dirt, debris, and saltwater that can accumulate on and in your reel.

These little particles can get in your reel and cause damage and corrosion that could become irreversible. That’s the last thing we want. You have spent your hard-earned money on this equipment and you want to keep it as pristine as possible.

If you adhere to the following guidelines your spinning reel should last for years to come. Without further ado let’s jump right into the dirty little details. 🙂

How to Clean a Spinning Reel Properly

Saltwater Usage

Saltwater is one of the worse things that can happen to your spinning reel. If you are a saltwater angler you will want to clean your reel more often than a freshwater angler would. You will want to clean it after every fishing outing that you go on.

Freshwater Usage

If you are a freshwater angler you will probably want to clean your spinning reel about once or twice a year. I will usually clean my reel once in the middle of the fishing season and then when I’m done fishing for the season. That way you don’t put it away wet so to speak.

Items Needed For Cleaning a Spinning Reel

Items use for cleaning a spinning reel. Spinning fishing reel with spool detached. Toothbrush, phillips head screwdriver, toothpicks q-tips, 3 sticky notes 1,2,3 written on them, lubricant cleaner, towel.

You will need a few every day around the house type of items to clean your reel with.

Here’s what you need:

  • Phillips head screwdriver or screw gun with a Phillips insert.
  • Flat Head Screwdriver
  • Tweezers
  • Q-tips
  • Toothpicks 
  • Toothbrush
  • WD-40 or a similar brand lubricant
  • Reel Grease
  • Ball Bearing Oil
  • Clean towel or rags that you can get dirty and stained

Once you have these items you are ready to clean.

First Clean the Outside of the Spinning Reel

Cleaning the outside of your reel is the easiest and doesn’t take long at all. You can do this after every fishing outing that you go on if you like. You can use a hose with a light mist of water to clean the salt and dirt off the outside of the reel. Next whip it off with a clean, dry towel or rag.

Whatever you do don’t dunk it in a bucket of water even though bearings and components are sealed it is not good practice to put your reel in water if you absolutely can help it.

Next, take the spool off and then you will want to lower the axle of the reel so that it is in a downward position. You can do this by turning the handle. After that, spray the body of the reel with WD-40 making sure to have the rotor and spool axle away from you while you are spraying.

Now take the towel and whip down the body of the reel. This will clean the dirt and grime from the outside of the reel. Pretty easy right?

Cleaning the Internal Components of the Spinning Reel

Now that the outside is nice and clean you will want to start disassembling your spinning reel so that you can clean the internal parts of the reel.

I recommend taking your reel apart piece by piece taking special note of the parts that come off so that you can reassemble them in reverse order from the way you disassembled them. A good way to keep track of the parts is to get a pad of posted notes and put the part on the posted note with a number that corresponds with the part 1, 2, 3, etc. Then you would assemble the parts in reverse order after cleaning.

Take out little parts like springs with the tweezer. This ensures that you won’t lose any parts while you are disassembling them. The tweezers also make it a lot easier putting the small parts back as well.

Grease the Gears and Oil the Bearings

Grease and oil can.

Once you have everything disassembled, check the gears in the reel make sure that grease doesn’t look black or have dirt and grime in it. The only reason the gear grease would be dirty is if you dropped it in mud or dirty water. If the gears have dirt in the grease then you will need to take the gears out and clean them with the Q-tips. Make sure that you align them right when you put them back in. If the gears are misaligned you are going to damage the reel and or it won’t work.

If the grease seems clean then all you have to do is dab a little grease using a toothpick onto the bottom and top of the gear teeth. The block that holds the gears should be greased as well on the top and bottom.

Clean the ball bearings with a biodegradable cleaner and then oil them using only one drop of oil per ball bearing.

Cleaning of Parts

Now you will want to clean all the parts with a biodegradable cleaner. There are special rod and reel cleaners that you can buy but you can also just use Simple Green or WD-40. Clean the parts scrubbing with a toothbrush and toothpicks to get into the small crevasses. This is the most important part of the cleaning process. Make sure all sand, grit, and dirt are out of the component parts before reassembling.

When All is Said and Done

Once you have sufficiently cleaned all the internal parts of the reel, greased and oiled everything that needs it then you can start reassembling all the parts. As long as you numbered the parts as I mentioned earlier you should have no problem reassembling them in reverse order from how you disassembled them.

Once the reel is put back together spin the reel and make sure it works the way it’s supposed to. The good thing is that it’s not that difficult as long as you have everything laid out and individually numbered. You only need to do this once or twice a year if your fishing freshwater but if your saltwater fishing you might want to do this after every fishing excursion.

At the very least for saltwater fishing clean the outside of the reel every time. Now that you know how to clean a spinning reel you will be able to keep your reel corrosion and damage-free for years to come.

I hope I have provided you with useful information on how to take care of your spinning reel. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them in the comments section below and I will be happy to answer each and every one of them. As always Happy Fishing!

 

7 Best Ice Fishing Rod Reel Combos – Catch More Fish with These Combos!

7 best ice fishing rod reel combos. Man ice fishing with rod and reel.

It’s once again that time of year to start thinking ice fishing. In this article, I have included 7 of the best ice fishing rod reel combos that can all be found on Amazon. It’s important to have a quality rod and reel that’s comfortable for you to handle while out in the cold tundra of ice fishing.

There are a variety of rod and reels that work well for ice fishing. So sit back relax and let’s find you the perfect ice fishing rod and reel combo so you can catch some monster fish with this ice fishing season.

7 Best Ice Fishing Rod Reel Combos


1. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2

shakespear ugly stic GX2

The Ugly Stik GX2 is Shakespeare's next-generation rod reel combo. This is a  modern-looking rod reel combo. They are built for a light feel that helps you detect any little tug you get on your lure or bait while you are jigging.

The guides are made of stainless steel and are one piece. You get a ported aluminum spool. You will appreciate the twist-lock reel seat with the EVA handle.

You get three size choices with the GX2 they are

  • 26” - Light
  • 28” - Medium
  • 30” Medium-Heavy

Some of the features that come with the GX2 combo are:

  • Ugly Tuff Guides
  • Ugly Tech Construction
  • Ugly Stik Clear Tip Design

This is a lightweight but strong rod reel combo. You will definitely get some solid ice fishing done with this combo. You can purchase the GX2 spinning rod reel combo on Amazon.


2. Berkley Cherrywood Ice Fishing Spinning Combo

berkley cherrywood ice fishing spinning combo

Berkley is a big name in fishing line but did you know they also make rods and reels? Well, they do and they made my list of one of the best ice fishing rod reel combos. Introducing the Berkley Cherrywood ice fishing spinning combo.

With the Cherrywood you get your choice of three combos:

  • 24” - Ultra Light
  • 27” - Light
  • 30” - Medium

The frame of the rod is made of lightweight graphite with a full corked handle. You get 4 + 1 stainless steel ball bearings for a smooth retrieve. Instant anti-reverse is included and you can interchange the reeling handle from left to right or visa Versa.

The spool is made of ported aluminum and it comes pre-spooled with Berkley Trilene XL fishing line. 

This is a very affordable ice fishing rod reel combo from a brand that you can trust. Check them out on Amazon today.


3. Frabill Telescoping Jiggler Long Rod Ice Fishing Combo

frabill telescoping jiggler long rod ice fishing combo

If your big into jigging which most of us ice anglers are you will want to check out the Frabill telescoping Jiggler long rod ice fishing combo. You get a choice of two different length rods which are 54” and 64”.

Longer ice fishing rods are great for hole hopping but can be a challenge in enclosed portable ice houses because of the length. But if you prefer standing and going from hole to hole these longer poles seem to help hook set easier then the shorter rods.

The Jiggler collapses to a 36” length so you can easily put it in a standard rod case making it easy to transport.

You get one ball bearing in the reel. The drag is smooth with a 1:1 reel ratio and the line feeds straight off of the spool so you won’t get any line tangling and tackle spin which can be a huge problem when you are out on the ice and it’s a pain trying to untangle line and tackle when the temps are dipping down below zero.

So if you are a long rod ice angler and you want an affordable long ice fishing rod for your specific angling technique. Do yourself a favor and check out the Jiggler by Frabill. For sale on Amazon now.


4. Berkley Lighting Rod & Reel

Berkley lighting rod reel combo

Here we have Berkley again on our list. This is the Berkley Lighting rod & reel. With this reel you get your choice of three sizes:

  • 24” - Ultralight
  • 28” Medium-light
  • 32” Medium-heavy

The reel is size 20 and it has an aluminum ported spool. Your fingers will thank you because of the corked handle that’s ergonomically made. The reel is made of ultralight graphite. You get an interchangeable retrieve left/right.

You will appreciate the guides which are 20x stronger and 55% lighter than the widely used aluminum oxide guides. Making the lighting rod reel combo live up to its name.

The rod is made of solid fiberglass for durability and is lightweight. Now that’s a combination you will want when you are out on the ice. You will really love the oversized guides that won’t freeze shut on you. It’s never fun when your line gets frozen in the guides. It’s even worse when you finally get a hook on a fish and the line is frozen there.

Grab your Lighting rod reel combo on Amazon today!


5. Shakespeare Glacier

Shakespear glacier ice fishing rod and reel combo.

Next up on our list is the Glacier spinning rod reel combo by Shakespeare. Shakespeare is the maker of Ugly Stik. They produce some quality rod and reels. Their ice fishing gear is no different.

The Glacier comes in six different styles:

  • 24” Ultralight
  • 26” Light
  • 26” Medium light (lady)
  • 28” Medium (lady)
  • 28” Medium light
  • 30” Medium

The stem is extended for more clearance. Made of solid fiberglass and 15-degree tilt for better line flow. The handle is EVA with graphite sliding rings. The guides and inserts are made of stainless steel so they won’t rust.

Nice little ice fishing combo that won’t break the bank. You can check them out on Amazon.


6. 13 Fishing Whiteout

13 fishing whiteout ice fishing rod reel combo.

13 Fishing is a company that has been around for a while now and they produce quality fishing gear. We have two ice fishing combos from 13 Fishing in our list. The first one is called Whiteout.

The Whiteout is a 23.5” Ultralight rod that’s made out of Toray Carbon. You get Evolve performance guides and Evolve carbon divide reel seat with this combo. A five ball bearing system comes in the reel. You will love the instant anti-reverse that the reel offers for a smooth retrieve.

The handle is made of aluminum with an aluminum spool and EVA handle. Line capacity is 4/160 6/160 8/70.

You can buy the Whiteout on Amazon.


7. 13 Fishing White Noise Light

13 fishing white noise light ice fishing rod and reel combo

The last combo in our list is the White Noise light by 13 Fishing. The rod blank is made out of Toray graphite. You get Evolve electric blue guides and a hidden Evolve reel seat. The handle is made of aluminum with a soft-touch knob. You also get anti-reverse for a smooth retrieve.

The length of the rod is 25” and the reel handle is interchangeable for left or right-handed folks. The line capacity for the White Noise Light is 4/160 6/160 8/70. You can find the White Noise Light on Amazon.


Conclusion

There you have it 7 of the best ice fishing rod reel combos reviewed for you. Ice fishing can be a fun sport as long as you have the right quality gear. I hope I have helped you make an informed decision on the right combo for you.

Once again here are the 7 ice fishing rod reel combos that I recommend:

  1. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2
  2. Berkley Cherrywood
  3. Frabill Telescoping Jiggler Long Rod Ice Fishing Combo
  4. Berkely Lighting Rod & Reel
  5. Shakespeare Glacier
  6. 13 Fishing Whiteout
  7. 13 Fishing White Noise

If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments section below. And as always Happy Fishing!

7 Best Portable Ice Houses 2019

best portable ice houses

Welcome to my review of the Best portable ice houses. It can be hard to sift through all the ice house options that are on the market today. So I decided I would do a review of the best of the best ice houses to make it easier to find what you are looking for.

I have included 7 ice houses for your consideration. You can find all of these on Amazon and they ship free if you have a Prime account. These are stable durable ice houses that will keep the cold off you in the dead of winter and they are all easily portable. Just through them on your sled and your good to go to the next fishing hole.

Ice fishing can be a cold endeavor so I know it is important to have a well-insulated ice shack that you can take anywhere easily. I have compiled as much information on these ice shelters as I could so you could make an informed decision before purchasing the right one for you.

Without further ado let’s dig into these 7 ice houses.

7 Best Portable Ice Houses


Product Name

Price

# of People

$359.99 - $549.99

3 to 4 Person

$499.99

2 Person

$115.99 - $199.66

2 to 3 Person

$254.90

1 Person

$429.99

2 Person

$259.99

3 to 4 Person

$256.00

6 Person

1. Elkton Outdoors Portable Insulated Ice Fishing Tent


Elkton Outdoors Portable Ice Fishing Tent

First up on our list is a portable ice fishing tent made by Elkton Outdoors. I get the warm fuzzies just by looking at this ice shack lol. I can’t really say that with any other shelters that I have come across but this thing looks warm.

You can get this ice house in either the single hub 3 to 4 person size or the double hub 6 to 8 person size. It all depends on how big of an ice fishing tribe you have. You will stay plenty warm and dry in Elkton tent because it’s made of 3 quilted layers of insulation. The seal is made of tarpaulin which will keep you dry all winter long.

It comes with a carrying bag that is designed for easy portability and storage. The bag has a wide opening so you can easily insert the tent. There is also a drawstring and backpack style straps so you can put it right on your back and transport it wherever you are going.

Setting up and tearing down is a breeze only taking seconds comes with instructions on how to do that.

Dimensions 3 to 4 person: 70” x 70” x 80” tall

Dimensions 6 to 8 person: 137.5” x 68.5” x 81” tall

So there is plenty of space for your buddies and all your ice fishing equipment.

Here’s what's included in this package. You get premium ice fishing tent, ice anchors and tie-down rope. You also get a carrying bag with backpack straps. Everything you need in a portable ice house so that you can stay toasty warm on those cold winter days out on the lake.

If you are like me nothing is more important than staying warm and dry while ice fishing and also having plenty of room for all your ice fishing equipment and buddies. The Elkton tent provides all of that at a great price. Check it out on Amazon!


2. Elkton Evo 2iT

eskimo evo 2iT

Eskimo is a trusted company that’s been around for 50 years. They make augers, ice shelters and even have a clothing line. We have two of their ice shelters on our list because Eskimo makes quality ice fishing products.

Introducing the Eskimo Evo 2iT. The Evo is a pop-up portable ice shelter that fits two people. This is a shed type ice house that gives you a lot of extra fishing space. It’s able to do this because of the hub technology and the fiberglass poles that are used to hold the structure up.

The roof and the back panels are insulated trapping. This is great especially because of the insulated roof because we all know that heat rises and in a lot of ice shelters the heat escapes out the top of the structure because the roof is not insulated. We all want warmth and the way that the Eskimo Evo is designed you get just that.

Eskimo uses what they call IQ fabric which covers the top and the back of the shelter. Giving you added protection from the strong cold winds that can whip up on an ice-covered lake. Black insulation is also utilized so that the heat held inside the shelter and it also reduced condensation.

Speaking of fabric. The roof and the side panels of the Evo are made with 600 denier Ice Tight fabric which has a thread count that is 59% higher than their competitions. With the Evo, you also have two huge doors on either side so that you can move your equipment in and out without having to worry about tearing the shelter down.

You also get ice anchors that are self-tapping and they have been improved so they don’t bend under stress. The windows are extra large which brings in more light so you can see every area of the ice inside.

To sum it up. The Evo 2it is lightweight but durable and easily transportable. It has extra height so that you can set the hook with ease. It’s roomy with large side doors for easy in and out of your equipment and the windows are large letting more light in so you can see everything inside. And it’s extra warm with the insulated roof and side panels making it 35% warmer than non-insulated shelters.


3. GoPlus Portable Ice Shelter

Goplus Portable Ice Shelter

The Goplus portable ice shelter is one of the cheaper priced ice houses on our list. It comes in two variations: a 2 person and a 3 person shelter. Your able to fish in comfort and warmth because of the 300 denier Oxford fabric that this ice house is made out of. 

You also get a duffle style bag with shoulder straps so you can carry it on your back. This makes it easy to transport to wherever you are going. This tent comes with four windows that can be covered or keep it clear for the sun to shine through. The windows are detachable if you need to air the shelter out. It’s also frost resistant up to negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

6 ice anchors come with it that dig right into the ice making for a strudy structure that won’t blow away. We all know how wild those winds can get on an iced-over lake in mid-February! There is no floor in this tent so you can drill your holes wherever you need them.

If you need an affordable shelter that will keep the cold off you and that's portable then the Goplus portable ice shelter is worth taking a look at. Check it out on Amazon...


4. Frabill Recon 100

frabill recon 100

If you’re looking for a 1 person ice shelter then you would want to take a close look at the Frabill Recon. Frabill is a solid company that stands behind its products and the quality is unsurpassed when it comes to ice shelters.

The Recon is a flip-over style shelter that comes with a padded trunk seat to boot. This is the most compact ice shelter that Frabill produces but with enough space for you and your equipment. There’s enough room to jig when you need to.

This shelter is made out of 300 denier fabric which is the standard for ice shelters. It’s lightweight and easily portable. It weighs in at only 40 lbs. The dimensions are 93"L x 31"W x 57"H.

There are three windows. Two on either side and one in the front so you have plenty of spots to let the sun in. The Recon will keep you plenty warm especially if you throw in a buddy heater. It comes with a heavy-duty polyethylene sled for the base. 

You will also find two pockets on the inside and one clear pocket on the outside where you can put your fishing license. And the exterior has reflective tape so you will be seen if the conditions get bad on the lake.

If you are ready to have a personal ice house that you can jump from hole to hole with then you will want to get yourself the Frabill Recon 100. Check it out on Amazon.


5. Clam Nanook 2-Person Ice Fishing Shelter with Padded Seats

Clam Nanook XL

Next up on our list is the Clam Nanook XL 2-person ice fishing shelter. This shelter is great for two people and is also a good shelter for big guys. The door system on the Nanook XL makes it easy to get in and out of the shelter. You will love how you can take this shelter from hole to hole when you are moving across the lake looking for the perfect spot.

You will appreciate the extra insulation that Clam has added to the thermal layers of the Nanook. Also included is a removable thermal floor! Keep your feet warm and dry while you fish. Stay warm and use less propane with this shelter.

The Nanook XL is as sturdy as ever with the heavy-duty hoop pole design. No sharp edges to rip and wear the fabric. The poles are held together with double-sided brackets. All of this makes this Clam shelter a very sturdy and sound structure.

There is something that Clam calls the RPSX system that stands for Rapid Pole Slide Extreme. With this system, you can quickly set-up and tear down the shelter. This has big thumb release buttons so you can push them with your mittens on and not have to worry about getting your fingers frostbitten just to take down the poles.

And of course, the Clam Nanook is made out of tough denier fabric which keeps the heat in and the cold out. Not only that but denier fabric also helps to keep your shelter from tearing which can be problematic especially out on the ice.

The doors open on the corners of the shelter making it easier than ever to get out. You won’t have to trip over your buddy or equipment just to attend to a tip-up or to take a bathroom break.


6. Eskimo FatFish Portable 3-4 Person Pop Up

Eskimo FatFish Portable

Dimensions:

Set-up: 94” x 94” x 80”

Collapsed: 65" x 8.25" x 8.25"

Warranty: 1-year Limited

If you’re looking for reliability Eskimo has you covered. Introducing the Eskimo FatFish Pop-up ice shelter. This portable ice house fits 3-4 people comfortably. You can get this shelter with insulation or without.

The insulated version will keep you 35 percent warmer than the non-insulated version. You will love the easy access doors that are situated on either side and zip up and down is a breeze with the YKK zippers that are installed. The fabric is made of 600 denier making it strong, durable fabric that won’t tear on the jagged ice or hard snowpack. Easily transport the FatFish in a large duffle style bag that you can carry on your back or put in a sled. Portability is not a problem with the FatFish!

There are 6 count em 6 large windows that can be removed. You will be able to view your tip-ups from many different angles and plenty of light will be able to pass into your shelter. I love lots of windows in my ice shelters. It makes for a warmer feel inside when it’s 20 below zero or colder.

You also get 6 self-tapping strong ice anchors that allow you to firmly hold down your shelter. These come in handy when that wind is whipping across the lake at 30 miles an hour. For extra tie-down and stability, a deluxe cam strap tie-downs with carabiner attachments are included.

The poles that hold the shelter up are made of durable fiberglass. And there is a metal ball and hub designed for even more stability of your shelter.

You will appreciate the large storage pockets and nets to keep your fishing gear stored and ready to use when you need it. You will be safe at night with the reflective trim that surrounds the shelter.

There are sixty-one square feet of fishable area in the FatFish. That is plenty of room for 3 to 4 people to do some serious ice fishing.


7. Eskimo Quickfish 6

Eskimo Quickfish 6

Dimensions:

Set-up: 140” x 70” x 80”

Collapsed: 52” x 10.5” x 10.5”

Weight: 40lbs

Last but not least is another Eskimo ice shelter. The Quickfish 6 holds up to six people and it’s one of Eskimo’s biggest ice shelters. The fishable area in Quickfish 6 is 68 square feet. It only takes one minute to set-up and take down.

You get a chose of insulated or a non-insulated Quickfish 6.

The fabric is durable 300 denier. Also included is an extra-long skirt that keeps the cold and breezes out making it, even more, airtight than the competitor's shelters.

This shelter is easily portable because of the oversized duffle bag that it comes with. Just put the Quickfish in the duffle bag throw it on a sled or carry it on your back. You are good to go.

You get hook and loop windows for more viewable configuring. There are two doors on opposite ends so that you can enter and exit easily without tripping over equipment and people. You also get 9 ice anchors so that you can hold down the shelter with ease.

The poles are made of fiberglass for strength plus the all-metal ball and hub design for extra durability of the structure. So if you have a big group of up to six people and want a portable easy to set-up ice shelter Quickfish 6 is what you want.  Eskimo makes some top-quality ice shelters that are worth your time taking a look at.


Portable Ice Shelter Buyers Guide



Before buying a portable ice house you will want to keep a few things in mind. Some shelters are more portable than others. So if you are an on the go ice fisherperson jumping from hole to hole you will want a flip-style shelter.

Flip-style shelters 

These are just what they say. You flip it over on top of you and your good to go. When you are ready to go to the next ice hole just flip it off of you and go to the next hole. Quick and easy. These are usually lightweight and they are 1 to 2 person shelters.

Pop-ups 

These take a little longer to set-up and move but they are portable as well. You basically just pop them up and your good to fish. These will have a door entry of some sort. Most of the pop-ups come with a  duffle bag to carry the shelter with you when you are done fishing.

Hub Style Shelters

Hub shelters are more of a permanent shelter. They are more stable than the other two examples but they are also more structured because of the hub system that holds the shelter in place. They take a little longer to set-up and takedown but they will withstand the winds much better than the other two normally would.

The hub style is portable but not for ice hole jumping like the flip-style and the pop-up shelters.

Fabric

The type of fabric is another thing you want to keep in mind when looking for a portable ice house. Fabric in the ice shelter world is called denier. The higher the denier count the stronger woven the fabric is. 

Most shelters are either 300 or 600 denier. Also, the higher the denier count the better the shelter will be with keeping the wind out and also the cut-resistant the fabric will be. You will also pay more for a higher denier count.

Insulation

Not all ice shelters come insulated so you will want to know what you want before purchasing. An insulated shelter will cost more than a non-insulated one and the difference for heat retention from an insulated shelter and a non-insulated shelter is about 30 percent.


Conclusion

There you have it the 7 best portable ice houses of 2019. I hope I provided you with enough product information so that you can make an informed decision on which ice shelter is right for you.

Here is the 7 again:

  1. Elkton Outdoors Portable Insulated Ice Fishing Tent

  2. Eskimo Evo 2iT

  3. GoPlus Portable Ice Shelter

  4. Frabill Recon 100 Flip-Over Shelter with Pad Trunk Seat

  5. Clam 9714 Nanook XL 2-Person Ice Fishing Shelter with Padded Seats

  6. Eskimo FatFish Portable 3-4 Person Pop Up 

  7. Eskimo Quickfish 6

If you have any questions about these ice shelters please leave them in the comments section below and I will be happy to answer them.

Best Marine Coolers 2019 – Your Search Is Over!

best marine coolers

Welcome to my review of the best marine coolers of 2019. If you have been searching for coolers that you can take out on your boat then you have come to the right place.

There are so many marine coolers on the market and it’s hard to determine which coolers are the best to keep everything cool and keep it perishable items from spoiling.

You are in luck. I have reviewed and described 9 of the best marine coolers of 2019 so that you can make an informed decision on which is the best for you. 

Coolers come in many shapes, colors, and sizes. The main thing a cooler needs to do is keep perishable items cool. So the question’s  you need to ask yourself are:

  1. How long do you need to keep your items cooled?

  2. How much space do you need?

  3. What type of items do you want to keep cool?

  4. How much room do you have on your boat for a cooler?

Those are the four questions you should ask yourself when picking out a marine cooler. I have provided a buyers guide within this article that will show you what you need to look for in a marine cooler before purchasing one.

​​​​​Marine Cooler Comparison Chart

Marine Cooler

Ice Retention

Size

7 Days

150 Quarts

5 Days

110 Quarts

16 Days

65 Quarts

6 Days

120 Quarts

10 Days

70 Quarts

10 Days

40 Quarts

5 Days

35,45,60 and 75 Quarts

5 Days

165 Quarts

10 Days

45 Quarts


9 Best Marine Coolers of 2019



Igloo Quick & Cool

igloo quick and cool cooler

First up in our list of best marine coolers is the Quick & Cool cooler by Igloo. If you’re looking to keep a lot of items cool for a long period of time then it’s worth taking a look at this cooler.

With its Ultratherm insulation that’s in the lid and in the body will keep ice for up to 7 days. Since it holds a full 150 quarts it has a threaded plug that you can attach a hose to so that you can drain it easily.

The Quick & Cool comes with an easy access hatch so you don’t have to open the whole lid when searching for the item you want. This helps in keeping things cooler for longer periods of time.

You will love the snap-fit latches that keep your contents secure when out on the boat or when transporting your cooler. You will especially appreciate the dual flip-up handles for easy carrying and loading your cooler onto your boat.

Top Features​​​​​

  • Made of Polyethylene
  • Easy Access Hatch
  • Snap Fit Latches
  • Dual Flip-up Handles

This cooler makes a convenient extra bench on your boat as well with the dimensions being 41.63” x 18.69 x 20.25. Throw a couple of cushions on it and you have yourself a soft love seat for two :). It is made of Polyethylene so you know it can stand the weight and the banging around on the boat when the seas get rough.


Yeti Tundra 110

yeti tundra 110

If you haven’t heard of Yeti coolers you must have been living under a rock the last few years lol. Yeti is a premier company when it comes to top-quality coolers. So second up in our list of best marine coolers is the Yeti Tundra 110.

This cooler was made for boating. Specifically, this cooler from Yeti was designed for rafting in mind but fits on a boat just as well. The Tundra 110 is made out of the same material that whitewater kayaks are made out of which is roto-molded polyethylene.

You don’t have to worry about your ice melting because it’s insulated with FatWall insulation. This insulation is 3” thick and is touted to be bear-resistant! This Yeti is one of those coolers that you can set out in the hot sun for a week straight and your ice will still be there! Not quite as much you put in but you can’t expect no melting without refrigeration after a whole week.

Need an extra set on your boat? Just pick up a Tundra seat cushion. These cushions come made to fit your Tundra cooler. The cushions come in your choice of styles Camo Max and white. 

According to the Yeti website, you can fit 74 cans of beer and 90 lbs of ice in the Tundra 110. That’s a lot of beer and ice! If you and your buddies are going on a week-long camping trip then you will want to bring this cooler along.

Product Dimensions:

Weight - 39 lbs

Outside - 18 ⅛” x 20” x 37 ½”

Inside - 10 ⅞” x 14 ¾” x 29 ⅜”

The Tundra 110 also comes with one dry goods basket to keep what you want dry and away from the ice.

Top Features​​​​​​

  • Roto-molded
  • Fits 74 12-ounce cans
  • Dry Goods Basket Included
  • Bear Resistent

Yeti is one of those trusted brands that don’t come around all the time. Strength and durability nothing cools like a Yeti!


Otterbox Venture Cooler 65 Quart

Otterbox Venture Cooler

The Otterbox Venture Cooler is an excellent cooler to have along with you if you are going on an extending camping or fishing trip. Ice retention is superb with this marine cooler. It’s been reported that you can keep ice for up to 16 days with the Otterbox. That’s over half a month! Amazing!!

To make the cooling effect of the Otterbox last longest you should pre-cool your items before placing them in the cooler, pack it full of ice, keep the lid closed and keep it out of direct sunlight. It’s designed with a mounting system and comes with a bottle opener and dry storage tray.

The total length is 40” handle to handle and holds 65 quarts. Made of insurance grade insulation which is 2” thick keeping your items cold for up to 16 days.

The Venture cooler is made of top quality materials which include:

  • Polypropylene Shells
  • Polycarbonate/ABS Latches
  • Silicone Seal and Latches
  • Two-Part Polyurethane Insulation
  • Stainless Steel Pins
  • Nylon Drain Plug
  • TPE Feet

This cooler is certified bear-resistant as long as you have the locking lid kit which is sold separately. It’s made in Colorado USA and come with a  lifetime warranty. No worry about the Venture cooler slipping and sliding on the boat because it has anti-slide rubber feet.

Nesting grooves allow a cutting board and dry storage rack to hang on the inner lid which is a great space saver. You can organize it as well with the three slots for custom compartments.

Top Features

  • Keeps Ice For Up to 16 Days
  • Mounting System
  • Comes with a Bottle Opener and Dry Storage Rack
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

Product Dimensions:

External - 40.01” x 18.76 x 18.83”

Internal Top - 27.92” x 11.67” x 13.30”

Internal Bottom - 26.72” x 10.60” x 13.30”

Holds 76 lbs of ice. You can also fit 36 12-oz. Cans and 69 juice boxes in it.


Coleman Coastal Xtreme 5 Marine

coleman coastal xtreme marine cooler

Coleman coolers have been around for quite some time. I have had a lot of these in my years and I have to say I haven’t had one bit of problem with any of them. They are rugged and hold ice retention for an average amount of time. Coleman's are what you would call the middle of the road coolers but they get the job done for an affordable price.

The Coleman Coastal Xtreme and is one of those coolers that you can take out on the boat and know that your ice will stay frozen and your items will stay cool.

This cooler is 120 quarts and comes in your choice of white, dark blue, slate and tan colors. You get up to six days of cooling. Coleman has made this cooler specifically designed for the boater and fisher in mind. It can withstand saltwater and can I say a very affordable price tag? It can hold an amazing 204 cans of a beverage of your choice.

Use it as a bench on your boat. It holds 250 pounds sitting on top. The hinges are made out of stainless steel so they won’t rust and they have comfort grip handles that won’t pinch when you are carrying the cooler.

The Xtreme cooler by Coleman has rave reviews on Amazon an amazing 77% are 5-star reviews. I can believe it because Coleman is such a trusted brand at an affordable price. It’s an American staple in coolers and camping equipment!

Top Features

  • Keeps Ice For Up to 6 Days
  • Holds 204 cans
  • Cup Holders on top of lid
  • Made specifically for boating and fishing

Product Dimensions:

External - 36.8” x 19.3” x 18.75”

Internal - 33” x 14” x 15”


Pelican Elite 70 Quart

pelican elite 70
Next up we have the Pelican Elite 70 Quart cooler. Pelican makes some of the best coolers around and the Elite is one of them! Pelican’s coolers are made to last a lifetime and they back it up with a Lifetime guarantee. You don’t see that very often with other cooler manufacturers.


This cooler comes with a freezer-grade seal which provides for optimum ice retention. Sturdy ergonomically designed handles for easy transporting to your boat or truck bed. Press and pull latches for easy opening and a molded-in lock hasp with stainless steel plate. It also comes with a built-in bottle opener and cupholders.

Also included is a fish ruler so that you can quickly measure that fish you just caught to make sure it’s the right size to be a keeper. The plug is tether threaded and the drain is sloped so you have an easier time draining.

Another cool thing about the Pelican Coastal Xtreme cooler is it comes in an assortment of colors including:

  • White/Gray
  • Dark Gray/Green
  • Tan/Orange
  • Green/Tan
  • Canyon Red/Coyote
  • Catus Green/Coyote
  • Coyote/Dark Gray
  • Pacific Blue/Coyote

For a cooler that's a lot of choices in color. And they're cool looking colors at that not just your plain white or red that you see a lot of times in coolers.

And with this cooler like all the others, you can pick up a seat cushion from Pelican so that you can use your cooler as an extra bench on your boat or camping. They are the perfect height for a bench and added room on your boat for an extra spot to sit and fish!

Pelican coolers are not cheap but they are not cheaply made either. You do get what you pay for in a Pelican. And with the lifetime guarantee well you have nothing to lose!

Top Features

  • Freezer Grade Seal
  • Lifetime Guartantee
  • Extreme Ice Retention

Orca 40 Quart Cooler

orca 40 cooler

Orca or Outdoor Recreational Company of America produces top-quality  coolers right here in the good old USA! The Orca 40 cooler is a great example of American craftsmanship. Orca’s come in so many vibrant colors that many other cooler companies don’t offer such as:

  • Red
  • Pink
  • Navy
  • Light Blue
  • Green
  • Blaze Orange
  • Black
  • Seafoam
  • Tan
  • White
  • Charcoal

The Orca 40 quart cooler will keep your items and ice cold for up to 10 days. Orca coolers are an all around great cooler. Easy to carry, many colors to choose from, keeps ice cold for more than a week and a little cheaper than it’s competition the Yeti cooler but made with the same great stuff.

You get a strong roto-molded construction with your Orca cooler that can withstand the rough banging away you can get on a rough boat ride. It comes with an easy flow drainage spout which makes it a snap to drain your cooler when you are done using it. There is nothing worse than having a cooler that doesn’t drain properly.

This cooler offers a cargo net attachment for extra storage and a lid gasket that ensure proper sealing of the lid. If the lid doesn’t seal right on a cooler well there goes your ice. Seems like a simple concept but some coolers miss the boat on this. 

Top Features​​​​​

  • Roto-molded
  • Keeps Ice Up To 10 Days 
  • Cargo Net For Extra Storage
  • Easy Flow Drainage Spout

You have to check out the clasps that hold the lid down. They are made of little orca tails! If the clasps are that detailed imagine how the rest of the cooler is made. 

If I was going to buy a cooler Orca would be close to the top of my list! Check them out on Amazon.


Seavilis Milee

seavilis cooler

If you’re looking for a professional grade cooler that’s under $300 then Seavilis Milee cooler would be your best bet! These coolers are tough, durable and will keep your items cold for a long period of time.

Milee coolers come in 34,45,60 and 75 quart models and in various colors such as:

  • Gray
  • Jungle Green
  • Sky Blue
  • Tan 
  • Seafoam Green

They are also roto-molded for durability and are made for camping, fishing and boating. These coolers are not for those with bad backs because they are heavy. There are many great features that Seavilis provides with their coolers. Here’s what you get:

  • Non-stick Feet
  • Compass
  • Bolt Hinges
  • UV Protection
  • Tie- Downs
  • Pressure Release Button
  • Freezer Style Gasket
  • Heavy Duty Nylon Straps
  • Easy Open Latches

You get a few extras as well including a cup holder, divider and basket. Seavilis Milee coolers are a great value for all that you get. You can also use them as a bench in your boat because they can hold up to 220 lbs on it.

Top Features

  • Vacuum Seal
  • Heavy Duty
  • Easy Open Latches
  • Keeps Ice For a Long Time

What I really like about the Seavilis is that you are able to pressurize the inside which makes for a tight seal to keep the contents fresh and cold.


Grizzly 165 Quart Cooler

grizzly 165 quart cooler

If you're in the market for a huge premium cooler then you would want to consider the Grizzly 165 quart cooler. Grizzlies are built to last. Made in the USA this cooler you can fit everything you would need in it for a boat outing and more! This is a roto-molded cooler so it’s tough as nails. It has environmentally friendly insulation if that is one of your concerns.

This cooler features molded-in rope handles, a dry storage tray and the drain plug hole is a  2” round. That makes for some fast draining when you are in a hurry. The latch system is bear claw so it does need any hardware. The lid stays perfectly in place. No need to worry about this thing opening up on you in rough waters when you are cruising around in your boat!

The Grizzly 165 quart can hold 50 lbs of ice and a whopping 152 12-ounce cans of your favorite beverage. This thing weighs 62 lbs when it’s empty. These coolers also come with a lifetime warranty. Not too many coolers give you that! They offer one even bigger at 400 quarts if you need a monster cooler. For something that size, you might as well buy a freezer lol.

Grizzly torture tests their coolers specifically for hunting, fishing, tailgating and camping in mind. You can get the Grizzly 165 quart in tan or white your choice. So if your a serious about your coolers and want one that is durable and fits a ton of stuff then do yourself a favor and check out the Grizzly 165 quart cooler. You just can't go wrong with a Grizzly!

Top Features​​​​​​

  • Roto-molded
  • Durable
  • 2" Drain Hole
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

Product Dimensions:

Outer Dimensions: 47 ¾” x 19 ⅝” x 22 ¾”

Inside Dimensions: 42 ⅛” x 14” x 17 ½”


Landworks 45 Quart Cooler

landworks cooler

Landworks is a trusted company that’s been around for quite some time. They manufacture an array of quality products including augers, wood chippers, utility carts and now they produce some of the best coolers.

I just had to include Landworks 45 quart coolers as one of the 9 best marine coolers. This is a   safe, dry ice acceptable cooler that can keep ice cold for 10 days or longer as long as the items inside are pre-cooled and kept in low temperatures and out of the sun.

The Landworks cooler offers some excellent and useful features including:

  • Dual Stainless Steel lock-plate
  • Bottle Openers
  • Low Profile Snag-less TPE T-Clasp Latches
  • Nylon Rope Handles
  • Non-skid Feet

This cooler can also be sealed air-tight and has a pressure release valve system that allows for extra long-lasting ice retention and keeps your contents fresh.

It’s also roto-molded for durability and is made of commercial-grade insulation for more ice retention power. The walls of this cooler are 3” thick which should be the standard for coolers but unfortunately, most coolers are only 2” or less.

The seal is commercial grade as well being 360 degrees 15mm D-freezer style gasket. The drain plug is recessed so you won’t have any leaking problems. The tie-down slats are molded with two impact rubber absorbing grips on each side of the cooler. And of course, the shell is UV protected from the harmful rays of the sun.

Take it along on your fishing or camping trip. It will keep your food fish or beverages cold for a week! It will fit 48 12 ounce cans of your favorite beverages.

  • Keeps Ice For Up to 10 Days
  • Commercial Grade Seal
  • Pressure Release Valve System
  • Holds 48 12 ounce cans

Product Dimensions:

Weight: 26.45 lbs

Outer Dimensions: 27” x 16.3” x 16.3”

Inside Dimensions:  21.5” x 11” x 21.1”


Marine Cooler Buyers Guide - Things to Consider


marine coolers buyers guide

There a few things you want to take into consideration before purchasing a marine cooler for your boat. In this guide, I will go through those things so that you can make an informed decision on the right cooler for you.

Storage Size

First, you want to determine how big of a cooler you need. Some cooler's total size that it holds doesn’t always mean cooling size. This is more true with bag coolers because there will be outer pockets that are not part of the cooling space which is included in the overall size description.

Size all depends on how much and what you need to be cooled. 

Size of The Cooler

When looking for a marine cooler size will be important. You need to determine how much room you have on your boat for the cooler. Once you have decided how much room you have then you can purchase a cooler that will fit that space on your boat.

Insulation

Your going to want a well insulated cooler so that your items and ice last for as long as possible. 2 - 3 inches of insulation is what your looking for. The high-end coolers like Yeti have at least 3" of insulation foam.

Syrofoam is the best foam for use in cooler insulation and should have an R-value of 5 to 9. The higher the R-value the better the cooler will keep ice cold.

Extra Features

You will want to think about special features that you would like included on your cooler. Like measuring lines on the top of the cooler for measuring fish length, lid light, bottle opener or cup holders on the lid.

There are many extras a cooler might have so you just need to pay attention to the product details when deciding on what type of marine cooler you want.

Depending on what the cooler is insulated with will determine how long it will keep things cool. The longer you want things to stay cool the higher the price the cooler will be. If you’re looking to keep things cool for a day or less you will be able to settle for a much cheaper cooler.

If you need the cooler to keep things cool for a few days up to a week your going to want a high-end cooler and will be paying much more. Usually, the longer the cooler is projected to keep things cool the bigger the cooler will be. This makes sense because if you are planning a week-long fishing trip to Canada then you would have a lot of things to keep cool for a long period of time thus the big size of the cooler.

3 Types of Coolers

There are three basic types of coolers.

  • Soft-sided cooler
  • Hard Shell Cooler
  • Electric Cooler
  • Is the Cooler Waterproof?

Believe it or not, some soft-sided coolers can’t handle water. So make sure the cooler you pick is waterproof. You won’t have a problem with hard metal or plastic coolers but some of the soft coolers fabric is not waterproof and will eventually deteriorate when exposed to water over time.

Have You Found The Best Marine Cooler?


I hope you found the right marine cooler that suits your needs. There are hundreds of coolers on the market but only a few stand out. I believe these are the best marine coolers that money can buy. Some are expensive but in the end, you get what you pay for.

So if you're serious about having a quality cooler that will keep your stuff cool for extended periods of time and that will fit on a boat then I think these 9 are some of the best out there.

If you have questions or comments about any of these coolers please leave them in the comments section below and I would be more than happy to answer them. Thanks for reading and I hope you got some informative information out of this review. As always Happy Fishing!

Best Saltwater Spinning Reels 2019

 

Welcome to my review of the best saltwater spinning reels.


If you are a serious saltwater angler then these reviews will come in handy as I provide you the best of the best spinning reels for saltwater fishing that you can find. 


Be it inshore or offshore saltwater fishing that you are into we have the right spinning reel for you! It makes it easier to find the right find the right spinning reel when you have all the best ones right in one place.


These are the 10 of best so take your time reading through these reviews and I know you will come away with the perfect spinning reel for you. Once you find the perfect reel for you then you can go out and catch some monster fish on the ocean.


Most of the spinning reels on the market are good for freshwater applications. There are few that can stand the rigors of rough saltwater fishing especially in the deep ocean where you are going to encounter some huge fish. You must have the right spinning reel that can stand up to the saltwater and saltwater air and spray that you get. The reel must be tough as nails as well when you are fighting those very large fish!



I put together a buyers guide for you that is at the end of the article . You might want to jump down to the guide first if you would like some help in choosing the best spinning reel for you.


Glad to have you here and I hope this article helps you find what you are looking for.



So sit back, get a cup o' coffee, soda, beer, tea or whatever your drink of choice is and let's find the right reel for you!



10 Best Saltwater Spinning Reels 2019

Shimano Nasci

If you’re looking for a compact spinning reel for light freshwater and medium saltwater applications then the Shimano Nasci would be the one you want.


The metal Hagane gear is cold-forged. This ensures that the gears move smoothly and it can also take a beating when you are fishing some crazy weather that the ocean can throw at you!


Casting and distance are superb because the Nasci reel sports bearings that are located on each end of the pinion gear.


This way the pinion is perfectly aligned with the drive gear of the reel. You will notice this when the gear and the spool shaft move frictionlessly with each other resulting in smooth and far distant casting! And that’s what you need when fishing the ocean waters.


With its Coreprotect technology the Nasci has a water-resistent body, line roller and roller clutch.


The Shimano Nasci comes in 5 different models for your fishing pleasure.

Shimano Nasci Spinning Reel


Model

Max drag

Bearings

Gear rATIO

rETRIEVE

MONO

BRAID...

1000

7-lbs

5

5.0:1

26"

2/270 4/140 6/110

10/95 15/85 20/65

2500

20-lbs

5

5.0:1

29"

6/200, 8/140, 10/120

10/150, 15/145, 30/100

3000HG

20-lbs

5

6.2:1

36"

6/230, 8/170, 10/140

10/200, 20/140, 40/105

4000XG

24-lbs

5

6.2:1

39"

8/240, 10/200, 12/160

15/230, 20/205, 50/120

5000XG

24-lbs

5

6.2:1

41"

10/240, 12/195, 14/165

20/220, 30/200, 40/160


Penn Fierce lll

What can you say about the Penn Fierce III? Well quite a lot. This saltwater spinning reel is ready to take what you have to dish out!


The fierce IIIs body is made out of all metal which keeps all the internal components aligned when you are fighting that big fish. You will be able to retrieve fish smoothly with its Techno-balanced rotor.


You also have to respect the Superline spool, line capacity rings, aluminum bail wire, and HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers. The pinion ball bearing is now encased which is an upgrade for the 2019 models.


The Penn company has been around for a long time and when it comes to spinning reels and saltwater they know their stuff! Penn is a name you can trust and can go back to time and time again for quality durable fishing reels and rods. 


You get to choose from 8 models which are FRCIII1000,2000,2500,3000,4000,5000,6000 and 8000.

Penn Fierce III Spinning Reel

Model

Max drag

Bearings

Gear rATIO

rETRIEVE

MONO

BRAID...

1000

9-lbs

5

5.2:1

22"

275/2 135/4 105/6

160/6 130/8 110/10

2000

10-lbs

5

6.2:1

30"

240/4 180/6 125/8

210/8 180/10 165/15

2500

12-lbs

5

6.2:1

33"

255/6 175/8 140/10

240/10 220/15 160/20

3000

15-lbs

5

6.2:1

35"

200/8 165/10 120/12

250/15 180/20 130/30

4000

15-lbs

5

6.2:1

37"

270/8 220/10 165/12

360/15 260/20 185/30

5000

25-lbs

5

5.6:1

36"

225/12 200/15 135/20

420/20 300/30 240/40

6000

25-lbs

5

5.6:1

41"

335/15 230/20 210/25

490/30 390/40 335/50

8000

30-lbs

5

5.3:1

44"

340/20 310/25 230/30

475/50 390/65 345/80


Van Staal X Series

If you’re ready to fish hard-fighting tuna or marlin and want the gear to be able to wear them down and win the battle then it’s worth taking a look at the Van Staal X-series bailed spinning reels.


These reels are the first time Van Staal has used a titanium bail. Strength and smooth reeling are cornerstones of Van Staal reels. This reel comes in two anodized finishes being black and silver.


Van Staal reels are high-end but if you are a serious saltwater angler then they are well worth the price. You get 30 lbs of lock-down drag which will give you the confidence when reeling in those tough fish. If you don’t have a great anti-reverse drag when fishing the sea you are going to lose the game and that fish you have been battling.


The drag system is sealed and waterproof so you don’t have to worry about saltwater entering these reels and causing damage. If you haven’t tried Van Staal reels before now is the time to grab yourself one and try out these precision reels for yourself. 

Van Staal X Series Spinning Reel

Model

Max drag

Bearings

Gear rATIO

rETRIEVE

MONO

BRAID...

VS100SX/VS100BX

40-lbs

10

4.75:1

27"

300/10

350/20

VS150SX/VS150BX

40-lbs

5

5.5:1

38"

360/12

440/30

VS200SX/VS200BX

40-lbs

10

5.5:1

38"

400/15

500/40

VS250SX/VS250BX

50-lbs

5

6.0:1

50"

350/20

600/50

VS275SX/VS275BX

50-lbs

5

6.0:1

50"

425/20

400/80


Penn Torque II Spinning

The second spinning reel from Penn in our list is the Torque II. This is a high-end spinning reel that has a full metal body, rotor, and side plate. Included in the Torque II is a 10, count them 10 stainless steel ball-bearing system for a very smooth reeling experience. 


It also boasts a sealed drag system with Dura-Drag. You will enjoy the anti-reverse on this reel with its silent back up ratchet. You have line capacity so you know exactly how much line you have to work with. The whole body and spool are IPX6 sealed. You also get CNC gear technology and a Superline spool comes on it.


The price tag is high on this one but well worth the money if you’re looking for a top of the line spinning reel that will stand the saltwater and the test of time. You will be able to fish heavy-duty inshore or offshore applications. The Penn Torque II is also proudly made in the USA!


You have 8 models to choose from. 3 of them come in gold color and the other 5 come in silver.

Penn Torque II

Model

Max drag

Bearings

Gear rATIO

rETRIEVE

MONO

BRAID...

5500

40-lbs

10

5.5:1

38"

330/12  290/15  200/20

540/20 400/30 280/50

5500S

40-lbs

10

5.5:1

38"

330/12  290/15  200/20

540/20 400/30 280/50

5500BLS

40-lbs

10

5.5:1

38"

330/12  290/15  200/20

540/20 400/30 280/50

7500

50-lbs

10

6.0:1

50"

490/15 340/20 300/25

470/50 390/65 340/80

7500S

50-lbs

10

6.0:1

50"

490/15 340/20 300/25

470/50 390/65 340/80

7500BLS

50-lbs

10

6.0:1

50"

490/15 340/20 300/25

470/50 390/65 340/80

9500

60-lbs

10

5.1:1

50"

490/20 440/25 330/30

575/65 490/80 425/100

9500S

60-lbs

10

5.1:1

50"

490/20 440/25 330/30

575/65 490/80 425/100


Shimano Twin Power SWB

If you’re looking for an offshore saltwater spinning reel then you will want to take a look at the Twin Power SWB by Shimano. With this reel, you have the technology of Shimano that provides durability and power to battle the biggest fish the sea has to offer.


The Twin Power incorporates the Shimano Hagane design which makes for a very agile and like the name says powerful spinning reel. The interior components are well protected from the saltwater that can cause havoc with any fishing reel.


Made of advanced cold-forged aluminum you can’t ask for a more strong and durable reel. You will enjoy the super smooth spinning power with its 10 plus stainless steel ball bearings system. Just imagine reeling in that tuna or black marlin with as much ease as it takes to reel in a sea bass!


You just can’t go wrong with the amazing craftsmanship that goes into all of Shimano's reels. The metalwork is superb as well as being designed for smoothness when reeling. You’re arms and hands will thank you for purchasing the Twin Power SWB after a long day battling the fish out on the open water!

Shimano Twin Power SWB Spinning Reel

Model

Max drag

Bearings

Gear rATIO

rETRIEVE

MONO

BRAID...

4000XG

24-lbs

10

6.2:1

39"

8/240, 10/200, 12/160

15/280,30/170, 50/150

3000XG

20-lbs

10

6.4:1

37"

6/230, 8/170, 10/140

10/200,20/140, 40/105

5000XG

24-lbs

10

6.2:1

41"

10/240, 12/195, 14/165

20/220,30/200, 40/160


Penn Slammer III


Another spinning reel in my top 10 best saltwater spinning reels is the Penn Slammer III. This reel has a sexy look to it that comes in black and red. Penn makes some of the most durable and comfortable spinning reels around and this is definitely one of them.


With this reel, you are getting an IP6 seal and spool design. The IP6 seal system protects all the internal gears and special components from spray and saltwater damage that you will most likely find when fishing the sea.

 

You get a sealed Slammer drag system with Dura-drag. The side plate, rotor, and body are all made of strong metal which is one of the main qualities you look for in a spinning reel. None of that plastic crap that will break when it’s banged around or up against a lot of force. 


Fighting any huge fish out on the ocean can cause major damage to a spinning reel but with the Penn Slammer III you don't need to worry. You will land that fish and then some without any problems.


You get an 8 stainless steel bearing system with CNC technology. This reel comes in 10 models to choose from so there is an option that will fit any of your fishing needs and applications. It’s an all-around great saltwater spinning reel that won’t break the bank.

Penn Slammer III Spinning Reel

Model

Bearings

Max drag

Gear rATIO

rETRIEVE

MONO

BRAID...

SLAIII3500

8

30-lbs

6.2:1

37"

480/4  360/6  285/8

310/10  270/15  220/20

SLAIII4500

8

30-lbs

6.2:1

40"

425/8  320/10  235/12

390/15  320/20  250/30

SLAIII5500

8

40-lbs

5.6:1

39"

430/10  330/12  230/15

500/20  380/30  335/40

SLAIII6500

8

40-lbs

5.6:1

42"

390/12  345/15  205/20

485/30  410/40  355/50

SLAIII6500HS

8

40-lbs

6.2:1

48"

500/12 420/15 255/20

605/30 500/40 420/50

SLAIII7500

8

50-lbs

4.7:1

38"

490/15  330/20  220/30

530/40  440/50  400/65

SLAIII8500

8

50-lbs

4.7:1

42"

455/20  310/30  260/40

730/40  600/50  555/65

SLAIII8500HS

8

50-lbs

5.3:1

50"

490/25 330/30 280/40

955/40 805/50 760/65

SLAIII9500

8

60-lbs

4.2:1

40"

350/30  300/40  240/50

730/50  670/65  435/80

SLAIII10500

8

60-lbs

4.2:1

43"

435/30  360/40  255/50

845/50  780/65  540/80


Penn Spinfisher VI


Introducing another great saltwater spinning reel from Penn. The Spinfisher VI! This is one hell of a saltwater spinning reel thats fairly priced. It’s in the medium range of price when it comes to Penn fishing reels.


The Spinfisher VI comes with Ht-100 carbon fiber drag washers, CNC gear technology, Superline spool and a full metal body for added durability. You get their line capacity rings on the spool so you know exactly how much line you have left to work with. And 6 ball bearing system helps for a smooth reeling experience.


The CNC gear systems allow for a precision alignment that can withstand heavyweight from the monster fish you would come across on the sea. The spool is fully sealed so no saltwater will get into and damage the internal components.


5500 models and below have a machined aluminum gear and the 6500 models and up have a machined brass gear. Well built strong and durable. Also the smoothest casting you will find. 


You get a whopping 11 models to choose from with the Spinfisher VI! They're available in standard, live liner, long cast, and bail-less models. That’s 11 reasons to look into owning this spinning reel. If there isn’t a reel to fit your fishing style out of these 11 then I don’t know what to tell ya!

Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Reel

Model

Bearings

Max drag

Gear rATIO

rETRIEVE

MONO

BRAID...

SSVI2500

6

15-lbs

6.2:1

33"

255/6 175/8 140/10

240/10 220/15 160/20

SSVI3500

6

15-lbs

6.2:1

37"

360/6 285/8 220/10

310/10 270/15 220/20

SSVI4500

6

20-lbs

6.2:1

40"

425/8 320/10 235/12

390/15 320/20 250/30

SSVI4500BLS

6

20-lbs

6.2:1

40"

425/8 320/10 235/12

390/15 320/20 250/30

SSVI5500

6

25-lbs

5.6:1

39"

430/10 330/12 230/15

500/20 380/30 335/40

SSVI6500

6

30-lbs

5.6:1

42"

390/12 345/15 205/20

485/30 410/40 335/50

SSVI6500BLS

6

30-lbs

5.6:1

42"

390/12 345/15 205/20

485/30 410/40 335/50

SSVI7500

6

35-lbs

4.7:1

38"

490/15 330/20 220/30

530/40 440/50 400/65

SSVI8500

6

40-lbs

4.7:1

42"

455/20 310/30 260/40

730/40 600/50 555/65

SSVI9500

6

45-lbs

4.2:1

45"

350/30 300/40 240/50

730/50 670/65 435/80

SSVI10500

6

50-lbs

4.2:1

43"

435/30 360/40 255/50

845/50 780/65 540/80


Shimano Thunnus C14


If you’re talking offshore fishing then you want to check out the Shimano Thunnus C14. When it comes to heavy-duty offshore saltwater fishing you want to stick with a brand you can trust and that brand is Shimano. This company has stood the test of time and proven themselves year in and year out when it comes to fishing rods and reels.


You won’t be running into any wind knots with the propulsion line management system that this reel has on it. Just smooth long-distance casting is what you are going to find. The C14 is the carbon fiber that Thunnus is made out of which is 20% stronger than graphite!


Now we are talking strong!! This fiber is also lightweight and it won’t rust. We all know rust is a huge problem when fishing on the ocean so with this spinning reel you won’t have to worry about that.


The spool speeds stay consistent with its built-in Varispeed technology. Your retrieve will be smooth and sensitive with the Dyna-balance which counterbalances the rotor.


With this reel, you will be able to fish any bait in any condition you can think of. Lightweight smooth retrieve. The Thunnus C14 is a spinning reel you will want to have with you when you are out of the open sea. You have four models to choose from with this reel.

Shimano Thunnus Spinning Reel

Model

Bearings

Max drag

Gear rATIO

rETRIEVE

MONO

BRAID...

TU120000C14

7

25-lbs

4.4:1

37"

12/550,16/350,20/265

50/505,65/310,80/230

TU4000C14

7

15-lbs

4.8:1

30"

8/240,10/200,12/160

15/270,20/190,40/145

TU6000C14

7

20-lbs

4.8:1

35"

10/300,12/265,16/170,20/120

30/245,50/210,65/130

TU8000C14

7

20-lbs

4.8:1

36"

14/295,17/250,20/195

14/295,16/350,20/265


Okuma Cedros


It’s high speed and durable and it’s called the Okuma Cedros saltwater spinning reel. This reel might be small but it packs a big punch and the price is something to smile about!


The Cedros was built especially for deep water vertical jigging. It will stop the toughest of fish with the Okuma Dual Force Drag system. The drag washers are  Japanese made multi-disc felt washers. This creates a smooth drag.


The side plate and frame are made out of diecast aluminum. The spool is two-toned anodized ported. It comes with a blue anodized machined handle. And everything is treated with a corrosive resistant coating. The kind of coating you want to protect it from the saltwater.


It has a pinion gear that is machined precisely out of brass. There are 4 HPB corrosion-resistant stainless steel ball bearings and one anti-reverse roller ball bearing.


You also have an Elliptical Oscillation System and a hydro-block watertight drag seal so you don’t get any of that nasty saltwater in your drag system which eventually ruins a spinning reel.


What you have here is an excellent deep sea spinning reel made by the Japanese that know saltwater fishing and they know their reels. The Okuma Cedros comes in four models to choose from.

Okuma Cedros Spinning Reel

Model

Max drag

Bearings

Gear rATIO

rETRIEVE

MONO

CJ- 40S

20-lbs

5

6.2:1

35"

270 yds./8 lb.,190 yds./10 lb.,170 yds./12 lb.

CJ-55S

24-lbs

5

6.2:1

41"

240 yds./15 lb.,380 yds./10 lb.,340 yds./12 lb.

CJ-65S

31-lbs

5

5.8:1

42"

310 yds./15 lb.,430 yds./12 lb.,260 yds./20 lb.

CJ-80S

33-lbs

5

5.7:1

46"

260 yds./25 lb.,350 yds./20 lb.,420 yds./15 lb.


Accurate Twin Drag SR


If you’re fishing the deep blue for gamefish that are hard pulling like the tuna or billfish then you will want to get your hands on the Twin Drag spinning reel by Accurate


The spool has two large friction washers on either side of it. This provides for a smooth consistent drag every time.


All your fishing applications are covered with the six model types that the Accurate Twin Drag comes in. Here are some of the main features that this spinning reel has to offer.

  • 14 Class-5 ABEC Stainless Steel Bearings
  • Patented Twin Drag System
  • Accudrags
  • Stainless Steel Spring and Clips
  • Drag Pre-set knob on the end of the spool
  • Ergonomically Designed
  • Stainless Steel Gears

This reel is made from the best of everything that you would want in a high-end saltwater spinning reel. If quality and performance are what matter to you when you are out battling the fish of the deep sea then you will want to be battling those fish with an Accurate Twin Drag spinning reel!

Accurate Twin Drag SR spinning reel

Model

Max drag

Bearings

Gear rATIO

rETRIEVE

BRAID...

SR-6

15-lbs

14

5.1:1

26"

200yds/20lb

SR-12

28-lbs

14

5.1:1

33"

425yds/30lb

SR-20

32-lbs

14

5.1:1

39"

425yds/50lb

SR-30

35-lbs

14

6.1:1

54"

375yds/80lb

SR-30L

35-lbs

14

4.1:1

36"

375yds/80lb

SR-50

40-lbs

14

4.1:1

40"

450yds/130lb


What to Look For When Buying a Saltwater Spinning Reel


There are a few things you want to keep in mind when purchasing a saltwater spinning reel and in this guide, I will explain those things.


  • Light is Best


First and foremost in order to keep your wrists from hating you the next day, you will want to choose a reel that is light. A light reel can be used for both inshore and offshore saltwater fishing. 


A heavy reel can take a toll on your arms after a long day of fishing. So picking a light reel will ensure that you can go out on the water day in and day out with as little fatigue as possible!


  • Rivets Matter


Make sure there are strong rivets that hold the knob to the handle. If you have weak, thin-looking rivets chances are the handle of the reel won’t be able to stand the riggers of saltwater fishing. 


The last thing you want while battling with that monster fish is to have the knob fall off! That would be the end of the battle and the fish would win.


  • Corrosion Resistant


You will want to make sure that the bearings of the reel are sealed and protected from the damage that saltwater will cause. If the information provided from the manufacturer doesn’t clearly state what kind of protection that is used to reduce corrosion then you need to look for a different reel.


  • Handle Ergonomics


The handle should be designed so that it is comfortable in your hand. There is nothing worse than a handle that is uncomfortable especially when trying to reel in a massive fish.


  • Max Drag Not That Important


The maximum drag is not as important when considering a saltwater spinning reel. The average person can only handle about 15-20 pounds of drag. So purchasing a reel with high max drag makes no sense because you wouldn’t be able to handle it anyway.


  • Line Capacity Matters


Depending on how you will be fishing you will want to make sure you have enough line capacity for your reel. You don’t want to run out of line when fishing the ocean. Capacity is key especially with narrow reels and long rods.


  • Can the Reel Handle Braid


You will want a spinning reel to be able to handle braided line. Check the specifications to ensure that the reel will work well with braided line. So check to make sure there are no open spots on the ends of the bail roller in which thin braided line can get caught.


  • The Material of The Spool


A quality spinning fishing reel will have a spool that is made of metal. If it is plastic it is more likely going to break on you. So invest in a reel that has a solid metal spool which will end up saving you money in the long run.


  • Anti-reverse


Lastly, you want to pick a spinning reel that has an automatic instant anti-reverse feature on it. You want to make sure that handle locks when you lock it. You don’t want any play in it because that will cause wearing and grinding on the gears which are not good things.


Now that you have an idea of some of the things to look for when purchasing a saltwater spinning reel you can pick the best one that will get you that monster fish you have been waiting to catch.



Conclusion


So there you have it from my perspective. 10 of the best saltwater spinning reels that are on the market. A few are best for inshore fishing and a few are great for offshore fishing. And some of them are great for both. Anyone of these reels will work great for saltwater fishing.



To recap here are the 10 reels that I have reviewed in this article.

  • Shimano Nasci
  • Penn Fierce III
  • Van Staal X Series
  • Penn Torque II
  • Shimano Twinpower SWB
  • Penn Slammer III
  • Penn Spinfisher VI
  • Shimano Thunnus C14
  • Okuma Cedros
  • Accurate Twin Drag SR

I hope you got some useful information from these reviews so that you can make an informed decision on the right saltwater spinning reel for you. If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments section below. Until next time Happy Fishing!


Spring Crappie Fishing Techniques | Surefire Tips To Catch More Crappie!

Spring Crappie Fishing Techniques That Work

Spring Crappie Fishing Techniques

These spring crappie fishing techniques will help you catch more crappie during this crucial time of the year for crappie fishing. The ice is getting off of the lakes, and the crappies will be starting to move to shallow water soon.

The areas that the crappies will be migrating to will be not only shallow areas but the areas with a lot of sediment and algae which you will find in the northern bay areas. Crappies migrate to these areas because this type of water warms faster than any other area of the lake. They will also be spawning soon, so they are going to these parts of the lake for that reason as well.

Another reason crappies go shallow is they are hungry from not eating much during the winter season. They are going after the big meals now which is bait fish like minnows. So mostly its a big feeding frenzy for crappies during early spring.

Cast The Shore in a Kayak

Kayak Fishing For CrappieAn excellent way to find where those crappies are is if you have a kayak take it out on the lake and navigate the shoreline areas. Take your kayak into the bays and find downed trees and weeded areas. Go along these areas and cast using a beetle spin lure. Beetle spins are a fast and easy bait to use when you are looking for the areas that the spring crappies will be.

The use of the kayak makes it easy to get into these challenging areas that you would have a harder time fishing from shore. Once you find where the crappies are at you can switch to a jig and slip bobber or a hook minnow and slip bobber, whatever your preferred method of crappie fishing might be.

Jigs, Floats, & Bobbers

Get yourself some 1/32 to ⅛ Oz jigs and use floats or bobbers with them to suspend your lure over the crappies so that they can see the bait dangling there. A lot of the time the crappies that aren’t active will see your jig sitting there for a while and will decide that it would be an easy target to go after.

You will want to play around with the color of the jig heads. Make sure that the jigs mimic minnows and bugs because that is what crappies are feeding on in the spring, summer and autumn months as well.

Pre-spawn

During the pre-spawn early spring, you will find crappies in the shallow weedy areas of the lake where they get the most oxygen. Pre-spawn crappie will be looking for some big meals to give them the energy they will need for when spawning time comes which isn’t far off in most cases.

Crappies will be in large schools this time of year. Early spring is one of the best times of year to catch an abundance of crappie once you locate these schools of fish. You won’t be able to pull the crappies in fast enough!

If you have a fish finder, it’s a good idea to put that to use. It will go along way in helping you find these large schools of crappies and at what depth they are hanging around. Because if you find the schools of fish but don’t know how deep they are, you might be presenting your bait wrong to them and not catch anything. You want your bait to be suspended above them so that they see it and then devour it.

Minnows with a slip bobber or a float are good choices of live bait to use during the pre-spawn. Small sized jigs that are 1/32 to 1/64 Oz, and look like insects are a good choice this time of year for artificial lures.

Spawn Time

When the water temperature starts to warm up around 60 to 70 degrees, Fahrenheit crappies will start their spawn time. The spawning time for crappie can last from two weeks to six weeks depending on the size of the lake. If the water is clear crappies will make their nests in water that is 3 to 6 feet deep. Muddy water you will find crappies spawning in waters that are 2 feet deep.

The more protection from wind and lots of vegetation is where you will find spawning crappies. The best types of lures to use during the spawn time is spinning baits and small micro jigs using 4-pound test. Using this combination of line and bait will ensure that the baits move down slowly in the water enticing the crappies to strike if you’re looking for the bigger sized crappies you will want to use a ⅛ oz jig and 6 to 8-pound test line.

Cast your jig into reedy areas and slowly reel them back in making sure your rod tip is kept high. You will want to use light colored jigs like yellow and pink during the crappie spawn for optimal effectiveness. Pairing these light colored jigs with tubes or plastic curly tails of the same colors help capture crappies during the spawn as well.

Post Spawn

Crappie Fishing TechniquesAfter crappies have spawned, it becomes more difficult to find and catch these fish. They become elusive, and most anglers don’t both fishing for them until the fall. But you can still catch some nice crappies during this time of the year.

Crappies will head back to the deeper water where they were before the spawn. They like it there because of the familiarity and safety that the deeper water provides. You will find them around deeply sunken trees and logs, rock piles and creek channels with drop-offs and ledges.

Fishfinders especially the ones with side-scan can come in handy after the spawn when looking for crappie. You will want to focus your attention on catching the males of the species during the post spawn. When you find where those elusive crappies are hiding, you have to almost hand feed them the bait. Get it right in front of their mouths. This is because after spawning the fish are tired from the spawn and they don’t move very far.

During the post spawn, you will want to try various rigs and depths to get these crappies to eat. Get a few rods rigged up with multiple jigs. Grab some live minnows and start experiment with different depths until you find the right combination. It’s finding that combination of baits and depth that’s the hardest part when fishing crappie post spawn. But once you find the areas and the right combination you can fill your freezer up with crappie!

Spring Crappie Fishing Techniques Conclusion

Spring Crappie FishingDuring the spring is the best time of year to be fishing for crappies. And if you use some of the techniques in this article and fish the right areas of the lake you will find and more than likely catch an abundance of crappie. During the pre-spawn is probably the best time of spring to be catching these fish. They will be headed to their spawning areas as soon as the water temperatures warm which is about 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit and the ice starts leaving the lakes. Crappies will be found in big schools during the pre-spawn as well.

At spawning time you will find crappies in water depths that range from 2 to 6 feet deep. This will depend on how clear or muddy the water is. The murkier the water is, the shallower the fish will be. Spinning baits and micro jigs work well during the spawn. The water temperature will be 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit at this time.

Post Spawn Can Be Challenging

If your fishing post spawn, you will have a harder time finding the crappies and getting them to eat. So trying various rigs and depths will be vital in catching crappies during the post-spawn time. But once you find the right combination, you can catch crappie all day long! Consider post spawn crappie fishing a challenge! When you start to bring them in you will be one accomplished and happy angler.

I hope this article on spring crappie fishing techniques helps you catch more crappies. If you have any questions or comments about crappie fishing feel free to leave them in the comments section below. You can also send me your questions through the contact form on this website. You will find it in the menu section at the top of the page. I wish you much success in your fishing adventures and Happy Fishing!

The Crappie Fishing Handbook

The Crappie Fishing HandbookIf you would like to know more spring crappie fishing techniques, tackle, lures and tactics grab yourself a copy of The Crappie Fishing Handbook. You can find this useful book on Amazon and can be purchased digitally through Kindle or in paperback form.

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