Monday, November 21, 2011

Straight line on the Ice .. just fancy talk for a "Fly Reel"

The world of ice fishing has been taken over by talk of "straight-lining" but what does this really mean? Well straight lining is just a fancy way of saying that we have started to use "fly reels" on the ice, and we are better for it!

Pan-fisherman, make up a good portion of the ice fishing population, im one of them, sure i chase giant walleye on the Bay of Quinte and set tip-ups for pike all over the Kingston area, but im most happy jigging for perch, crappies and blue gill on any lake that will hold my weight.  And as a pan-fisherman I know there are certain issues that come with the territory.. light line, and tiny jigs are one of those things.

tiny jigs weighing almost nothing tied to Ultra thin lines and dropped 12+ feet down through an ice hole into frigid water, can only mean one thing.. line twist. It happens, if you have an underwater camera you have seen it first hand, you jig spins when you first drop it and the fish that dont pass out due to dizziness often wander off from boredom as they wait for your jig to stop spinning. Swivel can help this, but with these tiny jigs they are not perfect.

So the other option you have is to join in on the straight-line craze, I know i have.

The first straight-line rod & reel i purchased was a Thorne Bros Quiver stick paired with an Okuma Seirra 4/5 reel. It was magic at first touch, not only does Thorne bros make some of the best rods on the market but they also  will cut the cork handle to fit a fly reel perfectly.  The Quiver stick is ideal for this method of fishing as it is super sensitive but also tuff as nails. You can pull huge panfish out of the depths with ease.

Okuma, makes a great fly reel, and with a few reels available under the $75 range they are the perfect fit for an ice combo. I settled on the Sierra as it was the best price ($35) and I liked the look and feel of the reel. I used some fly line backing (or braid) to fill up the back end of the spool, then attached a 2ft leader of Asso ice line (2lb). This combo is now ready for action.

As the craze slowly built up and then took off, other retailers got in on the action.  Frabill a formidable name in the ice fishing industry has jumped on board this season with a Straight-line combo of its own.  A Frabill branded fly reel paired with a 32 or 34 inch quick tip rod will run you about $60. This is about $50 cheaper then the Thorne bros rod paired with the Okuma reel above.

The quality of rod that Frabill produces is top notch, Im a big fan of of the Quick tip and Ice Hunter series, and I look forward to test driving this combo soon. The reel it self is not up to the standard of the okuma, but may be suited well for the ice.

If your a panfish angler it will be worth your while to give one of these combo's a try. Not only will they reduce (or eliminate your line twist) but they will help increase your catch ratio.. dizzy fish just aren't that hungry

see ya on the ice

1 comment:

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