Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Great Finds: Frabill Ice Gear Hits the Shelves

If the product reviews and local tackle shop shelves are any sign then I think we will be seeing a lot  more yellow on this ice this season... Frabill yellow (not yellow snow)

Over the past couple seasons Frabill has quietly made a move to become "thee" major player in the ice fishing equipment scene. Don't get me wrong they have always been a player, just not "thee player" that spot was always held by Clam who was (lets face it) the industry leader in portable Huts, Ice suits and off the shelf rods. Not only has Frabill stepped up to the plate to steal their portable hut crown , but that have also made a significant move in the rod/reel and Ice suit markets.. To this day I proudly wear my bright blue clam Ice Armour suit, but after seeing the recent offerings by Frabill I think I you may find me in a Black and yellow suit in the near future.

As you know Im not the only guy in blue that has made the jump to Frabill, Brian "Bro" Brosdahl also  traded in his Ice Armour and Genz sticks to join the Frabill family. His line of Frabill rods and reels that were introduced last season are top quality and have made this "Thorne bros" rod user a believer in off the shelf rods again.

Not taking anything for granted Frabill jumped into the fast growing rod market with both feet, introducing standard rod/reel combos as well as hitting the straight line market with their Bro series quick tip rod, a very sensitive rod blank that reminded me of the Jason Mitchell quick tip (now owned by Clam). This season they have upped the stakes again by adding an $80 version of their original straight liner called the Bro Series 241. The rod shows signs of improvement from last season and the reel is a giant step up from it's little brother. I dont know if it's price tag will effect it's overall sales, but I do know that it looks great and feels good in your hands. (Funny the former Industry leader.. Clam.. is now following, they released their first straight line combo this year, One full season after Frabill)

If you are looking for something completely different, then check out the 'jigglier" a stand-up length panfish rod designed to slay pannies on your local lake. The Jigglers super sensitive design has your line traveling through the rod blank and into a reel attached the butt of the rod (similar to smaller palm rods). This keeps it ice free and out of wind. The length of the rod makes it perfect for hole hoppers fishing shallow water, you can easily "dink and dunk"from hole to hole without the aggravations we are use to facing.  It might be a tight squeeze for those of you who like to stay holed up in your portable, but if you keep moving in search of panfish, this rod will be a great aid.

It should come to no surprise to anyone that on top of their portables Frabill has also always been know for their quality tip-ups. I personally use the Frabill Classic model  almost exclusively when pike fishing, they are sturdy, strong and need little to no maintenance. For 2013 Frabill aded to thwir tip-up family by introducing the "Calibrator Line Counter Tip-up", and believe me it is like nothing else on the market today. The CLC Tip-up comes with an digital LCD that will provide you with some pretty valuable insight such as.. the depth your bait is set at, the time of the bite, the time between bites, as well as how much line the fish took when it ran. Yes, some of you believe this i overkill, and maybe it is, but for me I love the idea of knowing that my bait is set to the exact same place I got my last bite, and how long it has been between bites.. we all lose track of time, this will help make the decision to move or not  move an easy one (and it will help you keep your fish journal/log if you are into that.)

I have ordered all three of the Frabill Products discussed above, and will be sure to give them all a review once they get some time on the ice. I also picked up the 13 Fishing Black Betty as well as the new Dave Genz Ice Spooler, yes it is going to be a busy season..(I hope)

The pics seen on this post were all taken this past weekend at Gagnons sports in Oshawa, Ontario. They always have an incredible selection of ice gear and as you can see here, they are loaded up and ready for 2013.. are you?

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