Thursday, February 21, 2013

Test Drive Frabill Straighline 241 Rod & Reel Review

This is officially my 3rd rod test drive of the 2013 season, all 3 have been straight-line combos and all three have their pros and cons.. that statement definitely applies to the Bro Series 241 by Frabill.. one of the first Frabill products to let me down over the past few years


I have been impressed with the production of Frabills ice rods over the past few years, their quality continues to go up along with the available options. Many of their recent rods are comparable to early Jason Mitchell rods (prior to the move to Clam) and are worth the $$ that most stores are asking for them. The quick tip series is my favourite (followed by the beefier ice hunter series) The QT have a nice soft responsive tip yet enough backbone to pull monster panfish out of the depths . The red beaded tip is a great option in place of a standard spring bobber and gives you the visibility you want without sacrificing tip 
The reel on the 241 combo is a bruiser, and easily one of the strongest straight-line ice fishing reels I have used. It's all metal frame and spool provide strength and durability. The drag system is pretty decent but can get a bit clunky at times. The Metal frame is not as much of an issue as you would suspect and I have to admit I liked the way it felt in my hands even at colder temps. It is a nice size and overall the balance of this combo is pretty good (not great, but a good solid B+)


The biggest con to this rod is the price point, this baby will hurt your wallet coming in at  an average cost of between $69 and $81 depending on which side of the border you are ordering from (and we haven't talked shipping yet). ..It is a nice piece of equipment but it isn't worth the asking price (not by a long shot)
If you read my articles with any regularity you will note that I fish right hand retrieve or "goofy" as I like to call it. This is on all reels, spinning, bait casting, and yes straight-line. This mean that I spend a lot of time switching all my reels over when I first purchase them. The Frabill 241 is the most awkward, and most time consuming of all the straight-line reels I own.. not only does it require a screwdriver but it requires more patience then I will ever have. God forbid you need to make this change when on the ice, as there is a good change your fingers will fall off prior to getting the job done.

Above I mentioned in passing that the drag on this reel can get a bit clunky, well that goes double for the retrieve, at times this reel can sound like a garbage disposal chewing up a beer can. It is that bad, and at times the reel sounds like it is going to come apart in your hands.. it doesn't, but the sound alone has made my put this rod down a few times and opt for a quieter model.

I have no issues with this rod at all, it is a quality stick, well build and is close to perfect, but Im a staunch promoter of ice rods without reel seats.. this one is well placed but I prefer my hockey tape (I'am Canadian you know)

If I have not scared you off with this less then enthusiast review on one of the most expensive combos on the market, then you may be interested to know where you can get your mitts on one.. check out the below links, these rods are on sale in most areas so grab one now and save your self some change

Where to buy:

Fish USA

Reeds Sporting Goods


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