Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Test Drive: Genz Ice Spooler Rod & Reel Review (Clam)

To be honest I had all but given up on Clam rods & reels about 3 years ago. The quality of the product was dropping rapidly (the reels always sucked, but the rods were decent). But this year when I saw the Clam or Genz Ice Spooler I thought I would take the plunge and give then another shot.. the review of my experience on ice with this combo is a mixed one and the reverse of what I would have expected.

If this test drive was a Clint Eastwood movie it would be called "The Good, The Ok, and the Ugly" always wanting to end on a positive note (when I can) Im going to start this test drive off with the Rod..

The "Ugly":

The rood that accompanies the ice spooler combo suffers from some of the same issues I experienced with my last couple clam/Genz rods.. for example the guides on my rod do not match up, sure I can adjust them by hand but they continue to slide or twist.

Taking into consideration that this rod was designed for panfish I still have to say I found it on the flimsy side. I was hoping to use it for Gills, Perch and Crappie yet it did not handle well in the test drive and was the reason I lost a multiple mythic lake Simcoe Jumbo Perch.. the rod could not keep up and it felt dead or unresponsive in my hands.. I could not feel the fish, where it was going or if I was moving it at all. 

The "OK":

 Not taking action of the rod into consideration I have to say this rod and reel combo feel really nice in your hand, they are well balanced and sit comfortably. It actually gives you a false sense of comfort when you start fishing only to be obliterated when you actually get a fish on and the rod lets you down

The reel itself I have mostly good things to say about (see below) but one of the things that is only "ok" is that unlike the comfort you get when you first put the rod and reel in your hands is the lack of comfort you get when you start to reel, it feels cheap and flimsy, the plastic rubs and you start to worry "how long will this reel last?" 

The "Good"

Dont get confused by the above comments, the Ice Spooler reel feels cheap when you first palm it, but overall it is a well built (yet simple) straight-line reel. It has a good drag system and allows for better drop rates then the other straight-line reels I have been lucky enough to test drive. It pairs really well with the Clam ice line I bought a couple season back and have not used as I found it to be a coily mess.. who knew Clam would release a line that only worked on straight-line reels years before they released a straight-line reel.. now thats thinking ahead.

I really like the extended neck (or handle) on the reel as it helps with palming , as well as the overall balance (again this is a perfectly balanced combo). Another perk is the ease of with you can switch the retrieve, as mentioned previously I fish "goofy" and thus have to spend time switching over all my reels, this one was easy, here is a link if your having issues..


The Results:

As stated above this test drive is a mixed bag, and I feel that although the concept and idea of the ice spooler was headed in the right direction and has many things going for it, overall it has been stifled   by cheap manufacturing and shotty workmanship..  the reel itself is a great little panfish reel and if sold separately I would be willing to use it on another rod... just not this one


  1. How do you tie the know onto the reel for the fishing line?

  2. I use an arbour knot, and at times add a small piece of hockey tape to adhere it to the spool for extra support http://www.animatedknots.com/arbor/index.php?LogoImage=LogoGrog

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