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Ice Reel Review and Maintenance

ice reel review maintenance

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This is the Piscifun ICX 5 Ice fishing reel. In this video we are going to break this reel down and talk about some of the features, why I’m excited about it, and some of the things I look for in an ice reel. I’ll also bring you along as I clean out the factory grease and get it ready for another year of service.

I would generally say that you get what you pay for when buying fishing gear and then I would tell you to spend a good portion of your new rod budget on your reel. But when it’s time to talk ice fishing you can throw most of that out the window. One of the great things about ice fishing is that you don’t need and don’t want expensive reels. 

Expensive reels are often made with magnesium and aluminum but those metals in the winter will do nothing but freeze your hands. Plastics and composites found in cheaper reels are not just better, they are practically mandatory when the temperatures drop below zero.

Proper line lay can be a concern in cheap spinning reels but this often doesn’t matter when ice fishing because you’re typically fishing in less than 30 feet of water, so wind knots are pretty much non-existent. 

The only scenario where I would make an exception to buying the cheapest reels is if you are targeting lake trout. Lake trout typically roam in 100+ feet of water and they will fight and bulldog you like nothing else. A quality reel with a good drag and lots of spool capacity will make your lake trout fishing much more enjoyable.


I don’t normally break down my reels and clean them, especially when they are new, but last season when fishing outside in -20°C weather the reel froze up and my anti-reverse stopped working, causing the reel to free spin both backwards and forwards.

The grease typically used at the factory is not designed for cold weather. In this teardown I go through the reel and remove the old grease, replacing it with a synthetic grease from Ardent.

The new grease performs very well. After spending a few hours in the freezer, the reel with factory grease was stiffer than the second reel with Ardent Reel Butter. I wouldn’t say it was a huge difference between the two but it was noticeable. If you are having performance issues with your reel in the cold I would definitely recommend replacing the factory grease with a synthetic, higher performing lubricant.

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Piscifun ICX 5

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