For an avid ice fisherman like myself, early ice is a magical time of the year. It is the most anticipated moment of the ice fishing season. The chance is here to finally venture back out onto your favorite frozen lake and try out all the brand-new gear and gadgets you have collected for the season. If you were to ask any of my fishing buddies, they would all agree with you that I am a gear junkie. I am an angler who loves to test and tinker to find the best solution for any given situation. Having your gear safe, accessible, and organized is a huge component of having success on early ice. 

Preparation for First Ice Fishing Trip

preparation for ice fishing rods and reels

The first pieces of gear I always look at in preparation for my first ice fishing trip are my rods and reels. I make sure they are situated, spooled up with fresh new line, rigged, and ready to go. Everyone has their favorite method of storing and transporting their rods to the lake. You have the bigger and bulkier cases that can hold all your rods and tackle, the gun case style cases, the rod bags with the tubes, and the trusty old five-gallon bucket. In a season, I might employ all these options at some point, depending on the situation. There is one thing that remains in common for all of them. The easiest reel to transport and store is the Piscifun ICX-5. They have a built-in, collapsible folding handle. This allows me to fit more rods in a smaller case if I desire or help reduce the reel handles catching on items during transport, potentially causing things to break. Another huge bonus is I do not have to worry about losing a screw cap like on many other reels. To collapse many of the reels on the market, I must manually loosen that screw cap. If I loosen it too much, it could fall into the snow or wiggle off during transport. Nothing worse than getting to your spot and having a reel out of commission because the handle screw cap is missing. 

During an early ice mission, I am most likely going to be using either a rod bag with tubes or a five-gallon bucket. I am trying to be as minimalistic with my gear as possible and pack as lightly as possible for these early ice trips. By having the reel handle folded down when in storage and transport, I can fit more rods in my case or bucket and not worry about having a tangled mess when I get to my destination. Having enough rods rigged and ready lets me be efficient in locating the pattern or color the fish are keying in on that day. Being that the Piscifun ICX-5 was designed with ice fishing in mind, it has fantastic performance in the cold weather elements. It is a reel that I can trust day in and day out to perform for me when I need it most. From panfish to walleyes, the Piscifun ICX-5 is always in my lineup. It is my go-to reel on my hole-hopping rods. It has an extended stem that allows you to fish with a glove on and still have the reel comfortable to use. 

Advantages of Piscifun ICX-5 Ice Reel

The Piscifun ICX-5 has been a staple in my ice fishing lineup for the past three seasons and makes it out onto the ice with me every single trip. From early ice to late ice and every trip in between, the Piscifun ICX-5 makes it out on the ice with me. For those of you who like to match their rods and reels, they offer two great colorways. The first is black and silver, which is a very clean look. The second is black and red, which really pops! From hole hopping for panfish, to jigging up trophy walleyes, the Piscifun ICX-5 has done it all for me! 

Scott Olson holds the big fish by hands

If you are an angler who is looking for an ice reel that is jam-packed with performance and features, the Piscifun ICX-5 is for you! The ability to fold the handle up for transport is the feature that caused me to purchase my first Piscifun ICX-5, but the overall performance of the reel has brought me back to purchase many more! You will be hard-pressed to find a reel with more features and performance for under the $30 price point. If you are in the market for a new reel, Check out the Piscifun ICX 5 ice fishing reel. It will make you more efficient and organized from the very first time you pack it out onto the ice with you! 


Scott Olson

Scott Olson

Hello from the Black Hills of South Dakota!  My name is Scott Olson and I have lived in Rapid City since 2008.  I’ve been fishing since I can remember, both open water and ice, but it was the move here to the Hills that my love of fishing really took off.  With dozens of lakes to choose from and many species to fish for, the area really is a great place to be a multi-species fisherman or woman, whether you’re after bluegills, bass, walleye, lake trout, or others in between.  Trout have become a favorite of mine to target, but I also enjoy going after bass and bluegills as well.


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December 28, 2023 — Scott Olson

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