Hello again, Scott Olson here.  I live in Rapid City, SD and have been in the outdoors all of my life.  I’ve really taken to ice fishing over the last 10 years even though I’ve been on the hard water most of my life, having a dad who lives to fish in all seasons.  Over the last six years, I’ve really been focusing on panfish fishing through the ice, including different techniques, lures, and gear designed to help entice and bring in more fish efficiently. Inline reels, in particular, have been the one piece of gear that has aided in this process and been a source of irritation when they haven’t functioned as I’d hoped.  Reel quality, which for me is a combination of ease of spool drop (trigger vs. button vs. hand pulling), spool tension, drag, reel structure and materials made of, as well as the ability to perform with some slush and ice in the reel, are all factors that weigh in on this debate since getting my first inline reel about six seasons ago.  For this review, I put Piscifun’s newest inline reel, the ICX Frost, to the test this season.

Features of ICX Inline Ice Fishing Reel

First, the Frost looks solidly made right out of the box.  There are not a lot of open-air spaces like in many reels that help make them a little lighter.  It has a solid back and top cover, so the spool is enclosed under this, making it less likely that the side of your hand will accidentally hit the spool and slow it down while you are letting the line out.  You will notice that the design is different from any other inline in that the spool itself and cover are on the inside of the reel rather than the outside of the frame.  This appears to have been because of how the handle and sprocket system were designed in that you have to unscrew the plate below the handle to open it up to gain access to the spool for putting a line on it.  While seeming a bit odd initially, this system really has the benefit of being very secure without the screw cap coming loose, which has happened on other inlines I’ve tried.  

The next thing is that the reel itself is extremely smooth while cranking on the handle.  The gears line up perfectly to make this probably the smoothest reeling inline I’ve used yet.  The trigger placement is absolutely spot on for my hands since other inlines have tended to have this feature too far down on the reel or too close to the reel neck, meaning that I tended to switch hands, hold the rod in an unnatural way, or pull the line out with my other hand since it was not comfortable to keep my finger on the trigger.  The Frost trigger is easy to grab with one finger, and the jigs go down without any effort, though you may want to adjust the spool tension knob depending on if you’re using 5mm jigs versus 3mm or even 2.5mm jigs.  But the process is very easy to do thanks to the placement of the spool tension knob.  

Piscifun ICX Frost Inline Ice Fishing Reel

While on the ice, the Frost performed nearly flawlessly regardless of the conditions.  I did not have many issues with the reel itself whenever it got some slush or ice in the spool unless conditions were below zero, but there isn’t an inline reel out there yet that will work well if the slush has frozen inside the spool.  The 2.7:1 ratio is great for getting those bigger slabs in quickly, and it is also a great feature when handling larger fish.  The drag itself was very impressive, especially since that is usually one of the biggest knocks on inline reels.  It was very smooth and handled large, hard-fighting rainbow trout, largemouth bass, and pike all season long with no issues.

How to use ICX Inline Ice Fishing Reel

After nearly a full ice season of putting the Frost through its paces (the right-hand retrieve model wasn’t available right away), I can say that I am seriously impressed with this inline reel.  It is very well made, with heavy-duty carbon fiber materials that held up under the typical conditions we in the Ice Belt run into on the ice, and it kept working while not being very heavy feeling at all despite looking like it weighed more than a normal inline.  The gears inside it make this reel extremely smooth on the retrieve no matter the size of the fish, and its carbon drag was also very smooth when bigger fish would run, and I was never left with any doubt that it would hold up under the stresses of bringing in larger, harder fighting fish.  

It was pretty easy to spool it up once I had it in hand, even though, at first glance, you may wonder how to get it done.  But by putting loosening the spool knob and pulling the gear case away from the spool, it was actually easy to do.  The trigger, again, is in a great position, making it easy to grab it with one finger and pull it, releasing the spool to let even the lightest of jigs free fall at the speed I liked. The magnetic drop system really makes the Frost a cut above other inline reels when it comes to the ease of pulling the trigger and seeing your jig go down without any additional effort as long as you have adjusted the spool tension knob to the weight of your jig.

Final Impressions

ice fishing with Piscifun ICX Frost Ice Fishing Reel

My final impressions are that this is not only my favorite ice reel in the Piscifun ICX series lineup but also my favorite ice reel I’ve used yet!  As a panfish enthusiast, finding an ice reel that does what it’s supposed to do while staying fluid in some of the coldest weather has always been challenging.  Lesser quality products or parts really show up when you need them to work the most on the ice.  Other inline reels have failed on numerous occasions in one way or another, but the Frost has almost nothing about that I can say is bad or faulty.  It never let me down or failed at all this season, no matter what I threw at it.  This reel delivers on performance and value at a good price point.  If there is truly a near-perfect inline reel in today’s ice fishing market for ice reels, this is it!


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 27, 2023 — Scott Olson

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