Top 10 Inline Ice Fishing Reels Under $50

Ice fishing is a surprisingly addictive sport, especially if you don’t mind a little cold weather. However, it’s definitely not as much fun without the right equipment, so to make the most of your day on the ice, you’ll want the best gear you can afford.

While you might have thought a good ice fishing reel was way out of your price range, don’t get discouraged just yet. The truth is there are plenty of excellent options if you know where to look. We’ve scoured high and low for the most affordable ice fishing reels and have come up with some fantastic selections. Read on to discover the best budget inline ice fishing reels under $50. 

Eagle Claw Inline Ice Reel

As far as cheap inline ice fishing reels go, Eagle Claw’s basic inline reel will suit those who enjoy occasional ice fishing. It’s a straightforward left-hand oriented reel with adjustable drag and an on-off drag clicker.

The free spool works smoothly and without hitches. While the reel is listed at 190 yards and four pounds, most users will find this Eagle Claw reel will support heavier lines.  

Specs

• Four-pound, 190-yard, or six-pound, 120-yard capacity

• Gear ratio of 2.6:1

• Weighs 5.96 ounces

• Stainless steel ball bearings

• EVA knob handle on spool

• Graphite body

13 FISHING D2.7-LH Descent Ice Reel

This is probably one of the best budget ice fishing reels we’ve found for under $50, and it will serve you well if you’re new to ice fishing, especially if you’re only looking for small fish. While the line fall rate is fast, some users have found it difficult to adjust. However, for hobbyists, this 13 Fishing reel is more than adequate.  

If you’re a serious ice fisher looking for bigger fish, you may want to buy more than one of these.

Specs

• Right- and left-handed models

• Guides and bearings made from stainless steel

• Cushioned reel seat

• Integrated fender

• Weighs eight ounces

Fiblink Inline Gold Ice Fishing Reel

If you’re looking for a reel that will work not only for ice fishing but other types as well, check this gold Fiblink reel out. Among budget ice fishing reels, this one has a lot going for it. It’s streamlined and straightforward and works with a variety of poles.

The Fiblink has an ergonomic non-slip grip so that you will stay comfortable all day. Plus, users can select from the left or right-handed versions.

Specs

• Anti-reverse drag system

• Aluminum spool

• Non-slip epoxied cork grips

• Free spool release button

• One-way clutch

• Gear ratio of 2.7:1

• Weighs 9.91 ounces

Lew’s Fishing Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker Reel

Anyone hunting for cheap reels for ice fishing should check out the three-ounce Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker Reel by Lew’s Fishing. It’s simple, straightforward, and easy to use. It doesn’t have an especially high line retrieval rate, but you can still pull fish out of the water with it.

For the size, the quality is reasonable, and the price should work well for hobby ice fishers.

Specs

• Graphite spool and frame

• Multi-disc drag with a wide range and click function

• Weighs just three ounces

• Ambidextrous

Fiblink Inline Ice Fishing Reel

For those who only ice fish occasionally, this is an excellent middle-of-the-road budget ice reel that is simple, functional, and serves its purpose well. It’s long enough to work well with heavy gloves, and unless you’re super picky, it is entirely sufficient for a day on the ice. 

This Fiblink model has a smooth star drag system that is easy to adjust, and it’s ultra-lightweight, so it’s suitable for all experience levels. Select from right or left-handed options. 

Specs

• Star drag, plastic handle

• Line clicker for reduced twisting

• Instant anti-reverse mechanism

• One-way clutch

• Gear ratio of 2.7:1

• Stainless steel shaft with brass gears

• Weighs 5.8 ounces

Ellen Archery Inline Ice Fishing Reel

Ellen Archery has some nice budget ice reels for fishing, and this is one of them. It’s solidly constructed, primarily using metal instead of what feels like cheap plastic, and it can take at least 100 yards of braided fishing line. 

It has a drag wheel instead of a star, giving the drag a smoothness that’s hard to find on other inexpensive ice fishing reels.

Specs

• Machined aluminum wheel design

• Anti-corrosion, impact-resistant, spindle

• Gear ratio of 2.6:1

• Imported braking system

• Right-handed and left-handed models

Frabill Straight Line 101xLA Reel

If you’re looking for a decent inline ice fishing reel for under $100, Frabill’s straight-line reel should serve you well. It’s sturdy and pre-lubricated with sub-zero lubricant to work in cold conditions straight out of the box. 

Its long and short reel stems help accommodate whatever length pole you prefer, too, so no need to buy anything new to use this.

Specs

• Reel ratio: 1:1

• One ball bearing

• Eight inches of line retrieval per turn

• Ambidextrous handle

• No tackle spin

Eagle Claw Inline Ice Reel Black and Red

If you’re looking for budget ice fishing reels under $50, check out Eagle Claw’s Black and Red reel. It’s perfect for catching trout and any other fish for which you can use a ten-pound line. Another thing we love about this reel is that it’s made right here in the US.

The drag isn’t as smooth as some other models, but ice doesn’t form on it, and it works well for most occasional and hobby ice-fishers. 

Specs

• Aluminum handle

• Reel and spool are both nylon

• Teflon star drag

• Gear ratio of 2.6:1

Pflueger Trion Inline Ice Fishing Reel

For ice fishing reels under $50, you’ll probably be hard-pressed to find something better than the Pflueger Trion inline reel. The longer stem and fender cover help prevent your fishing line from tangling, and it has an auto-stop button on the spool to boot.

It’s ambidextrous, but you might find switching from one hand to the other a little tricky. But for ice reels in this price range, it’s a decent quality piece. 

Specs

• Aluminum body

• Gear ratio of 5.3:1

• Weighs less than one gram

• Composite material frame

• Fender cover on the spool

Frabill Straight Line 371 Ice Fishing Reel

This ice-fishing reel from Frabill allows you 22 inches of line per crank, giving you power that enables you to pull fish out of the water quickly. It also has a drag that provides decent control over the fish. 

Made of composite, this reel won’t feel cold even in the most frigid temperatures. While some users have complained about the drag, if you’re just trying out ice fishing or you only go once a season, this reel will probably work just fine for you. 

Specs

• Composite body material

• Reel ratio of 3.7:1

• Instant anti-reverse feature

• Spool guard to improve grip

• Long pole stem

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to find quality ice fishing reels for under $50, but it’s not impossible. If you enjoy ice fishing but are on a tight budget, you can still find a great ice fishing reel for a price that won’t put too much of a dent in your wallet. 

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