Now that the ice season is in full bloom, it is time to finally finish prepping all my equipment for the year. Typically, I only have a few rods connected to reels and spooled up to start the season since I feel that until the season really gets going, I don't to have everything ready to go. But with other lakes frozen and walkable now, it's time to get everything ready!
With the arrival of my order of new Frost line from Clam Outdoors as well as new Cold Snap Wraps from Cold Snap Outdoors, I give myself an afternoon to get everything ready for the season.
With over a dozen combos to get ready, putting rods and reels together with the Wraps on most of them and then spooling them all up takes some time, but can be a relaxing event as well for me. Some people use the different colored wrap rings to coordinate what pound test line is on the reel, be it braid, fluorocarbon, or mono.
I prefer to go with an aesthetic look and match colors of the wraps to the colors on the rod or reel as I know what pound test is on each one already based on the rod I've put with the reel. The wraps go on easily enough with the tool that the wraps come in and the new Pro Pack extension piece made getting the wraps onto some of my split grip rods much easier this year.
Most of my reels are spooled up with 4- or 5-pound Frost Fluorocarbon depending on if the rod is going to be for tungsten jigs or light spoons. And I use a whole spool of fluorocarbon on my panfish and trout combos. No leaders needed.
My walleye/lake trout reels get 8# Frost braid on them. My deadsticks I use on my Arctic Warriors also get Frost braid on them, but in 10# test. With the thin diameter of braid, I prefer to up the pound test a bit on the Warrior reels in case a big Laker or pike decides to make a good fight out of being hooked up.
Remembering a spooling tip, I saw last season, I put the line spools into a bowl of warm water and reeled them onto the combos. It was easy and the line went on great with just enough resistance from the water to put the line down evenly. The warm water even helps to eliminate any coiling that may be in the line.
After a couple of hours, all my ice combos were ready for the season and I spent the rest of the afternoon getting my Clam Legend shelter and new C-560 Thermal hub aired out and getting the other equipment ready.
I can say that I'm officially ready for any conditions now and am geared up for what I hope will be a long hardwater season. As you get yourself ready, remember to put on fresh line each season and ensure that your gear is ready to go. You don't want to be out on the ice and realize that there's a hole or loose bar in your shelter or have that line on your reel be so coil it looks like an accordion. Do some prep now and you'll be ready for a great season!