Frabill Taps Two Ice Fishing All-Stars
Technique focused Ice Hunter rod and reel combos bolstered with new guide-driven models
Jackson, Wis. – Imagine a group of the best ice fishing guides in North America gathered together for a sole purpose—to design, test and build the top-performing ice rod and reel combos on the frozen planet. The resulting ice tools would be dangerous enough to make fish shake in their scales. Indeed, last year, Frabill® introduced the Ice Hunter® rod and reel series—elite combos crafted by the Ice Belt’s top ice fishing guides and Pro Staff.
When veteran Mille Lacs, Minnesota guide-extraordinaire Tony Roach joined the Frabill team, a brand new rod blank already had his name on it, awaiting his exact specifications for the perfect light walleye and perch combo. Ditto for Canadian ice-ace Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson, who tallies his winter catches by the ton rather than the pound. Just in time for first-ice 2010, Frabill worked extensively with these two ice-stars to give anglers two new species and technique-specific Ice Hunter combos.
Roach, the renowned “Ice-Troller,” never sits still for long, drilling more holes in a day than most of us cut in a year. To match his mobile style of run-and-gun ice fishing, Roach helped fashion a slick 27-inch medium-light Ice Hunter rod for presenting downsized spoons and jigs to walleyes and jumbo perch. This combo travels light and fishes just right, all while sensing peck-on-the-cheek bites and sticking and playing Sumo-sized fish with exceptional flair.
“Frabill gave me everything I asked for in a premium ice combo,” says T-Roach himself. “The rod sports the perfect tip action—ultrasensitivity with just enough cushion to let finicky perch and walleyes easily inhale a spoon without feeling resistance. It’s perfectly matched to the way I fish—fast but with finesse.” Meanwhile, across the border, Gussy remained on predator patrol—jigging up as many heavyweight pike, walleyes and lake trout as he and his clients could handle. With his particular style of fishing and super-sized fish in mind, Frabill engineered the 38-inch Heavy-Duty custom Ice Hunter.
“This combo is built tough for big fish,” says Canada’s leading candidate for Royal Ice Fishing King. “I use braided line a lot on the ice, and a longer rod is vital to compensate for the zero stretch factor in these lines. Extra length is also a huge advantage when fighting big fish. This rod has serious shoulders, yet its soft tip absorbs shock and prevents lost fish. The new larger sized reel is perfect for heavier lines, and its smooth drag just sings.”
Best matched with 4 to 8-pound test line, Roach’s Ice Hunter sports a premium Ice Hunter reel with 3 plus 1 ball-bearings, infinite anti-reverse and Frabill’s exclusive Sub-Zero® lube for smooth operation in extreme cold. Affixed to Gussy’s predator stick is an all-new 2000 size Ice Hunter reel that’s best suited to 6 to 12-pound test. The larger reel also features 3 plus 1 ball-bearings, infinite anti-reverse and Sub-Zero® reel lube.
The 9-model Ice Hunter series is the most complete line of custom-built graphite ice fishing combos available today. Built by an all-star cast of ice guides, these combos set new standards for ice rod and reel design.
Frabill, Inc. (Jackson, Wis.) is in its 72nd year of engineering premium, trusted fishing equipment. Frabill’s ice fishing product mix consists of portable ice fishing shelters, rod and reel combos, tip-ups, bait containers, portable aeration, apparel, and other related accessories. Open water products include landing nets, portable aeration, bait containers, bait care, bait traps and seines, and other accessories.