How to Keep Your Reel From Freezing While Ice Fishing

Take a nice reel ice fishing and what do you get? Too often, dreaded reel freeze. To fix or prevent seized gears that barely allow the handle to rotate, try a twofold strategy that eliminates water (which freezes, hence locking gears) within the reel and replaces old or outdated lubrication with grease that will withstand temperatures of 100 below. "Even one little droplet of water inside a reel is detrimental," says Steve Grice, a design engineer for the Pure Fishing family of reels. That's why Grice suggests warming your reel in the oven at 100 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes. Any water present will evaporate. Replace the lube by removing the side plate and wiping out existing grease with a cloth towel. Better yet, spray some Reel Saver Cleaner (888-947-3273; www.reelsaver.com) on a rag or on the gears, and wipe it clean. Next, be judicious with a drop or two of Reel Saver Grease, a high-viscosity Teflon-based lube that has far greater resistance to bone-cold temps than traditional petroleum-based products. --DAVE SCROPPO