FRABILL: Pool Shark on Ice



Plano, IL (October 21, 2015) – Picture ice fishing front man, Brian “Bro” Brosdahl swaggering into a pool hall – a surreal visual to say the least. Where the veteran billiard jockey would tote his or her signature stick in a single, well-worn violin case, Bro would enter carrying a half-dozen selections; his handler and better-half Heather, following along with another select few cues.

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Bro’d have one each for breaking, banking, hopping, combinations, cross-tables, dead-balling, even the controversial “grandma” cue for halls with loose rules. Fortunately, Bro blows at pool, instead investing the winter months refining presentations and his wide assortment of Bro Series Spinning Combos. And for ice fishing 2015-16, the masterfully crafted rod and reel pairings are sinking even more 8 balls…corner pocket.

The self-described “Northwoods Viking” is bullish about the updated series, and isn’t short on words describing each individual species- and technique-specific model. But before drilling down to the details, let’s talk about general construction of the rods and reels.

The rod blanks are purely premium. Fashioned on solid graphite (except Quick-Tip, Noodle and Deadstick actions) through-handle blanks, Bro Series rods are trimmed with titanium guides (except Noodle action). Bro seized the opportunity to pump the upsides of incorporating titanium: “Frabill’s titanium guides are all about making the rods more sensitive, and at the same time durable and lightweight. You’ll really feel the benefit of titanium when a slab crappie ever-so-lightly bites in deep water.

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“Clunky guides need not apply. We aim for futuristic-finesse whether you’re bombing for lake trout, swim darting for walleyes or slow falling to choosy bluegills.”

Further defining Bro Series Rods, the handles are solid cork while lightweight and durable graphite composes the reel seats. Each model sports a deluxe hook-keeper as well.

Another Frabill exclusive feature graces select models in the 2015-16 Bro Series Spinning Combo family – the Bro Band. Don’t be fooled by the mundane appearance of a black ring encircling the cork. Bro explains: “It’s a live bait feeding tool. The Bro Band tethers your line while the bail is open to suspend bait whatever distance from the bottom you want. The technique is commonly known as ‘deadsticking’. When a fish takes and runs, the line slips out of the Bro Band, letting the fish run without resistance. You can adjust for the size and spunkiness of live bait by how much line you tuck under the Bro Band.”

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The reel makes the man, the Bro Man. Technical looking, the Bro Series Spinning Reel churns like butter on a 5 + 1 ball-bearing system, fully smothered internally with Frabill’s exclusive Sub-Zero® lubricant. Precision parts also account for the Bro Series Spinning Reel’s fluid drag system. “The drag is silky smooth,” said Bro. And with a fish on the run – sensitivity in your hands dulled by the cold – a reliable drag-system makes all the difference. Technically speaking, the front-loading drag operates on multi-discs (good thing) interlaced with a machined aluminum spool. To that, the drag knob is tapered to eliminate line catch. (Primitive square knobs are notorious for snagging line.)

Time for the pool shark to run the table. In rapid fire succession, Bro spins through each model in the series, citing their particular uses and advantages.

35” Quick-Tip (Model 690012) and 30” Quick-Tip (Model 690011)

“All the finesse you need for light biting panfish. The length lets you keep a distance from the hole on clear lakes, as well as early or snow-free ice when fish are more easily spooked. The soft tip reveals even the slightest bites. It’s the ultimate long-rod for panfish aficionados.”

25” Light (Model 690013) and 30” Light (Model 690014)

“Best rods for jigging micro spoons for perch and panfish, even light walleyes. More anglers are realizing that downsized versions of conventional heavy spoons are deadly on perch and panfish, especially the bigger, more aggressive fish. I drop a spoon to agitate big panfish before downsizing to jigs.”

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The innovative Bro Band tethers your line to suspend bait (deadstick) and release quickly when a fish strikes.

32” Medium-Light (Model 690016)

“Perfect for finesse fishing walleyes and perch with light to medium weight jigging spoons and jigs. These are good all-around sticks for multi-species and about every technique. Great choice if you’re adding one new combo to the arsenal this season.”

28” Medium (Model 690017)

“Things start getting serious with the Bro Series Medium action… This is my preferred rod for walleyes, whitefish and trout when I need more backbone on the hookset. Fishes best with midsize spoons and swimming jigs.”

30” Medium-Heavy (Model 690018)

“Now we’re talking big game, like catch-and-release sized walleyes and trout, even pike. Even though the blank feels firmer, it flexes in all the right places for fighting large fish. Great for ½-ounce and larger jigging spoons and swimming jigs.”

28” Deadstick (690019)

“This gets into super-specialty fishing. Deadstick rods, like the Bro Series 28-inch Deadstick, feature a noodle-ish tip for telegraphing strikes, but taper into a forceful blank to set the hook. Frabill really nailed this one.”

28” Noodle (690020)

“Noodle rods are sort of a throwback. There was a reason your grandpa used them. Now on a modern, premium blank, the Bros Series 28-inch Noodle Rod delicately dabbles smaller offerings and reveals the slightest smooch from a crappie, bluegill or perch.”

Don’t expect to find Bro in a pool hall near you. (If he does show up, though, contact the ice fishing police at Frabill.) Be glad he’s out there on tundra continuously tinkering with gear and techniques to improve everyone’s ice fishing success.

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