I’ve used Tica reels ice fishing for years now. They are very reliable, come with winter grease, have smooth drags and are well worth the investment. I use mine with Fireline Crystal Ice and have caught plenty of walleyes and rainbows to know that there is no reason whatsoever to hesitate in owning one of these reels. As per usual, when introducing Tica to the name-brand-only-shoppers of the world, their hesitancy comes out because they’ve “never used one before” and because there is not a ton of marketing out there by “fishing greats”. They aren’t convinced with “no degree of uncertainty” that this Tica reel will actually work. I mean, come on – crank it a few times, spin the spool, feel the drag. It’s not rocket science.
Nowadays, a reel is a reel is a reel. And you know why that is? Tica is a manufacturer of fishing rods and reels. They build reels for Daiwa and many other companies who call them up and specify what kind of reel they would like, how many bearings, what materials, etc. Tica then builds it for them and sticks the appropriate label on the side. Some of the reels in your rod bag might be Ticas with Shimano, Daiwa, Garcia, Eagle Claw, or HT labels on them. Just a few years back, Tica built 1.4 million reels for Daiwa – 1.4 million! I bet you didn’t know that, eh?
What is the difference between the SS500 and the SB500? The Tica SS500 has the pretty finish, with silver/gold motif. It has 18 conk holes drilled around the bottom edge of the aluminum spool. Those holes have gold lining in them making them look really snazzy. It only comes with one spool which is no big deal to me. I get the spare spool on other reels, line them up and lose it on a shelf somewhere. What is the point or that?
This SS500 is a rich looking reel. The only difference between the SS500 and the SB 500 is that the SB500 is a more mundane, all gold-ish colored reel and it comes with an extra graphite (plastic) spool so you can line it up and leave it home on the kitchen table. Everything regarding the inner workings remains the same but for the 18 conk holes in the spool of the SS500. From what I can see, they serve no purpose other than looks. If you try to tell me “weight savings” with those 18 holes, I’m going to have to call BS on that. The SS500 is a snazzier looking reel than the SB500, and that is all. We actually sell more SS500’s than SB500’s I think because of the looks. That alone is a dumb reason to buy anything, but if they cost the same and you’re going to lose the spare spool anyways, you might as well go for looks.
So buying a Tica “house-brand” reel like the SS500 means that without all that expensive promotion by fishing superstars means that you are getting a reel that has better components, better design, and more bearings in it for less money. Why? They don’t pay all those fishing superstars to hold up the reel and say how great it is. What does that mean to you? You have to actually think a little more mon your own – they call it “shopping”. No fishing rock star is spoon-feeding you on the merits of the “namebrand” reel and you end up getting better stuff. And that is why Tica GV500, SB 500 and SS 500 have such a loyal following. Those “non-superstar” fishermen already know good stuff because they took it out and tried it. You won’t go wrong. I love mine.
Tica Cetus reels have taken ice fishing by storm; it’s not uncommon that an owner of a Cetus has more than one! Features like precision stainless steel ball bearings, instant anti-reverse, and a computer designed balanced rotor gives it smooth reeling for any light tackle application.
- 6 precision stainless steel ball bearings
- Soft touch handle knob with 2 stainless steel ball bearings
- Mini bearing inside line roller
- Computer designed balanced rotor