If you know anything about live bait fishing, you’ve heard of the brand Frabill. They’ve been relevant in the world of live bait storage since the mid-20th century. Minnows and other live bait are an investment to take care of. It’s always frustrating when you head out fishing for the day and lose half of the bait before you’ve even had a chance to use it.
Frabill took it upon themselves to try and create a solution to these problems. They did this through the Frabill Magnum Bait Station. For as many years as people have been fishing, finding a reliable, portable live bait storage system isn’t the easiest thing in the world.
In this article, I will cover the following:
- The features of the Frabill Magnum Bait Station
- Which one should you buy and why
- The Pros of the Frabill Magnum Bait Station
- The Cons of the Frabill Magnum Bait Station
Features Of The Frabill Magnum Bait Station
As far as a live bait storage system is concerned, the Frabill Magnum has quite a few quality features that other companies have yet to create. Everything from small details to the storage container size makes this a viable option.
This bait station is essentially a cooler. If you imagine a heavy-duty cooler, that is what the Frabill Magnum is. You have just over an inch of foam insulation in the cooler, which keeps the water at the exact temperature you need. This is vital! Many other live bait containers quickly adapt to the air temperature, and that can cause live bait to become lethargic or even die.
Combine the heavy insulation with the quality latches, and you have exactly what you need for a reliable live bait holder. If you’re not using the Magnum on the water, you can use it as a cooler! Make sure you wash out the fish smell first.
The external body is made from polypropylene and has a non-slip bottom. All three versions come as a single-color option, with a white base and a yellow lid.
Another thing Frabill thought of with the bait station is an easy way to handle the bait. If the fish are biting well, you’re going through quite a bit of bait; the last thing you want to do is mess around in a deep bait holder and try to grab a minnow. The Magnum comes with a lift-out net liner. Lift the liner out, the water will fall back into the cooler, and you can handle the minnows extremely easily!
The liner is easy to remove if you only use it as a cooler.
Perhaps the most important feature of the live well is the aerator. Aerators can make or break live-bait storage. The deluxe aerator is built into the Magnum, so you don’t have to worry about carrying an extra apparatus around with you. A two-speed aerator allows you to set the exact controls you need.
The aerator runs off of two D batteries, or you can plug it into a 12-volt plug and run it for as long as you like. Both of these features give you peace of mind that your bait will stay alive and well for as long as you need it.
It’s available in 13, 19, or 30-quart live well size options. Most anglers choose to go with the mid-range 19 quarts as it’s ideal for enough bait for the whole day. This can hold 10-12 dozen minnows and keep them alive for several days! The 13 quart holds enough bait for a few hours out on the river fishing on your own. If you need anything more than that, go with the 30-quart option.
Dimensions Weight (Empty)
13 Quart 19.5″ x 11.5″ x 13.8″ 8.2lbs
19 Quart 19.5” x 14.75” x 13.8” 11.8lbs
30 Quart 27.7” x 14.5” x 13” 14.5Ibs
Spares and Options
The 30-quart option has a dual aerator, whereas the 13 and 19-quart version only has a single aerator.
The 30-quart version does not have a lift-out net. Instead, it has a divider in the center to split two sections of storage.
Since the Magnum is a high seller, many online retailers easily make spares available. It comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty which requires online registration.
The Frabill 13 quart is the entry model at a very reasonable price. The 19 quart is the middle of the range pricing and is the most popular of the three sizes. The 30 quart is the largest and most expensive model, mainly targeted for longer boat charters. For any decent cooler these days, you’re paying twice these prices!
Compared to other cooler boxes in the market, Frabil priced it at a very competitive and attractive price range.
There are numerous pros of the Frabill Magnum Bait Station. In the fishing world, things always seemed to be designed in ways that could be a bit better! Frabill, however, has found something special with the Magnum.
The first thing many anglers notice about the Magnum is its sleek design and bright color. As most anglers know, any live bait station will likely have an aerator that hangs off the side and causes problems. Frabill finally created a design that allowed the aerator to sit within the design so no hoses would get caught, it couldn’t be forgotten, and it all worked together well.
The black handle and shoulder strap are strong and sleek as well. You don’t feel awkward when you’re carrying it! It can be heavy when filled with bait and water, but Frabill created it to be transported easily.
For years, anglers have complained about the specialization of fishing equipment. Things are becoming more expensive and more specialized. Frabill saw an opportunity to create a multi-purpose bait live well and took advantage of it. The opportunity to use it as a live well one day and a cooler the next is great!
Removable Net Liner
The removable net liner is a game-changer! Not having to reach in and wrestle with slippery bait in gross water is an underrated creature comfort. All you have to do is pick up the liner, and you’ll have your bait on your hook in a matter of seconds without having to deal with all the trouble of selecting the proper minnow.
Like all products, nothing is perfect. For all the great aspects of the Magnum, there are a couple of things that I believe could be improved!
Yes, the fact that the aerator can be powered in two different ways is a wonderful feature. However, the hoses and the performance of the aerator could be a bit better! It’s definitely not bad, and the built-in design of it is amazing, but the two-speed aerator can get bogged down occasionally. Also, changing the batteries on the aerator is no easy task! Be prepared to take a bit extra time to do this.
You’ll also find that the aerator can be a bit loud. If you’re using it out on the open water, it’s not the end of the world, but if you keep it in your ice house, beware that it can become fairly loud and somewhat annoying.
Yes, this may make a few anglers cringe at the thought of poor-quality latches. This review isn’t saying the latches are poor quality, but with the solid feel of everything else, there could be some improvement on the latches themselves. You’ll find that if you use this in the winter, you may get a bit nervous when popping them open and shutting them.
If the magnum is not what you are looking for in a fishing cooler, then please take a look at my other top picks in my in-depth article on what are the best fishing coolers available for anglers.
Making a large investment into a live well isn’t something anglers should take lightly. These are going to get quite a bit of use throughout the fishing season and you want to make sure you’re using something of high quality.
Frabill has accomplished making a high-quality portable live well. It’s a reasonably priced option with some great features. You won’t be disappointed with the Frabill Magnum. Give it a shot for the upcoming fishing season.
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