Ice fishing is just like every other type of fishing, you need to be prepared for everything because as soon as you become unprepared you become unable to catch fish.
When it comes to ice fishing you really need just a few key products but there are so many variations of those key products that things can get condiluted and
confusing but that’s what we’re here for! Usually we would bust down to the individual product but the fact of the matter is everybody’s budget is different and so is everybody’s needs so let’s go step by step and tick some boxes!
When it comes to fishing in the winter it gets awfully hard to chuck and wind since there is usually a few inches of hard water separating your lure from its target; that’s where an auger comes in. When it comes to the best bang for your buck the StrikeMaster Mora is by far the deal in augers. Getting into it for $50 is doable for most anglers on a budget and with the option of eventually take the step up to a power auger you always have the option of picking up the $20 NimRod from LAKCO. The NimRod uses an 18 volt drill to punch through the ice with an estimated 50 holes per charge which means less stress, less time, more fish! If you’d like to keep on this theme we also have the option this year of picking up the all-new conversion kit from Clam which features a blade, plate, and just about everything minus the drill for $150. This gives you stability of a high-power gas auger with the low-noise, and low maintenance of an electric auger. The Clam conversion kit with a standard 18-volt drill is estimated to drill through 700 inches of ice on a single charge.
Finally we have true power augers; I’m talking gas, something Tim “the tool man” Taylor would be proud of! I met up with the owner of Jiffy Augers not too long ago and was thoroughly impressed with the weight and innovation in their ice augers, running at around $530 their flagship the Pro4 Lite comes in 18% lighter(26-28lbs) than their Pro4 and is powered by clean burning 4-stroke using propane. Jiffy offers up a two year warranty on all parts but if their reputation holds up that won’t be an issue. Next up we have my friends over at StrikeMaster.
These guys have been at it for years and their Honda 35cc Lite is proof of their dominance. Coming in at 23-26lbs the StrikeMaster is a 4-stroke Honda design which also offers a two year warranty at the cost of $580-$600 while offering an 8-inch and a massive 10-inch cut. I’m personally a big fan of this guy after seeing it in my store. StrikeMaster has been around since 1946 which means they have time in the industry to really know what’s going on.
Next up we have new kid on the block Clam. Clam is pushing HARD for their cut of the industry and it’s nice to see a new company pushing so hard and having success. As we previously mentioned they offer the conversion plate which uses an 18-volt drill but they also offer the Edge Power Auger which is a 42cc, 2.5hp, 2-stroke system. The Edge also offers the 8 and 10 inch cuts while coming in at 26 and 30lbs for the two variations. The Edge is up there on the price scale but not quite to where the other guys are, sitting at $430-$470 the Clam Edge is a great option for anglers to pick up on their way to catch some slabs through the ice.
To sum it all up the Edge offers the best bang for your buck when it comes to gas-powered augers but if you don’t need to cut an 8-inch hole then the conversion kits offered for the Mora and Lazer will surely do the job and keep you happy. Stay tuned for our next article on shelters next week!