Dr. Auger Ice
Fishing Services, LLC
As a serious ice fisherman, I use a lot of different gear out on the ice, from flip-over shelters to tackle to rods and reels. In this section, I will discuss some of the gear that I use and how it makes a trip out on the ice safer, warmer, or more productive and efficient. All of the gear has been tested rigorously by myself and many others.
Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit
A must-have in any ice fishing arsenal. Clam's popular Lift Suit has been redesigned as the new Ascent Suit to be even better than before. Both the parka and the bibs continue to be waterproof and windproof, which is essential to keep the water and wind at bay while on the ice. The buoyancy properties of the suit have been redesigned and more added to make the suit the ultimate safety device on the ice, especially on early and late ice. The suit will help you stay afloat and features quick draining mesh to aid in getting out of the water should you ever fall through. The suit has been called a "wearable ice shack" by many an ice fishermen. The bibs have padded knees to make kneeling on the ice more comfortable and there is also padding in the posterior. There are multiple pockets to store gear in as well as fleece lined pockets in the parka to keep hands warm. Check out clamoutdoors.com to see the Ice Armor line-up.
OTHER TOP NOTCH PRODUCTS
Clam Tungsten Drop Series
One of Clam Pro Tackle's best additions to the ice fishing industry is its line-up of tungsten drop jigs. Tungsten, which is 30% heavier than lead and sinks at a much faster rate, allows the user to have better control over the presentation of the jig to the fish. There are several versions of the Drop series available--the Drop and Drop XL, Dingle Drop, Ant Drop, Half Ant Drop, Maggot Drop, Epoxy Drop, Drop Kick and new Swirl Drop Kick (pictured), Caviar, Snow Drop XL, and Swirl Drop jigs. These jigs are available in six different fish catching patterns and in a variety of weights. Personally, the Drop Kick is my favorite of this line. Check out the complete Drop series line-up at clamoutdoors.com.
Fishing in the extreme cold temps requires gear that can both take a beating and still keep bringing fish up through an ice hole. The ICX-5 reel from Piscifun is the perfect reel to combat the icy conditions on the hardwater while still keeping silky smooth on the retrieve. This lightweight compact reel comes equipped with a high quality 5+1 ball bearing system that includes infinite anti-reverse. Its front drag system is easy to adjust on the fly and the oversize spool helps prevent excessive line coiling. Its one-touch folding handle is great for storage in today's ice rod bags. Check out piscifun.com to see this and other Piscifun ice reels!
Clam Legend XT Thermal Fish Trap Shelter
The Legend XT Thermal is the all the angler on ice could ever want or need in a one man shelter. Sporting more room than any one-man Fish Trap, the Legend gives any size angler room to move around and carry a wide range of accessories thanks to Clam's Rapid Pole Slide Extreme pole system. It is covered with a full thermal skin, which retains heat and keeps the inside of the shelter nearly 20 degrees warmer than outside, as well as reducing condensation inside. It features Clam's deluxe seat system for all day comfort and the seat moves backwards and forwards, as well as side-to-side. The new XT pole system also increases the amount of room in front of the angler, allowing for big hooksets. It is truly one of the best one man shelters on the market. Visit clamoutdoors.com to see Clam's complete line of shelters and hubs.
In the world of ice fishing flashers, it is really tough to beat the quality of a Vexilar unit. The different models allow ice anglers to pick the one that suits their needs best. For me, it is the FLX-28, Vexilar's top of the line unit. It combines the best features of it's FL-18 series with a brushless data transfer system for superior performance, auto ranging, digital depth display, 5-color palette, two bottom zoom zones, and a unique Weed Mode feature that eliminates the clutter of fishing in shallow, weedy areas. Target separation when fishing for bottom hugging fish is unmatched in the industry. Available in a Genz box, Pro Pack II or Ultra package, this unit will help you to bring more fish up through your hole this season. Be sure to visit vexilar.com for more information on the FLX-28 and all the other units in the Vexilar line-up.
Amped Outdoors 7.5-Amp Lithium Battery
With the advancement of lithium batteries over the last few years into the outdoor market, it is now possible to shave of more than half the weight off of our ice electronics and more than double their run times now. The 7.5-amp battery from Amped Outdoors only weighs around 1.5 pounds, but will run for up to 36 hours in a Vexilar FLX-28, more than 4 times what the standard SLA battery will run on the unit, plus the SLA battery weighs nearly 5 pounds. For running and gunning ice fishing techniques, the advantages of switching to a lithium battery are immeasurable just in terms of weight saving and all day run time. Amped Outdoors also offers a 15-amp battery for even more runtime on standard flashers or bigger amp batteries for those who run with LCD sonars, like the Garmin Livescope. Be sure to check out their full lineup of lithium batteries at ampedoutdoors.com.