Best Ice Fishing Equipment – 2020 Buyer’s Guide

Jeff
| Last Updated February 9, 2021

Have you ever had the urge to leave your warm, cozy home in the dead of winter to hang out on a frozen lake for hours at a time? If your answer is yes, you might want to give ice fishing a go.

Though it may not sound appealing on the surface, it is a beloved sport that tons of anglers consistently brave the cold for. Because it takes place in extreme conditions, having the best equipment is important, not only for reeling in catches but also for your safety. There are many things to consider when compiling gear for an ice fishing trip, including rods, shelter, and much more.

In this article, we're going discuss some of the essential equipment you must consider before getting out on the ice. 

Our Top Picks for Best Ice Fishing Equipment

  • Best hand auger
  • Pommel handle
  • Easy to assemble
View Latest Price →
  • Rod and reel combo
  • Hard, durable, flexible
  • Instant anti-reverse
View Latest Price →
  • Best with fiber optic tech
  • Large screen
  • Eliminates interference
View Latest Price →

Comparison of the Best Ice Fishing Equipment

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Best hand auger for creating holes in thick ice
  • Pommel handle design for convenience and replaceable dual steel blades
  • Easy to assemble and disassemble with cross-bolt fastener system
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Rod and reel combo kit for fresh and saltwater fishing
  • Hard, durable, and flexible fishing pole with hooded reel seat
  • Portable fishing rod and instant anti-reverse gears for strength
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  • Best ice fishing flasher with fiber optic technology
  • Large screen with four depth scales and zooming features
  • Eliminates interference from nearby flashers and lets you view fishing history
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  • Two-person capacity with reinforced joints and detachable windows
  • 6 self-tapping ice anchors, strong door zipper, and extra mesh pockets
  • Folds down into a compact and convenient cinch bag for transport
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  • Lightweight and durable bib with proper insulation for extremes
  • Reinforced pressure points and boot zippers for easy donning
  • Boot gaiters with grippers and adjustable suspenders for a perfect fit
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  • Made up of suede leather (deerskin) and an insulated lining of cotton
  • Available in four different sizes and a 100% satisfaction warranty
  • Best ice fishing gloves
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  • High density fiberglass and carbon fiber
  • Suitable for sea and boat fishing
  • Easy storage and transport thanks to collapsible construction
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  • Perfect for ice fishing and transporting firewood, deer, traps
  • Rugged and sturdy polyethylene construction
  • Hull is specially contoured for easy pulling
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  • Lifelike artificial bait has bright colors to attract fish
  • Both tail and head have hooks to keep fish attached
  • Solid body made of lead for durability and longevity
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews

What is Ice Fishing?

If you believe that winters are dull and boring with no fun activities to enjoy, then you are quite mistaken. Ice fishing is one of the most thrilling outdoor activities that people love to do during winters.

Ice fishing is a fishing technique in which you drill holes on the frozen surfaces of the water bodies and set the bait in these holes to catch the fish. The thrill of fishing on the barren, biting ice and the challenge of catching the fish using tricky angling methods is what makes this sport so much more popular among people.

Why Did This Equipment Make Our List?

Fishing is always fun, but choosing the gear can be a challenge. When you purchase a reel and fish rod combo, you may easily get to your fun part, which involves all of the guesswork of matching the reel to the rod. Look after the following points when you are planning to buy fishing equipment:

Durability

Fishing poles have high flexibility, particularly slender poles. These should be made of durable materials, particularly of graphite and fiberglass.

High Quality

The snaps of the snap swivels might break easily if you get hold of big fishes. So, they need to be of very good quality. High-quality fishing equipment will last longer and make your fishing trips much easier and more comfortable.

Price

When you plan to buy fishing equipment, make sure you decide on a budget to make choosing easier. Once you have set a limit for yourself, it becomes easier to make your pick. At the same time, the model you choose should provide lots of value for your purchase.

Defining Essential Ice Gear

Sorting through your fishing gear before an ice fishing trip can be a daunting task. Here are a few essentials that should always be included.

Auger 

An auger is a device used to drill a hole in the ice. No matter whether it is gas-powered or manually operated, a great auger should have super sharp blades that can cut through layers of ice easily.

Rod

A good ice fishing rod should be very sensitive, yet strong. They should be able to detect timid bites from small catches while still being able to pull in large, heavy, trophy fish.

Reel

Ice fishing reels should be easy to use and tangle-resistant when it comes to the fishing line. Aluminum is the most desirable material for an ice fishing reel to be made from because it is strong and durable.

Ice Fishing Flasher 

An ice fishing flasher is an added bonus to many angler’s gear. It allows an inside look at what’s happening below the surface of the ice. This makes it much easier to know where fish are located and therefore where to place a line.

Drilling a hole using an auger (Source)

Quick Take | Best Ice Fishing Equipment

Just looking for the three best pieces of ice fishing equipment? Here they are:

  1. Eskimo HD06 Hand Auger with 6-Inch Dual Flat Blades 
  2. Shakespeare Ugly Stik
  3. Humminbird ICE-35 Three Color Flasher

Review of the Best Ice Fishing Equipment

Because there are so many pieces of gear that go into a day of ice fishing, we’ve put together a list of the essentials. These are our top choices from an array of tools that are essential to have with you while fishing on the ice.

Eskimo 6 Inch Hand Auger (HD06)

PROS

  • Stainless blades are sharp and strong
  • Lightweight and drills through the ice quickly
  • Blade protection increases the life of blades
  • Handle and pommel knob allow drilling easily by providing a strong grip
  • Cross-bolt takedown system helps in preventing over-tightening during drilling
  • Easy to use, doesn’t take a ton of effort

CONS

  • Warranty for 1-year only
  • Not good for power drilling
  • Some have reported that blades may break after using them a few times
  • Tougher to operate with very thick ice
  • Not a large range of sizes to choose from

What Recent Buyers Report 

According to recent buyers, this auger is very easy to use. It can drill holes within a few minutes and is a great tool for fishing. Some of them were not happy with this product because it broke after a few uses. However, other people have written that it can drill up to 23 inches of ice and was a long-lasting product. For the most part, it seems to be a durable and safe investment.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This hand auger is great to use because of its outstanding features. This fishing tool is low in weight and not at all difficult to use. It has stainless steel blades, which makes it very sharp. You can drill easily due to the handle and pommel knob. The positive reviews are more than enough to gain our attention.

The Eskimo Hand Auger is a no-frills, easy to use tool that comes in three different sizes: 6, 7, and 8 inches. It features a handle and pommel knob for swift and painless drilling. It also has a cross-bolt takedown system which Eskimo says, “prevents over-tightening when you drill.”

This bolt also allows the handle to come off the auger, making the frame easier to transport and store. The dual-flat blades are created with stainless steel, which is super sharp and durable. It comes with a blade protector to prevent dings and dents when the tool is not in use.

Who Will Use This Most 

Fishermen can simply use this hand auger to drill in tough, thick, hard ice. You can create clean and neat fishing holes within a few minutes. Since it is portable and easy to use, you can use it while you are out fishing in polar areas, particularly Antarctica, Alaska, and Greenland.

Bottom Line

To put it briefly, this hand auger is certainly worth buying. In fact, it might just be the best of its kind available on the market. The sharp blades and cross-bolt takedown mechanism are worth praising. You can drill through thick ice by applying a little effort.

Eskimo Hand Augers are simple but effective. They win points for their high-quality cutting blades, which make drilling a breeze, and also for their portability. If you’re planning on hiking or trekking to a mountain lake, this auger is a great option because it is lightweight and not super bulky. Because it can have a harder time with very thick ice, this is a good auger to use earlier or later in the ice fishing season.

Best for the Money:
Shakespeare Ugly Stik

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo, 26” Light Action Rod, USGXICE26LCBO

PROS

  • Provides durability and a stronger grip
  • 26 inches long, which is more than enough for anyone
  • Lightweight and can be carried easily due to the aluminum spool
  • Spinning wheel contains a size twenty reel that is best for ice applications
  • Comes with attractive and updated components, making it more presentable
  • Flexible and sensitive
  • Great value

CONS

  • Does not have a cork handle
  • Rod makes some noises while fishing
  • Packaging of this rod is not good at all
  • Doesn’t come with line
  • Reel is of poorer quality than rod

What Recent Buyers Report 

This spinning reel deserves a lot of appreciation. Customers are very happy using this inexpensive and excellent unit. They have mentioned that this is a sensitive piece of fishing equipment but is strong enough for catching large fish. It is the best ice fishing combo at an affordable price currently on the market.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This fishing equipment stands out to us due to its outstanding performance. It is available at different weights. It is worth buying because it is simple to use and is not a burden on the pocket. It has a clear tip structure that makes it more durable and strong.

This ice fishing rod is a combination rod that comes in a couple different sizes, ranging from light to medium-heavy action. It features an Ugly Stik GX2 spinning rod with a comfortable foam handle and twist-lock reel seat.

The rod is created with a composite blend of graphite and fiberglass. The fiberglass adds to the durability of the rod, while the graphite ensures sensitivity to bites and smaller catches. The spinning reel is a size 20 and comes with one ball bearing. It also features a ported aluminum spool, intended for added durability at a lighter weight.

Who Will Use This Most 

Anyone who loves to go for picnics and spend quality time with their family by doing different activities would benefit from this fishing equipment. They will enjoy fishing and even making fresh fish. Fisheries can also use this spinning wheel to catch the maximum amount of fish per day.

Bottom Line

This Ugly Stik is a pocket-friendly rod, which is available in different casting and spinning models. The durability of these rods makes it one of the most dependable products in the fishing industry. Numerous users have praised the Shakespeare Ugly Stik as a great basic combination rod. It’s strong and flexible enough to pull in big fish, without losing the sensitivity of more lightweight rod. Ugly Stiks are known for their quality, and this rod is no exception.

The only area that this product loses points is in the reel. Although it works just fine, users say the material feels less durable than the rod and it doesn’t come with line.

Best Ice Fishing Flashers:
Humminbird ICE-35 Three Color Flasher

Humminbird ICE-35 Three Color Flasher

PROS

  • 20’, 40’, 80’, and 200’ depth scales
  • Flasher is reasonable and has great features
  • Comes with a battery, charger, and backlit keypad
  • Fiber optics technology gives the best result in sunlight as well
  • For deep and superior performance, it has a dual-beam transducer
  • Great display screen
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Long-lasting battery life for all-day use

CONS

  • Sensitivity is not good
  • Has a hard time identifying small jigs
  • Transducer system has a lot of cords to deal with

What Recent Buyers Report 

Recent buyers are very happy with this product. According to them, it helps you in knowing the size and place of fish. It is a great flasher, and the digital readouts make it easy to use under various conditions. All the users have given it positive responses and reviews, making it clear that this is a great investment.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Ice fishing flasher technology is the latest tool that has 4 depth scales and 800 watts battery (peak to peak power). The three-color fiber optics are quite impressive. It works like a pro in sunlight, as well. All of these features make for equipment that can ensure a great fishing experience.

With several qualities that assist anglers in locating fish, the Humminbird ice fishing flasher is well-known and loved. With the help of dual-beam sonar, users can choose from a wide range, which provides a bigger picture of the underwater surroundings, or a narrow range, which has the ability to show great detail of a smaller area.

The device features a depth capability of up to 200 feet. The user can also adjust the depth ranges from 1x-10x. Zooming capabilities allow for a magnification of specific depth ranges, which you can alter depending on where the fish are located that day. The bed of the body of water, fish, and your lure are depicted on the tri-color fiber optic display. It also indicates depth scales.

Who Will Use This Most 

This is an excellent piece of fishing equipment that helps you to see beneath the thick ice. You can even use it to locate your jig, the way it is moving, and how it is lifting. Fisherman can also use this at night to catch fish. It is a great fishing tool with loads of features and versatility in use.

Bottom Line

In a nutshell, this is the best fishing flasher available on the market. It is a must-have fishing accessory. You will never regret buying this product. This flasher will help you with fishing during the night, and you can easily see through the ice using this tool. Its features are also very impressive, making it a great purchase.

The Humminbird ice fishing flasher does its job well. It covers all the necessary bases with its dual sonar technology, and several additional features add to the quality of the device. This is also a great tool to travel with as it’s not overly large or bulky, which makes it easy to transport from different locations. In addition, its battery life is tough to beat.

The transducer system does come with a lot of cords to deal with, so ensure that this won’t be a major annoyance for you before purchasing.

Eskimo Quickfish 69151 2 Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter, 2 Person , Red

PROS

  • Portable and can be carried everywhere
  • Single zipper door for safety and able to shelter two people
  • Made up of tight fabric, which helps in holding the heat for a longer time
  • You can adjust the ventilation by using the hooks and loop windows
  • Ice anchors provide an easier grip and prevent it from bending under high pressure
  • Made with durable material
  • Easy to set up and take down

CONS

  • Water can come inside at times during rain
  • Tie-downs are not as stable as they should be
  • Not insulated
  • Windows don’t seal well
  • Too short for people over 6'3"

What Recent Buyers Report 

According to customers, this shelter is very easy to install and holds heat for a longer period of time than its competitors. Buyer reports mention that the fabric is durable, has a high-quality zip, and is light in weight. It is a great ice shelter and remains warm even without a heater. It also has enough space for two people.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This shelter is great to use and easy to carry. It will keep you warm and safe. You can enjoy your vacation to its fullest by using this tent. The shelter is amazing and you can adjust the settings according to your needs.

This pop-up shelter has the capacity to hold two people. Eskimo claims that the pop-up design only takes 60 seconds to set up and is quick to take down as well. The skin is made with a high thread count and tighter weave, which makes it more capable of combating wind and ice.

The structure is made with fiberglass poles for durability, a metal ball, and sockets. It’s anchored to the ground with self-tapping ice anchors, so you don’t have to freeze your hands in the process of setting up the shelter. The shelter folds down into an oversized duffel bag, which can be carried as a backpack or as a bag.

Who Will Use This Most 

This shelter is useful for people going on camping trips, picnics, and fishing trips. You can also take this with you if you are going to cold places to maintain a warm environment. You can even go out for a friend's outing and do various activities.

Bottom Line

To sum up, this pop-up shelter is a must-have if you are planning to go fishing in a frigid climate. It will help you in keeping yourself warm and safe in cold places. You can use it in different places as well, which makes this a versatile investment.

The Eskimo pop-up shelter is a great option for any angler hoping to stay warm on a chilly day on the ice. There’s nothing like having a structure that is easy to set up and take down when you’re exposed to the elements. An added bonus is that the whole structure can fit in a duffel bag.

Because this isn’t the tallest structure, if you’re over 6'3", a different option built with more headroom will work better for you.

Arctix Men's Essential Insulated Bib Overalls, Black, X-Large (40-42W 32L)

PROS

  • You can adjust your fitness by using adjustable suspenders
  • Boot zippers help in easily pulling on and off the bib overall
  • Denier Ballistic maintains the dress from wear and tear
  • Made up of 100% polyester that makes it more comfortable and flexible
  • Thermatech insulation provides warmth at a temperature ranging from -20⁰ to +35⁰
  • Waterproof
  • High-quality material
  • Insulation keeps in warmth

CONS

  • Zipper is not of good quality
  • Some buyers claim that straps rip off after being worn
  • Sizing runs small
  • Not very stylish
  • Stitching can be loose in places

What Recent Buyers Report 

Customer reports agree that this product is worth praising. It is available in different sizes for both men and women. It also provides the maximum comfort and ease to the user. Buyers have also mentioned that it is a high-quality set of bibs available at a surprisingly low price.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This bib stands out to us because it relaxes the user. The fabric is very soft and comfy. It has zippered hand pockets to keep the hands warm and relaxed. Plus, advanced technology traps heat to maintain body temperature in cold places. Meanwhile, the inner materials are breathable and remove moisture to keep the body dry.

These snow overalls are made with 100% polyester and are made to keep moisture out on cold days. They come in several different styles and sizes. Each pair features “ThermaTech insulation”, a lightweight material advertised to keep you warm in temperatures ranging from 35°F to -25°F temperatures.

They’re made to fit over bulky boots and feature boot zippers as well as boot gaiters with grippers to prevent moisture from leaking into your shoes. The overall straps are adjustable and the body features elastic in the sides to allow for a good range of motion.

Who Will Use This Most 

Ice skaters and ice fishermen can use this bib to keep themselves warm in cold places and maintain their body temperature. You can also gift it to anyone who loves to catch fish and go for amazing icy adventures. They can take this to chilly areas if they want to stay warm and dry for many days.

Bottom Line

In a nutshell, this ice fishing bib is an essential requirement if you are going to cold areas for fishing, as it will protect you from falling ill and will also help you to maintain your body temperature and dryness. It has pockets for keeping your hands warm as well. Thus, this product is highly recommended.

Because you’ll be sitting for long periods of time in the cold, having good outerwear is important. Although they may not be the most stylish choice, these Arctix overalls should do the trick. Their most admirable quality is their insulation, which will keep your body warm despite sub-freezing temperatures.

Many users say that these overalls tend to run a little small, so consider purchasing a larger size or take an in-depth look at the sizing chart before making your decision.

OZERO Insulated Work Gloves for Men Waterproof and Touch Screen Fingers Warm Cotton in Cold Weather Winter Black XL

PROS

  • Company offers a 100% guarantee
  • Elastic cuffs around your wrist prevent the cold wind
  • Deerskin and thermal fleece make these waterproof, warm, and soft
  • Cotton lining provides you maximum comfort and warmth
  • Gloves have four different sizes; thus, you can buy them according to your fitness and ease

CONS

  • While they’re advertised as waterproof, these gloves are only water-resistant

What Recent Buyers Report 

Recent buyer reports suggest that these gloves are durable and very comfortable. The sizing is accurate and is made up of very nice materials. It is perfect for running errands and mountain climbing. Customers are very happy and glad after using these comfy gloves. They are also satisfied with their quality and features.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

These ice fishing gloves are available for both men and women. They are very soft and relaxing. It prevents your hands from getting hurt and keeps them warm. The 100% warranty given by the company is quite impressive. Plus, you can purchase them according to your size and comfort.

Who Will Use This Most 

Hikers can use this to avoid any scratches that can hurt your hands. Ice fishermen and skaters can also use these to keep their hands warm and soft. In addition, people can use them while they are out for picnics and foresting. Overall, it is great fishing equipment for cold places.

Bottom Line

To conclude, these superior gloves will protect your hands from getting frozen or hurt. They also provide you with maximum comfort and ease. They are unisex, available in different sizes, and great for mountain climbing, hiking, and ice fishing, making them a very versatile investment.

PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combos Carbon Fiber Telescopic Fishing Rod with Reel Combo Sea Saltwater Freshwater Kit Fishing Rod Kit

PROS

  • Smooth reel
  • Great for traveling
  • Easy to set up

CONS

  • Rod is not very durable
  • Low-quality carrying case

This fishing combination kit comes with everything you’ll need for your first ice fishing trip. It features a range of items from a reel and rod to a set of fishing lures and line.

The telescoping rod comes in several different lengths and actions. It’s created with graphite for sensitivity and has an EVA foam handle. The guides are made with aluminum oxide. The reel has an S-curve oscillation, which makes line winding easier.

The set features a plastic tackle box with several lures to choose from and a roll of line. All of these items come in a compact carrying case.

Bottom Line

This kit is a great all-in-one option for first-time ice fishers. This is an especially good pick for ice fishing because of the portability of the rod and reel. It is lightweight and retractable, so it condenses down to a small size before and after use. If you’re planning on trekking into mountain lakes, this is a great option for you.

Though it does come with a carrying case, the case is not of great quality, so consider ditching the one it comes with and acquiring a sturdier one.

Best Ice Fishing Sled:
Shappell Jet Sled

Shappell Jet Ice Fishing Sled

PROS

  • Provides a lot of space for carrying additional gear
  • Made from rugged polyethylene that provides durability
  • Comes with molded runners that give it strength and stability
  • Contoured shape makes it easier to drag the sled, even by hands
  • Sturdy enough to transport heavy materials and provides great flexibility

CONS

  • A little heavy
  • Does not include a tow-rope

What Recent Buyers Report

Customers who have bought this jet sled seem to love the purchase. They are quite satisfied with the durability and functionality that it provides. Although some did not like the fact that the sled does not come with a tow-rope, the improved mobility makes up for that.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Shappell Jet Sled is one of the best-selling units used for ice fishing purposes. Not only is it sturdy enough to carry heavy fishing gear or other equipment, but its amazing design allows for increased mobility on the ice.

We think that the rugged polyethylene material is the most amazing feature of this sled, making it much more durable and sturdier than all the other options available in the market. Not only that, but the molded runners allow users to easily pull the sled. So all in all, we believe that this product is a great investment.

Bottom Line

A sled should be strong, functional, and easy to drag on the ice and gravel, alike. The Shappell Jet Sled provides all these things at a pretty good price. The sturdy construction material increases the lifespan of the product, making it a worthwhile purchase.

Best Ice Fishing Lures:
Sougayilang Ice Fishing Lures

Sougayilang Ice Fishing Lures with 3 Sharp Hooks Winter Lifelike Fishing Baits Ice Jigging Lures Kit for Bass Walleye

PROS

  • Come at an affordable price
  • Vertical lures that are best for ice fishing
  • Made up of lead that provides weight and sturdiness
  • Realistic design with bright colors and patterns to attract fish
  • Hooks present on the head and tail do not let the fish escape

CONS

  • Prone to snagging
  • Design lacks in finishing

What Recent Buyers Report

These fishing lures are very popular among people who want to buy high-quality jigs at cost-effective prices. Buyers love the design and colors that exactly replicate a jigging rap. Some reported broken fins, but many are content with the premium quality and sharp, solid profile of the lures.

Why it Stands Out to Us

In our opinion, the best thing about these fishing lures is that they provide the same high quality and functionality as the expensive Rapala Jigging Raps but at a much affordable price. 

The solid body and intelligent design with attractive colors make these lures an amazing bait that helps you catch a good number of fish. These vertical jigs are suitable for ice fishing, and the lead material makes them heavy enough to reach deep waters.

Moreover, these jigs come with triple hooks that are quite sharp, which means that there is a little chance of missing the target.

Bottom Line

The Sougayilang Ice Fishing Lures are a great choice, especially at such an amazing price. These high-quality jigs are perfect for overhead ice fishing and catch a good deal of fish using their efficient, life-like design and attractive, eye-catching appeal.

13 FISHING Black Betty Freefall Right Hand Hardwater Inline Ice Fishing Reel

PROS

  • Drop speed adjustment technique
  • You can control the bait depth by using one hand
  • Freefall trigger system makes the tool highly responsive
  • Low in weight and has a graphite frame, which helps in reducing fatigue
  • Sliding drag system and anti-reverse features allow you to control the auger more strongly

CONS

  • Not good for saltwater
  • No O-rings for attaching it to the rod
  • Magnetic drop speed causes problems sometimes

What Recent Buyers Report 

Purchasers have claimed that this fishing equipment deserves to be purchased because it is the best reel for ice. The drop speed adjustment feature is an admirable feature. It is light but very strong. Customers also like the left and right hand retrieving facility a lot.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This is one of the very best ice fishing reels because it has four ball bearings made of stainless steel to avoid rusting and friction. The auger is very easy to use and highly responsive because of the freefall trigger mechanism. The sliding drag system and graphite frame are also very impressive.

Who Will Use This Most 

You can gift it to people who are fond of fishing. It can also be used by those who earn their bread and butter through fishing. This reel is great for catching fish in ice-covered places. People can also use it in deep water, making it a versatile product.

Bottom Line

To conclude, this fishing reel will never disappoint you. It has been quite successful in gaining customers' satisfaction and positive responses. Its features are quite impressive. You can easily target fish and catch them. So if you are looking for a reel that is affordable and has several superb qualities, then this is the best option for you.

Mr. Heater F232000 Portable Buddy Heater with Portable Buddy Carry Bag Bundle (2 Items)

PROS

  • Very easy to use and does not produce fumes
  • Fold-down handles of this heater reduce the space for storage
  • Swivel regulator helps in installing the hose and LP cylinder
  • Oxygen depletion sensor and a safety shut-off knob for indoor heating
  • Built-in igniter (Piezo) and four-position control knobs support in setting the heat
  • Extensive safety features
  • 100% fuel efficient 
  • Great range of BTU offers heat for a variety of spaces

CONS

  • Difficult to light the pilot
  • Propane tank lasts for 6 hours
  • With time, its efficiency reduces and problems start occurring
  • Not very lightweight
  • Pilot light issues on windy days
  • Doesn’t operate properly at altitudes over 7,000 feet above sea level

What Recent Buyers Report 

Purchasers have asserted that this is the most outstanding ice fishing heater that one can have. It has all the features at an affordable price, plus it keeps you nice and toasty. They claim that it’s the best they’ve gotten their hands on based on performance and design. It is easy to handle and use.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This amazing heater stands out to us because of its quality and performance. The folding handles and built-in igniter are quite impressive. It consumes less space and does not produce harmful fumes. This budget-friendly fishing equipment allows you to set the heat setting according to your requirements easily.

A trusted brand for many ice fishers, Mr. Heater’s portable buddy has earned its spot on our list for several reasons. The device’s BTU ranges from 4,000-9,000 and has the ability to heat spaces up to 225 feet. It is clean burning and nearly 100% fuel-efficient.

The frame is fairly portable and features a fold-down handle for additional space in a small shelter. It also features extensive safety features, including a high-temperature wire guard and shut-off mechanisms when the machine tips over or when it detects low oxygen in an enclosed space.

Who Will Use This Most 

This heater is portable and easy to use, so people who are going for a picnic and camping during winter can take this with them. It will keep them warm. Ice fishermen can also use this while they are staying and fishing in cold places. People who want to keep their garage warm can also use it since it is portable.

Bottom Line

This heater is an excellent outdoor and indoor propane space heater. It is not at all difficult to use or carry. You can use it for various purposes and activities. Plus, it gives maximum warmth and comfort in chilly places. You just need to clean it and take care of it.

The portable buddy heater is well-loved for a reason. It’s got a great range of safety features to give you a little peace of mind when you’re in an enclosed space on the lake. It’s also able to heat a variety of spaces, so whether your shelter is tiny or on the larger size, this guy will do the trick.

Because it has some issues operating correctly on windy days/at high altitudes, keep the conditions of your fishing spots in mind before purchasing.

Aspects of Must-Have Ice Fishing Shelter Equipment 

Having great shelter-related equipment is vital for ice fishing. This means there are several must-have features your fishing shelter should have.

Ice Fishing Heaters 

These devices should be an essential part of your gear because they are perfect for heating small ice fishing shelters. There’s nothing worse than being cold for extended periods of time, and portable heaters are a great way to combat that.

Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy in use

Pop up Shelters

Because you risk exposure to dangerously low temperatures while ice fishing, having some sort of shelter to shield you from the elements is important. Pop up shelters are a great option because they tend to be very portable and easy to set up.

Bibs 

Outerwear is another aspect to think about. A bib/overall set is a good option for an ice fisher as it covers a large amount of the body with one clothing item. Search for a bib that is insulated to keep you as warm as possible.

What Makes Equipment Great for Ice Fishing?

Having the right equipment is what makes ice fishing safe and fun. Without an effective set of tools and the proper gear, you are more likely to fail during your endeavor and probably get hypothermia in the process. Great equipment can help you combat these problems. The few factors that make equipment great for ice fishing are,

You Can Catch Plenty of Fish With the Right Gear

The right rods and jigs are efficient and effective for catching the fish that you want. Ice fishing gear is designed to work well in extreme cold without getting frozen or jammed up. The lines are durable and short. Similarly, the perfect ice fishing rigs are the right color and have a slower vibration, which helps you catch the most fish during ice fishing.

They Are Easy to Carry From One Place to Another

The right equipment is light enough to carry on the ice. The heaters and other electronics that are not very heavy are ideal for use during ice fishing. Also, a great sled helps you smoothly carry all your gear on the ice. 

They Protect You From Freezing to Death

Staying safe on the ice is important. The right clothing gear will protect you from the biting cold. Similarly, the right camping shack is warm enough to let you fish without any fear of dying from hypothermia. The ideal heaters come with CO detectors and autopilot features to help prevent unfortunate accidents.

How to Choose Ice Fishing Equipment

We understand that choosing the right equipment for ice fishing can be overwhelming and confusing, especially when you have so many different options available in the market. You need to make sure that they are effective and suitable to catch the kind of fish that you want. Here are a few tips on how to choose the right ice fishing equipment.

Ice Fishing Rods and Lures

Ice fishing rods are different from the traditional ones, mainly due to the efficient design that makes them durable enough to withstand the cold without breaking or getting jammed up. The lines should be shorter and thicker, not more than eight inches long. Choose a braided lure or jigs with slower vibrations as these are more effective for ice fishing.

Clothing Gear

Invest in some good footwear with additional liners to keep the cold off your feet. Also, buy some nylons or silk underwear that are breathable and moisture-absorbent to prevent you from sweating. The outer layers should be woolen or fleece to provide maximum insulation.

Ice Augers

Use a small, diesel-powered auger for simple drilling. These augers are pretty handy and portable enough to carry from place to place.

Ice Fishing Safety

Your safety must be your top priority. No matter how exhilarating the ice fishing activity is, it is not worth losing your life over. This is why you must always ensure your safety first while going ice fishing. Here we have listed some important tips that can help you make sure that you are safe on the ice. 

Stay Updated on the Weather Conditions

The first thing you need to do is check the weather forecast before leaving your house for ice fishing. You do not want to get lost in a blizzard or a white-out during your journey.

Make Sure That the Ice is Thick Enough

Since you will be walking on the ice for most of your day, make sure that your ice is new and almost four inches thick so that you do not accidentally crack it and fall into the water.

Inform About Your Whereabouts

We suggest that you take a partner or a friend with you for ice fishing. However, if you are going alone, it is better that you inform your exact location to someone in case something bad happens while fishing.

Ice Fishing Tips

Ice fishing can be tricky and challenging, especially if you have no prior experience in the field. We gathered a few tips that might not only come in handy during this activity but also help you have a successful day on the ice. Have a look:

Jig Slowly and Gently

Jigging is a great technique for catching game fish and has a great success rate as well. However, you must not jig very fast and aggressively if you want to catch some fish in winters. Fish are less active in cold waters, and increased vibration can either spook them or dispel them as they are more likely to save their energy during winters.

Change Location

Fishing at a single spot is not very effective and requires a great deal of patience. It is suggested that you drill holes in multiple locations and move along different water levels.

Use Finders to Detect the Fish

A high-tech sonar finder is a handy tool for ice fishing. It lets you detect the fish so that you may drill the holes in the appropriate locations on the ice.

How to Use Ice Fishing Equipment

Each piece of equipment outlined in this article will obviously differ in terms of setup and use.

Using a hand auger is pretty simple. Here are some quick tips:

  • Keep your feet shoulder width apart; the handle should be near your chest so you should have to hunch or bend.

  • Apply constant pressure with one hand at the top of the device while the other hand cranks the screw.

Setup of an ice fishing flasher will depend on the device you’ve bought. For most flashers, it will go something like this:

  • Submerge the transducer

  • Set range and adjust gain

  • Zoom into the water column where you’re likely to find fish

Your ice fishing rod and reel should be the same setup as your normal rod; read the instruction manual for guidance if needed.

The video below covers some of the items we’ve talked about in this article, as well as some other tools you might consider purchasing before an ice fishing excursion.

How to Clean and Care for Ice Fishing Equipment

Cleaning and caring for your fishing rod and reel is pretty self-explanatory. After a day on the ice, wipe them down with a clean rag to remove grit and grime. Leave in a room-temperature setting to dry.

An ice fishing flasher should be properly stored in a case or equipment bag where it won’t risk being damaged. Don’t store the flasher in a garage or back of a vehicle where it would be exposed to fluctuating or sub-freezing temperatures.

To Care For a Hand Auger

  1. After use, gently wipe down the auger with a hand towel or rag to remove any dirt residue.

  2. Inspect blades to see if any cracking or dulling has occurred. If so, they may need to be sharpened before the next use.

  3. Reattach blade cover to prevent any dings or dents.

  4. Take the tool apart and tip upside down to dry.

The video below demonstrates the aforementioned steps in cleaning and caring for a hand auger.

Conclusion

Now that you know some of the essential gear for ice fishing, as well as some of our favorite picks for said gear, you’re ready for the ice. Though the freezing temperatures and extreme weather inherent in ice fishing may seem like they are not for the faint of heart, having the right tools can make the experience enjoyable for anyone. 

People Also Ask

We do not want you to freeze to death on the ice during such a fun sport, nor do we want you to have a discouraging first experience. This is why here we answer some of the most frequently asked questions by people starting their ice fishing journey.

What Do I Need to Start Ice Fishing?

Ice fishing sounds like an expensive sport. At first, you might feel like you need a lot of things to start your ice fishing journey. However, as a beginner, you just need a fishing license, an auger, a sled, an ice scoop, an ice fishing rod, and some jigs.

What to Wear Ice Fishing?

It is important to wear the right gear during ice fishing. The key is to use a lot of layering. The inner clothing layer should be breathable, while the top layers should be thicker. Use appropriate gloves, socks, footwear, bibs, headwear, long underwear, and overalls to combat the freezing temperatures.

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Jeff

My name is Jeff and I have been hunting and fishing for over 40 years. I am an avid archery lover, bass fisherman, and all-around outdoorsman. Currently, I'm obsessed with elk hunting but I'm sure I'll move onto a different favorite soon. You gotta love hunting for that reason :) If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at admin@biggamelogic.com. Read more about Big Game Logic.