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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning/afternoon,

Looking to get into ice fishing. I've talked to my father in law who does it a lot and watched plenty videos with useful info (jay Siemens, Clayton schik, etc.) and wondering what your opinion would be. Def thinking a cheap flasher, probably the Frostbite Dipstick for the rod with PowerPro ice fishing line, assortment of lures and still trying to figure out what I should do for the auger. For now no ice shack. Let me know if you guys have any ideas.

Thanks,
 

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Just my thought, but here goes.

- Try going with people who already go ice fishing. A lot more fun and they can give you a lot of good info.

- You can get a lot of rods that work great that are cheaper than the ones from FB. I just added to my arsenal a few longer St. Croix rods from Cabelas for around $25 each. Princess Auto even had some ones last year that were generally out of production that I paid a lot more for a few years back. They have a built-in titanium bite detector so that you can use them for panfish or larger fish like walleyes. I've landed MA walleyes on them so can't complain.

- Most 500 to 1000 size spinning reels will work for ice fishing. You don't to break the bank on this. LOTW SH had some nice Abu Garcias for 40% right now.

- Lures: don't need a lot but a few glow jigs, spoons and rattle baits should work well. I use live minnows a lot on my dead stick so don't need a large arsenal when hitting the ice.

- Staying warm and dry is a must. It's hard to enjoy fishing when you're cold. I was out a few weeks ago open water fishing and I was freezing because I didn't wear warm enough. Now imagine it's -30 with windchill and you're using your back to block the wind.

- Auger: A lot of options on the used market. Many gas ones are going cheap as people get drill-operated and electric augers. I hated using a hand auger in 2 feet of ice. Felt like I was going to die before I drilled my first hole.

- Shelter, heater, etc.: If you're going with someone experienced then they may already have all these or I'd suggest first going on milder days and taking those hand warmers to help keep you warm.
 

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That's because someone was wearing sandals!!!! Kidding aside warm winter clothing will definitely help a lot to enjoying the Hard Water season. Good place to start out fishing on the Red where you are able to walk out and not having to rely on having the right mode of transportation to get you on the ice like Lake Winnipeg though there area couple of areas in the past ocuple of years that are plowing trails onto the ice to create tourism in their township.
 

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Bit of a story: I moved to Manitoba 4 years ago and had never ice fished before (lots of fishing but never hard water). I was lucky to go out a few times with my father in law's buddies. That first year was fun but boy was I cold in my hiking boots and fleece jacket!!

The next year I went to Tough Duck and bought a pair of baffins, long underwear, parka and bibs. I also went to the Fishing Hole and bought an auger, shack, rods (no electronics however which was a mistake). I fished the Red River that winter and enjoyed every bit of it anywhere from Lockport to the mouth. The next year I started to venture out to Lake Winnipeg to get skunked a few times (still no electronics). After 3 or 4 times out on the big lake I finally wised up and shelled out for flasher - this was a game changer.

Fast forward to today and most of the original equipment is still in use: Big buddy, Otter, Ion X, rods, rattle baits and jigs. Yes, my flasher has been upgraded to Panoptix but that's more to keep the kids interested than my own benefit (that's what I told my wife anyway).

If I had to do it over again and if funds were limited I would keep my nose to the ground for deals on Kijji, Marketplace and Black Friday deals. I would likely buy a 5 gallon bucket with seat, hand auger, 2 short rods and a few jigs and a simple flasher (Garmin 5 cv or Hook 4). There is an old ice fishing saying that everything you need to ice fish SHOULD fit in a 5 gallon bucket.

As the season progresses, pick up a small shack and smaller buddy heater. If an 8'' gas auger came up for the right price I would buy that too (or a pistol bit if I owned a drill already). The most important thing is to keep the auger sharp - not what auger you have.

When you win the lottery, buy Summit Livescope with 12 inch screen, a Polaris ranger on tracks, Ion G2, Ice Castle, custom rods, hand painted lures....well the list goes on.

Good luck!
 

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Lots of good points have been made already. You can write an essay on what to get for ice fishing. Everyone has different opinions and it's easy to get overloaded on information and as a novice it can be hard to make an informed decision. Ultimately the more money you put into it the better your experience will be.

I suggest watching Jay Siemen's guide to ice fishing (which you may or may not have already done). I highly recommend it as he really goes through the differences between entry level and advanced level gear for each topic. He really knows his stuff and is relatively unbiased.

It may be difficult but finding someone who does it already is your best bet to getting into the sport smoothly. Help them set up the gear, drill holes and see if the experience is what you like.

If you are having a tough time deciding what kind of gear you should get, I would suggest making a separate thread to start a discussion (e.g. What's the best ice unit for $300?). It's a bit cleaner and easier to have separate threads on focused topics.

Sent from my VOG-L04 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
WOW, thank you all for the in depth replies can’t even relate how much I appreciate it. Obviously a lot to think about, but I’m pretty excited to give it a try. I’ll learn some stuff from the father in law but ultimately I want to “blaze my own path” out there. I’ll hit up this thread if I make any purchases 😎 thanks guys.
 

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I do quite a bit of fishing myself. I have found a lot of success with electronics in the first unit I purchased a Garmin Striker 4 Plus.. you can pick them up for 300-$350 ish dollars.. I bought mine through GPS City in Calgary. The great thing about having a summer unit like this is the ability to mark waypoints. You make maps in the summer can come back to fish them in the winter and most of all scan for fish. A Typical flasher has a cone angle of 9° which gives you dead accurate information in real time and is fantastic for fishing. However with a summer unit you can read the bottom with a 45° cone angle. Its in my experience where this comes into play we drill a ton of holes and scan for fish with the wide cone then narrow the beam for more precise information when we have determined where we are gonna fish. Aside from that I like slower action rods for a deadstick (I run a M haat rod) and faster action rods for active presentations (I have a frostbite True Grit Medallion Series).. I'm also an advocate for reels over rods a poor drag can allow a fish to jump off and some of my favourite rods Ive bought for $20 (Shakespeare Wild Series, a fantastic deadstick rod) and augers are augers I have a 2 stroke F1 I only run Aspen Fuel through minimal maintenence needed. If you get a hand auger try to get one with an offset handle so you drill with both arms. Line I prefer 10 pound sufix to 6 pound flouro leader for Walleye I find it doesnt hold as much water as power pro.

This is the perfect thread for all of us to geek out on gear, when really the best gear is that which you can afford and things that make your experience more enjoyable like sharp blades, a bigger tent so you can bring friends, a comfortable chair, a nice heater for when you drag a girlfriend or wife out. If your goal is to catch fish everytime its easy to get discouraged have fun, stay safe, and hope you catch some fish!
 

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I think the only pieces of equipment I still have and use from when I started is maybe an ice scoop and a few lures, so be prepared to eventually upgrade or replace everything you're currently looking at buying lol!
Lol, its definitely a expensive hobby..started shore fishing, then ice fishing. got stuck with mid size SUV while ice fishing and bought 1/2ton. after couple years decided to buy used 18ft boat, sold it next year and bought new 18ft lund. was enjoying icefishing, bought new 2up sled then couple years later, sold it and got polaris ranger and dont even ask about ice auger,fishing rod, ice shelter and electronics


Good morning/afternoon,

Looking to get into ice fishing. I've talked to my father in law who does it a lot and watched plenty videos with useful info (jay Siemens, Clayton schik, etc.) and wondering what your opinion would be. Def thinking a cheap flasher, probably the Frostbite Dipstick for the rod with PowerPro ice fishing line, assortment of lures and still trying to figure out what I should do for the auger. For now no ice shack. Let me know if you guys have any ideas.

Thanks,

any electronics will work, my self started to a 2d graph style which helix 5 and still working.i gave it to my co worker who started ice fishing last year...I wouldnt even buy expensive fishing rod and save your money on shelter. auger wise plenty on used market. it will be still a expensive start, but once you have it. you can enjoy it for a while and upgrade if necessary
 

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I have just gotten into ice fishing in the last few years and my #1 and #2 are keeping warm and keeping interested. It can be terrible going out and sitting around all day and never getting a bite, but as soon as you add a flasher/sonar/underwater camera, you know a whole lot more about what is going on under you. You know if you are wasting your time on a spot and should move, etc… I 100% recommend a camera if you are fishing in water clear/shallow enough to see. I got endless hours out of a cheap hundred-something-dollar “eyoyo” camera off amazon before upgrading to an aqua-vu.

Flasher/sonar units are more versatile and probably more useful in 99% of cases, though. I usually use a Humminbird helix 5 (summer and winter) and it is a game changer for sure.

Warmth is probably more important to me, personally. A pop-up shelter (even a cheap one) makes a huge difference on a cold or windy day, and I can’t say enough good things about my Mr. Heater propane heater. As a guy who gets cold very easily, those 2 things have had me out on the ice on days where I normally wouldn’t leave home.

I personally think spending a ton of money on rods/reels/tackle is a waste when you are just starting. You can get tons of cheap stuff at Cabelas/Canadian Tire/wherever that work just fine. Just my 2 cents
 
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