Buying Guide For Often Over Looked Ice Fishing Gear

Buying Guide For Often Over Looked Ice Fishing Gear

The more often we go ice fishing, the more ice fishing gear we are going to accumulate. However, we’ve got to start somewhere—but where? What are some of the top must-have items that you should have for that ice fishing trip?

Keep reading and we’re going to give you a quick rundown of the must-have pieces of ice fishing gear every angler should have. Then, we’re going to review five products that we think are worth your consideration.

*Notice: On mobile phones, scroll right to see entire table.

Must Have Items For Your Ice Fishing Gear

Deciding to go ice fishing isn’t something you do all willy-nilly. It takes some planning! You need to make sure that you are properly equipped with gear that is going to keep you safe, but also give you the ability to have fun and, most importantly, catch some fish!

Here is a list of must have items that every ice fisherman must have for their trip:

Fishing License

It is important that everyone in your fishing party has a fishing license that has been issued by their state’s fish and game department. Every state has their own set of requirements to be issued a license, but in many cases you just have to pay a fee and fill out a fishing application. If you’re caught without a license, you could be subjected to fines and maybe even jail time.

Ice Fishing Rod

An ice fishing rod isn’t like your run of the mill rod. These rods are much smaller, usually between 24 to 36 inches. These rods are small because instead of casting your rod, you’re just fishing in a small hole cut into the iced over body of water.

The ice fishing rods are much more simple than other types of rods and they are designed to be used with reels for ice fishing. Fortunately, these two are often sold together.

Ice Fishing Reel

These reels are made from a composite material and they are divided into three categories: spinning, spin casting, and bait casting. The spinning reels often feature high gear ratios and they work best with a light duty fishing line.

Ice Fishing Reels

Spin casting reels feature a closed design that protects the line from being damaged or becoming bound because of the cold weather. Bait casting reels are the most expensive and they are designed for fast gearing, which allows the fisherman to fish in deeper waters and go after larger fish.


You can’t go ice fishing if you don’t have access to water! An auger is a tool that will cut a hole into the ice. Think of these tools like a large drill bit that is either operated by hand, or they will use either gas or an electric motor.

Most anglers will opt for a manual angler because they are more affordable, environmentally friendly, and they’re more reliable. Do be mindful that with a manual auger, you are going to have to use some elbow grease to make your hole, so they aren’t suited for those who have mobility issues or cannot stand a lot of strain on their arms and shoulders.

For those anglers, you may want to choose a gas or electric powered auger. Keep in mind that the best ice auger is going depend on your physical capabilities.


When you’re ice fishing, you’re going to want some kind of shelter to get a little reprieve from the cold weather and the wind that may accompany it. It’s a good idea choose one of the best ice shelters because they can make a very big difference in your fishing experience.

These popup shelters are available in a variety of sizes and they also offer a wide variety of features. For example, you can find shelters with insulated walls, removable windows, partitions for rooms, and some may even include wiring so you can hook up a gas or diesel generator so you can have electric and cooking capabilities.


Obviously, you aren’t going to go ice fishing dressed in the same clothing that you would wear to do some regular fishing. You’re going to want to wear layers that include thermals, thick socks, and an insulated jumper and jacket. Don’t forget water-resistant boot and gloves.

Clothing For Ice Fishing

The best ice fishing gloves are going to be made from a material that will keep your hands dry, warm, and be textured so you’ll be able to grip things like your fishing rod, spin the reel, and ultimately, hold onto those slippery fish!


Whether you choose a bucket or a chair, you’re going to want something to sit on while you’re waiting for your fish to bite. Some people prefer to use buckets simply because they can be used to help carry ice fishing gear to and from the fishing spot.

Our Top Recommendations​

Now that we’ve looked at 7 important pieces of ice fishing gear, let’s take a look at some items that you may want to consider. In these mini-reviews, we are going to talk about some of the features of the products as well as give you a balanced summary of the product.

StrikeMaster Ice Auger Lazer Hand Auger

If you’re looking for an ice auger that has a simplistic design, sharp blades, and can cut through ice like butter, than you may find the Strike Master Ice Augers Lazer Hand Auger to be quite interesting. The simple design of this tool doesn’t overshadow the fact that it converts RPS into inches-drilled quicker than most other augers on the market.

With this auger, your back won’t hurt afterward, and you won’t have to struggle to catch your breath. You’ll find that the powder coated drill doesn’t collect the ice while you drill, making the chore go that much quicker.


  • Chrome-alloy Stainless Steel Blades
  • Powder Coated Paint to Reduce Ice Build-up
  • Soft Rubber Grips
  • ​Ergonomic Designed Handle System
  • ​Adjustable Handle: Adjusts from 48" - 57"

Our Rating:

Southland SEA438 One Man Auger

Forget digging post holes by hand because the Southland One Man Auger can hasten the hole drilling process exponentially, thanks to the 43cc engine with a bit speed of 316 RPM for fast and effective drilling.

The 8-inch drill bit that is enclosed with this auger is the perfect width for drilling the ground for your fence posts. You’ll find that the translucent tank on this auger makes keeping an eye on the fuel level so easy, you’ll never run out of fuel while in the middle of a job.

The ergonomic butterfly handles helps to give you supreme balance, while still being comfortable to use.


  • Manual recoil easy start fuel delivery system
  • Includes Gas Powerhead with 8” Auger Bit; 6-inch bit available and sold separately
  • ​Direct gear with solid steel drive shaft
  • ​Wide detachable butterfly handles for better balance and convenient storage
  • ​E.P.A. and CARB certified
  • 2 Year Limited Warranty
Using Southland SEA438 One Man Auger

Our Rating:

Eskimo FF949 FatFish Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter

When you’re looking for a way to stay warm while you’re ice fishing, you may want to consider using an Eskimo Ice Fishing shelter. With this shelter, you and up to three other people can fish more comfortably and keep all of your ice fishing gear nearby.

This is the first ever wide bottom pop-up portable ice fishing shelter and it’s making quite a splash! Like other Eskimo fish houses, this house is going to keep you incredibly warm, even when the temperatures drop considerably outside.


  • 61 square feet fishable area
  • Hub design makes set-up and take-down simple and it comes with portable carrying bag
  • ​Six large, removable, Velcro windows allow for ventilation and plenty of viewing opportunities
  • ​Large, mesh storage pockets to keep essential fishing gear handy
  • Includes six strong, heavy-duty ice anchors
Guy Using Eskimo FF949 FatFish Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter

Our Rating:

Glacier Gloves ICE BAY Fishing Glove

If you’re looking for a pair of gloves that will keep your hands warm and dry, while providing you with the grip you need to keep hold of slippery objects (and fish!), then the Glacier Glove ICE BAY Fishing Glove may be the perfect pair of gloves to try.

These neoprene gloves are designed to be waterproof, so you never have to worry about your hands getting soaked while fishing.

They feature a fleece lining so that your hands will be warm in the frigid temperatures. Also, the neoprene is textured, so that you can hold on to your fishing reel, fish, your auger, or even pack a good snow ball.

Of course, these gloves can be used for other activities besides ice fishing! You’ll find these gloves are perfect to use for multiple activities.


  • Premium Neoprene cold weather glove
  • Fleece lined for warmth
Ice Fishing Using Glacier Glove ICE BAY Fishing Glove

Our Rating:

Eskimo Mako 43cc Quantum Ice Auger

If you’re looking to cut through really thick ice and you don’t want to break your back while doing it, the Eskimo Mako 43cc Quantum Ice Auger may be right up your alley. This gas powered auger features a 30:1 gear ratio, allowing you to cut any ice that you may encounter this winter without ever breaking a sweat.

The 8000 RPM Viper engine is easy to operate. It features a throttle that you can control with just a fingertip, the foam grip handle bars gives you something sturdy to hold on to while you’re drilling.


  • 43cc Viper engine
  • Mitten grip handles
  • ​See-thru gas tank
  • Protective muffler guard
  • ​Ball bearing transmission
  • ​Toggle switch Foam grip handle bar
  • ​Eskimo red powder coat paint
  • Centering ring
  • ​Dual stainless steel blades
  • Blade protector
Guy Using Eskimo Mako 43cc Quantum Ice Auger

Our Rating:

The Verdict

While most people would think you are off your rocker for opting to spend several outside in freezing temperatures, ice fishing is quite popular!

Whether you are taking your kids with you on a family trip, or you need a weekend away from the hassle of everyday life with a few of your friends, ice fishing is one of the more serene and relaxing activities.

There’s something so peaceful about being surrounded by snow that makes you appreciate life a little more, don’t you think?

If you want to get back in touch with nature and remind yourself how peaceful life can be without the trappings of modern life, ice fishing is it. However, before you pack up and head out to the nearest ice fishing hole, you’ve got to be prepared and make sure your ice fishing gear is well stocked and you know what you’re getting into.

Little Boy Enjoying Ice Fishing

Depending on your physical capabilities, you are definitely going to want to make sure you have an ice auger in your gear. This is going to be the tool that will let you cut through the thick layer of ice so you can actually fish. If you have a soil auger like the Southland One Man Auger, you can easily switch out the soil blades for ones that are designed to cut through ice.

You’re also going to want to make sure that you have a shelter that has been designed to use while ice fishing. These shelters are able to keep out the wind, keep you warm, and make the whole ice fishing experience a little more comfortable.

Also, when you are trying to figure out what you’re going to wear, naturally you’re going to want clothes that are going to keep you dry and warm. But, you don’t want to over look a good pair of gloves. Those gloves are going to keep your hands warm, dry, and allow you to hold onto things that otherwise would slip from your hands.

When you take the time to plan for your ice fishing trip, you can choose the best products that will help you have fun, and we feel that any of these products can do exactly that!

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