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gill man

Help Choosing between Otter Cabin & Lodge

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I was set to buy an Otter Cabin this year, but I believe I have found a NEW Lodge for less money than the Cabin is selling for. I've had a Fish trap Guide forever, and it's suited me well, but extra space isn't a bad thing.

Here's some info about me:

Have a 1/2 ton 4x4 truck with 6.5' bed as well as a Yamaha Grizzly. There's only a couple weekends out of the year when I have to pull by hand. Otherwise I can use the ATV or truck.

I fish alone 50-75% of the time, but not uncommon to have my dog or another person, or another person AND my dog along.

I am able to get/pull the chack to any spot with some form of vehicle, but I still like to be mobil and move a lot from hole to hole, and if nothing's there, quickly pack up and move to the next spot.

So, is the Lodge that much harder to move by hand when hole hopping 10-100 yards at a time? The Lodge weighs about 20 pounds more. Both are heavy to have to drag through deep snow very far. Will the extra 20 pounds be that much more noticeable?

How is it to load the lodge in a truck? I've been able to lift up one end of my Trap Guide and set it on the tailgate, then pick up the back and slide it in. Seems like this should still work and maybe be even easier since the sled is longer?

There's lots of reasons a little more room could be handy, so the question is, is the Lodge THAT much harder to pull by hand than the Cabin, especially considering I can get the Lodge for LESS money?

I'd appreciate your opinions on this one.

Thanks,

Tucker

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The Lodge is NOT fun to pull around solo anywhere with anything other than bare ice.    I’ve done my fair share, but it has always been with 2 people and even then it can be a bear.   The Lodge is not an ideal 1 person house at all and I suspect you might get tired of the heavy lifting in and out of your truck and moving it around.  Sure the first few times you do it, it won’t seem too bad but after a while you might appreciate the smaller house. Especially if you fish solo a lot.

 

However most years you won’t have to worry about it too much being as you have something to pull it around with.

 

Tough call, but since it’s the same price I would probably lean towards the Lodge.  Nobody has EVER complained about having too much room  wink

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I have a lodge, but havent compared weight to a cabin so I cannot really compare the weight concerns there, but, I have pulled mine a few times, which I have a 20# LP tank and a deck modification making a flat, carpeted top with doors and it isnt fun.

If you have a small LP tank and no extra weight it wouldnt be too bad.

I would lift it in the back of my PU by myself. Not the most fun to do, but it certainly wasnt too difficult.

I think the benefits of the extra room outweigh the negatives of the weight for me especially since I added weight to mine by "modding" it.

I have contemplated just getting a small one man for the early/late ice days I go by myself to have something easier to pull by hand, but for now I will just stick with my lodge.

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I have had a cabin, lodge and resort size shack. I think that the best all around size is the lodge unless you strictly fish by yourself. I do about 50% by myself and the other 50% with one or more people. I like that everything I need will fit into the sled and it will fit into my truck with the tailgate shut. I have pulled the shack by hand for almost a mile many of times, it is not fun but when I get there I have the space that I want and need. Yes it might be a little overkill, but everyone that fishes with me never complains about the amount of space that the lodge has.

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it's not just the 20 lbs difference, the larger tub means you WILL most likely carry more stuff, so whatever else you throw in the tub will add to that baseline 20 lbs...Also, it will cost you more to heat it vs the cabin, not much, but it will be more..at some point you have to ask yourself what do I truly need to fish comfortably...I chose the Cabin size..

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I bought a cabin back in 1998 and had it until 2 years ago. I went fishing with my buddy that brings just as much gear as I do and decided I wanted to go bigger. Bought the lodge 2 years ago and haven't fished with that buddy in a portable since and only fished with someone else once. I have to admit the extra size for fishing is nice but that's where it stops for me. The larger size is a pain for storing in the off season, hard to load in the back of the truck by myself, doesn't leave much room in the back of a truck for anything else, hard to pull, doesn't fit with the tailgate up in my short box truck I just bought. The thing is just physically a beast! I'm thinking of going back to an Cabin, I like the idea of being able to put it the back of the truck and close the tailgate, role the tonneau cover close and lock the tailgate. It's a tuff choice, the extra room for fishing is truly awesome I miss the cabin for everything else.

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The lodge is heavier, for sure...but to me it's worth it. If you ever want to fish 3 people, the lodge will do it. It's not super-roomy, but you can go 3-wide on that tub. Not sure the Cabin will do that.

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That being said, I guess I don't care about the weight because I only tow it manually like 3-4 times a season until we have 6 inches of ice, after which I use the snowmobile. And, when I am pulling it, it's not alone. If it was, I'd have to go un-insulated for sure, and leave that 20 lb cylinder at home and go with a 1 pounder instead. smile

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I have had the Otter Lodge and it was a great shelter. Mine was the green one with no insulation. It heated up just fine with a sunflower and a 5lb. tank. It would fit in the back of my 05 Tahoe. I traded the Tahoe for a new Silverado with a 5.5 box and sold the lodge. A lot of the time I hand pulled the lodge on the ice (thin ice) by hand and it was tough if there was more than an inch or two of snow. It sounds like you will be hole hopping most of the time for fairly short distances and I don't think this is a big concern if you use the truck to get it on the ice.

I am going to buy the new 1200 denier cabin (bucket seats)which I will use most of the time by myself but it will fit in the back of my truck when the ice and snow make it had to pull out by hand.

Mike

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I have a thermal lodge and heating it is no issue with a big buddy heater or sunflower. Most days you could you just a regular buddy heater. I have hyfax on it and it pulls ok by hand. I use a clam harness when I need to pull the house around.

I do not take my otter lodge out on trips that I go on by myself. Loading a lodge by yourself with gear in it is a pain. I have an older Otter Wilderness house that is very light that I take for trips when I will be fishing alone. It's not as comfortable as fishing in my lodge, but it's easier to be mobile.

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Thank you for all of your opinions. Still a hard decision and my mind isn't completely made up, but I think I'm leaning towards the Cabin.

I'd hate to get the Lodge and then regret it when I have to load it myself, or when I'm trying to stay on a school of crappies and wear myself out trying to pull it quickly from hole to hole when the snow gets deep.

My Trap Guide is 60" long and I think the Cabin is about 66" long, so that will already give me a little more elbow room than I'm used to now.

Being that I fish alone more often than not, I'm thinking the best idea might be to buy what will be useful to me the most often, and deal with a little less room when I have others along.

Does anybody know if Otters ever go on sale or are they like St. Croix rods that are always the same price no matter who is selling them?

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Unless your truck is a low one- you darn near can't load it (lodge) by yourself. I'm not 'whimpy' by any means but I had to struggle and use a 2x10 plank to get it in to the back of my F150 AFTER taking out every single pc of gear in it. My tailgate was too high to place one end on the gate and then go back and grab the other end of the shack. It was much easier if I was pulling my ATV and could slide it from the ATV trailer into the back on the plank. It was such a beast I bought a 2 place trailer to haul it next to the ATV so I could avoid it altogether which defeated the pupose of having a topper on so I could lock all that stuff up in the back of my truck. It was a nightmare by myself and sold it to go back to the cabin. Probably why I have a herniated disk now LOL.

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You can typically get combo deals (House, Hyfax, Cover, rod holders) at the St. Paul Ice Fishing show that save yourself a little money, otherwise all the stores close them out in the spring...

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I also fish from a trap guide. My neighbor as the ice camo Cabin. The ceiling height difference alone makes it feel Worlds larger. Plus that extra distance you have for holes is huge.

Cabin sounds right for your needs.

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I vote for the lodge. I love fishing my Lodge solo. Plenty of room to stretch out and fishing 2 Very comfortably. I'm a a pretty big guy so I can manage pulling it loaded out alone but it isn't pleasant in deep snow.

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I currently run a 3 man eskimo no issues loading it in my 1500 alone, hope to step up to an Otter this year and dont see a problem loading alone even with the gear in it....

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Here is my take on loading. I think a lodge will be easier to load than a cabin. Because the sled is longer. I have a lodge and hooked a strap to the front tiedown in my truck box. I lift the sled up hook the strap up and go around to the front and push it in. You won't be able to lift either straight up into the back of a pickup.

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You can typically get combo deals (House, Hyfax, Cover, rod holders) at the St. Paul Ice Fishing show that save yourself a little money, otherwise all the stores close them out in the spring...
I would have to agree. Having lodge for years I would say a lodge over a cabin unless your not so tall. I have switched brands but knowing otter like a pro staff should I'd point to the taller more roomier shack. The only other thing is too fish from both if that was an option but you'll miss the show deals.

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Well I guess you can call me spoiled. I lucky enough to own both the Insulated Otter Cabin as well as the Insulated Otter Lodge. I purchased The Otter Cabin to use more during early Ice when I would be more apt to be pulling it by hand. I'm happy with the room and it is a bit lighter to load into the back of my F-350. The Otter Cabin leaves you more space in your pick-up box if you have a short bed for sure and that is always a great option.

As soon as I'm able to take a 4-wheeler or sled I go with my Otter Lodge. There is never a problem with having to much room. I keep it fully loaded with all of my fishing gear including a 20lb LP tank. The only thing I do not store in the tub is my gas auger that stays on my 4-wheeler or the bed of my truck next to the house. It is a bit tight closing the access cover on my truck when using the Otter lodge but I'm able to make it work.

I did not look to see where the original poster was located but I have seen a difference in prices in some parts of the state every now and then from one chain to the next.

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If you are looking to get a deal on a house. On the monday after thanksgiving the store in starbuck mn that ends in farms, has a deal where if you buy early enough in the day you get a percentage off. The earlier you order the more you get off. I bought a lodge last year doing this and it was cheaper than any other place in the midwest including the ice show. As well as no taxes and free shipping.

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I just purchased the new Otter Pro 1200 insulated. Very impressed. Can't wait to use it. Lighter than the Lodge and fits in my truck. I fished with a friend last winter in an insulated Otter 900 and it was very warm. Great size for one, a bit crowded for 2.

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Thanks for all your advice. I stopped in at the local bait shop today and they just happed to have a last years Pro XT900 Cabin for $600. I couldn't pass it up compared to the $850 the new Cabins are going for, and it was even cheaper than the Low priced Lodge I had found.

Ended up with a new xt900 cabin and set of Hyfax for about $680 out the door. I actually prefer the ice camo color, and I'm sure the 900 denier will be more than durable enough. I'm happy!

The bait shop is the Hayward Bait and Bottle in Hayward if anybody is in the area. I believe they had another XT900 cabin left and also had some good deals on last year's Wild's as well.

Tucker

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