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I need help getting started. What basic tackle will I need. Also, I'm VERY confused: do I need an ultralight rod/reel AND a tip-up or just one or the other. In the past, I've seen guys using only rod/reel. What would be best for a beginner ? Thanks for the help.

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It depends what you want to catch. If your after panfish you don't need a rod and reel combo althouth they are nice. A couple of jiggle sticks with do(actually they work better that the rod and reel combo when fishing outside as they don't freeze up as much). Rig the jiggle sticks with 2-4 lb mono with small bobbers, an assortment of ice flies(asst. colors) and small split shot. Tip ups are nice for walleyes or northerns but you can use any pole set up with heavier line if you keep it near you. You'll need an auger(A hand auger will set you back $30-$50,I like the lazer models). A dipper and 5 gallon bucket and bait. A depth finder is nice. If not the electric model pick up a clip on so you can find bottom faster. Most people measure depths by arm lengths, each arm length is about 6 ft give or take 6 inches. If you want to use a rod and reel combo and ulta light or light med is good for panfish and a medium or heavy is good for walleye/bass/northern. Also check out the ice fishing forum as they cover a lot of this and there is more traffic there.
Good Luck!

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