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      Members Only Fluid Forum View   08/08/2017

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slick2526

The "best" sled type portable?

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im looking into buying a sled style portable this year. Im just curious what you guys would suggest to go with? Im mainly looking for quality in the fabric and in the sled.

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Otter, hands down. I have a decade of Otter rigs under my belt - with another brand mixed in the middle.

I went back to Otter and never regretted it. Excellent customer service, and they flat out hold up to what I dish out.

There are other good units out there, but my current Otter has several hundred miles of towing and use on LOTW, and Ottertail lakes with no problems.

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I agree with Gissert. Otters are great units. There's other ones out there that are good also, but if you're asking about a quality sled and quality canvas then Otter is the first one that comes to mind.

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Otters are very top quality. Also look at the Fish Trap X2. Another great choice for quality around the board when looking for a 2-man.

If you're looking for quality and less weight, then look at the original Fish Trap series. I've been running the Fish Trap Yukon and they are easy to pull by hand and I put them to use several times per week with no problems. A little different canvas and sled then your Otter or X2, but still durable...

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I run two different fish trap models and they have worked wonders for me. I don't think would go wrong with any of the names mentioned here. Fishtrap, Otter, Frabil all will do you fine. Just look at price and features that you like and go from there.

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I have an Otter Den for myself and I bought a FT Pro for my dad. Both are nice units however the Otter sled is much deeper, tougher and sturdier. The otter tent, poles and canvas are heavier and tougher also.

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I have owned my Fish Trap Pro for 3 years and absolutely love it. Would love to get the Fish Trap X series down the road but it is a lot more weight for the same size I have now. Normally I wouldn't worry about it but I don't own an ATV or snow mobile to pull it, I pull my sled by hand everywhere I go.

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I have owned a few different portables and the Otter line has served me very well. The tubs cannot be beat and the canvas is hard to beat. Otter has houses fron the single man up to the larger 2-3 man. I would at a minimum check out their houses.

http://otter.com/

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If weight is not an issue - I would put my vote on the Otters or X2. Otherwise the Fishtraps can be lighter. I have a Otter Lodge and FTpro and love them both.

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I agre with the above posts, the otters and Fish traps are very well made. With that said, if you are looking to save a few bucks My Frabil Trekker 2 man has served me well for the last 2 years. I am lucky enough to live on a lake and acordding to my notes, I went out 32 days last year and 36 the year before. Thats a minimum of 68 or more setups and take downs. Probably closer to 100. I also trip the milage on my atv at the begining of each season and logged 150 miles with that house behind me and everyting looks good so far. Whatever you decide, absolutly get the cover for it. Very light weight also. If you have the extra $$, I would go for the otters or fishtraps. I will probably do that when I upgrade.

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While I admit "best" is hard to define.

I will give another vote to Otter.

I have no problem saying that you will be very happy with anything in the Otter line of products.

There are just some products that no matter how you try to get around it, you “get what you pay for”. Consider that, if this is something you want to keep for many years.

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Hands down Otter sled for sure, but I sure like the canvas tops Canvas Crafts have to offer.

They started the whole ball of wax with the flip top on an Otter sled and they have the quality in every thing from windows, zippers, to burn resistant material.

Plus they are an FM sponsor just like Otter smile. Check them out:

Canvas Craft Inc click here!

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Over all Otter has the best portables in my opinion.

The sleds are the most durable, the pole design in the new Ice Camo and Ice Blue houses is the smoothest I have ever seen and the canvas is tighter and holds the heat better with its black coated inside. The new windows are a much softer and flexible plastic and dont have cold issues. The new flip up seats make storage easier. Plus my favorite new thing is the Sportsmans Caddy that can hold a ton of tackle and gear as well as hold your pop and munchies while your fishing. It stays mounted by your seat (But Can Come off just as easy as the seats) leaving more room in your sled for other gear.

I actually was out cleaning up my Otter Ice Camo Cabin the other day. I was amazed how little use it showed after a full season of being pulled behind a snowmobile and truck.

As I tel everyone, always get the Hyfax runners for your sled. Its amazing how much these strips save on your sleds. Plus they seem to help the house pull truer.

The St .Paul Ice Fishing Show will surely have some good deals on portables.

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... Plus my favorite new thing is the Sportsmans Caddy that can hold a ton of tackle and gear as well as hold your pop and munchies while your fishing. It stays mounted by your seat (But Can Come off just as easy as the seats) leaving more room in your sled for other gear.

I did not see the "sportsmans caddy" on the otter HSOforum. Is this option available, or do you have to get a package to get it??

They have great deals on "discontinued" portables on the HSOforum (green versions of their shacks). May want to check it out, there are big discounts - save over $200 off retail on their packages (sled, tent, seats, sled cover).

Interesting ... They only sell the ice camo and the arctic blue (makes them look like Fish Traps). No more green or purple.

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One can still purchase the Wild version of the Otter portable fish houses.

Otter may not have the Caddy on their HSOforum yet but I'm sure they will have it at the Ice show.

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The Wild version is a great value - Don't have any personal experience using one. I sat in one at FF, if you sit too close to the front of the sled - it caused the whole shack to tilt to that side (probably telling me I need to lose weight :-)

I'll be looking for the Otter Sportsmans Caddy at the ice show - always looking for better ways to haul/store equipment for the shack.

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I like my Clam Guide for pulling out on foot. Very light but just big enough to get all my stuff and a power auger in it. I didn't mount the second seat so it has plenty of room for one guy. The poles don't slide like they once did, but good enough. I've had it 2 seasons, and should last me for years with proper care.

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I would say a lot depends on your style of fishing. Are you going to be pulling the unit behind a snowmobile or wheeler? How often do you plan on using it? Are you a run and gunner or more of a sitter? I have owned both an Otter and now a Clam Yukon. Both units are top notch in my book. There are a lot of pros and cons on each unit...depending on how you plan on using it. I switched to the Yukon because it fit better in the back of my truck...but I miss the sled style on the Otter for hauling capacity. Lots of things to think about before you spend all that sort of money. Good luck in your search.

Cliffy

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Strikemaster Lithium 40v is the ticket.  Not as light as the K-drills, but it tears through the ice and don't have to worry about smoke in the house.  Best investment I've made in a while ice fishing.
    • Here is my story from about a month ago on LOW.  Two of us fishing in my wheelhouse.  I went outside to grab a beverage and in doing so I walked next door to our buddies, 25 feet away.  I hadn't even fully shut the door when two snowmobiles show up one stopping at each house.  Basically sleds were rolling and they were both stepping off, you'd think they were in the I500 race at a refueling stop.  I opened the door and was asked how fishing was, I said poor very poor.  He asked which house I was fishing in I said the other one.  He told me to go back there and get my license out his partner would be checking me out.  I walked back over and was told "well you already know what you did wrong"  I was like my lines are down, I haven't even been gone 5 minutes.  They would have had to see me walk over since they came from out of nowhere.  He leaves and talks to my buddies and they confirm my story.  He comes back and says "I will give you a warning" and proceeds to write our names down in a little notebook.  Gives us back our licenses and they both take off to our neighbors.   Week later my buddy who was fishing with me gets a ticket in the mail for extra lines.  Stated on the ticket was to call in 7 days for the amount.  He calls and its $135.  You can contest it online or go to court.  Of course we are both thinking this is a total crock.  He emails the CO and he actually emailed back saying to call him.  He called many times with no return call.  Finally a week goes by and he's able to get ahold of him.  He claimed he talked to over 300 people and couldn't remember everything he said.  Ticket was thrown out.  Still how many people got hooked over the weekend?  Pretty shady way to conduct yourself.    Yes technically I was in the wrong, but if your going to write a ticket, write a ticket don't send one a week later.  Or at least ticket the right person.  Didn't seem right to me....
    • A big thank you to your friend for his service and a way to go on the big pike on light line.
    • Did you put the new bit on your old head?
    •   So what about when you have a rattle wheel down and go outside to get a fish on your tip up?   Same thing as a wiz or smoke?  You can’t see it and might be gone for 10 minutes.   I only ask to be argumentative. 
    •  I never disliked my original ion but once I tried the new drill with the centering point I ordered the drill immediately. 
    • Just my 2 cents....   I bought an ion when I built the wheel house to keep the smoke plume out of the living quarters. I have had nothing but good luck with the system. It has always drilled all the holes that I need both inside the house and out hole hoping. You do need to keep the battery warm, but that is Li-Ion for you.   BUT.... my dad has a severe issue with the Dewalt salesman at his shop. He has pretty much every yellow tool that you can own and was wanting to try a drill setup. I thought it was silly to have both a K-drill and ION in our arsenal givien that both of us also have gas augers, so I decided to pick up an IceMaster adapter just to see what the electric drill craze is all about. I pulled my ION bit off and put it on Dad's brushless 20v high-end Dewalt and was very impressed. It really cuts nice with that ION bit, very smooth with no jerking. I have a hard time believing that the K-drill would be any better, but I have not compared the two side by side. For kicks, I decided to try the drill and adapater on my Strikemaster Mora..... YIKES! It wouldn't take you long to burn up ANY brand drill with that Mora.   To compare the two setups... the ION is definitely nicer for reopening old holes or widening holes that have narrowed over night. This is mainly due to the width of the handles versus the amount of torque that it takes to reopen holes. On the other hand, the drill is better at getting new holes perfectly centered on rough ice due to the fact that you can start a hole slowly with the variable speed of the drill vs the "on or off" capability of the ION head.Out on the ice, I think that drill head vs ION head performed the same.... Yes, the drill is a bit lighter, but the ION will do more holes (3 AH ION @ 40v / 5 AH Dewalt @ 20v).   SO.... now what are we going to do? I was able to find someone close to me that was upgrading their legacy ION bit for the new ION-X (primarily for the centering point). I was able to pick up the bit for $45. Now we have both a complete ION  and drill setup, and only have $70 invested into the drill setup since my dad already owned the drill itself.    Sorry for the long post, but I have a feeling that there are going to be many others upgrading their ION bits and selling their old legacy bits, and from what I have tested it really seems to work well on drills, especially for someone that already owns a drill and is on a budget.      
    • First possum I've ever seen in my yard..
    • LOL I just got checked yesterday and asked him this same question. I asked if i had pagers on each line could I keep them down. He said as the law is written a Rod or rattle wheel is considered a line down and you must be able to visually see the line at all times. Different from a tipup where you must be within the vicinity but you don't need a constant visual on them.   So I'm thinking I may just set up my tip-ups inside my shack with beepers when I'm not in there
    • The CO that checked us on LOW this winter told us if you go out to the bathroom or a smoke it is OK, if you go next door to visit it is a ticket...
  • MWO