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Eric Wetteland

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It seems like a lot of you are doing mods to your portable ice houses. I don't know about you but I have a bad back and I don't like to bring everything. Lets talk about ways cut the Lbs so we can get the sled in and out of the car and out to the hole fast.

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Requirements for me are as follows.

Auger (Jiffy chisel if really early)

Vexilar

MarCum Rod Pac

I can get by with that if I need to as I picked up my arctic armor a couple weeks ago. My Rod Pac has a couple small compartments on it that will hold the essential jigs and plastics along with four rods. Oops, forgot, I might need a bucket to carry the fish home in.

I have a trap guide and am designing my mod right now. It is an older model, so I have a bit of work to do to get it just right. Looking forward to fishing out of it after the mod though. Having all the other stuff will make it more enjoyable maybe, but you don't need to pull 500 lbs of gear with you, most of which you won't use on a trip anyway.

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Thank you. I was drooling over everyone's mods, but still haven't decided what to do with my Yukon yet. I thought about flooring in only half of it, but was worried about the weight and moreover removing the metal bar and existing seats. Plus, my carpentry skills are so-so.

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That's why I have two open sleds. Take the stuff off of one and put it into the other one. Kind of slow, but no broken back. Plus if someone else comes along, I can split the equiptment in two, half the weight.

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I used the Blue styrofoam insulation for the bottom of my Voyeageur. Covered it in blue marine carpet after I cut out spots for all my gear. Is nice and light, keeps things from bouncing around. Also made a box to keep my support poles in. Like all the mods but was worried about too much weight. Even though I have a wheeler to pull it.

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Whatever you do, follow the credo of light-weight backpackers:

Worry about the ounces, and the pounds will follow.

How much excess weight in lead do we carry in our tackle? I bring a few small boxes, not my whole tackle box. A 2 horse, 8" auger.

When I unpack my kids school bag at the end of the day, and take out the hard cover edition of the "Guiness Book Of World Records", it occurs to me that minimizing might be something that just becomes aquired with age..... grinlaugh

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I agree with wanting my mod to be lightweight.

For mine, I used a plastic rain gutter to make a shelf or tray that runs along the inside of 2 sides of the sled. Very handy for holding lots of items and makes it easy to find them.

For dividers I used a thin piece of plywood that runs the length of the sled, with a few pieces that run across the width of the sled to form compartments for my gear and to hold my bucket in place. The horizontal pieces also hold the divider system in place. The divider system sits in my sled and is solid, but can be lifted out with just a thumb and forefinger for when I want to clean or dry out the sled.

In one of my compartments I have a soft cooler bag which has several side pockets. I leave the top open and tuck it in between the cooler bag and the side of the sled. Very handy for holding stuff and weighs next to nothing.

For seats I use the Otter swivel seats and bracket that runs across the sled. Also very lightweight and easy to remove, also helps to hold the divider system in place.

My mod is a lot less elaborate than a lot of guys have, and I don't have a carpeted deck with hatches, but I find it very light, very sturdy, easy to remove, and very functional.

Hope this helps and that I described it clearly.

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I keep a 5 gal pail, and wont bring anything extra that I cant fit in there. Keeps it safe, keeps me light.

I bring my lazer hand auger, my Lowrance Ice machine, my pail with tackle gloves etc, and my heater when its cold, and my soft sided rod case, and a minnow bucket..

It fills my otter den up pretty nicely, but its not too heavy.

The biggest way to stay light is to have a small portable in the first place and use tricks like the bucket trick mentioned above.

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I think we are on the right track. I am thinking of drilling holes cutting things of and not bringing things I know I wont need . I think for me going this year of ice fishing is going to be about moving fast and lite and having fun. I also would like to hear more was to cut the Lbs.

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