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Scott827

I got addicted! Help on equipment selection please.

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Hi,

I am a lurker from Pennsylvania. I just got into ice fishing last year and really enjoyed it and I want my own stuff. You guys sure know your ice fishing so I would appreciate some advice. Our local sporting goods stores do not put out ice fishing stuff on the shelves until around Christmas and selection is okay but not the greatest. The lake I fish holds Crappies , Yellow Perch , Walleyes , Northern pike and Muskies . No one seems to catch many Walleyes, though I would like to. I mostly fish for the crappies and perch. I have the means to get what I want ( I have been saving) and I like to cry only once when I buy something. Everything has to be pulled buy hand so that is a big consideration. My list includes,

Marcum LX5

Nils 8” hand auger

Ice gator - because I am lazy laugh

Artic armor suit

Eskimo 3 person pop up (weight issues)

Jason Mitchell rods and reels ( I want 1 for jigging and 2 for dead sticking )

Cabelas sled ( I have bonus points on my Cabelas card )

Buddy heater

Coleman lantern

I have terminal tackle , bait buckets , Safety rope, ice cleats, light weight chairs, etc.

Are the reels on the Jason Mitchell combos nice or would purchase those separately ? Which rods? I think I would like the spring bobbers to be separate. I will be fishing both daylight and night, the shelter is mostly for night fishing. I am off during the week so I go fishing alone sometimes. I was originally considering the Otter 2 person shelter and sled combo but I think that would be too much weight to pull by hand ( 95 lbs without other equipment ) I want the shelter big enough for 2 people. I will be ordering in the next few weeks . Am I forgetting something ? Is their a better set up for hand pulling. Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you , Scott

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I'm 140 soaking wet and pull a 3 man Eskimo, as long as the snows packed or not to deep its not to bad. This includes everything in the sled, Gas auger, 20# propane tank and all gear for 2 and easily fits a 3rd. Best thing I did for early ice/snow befor I can drive out is put a set of hyfax on it and it pulls alot easier.

The LX you'll love as well as the nils but I would suggest a power head instead of the icegator, just my opinion.

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welcome2.gif

It looks like a pretty good list you have there.

As far as the shelter goes, I prefer the flip-over style for portability and the ease at which you can take it down and move. I've used the Otter Magnum for quite a few years now and although it's almost 100 pounds without any gear I pull it by myself fairly easily. I'll give you a little tip: ice cleats do wonders for pulling. I typically have my gas powered auger, 20# propane tank, rods/tackle, and minnow bucket in the sled and can still pull the Otter without much problems as long as the snow depth isn't out of hand.

One thing I'd consider is using LED lights inside whatever shelter you choose. That way you don't have to deal with broken mantles if the lantern gets shook up too much as well as the fumes. Plus, the LED's give off much better light because they are mounted up high instead of down low where a lantern typically sits. They use a nominal amount of power and a 12V locater battery is relatively cheap.

Good luck this winter. You should have a fun time with all the new gear!

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Looks like you will be living the dream. Your list consists of a lot of stuff your average joe ice fisherdude dreams of, myself included and I've only been icefishing for about 40 years. smile

If I can add a suggestion, when you get your Otter....order the hyfax kit for it, also. Otter sleds are the best out there in my opinion, but the hyfax makes them a TON easier to pull over snow and such.

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Welcome to FM!

Lots of good questions, lots of good suggestions so far too.

Re: the house, I am a big fan of flip-over houses. I have a buddy with a 2-man Eskimo and it's a nice house, a lot of house for the money. Personally, I have an Otter and a Fish Trap. The Otter is a really nice house and is always the one I take when I'm driving my truck or atv on the ice ... the Fish Trap is a nice house too and is uusally the one I take when I walk out and pull it behind by hand. I like the head room better in my Otter but when pulling by hand the weight is definately a consideration.

I have LEDs in my house and like them a lot, but a good headlamp or cap light will do wonders for you too. I would try to avoid a lantern and a glass mantel if possible - they are bright and can be a nice heat source if not windy, but they burn a lot of things and have a tendancy to break.

I haven't used the Jason Mitchell reels so I can't comment on them, but I have a couple Meatsticks and a couple Spring Bobber rods from him and I like them both. They both work great for deadsticking, and the spring bobber rod works great for finessing plastics. I also have his Perch rods and they work gteat for small / medium size jigging spooons.

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Scott you have received a lot of good info but I would get the LX5 first and get the powerhead for the Nils just because the 2 will make you a better ice fisherman. When you can see the fish on your flasher it is just a matter of what presentation it is going to take in order for them to bite and at what depth are they coming thru at so you can put your bait right in front of them. With the powerhead on the Nils you will drill more holes and much faster so you will not get stuck sitting on some holes that you are not marking any fish in just because your arms gave out. No matter how easy they turn at some point and time it WILL GET OLD. There have been days that I will drill 20 to 30 holes and will take a look with the Marcum and I will not use a one and will move because there was no baitfish or the structure was not what I wanted and if I was doing that by hand I would have settled for one of them and that is not a productive way to fish.Good Luck on your new found addiction and if you want some Walleye tips make sure to ask down in the Walleye Forum

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not sure of temps in PA but i know here in MN it can get fairly cold at night. even with my big buddy full blast and a little cooker going i was chilled at red lake. you mentioned you'd use shelter at night i'd suggest the big buddy with hose, filter, and 20lb tank.

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How thick does the ice get over there in Penn? You might be able to get by with just the Nils hand auger if it typically stays under about 14 inches. If it gets thicker than that, Skip the Ice Gator and get the powerhead for the Nils. That way you will only have one auger/blade system to look after, at it weighs a bit less than the IG.

I'd add a GPS and regional lakemap chip as others have said. The GPS would be #3 on my list after the auger and flasher/graph, respectively. #4 would be the shelter.

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I have a ranger XL (frabill) I believe its the old style of the new trekker or like it it weighs a bit but it isnt impossible to pull by hand as people arer saying putting hyfax on thier I gotta do it since they say its easier to pull with hyfax its big enough for 2 people and I have fishe three many times lots o head room and its a pretty big foot print so its really roomy and comfy I use a mr cooker and I aint dead yat so must be workin. I bought a camera last year and its nice but I dont fish with it. a GPS is a must for me I love bein on the x so I mark every spot I fish and change the symbols to remind me how I did skulls or smily faces and I also take note of the weather when marking spots. lights in a shelter help big time ( the ones that use the flasher batteries) and thats about it good luck and welcome to FM

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