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Sybar

Sled or ATV?

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does anyone have an opinion on the subject of using a ATV or Snowmobile for ice fishing...which would you recommend for ice-fishing? why?

Thanks

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Yes and yes. Simply depends on the conditions. No snow is really hard on a sled, and lots of snow will mean getting stuck frequently on a wheeler.

I started out with a cheap sled (can find them on C-list for <$500) and later upgraded. I also added a wheeler to the collection this year.

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You'll get various answers.

The biggest thing IMO is snowmobiles give you far better weight distribution. They also will get you across powder and deep snow a lot easier than an ATV will. They'll also be far less expensive to get into a machine than an ATV.

ATV's will offer you more versatility throughout the year. A couple things that will help an ATV out is:

1) track kits. A snowmobile won't compete against a good ATV with tracks. I would recommend ATV's from 650cc and larger for a track kit.

2) after market tires. Larger than stock tires will give you better flotation than stock. A couple I would personally recommend are ITP Terracross radials or Maxxis Bighorns. Bigger tires will make steerng more difficult unless you have a Suzuki, Polaris, Yamaha or Honda with power steering. If you could go with 10" width and 12" in back, you'll get far better flotation over the snow. I've seen the Bighorns first hand in 12+ inches of snow and they work very well.

If you have a strict budget and will only be using it for ice fishing, by all means, buy a snowmobile.

If you can afford to cough up between 5-13 grand and are looking for year around recreation, an ATV might be the better buy.

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ditch rocket all the way man, thier is always a belt of snow on the shorelines to cool it off. I have not used a wheeler so IDK the differance I use a sled when the ice is thick enough. I leave the vehicle at the access most time just cuz the sled is faster and easier to move around with on the lake.

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If you can afford to cough up between 5-13 grand and are looking for year around recreation, an ATV might be the better buy.

I got a 93 Kodiak 400 for $1100 last year and stuck $200 into a carb kit and new battery and it's a great machine. You don't need to get nearly new, you can find deals.

I like the wheeler because you can use it year around. I was going to go with a sled, but chose the wheeler and glad I did.

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I was figuring in tires and the sort to get into something fully on ice/snow capable that would provide the best performance.

Granted, a smaller machine can handle the larger tires whereas the tracks are best suited on machines 650cc and larger.

The other plus to the smaller ATV's is they're much lighter and easier to dig out if needed.

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I went the sled route, as I would not use the ATV in summer much, and for about the same price as a used but nice/later model ATV, I got 3 sleds (two 2002 and one 88) and a covered trailer... We shall see if that was good decision, but will use the sleds for fun as well, and having three of anything is more fun unless your buds have them as well.

ughhh, but more maintenance, ha! Good luck, I am sure you can find some deals on either with this economy...

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thanks guys, ya I'm not sure what I will do...probably just drive my pickup out there when safe enough...

I wouldn't mind a older sled...the only thing that bothers me is the fact of it breaking down...and then what do ya do?

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I sold my atv and got a sled this year. The atv worked fine on mille lacs and it took less room on my trailer. But I didn't feel like going off the beaten path as much. I will go farther with the sled.

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Best thing about wheeler...storage. You simply start it up and move it when necessary. No dragging, sliding, putting on dollies etc.,.!!!

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I am on the atv bandwagon. I use mine to plow, pull trailers, move the boat around in the summer for mowing. As long as it is four wheele drive it is pretty difficult to get them stuck, just don't back off the throttle. Now on the other hand, if it gets like it was when I was a kid and we get over 2 or 3 feet of snow, yah a sled is the way to go. I am just really hung up on the four stroke deal. I am not sure if they make four stroke sleds?

I guess, it really depends on your preferance. I like having something I can use year round.

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It mostly depends on how you will use it and how much money you have to spend.

Watching some wheelers last year further North I couldn’t help but feel bad for them trying to get around, and when it gets really slushy, good luck when it freezes.

However, if you plan on using the wheeler during the “off season” at all, it would be wiser to go that route.

Like said before, for the price of a nice wheeler, you can get a nice 2 up touring sled with reverse hand/thumb warmers AND a nice trailer.

For me storage is easy. Back trailer up to garage, tilt trailer, hit reverse and back into garage. grin

There is no right or wrong answer here, mostly whatever fits your situation the best.

I can tell you this though, my wife warmed up to the sled purchase much easier knowing we could go out and do some trail riding in the winter wink

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There is no right or wrong answer here, mostly whatever fits your situation the best.

I can tell you this though, my wife warmed up to the sled purchase much easier knowing we could go out and do some trail riding in the winter wink

I was in the same boat!!!

Wife really ejoys the sleds (her suggestion) and if you can get her involved, the blessings come much easier.

It's always more fun when your other half wants to be involved in the larger purchases.

If I've learned one thing, "When momma's happy, everybody's happy".

Those who play together, Stay together!!

We generally get lots of snow where we fish so the sled was the better choice for us.

Conditions have less of an impact on where we want to go fish.

Tend to have more enjoyment and success taking the road less travelled.

Best of luck in your decision and the 2009 season.

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I sold my atv and got a sled this year. The atv worked fine on mille lacs and it took less room on my trailer. But I didn't feel like going off the beaten path as much. I will go farther with the sled.
Same here. I thought I would use the ATV in the summer, but I didn't. Then, I couldn't get on one of my favorite private lakes with the ATV. That sealed teh deal for the sled.

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Originally Posted By: broman
I sold my atv and got a sled this year. The atv worked fine on mille lacs and it took less room on my trailer. But I didn't feel like going off the beaten path as much. I will go farther with the sled.
Same here. I thought I woulf use the ATV in the summer, but I didn't. Couple that together with I couldn't get on one of my favorite private lakes with the ATV sealed teh deal for the sled.

Same here. I bought an ATV and barely ever used it. I drove my truck on the ice once I could, and drive a tractor around our place during the summer most of the time. The ATV was just too fast smile for my blood and it tore up the terrain pretty quickly. I just sold mine and got a Wilcraft so I could fish early/late season and the river a little more safely. My dad has some bad knees and hopefully I can get him out in it too. I hope to get a used sled for fishing up north once my wife gives me my wallet back...

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