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ChuckN

Otter Pro "Ice" Series fishhouses

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The ice season is here, and I've finally had the chance to use my new Otter Outdoors Pro Ice Series Ice Camo Lodge! Otter introduced a new 900 Denier fishhouse skin in Ice Camo and Arctic Blue, new pole design and new ultra-flexible windows for those really cold days on the lake.

I anxiously hit the lake when it was 4 degrees and a stiff NW wind. I found that the new 900 Denier skin is lightweight, quite flexible in the cold and impressively resistant to the wind I faced.

The inside of the fishhouse is black, and with the sunlight I had in the late afternoon I stayed quite warm without a properly operating heater.

The poles moved with ease with the new nylon inserts and no metal-on-metal while the poles extended and retracted. Also, packing up the fishhouse in the cold was quite effortless with the flexibility of the new Denier fabric shell.

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Here is a close up picture of the new pole design, and the nylon fastening system.

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I chose the bench seat design as I've enjoyed the comfort of this seat. The seat is easily removeable with 2 pins. I also installed the optional Otter tool/rod box to hold rods, gear, tackle and batteries for running some LED lights I installed.

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Otter also offers it's popular fishhouse packages with two flip up, multi-directional seat system.

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Otter Outdoors also offers several accessories like the tow hitch, hyfax and cover that I also have that I've felt are necessary tools if towing behind the ATV and snowmobile.

Other models in the Pro Ice Series includes the Cottage, Cabin, Lodge and Resort in the Pro Ice Series. Visit www.otter.com for more information.

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I must report after more use of the new Otter Ice Lodge this season (some of the worst conditions at that) the more impressed I am with it's performance.

I visited the mighty Lake of the Woods recently and hauled the Otter across some nice, soft, deep snow and some nasty, hidden ice mine fields on the big lake. All of the tackle, auger, bait and flashers were loaded up for a total of 104 miles of cross country travel.

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After racking on those miles behind the snowmobile, along with some ugly surprises under the snow I was happy to report nothing was damaged in my ventures, except several fish had some sore lips.

I'm a believer in the saying "nothing catches fish like an Otter". grin

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I love my Otter Lodge in Camo. Im a seat fan, especially since they came out with the Outdoorsmans Caddy to hold all your tackle, tools, fish rags, plasticsetc. etc. as well as spots for beverages and snacks once you get set up. I recomend getting one if you have a nnewer Otter Pro Series.

The windows continue to amaze me. Freezing drizzle the other day did nothing to the windows even after putting up and taking down several time in the day.

I agree ChuckN "Nothing catches Fish Like a Northlander in a Otter". grin

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ChuckN, I believe I saw you up north on the big lake--I was in a SnoBear but I am positive I saw you up there--I commented to one of the gentleman I had with that I thought your house looked Great!! It is brutal on fish houses and anything you are pulling around out there so if it holds up in that, it has to be a heck of a package!!

Jason

www.hardwateradventures.com

hardwater@wiktel.com

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kdr    0

I recently bought a new cabin in ice blue and fitted it with the bench seat, tow bar, hyfax kit & cover. My two previous shanties were boh fish traps and although they worked well for me, I had always wanted to try an Otter.

So far, the new Otter has worked fine and will probably be even better the more I get used to it. The deeper sled makes me feel much better about traveling the miles necessary when fishing Saginaw Bay in Mi. More gear fits inside rather than on the racks of my atv and the cover & house material is high above the hard snow & large pieces of ice which means I don't worry about damage or loss of gear when traveling. I did add some cooking spray to the poles & zipper which makes them work even better than before.

So far, I can only think of two short comings. The first would the lack of support poles for either side of the door rather than one. Also, I noticed a couple of small pin size holes in the fabric, away from any stitching.

I hope to get many years of use from my new investment.

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I just bought a new Lodge. Haven't even set it up yet. Was a tough choice between that and a Fish Trap X2. Hope I didn't choose the wrong one. Gulp.

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I love the new otters. Everything about them is great: the new pole system, the canvas, the windows (especially how you can remove them if they break, which I don't see happening. The new material for them is great.) I have the new cottage and it is awesome.

I'm glad they switched from the cheap canvas, square poles, and cheap windows to something that works again. They scared me there for a couple of years!

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The more I use my Otter, the more I love it.

It has been a great weekend on the ice...cold outside, nice and warm inside the Lodge. smile About 12 hours left of the walleye ice season here. frown

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kdr    0

I like the house, too. The cover, though, fits the poorest of any cover that I have ever used.

When I bought my house, the shop only had the older style covers in stock. When I asked why they didn't have them for the new ice models, the salesman said they were having problems with the fit. He said most people were using the older cover even though it fit tight on the new ice house. Too tight. I contacted Otter & the reponse I got was that they had some problems with the lodge covers, but not the cabins. I convinced my sport shop to order me the new version. Guess what? It does not fit properly. It is way too loose. Made in China, too.

I wrote Otter again about this. I haven't got a reply yet.

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kdr    0

I got quick replies with my first two emails when I was just asking questions about the problems with the covers. Its been five days now since I sent my note complaining about the fit of the cover they convinced me to buy. There's been no responce.

Last night I got tired of waiting on them so I removed some stitching and exposed the elastic cord. I then removed about three feet of it, tied it in a knot and sewed it back together.

It fits 100% better. Maybe not perfect, but much better than what they sold me.

I hope this helps you.

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Good idea. Was thinking of trying something like that myself or just replacing it with a drawstring that I could tie. Can't understand why they would sell a premium quality house and not a premium quality cover to go with it.

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There is a new cover design for the Pro Ice Series shelter. I have the proper cover and I found it to work great and it has a proper fit.

I would recommend calling Otter customer service at 1-877-466-8837 (GO-OTTER) with your concerns.

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kdr    0

I did contact otter's customer's service. They gave me the model number for the correct cover and I gave my sporting goods store the model number that I was given.

While I am hapy with the house itself, I am disappointed in the cover and the fact that there has been no reponse to my email sent five days ago.

The strange thing is that I was warned about this by the store prior to buying the cover.

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I have had 5 Otters for the past 10 years. I don't believe that e-mails will be responded near as fast as a simple phone call.

I did buy a new cottage a few weeks ago and it was missing a part ( by the way the new canvas and piping system is awsome!). Called Otter and had one shipped to me the next day!

That is great customer service!

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kdr    0

I finally got a response yesterday. The person said at the time of his original email, he wasn't aware of the problems with the cabin covers but was well aware now. He said he was sorry and offered to send me a new one plus arrange for pick up of the one that I had. I said I would take him up on his offer and also thanked him.

I guess I could pick apart this whole experience and find things to complain about, but in the end, they did stand behind their product. So I am satisfied.

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