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Coach Dog

I want to start ice-fishing, I have $500, what should I buy???

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$500 to blow on ice-fishing gear. What do I buy? How many rods/reels? Manual/power auger? Portable shack: yes or no? Sled?
I normally just tag along w/ my buds who ice-fish and they have more than enough to outfit me, but I want to go out on my own now. HELP PLEASE!

Coach Dog

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I would blow it all on a Vexilar FL-18 Ultra Pac. Boy would your buddies envy you.

------------------
Mille Lacs Guide Service
320-293-3287
www.millelacsguideservice.com

[This message has been edited by Derek Johnston (edited 12-05-2003).]

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DJ,
They would probably just give me the rest of the stuff then eh? ha ha

Seriosly, though, what do I get?

Coach Dog

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It's hard to say for sure. A good shack, a flasher, and a power auger sure make things nice. However, I think more important than the shack and auger is a quality flasher. I use a Vexilar FL8-SLT(apparently called the SE now). I haven't used the more pricey ones, but I think it'd stick with the FL8. It will give you more money to buy other things with, and it will work VERY well. I don't feel undergunned at all just because my flasher is 2 years old.
Now that you have the flasher, you probably only have $200 left over. That won't be enough to get a new shack, or a new power auger. You could buy a used power auger for $200 that would probably run fine. You might be able to buy a used shack for $200 that would work.
You might also want to see if somebody would let you try a lazer hand auger. If you're willing to do a little work, those things cut like you wouldn't believe. New ones go for around $60.

It depends how you want to do it. You could buy a new Vexilar for $200, and a used auger for that much, and still have 100 left for other tackle.

Most likely, you'll get more tackle the longer you go. Heck, I started with a chisel and a 5 gallon bucket. You'll have to decide what you want. A power auger is nice, but fishing from a shack is too. It's your choice. One thing I think you need though is a quality flasher. They really can make huge difference in the way you fish.
Good luck and have fun with it!

gill man

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I dont know what ya have so i'll start out with the basics.....couple of rods, fishin line, tackle, tackle box, some sort of lantern or light(if your gonna night fish), sled or ice house(I personally prefer a one man Ice Trap) to carry everything in, auger(prefferably power for when the ice gets a couple feet thick, and a heater(just for comfort smile.gif Hope this helps!! Good Fishing!!

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Well, your going to need a rod and reel thats for sure. grin.gif. Depends on what your fishing for. You may want two if your fishing walleyes and panfish. Thorne Bros has a great selection- www.thornebros.com That could take $50 out of your $500.
You may want some good boots- $100
I would then look to get a portable shelter or a flasher and hand auger. You can find all of these used to save money. $500 dont get you much these days but it will get you on the ice. If I was starting out fresh with $500, this is what I would do.

Two Rod/reel combo's $50
Ice tackle box/w jigs and tackle $30
Boots-$100
Bibs and Parka- $100
Hand auger $50
5 gallon bucket to sit on
The rest on a used flasher.


------------------
Mille Lacs Guide Service
320-293-3287
www.millelacsguideservice.com

[This message has been edited by Derek Johnston (edited 12-06-2003).]

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Oh yeah and I am completely ashamed of myself, I forgot about the Vexlair. I can't believe I forgot, I don't leave home with out it...if you have money left it's a very good investment.

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DJ and others,
Thanks! I got the boots, bibs, and parka. Now what can I blow that money on? Any good auger recommendations? Maybe I can tough it out this year and not get a portable house?
Thanks again!

P.S. WOW! 8 responses in the last 1/2 hour???!!!

[This message has been edited by Coach Dog (edited 12-06-2003).]

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I'd say about $150 for a used FL-8, $100-150 for a used power auger & maybe $75-100 for a used Fish Trap or something similar. That should leave you with $100 or more for a couple ice rods & tackle. You can use the same reels that you use for open water fishing. The Genz rods are a great option for the price. Get a propane lantern for night fishing & some heat-$20-30. You can also get a small propane heater for about $20. The FL-8 & power auger would be the most important items to me. Vern

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You can fish without a flasher. I have an FL-8, and it is great, but you can get by without it.

You can't fish without a hole in the ice. You need an auger. If you are willing to work at it, you can get by with a good hand auger.

You also should have a decent shack - and a heater - because if you are not comfortable, it won't be any fun.

If you can get those items cheap, then try to find a good used flasher.

Make sure you set aside $50 or $70 or so to get a jiggin rod, a tip-up, and some lures/rigs.

You would probably do well to lurk around the 'for sale' forms on this site. Just a few thoughts.

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I am going to disagree with everyone here. I think the vexilar is a very important piece of equipment but if you are limited on funds and are just starting up I think the vexilar is one of the last things I would buy. I would rather see somebody get out there with a portable, rods, reels, heater and so on. Get started ice fishing and be comfortable so you can enjoy the experience and use just a waited depth finder or an old style flasher for depth that you can get at gargage sales cheap. Once you start ice fishing then start upgrading get the vexilar or marcum and the aqua view and I think you will appreciate more what the new flashers can do for you. Just my opinion, but I feel you should get started first with the basics and then upgrade as you can like go from a hand auger to a power auger or an old open water style flasher to a marcum or vexilar.

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You can fish without the flasher. However, if you have already fished with one (your buddies or whatever) you're not gonna like not having one. I can't do it. I hate fishing blind.

There are places and situations where you can have a blast and fish real cheap. Backwaters with tip-ups and a nice fire on shore is a blast and doesn't take much for gear. All you need is tip-ups, something to punch holes, some quickstrike rigs or other northern set-up, some bait, something to sit on, food and beverages, some buds to hang out with. Loads of fun!

mm

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Well here's how I did it about 10 years ago:

Built a 4X8 plywood/tarp collapsible fishouse for about 100 bucks.
Bought a hand auger for about 50 bucks.
Bought a sunflower heater for about 40 bucks.
Bought rod/reel combos and tackle, odds and ends for about 100 bucks.

In the years since, I've replaced all of this stuff a little at a time, and added a few gadgets along the way. Hand auger was the first to go. Didn't buy a vex until 2 years ago. You can get by without one, contrary to popular opinion.

My priorities were/are:
auger
poles and tackle
shelter
heater

I didn't buy any special cold weather clothes specifically for ice fishing. It's Minnesota, I had that stuff already wink.gif

Only thing I'm getting this year is the Croxton Pond bag, hopefully for Christmas from this HSOforum. I'm tired of buckets.

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For panfish, I started with:

1) Ice picks to hang around my neck ($10)
2) Rope ($5)
3) Humminbird Super Sixty flasher - one for $25 today on http://fishingminnesota.com/ubb/Forum78/HTML/000259.html ($25)
4)You'll want to float the transducer, so see the “excellent” post (I wrote it!) at: http://fishingminnesota.com/ubb/Forum30/HTML/003488.html ($2)
5) two buckets to sit on & carry stuff in ($6)
6) a couple cheap rods with spring bobbers and built-in stands ($10)
7) Auger ($25+ but don’t get a cheap one – I spent $80 on my first & only)
8) a board to put under my feet to keep 'em off the ice ($0.50)
9) assortment of jigs ($20)

You'll not be outfitted as well as the guy you'll sit by on the ice, but you're fishing, & you've got enough to be effective. It's cost you about $100! Then, if you're not comfortable it doesn't matter how good your equipment is, because you won't be on the ice for long anyway. My next investments were:
10) Good boots ($100+)
11) Good coveralls ($60+)
12) ice-cleats ($12)

Then start investing in better equipment:
13) A few good rods for jigging ($10 - $30 ea)
14) Better flasher ($300+)
15) Shelter - get one with a built-in sled ($150+)
16) Heater ($40+)
17) Power auger – low priority to me in IL, as ice never gets over 9in, & I can drill with hand-auger in 20sec ($250+)

Dream about:
17) snowmobile or 4-wheeler to pull the sled ($2000?)
18) Wife to sit next to you & keep you snuggly warm (Priceless!)

Good luck, & just get out there! You can always add to your collection later.

Paul

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My auger is a "Nils Master". It cost me about $80 for a 6in. I got it the same time as my buddy bought a less expensive $30 auger. Mine's still sharp & fast. He's now swearing at the (again cheap) replacement auger he bought.

You get what you pay for, & you don't want a bad auger.

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I've read through all the replies, and I think I want to change a reccomendation I made earlier. I told you that a good flasher is a must. That isn't completely true. A flasher is the last thing I bought. Before that I got(in this order) a shack(simple homeade version), a heater, and a power auger. Then I got the Vexilar a couple years ago. I upgraded my shack later to a Frabil. I'd like a Fishtrap but money is a little tight now.

I love my Vexilar, and it's a ball to fish with. However, I fished a lot of years without it, and always caught fish. When you're out there, ask people how far off bottom fish are holding, or just experiment with different depths. You'll catch fish without a flasher.

So, here's my updated list.
You need to be comfortable. Buy a shack and maybe a heater. Then look for a good power auger, used or new. Jiffy and Strikemaster should both work fine.
Get a good rod or two and some tackle. Then if you have money left over, look into buying a flasher.

gill man

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I agree with a lot of what I've read... Unless you know your going to be hooked on ice fishing, start with the basics and work your way up as you do more ice fishing and have the funds to upgrade.

Thinking back, I started ice fishing and fished quite a few years with very limited supplies:
- cheap hand auger ($30)
- warm hunting clothing
- warm hunting boots
- a couple rods/reels and a couple tip-ups

Once you start fishing in a shack and with a flasher, etc. you start to get a bit spoiled. I fished many years with the bare essentials and did fine that way. The more money you put into equipement doesn't necessarily equate to more fish. The flasher will help you catch fish once you learn how to use it, but most of the items you are speaking of are purely comfort items. You can get started ice fishing and be successful for under $100 easily (assuming you already have some warm clothing and good winter boots). A couple rod/reel combo's ($30 total), two tip-ups ($10), an ice tackle assortment with depth weight ($15), and a hand auger ($30).

I bought a power auger first when I decided to upgrade, then a shack/heater, then the flasher.

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Thanks for all your help guys! I still haven't quite decided what to get but I now have a pretty good idea on what to get. Right now it looking sorta like this:
-A good quality auger
-A couple rods and reels, tackle
-A portable
-A heater
Now my questions are: where can I find a good used portable? What kind of rods and reels should I look for? Any preference on augers? And finally, where can I go to get this stuff? Gander, FleetFarm, etc.
Again, thanks for all the responses and keep them coming cause I'm learning a lot, now it looks like I'm going need to learn how to catch some panfish and wall-dogs smile.gif

Coach Dog

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1. Warm clothing! ($200.00

2. Shelter ($200.00 Frabill Venture works fine)

3. Auger Hand or gas
Hand is ok for now, gas is good rest of season. I use the Mora from Strikemaster simple affordable and its the same as my dad used before power augers. And the Eskimo power auger keeps me going through the season.
$50.00

4. Chair and light: A folding nylon camping chairs work good. bucket if you prefer. Battery operated light
$10.00

5.Heat: Mr. Cooker ask for it by name! you can heat with a cooker but you can't cook with the Mr. heater too well.
$45.00

6. Rod and reel set up
Remember this; a good fisherman can catch them with a stick, (Don't go overboard at first)
Go for the medium price range and buy 2.
Later give them to the kids when you upgrade to the spendy set ups. I use daiwa and Southbbend they both have proven over the years to be a good product for the money.
$50.00

7. Line
DO NOT LOOK FOR THE PRICE TAG!
Always choose a high strength line, I always buy mine from the bait shops because they sell it more than the box stores. Yo-Zuri and Vanish are both great lines.
$9.00- 12.00

8. Attitude
A good attitude and a positive approach to the sport, remember to think and concentrate.
Free

9. A Friend
Always take someone if you can, if not don't hesitate at the chance for total peace alone.
Free

10. Tackle
Tacklecity.com
Dont forget ice buster bobbers
any questions ask here
$30.00 +

11. Bait
The correct bait is key in catching anything.
$4.00

12. Technique
Free

hope this helps

------------------
Don't worry you'll get the next one.

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Coach Dog,
If you keep an eye out on the classifieds here at FM, you can find some great deals on everything you need to get started..

Over $150
http://fishingminnesota.com/cgi-bin/forums/forumdisplay.cgi?action=topics&forum=Outdoor+Users+Classified+FOR+SALE+Forum&number=78&DaysPrune=60&LastLogin=
Under $150
http://fishingminnesota.com/cgi-bin/forums/forumdisplay.cgi?action=topics&forum=Used+Gear+Under+$150+For+Sale&number=10&DaysPrune=60&LastLogin=

hsolist would also be worth looking into for good used deals and reconditioned units.

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