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buzbunni

Hand Drills/Augers size

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It's 1:30am, I'm unemployed, I'm fantasizing about all the ice fishing gear I can't afford, and I'm cruisin' the FM ICELeaders forum page...ahhhh, life is good. How can I post a decent question? The previous topics cover more than I could even imagine. I've been perusing FM for four months; if I don't post something I'll never get to know ya'll. Thanks to everybody (esp. the MN Prostaff) for your willingness to share information. The best. To all you who are guides (oh Dennis...man do I want a ride on that RiverPro!), I hope to be utilizing your services as much as possible in the future...once I have a paycheck coming in smile.gif. Allright, too much babbling (typical for me!) Here's the question: I'm a gittin' me a hand auger. What diameter would serve me best, ie., a good balance between what I hope is coming thru that hole, and the sweat it's gonna cost me to drill it. I've heard there is quite a difference in effort required between the 5 and 6" drills. Thanks. Ready or not, here I am...

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SERIOUSLY, it was THIS big!

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Welcome to Fm. 7" is as small as I'd like to go. 5" or 6" will work but you'll bump more fish off too. I bought my 7" Mora in 1977 and I have 2 sets of blades. The 7" that came with it and a set of 8".
Just a guess but I'm sure I've drilled thousands of hole with that auger and original blades. I sharpen them myself.
If I had to go out and buy an other hand auger it would be the 7" Mora, yes I tried Lazer augers.

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i bought an 8" lazer and so far it has worked great, since i bought mine, at least four of my buddies that used it went out and replaced their blues with the lazer. but any sharp auger will do the trick. GOOD LUCK

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I fished many years with a blue Mora drill. 7 inch diameter. I also used an 8 inch for a few years before I bought a power auger. I still like to use the 7 or 8 inch hand auger when the ice is not deep. They both cut very well and I like the lighter weight and no gasoline smells over the power augers. The effort needed to cut a hole is minimal. Even if the ice is a little thicker, you can drill the hole, ladle it out and make it ready for fishing. That will give you enough of a rest to drill the next hole while you fish a dead stick in the first hole. There is a lot to be said about the simplicity of hand augers.
Does one cut easier than another? I doubt it. It has to do with the angle on the cutting blades. In order to make it easier to drill, the angle on the blades has to be lighter. Then you have to make more cranks because you are cutting less ice with each turn. The more agressive the angle, the more ice you cut with each turn, and the harder it is to turn. Keep the blades sharp. It's the best thing you can do to keep the job less strenuous.

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No question about the brand, get a lazer. They are more expensive, but you will realize it was worth the extra money when you are drilling through 24+ inches of ice. As to the size, I would say at the absolute minimum you want a 6 inch, but I would say a 7 should be a good compromise. Personally, I have a 4 and an 8 (both lazers). I use the 4 for drilling pilot holes for my vex and I fish out of the 8.

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I have pulled a 17# Nothern through a 5" hole with no problem, if you think you need a larger hole for crappies and walleyes maybe you should look at your technique.
A young man with a sharp 5" spoon auger will out drill a 10" power auger in one foot of ice for just one hole. A seven inch hand auger in 2 1/2 feet of ice is a job.

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I have a 5" and it works great for me. The hole is a little small when it comes to having a line and a vexilar down at the same time, but you can just pair two holes side by side. It is suprising how big of a fish you can still get through the hole, but it is tougher to do so (it definitely improves your skill at landing fish, which is OK by me). Most importantly it is unbelievably easy to drill holes. I can have a couple of holes drilled by the time the other guy gets his power auger started and his first hole drilled.

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I agree with Only-eyes. I used to have a 7" Mora Hand Auger. I thought it worked great until I tried my friends Strikemaster 7" Lazer. The difference is unbelievable. I went out the next day and bought a lazer 7" Man the difference is crazy. I gave away my Mora. I would recommend a 7". The larger the diameter the more sweat thats required. You can get most anything up a 7" hole. I brought up lake trout up to 20 lbs in Canada.

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I have a 5" lazer. My dad has a 6" laser. I purchased 2 more 5" lazer's for my brothers. When we all go ice fishing the 5" gets used every time unless we are too spread out. It is way easier than a 6". I have a vexilar a marcum and a aquaview and will always be fishing with a line and some other device in the same hole. Once you get used to fishing that way it is no big deal. I would go with the 5" just for the ease of drilling the holes. You will find that you are way more willing to drill more holes and move around.

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If it will be the only auger you'll use throughout the winter I'd say a 6" Lazer would be the way to go. The 6" is a good balance between effort of drilling a hole and ease of landing fish. Keep in mind that for every inch wider your hole is you greatly increase the volume of ice you have to cut. For example a 6" hole through 12" of ice = 340 cu in. A 7" hole through 12" = 463 cu in. An 8" hole through 12" = 604 cu in.

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The smaller diameter you buy, the easier it will be to cut holes with it. I have a 7 inch hand auger and it works, but I wish I still had my 4-inch. The 4 inch rips through ice faster than a power auger, allowing you to spend more time fishing. You can get an 8 pound pike through a 4 inch hole. If the fish you are catching are bigger than that, then you need a five inch. You can get a 12 pound pike through a five inch hole.

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Hey buz, keep your eyes open, a few years ago I found a 6" spoon auger for 5 bucks at a garage sale. I also found a guy selling off a bunch of ice fishing equipment for little or nothing. I'm still using lures off of that old timer. There's deals around. Good Luck

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I have a 6in hand-operated Nils Master. It cost me about $80. It's awesome - sharp & holds its edge.

My buddy has a laser, & I outdrill him 2-to-1. Honestly. I see notes on lasers being expensive, but I think his was less than $40. He's quit taking his, & borrows mine. I'm not sure if his auger has always been so bad, or if he dulled the blades, but know he hates it.

Paul

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