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Best New Ice-Fishing Gear for 2023

Great new electronics, rods, reels, shelters and lures to maximize your hardwater efforts this season.

Best New Ice-Fishing Gear for 2023

Humminbird's ICE HELIX bundle. (Photo courtesy of Humminbird)

Every year, manufacturers introduce new products designed to make anglers more effective on the ice. Innovative electronics provide a clearer picture of what’s happening beneath the ice than ever before. New shelters offer more fishing space, portability and warmth. Creative lures tempt more fish, and improved rods and reels provide increased feel and fish-fighting capabilities. Here's a look:

ICE SHELTERS

Clam Nanook XT Thermal

Clam Nanook XT Thermal

This two-person shelter features Clam’s updated XT design, which offers easier entry and more headroom. It also has convenient side-entry doors, so no more stepping over gear or holes to get inside. With its full thermal skin, 900 denier fabric, overhead mesh storage compartment, deluxe seats and 24 square feet of fishable space, this unit is loaded with creature comforts. ($769.99; clamoutdoors.com)

Otter Vortex Pro Resort

Otter Vortex Pro Resort

One of several new Vortex Pro hub-style shelters, the Resort features a new, easy-exit full door, Otter’s patented ThermalTec fabric layering and the Ice-Lock anchoring system. Stay warm and secure, and never trip while running out to check a tip-up again. ($659.99; otteroutdoors.com)

Eskimo Wide 1 XR Thermal

Eskimo Wide 1 XR Thermal

This spacious, one-person flip-and-fish shelter is the perfect choice for hole hoppers. An expanding bottom pole creates up to 17.5 square feet of fishable area, and Eskimo’s insulated IQ fabric keeps the angler warm and focused on the task at hand. The entire unit weighs just 65 pounds. ($599.99; geteskimo.com)

ELECTRONICS

Humminbird ICE HELIX 9 MSI+ GPS G4N MEGA Live Bundle

Humminbird ICE HELIX 9 MSI+ GPS G4N MEGA Live Bundle

View fish, structure and your lure in real time on a 9-inch HD LCD display with Humminbird’s MEGA Live Imaging sonar. With a range of 150 feet and multiple viewing modes—down, forward and landscape—this unit provides extreme fish-finding and observing power. Add in dual-spectrum CHIRP sonar with 3/4-inch target separation and built-in GPS and mapping capabilities, including AutoChart Live Ice, and there’s almost no limit to what you can do. In addition to the transducers and fish finder, the bundle comes with a new ice shuttle and a 20Ah lithium battery, among other items. ($2,999.99; humminbird.johnsonoutdoors.com)

Garmin LiveScope Plus Ice Fishing Bundle LI

Garmin LiveScope Plus Ice Fishing Bundle LI

This bundle pairs Garmin’s new LiveScope Plus live-scanning sonar with its UHD 93sv touchscreen fish finder, a swivel pole transducer mount and a rechargeable lithium battery. LiveScope Plus improves on-screen clarity, transducer sensitivity and target separation (35 percent improvement over the existing system). You can now identify and separate targets as small as 14 inches at distances 100 feet from the hole. With forward and down modes, you can see structure and fish 200 feet in any direction. It also comes preloaded with LakeVu G3 maps. ($3,249.99; garmin.com)

Lowrance Explorer Series Ice Fishing Pack

Lowrance Explorer Series Ice Fishing Pack

The Explorer Ice Fishing Pack blends Lowrance’s Elite FS9 fish finder/chartplotter display with ActiveTarget live sonar, a 24Ah lithium battery, a new transducer pole for Down, Forward and Scout modes and a premium ice-fishing bag and shuttle frame. With ActiveTarget live sonar; Active Imaging 3-in-1 sonar with CHIRP, SideScan and DownScan; and preloaded C-MAP Contour+ charts, this unit is a feature-rich option. ($2,599.00; lowrance.com)

Vexilar 12V Max Lithium Battery

Vexilar 12V Max Lithium Battery

This lightweight 12V/12Ah lithium battery is built as a drop-in replacement for existing 12-volt SLA batteries in current Vexilar Flashers/Packs. It offers almost 50 percent more runtime with Vexilar sonar units at about half the weight. It’s a ruggedly built, high-capacity, fast-recharging battery compatible with the current 1-amp fully automatic Vexilar battery charger or the recommended new V-420L 2.5-amp rapid charger. ($100; 
vexilar.com).

RODS AND REELS

Clam Katana Combo

Clam Katana Combo

This combo pairs a solid graphite rod and comfortable Tsuka featherlight grip with Clam’s new Katana reel. The reel’s 6+1 ball bearings and SF Drag System ensure incredibly smooth and efficient operation, while the rod’s sturdy carbon blank stands up to hard-fighting fish. Available in nine actions for targeting everything from panfish to larger predator species. ($89.99; clamoutdoors.com)




St. Croix Skandic Ice Series Rods

St. Croix Skandic Ice Series Rods

The Skandic series includes 12 models ranging from 24 to 36 inches long and covering everything from ultralight to heavy power. Rods are handcrafted on precision-taper, solid carbon blanks for a combination of maximum action, sensitivity, control and strength with minimal weight. They also utilize the innovative new Seaguide Delta TYG guide train for more efficient line control and management. ($75.00–$110.00; stcroixrods.com)

Daiwa Procyon MQ LT

Daiwa Procyon MQ LT

This feature-packed reel utilizes a monocoque body for rigid support, resulting in more torque and power and extended life of the gears. It also uses Daiwa’s Air Rotor system, Advanced Tournament Drag (ATD) and a tubular bail to reduce weight while minimizing flexing, bending and breaking. ($179.99; daiwa.us)

Clam Tatsumi Reel

Clam Tatsumi Reel

This reel’s buttery smooth drag stands up to big, powerful fish, and its 5+1 coated bearing system offers flawless functioning. Other features include a wide arbor that produces less line coiling and an instant reverse system, among many more. ($69.99; clamoutdoors.com)

Recommended


Okuma Ceymar ODT Reel

Okuma Ceymar ODT Reel

The Ceymar ODT pairs striking looks with great performance. The lightweight, ported spool, black rotor and matte olive green styling stand out. Meanwhile, an 8-bearing system with a Quick-Set anti-reverse and a drag that tops out at 22 pounds make this a potent option. Available from 500 to 4000 sizes and in standard and baitfeeder models. ($63.99–$94.99; okumafishingusa.com)

Okuma Fina Reel

Okuma Fina Reel

A great budget option, the Fina has a multi-disc oiled felt drag system, a Quick-Set anti-reverse roller bearing and an EVA handle knob. There are three models—Standard, Pro and Elite—each offering a different number of ball bearings. All are 500 series reels. ($19.99–$29.99; okumafishingusa.com)

JIGS & LURES

Clam Pinhead Pro

Clam Pinhead Pro

Clam’s classic Pinhead Mino, an ice- fishing staple for many anglers, gets an upgrade this year in the form of the next-generation Pinhead Pro. The new Pro is made from an environmentally friendly zinc alloy that also provides a unique flash, sound and vibration in the water. It’s a great injured-minnow profile that gets down fast and calls fish in for a closer look. Also available as a jointed model. ($6.99; clamoutdoors.com)

FishLab Bio-Minnow Vertical Jig

FishLab Bio-Minnow Vertical Jig

This innovative jigging bait features a metal tail that users can fine-tune for either an aggressive side-to-side darting action or more traditional up-and-down action. It’s tough enough to withstand the abuse of rock reefs and other hard cover. ($6.99; fishlabtackle.com)

VMC Bull Spoon

VMC Bull Spoon

This quick-sinking, minnow-shaped spoon has an outstanding wounded-baitfish action and lifelike 3D holographic eye. To ensure solid hookups that withstand headshaking fish, it uses an ultra-sharp MC treble hook. Available in many colors, including UV and Glow options. ($3.79-$3.99; rapala.com)

Northland Tackle Rigged Tungsten Jigs

Northland Tackle Rigged Tungsten Jigs

Heavy-for-their-size tungsten jigs that sink quickly remain popular with ice anglers, and Northland has three new offerings for ice season: the Rigged Bloodworm, Mini Smelt and Mayfly Larvae. Each has a tungsten Mud Bug jighead and soft, ultra-realistic body. ($8.59/2 jigs and 3 tails; northlandtackle.com)

Acme Tackle Mick-E Tungsten Jig

Acme Tackle Mick-E Tungsten Jig

With its unique “Mick-E” ears that look like a crankbait lip, this jig glides and dances in the water, producing a darting action like a real underwater bug. It’s available in three sizes and an array of colors. ($5.49; acmetackle.com)

FishLab Bio-Shad Tailspin

FishLab Bio-Shad Tailspin

This lure pairs a lifelike shad body shape with a willow blade for flash and vibration and an ultra-sharp Owner treble hook to keep fish planted during the fight. It’s available in two sizes and six popular colors. ($7.99; fishlabtackle.com)

Northland Tackle Level Head Predator Tube

Northland Tackle Level Head Predator Tube

Perfect for lakers, pike, walleye and other predators, this rigged tube jig comes with a soft and chewy body that swims and darts like a dying baitfish. Its unique level-head design lets it hang horizontally at rest, while a sturdy molded hook and blood-red stinger treble hook assist in solid hooksets on big fish. Available in four colors and three sizes. ($7.99–$8.99/1 rigged and 1 extra tube, northlandtackle.com)

Reef Runner Tungsten Cicada Blade Bait

Reef Runner Tungsten Cicada Blade Bait

Reef Runner’s proven Cicada gets a tungsten upgrade this year. The blade bait has a darting, fluttering action on the fall and a unique vibration when pulled up. And, due to its tungsten makeup, the 3/32-ounce blade can be fished deep. ($5.49; acmetackle.com)

  • The above new products are compiled from the Midwest and West editions of the December-January Game & Fish Magazine. How to subscribe

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