December 20, 2021
By Drew Warden
The ice season is just about upon us this year. In fact, some places may already have ice forming, and a few select waters may even already have fishable ice before Thanksgiving.
While ice conditions always vary depending on geography and weather patterns, the passion that serious ice anglers have for their sport always holds steadfast.
Those still anxiously awaiting safe ice, or those simply looking to acquire some new equipment ahead of the hardwater season, can rejoice, though.
Manufacturers have produced an assortment of new rods, reels, tip-ups, lures, shelters, clothing, electronics and other accessories to help hardwater aficionados find more success this year.
Here, we've rounded up some of the latest and greatest products sorted by category. With more than 50 items in our roundup, there's something for nearly any ice angler.
RODS, REELS AND COMBOS
Abu Garcia Veritas LTD Ice Spinning Combo
The new Veritas ice combo sets anglers up with an ultra-responsive 24-ton graphite blank paired with a smooth four-bearing reel. The reel's Rocket line management system improves control of line coming off the spool, while the high-density EVA handles provide greater sensitivity and durability.
$49.99-$59.99 | abugarcia.com
Clam Outdoors Scepter Carbon Rod
With an extra-stout backbone for hard hooksets and an extra-fine tip for delicate bites, the Scepter Carbon should be a hot item this year. It also features an ergonomic reel seat and handle. Available in eight models from ultra-light to medium-heavy.
$99.99 | clamoutdoors.com
Daiwa Kage Ice Rods
Daiwa's new Kage ice rods are available in nine models ranging from 2’4” ultralight power, extra-fast action rods to 4’0” medium-heavy power, fast-action rods. All are developed using Daiwa's Super Volume Fiber (SVF) blank manufacturing process for lighter, slimmer blanks that remain both sensitive and strong. The unique Megatop rod tip offers a particularly sensitive yet strong top section, perfect for the light bites sometimes found with ice fishing. Other great features include Fuji tangle-free guides, crafted cork handles and hand-shaped reel seats.
$119.99 | daiwa.us
St. Croix Tundra Ice Rods
The new Tundra Series of rods packs ample features into nine different models. Extra-fast action, light-power options use strong Extreme-Flex solid glass blanks and sensitive, hi-vis strike-indicating tips while other models have powerful Precision-Taper solid carbon blanks for landing bigger fish.
$100.00-$130.00 | stcroixrods.com
G. Loomis IMX-PRO Ice Rod
Recently, G. Loomis made the decision to expand into the ice-fishing arena. It did so with its new IMX-PRO series of ice rods, which includes 12 models ranging from a 29-inch light power, extra-fast-action model perfect for panfish, to a 41-inch medium-heavy power, fast-action model suited for larger predator species. The rods tailored to predators utilize a Tubular IMX-PRO graphite construction, while the lighter panfish sticks feature Solid IMX-PRO construction with very fast tapers. All have a Hybrid Guide System and come with ultra-lightweight REC recoil guides.
$199.99 | gloomis.com
Daiwa Team Daiwa Ice Q Combo
This quality combo pairs a sensitive, durable, heavy-action graphite blank with Daiwa's excellent Laguna LT spinning reel. The reel has an ultra-smooth ATD Drag, a Carbon Light Body and precise DigiGear operation. With this duo, you're set up for predators ranging from yellow perch to large pike and lake trout.
$79.99 | daiwa.us
Okuma Ceymar TG Reels
Available in smaller 500 and 1000 sizes, the ultra-compact Ceymar TG reel is perfect for the ice. The TG models sport a tactical green matte finish and can be had in spinning and baitfeeder (TGF) configurations. Reels use an eight-bearing system with Quick-Set anti-reverse.
$59.99-$79.99 | okumafishingusa.com
Shimano NASCI FC (500 and 1000 series)
Shimano's newly redesigned NASCI FC family of reels all incorporate SilentDrive technology, which, because of extremely precise tolerances, reduces wobble, noise and vibration for an ultra-smooth and quiet reeling and enhanced overall reel performance. Each reel also uses the Shimano HAGANE cold-forged aluminum drive gear for smooth feel and function. Meanwhile, CoreProtect provides improved water resistance. The 500 series, which weighs just 6 ounces, is perfect for panfish below the ice, and the 1000 series is great for hardwater walleye applications.
$99.99-$109.99 | fish.shimano.com
Daiwa Ballistic MQ LT
This new reel utilizes Daiwa's one-piece Zaion V body, Digigear system, Zaion V air rotor, air bail and an eight-ball bearing system. The result is a smooth-operating reel with fish-turning power. Available in sizes 1000 to 4000.
$229.99 | daiwa.us
Frabill VYPR Tip-Up
This next-gen thermal tip-up incorporates a built-in aerator to inhibit ice formation, an inline reel for sensitivity and a lighted trip indicator. It runs on two D batteries and has an oversized design for use in holes up to 10 inches in diameter.
$69.99 | frabill.com
Beaver Dam Tip-Up Walleye
Walleye fans rejoice! Beaver Dam's classic tip-up is now available with a walleye-themed board and flag. Coming with all the features of the dependable original rail tip-up, including Beaver Dam's Smooth-Spool Technology, this unit will keep you putting fish on the ice without problems.
$54.99 | acmetackle.com
HT Enterprises Quick Strike Auto Hookset System
Automatic hook-setting tip-ups have grown increasingly popular in recent years. The Quick Strike Auto Hookset System from HT Enterprises is one such new option for anglers. It works with just about any length of rod combo, courtesy of a fully adjustable rod tube, an adjustable line/clip system and a special wire trigger that hooks into the top of the rod tip. It's lightweight, durable and comes with an ice anchor to secure the device on hardwater.
$16.99-$19.49 | htent.com
Daiwa J-Fluoro Samurai Hidden Concept
This 100-percent fluorocarbon line is a great option for ice anglers. It's abrasion-resistant and has a narrow diameter and minimal memory, which is helpful when ice fishing. And it is low stretch, which increases sensitivity and improves hooksets.
$23.99-$54.99/220-yard spool | daiwa.us
Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon Ice
This 100-percent fluorocarbon line is specially engineered for ice fishing. It features a thinner diameter and is more supple to keep flexible during cold-weather conditions. The low-stretch formula produces exceptional sensitivity and solid hooksets, and its lower memory improves handling.
$5.99/75-yard spool | berkley-fishing.com
Seaguar IceX Fluorocarbon
IceX is a relatively new, low-memory, micro-diameter line engineered from Seaguar 100-percent fluorocarbon resins. Designed to offer excellent abrasion resistance and knot and tensile strength, this line is a solid tool for the ice angler.
$8.99/50-yard spool | seaguar.com
Sufix Advance Ice Monofilament
This recently introduced line has 50 percent less stretch than standard mono and half the UV-light absorption. Hydrophobic water-repellent protection resists freezing, and G2 precision winding virtually eliminates line memory.
$5.49/100-yard spool | rapala.com
BAIT AND LURES
Clam Outdoors Ribbon Leech Flutter Spoon
Taking after Clam's popular Leech Flutter Spoon, this new spoon features a thinner cut, which makes the lure fall through the water at a much slower speed. Add a noisy flapper blade and 12 colors, and it's easy to see why it attracts fish.
$5.99 | clamoutdoors.com
Magic Preserved Wax Worms
These preserved wax worms make it easy to fish with real bait wherever you go on the ice. Available in three colors—natural, chartreuse and red—they are preserved fresh to maintain natural color and scent. Each .21-ounce bag contains approximately 35 worms, with a resealable pouch keeping them fresh and flavorful.
$3.79 | magicproducts.com
Berkley PowerBait Chroma-Glow Panfish Nibbles
Low-light conditions on ice often call for "glow" baits, and Berkley's PowerBait Chroma-Glow Panfish Nibbles are just the ticket. It uses the same technology as the company's proven Crappie Nibbles, which are exclusively formulated for panfish. Now these Panfish Nibbles are available in Glow Chartreuse, Glow Pink and Glow White.
$5.99 | berkley-fishing.com
Northland Fishing Tackle Tungsten Mud Bug
This jig takes Northland Tackle's classic Mud Bug and gives it a tungsten upgrade. The result is a jig that drops fast while still retaining the classic's bulging eyes, insect mandible jaw and realistic nostrils that have made it so successful.
$6.99/2 per package | northlandtackle.com
Acme Tackle Company Tungsten Slider Jig
This new patented Acme Tackle jig utilizes innovative sliding hook technology, meaning it utilizes a spring-loaded sliding hook. This effectively widens the hook gap upon the strike and prevents fish from gaining leverage on the jig head and spitting the hook. Essentially, it allows the jig to have a compact ice-fishing profile yet perform closer to a wide-gap open-water hook. It also permits the hook to move freely with the bait, keeping finnicky fish from stealing the bait off the hook as easily.
$4.99/1 per package | acmetackle.com
Freedom Tackle Corp. Freedom Flash
A premium zinc, UV-coated body and a belly-mounted Indiana blade combine on this lure to mimic the erratic action of a baitfish in trouble. It's available in 12 colors and two weights: 5/32 and 5/16 ounce.
$4.49 | americanbaitworks.com
Clam Maki Wammi
In recent years, plastics have become incredibly popular among ice anglers—especially for panfish. In some cases, the subtle action of a soft plastic is the only thing that can accurately mimic the tiny invertebrates that crappies, bluegills and perch are feeding on beneath the ice. Clam's Maki line of plastics has done well for anglers, and a new introduction is the Wammi, which can imitate freshwater shrimp or a Mayfly underwater.
$3.78/8 per package | clamoutdoors.com
Northland Fishing Tackle Bro Bug Spoon
The new Bro Bug Spoon has a unique, buggy profile and a great action to fool hungry perch and walleyes. Its bulging 3D eyes attract fish and show up well on electronics, too. Available in 12 colors and three sizes.
$4.99/1 per package | northlandtackle.com
Acme Tackle Company Stub-Z
The new Stub-Z is a great option for those who like to aggressive jig walleyes through the ice. Its small 1 1/4-inch profile and a stub-nosed shape that yields erratic darting actions on the rip should prove enticing to hungry predators. Available in 12 eye-catching colors.
$5.99 | acmetackle.com
FishLab Bio-Minnow Vertical Jig
This jig utilizes a metal tail, which increases durability and allows for fine tuning. Anglers can choose an aggressive side-to-side darting action or flatten the tail for more of an up-and-down presentation around cover. Available in five sizes and seven colors.
$6.99-$8.59 | fishlabtackle.com
Digger's Jig Tails Ice Spider
Another soft-plastic option for ice anglers fishing for panfish keyed on small invertebrates is the Ice Spider from Digger's Jig Tails, which makes a variety of hand-poured plastics. These micro plastic baits measure less than an inch in length and feature an array of appendages to attract fish. Fish them on light jig heads from 1/100 to 1/64 ounce for ideal results.
$2.49/12 per package | diggersjigtails.com
Acme Tackle Company Hyper Hammer TT
This jigging minnow has a rattling google eye glass chamber and a through-body brass hammer that are sure to produce vibrations and noise to call in hungry fish. It also has a soft silicone tail for added action and attraction.
$10.99 | acmetackle.com
Northland Fishing Tackle Buck-Shot Coffin Spoon
This spoon takes its name from its unique shape, which produces a tantalizing tumbling and gliding action. An internal brass rattle calls to fish, while the flicker tail mimics the motion of a baitfish's tail with each pump. Comes in four sizes and 12 colors.
$6.99 | northlandtackle.com
Custom Jigs & Spins Wonderglow Demon Jig
The original Demon Jig has been producing on panfish and walleyes beneath the ice for some time now. This year, it gets a popular new color, Wonderglow.
$1.50-$1.99/per jig | customjigs.com
VMC Tungsten Mongo Jig
The fast-dropping Tungsten Mongo Jig offers a small profile and an extra-long Power Gap hook perfect for soft plastics or live bait. It also has a 90-degree line tie to always keep the jig balanced. Now available in six new colors.
$5.89/2 jigs | rapala.com
Northland Tackle Tungsten Gill Getter Jig
This sharp-looking jig features a flat-belly profile, bulging eyes and a premium needle-point hook with a 60-degree angle. The flatter profile provides both a gliding action and reflects sonar better to show up more clearly on returns. Given its tungsten body, it also falls quickly. Available in 1/16- or 1/28-ounce sizes, and in eight different colors.
$6.99/2 jigs | northlandtackle.com
Lindy Tackle Rattl'n Quiver Spoon
This lure is a twist on the fan favorite classic Lindy Quiver Spoon. Built on the same frame, this one incorporates a rattle system in the eye portion for added attraction. The Rattl'n Quiver Spoon is available in 14 color patterns, including eight Lindy-exclusive glow patterns for fishing deep or during low-light periods. Available in 1/4-, 1/8- and 1/6-ounce sizes.
$4.49 | lurenet.com
Garmin LiveScope Ice Fishing Bundle Li
This slick bundle takes Garmin's incredible Panoptix LiveScope sonar technology with forward and down scanning modes and pairs it with a new lightweight lithium-ion battery to keep you fishing longer. It also uses a large nine-inch ECHOMAP UHD 93sv touchscreen and comes with a charger and power cable in a glove-friendly portable bag.
$2,999.99 | garmin.com
Humminbird Ice Helix Bundles
Humminbird upgraded their line of—and introduced several new—Ice Helix bundles for this season. Some include MEGA Live Imaging or MEGA 360 Imaging. Anglers also have access to a purpose-built premium ice shuttle and new lithium batteries in select bundles.
$399.99-$2,999.99 | humminbird.com
Aqua-Vu Quad HD
The Quad HD's four 720p underwater lenses in one camera module permit forward, backward, left and right viewing. Its 10-inch LCD has four touchscreen-selectable quadrants and touch zoom, or it connects to larger displays, like a TV. It comes with 125 feet of camera cable, adjustable infrared (IR) lights, powerful battery, smart charger and a soft carry bag.
$1,799.99 | aquavu.com
Vexilar Pro Pack FLX30 Li w/ BB
This unit is packed with features to aid diehard ice anglers in their hardwater pursuits. These include digital depth (in normal or high-power modes), Auto Range, three zoom zones, three power levels, five color palettes to choose from for max visibility, five-foot depth range adjustments starting at 10 feet, day and night display brightness settings, low-power options for shallow water, seven different frequencies on hand and so much more. Comes with 12-volt Lithium, 9 amp-hour battery; charger; and powerful Broad Band Ice Ducer transducer.
$769.00 | vexilar.com
Clam Outdoors EdgeX Ice Suit
Built to keep anglers comfortable on the ice, the EdgeX Ice Suit has a soft-touch waterproof fabric shell with a super soft long nap fleece inner lining. It has 150 grams of fixed insulation, a rapid drain system and waist-high two-way zippers on pants and bibs for easy ventilation.
$199.99/parka, $199.99/bibs, $169.99/pants | clamoutdoors.com
Eskimo Legend Ice Suit
Available with fits for both men and women, the Legend Ice Suit contains 100 grams of Thinsulate insulation for warmth and uses Eskimo's Uplyft breathable floatation assistance technology to keep you safe. Meanwhile, the suit's windproof and waterproof—yet breathable—10k/10k materials keep you dry from both sides.
$289.99/jacket, $289.99/bibs | geteskimo.com
Huk Icon X Superior Jacket/Bib
Huk's Icon X Superior Jacket and Bib offer protection from the elements and the water below. Both articles of clothing are 100-percent windproof and waterproof (20K waterproof/20K breathable) and feature Float Technology to add buoyancy in the event things go sideways. Body-mapped insulation is also included, as are fleece-lined hand warmer pockets—and additional pockets with magnetic flaps.
$300/jacket $290/bib | hukgear.com
Clam Outdoors Defender Ice Suit
The Defender Ice Suit is a great choice for harsh and potentially dangerous conditions. This float suit utilizes durable waterproof, windproof and breathable fabric and features the integrated Motion Float System in the event of an ice break-through. Despite the float system, anglers retain a lot of mobility with this suit.
$199.99/parka, $199.99/bib | clamoutdoors.com
StrikeMaster Five-Finger Flip Mitt
The Five-Finger Flip Mitt keeps fingers warm but easily accessible. They feature 40 grams of Thinsulate padding, a polyurethane palm and waterproof insert and a polyester fleece lining. The shell is mostly polyester with some spandex, and magnets hold mitt and thumb tops back when flipped open.
$44.99 | rapala.com
Striker ICE Apex Ice Suit
In this ice suit, PrimaLoft Cross Core, which fuses existing PrimaLoft insulation fibers with Aerogel (a NASA-developed technology known for incredible insulation capabilities) pairs with Striker's SureFlote Flotation Assist Technology. The result is an ice suit that's safe and incredibly warm, while remaining lightweight. Both the jacket and bibs are also waterproof and yet breathable. Meanwhile, an assortment of zippered and magnetic pockets offer the angler ample storage.
$449.99/jacket, $449.99/bibs | strikerbrands.com
Clam Outdoors Kenai Pro Thermal – Ice Team Edition
This 50-pound flip-and-go fish trap is perfect for the hole-hopping ice angler. The one-person shelter has a full thermal skin and a deep tub for storage, and it comes with a light bar, battery bracket and travel cover.
$549.99 | clamoutdoors.com
Eskimo Outbreak 850XD
The Outbreak 850XD is Eskimo's biggest shelter ever, offering 114 square feet of fishable area that can hold up to nine people. The hub-style shelter has an oversized, trip-proof door and features StormShield insulated fabric for keeping warm.
$669.99 | geteskimo.com
Frabill Ice Hunter 115
The flip-over style Ice Hunter 115 is Frabill's lightest and smallest shelter. Affording room for one angler, it's a great option for mobile anglers on the ice. It includes a jumpseat-style seat and a zippered door for easy access, even with gloves. It also has large interior gear pockets for supplies.
$449.99 | frabill.com
Clam Outdoors Voyager X Thermal – Ice Team Edition
This shelter is designed for hardcore ice-anglers wanting to fish long and hard, while staying warm and comfortable. It accommodates two anglers and incorporates a built-in, yet removable, deluxe seating system. It also uses the Side Symmetry Door system for easy access, and it includes a light bar, battery bracket and travel cover.
$1,049.99 | clamoutdoors.com
Eskimo Eskape 2400
This side-door shelter offers easy access and collapses down to fit under the tonneau cover in the back of most crew cab trucks. It has an integrated bench seat for comfort and offers 25 square feet of insulated fishable area for two anglers.
$699.99 | geteskimo.com
Otter Outdoors Vortex Pro Lodge Thermal
This lightweight hub-style shelter builds on the success of 2020's Vortex Hub series with key features like a new, Easy Exit Full Door for no-trip entry and exit, full door-stabilizing poles for extra strength and stability, and an oversized design for more fishable square footage. It also uses Otter's ThermalTec insulated shell, exclusive ice-lock anchoring system and other features found on other Vortex Hub shelters.
$476.99 | otteroutdoors.com
StrikeMaster Pro Lithium 40v LITE Auger
The new Pro Lithium 40v LITE upgrades StrikeMaster’s standard Lithium 40v auger with a Lite-Flite Lazer Drill Unit and new six-amp battery. The result is less weight and more hole-drilling capabilities. Comes with an eight-inch diameter blade.
$649.99 | rapala.com
Jiffy Rogue 80v Electric Auger
The new Rogue, which produces a 500 RPM shaft speed, has the industry's only two-speed motor, controlled by a switch on the handle. The two speed settings include: turbo, intended for outdoor drilling, and shelter, well suited for use inside ice shacks and shelters. The Rogue's 80-volt 1300-watt battery, which can be fully recharged in an hour, helps it drill through 25 percent more ice on a single charge. It also has an LED dome light for drilling at night. The auger is available in 6-, 8- and 10-inch models.
$674.99-$689.99 | jiffyonice.com
HT Enterprises Siberian Tiger Premium Ice Auger Kit
If a hands-on approach is more your style, consider this auger kit from HT Enterprises. It comes with an adjustable handle, an auger, a 22-inch extension bar for ultra-thick ice and a smooth drill adapter. The auger is available in a six- or eight-inch model, and its super-sharp hardened steel blades make drilling holes quick and easy. The handle is telescoping, adjusting from a height of 36 to 56 inches, and it folds down for easy transport and storage.
$152.99 | htent.com
Clam ClamLock Accessories
Trick out your trap, shelter or permanent ice house with ClamLock. This system uses easy-to-install pucks, or base plates, that can attach to center hubs on hub-style shelters, flat surfaces on flip-over shelters and the walls of fixed ice houses. An integrated slide lock allows anglers to attach various ClamLock accessories such as rod holders (above), rattle reels, shelves, gear pockets and even a cooler bag.
$9.99-$29.99 | clamoutdoors.com
Rapala SmartHub Wheelhouse Accessories
The Rapala SmartHub system features a connector base that attaches to flat surfaces inside mobile wheelhouses. Various accessories—like rod holders, rattle reels and arms for attaching other devices like a GoPro—then simply slide over the SmartHub connector and "click in" securely. A track system with three connectors is also available.
$11.99-$29.99 | rapala.com
HT Enterprises Siberian Ice Box
Take a seat and have most of your gear handy, too, with HT Enterprises' Siberian Ice Box. It combines an extra-thick padded foam seat with four storage boxes in the compartment below. An insulated foam five-gallon storage compartment offers all-purpose or bait storage, when you add a clip-on aerator (not included) and hose, which the ice box accommodates. Meanwhile, rod holders on the outside offer a place to store rods.
$54.99 | htent.com
Frabill Universal Bait Station
This durable, portable live bait cooler is perfect for the hole-hopping ice-angler that wants to keep live bait with them on the ice. A non-slip base keeps it place, even on slick ice, and a built-in battery-operated aerator with hose and stone keep baits alive and well inside the insulated interior. It holds up to eight quarts of water, ice, soil or tackle boxes and features an easy-access bait door through the lid, as well as an entirely zippered top.
$59.99 | frabill.com