January 06, 2021
Manufacturers continue to make things easier for anglers on the ice. Whether with new rods and reels to bring fish through the hole, new drills to increase ground you can cover or new shelters and clothing to keep you comfortable and fishing longer, each year your favorite brands deliver.
Here, we’ll cover some of the latest gear to make your hardwater efforts more productive.
RODS AND REELS
Clam Voltage Combo
The Voltage Combo ($39.99; clamoutdoors.com) pairs an ultra-sensitive hybrid graphite/fiberglass rod with a quality 3+1 bearing reel for a solid package. The rod utilizes lightweight wireframe guides and an EVA split handle. The reel has an aluminum spool with an instant anti-reverse for immediate hook setting.
St. Croix CCI Eye Raiser
The 38-inch medium-power, extra-fast-action Eye Raiser ($150.00; stcroixrods.com) has an increased rod length for bigger fish. The blanks—mixed carbon and glass in a tubular construction—offer light weight, solid power and great sensitivity with tip flex.
Frabill Ice Hunter Finesse Spinning Combo
This combo ($49.99; frabill.com) matches a solid graphite rod blank (fiberglass for QT model) with a 5-plus-1 ball-bearing reel. A split-grip handle, stainless steel ice guides, infinite anti-reverse, quick-fold reel handle and multi-disc front drag round things out.
Eagle Claw EC2.5 Ice Combos
New EC2.5 Ice Combos ($49.99-$54.99; eagleclaw.com) use sensitive, ultra-lightweight carbon ice blanks with Eagle Claw’s In-Line ice reel or a size 5 spinning reel. Blanks are matched with tangle-free guides with aluminum inserts and high-vis orange tips.
Fenwick World Class Ice Rod
World Class Ice Rods ($79.95; fenwickfishing.com) use quality solid-carbon blanks in Custom Fenwick actions. They feature premium-grade cork split grip Tennessee handles and a mix of Fuji AT and light wire fly guides.
Clam Straight Drop Reel
Picky panfish often require a precise, twist-free presentation. Enter the Straight Drop Reel ($29.99; clamoutdoors.com). It has a composite lightweight construction, an ergonomic lengthened foot for comfortable grip, built-in line guides and a reversible one-way clutch bearing for right- or left-hand retrieve.
Sufix Advance Ice Monofilament
This new line ($4.99/100 yards; rapala.com) has 50 percent less stretch than standard mono and half the UV-light absorption. Hydrophobic water-repellant protection resists freezing, and G2 precision winding virtually eliminates line memory.
IceX ($8.99; seaguar.com) is a new low-memory, micro-diameter line engineered from Seaguar 100% fluorocarbon resins. Designed to offer excellent abrasion resistance and knot and tensile strength, this thin line is a solid tool for the ice-angler.
Beaver Dam Rattlin’ Liquid Steel Tip-Up Ice Leaders
These new leaders ($2.99; acmetackle.com) take Beaver Dam’s Liquid Steel leader and pair it with a large glass rattle custom fit into a glow-in-the-dark plastic sleeve that slides above the hook. All this is intended to attract even more action from toothy gamefish. The Rattlin’ series also has a fluorocarbon option.
Clam C-720 Thermal Hub Shelter
The double-wide C-720 Hub Shelter ($519.99; clamoutdoors.com) fishes multiple people with 72 square feet of fishing area, but it packs down small. It also assembles very quickly—about 60 seconds—making it a solid option for run-and-gun strategies. With 600 total denier fabric that retains heat and reduces condensation, 60 grams of insulation per square meter and full thermal skin, this shelter can easily be an all-day base camp.
Frabill Ice Hunter Sidestep Shelter
This flip-style shelter ($799.99; frabill.com) is perfect for a mobile ice-trolling approach. It offers 28.5 fishable square feet—ample space for two anglers. It also features Frabill’s Sidestep side-opening entry for more vertical space and easier and safer access with reduced risk of equipment damage.
Otter Vortex Hub Shelter
The new Vortex Hub series ($329.00-$679.00; otteroutdoors.com) is loaded with features—patented Otter ThermalTec insulated shell, an exclusive ice-lock anchoring system, overhead storage hammocks, integrated tool and rod holders, removable daylight and lookout windows and propane hose ports, among others.
Eskimo Eskape Flip-Up Shelters
The new Eskape series flip-overs ($699.99-$849.99; geteskimo.com) feature oversized side doors for easy entry without stepping over or around gear. Shelters use Eskimo’s StormShield insulated fabric and Sliding Versa seating system, and come with many other nice attributes. The Eskape 2800 has a roto-molded sled.
Clam Jig Boxes
These new jig boxes ($9.99-$29.99; clamoutdoors.com) are solid choices on the ice. The Magnum Jig Box holds 420 jigs securely in heavy foam and a clear, hard plastic exterior case allows anglers to see tackle from the outside. The Super Slim Jig Boxes, meanwhile, hold fewer jigs but have a slim cut for pants and jacket pockets. They also feature durable clear plastic cases and heavy foam. All boxes have a waterproof silicone seal.
Otter Pro-Tech Series Rod Cases
These rod cases ($149.99-$249.99; otteroutdoors.com) feature durable, secure root-molded construction, proprietary Ultra-Lock quick-release latches and oversized, flush-mounted nylon handles. The foam upper and lower interiors and spacing offer protection without needing to break down reel handles.
Strikemaster Lithium 24v Auger
The Strikemaster Lithium 24v Auger ($399.99; rapala.com) weighs 14.3 pounds and drills up to 50 holes with an 8-inch auger (13.3 pounds/100 holes with 6-inch auger) on a single charge. Powerhead has an electric DC brushless motor and 50:1 gear ratio. Battery is 24v, 4Ah lithium ion with internal battery management system for longevity. Includes Lite Flite Lazer Drill unit.
ION G2 10”
The new G2 10” ($749.99; ioniceaugers.com) weighs 18 pounds, features an ION 6Ah Gen 2 battery, a high-strength custom composite cutting head and ION’s Reverse mode, which flushes slush ice down the hole. A single battery charge yields 1200 inches of drilling power.
Humminbird ICE HELIX 7 G3N All Season
With AutoChart Live Ice offering the layout of contours below the ice, Dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar providing detail and clarity for finesse presentations and CHIRP Interference Rejection to remove noise from nearby flashers, this unit ($799.99; humminbird.com) remains a potent tool for ice-anglers. And this All Season model has everything needed for use on a boat in open-water months, too.