Skip to main content

The 6 Things You Need to Start Ice Fishing

If you want to start ice fishing, you're going to need to buy a few things first.

Ice fishing is very popular in the United States, particularly up north. However, it requires a lot of gear you'd never use while fishing for bass or catfish.

The niche nature of ice fishing can be both appealing and intimidating for new anglers, as there's just so much to learn.

Luckily for you, we're here to break down which items are the most important when you're getting started, and what specific products will get the job done at a fair price.

1. 13 Fishing One3 Heatwave Ice Fishing Combo

ice fishing
Sportsman's Guide

For only $15.99, you can have a solid all-around ice fishing rod-and-reel combo. As you may already know, you don't need a lot of rod to ice fish; you just need something that'll hold up through the elements.

The Heatwave features a fiberglass blank, stainless-steel guides with polished inserts, a Tennessee EVA handle, a contoured handle knob, a one-bearing reel, and a lightweight body and rotor made from graphite.

Options range from a 24-inch, ultralight action rod all the way up to 28-inch, medium-action. And, for this price, you could buy a couple different ones to give yourself options!

Tip-ups are another popular route people take, which offer the ability to cover more ground at once.

2. ION X Electric Ice Auger

ice fishing
Sportsman's Guide

Chances are, the first few times you go ice fishing, you'll probably be with someone who has an ice auger. If that is the case, capitalize on that for as long as you can; augers are expensive!

At some point, though, you're going to have to invest in your own. When you do, it's important you invest in one that's reliable.

One of the most convenient things about the ION X is its weight. At only 22 pounds, you can easily haul this to any spot you want to fish.

It also features a high-performing, brushless electric motor, which means you don't have deal with all the drawbacks of gasoline, such as fumes and spillage. Powering the motor is a high-power XC5 5ah 40V lithium-ion battery, which will power you through as many holes as you'll need to drill in a day.

Its Straight-Through™ blade design and quick-stop brake allow for clean cuts and minimal catches or "hang-ups."

3. Shappell Jet Ice Fishing Sled

ice fishing
Sportsman's Guide

As you'll quickly realize as you begin accumulating gear, you're going to have a lot of stuff to haul out to your spot. Rarely is it cold enough to drive a truck out onto the ice, so you're going to need a way to take everything out there. A sled is a great way to do that.

The Shappell Jet features strong polyethylene that won't bent or warp with a heavy load, and it comes with a strong tow rope, too.

4. Guide Gear Fully Insulated Ice Fishing Shelter

ice fishing
Sportsman's Guide

If you want to do it big, you're going to need to get an insulated shelter. Many ice anglers will sleep in these, but there nice to have just to stay warm. There's nothing more miserable that fishing in below-freezing temperatures with nowhere to go to warm up.

This 6X6 Guide Gear ice shanty comfortably accommodates three people at a time, and its pop-up design makes it incredibly easy to set up. It features a 300D shell, as well as an 8.5-inch integrated snow skirt, which will keep you nice and warm. Although, it never hurts to bring a thermal floor and a space heater if it's especially cold.

It also sports six windows, four tie-down spots, and two exhaust vents.

5. IceArmor Insulated Waterproof Bibs

ice fishing
Sportsman's Guide

When you were a kid, did you ever go sledding in blue jeans? Remember when the snow and ice started to melt, leaving you with soaking wet pants and freezing cold legs? Well, ice fishing is no different. As you're working and maneuvering around your setup, you're inevitably going to end up with snow and ice on your clothes.

If there's anything every ice fisherman can agree on, it's that staying dry is always a top priority. So, the best way to do that is with a durable pair of waterproof bibs, and these are a great option.

Running at $199.99, the IceArmor bibs feature a 300-denier waterproof, windproof shell and 1,000-denier ballistic nylon knees, which you will learn to appreciate in no time.

6. Vexilar FLX-20 Genz Pack Flasher Fishfinder with 12-Degree Ice-Ducer

ice fishing
Sportsman's Guide

When you're ready to get serious about ice fishing, this is the next move. This product not only offers ice fishermen a way to neatly organize your gear, but also an edge in finding fish. Since you can't move your line while you're fishing, the only thing you can adjust is your depth. This gadget right here will help you find the hot spots beneath you, and will make a world of difference in the number of fish you catch.

It features a FLX-20™ flasher with two AutoZoom zones, a 12-volt 9 amp-hour battery and charger and a patented 12-degree Ice-Ducer® system.

Whether you're fishing for northern pike or lake trout out on your favorite frozen lake, this piece of ice fishing gear is well worth the investment.

NEXT: EARN YOUR WINGS WITH THIS WATERFOWL HUNTING GEAR

you might also like

The 6 Things You Need to Start Ice Fishing