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2022-06-10 20:37:02 By : Ms. Patty Tsai

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by: Stephen Morin, BestReviews Staff

by: Stephen Morin, BestReviews Staff

For many, the winter season ushers in the thrills of cold-weather activities that are not possible during other seasons. Fishermen can still fish in winter, and despite the frigid temperatures, there is nothing quite like being on the ice with good friends and a pop-up shelter. 

For beginners, ice fishing can be daunting since it does require more gear than standard reel-and-cast fishing. It can be an affordable and fun hobby to keep you occupied during the winter season, especially in northern latitudes. 

With ice fishing, the rod, reel and lures really depend on what you are fishing for. There are some great all-around fishing rods, reels and tackle, but it’s worth it to learn which fish live in your region. If you are on a budget, get a cheap rod and basic tackle like jigs and live bait like night crawlers or minnows. 

Eskimo Hand Auger with Dual Flat Blades, 6-8 inches

This is a hand auger made by Eskimo that comes in three different sizes — 6-8 inches. It’s more affordable than most of the competition, and the dual-flat blades immediately eat through the ice. The handles are easy to grip and make drilling through the ice much easier.

Eskimo Quantum Auger Series, 8-10 inches

For those who want to drill faster and more effortlessly, the Eskimo Quantum Augers are some of the best around. The stainless steel blades are durable and remain sharp longer than most other blades. There is no real recoil when using this, and the 33cc engine can handle ice in the coldest environments.

Keep slush from clogging the fishing hole with Berkley’s nylon and aluminum fishing scoop. It can be used for holes as small as 6 inches, and it is incredibly durable. It will last many years with proper care and can’t be beaten for the price. The one con is that some people had trouble using it with smaller fishing holes.

St. Croix Rods Mojo Ice Fishing Rod

For those looking for one rod to master them all, St. Croix offers tons of customization. Choose a rod from 24-36 inches from ultralight to heavy. You don’t lose any sensitivity with these rods and feel the pull of the fish. It comes with a custom reel and stainless steel guides. Everyone from beginners to pros can benefit from one of these rods.

12V 14W 30W 180 LED Submersible Fishing Light

This LED shines 1300 lumens in all directions and has enough weight to remain underwater. It is well made, and the electronics are sealed well enough where this could be used for multiple seasons. Use the blue light to attract fish, even outside of the winter season.

Frabill Sit-N-Fish Insulated Bait Bucket with Convenient Padded Cushioned Lid

Frabill remains one of the most popular companies in the fishing realm. This bucket is 6 gallons. Use it to keep your drinks or fish cold. Thanks to the padded cushion, just flip it over to turn it into a seat. It also comes with a liner to insulate your bait, fish and drinks.

Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter

Eskimo’s easy to set up fishing shelters come in many different sizes and come insulated or uninsulated. Set it up in less than a minute and enjoy the warmth with the quilted fabric. It is portable and comes with its own duffle bag to keep it compact and clean. The grommets come in the material itself, so no other fastening equipment is required.

Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater

Easily attach propane tanks to the heater without having to move around parts. The MH9BX is much quieter than past Mr. Heater models. Get between 3-6 hours of heat depending on what setting you use. This is completely safe to use indoors and does a great job of heating up a fishing shelter.

Yaktrax Walk Traction Cleats for Walking on Snow and Ice

These are some of the most affordable and durable snow cleats available online. The cleats slip on, and they can be stretched to fit many different kinds of shoes. They provide 360 traction that will prevent slipping on the ice. Despite their flexibility, they do come in multiple sizes.

Frabill Deluxe Retractable Ice Picks

Remain safe and ready with Fabrill’s retractable ice picks. They are light and can be worn under a jacket. The cord can stretch up to 72 inches and the ice picks are retractable, keeping you safe at all times. They are affordable, light and an amazing piece of gear to have on you at all times.

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Stephen Morin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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A hand auger is harder to use than a power auger, but by keeping the blades sharp and clean, it should cut through most ice in fewer than 10 seconds.