ice fishing gear guide

Whether you dabble on the local pond for bluegills or zoom around giant reservoirs for lake trout on a snow mobile, any edge you can get on the ice is a big plus when you’re freezing to feed the addiction. From upgrades in safety gear, new methods of staying warm and dry, killer tweaks to electronics, and lures designed to snag less, these latest offerings in ice fishing gear will get more perch and walleye in the fryer and get you home safe to cook them every time.

Frabill’s I-Float Jacket and Bib
Bib: $249.99; Jacket: $299.99 Frabill

Safety is the number one concern when stepping onto the ice. While picks are good in a pinch, nothing can compare to the assurance of a flotation device. With its I-Float Jacket and Bibs, Frabill has meshed the elements of a USCG Certified Personal Flotation Device with their legendary reputation of making the warmest, most weather-resistant outerwear on the planet. In addition to being the safest suit you’ll find, it sports a barrage of other key features like reinforced knees, built-in picks and hand-warmer pockets.

Marcum M-Series Flashers
$349.99-$699.99 Marcum

Nothing can take your ice fishing game to the next level like a flasher. The ability to locate where fish are holding in the water column and stick a jig in front of their faces is invaluable. While there are dozens on the market, Marcum has set a new bar with its M-Series. The new displays capture incredible detail, identifying bottom, lure, fish, and baitfish. It has the highest resolution you’ll find on a commercial grade flasher. And with a full line of units, there’s something to fit every budget.

ONE 3 Hybrid Comfort Grip Combo
$39.99 ONE 3

Surprisingly, it’s not difficult to drop $150 on an ice fishing combo. If those kinds of price tags can make you wonder if quality gear can be bought at a palatable price, ONE 3 assures you that it can. Setting yourself up with a combo is way less of headache whether you’re a hardwater master or newbie, and the Hybrid Comfort Grip Combo from ONE 3 offers all the performance you need at a phenomenal price.

Rapala Slab Rap
$6.19 Rapala

Every hardwater fishermen knows the frustration of having jigs and lures catch bottom. Rapala’s Slab Rap was developed to give ice anglers a lure that will hang-up less. With a slow-falling action, this lipless crankbait is intended to stay in the strike zone longer without plummeting into a snag. It can be fished around rock, vegetation, and every other conceivable type of structure.

St. Croix Legend Black Ice Rod
$75.00-$80.00 St. Croix

St. Croix is always in the conversation when it comes to quality rods, and the ice game is no different. Having a lightweight, properly tapered carbon blank allows jiggers to detect subtle hits from fish that are barely active. There’s no question that the proper stick will put more fish on the ice. If you’re serious about your hardwater game, you’d better make the proper investment, and the Black Ice is a solid choice.

13 Fishing Free Fall
$109.99 13 Fishing

Welcome to the new age of ice fishing. Inline reels are one of the most recent innovations, and they enable anglers to target fish with pinpoint accuracy. With their FreeFall trigger, 13 Fishing has empowered fishermen to drop and stop at specific depths using their flasher, putting lures exactly where the fish are for increased hook-ups. Few pieces of gear can give anglers that kind of edge.

Clam Warrior X Thermal Ice Shelter
$679.99 Clam

Let’s face it; on many days you’re not going to be able to hang on the ice without shelter. And not all shelters are created equal. Ruggedness, warmth, elbowroom, and an easy set-up are qualities you should look for when buying one, and Clam’s Warrior X has you covered. It’s got enough room for two, thermal fabric on the roof that retains heat, interior storage, and it anchors securely to the ice with the help of your auger.

Aqua-Vu Micro 5.0 Revolution Underwater Camera System
$349.99 Aqua-Vu

For the ultimate hardwater experience, there is simply nothing that compares to watching what’s going on down below. The intrigue of seeing fish approach to inspect your jig is paralleled only by your ability to hook them. With a fish-eye view, you’ll know to set the hook the second you see them eat. Aqua-Vu has created a super user-friendly system with their Micro 5.0 Revolution. The camera reel-system makes deployment and retrieval a snap, and the hi-res LCD is easy to read under even the sunniest skies.

Clam Blue Ice Tip-Up
$14.99 Clam

There’s still no better way to target big fish on the ice than tip-ups. And when targeting the heftiest and toothiest of critters, you’re going to need one that’s up to the task. Clam’s Blue Ice Tip-Up was geared to withstand the power and runs from whatever the hardwater can dish out. It’s built with high-quality components and fits easily in a bucket for convenient storage.

RAZR Curved Blade Hand Ice Auger
$54.99 RAZR

There are times when you can’t beat the utility of a hand-auger. Early season, late season, long treks through the woods, and traveling all call for the simplicity of this venerable tool. The Curved Blade Hand Auger from RAZR offers striking power for its size and price tag. Twin stainless steel curved blades are cut at the exact angle you need to dig without breaking a sweat, or your back.