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Ice Fishing Equipment Made Simple

One of the best aspects of ice fishing is that you really need very few supplies and they are relatively inexpensive. Some of the must have ice fishing equipment is discussed below, however it is important to remember that ice fishing equipment should be of a reasonable quality, definitely avoid the cheaper, flimsier equipment as it will usually only last one season and will need constant replacement. It is usually much more economical to buy the slightly higher priced equipment that will see you through a couple of years fishing.

• Rods – ice fishing equipment lists should start with a good quality rod or tip-up. Rods for ice fishing are very short and typically very sturdy to accommodate for the tension and weight of the fish. The tip-up is a rod or reel attached to a cap or board that sits across or above the ice hole, with a flag or marker attached to the rod or spring where the line lids through. When a fish strikes the flag moves, allowing the angler to work the line and hook the fish. Typically anglers with more than one line in the water will use tip-ups to locate where fish are biting, then move to single line fishing.

• Lines – the monofilament lines used in spinners and fly fishing will not work well with the ice fishing equipment. A braided line that has a test weight of 10 to 20 pounds will be much better suited to the cold and icy conditions found when ice fishing.

• Lures and Bait– lures can be of almost any variety, but shiny and colorful plastic minnows, live bait, plastic worms and ice jigs being some of the best to have in your tackle box.

• Ice Auger – a gas powered ice auger can save a lot of time chipping a hole through the ice. Since a safe depth of ice for fishing is at least four inches, an auger can be a time and energy saving piece of ice fishing equipment.

• Shelter – there are many different types of canvas, plastic or even insulated “igloo” type shelters that can be pulled onto the lake or can be set up when you get there. Even a simple three-sided frame with a piece of tarp to break the wind can be effective.

• Skimmer – a slotted spoon or flat slotted paddle type device to keep removing the ice crystals from the fishing hole. Many people now use “caps” which provide a thermal layer to prevent the hole from freezing over.

• First Aid Kit – cold fingers often result in cuts on hooks so a good, well stocked first aid kit is important.

Last, but not at all least it is important to have identification and a current fishing license in your ice fishing equipment. Additional supplies such as heaters, chairs, blankets and even a camping stove are great additions to your ice fishing equipment and gear.

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