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Ice Fishing Equipment - Spuds and Augers

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Ice Bobber Choices with Daryl Bauer

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Nearly as fundamental to ice fishing as good clothing is a device for cutting holes in the ice. Options range from light, simple, inexpensive devices that run on muscle and sweat to heavy, costly, noisy motor-driven augers.

A simple ice spud, a steel bar or pipe with a chisel-like blade at one end, has served well for many generations. Components for a good ice spud can be scrounged from most salvage yards for only a few dollars.

Other options for hole cutting are the spiral auger and the Swedish spoon auger, both hand powered. Those rigs are probably the most popular among ice fishermen, partly because of their modest cost.

At the other extreme is the power ice auger, which carries a price tag in the neighborhood of $250. Their lightweight engines turn an auger bit through even the thickest ice in seconds

The spud's main advantages are its low cost, simplicity and light weight. But it is difficult to spud a neat hole through thick ice, and it is difficult to use some tip-ups over a jagged, tapered hole. Hand-driven augers make tidy holes, even in thick ice, and are fine for anglers who use only jig-poles. augers

Poles and Tip-ups

The kind of fish an angler pursues dictates much of the rest of his equipment, including either jigging poles or tip-ups. Poles are most often used by panfish anglers and usually consist of just a foot or two of fishing rod tip attached to a wooden handle. Most are fitted with a pair of pegs or screws around which the line is wound.

Tip-ups are preferred by anglers pursuing big fish such as northern pike, walleye and largemouth bass. It is difficult to describe the dozens of styles of tip-ups available commercially and the dozens more of homespun varieties. The basic function of all these devices, however, is to hold line and keep the bait at a specific depth in the angler's absence, then feed line when the fish takes the bait while also signaling the distant angler with a colored flag.

 

 


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