Sunday, February 5th, 2023
Sunday, February 5th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

More inventory, better gear for hard-water 2022-23

(Photo courtesy of Clam/Ice Team)

Staff Report

The ability to stay mobile, comfortable, and fish fast on the ice have become key factors for anglers and the gear they use during the winter months.

That seems to be what most major shelter and auger manufacturers have accomplished with their new editions for this ice fishing season.

The trend of electric augers continues to move forward, with several models that are now lighter and provide a longer battery life.

This season’s new shelters are amazingly warm and lightweight, with a slant towards specific types of angling that an individual prefers to take part in. 

Here’s a look at what you’ll want to take on the ice this winter.

Clam Shelter

The Clam Scout was one of the original Fish Traps created by Dave Genz and favored for its size and ease of use. The new Scout XT Thermal will continue to be a favorite for ice anglers and allow them to walk in and out of the shelter easily. 

The Scout XT Thermal features a full thermal 900 denier skin with 90 grams of insulation per square meter, a folding ratchet style seat, a flip and go style shelter with easy set up and the XT door system. 

This is a compact, one-person shelter that’s perfect for anglers looking to stay mobile and warm, and light enough to pull easily or lift in and out of a vehicle. 

The Clam Fish Trap is the original portable ice fishing shelter created over 40 years ago by the Godfather of Ice Fishing, Dave Genz and Clam continues to innovate these shelters. 

New for the 2022-2023 ice fishing season, Clam has redesigned multiple models of the Fish Trap with the new XT design, an improved door system that allows for easier entry, more headroom, and is simply easier to use. 

Clam Fish Traps are available in a wide variety of models for every type of ice angler. From one person to four person models, thermal and non-thermal options, to the X-Series line of traps that are built for hardcore ice anglers and tough conditions in mind. There is a Fish Trap for everyone no matter their needs.

www.clamoutdoors.com

IceRunner Portable Shelters

The new Scout Pop-Up hub is the latest addition to the IceRunner line of portable fish houses. It offers premium features at a competitive price.

The Scout is built around upgraded aluminum hubs that are maintenance free and works smoother than anything else on the market. Heavy-duty free fiberglass poles will last the lifetime of the house. 

The shell is a 300 Denier canvas that is the ideal compromise between strength and weight. A thin layer of insulation is sewn into the fabric to provide outstanding warmth without any added bulk.

With its black interior, you’ll experience improved spearing and sight-fishing opportunities. A full wrap around skirt with reinforced grommets at each corner keeps the shelter anchored. Ample gear pockets including an overhead mesh canopy keep your gear out of the way and dry.

The Scout is 72-by-72 inches with 80 inches of height and weighs in at less than 30 pounds.

The new IceRunner Versa Blind, has all the features to be a fully functional hunting blind as well as a winter ice fishing shelter. It’s the perfect two-in-one shelter.

It’s manufactured with RealTree Edge camo and large and abundant windows that allows 360-degree viewing and shooting. The shoot-through outer mesh completely obscures the hunter and can be cut or slit as required. Clear vinyl windows can be removed for hunting and reinstalled for fishing.

The Versa Blind is also built around upgraded aluminum hubs that are maintenance free, heavy-duty fiberglass poles, and a 300 Denier canvas shell. A full wrap around skirt and ample gear pockets are also part of the Versa Blind build. The Versa Blind also is 72-by-72 inches with 80 inches of height and weighs in at only 33 pounds.

www.kmdainc.com

Eskimo Wide 1 XR Thermal

Building upon the success of its original design, the Wide 1 XR Thermal from Eskimo expands the family of wide-bottom, one-person flip shelters.

This new unit has added more headroom, elbow room, and square footage. A single bottom pole expands the framework at the push of a button to accommodate a massive 17.5 square feet of fishable area. 

The 1 XR Thermal features insulated IQ fabric, which makes it 35 percent warmer than a non-insulated shelter and a gray interior to enhance light.

www.geteskimo.com

Clam FT Sleds

The new FT Sleds from Clam are deep, short tubs for the angler that doesn’t need to bring piles of gear with them on the lake. 

Clam turned their industry-renowned Fish Trap bases into durable tubs. These workhorses are constructed for rugged use, but light enough to make them easy to use. FT Sleds are available in two sizes – 7 cubic feet and 10 cubic feet. 

www.clamoutdoors.com

Ion Alpha Series

The Alpha Series marks the third generation of Ion electric ice augers, re-imagined from the ground up to redefine high-performance. 

The 8-inch Ion Alpha Plus utilizes a specially designed turbo, high-speed cutting system. This provides a smooth and efficient cut through up to 2000 inches of ice on a single charge. 

It boasts a category-leading cutting speed of 3.4 inches of ice per second, which is over 50% faster than the competition. Speed, power, longevity, and with a polymer bit – it’s all under 16 pounds.

www.ioniceaugers.com

StrikeMaster Lite Electric

Like a featherweight prizefighter, StrikeMaster’s new Lithium 40v Lite Electric auger punches above its weight. 

Weighing in at just 21 pounds when paired with an 8-inch-diameter Lite-Flite Lazer Drill unit, it can cut as many as 100 holes through 16 inches of ice on a single charge. The 10-inch-diameter drill consistently can cut as many as 70 holes through 16 inches of ice on a single charge.

It crushes the performance of standard cordless drills. Pound for pound, StrikeMaster’s Lite-Flite Lazer Drill Unit is the undisputed champion of cutting speed and efficiency in the ice-fishing market. 

www.rapala.com

RAZR Ice Augers

New for this season, the RAZR Synthetic Ultra offers a 33 percent weight reduction compared to steel ice augers. They are lightweight, extremely fast and can be operated by either a 18v+ Brushless Electric Drill or a Lithium Ice Auger Power Head. 

Every Synthetic Ultra unit is built with a durable steel blade carriage equipped with RAZR Pro Curved Blades and Center Point to keep your drilling steady, efficient and lightning fast. They are available in six- and eight-inch drill sizes. 

These units come with 40 inches of flighting, allowing anglers to drill through 36 inches of ice without optional extensions. Included in the packaging is the Ultra Drill Adapter, which connects the ice auger directly to your brushless drill with a half-inch chuck. 

www.razrpower.com

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