Leo's Personal Blog

How much did my ice fishing gear cost?

For most of the people, when it comes to hobbies, cost is major concern. Ice fishing is rather expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to be. There are some tricks that you can use to dramatically reduce your ice-fishing-related expenses, but we’ll discuss those later. In general, i wanted to write this tutorial to give you general ballpark of how much should you expect to spend on ice fishing in total. I will be talking based on my experience, so my approach won’t apply to everyone. Some people like to spend more, others like to spend less. But i believe that my spending habits match that of average ice fishing enthusiast’s, so for most people it should be helpful.

Most essential parts of ice fishing gear are the actual fishing equipment – ice fishing rod, reel and jigs. They are what you use to catch the fish, so it should be no brainer that anyone who wants to go ice fishing should buy those first. I recommend getting a combo – they tend to be cheaper and simpler to use. Quality reels by respected brands can get a little expensive, but you won’t need them at first. Simple combos will do fine job, and if you want to ensure the quality of the product you’re buying, it never hurts to check reviews by experienced people. Basically, ice fishing rod and reel combo should cost you no more than fifty dollars, and jigs are super cheap too, so expect to pay about fifty dollars for all three of these.

 You should also buy proper clothing and shelter to protect yourself from extremely cold temperatures. Small 2 person ice fishing shelter will set you back by few hundred dollars. Make sure to get quality brand like Frabill or Eskimo, you don’t want to be spending few hundred bucks on new one every other year. There are two popular styles of shelter – the ones that work and look like regular tents and flip-over ones. I recommend sticking with the former, but if you’re looking for agility, flip-style shelters are also worth consideration. There are bit more details that go into buying good ice fishing houses for yourself. For that, check this review by Ice Fishing Gear.

 When it comes to clothes, ice fishing gloves, boots and bibs are the most essential pieces of clothing you’ll need. Especially boots and gloves, because they protect most freezing-sensitive parts of your body. Bibs can be replaced by warm clothes, but once you have the money, i’d recommend getting one of those as well.

 Clothing and shelters together should cost around five hundred dollars. So all in all, you should expect to spend around six hundred bucks on everything. There are ways to reduce that cost though – for instance, you can always check craigslist for good bargains, or you could buy ice fishing shelter along with your friends to share, in case you have friends who like ice fishing, of course.

First time ice fishing tips

Over the years, i’ve seen many people getting started in ice fishing. I see pattern of same mistakes being made, even though some of the beginners do enough research before diving in. I was a beginner once, and i made those same mistakes myself. With that being said, i thought i’d write a post about common mistakes that beginners usually make and give advice on how to prevent them. Also, in general, i wanted to write tutorial on getting started in ice fishing, in general. So i have some spare time on my hands these days, and i thought i’d complete it before i lost the inspiration and energy for it.

  First of all, what you need to do before anything else, is – buy quality ice fishing gear. You should start from most essential stuff like ice fishing rods and reels, and then move on to buying less essential, but still useful gadgets like heaters and all that. People usually don’t have that big of a budget and they can only afford one or two things at a time, but that’s okay. You can go to your first ice fishing trip with very little in your gear – just make sure to have ice fishing rod and some tool to make a hole. You can buy the rest of your tools later and go on more advanced and comfortable trips. Hand auger will be very useful for making a hole in the ice, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry too much about that, either. You can always get one anyway, since they are very accessible and cheap. I found mine on craigslist for twenty-something dollars.

 Before you buy anything, it’s always a good idea to check what the customers and experts are saying about it. That way, you can quickly assess what are the flaws and advantages of certain products. If flaws are a deal-breaker for you, you’ll move on and buy something else. I believe research is the key component of making buying decision.

  Other important parts of your ice fishing gear will be shelters and good clothes, especially the gloves and boots. Fingers and toes are very sensitive to freezing, and you need to make  sure you have good gear protecting them. Good ice fishing boots must be waterproof and you must wear warm socks. Gloves also should be waterproof and warm, but also dexterous. We do most of the fishing using our fingers and hands in general, so having warm gloves but being incapable to perform basic tasks won’t suffice.  

 Other minor gadgets, that are nice to have, but not essential, are heaters, chairs and hats. Sometimes ice fishing shelters will come with chairs pre-installed, but if they don’t, consider getting comfortable one.