If you are ice fishing, you need a hole in the ice. Most people use power ice augers. What are the advantages to a power auger? Are there any disadvantages?
Power Ice Augers – Effective?
Of course, power augers are effective. They cut through the ice in seconds. But there are things to keep in mind.
- They are heavy. A snow machine, hand sled or several trips with equipment is needed.
- They are noisy. But, only while running.
- They are finicky. Test start your auger before you leave home.
- They can pollute. Make sure the gas cap is tight. Use the right oil mixture.
- They are dangerous. Wrists can snap. Clothing can get caught. Feet can get augered.
- They are expensive.
The speed and ease of a power ice auger more than makes up for these issues.
There are a number of models of power augers ranging in price from $250 to over $1200.
Price is determined by cubic inch of the engine. This determines the ease of drilling. The size of the auger is also a factor in price. Blades run from 6″ in diameter to 10″. The larger the blade the bigger the hole. Larger blades are more difficult to control. An extension can be purchased for power ice augers.
Early in the ice fishing season, many anglers carry a hand ice auger. It easily cuts through 4″ – 6 ” of ice. Hand augers are much more difficult to use than power augers.
- It can be hard to start the hole with a hand auger.
- It is difficult to turn the auger and hold it perpendicular to the ice.
- Hand power often allows the auger to jam in the ice.
- Hand augers can be difficult to pull from the ice.
But there are advantages to a hand auger
- They are inexpensive ranging in price for about $35 to $175.
- They are light weight.
- They always run.
- They are safe.
- They are quiet.
Many people still carry ice chisels. They are very inexpensive and easy to haul. Ice chisels can easily be made out of threaded galvanized pipe and a strong chisel blade. Lead can be melted inside each piece of pipe for added weight.
The main use for an ice chisel is testing ice. Punching a hole every 3 strides can mean the difference between falling through thin ice and turning around. I have lost a few ice chisels by putting too much force behind them. With no They slipped out of my hand to the bottom of the lake.
Ice chisels are handy when a fishing hole has frozen over. Some people prefer a long handled axe to an ice chisel. An axe makings opening frozen over hole more difficult.
Ice fishing equipment ranges from the gas barbeque to a snow machine. With all that you carry to the lake, you had better not forget an ice auger. Power ice augers work the best on thick ice. Hand augers are okay for thinner ice. An ice chisel is a handy tool for testing the ice and clearing frozen holes.
Share your thoughts about this page. Which kind of auger do you use? Do you carry an ice chisel? What’s the best ice fishing day you ever had?