Ice fishing is not like any other hobby. If something goes wrong, there’s a chance of fatal outcome, so preparing for ice fishing trip is something you shouldn’t take lightly. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so when you’re packing for upcoming ice fishing trip, make sure you have everything you need, from a to z. That doesn’t mean that all ice fishing equipment and clothing should be treated with equal urgency. There are some things that are good to have, and other things that are absolutely essential to have in order to ensure your safety. When looking for ice fishing gear to buy for yourself, there are too many things to consider. That’s why i decided to write this post, so that i can help you narrow down your ice fishing wish list, so that you only spend money on essential attire and equipment.
First and foremost, you’ll need proper clothing to protect yourself from harsh weather. That includes, but is not limited to – good ice fishing boots, warmest ice fishing gloves, bibs, and preferably water resistant jacket. The latter can be found at most outdoors-themed retailers, but you’ll have to do a little more digging to find good ice fishing gear. Ice fishing enthusiasts don’t represent large share of population, so most outdoors retailers have limited variety of brands to choose from. That’s why i like to buy all my ice fishing attire from Amazon. It is cheap and their guides on sizes are helpful in choosing the right fit for yourself. I got my ice fishing boots and bibs from Amazon, and after owning them for 4 years now, i can confidently say that no other retailer can match Amazon neither on price or quality.
Back to attire. Boots obviously have to be water resistant and warm. That’s the whole point of wearing ice fishing boots. But they also have to be made of high quality materials, so that they don’t tear or fall apart easily. I also recommend paying attention to the outsoles of the boots you’re looking to purchase. Good outsoles will have solid grip and won’t weigh too much. When you’re standing on frozen lake for whole day, it’s important to make sure that your boots won’t slip. You also don’t want to be bogged down by extra weight. To sum it all up – you want boots that are waterproof, warm, have good grip, while being as light as possible.
I also think that warm gloves are a must have. Some ice fishing experts might disagree with me on this, but here’s why i believe that ice fishing gloves are essential. Everyone agrees that you need some kind of protection for your hands and fingers, as they are the most vulnerable to freezing. Some people say that you need ice fishing gloves specifically, while others think that you can get by with any other warm gloves. As you probably know, i agree with the former, and here’s why. Warm gloves are usually thick and constrict your free movement of fingers. They are not dexterous. When you are ice fishing, you need as much dexterity as you can get. Ski gloves or mittens might be super warm but they will leave you disabled to move freely. Plus, they are much more expensive than ice fishing gloves anyway, so you might as well buy ice fishing gloves to begin with.
Ice fishing bibs are rather straightforward to purchase. I like and recommend Stormr and Frabill brands. I’ve had Stormr myself for few years now and i love it. It is made of high quality materials that ensure its toughness and resistance to leaking water. My friend has Frabill, and i know for a fact that same applies to that particular brand. Granted, these two cost a little bit more than your average ice fishing bib, but in the long run, investment in high quality products always pays off.
Other attire that are good to have, but not essential, include : waterproof jacket, ice cleats for your boots, something to cover your face. Waterproof jacket is self-explanatory, i think. It’s always good idea to have ice cleats, especially if you notice your boots to be slipping. Face cover is not always essential, but sometimes, when weather gets especially rough, it’s good to have.