The Benefits, Options and Types of Ice Augers
When the weather turns colder and people begin to head outdoors for some winter activities, they will sometimes head to the lake for some ice fishing. They may take a variety of equipment along with them but the primary piece of equipment used for ice fishing is the ice auger. Quite simply, if you don’t have one in your possession, you will have a difficulty getting started.
Ice augers serve a very useful purpose because they bore down through the ice, creating a hole that is used for fishing. At one time, they were a rather simplistic piece of equipment but today, they come in almost every shape and size that you can possibly imagine. In fact, it is important for you to look at the various options available so that you can choose one that is going to be right for your needs.
Before we start to talk about the different types, it’s good to look at some of the benefits that they provide. These benefits extend beyond the fact that they actually put a hole in the ice for fishing purposes.
Ease-Of-Use – As you can imagine, chipping your way down through the ice to create a fishing hole would be quite difficult if you were using manual tools. An ice auger provides the primary benefit of creating the hole easily. In fact, depending upon the type of auger that you use, you might be surprised with exactly how easy it is to create a hole and get started fishing.
Uniform Hole Size and Shape – There is some benefit to having a hole that is uniform in both size and shape. If you were to chip the hole using manual tools, you might end up with some sharp edges that could cut the fishing line. An auger will make a clean, neat hole every time.
More Fishing Time – If there is one thing we want to do when we are fishing, it’s to get our line in the water. When you use an auger, you extend your fishing time because you can get started quickly.
Types of Ice Augers
One of the biggest decisions you need to make when it comes to choosing an ice auger is the type of auger you will use. There are actually several different types and each of them will have their own benefits and potential drawbacks. The following 3 options are what you will typically choose from.
Gas Powered – If you want to bore a hole through the ice as quickly and effortlessly as possible, a gas power auger is exactly what you need. It doesn’t matter if the ice is extremely thick or not, a gas auger is going to bore its way down through the ice in nothing flat. In addition, a gas auger will easily make a hole of any size, which is something that can’t necessarily be said for a manual auger. Read our propane ice auger reviews here.
Although they may be the most convenient and fast operating option, gas augers may also experience some problems. It is not unusual to have an older auger that experiences starting issues when you need it the most. In addition, a gas auger is typically quite heavy so if you are going to be walking across the ice to get started, it may not be the best option.
Electric Augers – Using an electric auger can provide many of the benefits of a gas auger but it does so in a lighter, more compact unit. A high quality electric auger will be able to bore down through the ice quickly and easily. They are also relatively quiet and you don’t need to worry about gas fumes.
One of the problems associated with electric augers is the fact that you need battery power to operate them. You need to ensure that the battery is fully charged before you head out on the ice and if you are drilling multiple holes, you may find that the battery is wearing down by the end of the day. Bringing an extra set of batteries along with you can remedy this problem. See our electric ice auger reviews here.
Manual Augers – Sometimes referred to as a hand auger, this is the most basic option for drilling holes in the ice. It can do a fairly good job of getting down through the ice, but you are going to work in order to get the job done. They are fairly simple in their design so they experience fewer problems with maintenance issues.
The primary problem with manual augers is the fact that they can be difficult to use when the ice is thick or if you’re trying to bore a larger hole. They are also one of the heavier options when choosing an auger. If you’re willing put the work into it, however, they can be a very convenient option. Our manual ice auger reviews are here.
Popular auger brands to look out for – Eskimo, Jiffy, Nils, K Drill, Strikemaster and Mora.
Ice Auger Features to Choose the Best Unit for Your Needs
Although the primary decision for choosing the best ice auger is going to be the power (gas, electric or manual), there are also other considerations that can make a difference in how you are able to use the unit. Be sure that you consider the following when choosing an auger for your needs.
Weight – The weight of the auger is going to make a large difference, especially if you are hauling it across the ice on foot. If you are packing it in your vehicle for a day of icefishing, however, the weight is not necessarily as big of a concern. Electric augers tend to be the lightest option.
Blade Size – You may need to consider the size of the hole, depending upon the type of fish you are after. Typically, ice augers range between 6 and 10 inches. If you are going after a larger fish, you would obviously want a larger hole. Most people tend to use something in the mid-range, around 8 inches.
Technology – As technology continues to improve, problems may also increase. It can be nice to have an auger that includes all of the bells and whistles but it also provides additional areas for the unit to break down. If you’re heading out to a remote region, you may want to use a manual auger, because it is the most simplistic and least likely to break down unit. If you are hauling the auger out in your vehicle near your home, having additional technology may be beneficial.
Sharpness – Blade sharpness is always going to be a consideration. Of course, this is something that can be adjusted as you continue to use the auger. You should, however, buy an ice fishing auger that is able to be sharpened easily because you want to sharpen it often. You can use a sharpening jig to make this chore relatively easy to do.
Accessories – There may be a number of additional accessories that are available for the auger. These could include an auger extension, which may come in handy if you are working with very thick ice. If you are using an electric auger, you may also want to have a unit with a cover to help protect the components.
As you can tell, there is a lot to consider when you are choosing one of these products, so you should always check out ice auger reviews before you buy. When you do this and choose the right one for your needs, it will be there for you to help you get started and to enjoy this pastime. An auger, like any other tool, should be able to get the job done effectively. If you make the right choice, you can be happy with it for the long term.