If you are a recent ice fishing enthusiast you probably have never had to fish without an ice fishing auger, but many of the old timers of the sport can remember the difficult and time consuming requirements or chiseling a hole in the ice to fish from. Now, thanks to the lightweight, compact and highly powerful ice fishing augers available there is little need to spend hours chipping out a couple of holes to fish from.
There are many different styles available in an ice fishing auger, and the model, size and power of the auger is typically dependent on the amount of use that you want per outing. Some ice anglers may drill only a few holes a day while others may drill twenty or more holes per day, especially if they are moving with a feeding school of fish. The more that you are planning on using the auger the higher power, the more fuel will be needed, and the greater the need for a fast drilling ice fishing auger will be.
Some of the various components that should be considered when choosing an ice fishing auger include:
o Electric or gas powered – gas powered augers are easier to move across the ice as there is no requirement to carry a power source such as a battery. There is, however, the need to carry gasoline and oil, or to ensure that the auger is full before leaving for the lake. Electric augers are considered to be more environmentally friendly as there are no emissions. Typically gas powered ice fishing augers are more powerful than their battery operated counterparts and are more effective for cutting through ice that is deeper than three to four feet. For ice that is thinner there is often little performance difference.
o Gear ratio – the various gear ratios of the ice fishing auger will allow the user to regulate the speed of the drill which is a critical safety feature. It is also important for the gear assembly to be easily accessible to keep it properly maintained even in very cold weather.
o Size of the drill – drills are typically not wider than ten inches, with most being six to eight inches. If you are planning on jigging or using a tip-up the size of the ice hole will be very important. Larger drill sizes are typically only found with gas powered ice fishing augers.
Ice fishing augers can also be manual, using a rotary shaft to help provide torque and cutting power for the auger. Usually an ice fishing auger that is manually operated will be the lightest weight and the least expensive of the augers and a great environmentally safe option.