Hottest Ice Gear on Ice in 2010

December 21, 2009 by  

By Nick Simonson

The ice on most northern lakes is now thick enough for anglers to safely haul out their toys thanks to a cold stretch at the beginning of the month. Though nighttime temperatures have been below zero, new innovations and advancements in tackle, gear and shelters are helping anglers heat up the early-ice action. As is the standard, this review of The Hottest Stuff On Ice will help you find the newest tools to help blaze a trail onto your favorite lake or find a last-minute stocking stuffer to warm the heart of your favorite hard-water angler.

Some of the best ice fishing gear includes a huge line of new lures

Some of the best ice gear come out every winter in the lure department

Lured In

Just when you thought you had every sort of spoon in your tacklebox, Northland Tackle ( revamps and revolutionizes their line with the Macho Minnow model. With a beveled edge for crazy drops and a wicked wiggle coupled with a separate tail segment that flutters with a wild vibration, this lure in 1/12- to 3/4-ounce weights is perfect for crappies, walleyes or pike – particularly when fish have the feedbag on at early ice. In ten of Northland’s Baitfish-Image patterns, there’s a color for whatever the fish eat in your local waters.

Berkley ( bulks up their successful Gulp! Alive line with the addition of a synthetic version of a classic ice fishing bait – the minnow head. Formed and pressed with great detail, including three hanging tentacles beneath the head, the bait bears a dead-on resemblance to the real thing. Packed in two-ounce jars, the bait never goes bad and always has the potency of the Berkley Gulp! solution to keep it fresh for fishing.

Lindy (, the company that brought us the Genz worm and Fatboy jigs a decade ago, pushes lure innovation forward once again with a new type of jig designed to cover water, even when fished through an ice hole. The Slick Jig is a forward-weighted lure that pulls away from the standard up-and-down and gets baits out and about to trigger fish. In models for panfish and predators, the Slick Jig blows through presentation boundaries and gives anglers a new way to draw in their quarry.

To The House

Ice fishing shelters have come a long way like the new line from Clam

Ice fishing shelters have come a long way like the new line from Clam - an innovator in ice fishing

Clam Corporation ( has done up its line of houses in order to make ice fishing more comfortable. Their pop-up shelters like the Summit FLR and Base Camp Thermal units are hardwater versions of popular deer blinds, while the Denali II and IV flip-over models offer even more room for two or four anglers, respectively. The biggest benefit of the line’s overhaul comes from the standardization of Clam’s Thermal X material in many models, which helps retain up to 25 degrees more heat than standard canvas covers.

Frabill ( also capitalizes on the explosion of pop-up options available to outdoorsmen with its hub-style ice shacks designed for rapid setup and takedown. The Frabill Frontier is a two-man shack, the Outpost accommodates up to three anglers and the massive Headquarters houses up to six anglers and their gear. Never have more on-ice shelter options been available to ice anglers than this year.

Oh Holey Night

Popular portables aren’t the only items getting an upgrade this ice season. Jiffy ( ice augers have a new look and more power to help hole-hopping anglers get the job done faster. The newly designed medium- and large-duty augers with the new Jiffy 2500 and 3500 engines boast redesigned transmissions that trim down cutting time and effort. The biggest bonus in the new Jiffy STX Pro line is the quick-detach E-Z Connect Collar on the auger shaft for transportation or separate storage of the power head without the use of an allen wrench. Also available in the Pro Line models are optional handle configurations for better ergonomics when drilling

These and other advancements for the 2010 ice fishing season make outings more enjoyable, more comfortable and in many cases, more successful, in turn making it easier to take advantage of all the opportunities that surround us…in our outdoors.


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