Not Your Grumpy Old Man’s Ice Gear
Four hot StrikeMaster products top ice anglers’ wish lists
In a sport filled with an excess of gimmicks and gizmos, it’s easy to spot the real McCoys of ice fishing—those authentic tools anglers immediately recognize as essential. With a 63-year history of ice fishing innovation, few companies better understand the demands of ice anglers than StrikeMaster. Just in time for the early ice, Holiday Season buying-frenzy, StrikeMaster recommends a few items for the ice angler on your list.
The Slushmaster is the only solution for totally cleaning and clearing your fishing holes. Powered by a simple cordless drill, the Slushmaster flushes and deslushes ice holes instantly. “Besides the cribbage board, it’s one tool that belongs in every permanent fish house,” grins StrikeMaster’s Randy Havel. “Instead of flooding the outsides of your hole with ice chunks, the Slushmaster plunges the mess back down and under the hole, leaving a mirror clean fishing area.”
For the adventurous as well as uber-mobile angler, the Glide-Lite gear sled is the answer. It’s the sturdiest, roomiest, yet lightest ice sled available. “The Glide-Lite reminds you of that old VW commercial in which dozens of people emerge from this little interior,” quips Havel. “You can’t believe how much gear it holds. There’s a slot for a standard 5- or 6-gallon bucket, which even includes a seat. A vertical rod rack accommodates five ice combos. And it’s got a spacious main compartment that easily stores flashers, cameras, tackle boxes, coolers, and plenty of other gear.” The tough, yet slick looking roto-molded transport is easy to tow on snow and slush alike. The Glide-Lite’s compact size also allows it to fit neatly inside a portable ice shelter, keeping gear organized and close at hand.
Talk about essential gear, few avid anglers venture forth without a collection of these handy little pocket-sized bait containers. “My pockets are always full of Bait Pucks,” notes hardwater sage, Brian Brosdahl.“Even in the coldest Minnesota weather, bait kept inside my ‘Pucks stay snug and lively, which is key to icing big panfish. The containers are tough as nails, too, even when stepped on, and their compact size lets me easily rebait hooks with one hand. Heck, on super-stealth missions, I’ll sometimes just bring several Bait Pucks, storing lures and other tackle in one, and bait in another. For a guide, it’s a no-brainer.” Constructed with a crush-proof, insulated polymer, Bait Puck (3”wide x 1” deep) and the larger Bait Puck 2 (5”x2-3/8”) feature sturdy screw lids and high-vis red or yellow finishes. Hockey stick not included.
Who says style and cold weather comfort don’t mix? Redesigned for 2009-10, the Polar Parka couples all-day warmth with a flexible, functional fit. “We’ve added 240 grams of polarfleece inside a heavyduty shell of 300 denier nylon,” states StrikeMaster’s Havel. “It’s cold-and-wet weather gear tailor-made for the hardcore ice angler.” Parka features include interior rib knit sleeves with adjustable Velcro to lock cold air out, heavy-duty zippers with Velcro enclosures for easy on and off, and hi-vis reflective panels for all-day safety. Complete with an oversized lined hood, full-zip marine storm collar, and six convenient multi-function pockets, plus bonus Bait Puck/cell phone shoulder pocket, the Polar Parka and Bibs (sold separately) are the ice angler’s commando suit. Don’t tell the Grumpy Old Men, ice fishing can be stylish and comfortable.