Ice fishing is work. Just to get a line wet, you’ve got to drill and scoop. Just to keep a line wet, you’ve got to clear ice from the guides. There are a ton of little things that can make a hard-water outing much more challenging than fishing on a sunny summer afternoon, so it should be no surprise that smart ice anglers have come up with a pile of gear hacks to make any day on a frozen lake a little easier, more comfortable, and a lot fishier. You could fill a book with these tricks, but here are four that every serious ice fisherman should know. They all require a few inexpensive items you probably have lying around at home.
Hockey tape was made for the ice, and even though hard-water anglers are looking for a different kind of score, they should always have a roll on hand. A few wraps around the butt and foregrip of any jigging rod immediately improves the hold and comfort, but hockey tape can be used on any ice tool. If you’ve ever had the cheap rubber handle cover disappear from your ice scooper, you know the feeling of metal freezing to a glove or the burning sting of touching it with your bare hand. A few wraps of hockey tape can easily fix that. Should your bibs or jacket get hooked or ripped, the hockey tape will keep a tear from getting worse until you can make a permanent repair.
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