The ice auger industry seems to have changed entirely in the last five years. There are so many new options coming out year after year that it can be hard to keep up! Here is a breakdown of what we know and how we can help you choose that perfect ice auger for this ice fishing season.
Gas VS Electric
It seems like just yesterday that gas and even propane augers dominated the field, but that is no longer the case. Recently many people have been switching over to electric augers. Electric augers remove the worry of bringing extra gas, mix oil, or starting it up on those frigid days while creating much less noise. As soon as you get out on the ice, you can take off the blade cover, hit a button, and start drilling. It can be tough to switch over to an electric auger initially, but it’s for a good reason. I’ve heard many people say they don’t think electric-powered augers will have the power to get through the ice as fast as a gas auger would. Electric augers have come a long way in a short amount of time, and I can tell you that many electric models can easily out drill gas models. Speed is not an issue when switching over. I’ve heard people say their battery wouldn’t be able to last with how much they drill in a day. Like the Strikemaster Lithium 40 volt, most electric augers can drill 100 holes through 16 inches of ice on a single charge. That is a lot of holes to drill in a day! To add on to that, batteries for this auger reach a full charge in just 2.5 hours.
The last commonly discussed topic comparing these two styles is how the battery is affected in frigid weather. Cold temperatures will affect lithium batteries, but not significantly enough to be a deal-breaker. I have heard from many anglers that you may lose a few holes in the run time on cold days. A great solution to this problem is taking off the battery and bringing it into the warmth of your shack. If you are fishing without a shack, you can easily put it inside your jacket pocket to keep it warm.
Powerhead or Brushless Drill
If you find that an electric auger will be your path, you can decide to go with the full unit featuring a powerhead and auger bit, or just the auger bit and use a brushless drill that you have on hand. The most significant difference between these two options is going to be weight. The auger with the powerhead and bit all in one will come out weighing more but will be able to drill more holes on a single charge. Strikemaster has addressed this issue with the new 24v electric auger for 2020, which comes in at half the weight of its 40v counterpart and an excellent choice for anyone on early ice. The brushless drill to an auger bit is also a perfect choice for anyone looking for an early ice set up and those who walk out to their spot. If you are the angler that loads everything up in a sled and pulls it out with a four-wheeler or snowmobile, then the powerhead’s extra weight isn’t much of a factor.
A lot goes into picking the perfect Ice auger for your needs. Hopefully, this information can help narrow down your choices to make it easier when deciding to go with a new auger for the season. Either way, have a great year ice fishing!