Finding the perfect ice shelter can be more of a process than most people would have believed in today's world. Nowadays, there are so many choices that can make it tough to narrow it down to one specific shack. Here are a few things that we have learned over the years that might lead you in a better direction to find the perfect ice shelter for you.
Pop-Up vs. Flip Over
There are two main styles of shelters in the ice fishing industry that come out to be the most popular. These are the pop-up, also known as the hub style shack, and the flip over. There are many pros and a few cons to each style, depending on your fishing style. The pop-up style ice shelter is lightweight, inexpensive, and offers more room than a flip over in most cases. Although this shelter is traditionally super light and packs into a small bag, it may take some more time to switch spots and pack up at the end of the day. Once set up, though, you will notice a considerable difference in the amount of room available. This shack is perfect for the angler that knows where the fish are located and wants to camp out in that spot all day.
On the other side of the spectrum, you have the flip over style shelter. This shelter will come with a sled that is built right into the shack material itself. What makes this shelter stand out from pop-ups is the fact that you can set it up and take it down in a matter of seconds. This convenience makes it perfect for the angler to stay on the school of fish while moving to multiple spots throughout the day. There are quite a few awesome features with this style, but it will generally be on the pricey side compared to a pop-up. This shelter is also going to be heavier and not have as much room. It is often a good option for someone that plans to pull it behind a four-wheeler or snowmobile.
Insulated or Non-Insulated?
Another widely discussed topic is whether you should spend the extra money and get yourself an insulated shelter. Depending on your location or style of fishing, you may not need the insulation in some cases. Insulation can be a huge factor in how much propane your heater burns throughout the day of fishing. A non-insulated shelter will require you to keep your heater on a higher setting on those cold days. On the days that you may only need to stay out of the wind to keep warm, a non-insulated version is all you would need. There can be many days below zero out on the ice in our area and even farther north. On these days, an insulated shelter might be the difference in you staying out all day and having to call it in the morning.
When you are thinking about the size you need in an ice shack, the first thing that comes to mind is how many people will be fishing with you most of the time. A hub shelter usually starts as a two-person and can go up from there. If you have the room and don't mind a little extra weight, we recommend going bigger than what you initially thought. This space will allow you to have a more comfortable experience, spread out, and feel less crammed in the shack all day. As far as flip-overs go, you have to consider how big the sled is. Most two-person flip-overs can fit in the back of a standard truck bed. If you know you will be fishing by yourself, then a one-person is an excellent option. A smaller ice shack will make it easy for you to handle by yourself.
As you can see, there are so many options and factors that go into choosing the perfect ice shelter for your particular needs. Hopefully, we helped you out and narrowed down your choices to select a new shack this year! Good luck out there and don’t forget to stop by our Bait & Tackle shop at Wind Rose North in Menominee, Michigan.