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Ice fishing requires a specific set of equipment to ensure a successful and comfortable experience. One piece of gear that I recommend getting is an ice fishing sled, which serves as a transportation tool to move fishing gear from one fishing spot to another. (or to your cabin/home) You can drag an ice fishing sled by hand, or latch it onto a snowmobile or ATV for towing. With the abundance of options available on the market, it can be difficult to choose a sled that fits your needs. In this guide, we will review the best ice fishing sleds to help you make an informed decision, whether you’re looking for a sleek jet sled or a heavy-duty utility sled for the ice.
Our Favorite Ice Fishing Sled
The Shappell Jet Ice Fishing Sled is a stellar choice for hauling gear on icy lakes and snow. Its reasonably large size and durable polyethylene material make it a great utility sled for a variety of purposes. The molded runners provide smooth gliding over terrain, snow, and ice, and the included tow rope makes it easy to lug your gear to and from your fishing spot.
The sled easily holds a considerable amount of gear; I have used it to carry four fishing rods, two chairs, a tackle box, food, and an ice fishing tent. This makes it a great multi-purpose sled for all of your ice fishing needs. In terms of cons, the sled could be a bit larger, but it still typically gets the job done. Maybe get a larger sled if you plan on embarking on a multi-day ice fishing expedition. With its heavy-duty construction and ability to easily transport gear, the Shappell Jet Ice Fishing Sled is a superb value for its price. The last time I checked, the price was $65!
Best Ice Fishing Sled Mod
The Eskimo Runner Kit Qf2 is one of the all-time best ice fishing sled mods out there. The ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene runners make it much easier to pull your sled over rough ice and terrain, extending the sled’s life in the process. The installation process is relatively straightforward and requires basic tools to modify your sled.
The runners have a channel that runs through the center, which reduces friction and helps the sled track better. However, sharp turns can occasionally be a challenge as the tracks have a strong grip. The provided hardware is of good quality with stainless nylon insert nuts and washers that prevent rusting. Overall, the Eskimo Runner Kit Qf2 is a great ice fishing sled mod for protecting and improving the functionality of your sled. I would advise getting this mod or something similar if you are an intermediate to advanced ice fisher. Other mods for ice fishing sleds exist, such as fishing rod holders. Many ice fishing pros prefer to construct their own sled mods; it saves money and you have more influence on customizing the sled setup to your liking.
Best Ice Fishing Sled for Kids
Do you ever take the kids out on the ice? If so, then I suggest looking into this youth ice fishing sled. If you get tired of lugging your ice fishing gear across the snow and ice, you can give your kids a turn! The Shappell Jet Sled Junior is a polyethylene multi-purpose sled that includes molded runners for strength and stability. Even though it’s intended for weaker individuals, this sled is still built to last and handle the harsh conditions of the ice. The specialty contoured hull allows for easy pulling by hand, while optional hitches make it possible to tow the sled with an ATV or snowmobile.
In my opinion, the Shappell Jet Sled Junior is a great choice for beginner to intermediate ice fishers looking for a durable and reliable sled. If you don’t have much gear, then you could get this lighter sled option as compared to one of the heavier sleds covered above.
The only “downside” to the sled is its relatively small size, with dimensions of 42″ x 21″ x 8″. However, depending on your specific needs, this could be a positive factor.
Best Heavy-Duty Ice Fishing Shed
The Flexible Flyer Utility Pull Sled is a highly durable and versatile option for transporting gear. The one-piece, high-density polyethylene construction, and reinforced outer lip provide remarkable sidewall strength and stability, making it capable of holding large loads. I know from experience that it can easily hold tons of fishing rods, tackle boxes, water jugs, and firewood; all at once! The molded grooves on the bottom of the ice fishing sled add strength and tracking stability, allowing for easy pulling by hand, snowmobile, or ATV.
In terms of its weight, (12.5 pounds) the sled is industrial grade, which may be a pro or a con depending on your personal preference. For those looking for a heavy-duty option, it is a great value. However, those seeking a lighter sled may find it a bit cumbersome.
Overall, the Flexible Flyer Utility Pull Sled is a well-made, versatile, and durable option for those of you in need of a larger heavy-duty sled for your next hardcore ice fishing venture.
Best Compact Ice Fishing Sled
The Pelican Trek Utility Sled is a nice, compact option for hauling ice fishing equipment. Even with its smaller size, it has a heavy-duty build and a large volume capacity. The built-in ice fishing sled mod attachment points and molded tracking rails make it suitable for use on snow and ice. The ability to connect two Trek 45 sleds together to increase capacity is also a nice feature. There are two other ice fishing sleds in different sizes (60″ and 75″ lengths) offered by Pelican that you should check out if you want something larger.
On the downside, some ice fishing professionals find the sled to be only okay in terms of quality and not as good as they expected. It may be cheaper than other options available at local hardware stores, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a great value.
In my opinion, the Pelican Trek Utility Sled is a decent option for those who only need a basic sled to haul their gear. But, if you want a sled that is built to last and can handle heavy loads, you may want to consider investing in a higher-end option.
Ice Fishing Sleds Make Life on the Ice Much Easier
Your aching back muscles are telling you to ditch the backpack and invest in an ice fishing sled. The best ice fishing sled is one that satisfies your unique preferences. Whether you’re looking for a sled with ample storage space, easy portability, or durable construction, the options we reviewed have something for everyone. When making your choice, consider the features and benefits that are most important to you, and don’t be afraid to invest in a quality sled that will make your ice fishing trips easier and more enjoyable. These sleds last so long that hopefully, you will never have to get another one; just don’t lose it to the frigid depths under the ice!