I just returned from a two-day business trip, and ice-fishing equipment was the subject. Augers, electronics, fish houses, rods and reels, tip-ups and just about everything related to the sport. There is so much out there, how does a person decide which product is best?
I guess it boils down to a number of factors - cost, features and benefits, what dad used, what grandpa used or what the salesperson says is the best. We all are different and we all take different paths in making that important purchase.
These days, it seems that people head to the Internet for their questions and answers. This can be good sometimes, but you can also get some pretty biased opinions.
Augers, sonars and underwater cameras are big-ticket items, and this is where a lot of the questions arise. You have Strikemaster, Jiffy and Eskimo augers and they come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Some with one blade, some with two. Most are two-stroke motors (where you have to mix the gas and oil), but there is a four-stroke on the market and a couple of electric versions.
You have Vexilars, Marcums, Humminbirds, Lowrance and many other sonar systems that will help you catch more fish through the ice. Some have 2,000 watts of peak-to-peak power, some have 400 watts. Does it really matter? Not necessarily.
You have Aqua Vu, Marcum and Fish TV underwater cameras. Some are color, most are black and white. Some will reach down 50 feet, others around 100 feet.
How do you choose one from another? Buy the one that dad used? But what if there is something better on the market? Yes, it can be tough, and I struggle with all of the choices myself and go back and forth trying to weigh all of the different features and benefits.
Most of these products will do the trick for you, and the companies that produce them have been around for quite some time. This alone should give you some comfort.
Make sure to ask about warranties. And customer service is a big thing, too. Shop, compare and ask your neighbor what he or she uses and if they are happy with the products they use. If you have questions or would like to talk more about some of the different products, feel free to call or e-mail me.
Christmas is just days away. May God bless you and your families.
WALLEYEDAN Eigen may be reached at (218) 839-5598, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.walleyedan.com.
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