Augers - Fast and Effective
Ice augers have come a long ways in the last several years. Hand augers have been fine-tuned to cut through ice like butter, and gas-powered augers are becoming more and more lightweight and efficient. Having an auger that doesn't drag you down and allows you to punch several holes in a short period of time can often times dictate your success out on the ice. With mobility being a key factor in ice fishing nowadays, we want an auger that is lightweight, but yet will still get the job done.
Hand augers play an important role during early ice. Having a fast cutting hand auger allows you to punch a series of holes and stay on top of those roaming fish. The hand auger by Nils Master has been cutting holes for the last 35 years and is designed for maximum performance. Cutting several dozen holes over a shallow weed bed should be easy at early ice, and it is with the Nils Master hand auger. Hand augers are often over looked, and shouldn't be. Having an efficient hand auger has several roles at early ice. First off, they are lightweight. Keeping your equipment lightweight is the name of the game at early ice. When walking from spot to spot, you don't want a heavy load, and a hand auger is very portable and easily transported in just about any situation. And second, hand augers have come a long way in the last several years, and they cut through ice relatively quick. When out on thin ice, hand augers will compete with power-augers. Cutting through 5-6 inches of ice or less is a walk in the park with a hand auger, and the use of a power-auger isn't needed. I typically use a hand auger until the ice reaches about 6 inches. Hole hoping with a hand auger allows you to also carry a rod and flasher with ease, something that might be overlooked at times, but can make ice fishing at early ice more productive.
Even though hand augers play an important role, gas-power augers excel out on the ice throughout much of winter. Since only a small period of the ice fishing season occurs when the ice is thin, having a power auger can, and will, make things more efficient out on the ice once midwinter starts to take hold. Cutting through even a foot of ice with a hand auger can get tiresome after a few holes, but with the modern technology of power augers those feelings are vanquished. Power augers today, allow ice anglers to cut through several feet of ice with ease, and it allows us to do it all day too. You want a power auger to be lightweight but yet still efficient. Having a lightweight power auger is one thing, but does it still get the job done like you want it to? The purpose of a lightweight auger is to make your job easier, but if you are still spending extra time cutting through the ice because you gave up performance for weight, than you might want to reevaluate your decision. The Nils Master power auger is light and efficient. With the Nils Master power auger, you will experience an effortless approach to cutting holes. You don't have to apply pressure or weight on the auger to cut a hole, the auger will do the work for you. The two-piece blade system built on a chromium steel head works as one piece and cuts through the ice like butter. Think of it more as a power drill than an auger, it makes short work of thick ice.
Choosing what size hole you want can also have weight on what auger will work the best for you. Today, we have options available from 4 inches all way up to 10 inches or larger. Most panfishermen prefer smaller holes and pike fishermen might prefer a larger hole so they can land the bigger fish easier. There are days when a 4 or 6 inch hole is ideal when chasing crappies or bluegills during early ice, but then when you decide to go after walleyes or pike you might want to upgrade to an 8 inch hole. The ability to change the size of the hole without losing performance is very important. With the system that Nils Master provides, you can interchange auger bits (size of the hole) and still keep the same engine head and barely lose a lick of performance. Going from 4 to 8 inch holes is a breeze with the Nils Master power auger and cutting an 8 inch hole through 40 inches of ice can be done in less than 12 seconds. Powered by a 1.3 horse Tanaka Engine, the Nils Master power auger is lightweight and easy to use.
Another feature of augers, that is often time overlooked but can be very important once midwinter comes along is extensions. Having an extension can mean the difference between a good day of fishing, and a day where you don't even fish at all. Auger extensions come in a variety of sizes. One of the concerns of extensions is that after punching through thick ice, the slush builds up and augers can get stuck or heavy, and this can be a huge problem when punching several holes. Nils Master's extensions prevent this problem from happening. The extensions from Nils Master are an actual piece of the auger itself, and instead of having an extension where it consists of just a pole allowing loose ice and slush to build up, the Nils Master extensions just make the auger shaft longer causing the loose ice and slush to be extracted the same as if you were to punch a hole without an extension. This is a very useful and efficient concept that will make things easier out on the ice.
There are several options for augers available to us today. Some of the other ice augers include brands like Eskimo, Jiffy and Strikemaster. Engine sizes may vary along with weights and performance. There are a variety of different horsepower options available as well. Whatever you choose, you want to make sure that you pick an auger that will fit your needs. Don't worry, there's a power auger out there designed for you.