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Choosing the right fishing gear is extremely important if you want to maximize your chances of landing that dream fish. When it comes to ice fishing, it can be difficult to make the best choices without a lot of experience because ice fishing equipment is quite specialized.
In this article I’ve explored some of the best ice fishing sleds available. For me, a decent sled is an essential piece of ice fishing gear. If you don’t have one, I’d seriously recommend looking into getting one. The options below are a great place to start your research.
What Is an Ice Fishing Sled?
Before I jump into it I think it’s a good idea to explain exactly what ice fishing sleds are and why they’re useful.
Basically, an ice fishing sled is exactly what it sounds like – a sled that’s designed to carry your ice fishing equipment, food, water, and other gear. A well-designed sled will make your life a lot easier when you’re fishing, but a low-quality one simply isn’t worth having. Trust me.
There are a few things you should look out for when choosing the perfect ice fishing sled for your needs.
- Make sure you choose a sled that has plenty of space for your ice fishing gear. There’s nothing worse than having to leave things behind because you don’t have room for them.
- Look for a decent quality sled, because life on the ice is tough. A cheap, poorly-made product will break in no time. Every item on the list below has been tried and tested, so I’d recommend giving one of them a go.
- Finally, think about whether you’re going to be pulling your ice fishing sled by hand or behind a snowmobile/quad. Make sure that it’s easy to connect to your vehicle if necessary.
Ultimately, choosing an ice fishing sled shouldn’t be too hard. Make sure you do your research and stick within your budget.
Why Should I Use an Ice Fishing Sled?
If you’ve ever tried ice fishing without a sled, you will know how hard it is. There’s nothing worse than having to lug all your ice fishing equipment – including rods, reels, augers, bait, heaters, and more – across the ice to your favorite fishing spot.
Sleds Will Keep You Organized – One of my favorite things about using ice fishing sleds is how easy they make it to organize things. As long as you choose one with plenty of space, you shouldn’t have any problems giving everything its own spot so that you know exactly where to find it.
Sleds Are Easy to Use – At the same time, using an ice sled just makes things easier. Really, who wants to carry all their gear across the ice in a backpack?
Sleds Allow You to Travel Further – Similarly, using a decent ice fishing sled will let you travel a lot further without sacrificing how much gear you take. I mean, it’s always better to have everything with you, right?
What Are the Best Ice Fishing Sleds?
Without further ado, let’s jump straight into it! Here’s a list of my favorite ice fishing sleds available in 2020. I’ve put together this list based on my years of fishing experience, but feel free to let me know what you think!
BEST #1: Shappell Jet Ice Fishing Sled
First up is the Shappell Jet Ice Fishing Sled. It’s simple, durable, and affordable, and it does everything it needs to. In reality, this sled’s simplicity is the main thing that puts it at the top of this list.
Coming in at 54″ x 25″ x 10″, it certainly isn’t the biggest ice fishing sled around. However, it still has more than enough space for the average fisherman. And, it has the added benefit of being easier to transport to and from your favorite fishing spot.
On top of this, the Shappell Jet Ice Fishing Sled comes with a strong tow rope and molded runners that simply glide across the ice. Made in Standish, Michigan, this sled is built from durable polyethylene and weighs just 15 pounds.
I’ve never heard of people having problems using this sled, which is a great plus. Online reviews are also resoundingly positive, with many people claiming that it’s the best sled that they’ve ever used.
All in all, if you’re looking for a cheap yet durable sled that’s small enough to transport, but big enough to fit all your ice fishing gear, then don’t go past the Shappell Jet Ice Fishing Sled.
Up next we’ve got the Terrain Sport Sled. It’s very similar to the Shappell Jet Ice Fishing Sled, and is up there with the best ice fishing sleds on the market. It just missed out on first place due to it’s slightly lower weight, which suggests a thinner, potentially weaker design.
However, the Terrain Sport Sled still has plenty going for it. For starters, it boasts a deep, flat build which is perfect for those carting a lot of ice fishing gear long distances. It makes it easy to organize your gear, and I’ve never had trouble fitting everything I need to inside.
The only thing I don’t like about this sled is the fact that it doesn’t come with specific runners made of a tougher material. There are several large runners and smaller “guides”, but they are simply molded along with the rest of the sled. This means that they’re susceptible to rapid wear if you start using the sled on rocks or dirt.
But, this is a minor issue with what’s otherwise a great ice fishing sled. I’d highly recommend considering it!
The Shappell JSR Jet Sled comes in third position due to its slightly smaller size (43″ x 21″ x 8″). However, it’s still a great option if you don’t have too much ice fishing equipment to carry.
I haven’t tested this sled myself, but online reviews are resoundingly positive. It’s tough, weather resistant, and comes with a durable towrope that’s perfect for dragging it across the ice.
On top of this, the Shappell JSR is one of the lightest ice fishing sleds around. It weighs just over 6 pounds, which means that it’s great for women and children. Overall, this is a great option for those looking for a smaller sled.
On the other hand, the Shappell JSX Jet Sled is on the larger side. It measures 66″ x 31″ x 12″. This means that it’s a good choice for those with a lot of ice fishing equipment to cart across the ice.
Like the other Shappell sleds on this list, the JSX Jet Sled comes complete with a durable polyethylene design, moulded runners, and a strong tow rope.
The only thing that puts me off the JSX Jet Sled is its size – it’s that bit harder to transport and needs that bit extra energy to tow across the ice. But that’s a personal choice. I’d certainly recommend thinking about using it if you’re looking for something larger.
Last on our list of the best ice fishing sleds in 2020 is the Beavertail Sport Sled. Although it comes in at number five, this sled still has plenty going for it.
For starters, it’s probably the toughest sled on this list. It weights 17 pounds, so it’s probably not the best choice for those who aren’t willing to pull a heavy sled over the ice. However, its thick polyethylene walls make it near-indestructable.
On top of this, the reinforced runners mean that you can use this sled for so much more than just ice fishing. I know people who use it to haul things around in summer. I’ve even heard of it being used as a makeshift boat at times!
All in all, Beavertail is the best choice if you’re looking for a tough ice fishing sled that you can use throughout the year.
Summary: The Best Ice Fishing Sleds in 2020
Choosing a decent ice fishing sled can be difficult because of the sheer number of options available. I know how hard it is because I’ve been in your position before!
Luckily for you, this list of the top five ice fishing sleds in 2020 contains the most durable, versatile, and affordable options on the market.
Ice fishing sleds like the Shappell Jet Ice Fishing Sled and the Terrain Sport Sled are great all-round choices. Meanwhile, the Shappell JSR sled is out favorite smaller option. The Shappell JSX is great for those looking for more space, and finally, the Beavertail Sport Sled is perfect for year-round use.
Ultimately, the most important thing when buying a new ice fishing sled is doing your research. Set your budget, identify the features you’re looking for, and spend a bit of time finding the right product.
Good luck and tight lines!