Choosing The Best Ice Fishing Sled
Over my years of experience I've been able to determine which are the best ice fishing sleds. Check out my guide and reviews before buying yours!
A day of successful ice fishing often comes down to mobility. To find biting fish, you often have to move around. Problem is, that ice fisherman depend on a lot of gear, such as rods, tip-ups, augers, flashers, tents, heaters, buckets, chairs, etc. That's a lot of equipment to haul around.
Luckily, frozen lakes are flat and slick, which makes a sled an ideal way to carry all of your gear, and still remain mobile. But don't just go out and buy any sled. You're going to want to get one of the best ice fishing sleds.
The first consideration to make when selecting a sled for ice fishing will be whether or not it can easily fit into your vehicle. A big sled is great, but if your car or truck doesn't have enough room to accommodate it, it won't do you much good.
Its also a good idea to figure out just how large a sled you'll need to haul all of your gear. If you're one man, who just carries an auger, some jigging rods and a chair, you probably won't need a massive sled.
Top 3 Best Ice Fishing Sleds For 2019
The all around best ice fishing sled on the market has got to be the Jet Sled, made by Shappell. Its the go to sled for ice fisherman and many hunters. They're made with thick, tough polyethylene bodies that can really take some abuse.
I've had my current Jet sled for about a decade and it gets pretty heavy use. I'll often have to drag it quite a distance across asphalt between my vehicle and the lake. This type of use has worn the bottom of the sled down a bit, but its still in really good shape.
A strong cord comes tethered to the sled to allow you to pull it over the ice and through snow.
The Jet Sled comes in 2 sizes - a 54" x 24" version, and a smaller 42" x 21" version aptly named the Jet Sled Jr.
I've only recently become aware that Shappell makes wear bars that can easily be fastened to the bottom of the Jet Sled. They're made of extremely dense polyethylene and will extend the life of the sled by preventing the bottom from wearing out.
The Jet sled wear bars are available for both size sleds.
However, I'm not entirely sold on the need for these wear bars, since, as I mentioned earlier, I have about 10 years of heavy use on my Jet Sled without them, and its still going pretty strong.
Also, the wear bars cost roughly the same price as the sled itself. If they were maybe about half the price, it would be more justifiable to buy them in my opinion. In any case, if you're interested, the Jet Sled wear bars can be ordered here.
The Jet Sled is also available in a camo pattern. If you're an ice fisherman and a hunter, it may be worth it to consider this version.
The camo Jet Sled can be ordered here.
There are some other options available besides the Jet Sleds. Shappell, the maker of the Jet Sled also produces the Kodiak Sled.
The Kodiak sled is slightly wider than the standard Jet Sled at 54" x 26", but while the Jet Sleds have a height of 8", which suit most fisherman fine, the Kodiak sled is deeper with 11" walls to fully contain all of your equipment.
Its also a bit more rugged and weighs in at 15 lbs, and is definitely one of the best ice fishing sleds available. The Kodiak can be ordered here.
Something else to consider would be the use of a sled cover. Often I'll have to pull my sled through winding paths, choked with bushes or up and down hills. This can lead to gear falling out or rods being broken by roots or bushes.
I personally have broken a couple of rod tips heading back in the dark after fishing, having them get snagged and snapped by vegetation along the path.
Luckily Shappell makes a sled cover to keep your rods protected and prevent any other gear from spilling out along the trail. I got one for my Jet Sled a few years ago and I've been very happy with it.
The cover is great. Very tough and durable. I ordered it in a larger size to fully accommodate the gear that I have piled up in the sled. You can order the sled covers here.