Lake-Link's Ice Fishing Holiday Gift Guide

Cool, new gear for the ice anglers on the nice list

by Lake-Link Staff

It's that time of year again... Everyone is rushing to find the perfect gift for that someone special. But sometimes finding that "perfect" gift for the ice fishing enthusiast can be a challenging one. The elves at Lake-Link have been going though a lot of gifts and decided to give you some recommendations that we know the angler in your life will enjoy...

Ice Fishing Rod & Reel Combo
St. Croix Panfish Ice Combos
MSRP: $95-$105

St. Croix's new Panfish Ice Combos are the perfect solution for any angler looking an exceptional, complete, all-around ice panfish rod and reel system. And for friends and families who need multiple outfits, they're budget-friendly, too.

All three St. Croix Panfish Ice Combo models (28" Ultra Light; 32" Light; and 36" Light) feature a solid carbon blank, stainless steel primary guide rings and frames, and a comfortable, and easy-to-grip premium EVA handle with stainless steel nut nylon reel seat. Features include a high-quality spinning reel with 8 ball bearings/1 roller bearing, and a versatile 6:2:1 gear ratio. All come with a 1 year reel warranty and 5-year "Forever Assurance" 5-Year-Warranty on the rod.
Ice Fishing Dead-Sticking Reel
Okuma Ceymar CBF-500 Bait Feeder
MSRP: $82.99

As mentioned, we put in our time last winter fishing a dead-stick for wary walleyes. Coupled with a Croix Custom Ice Dead Eye rod, the Okuma Ceymar CBF-500 Bait Feeder Reel is the linchpin to today's modern set-line approach.

Rather than having to keep your bait open and cinching your line down with a rubber band or paperclip, Okuma's bait-feeding system allows ice anglers to disengage their spinning reel spool and allow their bait to run freely. Okuma's bait-feeding system incorporates a secondary micro-adjustable drag system at the rear of the reel that allows for precise adjustment of the spool for bait control. In order to disengage this system, simply turn the handle, and your primary drag kicks in, ready for a sweeping hookset. The On/Off lever on the rear of the reel also automatically disengages the bait-feeding system so you can fight your fish with the main drag system.
Ice Fishing Accessory
JT Outdoor Products Dead-Stick Rod Holder
MSRP: $24.99 This product may not seem like much, but take our word, it's critical for dead-sticking. An accordion-style dead-stick rod holder, the JT Outdoor Products Rod Holder is easily collapsible and adjustable - and will accommodate dead sticks between 24- and 48-inches long.
JT Outdoor Products Dead-Stick Rod Holder
(rod not included)
While it can be adjusted so the rod tip is slightly angled upward, we found our best luck orienting the rod hold holder perfectly horizontal, allowing minimal drag when a walleye grabs the bait soaking below. Combine with a St. Croix Dead Eye Rod and Okuma Baitfeeder reel, and the system is practically foolproof, and works great set out on the ice, in a portable fishhouse, or stationed on the floor of a permanent shack. Definitely a system you should be using to ice more walleyes this ice season!
Ice Fishing Tackle
VMC Rattling Roach Spoon
MSRP: $7.49-$8.49

According to testers last season-including Lake Mille Lacs guide and bait co-designer, Tony Roach-the new VMC Rattling Roach Spoon caught tons of fish last winter. Its intense fluttering action combined with an exposed rattle chamber delivers maximum sound vibrations, grabbing the attention of nearby fish like no other spoon. The spoon is dressed with a marabou teaser tail, which conceals a super sharp VMC treble hook and also provides a minnow-tail-like appeal. It also features a holographic eye and is available in a variety of UV, holographic attractor and live baitfish patterns. VMC's Ultra Glow Rattling Roach Spoon colors last up to 15 minutes on a single charge! dead sticks between 24- and 48-inches long.

Choose between models suited for all species of Ice Belt gamefish, from the 1" 1/32nd ounce, 1 ¼" 1/16th ounce, 1 5/8" 1/8 ounce, all the way up to a 2" 3/16th ounce model for super-sized hardwater walleyes!
Ice Fishing Apparel
Strikemaster Pro Flotation Suit
MSRP: $259.99, Jacket; $259.99, Bibs

We've tested a lot of ice fishing flotation suits over the years, and the StrikeMaster ® Pro Jacket and Pro Bibs is one of the warmest, lightest, and best-designed suits we've ever worn.

Breaking through the ice is no joke. Besides carrying a spud bar to test ice thickness, fishing with a buddy, carrying your phone in a Zip-Loc, and making sure you have a throwable, wearing a flotation suit is an absolute must.

The Strikemaster Pro Flotation Suit offers a lot of features. For starters, its SOS technology will allow an angler wearing it to float for up to 2 hours if he/she breaks through the ice. And available in sizes from extra-small (XS) all the way up to 4XL, there's a suit to fit every angler on the ice.

The jacket features a 3-in-1 design with zip-out puff jacket with 40 grams of 3M insulation; the outer, main jacket features 140 grams of the same material. In terms of insulation/flotation material, the jacket's composed of 40 grams equivalent of EPE foam.

And the outer shell is breathable while remaining water repellant. Also feature fleece-lined hand warming pockets; a magnetic flat on the main zipper; removable hood; D-rings for fishing accessory attachment; reflective trim for safety; Inside Zip Pockets for Convenient Storage

Likewise, the bibs feature a smart design with 140 grams of 3M Insulation plus 40 grams equivalent of EPE Foam. The knees are reinforced, too, with 5mm of foam padding, which makes kneeling at the hole jigging much less painful on aging joints.

Zip-to-hip side zippers make getting bulky ice fishing boots on and off easy. Like the jacket, the bibs also feature a magnetic flap on the side with main zippers. Chest area features fleece-lined handwarming pockets and there's an adjustable hem on the bottom bib cuffs to ensure you're not dragging fabric through slush.

Ice Fishing Apparel
Whitewater Fishing Torque Heated Vest
MSRP: $219.99

Although heated vests are nothing new-with companies like Cabela's and Milwaukee Tool-offering versions, this is by far the best we've tested.

80 grams of Primaloft® Silver insulation and a one-touch button delivers three levels of heat on demand via a built-in USB power cable in the pocket of the vest (5v/2A power bank sold separately).

Two heating pads on the chest and one on the upper back allows temperature adjustment from low (?100° F) to mid (?113° F) to high (?131°F.) for perfect warmth in any ice fishing scenario.

A smooth polyester lining and Lycra binding produce a snug fit, while the DWR-treated nylon shell repels moisture. An extended cut keeps the lower back warm. Reflective logo touch points on the front and back stand out when you're taking on the fog.

Personally, we're buying a half-dozen of these heated vests as Christmas presents this year for kids and spouses.

Ice Fishing Boots
Norfin Klondike 2 w/built-in cleats
MSRP: $199.99

Gone are the days of clunky, heavy, and subpar ice fishing boots. We tested the Norfin Klondike 2 ice fishing boots last winter and wouldn't consider wearing anything else now. Good to -40 degrees, they're amazingly feather-light, ride high up the ankles to keep snow, slush, and water out, and feature built-in ice cleats. Available in sizes from 3 to 14.

Rapala Cerakote® 7-Inch Elite Scissors
MSRP: $48.99

Tired of trying to cut braided and stiff fluorocarbon line with tiny, dull scissors not intended for the job? Then do yourself a favor and buy this be-all, end-all of fishing scissors. We did, and we couldn't be happier. In fact, we need to get another pair to have one in the boat and one in the tackle box.

Coated with high performance, lightweight Cerakote®, these scissors are designed to withstand the rigors of real fishing. But can they cut? Absolutely. Like a laser. The serrated blades cut all braid, monofilament, fluorocarbon line, no matter the test strength. And an additional side cutter blade will cut wire up to 15 lbs. Spring loaded for easy one-hand operation & sliding lock for safe storage. Robust, comfortable ergonomic handle design & lanyard ready.
EGO Waterproof Fishing Scale
MSRP: $69.99

The EGO waterproof fishing scale is the ultimate digital fishing scale with 110 lbs. capacity and 100% waterproof body. The ergonomic handle makes it easy to hold and lift the scale even with heavier loads-and it also features a built-in measuring tape that flexes in a circular fashion when needed for accurate girth measurements, something you don't find in other scales on the market.

  • Weighs up to 110 lbs.
  • Waterproof
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Weighs in LBS, KG, OZ
  • Tare / data lock function
  • Stainless steel hook
  • Strong ABS plastic body
  • Built-in measuring tape that flexes for accurate girth measurements
  • Includes user manual, screwdriver and 2 AAA batteries
  • Size: 7"L X 4.75"W X 1.5"H

Ice Fishing Electronics
NORSK Lithium 32Ah battery
MSRP: $279.99

Perfect for the avid ice angler, kayak angler, small boat angler, or general camping/off-grid enthusiast on your holiday list, the NORSK Lithium 32Ah battery to will provide more than enough power for individuals who need lots of juice to keep their electronics running on-the-water, in the woods, or just exploring outdoors.

Designed specifically to provide the longest run times for today's advanced ice fishing electronics like live/forward-facing imaging or 360 sonar systems, the NORSK 32Ah Lithium Ion Battery is engineered to meet the demand for high-power draw digital units with larger displays and is optimized for all-day performance. 1000+ charge cycles, 2-year limited warranty! 3A 16.8V Lithium Ion Battery charger included.
Ice Fishing Electronics
Humminbird Ice Helix 9 MSI+ GPS G4N MEGA Live Bundle
MSRP: $3099.99

Looking for your first forward-facing ice fishing sonar unit? After more than a season testing it, we strongly recommend the Humminbird Ice Helix 9 MSI+ GPS G4N MEGA Live Bundle.

Watch fish, structure and your lure in real-time, powered by the unmatched detail of MEGA Imaging® on a full color 9" HD LCD display. And take advantage of crystal-clear Dual Spectrum CHIRP Sonar with 3/4" target separation, CHIRP Interference Rejection, built-in GPS with Humminbird® Basemap and compatibility with both LakeMaster® or Navionics® maps.

Additional features designed specifically for the ice angler include AutoChart Live ICE, Jig Charge Mode, split-screen views, premium shuttle and 20Ah lithium battery separate this unit from all others on the ICE.

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