Only been ice fishing once. Going to Hayward, WI. Next trip. Considering ice cleats. Are the Eagle Claw $20 type ok? Is it worth the money to go expensive for once a year use?
Ice fishing trip planning advice
I used these all of last year and they were one of my favorite ice cleats I've ever owned. Got them for 15 bucks without the ice picks. You don't need to spend a ton of money on ice cleats to get a descent pair.
Good advice from all. Thank You.
My once a year trip will always be 2 nd weekend of February so no early or late ice to deal with.
+1 for the Yaktrax. Where them leaving house already, safe in the truck and anywhere you stop. If your using an ATV they will not cut the seat if your foot hits it swinging your leg over either, I've seen that happen to lots of people with spikes or screws.
Wear those spikes and walk into somebody shanty once and see what they do to the floor. Lol
You have been given some good advice already. Some have pointed out that you may not even need them. Usually they get use first ice and late ice when there is little or no snow. Once the snow is froze to the ice you really don't need any. Zip screws into the thick tread on your boots work well also.
I don't see any reason to spend more than that for a few times of use a year, except maybe for the diamond grip cleats, those are super nice. I don't know anything about the frabill ones.
These are the ones I use: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0094GO7PU/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Best all around ones I've found, not the most traction you'll find but the most versatile. No need to take them off to go in a bar or vehicle. If you want to be able to sprint full bore across glare ice, these aren't for you. If you are going to be standing around drinking beer or hole hopping, these are perfect.
I keep a pair of these around for people to use that don't have any (or similar styles, they're all from china under different brands on Amazon), a lot more traction but not very comfortable with rubber boots IMO. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FBVZMKN/ref=sspa_dk_detail_1?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B08FBVZMKN&pd_rd_w=Aes2M&pf_rd_p=7d37a48b-2b1a-4373-8c1a-bdcc5da66be9&pd_rd_wg=a2udA&pf_rd_r=41W4VN7QGA1903RV57K1&pd_rd_r=5c8bb9a1-61ee-4767-97f2-ee797dc255c4&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFBSVo5MVRRNEIyREEmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTAzMzIzNDkyUzNFT0I4WlQ0WUxXJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA4MDUzNDEzRUM4MFhCTjEyRlhJJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfZGV0YWlsJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
Let say first I've seen some pretty bad falls watching other group's while ice fishing a bad fall could ruin your trip. But for me i like the diamond grip cleats covers the whole bottom of the boot and have yet to slip and I have the ht rubber one's but the cleat is only on the toe so I keep those as a extra. Another thing is it your cleats fall off walking in deep snow or a drift and they come off you might not notice till you hit ice and slip.
There are a lot of previous threads about this topic, but no, the cheap ones are not good enough. Most of the time in the north of won’t need them anyways, but IF you actually end up needing them, you’ll wish you had good ones. You can get decent ones for 30 and really solid ones for 40-50. In a big city like Hayward you could go there and just buy them there if you need them.
This is what I buy. Since you're a pretty casual ice fishermen, they should work fine for you.
Edited to add: The XL set fits on my size 12 Cabelas Predator boots.
I highly recommend Stabil Icers. A little pricey at just under $50. There are 17 replaceable cleats on each foot for good traction heel and toe. Replacement cleats are reasonable at 50 for $10. I fish quite a bit and just replace the cleats that are worn.