My gas one failed me when i needed her most last trip ... Looking at this Ion electric auger but reading reviews of battery's freezing and not worth the $$$. Any thoughts or reviews from people who have one?
Ion Elec Ice Auger
perch chaser, you mentioend slightly older and above average fisherman I think (or at least like to think) that I am in that boat too. I hear you on spending $650 buck on a auger. The Gen 1 version is a bit less. However what I like most about this auger is it only weighs 22 lbs. That is great.
I think I'd go volunteer to load freight by hand for a more relaxing time than drilling and skimming 200 holes. :-|
I just don't have that much dedication.
Getting older and being a slightly above average ice angler, excluding early and late ice, I find it hard to justify spending $650 +tax on an auger and extra battery. The way weather patterns are now a days you're lucky to be able to use any conventional power augers more then 3 months out of a season. JMO
I think you hit the nail on the head Ifishwi. Sure, there are those that will drill a lot of holes and the ION might not be the right choice, but for the "practical" ice angler, the ION is going to make them very happy. And, kind of to your point, you are right about the ice thickness not always being so bad-depending on where someone is fishing and the time of winter.... I guess of all the anglers I've met through the years on the ice, and there are hundreds, I can't clearly think of one situation where the guy couldn't have used an ION and done what he needed to do. But, as stated in a few posts, there are cases where the ION won't do what someone needs, just too many holes for the battery life of an ION, but there is a huge market for what an ION can and will do and I think the battery powered auger will be the most common power auger sold in stores within the next 10 years. I can't help but think of the gas one uses for 200 holes, plus the weight carrying a heavier auger around.....every pound counts in those cases. But, yeah, the ION batteries will run out, where a gas auger, when it does, is a lot easier to keep going in those situations. But, personally, I'd get a second ION battery. Just slip it on and go. Especially now with the improved battery. Time will tell how the gas ones do on the market. If you can keep your auger going for 30 years ifishwi, I'd keep doing what you are doing.
Sorry, I fish year-round for fun and the occasional fish fry. If I wanted to do that much work I would be a fence-post installer. Seriously though, if you are in competition or choose to look all over a deep basin for a few perch then by all means use the equipment that best suits you. Now, I can't justify purchasing an ION because my old 3.5 horse Nordic Star is 30+ years old and still going strong. I have used an ION and they are smooth and light, and really for the practical ice fisherman they beat any gas auger hands down.
Ifishwi. You should enter a team extreme tournament and watch. I used to fish ice team tourneys. Started to see the guys who literally drill all day, usually in areas that were unfished prior, would typically come out near the top every time. It happens and can pay off big if you have the energy and drive to do it.
Here is a simple way to convert a hammer drive drill to an ice drill using nothing but a threaded rod. All chucks are removable on all the major brands. Lithium batteries are standard in this day and age. There is a wide range of voltage from 18 to 36 volts and they are readily available. You can find reconditioned sets consisting of 2 batteries, side handle and charger for around half price at places like CPO.com. Here is what I use for panfishing , an 18v reconditioned Milwaukee fuel drill with lithium batteries going on 5 years strong with a 5" laser.
Geeez, I really don't like to do this as I know it might start an argument, but I call a big BS on Ulbian...
The last two years I had days where I was drilling through approximately 3500 inches of ice in one day and that's still more than double what the new ION is advertised as being able to cut through on one charge.
3500 inches of ice in one day? Really? DO the math... Even if that ice was 3.5 feet thick that's 100 holes. Ice is usually not that thick so you tell me Ulbian spends time and energy to drill upwards of 200+ holes in a single outing? That's excessive. I don't care how big your fishing party is or how many times you move that's just more holes than you can possibly use.
This is one of my 'what annoys you while ice fishing' posts. The guys that drill dozens of holes in an otherwise quiet group of anglers, then goes off 1/2 hour later to annoy the next group. Ulbian, please post where and when you'll be ice fishing each outing this winter so some of us that like to fish can avoid that lake. Yes even Winnebago. You could easily justify 2 ION's or a spare battery if you really need to do that.
"There will always be a market for gas augers unless the electrics come down in price and have a battery life that lets you cut 150-200 holes on one charge."
If it takes one minute to drill and skim a hole, that is 3 hours and 20 minutes of hole drilling.
Personally I like to fish as well.
I've had 2 stroke, 4 stroke, and now propane and I'll probably be going Ion this season. Twenty pounds and starts by pushing button sounds good to me.
I usually drill 20 holes on an ice fishing trip, not 200. 200 is more work than I care to do on a fishing trip.
Ulbian, I would say that out of 1,000 ice anglers, you drill more holes than the other 998. The Ion might not be for you, but it would work for pretty much anybody I know. Nothing wrong with drilling all those holes, you're a good guy and know how to fish, just saying that for most the ION meets every check on the list. Light, reliable, quick, hassle fee, no smell etc....
I think the gas auger will eventually be a very small part of the market. I just can't see a lot of benefits, especially with propane and electric. But, then again, I am biased. I had a gas auger 10-15 years ago and had a really bad experience and am not a good small engine guy. So, for those who like to tinker and get things just right, the gas auger probably is fun and not an issue. Still, the ION and other electrics will only improve and come down in price through the years. Gonna be tough to compete with. Imagine a power screwdriver with the option of gas or battery? It would be an easy choice.