Many individuals have never got a chance to experience fishing in chilling weather. There is a considerable number of people who still think that fishing is a summer hobby. But to be honest, it is indeed great fun and adventure to go ice fishing.
Once you have tried this, you will have great fun that you have missed in summer fishing. The good part is, it doesn’t cost much as people usually think it is as you do not need to buy expensive equipment.
Today, we will discuss how you can design a homemade ice fishing sled at home and that too at a pretty low cost.
It will surely help if you had a clear idea that the sleigh you’re going to make and how it should look. Of course, it may be complex or simple as you want it. If you’re new to this, have an idea about what gear pieces you are looking to carry on that.
It would be perfect if you considered many factors before you start making a homemade ice fishing sled. We will try to cover every detail, which will help you get a fun-filled experience.
Get All the Required Equipment
To make a perfect Ice fishing sled, you need to collect all the required items to make it flawless. Here we will discuss multiple methods to design a fishing sled and details about all the necessary stuff to make it. So, without further delay, let’s get into the ways of how to make homemade ice fishing sled.
Here is the list of items you need to have to make a perfect ice fishing sled.
- A drill
- A snow sled
- Steel pipes
- Waterproof adhesive buttons
- Waterproof cover
It would be good if you had all of these items to make your ice fishing sled. Now let’s learn about how you can make it easily at home.
Homemade Ice Fishing Sled
First of all, grab all the stuff we have mentioned without skipping anything. Once you have gathered all the required items, follow the method carefully not to miss any part to face any hurdle. If you follow these DIY methods, you will have a fantastic time in your ice fishing.
- Ensure to have Strong Bolts and Sled-Hauling Chain
You must have a proper backup if different shanties get hooked together behind ATV or a snow machine. It often happens that people hitch for miles offshore. Make sure to add the bolts to the sleds’ back when they are not available with suitable hardware.
For a better experience, opt for steel eye bolts with a size of around 3/8 inches to 5/16 inches for a small to medium eyebolt. Now take the nut, and screw it up towards the eyes and observe how far it goes. After this, add two stainless steel washers which have a size of around 1 to 1.5 inches.
Look for the shack’s midpoint of back and below-folded shack. Now, at the same diameter, drill two holes as eye bolts. The drilled holes need to be around eighteen inches apart on the shack’s rear.
Next, push inside the eye bolts towards the shack. Before you secure the bolts with the stainless steel, add a stainless steel plate as back support to further ensure the connection. Instead of steel, you can also use a piece of an aluminum bar for better support.
- Must Use Strong Rod-holders
Rod-holders is one of the most crucial pieces of equipment you will need for an excellent ice fishing experience. You might have bought many rod-holders in life for dead sticking over the ice or for hauling rods, etc. But the exciting part is, we all never get to know where they vanish with time.
We highly suggest not compromising the quality of rod-holders just to save a few bucks as it won’t be worth it. Opt for good-quality rod-holders as the cheaper ones won’t allow you to mount smoothly and may also get a break. To avoid breakage or any similar issue, go for short-length PVC pipe to the sled or tub.
It would help if you started with collecting small pieces of scrap PVC pipes with a bigger diameter inside that than the outer part. Usually, rod handles are not very thick and are approximately one inch in thickness. Before cutting, measure the rods for how far you are looking to extend them.
Usually, it is less than six inches. With these measurements, now include the thickness of the tub’s mouth and then cut the PVC to that size. In the next step, drill a hole of ¼ inches from both sides. If the pipe so is centered on the shack tub’s mouth.
Now drill a hole of around 3/8 inches through the already drilled hole. Ensure to drill only from one side of the pipe to allow better access to mounting tools. Next, install a ¼ inches steel bolt, long enough at one side of PVC, and the hut’s bottom tub.
Check that there is enough space to add a washer on both ends. Once done with this procedure, secure it with any-loc nut. It will help you to rotate the holder while traveling.
- How to make a Perfect Hole Guard
You must have drilled uncountable holes in your life. They often freeze the feet when the slushy ice chips breakthrough under the feet. These shavings often get drifted back to the drilled hole, keeping the fishing line and hole-free from ice.
A perfect hole guard can be made pretty quickly and easily and too just for a few bucks. So here, take two scrap plywood pieces approximately ½ inches wide and cut them to around 12*8 inches diameter. Install the matching pieces on its narrow sides’ one long and two small hinges.
It should look like a thick book cover. When you go for drilling holes, place the board in front of you so that it appears like a V shape opening on your front. Place it like that between the drilling spot and your feet.
This board will play the role of a shield to protect you from slush, chips, and water. You can also use it to wipe away the excess from the hole in a swift motion. Ensure to use the board in an upwind position that keeps the drilled hole safe from refreezing.
- A perfect Strainer Bucket
Without a perfect strainer bucket, all your efforts will go wasted. So, first of all, bring out all the related stuff to create a template out of cardboard. Now, lay the template over a plywood cardboard piece and shape them as you want.
The width of plywood should be somewhere around ½ inches if you’re not using heavy items. If you have heavy stuff, then go for ¾ inches plywood. Take some time so that the wood gets sealed.
Place the board to the sled’s bottom near the corners using stainless hardware. Now, drill the holes only in the recessed areas that are not creating contact with the ice. Usually, shacks have around four to five that tend to extend closer to the ice.
That’s why you must drill the holes between the runners. Following all these steps, we hope you will enjoy making this homemade ice fishing sled to the fullest.
Few Tips to follow for having a Safe Ice Fishing Experience
- Dress Warmly
It is a pretty vital factor to consider when you plan to go ice fishing. Make sure that the dress you are wearing is good enough to keep you warm and you do not spend the entire time shivering instead of enjoying.
- Wear Waterproof Boots
Of course, to low down the feeling of getting numb, select to wear waterproof and thick sole boots that are good enough to keep you warm and dry. We also suggest you wear waterproof gloves also so that your hands do not freeze by continuously staying in contact with ice.
- Use Quality Stuff for Drilling Holes
DO NOT use cheap stuff when you go ice fishing. It will not only ruin the fun, but you may also have to spend more time drilling holes. It does nothing instead of irritating instead of giving enjoyable moments.
Ice fishing is so much fun to do in snowy weather. Usually, people who have not tried it have no idea about how awesome it feels. To have a great and fun-filled time in ice fishing, you must be equipped with the right stuff to enhance the fun and to avoid hassles.
We have discussed the homemade ice fishing sled you can easily make at home to correctly follow the details. We highly recommend trying the methods and enjoy an excellent time ice fishing.