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Thread: Recommendations on an ice fishing shelter.

  1. #1
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    Default Recommendations on an ice fishing shelter.

    I used to go with friends in their homemade shanties. Since I moved to Anchorage, I don't really have any friends and my wife and I have gone a few times on local lakes (no snow machines/four wheelers) with no shelter and literally used an ice pick to hack into someone else's frozen over hole. I have a 3.5 year old that I want to get on the ice and show her the wonders of it all.

    While at Cabelas last night, a guy saw me looking and was very informative about them all. I saw the cheap (and small) package deal with a (cheap and underpowered) auger. He WOWED me withe the larger blue ones (don't know the make and model) I didn't really like the Eskimo ones, and have read reviews that say to avoid them, they don't last long. The other brand (grey) and the blue ones had a nice sled that the tent folds down into. Now, he said something interesting that some of the ones with the sled, the frame of the tent kinda fold onto the TOP of the sled kinda making it taller and thus a little more room for gear in addition to the vast amount of canvas that you're stuffing into there.

    Do they all fold into the sled in this manner or do some have the framework taking up sled space?

    I don't want to spend *too* much on one, but I HATE being cheap and regretting a purchase when I could have spent more, but had a much better, much more durable product that lets you actually enjoy your activity instead of being a pain in the butt. Though, I don't want to break the bank.

    Thanks in advance, Mike.

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    Following. ..

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    Member kwackkillncrew's Avatar
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    I have owned the hub styles and sled styles. The sled styles can be nice for 2 people but any more then that and it gets a little tougher to fish. It would be fine now sense you child is smaller but after a few years you will start to get crammed up. We have the Eskimo 949 hub shelter. I have had no serious issues with that shelter yet we have had it for 3 years and have beat on it been on multiple over night trips with it when temps are hanging at -20. This year we are getting the 949i which is the insulated shack. This way with our over night trips we have a gear tent and a fishing/ sleeping tent. I know clam has comparable models and people seem to like them also. Then to move your gear around pick up a jet sled and make sure to put the hyfax runners on it. And you made a good choice on that auger. Never get one that is under powered. If your not goig to be laker fishing I would suggest staying with an 8" auger because it is much lighter in the sled.


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    Member kwackkillncrew's Avatar
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    Oh ya blue are clams red are Eskimos and Grey/black is frabill. It's just like trucks people have their certain brands and most of the time a chevy will get the job done just as well as a ford. But you should just get a dodge because they always get the job done ;-)


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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    One thing to keep in mind is the clams do not have replaceable windows.
    The windows on any shanty will break over time as they are just plastic and get folded up in the cold.
    My Eskimo has velco in windows. I can buy the material from the hardware store and replace them fairly easily.
    I have owned 2 Eskimos over the years and liked them. granted clams were not available at the time locally.
    Clams have a god reputation except for their windows not being replaceable. Many ice anglers are switching brands for that reason alone.
    I have a 3 man flip over (eskimo grand caravan)and a quickfish 4. Both work well.
    I usually recommend people get one a size bigger than needed. our QF4 fishes 3 comfortably but 4 is a tight squeeze with heater and other gear.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    I have a hub (popup shelter) as well as a flip over.
    Both have their place.
    Since you are on foot I would suggest a hub style shelter as they are much lighter.
    My 2 man flip over is a bear to drag through the snow even with 2 people hauling it.
    Granted I could build a Smitty Sled to haul it on but the popup is a good compromise and takes up less room in my little plastic tobogganing sled I have for when I'm on foot.

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    So I was in Cabelas this weekend looking at the shelters to and talking with the guy there he said that anything that is Cabelas brand has a life time warranty on it. So it made me think of going with Cabelas brand because if a pool brakes or window cracks I just take it back and they give me a new shelter. That is what they guy at Cabelas was telling me, so I think i might go with that. But some of those Clams are really nice.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRIFTER_016 View Post
    I have a hub (popup shelter) as well as a flip over.
    Both have their place.
    Since you are on foot I would suggest a hub style shelter as they are much lighter.
    My 2 man flip over is a bear to drag through the snow even with 2 people hauling it.
    Granted I could build a Smitty Sled to haul it on but the popup is a good compromise and takes up less room in my little plastic tobogganing sled I have for when I'm on foot.
    you bring up a valid point. My 3 man flip over is heavy and hard to hand pull in the snow.
    It is nice though as no separate sled is needed for the auger etc.
    But with a hub style shanty you can use whatever size sled works for you to haul it out,
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    I wrote a blog about shelters last year if your interested:

    http://www.fishalaskamagazine.com/bl...hing-shelters/

    I have fished in various brands and styles, like previously stated, choices are out there for considering your budget, durability, and size.


    I have personally reached my own conclusions... read the short article, and go "kick some tires" before you spend a wad and have regret.
    Take a good look at Cabelas brand ...after all they are made by Clam...I know for fact. Just saying
    http://www.myfishingpictures.com/watermark.php?file=133776
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  10. #10
    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redneckalaskan View Post
    So I was in Cabelas this weekend looking at the shelters to and talking with the guy there he said that anything that is Cabelas brand has a life time warranty on it. So it made me think of going with Cabelas brand because if a pool brakes or window cracks I just take it back and they give me a new shelter. That is what they guy at Cabelas was telling me, so I think i might go with that. But some of those Clams are really nice.
    Cabelas Brand ice shelters are made by ClamOutdoors .... take a good look and compare the units. If you buy Cabelas Brand your buying a Clam. Cabelas was smart to partner with Clam on their Huts. Good Quality stuff.
    http://www.myfishingpictures.com/watermark.php?file=133776
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  11. #11
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    ouch...I just went to cabelas and priced these shelters...wow. looks like it will be a blue tarp and some firewood...lol

  12. #12
    Member MACMMJ's Avatar
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    Just seen on another thread an Eskimo Traveler for sale http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...grading-my-hut

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    I have an Eskimo and I love it, goes un and down quick.

    I haven't used any other brand though.


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    Member Whitefisher's Avatar
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    Eskimo popup why ..windows removeabale. to fix.. they will crack.. -25....better ice skrews..

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    Member Andy82Hoyt's Avatar
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    I have a quickfish 3 Eskimo i bought in 2009. i have been more than happy with it. last year i cracked 2 windows for the first time, it was -25 out. i recently found a replacement pack of windows online for $25. My windows are much thicker than the ones the sell now. i think the thinner ones will do better. Anyways, any iceshack with a roof will help keep you warm, a floor will make a huge difference. My 5 year old son and I fish often and he loves it. However i would like to find a good deal on the foam floor that forum member are talking about. good luck and I hope to see you out fishing!

  16. #16

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    Hey there. I have a Frabill 2 seated pop over. Frame is collapsible and fits around the sled it's mounted on. Pulls easy. Nice sized sled makes for packing ease. Also have an Eskimo and love it. Plenty of power and I have an extension for thick ice. I've only had Eskimos and they do just fine. One MONSTER caution is the hole size. I have young kiddos too. All my kids have grown to know better now but they have all experienced stepping in a ice hole and dropping to their hip! One kid foot only fits in an 8" hole for a kindy through 4th grader but both feet will fit into a 10" hole! I've seen kids drop to their waist holding their arms being the only thing keeping them from falling through on a 10".I saw you have a kiddo and wanted to warn ya. FYI. Good luck.


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    Quote Originally Posted by winterhwt View Post
    Hey there. I have a Frabill 2 seated pop over. Frame is collapsible and fits around the sled it's mounted on. Pulls easy. Nice sized sled makes for packing ease. Also have an Eskimo and love it. Plenty of power and I have an extension for thick ice. I've only had Eskimos and they do just fine. One MONSTER caution is the hole size. I have young kiddos too. All my kids have grown to know better now but they have all experienced stepping in a ice hole and dropping to their hip! One kid foot only fits in an 8" hole for a kindy through 4th grader but both feet will fit into a 10" hole! I've seen kids drop to their waist holding their arms being the only thing keeping them from falling through on a 10".I saw you have a kiddo and wanted to warn ya. FYI. Good luck.


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    I have an almost 4 year old and a 1 1/2 year old. I doubt I'll take the little guy out, but the older one would like to join me. She's my little outdoorsman.

    Thank You for the head's up.

  18. #18
    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    My Clam windows have not cracked yet, many trips made in 2013-14 season, including temps down below -20. this is my second season. Yes, I use a heater on the inside.


    My buddy has an Eskimo Fatfish and aside from the shoe string tie down cords I think he's happy with it. I do not think his windows have cracked yet?

    I used an Eskimo hub cube for a few years, and yes the windows cracked in it. This was before the made the windows removeable. I guess if you have a design flaw issue like craking window material you need to solve it by having replacement parts to purchase?

    I do know quality portable ice shelters are not cheap. I am very satisfied with my current shelter.
    http://www.myfishingpictures.com/watermark.php?file=133776
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  19. #19
    Member Whitefisher's Avatar
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    Anybody buy n try one of the 6 sided pop ups yet,,?? Eskimo -clam have two sizes looken at the smaller ones for room for overnight trips....how are they in the wind ...????

  20. #20
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default Recommendations on an ice fishing shelter.

    Sportsmens warehouse has the Eskimo quick fish three on sale for $169.99

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