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Thread: Best Gas Auger?

  1. #1
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    Default Best Gas Auger?

    I'm looking at buying a new gas auger for ice fishing this season. The ol' hand crank model is getting a little old!

    Does anyone have a preference/favorite model of gas auger? I'm thinking of getting a 10", but my 8" hand auger was fine for dollies/rainbows. Probably going to target more lakers and trout this winter though.

    Also, would you recommend an extension for a gas auger for thicker ice?

    Any thoughts? Models? CC's?


    Thanks much!

  2. #2

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    Any of them beats drilling by hand. And yes pick up an extension for those late spring trips. You don't always need one but if you do your screwed without it! I run various Strike Masters and have had good luck with them. Kinda like my 8 inch 2hp Laser Mag the best, light and fast. Also have a 3hp 10" that makes a nice hole but is a bear to pack around. Next time I buy, I think I'll go with one of the electric battery operated augers though. Kinda pricey but have their place among the early ice outings for certain.
    "If your not the lead dog.... the view never changes"

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    Member bigcox's Avatar
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    one word. Strikemaster...

    Fish On!
    You know your not catching any fish when you start talking about the weather...


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    Don't buy a Jiffy like I did last year, the thing should be called a sissy. it is the most temperamental thing I have ever owned. If it is colder than 20 I have to keep it near a heater or it wont work even with heat in the gas. in the spring it works great as long as it is nice out. Who ever herd of an ICE AUGER that wont work in the cold?

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    Well I don't know about best, but I got an eskimo 2hp 8 in, 2 years ago and I really like it. Just like you I had gotten sick of my hand auger. I also want to be able to go on quick trips when spending half an hour to drill a hole is not practical.
    Runs great, I can easily operate it by my self, and I can drill hundreds of holes with a gallon of gas.

  6. #6

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    i bought a icegator last year which is a battery operated unit the largest size it comes in is 8". I fish mainly lake louise and i really like it.They run about 500 with the auger blade i could drill about 25 holes threw 3 feet of ice before it needed a charge it takes about 2 hours to completely charge from dead. its pretty sweet and light. If u got a ice house its nice that there r no fumes to deal with. Good luck with yer choice.

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Either Strikemaster or Eskimo will do you well. I believe they both use Techumseh engines (I know Stikemaster does).

  8. #8
    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    I have a Jiffy. Best Auger I've owned. Not sure why Little Dave has had issues. Mine has a ton of power, and starts every time. It's American made, and tough as nails. I fish with 4 guys on the regular. 3 have Jiffy. One guy has an eskimo or something. He is always last one to get his fishin hole cut.

  9. #9
    Member WingShooter's Avatar
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    Bought a 10", StrikeMaster LazerMag last year and have been really impressed with its performance. My only problem with it turned out to be human error, as you need to ensure it's in the "on" position prior to starting......

  10. #10
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    On the strikemaster can the power head be eaisly removed for transport? I would prefer to have a plastic case to put the power head in when hauling it out via sno-go. I hate the idea of beating it up in a sled and I would expect it to leak if left on it's side with the auger in place.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I have an 8" Eskimo and have never had any problems with it. It is bombproof in my opinion.
    I also have a jiffy 10 " and I like it also. I did have to adjust the carb on it to get it to run right.It is a lot faster though.
    One thing that I like about the Eskimo is that engine parts are more protected. With the Jiffy Iit is more prone to getting ice/snow up underneath the engine when transporting in the sled behind the snommachine and causing the throttle and other stuff to have to be thawed.
    This is not a problem if I bring my covered ice shanty and haul it in the sled base for the shanty.
    Also whatever brand you buy be sure there is a local supply of parts. I would hate to have to special order spare blades or an extension shaft mid season.
    Most Augers are fairly easy to break down with an allen wrench. Only have one bolt to remove. My Jiffy came with a rubber wrench holder on the handle so it is always handy.
    I would recommend at least 2 hp for general use.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    Member Wyatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    On the strikemaster can the power head be eaisly removed for transport? I would prefer to have a plastic case to put the power head in when hauling it out via sno-go. I hate the idea of beating it up in a sled and I would expect it to leak if left on it's side with the auger in place.
    All the Strikemasters use a collar bolt for quick powerhead removal for transportation. It can make the connection loose after lots of removal and replacements, but plumbers tape seems to work great!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuel E Fishin Sea View Post
    I'm looking at buying a new gas auger for ice fishing this season. The ol' hand crank model is getting a little old!

    Does anyone have a preference/favorite model of gas auger? I'm thinking of getting a 10", but my 8" hand auger was fine for dollies/rainbows. Probably going to target more lakers and trout this winter though.

    Also, would you recommend an extension for a gas auger for thicker ice?

    Any thoughts? Models? CC's?


    Thanks much!
    I've used them all and they've changed quit a bit over the years. My father is still using an Eskimo ice auger from 1980 and this auger is more stoutly built than most. My uncle uses and old Jiffy, probably from the early 80's too. When you look at the augers today, you see much more plastic (cheaper to build and more profit) in the throttle mechanism, engine shroud, some gear case housings, and some of the actual handle frames. Jiffy was using some dogs-breath Tecumseh motors that were breaking down left and right. I went through two Jiffy STX 10" models, both having engine problems. Beware of the Tecumseh powered Jiffys on craigslist; look elsewhere. Tecumseh eventually went out of business (their small engines are trash) and Jiffy went with a new four-stroke motor and dubbed it as "better performance than last years engine". They went with an EZ-connect collar as opposed to an actual bolt which has been problematic.

    Eskimo Brand ice augers have so much plastic that it scares me. On a remote ice fishing trip back in 06, our group actually snapped the plastic throttle while cutting holes. The carb actually stuck too. They dubbed the motor as the "z-71". Well gigidy gehawwww nascar WT* kind of idiots are they aiming this ridiculous moniker for a motor towards?? They have this tiny little throttle handle that is just begging to snap on a sub zero day. The throttle has a thin plastic housing that is screwed to the frame with two feeble little screws.......a nightmare waiting to happen.

    Strikemaster are undoubtedly the present kings of the auger world. They have nice Swede-engineered cutting blades (amazing geometry). In a recent cutting competition, the strikemaster was the fastest cutting auger. They run Solo German-built small engines. Although their throttle design is mostly plastic, it's in a protected location and the plastic is better designed and more stout than the quirky Eskimo design. They have one four-stroke Robin motor that has had great reviews. If I were to run this motor, i would switch the spark plug to a hotter burning and better starting iridium spark plug equivalent. I would also run a higher octane fuel with some Iso-Heet added to the mix. This combo would allow a quicker warm up and better starting. They are really stuffing four-stroke engines down our throats lately, and we all know they don't start or warm up as easily as a good two-stroke motor.

  14. #14

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    I'd go with Nils Master - great powerhead and you can still use it manually at any time.

  15. #15
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPC6000 View Post
    I'd go with Nils Master - great powerhead and you can still use it manually at any time.
    also a great auger but when I go for winter sheefish......the diameter of the auger would not suffice, and would not work to well for that massive laker, burbot or pike, which was the only reason I didnt mention it.

  16. #16
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    Eskimo Brand ice augers have so much plastic that it scares me. They have this tiny little throttle handle that is just begging to snap on a sub zero day. The throttle has a thin plastic housing that is screwed to the frame with two feeble little screws.......a nightmare waiting to happen.

    . They run Solo German-built small engines. They have one four-stroke Robin motor that has had great reviews. If I were to run this motor, .
    I guess my Eskimo is at least 8 years old and other than the throttle freezing up a couple of times I haven't had any Issues with mine at all. That was easily solved by running the motor for a few minutes and the engine heat thawed it out. But other than that nothing and I do use mine a lot when I am off the slope.

    I have had a few Issues with my Jiffy. First was the kill switch getting broke off on a trip up ressurection for burbot witch was my fault( unlees you claim poor location/design witch is plausible). I also had to adjust the carbureator last year but learned on another forum how to do that easily myself. The last Issue was I broke the rewind last year. The spring came apart inside and it is a sealed unit. This I agree is a piece of crap unit. I can fix the one on my Eskimo if need be. I had to wind it up manualy and put it on the motor pull start it then throw the rewind to the side drill some holes move to a new area and repeat. In both cases my local small engine repair shop witch I believe is/was a Tecumseh warranty shop (mine had expired) had the parts on hand and a fix took just a few minutes.
    Not sure if there is a shop locally (Kenai/Soldotna) that would stock parts for the strikemasters German engine? Even if they are good you never know what can happen especially towing it in a sled behind a snowmachine into the wilderness.Just a consideration.If you live near Anchorage/Fairbanks there may be a local shop that does stock parrts/accessories.
    I also don't think there is a local shop (Kenai/Soldotna for me)that sells the strikemaster brand and that is a consideration also. I am guessing there is one in the Anchorage area? That is a long drive for a spare set of blades or other parts/accessories for me.
    My next Auger might just be an Ice Gator for those areas of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge trhat forbid gas augers,but, until them my eskimo is working great even down to -35.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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  17. #17
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    Here is the deal with my Jiffy that is a sissy. I got it last November of the Jiffy web site. I took it to Big Lake and it had a hard time going through the ice and there was only nine inches. It drilled one hole ok the continually stalled through the next one. I called the service number for Jiffy when I got home from fishing and that should be called the no service number. The first few times I called I got a message saying that all party's where busy and call back later. It took several days to get through then when I did I got a digital message saying push 1 for this department, push two for this department, so on so forth tell it got to the service department. When I got to service I was greeted with a message that said voice mail full call back later so I called back several more time then I got to talk to a person who suggested that I agust the carb and explained how to do it. I did what he said and it helped a bit it now ran good but it took forever to get through the ice. I thought the blades where dull so I got some new ones form the store then I got to looking at the package and noticed that the blades on the auger where up side down. So I switched them over and it cut great. Unfortunately, it would only cut one hole then it would stall. I would restart and it would stall once more. It took for ever to drill more holes. Some one on one of the other forums suggested that I add some heat to the gas so I did so and this helped a lot. The auger now works great as long as it is over 20 wile I am fishing. If it is cold out I have to warm it up for ever like 10 minutes then as soon as I am through drilling I have to put it by a heater or it wont run after it sits.

  18. #18
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    StrikeMaster is stiill selling augers with the Tecumseh 2-cycle motors, but Tecumseh has apparently gone out of business, and sold to another out-fit.

    I tried to get a gas tank for my Laser Mag this last year, and learned a whole bunch of stuff. Ended up having it sent from the Carolinas, and it wasn't identical (my old one was translucent, and the new one ios solid black, so I can't see as readily whether I've got gas in the tank or not).

    The conmpany that took over Tecumseh has a contractual requirement to continue manufacturing replacement parts, even for those motors that can't/don't meet EPA standards, but I was told that they were reportedly "having injection molding problems with the equipment, and had made no new gas tanks for the augers." (I wondered if this wasn't a method by which to avoid honoring the manufacturing of parts for motors that are apparently a major issue for them in re. to environmental protection standards, but I don't -know- that for sure..)

    On the positive side, Strikemaster is now offering motors by Robin (Subaru) and Solo (German engineering); both of which are outstanding motors. They're a bit spendier, but they have an excellent reputation. One of these is available in 4-cycle, too. Can't remember which one.

    Tecumseh's strife and changing of hands re. their business had mostly to do with EPA standards and a reported inability to make smaller, more crude, 2-cycle engines meet the newer standards.

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    One thing that I like about the Eskimo is that engine parts are more protected. With the Jiffy Iit is more prone to getting ice/snow up underneath the engine when transporting in the sled behind the snommachine and causing the throttle and other stuff to have to be thawed.
    This is not a problem if I bring my covered ice shanty and haul it in the sled base for the shanty.

    Chris
    I use one of these http://www.cabelas.com/product/Fishi..._SEQ_104395680 to protect my auger from the elements during transport. They work very well but you can't store your auger with the extension installed due to length. My auger hauler is 3 or 4 years old now and still in really good shape with only a few wear holes made during transport over that time. There is even a small pocket inside where I keep a few small tools, spare plug and spare starter rope.

    My auger by the way is a 3HP 10 1/4" Strikemaster.

  20. #20
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    Any one try the jiffy propane auger. They are saying 75 to 100 holes per little bottle.

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