Fishing from the ice is, arguably, the hardest kind of fishing there is. First, it is insanely cold and barely visible. So, finding the best spot involves a lot of trial and error. Walking on the ice with all your gear is also a problem. You can fall and hit yourself at any moment. Thankfully, you can solve this by getting an ice fishing sled.
This way, you only need to pull your sled with all your gear to the spot. See if there are any fish and then proceed to drill a hole. If not, grab the rope and move on! All in a matter of seconds. Here we bring you a selection of 10 of the best ice fishing sleds you can find.
Our Top 3
Our Reviews – The 10 Best Ice Fishing Sleds
When searching for an ice fishing sled, you can’t go wrong with Flexible Flyer. They have been producing some of the best products throughout their history.
The Winter ice fishing sled proves this statement. It has a simple design, without any bells and whistles. Made from durable, no-break resin, this sled will cope with whatever you throw at it, from carrying firewood and ice fishing gear to transporting people. It doesn’t matter.
The molded bottom improves tracking on ice and eases the pulling. Plus, the reinforced and thick walls increase rigidity and stability. Lastly, the Winter Trek comes with a heavy-duty long rope. Use it to drag your gear to your ice fishing hole.
Now, it is time to talk about the Jet ice fishing sled by Shappell. It is slightly smaller and more expensive than the previous model. But the smaller footprint is something that some anglers might be willing to pay.
The Jet Sled comes in several colors. All of them feature the same rugged polyethylene construction. Furthermore, the molded runners increase bottom strength and stability, especially under heavy load. You can even drag it across gravel without any problems. Plus, the walls are slightly taller than the previous ice fishing sled, no worries about something falling off.
The Jet ice fishing sled already comes with a thick tow rope. Some anglers replace it with a bar or chain, as the sled is sturdy enough to handle it.
There are three Pelican Ice fishing sleds: 45, 60, and 75. Dimensions and weight are the only two things that change between models. Naturally, the 45 ice fishing is the smallest of all three, whereas the 75 model is the biggest one. Here you have our Pelican 60 review.
The high-density polyethylene frame is heavy. But more than capable of handling rough terrains without breaking a sweat. Additionally, the thick white runners help to preserve the bottom of the ice fishing sled. They will turn red when it is time to change them due to normal wear.
The in-built bungee cord is strong enough to pull the ice fishing sled plus 260 pounds of gear, which is a lot. Therefore, this is an ideal option for anglers who like to travel with all their gear.
If you want something sturdy, then the JSX Jet Sled by Shappell is a good choice. It has a similar build to that of the ATC we reviewed before. This time, however, you enjoy a larger frame and stronger construction.
Although it doesn’t have any tying points, the tall walls will prevent things from falling off the sled as you pull it with the front rope. On the other hand, the sled has impressive stability due to its thick body, which also allows you to haul a lot of tackle with it.
In-built grooves are not the best option. But you can always add a set of aftermarket rails. This will improve overall durability and performance.
Otter is known for making some of the most durable ice fishing sleds ever. And the Sport Sled is not an exception. Like most of their products, this one has a one-piece, roto-molded body.
The ice fishing sled is small and light, making it perfect for those anglers who like to engage in long hikes to their respective spots. But it also comes with a universal tow hitch that is compatible with most ATVs. You can always use the front rope if you prefer
One thing that we notice is how hard it is to pull the sled when full. The rails should help, but the reality is that they don’t. So, try your best not to pack it too much if you are towing the sled on your own.
Are you looking for an ice fishing sled under 50 bucks? If so, read no further, as this is one of the best options you will ever find.
It has a durable high-density polyethylene construction. It has no external runners. But the construction is durable enough to cope with harsh terrain.
The Pelican Nomad ice fishing sled is big enough to accommodate a lot of gear. It has a maximum capacity of 90 pounds. Plus, your kids can also use it as a snow sled while you are not fishing!
The ERA Group 960 is remarkably light for its size. Therefore, it is an ideal choice for those anglers who like to engage in long hikes to their fishing holes.
It has a plastic construction with very low profile walls. Hence, we don’t recommend stacking too many things; unless you manage to tie everything down. The main problem with its feather-like weight is that the construction is not as sturdy and long-lasting as other models.
Another drawback is that this ice fishing sled doesn’t come with a tow rope. But it does have multiple holes for attaching either a chain or a rope.
Another product from Pelican. This time, however, we will be reviewing their largest ice fishing sled, the Mega Utility Glider.
The Mega Utility Glider is 66 inches long and 22 wide, with short, 5 inches walls. It also comes with six side ropes to tie down your gear. Kids and adults can also use this ice fishing sled to glide through the snow.
It stays true as you pull it, thanks to the molded tracking rails. However, we don’t recommend towing it with a motorized vehicle, as its construction is unlikely to cope with the strain.
Although it doesn’t look like an actual ice fishing sled, you can still use it, especially if you are on a tight budget.
Made with heavy-duty plastic, the Slippery Racer is durable enough for the occasional ice angler. We recommend not to place too many things on it, as it doesn’t look as durable as other models. But for transporting a tackle box, bucket, and rod, the Xtreme Toboggan is more than enough.
The sled has a front rope that you can use to tow it. You can also take advantage of the reinforced handles and use them as tying points to secure everything in place.
On the other hand, it is impossible to stack gear because the sled has low-profile walls. Thankfully, there is plenty of space to accommodate everything you might need.
The aggressive front of the Beavertail Sport sled cuts through the snow with ease. Additionally, the reinforced runners ensure durability even on the most demanding of terrains. We recommend adding a set of aftermarket runners if possible.
Although the Beavertail Sport ice fishing sled sits on the longer side, it is not as heavy as other models on this list. This fact tells us that it might not be as durable as the others. Nevertheless, the polyethylene construction handles well in most situations.
There are neither side ropes nor any other kind of tie-downs. Therefore, you must solely rely on the walls to keep your gear in place. It does come with a tow rope, although we recommend replacing it as it doesn’t look durable at all.
Ice Fishing Sled Buying Guide
Purchasing an ice fishing sled looks like no trouble at all. And it might be true. But as with anything, we want to get the best item possible. Therefore, it is crucial to spend some time gathering all the information possible. This is the only way we can make an educated choice. Don’t worry. We’ve already done the heavy lifting. Hence, you only need to survey this quick buyers’ guide and then choose the ice fishing sled that best suits your needs! Let’s begin.
Ice Fishing Sled Material of Construction
Built quality has a close relationship with materials. Better materials yield products of better quality. Thankfully, most ice fishing sleds, if not all, use polyethylene or any other plastic resin. Why plastic? Well, it helps to keep the weight down while being surprisingly strong.
So, the main difference in quality among the different options listed here has to do with thickness, as we will discuss in just a moment.
Ice Fishing Sled Dimensions
Dimensions depend on what you will need. For instance, if you are taking a lot of gear with you, going for a large 60×40 inches sled might be the smartest choice. Conversely, go for a smaller model if you are only taking your rod, some food, a bucket, and a tackle box.
Thickness is another important feature to consider. Thicker ice fishing sleds are more suitable for anglers transporting a lot of gear. Plus, these models are inherently more durable than other sleds with a slimmer profile. However, weight is the major issue here. Thankfully, you can use a vehicle to tow those thicker models.
Chances are that you will be using your ice fishing sled for much more than just fishing. For example, many anglers also use their sleds for hunting, carrying wood, kids, and even Christmas trees! Hence, make sure that the model you want to purchase does everything you need.
Ice Fishing Sled Set Up
An ice fishing sled is the kayaking equivalent for fishing from the ice. It is not a surprise, then, to find many anglers that rig their sled with some accessories. For instance, some people add aftermarket runners to increase the lifespan of the sled. Others add a set of skies to decrease the amount of effort needed when pulling.
Rod holders, towing chains or bars, covers, and even chairs are among the many things that anglers often add to their ice fishing sleds.
Best Overall Ice Fishing: Shappell Jet Sled ATC
Shappell has consistently delivered some of the best ice fishing sleds you will find on the market. The Jet Sled ATC is one of them.
Dimensions-wise, it sits right in the middle. It is neither too large nor too small. You will be able to bring everything you might possibly need. Plus, it is still small enough to be maneuverable.
Retailing at around 65 bucks, it is the third cheapest option. But it has a hard polyethylene shell which offers superb value for your money.
There is no need of using a cover or tying your gear since the walls are high enough to hold all your gear. You can use them, of course, but it is not mandatory.