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Fishing involves moving a lot. You might not only need to switch spots. But you will need to carry your gear as well. This is easy enough if you are on a pier or shore. But this gets messy on the ice.
Here some people use an ice fishing sled. But you still need to tow it. Thankfully motorized vehicles are a thing. The most common being the eight-wheelers. But is an Argo good for ice fishing? In short, it is. It will give you enough traction, power, and stability to comfortably haul your gear at once.
Nevertheless, there are some gray areas that you should be aware of. You don’t want to end up paying top dollar for a vehicle if you are not going to take full advantage of it. So, with no further ado, let’s dive right into it.
What is an Argo?
Before talking about anything else, let’s first address the elephant in the room. What is an Argo? Well, it is an amphibious, all-terrain vehicle. Now you might be wondering, what amphibious means.
An amphibious vehicle is capable of cruising through land and water. As a result, you can use your Argo to glide in and out of rivers. Naturally, it is not a boat. But it is powerful and stable enough to sort small stretches of water.
These vehicles either have 6×6 or 8×8 traction with 25” tires, hydraulic brakes, and one-piece steering, among other things that most of us do not understand. Plus, you can always add aftermarket parts if you feel up to it.
Naturally, all this hardware comes at a price, which we will talk about shortly.
How Much Does an Argo Cost?
You might already know that such a vehicle will not come on the cheap side. To give you an estimate, most amphibious vehicles retail for around 10 thousand dollars, which is quite a lot for the average angler. Besides, you have to consider that you are not using this bad boy to go grocery shopping or to commute to the office.
An Argo vehicle is something you use for camping, fishing, outdoor activities, and maybe transport materials in your house or farm provided that you have one.
The price is the main drawback of these vehicles. In fact, it is too expensive for the average angler like you and me. Consequently, we don’t recommend getting one unless you have 10k burning in your pocket.
Can an Argo Go Through Snow?
You might think that after paying 10k, your vehicle can go through hell and high water. Sadly, this is not the case. Yeah, you read that right. You might need to get a set of snow tracks installed on your Argo.
You see, inflated rubber wheels increase your ground pressure. The vehicle will sink in the snow if it is too soft as a result. On the other hand, it will be slippery on hard ice.
In contrast, a set of snow tracks increase the contact area between the vehicle and the ground. Consequently, weight distribution will be better than with rubber wheels. In other words, your Argo won’t get stuck in the snow.
Similarly, snow tracks will increase the traction on ice. In a nutshell, the vehicle is now less likely to glide on the ice, making your journey a lot safer.
Now, if you are going to fish on common spots with clear in and out routes, then there is no need to get a set of snow tracks. But if you are one of those that likes to venture deep into the wild, then you might have a hard time.
I have a friend that uses chains to increase traction. This strategy works fine on ice and hard snow. But again, if the snow is too thick, you are likely to get stuck.
One word of caution. Your Argo won’t be able to propel in the water with snow tracks installed.
How Fast an Argo Can Go?
Ok. Before we begin with this section, you must understand that an Argo is no sports vehicle. It favors power and traction over speed. The max speed is capped at 22 mph on land. Needless to say, you must go slower on ice and snow. You will crash otherwise.
On the other hand, you won’t be able to go faster than 3 mph on water. Yeah, dead slow. But at least you can float.
Can You Tow With an Argo?
Yes. You can use an Argo to tow virtually anything, including ice fishing sleds, trailers, and other vehicles. This is one of the main, if not the only reason, people get an Argo in the first place.
With around 1100 pounds of load and 1800 pounds of towing capacity, you can carry anything you want with one of these. In short, the possibilities are endless.
Another word of caution, make sure to haul less if you are thinking of getting inside the water.
Can an Argo Go Through Ice?
Yes. It can. But the ice should be thick enough to handle the weight of the vehicle. Bear in mind that an unloaded Argo weighs around 970 pounds. As a result, we don’t recommend driving it if the ice is less than 10 inches thick. You can risk driving in ice 5 inches thick at least, as long as it is clear. Keep in mind that the ice should be even thicker if the vehicle is fully loaded.
Either way, we advise against driving on ice. Better be safe than sorry.
What About Mud?
Performance in mud is flawless. The rubber tires and all-wheel-drive traction yield enough torque to get out of almost any situation.
Still, this doesn’t mean that you won’t ever get stuck. Raw power won’t be enough if the mud is too soft and thick. So, make sure to drive at a fairly constant speed and away from deep puddles of mud.
Thankfully, typically most ice-fishing destinations don’t have such muddy roads. So you should be fine.
What Fuel Does Argo Use?
Most models available today use regular unleaded gasoline. There is no need for oil or anything else since they use 4-stroke engines. You will need to perform maintenance regularly, as with any other vehicle, of course. But this is something to expect.
A Word of Caution About Water
Although Argo is an amphibious vehicle, you should not use it to cross deep water. In other words, stay close to the shore and don’t venture too far from it, as this is no boat.
I know. The chance is that the lake or river is completely frozen. There is nothing to worry about if this is the case. Still, we recommend not venturing too far from the shore either way.
Argo for Ice Fishing: Is It Worth It?
We anglers tend to accumulate a lot of gear. Several rods, reels, boxes, buckets, tools, you name it. We often find ourselves with our hands full, literally. That’s why we turn to carts, ice fishing sleds, or Argo vehicles!
The latter is a superb choice for those who have lots of pieces of gear to carry and prefer to go off-road.
However, with a price of around 10,000 dollars, these vehicles don’t come cheap. As a result, it is hard for us to recommend them to any angler out there. Don’t get us wrong. They are worth every penny, especially if you engage in several outdoor activities. Nevertheless, if you don’t fish too often, it is not a good investment decision.
Plus, keep in mind that you need space in your garage and a car powerful enough to tow the Argo to the lake. As a result, only seasoned anglers that like to engage in other outdoor activities will benefit from having an Argo at their disposal.