There is always a lull between the last day of December when deer season ends, and the fourth week in April which marks the beginning of turkey season (my personal FAVORITE but more on that another time). With nothing to hunt in-between, I find myself doing a lot of ice fishing. This year’s new-found favorite ice fishing tool: the electric drill ice auger kit. Gas powered augers were never super convenient, they were just more convenient than hand augers. Who wants to spend all morning hand-drilling holes through what sometimes is more than a foot of ice? Certainly not anyone I know. Gas-powered augers are heavy, bulky, and they make your hands smell like gas. I have always wondered if that had any effect on the fishing – because then we grab the bait before it hits the water. This new electric drill set up is fantastic in my opinion, and we have had success with it all season. My brother and I decided this was the perfect birthday gift for Dad this year, so we went out and found all of the pieces to make it happen. Here is exactly what we got:
Makita Drill Driver Combo Kit – Ebay.com
- 18 Volt Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Drill
- 1 Makita 3.0Ah Battery
- 1 Charger
- Carrying Bag
Makita 6.0Ah battery – Amazon.com
Strike-Master Lazer Hand Auger – Rapala.com
- 8 Inch Blade
Calm Corp Heavy Duty Steel Ice Fishing Drill Converter Kit – Scheels.com
I did a lot of research before I bought everything. Based on what other people told me, not a lot of people have the conversion kit by Clam Corporation; I found it’s a must have! You can get 1 handle to mount on the drill itself, which is for either left or right handed folks, but then you also need the converter for the bit to hold the auger blades in place. I prefer handles on both sides, especially being left handed. Dad is also left handed, so I went with the conversion kit. After using both a drill with the single sided handle, compared to what I bought, I highly recommend the full handle. As for the rest of the pieces, the Makita drill and Strike Master blades were no brainers just based off of those brands alone.
- Lightweight: We never carried our gas powered auger onto the ice, because it was just too heavy. We always had to have a sled to pull behind with the auger. Now we just grab and go because this electric setup is just so much lighter! I can even carry it in one hand.This setup is also a LOT lighter than the one-piece electric auger.
- Noise: Gas powered augers sound like a chainsaw. The drill kit is SO much less noise.
- No Gas: No gas smell and no need to worry about carrying around gasoline.There is also no need to ever worry about water getting into the gas tank. We also will NEVER have a gas smell on our hands now when we are baiting our tips which I think is a huge plus.
- User Friendly: I would trust that anyone who can operate a drill by itself (myself included) can operate this auger. I never went near the gas powered auger.
- Batteries in the Cold: If the lithium drill batteries get too cold the drill potentially could have an issue not, however we usually drill all of our holes off the bat and tend not to need more unless we move stuff around. I have found the quick fix for this is to just leave your drill battery in the ice shanty or on the sled – just off the ice in general.
- Longevity: There is something to be said for the longevity of the gas powered augers and how many holes you can drill with them vs. the battery operated drill, but again, we hardly need more than 10. You can only fish in MA 5 tips per person anyway. A quick fix is just to have an extra drill battery in the car.
- Auger Blade Falling off the Bit: This has to be the biggest con that I have personally witnessed with this setup. If the drill bit isn’t on correctly, then you can potentially lose your auger blade down the hole. With the Clam Corporation Conversion Kit, we have noticed that it catches if the drill is slipping before the blade would fall off. Another fix that I have seen from some people is putting a foam or cardboard ring, larger than the blade diameter, around the top of the blade and below the drill.If it did happen to fall off, it would get stuck in the hole.
Anyone who has asked us on the ice has received my full pro-electric drill auger opinion! Now you could go with a full-on electric one-piece auger but that set up runs roughly $450 – $650. We put this one together for my dad for about $300. Overall, I give this one 5 stars!