In our neck of the woods, especially when winter trout season begins in January, you’ll hear them on Tofte Lake next door to us. It’s like an ice fishing panic as crazed trout fisherman from all over creation and the Iron Range run out on Tofte lake and drill and drill and drill in the ice to pull out those delectable test-tube trout. I call them that because they were born in a bottle and don’t reproduce. Technically, these are very confused stream trout because someone from the Minnesota DNR was out playing with Mother Nature. Nonetheless, test-tube-trout look, fight, and taste like rainbows and splake which are yet another man-made creation of a brook trout crossed with a lake trout. Apparently, to most of the trout fishermen of Tofte Lake (of which I am one), there is no other fish worth fishing. At least that is the feeling one gets on trout opener.
The other take-away from droves of crazed trout fishermen that weekend based on the sounds of power ice auger is that they really could use some upgrading in ice augers. From the “blapping” I hear from old Jiffy’s grindng away to the loud chainsaw-like sounds of junky, 20 year-old augers, it’s time they bought an upgrade. At least that is my opinion. From a half mile away those blapping motors with a little tiny hood that serves as the “muffler” irritate me. You want those guys to drill their hole and shut it off quickly. But those guys are the ones who feel compelled to drill 10″ diameter “mickey mouses” It used to be 10 inch “figure 8’s” but now they gone all Disney on us. Apparently, they are catching trout that are much larger than the trout I catch in my single 8″ hole. It’s no longer a hole that you can stick your boot in and have serious problems – it’s now a hole that requires you to wear a life jacket and rope it off for the safety of small children and women.
Then, while I watch them cutting mickeys, I can’t help but notice how many are using ancient, beat-up, rusty augers with blades that were last sharpened during the Nixon administration. Grinding and grinding, blapping muffler, pushing, leaning and struggling they go. Then, my personal favorite to watch is the universal technique called the “dull-blade-drop”. They lift that piece of junk auger up and drop it forcefully in the hole to make the blade edges catch by changing their angle and flexing the old steel. Yeah – that’s really gonna help big time. Pick up the auger and pound it down to crack out the bottom of the ice in the hole. Do it over and over and then wonder why when you put new blades on it, that old auger won’t cut like it used to back in 1973.
It’s time you got a new auger, for Pete’s sake! We sell tons of augers at Red Rock and NONE of them require kicking the crap out of the ice to make a hole. Drill normally and back off right before break through (lift up a little). We even have augers that don’t break the bank especially when you’ve been grinding away with that old rusty hulk for so many years. That brings me to this particular power ice auger. It’s a Polar Fire ice auger made by HT. To be more accurate, it is commissioned by HT from a factory in China when they make tons of different motors including those for Eskimo. This Polar Fire motor looks a lot like an Eskimo from the design to the transmission to the fact that it uses Eskimo blades with precision only possible from the same factory who makes Eskimo Ice Augers. It is built solidly with steel handles.
The Polar Fire is cleanly designed, nice and neat, and they run beautifully. Pretty quiet for a gas-two-stroke and plenty of power. These particular augers are cheaper than dirt this year because they had a slight model change for the new season. We’ve sold them for a few years now and they’ve done a nice job. Many happy customers, who’ve saved all those marketing dollars that get charged for a name-brand model, have drilled many holes with the grey auger as opposed to using a more expensive red model.
Now, at 33cc’s it is not a race horse, and it may take you 5 seconds longer drilling in 2 feet of ice than a bigger engine. But, given that there are so many junkers out there that struggle, spit, blapp, and grind, who cares! A nice new power auger for under $300 is possible. Well, we have a few and if you move quickly, you can get one for yourself. If you miss out on this particular deal, we have Current Polar Fires (same look, function – but they’ve dropped some of their shaft / engine options – had too many) listed online. You save some dough, and get a nice auger out of the deal.