SLED SLIDING AWAY!!! by Montana Grant
By angelamontana

Posted: December 29, 2023

Serious Icemen drag a sled when on the hard water. Not all lakes allow a wheeler or tow vehicle. Early ice is also more dangerous when not as thick. 

Creative ice sled designers come up with all sorts of fun creations to keep them organized and comfortable when on the ice. Icemen must bring just the gear that they need. It needs to be lightweight and organized.

Portable shanty tents mean more gear and bigger sleds to haul it. If the snow is deep and your walk is far, you better be in shape. If it is so cold and miserable that I might need a shanty, I wait for the weather to improve. 

The other day Meatstick Dave and I hit the ice. My sled is a flat-bottomed toboggan style, purchased from Murdochs. I use the shorter style, then build a box on top. The total height is what is a comfortable seat height. I ad a dozen rod holders, a bucket hole with a screw lid. Inside the box, there is plenty of room for my auger and other gear. 

Dave’s sled was elevated on skis.  This style is called a Smitty Sled. He built a base to lift the sled higher, so the ski runners were just touching the ice. He uses bungy cords to secure the sled to the skis. 

I was always curious which sled would pull easier. I usually wax the bottom of my plastic toboggan sled. It seems to make the sled slide easier. As kids, we did this to our sleds, saucers, and toboggans, back in the day to go faster. Skiers also wax skis for the same reason. 

Meatstick was taking longer to get to the truck, so I went back to help him out. I was now able to use 2 styles of ice sleds on the same day, under the same conditions. The Smitty Sled pulled easier! It was noticeably smoother and took less energy to drag. 

Weight is not an Iceman’s friend. The more you bring, the more you need to pull. When the ice is smooth, and has no snow, either sled is fine. When the snow is deep, the Smitty Sled is a better way to go. It distributes weight over 2 tracks, rather than a large flat surface. 

You will also be adding weight to the sled once you limit out!

Montana Grant


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