– What is the best way to transport an ice screw on a snowmobile? – How to attach an ice screw to a motorized towing vehicle?
If you’ve ever wondered these questions, then this article is for you. In it, we tried to collect information on this topic in one place and objectively assess the advantages and disadvantages of each option for attaching an ice screw.
There is no consensus among winter fishing enthusiasts about the most successful way to transport an ice screw. At the same time, as a rule, the basic set of requirements for ice screw mounts remains unchanged:
- reliability (ice screw won’t fall off on the way)
- safety of movement and operation of the vehicle (the ice screw should not protrude much beyond the dimensions of the snowmobile, especially in width, should not pose a threat of injury to the driver)
- quick access to the tool when you need it, and the ability to quickly remove it
- the mount should not spoil the appearance of the snowmobile.
However, in details, the owners of motor vehicles disagree, up to irreconcilable worldview differences. Let’s try to evaluate several ways of attaching an ice auger for transportation on winter motor vehicles (snowmobile and motorized towing vehicle). Let’s compare the pros and cons of each of these methods.
Option number 1: in a trunk
To begin with owners of a snowmobile case, the ice screw when folded can fit into the case. Accordingly, they have no problems with securing the drill and most of the rest of the equipment, and they will not be interested in this article.
We will not discuss in detail the advantages of having a snow mobile case here, they are obvious, but the main disadvantage is the price of this accessory. The disadvantages also include the following: an uncovered and loose drill inside the case can damage other objects and the case itself from the inside. To put the drill into the case, you will have to fold the handle every time, that is, you will not be able to transport the drill ready for operation in the “combat position”.
In addition, if at the beginning of the collection for fishing the drill you have is dry and clean, then after use it must be cleaned before placing it back in the trunk so that everything there does not turn into a wet dirty mess. You can, of course, buy an additional cover for the ice screw, and this is again unnecessary costs and a waste of time every time to uncover/cover the drill.
Well, each snow mobile case has certain size restrictions. Some drill may not fit in, and not every model of a snowmobileit is suitable for installing a case.
Option number 2: in a sled
The second simple and obvious way to transport a drill when leaving on “hard water”, even on a motorized dog, is in a drag sled. With this method, again, you do not need to bother with some special method of fastening, just put everything you need in a sled or trailer, cover it and secure it with a belt or rope.
Of the advantages here is the simplicity of the collection, all equipment of different sizes and arbitrary shapes can, in fact, be fastened almost at a time with one fastening strap. When changing location, everything is quickly put back into the trough.
Well, of the minuses: firstly, not everyone has a sled. And even with a sled, the snowmobiler can choose whether to take the sled on or not. A one-day snowmobile fishing trip alone doesn’t require a lot of stuff, and you can do without a sled. And an ice screw is still needed on every winter fishing trip. So if the sled is not an integral attribute of every ice fishing trip, then there is a need to fix the drill on the snowmobile itself.
In this case, by fixing the ice drill directly on the snowmobile, it is possible to transport the empty sled to its destination, so to speak, “idle” (upside down on top of the trunk or case) and use the sled only on the way back in case of a rich catch.
Option number 3: using plastic clips
Another method, which can often be found on the Internet, is to attach an ice screw (as well as another tool, for example, a shovel) using plastic clamps (clips) for polypropylene and polyethylene pipes. This is by far the most affordable and budgetary option among the methods involving the purchase of some kind of tools and accessories.
Such clips can be found in any hardware store, it is possible to choose the most suitable diameter. Then just mark the place on the trunk frame and fasten with self-tapping screws. The main disadvantage is their fragility and fragility.
The main purpose of these clips is to fasten pipes and it is designed for stationary use, that is, it does not imply regular removal of the fixed object. Most likely, they will withstand repeated fastening of the drill, if handled with sufficient care. But sooner or later, the bow will inevitably break off on one side. It’s good to have a spare clip and installation tool on hand. But it’s unpleasant to mess around with reinstalling the mount in the cold and waste time on the already short winter daylight hours.
- the need to drill a hole in the trunk pipes, which can reduce the selling price of the snowmobile if this method of fastening turns out to be irrelevant for the future owner
- clamps at a price of only a couple of rubles per piece are often sold in packs, so if you did not find the extra ones lying around after repairs from the previous batch, you will have to buy a new pack with a much larger number of clips than is required to attach one ice screw.
- Such a mount is suitable for an assembled ice screw, since the drill is held by its handle, and is not suitable, for example, for attaching a spare auger of a different diameter separately from the handle.
- due to the lack of reliability and the possibility of breakage of the clamp during movement, additional fixation with a lashing strap will most likely be required.
- more suitable for installation on square or rectangular pipes
Option number 4: special tool holders with straps
The method is similar to the previous one, but more expensive and reliable. You can use special tool holders with fastening straps for round items. Such fasteners are rubber and polyurethane. Both are elastic, designed for repeated opening and closing, will not scratch the tool, but will require drilling holes on the body or frame of the snowmobile at the installation site.
The service life will depend on the selected material and manufacturer. Polyurethane clips are more expensive, but they also last several times longer, since polyurethane does not degrade and does not deteriorate from exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Frost-resistant polyurethane does not become brittle in the cold, does not age or stiffen over time like rubber.
Choosing a ready-made tool holder, you do not need to spend time inventing your own fastening options.
Option number 5: a makeshift “case” made of a sewer pipe
Another noteworthy method is to transport the ice screw in an improvised pipe case. It is also a rather budgetary and affordable way, since such pipes are also found in almost any hardware store.
This method has many advantages over the previous ones:
- you don’t have to worry about the cleanliness and dryness of the drill when placing it in the box, you can even make additional holes for water to drain
- you can choose the required diameter, make a couple of boxes of different diameters, including separately for a spare auger, there is no limit on the height (length) of the drill, suitable for transporting an ice screw in assembled and ready-to-use condition
But even here there are disadvantages, significant for some, not very much for others. Just taking a pipe and shoving an ice screw into it is not a very good idea, and making a case for an ice screw from a sewer pipe really takes time and hands from the right place:
- you will need to think about how to attach such a tube to the snowmobile, it must be reliable, and preferably removable. Especially when it comes to fastening to a motorized towing vehicle, which, in turn, will have to be transported in a car and excess protruding elements will significantly increase the volume and interfere with transportation. Well, in case of not fishing trips, when an ice screw is not needed.
- you will need to strengthen the bottom, and it is better to make it metal,
- the need to fix the handle that is outside the tube. An ice screw from a vertically fixed case is unlikely to go anywhere, but a loose handle during active driving can hit the trunk pipes, or it can catch on something
- it is advisable to place some kind of elastic material on the inner surface of the pipe, which will damp the blows of the auger against the inner walls of the pipe and, upon contact with which, the auger will not blunt
- fixed pipe diameter. If you do it with a margin for the possibility of transporting different diameters up to the 150th, then the weaving of course will also enter, but it will hang out. Well, if you immediately count on the back to back on a smaller diameter, then the big one will not fit.
In general, this option has many variations. Someone just mounts vertically, and someone at an angle, for better aerodynamics. They relate differently to the external design. For someone, such a fastening device allows additional decor, for example, the outer surface of the pipe is painted to match the body of the snowmobile or is used to place bright stickers.
Option # 6: branded mounts from snowmobile manufacturers
Mounts are designed for expensive snowmobiles, and when it comes to tuning such equipment, additional equipment from the original manufacturer will increase their sales value as opposed to homemade improvements. And it will look guaranteed to be more solid and stylish, and not “collective farm”. And of course, when buying branded accessories, you can expect high quality workmanship and a thoughtful combination with the models for which it was designed. But hence the obvious disadvantages:
Not universal applicability, not suitable for all snowmobiles.
Buying mounts can cost more than an ice screw, with all this, this is a very highly specialized mount and it is not a fact that it will be possible to adapt it to transport other equipment. And the purchase of separate mounts with such limited functionality for each type of tool and equipment may seem irrational even for owners of expensive units.
Even if you decide to buy such an expensive device, you may have to wait a long time for delivery to your city.
The mount is not compact, has protruding edges, there is a risk of catching something while moving, as well as catching the shoes or clothes themselves.
The mounts are made of metal, and for all their potential reliability, it is unpleasant to work with them with bare hands in the cold, moreover, they add extra weight to the snowmobile, which can be critical when driving on powder
When transporting an uncovered drill, chips and scratches will form in the places where the drill touches the brackets, which will subsequently lead to metal corrosion in these places.
Option number 7: U-shape clamps “slingshots”
The so-called slingshot mounts are becoming a fairly convenient and preferred type of attachment for an increasing number of snowmobilers and “dog breeders”. The auger is easily and reliably installed in the eyes, in models with straps, it is additionally pressed from above by elastic straps.
Advantages of slingshot mounts for ice screw transportation:
- removable design on brackets with elastic insert does not damage the frame, does not require drilling, if necessary, fastening can be removed or rearranged to the other side
- suitable for all types of ice augers: gasoline, hand-held, motor-drills, for any auger diameters.
- can be mounted on the trunk pipes both on the sides and behind
- you can install more than one set of slingshots, even on one side of the trunk, simply by placing them at different angles: for the simultaneous transportation of a drill and a spare auger or a pair of different drills (for example, a hand and motorized auger)
- the drill does not collide with the trunk pipes and the body of the snowmobile, which means it does not damage the snowmobile and does not blunt itself
- saving time on collection and quick access to the tool if necessary: the drill can be taken out in just a couple of seconds and put back in place just as quickly
- if you choose fasteners reinforced with metal coated with frost-resistant polyurethane, then the product will last a very long time even under extreme operating conditions in severe frosts and under significant repeated loads, over time it will not dry out and will not crack
- polymer mount is definitely more pleasant to the touch in the cold than metal and plastic, does not corrode
- Unlike transportation in a wardrobe trunk or sleigh, the drill has a well-defined place outside the snowmobile, it does not come into contact with other equipment, which means it will not damage it and the inner walls of the luggage compartment, always in sight and at hand, you do not need to look for it among other equipment
- the same slingshots can be removed from winter vehicles and used during the rest of the year on an ATV, for example, to transport a trimmer, metal detector and scrap metal
- suitable not only for a fishing drill, but also chainsaws (for those who are cramped to fish in the hole and need a whole ice hole)
- slingshots can have different types of fasteners at the base and you need to pay attention to this when buying and select it taking into account where you plan to install it (on round pipes, a profile, or generally on a flat surface), so that later you do not finish and invent your own version on your knee with turning and welding
- cheap options from aliexpress are just a Y-shaped mount without a strap fastened on top, which means that the fixation will not be reliable enough, you need to pay attention to the composition of the kit
- you may get low-quality material that will show itself badly in the cold
- rubber slingshots can have a rather pungent and unpleasant odor, but, however, for outdoor use, this is not so important
Option number 8: fastening above the footboard with available tools
There is room for imagination: rubber belts from a spare wheel, hose cuttings, homemade welded structures. Each way is based on what you have in stock and accessibility to, for example, custom-made welding. Not everyone can make a high-quality mount with their own hands the first time. This method is difficult to evaluate and compare with others due to the large variability, but it definitely takes place.
If you have a motorized dog or snowmobile and need to carry an ice screw with you, then most likely you have already chosen one of these methods for yourself, perhaps having previously tried several others. Or maybe you didn’t know about some method and now you will try something new. We would be interested to know if you are using any other method not mentioned in the review. We’ll be glad if you share in the comments.
Well, regardless of the chosen method, we wish everyone to successfully drill even on difficult ice and of course successful fishing!