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Gear and gizmos: Here's a look at some of what's new as ice fishing hits high gear

While developments in ice fishing gear are ever-changing, the fun of catching fish through the ice is constant. (Photo/ Brad Dokken, Grand Forks Herald) 1 / 11
Composite view of Clam's Escape Ice Thermal FLR hub shelter with optional floor. (Photo courtesy of Clam Corp.)2 / 11
Frabill Magnum Bait Station (Photo/ Brad Durick Outdoors)3 / 11
Rapala floating aerator. (Photo courtesy of Rapala)4 / 11
Extreme Advantage Parka. (Photo courtesy of Clam Corp.)5 / 11
Dakota Lithium 12-volt battery. (Photo/ Brad Durick Outdoors)6 / 11
Lindy Glow Spoon. (Photo/ Brad Dokken, Grand Forks Herald) 7 / 11
Northland Tackle Glo-Shot Jig. (Photo/ Brad Dokken, Grand Forks Herald) 8 / 11
Eskimo Outbreak 450i (Photo courtesy of Eskimo)9 / 11
Jiffy E6 electric ice drill. (Photo/ Brad Durick Outdoors)10 / 11
Otter X-Over Cottage portable shelter. (Photo courtesy of Otter Outdoors)11 / 11

Developments in ice fishing are ever-changing, but at the end of the day, it's all about helping anglers be more comfortable and put more fish on the ice.

The thrill of the catching never changes.

That being said, there's no doubt anglers always like to accumulate new "stuff" in their quest to put more fish on the ice. And with this year's ice fishing season off to one of the earliest starts in recent memory, chances are some anglers got caught off guard.

From shelters to jigs, here are 10 products of note going into this year's ice fishing season.

Clam FLR hub shelters

Hub houses are popular among ice fishing enthusiasts for their portability and affordability, and two new models from Clam now add optional floors to the mix.

Sold separately, the new Ice Thermal Floor units are made to fit in Clam's new Escape Ice Thermal FLR and Refuge Ice Thermal FLR hub shelters. Easy to install and easy to remove with custom-fit Velcro, the floors help improve the warmth of the shelter by covering ice and snow and keeping anglers' feet from direct contact with ice, snow and slush.

The floors, which have rectangular openings that offer plenty of hole-drilling options, include a carrying case for easy packing.

The Refuge Ice Thermal FLR shelter retails for $399.99, and the Refuge Ice Thermal floor retails for $149.99. The Escape Ice Thermal FLR retails for $549.99, and the Escape Ice Thermal floor is $179.99; www.clamoutdoors.com.

-- Clam Corp.

Frabill Magnum Bait Station

New for 2019, Frabill's Magnum Bait Station isn't just for ice fishing, of course, but it looks like a great option for run-and-gun anglers who need to keep bait alive without splashing water all over the place.

The big change from previous models is the integrated aeration pump, which is built into the underside of the lid and not attached to the side, making it less cumbersome. The new Magnum Bait Station has a handle, along with a removable padded shoulder strap.

With an injection-molded base and commercial grade foam insulation, the bait station has been tested and proven to work in below freezing temperatures, Frabill says.

Available in 13- or 19-quart capacity, the bait station runs on a 12-volt power adapter or two D cell batteries.

About $110; www.frabill.com.

-- Herald staff report

Rapala Floating Aerator

Whether used in a tip-up hole or in a bait bucket, the Rapala Floating Aerator mixes air into water, aerating nearly half a gallon per minute. Ideal for most bait-storage containers or enclosures, it features a floating, water-activated switch, air-release stone and 18 hours of continuous runtime. The aerator can keep minnows fresh or fishing holes ice-free by setting the unit into the hole, where it will mix air into the water and ensure ice does not form. About $23.39; www.rapala.com.

-- Rapala

Extreme Advantage Parka

Clam's Extreme Advantage Parka has all the warmth and breathability features of their top-selling IceArmor Extreme Suit but was designed to hold the most common gadgets anglers use on the ice such as line cutters, hook removers, fish towels, cell phones and more. The Extreme Advantage Parka retails for $259.99; www.clamoutdoors.com.

-- Clam Corp.

Dakota Lithium Battery

According to reliable sources, the Dakota Lithium Battery was a hot seller at the recent St. Paul Ice Fishing and Winter Sports Show.

Lithium batteries have become all the rage in recent years among ice fishing enthusiasts, and the Dakota Lithium 12-volt is designed to last four times as long as the traditional sealed lead acid batteries that have powered ice fishing electronics for years. In addition, the battery will take up to 2,000 charges compared with 100 for traditional lead acid batteries, the company literature says. The Dakota Lithium Battery weighs in at less than 3 pounds. About $99; www.dakotalithiumbattery.com.

-- Herald staff report

Lindy Glow Spoon

New from Lindy Fishing Tackle, the Glow Spoon gives ice anglers another weapon for attracting fish and triggering strikes. Replaceable glow sticks light up the plastic spoon, which radiates the light in the color of the spoon. The spoon is shaped to impart a swimming action on the drop, while tungsten rattles call in gamefish from a distance. Available in 1/16-, ⅛ and ¼-ounce sizes, and the replaceable glow sticks come in three-pack refills. Available in several colors, the Glow Spoon retails for $6.99, and the glow stick refills retail for $1.99; www.lindyfishingtackle.com.

-- Lindy Fishing Tackle

Northland Glo-Shot Jig

Not to be outdone, Bemidji-based Northland Fishing Tackle offers the Glo-Shot Jig.

The Glo-Shot Jig's luminescent Glo-Shot Stick and fixed single-hook design make it ideal for deadsticking or fishing below a bobber with a live minnow. Lightweight, lead-free construction and unique shape allow the jig to swim, dance and flutter when vertically jigged and tipped with live bait or soft plastics. The added attraction of color radiating from the Glo-Shot Stick makes the jig especially effective in dark water and low-light conditions. The Glo-Shot Jig is available in 12 colors, including UV Glo Perch, Super-Glo Perch, UV Purple Tiger and UV Pink Tiger, in ⅛-, ¼- and ⅜-ounce sizes. The interchangeable Glo-Shot Sticks also are available in 12 colors to match conditions. The Glo-Shot Jig retails for $8.49, and the Glo-Stick refills are $2.39 for a pack of three; www.northlandtackle.com.

-- Northland Tackle

Eskimo Outbreak 450i

Despite their popularity and portability, hub-style shelters can be treacherous when it comes to getting in and getting out. Eskimo, a pioneer in the hub house craze, has come out with the Outbreak 450i, a hub house with a "trip-proof" full panel door that zips all the way down to the ice with nothing to stumble over when entering or exiting. In addition, the shelter features 600 Denier — a unit of measurement used to determine fiber thickness — insulated fabric and 75 square feet of fishable area.

"We think it's going to be a huge hit for families and even us big guys," Mike Olson of Thompson, N.D., host of the "Fish Additions TV" show, said recently. The Outbreak retails for $449.99; www.geteskimo.com.

-- Herald staff report

Jiffy E6 Lightning electric ice drill

A fixture in the power ice auger market with its gas and propane drills, Jiffy is among the numerous manufacturers wading into the electric auger market with its Jiffy E6 Lightning.

Powered by a 6 amp-hour lithium ion battery, the E6 is available in 6-, 8- and 9-inch drill sizes—best if used with 15:1 gear ratio models—in addition to a 10-inch drill that works best with the 24:1 gear ratio model. The auger has reverse and night lights, among other amenities.

The 6-inch model will drill 100 holes through 2 feet of ice, the 8-inch 70 holes through 2 feet, the 9-inch 60 holes through 2 feet and the 10-inch 60-holes through 2 feet.

Prices range from about $589.99 to $619.99 depending on the drill size; www.jiffyonice.com.

-- Herald staff report

Otter X-Over houses

The Otter XT Pro X-Over models feature a triple-layer insulated 1,200 Denier shell, deluxe padded and swivel bucket seats, rear access door and an Otter Pro sled. Available in four sizes: Cottage, $679; Cabin, $899; Lodge, $999; and Resort, $1199.

For the more budget-conscious the XT X-Over models feature a lighter 600 Denier triple-layer shell, flip-up padded bench seating and an Otter XT sled. The Cottage retails for $629, the Cabin for $729, the Lodge for $829 and the Resort for $999; www.otteroutdoors.com.

-- Otter Outdoors