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augernaut

Otter Den/Cottage questions

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augernaut

Hi all - I'm looking at buying one of these two models of portable to replace my older failing one man flipover shack. I have a couple questions for anyone willing to shed some light. Thanks in advance!!!

1.) Is the extra 6 inches in the cottage a major improvement over the den?

2.) Are the otter houses dark enough to effectively sight fish for panfish in shallow water conditions? In other words, does it get DARK when you flip the shack over?

3.) Anybody have a comparison for pulling these by hand vs. pulling a fishtrap? If you compare weights, the Otter Den is 43 lbs without a seat, a Trap Pro is about the same, but with a seat. I've always thought the Otters are way heavier, but maybe not? Does it pull harder than a Trap?

Thanks again!

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huntnfish

I have an Otter Den and like it a lot for when I go out by myself. There is plenty of room in the house for one person. This is my first one man flip over, but I can't see needing anything bigger. The only thing I haven't figured out is where to put the heater. I have a Mr. Heater cooker and I just put it on the floor between my two holes. I'm not sure if it would get dark enough to sight fish, but it does get pretty dark in there, although I haven't used it in bright sun yet. I have the purple canvas on mine. All in all, I have been very happy with it.

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rod bender

Plenty dark enough to site fish. Pulls a little tougher than the fish traps. Built a little tougher than the fish trap as well. Love the square tubes - slide real nice. I have the medium den and works well for two people and is super nice for just one. I made my own bench as well as two singles with a console. Pretty easy if you're any type of handyman. My buddy has a lodge. Too big to lift by yourself but plenty of room for at least two people if not a third if he/she is small. Good luck!

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hanson

augernaut-

I've got a Den. I love it. I think it is the perfect one man house.

Does the extra 6" between the Den & Cottage matter. I don't think it matters in the size of the sled but if the house was an extra 6" taller, I'd go with the taller one. Sometimes its nice to stand up and stretch out and I can't do that in my Den without going outside.

The house is also pretty dark with the windows closed. I've got the purple canvas. I guess it could be a little darker but they would have to go to black for that.

It pulls fine too. Well, if you can control the amount of stuff you bring with, it pulls fine.

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Surface Tension

If your pulling through deep snow the Otter will pull easier because of its swept rake. As far as site fishing the Otter skin will darken better then the Fish Traps but you'll have to address the light coming in from the ice because you have no floor. I use rubber belting for this. Its light, very thin, flexible and of coarse doesn't suck up water but its hard to come by. If you look around you should be able to find a rubber floor mat with those same qualities.

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augernaut

Thanks guys - I stopped by a baitshop last night that has a den set up - the green one, can't have viking purple here in WI :-) I was impressed with how dark the shanty is with everything closed - I think it will do fine for sight fishing. I typically don't put anything on the ice to darken, it's more stuff to carry and I like to stay fairly light. My one question is this - where the canvas attaches to the side of the sled, the seat bracket also lies there - these two seem to cause problems with the bracket knocking the canvas and molding off of the tub. Thoughts? I'll probably build a butt bridge or similar, but I'm just curious. Also, has the trim-lock system performed well for you - does it stay on well, etc.? Thanks alot!

Hanson, I'm planning on doing something similar to your mods - yours look really, really nice. Good job!

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hanson

Thanks augernaut.

It has worked very well for me so far this year.

I was working on something similar for my Otter Lodge. I came up with some good ideas and also did some stuff deadly wrong too. Its a learning process, trial & error. Hopefully when I find time and an extra sheet of plywood I'll go at it again.

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augernaut

Hanson, good luck on getting your lodge done up right. That's 1/2 the fun of ice fishing, I think. All the tinkering and planning and daydreaming about your shack!

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EBass

I have the new cottage and it's sweet. But I upgraded from a fish trap scout so there's way more room. The econ seat that otter makes sits on the slead just fine. Otherwise I use those fold up chairs and that's ok to.

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augernaut

That's what's getting me. I sat in the den and went "wow, I cannot BELIEVE how much more room I have than in my fishtrap. The, I look at the Cottage and it's 6" wider in the sled. Cool. But, do I really need that? I mean, bigger is usually better, but if if gets really hard to pull, then I'll stick to the den.

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