It's another ice fishing field test for a few items:
The only fish I caught were a few crappies ranging from 6" to 10" and a perch at 9" in length.
13 Fishing Omen Ice Casting rod Medium power. The rod is paired with Shimano Curado 70HG and spooled with Stroft GTM 7.9# line. The lure I specifically chosen was Major Craft Jigpara Blade 3/16th oz. I would say the rod overall is pretty impressive at it's price point. While just holding it in hand empty it doesn't have any outstanding wow factor. However after putting a lure on and actually getting fish to strike at your lures and hooking up and fighting them in, I got a good feel for what it's performance merits are. The white painted tip section allows for a good contrast visual. The lure jigging allowed the vibration of the lure to come through. Even light fish strikes were felt, allowing me to put the hook set on. The rod performed within the range of what a medium powered rod should do. There is enough tip flex sensitivity and rod backbone.
Shimano Curado BFS casting reel. I have two of them. One is spooled with 14# YGK G-Soul Upgrade and 10# YGK G-Soul SS112 Sinking Braid, both with a leader of Stroft GTM 7.9# line. The rods are Thorne Bros. Custom Panfish and Perch Sweetheart rods to 32" in length. I fished the YGK Upgrade line last season on a spinning reel set up so I basically had a good feel for that mono like line. It worked well in the BFS reel and on that one I was using Major Craft Jigpara tailspin 1/4 oz. lure. One thing I will note that even with the cross carbon drag on this reel, it felt like it was more so on the low end of drag force. I normally don't expect crappies to pull drag a lot, but the drag clicks very easily. Even at close to max setting the drag can still be pulled easily.
YGK G-Soul SS112 Sinking Braid. The other Curado BFS with the SS112 Sinking Braid was attached a Flu Flu jig. I can't remember if it was 1/64th oz. or 1/80th oz. weight. It's basically the jig that I have to peel line off the spinning reel to get it sink. So doing the same with any other reel tells me how fast a sink rate this lure gets. Well to my surprise this is the fastest sink rate I've experienced. So the sinking braid line does aid in the sink rate, or rather it doesn't offer resistance to sinking on a vertical drop. Even when I peel enough line to lay on the water surface, it is pulled down with a good rate. While I was expecting the textured line to create some line buzz I wasn't feeling it. While hooked up to fish the Curado BFS drag was clicking so again I couldn't tell if there were any line buzz. Overall it's performed as an ice fishing line in the warmed up shack was phenomenal. It was a bit too windy and snow pellets was hailing down so I did not do any hole hopping, so no freeze check on the line was evaluated.
The Eskimo 250XD was getting some high winds test today for sure. The worst thing imaginable happens as the wind changed direction 180 degrees. It was sudeenly full force blowing directly at the wide door side. I did not have the stakes on the skirt on the door nor on the one remaining hub tie down. I went out the door to secure it, and the shelter was about to blow away. Had to fight the wind and hold the door down. I merely only secure the hub strap tie down and went back inside before the wind really kicked up. I looked at the closed door and the blown in side effects of it. In a way it's good to have the two stabilizing poles there which helped a lot with the wind pressure. I stayed pretty much cooped up until the winds died down some. It was windy enough that ice pellets packed up the air vents and the window sides of the reflective overlap. On the pack up it was still windy, and I had struggled to put the shelter away as the wind whipped the shelter like an inverted umbrella. I was afraid the the shelter poles would snap or bust off one of the hubs but managed to secure it and finally flipped a twisted shelter back into order after some effort. This was probably the worst occurrence dealt with the shelter take down I had ever encounter.
Simms Challenger insulated bibs and jacket: I wear a Large jacket and medium bibs. This is a serious upgrade for me, considering I've been wearing a Columbia jacket and snowpants that was purchased back in 1993. Of which last year after wearing it while treading through the ice storm and getting drenched, I was a very miserable. That day the ice fishing ordeal I experienced was wet and cold all day long. So this time with the Simms it is thinner and less bulky as in comparison as I dress under with just a normal sweat pants and a sweat shirt and a compression long sleeve shirt. Normally I would also add to another fleece jacket under and also another layer of usually compression pants. I was expecting to get cold but I never felt that way. Of course dragging the sled and sweating did not bother me at all. The suit must have done a very good job at preventing condensation build up. Temps was 14F and with quite a wind in my face easily at 15+mph. I am very impressed at the performance overall.
Ryobi 18V Clamp Fan: I used it while I had the Big Buddy Heater on low. The fan was too powerful even on the low setting and I just got colder with it on. I will not use it in the future.
Edited by slipperybob