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Gifts for Swedish ice fishermen?


BradB

Question

I found some really cheap flights and am taking a trip to Sweden in March. I ice fished with a couple of great Swedes in the northern town of Östersund the last time I was there, and they have invited me to stay with them and fish for 4-5 days this time. They are being extremely generous and providing me transportation, lodging at their house, meals, and taking me fishing/partying with them every day. They are really good guys and very serious fishermen, who work as guides part of the time. They are charging me nothing.

So I would like to bring them each a gift from Minnesota that they can use for their fishing. Something very special and distinctive. It's the least I can do for all they are doing for me.

I was thinking of giving them each a Leech Lake Fillet Knife. Do any of you have a suggestion as to anything different? Something distinctive, something they will use and appreciate? I know those knives are expensive, but if I were to add up what all that they are doing for me would cost it would certainly be more than that. I'm just looking for suggestions and would appreciate any different ideas.

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Thanks Steve. I actually thought about some Thorne Brothers rods, perhaps some that I build myself with the colors of the Jamptland flag in the threading. But, interestingly enough, it was my experience that no one uses jigging rods with guides in Scandinavia. Nor do they use reels like we do. They all seemed to have plastic reels that you didn't really use for pulling in fish. You did that by hand, and just used the reel for bringing in the line neatly.

They also don't use flashers, cameras, or power augers. The fish are pretty much the same, and their jigs are super cool, but they go about it quite differently than we do.

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I remember using rods with one eye on the end and plastic reels...tht was about 15 years ago. Perhaps they are not using ouir style of equipment because they havent seen the light Dave Genz style! I would think that you could perhaps turn these guys on to ice fishing in the 21st century. I used to prefer landing fish hand over hand, but once you start using a ice rod and reel who would ever go back? i sure dont miss all the tangles I dont get any more. I dont know about the Swedes but us Norwegians can be a little slow to adapt to new things grin.gif

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I looked on the net to try to link some pictures of these rods but couldn't find anything good. I should say that these rods they use are not necessarily low tech. I would say that they are just as serious and advanced as we are in our ice fishing, but that their evolution has gone in a different direction. For example, their spoons, jigs, and baits are much more cleverly designed than the ones we have available (IMHO). And their tipups with the exploding blasting corks are super cool. For whatever reason, they tend to fish outdoors in unheated environments--the kind that freeze up line in a reel. But some of those rods are pretty cleverly designed in terms of sensing subtle bites. They just don't use the reels.

Now I should say that I have seen them use bait casting reels on stiff rods for pike (gadde) fishing. But for general jigging for perch (aborre), walleye (Gös), or greyling (harr) they just use the plain rods in my experience.

I don't think they are slow to adapt. Instead, I think they adapted differently than we did.

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That is a very generous offer by the Swedes!

For a gift I would like to suggest filling a small tackle box with american jigs, spoons, bobbers, etc. for them to try out on Swedish fish. I know I would like to have a bunch of Scandenavian lures to try and have as a keep sake if I made friends.

an aside....I also do most of my fishing outside and totally understand why they don't use reels. I just use the stick method also. Much more efficient and reliable when fighting fish and changing baits.

Have a great time on your trip!

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

My M-I-L is from Finland, when she goes back there to visit she'll bring me back a couple lures. I know I appreciate the different styles.

I think an assortment of ice lures that would fit their target species would be a nice touch too. Maybe throw in a small tackle bag as well.

Have a nice trip.

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"Girls Gone Wild" videos???

Sorry, that's the beer talking.

I think a top line Minnesota ice rod combo with super line would be something they would really like.

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How about Ice Leaders suits for each of them? Maybe you can get a special price on them for this occasion.

They'd get to wear them almost year-round!

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Thanks for all the replies guys. Good suggestions! I was already thinking about the tackle selection, but in truth I think they have about the same variety of tackle there that we do. I know they are big fly fishermen in the mountains so I thought I'd go to the Fly Angler and see if they could recommend some flies that one wouldn't find in Europe.

As for the Ice Leaders suits I won't be able to bring that much luggage! In order to get there on the cheap I'm flying the cheapest flight I could find to London (NWA winter sale to Europe) and connecting by a low-cost airline to Sweden. It actually costs about $10 US to fly from London to Malmö which is hard to believe. It's a cattle car airline with no reserved seats, no classes, just get on and go. Then I have to make my way up north (Östersund) by either train or plane. The plane fares are often cheaper than the train fares, believe it or not. So whatever I bring I'll have to lug around quite a bit.

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I was able to spend 2 days over the holidays fishing on Gull lake here with my daughters boyfriend, who is from Sweeden, and now attending college at Arizona State.

Everything you mentioned about the Sweedish custom is true. This young man had never fished inside a fish house,used a locator, GPS, 4 - wheeler, or any of the modern things that we take for granted.

He mentioned the ice season in Sweeden is shorter, and the ice doesn't get anywhere as thick as ours, and that basically over there they don't have that kind of disposable income to spend on fishing toys.

Needless to say, when I introduced him to our way of ice fishing, his world was turned upside down, he absolutely loved it!!!

When I e mailed him yesterday, He said the thing that most impressed him was using the Vexilar FL-18. He said those fisherman in Sweeden would truely enjoy a gift like that.

Anyway, not knowing what your spending guideline is, just a thought.

Good Luck,

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Thanks for the reply. A flasher is a bit too bulky for the kind of travel I'm going to be doing. I have to connect between various airplanes and trains and I'm going as light as possible.

As far as the ice season goes I think it varies from where you live in Sweden. Most of the population of Sweden is in the south, and winters are definitely much shorter there. I'm going way up north. It's kind of like the difference between Albert Lea and Warroad, but add a few more hundred miles in latitude. IMHO, I find northern Sweden much more beautiful and don't really like the south. It's flat, and reminds me of Illinois. The north is like Ely, but with more hills and bigger lakes. That's my kind of place.

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BradB, I have a gift suggestion for those GoodSwede's(all one word like Damyankees)That I think they might really appreciate and wouldn't be too bulky for you to transport. Depending on how many you bought. Disposable hand warmers! Like Hot Hands or Grabber Mycoal. Every fisherman appreciates warm hands. I'm very jealous of you Brad. I spent 2 weeks in Sweden last July visiting the exchange student that lived with us for a year. Would you mind sending me an email about the cost of your ticket, where you got it, etc... [email protected] Needless to say, I can't wait to get back to Sweden again! grin.gif Halsar dem dar hemma! 1DIRTBALL wink.gif

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I to agree with the tackle idea! what a great thing if what you brought over there caught fish like nothing they had over there? thinking rapalas??? maybe youd get lucky and become a rep for custom jigs selling millions of demons to finance your retirement!!!!! I think the knives are a good idea but how but clearing customs airlines,etc.jmtc.

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Oil Painter,

Swedes wouldn't need to go far to get Rapalas. They were invented in Finland, Sweden's neighbors. Normark products are available all over Scandinavia.

As far as the knives I don't think that will be a problem. The last time I was in Sweden I brought back two hunting knives and just packed them in my checked luggage. I declared them and there wasn't any problem.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Wanderer
      Nope, not there anymore.  Just don’t get up there enough anymore.  Sadly.   Taxes are cheap enough to not really worry about and still have it.     smurf does the pissin’.  I wouldn’t do a thing like that to good furniture. 😉
    • Mike89
      just off to the west is a State park and a lake access is in there too..    it's called Mille Lacs Kathio State Park
    • smurfy
      🤣 so you drove threw Remer then? home of sasquatch!!!!!!!!🤗👌
    • leech~~
      Funny, my wife and I drove by Big Rice on our way to Grand Rapids. I pointed to the launch and said, somewhere there's an old rotting couch in there, two clowns 🤡🤡 on the forum keep joking each other about pissing on. She said gross! Cuz that's what guys talk about on forums! 😆😅🤣
    • smurfy
      i think he moved it down south of remer..........closer to his recliner by big rice lake!!!!!!!!🤣🤗
    • gimruis
      You can still fish Mille Lacs during the closure from July 1-15.  You just can't specifically target a walleye or use live bait.  There's plenty of smallmouth bass and pike in the lake that you can target with artificial lures and you might get lucky with a muskie.   The wind can be an issue out there though.  If that doesn't sound appealing to you, try the Rum River.  There is an access in Kathio State Park that would work well for a kayak.  You could go upstream and downstream from there too.   I think you will need to purchase a daily pass to use that access in the park (it might be like 5 bucks).  I haven't fished there in years but I fish the Rum River further downstream every season and the fishing in there is fantastic during midsummer.  Look for current breaks, seams, and deeper holes.
    • chaffmj
      Sorry I didn't see your post earlier. Glad your place was ok. Lake Country power said they had 20 poles toppled in one area!
    • leech~~
      You still have your trailer and place up there? Maybe you should do some summer rentals of it to help pay the taxes and up keep on it? 👍
    • fins_n'_feathers
      The water is starting to slowly go down. From what I can tell it looks like it’s down about 5-6 inches. The wind was terrible over the weekend though. I’m sure many properties suffered damages with Sundays winds. Things are finally starting to head in the right direction but it’s going to take a very long time for things to get back to even somewhat normal. 
    • Rivergroup
      Stopped at VC last week as well.  Didn't have pizza, but the sandwiches and appetizers we had were good.  The service was very good.  However, that's the first and only time we had been there.
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