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Author Topic: Spud Bar  (Read 1349 times)

Offline seanglgr

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Spud Bar
« on: Jan 29, 2019, 09:29 AM »
Long time "lurker", first time poster here.  I've read a number of posts where guys suggest taking a spud bar on the ice when they aren't sure if it's safe.  I've heard of people using a spud bar to make their holes, but is there some other reason to take one?  Thanks in advance.

Offline RyanW

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #1 on: Jan 29, 2019, 09:39 AM »
Bear defense and Strong Man javelin tournaments.
ďWhen the fish are biting, it really doesnít matter what youíre using. When the fish arenít biting, it really doesnít matter what youíre usingĒ - Uncle Dave

Offline butcher

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #2 on: Jan 29, 2019, 09:45 AM »
First, welcome to the site Seangler. This is a great site with a lot of people with very good experience.  If you stick around, you'll learn quite a bit and hopefully, you'll teach us a few things as well. 

Spud bars are probably the first tool that was used to cut holes in the ice.  They're bascially a gigantic chisel and allow you to cut holes of just about any size - although they require a great deal of physical effort to do so.  Nearly all modern ice fishermen use augers because they are easier to use and cut through ice faster however, many fishermen still carry spud bars with them as a safety device.  When you are walking onto a body of water, it's sometimes difficult to determine if you are standing on two feet of ice or two inches.  If it's the latter, you are likely going for a swim.  A spud bar is a great way to gauge ice thickness quickly as you are moving.  In general, each strike of the spud bar will cut through about 1" of ice.  Therefore, if you are walking on a lake all you need to do is to pause every few feet and hit the ice in the same spot with your spud bar to estimate ice thickness.  If you strike the bar three times in the same spot and hit water, the ice is about 3". 


Offline icecube

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #3 on: Jan 29, 2019, 12:53 PM »
Long time "lurker", first time poster here.  I've read a number of posts where guys suggest taking a spud bar on the ice when they aren't sure if it's safe.  I've heard of people using a spud bar to make their holes, but is there some other reason to take one?  Thanks in advance.
seanglgr, I always have my spud bar with me on the ice.  As far as other uses. I have a home made shanty with 2 x 4's on edge under a plywood floor. I like it because it keeps me up out of the water on days with water on ice. Sometimes the shanty will get frozen to the ice because of this. Then I can get  it pried or chipped up off the ice that has frozen it down with the spud bar. But mainly used as a safety tool!

Offline seanglgr

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #4 on: Jan 29, 2019, 01:03 PM »
Thanks for all the replies.  Seems like a good bit of work to make holes but it does seem quicker to check ice thickness.  We usually just used our augers to drill holes and check as we went.  One of the reasons that I got an electric auger.  I'm hoping to finally use it this weekend.

Offline captain54

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #5 on: Jan 29, 2019, 03:10 PM »
Trouble with cutting holes,you might be on bad ice before you know it. Old school spud your way out and back on first or questionable ice. This year be have some fluctuating ice thickness it can go from 5" to 2" real quick on some lakes.

Offline Chute82

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #6 on: Jan 29, 2019, 04:04 PM »
Another use is to create a funnel of your ice hole.  When fishing for larger fish such a lake trout you can make the bottom of the hole wider when helps to get the fish up the hole easier.  But checking ice is the number #1 reason to have a spud
Kiss stealing, wheeling dealing, limousine riding, jet flying, son of a gun....WOOOOOOOO!

Offline cajuntony

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #7 on: Jan 29, 2019, 04:20 PM »
I saw on you tube Dave Genze use a spud bar fer ice safety pretty darn good video  hope that can help also

Offline Noon

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #8 on: Jan 29, 2019, 04:35 PM »
The added sense of security while walking around is great too. Knowing that as you smack that bar onto the ice, you arent about to take your last dry step.  I've also used mine to reopen holes which I have been told is not a great idea for augers that dont have a chipper blade. My first auger was a hand-me-down cheap hand auger. My spud bar cut holes so much quicker and easier than that auger. It has also doubled as a nice walking stick (albeit a heavy one) on a trip where we would post hole if we stepped even an inch off the sides of the boot pack. I don't think I will make any trips out without bringing my spud with.
"How was your weekend?" "It was great!" "What did you do?" "I stared into a hole for 8 hours a day.

Offline Chris338378

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #9 on: Jan 29, 2019, 04:56 PM »
Using a spud bar to make a new hole absolutely sucks especially if you have ice thicker than six inches, the thicker the ice the more it sucks.  It is great for opening holes that have frozen over but the main reason is for your safety to check the ice to see if it's thick enough to be on.  That's the number one reason people have them.

Offline Black Jack

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #10 on: Jan 30, 2019, 07:11 AM »
My spud bar is dual use......use to check ice thickness on new or unknown ice, and doubles as a walking stick/cane to stabilize my tottering old self when walking on the ice.

Offline MumbleSEED

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #11 on: Jan 30, 2019, 07:57 AM »
I mainly use mine as a safety tool and as a walking stick.  I've used it as an anchor to keep my pop-up from caving in on me as well.  With me almost as much as my personal defense mechanism but always on the ice!
"Underwater the fish don't stink!"

Offline Schlegs

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #12 on: Jan 30, 2019, 03:06 PM »
You can use the spud bar to open up holes that are freezing up and shrinking, keeps you from whacking your scooper and bending the heck out of it. Plus all of the safety measures noted.
It's a pretty cheap safety tool.

Offline Captn66

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #13 on: Jan 31, 2019, 06:18 AM »
You can use the spud bar to open up holes that are freezing up and shrinking, keeps you from whacking your scooper and bending the heck out of it. Plus all of the safety measures noted.
It's a pretty cheap safety tool.

My kid keeps trying to tell me that the scoopers aren't hammers & if I quit trying to use them as such we wouldn't end the season with 4 or 5 of them in the bucket (with 3/4 of them half broken).   ;)

Offline Noon

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #14 on: Jan 31, 2019, 09:06 AM »
My kid keeps trying to tell me that the scoopers aren't hammers & if I quit trying to use them as such we wouldn't end the season with 4 or 5 of them in the bucket (with 3/4 of them half broken).   ;)

You could also spend the extra couple dollars and buy a heavier duty scoop that comes with a chisel on the end of the handle. It sounds like you use your scoop the same way I use mine, in which case the chisel is 100x worth it.
"How was your weekend?" "It was great!" "What did you do?" "I stared into a hole for 8 hours a day.

Offline Schlegs

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #15 on: Jan 31, 2019, 01:01 PM »
I got my spud bar at Cabelas several years ago for about $20, sprayed it red and added rubber around the handle and rope to give it better grip. Never go out on the ice without it.


Offline rlusk3030

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #16 on: Feb 02, 2019, 10:59 AM »
I always have my spud bar with me, it was $20 I got it online I believe it's Eskimo brand. I use mine to check the ice specifically the edges. You could use it to make holes for fishing but I prefer my drill auger.
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Offline Captn66

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #17 on: Feb 04, 2019, 07:25 AM »
You could also spend the extra couple dollars and buy a heavier duty scoop that comes with a chisel on the end of the handle. It sounds like you use your scoop the same way I use mine, in which case the chisel is 100x worth it.

I have one of those now.  I've only used it once so far this year but so far - its made it longer than some of my past scoops lol 

Offline uncleshorty

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #18 on: Feb 04, 2019, 06:54 PM »
Fifty-five years ago Dad made ours from a piece of leaf spring and a 5 ft piece of 3/4 inch black iron pipe.  It weighed a ton. 

I made my little brother carry it...
Ice fishin' & turtlin's all I crave...

Offline RuttNutt

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #19 on: Feb 05, 2019, 06:28 AM »
I used to have a big, heavy 2 piece spud from Gander mtn. Last year I ďdonatedĒ to someone.  ::) Got the Cabelas $20 one piece economy spud this year and LOVE it! Much lighter but does everything the big ones do.

When Iím on the ice, I always have it. Guys laugh at me but I donít care! I have it when Ice is 18Ē thick! Use it to test ice, as walking aid, chip ice out of old holes and use it to chip skis of smitty sled when frozen to the ice. (On Sunday)

You can see it here propped against the sled.


Where's the FISH?!

Offline Chris338378

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #20 on: Feb 05, 2019, 05:16 PM »
In my opinion a spud bar is just as important as your jigging rod, bait, and electronics.  When you use them they'll keep you safe by telling you there's thin ice which is a lot better than finding out by the wet butt method any day of the week.  Like RuttNutt said it's the ice fisherman's multi-tool and worth every penny they cost and ounce they weigh. 

Offline ajv5148

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #21 on: Feb 05, 2019, 07:44 PM »
I'll never make fun of anyone spudding out. I sure like to use it, and if it's my first time on a lake, I have no idea where anyone else got on or how the edges typically freeze

Offline Noon

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #22 on: Feb 05, 2019, 09:55 PM »
I'll never make fun of anyone spudding out. I sure like to use it, and if it's my first time on a lake, I have no idea where anyone else got on or how the edges typically freeze

Same for me.  I smack that spud even if i just checked an had 12 inches of ice. I'd rather people laugh at me instead of panicking to figure out how to help me out of the water
"How was your weekend?" "It was great!" "What did you do?" "I stared into a hole for 8 hours a day.

Offline ajv5148

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #23 on: Feb 06, 2019, 07:20 AM »
Same for me.  I smack that spud even if i just checked an had 12 inches of ice.
exactly. I spud my way out, and spud my way to where I want my tip ups set. Once I have checked the area I'm fishing/running back and forth to check tip ups, I don't have to worry

Offline RuttNutt

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #24 on: Feb 06, 2019, 03:27 PM »
Yep. I do the same. I could care less what others think- itís MY life!  ;)
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Offline filetandrelease

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #25 on: Feb 06, 2019, 03:52 PM »
Yep. I do the same. I could care less what others think- itís MY life!  ;)
Iím just glad guys have 1 and use them and I never laugh about it
 

Offline Noon

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #26 on: Feb 06, 2019, 04:08 PM »
Iím just glad guys have 1 and use them and I never laugh about it

Ive never had anyone laugh or even look funny at me for having it, but I also typically fish where fewer people are willing to go. I have had guys tell me they don't feel like carrying the extra weight. My response to that is the weight that the stress of not knowing if I am about to fall in is definitely tougher on me haha
"How was your weekend?" "It was great!" "What did you do?" "I stared into a hole for 8 hours a day.

Offline punkinhead

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Re: Spud Bar
« Reply #27 on: Feb 18, 2019, 12:21 PM »



I made this out of a shale bar.  Custom height to use as a cane, spud bar as well as ice golf.

 



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