How to Build a Homemade Ice Fishing Sled (Easy Steps)

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A sled is an essential ice fishing tool. It has the great function of easily carrying out ice fishing equipment such as ice augur, rods, backpack chairs, and ice fishing lures.

This feature ensures more secured transportation of fishing tools. There are quite a few good ones available in the market. However, is not a homemade ice fishing sled a great idea for an experiment?

I recently got into the DIY projects and started making a few fun tools. After rummaging through my garage, I found some great ideas. Thus, I made my own ice fishing sled that helps me carry my tools whenever I go ice fishing.

The DIY Ice Fishing Sled

If you are determined to make a custom homemade ice fishing sled, you can have various methods. First, you must understand your needs and the available tools you have at hand.

You need to point out a few aspects before going for the project. They are,

  • To have enough equipment to make a good ice fishing sled.
  • The size of your sled depends on the measurements of your fishing tools.  
  • The sled’s capability to carry loads.
  • The materials you are going to use to make your sled. For instance, whether you are going to use a wooden base, steel, or plastic.

After considering these points, you can now make a bucket list of the additional products you will need. You can make use of the things you have at hand. If you lack any necessary tools, you can buy them from the hardware stores.

Homemade Ice Fishing Sled

Tools Needed for the Project

A few tools are necessary to make the ice fishing sled. I will make a list of them based on my project. They are,

  • A pair of skis boards.
  • Tote box.
  • Ropes.
  • Rod rocker.
  • A few Wooden pieces.
  • Bait bucket.
  • Scrap bungees and rubber bungees.
  • Few metal hooks.
  • Drilling machine.

These are pretty much everything that you need to make your own ice fishing sled. It may seem that there are a lot of products. However, you will see that the making process is relatively easy. 

Skis for Smooth Gliding

We will attach the skis to the tote box so that it can work as a glider for your sled. You must be wondering about how to attach skis to ice fishing sled.

First, take the bindings off the skis before attaching them to the tote box. And, now it is time to attach the skis to the back of the tote.

Position the skis side-by-side on the back of the tote. Make sure to have the maximum distance in between the skis while placing them. That way, it will support both edges of the tote.

Attaching Wood Mounts

Use small pieces of wood mounts between the skis and the tote to drill them together. These wood mounts will give the tote height on the snow while pulling. It will make the skis glide more effectively and help to absorb shock.

You can use sheet pine board as the wood mounts. Measure the length of the tote and cut the wood mounts accordingly. It should not be too long as that might cause a rough drag.

Drill big washer screws to the wood mount from the inside of the tote. It will secure the screws more firmly and tightly attach the tote with the woods. Then use countersink holes from the bottom of the skis into the wood mounts to bind them together.

One thing to look out for is that you attach your skis while they are pointing inwards of the tote. If the skis are pointing outwards, the ice might pile in between the skis and affect the smooth dragging. So, if you are wondering how to make ice fishing sled easier to pull, this is your trick.

Hooks and Ropes for Dragging

Take a small block of wood and attach it to the lower inner side of the tote. Make sure to place where the broader skis side is set. Ensure the hook is attached to the front side of the tote box because you will be using this part to pull the sled.

After drilling the wood block in, use a drill bit to make a hole and attach a big screwed hook on the outside of the tote. Then tie a rope with the hook with a solid knot to pull the sled.

Attaching Bits and Pieces

After being done with the basic preparations of our homemade ice fishing sled, let us get into the side work. Attach a rod rocker on the side of the tote box with wood. Then stick a wooden bar in between the narrow parts of the skis behind the tote.

This is for placing and carrying the bait bucket. Then add two hooks on the tote right across the wooden bar and attach a scrap bungee. You can now set the bucket on the bar and secure it with the bungee by wrapping it around.

Repeat the same drilling process on the top of the tote to secure and carry the fish auger. Attach two wide wood bars on both sides, add hooks and rubber bungee based on the auger size and fit it in. And, there you have all your ice fishing sled modifications.  

Read More: How to Make a Fishing Rod At Home

Custom homemade ice fishing sled

Common Questions About Homemade Ice Fishing Sled (FAQ)

1. Is it easier to pull a Smitty sled?

Smitty ice fishing sleds are the easiest to pull.

2. What are suitable lures for ice fishing?

Wax worms (larva), maggots, fly larva, wigglers, or minnows are great ice fishing live bait.

3. How to build a homemade electric ice fishing sled?

You can incorporate an automobile engine and a pair of small and medium-sized tires over the skis to make an electric ice fishing sled. The machine will be run on batteries, and instead of pulling the sled, you will be driving on ice.

4. Which one is better between skis and skateboards for DIY ice fishing sleds?

Skis are better options because they have a better slide, narrow size, and smooth dragging.

5. How deep should you go while ice fishing?

The best ice-fishing opportunity is in water depths of 3 to 20 feet. You can put your traps in several places to cover a wide range of depths. Rock piles, weed beds, and steep shapes are ideal places to look.

6. How to make a homemade ice fishing sled?

You can attach a tote box with a pair of skis and bind them together with wood mounts. Then add several necessary hooks, tie a rope and pull. There you have your homemade ice fishing sled. 


Making a homemade ice fishing sled is fun and productive. As we all know, these sleds are not cheap. If you go for a high-quality one, it will give you great efficiency at a high cost.

So, the one I made saved me some coins. Furthermore, I got to recycle my old goods and protect this earth from some waste. So, it is a win for me.

Another great thing I found was that this ice fishing sled I made works just as fine on asphalt roads. So, you can also follow this DIY to go fishing in warm areas. I hope you found this article useful.

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