Published on December 1st, 2017 | by The Iceman0
Review of the ION 19150 Ice Auger
Summary: It's not the cheapest piece of ice fishing equipment you can find, but the ION 19150 is one of the best electric augers around.
The ION 19150 Ice Auger is an electric ice auger powered by a lithium battery. It would be no exaggeration to say that the introduction of electric ice augers changed ice fishing for me and countless others. It just so happens that the ION 19150 is one of the best electric augers around.
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The ION 19150 Ice Auger looks pretty much like any other auger from a distance, except that the top is a lot smaller than you would expect for a power auger. That’s because there is no big engine or fuel tank. There is only a battery and a motor. The whole unit is pretty light too, weighing in and just 21 pounds.
Because of that you might think the ION 19150 doesn’t pack much of a punch. You’d be wrong. All you have to do is charge the battery for a few hours and stick it in the auger and you can drill holes all over the lake. The first time I ever tried this thing I was sold.
The ION 19150 is great!
No more breaking into a sweat with hand augers. No more fueling gas augers only to find my hands reeking of gasoline. No more digging up propane cans for the propane auger. No more engine noise either! With the ION 19150 the only sound you hear is the blades cutting the ice. I tend to think that keeps you from scaring the fish but I can’t be sure. I can be sure that other fisherman on the ice appreciate hearing nothing instead of a screaming gas motor going at full throttle.
You can drill a lot of holes in next to no time too. I used to drill my primary holes and then maybe a few others later. After that I was always reticent (or some may say lazy) to drill many more as the day went on. With the ION I never second guess myself. If I want more holes, I pick it up, push the button and drill baby drill. It’s that simple.
I have yet to kill the battery on my ION 19150. I am sure it is possible, and I have seen the thing slow down a little after a long cold day, but honestly I have never gotten to the point where it was out of juice.
On my last outing over eight inches of ice last season I drilled around fifty holes throughout the day. The fish were spread out and it took that kind of work to stay on them. We caught a lot of perch and bluegills that day. Without the ION we probably wouldn’t have caught even half as many, because drilling holes was previously a hassle.
You are supposed to keep the ION battery away from the cold as much as you can. I lay mine down in the sled when I’m not using it. If I know I won’t be using it for several hours I slide the battery off and put that in the shelter near the Little Buddy heater. There have been times when I laid the auger right on the ice in the heat of the moment and forgot about it for hours though. Nothing went wrong even in those cases, though it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Using the ION ice auger
The battery slides on and off with ease. Operating it is even easier. You just switch it on and then press down on the throttle which sits along one of the two handles. You don’t have to put much pressure on the auger at all. Even though it’s light, it cuts right through the snow, slop and ice.
The ION 19150 also has a reverse switch, so you can work your blade back up out of a deep hole if you need to. This can also be used to clear holes of huge amounts of slush and snow. I rarely find myself using the reverse to be honest. Unlike my old hand auger, the ION almost never gets stuck in a hole.
The auger is 34 inches which is more than enough for most of the conditions I have faced in my long and storied ice fishing career. They throw an extension in the box too though, so you can make the auger as long as 46 inches with a few turns of a wrench.
The ION 19150 drills 8 inch holes which are legal in most states with regulations pertaining to augur blade width, but obviously you should check your local laws before going out on the ice.
I find that an 8 inch hole works great in almost all situations. I used to carry a 10 inch augur but since moving down to an inch I haven’t noticed any major differences. Unless you are fishing for monster pike or lake trout it shouldn’t matter too much. There is always the danger of catching something huge like a big catfish under the ice, but in that case two inches probably wouldn’t make much of a difference anyway. I’d be reaching for the spud bar trying to enlarge the hole without hitting the line. I have been there before. It’s exciting but not necessarily what I would call fun.
The ION 19150 is lightweight, well made, quiet, powerful and easy to use. What else could you ask for? It’s one of the best augers on the market, hands down and without question.
The worst thing about the ION is the price. But honestly, it is not that much more expensive than any old style power auger. It’s actually cheaper than some of the real serious models. I might not buy the ION 19150 if I was low on cash and only went ice fishing once a year. I am not rich and I am not on the ice as often as I would like to be, but I am more than glad that I bought the ION 19150. I was so glad in fact that I later shelled out even more and bought a bigger ION, but I’ll save that for another time.
The ION 19150 Ice Auger is available at Amazon, where it is so highly rated by customers that it has been given the “Amazon’s Choice” label.