How to make a depth gauge for ice fishing?

On ice fishing, it is important to accurately determine the depth of the reservoir. Measurements are best done with an echo sounder, but not all fishermen have one. You can replace it with a depth gauge made by yourself. How to do it will be discussed in the article.

Materials for making a depth gauge

You don’t need a lot of materials to make your own depth gauge. Usually, the fisherman already has everything he needs. Before starting work, you need to prepare:

  • a handle with a reel seat from a winter fishing rod;
  • large diameter reel with push-button brake;
  • board or rail 110 cm long;
  • nails;
  • durable nylon cord;
  • 3 permanent markers in different colors;
  • lead sinker weighing about 80 grams, drop-shaped.

Depth gauge manufacturing steps

It is not difficult to make a depth gauge yourself. You just need to carefully follow all the steps.

Manufacturing of a machine for labeling. To do this, you need to drive 2 nails into the board against each other. There should be a distance of 100 cm between them. You need to hammer in the nails halfway. After hammering, they are bent in opposite directions and the caps are removed. If left on, it will be difficult to remove the cord later on.

A cord is wound on an improvised machine so that the turns do not overlap. A marker of the same color (for example, black) is used to paint over the cord near the nails. This will be a 1 m mark.

For a more accurate depth measurement, markings are made in the middle of meter segments with a blue marker.

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Each 5 turn of the cord is marked with a red marker. Thus, there will be 3 types of markings on the cord:

  1. 0.5 meters;
  2. 1 meter;
  3. 5 meters.

After all the marks are applied, the cord is removed from the nails and wound on a reel.

A load weighing at least 80 grams is attached to the end of the cord. It can be replaced or supplemented with a feeder. In this case, the depth gauge will additionally act as a feeder.

The finished depth gauge does not take up much space and is easy to operate.

Cord label options

Water can wear off markers during use. They can be replaced with knots or pellets.

The manufacture of such a depth gauge will take longer, but it will also last longer without repair. For a depth gauge with nodules, it is best to use fishing line. Distances of 50, 100 cm are measured on it. A knot is tied on the measured area. To facilitate the process of measuring the depth, each knot is marked with a thread or a colored cloth. For example, a segment of 0.5 m is left without a marker, and a blue thread is woven into the knot on a meter section. Additionally, you can mark a distance of 5 m with a red thread. When lowering into the hole, the fisherman will only need to count how many nodules have gone under the water.
Another option for marking on the line is pellets. They need to make a cut to the middle. A fishing line is inserted into the resulting hole, one more turn is made around the pellet and clamped with pliers. As a result, the pellet should stay on the line and not move from its place.

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For each depth, you can determine your own number of pellets. For example, at a depth of 50 cm there will be 1 pellet, at a meter – 2, and at a five-meter – 3. Thus, the line of the required length is broken. After distributing the pellets, the line is wound onto a reel and the depth gauge is ready for use.

A do-it-yourself depth gauge is a simple but effective assistant. With its help, a fisherman can find a school of fish wintering in a pit and return with a rich catch.

The fisherman has to decide for himself what kind of device to make. It is important that the markings on the cord are clearly visible and held securely. Only in this case the depth gauge will fulfill its function and will not confuse the fisherman with incorrect readings.

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