In honor of ice fishing season, we could not resist making an ice fishing bucket. Everything we need for ice fishing is here, in one place, so all we need to do is grab our bucket, auger and go. Best yet, it doubles as a seat to support our frozen butts while we spend a day fishing.  Have we inspired you to make your own? Great, because we’ve documented the process.

What you’ll need:

FOR THE BUCKET:

  1. Plastic Bucket. Strong enough to hold your weight and tall enough so you don’t get leg cramps.  Old or new, doesn’t matter, just make sure it still has its lid. Handle is also good if you don’t want to make a shoulder strap.
  2. PVC Pipe. How much depends on how many rod holders you want to make. We made 4 and used about 40 cm of piping.
  3. Plywood (optional). Small piece to cut the base of the seat. If you want to skip this step, just get an old kitchen chair cushion (or buy one), glue it to the bucket lid and call it a day.
  4. Foam (optional). This is for optimal butt comfort, so thickness depends on you. As mentioned above, you can always use an old chair cushion.
  5. Velcro. Self-adhesive. 60 cm.
  6. Bungee cords. One if it’s super long and can wrap around the bucket twice, otherwise, two.
  7. Polyester Webbing (optional). Webbing is heavy duty material woven in strips. Seatbelts are webbing, as well as the adjustable straps of backpacks. We used approximately 2 m for the shoulder strap and to cover the velcro. You can also use an old canvas belt or skip this part altogether if you don’t need a shoulder strap.
  8. Spray Paint (optional). We think give the bucket a personalized touch, but not necessary for functionality.

equipment for ice bucket

TOOLS TO MAKE IT:
  1. Glue. Your favorite brand of strong glue.
  2. Drill, screws, washers etc. Have them close by and ready.
  3. Screwdriver.
  4. Jig Saw.
  5. C-clamps. To hold things in place when sawing and drilling.
  6. Sharp tools for cutting. Scissors, utility knife.
  7. Newspaper and plastic bags (optional). You’ll need if you’re painting your bucket.
  8. Tape Measure (optional). You may just want to wing it.
  9. Sand paper (optional). If you want to sand the pvc pipe after cutting.
  10. Gloves (optional). We recommend protecting your fingers, but to each his own.
  11. Pencil or pen.
  12. Matches or lighter.

STEP 1 – MAKE ROD HOLDERS

Grab all of your necessary tools and cut 4 pieces PVC piping to approximately 10 cm in length. Cut U-shaped notches out of the piping. This is so you can conveniently carry your rods with attached reels.  Drill two holes in each pipe piece and sand the ends. Set the pipes aside for later.

MAKE ROD HOLDERS

MAKE ROD HOLDERS

STEP 2 – MAKE SEAT COMPONENTS (optional)

Trace the bottom of the bucket onto the plywood with a pencil. This will be the seat base. Cut it out. Use the wooden base to trace the foam pieces. This will be the cushion to your seat. We cut three foam pieces because it was thin. You decide how many foam pieces you will need.  Set wooden base and foam pieces aside for later.

MAKING SEAT COMPONENTS

MAKING SEAT COMPONENTS

STEP 3 – PAINT BUCKET, WOODEN BASE AND ROD HOLDERS (optional)

Set up your space for painting. Paint your bucket, wooden base and rod holders. Let dry for the appropriate amount of time.

painting the ice bucket

STEP 4 – ASSEMBLE THE SEAT (optional)

Drill holes in the bucket lid. Drill holes in the wooden base that match the lid holes. Secure base to lid with screws. Glue the foam pieces on to the lid, one at a time. Done. Set aside and let the glue dry.

ASSEMBLE THE SEAT

STEP 5 – ATTACH ROD HOLDERS TO BUCKET

Drill holes in the bucket that match the holes in the rod holders. Make sure to place the rod holders a good distance from the bottom of the bucket. Secure with screws. We also chose to place the holders on one side only, so they won’t get in the way when carrying the bucket.

ATTACH ROD HOLDERS TO BUCKET

STEP 6 – ATTACH VELCRO AND BUNGEE CORDS

Attach the velcro to the top of the bucket, on all sides. Our velcro was self-adhesive, but use glue if necessary. For added strength, we glued webbing to the top of the velcro, the part that pulls away from the part that’s attached to the bucket. The purpose of the velcro is to hold the top of your rods in place as well any additional tools you have. We used it to attach our multi-tool carry pouch. Wrap and hook bungee cords around bucket.

ATTACH VELCRO AND BUNGEE CORDS

STEP 7 – MAKE THE SHOULDER STRAP (optional)

Drill one hole on each side of the bucket, at the top, close to where the bucket handle is located. Cut a piece of webbing to your desired length that will ensure optimal comfort when carrying on your shoulder. We chose to double the strap for additional strength. Take one end of the webbing, fold in 3 cm under the bucket lip and secure the strap to the bucket with a screw and washer. Do the same for the other side of the bucket. Use a match or lighter to melt all loose ends of the webbing so it doesn’t unravel.

MAKE THE SHOULDER STRAP

STEP 8 – MAKE IT PERSONALIZED (optional, but we highly recommend)

We went back to our painting station and used a stencil to put our logo on the bucket. You can paint designs or words on your bucket or add stickers.

customised logo

STEP 9 – WHERE TO PLACE YOUR GEAR

Place your rods in the holders and secure their tops with the velcro. Your ice spoon can be attached with either the velcro or bungee cords. Hang your lures and Deeper PRO (in its convenient carry pouch) from the bungee cord. Place your multi tool in its carry pouch and attach to the velcro through the pouch’s belt loop. Add whatever else you need to the appropriately places.

THAT'S IT. Let’s get hole hopping!

finished ice bucket

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