Poor man’s sled runners

  • broeker
    Participant
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts: 273
    #2176353

    I bought a new Otter Sport Medium sled this year, and because I frequently have to drag it across pavement or paths before getting out on the ice I noticed I was getting lots of large gouges etc. after only just one month.

    On previous sleds I’ve installed metal runners (a serious pita) and I see there are also some molded plastic options for the Otter at ~$50 but I’d have to drill 28 holes by my count and they would add an additional 7lbs to my setup.

    I had a roll of this aluminum roofing tape on-hand from an ongoing squirrel battle, and there is some serious voodoo in this stuff.

    I’m guessing we have some cold-weather roofers on here who can attest, but I can say from my limited experience that this stuff will stick to a 100% vertical stucco wall through multiple MN winters, and keep a family of pesky squirrels from chewing into my eaves.

    Next step is to see if it will protect my Otter and help make the bottom a little more slick like me. I assume this would self-destruct behind an atv/sled over long miles but I hope it will protect my walkin’ sled against the pavement, and there is enough on a $15 roll to last for years of replacements. We will see…

    Attachments:
    1. PXL_20230126_053603249-scaled.jpg

    Coletrain27
    Participant
    Posts: 4769
    #2176355

    I don’t think that’s gonna last at all on pavement

    broeker
    Participant
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts: 273
    #2176356

    could be right, I’ll let you know after a few trips…worth a shot!

    I’m curious about the power of squirrel teeth (you should never underestimate a determined squirrel) vs. the power of pavement and gravel paths.

    TOM
    Participant
    Posts: 194
    #2176377

    Build yourself a Smitty sled and throw that otter on top.

    mark-bruzek
    Participant
    Two Harbors, MN
    Posts: 3815
    #2176383

    Where is the popcorn emoji when you need it…

    Eelpoutguy
    Participant
    Farmington, Outing
    Posts: 9533
    #2176384

    My vote is to order and install the Hyfax runners.
    That way you can practice your swear words and enjoy the total lack of installation ease as I did. flame

    Jake D
    Participant
    Watertown, SD
    Posts: 410
    #2176388

    I often wonder how much these really help. I never drive down miles of pavement with my sled. If anything its under 100 yards.

    Rodwork
    Participant
    Farmington, MN
    Posts: 3563
    #2176397

    It can be well worth it if you pull your house with something other than by hand. Just build a Smitty sled if you are pulling by hand. You will barley know it is behind you. Put on some runners if you are pulling with something else. They are way cheaper than replacing the tub. I know my sled has some very thin spots from doing a light test. There are some sports that are just about through.

    Huntindave
    Participant
    Shell Rock Iowa
    Posts: 2931
    #2176407

    I often wonder how much these really help. I never drive down miles of pavement with my sled. If anything its under 100 yards.

    I challenge anyone to drag a brand new, loaded with gear, shelter, across 100 yards of bare asphalt or concrete and NOT scratch into the surface of the tub. Every scratch removes X amount of material.

    Wear thru the tub or wear thru 1/2 thick runners, your choice.

    Bearcat89
    Participant
    North branch, mn
    Posts: 16920
    #2176415

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Jake D wrote:</div>
    I often wonder how much these really help. I never drive down miles of pavement with my sled. If anything its under 100 yards.

    I challenge anyone to drag a brand new, loaded with gear, shelter, across 100 yards of bare asphalt or concrete and NOT scratch into the surface of the tub. Every scratch removes X amount of material.

    Wear thru the tub or wear thru 1/2 thick runners, your choice.

    Mine had scratches, but after 10 years of dragging it back and forth 3 blocks on asphalt and 1 block of dirt roads I never had even a soft spot. That was my otter lodge. They have some strong sleds for sure. My new shacks all get hyfax, but that lodge behind the atv went through hell, and never showed it

    Jake D
    Participant
    Watertown, SD
    Posts: 410
    #2176428

    I challenge anyone to drag a brand new, loaded with gear, shelter, across 100 yards of bare asphalt or concrete and NOT scratch into the surface of the tub. Every scratch removes X amount of material.

    Wear thru the tub or wear thru 1/2 thick runners, your choice.

    Obviously it will get scratched. But to Bearcats comment, after 10 years of use without them on an otter, I think its safe to go without them

    tswoboda
    Participant
    Posts: 6973
    #2176431

    I’d expect it to stick to snow and cause more friction. Kinda like old snowmobiles with metal skis.

    bzzsaw
    Participant
    Hudson, Wi
    Posts: 3402
    #2176436

    I’ve had the same otter sled I’ve used for dragging deer out for hunting and also use it for ice fishing. It is probably pushing 20 yrs old. I’ve normally pulled it by hand. I haven’t noticed any major gouges in mine and don’t have hi-fax runners on it. I haven’t really noticed any major wearing on it either. I’ve pulled it on gravel and blacktop from landing to the ice for years. I have hi-fax on my Otter Hideout. I got the hi-fax from Eskimo when they had a factory sale for about 20.00. These came predrilled. I had to cut them to length, and they were still kind of a PITA to install but not terrible.

    Good luck with the aluminum tape. Make sure to bring a garbage bag to pick up the pieces.

    gizmoguy
    Participant
    Crystal,MN
    Posts: 754
    #2176455

    I try to avoid pulling over non snow-covered surfaces. Sometimes it can’t be avoided. That said I have to replace several of my hyfax runners this year. Don’t think youi tape will last long.

    fishthumper
    Participant
    Sartell, MN.
    Posts: 10089
    #2176458

    Keep us posted on how it holds up. I’d probably add several layers of it and try and tack it down with something. Not sure if it will work or not, but worth a try.

    milemark_714
    Participant
    Posts: 1283
    #2176478

    The trick to installing Otter hyfax is to drill the holes undersize.Thread in the screws snug,and it will minimize the reach around part.I used a .125 drill.Easier to replace worn runners than replace a sled.

    Gregg Gunter
    Participant
    Posts: 788
    #2176487

    From my limited time pulling a smitty sled: the heavy downhill skis make up for their weight in the huge decrease in friction. $25 at Goodwill. Wish I did it years ago.

    Brittman
    Participant
    Posts: 1481
    #2176595

    Smitty sleds work.

    Parking at a Public Launch
    If you are not afraid of theft or there are two or more of you. Drop the sled and gear right off the landing and put it on the ice – shoreline edge. Go park and then walk out picking your sled up on the way out. Reverse when leaving.

    Two guys … one stays with the gear.

    Living close to the lake and having to cross or travel down asphalt ? Not that lucky … yet anyways.

    Lee
    Participant
    Posts: 42
    #2176631

    A friend cut strips from a plastic 55gal barrel, then drilled and screwed em down with stainless machine screws. Basically ended up with the same concept as Hyfax, with a little less expense and 10X the work.

    Lee
    Participant
    Posts: 42
    #2176637

    From another viewpoint, I fish with a camera a lot….guys dragging a bare plastic sled over the ice are ‘sometimes’ scattering fish from long distances, maybe 100’s of yards. A “smitty” pulls easier, is much quieter especially on ice or crusty ice.

    Bearcat89
    Participant
    North branch, mn
    Posts: 16920
    #2176649

    From another viewpoint, I fish with a camera a lot….guys dragging a bare plastic sled over the ice are ‘sometimes’ scattering fish from long distances, maybe 100’s of yards. A “smitty” pulls easier, is much quieter especially on ice or crusty ice.

    We fish with live scope alot. Guys walking across the ice spook the fish schools. We actually started doing crappie drives lol

    milemark_714
    Participant
    Posts: 1283
    #2177069

    A friend cut strips from a plastic 55gal barrel, then drilled and screwed em down with stainless machine screws. Basically ended up with the same concept as Hyfax, with a little less expense and 10X the work.

    There are oodles of plastic barrels waiting to be discovered on the ‘sippi.Black,white and blue choose your color.

    The stainless steel bars I put over the cheap clam runners work perfect,pulls much easier.Burred-up plastic creates drag.

    broeker
    Participant
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts: 273
    #2179202

    Just for the record, and in case anybody else ever reads this dumb idea:

    It did “okay” on gravel but the pavement wore away the aluminum right quick. The tape itself sticks like a champ. Good thing I only put on 2 strips to test and that it peels right off. Please do not attempt; professional drivers were involved on closed course.

    John Rasmussen
    Participant
    Blaine
    Posts: 4917
    #2179305

    Just for the record, and in case anybody else ever reads this dumb idea:

    Lol, I will give you this broeker, you have some crazy ideas. But that is where the really great ideas come from!

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