Lead-Acid VS Lithium Ice Fishing Batteries: 5 Differences

Ding! Ding! Ding!

In the blue corner, weighing in at 45 pounds, the blast from the past, lead-acid batteries!

And in the white corner, weighing in at 3 pounds, the new kid on the block – lithium batteries!

Llllllleeeeets get ready to upgrade!!

Which of these – lead-acid VS lithium batteries – will give you the best day on the ice?  We’re glad you asked! 

Lead-Acid VS Lithium Round 1: Weight

For the avid ice-angler, one of the most critical factors in the ice fishing equation is the weight of all your equipment.   

Live Imaging and 360 Sonar Platforms are bulky and cumbersome by design.  Yet, they have entirely changed the ice fishing game. 

Powering these trailblazing fish finders requires reliable energy.  When comparing the weight of lead-acid and lithium batteries – lithium pummels lead acid. 

7.5 Ah – 1.4 lb7AH – 4.5 lb
15 Ah – 2.6 lb15 AH – 9.25 lb
20 Ah – 4.20 lb20 AH – 13.3 lb
32 Ah – 4.85 lb32 Ah – 26 lb

With lithium batteries offering a 70-80% weight savings versus a comparable lead-acid battery, round one goes to – lithium batteries!

Lead-Acid VS Lithium Round 2: Run Time

Ice fishing is not for the faint of heart.  Getting yourself and gear on the ice takes way too much time and effort to mess around.  The last thing you need is the battery’s run time cutting your day short. 

Which type of battery will power your fish-finding gear the longest? 

The challenge with answering this question is that lead-acid batteries are inherently unreliable. 

Lead-acid batteries provide a solid amount of power.  Initially.  But with each use, they suffer degradation. 

Further, it’s recommended that you don’t discharge a lead-acid battery beyond 50% capacity.  Which is nearly impossible to manage.  Do you know anyone who follows this instruction?  

When a lead-acid battery is discharged below 50%, the battery can be irreversibly damaged.

And the voltage provided by the lead acid battery drops as the battery discharges.  Sure, you might start with 12.8V at the start of the day, but by lunch, your voltage is declining steadily. So is your total runtime.

Lithium batteries tell a completely different story.  Norsk Lithium batteries are designed to be safely discharged up to 100% every time they are used. 

The final 10% of the charge is just as potent as the first 10%.  The voltage delivered by a lithium battery is consistent from the start of a discharge cycle to the end.

This power dramatically extends your total runtime and, more importantly, the time you get to spend on the ice setting hooks and making memories!

Now, if you have runtime questions about one of the more popular ice electronics units, here’s the biggest haymaker Norsk Lithium lands – the Run Time Calculator

Our innovative tool lets you know precisely how long your lithium battery will power your fish-finding gear. 

Just plug in the numbers and receive accurate and reliable runtime information. 

The hard-working folks at Flux Power tested lithium and lead-acid batteries for running forklifts.  They found that lithium batteries power their equipment two-three times longer on a single charge than lead-acid. 

Imagine the difference a lithium battery could make for your fish finder!

There’s no question about who wins Round 2.  Lithium is far superior to lead-acid when it comes to runtime.

Lead-Acid VS Lithium Round 3: Tech Options

Fred Flintstone would have loved lead-acid batteries.  They would have brought his foot-mobile right into the 20th century. 

Fred Flinston Driving without Lithium Battery

Image Credit: Everett

But that’s not where we live. 

Lead-acid batteries can only power the one device they are connected to unless you’re willing to risk some fancy wiring.  And as we saw in round two, they do that poorly. 

And unreliably. 

Norsk Lithium batteries are engineered so you can fully enjoy the outdoors. 

In the 21st Century. 

All our ice-fishing batteries come with a patent-pending integration of dual USB ports.  This allows you to power not only your fish finders so that you know where to drill the next hole – but also your cell phone. Shanty lights.  Bluetooth speakers.  Aerators.  And far more. 

Our LED battery power indicator lets you know how much juice your battery has left.  No guessing. 

Norsk Lithium Battery equiped with USB Ports and Battery Meter

With lead-acid, you need to hook up a voltmeter to your battery to determine how much juice is left. 

And we’re just getting started.  Lithium allows us to push the boundaries of technology continually. 

Three rounds into the battle of Lead-Acid VS Lithium Batteries – lithium has an overwhelming 3-0 advantage.

Lead-Acid VS Lithium Round 4: Cost


When it comes to prices, lead-acid comes out swinging.  On the front end, a lead-acid battery is noticeably less expensive than a lithium battery. 

Beyond the cost of the single battery, you’ve probably got a charger lying around your garage that will work for a lead-acid battery.  Unless you drive a Tesla.

But lead-acid won’t stay standing if this round lasts longer than one ice-fishing season. 

Researchers at Philadelphia Scientific found this:

“nearly half of all flooded lead acid batteries don’t achieve even half of their expected life. Poor management, no monitoring and a lack of both proactive and reactive maintenance can kill a battery in less than 18 months.” 

Philadelphia Scientific

18 months!  That’s two ice-fishing seasons at best!  With lead-acid batteries, you will buy a new battery every other year. 

Lithium batteries do cost more on the front end.  But they last for thousands of cycles.  YEARS!  Plus, they can be fully discharged without damaging the battery. 

Beyond that, Norsk Lithium batteries come equipped with a Battery Monitoring System (BMS).  The BMS ensures the battery will not be damaged if you attempt to charge it improperly. 

Now, due to the chemical composition of lithium batteries, you should pick up a specific charger.   And that is an additional cost. 

But if you plan on ice-fishing for more than a few years, Norsk Lithium batteries will save you money in the long run. 

Round four of Lead-Acid VS Lithium goes to: 

Depends on how many ice-fishing seasons you intend to enjoy.

Lead-Acid VS Lithium Round 5: Charge Time

Every battery runs out of juice at some point.  The amount of time required to recharge any battery depends on the charger’s output amperage, the battery’s size, and how far the battery has been discharged. 

It’s like asking – how long will it take to fill a gas tank?

That depends, right? 

Still, in general, due to the efficiency of lithium chemistry, you can know how long it will take to recharge a Norsk Lithium battery fully.  

These charge times may not be fast enough for you.  We get it.  You’re busy.  You’ve got places to be and fish to catch. 

We charge our Norsk Lithium batteries in the truck as we head to our next hot bite all the time.  If you’re looking for the fastest charge times possible, consider this – Norsk Lithium 7A Rapid Chargers!

Norsk Lithium offers Rapid Chargers compatible with our 15, 20.8, and 32 ah batteries.  Our Rapid Chargers output seven amps and reduce charge times significantly.  

For example, you can get a full charge on a 15 ah battery that is almost completely discharged in two hours! 

A fully discharged 20.8 ah battery can be brought to a full charge in less than three hours.  

Our 32 ah beast-battery goes from fully discharged to ready to go another round with the champ in four and a half hours.  

Yeah, that’s fast. Don’t worry; you won’t damage your Norsk Lithium battery with one of our 7A Rapid Chargers.  

Unlike lead-acid batteries, lithium batteries absolutely LOVE higher amp rates during a charge cycle.

Once fully charged, Norsk Lithium batteries can power some fish finders for days.  Just like Dawn Horacek found with our 15Ah lithium battery:

“I love this battery. It was shipped super fast! I used it in my Vexilar for two days and its still shows 4 out of 4 for charge left in the battery. I’m amazed at weight difference compared to my regular Vexilar battery.”

In contrast, charging old lead-acid batteries is a painful slow proposition.  Lead-acid batteries take up to four times longer to charge than lithium. 

All batteries require proper charging in freezing temperatures.  Lithium is no different. 

Our BMS will ensure that no damage is done if you start charging your lithium battery before it’s ready. 

When your Norsk Lithium battery hits the proper internal temperature, the charger will kick on without issue.   

Lead-Acid VS Lithium: Decision Time

When the question is Lead-Acid VS Lithium for ice fishing, it’s no contest.  Norsk Lithium is kicking acid and taking names. 

Norsk Lithium batteries are more powerful, last longer, charge faster, weigh less, and save you money over the long haul. 


With the ice-fishing season right around the corner, don’t miss out on this opportunity to upgrade your outdoor experience. 

We’re here to answer any questions you may have.  Just reach out!

Norsk Lithium powers your passion so you can enjoy the outdoors fully. 


  1. can I charge my 22-080 lithium 80ah battery with a standard charger and not harm it? I understand it isn’t as efficient as a lithium charger as they generally have a lower voltage output.

    • No, you cannot use a charger designed for lead acid batteries due to the lower voltage output. If you’re charger has an AGM setting that will work in most cases.

      • If you’re looking for an inexpensive charger that is fully automatic and does a great job charging lead acid, AGM, and Lithium batteries we highly recommend the NOCO GENIUS 10 which can often be purchased for under $100.

Very light, ran my Vexilar for 2 full days so far and haven’t recharged. Trying to see what I can get, but very impressed. The USB’s are great as my phone battery doesnt last in the cold so I have used it in the shack to recharge that a few times as well. Awesome product!

– TONY (verified purchase)

I’ve been running the Norsk 20ah for 4 weeks now. Never do I have to worry about power while out in my kayak. This thing is a beast.

– MARK W (verified purchase)

Very light, ran my Vexilar for 2 full days so far and haven’t recharged. Trying to see what I can get, but very impressed. The USB’s are great as my phone battery doesnt last in the cold so I have used it in the shack to recharge that a few times as well. Awesome product!

– TONY (verified purchase)

I’ve been running the Norsk 20ah for 4 weeks now. Never do I have to worry about power while out in my kayak. This thing is a beast.

– MARK W (verified purchase)