Ice Fishing Tip Ups
Ice fishing can be slow, which is why most ice anglers use ice fishing tip ups. Also known as ice fishing traps, this piece of gear maximizes your chance of a catch by allowing you to have more than one line in the water at once. Learn more about ice fishing tip ups and how to use them!
What is a Tip Up?
A tip up is a tool used in ice fishing to maintain multiple lines at once. Rather than holding an ice fishing rod, a tip up holds the line at a predetermined depth for you. This way, you can leave the ice fishing trap set and fish from several holes and spots on the ice at once.
When a fish bites at the bait on tip up line, usually a flag will rise to notify anglers from across the ice to check that line for a catch. Tip ups typically consist of a base, a spool, and a flag, although many have other features.
How To Set Up Ice Fishing Tip Ups
The exact set up of your tip up will depend on what type of tip up, brand, and other factors. Generally speaking, however, the set up is pretty simple.
First, carve a hole in the ice where you want to set up your tip up using an ice auger. Make sure the size of your hole matches the size of the tip up.
To rig the tip up, spool your tip up line around the reel of the tip up. Make sure your ice fishing line is strong enough for the size of fish you’re targeting. Line made specifically as tip up line works best, but a strong braid works as well. Attach a swivel to the end of your line and then your leader (we recommend fluorocarbon) and your hook and bait or lures. Add a split shot to keep your line weighed down to the proper depth.
Types of Tip Ups
There are different styles and designs of tip ups that may affect their performance. Figure out which style is the best for your ice fishing needs.
Pro Thermal Tip Ups
Pro-thermal tip ups keep the hole covered so that it doesn’t freeze over. This design is becoming more and more popular since it keeps ice and snow from filling the hole and keeps sunlight out. A thermal tip up goes right into a hole in the ice, and has a flag so you can tell when you have a nibble.
Hardwood Tip Ups
Hardwood is the original tip up style, made with heavy wood that keeps the device anchored on the ice. With this style, the spool stays underwater inside the hole, and the flag is tipped up when movement suggests a bite.
Windlass Tip Ups
Windlass tip ups use the wind to jig your bait for you. When the wind blows, a paddle holding the line bobs up and down with the wind, creating a jigging motion to lure in fish. Like most others, they have a flag to notify anglers when they may have a bite.
Tip Down Rod Holders
Tip downs perform the same function as tip ups but with a different design. With a tip down, you rig your ice fishing rod, and when a fish pulls on your line, the rod tips down towards the ice to let you know you’ve caught something.
Ice Fishing Tip Up Accessories
There are certain accessories you’ll need for your tip up to work. For the most part, you’ll already have the tackle you need to operate your tip up, but there are other things to consider as well.
You can use ice fishing line for tip up fishing, but we recommend line made specifically for tip ups. Our tip up line is strong and has low stretch, which helps when setting hooks.
A hole cover can help prevent your hole from freezing over while your tip up waits for a bite. We offer hole covers with line tubes, so they’re made for tip up fishing. Hole covers also help block the sun, which can make fish less skittish to approach your bait.
Aside from that, you’ll need basic tackle to attach to the end of your line: leader line, swivels, hooks, bait, and lures. Here at Fish307, we also offer replacement parts for tip ups in need of maintenance.