Using ice fishing tip-ups allows you to have several ice fishing holes simultaneously without monitoring each one. And, while it may make sense to buy the cheapest rig, there is a high probability that they tip over or snap into two. As a matter of fact, poorly made rigs are prone to false alarms and even freezing!
So, if you want to experience the convenience of ice fishing tip-ups, pick up these highly-recommended models. There is even one that has a thermal feature for frost protection.
What Are Ice Fishing Tip Ups?
Tip-ups are devices that let you know when a fish has bitten your line when you have drilled multiple holes and set multiple lines in ice fishing. The devices work by raising a flag when a trigger mechanism flips up a flag, indicating a fish has taken the bait. Tip Ups used to be viewed as a lazy way of fishing where you could stay warm in your ice shelter until you saw a flag raised, but now they are common with both amateur and professional ice fishers.
What to Look For in the Best Ice Fishing Tip Ups
For an amateur ice fishing angler, it’s harder to tell which ice fishing tip-ups are really high-quality. If you want the best ice fishing tip-ups, here’s what you need to consider.
Types of Ice Fishing Tip UPS
- Pro-Thermal Tip Up: This innovative fishing equipment has an insulated core and a unique shape. It prevents the hole from freezing and blocks the unnatural sun that might spook the fish. It has a small disk shape that is easy to carry.
- Automated Jigging Tip Up: This jigging tip up has a big advantage over standard tip ups. It actively jigs the fishing line up and down for hours. This motion activates the bait below the ice, enticing all kinds of fish.
- Windlass Tip Up: It catches the wind by using a small paddle which will then actively jig your bait up and down. Its clever design attracts the attention of fish even in calm water conditions. It has a V-shaped frame that’s easy to remove from ice.
- Classic Hardwood Tip-Up: this is the most traditional option. The hardwood is heavy enough to provide you with a stable footprint, and it also has a large spool. The high-visibility flag makes it easy to see when a fish strikes.
You must consider the size of a tip-up. If you are looking for a trophy catch like a monster pike, you need heavier test lines, a thicker diameter, and a long line to let the fish run. Also, the size of your fishing hole will be determined by the size of tip-up you have.
Keep in mind that the thicker the line you use, the less space you’ll have for the spool. We suggest getting the largest spool capacity possible for versatility, whether you’ll fish small or large fish.
- Trip Bar: This component allows you to set light or heavy trips; you can adjust when catching smaller or larger fish.
- Base: Larger bases are more stable, and a longer base will give you a more secure tip-up over the hole.
- Flag Lock: This is a built-in feature that ensures your flag is neatly stored to prevent any damages.
- Hook Holder: You must have a quality hook holder to avoid tangling and keep your terminal tackle and hooks secured.
- Bait Clip: This part holds the line and prevents it from unspooling; it ensures oversized baits cannot create false trips.
- Steel/Plastic Spools: The best options are rust-free plastic or metal spools; they should also be large and of good quality.
Lastly, you have to consider the ice fishing regulations in your state. Some states determine how many lines you can use a time. They might also regulate the size of the hole you drill on the ice.
What Are the Best Ice Fishing Tip-Ups?
Seasoned anglers highly regard these six ice fishing tip-ups because of their durability and performance on the ice. And, we couldn’t agree more – these ice fishing tip-ups are the cream of the crop.
1. Jaw Jacker Automatic Ice Fishing Hook Setter and Rod Holder
Forget about constantly watching the rods for bites; Jaw Jacker tip-up sets the hook and watches the rod for you. It is fitted with a sensitive trigger that will respond to the bites, whether a light nibble or a monster bite. On top of this must-have feature, it’s the best companion for your out-of-state ice fishing trips because of its compact size. But perhaps our favorite feature is the adjust-to-fit rod length. One thing to consider before picking this tip-up – keep a safe distance when setting it up.
2. Beaver Dam Ice Fishing Rail Tip-up
Beaver Dam tip-ups are tried, tested, and proven to meet the ever-increasing demands of ice fishing. Each tool is fool-proof, wind-proof, and freeze-proof. They even have one of the smoothest spools and a bright red flag. What else do you need?
The downside of a Beaver tip-up is the weight and premium price. But for us, its pros certainly outweigh the cons, considering it’s a one-time big investment – they are reliable strong enough to last a lifetime.
3. Frabill Artic Fire Tip Up
Frabill tip-ups are friendlier for your wallet but have all the bells and whistles of premium options. We love its sturdy design and the bright neon green color that pops out in the white snowy backdrop. Plus, its hardware is simple but impressive. It even has a removable spool shaft. One con, however, is the strong flag string which may interfere with sensitivity.
4. Brocraft Ice Fishing Tip-up
Brocraft ice fishing tip-ups are sensitive enough to react to every nibble. It’s equipped with very durable material but keeps the weight still portable. Plus, you can fish multiple rods and reel in combos simultaneously. The pole’s tip moves quickly and jumps in to set the hook. However, it doesn’t come with the bobber kit.
5. Frabill Pro Thermal Tip Up
These ice fishing tip-ups have an insulated freeze-proof design with a dual trip setting. They work in the coldest conditions that can freeze up a polar tip-up. Plus, the device has a unique shape that covers the entire hole.
This Frabill Pro Thermal Tip Up is even more impressive because of its removable spool shaft for hassle-free lubrication and cleaning. Another advantage of this tip-up is the built-in compartment for storing small items. However, be wary of the short flag prone to false wind flags.
6. HT Enterprise Pte-200 Polar Therm Extreme Tip-up
This fishing device is designed with a round base and has a thick insulating layer that keeps the hole from freezing. The smooth spool spins freely underwater, even in sub-zero conditions. Moreover, you get two spool sizes for flexibility.
This tip-up is wind-proof, avoiding the annoying and heartbreaking false alarms. If you are getting this tip-up, drill a hole smaller than its base. It’s the safest way to prevent freezing on the sides.
These solid ice fishing tip-ups can make your next ice fishing trip pleasant and fun. They have different designs, but they are all reliable on ice.