Ice Fishing Tip-ups – Complete Guide!

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Choosing ice fishing tip-ups can be a hard task for beginners, so it is important to understand what you will be looking for when shopping for ice fishing tip-ups. There are various factors that you should consider when it comes to a model that can meet your ice fishing needs.

First, look at the place where you will be fishing, how long you will use the tip up, and the weather conditions the place experiences. Don’t forget to look at the types of fish you are expecting to catch.

ice fishing tip ups guide

Below is a complete guide for ice fishing tip-ups.

Other factors, like weather resistance and durability, are key. There are many models of ice fishing tip-ups in the market today, which is why it is important to understand the specifics before buying.

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What is an ice fishing tip-up?

An ice fishing tip-up is a tool that helps you to fish with no need of poles or plant them on stable ground. It holds the bait suspended under the ice. It uses a system to signify those above the water that the bait has been touched.

A tip-up consists of a spool, a flag, a base, and other components. The bait is placed on a hook, and the pulley system is below the ice. A spool can be used to set a depth that you want the bait to go. This makes it a perfect trap for fishing.

The best thing about the tip-ups is that they will allow you to have more lines in the water at a time. This means that you will have an active day fishing out.

Who needs fishing tip up?

The fishing tip-ups are ideal for ice fishermen; they make fishing convenient and cover a large area once. If you want to fish more efficiently, the fishing tip-ups can be helpful for you or your team.

The bottom line is that those who enjoy ice fishing can use the tip up to make their experience better and catch more fish.

How fishing tip up works?

When using the fishing tip up, you start by making a hole in the ice using an ice auger. After making the hole, spool the tool with the line and tie it at the end.

Add the barrel swivel to the tool and also the leader to ensure that the line is managed without breaking. After this, add the hook to the end of the leader, with a fishing lure or bait on the end then wait for fish to bite the bait.

Tip-ups for different types of fish

Some tip-ups are designed to catch different types of fish. It is important to know the different types and how they work before buying.

If you are targeting trout, it means you may need to with a device that has a short spool, which will help you to save more money. Purchasing a device with a long spool is not ideal for trout and will not help you to save money.

If you are targeting walleye and perch, you can set up the tip with similar settings for trout. A removable spool shaft is better because you will have an easier time when re-spooling and putting bait to the hook although these fish can snatch the bait and go unnoticed.

For crappie, ensure that the tip up can be set off easily. A flag that doesn’t move with a slight movement of the lure may miss the fish nibbles, and cost you the bait.

If you want to fish pike, you can prioritize movement. Any tip up that operates and can jig the bait is ideal for catching pike fish.

Factors to consider when purchasing tip-ups


When buying fishing tip up, consider a quality construction. The trip bar, line guide, bait clip, the flag, and the spool should be of high quality and durable. For example, ideal spools should last for decades and not seasons.


Different conditions favor different designs. For snow depth, where heavy snow and tall drifts are common, you can consider a cross style tip up. If you are fishing where frozen holes are a problem, you can consider adding insulation to the tip up or choose a thermal model.


There are different styles of tip-ups in the market today. Some of them include the pop-ups, cross style tip-ups, thermal tip-ups, rail style, and others.

Types of fishing tip ups

The tip-ups may seem to be straightforward when purchasing, but more characteristics can alter the way each of them works. There are few types of these devices that the fishers can buy depending on their needs and the tip up features. Below is a list of some of the tip-ups.

1. Pro-thermal tip-ups

These tip-ups focus on insulation. After drilling a hole on ice, the device is plugged into the hole and is filled with insulating material completely.

This ensures that the bait blends in better since light can’t go through the insulated hole. Fish are more likely to bite the bait.

The hole will remain as it was drilled without melting or freezing. The tip-ups can be used for days when the weather and temperature are more harsh than normal.

2. Windlass tip-ups

The windlass tip-ups are good to ensure that the fish see your baits and take an interest. It will allow the fisher to move or hold the pole. The tip-ups work like a sailboat or like, the wind moves the bait in the water.

The bait can move around naturally regardless of the state of tide or weather. The fish can easily see the bait and move towards it.

This will increase the number of fish caught.

3. Hardwood tip-ups

These are the common tip-ups commonly used. The design uses a wood base and a flag to signify the fisher when fish touches the bait, and a crank handle helps to pull up and reel in the fish when ready.

4. Pop-up tip-ups

These models don’t have a flag. It uses magnets which sets the system in motion when touched by fish.

Other types include the Auto-set rail tip-ups and the cross style tip-ups.

Finally, you will find that the best ice fishing up is the one that can work for you.

The above details will help you to find out what each model can do. The tip-ups will help you to get more bait in the water and make your day more productive and efficient.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you attract fish while ice fishing?

You can attract more fish by moving the jig or bait slowly, close the hole to prevent light from entering the surface, and fish deep if you want to catch perch and bluegills.

You bounce the bait from the bottom to stir up debris and mad. This can attract some fish from a distance.

2. What do you need for ice fishing? 

Ice fishing needs some fishing tackle and equipment. Some of the basics include ice fishing tackle, ice scoop, bucket, boots, ice safety pick, and fishing tip-up.

3. Can you use worms for ice fishing? 

Yes, worms work well for tipping the spoons, ice jigs, and tubes. Some fish like Walleye, perch, trout, and bluegill love worms.

4. How do you ice fish for walleye?

Walleye fishing provides different variables, and they vary from one place to another. You can get walleye drop-off ledges and underwater points.

You can use minnow lures or worms to catch them. It is important to fish with a strong tip up or heavier lines and tackles because walleye grow to large sizes.

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