Ice fishing can become tiring when you check your fishing lines to check whether it has fish in it or not instead of staying in your ice house. Ice fishing tip-ups are the solution to this problem. They are great for covering a lot of areas that you cannot monitor from a close distance.
Anglers who move around from lakes to lakes to find and catch fish tip-ups can be life-changing solutions for them. You will be notified from a distance if any fish gets caught on your line.
Ever thought that ice fishing can be relaxing? Yes, it can be if you use tip-us. Using tip-ups, anglers can use multiple holes simultaneously, work in various depths, and monitor from a distance.
Reviews of the Best Ice Fishing Tip-Ups
We have picked the most famous ice fishing tip-ups in the market and tested to see the actual results. Here are few options we found best to mention here. Check out the ice fishing tip-ups reviews to find your best match.
Best Overall – HT Enterprises Polar Tip-Up
If you are looking for an underwater tip-up that is guaranteed not to freeze under any circumstances, then HT Enterprises Polar tip-up is the one for you. The main body is made of polymer construction that can receive a high impact.
HT Enterprises has guaranteed the product to not freeze at any sub-zero temperature. The trip shaft is placed at a slight angle so that you can set this tip-up for any kind of fishes. You can set this up on a light strike to catch small fishes, and you can set it up on a hard strike to catch big fishes.
A spring mechanism pulls up the flag for indication. The spring does not lose its shape under tension or for heavy spring action. A small tackle box is there on the top for hooks, terminal tackle, leaders, etc.
The polar ice fishing tip-ups have ultra-smooth action in both flag triggering and spool mechanism. The spool that comes with the package has the ability to wrap 200 yards of fishing line in it. It’s serious equipment for professional anglers. Also, You can stack half a dozen tip-ups in the telescoping pole into a 5-gallon pail.
No matter how deep the lake is, you can always upgrade the spool to get going. A line guide mechanism is also included to ease up the operation. The base is about 20 inches long enough to stay out of the ice hole that you made for the line.
- Never going to freeze when fish strikes
- Dual trigger mechanism works great for different water column
- Durable and lightweight
- Can catch different species of fish
- Not very expensive
- The flag is not too tall
Best Tip-Up for Quality – Beaver Dam Original Tip-Up
Beaver Dam has been producing the original tip-up for ice fishers with an outstanding reputation for more than fifty years in the angler’s community. This company has listened to the anglers from the beginning of the production, and the original tip-up is a one finished product.
On the quality department of this tip-up, it’s a legend. The built materials are traditional, and very many match up with the sub-zero very easily. You may find angler those have been using the same Beaver Dam tip-up for more than 30 years.
The base is a pinewood 23-inch pine base that experts have handcrafted. The finish and coating on the wood never let it get any woodlouse in your garage in the summer. That also helps when it’s in the cold water all day long.
The spring trigger mechanism works like a champ. Spring on this tip-up system will never go out of shape for a lifetime, and the water is unable to give rust to it. The shaft does not directly connect with the trigger, so you cannot get any false alarm for small fishes or wind. The flag shaft is long enough to inspect from far away.
- Lasts lifetime
- It comes with a flag trip mechanism
- High demand on the market
- Works great in sub-zero temperatures
- Freed proof and foolproof
- Handmade traditional design
- A bit heavy for the wood
- Single trigger mode
Best Lightweight – Frabill Dawg Bone Tip-Up
The name says itself what it is. It’s a tip-up with a base shaped like a dog bone. It’s a modern touch to the traditional culture. Wider at the ends and narrow at the center design is popular among many anglers, as they call it, single base tip-up. Due to polymer usage on the base, it’s lightweight and strong at the same time.
For ice fishers who have to travel to the lakes, the weight of their equipment can be a problem. Herewith the Dawg bone tip-up, the weight won’t matter as it’s fairly lightweight and easy to carry around. You will get two settings on this model of tip-up—one for small and another for the bigger fishes.
The action on this device is smooth and high quality. Spring connected to the ends is very good. They won’t get loose over time. Shaft shaft design is suitable for re-greasing if you want to, though it’s pre-lubed with sub-zero frigid temperature lube. The spool shaft on this gadget is removable. You can also customize by changing the spool. You can fit this over a 10-inch ice hole very easily.
- Compact and lightweight
- Made with quality materials
- Perfect line trigger for bait keeper clip
- Can catch subtle biting fish
- Ultra-glide shaft for smooth performance
- Bang for the buck
- The flag on this may need to be changed
Best Thermal Tips-Ups – Frabill Pro Thermal Insulated
Frabill Pro Thermal Insulated Tip-Up is one professional choice for the angler who has to be in the weather of sub-zero and where freezing is an issue for fishing. Pro thermal looks just like a land mine. It’s a performer that can be left for fishing, but it won’t get iced because of its thermal insulator.
The design strategy is straightly focused on making an ice fishing tool that also works to prevent the ice hole from getting clogged due to the cold weather. The round 10-inch design can easily be fit on a hole of any size.
With some of the fishing tip-ups, the hole for the bait gets clogged, and if you forget it out there for a night by mistake when the fish takes the bait. You may lose the tip-up set there because breaking the thick ice layer may get it damaged.
The trigger system is super smooth; it even fools the lightest biters. The shaft and spring-loaded arm with the indicator flags all and everything are windproof and freeze-proof. The line spool mechanism in Frabill Pro is super smooth too. Some say it’s the best of the bunch. Setting this up is easy as heaven. It has a dual trigger bar for versatility. And also offers a small compartment for storing quick items like lines and hooks.
- Insulated foam base
- Smooth line spool and flag action
- Comes with removable spool shaft with double setting
- Dual trigger system with dual trip settings
- Made with high-quality components
- Works on all kind of fishes for ice fisherman
- Short flag
- Not good for big holes
Best Traditional – Frabill Hardwood Tip-Up
Frabill 1664 Classic Tip-Up can be your next choice with a super smooth spool action and classic design. The base of this tip-up is made of wood that can easily survive the extreme cold weather. And the pre-sub-zero lubrication will give you liquid-smooth performance.
It is one of the best traditional tip-up options for its classic quality and quality shaft and bearing surfaces.
Though the base is made of wood, it never catches any wood lies or fungus, even if it sits in your garage for a long time. So, you won’t have to worry about the machine even if it’s not wintered all the time. Spool on this is the main reason you want to buy this.
It’s made of metal and pre-lubes with sub-zero lubricants. You can lube it later if you are going to use it for more than decades. The spool is a large capacity with dual counter-balance crank knobs for wobble-free performance. You are going to get dual action for capturing both small and large fishes.
You will not have to worry about the water depth because of its high capacity. So, going deep into the ice for perfect big fishes will not be an issue. You can set your bait under any depth as you want. The built quality of Frabill Hardwood tip-up s never going to fail your satisfaction. People have been using their sets for decades.
- Hard and rugged construction
- Liquid smooth spool system
- The frabill tip-up is better than any regular tip-ups
- The dual trigger for excellent performances for early morning fish
- Bright orange visible flag
- Heavy due to the wooden base
- A bit pricy
Best Design for Ice Fishing Needs- Heritage Laker Ice Traps
With a cross-base-style Heritage Laker, Ice Traps is one of the finest vintage traditional tip-up for anglers. It’s a serious ice fishing gear that can easily be seen and recognized from a far distance. Its vertical base makes it stand out in the deep snow better than the others.
The design is a plus point to add this one to your fishing rigs. The cross-base wooden base will never get through the hole. Even after a big snowfall, the base will stick out to help you with the inspection. It lasts longer than you may estimate. You will find people who are using the same trap for decades. This trap is made to take the beating.
This trap stands 45 inches with the flags extended. You will never miss any catch, or the vehicle in the snow will be alert seeing it stitching out in the deep snow. The spool is smooth and massive. It can take thick and longer fishing lines that will give you deeper access to the frozen lakes. Heritage Laker Ice tip-up can take up to 36 pounds which is enough for big pikes and lakers.
- Industrial build quality
- Durable ice-fishing tip-up
- Smooth and big spool system
- Made with corrosion-resistant material
- Tall to stand out in the snow
- Drag system
- Heavy due to woods
- A bit technical to set up
Best Wooden Ice Fishing Tip Ups – HT Husky DLX
Unlike the other traditional tip-ups on the market, HT husky also has some characteristics that make it stand out of the bunch. If you ask any HT Husky DLX user for how many years he has been using that piece of gear, you might get the answer as decades or furthermore. This wooden frame design is durable and rugged enough to take the beating. This wood-frame tip-up is guaranteed against freeze-up.
The wooden base is about 17 to 18-inches, so that you can install them on any holes below 15-inches. Generally, the holes are at 10-inches in diameter. A strong and steady flag shaft works smoothly and gives accurate signals. Strong and flexible springs never go out of shape over the years. You can set the trigger both using the flag shaft or the hook on the shaft.
Easy-Flow metal spool with handle and Easy-Lock line guide for simple set-up. It has a traditional way to set up the trigger. The trip shaft features two sensitive trip settings so that you can catch both small and big fishes without worrying about getting separate tip-us. In the package, you will also get an additional package of fishing lines which you may like.
- Wooden frame ensures longevity
- Lifetime guarantee against freezing
- It comes with insulated bass
- Perfect tip-ups work for fish lakes
- Easy flow metal spool for better line trigger
- Easy to store more fish with this ice fishing tip-up
- Heavy to carry around
Best for Deep Ice Fishing – HT Enterprises Polar Thermal Extreme
With the HT Enterprises Polar Thermal Extreme Ice Fishing Tip-Up, you will never have to worry about sub-zero temperature affecting the success rate of your fishing. The trip mechanism of this PTE-200 model is fully freezeproof. A thick layer of Styrofoam is going to save the fishing hole from getting glugged like a champ.
Even when the temperatures plummet to negative digits, this patented, freezeproof trip mechanism, plus a heat-retaining design that ice fishing traps the thermal action of the open water, ensures your home stays free of ice.
Like the beaver dam tip-ups, these HT ones will give you a lot better performance when the fish bits than any classic tip-ups in the market.
The telescopic flag system is one of the main reasons you should be having this piece of gear. You can adjust the flag height according to your need. It offers two types of trigger settings. Light and heavy. Storing these tip-ups is like satisfaction. You can store several of them in buckets, and they fit perfectly one upon one.
What makes it one of the best tip-ups is the versatility. You can choose the spool of your choice. It offers 200 feet and a 50 feet spool option. Spools are buttery smooth and stay tangle-free during transportation or inaction—all due to the spool design. The base is heavy and tough enough to take a beating from any big fishes.
- Thermal isolating design
- The wind tip-free wire has two setting
- Adjustable tension trip works when fish bites
- Telescopic flag for tip-up fishing
- A small storage compartment works great for ice fish
- Not big enough for bigger holes
What to Consider When Buying The Best Ice Fishing Tip-Ups
So far, we’ve come to know about some of the best kickers on the market nowadays. You can now go to any market or look online for yourself. But there is something more to know before you buy. You need to consider some characteristics to choose the one for you. Here we go.
Style of tip-up:
Among so many brands in the market, you will find four general types of tip-ups/pop-up tip-ups/plastic tip-ups in the mainstream ice fishing gear market, and people are buying and rocking their fishing most popular game fish. They are classic wood tip-ups, Pro thermal tip-up, Windless, and rod holders. Among these four traditional and thermal tip-ups is the one that has the most popularity.
Pro Thermal Tip Ups
The name itself describes their capability for thermal tip-ups. The hardwoods are meant to last long, but the pro thermal tip-ups give you an anti-freezing fishing experience.
Choose one that fits your fishing style the most. There are few windlass tip-ups with thermal features that are a better choice than the traditional board tip-ups for ice fishers.
In the time when people started using tip-ups for ice fishing. The machines used to be made of traditional hardwood tip-ups. Some of the cross-style tip-ups we see in the market can use some plastics as well.
Nowadays, the best ice fishing tip companies have invented new technologies and their ways to survive the sub-zero temperature.
Several companies use the traditional woods for most tip-ups. Those seem to last for a lifetime in catching larger fish.
But in that case, you have to deal with the heavyweight and sometimes occasional repairing. You can avoid those hassles for polymer and plastics, but you have to forsake the built quality for that.
The versatility of your tip-up system will mainly depend on the trigger system and how many types it offers. Some tip-ups have only one setting for triggering the flag, and there are some in which you will find two modes; light and heavy. And in some, you will find more adjustable settings.
Ice anglers may have to set up as many as possible tip-ups, and they monitor from their ice house or a remote distance. The flag is the only way to know if any type of fish has been caught on the line or not.
The flags should have the right color and height to see the multiple tip-ups from a distance. You may also find some telescopic flags. They are going to be expensive, but they are worth the price.
If setting the tip-ups are not easy and quick, it may become an issue as the time and weather condition controls the behavior of the trophy fish or any other fish species for any ice angler. Most of the ice fishing tips are easy to set up and easy to maintain.
Before you buy a tip-up, check out what diameter your auger will dig the holes for you and buy the one that may not slip into the hole. And make sure that the traps do not give you false alarms. Some lightweight tip-ups may have these issues. Choose a good one to avoid these kinds of situations.
Spools have to be smooth to keep the bait floating underwater and keeping the signal real. You may find spools with super smooth bearing with sub-zero lubricants. They are great but a bit pricy. You may look for good plastic tip-ups with tangle-free spool designs.
Freezing is the main barrier that many tip-up fishers have to deal with. Mae is sure that what you are buying is anti-freeze. Sr, your trigger and magnet system do not get jammed in cold weather and do not give you signals.
The hardwood tip-ups are more freeze-proof than the polymer ones like we have seen in the original beaver dam tip. But there is some Styrofoam insulate ones that help with freezing issues. The insulator never lets the hole gets clogged with snow or ice.
Traps with dual or more trigger systems are meant to be versatile. You are going to be able to catch fishes of many sizes and types. But if you are specifically targeting any genre like big fishes or small ones, you must choose a single trigger system with the perfect trigger action.
Brand value matters if you are getting one for a lifetime because you may find some good ones that have been handcrafted for more than 50 years.
Ice anglers are generally travelers who travel to frozen lakes and catch fishes. They have to carry a lot of equipment along with the tip-ups. If the tip-ups are not that lightweight and easy to carry, then difficulties might become numerous. You may find some tip-ups of which you can stack up in buckets and save some space.
Before you get tangled in decision lines, get yourself together and make sure what purpose is this tip-up is going to serve you. If it’s only for big fishes, then get specialized for big fishes and has a heavy trigger system.
If you are up for various types and sizes of fishes, get one with multiple trigger systems. Make sure what color makes you more alert. Get to know how much snow covers up your area of fishing. Make sure that any snowmobile gets to see your tip-up from a distance. Considering all that, get one that may serve you for a long period of time.