The 5 Best Ice Fishing Tip Ups & Guide On The Various Types

by Julie | Last Updated:   April 11th, 2022
The 5 Best Ice Fishing Tip Ups & Guide On The Various Types


Ice fishing tip ups are essential for ice anglers who look to fish smartly. They allow ice anglers to cover more water, use multiple baits, and increase their catch ratio without doing lots of work.

What’s more, you can capture all kinds of fish with an ice fishing tip-up, from northern pike to panfish. However, you need to have the right product to get the desired results. This is where your favorite guide on your pursuit of adventure comes in.

In this article, I will be reviewing the best ice fishing tip-ups on the market and providing some helpful information.

Let’s get started.

IN A HURRY? HERE ARE OUR TOP PICKS…

Reviewing The 5 Best Ice Fishing Tip Ups

Below, you will find the best ice fishing tip ups on the market based on essential factors such as durability, affordability, functionality, and weather resistance.

HT Enterprise PTE 200 Tip-Up

This ice-fishing tip-up has been a popular choice amongst ice anglers for several decades for good reasons. To start with, it was specially built with a steel tube that contains an antifreeze lube which helps it to function well in extreme conditions. You can be assured that the water won’t become frozen regardless of the temperature used.

Additionally, this ice fishing tip-up has a round base that you can fit in a five or six-gallon bucket. So, you will store it safely and carry it from one place to another conveniently. A small tackle box has been added to the top of the tip-up so that you can easily store your fishing accessories like hooks, leaders, etc.

One of the best features of this tip-up is the hole cover frame that shields the hole below it. As you would expect from a tip-up made by HT, you get to choose between two spool sizes. It has a 200 foot and 50-foot model. The large capacity of the bigger spool makes it suitable for catching large fish such as lake trout and pike.

Furthermore, the spool operates smoothly, and the bait clip is super easy to use. Another great thing about this ice-fishing tip-up is that it can be used in any weather condition. It is equipped with an anti-wind slot that you will find useful during windy days. Despite being one of the most durable products, this tip-up isn’t heavy.

Pros
  • The spool is available in two different sizes
  • It is suitable for extremely cold weather
  • It has a well-built bait clip
  • It features an extendable and wind-resistant flag
  • It is equipped with a dual trigger mechanism
Cons
  • It will fall through a 10-inch hole

Frabill VYPR Aerated Tip-Up

Frabill is one of the most reliable brands in producing high-quality ice fishing tip-ups. If you are looking to catch fish in the coldest conditions, the VYPR Aerated Tip-Up is worth looking at. There are many interesting reasons you would like to opt for this tip up.

To start with, the Frabill VYPR delivers a high level of efficiency for ice anglers. Unlike other tips ups on the market made in small sizes, this product has an oversized design that will work with most hole sizes – even up to 10 inches in diameter. This means you can take your angling to another level and tackle most of the holes you encounter on your fishing expedition.

Furthermore, this tip up is battery powered (runs on 2 [d] batteries) to provide more versatility and enhance its portability. Therefore, you can use your tip up in several ice fishing scenarios. There’s also a two-ball-bearing straight-line reel design that lets you take more control of your ice fishing experience.

The Frabill VYPR Aerated Tip Up is perfect for catching fish in icy conditions. Its aerated design will keep your hole wide open and forestall ice build-up. All that’s left is for you to wait and let the fish come to you.

When using the Frabill VYPR Tip Up, there’s no risk of your equipment freezing up because the product has an insulated design that keeps the heat locked in. What’s more? An ice angler also gets more functionality with in-built hook and leader retainers.

Keep up with the progress of your ice fishing with this product’s clearview EZ access lid. This unique lid also comes with a tip-up light. Finally, there’re high-vis reflective flag dual trip settings

Pros
  • It is suitable in sub-zero conditions
  • It can fit holes up to 10″ in diameter
  • It has a built-in insulator design
  • It has a transparent cover
Cons
  • It may be difficult to attach to the fishing surface

Ifish Pro Ice Fishing Tip-Up

If you’re interested in getting the best ice fishing gear that money can buy, the Ifish Pro Ice Fishing Tip Up is a great option for you. This piece of equipment lets you take on different types and sizes of prey, both small and large. When using this tip up, you won’t have to fear getting a frozen and broken line.

One of the most interesting things about the Ifish Pro Ice Fishing Tip Up is that it lets you jig the line and change the depths of your hook without pulling out or moving the tip up. This means that if you intend to catch another type of fish, it doesn’t have to be a strenuous process. What’s more? This product also gives you an effective combination of a bullnose rod holder and the benefits of Frabill equipment.

This ice-fishing equipment is built for freezing conditions. You will use your rod-like before while keeping the water from freezing up. Instead of standing or crouching in the cold for hours, let this equipment do all the hard work for you.

This ice-fishing tip up was designed to help any angler catch fish fairly easily. It has a wide base that will fit over any hole – up to 12 inches in diameter. There’s also an extendable rod holder that can help you hold fishing rods as long as 46 inches.

To improve stability on slippery ice surfaces, the fish Pro tip up is fitted with Slip Stops on its feet with spare slip stops in the packaging. Due to its trigger mechanism, many people refer to it as the perfect mousetrap. This trigger will help you fish different types of aquatic life, such as Walleye, Northern Pike, Rainbow Trout, Salmon, and so on.

Pros
  • It has a unique ice fishing equipment design
  • It helps to keep your hands dry and free from cold weather
  • It has a wide base that’s perfect for any hole
  • It is ideal for catching different types of fish
Cons
  • It has a relatively high price

STARPIKE Original Ice Fishing Tip-Up Tablet

The Starpike Original Ice fishing Tip Up is worthy of mention on this list because of its impressive standout feature and efficiency of operation. This tip-up utilizes a one-of-a-kind design that stands out among competitors.

Unlike most tip ups you will find out there, this product is made from no metal parts, making it easier to carry around and completely lightweight. Every piece is made from high-quality plastic that is resistant to corrosion. As a result, you’ll get to use this ice fishing companion for many years.

And if that was not enough, there’s also an insulated foam base designed to keep the tip up from freezing up. This tip up is intended to cover a 9-inch ice hole and prevent it from freezing up even at 40°F. Fishing in below-zero temperatures would become a breeze.

Furthermore, this tip-up keeps out light that may scare your prey away. The Starpike Original Ice fishing Tip Up offers anglers maximum visibility with a visible reflective tape on the flag. This product has a reel that can hold up to 450ft of line. What’s more? You can keep as many as 5-6 tip ups in a 5-gallon bucket.

Pros
  • It can be used in sub-zero conditions
  • It is lightweight and corrosion-resistant
  • It is an easy-to-use product or item
Cons
  • Flag is unresponsive for some small fish

HT Enterprise Lady Pink LIP-200 Polar Tip-Up

Just like other products on the list, HT Enterprise Lady Pink LIP-200 Polar Tip-Up is a high-quality tip up designed to help the angler catch their prey easily. The first thing to notice about this tip up is its pink frame. This frame is visible from further distances, even in the case of harsh weather.

Due to its design, this ice fishing tip up will not freeze in the cold and will keep the ice hole from freezing up too. There’s also a wind tip-free wire. You’ll also get multiple trip settings that are convenient for catching different types of fish.

This innovative ice fishing gear is made from premium quality materials like graphite that do not get destroyed quite easily.

Pros
  • The tip up can be seen easily in different weather conditions
  • It can be used to catch varying sizes of fish
  • It has a simple design
Cons
  • The pink color may not appeal to male anglers

Our Top Choice

All of the products mentioned in this piece have been properly tested and are trusted for their reliability. However, one of them has to stand out. The best ice fishing tip up among the options discussed in this article is Frabill VYPR Aerated Tip Up. This equipment offers you all the features you could ever want in an ice fishing tip up.

To start with, it can fit into 10-inch holes. The Frabill VYPR also had two ball-bearing straight lines for improved sensitivity and control overfishing. Furthermore, the product’s insulated design will keep all its parts moving.

Watch this to learn some hacks and tricks for using ice fishing tip ups:

Factors To Consider When Buying An Ice Fishing Tip Up

Many people consider using a tip up to be a lazy style of fishing, but this is not the case. The use of multiple tip ups is an effective way to catch fish in sub-zero conditions without exposing ourselves to the cold for too long.

That being said, you need a top-quality tip-up to have an effective ice fishing experience. The job of the tip up is to keep the bait suspended in the water under the ice. This means that angling can still go on without physician supervision.

These tip ups are like an ice fishing trap and signal when a fish has been caught. Unlike when using an ice fishing rod, the angler does not have to stay seated in the cold for so long. This equipment is a great choice if you intend to catch prey from a large area with multiple holes. You can easily move from one spot to another while monitoring the state of your tip up. It also allows you to supervise your angling from a distance.

Another impressive thing about an ice fishing tip up is that it allows you to make a catch of any size. You have to choose the right equipment with hook sizes, base width, and leader.

If you intend to go ice fishing soon, you must get yourself the right equipment. However, there are tons of options out there, and each of them offers something different. There’s no doubt that you intend to buy the best available tip up you can afford. To do this, it’s a crucial decision to research and learn more about the available options. Next, you look out for certain key factors in each product.

Below is a guide containing the list of essential factors to look out for when choosing a tip-up.

Let’s begin!

Trigger Bar

Now, would you like your tip up to have a heavy trip or light trip? Whichever type of trip you prefer, the trip bar will help you perform this action.

The rich trip is useful for catching large prey and angling in windy conditions. This trip bar setting will stay in position unless there is a serious catch.

On the other hand, a light trip will help you notice even the smallest contacts with your fishing line. This trip bar setting is ideal for small fishes and will offer medium bite detection too.

Size of Base

To have an interesting ice fishing experience, you need equipment with a wide base. The base will determine the stability of the tip-up over the hole. If the ground is wider, it will hold the equipment in place securely. Make sure that you do not overlook the importance of this feature; else it would be at your disadvantage. A 10″ base is good enough to fit over most holes.

Flag Lock

The flag lock is an in-built feature that snaps the indicator flag into position when a catch is on the line. The flag lock is an important component that will prevent damage to the tip up line and inform you immediately if a fish bites the bait. You must pick equipment with a responsible flag lock that doesn’t freeze after spending some time in the cold.

Hook Holder

This part of the tip up is used for storing hooks safely and securely. A good hook holder can redefine your angling experience. It will not allow any snag or tangling during usage. This means you can retrieve any of your hooks quickly and easily.

Bait Clip

When choosing a tip up, you also have to determine the size of the bait clip. The job of the bait clip is to keep the line steady when it is lowered into the water. Without a bait clip, the swaying movement of the line in the water will falsely trigger the flag mechanism.

Spools

Another important factor to look at when purchasing a tip up is the quality of the spool. An ideal spool is large, high-quality, and made from rust-free material or high-grade plastic. The large-capacity metal spool is a better option because it allows you to hold more lines and enjoy more backing.

The Different Types Of Ice Fishing Tip Ups

Without any doubt, there are hundreds of individual ice fishing tip ups on the market. But each of them is broken down into separate categories.

In what follows, we’ll take a look at the types of ice fishing tip ups that an angler can use to catch several varieties of fish:

Pro Thermal

Thermal tip ups are designed to cover the entire hole and keep it from freezing up again. As a result, you can trust it to keep the spot open while you search and wait for prey. This type of equipment comes with an insulated core that prevents its parts and internal components from freezing up.

Thermal tip-ups cover the hole so well and prevent daylight from getting through. That way, the fish will not get spooked and run away. The tip-up design also allows users to fold the entire equipment into a 10-gallon pail.

Pro Thermal Tip Ups are designed to have a stowaway design that allows users to easily transport them to the fishing hole and back to their homes. This is a new type of fishing equipment that revolutionized the angling experience worldwide.

Automated Jigging

As mentioned earlier, tip ups are designed to help you catch marine life while you sit and wait for the results. The bait will be carefully suspended in a place where fish are abundant. But the automatic jigging gives you a higher chance of catching prey.

Automated jigging tip ups, just like an ice fishing trap, will help you search for prey for hours without interruption. Unlike traditional tip ups that leave the bait suspended in the water, the automated jigging moves the appeal in a clever way to attract several types of fish. Jigging tip ups are powered by D-cell batteries that keep the trick moving for about 10 hours, even in the harshest conditions.

Windlass

Windlass tip ups are similar to the automated jigging type. These tip ups use a paddle to catch the wind that powers a soft jigging motion to the line and bait. What’s more? Even when the winds are calm, the windlass will store power and keep the jigging going on for an extended period. They also come in a v-shape that can easily be removed from the ice.

Classic Hardwood

This is an ancient traditional fishing tool that has been around for more than a century. Hardwood tip ups feature a stable footprint, and the flag can be seen from a long distance. They also come with a crank handle to efficiently retrieve your line.

How To Use Ice Fishing Tip Ups The Right Way

So, what are the best ways to use your tip ups and get the most effective results?

Identify the best fishing spots and holes in the location

Yes, the location for your angling will seriously affect the final results that you come up with. Regardless of the type of tip up that you’ve gotten for yourself, you need a hole with lots of fish. Spend your time learning about the region and finding out where the fishes prefer to stay or swim. You can use mapping tools like an ice fishing fish finder or flasher, and skills to identify points, reefs, submerged humps, and drop-offs that will hold a high amount of fish.

Another great idea is to try to visit the same spots that you used during the open water season. During the cold, you’re more likely to find fish in deeper water where there is enough oxygen for marine life.

As soon as you identify these great fishing spots, start by setting up your tip ups, the more tip ups you have in play, the higher your chances of catching fish. However, don’t be like most beginner ice anglers that keep their tip ups within proximity. Instead, try to leave a distance of about 30m between each hole.

Create a hole in the ice

Each tip up that you will install will require creating a hole manually within the ice. If you plan to use a few tip ups, a manual ice auger can help you make all the holes you need. But if you have more than a few tip ups, a gas or electric ice auger will do the trick.

An auger is an ideal equipment to help you spend more time fishing and less time driving the ice surface. Most anglers use an 8-inch drill when creating holes for their tip ups. Several varieties of fish, including yellow perch and fat northern pike, can fit through an 8-inch hole.

Use a Good Line

When fishing with a tip up, the quality of the line in question is also crucial. It can be a big determinant of your success or failure as an angler. There are different types of fishing that an ice angler can utilize, and each of them has unique properties.

Dacron, also known as braided nylon, is the basic fishing line for most people. However, some people are actively switching to braided ice lines. To have a fairly balanced experience, it’s recommended that you stick with using the Dacron. During usage, this line is designed to remain flexible without kinking.

Another impressive thing about Dacron is that it comes with varying strengths. Depending on the size or type of fish you are hunting, a line between 15 – 60 pounds should do the job. If you’re not trying to catch anything too elaborate, the 30-pound line is a great choice.

This line is sensitive enough to detect small fish and not snap for medium-sized catches. For larger fish, it may be advisable to use a bar with more tension.

Determine the Depth

When ice fishing, it’s easy for the angler to leave a lot to guesswork. But the problem is guessing the outcome will reduce your efficiency and chances of catching anything. You can avoid fishing in the dead parts of the lake by determining its depth.

The fastest way to check the depth of your fishing hole is to use a fish depth finder. But if you don’t have one, there’s another way to go about it. Get a one or two-ounce lead weight and attach it to the snap swivel of your line. Keep lowering it till it touches the ground.

Decide how far from the bottom you wish to suspend your bait and raise the weight to that height. You can use a bob stopper to mark the size. When it’s time to set up your tip, that will be the length of the line that you will suspend into the hole.

Choose a Bait

Remember that whatever bait you choose should depend on your hunting species. Tip up fishing is a fishing method that utilizes scented bait.

When hunting walleye, anglers mostly use live minnows such as suckers and shiners as bait. However, dead minnows are commonly used to attract pike and lake trout. The point is to carefully select your appeal depending on the fish you expect to be predominant in that hole.

The truth is that you increase your chances of hooking more fish when you use different baits for each tip up you use per hole. If you find that one trick is getting more catches, you may use the same thing on other tip ups.

Adjust Your Trigger Bar Sensitivity

As soon as you find the right depth to lower your bait, it’s time to set the trigger for the flag. Most tip ups are designed with adjustable trigger settings. This would let you adjust the sensitivity to fit the species you intend to catch.

It’s recommended that you always set it to the minimum needed. When it’s too stiff, the fish will notice the resistance and go away. If it’s too light, the bait’s movement will trigger the flag.

Another great idea is to test the tension in the line before getting started.

Keep an Eye on Your Flags

Now that you’ve succeeded in setting up your tip up to do all the work for you, it’s time to sit back and relax in your ice fishing shelter. But you have to keep an eye on all your flags.

When a flag goes up, it’s the sign of a catch, and you must react quickly to reel the fish in.

Watch this to learn how to install ice fishing tip ups:

Key Insights & Takeaways

And that’s all. Finally, we’ve come to the end of this article. Ice Fishing Tip Ups can ease up your angling and help you catch more fish in sub-zero conditions. All you have to do is choose the right one. If you are still confused about choosing the best ice fishing traps or tip ups for your next expedition, the information above will help you settle on a final choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best depth for ice fishing?

If you are an angler new to ice fishing, you need to find the best depth to get more fish. The best ice fishing action takes place 3 – 20 feet into the water.

Can you hook a minnow to a tip up without killing it?

While there is a high tendency to kill your bait, it’s possible to hook a minnow and keep it alive. To attach a minnow active without killing it, you need to join certain parts such as its mouth, back, or tail. By doing this, you let the fish swim properly without hurting themselves more.

How deep should you set your tip ups?

When using a tip up, you need to also pay attention to the depth at which you will be fishing. The best depths to place your tip ups are in the middle of the water column, halfway between the water surface and bottom. You’re likely to get more fish tugging at your hook here.

I was fishing before I could walk and it's been a family tradition for centuries. Fishing is my life, or at least as long as I can remember. In the Lake Champlain International Fathers Day Fishing Derby, not only have I won first place twice but also third place! Also, in addition to majoring in Wilderness Recreation Leadership, I also happen to be a licensed camping, hiking, and hunting guide for NY.