Ice fishing is a popular winter activity for many anglers. It requires specialized gear to catch fish through a small hole in the ice successfully. One of the most critical pieces of equipment is the ice fishing tip-up.
A tip-up is a device that alerts you when a fish takes the bait by triggering a flag to pop up. It’s a great way to fish multiple holes at once without having to monitor them constantly.
When choosing the best ice fishing tip-ups, there are a few things to consider. The first is the type of fish you’re targeting. Different tip-ups are designed for different fish species; some are better suited for larger fish like lake trout and northern pike.
Another factor to consider is the weather conditions you’ll be fishing in. Some tip-ups are better suited for colder temperatures and harsher weather than others.
In this article, best ice fishing tip-ups we have reviewed eleven of the top tip-ups on the market today, and each one of these can be purchased on Amazon.
11 of The Best Ice Fishing Tip Ups
A critical piece of equipment for ice fishing is a tip-up. A tip-up is a device that sits over an ice hole and holds your fishing line. When a fish bites, the tip-up signals you by tripping a trigger mechanism.
Many types of tip-ups are available, each with its unique features. Whether you are a first-time ice angler or a seasoned pro, we have an excellent choice.
From the Frabill Arctic Fire to the Beaver Dam Tip-Up, we have evaluated each tip-up for its durability, ease of use, and effectiveness in catching various fish species.
1. Frabill Pro Thermal Tip-Up
If you’re searching for the best ice fishing tip-ups, the Frabill Pro Thermal Tip-Up is an excellent choice. It’s a popular choice among ice anglers because of its ease of use and high quality.
The removable spool shaft and durable materials make it an excellent option for larger fish like northern pike and lake trout. The Frabill Pro Thermal Tip-Up is also pre-lubed with low-temperature lubricants, ensuring it will work smoothly in even the coldest weather conditions.
- The insulated design prevents the hole from freezing up, making fishing easier in cold weather.
- The dual trip settings (light or heavy) make adjusting to specific times and weather conditions easy.
- The easy-to-carry design and molded base simplify transporting and setting up on the ice. It fits in a 5 to 6-gallon bucket for simple storage.
- The bait clip feature can be tricky to use at first, but it works great once you get the hang of it.
- The trip bar can sometimes be too sensitive, causing false alarms.
- The Frabill Pro Thermal Tip-Up is one of the most expensive models on the market, but it’s worth the investment if you’re serious about ice fishing.
The Frabill Pro Thermal Tip-Up is an excellent choice for any ice angler. It’s easy to use, durable, and works well in various weather conditions. Whether you’re a first-time ice fisherman or an experienced angler, the Frabill Pro Thermal Tip-Up is a great choice for your next fishing trip.
If you’re looking for the best bait to use with the Frabill Pro Thermal Tip-Up, live minnows are always a good bet. They’re a great option for larger fish like northern pike and lake trout. Using smaller baits like wax worms or grubs to target smaller fish.
When setting up your Frabill Pro Thermal Tip-Up, make sure you have enough line for the depth of the water you’re fishing in.
A good rule of thumb is to use at least a 10-pound test line for larger fish and a 6-pound test line for smaller fish. The Frabill Pro Thermal Tip-Up has the smoothest spool, making it easy to reel in your catch.
Frabill 1664 Classic Tip-Up Wooden
The Frabill 1664 Classic Tip-Up is a high-quality ice fishing tool designed to help anglers easily catch more fish. This tip-up is made from durable materials that can withstand the harsh conditions of ice fishing and is built to last many years of use.
- Durable construction: The Frabill 1664 Classic Tip-Up is made from high-quality materials to withstand harsh ice fishing conditions. This tip-up is built to last for many years of use.
- Easy to use: This tip-up is easy to set up and use, even for beginners. The bright orange flag is obvious, knowing when a fish has taken the bait easily. The spool is also easy to adjust, allowing anglers to set the correct tension for their needs.
- Versatile: The Frabill 1664 Classic Tip-Up can be used for many fish species, including walleye, pike, and trout. It is also suitable for use in shallow and deep waters.
- Limited capacity: The Frabill 1664 Classic Tip-Up has a relatively small spool, which may not be suitable for larger fish species or for longer fishing trips.
- The flag can be difficult to reset: Some users have reported that the flag on this tip-up can be challenging to reset after a fish has taken the bait, which can be frustrating.
- Not suitable for windy conditions: The Frabill 1664 Classic Tip-Up may not be the best choice for windy weather, as the flag can be blown around and may not be as visible.
One of the standout features of the Frabill 1664 Classic Tip-Up is its design. This tip-up is easy to set up and use, even for beginners.
The bright orange flag is highly visible, making it easy to know when a fish has taken the bait. The spool is also easy to adjust, allowing anglers to set the correct tension for their needs.
HT Enterprise Polar Therm Extreme Tip-Up
If you’re looking for a high-quality ice-fishing tip-up, the HT Enterprise Polar Therm Extreme Tip-Up is a great option.
- The adjustable tension trip makes setting the hook and reel in larger fish easy.
- The built-in tackle box is a great feature that keeps your gear organized and easily accessible.
- The freeze-proof and tangle-proof design ensures you won’t lose your catch due to frozen or tangled lines.
- The orange color may not be the best choice for all types of ice and weather conditions.
- The molded base may not be as durable as other materials.
- The Polar Therm Extreme Tip-Up is one of the more expensive models on the market.
The adjustable tension trip made setting the hook and reel in monster pike and lake trout easy. The built-in tackle box was a great feature that allowed us to keep our gear organized and within easy reach.
You will also appreciate the freeze-proof and tangle-proof design, ensuring you don’t lose any fish due to frozen or tangled lines.
Tgoon Ice Fishing Tip Up
If you’re looking for a reliable, efficient, and portable ice fishing tip-up, the Tgoon Ice Fishing Tip-Up is an excellent choice.
- The Tgoon Ice Fishing Tip-Up is made of various high-quality materials, including nylon, ABS, and stainless steel, making it durable and long-lasting.
- The small size and light weight of this ice fishing tip up make it easy to carry and transport.
- The Tgoon Ice Fishing Tip Up is efficient and stable, with a base allows it to float smoothly on the water surface and free your hands, making it easy to use and improving fishing efficiency.
- The Tgoon Ice Fishing Tip-Up package only includes two platforms, two flags, and two poles (including a fishing line and fishing hook), so you’ll need to prepare other accessories and tools yourself.
- The Tgoon Ice Fishing Tip-Up has a simple design, which may not be suitable for anglers looking for more advanced features.
- The Tgoon Ice Fishing Tip-Up may not be the best option for catching larger fish, as it’s better suited for smaller fish.
The Tgoon Ice Fishing Tip Up has a simple structure that makes it easy to operate, even for first-timers, and it’s a good idea to have one on hand for your next fishing trip.
Whether you’re fishing for lake trout, northern pike, or smaller fish, the Tgoon Ice Fishing Tip Up is a great option.
The Tgoon Ice Fishing Tip Up is also easy to use and has a bait clip feature, making it a superior choice for live minnows or larger baits.
It’s molded base and removable spool shaft make it easy to use in shallow or deeper water, and its trigger mechanism and trip bar make it easy to set up and use.
The Tgoon Ice Fishing Tip-Up is also designed to work well in different types of ice and weather conditions, and it’s a great deal with free shipping included.
Tachiuwa 6pcs Round Tip-Ups
If you’re looking for an affordable ice fishing tip-up, the Tachiuwa 6pcs Round Tip-Ups Ice Fishing Rod with Flags Triangular Ice Fishing Poles are a good option. It’s lightweight, durable, and easy to use, making it a great choice for first-time ice anglers.
- ORANGE FLAGS- The orange flag is easier to be seen in low visibility (when fish are biting).
- FOLDABLE DESIGN – Convenient to set up and carry, it frees your hands in winter fishing.
- FISHING PARTNER – The fishing rod is easy to use, can free your hand, and increase fishing efficiency. Great fishing helper for ice fishing lovers.
- SMALL SIZE – The tip-ups are smaller than some other models, which may not be ideal for larger fish.
- NO TRIGGER MECHANISM – The Tachiuwa tip-ups do not have a trigger mechanism, which may make it harder to tell when a fish has taken the bait.
- NOT THE MOST DURABLE – While the Tachiuwa tip-ups are made of durable materials, they may not hold up as well as some other models over time.
The Tachiuwa 6pcs Round Tip-Ups Ice Fishing Rod with Flags Triangular Ice Fishing Poles is a great option for ice anglers who want an easy-to-use, affordable tip-up. The orange flags are highly visible, even in low-visibility conditions.
The foldable design makes it easy to set up and carry. The fishing rod is also easy to use and can free up your hands, increasing your fishing efficiency.
However, there are a few downsides to this model. The small size of the tip-ups may not be ideal for larger fish, and the lack of a trigger mechanism can make it harder to tell when a fish has taken the bait.
Celsius Easy to Clip/10 CE-UT-2PK Up-Tip Integrated Hole-Cover/2 Pack
If you’re looking for a good quality tip-up for your next ice fishing trip, the Celsius Easy to Clip/10 CE-UT-2PK Up-Tip Integrated Hole-Cover/2 Pack is great.
- The innovative above-ice spool system allows for the smoothest spool release, making it easy to set the hook when a fish bites.
- The integrated hole cover keeps your fishing hole from freezing, allowing you to fish longer and catch more fish.
- The Celsius Easy to Clip/10 CE-UT-2PK Up-Tip Integrated Hole-Cover/2 Pack is made of high-quality materials, ensuring durability and longevity.
- The Celsius Easy to Clip/10 CE-UT-2PK Up-Tip Integrated Hole-Cover/2 Pack may not be the best option for larger fish, as it is designed for smaller fish like lake trout and northern pike.
- The Celsius Easy to Clip/10 CE-UT-2PK Up-Tip Integrated Hole-Cover/2 Pack may not be suitable for deeper water or stronger currents.
- The Celsius Easy to Clip/10 CE-UT-2PK Up-Tip Integrated Hole-Cover/2 Pack may not be the best choice for first-time ice anglers, as it requires some knowledge and experience to use effectively.
It is available in 1 and 2-pack options and comes with an up-tip base, spool arm, pre-lined spool, and assembly and usage instructions.
The Celsius Easy to Clip Tip Up is an excellent option for those looking for a good quality tip-up at an affordable price.
Beaver Dam The Original Tip-Up Clear
If you’re looking for a high-quality, durable tip-up, the Beaver Dam Original Rail Tip-Up is worth looking into. With its proven design and innovative features, this tip-up has become the rave among ice anglers.
- The seamless steel tube filled with freezeproof lubricant ensures fail-safe operation.
- The windproof, rod-cradle design ensures strike-signaling consistency.
- The tip-up is built to last a lifetime, with original models still in service.
- The price point may be higher than other tip-ups on the market.
- The tip-up may be heavier than other models, making it less portable.
- Some anglers may prefer a more traditional tip-up design.
The Beaver Dam Original Rail Tip-Up is a hand-made, premium-quality ice fishing tip-up that is freeze-proof and wind-tested in even the harshest ice conditions.
The tip-up’s innovative underwater-spool design incorporates Smooth-Spool Technology and Freezeproof Grease to ensure that finicky game fish stay on the line following the take. The spool shaft is removable for easy removal of your catch.
The Beaver Dam Original Rail Tip-Up is built to last a lifetime, with original models made more than 50 years ago still in service today. The tip-up’s durable materials and design features make it a great piece of fishing equipment for catching larger fish like lake trout and northern pike.
The tip-up’s trigger mechanism has tapered and straight trips for a wide range of baits, and when the heavy-duty spring is released, the fabric flag stands at 17.5″ for easy visibility.
Ifish Pro Ice Fishing Tip-Up
If you’re looking for a high-quality ice-fishing tip-up, the Ifish Pro Ice Fishing Tip-Up is a great option.
- The removable spool shaft makes it easy to remove your catch without tangling your line.
- The trigger mechanism is designed to eliminate false flags, so you can ensure every flag is a bite.
- The Ifish Pro Slip Stops allow you to jig line and change depths without moving the tip-up, making it easy to adjust to changing conditions.
- The rod-holding arm is a bit flimsy, so you may need to use a snow bank or bucket to hold your rod near the tip-up.
- The price is steep compared to other models on the market.
- The Ifish Pro Ice Fishing Tip-Up is not recommended for rods longer than 46 inches.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time ice fisherman, this tip-up is easy to use and provides excellent results. The molded base fits over any ice hole, and the extendable rod holder can be adjusted to fit your favorite length rod.
The trigger mechanism is designed to work with all fish species, from smaller fish like bluegills and crappies to larger fish like lake trout and northern pike.
The Ifish Pro Slip Stops are good for ice fishing in deeper water, allowing you to adjust your bait without moving the tip-up. The trigger mechanism is smooth and easy to use, and the spool provides plenty of line for even the biggest fish.
Big RED Ice Fishing Tip Down-Tip Up
The Big RED Tip Down-Tip-Up is worth considering if you’re looking for a high-quality ice fishing tip-up. It’s made of durable materials and is sensitive to even the slightest fish bites, making it a popular choice among ice anglers.
- The rocking motion is extremely sensitive to even the slightest fish bites, making it easy to detect when a fish is interested in your bait.
- The plastic clip is custom-made to fit a standard ¾” rod handle, making it easy to install and use.
- It’s made of durable steel metal that is heavy-duty to withstand the most common ice fishing conditions so you can use it season after season.
- The plastic clip may break after some use but can be replaced easily.
- The frame collapses for the convenience of transporting and traveling between your fishing destinations, but it may take some time to set up when you’re ready to use it.
- The Big RED Tip Down-Tip Up is taller than some other models, which may make it less suitable for use in shallower water.
The Big RED Tip Down-Tip Up is a great option for ice fishermen looking for ease of use and high sensitivity. It’s a good quality tip-up perfect for catching smaller and larger fish, including lake trout and northern pike.
The molded base and removable spool shaft make it easy to use, and the bait clip feature ensures your bait stays secure. The frame is designed to fit most spinning and straight-line reels, so you can use it with various reel combos.
Beaver Dam Ice Fishing 10″ Round Jolly Roger Tip-Up
The Beaver Dam Ice Fishing 10″ Round Jolly Roger Tip-Up is a popular product among ice anglers. It features a 10″ round plastic base with 1″ foam on the bottom for insulation.
Its quality components include a spinner-style trigger with straight and tapered line trips.
The tip-up is handmade and provides smooth, trouble-free operation with ultimate stealth, regardless of wind or brutal cold conditions.
- The Jolly Roger design is eye-catching and adds a fun touch to your ice fishing setup.
- The 10″ round shape provides ample space for larger fish to take the bait.
- Easy to use and can be set up quickly.
- The line tension can be easily adjusted to suit your preferences.
- Made of high-quality materials, and is built to last.
- The design may be different for everyone’s taste.
- The 10″ size may be too large for some ice-fishing setups.
- Pricey compared to other options on the market.
- The line tension adjustment can be finicky and take some trial and error.
The Beaver Dam Ice Fishing 10″ Round Jolly Roger Tip-Up is a solid choice for those looking for a fun and functional tip-up for their ice fishing adventures.
Frabill Arctic Fire Tip Up
The Frabill Arctic Fire Tip-Up is a heavy-duty, multi-species plastic tip-up perfect for ice fishing. It features dual trip settings, light for panfish and walleye and heavy for large baits and gamefish.
This tip-up is pre-lubricated with exclusive Sub-Zero winter lubricant for friction-free performance at any temperature. With a length of 19 inches and a spool capacity of 200 feet, it is an excellent choice for any ice angler.
The Frabill Arctic Fire Tip-Up is a reliable and durable option for ice fishing. Ice anglers have used it with great success for panfish, trout, bass, and other gamefish.
The tip-up even has an easy ruler to ensure your keepers are legal. Customers have praised its ease of use, with one reviewer saying they will replace all their wooden cross tip-ups with the Frabill Arctic Fire Tip-Up.
- Dual trip settings allow for use with a variety of baits and gamefish
- Pre-lubricated with Sub-Zero winter lubricant for friction-free performance at any temperature
- Easy ruler on the side for measuring legal keepers
- Durable and reliable, according to customer reviews
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Some customers have reported issues with the flag not popping up when a fish is on the line, but this seems to be a rare occurrence
- The plastic construction may not be as sturdy as metal tip-ups, but it is still durable enough for most ice-fishing situations.
The Frabill Arctic Fire Tip-Up is an excellent investment for any ice angler looking for a reliable and durable tip-up that can handle a variety of species.
Ice Fishing Tip-up Types
There are several types of ice fishing tip-ups, each with unique features and benefits. Here are some of the most common types:
These are the most basic type of ice fishing tip-ups. They consist of a spool of line attached to a flag that pops up when a fish takes the bait. They are easy to use and require minimal maintenance.
Traditional tips ups are usually made with hardwood, so they are durable and can withstand the elements.
These tip-ups use a trigger mechanism to set the hook when a fish takes the bait. They are more sensitive than traditional tip-ups and can be used in windy conditions.
These tip-ups use a small heater to keep the fishing hole from freezing over. They are ideal for cold weather conditions and can be used for extended periods.
These tip-ups use electronic sensors to detect when a fish takes the bait. They are highly accurate and can be used in a variety of conditions.
These tip-ups are operated by remote control, allowing anglers to monitor multiple fishing holes simultaneously. They are ideal for ice fishing tournaments or anglers who want to cover a lot of ground.
As the name suggests, these tip-ups are designed to withstand windy conditions. They typically have a low profile and a heavy base to keep them stable in the wind.
Windless tip-ups often have a spool enclosed in a waterproof housing to prevent ice buildup and ensure smooth line release. Some models also have a built-in wind block further to reduce the effects of wind on the fishing line.
These kinds of tip-ups are ideal for fishing in open areas or on windy days when traditional tip-ups are ineffective.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a tip-up in ice fishing? A tip-up device is used in ice fishing to detect when a fish has taken the bait. It consists of a spool of line, a trigger mechanism, and a flag that pops up when a fish pulls on the line.
- How do you choose a good tip-up for ice fishing? To choose a good tip-up, consider factors such as size, design, tension system, price, and brand. It’s also important to select a tip-up appropriate for the type of fish you are targeting.
- Do you rig a tip-up for ice fishing? To rig a tip-up for ice fishing, start by attaching the line to the spool and threading it through the guides. Tie on a leader and attach a hook or lure. Set the depth and tension on the trigger mechanism, and place the tip-up over the hole in the ice.
- Where should I ice fish on a lake? Before ice fishing on a lake, it’s essential to check the ice thickness and safety. Call the local bait shop or check with local authorities for information on safe ice conditions. Once you’ve determined that it’s safe to ice fish, look for areas with structure or cover where fish are likely to be feeding.
Conclusion – Best Ice Fishing Tip Ups
Now you have a good idea of what to look for in ice fishing tip-ups. All tip-ups are not made the same, so do your due diligence and consider what has been included in this guide, and you will be able to find the right tip-up for your particular situation out on the ice.
Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. We love hearing from our readers. Until next time Happy Ice Fishing!
Cory is a content writer-editor and founder of Tackle Box Talk. Favorite Quote: "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."