Does anyone use box tip ups? I like the concept. I see some advertised on the site but Im not sure how well they work. They look really cool.
Heated box tip ups
People I know have used them since the 80's, the whole point was to get away from the manufactured flag styles and get something more sensitive. You just made a regular tip up into a bigger tip up. I was just explaining another way to make them, which works very good. I wasn't sitting outside measuring them when I did this LOL!
Yours is fine, I just thought it was big since my tip ups are half the height. I've seen many flag mechanisms for them. Some guys have the flag actually hold the spool in place so when the spool turns the flag goes up. There are lots of ways to do it.
That is 12x12x12 inches!!! Chroist sake, so what if it resembles the housing of the only two manufactured box tipups on the market. The mechanics of mine is nothing like theirs, actually its the best of both!
To make the flag, use a piece of wire the size of a hanger wire. On one end weld a flat piece of metal in the shape of what you want your flag to look like. Some guys use letters, like the first letter of their last name. I just have a diamond on mine. Then slide a weight onto the wire, it can just be a big bell sinker. On the other end of the wire, bend the wire to make a slight hook. Just before the hook, you will need a stopper to keep the bell sinker on the flag. Just wrap electrical tape around it until it's thick enough to stop the flag. Cut a slot into the side of the box between the spool and charcoal holder. The flag will go in this, try to make it so the hook part of the flag reaches the center of the box (your hole). The part on the outside should be the same length as what is inside the box. Attach the flag on the inside so it can teeter up and down. You'll need to cut a slot into the lid as well.
Now use a split ring to mark your depth. Put the ring on the hook end of the flag. This hooked end should not be much of a hook though, you want the ring to slip off when a fish hits. Just enough to hold the ring in place. Use the bell sinker to slide up and down the flag for sensitivity.
With this setup, I can see fish mouth the bait. Crappies will bob the flag when it's set very sensitive, usually it's tripped by the time you get to it. Plus you can hear the flag trip as the weight hits the side of the box. They essentially work like a tip down in a box.
I also have rectangular shaped boxes with flip lids, but the flag on those is a little different in that it's shaped more like a long 'S' and goes through a hole in the side of the box as opposed to a slot. Works the same way though.
The only time i plan on using the darn thing would be afternoon/night wally fishing. The whole thought of being able to sit and attend my Coleman 18 over babysitting my boards all night just gives me goosebumps!
The best reason to not use matchlight charcoal is that it burns faster than regular charcoal and you will be replacing it more often.
To the person who posted about losing the tip ups in the wind and snow the boxes are a benefit for that as well as avoiding snowmobiles running over your tip ups.