I make my own that attach to buckets with a heavy duty clip. A steel rod on the clip slides into a tube glued to the rod (in the "balance spot"). A tether clips on to the rod...and that was an afterthought after me and a buddy - who had a different type of tip-down - both lost rods within maybe 30 seconds of each other.
I found his after ice-out.
One thing you can do too if you are using a reasonable size hole. I run a 5 inch hole. I make the rod balance pin 5.25 long. It doesn't get in the way, and I don't have to use a rope on the rod. No matter how big the fish is, he's not pulling that rod in the hole.
CrappieGuy, you are the tip down king. I just don't like PVC. personal preference.
will it happen in 8 hours of fishing, no. However on cold days when the bases freeze in, I'll put my money on cedar or oak to take the abuse. Like I said, Just my preference.
After watching FishNdude's rod get taken down the hole reciently by a nice pike that bit on a 1 1/2 inch crappie minnow, I'd recommend always having the rod attached by a line to the base. FD went home and put lines on his, only takes a few min.
Amazingly, hours later, I also also hooked a strong pike on the small flathead. Handed the rod to bass Abductor, he managed to land the 30 inch fat female on 4 lb test. We found another hook and line in its mouth. FishNdude pulled and pulled on the line thru a weed bed and lo and behold, his rod came up the hole! We just about fell down laughing after high fives all around.
Anyway, I remember 2 times my rod would have gone down the hole without the line attached