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Choosing the Right Tip-Up for the Right Situation

By Rob Manthei - January 1, 2013
Ice fishing has become just as technical as open water fishing over the past decade, and the equipment that we choose is no different. High tech flashers, super sensitive lines, and various styles of tip-ups all play a part in whether you have a successful day or just another "I guess they aren't biting" day.

Styles of Tip-Ups

Tip-ups have evolved a long way since the first willow stick was stuck into the snow with a line wrapped over the tip. By the way, this method is still used in Canada by lots of locals.

I often get asked what my favorite style of tip-up is. My reply is Beaver Dam first off, but with two models available, I choose my weapon according to the weather and conditions of the lake. Beaver Dam Ice Fishing manufactures both standard rail (or flat) style tip-ups as well as the all new round tip-ups that have the same quality components as traditional Beaver Dams plus a few even more advanced features.

Choosing the Right Tip-Up Style

When the weather is warm and ice forming in the hole isn't an issue, I will opt for paddle style tip-up first. This design has proven itself for over 50 years, why fight what works? I also like this style when the snow gets deep. With a large flag and plenty of length on the flag shaft, "flags" are easily seen by the fishermen. The spring is plenty strong to support a variety of tip up lights, unlike some of the competition. This is very important when the bite turns on after dark.

When Mother Nature gets ugly and the temperatures dip well below freezing, I prefer to use the all new round Beaver Dam tip-up. The most important feature that really sets these guys apart from the rest of the round tip-up competition is the size of the platform. I target trophy fish so I need a large hole to get them on the ice. Beaver Dam round tip-ups are the only tip-ups on the market which actually cover and insulate a ten inch hole. Each features an insulated slip-proof bottom, long extendible flag, and the frictionless spin characteristic of all Beaver Dams.

Beaver Dam round tip-ups allow me put out a large spread in single digit weather without the aggravation of continually cleaning ice from holes. The round tip-ups also fold up very easily and store in a convenient, compact fashion.

Color Code For Identification

Beaver Dam makes several different colors of tip-ups. I like this for a couple reasons. For example, when I fish walleyes, I usually mix up bait selections. A combination of suckers, fatheads, and shiners are always swimming in my bucket. I like to set my spread with color specific tip-ups matching certain bait selections. Each day can be different, so once I realize that the "JOLLY ROGER" with suckers is the hot bite, then all the Beaver Dam's will get switched over to the hot bait of the day. Color distinction is also nice when a large group of buddies get together and fish. No arguments can be made when fishing with my southern friends when the "Green and Gold" Packer tip-up flags are flying high.

Quality Speaks for Itself

Beaver Dam quality comes with a price. There is a reason why these products have stood the test of time. An investment into quality will mean more fish, less stripped hooks, and the insurance of decades of high performing equipment. Ice fishermen all over the country agree that Beaver Dam Tip-Ups are the best the industry has to offer. Go out and fish with Beaver Dam tip-ups and watch your success rate increase exponentially.
Author Rob Manthei
Rob Manthei
Rob Manthei guides in Northern Wisconsin in Vilas, Iron & Oneida Counties for musky and walleye. For more information on Rob visit his website at
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