Who here likes using their tipups still? Who likes using a rod and reel with a flag system like the finicky fooler or ifishpro? I see advantages for both.
Tipups VS Rod and Reel
I haven’t touched my tip ups in probably 4 or 5 years. I’ve made my own automatic fisherman. I’ve fished with them the coldest maybe 5 or 10 degrees. I use a hole cover with a tube on my line that slides into the hole cover and haven’t had any issues with freezing. When fighting a fish just slide the hole cover off no biggie. Two most important things I believe they’re better. Fighting a fish on rod and reel is way better without a doubt. Secondly no more deeply hooked fish. With the autos I’ve never caught a fish with hooks in their throat. Maybe a few downsides. More expensive, I can build one for about $8-$9, but then u need a rod and reel. They are bulkier to transport. I’ve fished with large shiners and roaches but nothing bigger. I could maybe see fishing really big live bait could be a problem but I’m not sure.
All depends on temperature. Kind of hard to use tip downs or rod reel set up when temp is below freezing . Holes ice up and line on spools freeze after getting line wet. There's a reason why tip ups have spools submerged under water.
I will put this to the test this week while fishing up on Petenwell. I have tipups, tip downs, rod/reel combos with a flag that comes in a tube (forgot the name of it), and just a plain rod/reel with a slip bobber setup. We'll see which one I prefer.
I got used to using rods to fish with and tip ups were saved for special occasions like howling winds or pike waters. Fishing a hand held jigging rod and watching a baited noodle rod for any taps is usually my first choice for starting out. Those are within reach. Another soft action rod on a bucket a step or two away or automatic fish rig are my third set up. By all means set up some tip ups over a nearby weed bed or rock pile if you got it. I fish Green Bay so perch and whitefish are nibblers and bait stealers. It's rods for me.
Check out the Firststrike system! It's a simple flag system that clips on any rod/reel combo that works as a tip up or simply unclip the unit and use as a jig rod! I use Okuma Ceymar Baitfeeder reels and it is so much fun to fight those walleye on a rod vs hand over hand!
I think jigging 1 rod almost always outfishes 2 other tip-ups. I don't ever set 3 tip-ups and just sit there unless I'm fishing with kids and we want to set a bunch of northern tip-ups. If I'm walleye or perch fishing I will put out 2 tip-downs with good reels and jig if its warm enough. Much below freezing, I'll put out 2 tip-ups. #14 or #16 treble with a fathead minnow and 3# test has caught me lots of walleyes and perch below tip-ups or tip-downs.
One thing I like about a tip-down is if it gets hit lightly, like a walleye or perch will pull it down but not take line... it will tip back up and still be set in to the correct dept and get hit again before you get around to checking it. When a tip-up is tripped, the bait is laying on the bottom and needs to be reset immediately.
For me where I fish for walleyes it's three tip ups. Panfish and other game fish i usually set a couple tip downs or tip ups and then jig. Kinda like hunting i try to setup in areas that are a natural funnel and or pinch point between structure or depth changes and have found tip ups to be the most effective for me never had much luck jigging but that's just me
I grew up in SE WI and we always used tip-ups for bass/northern. Still fun. However after living in Minnesota for 8 years I can appreciate a rod/reel for ice fishing. Never saw a lot of tip ups in most of Minnesota. Very popular there to jig for walleye, northerns.
Now I seldom use 3 tip ups on a trip unless super cold/windy. I put 1 or two out and use a rod/reel with slip bobber and a shiner. Amazing how many days I catch more on the rod/slipbobber rig than a tip up. Not sure why. Much more fun battling a bass or northern with a rod/reel than pulling it in on a tip up.
I should jig more for gamefish but have not done so unless fishing for lake trout. A bad right shoulder hinders me from jigging swedish pimples, kastmasters, rocker minnows, jig a whoppers ect for long. They sure work too. And don't forget the classic jigging rapala (catches everything).
Some family members of mine use those combo deals with a flag and rod/reel. Works good with live bait. Those allow them to space their lines out farther to cover an area better.
My system with a rod/slipbobber rig in a rod stand on the ice works but you have to be near enough to see if the bobber is still on the water surface or not. Often if cold out, I put two tip ups in and use my rod/slip bober rig in my fish shack where the hole does not freeze up too fast.
Each one is a tool and they have their uses. Tip ups are great for covering and eliminating a lot of water but most simply put them in and wait. I’ll move them constantly until I find fish...especially panfish. Then rods come out to fine tune the approach. I don’t treat them like a Ronco Rotisserie that you set it and forget it. Using a rod and reel to jig for pike is very high on the fun factor scale. Typically I’ll set tip ups for panfish and jig for pike.
There's nothing like making your own tipdowns and catching fish on them! I made a couple of them last year and they work great for perch and crappie!
Far as using a rod/reel I have several different kinds of tipups that I've used, but the one I'm enjoying the most right now is the finicky fooler. It works great for panfish or gamefish and has an optional hooksetting device that came with it. I've caught some nice fish using the hooksetting option and I've also used it without when fishing larger fish and left the bail open.