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, of course, several styles of tip-ups all play a part in a successful day or just another “I guess they aren’t biting” days.
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 2 models, I choose my weapon according to the weather and conditions of the lake. Beaver Dam has both the standard paddle(or flat) style and the all-new round design that has all the quality of Beaver Dam and more.
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 for 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 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. One feature(and the most important) that sets these guys apart from the rest of the round designs is the size option of the platform. Ice auger's drill bits are 6 inches to 10 inches, so why not have a round design that truly covers the 10-inch hole? Beaver Dam has answered that with a 10-inch diameter round tip up. Each model has an insulated bottom, a long flag, and all of the hassle-free, always-spinning Beaver Dam guts.
I can put out a spread of tip-ups in single-digit weather and spend more time fishing and less time cleaning holes and ice with the insulated round design. The round tip-ups fold up nicely and store very cleanly.
Beaver Dam makes several different colors in their tip-ups. I like this for a couple of reasons. When I fish walleyes, I usually mix up bait selections. A mix 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 Dams will get switched. 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.
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, fewer stripped hooks, and the insurance of years and years of performing equipment. The quality of these products is the best in the industry, and fishermen all over the Midwest will agree. Go out and get yourself some Beaver Dam tip-ups and watch your success increase.
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