Ice Fishing BLOG
Innovative Tip-Downs are Innovative
March 03, 2008
A few years ago, my good friend Steve told me, "Rob, you are smart enough to make a million dollars. The problem is you are so good natured that you could probably never do it." I have always kept that in the back of my mind and I am proud to say that he is correct. I just hope he is not 100% correct about the money part :)

It is difficult sometimes to try and weigh the balance of speaking from the heart and being a salesman. If I sit here and tell you one million great things about a product we sell then I am being a salesman. What if I am speaking from the heart? Right now I truly am.

For those who are new to tip-downs let me explain the advantage to using them. Fish often grab the minnow on a tip-up but they let go of the minnow as soon as they feel the resistance of the flag. Fish also sense the heaviness of the rig as you will usually have heavy dacron line above the leader. A tip-down has no resistance. When a fish grabs the minnow the tip-down just tips down. Often a fish does not tip them more than a few inches as they like to grab the minnow and just lay there with it. You ever pull up your tip-up and see that the minnow is all chewed up or gone? This is exactly why.

Like many other ice fisherman, I started out with my own homemade tip-downs. They definitely worked but I do not fancy myself to be a wood worker or a manufacturer by any meaning of the word. While the tip-downs that I made proved successful, they also came with many drawbacks. They were in two pieces, made of wood, sometimes they did not balance correctly, the bases froze to the ice, snow would blow all over them, I could only use small minnows with them, you got tired of bending over and getting your hands wet to manage them, etc.

I decided this year that I was going to buy my own woodworking tools and make my own. That is how nuts I am about ice fishing. Before I got to that point, I discovered a company in Wisconsin that manufactured a tip-down with craftmansship that I, or anyone I know, could never mimic. The hard work had already been done.

I purchased five tip-downs last fall prior to ice fishing season. After using them a couple of times, I was so impressed that I worked out an agreement with the company to sell them. We sell them cheaper by the way. Not only was I pleased to offer the best tip-down on the market, I have had so many success stories using them this year that my tip-ups are going on eBay.

It was my intention to use them exclusively for perch and crappies. But when I started accidentally catching walleyes on them right next to people using Tip-Ups that were not catching anything they quickly became my true weapon of choice. Put it this way, I have sold many to other anglers out on the ice who had to come over and see what was going on. When it is a bright beautiful day without a cloud in the sky and you are catching 2 lb. perch and 4 lb walleye then you know you got a stick of dynamite on your hands.

You will never be able to make tip-downs as good as these:
  • No bending over. Innovative Tip-Downs are adjustable to 36" high. You can stand right next to them and grab the rod like you are grabbing a beer off the counter.
  • Made for mobility. Light, narrow in shape, each unit has a reel. No getting your hands wet. 2" diameter tube allows them to fit anywhere. Reel up the bait, put the minnow in the bucket, and stick the tube with the legs intact in to your sled and away you go.
  • Portable. The unit breaks down in to one piece. The 2" diameter cylinder will fit in to a backpack, trapper basket, ice box, etc. No need for an extra bag to carry bases and rods that weighs ten pounds.
  • Highly Visible. The unit can be extended as high as 36" for maximum visibility.
  • Wind resistant. Lower the unit to cut down on wind sheer. Tip-downs can withstand 20MPH winds. The wind can also be a big advantage as it moves the line up and down.
  • Poles can be weighted. Want to use bigger minnows? Each rod has a hollow end with a cap where you can add weight to make the rod more stern. A couple of 1/4 oz. split shot sinkers is usually all it takes.
  • Rod is flexible. Instead of a hard piece of wood doing the hooking, the rod is much like a Medium action jigging rod that gives you extra hooking power.
  • Weighted properly. Every tip-down will move down with the slightest bite and come back up if the fish lets go. This is a huge advantage with finicky fish as they will often grab it and let go. You know they have let go but you are standing right there when they grab it the next time. Whamo!
  • Fish can freely take line. The unit will only tip so far. Once it reaches it's maximum tipping point the reel will let out line. This rarely happens though. Most fish never tip it all the way down. They just grab it and lay there with it.
One thing. Many ask about how the unit works on cold says when the hole skims over. No worries. The line will slip right through any skim ice over the hole. As with tip-ups, it is always a good idea to clean out the holes every so often. But a thin coat of skim ice will not stop them from going down. The line slips right through the ice as if it wasn't even there.

I wouldn't want to sound like a salesman or anything so I will just say this - buy one and see if you and all your friends do not buy more. The tip-up market may tip-down to one of the greatest inventions in the history of ice fishing. You will catch more fish - guaranteed!

Innovative Tip-Downs are Available in Orange and Green.

Rob Taylor, Owner,

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