How to Make Homemade Ice Fishing Tip-Ups

How to Make Homemade Ice Fishing Tip-Ups
Whether you're fishing multiple ice-fishing holes or just one, the best way to spot a strike beneath the ice is with a tip-up, which is a homemade or commercially manufactured fishing tool used to signal a strike. Without a tip-up, you may find it difficult to detect or remain cognizant of which fly line has shown signs of movement. Add one or two additional ice-fishing rods to your total setup and you could find the amount of bait you lose to smart game fish rising even higher. Stay on top of what is happening under the ice using your own homemade ice-fishing tip-up.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • 1/4-inch dowel, 22 inches long
  • 3/4-inch dowel, 22 inches long
  • Fishing line
  • Strips of colorful cloth
Step 1
Assemble a cross using the two dowels. Align the center point of the 3/4-inch dowel with the center point of the 1/4-inch dowel.
Step 2
Wrap a piece of fishing line or thread around the dowels to maintain a hold on the cross. Wrap the dowels until the shape of the cross holds strong. Let go of the dowels to check. Close the tag end of the fishing line to ensure the construction of the ice-fishing tip-up does not unravel over time.
Step 3
Fasten the free end of the strip of cloth to the long end of the 1/4-inch dowel using a second piece of fishing line. Rope the fishing line around the clothed end of the 1/4-inch dowel. Tie a small knot at the end.
Step 4
Fasten a second piece of fishing line to the short end of the 1/4-inch dowel using a basic fishing knot.
Step 5
Test the ice-fishing tip-up. Slightly strum the fishing line to engage the flag and check that it tips up properly.

Tips & Warnings

Color or white cloths can be used, but color cloths are easier to spot.
White color cloths may blend in with the snow.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.