How to Attach Fishing Line to Tip-Ups

How to Attach Fishing Line to Tip-Ups
Ice fishing tip-ups require a different kind of fishing line. The line on an ice fishing tip-up is typically a braided nylon or Dacron type that is much thicker than monofilament. Normal, thin monofilament fishing line would cut through an ice angler's fingers as she tried to play a fish with it. Attaching the line to the reel of the tip-up and winding it on is easy, but you must do it meticulously or risk problems when out on the ice.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Ice fishing tip-ups
  • Braided nylon or Dacron line
  • Terminal tackle
  • Line clippers
Step 1
Tie the line on to the spool of the reel with an arbor knot. This is a knot designed to hold line on an arbor--the spool of the reel--and it will not slip.
Step 2
Hold the tip-up reel with your right hand so that the reel cannot spin. Position your fingers so that they grab only the edges of the tip-up's reel and are not in the way of the line you will add. Determine which way the reel must turn in order to knock the flag arm off or out from under its perch. Most tip-up reels turn clockwise to accomplish this task.
Step 3
Wind the line around the reel slowly. Make certain that you wrap it around the reel in the right direction to make the reel trip the flag. Wrap the line around the reel evenly, from one side to the other so that you fill the entire reel. Once you reach one side with the line, start back to the other and so forth. This permits the line to come off the reel when a fighting fish swims away with the bait in a smooth manner.
Step 4
Put on as much line as you think appropriate for the fish species you target. Fish such as salmon and pike have the reputation of making long runs once hooked, requiring you to have as much as 150 yards of line on your reel. Other fish, such as pickerel, crappie and perch, do not make prolonged dashes away from the spot where you hook them, meaning you can use as little as 50 yards of line.
Step 5
Cut the line using your line clippers when you have wrapped enough around the tip-up's reel. Then, tie on your terminal tackle, such as hooks, leaders, swivels and/or fishing weights.

Tips & Warnings

It is always better to have more line than you need on your tip-up than not enough.

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.