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Ice fishing rod tip top
Posted by: Chris Burger (---.applwi.dedicated.static.tds.net)
Date: September 08, 2020 10:46AM

I'm in the process of building a rod for ice fishing. I'm intending to use it outside the shack, so I'm need a tip top with a large ring size (to acid ice build up) but a tiny tube size. It seems like a lot of guys will listen a fly rod tip top for this purpose but I don't think it would hold up to using braided line well. The other solution I've seen is people using a single foot guide as a tip top. I've done this but I have a @#$%& of a time wrapping the tip on these tiny rods.

Any solutions? Thanks in advance.

The tip diameter is 1.05mm.

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Re: Ice fishing rod tip top
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: September 08, 2020 11:49AM

These folks have a nice selection of rod building supplies - including those for ice rods.


I have also used a lot of the pac bay minima guides for ice fishing rods.

If used out of doors in sub freezing or sub zero conditions, I normally use no guides smaller than size 8, including the tip top

I prefer the use of the stainless guides with no inserts. Although not recommended, many folks will take their rods and bang it against the ice to knock ice off the tip and the guides. But, the use of the stainless guides and tip top will take the beating and keep on fishing.

Remember, when ice fishing in the cold water and freezing temps, not many fish make any sort of long runs. Also, there is no casting involved with ice fishing - so there is very little issue with using very inexpensive guides on ice rods, and really no pluses to install expensive guides on ice rods.

These days, there is growing popularity with the use of inline reels. As a result of using in line reels and no casting and if not being used out side the ice shelter, one can run with size 6 guides from the first to the last guide including the tip.

For example: [sportsmensdirect.com]

Building ice rods is pretty easy, when you have the right equipment.

One very helpful accessory is to use a blank support that is virtually next to the guide being wrapped, so that the blank - even though very small and flexible - can not move.
Here is a simple rest t hat I used for much of my ice rod building that is easy to make and easy to use and very helpful:



The rod rest is made from a piece of plastic cutting board for the base and sections of solid ice rod blanks with a slot cut in the top of the blank for a support slot with a dremel tool and an abrasive cut off wheel.
I have drilled multiple holes in the cutting board base to allow placing the vertical rod rests in different holes to work on different parts of the rod blank when wrapping. I milled a slot in the base of the rod rest to accommodate a locking bolt to secure the base to my wrapper base.

Ice rods drying:

Notice on these rods, I used single foot fly guides that worked very well.

Also, This style rod support which used 3/4 inch shower door rollers with an O ring in the groove and aluminum bar stock makes for nice compact rod rests that allow for easy access to guides that are very close to the rod supports, including underneath the rod rests to take care of intricate wrapping chores on small flexible blanks.


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Re: Ice fishing rod tip top
Posted by: Robert Flowers (---)
Date: September 08, 2020 01:27PM

I have built several ice rods, and generally use a good quality SS fly rod tip, usually Pac Bay, or Snake brand. I haven't tried the Recoil Titanium tip tops, but have read great things about them, especially their toughness. I di something a little different for one client. I used American Tackle Microwave guides so that the rod could be cast on ponds and lakes. It worked very nicely, and allowed the user to catch all kinds of fish through the ice, as well as smallmouth bass, and brook trout in the summer spring, and fall. He loved catching fish on the solid fiberglass ice rod. He said it was better than using an ultra-light rod, and that the rod was much easier to weave through the dense upper peninsula tangle than longer rods. So, as you can see, you have options. You can go dirt cheap, or get high end hardware, depending on what all you want to do with the rod.

Tight lines and frisky fish


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Re: Ice fishing rod tip top
Posted by: Brian Gross (50.226.78.---)
Date: September 09, 2020 09:24AM

In Minnesota most all rod builders here use recoil or fly guides, so the tip top is one of those wrapped on the tip. Thorn Brothers uses Fuji guide sets on there outside rods, again with a single foot guide wrapped on the tip. The recoil/fly work the best because if they ice up, you just have to touch them and the ice falls off. I like a size 3 or 4 fly or size 6 Fuji on a outdoor ice rod tip.

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Re: Ice fishing rod tip top
Posted by: Dan Ertz (---)
Date: September 09, 2020 09:27AM

I agree with Roger's suggestion to either make or buy a support if you want to wrap on a fly guide. If you have a Mudhole wrapper, I've seen one that is made for those that gets very good reviews on a Facebook ice rod building site.

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Re: Ice fishing rod tip top
Posted by: Mark D Schulte (---)
Date: September 17, 2020 07:24PM

I've been building ice rods using minima guides and single fly guides and my guys requested me use a standard guide for the tip so I just wrap a single foot guide. It's a real treat wrapping noodle rods. Lol

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