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Ice Fishing Tip Ups – Ice Fishing Rods – Which

Ice Fishing Tip Ups – Ice Fishing Rods – Which

If you haven’t tried ice fishing, you don’t know what you are missing.  You can sit in a shack.  You can run between fishing holes.  Watching ice fishing tip ups or jigging with a rod, its just fun.

Inside or Outside

In a Shack

Ice fishing tip ups and rods are used in a fishing shack.  If a tip up is used, its generally set as a second line while a rod is used a few few feet away.

Rods makes more sense in a shack.  You don’t have to go very far to tend a line.

Know you ice fishing regulations.  Ontario, Canada allows two ice fishing lines per person. But, they must be 60 feet apart. This makes multiple lines in a fishing shack impossible.

On Open Ice

Tip Ups make it easy to fish multiple lines. reports that one person can fish two holes at once in Minnesota.  In Massachusetts, up to 5 lines can be used at once.

ice fishing tip ups

On open ice, rods are braced so they are visible from a distance.   The bale is left open so the fish can take line.  Tip ups are more practical on open ice.

Which to Use

Ice Fishing Tip Ups

ice fishing tip upsTips ups are very simple.  They come in several styles but all work the same.

The base sits across the fishing hole. A fluttering flag signals a hit.

The line spool sits in the water.  When a fish strikes, the line pulls a trigger which trips the flag.  The spool lets the fish can run.  Line is pulled in hand over hand.

Ice fishing tip ups are light to carry.  They are easy to set up.  Price varies. You can set a tip up and relax.  You don’t even have to set the hook.  That is done with the tension that triggers the flag.

Ice Fishing Rods

You won’t be casting when you’re ice fishing.  You won’t be playing the fish when its hooked.  You drop your line straight down and pull the fish straight up.

Any rod will work for ice fishing.  Long rods are awkward.  You have to drop a long rod to pull the line by hand because dragging a fish onto the ice can knock it off the line.

An ice fishing rod should not be more than about 32″ inches long.  They are as short as 12″.  Most ice fishing rods come in a combination with a small reel.

 The flexibility of the rod is determined by the kind of fish you are after.

  • A light short rod is great for crappie, bass or trout.
  • A medium weight rod is a good for pickerel or northern pike,   It should be a bit longer for leverage.
  • The strongest rod you can find is a good idea for  muskie or lake trout.

Older rods can be made of fiberglass.  New rods are graphite.  They are both good choices.  I think a fiberglass rod is the most sensitive.

Carry the best ice fishing equipment you can.  You don’t need a reel that freezes solid.  You don’t want a rod that gets brittle and breaks.

Pick Your Spot – Be Safe

Check the Ice

Always check ice thickness.  Be careful early in the ice fishing season.  You can seafch for official reports about ice thickness.  Just google the name of your lake.   Checking popular lakes in the area will give a good indication of ice thickness of all lakes in the area.

Picture of thin ice provided by the Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel -Central Maine. com

If you can’t find a report on your lake or river, check the ice before fishing. Poke a hole about every 10 feet moving away from the bank toward your fishing spot.

Go Where You Know

Ice fishing on a lake that you know will be most productive.  If you know where a drop off is located, set up just on the inner edge.  Put your sets along the ridge.  Finding cover for fish is not an issue with ice fishing.

Although fish move to shallower water in the winter, fishing where you are successful in the summer will work.

Go When You Don’t Know

Ice fishing on a lake or river that you don’t know takes patience.  Some people cut test holes to check the water depth.  Unless the ice is to the bottom, if you cut a hole you might as well fish.

Fish for awhile.  If nothing hits, go to another spot.  This is more difficult with a fish shack than on open ice.

Ice fishing, in a shack or on open ice, is fun.  Relaxing in a shack with a box or video is wonderful.  On open ice, you can sip a hot coffee or build a snowman.  Sometimes the action is fast.  Sometimes its slow.  Ice fishing is a great way to spend a winter day.

Take a moment to leave a comment below.  Do you ice fish in a shack or on open ice. Describe the most exciting ice fishing trip you have had.

Best Beginner Child’s Rod – Styles Available

Best Beginner Child’s Rod – Styles Available

 Kids can fish as soon as they can hold a rod.  Size is most important when choosing the best beginner rod for a child.

Best Beginner Rod Size

Holding the rod is the first step to fishing.  Watching me, my kids wanted to hold a rod although they didn’t really know why.   They were holding a rod long before they could cast.  I would cast and give them the rod.

A rod between 2 and 3 feet long seems the best size.  Its the right length to  handle easily.  Its long enough to play a fish.

child-fishing with beginner rod

Two Starter Rod Styles

Mickey Mouse Combo by Shakespeare best beginner rod
Mickey Mouse Combo by Shakespeare

The Kid’s Caster is perfect for the toddler fisherman.  Its easy to grip with two hands. The rod is stiff so it won’t move around with a fish on.  If one little hand can hold the rod, the other can begin to reel.

The Mickey Rod is more advanced.  Its heavier and harder to hold.  It will have more action.

These are two of the many beginner rods available.

First Fishing Trip

The first fishing trip should be from dock or the shore. A piece of worm will catch blue gills and squeals of delight.  Tiny fisherman shouldn’t be pushed to do too much too fast.  Fun is the keyword.  Either type of beginner rod will start the fun.  Be sure you have a camera.

Why a Beginner Rod?

These plastic rods are durable.  They won’t break when walked on by little feet.  Being stuck into the ground  or in the branches won’t snap them.  Rod and reel are one piece so neither can be left behind.  Your minature fisherman looses the whole rod or nothing.

Bait casting reels take too much coordination.  Holding the line with the thumb and then releasing is hard for little hands.  Pushing the button is easy and understandable.  The little fisherman is pushing buttons on electronic toys all the time.  This button will be easy.

The closed faced reel eliminates knotted line.  Its not necessary to touch the line to cast.  Slack line won’t wrap around the reel.  The only problem my kids had was dropping rod and reel in the water.

Even if fishing isn’t really your child’s thing, trying it out will make great memories.

As easy as using the best beginner rod
Camping World


Telescoping Rod – Under Appreciated – Under Used

Telescoping Rod – Under Appreciated – Under Used


Some fishing purists laugh at the idea of a telescoping rod.  I think they are practical, easy to carry and durable.  You can choose the rod flex as with any rod.

Telescoping Rod – Have One?

For the Beginner

My daughter gave me a telescoping rod many years ago.  They’re for beginners.  Right?  That’s not me.  Do you have one?

Carry-on luggage changed my mind.  I just won’t pay $25 for an airline to ship my rod.   The reel fits in the carry-on and, now, so does my rod at no charge.

Telescoping rods are for the beginner and for the practical.

           Rods for all Occasions

Retailer selling fishing equipment carry telescoping rods for all types of fishing.  Of course, extended length will dictate collapsed length.

         Telescoping or Travel

Travel rods break down into several pieces.  From grip to tip, each piece is shorter than a collapsed telescoping rod.  Many people prefer the action of a travel rod over a telescoping rod.

The travel rod requires a case to keep all the parts together.  This case usually provides storage for the reel as well.

The travel rod has the disadvantage of parts to be lost.  It is not as compact as the telescoping rod.

On a new stream or river, or on the lake or in the ocean, a medium weight telescoping rod is more versatile than the travel rod.  One size can fit all.

All rods can cost as much as someone is willing to pay.  Telescoping rods tend to be less expensive than comparable travel rods.

Be Careful!

Telescoping rods are difficult to fix if broken.

Only the tip can be easily replaced because nesting eyes are hard to find.  If pulled too hard, sections will pull apart and cannot easily be reconnected.  If a section breaks, the rod is ruined.

A telescoping rod can break.
A Telescoping rod can breaks.

Telescoping rods are strong and versatile, but must be used carefully.

Telescoping or Not

Should you buy a telescoping rod for yourself or as a Christmas gift? Here are a few things to think about.

    • Do you fly a lot to fish?
    • Do you backpack to fish?
    • Do you fish in overgrown areas?
    • Do you only carry one rod when you fish?
    • Do you carry lots of equipment when you fish?

If you answered, “No” to most of these questions, you probably don’t need a collapsing rod.  But, you never know so keep one on hand.

Take a moment to leave a comment below.  Do you have a telescoping rod?  Would you ever use one?

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Child’s First Fishing Rod Makes Memories

Child’s First Fishing Rod Makes Memories

A child’s first fishing rod can build memories that will last a life time.

Fishing Gear Rod and Reel Combo

Your child’s first fishing rod could be a

Telescoping Rod                                                                                                                                                                                                     Closed Face Spinning Reel                                                                                                                  This could be a child's first fishing rod.                                                             with Stringer, Bobbers, Hooks                                                                  

Price: $24.95 

Your Child’s First Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

     Since I suggested that a family fishing trip is important, I thought I would offer some information on an important part of making that trip happen.  A child’s first fishing rod should fit the child and be easy to use.  A rod and reel combination is a great way to teach a child to fish.

Easy to Use, Easy to Carry

     This particular combo has a closed faced spinning reel which makes for easy, tangle free casting.  More importantly, there is a button to release the cast rather than the complex function of opening a bale, holding the line and then releasing at the right time.  The closed bale system can be used by toddlers even while they can’t master the motion of casting.

     The telescoping rod is great for transporting particularly as a child swings through the world bumping into everything in sight.

Extra Gear Gives Good Value

     The Fishing Gear model comes with monofiliment line and a bit of tackle.  The spoon will help with learning to cast, but the jigs are more appropriate for the type of fishing a child will be doing.  There is also a small assortment of hooks for bait.  This combination is a bit more expensive than some child’s combos because the reel separates from the rod and the telescoping rod can play a real fish.  This combo is a good value that can be enjoyed for many years.

South Bend Worm Gear Tackle Box

Plastic, Single Drawer Tackle Box                                                                                                                                                                         with assorted bobbers, stringer, hook extractor                                                                                                                                                     and assorted hooks.                                                                                                                            A tackle box to go with a child's first fishing rod.

Price:  $8.96

A Tackle Box is Important

A tackle box is another piece of equipment to haul around, but this one drawer box is durable and light weight.

It would hold the assorted tackle that comes with the rod and reel combination plus the items sold with the tackle box.

This plastic tackle box will float long enough to be fished out of the drink.  The box has a large clasp latch that will be easy for most children to manipulate.

Safety First

These hooks should be used only by an older fishing partner until little hands can safely work with line and hook.  The tackle box with assorted tackle is a great value.

The combo and tackle box can be purchased together at a slight discount.  The rod and reel would make a great surprise to begin a family fishing trip.  Someone will carry the tackle box.  It will  add to the surprise and make the trip more exciting.

Camping World

 Share you thoughts in the comment section below.  What kind of fishing rod did you have as a kid?  Do your children have fishing rods?