October 5, 2022

The Frabill Pro-Thermal Tip-Up… a Better Mousetrap!

Ralph Waldo Emerson is credited with the axiom “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” If I may humbly paraphrase, “Build a better ice fishing tip-up and the world will beat a path to your door.” I believe Frabill has done just that with their Pro Thermal Tip-Up.

Frabill Pro Thermal Tip-Up John Scherrer

The design and function demonstrates “thinking outside the box” of the decades-old wooden cross style tip-ups. The Frabill design has multiple practical advantages for the winter angler.

Ice and Slush-Free Holes
One of the aggravations of ice fishing, whether jigging or with tip-ups, is keeping your hole free of ice and slush. This problem is eliminated with Frabill’s round design that houses the fishing mechanism, padded with one-inch thick foam insulation. Drop your bait down the hole and cover it with the 10-inch round “house” and wait for a flag!

Adjustable Trip Mechanism
On the top side of the tip-up, the Trip Bar has both a light and heavy setting. Once tripped, you won’t need to lift the tip-up to see if a fish is running with your bait. The Trip Bar will be revolving as the fish peels off line. On the underside, you can attach your line to various depths on the Bait Clip – deep on the clip if using large bait or just enough to hold the line for small bait. This prevents false flags. This versatility allows you to use the Frabill Tip-Up for anything from panfish to large pike and lake trout.

Compact Storage
Both the flag on the top and the spool underneath fold into the housing for efficient carry and compact storage. You can stow up to six tip-ups in a 5-gallon bucket. As an added bonus there is a built-in storage tray to store hooks, swivels, split shot and other odds and ends.

Intuitive Design and Operation
There are no complex instructions to prepare or operate the Frabill Tip-Up. I’m not very mechanically inclined and had it ready to fish in no time. Simply wind line on the spool, tie on a hook and you are ready to fish.

To set up on the ice, first extend the spool on the underside of the tip-up, strip off the length of line for the depth you want to fish and bait your hook. Attach your line to the Bait Clip at the tension you desire. Then, on the top side, release the flag shaft from its holder. Extend the durable plastic flag to the end of the shaft, then fold it back down under the black Trip Bar. Set it to either the heavy or light setting. Drop your bait down the hole, place the Frabill Tip-Up over the hole and wait for a flag!

Here in Pennsylvania, we are permitted any combination of five fishing devices that can include any combination of rods, hand lines or tip-ups. Regulations will vary state to state or province to province.

I like to keep a pair of these tip-ups rigged for large game fish and a couple for panfish. I use heavy tip-up specialty line such as the Mason Braided Tip-Up Line with a wire leader if pike are involved or a fluorocarbon leader for panfish. Connect either leader with a good knot or swivel. Remember, you’ll be fighting your fish hand over hand so the thicker tip-up line will be much easier to handle, especially with cold or wet hands.

You won’t necessarily have to beat a path to our door to pick up some Frabill Thermal Tip-Ups…you won’t even have to leave home. FishUSA makes it very easy for you with convenient online ordering!

Avatar photo

John Scherrer

Erie, PA John is a freelance writer and a life-long Erie resident who has fished across North America. Fly fishing, light spinning tackle, and ice fishing are his preferred methods to fish his home waters of Lake Erie.

View all posts by John Scherrer →

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: