Jackson, WI – Much has changed in the design of ice fishing equipment. For the most part, the alterations and improvements have tracked the trends of how anglers go about finding and catching fish with efficiency. In the past, anglers hoofed it out to heavy homemade shacks, lit fires in tiny wood stoves, and then sat stationary hoping a school of fish would meander by. Today, mobility is king. We traverse multiple miles on ATVs and snowmobiles; fish inside lightweight portable shanties; don warm, ergonomically fitting outerwear; drill countless holes in which we hop, drop, and decode the micro movements of fish.
Yet, the common angler ideology while fishing tip-ups is still one with the mindset of Ronco’s Original Rotisserie Oven, where “set-it-and-forget-it” is the name of the game. This was a fine ploy when anglers camped out in one location all day; however, it’s a philosophy that doesn’t meld well with the mobile methods of modern-day ice marauders.
Compact in design, Frabill’s new ultra-affordable and sleek Ice Spider and Dawg Bone tip-ups are changing angler’s let-it-lay-all-day mentality to one of portability. Both units set up and take down in seconds, and fold up so tightly they can be counseled in the cavernous pocket of a Frabill FXE Snosuit or ICESUIT – perfect for anglers bounding from hole to hole.
Renowned ice fishing guide and Frabill Pro Staff Tom Neustrom digs the tip-up duo. “Both the Dawg Bone and Ice Spider are built the way all tip-ups should be – with a compact design that makes them easy to transport and deploy and redeploy trouble free. And, the spool on both models set low in the hole and away from refreezing skim ice. They’re the ideal tip-up to use when the fish are on the move, and I need follow.”
The Dawg’s bone-shaped plank swings open to allow its broad ends to rest parallel on the ice, stabilizing it over holes as large as 10-inches in diameter. The Ice Spider’s legs unfold into a tripod and grasp the ice like an arachnid clinging to a window. Both boast durable polymer bodies and Ultra-Glide shaft that’s pre-greased with Frabill’s Sub-Zero lube and are easy to re-grease for many years of flawless use.
Although it’s tough to teach old anglers new tricks, Frabill’s Dawg Bone and Ice Spider are shifting mindsets: Yes, the tip-up can be a highly mobile tool in the ice fishing arsenal.