Rigging Your Bloodknot Tip-Ups

Tip-ups are a powerful tool for covering large areas to find fish. If you ever thought of adding tip-ups to your repertoire of angling skills or are just getting into ice fishing, tip-ups are a versatile must-have tool.

What to look for in a tip-up

The most important feature of a tip-up is how smooth the spool spins when a fish takes the bait. The less effort it takes a fish to run with the bait, the more sensitive the bite is. But, just because it turns well in a store or heated car doesn't mean it will perform on the ice. 

There are two critical elements of a tip-up that make or break its performance: 1) how well a tip-up is sealed and 2) metal-on-metal rubbing. All tip-ups are filled to varying levels of grease. This grease keeps water from entering the tip-up and freezing. However, sometimes poor quality grease will freeze despite keeping water out, causing the line to feel sticky as it is pulled out.

Secondly, water, metal, and freezing temperatures create a challenge for tip-ups. When tip-up sit idle or ice fishermen move locations, water may run up the outside of the tip-up. In just a few moments, freezing temperatures will lock up it up. If you ever see a tip-up with globs of grease at the top, the angler is likely fighting a loosing battle.

We designed Bloodknot tip-ups with a sealed ball bearing and magnets to maximize the performance of the tip-up and the anglers' time on the ice.

A guide for rigging up your Bloodknot

Everyone will do this a little differently, and frankly, you need to find what works best for you and the lakes you fish. Below are some ways we rig up our tip-ups for various fish.

Perch & Bluegill

  • 4-6lb braided line
  • 1-6lb monofilament/fluorocarbon leader (12-16" inches)
  • #18/#20 treble hook

Crappie (not basin fishing)

  • 4-6lb braided line
  • 2-4lb monofilament leader (12-16" inches)
  • #16/#18 treble hook
  • *We suggest you try tip-downs for basin fishing as you'll be fishing deep, 20' plus depths.


  • 20lb braided line
  • 6-12lb monofilament/fluorocarbon leader (~16" inches)
  • #14/#16 treble hook

Northern Pike & Muskie

  • 30lb-40lb braided line
  • 50lb monofilament leader (~16" inches)
  • #8/#10 treble hook
  • #4 treble hook if you plan on dead fishing big pike

Finding the right hook size, line weight, and bait combination is trial and error. What works on one lake for walleye may not work on another. Weather often plays a factor in your decision as well. When a cold front sweeps through, fish may get a little more selective about what they like. 

Finally, don't shy away from going smaller in hook size. It's always amazing to see what people catch on small hooks!