With this week’s TGO topic focusing on Tobin and tip-ups, I thought a tip-up tip might be appropriate–and this one relates specifically to thermal designs.

When it’s really windy and cold, nothing matches the efficiency of a thermal tip-up. The hole cover frames block blowing snow while sealing in thermal energy from the water below, preventing freeze-up. Thermals have not only helped make many days on the ice easier, but at times, allowed me to continue fishing through conditions that might have otherwise shut me down.

PTE-200B in pail (003)The biggest issue I’ve had with this design is transport. Select models, like HT’s Polar Therm Extreme, feature mechanisms that fold compactly within the frame, and come in diameters permitting several to be stacked conveniently within a five or six gallon bucket.

But what about the larger Polar Therm models with wider diameter frames and longer assemblies? They’re too wide to fit in a bucket, and simply tossing them loosely in a sled is no way to properly care for this equipment. My solution has been using HT’s Thermal Tip-Up carry cases, as these round storage systems easily accommodate several wider diameter, larger spooled Polar Therm models with room to spare.

But I take this a step further.

More often than not, I’m not only using HT’s Polar Therms, but some classic Polar tip-ups as well, converting these for use in extreme temperatures by combining them with insulated foam covers—another challenging item to store and transport.

The answer?Thermal Tip-UP 1

Placing the thermal tip-ups AND hole covers together within the carry case! By alternating my Polar Therm tip-ups and foam covers, I’m not only able to efficiently store both items, but by sandwiching the tip-ups between foam covers, also protect the tip-ups, prevent tangles and eliminate exposed hooks from snagging the inner lining of each case.

I’ve found this simple, yet highly effective practice has made my ice fishing more efficient and enjoyable—and I think you will, too.

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Tom Gruenwald

Tom Gruenwald

Tom Gruenwald is truly passionate about the outdoors and is recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on the sport of ice fishing. Throughout the years, his expertise has been sought for in-depth ice fishing presentations, seminars and advanced contributions to various outdoor periodicals throughout the world. He’s appeared as a guest on numerous radio and TV shows, authored four ice fishing books and now hosts his own TV show, “Tom Gruenwald Outdoors,”. TGO is the first program of its kind dedicated solely to ice fishing.