The Original Dock Tip-Up™
Tip up fishing from a dock, at night, summer time and for Stripers, Bass, and big game fish.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Original Dock Tip Up For Fishing Off A Dock

How Do I Use It?

Using The Original Dock Tip-up™ for big fish is simple!  First, attach the rod holder to the dock and set the tip up in the holder.  Add 3-4 feet of leader and a high quality hook.  Next, bait the hook; try live bait from your local bait shop then set the flag.  When a fish strikes the flag releases and the Flag and Lights alert you immediately.  The effective Hand Retrieve System of fishing puts you into the action and provides a satisfying fight.

How is It Made?

            We guarantee The Original Dock Tip Up™ will take hit after hit from large game fish without breaking or we’ll refund the purchase price.  If unhappy with your Original Dock Tip Up™, return it for a refund of the purchase price with no hassles.


The Original Dock Tip Up™ is made from quality hard wood with a proprietary process for creating strong bonds between each part.  The cuts and drill holes are made using precision tools, high skill, and patience so you can start enjoying dock fishing now.  Because the rods are hand-crafted from hard wood, your dock tip up is strong and “Original” by having natural wood grains that are consistent with quality wood products while never taking from its durability.


Hardware is recessed and enclosed using tough wood filler then sanded to create a flat surface free of exposed nuts or bolts and preventing them from becoming loose.  The appearance is smooth and clean, and “furniture quality” while expensive stains protect from daily use, wet and humid conditions.

We use top quality hardware to assemble the reel; the upright is solid aluminum and heavy duty over sized reel are strong enough to handle the big ones.  The very best, high test, Dacron® line is used to assure bringing in a large game fish by hand is easy and fun.  The professional flag alert system and has numerous audio and visual alerts so you can enjoy other leisurely activities while dock tip up fishing - day and night. 


Accept no imitations when it comes to quality and craftsmanship;  We've been  tip up fishing for more than 40 years and making top quality dock tip ups is our passion.


I Can Use A Fishing Pole, So Why Bother?

            This is true, you can do that.  Before, fishing from your dock probably seemed easy; put the bait on, throw it out there, waited.  Now you may have noticed that your bait swims to shore or around some branch and you have to start all over again . . . maybe you even lost a couple nice fish from that.  Because of this you do not fish nearly enough as you would like.  In the future, with The Original Dock Tip-Up™ on your dock, you have the time to relax and enjoy other leisurely activities while the bait stays in the strike zone and immediately alerts you to any strikes . . . day or night.


How Do I Reel In The Fish?

            When you get a flag and approach the tip-up, you’ll likely know if a fish has taken the bait because you'll notice the reel turning, the line straight out, and even the high-visibility white backing will show.  “Feel The Fish” on the line and hook it.  A “hand-over-hand” retrieve works fast.  Have a net close by and keep the line low and in the water.  When you have the fish close to the dock, scoop it up in the net.  The stronger the leader you use the easier it will be to control a large fish while attempting to net it.

What About The Bait Setting Off The Flag?

            As with all forms of fishing, we tolerate an occasional “false alarms” or a “miss” as part of a day of fishing.  A tangle or lost baits (live or artificial lures) are things that can happen during any day of fishing.  Let us assure you that all of these things have been considered to provide you with a productive and most leisurely dock fishing experience you’ve ever had.  Smooth flag releases, consistent alarms, super-performance end-swivel, good terminal tackle selection, high quality Dacron® line, and bait selection are crucial to making it productive and fun. 


The effective manual drag setting is revolutionary, causing The Original Dock Tip-Up™ to present live bait so consistently.  Adding a bit of drag using this adjustment keeps larger bait from tripping the flag and resulting in longer presentation.  You’ll enjoy a variety of live bait options, knowing some live baits may be just plain too large. 


I Only Have A Couple Feet Of Water Under My Dock OR I Have Over 100 Feet?

            Water fluctuates; some months we will have 40+ feet and another part of the year the back of the dock may be grounded.  Only a few feet of water are necessary to catch fish because bait fish are often schooled close to shore and your dock provides great cover for them.  The Original Dock Tip-Up™ is perfect for these situations because standing on a dock scares them and larger game fish away.  Deep water may present a different strategy.  Water temps could determine how deep the fish are so try different depths if you are not getting strikes; start around 15 – 30 feet.

What Else Do I Need To Start Fishing?


Unlike some dock tip-ups that require you buy an additional special rod and reel combo; The Original Dock Tip-Up™ comes with everything you need to set up.  Because your waters may offer smaller or larger game fish, the terminal tackle has been left to your experience.  This includes leader, hook, sinker, and bait that are not included. 


What is included is the tip-up with reel, high performance end swivel, Stealth Black Dacron® main line, High Visibility White Dacron® backing, Driftmaster ‘Lil Pro rod holder and ‘Lil Pro aluminum star mount (screws included), professional blaze orange flag (clip included), Line Marker Bead, Frabill Arctic Lights/Siren (9 volt battery included), and a depth finder.

What If I Want To Fish For Smaller Game?

            The terminal tackle and rigging system is up to your experience.  Go lighter if you know there is nothing over five pounds and go heavy if you know there are big game in your water, especially after dark.


Can I Use It On Ice, Boats, Piers Too?


            Yes, there are ice rod holders and boat mounts that will hold The Original Dock Tip-Up™ and there are a variety of custom mounts available that will utilize the included ‘Lil Pro holder.  Please check your LL&R before altering private or public property by using screws, bolts, or clamps to create permanent holes or scratches where you are not the owner.  See Driftmaster's Home Page for Ideas on custom set up.

What Do You Guys Recommend For Terminal Tackle?

            We use about four to five feet of high quality 80# braided line, a 2/0 stainless steel Octopus Hook, and a cone and stop sinker about 6-8” above the hook.  We try to fish near the bottom when we can avoid tree limbs and large rocks.  Live bait is legal in our area so we use shad, bream, minnows, or a salty.  Please support your local bait shop,  follow your LL&R, and use only legal forms of bait.


How Many Different Alerts Does This Thing Have?

            First: there is the blaze orange flag that is great for the day time.  Second: a Frabill Siren with six very bright LED lights that can be seen from far away and in the worst visibility conditions and combining a loud siren switch if needed.  Third: when a fish strikes and takes the bait, there is a white colored backing near the end of the reel to let you know when most of the main line is out.  All in all, The Original Dock Tip-Up™ provides you the most options to being alerted when a strike occurs.  Optional fishing bells that are available and are easily attached provide more subtle audio alert.


When Is Your Favorite Time To Fish?

            During daylight hours, the black bass tend to hit a minnow and small bait.  After dark, the biggest fish tend to come out of hiding and hunt bait fish.  Having The Original Dock Tip-Up™ on our dock gives us a great chance to catch one of them.  Stripers, Spotted Bass, Large Mouth Bass, Flathead, Crappie, and Catfish are among some of the game fish landed using The Original Dock Tip-Up™.  Usually a few hours after dark we’ll call it a night and pick up.


How Do I Care For And Maintain My Original Dock Tip-Up™?

            Caring for your Original Dock Tip-Up™ is so simple.  After fishing in wet conditions you can shake the water off and put away.   Keeping it clean and dry are important to it lasting a life time, but they are protected deep with high quality outdoor stain.  While it can take years of fishing abuse; you’ll need to replace the 9 volt battery about once per year (don’t worry, we’ll include the 1st one), and use a little oil around the reel assembly from time to time.


What Am I Supposed To Do After I Set Up My Tip-Up?

Here are some examples of things we get to enjoy while catching fish using The Original Dock Tip-Up™:  BBQ, visiting with friends, playing horseshoes, sitting by the fire, taking a nap near the shore, playing cards, taking care of the yard, and many more!

What Are Your Favorite Fishing Knots?

            There are so many great fishing knots out there and we use them based on the type of fishing we’re doing.  For tip-up fishing, we agree here that a Surgeons Loop Knot to attach leader to end line swivel and a Palomar Knot for hook to leader is a great combination, even for high test braided lines.

Why Would I Ever Want To Fish Any Other Way?

            Fishing is fun no matter how we do it.  We love all forms of fishing we know you love fishing too.  You’ll enjoy fishing with The Original Dock Tip-Up™.

Is It legal?

            We’re not experts on your Local Laws and Regulations (LL&R), but The Original Dock Tip-Up™ was created in the spirit of fishing and should be legal in those areas where tip up fishing is already allowed.  In addition, it contains the very basic elements that are used in all other legal fishing methods; a rod and reel system to hold the line in place and you add terminal tackle to the line to present the bait as in any form of fishing.  Because there are no mechanical or automatic hooking components, it should be legal where a rod/reel or a hook/line combination is also legal. 


Again, in the spirit of fishing The Original Dock Tip-Up™ is not meant to be left unattended, as in a “trot-line” or “snag-line” so check your LL&R as to how far away you can legally be from your line.  Please check your LL&R before ordering The Original Dock Tip-Up™ as we support only legal fishing methods.


If you have a question not answered here, please contact us.

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Hand crafted on Smith Lake, Alabama from quality solid hard wood and premium materials; built to last a lifetime.  Contact us today:
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