Published on February 19th, 2018 | by The Iceman0
Review of the HT Ice Master Deluxe Tip Down
Summary: This poorly built and poorly designed tool creates more problems than it solves. Suffice it to say, I do not recommend it.
Spring is just around the corner. Sadly, for me at least, that means the end of ice fishing season is upon us. It seems fitting at this time to review the HT Enterprises Ice Master Deluxe Tip Down which is bad enough to make you wish you never took up ice fishing in the first place.
As anyone who reads this website knows, I like quite a lot of the products sold by HT Enterprises. Both the HT Ultralight Rods and the HT Ice Fishing Rigger have received good reviews here. That said, I have to be honest about the Ice Master Deluxe Tip Down. I just don’t like the thing at all, and I can’t really see how anyone else would either.
Even the idea behind this tip down is a little weird. It is basically meant to hold your rod up in the air on a collapsing wire frame until you get a bite. When a fish hits on your line, your rod is supposed to fall forward with the tip pointing down towards the hole. It almost sounds like your rod is being guided toward the hole so a fish can drag it down into the icy depths.
While I haven’t had any rods pulled into the lake due to the Ice Master Deluxe, I can’t say that it works well even as it is designed. I’ve tried it several times, but even once was enough. I no longer bring this with me on any ice fishing trips.
What’s wrong with the Ice Master Deluxe? Let me count the issues. It is not intuitive at all. Friends and I had to look at it for a while before we could even figure out how it was meant to be used. Once our combined brain power got us beyond that hurdle we were left with a thing that would hardly stand up on its own. It’s simply too tall and fragile. Then I realized that my rod wouldn’t lay right in the thing. Finally, I realized that every breeze and even the weight of my rod itself kept making the thing fall forward even before I got any bites.
In other words, it is difficult to set up, difficult to use, and even then, it doesn’t really work. So what is the point of this thing?
Don’t get my wrong, I like the idea of tip up style tools that can be used with rods and reels. I think it’s more fun and sporting to fight a hooked fish on a rod and reel than to hand line them in on thick tip up line. Unfortunately, the Ice Master Deluxe causes more problems than it solves.
Since this tip down costs about as much as the far superior Ice Fishing Rigger from the same company, and more than twice as much as most cheap tip ups, I just can’t see why anyone would want to have an Ice Master Deluxe.
The HT Ice Master Deluxe Tip Down is available at Amazon.