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I've got a buddy who usually slaps his chub against the ice before putting it on the hook. He claims it stuns it a little bit so it doesn't swim hard enough to trip the tip up. But I have to wonder if he's not just killing them. ;)
 

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Two tricks I use...

1. I like to pull out about 15' of tip-up line and re-wrap it toward the top of the spool. That would be the top if it was sitting in the water.

Wrap it along the top as close to the spool wall as possible. This will allow the line to build up some in this area. Then when you know the depth you want, take the line and pull it tight up against the spool wall. This will wedge the line between the edge of the spool wall and the build-up of line. Try it once or twice to see if it's in there snug, but not too tight. Then put the line thru the guide and place it in the water. It's worked for me for years. We've used 8"-10" chubs and this keeps them from sending up a false flag. Will work for any sized bait and any kind of mono or tip-up line.

2. Figure out the depth you want the bait. Take a thin medium size rubber band and wrap it around the line and back thru the rubber band. This will attach the rubber to the tip-up line. Then loop the rubber band in the line guide on the tip-up. The bait can pull and pull but the rubber band will only strech. Until... the bait is hit and the rubber band breaks and the spool can spin freely. Fish on!

Just my 2 cents

Good luck!

G-MAN
 

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A couple of my regular fishing buddies really like sushi. I'm afraid if I got 'em started doing that, they'd find out they like it and eat all my bait!
 

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I use 3 split shot - a medium/large closest to the hook (about 4 inches up) a medium 3 inches up from that and a small 3 inches up from that. I've always done this with all my tip ups as a way to control the action of the bait. You can reverse the order for faster action and also adjust the space between the split shot and distance to the hook to control action. Split shot sizes can also be larger or smaller to compensate for bait size. My polars have a notch setting on the flag trip that works well with big suckers, you can enhance the the holding power by setting the trip so it rotates up the flag shaft (more resistance) rather than down. This works well on the un-notched side too. Using the above I've never needed a downrigger release.
 

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Excellent question.

I noticed how sensitive polars can be when I used mine for the first time last weekend.
 

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The line guide at the real is made like a paper clip. If using large minnows I clip my line into the guide to hold it, if that doesn't work I clip the tail.
 
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