bob_G

Ice tilts, old and new

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I used to live for ice fishing. As a kid, I ran with a few real experienced "first ice" guys. Learned a lot from those old timers. I quit some 20 years ago. Gave away everything except a single chisel my grandfather had made for me.

I had a collection of tilts. Ten of which were very old, possibly pre WWII.  One set was the x cross bar variety. The wood was mahogany.  The spools were brass, and had the builder's name and Worcester Ma stamped into the spool. 

 The other set was very old, given to me by my uncle.  He said he had them built for him by an old Swedish man also in Worcester. They were the double cross bar variety. Each was painted dark brown. Had small woolen flags.  The really unique part were the spools. Each spool was hand made, from copper. All the seams were soldered. Since each one was hand made, every one was slightly different.   I wish I never gave them away.

 

Anyone still fishing your grandfather's old gear, or are you fishing all new, state of the art gear?

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8 hours ago, bob_G said:

................

.... 

 The other set was very old, given to me by my uncle.  He said he had them built for him by an old Swedish man also in Worcester. They were the double cross bar variety. Each was painted dark brown. Had small woolen flags.  The really unique part were the spools. Each spool was hand made, from copper. All the seams were soldered. Since each one was hand made, every one was slightly different.   I wish I never gave them away.

 

My Dad had a number of those.  Must go back 80+ years.  No doubt built by the same guy.   As a kid, I distinctly remember the woolen flags.....red as I recall.

 

I never fished them and I'm unsure what ever became of them.

 

 

 

  

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Mine are plastic and metal but they are antique over 30 years old. Some of the early versions of the Polar brand.

I bought them out on the ice at Walden pond from a guy who said he hated them after trying them out. I loved them and never looked back. 

That brand eventually became very popular and now the design has been copied by others.

 

For many years the old style tip ups were mass produced using cheap materials. In particular unfinished or poorly finished wood and crappy hardware. Not surprisingly, few of those last long enough to become heirlooms. 

The ones that have are the ones made special by craftsmen. Anyone who has those should hang on to them, at least for sentimental reasons. 

 

With a surge of popularity of ice fishing, there are new craftsmen producing old style wood tip ups of better quality. They are getting to be high demand locally. I haven't tried them myself but hear good things. Time well tell if they are constructed with the quality to last decades. 

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Mine are probably 30 years old but are all plastic. 

In a similar vein, I was looking at ice rods the other day. You can sure spend a pretty penny on one :shock: 

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I have a bunch of the older wooden folding x types that I got from a local fish and game writer for the Webster Times who used to have yard sales at his house in Uxbridge before I moved to Webster in 2023 and knew that he was a columnist for the Webster Times. I also bought a nice old Penn surf reel and an old stiff one piece rod.

 

 

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I have some really old ones as well. I stopped using them about 15 years ago for fear of breaking them. They held too much sentimental value for me to risk breaking them. My tip ups are all 30+ years old and all of them are wood. I tried a few variants in plastic, but just didn't like them at all. 

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Bringing the ice sled onto the ice with the old pot belly stove,wind breaker and tilts was a time from the past . The ice was hard real early and stayed hard, no ,pre such the case. Still have some nice tilts in my stash along with  a manual hole auger. I made a few ice rods for jigging that still sit waiting to be used. maybe some day when the weather gets cold enough to freeze for safe passage. Peace and Prayers

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Funny, when I first saw this thread I thought it said “ice tits” which would be an entirely different discussion. :eek:

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I can recall a time when Jamaica Pond was iced in and walking out on the ice to check it out. There in a bubble was this nice large mouth about 4 or 5 pounds swimming . The fish could see me through the ice as I attempted to break into the bubble of water not yet frozen . I was unable to break through into the bubble of water . That was in the mid forties. I still wondered if the fish survived until ice out in the spring. Peace and Prayers

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28 mins ago, Angler #1 said:

......... There in a bubble was this nice large mouth about 4 or 5 pounds swimming . The fish could see me through the ice as I attempted to break into the bubble of water not yet frozen . I was unable to break through into the bubble of water . ...

 

Carl, would be curious to know...... .

 

Had you been able to break through and into the bubble, would you have taken that fish home?

 

Or, would you have broken into the bubble, and broken through to the water below and released the fish from its imprisonment? 

 

 

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On 1/24/2021 at 7:50 AM, Joe G said:

My Dad had a number of those.  Must go back 80+ years.  No doubt built by the same guy.   As a kid, I distinctly remember the woolen flags.....red as I recall.

 

I never fished them and I'm unsure what ever became of them.

 

 

 

  

Joe,

It had to be the same guy who made them.   If my memory serves me, my uncle said it was some old Swedish guy in Quinsig Village who made them custom in his basement.  Owning his tilts was a status symbol. They were made to last a lifetime.  

I was told there was another guy in Worc who made the mahogany in tilts, and stamped his name on the spools.

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Ah...Quinsig Village. 

 

Had a great Swedish bakery down there we would often stop at on our way to visit Grandma at her farm on Rt 20 where Marty's Trailer Park is now located.

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