how to build heated tip up box

Building a heated tip-up box for ice fishing can provide comfort and convenience during cold winter fishing trips. A heated tip-up box keeps your fishing hole from freezing and helps you monitor your line for bites. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to build one:

Materials You’ll Need:

  1. Insulated Box: Start with a suitable insulated box. A plastic or fiberglass ice fishing sled or a wooden box with insulation will work well.
  2. Heater: Choose a safe, portable propane heater suitable for indoor use. Look for models with safety features like tip-over and low-oxygen shut-off switches.
  3. Propane Tank: Get a small propane tank (typically 1 lb or 20 lb) compatible with your heater.
  4. Propane Hose and Regulator: You’ll need a hose and regulator to connect the propane tank to the heater.
  5. Battery: A rechargeable battery and charger to power a fan for even heat distribution (optional but recommended).
  6. Ventilation Pipe: A small ventilation pipe to allow for proper air circulation and venting of carbon monoxide. Make sure it extends above the box.
  7. Thermometer: To monitor the temperature inside the box.
  8. Drill and Hole Saw Bits: To create holes for ventilation, heater placement, and rod holders.
  9. Hooks and Clips: To secure your fishing rods inside the box.

Steps to Build a Heated Tip-Up Box:

  1. Design Your Layout:
    • Decide where you want to place the heater and ventilation pipe inside the box. Also, plan the locations for your fishing rod holders.
  2. Cut Holes for Ventilation and Heater:
    • Use a hole saw bit to create holes for ventilation at the top and heater placement at the side of the box. Ensure that the holes are the correct size for your ventilation pipe and heater.
  3. Install Ventilation Pipe:
    • Insert the ventilation pipe into the hole you’ve created at the top of the box. Ensure it extends above the box to allow proper venting of gases.
  4. Position the Heater:
    • Place the propane heater inside the box, aligning it with the hole you’ve created. Secure it in place according to the heater’s instructions.
  5. Connect Propane Tank:
    • Connect the propane hose and regulator to the propane tank and then to the heater. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper connections.
  6. Install the Battery-Powered Fan (Optional):
    • If you choose to use a battery-powered fan for even heat distribution, secure it inside the box near the heater. Connect the fan to a rechargeable battery and place the battery in a safe and secure location within the box.
  7. Attach Hooks and Clips:
    • Install hooks and clips to hold your fishing rods securely inside the box.
  8. Test the Setup:
    • Ensure that all connections are secure and the heater operates correctly. Test it in a well-ventilated area before taking it onto the ice.
  9. Monitor and Maintain:
    • While ice fishing, use a thermometer to monitor the temperature inside the box. Adjust the heater as needed to maintain a comfortable temperature.
  10. Safety Precautions:
    • Always follow safety guidelines for propane heaters, including proper ventilation and carbon monoxide monitoring. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby as a safety precaution.
  11. Transport and Use:
    • Load your heated tip-up box onto your sled or ice fishing gear and transport it to your desired fishing location on the ice.
  12. Ice Fishing: Enjoy ice fishing with the convenience of a heated tip-up box, and keep an eye on your lines for bites.

Remember that safety is paramount when using propane heaters in enclosed spaces. Always ensure proper ventilation and follow the manufacturer’s safety recommendations for your specific heater model.

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