Simplicity is a wonderful thing. I like simple flies, simple techniques, and simple gear. The more simple a thing is, the less time and focus it requires, which allows more time for actual fishing.
A little while back I thought up a simpler way of creating an automatic ice fishing hook setter. I liked the previous version, but it was a bit of a pain to put together with all the wire bending. I have been fishing this newer version lately, and it works great, so, I decided to put together a tutorial on how I put one together. This time I made a video, instead of taking pictures. It is long, so skip past the parts you grasp. You can even skip to the very end, just to see how it works.
So why go through all this, instead of making one of those simpler designs that has a wire hooking into the eye of the fishing pole? Well, sensitivity. This setup can be made far more sensitive to bites, requiring the fish to pull less before it goes off. This means a fish is less likely to swallow the hook, and when they bite lighter, they can still be caught. This setup also keeps the wire away from your line, and not able to mess up your rod tip.
-PVC Pipe: 1 1/4" (or bigger) schedule 40 pvc pipe (cut to roughly 31" section, or longer depending on what rods you plan on using with it)
-Fiberglass surveying stake (or any other sturdy material that could be used as supports, such as wooden dowels)
-Empty Deodorant Container
-Thick Rubber Band
-Spiral Rod Holder
-Plastic Beads for spacers (optional)
-Dremel, with cutting bit (to cut PVC and Deodorant Container)
-Wire Cutter, or pliers with wire cutter
-Chop Saw (or some other saw to cut the Survey Stake)
-7/16 or 1/2" drill bit
-Drill bit to match Survey Stake size
-Drill bit to match Wire Hanger size
-Sharpie (Permanent Marker)
These materials and tools are not a set-in-stone list. Many could be substituted, but this is what I had access to. I'm sure there are better ideas, so please feel free to share any in the comments.
Here are some closeup shots and additional tips with the different parts.
If you set it off a couple times to check how well it works, make sure to look at your line to make sure the deodorant plastic line catch does not have burrs that are scraping it. If you have already sanded the line catch part, and it is still hurting your line, you can always put a couple layers of nail polish on it to smooth things out.
If you don't want to mess with the clip, or worry about the extra elevation, you can cut the rod holder shorter, and only drill the top hole in the PVC.
If you find that your setup falls over when going off, you can re-drill the support post holes at less of an angle. This will bring the whole setup closer to the ice, and more stable when it goes off.
Also, other materials could be used for the support stakes, such as wooden dowels. I like the strength and durability of the fiberglass myself.
If you find finish the project, and find that your rod holder holes are at a different angle than your trigger system, or you need additional rod holder holes to match a larger rod, you can simply cut the PVC in the middle, and place a simple PVC coupler in the middle. They are often less than a dollar at the hardware store. This allows you to change out the back rod holding section. It also allows you the freedom to adjust the angle of the rod holder. When I do this, I do not glue anything together. Simply press the PVC together firmly.
Thanks for having a look, and let me know how it works out for you if you make one!