This is mainly in response to Paul,
Sorry, but I pasted that quote from my website - it's been around for years. It's sometime too easy to copy and paste.
What I criticize is people calling their "contraptions" Slammers. They're not - the name's even trademarked. I'd like to hear of some new names for rod-holder devices - I like the Gott-Trap for one.
Here's a tip ... use a rubber inline bobber stop for a depth marker.
Now here's some thoughts for improving designs ....
Rods DO break when compressed unnaturally and freeze TO PVC under the right conditions (usually just the bottom of the rod or the foam or cork grips stick to the walls) - I've also seen PVC break (usually at the screw or nail holding it to the board with a fish cranking on it). Rods also change behavior under different temperatures. Those who build and set and rig most of their rod-holder contraptions usually do so indoors at room temperature .... they don't behave the same on the ice. Did you build your device to the rod?? What happens if your rod gets broke somehow?? Can you buy another rod and adjust your device to fit the new rod in seconds?? Most of the designs I've seen have little or no adjustability. This is why I see rods break on the ice in homemade contraptions and why I designed Slammer Tip-Ups.
I give credit where credit is due. I'm sorry but all of the homemade rod-holder contraptions that I've seen on this site are either take-offs of some design of mine, the Slamco design team, or a design we tried and passed up on years ago. We used mousetraps, gun triggers, downrigger releases, wire tip-holders, custom machined tip-holders, hooks, screws, bolts, pins, string, etc.. etc ... "been there .. done that ..." and the Richie Ring Release worked the best under a majority of different conditions. If someone shows me a release design that works better, then maybe we'll use your design and give you all of the credit instead of Richie.
I've seen a number of homemade contraptions "work" and fish caught with them. I've also seen a number of rods broken, frozen in, wind-trips, temp. change trips, vibration trips, tangled lines, missed fish, spooled reels, line blown across the ice, fall-overs, rods yanked into holes, and other mishaps with homemade contraptions. Funny how I haven't seen that with Slammer Tip-Ups.
I'm just waiting to see something that actually impresses me .... like the Ice Master Drill Adapter with the bungee cord that goes around the back of your drill and retaining ring compared to the other auger/drill adapters on the market with discs and bars or nothing on them to prevent the adpater from falling out of the chuck and losing your auger head. Now that actually impressed me.
Billditrite - no one knows who designed the first Whip-Up - they're probably dead by now. In my eyes, it's a poor design due to little or no adjustability, the line tends to get tangled in the release, the rod is compressed, and there's a lot of line hanging from the release to the hole. Same with Trippers except I see more broken rod tips with them.
Sorry guys if I sometimes sound "grumpy". My wife says it's having to deal with traffic living near Detroit now. We plan on eventually moving back to West Michigan.
Maybe I just need to go fishing, eh?