ff, I have made several and they are fun to play with. It takes about 5' of 1/2" PVC pipe, 2 90 degree joints, 2 Ts, and 4 end caps. Cut 4 pcs. about 10" to 12" long, 1 pcs. 5" long, and 1 pcs. 2" long. Take 1 of the 10" to 12" pcs. and cut it in half, glue one end of each half pcs. into 1 of the T fittings. This will give you a long pcs. of PVC with a T joint in the middle. Glue a 90 degree joint on each end of this pcs.,( NOTE: Make sure the 90 degree joints are positioned so they both face in the same direction and it is at a right angle to the T joint with the opening pointing up ) and then glue one of the 10" to 12" long pcs. into the other side of each of the 90 degree joints. Glue end caps to the end of each long pcs. you just glued into the 90 degree fittings. If you hold the unit in your left hand with the last pcs. facing to the right it should look like the letter "C" with a joint in the vertical. This is the base for the dead stick or tip down rod. Take the last 10" to 12" pcs. of PVC and glue one end into the T joint in the middle of the first pcs. of PVC you cut in half. On the other end of this PVC pipe glue the last T with the center opening facing the same direction as the leg supports you glued into the 90 degree joints. Into the other end of the T fitting glue one end of the 2" pcs. of pvc and to this glue an end cap. Now about 2" down from the top of the stand is the center opening of the T joint, this opening should be pointing to the right as you look down from the top. Glue the 5" pcs. of pvc into the opening in the T joint and the end cap to the other end of the 5" pcs.
You should have a C shaped base with a vertical leg and a small arm sticking out of it. You can balance your ice fishing rod on this little arm and it will tip down when a fish takes the bait. You can move your ice fishing rod around until you get it balanced just how you like it.
If you worry about a fish pulling the rod in, take a cord and tie a loop in the end and hang it on the back of the rod handle and secure the other end. This will keep the rod from tipping too far and the stand will hold it in place.
I pour enough sand in my stands to fill the bottom support, before I glue on the top end cap.
The best tip in building these is to cut the pcs. of PVC and dry fit them together before glueing. You can adjust the length of the base legs and any of the lengths of the rod supports or vertical supports. Have fun and experiment.