New Hampshire > Ice Fishing New Hampshire

Stain/poly/varnish Heritage Laker Tip Ups or not

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Over the last 4 years I have gotten back into ice fishing and have been upgrading my equipment a little each year. I have been using my fathers 40+ year old basic tip ups which have gotten the job done but figured I would invest in some Heritage Laker traps that I will own the rest of my life and maybe be able to pass down to my kids. After searching CL and FB I was able to track down a lot of 12 for a great price (hard for me to pay $40+ each for brand new). I went with these because I am a fan of this style trap, their build quality and the availability of parts if something were to break or need replacement.

Now that I have them I have been debating.....

Leave them as bare wood?
Put a coat of stain on them?
Put a couple coats of Poly on them?
Should I use Spar vanish or just plain minwax poly?

For the ones who do put a finish on them, how often do you reapply if ever?


I refinished my heritage's a couple years ago came out great! just used minwax poly, if you want to put a stain to color them thats fine but definately poly them after. I also changed everything to stainless hardware and rebuilt the spool assembly they work great. Roccus had a great write up on it in this forum follow it you will not regret it.

Steve H.:

--- Quote from: Lv2hunt on Nov 22, 2022, 11:11 AM --- Roccus had a great write up on it in this forum follow it you will not regret it.

--- End quote ---

Not sure if this is the write-up you're referring to (I think he's done more than one) but if you scroll down a ways in my thread from last winter, you can get some information he provided in typical Roccus detail and overall helpfulness.

The building of the "Stealth Bomber" has some good info to look at as well...

A coat of dark stain will keep them from freezing in too bad on a sunny day as the dark will soak up the suns heat. Poly is a must to keep your wood from deteriorating over time plus it keeps the wood from swelling up at the reel. This will act like you've tightened up your drag as the tip -up sits in the water. 


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