Author Topic: JACK TRAPS  (Read 4477 times)

Offline Ramp 23

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JACK TRAPS
« on: Nov 02, 2016, 07:06 PM »
Do you think, having used them, that Jack Traps have increased your catch rates on various species of fish, that they actually improved your catch over other tip ups, for example a Polar tip up. Or are jack traps mostly about appearance, fit ,finish,craftmanship ?

Offline Curley

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #1 on: Nov 04, 2016, 07:50 PM »
Never had the pleasure of using a Jack trap but have seen and handled them. They are a high end quality product that will last for years. Presentation will get you more fish, but there is a certain satisfaction of having quality equipment. Kind of like having a fine rifle as compared to a plastic stocked all American Ruger. They'll both bring home the bacon.




Offline NorthNH603

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #2 on: Nov 07, 2016, 06:41 PM »
I upgraded to Jack Traps from Polar last year. To be honest with you I haven't noticed a change in my fish catching. The Jacks are beautiful though and they are easy to work with. I look forward to fishing these for ages and handing them down when the time comes. I will never buy another brand trap again.
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Offline OldSailor

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #3 on: Nov 07, 2016, 07:16 PM »
Here's a link. Good reading when you click the 'ABOUT' button.
http://jacktraps.com/
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Offline Ramp 23

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #4 on: Nov 08, 2016, 07:02 AM »
Thanks for the response , interesting story & polar comparison

Offline WarBonnett

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #5 on: Nov 08, 2016, 08:06 AM »
    WAY too much money for a ice fishing trap !!!!!!!!!!!!   :cookoo:             WB

Offline iowapackfan

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #6 on: Nov 08, 2016, 12:41 PM »
 :o
    WAY too much money for a ice fishing trap !!!!!!!!!!!!   :cookoo:             WB
:o :o agree! :o :o
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Offline NorthNH603

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #7 on: Nov 08, 2016, 01:44 PM »
:o :o :o agree! :o :o

They are more than just a ice fishing trap, I don't know, you just have to put hands on them. Almost art how beautiful these are.
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Offline jocasseee

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #8 on: Nov 08, 2016, 03:55 PM »
They work great for me.   The prices are going up I noticed.   I was able to piece together 7 all on craigslist for about the price of 2 new ones.  Well worth checking frequently on craigslist as they don't come up often.

Offline NorthNH603

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #9 on: Nov 08, 2016, 04:19 PM »
They work great for me.   The prices are going up I noticed.   I was able to piece together 7 all on craigslist for about the price of 2 new ones.  Well worth checking frequently on craigslist as they don't come up often.

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Offline jocasseee

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #10 on: Nov 08, 2016, 04:47 PM »
I live about 5 minutes from the shop but drove over an hour to 2 times to get them used.  Just put some lithium grease to the reel bolt and I d say she's as good a new one.   
I have had a lot less hit and spits with the jacks compared to the polar ones I had before, so time well spent in my eyes.

Offline Alex Delarge

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #11 on: Nov 09, 2016, 08:10 AM »
As long as traps are working equally well and have the same presentation I can't see how 1 would catch more than the other. Having said that, 1 trap may be better to target a certain species. Polar tip ups can get buried in the snow easily but are lightweight and take little storage space. Jack traps are more visible but have that awful trip mechanism where you try to put a little hook through a split ring all while in some kind of bracket. I feel sorry for an old-timer I fish with that uses the jack traps, his eyesight is bad and his fingers freeze easy and he's gotta take his glove off to set his trap. I've been using heritage lakers for a few years and like those. I may occasionally bring polar tip ups and I don't even know where my jack traps are.
It must be something in the water.

Offline caught_the_fever

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #12 on: Nov 09, 2016, 11:54 AM »
I'm not sure about catch rates but I will echo the sentiments of the other poster's mentioning craftsmanship.  Further, I have fished some extremely windy conditions and have never experienced a false flag resulting from it.  If you have a flag with a Jack, you know something hit your bait which is not always the case with other traps.

Since I'm a serious angler, I would prefer to buy quality equipment, take care of it and it last me 10+ years (or a lifetime) than to spend less, have equipment issues and/or have to replace it every few years.  Lithium grease to the reel spool and some 3 in 1 on the flag arms have worked for me to this point though the arms do have a tendency to rust a bit. 

I will say I am glad I purchased mine when they were around $32/trap w/ line.  The prices have gone up considerably since. 

Offline Ericbres

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #13 on: Nov 14, 2016, 07:45 AM »
I'm not sure about catch rates but I will echo the sentiments of the other poster's mentioning craftsmanship.  Further, I have fished some extremely windy conditions and have never experienced a false flag resulting from it.  If you have a flag with a Jack, you know something hit your bait which is not always the case with other traps.

Since I'm a serious angler, I would prefer to buy quality equipment, take care of it and it last me 10+ years (or a lifetime) than to spend less, have equipment issues and/or have to replace it every few years.  Lithium grease to the reel spool and some 3 in 1 on the flag arms have worked for me to this point though the arms do have a tendency to rust a bit. 

I will say I am glad I purchased mine when they were around $32/trap w/ line.  The prices have gone up considerably since.

I am going to agree with a couple of points made here:
I've fished on some NASTY days where some guys in our group didn't even bother going out. Most that did, were getting wind flags. Mine just sat and when they did go up, there were fish on the line (or had at least taken a bite). In my opinion, on sub-zero windy days - if I am forced to leave the warmth of the shanty, in my opinion the extra few bucks for a Jacks Trap is worth not wasting my time for a wind flag.
Sure they are a few extra bucks - but - budget, just like any other quality purchase you need to make. For example, I buy my son a single Jacks Trap for Christmas every year. He uses his cheap leftovers/hand-me-downs to complete his set for the time being. But 5 (well, now 3) years from now he will have a nice set of traps that will last him a lifetime. I did the same thing when I wanted mine. Bought one per season while using the old ones to complete my set.

And yes, some 3 in 1 on that flag arm is important. I forgot on one of mine and it ended up being a bear to deal with.

Offline caught_the_fever

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #14 on: Nov 17, 2016, 12:54 PM »
I am going to agree with a couple of points made here:
I've fished on some NASTY days where some guys in our group didn't even bother going out. Most that did, were getting wind flags. Mine just sat and when they did go up, there were fish on the line (or had at least taken a bite). In my opinion, on sub-zero windy days - if I am forced to leave the warmth of the shanty, in my opinion the extra few bucks for a Jacks Trap is worth not wasting my time for a wind flag.
Sure they are a few extra bucks - but - budget, just like any other quality purchase you need to make. For example, I buy my son a single Jacks Trap for Christmas every year. He uses his cheap leftovers/hand-me-downs to complete his set for the time being. But 5 (well, now 3) years from now he will have a nice set of traps that will last him a lifetime. I did the same thing when I wanted mine. Bought one per season while using the old ones to complete my set.

And yes, some 3 in 1 on that flag arm is important. I forgot on one of mine and it ended up being a bear to deal with.

You're a heck of a dad getting the little guy Jack traps.  Depending upon his age, he may not be able to fully appreciate the difference but years from now when he's still fishing them, there's no doubt it will bring back the great memories fishing with dad.  While a bit different as a grown man, I always enjoy hitting the ice with my father - it's fun seeing something as simple as the spring of a flag turn a man in his 60's into a child once again. 

Good luck this season and have fun! 

Offline Fontona19

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #15 on: Nov 26, 2016, 01:25 PM »
I think longevity is the point with Jacks. They are kiln dried first to weed out the junk wood, and then put together expertly. I will say that I am not a fan of Tim himself, as he has been rude to me on more than one occasion. I think there are other brands doing just as good of work, but none are better from my experience. Worth the money? Hard to say, but my son is going to have a great set of tip ups for the rest of his life that is for sure.

Offline Kevin in maine

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #16 on: Dec 06, 2016, 04:02 PM »
Since I switched to Jacks 3 years ago I have had 1 stolen bait that didn't trip the flag. When I used heritage traps it happened very frequently, and I know how to lighten up heritage traps but when you do that they become prone to wind flags. So I have been very happy with the jacks and won't ever switch back.

Offline Mr.Harry

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #17 on: Dec 17, 2016, 04:00 PM »
Jacks are awesome. Worth the money and then some when you take into consideration they'll out-last you, if you're good to them. Started using a few last year to see if I wanted to upgrade from Heritage. About every season a buy a new trap or two of different make, just out of curiosity and to 'field test' what else is out there.  Fore I tried the Jacks, I always came back to my heritages as the go-to's. That has begun to change. I bought 3 jacks last season, will buy 2 or 3 more this season, and then my heritages will be delegated to 'back-up' or 'group fishing' status. I DO see how they might increase your catch rate do to fewer hit 'n spits (sensitive trip and really smooth spool) or flagless hits.

Offline NateD

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #18 on: Dec 27, 2016, 03:42 PM »
I think longevity is the point with Jacks. They are kiln dried first to weed out the junk wood, and then put together expertly. I will say that I am not a fan of Tim himself, as he has been rude to me on more than one occasion. I think there are other brands doing just as good of work, but none are better from my experience. Worth the money? Hard to say, but my son is going to have a great set of tip ups for the rest of his life that is for sure.

My dad did the same thing.  Every year he takes a trip to Moosehead with his college buddies, and since I was 10 he bought me one jack trap every year until I had a set.  15 years later I am still using them, zero maintenance, zero rust, and I haven't been nice to them at all.  It is pretty amazing how much ice fishing I've done and never had to buy a trap in my life.

Offline Gamalot

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #19 on: Jan 17, 2017, 08:11 AM »
I bought a set of 5 Cross Jacks 8 years ago because I like them. Yes, they are a bit pricey but as I get older I enjoy upgrading to the better quality equipment and the Jacks are just that. I already had 3 other full sets including the Heritage Lakers and they all work just fine as long as you maintain them.

I guess it all depends upon how serious you are about ice fishing. The Jacks will last your lifetime and probably into your grand kids lives. Some guys drive Chevy's while other like Mercedes and paying a few bucks more is only an issue for those on a tight budget. Jack traps won't catch fish any better than the others but they sure are better quality for the long run and with just a little care they will last. If you are fishing big water that calls for deep sets and possibly large fish then Jacks are the way to go and the Heritage Lakers are no slouches either. When I fish local ponds with shallower water I use the HT Polar discs that fit 5 in a bucket. There is no need to complain about the price, if you don't like it then just find a cheaper alternative and go fishing.
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Offline jiml

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #20 on: Feb 09, 2017, 10:53 AM »
Never had the pleasure of using a Jack trap but have seen and handled them. They are a high end quality product that will last for years. Presentation will get you more fish, but there is a certain satisfaction of having quality equipment. Kind of like having a fine rifle as compared to a plastic stocked all American Ruger. They'll both bring home the bacon.

THIS^

I've harvested more game than I can count with my bread and butter Mossberg 500.....rabbit, hare, deer, pheasant, ducks and squirrels.  It has taken a pounding and has never failed me.....it is not pretty.....but its functional.    I have much "better" shotguns in the safe.......even a browning new model a5 and a pristine 1969 Belgian made original a5.  But the mossy comes with me every time in the field.......and I actually find my success rate on certain hunts better because of it........I'm not afraid to go into the ball busting thickets what that mossy 500 for rabbit, hare and pheasant.......when I used to take the brownings out for small game I'd stick to the trails because I was worried about dinging up my furniture!!!  The jacks are amazingly beautiful.....but I equate those to the guys that shoot trap and skeet with a kreighoff over under that ran em upwards of $7k........you still have to know how to shoot to have it improve your game!!!!  If you like the pretty stuff I get it.  But you can't "buy a better game"........you still have to know HOW to hunt......or fish. ;D

I'll stick to my old heritage lakers......2 decades of use.....and they ain't pretty......they just work.
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Offline NateD

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #21 on: Feb 09, 2017, 11:13 AM »
THIS^

I've harvested more game than I can count with my bread and butter Mossberg 500.....rabbit, hare, deer, pheasant, ducks and squirrels.  It has taken a pounding and has never failed me.....it is not pretty.....but its functional.    I have much "better" shotguns in the safe.......even a browning new model a5 and a pristine 1969 Belgian made original a5.  But the mossy comes with me every time in the field.......and I actually find my success rate on certain hunts better because of it........I'm not afraid to go into the ball busting thickets what that mossy 500 for rabbit, hare and pheasant.......when I used to take the brownings out for small game I'd stick to the trails because I was worried about dinging up my furniture!!!  The jacks are amazingly beautiful.....but I equate those to the guys that shoot trap and skeet with a kreighoff over under that ran em upwards of $7k........you still have to know how to shoot to have it improve your game!!!!  If you like the pretty stuff I get it.  But you can't "buy a better game"........you still have to know HOW to hunt......or fish. ;D

I'll stick to my old heritage lakers......2 decades of use.....and they ain't pretty......they just work.

Ever need to replace parts on those lakers?

Offline Gamalot

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #22 on: Feb 09, 2017, 11:42 AM »
THIS^

I've harvested more game than I can count with my bread and butter Mossberg 500.....rabbit, hare, deer, pheasant, ducks and squirrels.  It has taken a pounding and has never failed me.....it is not pretty.....but its functional.    I have much "better" shotguns in the safe.......even a browning new model a5 and a pristine 1969 Belgian made original a5.  But the mossy comes with me every time in the field.......and I actually find my success rate on certain hunts better because of it........I'm not afraid to go into the ball busting thickets what that mossy 500 for rabbit, hare and pheasant.......when I used to take the brownings out for small game I'd stick to the trails because I was worried about dinging up my furniture!!!  The jacks are amazingly beautiful.....but I equate those to the guys that shoot trap and skeet with a kreighoff over under that ran em upwards of $7k........you still have to know how to shoot to have it improve your game!!!!  If you like the pretty stuff I get it.  But you can't "buy a better game"........you still have to know HOW to hunt......or fish. ;D

I'll stick to my old heritage lakers......2 decades of use.....and they ain't pretty......they just work.

I agree 100% with what you said. I have both Heritage lakers and Jack Traps so I can give a very fair critique on both. HLs are a fine tip up and all any real ice man will ever need as long as he cares for them. The ones I have are made from what appears to be Poplar wood that came un treated with no protective shelac or poly coating. The spool axle is pressed in and the flag and spring are what appears to be galvanized metal. My HL spools are plastic but I have seen some that came with aluminum spools. I have had a spool fall right out from the pressed in axle while fishing so that led me to do some maintenance on the tip ups, sealed the wood and pinned the spool shafts so they won't pop out. Wood swells when it gets wet and is not brought into the house after fishing and allowed to dry. Yes, they sure do work fine and usually get the job done but they also do get ratty looking after some years of use.

My Jack Traps are highly sealed Oak with a very high gloss finish that lasts and lasts. All the hardware is excellent quality stainless steel and the spools are aluminum. Not so much as a drop of rust or wear after over 8 years of constant use. I don't have to do anything on them to keep them looking and working great and just like new. They cost at the time I bought them twice the price as the HLs did but I am perfectly fine with that simply for the added quality and durability. I do get the Nice Gun/Beater gun analogy but I have no issue with tossing my Jacks in a bucket and taking them all over when ever I want to fish. I use the HLs for friends I take fishing that don't have decent equipment.

For ice fishing no one needs Heritage Lakers or Jack Traps to catch fish. I see others with what I consider cheap Chinese junk tip ups catch just as many fish and for sure the fish don't give a damn who made the tip ups. If you happen to like General Motors cars you know some guys buy the Chevy while others go for the Cadillacs and that is the difference between HLs and Jack Traps. I have had just about all of them including the Beaver Dams and I like my Jack Traps the best of all of them. I have never had a wind flag with the Jacks and I can adjust the tension it takes to trip the flag for when I use larger bait. I never have a problem seeing a flag up and never did with the HLs either. It is a simple matter of personal preference and the ability to afford the better gear. I never have seen a better made or higher quality tip up than my Jack Traps but I know for sure I will never need them when someone does build one. These will be handed down to my sons and grand sons and maybe the great grand sons and further.
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Offline jiml

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #23 on: Feb 09, 2017, 12:57 PM »
Ever need to replace parts on those lakers?

One time in 20 years of ownership.....went through them a couple years ago and changed out the hardware and flags.  Never had a failure while actually fishing with them either. 

The parts I bought were piece of mind because after 18 years on the lakes getting tossed in and out of sleds and buckets the flags were starting to peal off the poles......found it easier to just buy the full parts kit that came with a full flag and all the brass hardware for the spool. 

That is it.

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Offline NateD

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #24 on: Feb 10, 2017, 04:16 PM »
One time in 20 years of ownership.....went through them a couple years ago and changed out the hardware and flags.  Never had a failure while actually fishing with them either. 

The parts I bought were piece of mind because after 18 years on the lakes getting tossed in and out of sleds and buckets the flags were starting to peal off the poles......found it easier to just buy the full parts kit that came with a full flag and all the brass hardware for the spool. 

That is it.

They sound pretty nice, my 6 jack traps are going on 15 years never replaced a thing, no grease, no tightening bolts, nothin'. But my dad bought me them one at a time when I was a kid, and they were 32 dollars then, so I can see not wanting to spend the cash on a full set, if somebody stole mine, I wouldn't be able to replace all of them.


Offline Gamalot

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #25 on: Feb 10, 2017, 05:17 PM »
I bought my set of 5 Jack Traps probably 10 years ago when he was running a sale. Think I paid $150 plus shipping and I put my own line on them. I never had to do anything but dry them off after a day of fishing by standing them near the wood stove. They work flawlessly with the SS trip wire going through a SS tube and the grease is still there after all these years. I do believe but really don't know, there could be a lubrication point under one of the tube braces so you can grease the shafts of the trip tube. The gloss finish on the wood is about as good as new after many days soaking in cold water and even freezing up in the holes. I just like them and if I had to replace gear that was stolen it would be Jacks for sure.
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Offline jiml

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #26 on: Feb 10, 2017, 05:47 PM »
They sound pretty nice, my 6 jack traps are going on 15 years never replaced a thing, no grease, no tightening bolts, nothin'. But my dad bought me them one at a time when I was a kid, and they were 32 dollars then, so I can see not wanting to spend the cash on a full set, if somebody stole mine, I wouldn't be able to replace all of them.
I've seen them for $49 each now.
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Offline walpy

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #27 on: Oct 31, 2017, 08:22 AM »
I've been buying mine and a set for my brother 2 a year, 1 on birthdays and 1 on Christmas.. fill in the gaps with Arctic Fires for now.

Offline BillyChuck

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #28 on: Dec 09, 2017, 09:55 AM »
I just purchased my first 3 Jacks. LLBean carries them and I just took advantage of a 25% off coupon and Free shipping.$39 each.

Offline Gamalot

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Re: JACK TRAPS
« Reply #29 on: Dec 09, 2017, 10:36 AM »
I just purchased my first 3 Jacks. LLBean carries them and I just took advantage of a 25% off coupon and Free shipping.$39 each.

LL Bean seems to carry just the standard and big bob model of the Jacks. If you go to his site there are a number of different styles and woods to select from that might suit your needs a bit better. I bought a set of 5-31 inch Cross Jacks in Oak about 5 years back and think I paid right around $150 delivered. They came without line but were available rigged for a bit more. He does offer some decent deals when you are buying sets and hands down they are the best tip ups I have ever used. Similar to the Heritage Lakers and a few others but just better quality materials and the poly finish is flawless. For just a few bucks more each it is no contest which ones to get.

I am rather anal about my equipment so the only time I even take the Jacks is when I am going on an easy access lake where I know they won't get beat up bouncing around on a long bumpy haul. I take the Lakers on those adventures or even the HT Polar extreme disc type when I am going to shallow ponds. The Jacks are just too nice to abuse them IMO but they are built heavy duty enough to handle a lot of abuse for a lot of years and then hand them down to children and grand kids.

Gam
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