Catch More Fish

by jetty, published

Catch More Fish by jetty Apr 20, 2013

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An automatic hook setter for a standard ice fishing rod.

This device dramatically increases your hookup rate, by setting the hook automatically when the fish takes the bait.

It's also safer for fish than conventional means if you're practicing catch and release as it doesn't give the fish the chance to swallow the hook, you'll get more hookups in the mouth.

Once triggered, you lift the rod out of the holder and you have a conventional rod and reel to bring in your fish.

The hook setting process is, the fish tugs on the bait, pulling the line
which releases the zigzag catch at the end of the rod. The rod which was spring loaded by being bent, now goes straight, pulling on the line at speed and setting the hook.

This thing makes use of the wonderful Plastic T-Slot by ProtoParadigm for the legs.

Some features:

  1. Collapsable with quick release clamps, so easy to transport

  2. Will work with the reel handle on either side of the rod.

  3. Tested, it really does work.

  4. The catch can also be used for shore fishing with a regular rod
    and rod holder.

  5. Very cheap to replicate !

I highly recommend combining this with "Fish-On Now!" http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:53840 so that you know when a fish has been caught and to avoid tiring the fish.

WARNING / DISCLAIMER: Do not place your face over this device, if it goes off accidently or a fish comes along whilst setting up you could injure your face or eyes. Also you can break your rod if apply too much tension. Use at your own risk.

Also, check your local regulations to see if automatic hook setters are allowed. To my knowledge most do, but Ontario and Minnesota do not.

2 x 6-32 Nut
2 x 6-32 x 2 inch countersunk machine screw
2ft fishing line >= 8lb test


  1. Print 6 x 100mm pieces of 20mm Plastic T-Slots following the instructions here:

(I use ditto printing in Sailfish to print 2 at once)

Use customizer to:

  1. Print 2 of the Pivot Joint Plate (50% fill, 1 shell)

  2. Print 2 of the Pivot Joint Quick Release Clamp Plate (100% fill, 1 shell, full support)

  3. Print the Rod Holder (15% fill, 2 shells)

  4. Print the Hook Setter Clip (100% fill, 2 shells). I normally print a few of these as spares in case of breakage, and at a few different angles and choose the best one for a rod.


  1. I like to make an acetone glue and wipe it all over the surfaces for the T slots and rod holder to give it extra strength.

  2. Acetone glue 3 T-Slots together to make a 300mm long T-Slot leg. Repeat with the remaining 3 T-Slots.

  3. Examine and find the bearing block plate with a recess for a hex nut, keep this aside, we'll call it the "Nut bearing block plate".

  4. Acetone glue 2 bearing block plates to the bearing block. When dry push fit the bearing block (optionally glue) to the T-Slot leg. Repeat for the other leg.

  5. Acetone glue the "Nut bearing block plate" to rod holder using the notch as a guide, this is mounted so the nut recess is on the underside of the rod holder, repeat for the other side (making sure that's also on the underside).

  6. Acetone glue the remain 2 bearing block plates. When finished the leg bearing block plate should fit inside the rod holder bearing block.

  7. Assemble the quick release clamp by putting the quick release bearing inside the clamp and putting the 6-32 machine screw in so that the head is resting on the flat part of the bearing.

  8. Put the leg into it's bearing, put the machine screw through and put the 6-32 nut on the other end of the bolt. Tighten up and this forms your quick release clamp.

  9. Attach some >=8lb test fishing line to the hook setter clip with a knot as shown in the pictures, so that the knot is located in it's retainer.

  10. Put your rod in the rod holder, put the hook setter clip on the 2nd eyelet in from the end of the rod as shown in the pictures and put the other end of the fishing line through the hole at the front of the rod holder. Choose either the left or right hole depending on which side your reel handle is (choose the opposite) and pull until the rod is bent enough it has some tension, but doesn't break, tie a knot at the rod holder end.

Fishing With Catch More Fish:

  1. Expand legs to form approximately a 90 degree angle and set the quick release clamps.

  2. Put rod holder a little way back from the hole to make room for the rod. I use the ice left over from drilling the hole and push it down on top of the front of the arms of the rod holder, just in case you get that supersized pike that wants to steal your equipment.

  3. Release your reel and get the bait to the correct depth, close the bail and put the rod in the rod holder. Make sure the tension on your reel isn't set too light, otherwise the sharp action of the hook setting motion will slip the clutch on your reel and not set the hook.

  4. Bend the rod and put the small end of the hook setter clip over the 2nd eyelet, the tension should keep the clip in place, if it doesn't adjust the tension or use a clip with a different angle.

  5. Now hook the line over the hook setter clip, so that when the fish takes the bait, it will pull the clip out. See the photo with the blue line indicating where the line goes.

  6. Catch More Fish !

WARNING / DISCLAIMER: Do not place your face over this device, if it goes off accidently or a fish comes along whilst setting up you could injure your face or eyes. Also you can break your rod if apply too much tension. Use at your own risk.

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Ha, I've seen this Model before in passing (I recognised the thumbnail,) but I found it today in the "Summertime Collection" that was featured on the Thingiverse home page. The pictures don't look that Summer-y to me, haha. (I understand how this could be used in a Summer setting on a beach or river or something but I just found it a bit ironic). XD

Comments deleted.

Where is the rod holder file? All I'm seeing is some T-Slot and pivot plates. Am I missing something?

Click on "Open Customizer", where it says "Part", change it to "Rod Holder", then click on "Create Thing". For further information see my reply to tommy2toes below.

Duh! How did I miss that?!?! Thanks for the quick reply. Can't wait to hit the ice this weekend and try this bad boy out. I'll report back how I do with it!

Maybe it's my cheap Monoprice 3D printer... But I cannot get GCode to generate properly for the STL files I have downloaded. The GCode will generate but will basically lay a blob of PLA in the corner, then say that it's completed. I've tried importing into Sketchup, re-exporting -- I get the same thing. Any suggestions? I've also tried this with your "fish on light" -- same results. Thoughts?

The stl files are generated by Thingiverse, so it should just work, unless you have a corrupt startup gcode for your printer.

Do the .stl contain data, i.e. do you see the model when you load the .stl before converting it to gcode?

Another thought, have you placed the part on the surface of your platform or is it sitting above the surface?

All other STL's I've used from Thingiverse have worked. This is my first time trying with an original that was SCAD. The model is definitely there. I can see it in the software, but when the GCODE generates, it completes immediately and has an estimated time of 1 minute. I was hoping that importing/exporting using Sketchup would fix any corruption that may have happened.

I did have it on the platform, yes. Very confusing issue. I've never seen anything like it before.

Try opening up some other customizer things on thingiverse and see if you get the same problem. In which case it might be some incompatibility between the stl's generated by customizer and your monoprice. If the model is showing on the monoprice, then it looks like a monoprice software issue. OpenScad produces clean stl's, so it's unlikely sketch would be needed (at least I've never used it, and everything has worked fine in ReplicatorG).

The other approach would be to install openscad, download my code, compile it (F6) and export the stl. All the parameters you can see at the top of the file, so you don't need to be a programmer to change them, and really it's just the part number you need to change unless you want to change the sizes too.

This issue was solved by switching from Skeinforge 50 to Skeinforge 47 in ReplicatorG.

Forgive me for my ignorance on OpenSCAD (never used it before), but where can I change the part #? Once I load up your code, all I see are the T-Slot and pivot plates. I can see the "rod holder" and other parts listed in the code, but cannot see the model being generated.

Actually, ReplicatorG is what I'm using as well. That makes this even more bizarre. I'll try another customizer thing in the mean time.

Thanks again for your assistance!

If you're using ReplicatorG, it stinks of either you haven't placed the model on the bed (I think the button is Lay Flat On Surface or something similar from memory). OR you have a bad start.gcode.

If you're using OpenScad, then the location you want in the code is this:
part = "platePivotJoint"; // [platePivotJoint:Pivot Joint Plate, plateClamp:Pivot Joint Quick Release Clamp Plate, rodHolder:Rod Holder, hookSetterClip:Hook Setter Clip, pivotBlock:Pivot Block, bearingBlock:Bearing Block, bearingBlockNut:Bearing Block With Nut, quickReleaseClamp:Quick Release Clamp, quickReleaseBearing:Quick Release Bearing]

Where it says part = "platePivotJoint"; change that to part = "rodHolder"; then compile (F6) and export that stl etc., do this for each part. The list of parts you can change to is what is listed after the //, so you can change to:


I know for a fact I used the "put on platform" function. How could I troubleshoot the start.gcode? I just loaded the V29 Whistle in RepG and was able to generate GCode just fine.

Sweet, I found that line and was able to pull up different parts. That's pretty sweet, thanks for that! I was able to export the rodHolder from OpenSCAD. It seemed to build the GCode in RepG, but upon looking at it, it has failed to build a working GCode file again.

start.gcode is something that will depend one your printer, I don't have a monoprice.

Generate a gcode for the whistle, and a gcode for this using the same settings in RepG, and upload them both to dropbox,
then PM me the links to them, I'll take a look and see if I can spot anything wrong in your gcode.

Sent a PM.

This issue was solved by switching from Skeinforge 50 to 47 in ReplicatorG

i can do nothing with scad but if you take 2 minutes and change it to a stl. file i would definitely print it! i have a buddy that loves ice fishing but i don't remember him ever telling me he actually caught one lol. so if this could help well i'd like to give him one to try it out. ok well thanks in advance!

It's a customizable object. To get the stl's, click on "Open in Customizer", select the "Part" you want, and you can either change the settings or leave them at the default, then click on "Create Thing". Then your stl is generated and attached in your own things. Do this for every part. This approach applies to all customizable objects on Thingiverse, you don't need to learn openscad, it's all just point and click.

Of course, if you are familiar with openscad, another approach is to use that.

Comments deleted.

Is it possible for you to convert this to .stl? Also, what kind of fishing rod is that you're using? Thanks. :)

Openscad is free and runs on most platforms. It exports to STL easily.

Yeah I just figured that out.

Can you upload files?

Nothing to upload, click on the "Open Customizer" button to generate your .stl's. Or you can download the opensad file and generate them yourself.

Great Photo, almost makes it look warm and inviting out there! Never even considered ice fishing could be fun. What do you wear on your feet to stay warm, live animals? Penguin slippers?

I fish from a boat but minus the stand this should work great

I wish I could fish wherever it was that you were fishing!?! It looks absolutely amazing! Here in wisconsin the snow is gone and the season is over :(

Still 3 foot of ice, probably will be around a couple of more weeks, but it's high up in the mountains.

Printing a couple for friends. Great job! Wish it wasn't going into spring here in NY! Andrew (http://3dhacker.com3dhacker.com)

Here in Wisconsin (and other places as well) this is called a "Tip-Up".

I know a lot of people in my area who would want one of these! alas, the lake it thawing now, and all the ice shacks have vanished from the lake. Not that I mind, winter was exceptionally long this year.

Just went camping on the beach, used identical chair. We prefer to keep our ice in a cooler. ;)

I have that chair for lacrosse tournaments

Never need fridge space to keep your beer cold. :-)

That's a beautiful lake.