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BlueTipz Beginnings

I first met Brad when looking for an injection molding company. I wanted a reference for a Chinese company, and they suggested I talk to Brad. During our chat, I learned some things about the company, but I also learned about Deep Freeze. Brad had an idea for something that could totally change how people fish. There are currently two products that exist for technology in tipup fishing:

Tipup lights are great for night fishing, but they don’t solve the fundamental problem that you have to constantly be checking outside to see if your tipup is up.

Strike Sensor is mostly great, too, but it has downsides, too.

Brad wanted something that did both, and he wanted it to connect to your smartphone. I knew I could make that happen.

It started with a working prototype. I built a transmitter and a separate receiver (the smartphone connection would come later). We brought it to a friend’s ice castle. We had a Strike Sensor with us as well to compare.

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The ice castle we used for testing the reception range of our prototypes.

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Prototype receivers inside the center of the shack.

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This was about where the reception cut out. Clearly this is farther than most people would have their tipups, so we were happy with our testing.

Happy that we had not only surpassed our expectations, but also our competition, we moved forward with the development.

There were models after models, refining the design and making sure it would properly attach to a variety of flags, that the weight was ok, that the components inside would fit, that the screws would hold everything together.

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The very first rendering. We used a cylindrical window, a cap on top, and a piece of velcro to attach.

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So much prototyping and testing. We got a few iPhones and iPads to test against and went on some walks, leaving the tipup and walking until we no longer had reliable signal.

We tested night visibility, too, putting HT and Frabill tipup lights next to each other and walking until we couldn’t see them.

We told lots of people about it, too, and had some on the spot future sales. Ice fishermen’s eyes got big, and ice fishing noobs expressed incredulity at the awesomeness of this product.

Then, once we were completely satisfied that we had a fantastic product, we were happy with how it worked, and we were confident we could sell it, we moved ahead on production.