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FLOAT TUBE FISHING FORUM » Float Tubes, Pontoons and Related Equipment Discussions » Show Your Float » Updating The Ride - building out my Super Fat Cat

Updating The Ride - building out my Super Fat Cat

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Mo2vation


Junior FTFF Member
Junior FTFF Member
Hey folks

Been tubin' from the start. My current ride for the last 5 or 6 seasons is a Super Fat Cat by Outcast.  After about 20 years of using the Caddis rod holders (finest tube rod holders on the planet) - I've decided to take the plunge and build a proper rod rack.  

a) two rod  holders often isn't enough.  I generally take out 2 spinning and a fly rod for fresh... taking a 4th or 5th rod is pretty impractical without a rack, and I want to add another fly rod

b) I'm adding a Helix 5 GPS to the rig this week... and it will sit where the Caddis holder has sat forever.

I've gone down the PVC route, and always come back to the Caddis holders.  They are simply a marvel of perfect design.  Proper angle easy to adjust with one hand, accommodate fly rod or spinning rod effortlessly, the mount is in the back and not in the middle... they're simply perfect.   As an alternative to the PVC rack, I've opted for the Cast Mate.  I have two and I' working through them this weekend.

I'll have shots of them later.  Still working through things.  I'll be rigging them OB-style - on top of the float, around the pockets, under the cup holder.  I seriously can't see any other way of installing them.

They are a pretty neat set up.  They are far from perfect, but they are absolutely built for this purpose, and I like purpose-built stuff.

If you're considering the Cast Mate system (and you should), here are my early thoughts:

1) assembly can be problematic. The screws are tapping as they're screwing.  The instructions state you MUST use a #1 Phillips driver.  I have half-a-dozen... not the best fit.  Too much torque required to tap.  After spinning out the first two screws, I ended up using a robo-grip to turn the screw past the tapping stage, and finished with the #1.  Much better way to go.

2) the rod holders are awful.  I have the Cast Mate Fly Rod holders.  The mount is cool - love that I can slide along the rail.  But the rod holding tube is an awful design - especially for a fly rod.  And even for a spinning rod.  

At first, I simply black tape-wrapped my beloved Caddis rod holders (to increase the diameter) and made them work in the Cast Mate rail mounts.  But I realized I do much more spinning of the rod holders (trees, docks, tight spaces, etc.) than I do sliding them.... and the tape solution effectively nullified the spin feature.  

I've tossed the Cast Mate holders and upgraded to Scotty rail clamp base.

With the Scotty #241 base I added the #242 bottom plate - these two will grip the 1" OD tube of the Cast Mate rails and will allow any Scotty post mount to be inserted.  

I ended up swapping out the 4 bolts that came with the Scotty.  They use 1/4-20 bolts (nice) but they are too long, and they protrude a bit... I don't trust something that thready that close to my tube.  So I made a trip to HD and grabbed some 1/4-20  1.5 inch.... perfect!!

Rod holder mounts and Transducer mount all done.  Still cycling through rod holders to figure out which I like best.  Its getting down to the Scotty or the Brocraft holders.  

The Scotty holder won't fit into the Brocraft base, but the Brocraft holder will fit into the Scotty base.  Scotty holders are designed, by and large, for trolling... so they are a very tight fit.  The Brocraft is so much easier to lift and turn than the Scotty... we'll see.  The major upside to the Brocraft is they're designed almost like the Caddis - with a drop in notch design.... as all rod holders should be.

SO:

* Rack done (Cast Mate)

* Rod holder mounts done (Scotty)


NEXT:

* Fish finder mounting (It'll be here Monday - a 5 ah from Wade at FF Mounts.  Such a nice guy)

* Picking the Rod Holders

* Net solution - I fashioned a net mount years ago.  I have to move it now with the FF and the racks.  I may just let it ride shotgun in the back of the tube.  I don't need speed with the net, just accessibility with my left hand.  

More in the next few weeks as I test and perfect, re-config and get this on the water.

- Ken


Caddis Float Tube Rod Holder... best ever.



Caddis with Spin Rod - Nice!




Caddis with Fly Rod- Nice!






Brocraft - very good, drop in design... good for Spin or Fly Rods





Awful design of Cast Mate Fly Rod Holder.... most sub-9 wt fly rods don't have butts.... how is this thing going to hold the fly rod?  Sorry guys. Love the rack, tossing the holders.





Too scary with the stock bolts.





Shorter bolts rule!



Last edited by Mo2vation on Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:29 am; edited 1 time in total

Mo2vation


Junior FTFF Member
Junior FTFF Member
Some additional pics of the work in progress.  

The Scotty spinning / Bait Casting holders are coming in tomorrow. We'll see.  I really like the drop in design of the Brocraft.

I don't have rods in the holder to troll.  I hold two rods as I kick - I can't imagine not feeling the strike.... c'mon.  That's the best part.  Trolling with a rod in the holder is like sitting in a beach chair at Irvine Lake and waiting for the bells to ring at the end of your rod so you can condescend to actually get up and mind your gear and set the hook.  

I don't know what that is, but it isn't fishing.

So I don't need a rod holder to withstand a strike - just one to keep things tight and out of the way.

Coming together slowly.   Next weekend I'll get it on the water.

- K



Transducer Mount. Scottys did a great job with this - with two silicone pads between the ratchets for quick pull up and drop down




Part of the quiver









Last edited by Mo2vation on Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:45 am; edited 1 time in total

SP Dan

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Moderator
I look forward to your write up and critique along w/ pic's of your new n' improved FT set up.

SP Dan     <"))><


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"Obsessive Compulsive Fishing Disorder"!

Jerdon

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Moderator
Congratz on the precision construction and I too am looking forward to some pics. I think of mine as evolutionary steps as opposed to a finished project.


_________________


http://jerdonking.tripod.com/

Ornery Bob

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Moderator
Great posts.

I think personalizing your tube is a big part of the fun of the whole sport.

I also get a kick out of it when people see that I have a fish finder with GPS and they can't believe I have electronics on a float tube. I've talked to lots of guys on the beach who didn't realize that float tubes are serious business and you really can have it all.

http://www.ornerybob.com

Mo2vation


Junior FTFF Member
Junior FTFF Member
@Ornery Bob wrote:Great posts.

I think personalizing your tube is a big part of the fun of the whole sport.

I also get a kick out of it when people see that I have a fish finder with GPS and they can't believe I have electronics on a float tube. I've talked to lots of guys on the beach who didn't realize that float tubes are serious business and you really can have it all.

Oh, I don't pack light. Smile

I bring lots of clothes, lots of gear. You never know what you're going to find out there.

This season I want to meter the lakes I've been fishing since I was a boy - confirm the spots that produce and find others that look like them. Smile

- Ken

Litefoot

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Team Poseidon
Team Poseidon
The build sounds nice when Do we get to see it. I'm waiting to see the Helix 5 mounted please send pictures cheers

Mo2vation


Junior FTFF Member
Junior FTFF Member
@Litefoot wrote:The build sounds nice when Do we get to see it. I'm waiting to see the Helix 5 mounted please send pictures cheers

Will do buddy.

One part arrives tomorrow, the other on Wednesday.

Lots to still do, but its all coming along. Smile

-K

dayhut

avatar
Team Poseidon
Team Poseidon
I can relate to modifying your buggy; I do it myself.
Except to my float tube...

I don't want things strapped to it.
I don't use a fish finder.
I don't bring it if won't fit in the pockets or my bucket.
I don't expect to take longer than 5 minutes from arrival, to finning away from shore.

No extensive setup, nothing but the water and and the basics.

But I enjoy seeing the stuff you all come up with.
Thanks for sharing.

Ornery Bob

avatar
Moderator
You mean you just.... fish?

He he, I know the feeling. Every now and then I will leave it all in the car and go commando style.

That's the great thing about being the Captain of the boat. You decide how it floats!

http://www.ornerybob.com

Mo2vation


Junior FTFF Member
Junior FTFF Member
Continuing on the build -

My new best friend, Wade from Fishfindermounts.com hooked me up....first wave arrived today.  

Small little package when I got home.  And from arrival to install - about 25 minutes.  

This stuff comes assembled and ready to rock.  A few screws, thread the webbing and you are ready to go.  So impressed with the quality of the milling and molding, the configuration, and how super simple this all was.   I am confident this will be one of my favorite purchases as I look back over the years.

I plan on moving effortlessly from Tube to Rental boat with the rig, so I opted not to thread the Transducer onto the webbing around the float chamber - its just easier to turn a thumb screw and remove the transducer and screw it onto the Mag Mount.  

I also didn't not zip-tie the Transducer cable to the box.... I'll leave it rolled and stuff it into the drink holder.

That way I can lift off the box and finder, snap into my QR Clamp mount on the rental - and just toss the Transducer into the mag mount.  Super fast changeover.  I like it.

Some shots below.  

Next up:

* finalize rod mounts (Scotty spin rod mounts came in... hate them.  Looking like Brocraft Drop ins will be the ones)

* Build the Ram Mount and arms for the GoPro

* Ram Mount Cup Holder.... man's gotta stay hydrated

* Net solution (bungee, clip off to seat back D ring and toss into back, most likely)

* Dry bags for extra clothes, cell phone, etc. (bungee, clip off seat back D ring, toss into back)


Exciting.  Three more weeks until Opener.  I may go get this wet in Huntington Harbor this Sunday.

Can't wait!!!!


- Ken

Super happy with this!







Nice!






Cockpit View







Pretty Clean set up.  Pleased.  







Fish's View....








Transducer cord - wrapped and tossed into Cup Holder.  Not attached to FF Power Box







Franken-Ducer - Wade's mount on the Scotty Transducer arm



Last edited by Mo2vation on Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:54 am; edited 1 time in total

mthaubs

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Junior FTFF Member
Junior FTFF Member
Nice we are heading up to Bridgeport the week after Mothers day. The rats are lower and the crowd will thin out a bit.

Mo2vation


Junior FTFF Member
Junior FTFF Member
Continuing on the build....


One thing:  When you have a Cast Mate system, you have to free your mind, and let your imagination run wild.  You need to think of the project as a boat rail and not a float tube.  Kayaks have stuff bolted to them all the time - because they're solid.  

We generally don't think like that with a tube.   Crying or Very sad

When you have a Cast Mate - nearly all the same options are available to you - because you now have a solid rail to bolt stuff too....  its so liberating.  I love this system.

(OK - Cast Mate plug over....)   Razz

We've moved to an important part of the build:  The cupholder.  

I use a large, 30 oz Stainless Tervis.  And I finally found a cup holder that fits!  This thing is solid, adjustable, and mounted on a Ram Mount compatible gimbal.  I grabbed a Ram Mount that I can clamp down to the Cast Mate rail (remember, its a 1" OD) and BAM... insta holder.  Very happy

Next up I'm working on the video capture.  A GoPro mount. This will probably take awhile.  But the first contestant is a 48" connected boom.  

I got a 1.5" Ram ball that fits into a Scotty rod holder.  Solid!  Then a 1.5" to 1" clamp, then the two arm sections, and last the GoPro Ram ball mount.  

What I love about this is I can get the sweet OB-style over-the-shoulder shot, and simply swing the thing around for the profile shot, or swing around further for the front fighting / Landing shot.  

That's all for today!  I have a couple of more Camera rod mounts I'll try over the next few days.  

I'm going to get this in the water Sunday to get the rod holder placement and camera mounts dialed in.  

I'll have more shots soon.  


Next up:  


- More Cam Mount trials

- Stabilizing the Cast Mate Rails - so the video is nice.  I have some ideas there.

So excited!


- Ken


Cup Holder - cuz a man's gotta stay hydrated






Rail Clamp... love this thing!







Medium Ram Clamp - and done!








The Big Ball!  1.5" mounted in a Scotty Rod Holder Base.  Sweet!








1.5" ball to 1" ball clamp.  Super impressed with the Ram Mount line of stuff.







Over the Shoulder OB-Style.  salute






Cam mount down low... landing shot!



Last edited by Mo2vation on Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:00 am; edited 1 time in total

jeffcpr

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Admin
Is it just me I am not seeing pictures I am sure it is always good to see such great info on setups.


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http://floattubeforum.do-talk.com

Jerdon

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Moderator
I don't see pics either.


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http://jerdonking.tripod.com/

Mo2vation


Junior FTFF Member
Junior FTFF Member
Hmmm...... using drop box and pasting the address into the post.

I saw them in the preview, and I see them here in the post. Let me log out and log back in.

- Ken

Mo2vation


Junior FTFF Member
Junior FTFF Member
Hmmmmm. Logged out. Logged back in.

Mobile, no pics.

Desktop, pics all show.

Not sure what gives.

-Ken

Mo2vation


Junior FTFF Member
Junior FTFF Member
All 27 pics show from Desk Top. Logged in or logged out. Two different computers.

Not sure what's up. Maybe Admin can send me a PM and we can fix this. Smile

-Ken

Ornery Bob

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Moderator
If you're using the "Host an Image" button, you can use the "Select Files" button to upload them to this server. You have to "Send" and then "Update" to make them show (as I remember).

My biggest camera issue is forgetting the underwater camera is down there and crashing it into rocks. I finally killed it with that little trick last outing. It had a non-removable battery, so it would die after a few hours anyway and I was planning to upgrade, eventually.

I've been using a $40 GoPro knockoff for the over the shoulder camera, so it's going to become the new underwater camera and I'm getting a better quality (but still knockoff) camera that includes the ability to use an external mic, so I'll finally have some decent audio (hopefully).

These sport cameras are nuts. Every year you get more and more bang for your buck.

http://www.ornerybob.com

Litefoot

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Team Poseidon
Team Poseidon
I'm not trying to change the subject but on your Helix 5 do you no the difference between the Helix 5 and the Hook 2-5 triple shot ????

Mo2vation


Junior FTFF Member
Junior FTFF Member
Thanks everyone for the assist. All posts edited, removed DropBox pics and reloaded all into the FTF photo hosting.

All photos should now be visible.

- Ken

mthaubs

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Junior FTFF Member
Junior FTFF Member
Very nice set up.

jeffcpr

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Admin
That is great I can see it now looks like a lot of fun to build and I am sure it will work great


_________________
Matthew 4:19 Fisher of Men
http://floattubeforum.do-talk.com

Mo2vation


Junior FTFF Member
Junior FTFF Member
@jeffcpr wrote:That is great I can see it now looks like a lot of fun to build and I am sure it will work great

Thanks buddy.

Maiden voyage is Sunday. I'm sad there is a flotilla (float tube-illa?) heading out to HH on Saturday... my only day this weekend is Sunday.

I may head over to one of the local lakes or one of the put-and-take ponds just to get the rig dialed, make some notes, work on the GoPro angles, learn the Helix 5, etc, etc.... so basically no fishing ZZZZZZZ and all proof-of-concept rigging....

Which can be rewarding. Smile

Sunday will be fun. Better hit Saturday night service... Wink

Mounted the GoPro this morning - good stuff. The mount, as you'd expect on a float tube, isn't the most stable - even with video stabilization on. But its pretty solid, and my swing arm concept gives at least three very usable POVs from the single cam. Until I get another cam, this will have to do.

I'll do a walk around shoot soon.

Excited!

- Ken

Litefoot

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Team Poseidon
Team Poseidon
That is a great setup that cup holder is the best I have seen so far Very nice Job
cheers

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