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 [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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 [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
. 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 [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
base I added the [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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
.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.
* Rack done (Cast Mate)
* Rod holder mounts done (Scotty)
* 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.
- KenCaddis Float Tube Rod Holder... best ever. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Caddis with Spin Rod - Nice![You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Caddis with Fly Rod- Nice![You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Brocraft - very good, drop in design... good for Spin or Fly Rods[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] 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.[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Too scary with the stock bolts.[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Shorter bolts rule![You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]