Custom ultra light float tube

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Rory McMahon, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. SHigSpeed

    SHigSpeed Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Rocklin, CA
    Blow away indeed. In fact, with this tube, you will have to be very careful on shore or it will certainly "escape" to the far side of the lake (or over the ridge) if you're not careful!

    Too bad leashes have weight or I'd add one... ;)

    _SHig
     
  2. SHigSpeed

    SHigSpeed Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Rocklin, CA
    Hey All,

    It's been a while since I've updated the thread. Really not much new with regards to the tube. I've been out a few times and still loving the boat.

    I have been selling a few here and there as well and I'm well into the second half of the roll of fabric I have. Once this roll is gone I'll have to reconsider if I'll be doing more on not.

    In the meantime, I had an afternoon free this weekend so I decided to put together a video of the "birth" of a tube. I usually batch processes to streamline the production but in this case I made one from start to finish save for some pre-cutting of some of the fiddly-bits.

    Hope you enjoy!

    _SHig

    [video=youtube;nW6m5TE6yHw]
     
  3. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Messages:
    8,635
    Likes Received:
    2,982
    Location:
    Your City ,State
    Love the tube and fins SHig, but as Kent said, the weather has pretty much ended high lake fishing for the season here. I have a small pond with stocked triploids near by tho. For waders I have an old set of Red Ball Super Tough that weigh 16 oz. I pair those up with some 2 mm neoprene socks, but I haven't weighed them yet to see what the total is. Not as light as yours obviously, but still way lighter than any other float tubing alternative I know of.

    Sg
     
  4. Blue

    Blue Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,251
    Likes Received:
    128
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Home Page:
    I am exhausted.....Very cool Shig.
     
  5. Fishinbeatsworkin

    Fishinbeatsworkin Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Walnut Creek, CA
    My _SHig float tube arrived sometime yesterday. I just saw the box on the front porch a little while ago. I couldn't be more pleased. My Outcast Trinity that I've been lugging around for the past 7+ years weighed 8lbs 10.3oz including the sea to summit stuff sacks I put it in and including my backpacking fins. _SHig's complete set as it arrived from him including his fins, repair kit, inflator & carry bag only weighs 2lbs 6.7oz per my scale. That's a savings of 6lb 3.6oz. For a guy who likes to hike to remote lakes, that is a huge weight savings. Awesome. Thanks _SHig
     
  6. Fishinbeatsworkin

    Fishinbeatsworkin Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Walnut Creek, CA
    I took my SHig float tube out for a test run last weekend. I can only compare
    it to my Outcast Trinity. I hiked 2 miles into a lake with it and his fins in
    my backpack. SHig's float tube and fins are over 6lbs lighter than the
    Trinity with the Creek Company hard plastic fins. Plus Shig's float tube
    rolls up to about the size of a nalgene bottle. Set up was a breeze, it only
    took a few minutes to inflate with his included air bag plus a few puffs of
    breath. One downside I found was Shig's lacks a backrest but I knew that
    going in. That was easily solved by placing a dry bag with additional layers
    and gloves behind me. It was going to get much colder before I would get off
    the water so I brought those items along to eliminate kicking back to shore.
    I was on the water for over 10 hours for 1 1/2 days and the dry bag worked
    fine. Backrest problem solved. Shig's float tube is quite large and stable.
    It glides across the water. My biggest surprise was the effectiveness of his
    fins. I've been underwhelmed with my Force Fins, Omega Flip fins, etc. I was
    skeptical when I first saw SHig's given how lightweight they are but they
    really shine on the water. I put a pair of neoprene booties on over my wader
    booties and my feet slipped right into his. On the water the fabric portion
    of his fins act like water scoops and move quite a bit of water. Those things
    felt like I had nothing on my feet, are very comfortable and really scooted
    the float tube across the water with minimal effort. I would say they were
    some of the best float tube fins I've ever used. Two thumbs up on his fins.
    Another issue I thought about was the durability of the fabric material on
    the tube. My Trinity has taken a lot of rough handling. With Shig's one
    should be a little more careful which isn't hard to do. Overall I am very
    pleased with his creation. If you are looking for a lightweight backpack
    option for float tubing, his float tube & fins are the way to go. Thanks again
    SHig!
     
  7. Fishinbeatsworkin

    Fishinbeatsworkin Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Sorry about the word wrap issue on the previous post.
     
  8. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Messages:
    8,635
    Likes Received:
    2,982
    Location:
    Your City ,State
    Thanks for the review. I got one too, but it was just a but too late in the season for where I want to use it. So I put it away and will give it its maiden voyage next spring.
     
  9. qacwac

    qacwac New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Jackson, WY
    Message sent. Hope you're still making them.
     
  10. SHigSpeed

    SHigSpeed Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Rocklin, CA
    Sent you and email...

    _SHig
     
  11. Blue

    Blue Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,251
    Likes Received:
    128
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Home Page:
    SHig, I am also interested in you Ultra light.
    Thanks
     
  12. WLLLC

    WLLLC New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    10
    A new 3.8 pound ultralight float tube was recently introduced, and a customer produced an independent review on You Tube. It is designed specifically for backpackers.

    Search YouTube for: Wilderness Lite Backpacker Pro
     
    Blue likes this.
  13. SHigSpeed

    SHigSpeed Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Rocklin, CA
    So, it's been a while since an update. I've been itching to get out again and had plans for an opening day escape but the late season snow storm put the kibosh on that.

    I had a shot to get out this weekend, and even though there was a forecast for wind, I wasn't going to be denied again.

    My buddy and I packed our gear and made it to the trailhead just after sunrise. The three mile hike in was pretty uneventful and there was hardly a hint of a breeze.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We dropped our packs and the lake. Wind, I don't see any wind!

    [​IMG]

    Well, unfortunately the fishing wasn't spectacular but we did each get one. Oh, and that wind? It did show up eventually...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You can see the other guys on shore in the photo above that showed up later contemplating shoving off in the gale. Turns out the wind was gusting to 40(!!) mph.

    What I learned:

    - The "bag of rocks" anchor works, kinda. My bag had to be chock full, and it still dragged on the mud bottom.
    - Wind and ultralight float tubes are NOT friends! I about lost the boat to the lake and JUST managed to grab it before it flew away. Even holding it by the handle it took off spinning like a kite and I managed to tear the strap.
    - You get a smug sense of superiority when you seen guys and their giant gear piles watching as your little backpack swallows your boat.
    - My fins work damn well in the blow. The last time my friend and I fished a drive up lake I just about died kicking upwind using my Force fins while Scott was sporting the ultralights and laughing in the face of the breeze. This time even though the wind was probably worse, I never felt outgunned.

    Anyway, not much really new to report as far as tube design is concerned. I've managed to use up my first full roll of fabric and I'm looking into getting another. I've updated the fins a bit in light of some reliability issues. And I'm considering building waders as that's the last bit of the kit that's not available off the shelf.

    Can't wait to get back out...

    _SHig
     
    Brian Miller and Blue like this.
  14. bigdood

    bigdood fishing hack

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    128
    Location:
    PDX, OR
    Home Page:
    Was talking about these with a fishing buddy today, glad to see you've been updating the thread
     
  15. Fishinbeatsworkin

    Fishinbeatsworkin Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Walnut Creek, CA