Frankenfins vs Force Fins

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by IveofIone, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. IveofIone

    IveofIone Active Member

    Sep 23, 2003
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    IMG_1710.JPG IMG_1718.JPG I know Force Fins are about the best there is-most of my buddies fish with them and are very pleased with the fin's performance. So don't preach to the choir. At $200 they are a spendy investment-over twice what I paid for my 30# thrust trolling motor but are for the most part a lifetime investment. I should probably buy some, I spend more than that on steaks in 2 months.

    But I am and always have been a contrarian willing to defy conventional wisdom and go my own way. It has been a very satisfying journey indeed. So I didn't buy FF's but instead used the old green Caddis soft fins instead. I loved their soft yet powerful kick and used them for almost 20 years. I think they were about $40 new. But they had a fatal flaw in that they were lace ons with grommets set into the soft rubber. As they pulled out I replaced the grommets with bigger ones backed with fiberglass tape and epoxy. That bought me several more years of use but eventually there just wasn't enough material left to make a dependable fix.The new models were not the same rubber and didn't kick the same at all.

    Then Couleeflyfisher took sympathy on me and sent me a new pair of Watermaster fins that he wasn't using. They are nice fins but short and relatively stiff. The lights went on! I took the old Caddis fins and cut the nice soft ends off and grafted them onto the stiffer Watermasters. Voila! A fin that was both stout where it needed to be and flexible where it would make it quiet and easy for an old man to kick. Kind of like a good fly rod that has a powerful butt section but a nice sensitve tip.

    Now the straps that tighten the fins are starting to break down and need to be replaced. Since there is only one strap per fin I am going to buy essentially the same fin but it is updated with 2 straps per fin. This will be a more secure setup with far less chance of ever coming off. Checking my store room I find 2 more of the old Caddis fins that are just waiting to be converted to Frankenfins. Eight stainless bolts nuts and washers will be required at about $5, the new fins are $34.95 with $6 shipping and I'll have a brand new set of Frankenfins for under fifty bucks. These are some sweet kicking fins, easy to get on and off and have been very durable and comfortable. And I save enough over the price of Force Fins to buy a couple of new Redington CT's at the current price! Well, that's how my mind works anyway.

    Jeff Dodd and Ron McNeal like this.
  2. bakerite

    bakerite Active Member

    Nov 5, 2007
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    Baker City Oregon
    I like them! I like the way you think. My fins are old scuba fins, bought at a used sporting goods store in Portland, large enough that they fit over my wader booties. Cut them down the middle, install grommets and you have a great pair of fins for about $15. The rest of my money is going to Whitman and Lewis and Clark!
  3. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Sep 30, 2003
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    Central WA
    Ive, glad to see your Frankenfin idea is still alive and kicking!

    One suggested mod to make them even more secure and easier to get on and off. Replace the plastic buckle and strap with a cam strap like used for rafting. It will never loosen and tightens easily. It is equally easy to release the tension of the strap and remove them. I leave the strap long enough that I can get them on and off without having to remove the strap from the buckle.

    If I were to improve it, I would cut the buckle off leaving just a little bit of strap and sew it on one side of the fin then sew the long part of the strap to the other side so I have only one piece of strap going over my foot. NRS has a variety of colors to match your Frankenfins:

  4. jwg

    jwg Active Member

    Aug 22, 2009
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    West Richland, WA
    Great idea.