"New" fins road test


Active Member
A couple of weeks back I was fishing a remote high elevation lake near the Idaho border. After a day spent with just a moose and a bald eagle I loaded up my rig to start the long haul back down the mountain. Two days later I realized I had left my FrankenFins leaning against each other at the waters edge. I had used them for several years and liked the ease with which they went on and off. The back half was a set of Montana Kickers that were way too short from the get-go. I had cut down a pair of Creek Company plastic back packing fins and pop riveted about 6 more inches of fin onto the Kickers. They looked a little weird so Roper immediately dubbed them FrankenFins.

After shopping for fins on line and in catalogs I ordered another pair that looked very much like my Montana Kickers. But they were heavy and really short and had the crappiest buckles you can imagine. Couleeflyfisher came to my aid and gave me a set of older Watermaster step-in fins that are in excellent shape but short. Almost 7'' shorter than my old Caddis fins. With a big supply of the old soft rubber Caddis fins-the ones where the grommets always pull out-I had plenty of stock to build FrankenFins II. The Caddis fins were cut to extend the overall length by about 6 1/2''. Four # 10 bolts secured them after minor trimming and smoothing on a belt sander.

Today I took my creations up to a mountain lake over a rough boulder-strewn and cobble 4wd trail. The lake is difficult to reach and discourages frequent visits. I got there before sunup and launched from the muck into a tangle of weeds which was the hardest part of the day. Once in open water I realized that the new fins were just superb. They have plenty of power as a result of the stiff base fin and the extra 6 1/2" of soft rubber at the tips. They are powerful and smooth, especially as I finish each kick. The soft rubber tips do for your legs what shock absorbers do for your car. The best part is probably that they were free with only about an hours tinkering invested. I hope to take better care of the FF II's.

I talked to a guy about this lake a couple of months back and he told me that it was a down year and there was nothing in it. Then I saw his wife in the grocery and she whispered that he had brought home a limit of nice sized rainbows. Hmmmm. Somebody is lying. Time to scout it out in case any of my buddies come up this fall and want to fish some zipper-lip water. After kicking to the end of the lake with a full sink and getting no action I was getting discouraged as I hadn't even seen a fish rise. Changing over to a clear camo intermediate I was immediately rewarded with a chunky 15'' rainbow. During the next 2 hours I caught 6 more cookie cutter duplicates of the first fish and lost another 6 for one reason or another. During that time some weird stuff was going on in the forest adjacent to the lake. It is really dense and dark in there but I heard lots of crashing around and limbs breaking. I was expecting a griz to come running out any second and take a bite out of either me or my Super Fat Cat. It was kind of spooky to be up there all alone with that stuff going on.

But a fine morning nonetheless. The fins worked great and are better than the old ones, the new fly rod is a joy to hold in my hand and it looks like the lake will have a few very nice carryover trout next spring. In the ten years I have lived here this is the first August that has been cool enough to fish. I have been getting out 3-4 times a week and that beats the hell out of cowering inside to avoid the 90 degree+ temps that are usually typical in August. I'm liking it.


Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Sweet Ive, mother of necessity drives creativity. Seems like you've got a pale green and a pea green. Does one have a big R and one have a big L so you can tell them apart? Those look great.

For the record, my cataract oars have a red sticker R and green sticker L so I put them in the correct oarlock. Not sure why, but that is my nerotic behavior.


Not to be confused with freestoneangler
Ive, I have the Water Master fins and replaced the plastic buckle and strap with a short cam strap. It never comes loose now and is very easy to tighten.
My God, Man.....first the wife's chair, now the frankenfins. Are you getting old and starting to forget things????
Sorry Ive, couldn't resist. The frankenfin II's look great. Glad they worked out well. By the way, my father-in-law was up and wanted to fish a little. Even with the hot weather we slammed them on the 'Red Ivan'.


Active Member
Steve, Wrong on both counts! I am not getting old-I am old. And I'm not starting to forget things-I continue to forget things!

By the way-just where the hell IS Susie's chair these days?



Ignored Member
I talked to a guy about this lake a couple of months back and he told me that it was a down year and there was nothing in it. Then I saw his wife in the grocery and she whispered that he had brought home a limit of nice sized rainbows. Hmmmm. Somebody is lying.
Great report but are you trying to tell us you were lied to by a fellow fisherman? Come on. No one will buy that story.


Active Member
What a great post...wonder what was in the woods.
The fins are kind of cool. I broke down and bought some Omega flip ups. They had special awhile back with buy one and get one free.
So, at $160. a little hard to convince myself due to the fact I have the upper end Force Fins, but for $80. my brother in-law and myself are
enjoying them allot.
I still think they are hard on the ankles which should change over time, but I feel the FF are better in really bad weather waters.


Active Member
I was lied-to by a bait fisherman-does that carry any weight?

Roper, When will you be at the ranch again? Your place is only 3 hours from here in a decent handling car, I could buzz over and maybe hit the Kettle River on the way back.


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