Well now that the ice season is winding down I thought it about time to get my sonar rigged up for my tube. At tubedudes request I took some pictures to document my project. To my knowledge this is the first mount of its type. So here it goes...... [inline IMG_4402.jpg] My tube is a W.W. Griggs V-6000 tube that I purchased at Sportmans Warehouse a few year ago and has been a good tube for the $60 that I spent on it. The mount presented some challenges since most of the mounts so far on other model tubes have been able to utilize a front pocket drink holder to mount the sonar screen. This tube has no such pocket. I still wanted the sonar to be located toward the front of the left pocket to be out of the way of casting. [inline IMG_4401.jpg] I also wanted to take advantage of the RAM mounting system that I already utilize to mount the sonar screen to my ice fishing cooler as well as in my boat. The RAM mounts give you ultimate flexibility in what angle you want your screen to face for optimal viewing. [inline IMG_4400.jpg] Here are my starting supplies. A 7 inch 2X4 well sanded, a new RAM mount ball from Cabelas, and stainless 3/4 inch screws and washers. [inline IMG_4404.jpg] The tube was deflated and the air bladder removed since I was about to use sharp objects. The piece of 2X4 was cut to fit exactly into the very front of the left pocket. [inline IMG_4405.jpg] I used 3 screws with the washers to screw through the front wall of the pocket into the 2X4. [inline IMG_4407.jpg] And then used two screws on each side of the pocket to screw into each end of the 2X4. The seven screws hold the 2X4 firmly in place even when the tube is deflated. This forms the base to attach the RAM mount ball. [inline IMG_4408.jpg] The RAM mount ball is then screwed into the center of the 2X4 with 3 more stainless screws and washers. [inline IMG_4409.jpg] the RAM arm then clamps onto the ball and securely attaches the sonar screen. It can be adjusted to just about any angle for best viewing in different lighting/glare conditions. When the air bladder was reinserted and inflated it gave even more rigidity to the mount. [inline IMG_4410.jpg] The pocket can be zipped up completely with just the RAM arm sticking up to prevent gear loss. The screen can easily be removed and stored in the pocket during transportation. My next project is designing a battery box with cigarette type power cord plug in that will fit in the pocket and then build the transducer mount out of PVC like Tubedude uses. I will have that as part II sometime soon.
Cabela's has some of the best looking Fiberglass ones. We had some in the store that people swore they were the real thing. I had a friend that had a nice rainbow skinned and mounted (first off being able to keep it till you get it to the taxidermy), plus they tend to discolor. The friends trout after 5 years now is not looking all that great anymore and the guy who did his has done thousands so not a smulchy job. I also have another friend that is a taxidermy by trade and I might be an apprentis (SP) said that fish are the hardest to do and he prefers the fiberglass, beautiful work also, but your choice. Or maybe someones kid's choice
In my opinion a fiberglass is just that fiberglass, you can't make a fish look right with fiberglass. I had my 7 pound brown mounted last year, a skin mount and it looks awesome, way better than any reproduction I have ever seen. You just can't reproduce the fish as well with fiberglass, in my opinion. My taxidermist did an awesome job on my brown, there is no way a reproduction could look a real as a skin mount.
I have never kept a trophy fish for a wall hanger but would someday love a big one hanging in my office. I just haven't caught the right one yet. But of all places that I may have a good shot at catching one it would be Henrys Lake. So tell me about the fiberglass molds.....who does them? Do they really look as good (and life like) as the real fish? How much do they cost compared to a real mount? And what info other than length, girth, weight, and a lot of pictures do you need to get to have one accurately made??? Thanks for the info!
Just remember when at Henry's, length, girth, weight, a lot of pictures, revive, and let go. I caught a lot of chub up there in the 12" to 16" range and we all know what happened at Strawberry. Besides, the big fish aren't good eatin' and the fiberglass molds look a lot better
I am hoping to hit both Scofield and Strawberry at ice off in the tube. Once it is all open water I will get the boat out and then depending on who I go with.... sometimes we stay in the boat and vertical jig or sometimes use the boat to get us to a location and then jump out into the tubes and jig or grab the flyrods and strip some buggers. If I can find where the fish are I would prefer to be fishing in my tube rather than in the boat. Its just more fun to be "one with the fish". That being said however, I often take my kids fishing with me and that requires a lot of 1 on 1 supervision so I don't take my tube and just stay in the boat with them. I am also heading up to Henry's Lake for opening day (memorial day weekend) and will be using the tube to try to find me a couple of big hybreds about 10 pounds each!
Very nice work and idea, thank you for sharing. I know you like to fish the Berry a lot, are you going to be tubing up there very much?
Just remember, cleaning fish only becomes an issue if you catch (and keep) some. I really have done a job of paring down the amount of tackle I take out on every jaunt. I have been able to replace the fork lift with a simple appliance dolly.
Thanks, I had a good pattern to follow for how to put up a good pictorial post after looking at your latest sonar mounting project. I was pleased with the outcome of the project. My pocket space is not quite so valuable as yours since I don't bring along 8000 different plastics and then include the kitchen sink when I travel with tube! But I'm sure it does come in handy when cleaning fish! LOL
Good stuff, Steve. I'm sure that the small amount of pocket space you gave up inside the pocket will not be nearly as important as the stable and efficient sonar mount. I will leave this pictorial post on the main tubing board for awhile, and then I will move it over to the Picture Board section. I'm sure that your design will be copied in the future. Thanks for the fine step by step.
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