Three straps - any two will hold it.

That’s the lesson I learned tonight coming back from a lake. First time ever I’ve lost a boat from off the truck. I was able to retrieve it, where it was neatly placed on the side of the road with skid marks nearby. Thank God it was a professional driver (by the tracks, I’m guessing it was a dump truck from a nearby quarry). So far as I know no one was hurt. That’s what was freaking me out the most - that someone would get hurt from my mistake. I can get more boats. From all I know, no new boat is needed and no one was injured, and I learned (relearned) a valuable lesson.

I didn’t catch anything, but I did see one heck of a sunset and had enough strong hits to go back. Too small of a jig head on and I didn’t feel like taking the time to retie. It was so pretty out, with a gentle breeze blowing the bugs away, and the deer were grazing, and the colors of the sunset were blowing me away, putting a fish to hand was fairly low on the priority list.

  • Big D

bet it was a heart stopper , D !!!

– Last Updated: Jun-23-11 12:26 AM EST –

...... what's it feel like the moment you know your boat is taking flight ?? What's it sound like ??

Canoe or kayak ??

Man oh man D , I'd be thanking the dear Lord .

About a year ago I started using two straps up at the bar on the cab . It was just bugging me to no end that if the one and only strap failed for some reason , any reason , things could go sour in the blink of an eye .

Prior to using straps I had always used ropes , plus bow tie downs ... but one day I got some straps (man enters 21st century and all that jazz) . Wasn't long after that I started having too much faith in the strap on the cab bar and began to stop using front tie downs . Ah , life in the 21st century is good , modernization , simplification ... da da da .

But something just kept bugging me , refer to above , two straps up front now :-)

One strap (the main one) holds the canoe to the bar in the standard way , over the canoe , under the bar and back over . The 2nd strap goes up under the canoe , around a seat , and both ends come in through the doors to fasten inside the cab ... this strap doesn't touch the bar . I figure it's a reasonable replacement for the front tie downs , plus has the added benefit of holding both the canoe and the bar down should one or the other get loose ... so far so good , and I feel much better about it all now too , which needless to say is worth it's weight in gold :-)

Have you ever thought about trying a 7" purple plastic worm (I like the semi long curly tail type myself) tossed into the cover and slowly pulled along the bottom (by raising rod tip) and over submerged logs , branches , etc. ?? ... they make these neat plastic worm hooks now that have the weight right on the shank of the hook ... no need for a nose bullet weight or split shot anymore , really makes it crawl through submerged stuff much better w/o minor snags like the nose weights used to do !!!

I like the strike , it's usually just two consecutive real light bumps , then I immediately lower the rod tip to slack the line , open the bail and watch those Largemouth peel out on the run ... give them a half dozen seconds or more into the run and click , when they reach the end of their rope ... set the hook !!

All but two of my over patch size Largemouth have been caught this way ... plus a slew of the smaller ones .

It was my small raft. I have to say that Outcast makes some durable stuff. I went back and recovered the boat then went to a gas station where there was a lot of light so that I could see well to tie it down. So far as I could tell, falling off my truck at highway speed and likely being hit by a dump truck didn’t damage the boat any.

The stern tie down came loose, that’s why it fell off. There’s a strap around the stern as a grab/safety handle. I strapped through it. That gave way. So when I tied it back on, I went through a self-bailing port. I put one strap at the front of the bed of the truck up and around the rowing frame and then across, around the rowing frame again, and then down to a cleat on the other side of the truck. The third strap was up from the rear of the truck around the cleat on the rowing frame that holds a trolling motor and then back down to a cleat on the other side of the truck. That was a ratchet strap, so I pulled it tight, tight, tight.

I did send up a prayer of thanks that no one was injured.

That technique sounds like a good one to try. I’m mostly a river fisherman, so still water techniques are new for me.

  • Big D

Outcast - wow!
I’ve done a thorough inspection of the boat and there is no damage. Not even scratches. Wow! Outcast makes a heck of a product if it can fall off a truck at highway speed and not even get scuffed.

  • Big D

D , glad she’s OK …
… I’ve never fished from a raft of any type that I can recall , as a matter of fact never been in one either .

I’ve seen a couple inflatables on the river before though , the ones I’ve seen look to be having some difficulty paddling them down river , but what the heck , not to much .

Not this one
A canoe is a lot smoother and faster, but smooth and fast isn’t always what you want. Slow and stable is a good approach for fishing, and that’s what the raft gives me. I’ve got a lot to learn about boat control with the drag chain, but I’ve been finding it a very good alternative to canoes. When there’s more than one person, I’ve still got my canoe and it is still a heck of a good fishing craft. I took a buddy out in it. He was complaining about the size and weight and how it couldn’t possibly handle. By the end of the evening he was saying how he wanted to take it for a two week trip.

  • Big D

what is a drag chain D ?
… shoot me a pic of your raft if you get a chance , I’d like to see it .

I’m not that particular about what I fish from as long as it is good for the job … I use the canoes because they work and I’ve got a couple .

The canoe can’t do what the Jon and jet of the nephews can , neither can do what the Montauks and Outrages can do … but then again none of them can do what can only be done from the shore line some places .

So it’s all ok when it works well for where is at and what it’s doing .

Drag chain…
It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It’s a length of heavy chain that you attach to an anchor rope and drag behind you on the river. It controls drift and keeps the end dragging it pointed upstream. I’ve wrapped mine in several layers of duct tape so that the individual links don’t get caught up on ledges. If you let out more line it slows you more or can even stop you. If you let out less line, or just allow a few links to scrap along, it slows you less but still keeps the bow pointed downstream (assuming it hangs off the stern). Mine is a two foot section of whatever the heaviest chain they sell at Tractor Supply Warehouse.

I just put the raft up on the rack last night. Next time I have it down, I’ll shoot some photos for you and send them along.

  • Big D

Here’s a link to the kind of raft I have. The only modifications I’ve made are to add some D rings in the floor so that I can clip things in, and to add a couple D rings to the outside of the tubes so that I can have the rowing frame strapped from the inside and the outside of the raft to keep it from shifting during use.

  • Big D