Custom ultra light float tube

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

  1. Fishinbeatsworkin Member

    Posts: 30
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    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!
  2. Fishinbeatsworkin Member

    Posts: 30
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Sorry about the word wrap issue on the previous post.
  3. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,483
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,620 / 0
    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.
  4. qacwac New Member

    Posts: 1
    Jackson, WY
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Message sent. Hope you're still making them.
  5. SHigSpeed Active Member

    Posts: 163
    Rocklin, CA
    Ratings: +46 / 0
    Sent you and email...

    _SHig
  6. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,144
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    SHig, I am also interested in you Ultra light.
    Thanks
  7. WLLLC New Member

    Posts: 5
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    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.
  8. SHigSpeed Active Member

    Posts: 163
    Rocklin, CA
    Ratings: +46 / 0
    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.
  9. bigdood fishing hack

    Posts: 334
    PDX, OR
    Ratings: +86 / 1
    Was talking about these with a fishing buddy today, glad to see you've been updating the thread
  10. Fishinbeatsworkin Member

    Posts: 30
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Ratings: +3 / 0
  11. Steve Unwin Active Member

    Posts: 321
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +84 / 0
    Thanks for passing along the info. I think we can all agree that his enthusiasm will be missed. The ultralight tube saga was cool to see unfold, and the lucky few who got one really have something special.

    My condolences and best wishes to Scott's family and friends.
    Gary Knowels and Ron McNeal like this.
  12. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Posts: 2,341
    .
    Ratings: +1,177 / 0
    Very sad news and a great loss not only to his family but also to the world of ultralight backpacking and fishing. Condolences to his loved ones. Rest in peace, SHIG - I hope your heaven is filled with lots of big, beautiful fish! Thank you for your inspiration, dedication and hard work to advance ultralight float tubing.
    Ron McNeal likes this.
  13. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,144
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    Only the good die young....I don't know why. Miss you SHig Say Hi to my sister, she lost her battle a year and a half ago.
  14. Brian Miller Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout

    Posts: 879
    WA
    Ratings: +66 / 0
    This is so sad. His zeal for UL backpacking and fishing was infectious. My prayers go out for comfort and guidance to his family and all who hold him Dear.
  15. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,483
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,620 / 0
    Oh, this is a shock, to say the least. As in, didn't see that coming. Thanks for passing along this information Fishinbeatsworkin. I didn't know SHIG, but did exchange a few emails, and was lucky enough to obtain one of his ultra-light float tubes. His energy and dogged innovation for lightweight fishing gear will be missed. I hope his work inspires another to pick up the torch.

    RIP _SHIG.

    Sg
  16. cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

    Posts: 1,713
    Olympia, WA
    Ratings: +237 / 0
    Wow, I feel the same way. I have followed his pursuit of the perfect ultalight float tube through his posts here. Such a quality individual will live on through our memories of him. He always struck me as imaginative and personable. My condolences to his friends and family.
    Steve