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Canoe Stabilizers


Russ S
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Would like to know if anyone has experience (positive/negative) with canoe stabilizers. Also, any recommendation as to brands or materials. Have located several through Cabela's, Spring Creek and Castle Craft. Would like to get a better price than the $200-$300 they advertise.

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I purchased a canoe stabalizer about 6 years ago from Cabelas. At that time it was about $119.00. I see the price has gone up. For me & my canoe the stabalizer is invalueable. My canoe is very tipsy and is almost a guaranteed dump on most canoe trips. That limited me to warm weather and forced me to use my canoe for more recreational trips instead of fishing trips. Now my canoe is stable enough to stand up and sight fish out of. I have the confidence to take my children in it and anchor and fish out of it in heavy current. As long as it is installed properly, I can't dump it if I try.

 

It can be a liability in tight quarters around wood. Please heed this one warning and use in the right spots. It does slow down your speed but in rivers the current is doing the work for you anyway.

 

For me its all about confidence and my stabalizer gives me that.

 

 

 

3 generations safely navagating the Kishwaukee river in late September.

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Doesn't really answer your question, but people might be considering a kayak or canoe. Hull shape is very important when selecting a canoe/kayak. A slimmer hull with more of a cutting edge will be faster and track superior but tippy. A wider hull has more stability but is slower and tracks less than optimal. Unless you intend to race your kayak or canoe a wider hull is probably better for fishing moving water.

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Russ,

 

Though I have no experience with the stabliizers, I have good experiences with other Thunder Creek products. They are well engineered and tested. I would call them outfiter (industrial) grade, since they are sturdy enough to go through many seasons of use by an outfitter's clients.

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As you can tell from my ISA log in handle, I'm not only a fisherman . . . but also an avid canoe buff. When I'm not fishing with the guys, my wife and I are paddling downriver with other members of the Prairie State Canoeists (PSC). So of the few topics on which I consider having expertise, I know a fair amount about canoes and accessories.

 

All the prior comments are important to consider, so I'll complement their observations. I purposely purchased sponses for my canoe for floatfishing purposes. My Winonah Spirit II canoe has a "shallow arch" hull configuration vs. a flat bottom hull design. Shallow arch canoes paddle faster in the water due to less hull surface that would impede forward progress. So when we paddle with the canoe club, we definitely can "make tracks" . . . complemented with bent-shaft paddles.

 

That said, I also love to floatfish for smallies on the Kish, KKK, and other area rivers and lakes. So since my watercraft is a "tippy canoe" due to the hull design, stability for floatfishing is provided with sponses. Don't have the brand name at the office, but will follow up with details later. I'm am quite pleased with the resulting stability and feel equally comformable standing in my canoe when casting lures or when flyfishing. Added a side motor mount to accommodate a Minnkota 30/30 electric trolling motor which will even move my heavy-set buddy and me upriver on the KKK against its typical 3 mph current. The added plus is we only need one car . . . launch the canoe at a put-in site, motor upriver 2-3 miles, and floatfish downriver to our car.

 

If you'd like a demo sometime before purchasing your sponses, let me know . . . would be happy to give you a test drive as soon as it warms up.

 

Steve K (aka "Paddlin' Man")

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Steve ,

 

Do you have any experience with the canoes with a squared off back , scanoes I think the guy I saw called it . He had a trolling motor mounted right on the back . Maybe a rig like that with sponses may be the ticket for a change of pace for an "experienced" aka older wader .

 

I've seen the way Jonn rigs his anchor , do you use one or just hold in place with the motor ?

 

Some days[like 100 plus degrees with high humidity] motoring upstream and drifting back could be appealing .

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I've floated a river with Paul in his canoe and the stabilizers kept us from getting dumped. The stabilizers definitely compensated for my lack of canoe skills and lack of balance. They do seem to slow the canoe down a bit, but if you are floating and fishing down a river, slowing down isn't necessarily a bad thing. You do have to be careful around wood and other obstructions.

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Norm . . . since I paddle with a canoe club, I've had no "hands on" experience with a square stern canoe. They are typically made for fishermen and hunters . . . and can usually accommodate up to a 5 H.P. outboard motor. That said, they are still small and light enough to be car-topped . . . or flipped onto the bed of a pick-up truck.

 

The model that I'm thinking of is an Old Town Predator SS150 which I believe already includes an anchor system, oar sockets and oar locks, and wood/web seats. May be optional features. Sounds like this may be the ideal watercraft for you with a set of sponses for added stability. Were I not also a paddlin' nut, but instead an exclusive floatfisherman, I'd definitely include this unit on my list of possibilities. Undoubtedly there are other models around as well.

 

If you want more info, I'd be happy to check my latest Canoe/Kayak Buyers Guide and fax or send you a copy. Let me know.

 

 

 

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Steve ,

 

Thanks for the input and the offer . Right now it's just an idea floating around in my head that I'm easing into .

 

The river I fish is wide enough that I wouldn't have to worry about timber and tight turns . I'm not much of a hand at canoes , dumped one once , stayed afloat once . Anything that ups the odds of staying afloat is definitely a positive thing .

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Steve ,

 

Thanks for the input and the offer . Right now it's just an idea floating around in my head that I'm easing into .

 

The river I fish is wide enough that I wouldn't have to worry about timber and tight turns . I'm not much of a hand at canoes , dumped one once , stayed afloat once . Anything that ups the odds of staying afloat is definitely a positive thing .

 

 

That all has to do with the design of the hull Norm, find the right hull and it's much tougher to dump.

 

Guess the advantage the other way is you could rig your canoe for fishing or take off the stabilzers to get out of dodge faster.

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Russ,

I've made a couple sets of stabilizers with some PVC tubing and 4@2-3 ft. length from a couple pool noodles.

 

The tubing was used to pass thru and mount a pair of 2-3 ft. noodles side-by-side on each side of the canoe.

You can use PVC or Aluminum tubing to rig the structure to the hull/gunwales of the canoe.

Its not as pretty as the store bought but neither is taking a swim with all your gear or a special passenger.

 

They added some stability but weren't something I use for small stream navigation or casting from a standing presentation.

 

Fuel for thought.

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Rick D, could you please offer some photos? I built a pair out of an eight foot piece of four inch PVC cut in half and capped on each end. I just have never found a great way to attach to the side of my canoe. They create incredible ballast and are cheap and easy to make but need better ideas on attachment.

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Russ,

I'll try to contact one of the guys I built them for. I didn't take photos. Maybe I should have considered that.

 

I'll look in my file cabinet(s) to see if I have my rough drawings.

 

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