Canoe Modifications

Main Fish Pics Page

I fish out of canoes and like all boats, they need to be tweaked a little to fit your fishing style. Here are mods I've done so far. Maybe this can give you some ideas how to customize your own boat or show you what you don't want to do.

Paddle Control
Rod Holders
Anchor System
Skid Plates
Ultra light Seat
Rod Holders Part Duex

Paddle Storage
You ever need to lower your boat down a steep put in only to have you paddles slide out of the boat or worse, you have an extra paddle but you flip the boat and lose both?. Yeah, no fun at all. I always take a single blade and a double blade paddle for my canoe so I need a secure place to store them in the boat. Here is what I came up with. My double blade is broken down and stored behind me but I can easily reach the ends and pull them out very quickly. I also put a paddle clip under the front thwart to secure my single blade. All blades are snuggled into the ends of the boat so I only needed 1 clip per paddle. Alos, the clips were only $1.50!

Fly Rod Holder
Ever start going down a rapid and wished you could store your flyrod out of the way and securely in seconds? Also need to have another rod with a sink tip ready to go but out of the way and secure? I thought about this one a lot and a canoe just isn't storage freindly for long objects. Even with a 2 pc rod broken down, that 4 to 5 foot length can cause headaches especially in a 12 ft boat. Here is what I came up with.

Drag Chain Anchor
I use a drag chain anchor for anchoring in rivers. It consists of a 3 ft length of 3/8" chain that is covered with bycycle inner tube. The anchor rope is attached to the chain in the middle so I really have two 1.5ft lengths of chain. The anchor rope is actually a retractable dog leash so that the anchor line never piles on the floor of the boat. I use a "Clam Cleat" to stop hold the line. The cleat does all the work, the dog leach just holds the line. The line come out of the boat thru a brass grommet (thru hull fitting) so that the entire anchor system is beneath the gunnels. Be warned, anchoring in current is dangerous. The anchor can get hung up in heavy current and the river will be in the boat. Keep a sharp knife close to your anchor rope!

Skid Plates
This year I have gone down some very rough water. No, not rapid classification but as in rough rocks that have really scraped up my boat. My boat is made of Royalex and while it is considered abrasion resistant, I don't think the makers of Royalex knew what I was going to be slamming and scraping my boat into and over. So, I took the boat to Sunrift Adventures in Greenville SC and had them install some skid plates. Here are some before and after pics. After I do several trips with the new modification, I'll update this page.

Ultralight Seat
When I bought the boat, it had a cane seat that was lower than I liked and about 9 inches to far back toward the stern. The bow rode higher than the stern and any headwind would instantly turn the boat around facing upstream. This was unacceptable so I bought a 12" by 1" oak plank and bolted it directly under the gunnel so that the front edge was exaclty dead center length wise. This leveled the boat out and now wind just pushes the boat instead of spinning it around quickly. I would have used the factory cane seat but when moved forward, it was too short to span the width of the boat. My modification also raised the seat 2 inches and I had a better view of the water and what is under the water. By adding a Sit Backer, I raised my rear end another 1.5inches. Most people lower the seat in their Pack for added stability but by moving it forward and leveling the boat, the hull is more evenly contacting water and I actually saw an improvement in stability even tho I was sitting higher. After dozens of trips, I knew I had the seat positioned exactly where I wanted it. Now, a white oak board that is 12" x 1" x 32" weighs anywhere from 8 to 15 lbs depending on water content so I calculated I could make an aluminum seat base that weighed 3 lbs and I would save around 10 lbs and also have a seat impervious to water damage.

I'm using two 1" square tube main supports (with .062 wall thinkness), a couple of 1" angle pieces (with .062 wall), two 3/4" x .o62 angle pcs. for middle support, and a 14" by 18" by .05 thick aircraft grade aluminum plate for a base. The materials were bought from Home Depot and Hopefully, this will give someone some ideas to improve thier fishing platform. BTW, aluminum is not cheap and thats why I did dozens of floats first before springing almost $80 for the aluminum. I bought mine retail and you could save a few dollars looking thru the local scrap yard...but I am too lazy for that.

Rod Holders Part Duex
I liked the first rod holders but they weighed around 10lbs and I never used the backup rod so I bought a cheapo Cabela's 4 pc. rod to store under the gunnels and reworked my rod storage. Still wanted to keep the main rod handy but secure during shuttling, rapid shooting, and portaging. Here is what I came up with. Very light, secure, and easy to access. First the backup rod which never leaves the boat (one less thing to carry and secure every trip!), and then the main rod.