The Dave Scadden Zonker build

Last year I ran in to Dave Cheserek at San Luis reservoir launching his tricked out float tube and it inspired me to upgrade my 30 year old pontoon boat.   I think Ive bought a new float tube every ten years,  I remember my very first inner tube style float tube that I bought at the Millpond in the 70s made by Stream Designs.  I used that float tube to fish the local lakes for bass and bluegill.  Owning a boat was a pipe dream back then but owning a float tube opened up a whole new world to fish in.   I still get a thrill every time I kick out on a float tube.

Several years ago , I spent three ice cold days kicking around in a float tube at Henderson Springs ponds.  That evening after dinner,  I had the worse leg cramps I have ever experienced.  I later attributed that crippling experience to a potassium\magnesium deficiency and dehydration.   When you are kicking around all day,  you lose track of how hard you are constantly working.   Fishing for 6 hours from a tube can be like running a marathon without even knowing it.  Watching Dave Cheserek load a full sized Minn Kota trolling motor on a 35 lb float tube inspired me to try to design and fabricate a light small jet motorized float tube that would run on a really small lithium battery.

I started out by purchasing a Dave Scadden Zonker which is a 22 lb 5 foot float tube with a built in motor mount.   I wanted something small enough to put in my truck bed with a motor mount.  Without the the motor,  it only weighs 22 lbs. The next modification was to attach a Bixby Jet  to the float tube motor mount and engineer a steering pole.   The Bixby Jet is a perfectly sized remote control trolling motor and was exactly what I was looking for to power the small float tube.

I also needed some stable mounts to attach cameras and original design had an inflatable platform with a soft seat which I thought was not steady enough for camera mounts.   I decided to build a plywood platform to attach a stadium seat , some GoPro mounts and a Scotty Rod Holder for a monopod.  The Bixby motor is controlled by a remote control

The whole unit is very lite and the Jet mounts to the tube very easily and is locked in with pins,  I cant wait to try it out at Henderson Springs or Baum Lake  soon.

A nifty way to hold a net using a MOP Broom Holder riveted to an oar.  The oar is still usable with net attached.

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