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Old 02-25-2013, 02:22 PM   #31
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okay, since the solid end cap was not yet glued on, I replaced it with a grate cap instead. Then I had some surgical tubing on hand and used that to secure it.
With one hand I can grab the bottom edge of the cap and kinda pull and swing it up onto the top where it stays until I reverse the action.
Will see how the ST'ing lasts in the water and sun.
Might have to change it to shock cord instead.
Took the exterior floats off and will see how it rides in the water.
If it clunks on the hull, I took some more ST'ing and a straight tube connecter and made a ring/hoop to roll onto the bait tube. It can be rolled along the length of the tube so it is in just the right anti-clunk spot. (not in pics)

The other pictures are a bait tube I aborted finishing.
The side door slides when you lift the strap enough so that the SS machine screw heads clear the holes in the mother tube. But it requires two hands to operate.
The nose cone was too time consuming for my patience after deburring and bending.
Attached Thumbnails
DIY Bait Tube-btwof1-jpg   DIY Bait Tube-btwof2-jpg   DIY Bait Tube-btwof4-jpg   DIY Bait Tube-btwsd1-jpg   DIY Bait Tube-btwsd3-jpg  


Last edited by johnsonbeachbum; 03-03-2013 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:01 AM   #32
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All good designs, but here's a suggestion.

I certainly didn't invent this, but here's my version of a bait tube.

All materials came from LOWES. I made the Bait Tube about 30". LOWES sells a 5' section of ABS pipe so you can make two tubes up to 30" .
I also have a tube that is a little shorter so it will fit into my checked suitcase for air travel. I just pack clothes or tackle inside so it really doesn't take up too much room.

1. Use black ABS instead of PVC--ABS floats!
2. I used 3" pipe which is great for big offshore baits. Big baits like hard tails and Caballito (Mexico) can't turn around or move too much in the tube. Place them in tail first and they face into the "current" and the tube works like a tuna tube while trolling.
3. Put a drain grate on the bottom. This allows good water flow and you don't need to drill a bottom cap. This also allows you to temporarily put a cap on the bottom and hold it vertically to keep water in. This works great for getting bait from a bait shop or bait bucket and carrying it to your launched 'yak. It will leak some, but gives you enough time to get the tube in the water-make sure to remove the cap!
4. Put a female threaded connector on the top.
5. Use a male threaded square top plug for the top. Drill 1/4" or 5/16" holes throughout to allow water flow through the tube.
6. Drill a center hole in the plug and one through the side of the top connector.
7. Run a piece of 1/4" nylon rope through the plug.
8. Tie a knot about three inches from the end of the rope inside of the plug. Put the rope through the hole in the connector from the inside of the tube..
9. Tie another knot from the outside tight up against the tube where the rope exits the tube.
10. Adjust the rope to your desired length and tie a stainless carabiner on the other end.
11. The plug/cap can now be easily unscrewed to open the tube and you can't loose your cap.
12. Don't overcrowd the tube and your bait should stay quite lively.

Completed 30" long Bait Tube.




Bottom of Bait Tube with drain grate glued in.


Bottom of Bait Tube with removable cap.


Top of Bait Tube with top plug screwed in.


Top of Bait Tube with top unscrewed.



By using ABS instead of PVC, it floats right on top with most of the tube just below the water. It does not sink!

Here's a pic with the 'yak not moving. You can see the tube near the back of the 'yak. When pulling the tube along, it rides mostly just under the surface with the water flowing through it.

I've seen some versions that put a weight and a keel on it, but I haven't found that necessary.

Just make sure the glue you use is made for ABS.


Last edited by WhereYak?; 02-27-2013 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:49 AM   #33
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johnsonbeachbum that thing looks pretty badass, like a rocket. Once you get it fine tuned you might have a serious product there. I went the simple and cheap route JD had living in an apartment with limited tools. Personally I like to keep it simple with my kayak cause that's part of why I love it so much.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:50 PM   #34
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WhereYak? Ive seen lots of west coast guys painting their bait tubes black. Why is that?
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:06 PM   #35
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I have no idea, I even wondered if the black would be too hot--but it's not.

Sometimes there's no telling why those left-coast guys do certain things! (lol)

I'm a Louisiana coast guy, but have a place near Perdido and regularly get over your way to fish.

The ABS pipe is black so there is no need to paint. ABS has a thin layer of foam in the pipe when it's made--that's why it floats. You won't see the foam because it's very thin and when you cut the pipe, the saw blade just melts the foam into the plastic at the pipe edge.

The floating tube stays up top and not down under where it will more easily tangle with a line/fighting fish. I also think it's easier to tow than a sinking one. I have no problem with the amount of drag- I also pedal. It does bang the side of the yak every once in a while and I may steal the surgical tubing idea as a bumper or two.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:19 PM   #36
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Another good idea there WhereYak?
If you get the right pvc sched 40, it floats too, just like the ABS, they call it "cellular core" pvc pipe.
And the floating PVC pipe at Lowe's is cheaper than ABS.
And it does not absorb heat from the sun like black ABS.
No holes in the sides and slapping the solid cap on the bottom is a good idea for transporting the bait.

No threaded caps or plugs for me. One grain of sand or anything else and you have to virtually use a wrench to get it off. Plus you have to use both hands to open it if it opens easy.

Might as well use another grate style end cap with holes already in it and also not as difficult to open. Can also open with one hand.

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Old 02-27-2013, 01:24 PM   #37
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Thanks, I've fished mine from the Keys to Baja Mexico and no problems for me with the heat or getting the top open.

Obviously there's no right or wrong way and whatever works best for you is the way to go. Thanks for the info and suggestions.

Now lets get this darn weather straight so we can go catch some fish!!!
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:57 PM   #38
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amen to that
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:53 AM   #39
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JD did a great DIY on the bait tube. I did not see this discussion when it started but since this was my original design I wanted to chime in and address some misconceptions I saw in some of the posts. There were some comments about the PVC being too heavy. This design is using the pre-cut, 2 foot length, 3" diameter PVC FOAM CORE pipe that you get in the drain pipe area at Lowes / Home Depot, not traditional PVC. It has the thickness of Schedule 40, but the foam core is more bouyant. Also, get the Souix Cheif brand of end caps. They fit much less snug and have a slight taper that makes them easier to insert.

My original design has a lot more / longer slots in it. I use a rotozip to cut the slots. I mark the ends and middle with painter tape when cutting so i know where to begin and end the cuts. As JD mentioned, you do not want to cut too close to the end where the drain caps insert. My final product looks like the picture below, with tons of water flow. And as JD said, the drag is virtually nothing and it is super easy and quick to get into this tube. Simple, cheap, no complex engineering, miniscual drag, cap is threaded on the rope and can't get lost. I think it is a winning design if i do say so myself.
- Fisherdad1

To open the tube just tug the rope handle. It is threaded on the rope that connects it to the yak so it can not fall off!


Pic shows typr of pipe, tape to show where to cut slots and the end caps (grates) used.


pic showing slots fully cut.

Last edited by Fisherdad1; 04-01-2013 at 01:19 AM. Reason: add pics
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:08 AM   #40
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