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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, its still cold out, and wasn't really expecting to see any flounder, but I wanted to take advantage of this good weather break to test out the Fishing Mule in a real live gigging situation. I went down to Escambia Bay and tried it out.



Didn't see any bait fish or tracks, so didn't stay long. Water is still cold, but has cleared up quite a bit compared to past weeks.



Observations of the Fishing Mule:



--Works best with battery in back, cooler up front



--Tow's great! No rope needed, just hold on to the cooler handle. It's great to not have a tow rope!



--It's GREAT TO NOT HAVE A CORDED LIGHT IN YOUR HAND!!! No more ropes and cords! Hand's free gigging!



--It's great to not have submerged lights!!! I have a submersible hand light and it wears my arm out quick. The water resistance of the reflector combined with the sweeping motion needed to light up a wide swath get's very tiring. This is much nicer. The dual headlamps lit up a very wide area, eliminating the need for a "back and forth" motion.



--I was using 2 headlamps with side by side 55 watt bulbs, 4 bulbs total. This was WAY plenty light... I was amazed how good I could see. The video camera has poor light sensitivity in the dark, so it really doesn't do it justice. Having them this close to the water worked awesome!



--Would be even better with one person on each side! The dual lamps throws a wide swatch of light perfect for two waders.



--Used a huge car battery, but really could have gotten away with a couple of lawn mower batteries one for each light. I have used a lawn mower battery before for several hours with one 100watt bulb.



Here is a video:





 

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Great report! I havent tried above water lights before, but it looks brite. My test night looked about the same, extreme low tide. How was the trip to the water from the truck? For me that was the toughest part. Looks like the battery CG is still aft alittle. Did you do a full on ice in ice chest test, if not that should level her out. The rig looks great! I noticed on mine even with the back low, it still drafts in 2 to 3" of water, yours looks about the same. I finaly weighed mine with the battery, and ice chest (with beer and ice) weighs 82lbs. The float weighed 8.75 lbs, battery 60.35lbs and the ice chest made up the rest. Cool video!
 

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I don't wade gig anymore, but if I did I'd be buying one of those things. You could just put your gig in one of the rod holders verses carry it. There's almost always plenty of time to grab it up when you see one. Video looks great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Death From Above (3/20/2010)I don't wade gig anymore, but if I did I'd be buying one of those things. You could just put your gig in one of the rod holders verses carry it. There's almost always plenty of time to grab it up when you see one. Video looks great.
That is very true... about putting the gig in the rod holder.Didn't even think about that while wading, but we did put in the rod holder when carrying it from the truck.

Whenwe carried it from the truck, dad grabbed the back handle I grabbed the front handle and we carried the entire thing ice chest, battery, fishing mule, and flounder gig inserted in the rod holder.

You can also put a crab net in the rod holders, because when i gig, i almost always bring back a mess of blue crabs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
banjovie (3/20/2010)Great report! I havent tried above water lights before, but it looks brite. My test night looked about the same, extreme low tide. How was the trip to the water from the truck? For me that was the toughest part. Looks like the battery CG is still aft alittle. Did you do a full on ice in ice chest test, if not that should level her out. The rig looks great! I noticed on mine even with the back low, it still drafts in 2 to 3" of water, yours looks about the same. I finaly weighed mine with the battery, and ice chest (with beer and ice) weighs 82lbs. The float weighed 8.75 lbs, battery 60.35lbs and the ice chest made up the rest. Cool video!
The trip from the truck wasnt bad. I have some wheels, but I didnt use them.

As far as draft goes, if it drafted any shallower, you would be gigging on dry land. It can go anywhere you would want to gig.

For the load, I simulated ice/drinks load by putting water in the ice chest. I don't know how many pounds was in it, quite a bit.Water shifts back and forth as it sloshes, ice and drinks doesnt. Regardless, there wasNO buoyancy problems.

Anytime you have a "small boat" you are going to have to be conscious of weight distribution. You can't pile everything on the back, or front, or side. And unlike a boat, there is no heavy motor acting as a counter weight. I wasn't really concerned about weight distribution this trip, or making it float perfectly level. I just wanted to get it on video before the weather gets crappy again ( as I type this, it's getting ready to storm )

I have had it floating in my pool for the last couple weeks with two very large batteries. No problem. Floats lower for sure, but handled it. Using larger diameter pontoons, I can add 2 pounds of weight and increase capacity about 45 pounds. I can add 4 pounds of weight and increase capacity about 90 pounds, 6 will get you 135, etc.
 

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You could also slide a2' length of PVC or a broomstick in the front rod holder on each side. Would creat a handles on both sides for pulling it along verses using the cooler handles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Death From Above (3/20/2010)You could also slide a2' length of PVC or a broomstick in the front rod holder on each side. Would creat a handles on both sides for pulling it along verses using the cooler handles.
Great idea. I bet when I start selling these, I see some very innovative modifications as everyone modifies it to suit their particular use... looking forward to that
 
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