Over the long winter I was trying to come up with an outrigger system to make for my fishing kayak, I had tried a couple of store bought systems and I never really thought these systems worked very well, especially for the money that they cost. I came up with the idea of using Ram Tube rod holders as the foundation of the System, the beauty of the system is that it can rotate 360 degrees, this makes it easily adaptable for any kayak very and easy to adjust on the water.
The ball system is very strong and when tightened you can lift your kayak off the ground with the tube at 90 degrees. You will also have to ruff the ball up a little to make it grab better, I did this with a file.
Myself and my fishing buddy Doug both decided to make it work on our fishing kayaks, I installed it on the Emotion Fisherman and Doug on the Tarpon 160.
The first problem we both encountered was that even with bolting the Ram ball, the surface area on the ball plate is small and there was a little flex in the area that the ball was mounted and this flex would translate into movement, that would make things a little less sturdy. Since the the 2 balls work independent of one another, we had to firm them up, I took an aluminum angle and bent it to conform to the inside of kayak and it totally stiffened it up, Doug connected the 2 balls with some aluminum channel and also it made it rock solid. In most kayaks you will have to at least put a backing plate behind the ball mounts, the bigger the backing plate-the better.
As the above pictures show you can do different things to firm up the Ram balls.
When it comes to the PVC portion of the system, you’ll find that there are a lot of different ways to skin this cat. Here’s what I did: if you're going to use the lobster Buoys for your floats then you just have to make sure you reduce to 1/2" PVC which has an outside diameter of 3/4", which is what the buoy center hole is. The PVC needed to go inside the Ram Tube is 1-3/4" and it fits just a little loose and I went simple and just taped it up to make the space while Doug took a torch and heated and flared the tube so it fits snug.
Here are some pictures of the Various PVC connections.
The Buoy are made by a company called Spongex and are available here at KFS. The buoys pictured are the 5"X11" and offer plenty of stability while kayak fishing. You will also need to drill and pin the Ram and PVC to lock it in, here is a tow hitch pin that you can find at most marine stores. Also consider not gluing the connection where the long PVC meets the buoy's, this way transporting will be easier. You could use a pin or make a threaded connection.
I hope this system will get a lot of guys standing while kayak fishing. We sell a kit here at KFS that comes with everything except the PVC (Ram-Tubes and Buoys) Outrigging Kit.
Some additional ideas on installing on a Prowler 15'; if you remove the deck loop that is closest to the flat area for mounting rod holders, it is the deck loop that is used to start the bungee array for the tankwell. With that deck loop removed you can use those 2 inserts(very strong) and 2 well nuts and it will be very strong and that is also an area of the kayak with very little flex because of all the ridges and bends for the tankwell.