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FishTrap Problem

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I recently got a Fish Trap guide and have a question for anyone who may be able to help... From what I understand, this is a change to the older design. The canvas cover attaches with small bolts and nuts to the sled (I think this used to be a clamp of some sort). The directions state pretty clearly that the canvas is to be wrapped around the lip of the sled so that the bolt goes through the inside of the sled, through the canvas on the outside bottom of the sled to the nut. When you do this, however, the door or porch doesn't fold down all the way to the ice or ground since the canvas is stretched too tight. It is about 3-5 inches off the ground.

I noticed at Gander Mountain, the floor model had the canvas attached to the top of the sled (not wrapped underneath). Thus, the canvas was less tight and the door portion could go down to the ground. The directions clearly state that this canvas is to be wrapped underneath the lip however. With it attached on top, it appears that you would get some draft and/or snow between the sled and the canvas as well...

Any help appreciated. Thanks!

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FishinAddict, I used to have a Trap III and the canvas attached to the sled with a rubber hose type deal (terrible design, probably the reason they changed it) Anyways, I think if you are having difficulties having the door side come all the way down to the ice, can you adjust the height of the house, so it does come all the way down. Just what I remember doing a couple years ago...Hope this helps.

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Hemlock
"Throw'm back"

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I had to put on and take off that cover a couple of times before I got it just right. If your trap has a front door ,zipper, pull the trap down and step out. Push some snow around the corners to seal it up.

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The fabric wraps under the lip of the sled to provide a seal (that will become evident on windy/snowy occasions)...however, you could screw a strip of 1"x3' (or whatever size you need) of wood, plastic or rubber to the sled top with the fabric sandwiched in between the strip and the lip of the sled...
I've become creative with my Traps, trying to improve upon them, for my own benefit...like wiring them with 12 volt lighting too...

Oh yeah, the older style Fish Traps had a rubber gasket that "supposedly" kept the fabric anchored to the sled...what a joke! Lost that gasket everytime we towed it with snowmobiles. Always found it though!
I finally decided to attach that gasket permanently to the sled by drilling through the fabric and sled and screwing the cable anchors/clips (that you find at hardware stores) over the gasket and attaching them with little screws and nylon locknuts...

[This message has been edited by ackotz (edited 12-29-2002).]

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Ackotz, I agree with you on that little rubber gasket. I pulled my trap from Oak Island to Sioux Narrows on LOTW with my sled and that rubber gasket just didn't cut it. I also came to realize that a cover is imperative with that model. I got halfway to Sioux Narrows and it felt like it was pulling a little harder. Well, there was about 300 pounds of slush inside the sled.

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Hemlock
"Throw'm back"

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I ended up putting the poles down to the lowest setting to get it to go down to the ground. I just thought that it should be adjustable and work on any of the 3 pole settings. It just barely hits the ground with all the poles on the lowest setting...

I pulled the canvas off a couple times and tried loosening up the velcro some and it didn't help much...

Ackotz...
That 1" strip is a good idea that I may play around with.... By the way, what do you use for your 12 volt light? I was thinking of wiring up some lights as well - looking at maybe LED's but haven't seen anything that looks good yet.

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This is ridiculous.

If USL has gone through this many designs and the problem is still there, they need to find somebody who knows how to use a measuring tape!

I have a Trap II, which does fold all the way to the ice in front, but only just barely, and there's not enough fabric along the sides when the ice is bare to anchor them with slush and keep the wind out. With six inches of snow on the ice, all is perfect with the world, but I've been fishing for a month, and there's no snow on the ice where I am.

The other problem is that darn slit up each side where the aluminum poles are hinged. I haul along thrown-out bathroom towels to plug those wind tunnel gaps. I hope they've solved THAT problem with the newer series Traps. At least they have zipper doors now, so once you've got the Trap banked in you don't have to break that seal when you need to exit the Trap.

End of rant. I feel better now.

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fishnaddidct! hi im new to this site .I use a dome light from a truck topper, fastened to a 1/2 inn plywood abotu 2" by what ever length is needed to reach from one pole to the next. I wired it with aligator cilps then I ues my batt from the fl-8 or what ever It works great and provides a lot of light. good luck Jack

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Fishnaddict:

I mounted an automobile dome light inside the Trap on the aluminum crossbar (that's above and in front of you as you sit in the closed position). The dome light (w/on/off switch!) I bought at Kmart for 7 bucks. I wired some 16 gauge wire (the red and black kind) and ran it along the aluminum tube/frame down into the sled (attached every 6"-8" or so with zip ties). I left about 12" of extra wire in the tub. I then found a wire basket (in the housewares/kitchen section of Kmart) that would hold my 12 volt gel cell (Vexilar style battery). I attached the basket with stainless steel locknut and bolts and put some foam in the basket to hold/protect the battery in tight and absorb some shock. Then, I just crimped on some wire clips so I could attach it to the battery when I need to use it.
I liked this light so much, I spliced in a second light that's faces forward and is attached to the seat-frame (on the right side). This light faces toward the holes, so I can see my rod tips move, w/o spooking the fish with downfacing light...works great...when I'M ON FISH!!!

Where the heck are the fish? Got skunked this weekend at Mille Lacs for only the 3rd time in 5 yrs...I mean NOTHING, not even a nibble...(waiting for the ice conditions to improve so we can be more mobile...)

[This message has been edited by ackotz (edited 12-29-2002).]

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The fish trap isnt the only portable with this problem. The rover that I bought has/had the same gap at the front . I took the screws out loosened the velcro and remounted it. There is still a little gap but not as bad. If you wanted to get a clean look with acotz idea , drill a small hole into the frame and then run the wire through and down. I've become a pro at this from replacing a few handle bars on he wably davidson.

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Sheesh, why don't these manufacturers add a few inches of stinking fabric to their designs? How much more could it cost?

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ackotz, I like your idea! I may try it. After going thru my coleman lantern (too fumy) and a rechargeable coleman (not enough lite) I bought a 12 volt trouble lite, it doesn't look as neat as your idea but it throws plenty of lite. For a battery, I went with a bigger battery than the Vexilar type, it seemed like the Vex battery burnt out too fast.

You guys with the fabric problem just need to spend more time adjusting it. Set it up, put the cover on, attach it to the FRONT bars, stretch and mark it, put it on. Test it out a few times by opening and closing it. The front bar at the bottom needs to touch the ground, if it doesn't, its too tight. My Trap III had the rubber gasket, put that on, drill thru and put in the screws they provide - walla! The slit near the bottom is needed to provide stretch room when opening and closing.

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BlackJack,
they did away with the rubber gasket... They now have holes in the canvas to attach to the sled with bolts. I suspect in this transition they missed something.. The holes are most likely too far in, taking up more canvas than with the previous design. It will touch the ground just barely with all of the poles on the lowest setting... That is the best it will do, I've tried everything... Hoping it will stretch out some down the road, but for now I'll be using it on the lowest setting...

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Why they don't add a few inches is beyond me... I guess once the canvas design was complete and in production their would be some cost in changing this. I expect when I pay nearly $400 for a 2 man ice shelter that it doesn't have a design flaw (especially one that has been in production for years). Anyway, other than that I'm happy with the unit...

Northernnels & ackotz,
How much does that light or light(s) drain your battery. I'm thinking of mounting 2 lights, like ackotz did, and I'm wondering if I could run those off the FL-8 or if I should get another battery for the lights?? If possible, I'd like to keep the weight down and run off the FL-8, but I'll run another battery if it is needed. I do charge my FL-8 after every use, so it is always fresh...

I wasn't able to find a good dome light at Wal-mart, but I have the rest of what I need. I'll have to stop in at an auto store and get a couple lights tonight.

Thanks for the tips everyone!

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Just an update on recent findings... I talked with a lady at USL and they made some of the canvas covers too short (at least on the guides, not sure of other models)... So, I guess I was the lucky one with the lemon... I was sure others had seen this problem as I talked with another guy at GanderMountain that had the exact same problem... But after not hearing of any on these boards, I contacted the company... I fear for them that they could have a few more complaints coming in on these this winter... She said they hadn't had many.

Thanks for the help,
fishnAddict

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Addict, if she acknowledged the company made the tents too short, the company should replace it at no charge. I'd definitely insist on that, because it's not fully useable in its current condition, and you didn't pay that much money for something that doesn't work right. If the company won't come through, you could tell them there's always an Otter out there with your name on it.

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I should have mentioned that she said she would send a new canvas out right away at no charge... I would have been highly dissappointed if they would have tried to charge me on that after they made the mistake... I'll wait and see how long it takes to arrive, but if they get it to my door quickly and it fits as it should, I'll be happy with them... I am not real happy about having this problem in the first place, but I'll be happy if they can resolve the issue quickly as it seems they are doing.. The kicker is that I ran into another guy looking at how the unit attached and said he is having the same problem... Hopefully they won't have too many of these to deal with - or it may be a costly mistake...

It's a nice unit otherwise...

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Fishnaddict,
Did you call the company or go somewhere to talk to them?
I have the same problem with mine and so does a friend of mine. Are they going to make you send the old one back? If so, do you have to send it back right away or not untill the new one gets to you?
Thanx, Dave

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I called them (800-536-3337)... Not sure if they will have you send in the old tent or not. I would insist on not sending it back until you have the new one, being peak ice fishing season and all... I'm still using mine as is until I get the new canvas. She told me there were only a few tents with this problem made.

I suspect when they changed designs on how the canvas attached to the tent (from the rubber gasket thingy to the bolts/holes) they needed to increase the length in the fabric some. I suspect some of the new tents were made using the old specs. for length... Just a hunch...

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fishnAddict:
If you don't have to send your short cover back would you like to sell it? I need new cover for my old Trap 2 I riped it badly on a nail sticking out on my barn door and I can't buy a new one at this time I spent to much money on the holidays. Please let me know. rjy25r@aol.com

[This message has been edited by Split_shot (edited 01-03-2003).]

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I am in the market for a new fish house and have been looking at the Fish Trap Guide. I am wondering if those who had the short canvas problem have gotten their new canvas.

If I buy a Guide and find the canvas to be too short, I am fairly confident that I can get new canvas at no charge, but what I wonder about is how long it will take and do I want to hassle with this???

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i totally agree with you stcatfish, wouldn't it make sense to make it so people don't have to screw around with adjusting the dumb things?!? i'm just waiting for them to make one that actually works before i get a new one. bigguns1, how much was that otter? anytime i have seen one i like they are really expensive and you have to buy the sled and shelter seperate.

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I have a three year old Fish Trap Pro. I agree that the rubber gasket is useless. This year I set it up as normal and then drilled and screwed through the gasket and canvas and fastened the tarp to the sled. It works great and I had plenty of canvas. Any suggestions on how to block wind/snow from entering in the area of the hinges??. Also, I customized my trap for a bit more room by attaching a hook on the back top support so I can hang my parka inside while fishing. It keeps the coat out of the tub so it stays dry and out of the way. Good luck

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