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Two worlds collide - a dedicated fishing bike


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mrsswordfisherman
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"This is a work in progress - we can't wait to see the finished product"

Little_Flatty was awarded the badge 'Superstar' and 100 points.

Formerly a keen cyclist across several disciplines, I have long thought about the potential of combining fishing and cycling. The potential is huge, because long swathes of the Parramatta River, Botany Bay and the Cooks are flanked by cycleways. Being able to add a bit of range to my fishing would be huge and would have an additional benefits, in that I would get some much-needed exercise and that I would not be depriving my family of our only car. It would also be good to be able to change spots quickly and efficiently, without having to pack/unpack the car, find parking etc, which saps valuable fishing time.

Every now and again, someone pops up to remind me of this idea (such as @Centrepin's e-bike adventures chasing trout in the Snowys) and there are plenty of ideas on the web, particularly amongst the fly fishing fraternity. However, several things have stopped me from doing this, causing the idea to be put aside. Firstly, most of my riding has been done with clipless pedals and fishing in any kind of cycling shoes (even mountain bike shoes) is not exactly comfortable or safe. Secondly, the thought of modifying any of my existing bikes is very off-putting, seeing as I've done so much work over the years getting them just right; the idea of a kickstand on my custom road bike is enough to make me feel nauseous! Though I don't ride as often as I used to, I still ride all of my bikes regularly enough that messing with them isn't worth it.

Recently, I decided to bite the bullet and acquire a dedicated bike for fishing, riding with kids and general utility use like grocery shopping. That way I could have flat pedals, install a kickstand and a number of other things to make fishing and shopping easier. A Reid with a 3-speed hub gear is my chosen platform for this project. As a rider of some very expensive bikes, I'm quite impressed by this machine for the money. I've also been curious about hub gears and this was my chance to give them a go.

I've been in iso for the past week, so I've had some time on my hands. I have thus far fashioned some rocket launchers for my rods out of an old bottle cage holder (from my days of training on a fixie on the bunch rides). I'm still waiting on a suitable rack to be delivered, as sell as some p-clips to install some mudguards, but I'm quite excited about this project. A milk crate is going to go on the rack when it arrives, then I will be able to carry more on my trips. I might also refine my rod carrying solutions, because even when in two pieces, I suspect my rods will foul on overhanging vegetation. With the short chainstays and seatstays on my bike, there's a not a lot I can do mounting anything there without fouling the pedals. I've always known fitting mudguards and racks to be a tedious exercise, and it seems rods are no exception.

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For most part, I'm just thinking of riding along the Parra of a morning for quick pre-work sessions, but I'm also thinking about using the bike for other applications, such as parking further afield and riding to the water where parking is expensive. This bike should be able to handle some modest off-road work as well, so upper Middle Harbour might become an option if I can get the time to visit the area.

I'll update this thread with pictures as I go. No doubt I'll discover what works and what doesn't along the way.

 

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When I was a kid I used my bike for lots of trips , mostly around WoyWoy and Patonga.

We used to tape our rods to the top tube with the rod  tip poking out the back .

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I also did a lot when I was younger, I'd ride from Umina to Woy Woy and fish for Luderick or down to Umina beach or Ettalong for Flathead or Whiting. As XD351 did, I strapped my rod along the top tube. I had an old headlight clip on the front handle bars, I'd hook my bucket over that. I wasn't to fast, but gee I caught some fish back in the day.

I still ride a pushy a bit and think of the fishing along the bike path to Parramatta and also the Cooks river one.

Good luck LF and look forward to the reports.👍

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Great to see that you’ve taken the plunge into bike fishing as you’ve great access to both sides of the river with the old rail bridge at your doorstep & endless kilometres of paths to explore

As @XD351 did I used my bike to access Lanecove & parts of parra river using a shoulder bag or pack pack, rod tied or occy strapped to the top cross bar & either held or tied the landing net to the seat pole 

Looking at your bike you could possibly fix one or two pvc pipes around 40 to 50mm diameter for the rods on a slight angle from the forks back along the cross bar to your seat pole not to high of course, no need to put your block & tackle in danger if a sudden safety stop is needed 😆

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Thanks @Blackfish @XD351, I wish I was able to go to Umina and Woy Woy that much as a kid!

1 hour ago, 61 crusher said:

Great to see that you’ve taken the plunge into bike fishing as you’ve great access to both sides of the river with the old rail bridge at your doorstep & endless kilometres of paths to explore

As @XD351 did I used my bike to access Lanecove & parts of parra river using a shoulder bag or pack pack, rod tied or occy strapped to the top cross bar & either held or tied the landing net to the seat pole 

Looking at your bike you could possibly fix one or two pvc pipes around 40 to 50mm diameter for the rods on a slight angle from the forks back along the cross bar to your seat pole not to high of course, no need to put your block & tackle in danger if a sudden safety stop is needed 😆

I think it will open up the potential for fishing in the area dramatically. Like @Blackfish I've spotted plenty of spots worth a cast on my rides, but there's not quite enough water in certain spots to justify a dedicated session on their own. With this bike, I'll be able to try out the spot and finish off somewhere else if I'm not finding fish.

I might contemplate your idea on the angled rod holder and also consider mounting a holder along the top tube. It's all in limbo until the rack arrives and I install the milk crate. Then I will get to see how the trajectory of the rods may be affected. The milk crate is a non-negotiable because it will increase the usefulness of the bike for fishing and other purposes.

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I suggest a custom rack  to fit on your rear forks with rod holder either side and net holder behind seat  so you would have 3 rod holders in all. Alloy OR Stainless.

My bike when I was a youngster was a very heavy B S A, yes the same company that made the motor bikes it had 3 gears and was decked out with rod holders and tackle storage, I would ride mainly from my house Strathfield/Enfield to Lugarno/Menai . I once rode my bike up to Moorland which is 21 miles north of Taree Brother had house and 200 acres there I also once rode to Wagga Wagga to fish the Murrembidgee for Cod and I think I may have rode to Junee at one stage, would often ride to the Hawkesbury.

I was a problem child and was always waging school and travelling to places to go fishing, sometimes I would stay away for a week at a time. I must have been a real headache for my mum, which I deeply regret now.

Frank

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Wow, splendid idea. Wanted to ride from my house to Rushcutters (reasonably close), but the steep hill all the way down, and even more so, up, is extremely exhausting for someone like me, riding without even carrying the rod or gear. Your bike however, looks like a luxury, something that every fisho would want! 

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4 hours ago, frankS said:

I suggest a custom rack  to fit on your rear forks with rod holder either side and net holder behind seat  so you would have 3 rod holders in all. Alloy OR Stainless.

My bike when I was a youngster was a very heavy B S A, yes the same company that made the motor bikes it had 3 gears and was decked out with rod holders and tackle storage, I would ride mainly from my house Strathfield/Enfield to Lugarno/Menai . I once rode my bike up to Moorland which is 21 miles north of Taree Brother had house and 200 acres there I also once rode to Wagga Wagga to fish the Murrembidgee for Cod and I think I may have rode to Junee at one stage, would often ride to the Hawkesbury.

I was a problem child and was always waging school and travelling to places to go fishing, sometimes I would stay away for a week at a time. I must have been a real headache for my mum, which I deeply regret now.

Frank

Wow Frank, some long rides for a kid. I guess the childhood enthusiasm for fishing is hard to dampen, along with the independence kids had in your day. It probably did you a lot of good.

My new rack is on the way and I will likely be modifying them in a similar manner to what you describe. I have three old racks at home, but none were suitable! That's the trickiness of rack installation for you.

I go riding with a mate most Saturday mornings, but when he isn't free I normally go fishing (but skip the exercise). Now I have this bike, I can guarantee I'll at least get in one ride a week :) 

2 hours ago, Bluebenbomb said:

Wow, splendid idea. Wanted to ride from my house to Rushcutters (reasonably close), but the steep hill all the way down, and even more so, up, is extremely exhausting for someone like me, riding without even carrying the rod or gear. Your bike however, looks like a luxury, something that every fisho would want! 

I've thought about Rushcutters as I fish there every now and again, sometimes by train. There's quite a few good spots in the vicinity within easy riding distance. There are a few hills, but I could use the exercise...and walking with a bike is still exercise  :D 

1 hour ago, Rebel said:

Just becareful of motorists. Some can't see bike riders.

Thanks Rebel, I'm well aware of this. For most part I'll be riding off the road on cycleways.

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as an idea, what about one of those pedal 'paddle boards' allows you to get on the water and cycle at the same time. 

I still rember doing the excat same thing though with my bike, the joys of when you dont own a car and your only transport was a bike 

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Well done on the introduction of the push bike to your adventures.

You have not mentioned going to the dark side( e Bikes).

We are fully integrated into the idulgent pursuit of pleasure and have found ebikes a most fitting inclusion. As well as that they are a lot of fun and take out the hard work, but you can work as hard as you like. Often the ride to and from fishing on a bush track is at least equal to the fun of fishing, well that is when the fishing is slow.

A friend I fish with has added the obligatory milk crate to has rear rack and while it looks bogan it works very well.

I agree the rocket launchers are a potential for low hanging vegitation. 3 piece or 4 piece rods are cute but it is better to be rigged and ready for action.

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3 hours ago, Centrepin said:

Well done on the introduction of the push bike to your adventures.

You have not mentioned going to the dark side( e Bikes).

We are fully integrated into the idulgent pursuit of pleasure and have found ebikes a most fitting inclusion. As well as that they are a lot of fun and take out the hard work, but you can work as hard as you like. Often the ride to and from fishing on a bush track is at least equal to the fun of fishing, well that is when the fishing is slow.

A friend I fish with has added the obligatory milk crate to has rear rack and while it looks bogan it works very well.

I agree the rocket launchers are a potential for low hanging vegitation. 3 piece or 4 piece rods are cute but it is better to be rigged and ready for action.

Hi Geoff,

I have long coveted an E-bike, but I can't justify it at this present moment! They aren't cheap, as you will know, and I need the exercise anyway. It is great to hear you're enjoying the riding as much as the fishing. A good ride in a nice place certainly can make your day in its own right. Add a good day's fishing on top of that and you're in heaven.

My bogan mobile will have to do for now 🤣 I am kind of hoping I get my legs back as part of this. When I used to ride into the city for work, my ride would pass Meadowbank, Rhodes, Hen and Chicken Bay, Iron Cove, Blackwattle Bay and Pyrmont. When I started working in North Sydney, the ride would include that vicinity as well! If I had this bike back then, I could have imagined my ride home taking > 6 hours if the tides were right :P

(alas, I work far from the city these days...and I can no longer come home late)

Mike

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So just a brief update. I've been crook for a bit so haven't been able to do much work on this but have recovered enough to do a solid few hours today.

The rocket launchers had to go as they wouldn't fit with the rack I had. In any case, the 40mm pipe I used wasn't wide enough to store my bream raider rod as the 2nd guide was too big to go into the pipe when the rod was in two pieces.

The install of the rack was a little tedious as it always is, but I was glad I ordered the right one. Unfortunately with the eyelet setup, I couldn't actually use them for any rack I had, so I installed a seatpost rack instead. This one is rated to 50kg, but I'd break the bike if I seriously put that much on it (I doubt it would hold anyway).

So far, the milk crate has been installed, frame bag (for bike spares/tools) and bottle cages have been installed. The first set of rod holders have been roughed in, the finishing touches will go on for this tomorrow.

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The rod holder hadn't been cut for the reels, which kind of worked out for me. I wanted to cut  the side ones at an angle so that the reels wouldn't knock together in transit. I'll need to rig some bungee cord so that the rods stay in place whilst riding.

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I will be putting in a couple of horizontal rod holders for when I am on longer transits. That will hopefully keep the rods clear of overhanging vegetation. But that might need to wait for when I am out of iso, as I need 50mm pipe instead of the 40 I used for the rocket launchers.

Apart from that, I might start work on the mudguard install tomorrow. Installing them is one of the most tedious tasks I have ever pursued on a bike. Many bike mechanics refuse to help you with mudguards...only ones I knew well would do it, but would charge quite a bit (and it is always money well spent).

 

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Also, I should add:

My wife came up with the brilliant idea of spray painting the whole thing black, as the crate I had was left over in the house from when we moved in and was mottled with paint. It was worth taking it off again and spraying it. It looks a lot sharper for the little bit of extra effort put in.

The sharper eyed ones amongst you will notice the whole crate doesn't entirely sit on the rack. If so, well spotted. Unfortunately due to my bike position and the size of my posterior (somewhat less 'aerodynamic' than in my racing days 🤣) means I can't place the crate squarely on the rack, right up against the saddle. I'm lucky I sit as far forward on the bike as I do (one of the only benefits of being a biomechanical anomaly). If I didn't, it would've been game over for attaching the crate on this bike.

 

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16 hours ago, Little_Flatty said:

will be putting in a couple of horizontal rod holders for when I am on longer transits. That will hopefully keep the rods clear of overhanging vegetation. But that might need to wait for when I am out of iso, as I need 50mm pipe instead of the 40 I used for the rocket launchers.

Coming together nicely 😎, painting it was a top idea from your wife 👍

A suggestion that might help with overhanging branches etc is if you used the top mount of the rod holder & mounted it to the base of the crate & angled it back slightly towards the rack supports with bracing. The two squares in the rod holder look like 50mm pvc could fit through & could be mounted to the cross bar for added bracing & extra rod/net storage, thin foam inserts could protect rods etc from bumps/damage & from sliding out

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Did a few hours more work today. Still have a lot of bike problems to solve. Roughed in the mudguards and realised I'm going to have a hard time changing flat tyres for the rear. So I'm now looking for a set of tyre liners before completing the mods. But at least it's looking like they're going to work.

My freedom day is tomorrow, but this is countered by the uni semester starting up again...

4 hours ago, Blackfish said:

I'll keep a eye for you when I'm out on the pushy LF.

Watch out for some low underpasses there.

If you're out of a Saturday morning, we might well have ridden past each other already. If my riding buddies aren't available, then you might well see me out there with this bike.

1 hour ago, 61 crusher said:

Coming together nicely 😎, painting it was a top idea from your wife 👍

A suggestion that might help with overhanging branches etc is if you used the top mount of the rod holder & mounted it to the base of the crate & angled it back slightly towards the rack supports with bracing. The two squares in the rod holder look like 50mm pvc could fit through & could be mounted to the cross bar for added bracing & extra rod/net storage, thin foam inserts could protect rods etc from bumps/damage & from sliding out

Yep, still pondering how to get the rods on in a different way, but have been preoccupied with bike work at this stage. It was easier to install the rod rack at the top instead of the bottom as the top seemed more sturdy. I'll see how I go with the new rocket launchers when I get around to them.

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