My brother backed through the doorway. He tried to hide the big white boxes but I knew right away what he was carrying. Two big, beautiful, camo, high-back boat seats from Bass Pro Shops. An awesome birthday present. Now I just had to figure out what to do with them.
My Lowe 1648 “Big Jon” is a fishing and duck hunting machine so the seats have to be versatile. They can’t block access to the livewell and they have to be easy to remove. I figured the install was going to suck and cost a bunch of money. I was wrong. I found all the stuff I needed between Cabela’s.com and BassPro.com and I installed these seats for about $110 (without shipping included). Here’s a rundown on the products and the installing adventure.
Tools & Materials:
Ratchet set or set of box wrenches
Drill with bits and a holesaw. 6 sheet metal screws.
Saws-all with a metal eating blade
Cuda Clamp and Swivel Base
Swivl-Eze: 3/4″ pin mount base and pin mount seat base
The Cuda Clamp is a spring loaded seat base that quickly clamps onto the boat bench. It’s easy to install and has few neoprene-piercing or mono-snagging sharp edges.
The swivel base gives my passenger some mobility to net a bass or draw a bead on a mallard.
First, I backed out the screws in the bottom of the seat and installed the swivel base.
The threads in the bottom of the seat are plastic and I didn’t want to strip them out. I used a screwdriver to tighten everything down.
I detached the spring in the Cuda Clamp and attached the side rails of the clamp to the swivel base. The nuts, bolts and washers were included with the clamp. Then I reattached the spring and stretched the clamp over the boat bench.
So that was easy. It even clamps right down on the lid of the livewell leaving easy access to storage. When I trailer the boat, I pull this seat right off and toss it in the back of the truck.
The rear seat was a bit more difficult. This one got a Swivl-Eze pin mount base ($30), a pedestal ($16) and a pin mount seat base ($16) from BassPro.com. I started this one by placing the seat where I wanted it on the bench. Then traced the outline with a pencil. I set it slightly to the right of center making it more comfortable to reach the tiller.
To flush mount the seat base, I cut into the bench with a holesaw attached to the drill. I finished the cutting with a saws-all and removed some Styrofoam with a screwdriver and shop-vac.
With the plate flush to the bench, I drilled some pilot holes and attached the plate with 6, #12, 2 1/2″ sheet metal screws.
My original plan was to use a pedestal and cut it down with a hacksaw to give the seat a little height. But I’m afraid I’d rip those screws right out of the bench because the sheet metal is pretty thin. Instead, I just placed the seat mount directly into the plate and it works great. The spring gives the seat a little boost and it swivels without a hitch. It’s easy to remove for trailering or for concealment in the marsh.
The next morning we tested out the seats by chasing panfish at a nearby state park. The Cuda Clamp turned out to be very solid front-to-back but tips a little bit side-to-side. The addition of the swivel base helps but overall it performs pretty good. The swivel-eze pin system worked great.
Bass season wasn’t open but that’s all we caught. No keepers to the buckets today. Just a quick photo then back to the lake. This chunk was the only nice fish of the day and a great way to break in those seats.
I must disclose that I did not receive any of the products in this post for free. I did not receive any compensation from Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s or any manufacturer to mention these products or websites.