Cheap DIY kayak monopod camera attachment

I purchased an Xshot2 and RAM adaptor from the States when they first came out a couple of years back. It worked out quite expensive to import into the UK, but it looked like a good bit of kit. I needed a camera mounting system for kayak fishing which was tough and versatile and this seemed to tick all of the boxes.

The bundle came in two main parts. The RAM adaptor which attached to a standard RAM ball…

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and the Xshot2 telescopic monopod which is designed to fit into the RAM adaptor above…

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This is what is looks like on the kayak…

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However, since I purchased the Xshot2, the telescopic monopod has corroded quite badly from the saltwater environment it has been exposed to. The rubberised grip also fell apart, and I am now left with something which is barely serviceable. In principle, the system works well, so I started to look around to see if I could find something similar which would stand up to the rigours of the saltwater when kayak fishing.

I came across a reference to a Stainless Steel Retractable Monopod for Digital Cameras on another site whilst searching. This lead me to the PriceAngels website, and a likely looking solution…

http://www.priceangels.com/Stainless-Steel-Retractable-Monopod-for-Digital-Camera-s76681.html

It had a couple of good reviews and the specs looked decent…

– Stainless steel material
– Camera interface: Universal 1/4 screw
– Close-Extends: 20-97cm
– Light weight, easy to take
– 7 Section leg with quick release clamps provide fast and easy set-up
– Contains key ring and rope to prevent from falling
– Compatible for all types of digital video cameras

I was particularly interested in the fact that is was made of stainless steel but the best part was the price…. £5.68 including delivery !

Worth a gamble I thought; so I ordered one. It took a couple of weeks to arrive, but I was quite impressed with my new arrival…

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It looked almost identical to the Xshot2. The only differences appeared to be that the new cheap monopod had a tripod adaptor thread on the bottom (the Xshot did not have this) and that the telescopic sections on the new monopod could be rotated (the Xshot’s sections could not be twisted around when extended).

Comparison of the two monopods (Xshot2 on the left, cheapie on the right)…

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Taking a closer look at the new monopod, everything looked in order. Decent looking stainless steel sections..

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And a moveable and lockable head…

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The tripod adaptor in the base  of the monopod…

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However, I soon found that the base of the new monopod was slightly too wide to fit into the RAM adaptor…. Grrrrrrr !IMGP1672

Not the end of the world I thought. I came up with 2 solutions… either grind the base slightly so that it fitted into the RAM adaptor, or take a hacksaw the bottom 1cm of the monopod. I decided on the latter approach, for 2 reasons. Firstly, I wasn’t planning on using the tripod adaptor on the base and secondly, I always thought that the main reason why the old Xshot2 corroded was because saltwater had become trapped inside and could not escape. Cutting off the bottom of the monopod would (I hoped) help things a bit.

I rolled back the rubberised grip and used a junior hacksaw to cut off the protruding base from the monopod.

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ONCE YOU HAVE CUT OFF THE BASE, DO NOT COMPRESS THE EXISTING TELESCOPIC SECTIONS DOWN. If you do this, the internal brass inserts will fall out of the bottom of the monopod and you will end up in a bit of a mess !

Next, I removed the rubberised grip altogether (it is not needed and does not provide a good fit with the RAM adaptor)…

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The monopod should now look something like this…

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Then I sprayed some ACF-50 inside the monopod to protect it from corrosion, and filed off the sharp edge on the bottom of the monopod…

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Now for the clever bit. In order to stop the brass inserts falling out when the monopod is compressed (as stated above) – simply cut a couple of grooves in the end of the monopod using the junior hacksaw, and then folder the flaps inside the monopod…

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Job done. Now all you have to do is to pack out the handle of the monopod, so that it fits snugly in the RAM adaptor.

I used some self adhesive reflective tape as used on lorries and then covered this with a section of transparent shrink tube. You could just use some duct tape, but I am a bit of a tart…

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The stainless steel kayak fishing monopod is born…. and it fits the RAM adaptor like a glove…

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Job done  ! If you used duct tape the total cost would be under £6 – Result !