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Beach carts allow you to haul your fishing rods, tackle and virtually anything else you can think of, from the car to the surf or pier with ease. They are easy to make from scavenged or repurposed items, and you can customize them to suit your needs. Beach carts essentially consist of two- or four-wheeled carts or platforms to which you attach various straps, boxes and tubes.
Open or Closed Design
Deciding on the basic design of your cart helps you select the right type of item to repurpose. You can make your cart in one of two primary ways: Open carts are simply wheeled platforms, to which you attach other items, while “closed,” container-like carts include large plastic storage boxes that hold your items. Instead of plastic storage boxes, you can use stiff metal mesh to construct a box, which will dry more quickly and allow you to see the contents more easily. Use foam insulation and duct tape to pad any sharp portions of the cart.
The Platform and Wheels
With your chosen design in mind, select an item to repurpose. Wheelbarrows, luggage caddies, utility carts and hand trucks are relatively easy to convert into a beach cart, but virtually anything with wheels works. Two-wheeled items are easier to push or pull along sandy beaches, but if you fish from a pier, a four-wheeled unit can accommodate more gear and fish. If faced with a choice between two similar items, select the one with larger wheels. If you plan to incorporate heavy items into the cart’s design, you must use heavy-duty axles and wheels; in any case, large-tread tires excel in sandy beach terrain.
Anglers commonly construct and use beach carts, so most carts feature sections of PVC pipe that function as rod holders. You can drill holes through the back of a drawer-style tackle box to bolt it to your cart, or you can use bungee cords to keep it secure, which lets you remove the box from the cart if need be. A cooler full of ice strapped to your cart is invaluable for keeping your catch fresh until you can get back home. Attach a tool belt to your cart to hold your line cutters, pliers and other tools. Short, straight pegs are great for storing paper towel rolls or fishing line, and you can also hang clothing or bags from them.
Ostentatious Optional Equipment
Your imagination is the only limit for beach cart additions. Some anglers and beachcombers attach umbrellas to their cart to provide portable shade. If you intend to bring your catch back to your kitchen, consider adding a stable platform to serve as a fillet table. If you really want to show off, add a live bait well to your cart in the form of a small cooler. If you fish with friends, add a tall flag to the cart so that you are easy to locate.