Showing posts with label mariner-sails.com. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mariner-sails.com. Show all posts

Picking a Life Jacket for Kayak Fishing



You have the kayak but now you need a life jacket (Personal Flotation Device,PFD). What should you look at? What should you buy?

In PFDs there are three basic styles.

#1- Inflatables- These are lightweight and do not float you until you hit the water, at which point it inflates and floats you to the top. These are easy to wear but also easy to forget so be aware. It is also important to test them and if it has been inflated once, you have to go buy a new cartridge so it will work next time.

#2- Permanently Buoyant- These are the typical life jackets that are worn. They can be a bit bulky and usually get stowed because of it. A stowed PFD rarely saves a life when compared to one that is worn.

#3- Hybrids- These are a mix of the two types and offer some flotation with being inflated.

The US Coat Guard classifies PFDs into five different types.

Type I- This is a PFD that will float a person right side up in the water. It is typically used in ocean vessels or places where rescue will be a long way off.

Type II- This is similar to a Type I. It doesn't have the same flotation power however and may not right you in the water. These are for offshore uses where rescue may be a bit faster and you can see land.

Type III- This is your typical recreation life jacket. It will float you but won't right you and this should only be used in lakes, not open water, and rescue should be at hand.

Type IV- Remember the life preservers from the Love Boat? Ok, maybe not. Remember the big ring at the lifeguard stand? That's a Type IV. Anything you can throw that will help someone float that isn't worn typically falls under this category.

Type V- These are specialized PFDs for activities like kayaking, skiing, and other water sports.

One last thing before we get to the selections:
Remember that in Texas:

  • Children under 13 years of age in or on vessels under 26 feet must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable PFD while underway.
  • All vessels under 16 feet (including canoes and kayaks) must be equipped with one Type I, II, III or V for each person on board.
  • Vessels 16 feet and longer, in addition to the Type I, II, III or V for each person on board, must have one Type IV throwable device which must be readily accessible. Canoes and kayaks over 16 feet are exempt from the Type IV requirement.

Ok, so I am assuming that if you are here you are a paddler, boater or family member/friend. Moving on that assumption there are two types of life jackets that work best for paddling, Type V and Type III. In these, there are several choices to make.In the styles, I want permanence. This is strictly a preference but I don't trust inflatables. They work great 99.9999% of the time but I need one that'll float me regardless. 

Call me old fashioned but if I am going down the Devils River, far away from rescue, fall out of my kayak, my PFD inflates and then it gets punctured by a rock, limb, fishing hook etc, I am then in very bad shape. I don't want multiple life jackets for different scenarios. I want one. One that will do everything I need. I paddle in a PFD that will always float me and not fail me because a mechanism went out. Or a cartridge. There is plenty to think about as safety goes without worrying about maintenance on a PFD. So here are my recommendations:

If you are fishing from your kayak, I like these- 
 


The Stohlquist offers good arm clearance, shoulder webbing, good cinching to avoid ride up, the back cushioning is high enough to avoid that backrest on your seat and has multiple tethers and pockets to keep everything close at hand. This is a universal fit jacket up to a 54" chest so almost everyone can enjoy utility and comfort at the same time. It even has a net ring on the back collar so you can dip up that prize catch without fumbling for the net. This is the PFD I have fished out of every single trip for more than a year. I love it. It is a Type III PFD.





The Chinook has pockets, pockets and more pockets. The total count is seven. Throw in a tool tether, strobe holder, net ring and eight adjustment points and you can have your gear and be comfortable at the same time. This is quickly becoming one of the most popular PFDs among kayak fishermen. It is also a Type III. 


You don't have to buy these to be safe but if functionality and safety are a must at all times for you, these two will give you good bang for the buck, last a long time and become part of your paddling equipment that is a "Don't leave home without it". 

The best way to make sure it is what you are expecting is to go into a local paddle shop and try it on! In the Dallas area, Mariner Sails has both of these in stock as well of an assortment of inflatables. Try it on before you put down the cash and you too could have a lasting relationship with a PFD that could one day save your life. As long as you wear it. 





Kayak Fishing's Big Secret

It's Spring. The weather is finally getting and staying warm here in Texas and the folks thinking about kayak fishing are saving their money and asking lots of questions. I think some of our new guys, sniffing around, thinking about kayaks are missing a big secret though.

Are you ready?

Here it is:


You don't have to BUY a kayak to TRY kayak fishing.

It is awesome when you have your own kayak, can load up and go where the wind takes you and feel the freedom from beating the banks. It really is. I whole heartedly believe most people are too shy to ask to borrow a kayak to try it out. Sure we talk about demo days but that's paddling around for a few minutes. We talk about rentals too, but let's be honest here for a second. Very few rental fleets are made up of fishing kayaks. Can you fish from them? Yep. Is it ideal or likely a kayak you will purchase down the road to fish from? Nope.

There are lots of people who have multiple kayaks in the garage that are more than willing to bring an extra and have you join up for a fishing trip. We want you to like it. We also don't want to see you frustrated after dropping $200 on a garage sell, Craigslist special that makes you hurt all over. Do what you can to get into the sport but let us try to help.

Not every person has extras. Not every person is comfortable meeting new folks to fish with all day. But, some of us are. Actually, I think a lot of us are.

If you think you need to buy a kayak to try kayak fishing, don't feel that way. Make a post on a local fishing forum or Facebook group. Tell people you are interested in going on a kayak fishing trip but don't have a kayak yet. Offer to help pay for some gas or bring snacks or something. Be kind, considerate and thankful and you'll make new friends who will gladly help you on your journey. Remember, we don't know who you are yet, so you'll have to be forward and ask for an invite. When you go with us, it's not a test paddle of a kayak, it is a learning experience. Soak up all the info you can. It will help you make a better, informed decision when it does come time to visit Mariner-Sails to buy that Hobie or Ride, calling HOOK1 to order that Knot Right Camo special or even strolling into the Academy to get that Pescador12 or Heritage Angler 10.

Let us help you. And help me help others by sharing this secret.

New to Kayaking? Check the Law.

In the state of Texas, you don't have to register your kayak in most cases. If it has a motor, trolling or otherwise yes, but in most cases no. Laws are different in each state so make sure you check them out carefully before venturing out. Here is how it reads in Texas:



The following vessels when on Texas public water are required to have current registration, including when docked, moored, or stored.


  • All motorized boats, regardless of length;
  • All sailboats 14 feet in length or longer or any sailboat with an auxiliary engine(s); and
  • USCG Documented vessels (New — see section below).
  • Exempted vessels — Non-motorized canoes, kayaks, punts, rowboats, or rubber rafts (regardless of length) when paddled, poled, or oared and sailboats under 14 feet in length when windblown. Adding an outboard or trolling motor to one of these types requires titling and registration.
  • An exempt boat may have previously been titled as a motorboat. You can check whether a title has been issued for free.
That is great news but slow down for a second and let's really look at this. Just because you don't have to register your boat (as long as you meet the above criteria) doesn't mean you can stroll down to Mariner-Sails and pick a boat and a paddle and be on the lake before sunset. There are some other things to look at within the laws. 

Just to get on the water you need to read this:

All vessels, including canoes and kayaks, must be equipped with one Type I, II, III or V wearable PFD for each person on board. A Type V PFD is acceptable only if used in accordance with the specific instructions on the label of the device.

Need some help picking one out? Visit a kayak dealer and try some on. For more info, check out this post here. And if you want a direct link to a recommended manufacturer? You should check out NRS or Stohlquist. PFDs are what they do. 

If you are going to paddle at night:

Remember that you must carry one bright white light that can be exhibited in time to prevent a collision. It is recommended that you carry a lantern, flashlight, or other attached white light that will be visible from 360 degrees. Regulations state that canoes, kayaks, and all other manually driven vessels may exhibit sidelights and a sternlight, and shall exhibit at least one bright light, lantern, or flashlight from sunset to sunrise when not at dock.


Need some help? For the absolute best you need to look at the YakAttack VisiCarbon Pro Light. You can find it here with a Mighty Mount (others are available). It also has a hi-vis flag so people will see you during the day as well. 


A general warning to have your safety items:

Operating Vessels without Required Equipment is Prohibited - No person may operate or give permission for the operation of a vessel that is not provided with the required safety equipment. An operator may not permit a person under the age of 13 to be on board the vessel while the vessel is underway if the person is not wearing a USCG approved wearable PFD. Marine enforcement officers regularly perform vessel safety checks to ensure the safety of boat owners and passengers.

One more thing you will need by law:

Any vessel less than 12 meters in length (39.4 ft.) is required to carry a whistle or horn, or some other means to make an efficient sound to signal intentions and position in periods of reduced visibility.


As you are thinking about total purchase price, a weekend trip down the Brazos, Guad or just a play day at the lake, make sure you have a PFD (life jacket),  whistle, and if paddling at night, a 360 light. 

Stay safe, not only will it save you money but it might save your life!

Great Gear or Gimmicky Gadgets?

One of the perks of tackle and boat shows, whether working them or just spectating, is the abundance of gear and gadgets in one place. Instead of having to visit five or six stores spread out all over town, I can peruse more than 100 in no time at all without having to waste all that gasoline. (That's more money for gear, right?)

Last weekend I was at one of these shows, the Texas Tackle, Hunting and Boat Show in Mesquite, Texas. Vendors covered the floors as expected and I found a little bit of time to check out some cool new stuff. The question for everyone to decide, is it great gear or a gimmicky gadget?



Secure Outdoors


I visited Secure Outdoors because I had seen a forum thread that they would be at the show. I approached and saw the banner that said Secure Outdoors Asset Tracking. That got my curiosity up so I asked what kind of assets? Derk quickly gave me a demo. When he moved the small pager sized box it sent an email and text message to him. He only moved it about two feet. They come in small units that hold a charge for a couple of days or in a weatherproof case with battery that can last about eight months. You can change the assets it is tracking to really anything. He showed me golf carts, trucks, trailers, and boats so I naturally asked about kayaks. He admitted he hadn't thought of that. Imagine being able to track within a few feet of where your kayak, truck, trailer or other assets are. Kind of cool. Two years subscription will run you about $18 a month, subscription and equipment included. So check it out and you tell me great or gimmicky? Would you buy it?

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdAxE088IEE#t=16
Website: http://secure-outdoors.com/




CastAway Invicta



This new rod was tucked in the corner of a booth on a rod rack. It is basically a 40Ton carbon fiber blank that is super light and has a new style grip on it. The best way to describe it is a golf club grip style. It is soft to the touch, offers good cushion and feels good in the hand. It is also sporting a new reel seat.The real question is how will it do when wet and then when slimed. My guess is it will get slightly tacky when wet but I'm afraid slime might make it tough to keep a handle on while casting. It felt nice but what do you think. Is it great or a gimmick?

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V84zi43SxGo
Website: http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Castaway_Invicta_HG_40_Casting_Rods/descpage-CSC.html



Power Pole Micro



One of the most talked about new accessories, the Power Pole Micro is designed specifically for kayaks. They will begin shipping a portion of the pre-orders  later this month. At $595, the Micro isn't cheap and some say overkill but others seem to disagree. Mounting brackets made by YakAttack are being customized for most major kayak models. An added bonus I learned at the show is your existing YakAttack Park-N-Pole can be used in the unit. This will allow you to not travel around with a permanent pole sticking up in the back of the kayak. The cost and added cause some to be wary but others were quick to lay down their money to be first in line. What say you? Gimmick or great?

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eL3qSTgnxM
Website: http://www.power-pole.com/jlmarine/power-pole/micro.aspx



Hydrowave Mini



Another recent arrival to the market, the Hydrowave Mini is a more compact, simpler version of its predecessor. Utilizing a 9v battery and external speaker the Mini has four fish attracting settings. Early adopters have warned against short battery life in the portable unit. Since we had a couple of days at the show, we put it to the test. We were able to get 13 hours out of the unit before the battery needed to be changed. Hopefully a 12v wire-able option will be available in the future but for now, on a device that isn't left on the whole trip, it's an option many are considering. The $139 price point is also an attractive reprieve from it's big brother's $400 price. The question is, does it work? Is it great gear or just a gimmicky gadget?

Video of how it works (not the Mini): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptEltwVTYws
Website: http://www.hydrowave.com/freshwater/shop.htm



NuTech Jigs



Small, affordable and innovative, the NuTech jig is said to keep the hook upright and allow for more hookups when a fish takes a taste test. I visited the booth and talked with the inventor. He was able to give me a demo of how it works and I promptly bought five to try out. At about $4 each, the NuTech jig is available in several styles and even some spinning blade versions. Sometimes thinking out of the box is necessary to catch fish and sometimes to catch fishermen. Which is it? Great or Gimmicky?

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYF29CWcY1M&list=UUSCLRsRFY1agJusu51PsEIA&index=3
Website: https://nutechlures.com/



Let me know on Facebook or the comments here, which things you like, which you don't and of course whether they are great or gimmick. 

Got The Kayak! Now What?

Every year it happens. For the last decade that I have been around kayak fishing, Christmas brings a great new flood of people to the sport I love. Thousands of new anglers, looking for a way to get on the water or maybe a different way to get on the water, ask for and receive a kayak for Christmas.

Often times these gifted kayaks are not the $2,000 super decked out angler editions. They are sit-in or sit-on kayaks purchased at major chain stores. You know what? And hear me say this: THAT IS JUST FINE!

You don't need to have a BMW 7 Series car to drive on the highway and you don't need the Hobie Pro Angler 14 to get on the water. Would it be nice? Dang skippy. Is it necessary? Not even close.

I fished my first six, almost seven years out of a $200 sit in kayak from Academy Sports and Outdoors. And it was great. I fished differently then than I do now but every kayak owner fishes a little differently and some of that comes from the type of kayak they fish from. The important things to remember are safety, time on the water and customization to fit your needs.

These throngs of people often find their way to kayak forums and ask the same questions. That is when they get a good taste of what our sport is about. Sharing. More specifically, sharing information.

The questions typically revolve around accessories, where to try, and what is all this I hear about tipping over?

Today, I want to give you some of what I have learned both from the school of hard knocks and by others in the sport who have mentored me.

So I got a new kayak:

What accessories do I need? 


BB Angler Pro
PFD (Life Jacket)- Most people go straight for the paddle. The only reason I recommend a PFD first is safety. If you blow all of your money on a fancy paddle and end up paddling in an $8 PFD that fits like an albatross, you won't be paddling for long. Choose a good PFD and always wear it. Check out the NRS, MTI and Stohlquist PFDs. I also recommend a knife and a whistle to attach to the PFD so you can call for help or cut your way out of a tangle or hung anchor. If you are going to paddle at night, get a 360 degree light. The YakAttack Visicarbon Pro with Flag is a popular choice amongst kayakers everywhere.The PFD and whistle are legal requirements in Texas. The light is also if you are out at night.

Paddle- This is your motor. Use this paddle guide and find the right one for you. If you only have two upgrade things you can buy, they need to be a good PFD  and a paddle. That seems like a no-brainer but lots of people skimp on the first and sell their kayak shortly after from non-use. My favorite I just ordered is the Bending Branches Angler Pro in Sea Green (240cm).

Anchor Trolley- It seems strange to buy this before an anchor but believe me when I say you will be much happier if you do. An anchor trolley allows you to use a drift sock, stake out stick and anchor while positioning yourself to take advantage of the wind, not be a victim of it. This also will allow for a quick release if you get into trouble. This is the one I use. Inexpensive and easy to install.

Anchor- This is the most widely underpurchased item under $50. Anchors exist in all shapes and sizes. The most popular one is the collapsible anchor. If you are going to be in water eight feet deep or less, I suggest a YakAttack Park-N_Pole. It can double as a push pole, GoPro camera pole and many other things. Very versatile and it floats. It comes in three different lengths to fit exactly what your needs are.

Anchor Rope (and accessories)- Most anchors don't come with rope. If you are going to be fishing in any current or wind at all most people will recommend 2X the length of rope for the depth you are fishing. So if your fish are in 20 feet of water, you need at least 40 feet of rope. If you are fishing on the coast it is recommended 3X the depth. I like 3/16" rope but choose what you like. Just don't buy 1/16" rope and expect to raise a big anchor easily. While you are there in the rope section, pick up a carabiner and rope float to attach to these as well.

Super Nova Fishing Lights on my kayak
Rod Holders- These come in different varieties. You can get flush mount, rocket launchers, trolling rod holders for baitcasters and spinning, rail mount, and the list goes on and on. Look at some rigging pictures, sit in your boat, see where you can reach and then go buy one. Check out a Zooka Tube. They are my favorite rod holders.

Milk Crate- You can buy one or ask a retail grocer for one. Either way, you can strap this down to the back of most kayaks and hold tons of tackle and gear. You can also add some PVC to be additional rod holders. Cheapest investment you'll love forever. Eventually you may want to upgrade to a YakAttack BlackPak. This is the king of all packs to haul gear and hold rods.

LED Lights- This may not be first on your list but this is more than a night fishing accessory. If you buy good 5050 LED lights like SuperNova Fishing Lights, you are safer in low light to no light conditions. Folks will see you and you can see more too.

Everything Else-These things will get you going pretty well. After you have the above mentioned items, you should look at, in no particular order: a fish finder, stabilizers (depending on the kayak), drift sock, stake out stick, VHF handheld radio, scupper plugs (for sit on tops), waders, paddle gloves, really the list goes on and on.


Your fishing adventure is just that. Add things as you can and see what others are doing. Go to get togethers. Visit kayak shops like HOOK1 if you are in Oklahoma or Tennessee and Mariner-Sails if you are in Texas. Talk to guys who have years or even decades on the water. Talk to the new guys. See what's new, what's a need, what's a want and go for it. And if you buy something that doesn't work out, there is always the buy-sell-trade forums. Most of all, have fun and catch some fish!

Last Minute Shopping Ideas for the Kayak Fisherman

You waited and waited. Surely something would pop into your head. What do you get the kayak fisherman who has everything? Time is ticking quickly and you need to make a decision stat!

One thing that a fisherman always needs is more tackle. Maybe it's hooks. Maybe it's swimbaits but either way, he'll find something he needs. When it comes to tackle, the first place to stop and where you can still get it right now is Tackle Warehouse. They won't get there goodies they select by Christmas day but chances are they won't be on the lake Christmas Day.

Speaking of gift cards, if you know your giftee has been checking out some electronics or gadgets but you aren't sure which one it was, get a gift card for that too! The two places I trust the most with my time and money for kayaks and gear are Mariner Sails and HOOK1.

Not really into the gift card thing? You might have time to get to a local sporting goods store and pick up some baits. If you really don't know which ones to get, try asking a sales associate. At some of the outdoor specialty stores (NOT WALMART), the associates will have an idea of at least what they like. Try to get soft plastics in watermelon color and hard baits in a silver or white pattern. Most importantly of all, get a gift receipt. They may say to your face they love it but just in case, give them an option to return it.

Still at a loss? If it's not gift cards and not lures, a handful of cash works wonders.

May all your Christmases be bright and your stockings stuffed with soft baits and football jigs. Or cash. Cash is always good. 

My Personal Christmas Wish List

I am all for charity, giving and the true meaning of Christmas. Tis the season to help another out and good will toward men. Right now though, I am going to give in to my own wants and needs. Give me five minutes to get this out of my system and then I promise, I'll go back to picking out some Toys for Tots for the Santa Claus Classic (which is a cool benefit tourney on Lady Bird Lake I'll be fishing with Robert Field this weekend).

I've made lots of lists of cool gadgets, kayaks, accessories and more. Some of the stuff on the lists I already have and some of it just doesn't really work for how and where I fish. It does work for the masses though, thus, the lists.

Today I wanted to publish my personal wish list. One thing per category. Chances are I won't get any of this stuff but looking to the future, this is what I am looking at. I definitely wouldn't be heart broken if some of this showed up. Keep in mind this is MY list. That being said, I'd love to hear what's on YOUR list. So Little Drummer Boy slap me down a drum roll cause here we go:


Accessory


Leverage Landing Net-Kayak Model- $69




 I need one of these. I have two nets and they both are too small and not long enough. This net would handle both of those problems.


Electronics


Hydrowave Mini- $139





If it gets me just one more cull fish per tournament, that pays for itself in a couple of weeks, if not just one.
It runs on a 9V so I don't even have to splice it in. Sweet!


Propulsion


Bending Branches Angler Pro- $299




Since going back to paddle yaks, I need a better engine (paddle). This would be a great edition without completely emptying the bank account. It would make a good dent though.


Clothing


Bomber Gear Blitz Splash Top- $100





You have to take the cold weather seriously. I have plenty of summer gear but my winter gear is sparse to say the least. Be comfortable AND dry? Yes please.


Kayak


Wilderness Systems Commander 140- $1049




I have my two Malibu Kayaks which I really enjoy but for those brutally cold days I would love to own one of these. Being able to stay dry, stand and fish, as well as being a breeze to load and unload are just a few of the reasons this made my wish list. When I think stable, dry and easy to load/unload, I think Commander 140.


Fishing Bait


Hag's Tornado Baits- $4




Look, I know I am constantly talking about Hag's but these are my favorite baits in the world. I go through F4 and F8 Tornados in Watermelon Chartreuse like it's my one and only job. I do throw other baits but I haven't been on a fishing trip in several years where I haven't thrown a Hag's. Ask anyone who has fished with me what I throw. They'll agree. You can buy me as many of these as you can afford. They will get used. I promise. Top three colors for me: Watermelon Chartreuse, Purple Haze, Hag's Secret.



So that's it. Sure a lot of these items are pricey. Remember that part where i said, "Chances are I won't get any of this stuff but looking to the future, this is what I am looking at"? That's why. If they were all $20, I'd probably have them by now. Except the Hag's. I'll never have enough of those.

What's on your list for Santa? Dream big! You never know what might show up at your door. :)

Also, note to Santa, most of these things can be found at mariner-sails.com or kayakfishinggear.com (Mariner Sails and HOOK1). Thanks big guy!





Got A Kayak. What Else Do I Need?

Every year it happens. For the last decade that I have been around kayak fishing, the Christmas season brings a great new flood of people to the sport I love. Thousands of new anglers, looking for a way to get on the water or maybe a different way to get on the water, ask for and receive a kayak for Christmas.

Often times these gift kayaks are not the $2,000 super decked out angler editions. They are sit-in or sit-on kayaks purchased at major chain stores. You know what? And hear me say this: THAT IS JUST FINE!

You don't need to have a BMW 7 Series car to drive on the highway and you don't need the Hobie Pro Angler 14 to get on the water. Would it be nice? Dang skippy. Is it necessary? Not even close.

I fished my first six, almost seven years out of a $200 sit in kayak from Academy Sports and Outdoors. And it was great. I fished differently then than I do now but every kayak owner fishes a little differently and some of that comes from the type of kayak they fish from. The important things to remember are safety, time on the water and customization to fit your needs.

These throngs of people often find their way to kayak forums and ask the same questions. That is when they get a good taste of what our sport is about. Sharing. More specifically, sharing information.

The questions typically revolve around accessories, where to try, and what is all this I hear about tipping over?

Today, I want to give you some of what I have learned both from the school of hard knocks and by others in the sport who have mentored me.

So I got a new kayak:

What accessories do I need? 
MTI Dio F-Spec


PFD (Life Jacket)- Most people go straight for the paddle. The only reason I recommend a PFD first is safety. If you blow all of your money on a fancy paddle and end up paddling in an $8 PFD that fits like an albatross, you won't be paddling for long. Choose a good PFD and always wear it. Check out the NRS, MTI and Stohlquist PFDs. I also recommend a knife and a whistle to attach to the PFD so you can call for help or cut your way out of a tangle or hung anchor. If you are going to paddle at night, get a 360 degree light. The YakAttack Visicarbon Pro with Flag is a popular choice amongst kayakers everywhere.The PFD and whistle are legal requirements in Texas. The light is also if you are out at night.

Paddle- This is your motor. Use this paddle guide and find the right one for you. If you only have two upgrade things you can buy, they need to be a good PFD  and a paddle. That seems like a no-brainer but lots of people skimp on the first and sell their kayak shortly after from non-use.

Park-N-Pole in a Trolley
Anchor Trolley- It seems strange to buy this before an anchor but believe me when I say you will be much happier if you do. An anchor trolley allows you to use a drift sock, stake out stick and anchor while positioning yourself to take advantage of the wind, not be a victim of it. This also will allow for a quick release if you get into trouble. This is the one I use. Inexpensive and easy to install.

Anchor- This is the most widely underpurchased item under $50. Anchors exist in all shapes and sizes. The most popular one is the collapsible anchor. If you are going to be in water eight feet deep or less, I suggest a YakAttack Park-N_Pole. It can double as a push pole, GoPro camera pole and many other things. Very versatile and it floats. It comes in three different lengths to fit exactly what your needs are.

Anchor Rope (and accessories)- Most anchors don't come with rope. If you are going to be fishing in any current or wind at all most people will recommend 2X the length of rope for the depth you are fishing. So if your fish are in 20 feet of water, you need at least 40 feet of rope. If you are fishing on the coast it is recommended 3X the depth. I like 3/16" rope but choose what you like. Just don't buy 1/16" rope and expect to raise a big anchor easily. While you are there in the rope section, pick up a carabiner and rope float to attach to these as well.

Rod Holders- These come in different varieties. You can get flush mount, rocket launchers, trolling rod holders for baitcasters and spinning, rail mount, and the list goes on and on. Look at some rigging pictures, sit in your boat, see where you can reach and then go buy one.

YakAttack BlackPak
Milk Crate- You can buy one or ask a retail grocer for one. Either way, you can strap this down to the back of most kayaks and hold tons of tackle and gear. You can also add some PVC to be additional rod holders. Cheapest investment you'll love forever. Eventually you may want to upgrade to a YakAttack BlackPak. This is the king of all packs to haul gear and hold rods.

Everything Else-These things will get you going pretty well. After you have the above mentioned items, you should look at, in no particular order: a fish finder, stabilizers (depending on the kayak), drift sock, stake out stick, VHF handheld radio, scupper plugs (for sit on tops), waders, paddle gloves, really the list goes on and on.


Your fishing adventure is just that. Add things as you can and see what others are doing. Go to get togethers. Visit kayak shops like HOOK1 if you are in Tennessee or Mariner-Sails if you are in Texas. Talk to guys who have years or even decades on the water. Talk to the new guys. See what's new, what's a need, what's a want and go for it. And if you buy something that doesn't work out, there is always the buy-sell-trade forums. Most of all, have fun and catch some fish!

The Perfect Kayak Does Not Exist

I'm sorry to be the one to say it. Well... not really.

For you new guys, the lurkers and quizzers, the ones wanting to get into kayak fishing or just kayaking in general, the perfect kayak does not exist.

For you kayak fishing vets, not all of you but some of you, stop telling them Kayak XR34 is the best in the world and you have to have one or you'll be sorry!

I get it. You love your kayak. You think it's the best. And here's the thing: For you it might be!

But let it be said once and for all, there is no perfect kayak for all people in all situations.

People with a bad back will need a lighter kayak or a trailer. People with only $400 to spend can't afford the Hobie Pro Angler 14 so stop suggesting it.

People who want a river boat may not want the Native Mariner. Especially in low water conditions.

I get it. You are loyal to your favorite brand. That's good. Please understand however, not all kayaks fit all people and situations the way it might fit you.

To grow the sport the most important thing we can do is encourage people to demo as many boats as possible. Sure, you might encourage a certain brand. I think we all do but please, whenever possible, don't encourage someone to buy a kayak "dry". If a person has never been in a kayak and you are encouraging them to buy the XR34, you are rushing. Asking lifestyle questions will lead you to only a handful of kayaks to choose from.

Hey, new guy! Does it seem overwhelming picking your first kayak? I've been there. I bought the only one I could afford. It got me on the water and that was good but it could be very frustrating and I almost died once because of a bad choice of a kayak. Please new guy, be patient. We understand you are super excited to try this cool sport out. We love it too but we have all made different mistakes. I made a really bad one that almost pushed me out of kayak fishing all together.

I purchased a kayak, sight unseen, dry with no demo about five years ago. It was such a good deal I couldn't believe it. So I bought it. Later that week I took it for its maiden voyage and almost turtled a dozen times. I hated that kayak. I felt like I was fighting it the whole time. It was awful and I sold it a month later and lost money. Since then I have purchased several kayaks for different purposes. I have a small water/buddy kayak, a big water kayak, and a family kayak (tandem). All three are different brands. I like them all and they have different purposes. For anyone to tell me that I could get all of my wants in one kayak would seem a fairy tale and frankly, unrealistic. I fish a wide variety of situations. Most people do.

If you only fish one set of ponds or one stretch of river, you might could find one kayak that works well and it could be perfect for you. That doesn't make it perfect for your buddy or that new guy on the forum.

Lots of places around the country have kayak dealers who specialize in kayaks, not just a bait store or grocery store that sells them. Ask them for a demo. Mariner Sails in Dallas has people on staff who specialize in kayak fishing and who have paddled all the different brands they carry. They aren't the only shop either. Take a look around and see what you can find. If you still don't see a dealer in site, ask on the local fishing forum. Lots of people would be happy to let you try their kayak. I take new people out all the time just to share the kayaking experience with them.

So new guys, demo, demo, demo. Only you can choose for you.

Kayak addicts, encourage them to demo. Don't just be a boat pusher.

So where do you start narrowing it down? Check out this form:


Mariner Sails Website Updates



Don't you just love that new car smell? If the internet had come through on developing scratch and sniff you could experience the new website smell over at Mariner-Sails.com. Until then, you should go by and checkout the new look. 

So what's changed? For starters, the website is this nice, clean, easy on your eyes white which makes it easier to online shop for a few hours (guilty as charged). The search function has been upgraded to make sure you don't have to sift through hundreds of products to find the one you want. You also now have the options of shopping by vendor, part number or description. Not sure about a new product and how good it is? Check out the ratings that are listed on each product. Got something to say about a recent product you bought? Rate it and let others (and Mariner) know whether this is a good product or a not so great one. Look for the Rate This Product link. 

As if that's not enough, Mariner Sails is also the new clearing house for all kayaking events. Doing a fundraiser, tournament or get together? Let Mariner know and they'll post it up for all to see. It will definitely be nice to have one spot for all the Texas kayak activities info.

The cherry on top however is a new, upcoming Kayak Fishing Club. This is an all inclusive club (no tryouts or qualifiers needed) and will get you access to special purchase opportunities, special events and preliminary thoughts are it will be free to join. I'll have more info as the club develops but this is an exciting new addition to the many great things Mariner Sails is already doing for the kayak community. 

If you're a Mariner Sails customer already, let others know and share this on Facebook, forums, You Tube and other places where friends can let friends know how awesome it is to have a storefront and online presence like Mariner Sails and Mariner-Sails.com where you know you'll always get treated right and get the product you need.