A New Fishing Kayak From Cabela’s?

Is This The New Cabela’s Fishing Kayak?

Cabela's KayakKayak Angler magazine is claiming to have photos of a not yet released to the market fishing kayak that is due to hit the racks at Cabela’s  in June.

We received photos of Cabela’s new fishing kayak from an anonymous source. Looks like the new boat will be 12-feet long and 36-inches wide. The boat features a broad standing platform, electronics/gear pod and rod-tip protectors.

At 12′ it probably would just hold my big butt up, but would likely be a great fishing kayak for most lakes.

We will have to wait and see what price point it will come out at and whether or not I would sink it. LOL

Rigging For Kayak Salmon Fishing – Tackle

What Tackle Do You Need When Salmon Fishing From A Kayak?

Fishing for salmon from a kayakSummer run Chinook salmon season is quickly approaching and I am looking forward to salmon fishing from my kayak.

This is my first year really fishing a kayak and every trip is a new adventure, so it took some research to get the kayak ready for salmon fishing.  In this article I cover some of the ideas of what tackle you will want for salmon fishing from a kayak.

Rods For Kayak Salmon Fishing

The way to go in the rod department when salmon fishing from a kayak is a slow rod that is about 8′ long.  A slow rod is going to bend through the length of the rod, giving you lots of flex to fight a big salmon.  Your length should be long enough to get around the end of your kayak in case the salmon you have on decides to get crazy and you need to switch sides of the boat.  Your salmon rod doesn’t need to be fancy for kayak salmon fishing, it just needs to be flexible to take a run and strong enough to pull in a 30# fish.  You do want to make sure that your rod is rated for braided line, because if it isn’t your line could wind up getting cut on an eyelet. I’ve had it happen!

Reels For Kayak Salmon Fishing

Tackle Direct

A bait casting reel that holds a decent amount of line is essential.  Quite honestly I would rather spend the big money on my reel than on my rod.  Especially fighting pissed off King Salmon, you need a reel with a great drag system that can hold up to getting salt water on it.  A good reel isn’t cheap, but will make or break your fishing trip.  The last thing you want is to lose a 35# Chinook because your drag got sticky and started locking up while your fish is running.  Something like the Shimano Tekota 300 should do a great job and hold up to the salt water.  I like line counter models, but some people don’t.  I will leave that up to you.

Line For Kayak Salmon Fishing

Kayak Salmon Fishing in Puget Sound pretty much means you will be mooching or trolling.  Either way, you will want a small diameter braided line.  If you go for a 20# test braided superline, you will have almost no drag and be able to get a bunch of line on your reel.  The regular complaint with braided line for salmon fishing is that it doesn’t absorb shock.  This isn’t a problem because you will use some mono on your terminal tackle, will be using a soft rod and fishing from a kayak that itself will absorb energy.

Now You Have The Tackle for Kayak Salmon Fishing

Next time we will talk about the terminal tackle for kayak salmon fishing, the common techniques and some thoughts on where to fish for salmon.   Do you have any comments on this article?  What are you  using to go kayak fishing?  Post your comments below, or you can email your comments to me.

 

Gullwing Paddle Review

The Gullwing Paddle Breaks With Tradition

Review of Gullwing Paddles for kayak fishingA while back the guys at Gullwing Paddles sent us over  one of their bent shaft paddles to try out.  I had seen them in an ad in one of the fishing magazines and was absolutely intrigued.  Virtually every other paddle I’ve seen was a variation on the standard straight shaft paddle.  Sure some are fancier, lighter, adjustable pitch, whatever.  Honestly, I had done a bunch of research and had just settled on a basic el cheapo for my general needs because I am not planning on covering miles and miles of water.

Ok, so I have covered miles and miles of water this year fishing in my kayak, but that is another story.

But back to the Gullwing.  The concept was developed by Art Carlow who besides liking to kayak, had some injuries that made rowing a bitch.  Seems like those add up as we get older doesn’t it?  So to make rowing easier, Art redesigned the kayak paddles he had been using to make them more ergonomically correct.

Changing the angle of the blades and putting a gentle curve into the shaft means that it is much easier to simply slip along, moving the paddle just above the water rather than having to lift it up as you do with regular straight shafted paddles.  Again this was intriguing to me, and the whole concept was sold on the idea that it not only was easy to row, but you could set it down in your lap and not have it fall off to one side.  A big deal when you are fishing!

 First Impressions of the Gullwing Paddle

Straight out of the box the Gullwing Paddle is pretty much ready to go.  Mine came with the optional foam grips which I really love.  Aluminum handles can get cold when the temperature drops.  The two paddles attach pretty intuitively with button tabs to hold them in place.  The shaft itself felt beefy enough to use on a regular basis without being heavy.

On the Water With the Gullwing Paddle

To review the Gullwing paddle, I took it out on local lakes using my Ocean Kayak Trident 13.  For the most part conditions were good with some wind from time to time.

Honestly the first time out the damn thing felt awkward as hell to me.  The problem was that I kept wanting to row it like my old paddle instead of relaxing and letting it do the work.  Eventually I relaxed and started keeping my strokes lower and it started feeling right.  Rowing with the Gullwing paddle definitely is easier than with a standard kayak paddle.

The angle of the shaft and the angle of the blades make it very easy to complete one stroke, getting the whole blade into the water than with a regular paddle.  I don’t have science to back it, but it felt like it was easier to move along with the Gullwing Paddle.  What I do know is that rowing at normal speeds I never got fatigued using it.

As for the claim that it will just sit there in your lap if you get busy with a fish?  That was absolutely true.

Honestly I wouldn’t hesitate if someone asked me if they could paddle and fish all day with a Gullwing Paddle to tell them yes.

I Take the Gullwing Paddle to the Breaking Point

One thing that several reviewers have noted is that the fit where the paddle blades meet the shaft isn’t 100% tight.  Now in reality it is pretty tight, but if you are used to comparing it to the no-grit fittings found in the middle of most regular kayak paddles, it is loose.  If you are rowing slow, you can just slightly feel the vibration as you start your stroke from it.  But it is tiny.

Knowing this, and wondering just how tough the blades and connections were, I decided at the end of trip #2 to really push the Gullwing Paddle to the max.  I hadn’t seen any reviewers comment on straight out power, but since I fish Puget Sound and sometimes you wind up fighting wind and current, I wanted to know.

So I started the test run on the downwind end of the lake and started putting on the speed.  Gradually I ramped it up until I could feel some flex in the blades.  Now mind you I am ~#280 so I am no featherweight to drive through the water and into the wind.

Exceeding the design specs I’m sure and digging as aggressively as I could, I pushed it further.  Think of it as paddling if Jaws with a laser sight was on your ass speed.  Nearly at the far end of the lake and quite honestly hauling ass, the right blade finally sheered off at the shaft.

I limped back to the shore pretty pleased with the paddle’s performance.  Art seemed a bit surprised when I told him I managed to get one to break off and he should have been.  I was pushing that paddle WAY past where any angler is likely to ever have to go.  For clarity, I am a #280 adventure racing Viking and it took all I had to get that blade to blow.  So if you are worried about that blade being sloppy or weak, forget about it!  PS.  My shoulders killed the next day I was rowing so hard.

What I Liked

The Gullwing Paddle really delivered on its promise of being easy to row, riding comfortably in your lap and being a good kayak paddle for fishing with.  The foam grips are big enough that my hands didn’t get fatigued and fought my tendency to grip the shaft too tightly.

The angle on the bent shaft put my arms and shoulders at a much more natural position for rowing and was very smooth once I adjusted to the new design.

What I didn’t Like

There wasn’t a whole lot about the Gullwing Paddle I didn’t like.  The biggest problem I had was that my legs got in the way of rowing which tells me that I could have used a little bit longer of a paddle, which they don’t make yet.  I was using their Model 230 and I probably could have used one size bigger.  Again though, I am a big guy and so a normal person probably wouldn’t have had an issue with this.

One reviewer commented that the Gullwing Paddle suck for rowing standing up.  I can see that with the bent shaft, but I don’t generally do that so it wasn’t an issue for me.  The only other thing was flipping it over to go in reverse is a bit awkward, but I don’t do that very often either.

Final Thoughts

For the money, Gullwing Paddles get thumbs up from me.  Art is always looking for ways to improve his paddles and I think he has a great design going on.  He has already won several awards for them in fact.

If you have been pondering a paddle upgrade, then I would highly suggest that you forgo the carbon fiber, fragile, fancy ass paddles and go with a Gullwing.  It rows well, is sturdy as hell and works great for fishing.  You can buy them direct from the company on their website http://www.gullwingpaddles.com/ so swing over and pick one up now!

buy gullwing paddles

 

 

The Fishing With Cliff Stealth Fighter

Fishing with Cliff has added a Trident Kayak to the arsenal!

Specially designed fishing kayak.
The only specially designed fishing kayak on the market.

For a while we have been looking at getting a smaller, more agile and stealthy fishing boat to the FWC retinue of boats.  After much research we have brought home a 13′ Ocean Kayak Trident Ultra 4.3.

This is the most bad-ass of the sit on top kayaks on the market for fishing.

For the technical people, here are the stats on the Trident 4.3.

  • Comfort Zone™ seat back
  • Multifunctional reversible Ultra Center Hatch Cover
  • Live bait well or anchor storage compartment
  • Click Seal bow hatch
  • Transducer compatible scupper with more transducer size options
  • 5″ hatch in rear tank well
  • Over sized tank well designed to take the Ice Box Storage Pod
  • Molded-in cup and bottle holders
  • Four flush mounted rod holders
  • Replaceable wear strip on tail fin
  • Paddle keepers
  • Built-in carrying handles
  • LENGTH: 14′ 1″ | 4.3 m
  • WIDTH: 29.1″ | 74 cm
  • WEIGHT: 59 lbs | 27 kg
  • MAX CAPACITY: 425-475 lbs | 192.8-215.5 kg

Why did I pick the Trident Ultra 4.3?

Without any doubt, the Trident Ultra 4.3 and 4.7 are the best fishing kayaks on the market right now.  Plus, they have weight ratings high enough to hold my bulk and still have capacity left for a cooler, rods, gear and so on.  Reviews of its ability to cut through waves and move quickly through the water are all stellar.  So this summer we will be putting it through its paces.

Where will you see us fishing from the new kayak?

Early on this year, we will be using it to go after all those lovely planter trout that the local lakes are brimming with. Later this summer you can bet I will be trying my luck at fishing for Pink Salmon on Puget Sound.

 

Chompy the Shark and the Kayak Fisherman

When a shark wants a tuna, a shark gets a tuna

Kayak fishing is exciting no doubt, but when a shark wants the fish you are reeling in, it is even more interesting.  This is exactly what Isaac Brumaghim experience recently off the coast of Hawaii.  He was fishing for tuna when a shark decided that it wanted the fish he was reeling in.

 

 

Recalling the experience off the Waianae Coast, he said of the shark: “He exploded under my kayak, his dorsal hit my kayak. It was just like a rush. The shark scared me,” he said. “But I really needed that fish for my job.”

Isaac runs the site Aquahunters and typically has a camera mounted to his kayak to record his fishing trips.  This time out though, he got more than he expected. Needless to say, after the rush subsided his first thought was: “I hope I got that on camera.”

In the end he doesn’t get the fish, but he kept all his limbs and has some great video to show for it!

 

Kayak Fishing for Salmon in Oregon

Yes, people go salmon fishing from kayaks in the ocean!

It seemed crazy to me when I first heard about it, but people do go salmon fishing in the ocean along Washington and Oregon’s coasts in kayaks.  It is actually getting somewhat popular.

Here is a video of what it looks like to head out on the Oregon coast in a kayak and go salmon fishing.  There is a good chance we are going to give it a shot here in Puget Sound this year!

Do you kayak fish for salmon?

Are you a kayak fishing nut?  Chime and let everyone know what drew you to bobbing around on the water, fishing from an over-sized floating skateboard.