Gear

Kayak Anglers Christmas List 2015

Well, Christmas is upon us again and I know you are just dying to put something special under the tree for your favorite kayak angler. It is time for our annual kayak fisherman’s Christmas list. Some of the items remain the same as last year, just too good to delete and we have added some new ones. When my wife looks in my garage and sees all of my kayaking and fishing gear she thinks I have everything I need and couldn’t possibly need one more thing. Well, of course there is always that one thing that I would love to add to my gear pile. I thought I would share a few ideas I have on the subject. Some are items I use that your kayak angler may be interested in, and some are things I would love to see wrapped up at my house this year.

Let’s start out big. How about a kayak upgrade? This Christmas just happens to line up with the arrival of the addition to the Jim Sammons signature line of kayaks from Jackson Kayak, The Kraken, at your local kayak dealer. If your kayak angler was interested in the original Kraken but felt it was a bit too big I am sure they will love this one.

The Kraken on the water and ready to hunt

The Kraken on the water and ready to hunt.

Of course, to push that kayak around you are going to need a paddle. I will tell you flat-out there is none better than those made by Werner. Take a look at the new Hooked series of paddles from Werner to find an amazing paddle. Take a look at the Werner Kaliste if you want the best of the best. All of Werners paddles are available in four piece which makes them so much easier to travel with.

If you don’t want to push your kayak around with a paddle or just want some extra push for the real long distance days, take a look at a Torqeedo motor. I have used one of these this year on some of my long range offshore trips and it is an incredible setup. Light and powerful and if you take it slow it will run all day and cover many miles.

Going hands free with the Torqeedo

Going hands free with the Torqeedo

Well we talked about pushing your kayak how about stopping your kayak and holding it in place in the shallow water. Nothing and I mean nothing works better for this than a PowerPole micro anchor. I used this item during several of our shoots this year, and I am telling you if I lived in a place with a shallow water fishery I would have one of these on all my kayaks.

All rigged up with my PowerPole

All rigged up with my PowerPole

I have been called the PFD Nazi because I push so hard to get guys to wear them on every outing. Of course it is a lot easier to get guys to wear them if they are comfortable, and that is the reason I personally use the SeaO2 by Kokatat. I started wearing this PFD a couple years ago and it is, hands down, the most comfortable I have ever worn. Kokatat also makes some great paddling jackets and dry pants that I am sure any kayaker would love.

I think all fishermen are gear heads and love to have all the right tools, that is why we are seeing more impressive electronics mounted on kayaks all the time. One of the best units that I have ever used, that has amazing clarity and is super user friendly, is the Dragonfly by Raymarine. Now available in several sizes and different price points.
Of course you are going to need to power these electronics and this year I started using the water proof batteries from Nocqua. Light weight, powerful and great quality, well worth checking them out.

MK clothing 1

New Raymarine Dragonfly 7″ set up on one of our trips .

Something that the kayak angler in your life will always appreciate and be in need of is new fishing tools. We are always losing or just flat-out wearing them out. A tool that I have really come to appreciate on my kayak are my Splizzors from Buck. This combination, as the name implies, of scissors and pliers is my go-to tool when it comes to cutting braided line. Of course I really don’t want to lose them or having them rusting so I keep them in a Holdzit sheath and attach a gear retractor.

Likely one of my favorite tools that I use every time I go fishing is my SprayBox . Mounted in the back of my truck, I am able to wash down my fishing gear, kayaks and trailer as soon as I get out of the water. I know this item has saved me thousands of dollars in damage to my fishing gear and vehicle. They make units that mount in your truck bed or that are portable and are really worth the investment.

You have to get your kayak to the water and if like me you are tired of lifting your kayak onto a roof rack, consider looking into a Malone trailer. I have been using one for years and it has been a back saver.

Loading up the Malone

Loading up the Malone

Of course no fisherman will ever turn down a nice new shiny fishing reel, and if they like to fish for bigger fish, I know they would love reels from Truth reels, made in the USA. With a lifetime warranty these reels will make any angler happy for a long time. Since we started using them they have introduced several new sizes so they have a reel for all your offshore needs.

Of course if you have a reel you need a rod, and the finest rods I have ever had the chance to use are those by Century Rods. Light, Powerful and built tough.

IMG_0200

Standard Horizon has a VHF radio for any budget

I know you want your kayak angler to be safe while out on the water so other great items that they may not buy for themselves are things like a Standard Horizon VHF radio, a Delorme inReach GPS Satellite Communicator or even an emergency medical kit and bilge pump.

We had a ton of shark activity this year in my local waters and the Shark Shield Freedom 7, an electronic shark deterrent, is sure nice to have. It will give you peace of mind and help you keep your fish.

There isn’t an angler around that doesn’t appreciate a pair of good polarized sunglasses and if you want the best take a look at Maui Jim. I have been wearing these glasses for many years and can’t see myself wearing anything else. They have their own lab so if you are like me and need prescription lenses they can take care of you.

If you are just looking for some smaller items to use as stocking stuffers, how about some spools of Seaguar Fluorocarbon line, packs of Mustad hooks, or a new Buff? The gift of kayak rigging from YakAttack and RAM Mounts will never be frowned upon.

I pretty much live in flip flops and I have never found any that were more comfortable than those from Olukai. They really are the first flip flops that I have felt comfortable standing in all day at a trade show. Of course on chilly mornings, they also make some amazingly warm and comfy slippers.

I do a lot of early morning and evening fishing and some lighting is always welcome. A visi carbon pole from Yakattack along with a new head light from Princeton Tec are great tools not only to help you see but to help you be seen.

Has your kayak fishing friend gone through more than one cell phone while on the water? If so, I am sure a LifeProof case and life jacket would be very well received. How about a gift that will keep giving all year long, like a subscription to Kayak Fish or Kayak Angler magazines?

Another great gift for your kayak angler is to send them on an adventure. There are kayak fishing guides all over the world and there is likely a trip that your kayak angler would love to go on. I offer trips in San Diego as well as multiday trips to Baja, pick one of my trips or a trip with a guide anywhere in the world and I am sure you will make your special angler very happy.

Join a guided kayak fishing adventure and you may end up like this happy guy.

Join a guided kayak fishing adventure and you may end up like this happy guy.

For kayak fishing deals online keep an eye on HOOK 1 Kayak Fishing Gear, or stop in at one of their 3 stores if you are in the area, they’re one one of the biggest online retailers for kayak fishing and live and breathe the kayak fishing lifestyle.

If you are keeping fish you want to keep it nice and fresh and to do that you will want a good cooler. Engel is making some of the best out there and have them in every size you need.

This is one big cooler

This is one big cooler

For your Holiday celebrations bring your friends some Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits you will definitely put a smile on their face. If I am on your shopping list, feel free to drop off a few Grapefruit Sculpin, I will be happy to share with you.
!

Swapping stories with Mike at Aguilla De Osa over some Ballast Point Spirits

Sharing some Ballast Point Spirits with friends

I have been wearing the same style/brand of hat for years and people are always asking me where I got it. Well they are hand made one at a time in Hawaii and they are top quality. Take a look at the Ocean Designs web site and maybe order one for yourself or your kayaking friends.

My hat protects me from sun and rain.

My hat protects me from sun and rain.

I hope this gives you some ideas to help in your shopping for that special kayak angler in your life. Merry Christmas from The Kayak Fishing Show with Jim Sammons

Advertisements

Kraken 13.5 walk through video

Here is a quick walk through video of the new Kraken 13.5 from Jackson Kayak.

Visit your local Jackson dealer and take one for a test drive.

Release The Kraken, again!

My first fishing session off the new Kraken 13.5

My first fishing session off the new Kraken 13.5

Though I tend to prefer the longer kayaks, hence the 15’7″ length of the Original Kraken, now called the Kraken 15.5. I also know there are a lot of people that want those same features that the original Kraken brought to the table but in a smaller package. That is why Tony Lee and the rest of the Jackson Kayak design crew worked hard to bring you the new Kraken 13.5.

The 13.5 next to the 15.5

The 13.5 next to the 15.5

Though I helped on the design of this boat I just recently had the chance to get it out on the water for its first fishing shake down cruise. Once again I think Jackson hit it out of the park on this one. As mentioned above the Kraken 13.5 has all the great features included in its big brother but in a lighter more nimble package.

I had the 13.5 out in some pretty sloppy conditions, high winds and chop, and it handled these conditions as would be expected of an offshore fishing kayak. It handled the slop both punching into and running down swell with ease. The guys I was fishing with were both in the 15.5 and though I was a bit slower it was barely noticeable. I am sure if I had a rudder, as the other two boats did, it would have been an even closer race. Though I normally don’t use rudders in these high wind conditions it would have really helped out in the tracking. While fishing in the more sheltered areas no rudder was needed and the kayak paddled like a dream. Of course like the 15.5 the 13.5 is prerigged for a rudder so adding one is a breeze.

Taking on the slop

Taking on the slop

Here is what they have to say about the Kraken 13.5 on the Jackson kayak site.
“The Kraken 13.5 is an all-new option for paddlers looking to tackle big water. Based on The Kraken 15.5 platform, the 13.5 sheds some length for more maneuverability but with all the punch of its big brother. This kayak, just like the original, is designed for the most challenging paddling environments in the world and intended for the offshore and big lake kayak angler. A natural follow up to the first collaborative design between legendary kayak angler, Jim Sammons and Jackson Kayak’s design team led by Tony Lee. The new Kraken 13.5 is a boat shaped and built to accommodate those hitting the open water, in a nimble, smaller footprint, but still capable of big water management. It’s designed for punching through surf, handling rough offshore currents, swells, beach landings and those who desire ultimate performance and maneuverability while chasing big fish.”

Being 13’3″ the new version of the Kraken is just over two feet shorter than the original and would be suited for anyone looking for good performance in a smaller package. Being 230 pounds myself, with a full bait tank which would add another fifty plus pounds and an awful lot of gear. I still felt the kayak carried the weight well and could have handled a few big fish in the hull with ease.

One addition to the 13.5 that you will not see in the 15.5, that should really appeal to those stalking the flats, is the addition of a high seat position. Doubtful I will be using this position while fishing offshore but in the calm waters of the flats it is a welcome addition to aid in locating fish.

Carrying a full load with ease

Carrying a full load with ease

New this year with the Krakens you have some rigging options, in the 13.5 you can get the base model or the elite package and with the 15.5 you can get the base, Elite or the fully loaded Pro model. Basically giving you the option to buy a stripped down boat ready for your rigging or get one that is dialed in and ready to conquer any fish in the sea.

 All Krakens are transducer ready

All Krakens are transducer ready

 Bait pump ready and come with the new Sealine waterproof pouch on the seat

And Bait pump ready

22333315429_29aed5cb54_z

The Elite comes with the floor padding, and KKrate and more.

The Elite comes with the floor padding, and KKrate and more.

To get a full list of the features and extras available on the Kraken make sure to visit the Jackson Kayak website.

Though you will likely still see me spending most of my time in the long boat, I think the 13.5 will be quite at home in the big offshore waters, bays or lakes. A great boat for anyone that wants a true paddlers kayak but doesn’t want to deal with the size of the 15.5. Vist your local Jackson dealer and get one our for a test paddle, I am sure you will like it.

Of course we still have the cool Kraken logo

Of course we still have the cool Kraken logo

Rod holders? Yeah we have plenty and room for the Kkrate and a tackle box.

Rod holders? Yeah we have plenty and room for the Kkrate and a tackle box.

The Elite comes with the floor padding, and KKrate and more.

The Elite comes with the floor padding, and KKrate and more.

Rigging Tip of the Week – Brought to you by SEA-LECT Designs

Every two weeks, we release the Kayak Fishing Tales Newsletter, which has giveaways, videos and announcements. (If you don’t already get the newsletter, sign up here: http://bit.ly/1O8fexH ) Another great part of our Newsletter is the SEA-LECT Designs Rigging Tip of the Week, which outlines some handy tips and tricks to outfit your kayak to optimize your fishing experience. This week, Jed Hawkes of the Product Development Team at SEA-LECT goes over a very cost effective and simple solution for lashing your paddle to the deck of your kayak and for keeping knots from coming undone.

We commonly will just “deal” with small repeated tasks that are imperfect, it’s so small or common that we will spend a moment struggling with that task rather than find a simple solution to streamline it. This is either because we don’t see a solution, know of one that already exists, or perceive that moment of struggle as insignificant. But these moments add up. We commonly use our deck bungee to securely store our paddle while we accomplish a task; this can be a something as simple as taking a drink of water or more complex like tying on a new lure, assisting in a rescue, or landing the first catch of the day.

IMG_2774The Clamcleat® Shockcord Ball greatly helps assist quickly storing your paddle under your deck bungees. The ball is threaded onto your deck bungee and gives a wider radius to allow the paddle blade to slide under the deck bungee without snagging. The flattened side helps it sit nicely on the deck and the beveled corners of the hole help prevent fraying of the bungees sheath. The balls can be used on deck bungees for Fishing Kayaks, Sea Kayaks and SUP’s.

DSCN1006

I also use the Clamcleat® Toggle Ball to add a large stopper onto small diameter cordage. The Toggle helps to cover the knot as well as provide an easy object to grab. I install these on the ratchets of by back band on whitewater and sea kayaks to help pull the back band taught.

For more information about SEA-LECT Designs, visit sealectdesigns.com

A couple quick and dirty mods to my Kraken Kayak

The Kraken is a fishing machine but can always be made better

The Kraken is a fishing machine but can always be made better

You know that no matter how great a kayak is there are always things you want to tweak to get them just how you want them.

Today I broke out the saw, drill and a few parts to do a couple mods to my Kraken kayak, to get it ready for a long fishing season.

We do at times here in San Diego get into some pretty big fish, my biggest  white seabass for instance was 62 pounds. I have an insulated game bag that fits inside my hull with ice packs that I keep my catch in for those time that I do keep fish. Just to make getting the bag, as well big fish, into the hull a bit easier I cut away the inner lip inside the center hatch. This gave me close to an inch of extra width and length. This easy mod has no affect on the integrity of the kayak or the water tight seal of the hatch.

Like I said quick and dirty, I actually did this with an angle grinder.

Like I said quick and dirty, I actually did this with an angle grinder.

The next thing I did was grab a small hack saw and cut out the back side of my battery tray. I have been using small Nocqua lithium ion waterproof batteries, I love these things but on a real long day I do need to swap them out. By cutting out the back of the battery tray I can still get my batteries up off the floor of the kayak but have a bit easier access to them if I need to swap them out.

Cutting away the back of the battery tray

Cutting away the back of the battery tray


Now I have access to the batteries from the front and back.

Now I have access to the batteries from the front and back.

The last thing I did was swap out the plastic gear track that the boat came with for the aluminum gear track with back plates. The reason I did this was to make the center hatch much more rigid so no flex when punching surf. Also I like to use a small down rigger at times and with the combined stronger tracks and the plates I got from Yakattack for attaching my finder and rigger my hatch is super solid.

New aluminum gear track

New aluminum gear track


additional backing plates

additional backing plates


This is the mounting plate for my A78 Raymarine. I will use a similar plate for my downrigger once I get it.

This is the mounting plate for my A78 Raymarine. I will use a similar plate for my downrigger once I get it.

You can see how it mounts to the gear track in this shot.

You can see how it mounts to the gear track in this shot.


You can see in the above photo how the plate attaches to the two tracks. SUPER solid

Always tinkering with the yaks. I hope this gives you some inspiration to cut into your boat.
Maybe do it a little cleaner than I did.

A Kayak Anglers Christmas List

 

look at all the things you can get for that special kayak angler this christmas

Look at all the things you can get for that special kayak angler this Christmas.

Well, Christmas is upon us and I know you are just dying to put something special under the tree for your favorite kayak angler. When my wife looks in my garage and sees all of my kayaking and fishing gear she thinks I have everything I need and couldn’t possibly need one more thing. Well, of course there is always that one thing that I would love to add to my gear pile. I thought I would share a few ideas I have on the subject. Some are items I use that your kayak angler may be interested in, and some are things I would love to see wrapped up at my house this year.

Let’s start out big. How about a kayak upgrade? This Christmas just happens to line up with the arrival of the new Jim Sammons signature kayak from Jackson Kayak, The Kraken, at your local kayak dealer. If your kayak angler likes to go distances in big water and wants a featured packed kayak, this is the kayak you should be looking at. Yeah, I am a bit biased, but if you put this under the tree and you will have one happy kayaker on your hands.

The Kraken on the water and ready to hunt

The Kraken on the water and ready to hunt.

Of course, to push that kayak around you are going to need a paddle. I will tell you flat-out there is none better than those made by Werner. Take a look at the new Hooked series of paddles from Werner to find an amazing paddle. Take a look at the Werner Kaliste if you want the best of the best.

I have been called the PFD Nazi because I push so hard to get guys to wear them on every outing. Of course it is a lot easier to get guys to wear them if they are comfortable, and that is the reason I personally use the SeaO2 by Kokatat. I started wearing this PFD about a year ago and it is, hands down, the most comfortable I have ever worn. Kokatat also makes some great paddling jackets and dry pants that I am sure any kayaker would love.

For days on the water that you want to be comfortable and still look good, Mountain Khakis has a great range of shirts, shorts, and pants worth checking out.

Kayak anglers seem to come up with every angle in which to record their adventures; from cameras mounted on the kayak to drones flying overhead. Well, what’s next? How about getting the shot of the fish actually eating your lure? With the new inline underwater camera by Water Wolf you can now get that shot too.

I think all fishermen are gear heads and love to have all the right tools, that is why we are seeing more impressive electronics mounted on kayaks all the time. One of the best units that I have ever used, that has amazing clarity and is super user friendly, is the Dragonfly by Raymarine. Now available with a 7 inch screen this fishfinder is hard to beat.

MK clothing 1

New Raymarine Dragonfly 7″ set up on one of our trips and Mountain Khakis clothing.

Something that the kayak angler in your life will always appreciate and be in need of is new fishing tools. We are always losing or just flat-out wearing them out. A tool that I have really come to appreciate on my kayak are my Splizzors from Buck. This combination, as the name implies, of scissors and pliers is my go-to tool when it comes to cutting braided line and removing hooks from fish. Of course I really don’t want to lose them or having them rusting so I keep them in a Holdzit sheath and attach a gear retractor.

Likely one of my favorite tools that I use every time I go fishing is my SprayBox . Mounted in the back of my truck, I am able to wash down my fishing gear, kayaks and trailer as soon as I get out of the water. I know this item has saved me thousands of dollars in damage to my fishing gear and vehicle. They make units that mount in your truck bed or that are portable and are really worth the investment.

Of course no fisherman will ever turn down a nice new shiny fishing reel, and if they like to fish for bigger fish, I know they would love reels from Release Reels, made in the USA. With a lifetime warranty these reels will make any angler happy for a long time.

IMG_0200

Standard Horizon has a VHF radio for any budget

I know you want your kayak angler to be safe while out on the water so other great items that they may not buy for themselves are things like a Standard Horizon VHF radio, a Delorme inReach GPS Satellite Communicator or even an emergency medical kit and bilge pump.  For waters where sharks are a consideration, the Shark Shield Freedom 7, an electronic shark deterrent, is nice to have for piece of mind and has me keep me for fish.

There isn’t an angler around that doesn’t appreciate a pair of good polarized sunglasses and if you want the best take a look at Maui Jim. I have been wearing these glasses for many years and can’t see myself wearing anything else.

If you are just looking for some smaller items to use as stocking stuffers, how about some spools of Seaguar Fluorocarbon line, packs of Mustad hooks, or a new Buff? The gift of kayak rigging from YakAttack and RAM Mounts will never be frowned upon.

Has your kayak fishing friend gone through more than one cell phone while on the water? If so, I am sure a LifeProof case and life jacket would be very well received. How about a gift that will keep giving all year long, like a subscription to Kayak Fish or Kayak Angler magazines?

Another great gift for your kayak angler is to send them on an adventure. There are kayak fishing guides all over the world and there is likely a trip that your kayak angler would love to go on. I offer trips in San Diego as well as multiday trips to Baja and Panama, pick one of my trips or a trip with a guide anywhere in the world and I am sure you will make your special angler very happy.

Join a guided kayak fishing adventure and you may end up like this happy guy.

Join a guided kayak fishing adventure and you may end up like this happy guy.

For kayak fishing deals online keep an eye on HOOK 1 Kayak Fishing Gear, or stop in at one of their 3 stores if you are in the area, they’re one one of the biggest online retailers for kayak fishing and live and breathe the kayak fishing lifestyle.

I hope this gives you some ideas to help in your shopping for that special kayak angler in your life. Merry Christmas from The Kayak Fishing Show with Jim Sammons!