Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Kayak equipment has become popular

In the not too-distant-past, fittings and accessories were about as scarce as hen's teeth. With the popularity of this ever growing sport, accessories and ways to install them is about as popular as the kayaks themselves.
Take something as simple as a rod holder. I confess that it took me a couple of years to add Scotty rod holders. Scotty, in my opinion is a leader is the rod holder industry because of the portability of it's products and adaptability.
Portability comes about with the was a rod holder can be moved, turned or even taken off. Adaptability has to do with various configurations that can make that rod holder taller, have the ability with one holder to accept both spinning and baitcast equipment and  ease in permanent or the more popular trac mounting.
The Scotty mount is the key to the rod holders, multiple rod holders, extenders and other accessories.
Propulsion of a kayak is done by paddle or pedal. Sometimes some trolling motors or other mechanical devices may be used to move a kayak through the water.
Paddles, probably the main type of equipment to propel a kayak have changed. They used to be and still are available not much more than a straight shaft with a paddle attached to either end.
These days paddles come in different shapes and sizes. Probably the crankshaft or bent shaft models are the most popular.
Paddle shafts are still made from wood, however, the most in use these days are made from a variety of materials like aluminum, graphite and other products. The goal is to keep everything as light as possible while keeping equipment strong.
Pedal style kayaks have graduated to one brand practically having the market to several others beginning to develop pedals as part of their respective lines.
Purchasing a new kayak these days is all about choices. Where and how will you use your boat? Is it going to be used primarily in small, inland waters, perhaps rivers or on larger lakes such as one of the Great Lakes.
Price range has more to do with comes on the boat that anything else. Lower end boats will have some kind of seat back but no bottom for the seat. Try riding in that for several hours while fishing a tournament.
Seats come in a variety of sizes, styles and comfort that should fit the needs at any angler. Those rod holders are add on's or "mods" as in modifications. These days, some yaks come with factory installed, flush deck mounted rod holders.
Storage space on a kayak is precious real estate. How much will you require? Kayak brands of boats all differ on what is offered for storage. Some is meager while others provide enough to carry everything in your garage.
Weight and stability are high up on the shoppers list. Generally, the wider the boat the more stable. But you pay a price for width in the form of weight. Consider that if you are a car topper and have to load and unload alone.
There are enough kayakers on nearby waters for you to find one and ask the owner/operator any question that comes to mind.
Do your homework and paddle before you buy. And remember, there are many different accessories to make your kayaking trip more enjoyable and comfortable.
Roger Beukema in Scotty rigged kayak.