Rigging The Reload

Part of the fun of getting a new kayak is performing the custom rigging. Personalizing the kayak to suit your style of fishing is an exciting time. With a couple of year of experience with my old kayak, I looked forward to outfitting the Reload to make fishing from it a pleasurable and convenient experience. Prior to buying this kayak, I spent countless hours blueprinting my rigging ideas in my head. After a trip or two on the water, I was ready to install my rigging components. 

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First Take: Viking Profish Reload

On Monday June 2nd, I finally got my kayak! The third kayak I’ve purchased, this was my first brand new kayak. Being excited is an understatement. 

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Pulled The Trigger…

In my previous post, I mentioned my intent to purchase a new kayak. Well…I just did exactly that. I ordered my Viking Profish Reload 4.4, “Wasp” color (yellow & black). I ordered the kayak WITH the optional rudder. In addition to the kayak itself, I also ordered a few new accessories to accompany the new yak. 

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Time To Expand My Fleet

For the past few years, I’ve absolutely loved my kayak, a “Torque”, by Ocean Kayak. It has done everything I’ve asked, and then some. I still love it, but I am looking to acquire a new kayak this summer. Not to replace my ole faithful Torque, but to supplement it. Despite serving as both a capable motorized and paddle-driven platform, I am looking to purchase a new paddle kayak. 

My attention is focused on the new Profish Reload 4.4, by Viking Kayaks of New Zealand. After watching their promotional videos, reading reviews and reports from early-adopters in New Zealand…it looks to fit the bill for what I’d want and need from a kayak. 14.75’ in length and a 29.5” beam sounds like a recipe for a relatively quick paddle kayak.

Convenient storage solutions provided by this kayak are a huge plus. The “Tackle Pod” will add to the “get up and go” factor that I desire. Drop in the modular storage unit (pre-loaded with my desired gear, fish finder, and rod holders) and I am all set to fish.  The “Chill Pod” also appears to be a really conveniently integrated method of storing and transporting my catch, allowing me to not have to worry too much about handling a cooler. 

One of the huge assets of this kayak will be the ability to take my 3 year old daughter out with me. She is old enough to know that I am going fishing when she sees my kayak atop my car. “I wanna come fishing with you!”, she often proclaims. The easily installed “reload flat deck” will allow her to easily join me…it serves as an aft-facing child seat! With a capacity of 440lbs, this kayak will readily carry us comfortably. 

As of late, I’ve been brainstorming as to how I intend to rig this kayak. Gear tracs, rod holders, etc…all things that I’ve been contemplating for my customization. Some rigging will be shared between both kayaks, like my fish finder. Other items will be kayak-specific. 

This acquisition will not be inexpensive. When all is said and done, my initial purchases will be in the $2k range. The kayak price (including rudder) and all of my intended accessories add up quickly. I hope to purchase this kayak in June. Hell…it isn’t even available here in the United States yet! It will be offered by my favorite retailer, Austin Kayak, sometime this month. Never having owned a brand new kayak, I am looking forward to this!! 

In doing my research, I have had plenty of questions…as most people do prior to making a big purchase. I am very thankful for the friendly and helpful replies from the folks at Austin Kayak, as well as the guys from paddleguy.com in New Zealand.

Stay tuned!

New Battery For 2014

I went ahead and got a new battery for my kayak for 2014. I upgraded to a 40aH Lithium ion battery, weighing just 9lbs. My previous lithium battery (which still works fine) weighs just over 20 lbs. I wanted something even lighter. Lithium batteries are still relatively expensive when compared to conventional wet cell and AGm marine batteries. Since I use my kayak on a regular basis, it is worth the investment for me. 

The battery is comprised of 8 lithium polymer cells. These cells are controlled/protected by circuitry that prevents over discharging and over charging. Everything is shrinkwrapped into a nice, neat package.

This past weekend, I was able to test the battery on the water. I launched out of Jean Roberts Memorial Park in Havre de Grace, MD. I spent about 7 hours on the water! After an hour of use, I pulled over to the shore and gave a quick visual inspection of the battery. Everything was working just fine. 

It wasn’t till the end of the day that the battery was drained. The “Protection Control Board” wired into the battery shuts the power off when the voltage reaches 9.2V. This prevents over discharging (running the battery too low), which will damage lithium cells. 

Here is a video from the initial test…

http://youtu.be/whvfjxy9hlw

I am pleased with the results from this initial test run. I am looking forward to more trips with this light weight battery. The weight savings in my kayak are worth it!

Air Traffic Control »

Flew up to BWI one evening. Here’s what it sounds like when working with air traffic controllers.

Getting ready for the cold…

Unscheduled Swim In The Chesapeake Bay!

Well yesterday was an adventure. While competing in the 3rd Annual Chesapeake Bay Kayak Anglers charity tournament, I fell out of my kayak. Knowing how stable my kayak is, I’ve always been intrigued in knowing exactly what others were doing when they’ve “turtled”. My buddies and I have maintained the position that when most people turtle, its because they’re caught off guard while their center of gravity is misaligned with the kayak. Well today was a different animal for me…

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Kayak Maintenance

My kayak sees a lot of wear and tear. Thank goodness the folks over at Ocean Kayak make a very durable product. Lord knows I DO NOT take it easy when it comes to putting my kayak thru the paces. With that being said, there are still some part of the kayak that see inevitable wear & tear. Today, I had to replace one of my kayak carry handles…

Breakfast Flight!

This past Sunday, I had the day off work from my part-time job, so I took advantage of some nice weather to burn some holes in the sky. I took a relaxing flight up to Frederick Municipal Airport for some breakfast!

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