Cheap kayak mods for fishing.

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The kayak with paddle clips and rod holders

I got my first kayak last summer after wanting one for a few years. I bought a cheap, 10 foot, Potomac 100 because I wasn’t sure if I’d like it a lot or how much I’d use it. I lived in Tennessee when I bought it and I took it out 2-3 times a month so I definitely got some use out of it. I have since moved back to Massachusetts where I’m originally from but with it being winter up here everything is frozen so I haven’t taken it out in a couple months. I’m dying to be out on it! When I bought the kayak it was a no frills piece of plastic but now it’s a “frills” piece of plastic. All it came with was an oval compartment in the back and 2 bungee straps on the front. The first thing I added was a couple clips to hold the paddle. I just sat down and held the paddle where it was easily reachable and out of the way, then marked it and drilled 2 holes per clip. I used some big pop rivets(don’t remember the exact size, just the biggest most pop rivet tools will handle) and clipped them right in. I also added two rod holders. They were $10 each at bass pro shops. I bought the kayak specific ones because the bottom is closed off, not open like most other ones for boats are. This is great because you would be getting extra water into the kayak. I also picked up 2 rubber gaskets for $2 each. Mine just sit around the edge of the holder to seal the 3 screw holes and the main hole for the rod holder. They also sell gaskets with a tab that plugs the hole when not in use. Those gaskets were $5 a piece and seemed a little unnecessary to me, I didn’t want to be fumbling with the cap if the water suddenly got very rough or I had to get out of the path of a boat quickly. The next thing I did was get myself an anchor. It’s a 3 pound claw style anchor that has a ring to hold the claws in when not needed. It came with 25 feet of synthetic rope and a buoy about 5 feet from the end opposite the anchor. I got it at bass pro shops for $35.

The anchors current home because I have yet to find a solution

The anchors current home because I have yet to find a solution

The way it connects to the kayak is with a carabiner that I clipped to the rear handle. The problem i found with that was that I always faced away from the wind and current. Sometimes it was good but other times it wasn’t ideal. I went back to bass pro shops and got an anchor trolley that I think was about $25 or so. That thing is phenomenal! It has a couple carabiners with pulleys that you use to attach it to the kayak, only 4 holes. It came with a length of 550 paracord and a ring that you run the anchor line through. Once you have that part set up you install what they call the claw. You basically run the paracord through it making a W shape. This keeps that ring held in place and allows the wind and current pull to be in the front, back, or anywhere in between on the kayak. It was a great addition and I’m glad I have it. One of the next things on the list for my kayak is a drift sock for when I do want to be pulled around by the current. I’ve been looking around and they seem to be about $50 or so plus $10 max for the rope. Something I see a bunch of people doing to their kayaks is adding fish finders and GPS’. Call me old school but that seems to take the fun out of it. Who can’t catch fish if you can see them right below your boat. I understand their place in a guides boat where your business depends happy customers, But on a kayak it seems like a waste of $300+ once you buy the unit, the mobile sonar pole to stick in the water, and waterproof box to protect that big ole battery. And you’re a gear junkie, which you probably are if you have a fish finder, there goes 10 or pounds of gear you could’ve safely carried. With everything I do I take the approach of Tenkara, sort of. I do everything with simplicity but adding a few extras for comfort. For kayak fishing all I needed was a kayak, rod holder, a pole, and a life vest. The other things were just to make my day on the water a little more comfortable. Just like simplicity helps in the outdoors, it helps in everyday life, just don’t over complicate things. Well that’s my kayak, what have you added to yours?

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Snacks I don’t hike without that you can win!

I’m a big fan of snacks that give you a little energy and are convenient to eat on the go. My long time favorite snack has been the Clif Bars Energy Bar. 20130202-182746.jpg
It’s relatively small but fills you up for when you’re really hungry. A lot of times while working I’ll have one for lunch and won’t be hungry again until dinner. I eat them for breakfast a lot too because they’re easy to grab, require no preparation, and give me a quick boost of energy so I’m wide awake for work or school. Along with the energy bar, the crunch bar is fantastic too.

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It’s a bit messy to eat because crumbs get everywhere but is absolutely worth the mess! Also from Clif Bars are the shot bloks which come in a couple different flavors my favorites being citrus, mountain berry, and strawberry.

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They’re conveniently packaged in a line of 6 chews so you can cut off the top and pinch the next one out. No need to touch them at all which is good because they can leave your fingers a little sticky and attract bugs. They are very easy to pack too because they’re about the size of 2-3 pens held together so they slide into any little crevice. Another chew that’s similar is GU Energy’s GU Chomps.

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They are packaged in a wallet sized pouch of 8 chews. According to their website these should give 10-15 minutes of energy per chew. My current favorite energy chew is Honey Stingers organic energy chew.

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These things are super tasty with 6 different flavors on their site. They have about 10 per package which seems to be just the right amount for a trail side snack. Something you never want to deal with is an upset stomach when you’re miles from your car so avoid eating big snacks and big meals. A snack that should be in everyone’s pack whether its a day hike or multi day trek are the Keebler cheese or peanut butter crackers.

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They’re super light, taste awesome, and pack easily. I usually get the 4 pack for hikes because 6 or 8 is too many for a snack(I ran out of 4 packs but had a few 6 packs left for this post). If you like jelly beans definitely try Sports Beans from Jelly Belly.

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They have regular energy beans in a couple flavors as well as extreme energy beans in a couple different flavors. I really like that they come in a resealable package so you can eat a few here, a few there, and not have them all over your pack.
Time for the first contest of this blog. Up for grabs is all of these snacks, you’ll get each of the following; Chocolate Chip Clif Energy, White Macadamia Nut Clif Crunch, Strawberry Clif Shot Blocks, Fruit Smoothie Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews, Watermelon Gu Chomps, Keebler Cheese Crackers, Orange Sports Beans, and if you fish a few hand tied flies will be included as well. All you need to do to win is comment with your opinion on these snacks and some other ones you think I should try. I’ll pick the most informative answer and contact you via email. GoodLuck!