Using a Foot Controlled Rudder

Recently, I received a Harmony Rudder Kit with the blade tracking system for my Wilderness Commander 140. It’s just what this substantial kayak needed. The Commander 140 measures 14 feet long, 30.5 inches wide and 77 pounds, and I now have much better control and maneuverability when on the water.

It’s been a great kayak so far, and we have had some good times with it already. Just a few recent trips: Overnight camping trip on a spoil island (loading it to the top with food, water, tent, etc.); Keys lobster trip (it’s weight capacity of 475 pounds allowed my wife, her mom, and myself to load up and hit a lobster reef); and of course, some local dynamite fishing trips.

The thing I like about it the most is its stability. It has allowed me to stand up and paddle with ease, sight fish, and fight some bigger fish while keeping my balance.

Back to the rudder, it’s one of the best additions I think you can give this kayak. In calm water, it took time and space to make a 180-degree turn. Forget about trying to do that 180 in rough water. Installing the foot controlled rudder allows the turn to be done in about half the time. Plus, when drift fishing in the current, it’s been a tremendous help, keeping you pointed in the direction you want to cast.

So on to some particulars of what it took to install:

All in all, it was a great decision to install a rudder. It helps drift fishing, tracking on windy days or fast currents, and helps steer while being towed by a big fish. Give it consideration if you have come across any of the same problems I’ve had in the past!

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  • Steve Rasmussen

    What are these two large Phillips screws on the stern to either side of the rudder securing? Mine ain’t got those…Also on the rudder line hardware screws, what is the purpose, ya think, of the plastic nubbin on the nut? It seems to me if I tighten that nut all the way, the 1″ screw will pop that out.

    Thanks for taking the time to post these pics!