It has been a banner year for kayak and fishing gear manufacturers. Tons of new products have been hitting store shelves all over the country. Let’s face it, kayakers can be a cheap bunch, but we are always interested in quality products and want more bang for our buck. Many of these new products revealed at ICAST 2014 seem to fit the bill. These are a few of the new items available this year.
These products are just a sampling of the new products introduced this year at ICAST 2014. Look for more gear reviews in the gear section of the Florida Sportsman No Motor Zone.
Flying Fisherman Passport Travel Rods
If you have ever bought a travel rod to fit in the front hatch of the kayak, only to face disappointment in the lack of quality workmanship, you are not alone. Travel rods have a reputation of breaking with little effort and generally not being worth the price, but Flying Fisherman has brought a solution to the table. Passport Travel rod ensembles include a high quality 4 piece fly rod, a 3 piece spinning rod, and a protective travel case that fits easily in most standard luggage and, more importantly, in the front hatch of your kayak. A perfect combination for the traveling angler, the sets come in three sizes and feature blank taper designs to improve sensitivity, strength and performance and an extraordinary high modulus Japanese graphite with nano resin. The connections are reinforced with exotic carbon fibers and the rods have a FUJI reel seat, FUJI guides and high quality SIC guides and components. The handle features Portuguese cork for better gripping and a durable and stylish travel case has foam inserts to securely hold the rods. The sets retail from $399 to $449, depending on size, and are available on Amazon.com. For more information, visit www.flyingfisherman.com.
Flying Fisherman Sunglasses
Kayakers will love the price and lightweight designs of Flying Fisherman sunglasses. They are a Florida based family owned company and are very well known for producing quality polarized sunglasses for an affordable price. This year they have introduced several new styles to their already large collection. Flying Fisherman Sunglasses are designed to provide quality, affordable polarized eyewear. More than 45 frame styles and a variety of AcuTint™ Sunlens options make up the collection from classic, traditional models to sleek wrap-around designs and mirrored lens treatments, Flying Fisherman sunglasses are both stylish and fully functional and offer uncompromising performance and value. They have great fishing glasses for every budget. For more information, check out their website at www.flyingfisherman.com.
Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 17T
The new Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 17T is a fishing machine with comfort, stability and room for everything you need, including another person. Plus, it’s powered by the patented Hobie MirageDrive pedal system. Hobie doesn’t refer to the 17T as a kayak and makes no bones about it. This is a roto-molded boat and can be fully accessorized via the new Hobie H-rail. The all-new Hobie H-Rail system's extruded aluminum dodecagon rail provides a strong and corrosion resistant mounting platform to effortlessly mount more gear in more places. There are two of Hobie’s patented Vantage seats to provide comfort for long hours on the water, and like it’s smaller cousins, the 17T comes ready to rig for Lowrance products. The new Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 17T retails at $5299. More information can be had at www.hobiecat.com.
Native Slayer Propel 10
When other kayak manufacturers are producing larger kayaks, leave it to Native Watercraft to separate from the pack. This year, Native introduced the Slayer Propel 10, a much shorter version of this already popular model. “We asked the anglers what they wanted to see, and this is it”, said Woody Calloway of Native Watercraft. This pint sized kayak has the same capacity as the Slayer 13 Propel. It has a much smaller turning radius and it only weighs 69 lbs, making it the lightest pedal powered kayak on the market. This is a major plus for anglers requiring a carry to get to their favorite water. One major difference is that the bow has a rubber hatch instead of the open bucket. The Slayer Propel 10 will retail for $2299. More information is available at www.nativewatercraft.com.
Wild River Nomad XP
Paddlers who want to stay connected will love this product. The Nomad XP backpack includes an integrated 5000mAh rechargeable USB power supply that extends the battery life of your small portable electronic devices. Also included are four USB power adapter tips and cable. The integrated LED light system allows you to see into the backpack or your work area. The LED lights display white and green options. Also features a large upper storage area with a removable divider. The Nomad XP has the capacity to hold up to six 3600-series and four 3500-series trays. There is also an optional clip on solar panel for charging in remote areas. The large upper storage area is perfect for photographers to carry camera and gear. It’s just the right size to stow in the tank well of the kayak. The Nomad XP retails for $219 and more information can be found at www.gowildriver.com.
Penn Battle II
New for 2014 is the Battle II from Penn. The Battle II has enhanced corrosion protection due to the use of five sealed bearings and one anti-reverse bearing. This is great for use on a kayak where reels seem to corrode at an accelerated rate. Line capacity rings let the angler know when the spool is full, utilizes HT-100 drag system, full metal body, heavy duty bail wire, and more. The Battle II won best new reel at ICAST and retails for $99.95 – $125.95. For more information visit www.pennreels.com.
With the advent of down-imaging sonar, marine electronic companies have been racing to offer the next great product using this cutting edge technology sized for kayaks. Raymarine certainly is ready for the challenge and has introduced the Dragonfly, a feature packed GPS sonar package small enough for a kayak. Unlike conventional imaging sonars that transmit a single frequency with each pulse, Dragonfly's DownVision sonar uses CHIRP technology to transmit across a wide spectrum of sonar frequencies with each pulse. The result is a much higher-resolution, life-like sonar image. Jim VanPelt, a kayak angler and Prostaffer for Raymarine said, “The Raymarine Dragonfly's Chirp Technology allows the downvision to reach down to 600+ ft whereas similar down vision units from other manufacturers are only able to reach down to around 200ft”. The Dragonfly can be had for around $559 and more information can be found at www.raymarine.com.
Most people have no idea that using sunscreen and insect repellent together actually deactivate each other by up to 50%. However, that is not a problem for Sunsect. Sunsect is a patented sunscreen and DEET based insect repellent combination product that provides lasting protection against biting insects and damaging sunrays. Trusted by the U.S. military for over 15 years, Sunsect is now available to the general public. It repels mosquitoes, ticks, no-see-ums, black flies, sand gnats, gnats, chiggers, chitras and other disease-carrying, biting insects. It is safe for children, unscented, non-greasy, water resistant, dries clear and lasts for hours. Sunsect is made in the USA! It’s great for paddling in remote areas where the mosquitoes seem to find you. See more at www.sunsect.com.
A product that actually debuted in 2013 but hasn’t quite caught on yet is the Swivel Stick anchoring system. This device is so cool that it warrants a closer look. The unique slim design of the Swivel Stick shallow water anchor allows for the anchoring pole to be stowed at the side of your kayak, canoe, or boat. The Swivel Stick anchor pole rests inside of the swivel mechanism and has its very own pole holder. It attaches on the outside of the vessel and requires very little space. The anchor is always at arms reach so you never have to look for it. The Swivel Stick is composed of anodized aluminum and stainless steel and requires very little maintenance. The Swivel Stick anchor poles can be adjusted to different lengths with pole extensions and can be outfitted with different handles and anchor tips to fit your specific needs. Information on the Swivel Stick can be found at www.landmdesignsinc.com.
Tactical Angler Crossover Series
Tactical Angler is a small company whose aim is to exceed expectations at every level. Known for their Power Clips, TA also produces some of the best topwater lures available. New for this year is the Crossover Stalker. This is a “walk the dog” style lure and boasts large recessed diamond eyes that are lifelike and provide maximum light reflection. They use through wire for extra strength and a thick heavy clear coating for durability and extra shine. Internal rattling chambers were added for added fish attracting noise as was a weight distribution system for distance casting and balance. A vibrating exterior system is achieved as the side gills are reversed to disperse vibration. It comes in 3 different colors and a Crossover Popper is available as well. Check out www.tacticalanglers.com for more information.