Skip to content

cwadmin's blog

header image



Wilderness Systems Pedal Drive Development: Pedaled by the Pros

Posted: 10.26.2016

Radar Pro Staff

What's more impressive is that in doing so, they've created a boat that an angler can use in multiple fisheries, in multiple configurations.

Written By: Jeff Little - Regional Prostaff Manager for Wilderness Systems Kayaks and founder and author of Tightline Junkie Journal.

In the early 2000's, when paddlesport companies were just starting to understand the relevance of kayak fishing, “Pro Staff” wasn't a term. We worked alongside regional sales staff at outdoor shows, assisted customers at paddle shop demo days, promoted the growth of the sport with fishing club speaking engagements, and participated in fishing message forums. We were ambassadors to a fledgling sport.

Our role has grown considerably as the sport has become more developed, specialized and popular in new regional markets. We used to simply be marketing agents of recreational kayaks used for fishing. But in the last six years as a member of the Wilderness Systems Kayak Fishing Pro Staff, I've had the opportunity to influence the design of future kayaks and accessories. Here's the timeline of my involvement in the development of the new Wilderness Systems Radar, the brand’s first and coveted tri-powered kayak, scheduled to launch in 2017.

Sometime in the summer of 2015, I received an email with CAD drawings attached of a fishing kayak with the understanding that it would be a boat you could stand in, and that it would be built around a pedal drive unit. Beyond that, it was a fairly feature sparse layout. A private Facebook group was established that included a handful of Pro Staff, Product Developers and the Engineers who helped make sure the ideas we had found a path to become reality.

That early stage makes it seem like our products are the result of collaboration of a small group of people. That's not the case at all. We have no “Signature Series” boats that are the brainchild of an individual. Putting all your eggs in the basket of one person's ideas is short sighted. Involving as many anglers in as many different types of fisheries as possible brings a heavy price tag in terms of financial and time investment, but that formula has worked with fishing kayaks like the A.T.A.K. 140, Thresher and Tarpon 130X. The Radar would be no different.

In November of 2015, I received the first of three prototypes of the Radar 135. Sometime after, fellow pro staffer and regional manager Bobby Clark received a prototype of the Radar 115. He was one of the first to test the pedal drive unit, and that accessory’s development timeline is another story altogether. When I took delivery of the first Radar 135 prototype, I was asked to assess its fishing and paddling performance without the pedal drive as Wilderness Systems kayak designs have a heritage in sea kayaking and overall paddle-ability. That in and of itself is one of our main competitive advantages.

I was eager to pedal the kayak, but understood the value of assessing the boat's paddling ability. Kayak fishing had yet to produce a kayak that has a hull that glides easily enough to be paddled all day. Pedals have been a powerful way to compensate for a kayak that was heavy or pushed water instead of sliced through it. The Wilderness Systems Radar sought to crack this code.

The first stop for that first Radar prototype was the Susquehanna River. I tested its standing stability while drifting upright through a pool where smallmouth gather over winter. Hooking a big bass, fighting it to the kayak and netting it all while standing requires a stable platform. A mis-step with water temperatures below 5o​C  would result in a dunking certain to induce hypothermia. I felt stable.

I also got a feel for the kayak's speed, maneuverability, gear storage capacity and ease of transport. It's a long and fairly wide boat, but car topping it seemed easier than the A.T.A.K. 140 I was used to. On the water, I charged through a wave train and anticipated a wave of water to wash over my legs. Instead, the choppy whitewater was tossed back.

On a later trip in particularly windy conditions, I made note of the boat's bow being pushed more than I would like. With bow volume and height, there's a balance between wind resistance and a dry ride. I also noted that there was nowhere for me to put smaller pieces of gear like pliers, jig heads or a tube of scent. Each detail that I found missing, or that I would like to have changed, were recorded and relayed to the product developers at Wilderness Systems. I also made detailed notes and illustrations on ideas for accessories that would complement the boat. Along the way, I was able to put other Wilderness Systems pros in the kayak and get their feedback as well.

Into December, I set up trolling rod holders on the Radar and put the Helix MD™ Motor Drive in the Flex Pod OS scupper. Utilizing a second method of propulsion allowed me to cover a lot of water on the Chesapeake looking for striped bass. Just as the boat sliced through the water of the Susquehanna while paddled, it moved equally well under the power of the Motor Drive.

In January, I brought the prototype back to where it was made: Confluence Outdoor in Greenville, South Carolina. I was also there to meet with the developers and another pro to test the Radar 135 in several different fisheries. Over the course of three days, I toured the factory, came to understand how prototypes and production boats are made, then paddled and pedaled the kayak on three different fisheries: a small mountain river with class 3 rapids, a series of ponds and a large mountain reservoir.

On the river, we learned that the number of scupper holes where the seat resides was not enough. I was bogged down from the slow speed of water sucking down through scupper holes in that area. Haystack waves on the Nolichucky River in Tennessee were higher than those I had powered through on the Susquehanna.

Product Designer David Maughan actually ripped the back end of one of the prototypes off while navigating a particularly raucous rapid. He couldn't continue the float trip, as the water was pouring into the hull as quick as a faucet on full blast. He had to hike out of the remote area at the base of the rapid with his wounded boat on his shoulder. Prototypes aren't made with the same process or materials that production boats are. Once the final design is decided on, a production mold is made, which results in a more uniform hull thickness and weight. The point is that we tested the prototypes to failure in many ways.

On the reservoir, we finally got to test the pedal drive. Watching my fellow pro staffer stomp on the pedal and see the rooster tail of water erupt from the stern of the kayak was a happy moment. He attained a speed of 8.5 km per hour as measured on his depth finder/chart combo unit. When I got into the kayak, I noted that maintaining a speed of 6.5 km per hour was easy – an effort level that could be maintained all day. I caught numerous smallmouth while testing the forward and reverse in the face of a strong cross point wind.

By the end of the day, I was certain that the drive had adequate power for my needs on the upper Chesapeake Bay. Still, the engineer working on the pedal drive system wanted to make adjustments to the propeller’s pitch to hit the sweet spot. My understanding is that there's a sweet spot in pedal drives that blends a quick start with the best cruising speed. Top end speed is a fun thing to achieve, but in terms of fishing usefulness, a nice cruising speed without causing your leg muscles to fatigue and an easy start is something that any angler will appreciate. With an efficient hull and a powerful drive, we had an excellent start, but multiple refinements to both the drive and boat were yet to come.

Many of those changes came out of the feedback that Bobby, myself and other pros had on the first prototypes. I got to see them come to fruition in a second prototype. The scupper holes in the midship well grew in number, the top line of the hull was trimmed a little, two gear pockets on either side of the AirPro MAX seat came in handy for smaller items, and plans were being made for a way to eliminate the induction of air through the Helix PD™ Pedal Drive scupper. I used that second prototype through the spring and summer, putting other staffers into it along the way.

By the time the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City, Utah came around, the refinements to the pedal drive, hull and scuppers for both drive units were in place. At the OR demo day, fellow regional manager Troy Meyerhoeffer hopped on the third version prototype, lined up the balls of his feet on the pedals and launched the Radar 135 out from shore. Again, a rooster tail of water came off the stern. I hopped in one with a motor drive and we cruised the lake for a while before the buyers arrived. When coming in hot to shore, we were able to kick a button on the front of the pedal drive to bring the prop up through the scupper to prevent running aground.

On shore, David Maughan greeted us, explaining that the unit we were using wasn't the final product, and that they were still tweaking the system to make it as smooth and powerful as possible. It's apparent that the product development team knew that the entry into the pedal drive market had to be a hit. Honestly, I was happy with it as it was and wondered if the unit would fit in my suitcase for the return trip at the end of the show.

What's more impressive is that in doing so, they've created a boat that an angler can use in multiple fisheries, in multiple configurations. It's a boat that they can buy and use long before they find the need for the Helix MD​TM ​ Motor Drive. River anglers will enjoy its shallow draft in summer and its ability to handle whitewater. Reservoir anglers will enjoy paddling, pedaling or motoring in either direction. Saltwater anglers will enjoy its range with either the Helix PD​TM Pedal Drive or Helix MDTM Motor Drive. All anglers will be amazed with its speed and standability. It’s the kind of boat that will be there to meet you no matter how far your skills and boundaries expand.

header image



Tips for Selecting a Fishing Kayak

Posted: 06.12.2014

Here are a few quick tips from two fellow Wilderness Systems Pros.

Key question to address typically are: How much weight capacity do you need? Do you want to stand? How much speed and/or maneuverability do you need? To compliment the video, I wanted to talk a little more about selecting a river fishing kayak and some specific attributes that I look for when paddling moving water.

I tend to lean more toward maneuverability however I still want my river fishing kayak to have decent tracking. Decent tracking allows me to line up with the current nicely to slow my drift and keeps “spinning” to a minimum when fishing. That’s why you’ll see me in the Tarpon series or the Ride series kayaks most of the time. The kayaks offer enough speed for most river fishing applications, great tracking for a short kayak and enough maneuverability for most easy class I and II rapids.

In terms of maneuverability, I like shorter kayaks for river fishing so I like kayaks under 13.5 feet long. I also look closely at the hull to make sure that it has some “rocker”. This means the the hull has a slight “banana” type bend. If the kayak is sitting on a flat floor, the rocker will result in the front and the back of the kayak being slightly off the floor while the middle of the kayak rests on the floor. What this means to the paddler is that when you try to turn or spin the kayak in moving water the front and back of the kayak will be “less involved” in the water allowing for easier maneuvering. Too much rocker though can be detrimental allowing the kayak to spin way to easy creating positioning problems while trying to fish.

Contrary to popular belief, tracking is also very important to the river angler. Tracking is basically the ease at which a kayak can maintain a straight line without a lot of corrective paddling strokes. Tracking is at the heart of  many of the position holding and drift techniques that I each in my Guided Kayak Fishing Classes. For example if a boat has good tracking, I can line it up with the current pointing the boat upstream to slow my drift past some fish holding targets along the bank allowing me to increase the number of casts that I can make to a targeted structure. Good tracking will decrease the amount of corrective paddle strokes I need to do in order to keep the kayak pointed up river because the kayak will have less tendency to try to spin the bow downstream. I look for kayaks that have a bit of a center line keel. They tend to track much better than rounded hulls.

I’m most familiar with the Wilderness Systems line-up of kayaks so I’ll give you some examples from their stable of kayaks. Again, there are more kayaks in the Wilderness line that are suitable for river fishing but these are the ones I’ve come to rely on most.

  • The Tarpon Series Kayaks (100 & 120)
  • The Ride Series Kayaks (115, 115X, 135)
  • The Commander Series Kayaks (120 and even the 140)

There are a number of other considerations as well and many of them are covered int he video below… enjoy!

header image



Proper Paddling Position

Posted: 05.07.2014

As we all know, proper positioning in the kayak can be the key to a successful day on the water, or waking up the next morning in pain, and wondering if we'll live to see the sunset.

I have had mornings where I roll over and wonder if I will make it out of bed without assistance. Wait, I didn't paddle yesterday... Hmmm.. this may have more to do with age. ( What? Who said that?)

What is a proper paddling position, and how do we get there?

First you should be centered in your kayak. Sit to one side or another and your kayak will turn away from that side. When this happens, you will spend the day correcting for the unwanted turn. Unbeliever? Check for yourself... Get some speed up, slide your hip to one side and glide, your kayak will begin to turn away from the hip position. In sea kayaking we call this edging or an edge turn. This technique is an important tool as it allows you to maintain your paddling rhythm and make course corrections by edging your kayak. So... to avoid this simple error, center yourself in the kayak....

Secondly... Let's properly adjust your seat. You'll want to have proper back support and if your seat allows, adjust the seat bottom to support your thighs. When paddling the Commander 120 we don't use the seat, choosing to sit in the Captain's Perch. In this case... just insure you sit centered. 

Next, adjust the foot pegs or rudder pedals to give you the proper spacing on the pedals. You'll want a slight bend on the legs, but don't want to be cramped. Your foot pegs allow you to use the leverage of your legs to assist in the paddle strokes, let's get those puppies in play. 

Okay, all adjusted, now sit up straight with maybe a slight bend in the back. As you begin to paddle... use your proper stroke rotation, proper catch, a full stroke and smooth recovery at the end of the stroke. You are kayaking. For more info on the proper kayak paddling techniques, check out one of the many dvd's available, grab a kayak paddling class, or surf youtube. A proper paddle stroke uses the core muscles and not just the arms.. you will paddle farther with less effort and feel less at the end of the day... learn it, use it and love the difference... 

header image



Should I Include Speed in my Kayak Selection Checklist?

Posted: 05.08.2014

Just because you’re in an uncomfortable place does not mean you have to be uncomfortable.

Jeff Suber Kayak fishermen, when you hear someone say, “That’s the fastest kayak out there”, what do you think about? Do you think: "I’m in a kayak, I’m going no where fast." "I’m in no hurry."  "I’m all about stability."  I paddle the Tarpon 160, because I'm big, its big, and its fast. Well how about this, if a kayak is fast, then it must be easier to paddle than a slow kayak. And by easy I mean it requires less work. Work equals calories burned, energy sapped, exhaustion kicking in, and your getting ready to bonk (depleted of all energy). So ask yourself do you want to have enough energy to fish a full day, and paddle back with ease, or do you want to fish a half day because you can barely paddle your slow stable kayak back to the Hill (Boat Ramp).

Well of course you want to enjoy a full day of fishing, and that can be 4 hours or 8 hours or 12 hours. But you want to be in a kayak that is comfortable, stable, and fast. Fast, means that the kayak is more aerodynamic and has less friction area in contact with the water. This means you can use less energy to paddle one mile that it would require you to paddle your stable, comfortable, slow kayak. Before you lift that flag protesting ‘I’m not looking for speed”, think about the fact that you get more fun per hour out of a fast kayak than a slow one. Just because it can be paddled 6 mph hour does not mean you have to paddle it 6 mph. You can paddle it 4 mph with the same energy your using paddling your slow stable kayak 3 mph. You can paddle it 3 mph with even less energy than it took to paddle the slow kayak. 

Fast kayaks are also a lot more comfortable to paddle into the wind, and most of the time the hill is located in the exact same location the wind is coming from. So in the future, when making your kayak selection check list out, include speed in there. Because even if your not going to paddle fast, it may be that you want to paddle long, and not worry about bonking before you get to the hill.

Find your balance between stability and speed, and most important should be comfort. Because there is no reason to have enough energy to be in a fast stable kayak all day long if your not comfortable. So next time you make it out to demo day, find a kayak your comfortable in, make sure its stable, then seek out the one you can paddle the length of time you plan on being on the water. It may be that it comes in three lengths and one of those is the one that will fit you need. If your fishing a farm pond then you will be very happy in a 12 foot kayak, but if your fishing the banks of the Gulf of Mexico, then you might want to look at the 14 or 16 foot model. Whatever you decide on, try it, before you buy it.

header image



What Makes A Great River Fishing Paddle?

Posted: 06.12.2014

I am often asked about the paddles that I use and why I use them.

There are a variety of paddles that you can use on the river and a lot will come down to personal preference. Here are a few key characteristics I look for in a good river paddle for kayak fishing.

  • Acceleration: acceleration is really a function power. In river situations you need good acceleration to avoid obstacles, overcome current and obtain upstream.
  • Power: Blade design is critical to producing more power in each stroke. Blade designs based on white water paddles tend to be more powerful. Power is needed to help position and maneuver the typical gear laden fishing sit on tops in moving water scenarios.
  • Durability: It no secret that river paddles will take a beating. Rock, gravel and the occasional push off a river obstacle can take its toll on a paddle. No environment is more laden with potential “paddle breakers” than a ledge and rock infested river.
  • Adjustability: With the development of high and low seating options for fishing kayaks, having the ability to adjust the length of a paddle shaft can be critical to keeping your paddle stroke in the water and efficient.
  • Light Weight: When river fishing, you have to be an active paddler to hold position and get to the fish. A day of paddling on the river with a heavy paddle can ware you out!  The lightest paddle you can afford should be your target. In general, the lighter the paddle the higher the cost. Believe me though it is worth the price if you fish a lot. Many of my guide clients are amazed at the noticeable difference in weight when they spend some time with one of my carbon paddles.

Here is an example of the paddle that I use which has all the attributes listed above and more.  For over a year, I’ve been using Adventure Technologies Oracle Carbon paddle which is based off the AT-2 white water paddle blade. The Oracle Carbon is considered a touring paddle but it is designed for high angle paddling which is a much more efficient paddling angle for running rapids and negotiating moving water. Take a look at the video to learn more about the paddle that I prefer for my river fishing. You’ll also be able to visually see what I mean by an aggressive white water blade design.

header image



Waters So Spectacular You'll Think You're In A Postcard

Posted: 06.18.2014

Bassmasters magazine recently named Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, the top bass waters in the country.

Having spent over 200 days out of Sturgeon Bay over the past 20 years, I guess I’ve known what a special fishery this is.  May and June are my prime times in Sturgeon Bay, which is in Door County, a well-known and popular tourist area that I would liken to Cape Cod.  But, I actually like it even better.  Probably, because of the thousands of smallmouth bass I’ve caught there.

With 300 miles of shoreline along Green Bay and Lake Michigan’s ultra-clear waters, it’s a kayak anglers delight.  From the three bays west of Sturgeon Bay to all the bays and harbors heading the 40 miles to the tip of the peninsula, there are dozens of great places to launch.  These include your more formal boat launches, kayak launches in state and community parks, along with many roads that dead-end at the water where you can easily launch your vessel.  Once on the water, the beauty is breathtaking and the fishing can be spectacular.  For a little later fishing, Washington Island, off the tip of the Door peninsula has its season open on July 1 each year.  This May and June, 2014, I’ll have been on the water over 15 days and caught over  700 smallies, with over 50 in the 4 to 5 ½ pound range.  They feed on those little “protein” bar gobies, so they are super fat. A 19” fish usually top 5 pounds.  Many of your typically successful smallie presentations work.  Some better than others based on water temperature.  But, since 2008, when I began using the Kalin’s Lunker Grubs, my numbers have increased.  I swim this “fish catching magnet”, slow and steady on a Gopher Tackle Big John’s 3/32 or 1/16 ounce Mushroom Head Jig.  St. Croix 8’ medium-light spinning rods are my weapon of choice to get the super long casts needed in the gin-clear water. 

A spinning reel with long-cast spool using very small diameter braid or superlilne, with a fluorocarbon leader rounds out the equipment I use.  My most productive Kalin’s color and size is the Smoke Salt and Pepper in both the 4” and 5” versions, but there are a few other colors that work well. These include Smoke, Ed’s Smoke, Apple Juice and Avocado.  Most of my 4,000 smallies caught and released since 2008 have come on the 4” Smoke Salt and Pepper.  This presentation is so productive, that I can document only about 125 smallies on something else.  Will other lures work, yes, but as well?  Probably not.  If you enjoy road trip kayak fishing, and love catching big smallies on waters so spectacular you’ll think you’re in a postcard, then Door County, Wisconsin is the place to head.

header image



First Impressions of the NEW Phase 3 AirPro MAX

Posted: 06.13.2014

Wilderness Systems has taken comfort, simplicity and function to an entirely new level with the Phase 3® AirPro MAX.

The first thing I noticed was just how comfortable the seat was after a 5 hour kayak fishing trip. The lower leg support and back support make this the most comfortable seat I’ve had the pleasure to fish out of. The back is fully adjustable so you can find the perfect spot for lower back support, while the bottom offers great lower leg support. The material is very breathable and if it stretches out a little, no big deal, just flip the seat over and tighten the straps to the desired firmness.   

The coolest feature this seat offers is how quick and easy it is to move the seat from the low to high position, and vice versa. Its so simple that you only need one hand so that you can keep the other hand on your paddle or fishing rod at all times. You don’t even have to get all the way up to switch positions - just raise up enough for the seat to move up and you are on your way! This allows for quick and stable adjustments while on the water. As for stability in the high position, I honestly couldn’t tell any difference in the stability as the current AirPro high seat. 

The seat has 3 positions - High, Low and even a Recline. Yes, I said recline. I know what you are thinking - why would you need a recline position? I thought the same at first, but taking a break on the water for a snack is that much more enjoyable in recline! Not only is this seat comfortable in the kayak, but you can also easily remove the seat and use as a chair on the shore or around the campfire.

Looking at the seat you would think "wow, that thing has to weigh a ton," but it is very light and folds up very compact for loading into your vehicle. All in all, Wilderness Systems has taken the Ride series to new heights in terms of comfort, stability and performance with the new AirPro MAX.

header image



CPR, But How?

Posted: 07.01.2014

CPR, or "Catch, Photo and Release" has become ingrained in the kayak angling vocabulary.

Solo Shot

CPR, or "Catch, Photo and Release" has become ingrained in the kayak angling vocabulary. Tournaments are based upon the practice. But how do you get that magazine cover quality shot of your big catch when you are by yourself? Here are a few options and some tips to make your fish look as big as it truly is.

Buy a camera with a timer or remote shutter.

I started taking solo shots with a waterproof camera that took Advantix film fifteen years ago. I would find a rock to place the camera on, hit a timer button, shove my kayak back from the camera, and with luck I would be somewhere in the frame holding my fish. I still use my timer with my current camera, a Canon T4i, but I also utilize a small remote. It allows me to take multiple shots without moving up to touch the shutter each time.

Get a cheap full sized tripod.

I remember shopping for my first full size tripod. I had become frustrated with the mini tripods letting my camera tumble into the water. The camera shop salesman took me right to one that was over $100. I shook my head, looked him in the eye and said, "cheaper". He showed me an $89 tripod. I shook my head again, and he showed me a $65 tripod. I then delivered the ultimatum. "If you don't show me your least expensive full sized tripod right now, I'm leaving and buying one at Walmart. I will shove this thing in pond muck, jam it's legs between ledge rocks on the river and will probably lose it within a few months." He sold me a $16.99 full size tripod with extendable legs and a quick release head. Nine hard years later I still use it on almost all my trips.

Mount the camera on your boat.

This is probably the easiest way to know that you will get yourself and your fish in the frame. YakAttack's Panfish Portrait camera mount has quickly become the standard.

Practice taking pictures with small fish.

Practice makes pretty pictures of your fish. If you wait until you have that once in a lifetime fish in your lap to learn how to take self photos, you are likely to wind up with a shot of half your fish or maybe you'll cut your head off when the shutter goes off.

Use a fish gripper to keep the fish in the water while you set up the shot.

I carry a Boca Grip to know exactly how big of a fish I've caught. It also doubles as a way to keep the fish in the water and breathing while I figure out what the best looking background is, and where I will place my tripod. You don't have to invest that much though. A hard plastic fish gripper can be bought for under $20. Put a small carabineer on the lanyard and clip it to the kayak's grab loop, and let your fish breathe!

Find a non-sky background

Most likely, you'll be using a digital camera. I like many things about digital cameras. You can take lots of photos and you get quick feedback on if you are getting good shots. One downside is that an angler with a bright sky as the background can be clouded out. Position the tripod so that it is either looking slightly downward to you, with the water as the background, or make the nearest shoreline your background.

Hold your fish to maximize it's screen space in the frame

We've all seen the photos with the guy shoving the fish at the camera with his arm straight out. I'm not going to demean the practice, but rather suggest that you don't make it so obvious. Hide the hand holding the bottom lip of the fish by rotating it behind the fish's head. Support the rear of the fish with two fingers supporting the weight right behind the anal fin. With fish less than 10 lbs, there's no excuse for wrapping four fingers around the front of the fish. It diminishes how big the fish looks. If possible position the tail of the fish such that it contrasts sharply with a lighter background, such as the skies reflection on the water. Another way to maximize how much screen space the fish takes up in the frame is to make sure that the plane of the body of the fish is as parallel to the camera lens as possible. This means that the head and tail should be the same distance to the camera. The fish should not be at an angle where the top is closer to the camera than the bottom. It's a subtle thing, but the angle of the fish can really diminish how truly big it is.

Get a buddy to help

All of the concepts mentioned thus far are easier to utilize if you have someone looking through the view finder.

header image



Wilderness Systems Stabiliser Bar

Posted: 07.15.2014

They have listened to the anglers and will be officially releasing the "Stabiliser Bar", a stand assist/lean-on bar that will fit the Ride, Tarpon and Commander series of kayaks, in October of 2014.

Hot on the heels of the Wilderness Systems offshore “Thresher” kayak release and the highly anticipated Wilderness Systems innovative hi/lo seat - the “Phase 3® AirPro MAX” - release, Wilderness Systems and Harmony Gear have designed, developed, and tested a brand new must-have accessory. The original design intent was to develop a stand assist bar, but after talks with some of the Pro Staff testing the prototype, a second prototype was created that allows users to also have a place to lean on while out fishing.

The installation of this bar can be handled two ways. Either all 4 towers can be attached to the SlideTrax™ using the provided attachment hardware and only a Phillips screwdriver, or the rear set of towers can be physically mounted onto the kayak behind the SlideTrax to allow for more of a perch approach to using the bar.

The bar itself is constructed of double wall marine-grade aluminum pipe and high-grade plastic components. The design allows for the bar to be lowered onto the front of the kayak when not in use to ensure that paddling is not obstructed. It is as simple as pulling 2 pins out of the towers and lowering the bar with the provided nylon strap.

The bar, designed for anglers 5’2” to 6’4” with a strength rating of up to 500 lbs, is the perfect accessory to add to your Wilderness Systems fishing kayak. The possibilities of customization are limited only to your imagination and having the bar for assisting to stand up or lean against allows you to enjoy your time on the water longer and in more comfort.

Specs: Harmony Stabiliser Bar

  • Fits Ride, Tarpon and Commander series SlideTrax
  • Adjustable heights for anglers 5’2” to 6’4”
  • Marine-Grade/Rust-Resistant Aluminum frame
  • October 2014 release date
header image



Good Thing She Likes Halibut - Trinidad Rockfish Wars Recap

Posted: 09.22.2014

September was a big month for kayak fishing tournaments from coast to coast.

We caught up with California pro staffer Rob Knoles after coming off a win at the Trinidad Rockfish Wars 4 in Trinidad, CA on September 13th, 2014. We asked him to describe his experience and methods on getting the win - here's what he had to say:

It was a two-man team tournament. We had won two years ago and got second last year by almost nothing, so we set out to regain our title this year. We studied the points table and knew exactly what we had to do. It was a best 6-fish and minimum 3-species to qualify for check-in ... good format! Catch big Lingcod was the plan, so that is exactly what we set out to do. We knew of some uncharted underwater pinnacles from past events, so that's where we headed first. When we got there we fished hard with little success ... slow bite for sure. We caught several fish but knew we needed to step it up against the heavy competition. My partner Adam landed a nice 38.5" Ling right after I had just landed a 21" Vermilion. Now we were rolling. We had a few guys tail us for about two hours. Every time we moved they followed; they definitely knew who we were! After losing a ton of gear in an extremely peaky area, they hightailed it. I had lost 10-12 setups myself, but I knew what our goal was and kept my eye on the prize. We decided to move to a new spot since the bite from our past waypoints just wouldn't give us what we needed. Once we located some new ground we turned it on and started catching big fish! The two biggest Ling we pulled in were 38.5"/24+ lbs. and 37.5"/20+ lbs. At check-in we ended up with 4 big Lings, the Verm, and a 20" Black Rockfish. Champs again!

The next day was supposed to be a relaxing Pacific Halibut hunt. Yea right! We got a late start at 8am, as we had planned on getting underway by 6am. We set off on an open ocean paddle that was easily 5 miles just to get the lines wet. Plagued by fog and zero visibility, we had to rely on GPS navigation the entire way. Despite the conditions, my Tarpon 160 was awesome in terms of tracking and speed. We got to the hunting grounds a little over an hour later, and we had explicit "honey-do" instructions to be back on shore and ready to go home by 2pm ... not much hunting time! At 11am Adam hooked up and lost one; I had a take down and missed. Then at about 11:30am, at the bottom of the tide, I had a big take down and the clicker started screaming Wicked Tuna style! I ended up landing a nice, but small, 37.5"/20 lbs. Pac Hali. Mission complete ... almost. Adam still needed one. After pushing the clock into overtime, it was just not going to happen. At this point we had 6.5 miles to go back to shore against a 1-1.5 mph current and 5-10 mph winds. We managed to average about 3.5 mph going in, hit shore a little after 2pm, and immediately got scolded by my Adam's wife. Oops! Good thing she likes Halibut. 


Subscribe to RSS - cwadmin's blog