This blog post popped up a couple weeks ago. It’s been resonating in my head ever since. Honestly, while I read Chris Payne’s blog regularly, I often don’t see eye to eye with some of the things he has to say. However, this post is pretty epic:
I’m in the middle of show season myself. You’ve seen me post here of events that I’ll be attending. Chris’s Stop Apologizing! post is pretty dead on. I see it all the time. While Kayak Fishing is still pretty small in the PacNW, it is fairly saturated with guys that are all pro-staffers for one brand or shop or another. I’m guilty of this too, but am quite proud of sponsors like Jackson Kayak and NRS. But I’ve striven to be non-judgmental about what someone is paddling. In fact, I say, regardless of what brand name or where they bought their kayak, that it’s “cool” and “good way to get on the water.”
Like I mentioned, I’m proud to be part of the Jackson Kayak team. I love to talk kayak fishing, regardless, and I will point out some of the awesome features of Jackson fishing kayaks. A lot of people on forums will suggest “wait and save money to get X $2k+ kayak” but I know that doesn’t work. I’ve been on a tight budget my whole adult life. If it’s easier to save up a few hundred, then do it! It doesn’t matter. Just get on the water and be safe about it (PFD, safety knife, whistle, and appropriate attire). Heck, I had to borrow most all of the money to buy my first kayak (Thanks Myke!), then drive 200 miles to go get it. But it was something that I could afford (within a few days) and if I hadn’t jumped on it then, I might not ever have gotten a kayak. Certainly not that first summer and certainly not in time to win the Oregon Rockfish Classic that year.
My fishing life changed with that kayak I bought for a few hundred bucks.
So, it’s not about what you paddle, but how you fish it.
Thanks, Chris, for sharing your blog post. It is awesome, and I think more folks can stand to read it.
There’s no doubt that people are attracted to the standup bar on the new Jackson Kayak Big Rig. The colapsable assembly makes it easier to keep ballance when standing on a kayak. Recently a fellow Jackson Kayak Fishing Team member, Sean Brodie, made one for his beloved Jackson Cruise. Following his instructions, anyone can build one of these for their kayak too, regardless of make/model.
Check out the How-To on his blog, Canepole Adventures: How to Make a Fishing Lean Bar for the Jackson Kayak Cruise.
Once I get my new kayaks in, a 2014 Cuda 14 and Coosa, I’ll see if I can’t get some good measurements that will allow me to use the same bar on both kayaks. I think I might be able to find this feature quite usable.
Thanks, Sean, for the write-up on this great modification!
The biggest fishing and hunting show in the PNW is next week, February 5-9th! I’ll be at the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show the entire with Kayak Shed in booth 627, showing off the best of the Jackson Kayak fishing kayaks. Be sure to come by. This show is pretty awesome and fills the entire Expo Center in North Portland.
This week, stop by the Washington Sportsmen’s Show in Puyallup! I’ll be working with The Kayak Acadamy (booth 966) and showing off the latest Jackson Kayak upgrades and additions. That includes the new hatch on the Jackson Cuda, the new Jackson Big Rig, and you’ll definitely want to check out the seat upgrade for 2014! On Thursday, I’ll also be hosting a seminar on kayak fishing and winter steelhead.
In two weeks, you can find me at the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show in Portland, with Kayak Shed!
If you wear anything to keep waterproof, be it waders or a dry suit, and you spend any time fishing, chances are at some point there will be a hole that will make for a miserable discovery. Breathable dry gear is expensive–a couple hundred bucks each for waders and dry tops, and much more for dry suits. Fortunately holes and small tears are easily repaired, and can bring new life to something you might otherwise shove aside and replace.
Most of what is needed to fix up your old waders
My gear had some hard abuse over the last few years. It’s now at the point that whatever I wear, be it my dry suit, waders or dry pants, I end up with wet feet. It was time to get my suit patched up and ready for some cold winter fishing action.
Chances are, you have almost everything needed to repair your waders or dry suit. The most important thing you will need to pick up is Aquaseal. Aquaseal is available at most outdoor stores, and certainly any kayak shop. This is what will be filling in small pinholes in the suit, or adhering patches over larger holes. Aquaseal sells in a small tube for a few bucks, and there is enough for many repairs. Between my dry suit, dry pants, dry top and waders, I haven’t even used half a tube. Aquaseal is also used for rubber gasket replacement, should that become necessary.
Aquaseal is the only thing you will probably have to go out and buy.
Other things you will need is a light source. Flashlights work great, but I couldn’t find the one right in front of my face until I was done. Small fluorescent fixtures are good too, but are cumbersome. Don’t use halogen or incandescent lights which will get hot and cause even more problems for you. You’ll also need marker to keep track of holes you find, and if you know you have tears and holes over 1/4″ long, you’ll need some patch material (eVent, GoreTex, etc). Dry suits usually come with a small patch, but check your local kayak shop if you don’t have anything suitable.
That light would be a tell-tale sign of a hole in my dry suit.
Starting off, you need clean gear. Check out the article from last spring to see how to clean your breathable fabrics properly. With everything clean and dry, turn your suit inside out. Reaching into arms and legs, scan around with the flashlight. Holes will begin shining through, if they are there, and use the marker to circle these areas.
Here are couple very small pinholes that probably came from errant hooks or rockfish spines
Depending on what you found when running the light through the suit will dictate where to go from here. I had a couple holes that were patch worthy, though small. Patches are best made round, so there are no sharp corners that can promote snagging. I chose to use a quarter to shape my patching, but you might need something larger. Patches should extend about 1/2″ around holes and tears. Using the quarter as a guide, I traced cirgles around the holes in the suit I was patching and another circle in the patch material can cut it out. If you have a large tear to patch, you might need something like a fishing line spool, or bigger, to make sure you cover the whole area.
Right-side out, I’ve taped up the hole so the Aquaseal won’t leak through.
Now, turn the suit right-side out. We need to tape the outside of the suit. If you have a hole, the tape will keep the Aquaseal from leeching through and gluing the other side of the suit. If you have a tear, make sure the tape is holding the suit together as closely as possible. Painters tape is the best option for this, as the tape will not stick to the suit. It will remove cleanly and easily when the time comes. With things taped up, we can turn the suit inside out again.
Here I’ve got the area I am going to patch traced out and my patches cut.
It’s time to clean, yet again, all the spots that require repair. This time all we need is some rubbing alcohol. A rag or cotton ball will be fine. If there was anything left behind from the earlier wash, the alcohol will help take care of it. The alcohol also will not affect the Aquaseal. Lay the patch out on a piece of cardboard and spread a thin layer of Aquaseal over the whole patch. One the suit, apply more Aquaseal over the area that the patch is going to cover. Make sure that the whole area is covered with Aquaseal and even a little bit beyond the area you marked. This will help bond the edges of the patch. Once the glue is on both pieces, line up your patch and press it into place. When in place, cover it with a piece of wax paper and then use a large book or other heavy object to help press it into place. Leave it like this at least over night. Twelve hours is ideal.
Patch glued into place. I got so into gluing the inside of the suit, the patch is backwards. It’ll still work.
In the morning, remove the book and wax paper, turn the suit right-side out, remove the tape and inspect the patch job. Chances are your suit is good to go fishing. If at all possible, though, try to give the Aquaseal another twelve hours to finish curing.
Big books for weight.
If you have smaller pinholes that don’t require patching, or if you needed to clean up the outside of your patch job, all you need is the Aquaseal and a small disposable paint brush. As with the patch job, we need to clean the area with alcohol before proceeding. Once clean, brush on the Aquaseal over the area, and extending beyond any pinholes and abrasions. This time, since nothing is being glued, just keep the area flat and allow to dry overnight. Aquaseal dries clear and is abrasion resistant, so it can be used on the outside of your waders as well. This helps make sure you have created a good waterproof barrier to keep you dry once again.
Tiny pinholes or areas that just looked thin through the light can just be coated with Aquaseal with no patching needed.
Repairing your waders and other dry gear is not hard work, though it can be time consuming. But, in the end, I think it is well worth doing. It will keep your dryer, warmer and safer when on the water doing some fishing.