Looking for cool kayak gear gifts for the kayak angler in your life, even if that’s you? KayakFishMag.com had five of our writers come up with great last minute buys that any paddling angler can appreciate.
Cast MC Weedless Deep Into the Gift Bag
By Rich Holland
Developed in the heart of Southern California’s saltwater kayak fishing grounds of La Jolla, Corey Sanden’s MC Weedless is the choice of kayak anglers who like to throw swimbaits deep into cover to catch everything from bull calico bass to lunker largemouth.
The MC Weedless comes in both 5 and 7 inch sizes and was designed to be fished in the same thick kelp as Sanden’s oversize Slug. The Slug is an amazing big fish attractor in it’s own right, but requires an extremely heavy outfit (a pool-cue rod and 80-pound test!) to fish.
Not only can kayakers use a conventional swimbait stick to fish the MC Weedless, the Weedless is designed to swim consistently in open water regardless of retrieve speed, resulting in bites from followers and fish hovering next to submerged cover. Combined with a weighted wide gap hook, the MC Weedless has an extremely high hookup rate. As noted, while designed for fishing coastal kelp, the MC Weedless swimbaits easily crossover into freshwater trophy fishing. You can find more information on all the MC baits and where to buy them on the MC Swimbaits site.
Gain Some Winter Feel With NRS Gloves
By Dave Mull
After fishing in the season’s first snowstorm, casting out of a kayak without gloves, I doubted if I would ever use my hands again! I resolved that I was going to get me some really, really good fishing gloves. So when I regained the ability to peck the keys my laptop keyboard, I ordered a pair of NRS Natural Gloves, which are not really designed to be fishing gloves so much as paddling gloves.
Still, with just a little practice with the Natural Gloves, I was able to cast both baitcasting and spinning combos while wearing these toasty treats for the fingers. Plus, they worked great to keep my hands warm. Since the gloves are very nearly waterproof, taking off fish didn’t chill the hands.
The fingers are pre-curved, which takes a bit of getting used to when casting a spinning outfit — my first cast was a line-drive shot 5 feet away from the boat into the lake’s surface. The gloves are nice and tight at the wrist, and if there’s one complaint, they are tough to take off quickly when you want to do something like snap a snap swivel. Attaching a snap was the only time, by the way, that I needed to remove the Natural Gloves as I was able to tie knots with the gloves on.
The gloves feature 3.5-mm neoprene and titanium laminate that reflects heat back to your skin. Glued and blind-stitched seams create a stronger, more durable seam and help keep water out, too. Another nice touch: The soft fleece patch on the back of thumb is intended to serve as a nose wipe. It works! Also, the super grippy palm pattern extends around the base of the index finger for wear protection. GripCote on the backs of the fingers sheds water and reduces the evaporative cooling that can take place when neoprene gets soggy.
These gloves are still widely available at various kayak-related web shops (REI, Backcountry, and L.L. Bean, to name a few), ranging in price from $35 to $38. The gloves were being closed out at the NRS.com site, and cost $34.
Boomerang’s Versatile Saltwater Fishing Gift Set
By Chris Holmes
Boomerang Tool combines versatility with function and safety in their Saltwater Fishing Gift Set. The set contains the Big Snip, ProPliers and Fox40 Safety Whistle.
The Big Snip is an oversized version of their wildly popular Snip linecutter and is specifically designed to handle heavy mono/fluoro and braided lines. The Big Snip features single-hand use and precision cutting from the corrosion resistant 420 Stainless scissor-type blades.
The lightweight aluminum ProPliers feature tungsten cutters and stainless jaws. Spring loaded, non-slip handles provide one-handed use. Hook removal, split ring opening and crimping functions are offered from the rugged jaws.
The Fox40 Safety Whistle screams to 115 dB and works wet or dry. Attach to your PFD or shirt and stay safe and legal. The trio comes with attached gear retractors so you’ll never be searching for lost tools. MSRP: $79.95 www.boomerangtool.com.
More Mugging: Engel’s high tech travel mug hits the market.
By Jerry McBride
If there’s one product that’s exploded on the market in 2015, it’s the insulated travel mug. Even at $30-$40, retailers can’t keep them on the shelves. There are reports of Yeti Ramblers fetching as much as $85 on Ebay.
Just in time for Christmas, Engel has introduced the 30-ounce Tumbler. Virtually identical to the eye in terms of dimension and function to the Yeti Rambler 30, the Tumbler features similar seamless double-wall vacuum construction, with two distinctive differences — a plastic twist-on spill-proof lid and a black rubber non-skid pad.
In an incredibly unscientific comparison on my kitchen counter, I placed two cups of ice in each container and filled both with 38-degree water at 4:22 Central Standard Time. At 9:15 the next morning, both retained significant, nearly comparable amounts of ice. Amazingly, no sign of exterior condensation appeared on either vessel. Just to speed the process, I placed both in my hot truck. The Engel’s ice finally disappeared after 19 hours. The Yeti was good for an additional 45 minutes.
Either should cover the needs of the average kayak fishing excursion. If you require more than 20 hours to consume a cold beverage, you’re not paddling hard enough.MSRP $39.99 www.engelcoolers.com
Gift Idea for the Cold Water Angler: Flip 10 by Goal Zero
By Jeff Little
The rain that caused the river to rise so quickly couldn’t have come at a better time. Rising rivers mean that big fish actively feed. The peak of that rise came at about 10:30 a.m., the morning of the tournament.
I caught two smallmouth over 20 inches from an 8-foot-wide eddy at the base of a major ledge rapid, and had the third one in my net. That fish had smashed a spinnerbait about 10 feet from my anchored kayak and pulled enough drag that I wondered if it was a musky instead of a bass.
Once the fish was securely netted, I placed the 6-lb 10-oz bronze fish on the Hawg Trough. My phone was conveniently secured in my life vest pocket. I pulled it out to take the photo and upload it to the online tournament application. Tapping the camera app forcefully with cold wet fingers, the white round shutter button failed to respond. I tapped harder to no avail, then attempted to dry my fingers on the hood of my fleece sweatshirt.
With my fingers dry enough to be recognized by a touch screen, my index finger went back to work trying to take the shot before the fish flopped off the board. I had a brief enough glimpse of a low battery message before the screen went black. The phone was dead.
Fortunately, I had a back up camera to take the shot, but that would mean that I would have to get back to the weigh in much earlier than if I could upload the photo with my phone and keep fishing. The weigh in time for SD cards was actually a half-hour earlier than online weights and I didn’t want to give up 30 minutes of fishing time on tournament day.
I decided to Boca Grip the fish, put it back into the water to let it breathe, and try to warm up my phone. I shoved it down the collar of my spray top and placed it firmly in my armpit. That’s not a nice sensation, but it was effective. Within five minutes, I tried again, and found that my battery had come back to life, but only with 16% of the charge remaining. I took the shot with the phone and the regular camera, released the fish, and uploaded the shot as quickly as I could before the battery died again. Apparently the coldness of the day had robbed the batteries charge quicker than usual.
My buddy Jed and I ended up winning the tournament in the team division, setting a new RiverBassin Trail team total of 124.75 inches for 6 smallmouth. But it almost didn’t happen that way due to the cold October rain chilling my cell phone’s battery.
I’ve learned a few things about these kind of catch, photo, release and upload tournaments. You should have a back up camera, you should have a dry washcloth to dry the screen, as cold rain soaked fingers don’t work well with touch screens, and you should have a portable battery recharger.
Ironically, I won such a device at that tournament for catching the first fish in the event. It’s a Flip 10 by GoalZero, and plugs into the USB that my phone charger uses at home. It provides a secondary USB plug to charge both my phone and the battery. When I leave to go fishing in the morning, I take the Flip 10 and the cord, toss it in my dry bag and don’t have to worry about losing a charge on a cold day of fishing. The Flip 10 can be found at discounted price of $19.99 on the GoalZero site.