The Sunscreen Showdown


This weekend’s battle featured four different contestants from two different brands. Jess and I tried out two sprays and two gels in SPF 30 or 40 from Aloe Gator  and SmartShield. 

The sunscreens were applied in different places so we could differentiate. I used the Aloe Gator Gel on the back of my neck and ears and the SmartShield for my face. Jesse tried the sprays in the same manner. I retested the sprays myself on Sunday to see just because I was curious. Here are the pros and cons of each and then my overall pick.

Aloe Gator Sport Spray

This spray goes on in a pump style, is PABA free and works pretty well. It left me a little greasy for approximately ten minutes in the sun before it dried and was a bit tacky to the touch. The smell was pleasant and not overly reminiscent of rubbing alcohol. The Aloe Gator kept my skin cool for almost three hours before I could feel the heat of the sun. This is a very good product and with multiple applications could be very effective for water sports and is very water resistant. 
The manufacturer lists it as:

"This quick drying pump spray offers added UVA/UVB protection with Parsol 1789 and is fast drying. Plus it is oil free, PABA free and very water-resistant. With its convenient application it is great for sports and water activities. Add bonus, it is made with the gentle Lil' Gator formulation so it can be perfect for kids."



Aloe Gator Gel

This gel was the most frustrating of the group. Even on a 60 degree day I had to be The Incredible Hulk to get the gel started out of the tube. As I pushed more out it eventually got a little easier but I couldn't imagine my wife fighting with this product. It doesn't spread well either. It is very thick. It holds its shape after forcing it out of the tube and rubbing it in is a chore. I never felt like I was covered well enough and used copious amounts of it. This is marketed towards super active folks but you need an active gym membership to get it out of the tube. I felt greasy the whole time I had it on and wanted a shower as soon as I put it on. I'm not a fan and would not recommend this product. 
The manufacturer lists it as:

"Aloe Gator Gel has SPF 40 and is a total sunblock protection in a super waterproof gel formulation. It's the premier sports sunblock used by paddlers, climbers and outdoor enthusiasts!Waterproof up to 8-hours. The products are gentle to the skin, with no PABA or PABA Esters. Four sunscreens combine to ensure product absorbs both UVA and UVB rays."


SmartShield Gel

This gel was a little less than gel or at least what I think of as gel. It was the consistency of a melted Jell-O shot. It spread very easily and dried very quickly in less than two minutes. I could tell where I had applied it because it has a wet feeling going on which went away as soon as it dried. One of the ingredients seemed to have drawn some of the salt out of my skin as I brushed away what felt like sand and I wasn't on a beach. I did get some of it in my eye which stung just a touch and then evaporated or diluted which made it subside in less than 10 seconds. I would not recommend this for faces. It covers well but the chances of it ending up in your nose or mouth are greatly increased by its liquidity. This is a very good solution for hands, arms, backs, legs etc. I started to feel the heat of the sun after a couple of hours and did not reapply it so I could test something else. All in all, good except for faces and longevity. 

This is what the manufacturer says:

"This High-Tech SPF 30 sunscreen gel has a Cooling Alcohol base; great for people who have oily skin or acne. Aloe Vera gel is moisturizing and healing to the skin. This fragrance-free formula won't clog pores, never feels greasy and is waterproof for up to eighty minutes."


SmartShield Spray

I reapplied after a couple of hours with this product. I continued on another four hours with this applied and had no heat sensation at all. This pump, non-aerosol went on very easy, was light on the skin and had no odor I could detect. I could feel the coverage as it was applied and then it dried very rapidly in under a minute. It was a little shiny on the skin, as most are but lacked that tacky, sticky feeling most other sunscreens give, especially aerosol spray-ons. I used this again on Sunday and the same results were found. 

This is what the manufacturer says:

"Protect your skin from UV rays with a light, oil-free formula that absorbs and dries quickly- without leaving behind any greasy residue. This light, waterproof sunscreen will keep you protected with SPF 30. PABA-free. Contains aloe to soothe your skin."




Of all of these sunscreens that were tried, Jesse and I both agreed that the spray on products were superior. A hybrid between the two gels would be a nice sunscreen but neither are great for all application areas. The fast drying, non-sticky feel of the SmartShield really won me over and for the purposes of this test, was the winner. I wish they made it in an SPF60 or higher. 


Both of these brands were tested by request of Mariner-Sails of Dallas. They are available in their store or check them out on the web at www.mariner-sails.com or www.mariner-kayaks.com.


As a side note, a nice gentleman I met from Colorado at the kayak launch allowed me to try a sunscreen lotion he really loves. It is called Rocky Mountain and he has been using it for years. I tested some on my left hand and it repelled water nicely as well as keeping the sun at bay. I may look into it further. It was an SPF50 and went on better than most lotions I've tried. 



Why I'm Quitting Tournament Fishing


I think I have decided that tournaments are just not for me.

I have a great many friends who fish tournaments and I’ll fish a couple of them this year. But for me, not for everyone, but for me I just don’t think I enjoy it very much. Maybe to the onlooker it seems I don’t have a competitive drive. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I think the true reasoning is I am finally discovering balance. I think my competitiveness is what is driving me away from tournament fishing. Allow me to explain.

When I tournament fish, I can get obsessive. I pre-fish, I study maps, I make calls, I information gather and I try to find any advantage I can. That takes a lot of time. Notice how many I’s were in that statement (8)? It takes time away from my family, from my friends and something else. It takes away the joy I get from fishing. Nobody should burden themselves to the point of worry and grief. Especially not for a hobby.

I don’t want to chase a winning high. In tournaments, you rarely ever see the same guy winning every event.  If I am not winning then a stellar, memorable day on the water could leave me with questions, agony and angst. I’m not a rich man so fishing tournaments for fun is like throwing away money to do it all the time. I’d rather just buy more accessories to try out than flush $50 into a winner’s pocket. That being said I’ll be fishing two tournaments this year. The first will be at Fork on March 23. I love that lake and a lot of my good friends and my brother will be fishing it with me. I’ll have a great day regardless of final standings.

The other tournament is Kayak Wars. It’s not even a true tourney, no money is at stake and it’s at my leisure. So ok, maybe one and a half tournaments.

 I thought in January I would fish 6 or maybe 8 and it was even in my goals but I’ve had to change directions. I feel like I am more valuable at home and on the website than trying to win a couple hundred dollars.  
I enjoy being at weigh-ins at the ends of tournaments, chatting with everyone  but usually, I don’t have a great time while fishing. I can’t turn the switch off. If a prize is at stake, it’s hard to stop and enjoy the day.

What I do enjoy is fishing, trying out new things in the kayak fishing world and talking about what’s good and what’s …well, not.

Best of luck to you tourney guys out there but for 2013, I’m going to lay low, put up some Kayak Wars points when I can and try to churn out some content and product reviews. 

Water Safety for Kids


*As Spring is all but upon us, this is an important reminder I posted last summer about kids' safety on the water.


It's too easy to make a mistake.
Type II Child PFD

You're loading up the truck with a kayak or two and that little voice rings through the garage, "Daddy, can I go?" You may have planned on her asking but did you really plan on her going?
According to the CDC, 350 children die every year in boating related drownings.

How do you prevent that?
Planning properly.

It's human nature to think that would never happen to you. You can protect them. You will hold them on your lap. The water's not that deep. I'm a great swimmer.

I've heard them all. The plain and simple fact is no one plans on disaster happening to them. With a little planning, a little awareness and some ground rules, most of those 350 would be at home with their parents instead of living only through the emotional scars their parents now bare.

I know it feels like I am preaching, and maybe I am, but this is IMPORTANT.

Here are the steps I have taken and believe you should too to ensure safety for every child that gets on one of my kayaks. This may not be the end all be all list but you need to have some list of rules and know it by heart. And then, once you have the rules, don't make exceptions. Again, these are my rules, not State Law except where noted.

Any child in a kayak must have a proper life jacket on and secured properly.
Texas law states "Children under 13 years of age in or on vessels under 26 feet must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable PFD while underway."
Get a life jacket that is weight rated for the child and fits properly. A Type II is better than a Type III because it will, under most circumstances, float the child face up. PFD Types Click Here

All paddlers must go through an orientation with the boat. 
It only takes a few minutes but it is important to know safety on the kayak, regardless of age, but children especially need to know what to do.

Open water re-entry experiences are a must. 
The first time I took my eight year old out with me I explained what we were going to do. I said we would jump off the kayak into the water. I instructed him to stay where he was. I reminded him the life jacket will float him and I would come to him once I re-entered the kayak. I was probably over explaining things but he understood. We jumped off and he did great. He watched to make sure he didn't get run over by the kayak. When it got too near him he pushed himself away while I got back on. I scooped him up and he did great! He didn't panic. I had explained everything. Paddling back to the shore I purposefully dug in and flipped the boat without telling him. I watched him calm himself down quickly and take in the surroundings. He assessed the situation. He showed me he was ok and waited for me to get back on the kayak and scoop him up. Another success. You have to do this with your kids. You have to learn how to coach them when on the water. This is how people survive bad situations. Preparation. 

This all takes some time and preparation but if it saves just one life next year that is one more child who gets to become an adult. One more set of parents who aren't grieving over a simple mistake. Take the time to be ready for when that little girl or boy asks to do what you are doing. When they ask to go kayak with you, have a life jacket, have a plan and have a blast making memories that will last forever. 

Safety is More Than Just a Life Jacket


It was chilly that morning. Temperatures had just topped 40 degrees and the North wind was whipping at 15-20 mph. I had gloves on, a cold weather hat, three layers, wool socks and my bibs. I was determined to shoot some test footage with the two cameras I had in tow and wanted to get some time on the water and in my haste had hurried. As I unloaded the boat I went down my mental checklist and had my whistle, my PFD, my paddle, the Mirage Drive, pretty much everything but the kitchen sink. The sun was coming out and I had high hopes it would warm up soon as I shoved off and began a great day on the water. 

Fast forward four hours and I was beaching the Hobie Outback and envisioning the footage I had shot. I backed down the ramp to load up and felt an itch on my nose. I scratched it and my face lit on fire! A glance into the mirror reminded me of what I forgot. Sunscreen. 

I have been a big advocate of SPF 80+ for several years and had been on a three year streak of no sunburns. The end of my nose is a thin venous covering because of the years of damage I did in my 20s. Skin cancer is less likely an if but more of a when for me. I am trying to do everything I can but this English nose hides under few caps and without sunscreen it burns. 

I think my fatal flaw was not writing down a list. A mental checklist is only as good as the next distraction. Sunscreen didn't cross my mind because it was cold. That's stupid looking back on it. It's sunscreen, not heat screen. It is the light and reflection of light that chars me, not the presence of warmth. The sun reminded me of that. 

5 days later I am still dealing with the unsightly reminder of my blunder. Please remember to either sunscreen up before every trip or wear an item like a face Buff to protect you. A big wide brimmed hat can also help but is often left behind on a very windy day. 

The action you take today can yield better results down the road. Skin cancer is no joke. Safety is more than just a life jacket. Protect yourself out there. 

Outdoor Test and Verdict on DriftHD vs GoPro 2

Before we get into the judging, here is the footage of the outdoor test. I shot over an hour of me pedaling around but this shows everything you need to see to understand what my decision will be.




So there it is. The results were exactly as I thought they would be. The DriftHD does MUCH better in the outdoor lighting than the indoor lighting. Yes, you can tweak some settings for indoor etc but this was an out of the box test so even a novice like me could get these results.

The Verdict

Both of these cameras do very well in outdoor lighting. Though you can't tell it from the compressed video here, the detail and captured resolution of the GoPro is better than the Drift. The color accuracy however goes to the Drift. The GoPro always looks just a little too overexposed. So how do I choose?

If you want a camera that is ready to go out of the box with lots of accessories, you'll be shooting in the middle of the day and outside, the Drift is the better buy. If you want to record your fishing trips and start early or end late, don't care about remotes or LCD screens (or don't mind adding them later), want a waterproof camera straight out of the box, the GoPro is your choice. Of all the cool features on the Drift, the need for a microSD card is annoying. I have man hands, not tiny little flute player hands. Loading something that small into a camera is for toddlers and toymakers. The corona effect shows up more often on the Drift which I don't like. I love the LCD screen, the zoom option and the remote on the Drift but frankly, once I set the camera to record, I go until my batteries are out. I'm not toying with a shot. I'm not Steven Spielberg and I'm not shooting a TV show. Most of us aren't.

So which one?

For options already included, daytime outdoor use and for great color get the DriftHD.

For rugged, outdoor ready, multi-light situations, get the GoPro2.

If I buy another camera, it will be another GoPro.
















Side by Side Test: GoProHero2 vs DriftHD INDOORS

This is the first test. It was an indoor lighting test. I used the default settings and did not change exposures or other settings. I did set resolution on both cameras to 720p and 60FPS. I will be shooting the outdoor lighting test later this week. This is a very simple side by side. As a frame of reference, the GoPro is almost dead on with color, a touch over exposed but much more accurate.


A Camera Comparison: Go Pro 2 vs Drift HD

For the last year I have shot all of my video on GoPro cameras. It's what I knew, had an opportunity to buy and thought was the best out there. Last week I was introduced to a camera that I wasn't even really aware existed. That camera is the Drift HD. Aris at Mariner-Sails showed them to me in his store and it got my curiosity up. Being a numbers and checklist kind of guy, I wanted to look at them side by side. I have one now and will be comparing over the next few weeks with some side by side video but I couldn't wait to get started. My impatience resulted in a comparison list and that is what I want to present as food for thought before the field tests are in. 

The comparison below is from the specs listed on each of the respective websites. It is also as they come packaged. If additional accessories are available the price is listed in the column. Without further ado:




The results surprised me too. Save the lack of a waterproof case, the Drift HD is, on paper, the superior camera. The Drift HD has better features out of the box for less overall money. The puzzling thing to me is why Mariner-Sails still has a few left. Originally priced at $299, you can pick one up for $200 today. 

From everything I have read and videos I have seen, the field test will show equal footage if not better from the Drift. Drift has a new camera out, The Ghost, that has additional options that mark it as equal or better than the GoPro 3. I'll report back on that one in  a few months. 

If you need an action camera for your adventures, call or get to Mariner-Sails today and pick up a DriftHD.






Installation to Application: Templates



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Jesse Reynolds is a good friend and fellow kayak fisherman who has a passion for DIY and teaching others how to do it. He has a new page called "Installation to Application" here at paynespaddlefish.com where he will be able to bring cool rigging ideas and helpful tips to everyone. The tab for Jesse's section is up top and I will also post them as a post on the front page when they come out. Enjoy this first installment of "Installation to Application"

_______________________________________________________________________


Templates 
 by Jesse Reynolds

In this ever growing sport we all love, we’ve seen advances on most if not all aspects of Kayak Angling. One advancement I know many kayakers (myself included) enjoy are the accessories offered for tailoring a kayak to one's own preferences and style of fishing. You can look through any website that offers the vast array of aftermarket parts/accessories and be guaranteed that at some point in the past someone has said to his buddy, “you know what would be awesome? A ___ that does this___.”, or someone has spent hours in their garage bending and drilling materials in to an on the water application that suited their needs. You can also bet that those same people are the ones who made an idea or a prototype in to a reality and thus, have helped the sport grow to all of our benefit.

One such product I’d like to talk about is the Silent Traction System (STS) Kits offered at retailers such as Hook1. STS is one of the more basic accessories but none-the-less probably one of the best investments and easiest installations you can do. I mean, why would you glide up to your spot, sneaking beneath the radar only to drop your scissors or bang your rods around while getting situated? Yes STS can increase your odds tremendously but like most things, it’s not indestructible. Your standard kit comes with several precut pieces (circles and rectangles) as well as two larger pieces so you can cut your own shapes to fit your application. In my first two weeks with the STS installed I quickly learned that I was going to need more of the circle pieces that are cut to fit around your scupper holes so I saved the backing from the last pre-cut circle I had and made a template out of some thin card stock. Templates can save you time and a lot of headaches when it comes to making your cuts on STS, so we will show you how to make templates to match the factory circles and rectangles as well as a DIY radius gauge for matching the factory rounded edges on those pre-cut pieces.


Making a Radius Gauge

We will start by making our radius gauge because you will need it to make the circle pieces as well as those rounded corners we spoke about for squares/rectangles.

To make your radius gauge and templates you will need a few items commonly found around the house.

· Ruler - You will need one at least 6 inches long with a good straight edge

· Card Stock - I ripped off the back cover of a note book for this. You will want at least 6 inch lengths

· Pencil

· Small finishing nail

· Hammer

· Razor blade or Razor knife of some sort

· A small piece of fine grit sandpaper



Making the Radius Gauge

1 . Cut a strip of card stock, 1 inch wide X your desired length. 6 – 8 inches will be enough for most applications.

2 . Draw a line the length of the card stock down the middle (1/2in. from the leading edge will get your centerline for a 1in. wide piece of card stock).

3 . Measure up from the bottom edge 1in. and draw a horizontal line across the strip. This will be your pivot point for making your circles or corners.

4 . From that point, measure the distance you want to use as your radius. I suggest making marks at 1/8, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 3/4, 1, 1 ½, 2, & 3 inch marks.

5 . Next with your finishing nail and hammer, tap the nail through each of your measured marks on the centerline.

Note: Remember to punch the nail through just enough for a pencil or pen to slip in the hole without excessive play as you will stray off your line if this happens.

Tip: Once you’ve made your radius gauge, take a piece of notebook paper and make a mass template with all your radius markings to help gauge what the corner radius is on a precut piece of STS. Then cut it in half and you can lay that on any piece of STS to find your radius.





Making Templates

Using the Radius Gauge to make a Circle Template

To make a Circle you must divide the diameter of the circle needed by half and that is the radius you will need to use. Example: If you are making a 4 in. circle use the 2 in. mark on your gauge.

1 . Grab a piece of card stock big enough for the circle you will be making.

2 . Place your gauge on the card stock making sure that you have enough room between the edges of the material and the spacing you will need for the size circle you will be making.

3 . Insert your finishing nail in the pivot line’s hole and place it on the cardstock.

4 . Hold the nail down firmly and insert your pencil in the appropriate length hole.

5 . Simply rotate the pencil and gauge around until you complete your circle.



To make a circle to fit around a scupper hole like the stock STS kit comes with you will need to take a few extra steps.

1 . Measure the scupper hole as a starting point. As an example we will use a 4 in. circle with a hole for a 1½ in. scupper.

2 . Use the Radius Gauge and the ¾ in. marked hole to create a 1½ in. circle but do not pick up the gauge from the card stock.

3 . Knowing that we want our circle to be a 4in. diameter, use the 2in. marked hole on the radius gauge and draw your second circle.

4 . Using the 4in., outside circle, cut out your template from the cardstock.

5 . Lastly, cut out the inside scupper hole circle using a razor blade. Tip: It is easier to cut out this piece by placing the razor on the line and turning the template instead of trying to make your cut by moving your hand. By doing this you will get a nice rounded circle and a factory finished look.

6 . Take your sandpaper and lightly sand the edges clean of any burs debris.

Your finished product should look like this and should match the factory piece.




Making a Rectangle Template with Rounded Corners

Making a rectangle is simple enough but we will show you how to make the rounded corners and match the factory STS piece. The factory cut Rectangular pieces are 4 15/16 in. long X 2¾ in. wide with a ½ in. radius for the corners.

1 . Start by measuring out your rectangle to the above measurements.




2 . At each corner measure the distance of your desired radius to make a box in each corner. Remember we are using the ½ in. radius

3 . Once you’ve drawn your boxes in the corners, take the radius gauge and place the axis point on the inside corner of the box.

4 . Now draw your rounded corners with your radius gauge using the ½ in. marked hole.











5 . Now cut out your template with your scissors.

Your finished template should look like this and will match the factory pre-cut piece perfectly.














Now next time you dig your foot in as you’re setting the hook and rip through your STS in the process, you don’t have to be worried about replacing the piece because you now have a template to re-create as many as you want. I hope this has helped some of you and maybe you feel a little more empowered to start coming up with your own designs but remember… make a template first.









A Disaster Averted



This story starts like most of my stories. A guy in a kayak is fishing up a creek. The only thing is, it’s not just a story; it’s true.

During the only real cold snap that Central Texas saw this year, a few anglers found a pattern that was producing fish: the colder the weather, the better. If you were layered properly, the cold didn’t bite much and the fish would be there waiting for you. As Jesse launched that afternoon into the sub 50 degree and dropping air temps the day’s outlook was chilly but favorable. It was warmer than it had been but still cool enough that the fish should be biting and layers were necessary. The north wind was dropping the temperature but as long as he kept dry everything should be fine.

He paddled the half mile to his starting point and began seeing fish. A buddy had joined up to fish and the day was shaping up. Jesse’s friend spotted a tremendous fish lounging under a mat of vegetation near some vines and beneath some overhanging branches and called him over to try his finesse bait. This wasn’t the common four or five pound fish found in these waters but a true giant he estimated at over 10 pounds. The fish of a lifetime. He pitched his bait to the behemoth and watched her take the bait and start swimming away with it. Heart racing, mind in a fervor, he set the hook, watched the bait sail out of the fish’s mouth and entangle itself in the branches and vines seven feet overhead. Adrenaline still pumping, Jesse decided to try to untangle the mass above while balancing in his 28 inch wide kayak. It wouldn’t be an easy feat but he could do it.

Standing up seemed to be easy and he soon discovered keeping his balance would be the issue. Moving toward the bow of the kayak he steadied himself by grasping at the branches above with one hand and untangling the line in the other. In a short time he had all but one loop undone but every time he reached for it the branch it was on would sway out of the way.  Jesse knew he would have to get closer and tried to steady himself by grabbing a branch in each hand. As he made the move the kayak shifted and a shudder went through his body as his center of balance unwontedly shifted. Instinctually he released the newest branch he clung to, a two inch thick limb of trouble and tried to regain his balance. While trying this the cold, damp thoughts of falling out of the kayak seemed to be playing in slow motion simultaneously with his efforts to regain stability. The kayak started to list and he reached for the limb he had previously held. Facing the water the limb gave way and the thought of submersion was becoming a reality frame by frame as Jesse belly flopped into the water and out of his kayak.

At this point his Navy training, his preparation for re-entry, his studies of just this type of situation paid off. While the water was warmer than the air Jesse knew the timer had started. Dismissing thoughts of continuing to fish for that 10 pounder, he climbed back on his kayak. As he surveyed the deck for losses, he realized everything was still there. His lashing and leashing had paid off. Now it was time to move. Knowing the cold that would soon settle in his bones, he started paddling toward the launch at a very brisk pace taking deep breaths and focusing on the task at hand. When he cleared the mouth of the creek onto the main lake the wind cut him and the cold was seeping deeper as his fingers began to numb. Jesse had several layers including wool socks, Patagonia Capilene upper and lower base layers, ski bibs treated with a water repellant and an North Face 800 Goose Down jacket to keep him warm even in wet conditions. It wasn’t luck, it was preparation. He reached the launch, cold, numb in places not as well covered and wet. The cold air wasn’t making this easy. He remembered that you are supposed to get the wet layers off of you but he didn’t have any other clothes to change into. He decided to shed a couple of layers and it proved to be a mistake. With nothing to change into, and still wet, the cold north wind cut through him like a dagger and he began shaking. A mistake he wouldn’t make again. Jesse found a towel in his vehicle and dried off as much as possible and then let the heater do its job. When he had finally recovered from the cold he recounted what saved him that day. Preparation for just such an event by practicing and watching videos, multiple layers of good water wicking materials, and not succumbing to the temptation to stay out longer and fish were all key players that day.

We can learn some dos and don’ts from this story but most of all I hope we all take the potential threat of cold water submersion as a real one. Failing to plan is planning to fail. 



Safety By The Numbers


We must do better as a community. The number of deaths in boating accidents went UP 14.8% from 2010 to 2011. Please help spread the word. Share, link, embed it or just tell folks but please help get the word out. If you are on the water, please wear your lifejacket. 



An Announcement






As paynespaddlefish.com has grown over the last several months, I’ve had to make some decisions about the direction I will take the site moving forward. I have been blessed to have interest from companies about paddling a boat that they make. I have had opportunities to visit with people from different parts of the industry and a lot of people who are just kayak fishermen. Most of them shared that what they valued from paynespaddlefish.com was the ability to talk about a lot of different brands without being a “sponsor site”. Sponsor sites are typically paid for, at least partially, by companies who want you to talk about their product. Most of the time you can only talk about their product. There are places for that but I have visions of a site that can talk about a lot of different kayaks and accessories and without the normal, brand-friendly comments. I want to avoid doing reviews of products that have only good things to say. I believe there is always room for improvement though some have a larger area than others to work on.  For those of you that know me I am a "call it like I see it" type of person. If it needs improvement, I’ll say something. I try to put that into my thoughts, my writing and my daily life as much as possible while being tactful and constructive at the same time.

As some different projects to develop kayaking and kayak angling started to come to fruition here in Central Texas, it became evident very quickly that I would need some help. I am just one guy. I needed a reputable place to send people interested in buying kayaks where the staff and owners treat every person as an individual to make sure they could get the perfect boat for their situation. I wanted to be able to send them to a business who valued them whether they were spending $5 or $5,000. I hoped to find a business that could help me develop the projects I’m working on, give feedback and a little time.

After again speaking to several people in and around the kayak fishing world the same name kept popping up. I decided to make a road trip and go see what this business was all about. I’ll just say it was everything I expected and more. After a few phone calls and emails, an agreement and new partnership was formed. I will be able to continue developing the website as a site that talks about many kayak brands, offers suggestions for improvement, talks about accessories, innovations, outings, and so much more. I’ll be able to work boat shows and tackle shows for them and hear first-hand what customers are wanting, answer questions for folks thinking about getting into kayak fishing, give advice based on each customer’s needs and not be tied to one specific manufacturer. Additionally, as my projects to further kayak fishing in Central Texas and beyond grow, I’ll be able to involve more people more quickly.

Starting on February 9th, I’ll be working with the team at Mariner-Sails in Dallas, TX to grow the kayaking and kayak fishing worlds and do it the right way, the Mariner way, where the customer is first. I’ll be able to bring you reviews on the newest boats from a large number of manufacturers including Wilderness Systems, Hobie, Native, Malibu and more.  If there is something you would like an opinion on, I want to earn the right to be the opinion you seek. I am excited about this great and unique opportunity. I can’t possibly express my thanks enough to Aris and the fine folks at Mariner for allowing me to realize this dream and being such forerunners in our sport.

I look forward to your ideas and questions of what we should cover next. If it’s a possibility, I’ll do everything I can to make it happen.  If you are in the area or have some time to drive I’d love to visit with you from 10-6 February 9th at Mariner-Sails.
As always, thanks for reading.

Chris