Today we take a look at the VISICarbon Pro safety light from YakAttack. I've been using the VCP for a little over a year now. It's been with me on pretty much every single outing I've taken. I couldn't say that about the light it replaced.
From the YakAttack Website:
Designed to meet the needs of serious kayak anglers as well as recreational paddlers, the VISICarbon Pro™ sports unprecedented performance in light weight, low drag, and portability with plenty of style. The ultra-thin mast and instantly recognizable flag combine to offer excellent performance with low wind drag. The Silent Snap flag attachment system provides a secure attachment that allows the flag to be removed in seconds, allowing the collapsed unit to be stored inside.
The VCP uses LED bulbs in the top that have 10,000 hours of life. That's a pretty long time. The bulbs put off light by illuminating the cone without blinding you with a direct light shine. 3 AA batteries will run it for about 100 hours on the water so it's not a cost drain to keep it powered.
If you want to be noticed on the water, the large safety flag helps. It doubles as a storage bag because the entire four foot pole folds into a nice neat 14 inch package for stowing and transport. Weight isn't an issue either. The VCP comes in at a minuscule 14 ounces.
This particular model has a T-Bolt in the bottom to secure to a Mighty Mount, Gear Trac or other slide track receiver but the pole is available with a RAM ball mount or Scotty mount base as well.
One of my favorite features on this light has nothing to do with the light itself. The foam around the base is sized to allow the VCP to fit snuggly into a flush mount rod holder. The foam forms a seal as it goes in and it takes some steady pulling pressure to get it out.
While the light does meet USCG standards, I wish it were brighter. Perhaps the cone could be more transparent or have an LED strip running up the side. My light is always behind me when I am out at night so ruining my night vision is not a concern. I would suggest either modifying the cone to let more light out or adding additional LED bulbs.
The way you turn the light on is a twist on/twist off method. I never can remember correctly. I think a small switch could be beneficial. I've burned out batteries because the light will twist unintentionally when stowed. Of course that would add to the biggest area of improvement.
While the VISICarbon is wonderful in convenience, safety, stowability and lightweight, it's main draw back is not a feature. It is the price. The light I have is $85. That's a hard pill to swallow especially for people who don't fish at night very often. If it's an every day tool then yes, but a lot of anglers will be using it just as a safety flag other than about 30 minutes a trip (either early or late). So what's the magic price point? It feels like about $59. That's quite a change. I know there are tons of components that go into it. I get that. You can also buy a golden toilet but at the end of the day it is still performing the same function as porcelain. I appreciate the amount that goes into the product, I just don't know if it is a product that will be purchased as often at that price point.
This is a high quality item that promotes safety during all times of the day. Are the improvement tweaks needed? No. It doesn't detract from it being a good product. With some changes and a new price point however, it could be great and more attainable for more folks.