Showing posts with label beau reed. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beau reed. Show all posts

Bring Solutions!

The question has been posed. The tables are being set now. The eyes of many are now turned to what was once a few. The direction of kayak fishing tournaments and their future are being decided. Right. Now.

More retailers are selling kayaks than ever before. Retailers that once only carried a couple of kayaks are expanding their fleet of options. Companies like Dick's Sporting Goods, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's all want a piece of the pie.

Big Box Retail Store Kayak Display

Our sport is growing and companies see that.

 With growth comes new ideas, new people and new problems. People who may not have the years of experience that some of the old guard do are wanting to advance the sport. Normally this wouldn't be a problem but the direction they want to go is met with mixed emotions.

The overwhelming divider is whether kayak fishing needs a national tournament trail, a governing body and a standard set of rules. Some people want to leave it as 100 different little local trails that do their own thing. Others want a trail like Bassmasters Elite or FLW to really up the prize money and national draw. So which is right?

The Future?

They both may be right. Just because there is an FLW tour doesn't mean local bass club tourneys don't exist. Just because we have Cap City in Austin doesn't mean we can't have TNT weeknight tourneys.

The discussion is everywhere across the internet but is really sprouting in a Facebook group that has 720 members called the "Angler's for the Advancement of Kayak Bass Fishing Tournaments".  Tournament anglers from all over the country discuss logistical, theoretical and idealistic ideas that they feel will aid in guiding the direction of tournaments into the future. Well, at least that's the idea. Beau Reed is the groups creator. He runs a kayak bass tourney trail in Texas. Check out the Mission:

The Mission of the Anglers for the Advancement Group

The problem is the group can be a think tank for some but a pulpit for others. Rather than talking about ideas, some have made it their priority to point out flaws in any person's idea yet never offer a solution themselves. Always the critic. Never the creator. We have plenty and don't need anymore.

We have a rule at my office. It's ok to bring problems to the boss, but think about and bring possible solutions when you present the problem. Bring solutions! I think that's what the group needs. Problems + Solutions = More Fruitful Conversations.

So why bring this up?

It's important for many voices to be heard as this discussion is formed. I'd love for more people to join the conversation. Most of it is helping move the sport forward and allowing participants and directors to exchange ideas from across the country. It is my belief that this COULD be the basis for a mainstream trail in the near future. If that's the case, are there things you have questions about, want to give input on or discuss with people from the other parts of the world? This is a great place to do that.

I would encourage you that when you bring a problem, also bring a proposed solution.

Want to join and see what the buzz is about? Click here:
Anglers for the Advancement of Kayak Bass Fishing Tournaments

Winter Reel Maintenance

Frosty mornings mean we are creeping closer to winter every day. Some hardcore kayak fishing guys will get out through the winter and fish but a lot of folks just don't like the cold or being on the water in it. Each winter, fishermen start to get cabin fever and thinking about what they need to do. One of the first things many think of is maintenance.

Time to get those reels spiffed up, get that old line off, grease them up, oil them up and then organize some tackle. We also use this time to peruse the internet for new lures and gadgets to rig up our kayaks with. 

Have you ever done your own reel maintenance? Some people love it. Some people (ahem,cough,cough) hate it. I tried it twice. One time about three years ago I decided to try to clean up an old Calcutta I had that was getting pretty grungy. That failed and I had to have a pro put it back together. I tried one more time last summer with a Abu Garcia Orra Inshore. It was salty, sandy and didn't feel right. 

I went down to Academy and bought one of those Ardent reel cleaning kits for $20, went home and started tearing into it. From previous experience I knew I needed a good bench space to work on and planned as I took things off of the reel to lay them left to right. Then, when I was ready to reassemble, just go from right to left. I thought it was pretty flawless. 

I started unscrewing a bunch of parts. A bunch. I didn't have a diagram but that wouldn't stop me. Once I got it to bare bones, I opened up the grease. How much I should put on parts and exactly which parts I wasn't sure. I had heard the old adage "Grease on Gears. Oil on Bearings", but how much. A drop? Two drops? Grease doesn't have drops. It's more like, well, I don't know what it's like. 

Now, 45 minutes into dissecting and chasing tiny parts around on the floor, I'm mad and ready to give up. I put some oil here and grease there and try to reassemble. All the parts are back in but the handle doesn't turn the spool. I decided to tear it down and try again. No luck. Well sassafras! Guess I just ruined a reel. 

I let that Inshore sit on that bench for three days. I would go in and look at the mangled mess and be frustrated. I could rig any kayak, do electrical work, carpentry and even a little welding but this stupid little reel was pissing me off. How is it I could replace a master cylinder and brake kit on a 1978 Ford but couldn't deal with this reel?  

I started looking for help online. Luckily I found someone fairly local. Not only was he close by but he was cheap. Too cheap I think now. I took it to Beau Reed at Papa Chops Rod and Reel Repair in Austin and a few days later I had a cleaned, upgraded reel (I decided to go for the Boca Bearings) that would shoot a four inch worm to the moon. Beau should change his prices. After I get all mine through. The entire cleaning and bearing upgrade including the cost of bearings was less than $70 for my model and the particular bearings I did. He made this nemesis of mine become my new favorite reel. I throw it all the time. His current turn time is about 2 1/2 weeks. 

So what lessons are there here?

#1. Have a plan- You should do extensive research on what lubricants go where, the types to use, get diagrams or pictures of your reel and make sure you have a clean,organized work space. 

#2. Have a backup plan- Reputable reel repair guys are often in your area. Ask around and you'll find out who the best on your block is. Some guys do it themselves, may offer to help and that's cool but when it comes to reel repair and maintenance, I like a professional with access to lots of parts who has tons of experience. 

#3.  Look at upgrades- Taking a $150 reel and making it fly like a $300 reel is satisfying but taking a $100 reel and making it fly like a $300 reel is even better. I did this with a Revo S. Holy. Freaking. Moses.

I've included a link to the video that Beau shot of my reel once he cleaned and upgraded it. It think it speaks for itself. 


(512) 294- 3155

First Annual Santa Claus Classic Benefitting Toys for Tots

It's that time of year when thoughts turn to Christmas. People make lists of all the goodies they want and some go into debt to get them. Also during this time of year we think more about those in need than we do in July. This is probably because it's colder and lots of money is being spent on things. 

To try to help spread a little cheer to some kids in need, the First Annual Santa Claus Classic is being held, benefitting Toys for Tots, this December. For all the particulars check the flyer below. This is a two man tournament, everyone will be dressed as Santa, and the entry fees have been cut in half. You just need to bring a present for a kiddo. 

Thanks to Beau Reed for organizing this and for showing that the kayak fishing community cares about giving back. Check out the flyer below:


Pedro Cerrano's Ritual
Are you superstitious? More and more I think I am. I wouldn't say I am superstitious to a debilitating standpoint but perhaps ritualized. And when I say ritualized, I'm not talking JoBu from Major League.

When I am on the way to fish, I listen to the same music until that music fails me (meaning I come home skunked). In college it was always Willie Nelson. Later it became Brad Paisley but for the last three months I have been blaring Mumford & Sons "Live at Red Rocks". The whole album. It builds my confidence and puts my mind at ease that I'm settling into a familiar pattern.

I recently sold all my GoPros. When I was fishing with the cameras on, I struggled. As soon as they ran out of batteries, I started catching fish. Beau Reed of Papa Chops Rod and Reel Repair saw this first hand in September on Lake Austin. We fished all morning and I couldn't boat a fish. Thirty minutes before we left, my batteries ran out and the cameras shut off. In the next five minutes I boated two fish. And this wasn't the first time it had happened.

In the past I have caught fish on camera without problems. So what changed? I started thinking about the camera. I kept trying to work angles, make sure certain things were just so. It became a giant distraction on the water. In order to increase my catches and reduce distractions, I sold them. Maybe it's superstitious, maybe it's realizing what is throwing you off but either way, I fixed it. At least for now.

Other things I like to do are line up and load up the night before. I walk through my list and lay everything out that I need and then, once it is all accounted for, I pack it in the car.

I do have a lucky hat. I have had a few over the years but this one has some cool smallmouth mojo. I've caught more smallies in the last couple of weeks wearing it than the previous eight months on the same body of water.

I also have lucky shoes. My black and white Astral Brewer water shoes. When I don't wear them I feel off all day.

Maybe it's just me but I doubt it. Much like a confidence bait, we all have our go to's and most of us feel out of sorts if we leave them at home.

What are some of your superstitions and rituals?

No Sleep Till Fayette

It was grueling. It was hot. It was maybe a little stupid, but I did it. And more importantly, I don't regret it.

Last Saturday was the two man team event for Capital City Kayak Fishing Tournament Series at Fayette County Lake outside La Grange, TX. Fate played a cruel trick on me and I had a double date in Austin Friday night. Ouch. I live in Temple, about an hour north of Austin. For fear of getting my kayak stolen while we were playing downtown, I opted to drive to Austin, have some fun and then drive back to Temple, load up my kayak and gear and drive to Fayette, two and a half hours away. I would get there during the registration period and be on the water shortly after arrival at about 3:30 AM. The tourney started at 4 and went until noon. How could I pull this off? And why?

My dad taught me a trick a long time ago that works for staying awake late at night while driving. Sunflower seeds. I stopped into a local gas station on my way out of town, got my liquids and snacks for the day and picked up a large coffee cup and bag of sunflower seeds. I hit the road and started working the seeds. As long as I kept hulling and spitting, my mind stayed sharp. It was keeping it busy I suppose and it worked.I arrived without incident and pretty darn alert. But why would I do this?

First off, I told my partner I would be there. Fishing a lake I had never been on, I didn't have great expectations but a promise is a promise. Secondly, the CapCity tournaments have huge payouts. 17 teams fished and first place took home over $1100. Big bass was $340. That's pretty decent for a $50 buy in. Additionally, the sponsors that Beau Reed has lined up with these events are amazingly gracious with their prizes. Smith Optics, HOOK1,Powell Rods, Lone Star Beer and many others donate prizes and refreshments. To go one further, these guys are pretty cool to hang with. As a newcomer to the group this year, I have been able to visit with lots of these guys. They share information, like to tease and have a good time. I haven't left any event with the Austin boys where I have felt like I never wanted to be around them. Maybe it's kayaking in general that calms everyone down but when a guy or team comes in with 120 inches of fish, you know how hard it was to do that. Everyone appreciates the accomplishment, enjoys a cold Lone Star and kicks it at the ramp.

My day was short lived. I fished until about 10:30 and I hit the wall. The heat, sleep deprivation and not enough fish to keep me in contention had me beat. I caught plenty of fish but only one measured over 14" so one fish for me. I made the long trek back to my launch point, struggled to load up and drive back to the weigh in. I called my partner on the way in and he was struggling too. We didn't finish last but we didn't finish well either. I visited with Beau and Chewy Linton at the weigh in for a bit and hit the road. Again munching my seeds and trying to stay awake before the impending sleep coma set in. I made it home and hit the hay.

The trip was exhausting but I don't regret it at all. I'll be back, hopefully with better planning. If you are in the Central Texas area, you should come see what this Cap City thing is all about. Just bring your cash and a good attitude!

The Boca Treatment from Papa Chops

This story starts with a reel.

My reel.

I returned home from a few days in the salt and my Abu Garcia Orra Inshore seemed sluggish. Surf fishing and reeling in 30 pound Stingrays tends to do that to a mid-range reel. 

Me, being the penny pincher I am (try to be), decided to buy a cleaning kit, watch a How To You Tube video and clean the Orra myself. Bad mistake. I managed to keep all of the parts (small miracle) and then posted a distress call on Facebook.

Beau Reed of Papa Chops Rod and Reel Repair said he could get it back and going again. We were going to be fishing at Lake Austin with a bunch of folks in a few days so I bagged it up to take it to him.

I got to chatting with Beau around the campfire that weekend and he asked me if I wanted to do a bearing upgrade with Bocas while he was fixing my reel. I had always heard about Boca Bearings but never really understood what they would do for me. Beau talked me through it and I agreed.

A few days later I get a notification on Facebook that I have been tagged in a new video. The video was Beau, showing my reel completed, upgraded and then I saw it. Holy Freaking Moses I saw it! He spun the spool on that Orra and it just kept going. I could have made a sandwich in the time it took it to stop. He made a $150 reel spin better than any $300 reel on the market! (For those keeping score, Beau can do most bearing upgrades with a cleaning for less than $70 total.)

I got the reel back that week and got to fish with it. After the first cast, I had to relearn what adjustments needed to be made. Usually I would adjust the drag to where a bait would slowly fall and cast it without much worry. I learned to do that on my reels because my spool would stop spinning before it would overrun. With Bocas, the spool keeps going so different adjustments needed to happen. I tightened down a little more and minded my thumb a little more and threw that bait, a 4” weightless Hag’s Tornado (plastic worm) twice if not three times farther than normal.

Two to three times farther!

I have always kept a small arsenal of spinning gear because I liked the distance I could get when casting weightless soft plastics. I am seriously reconsidering that now. On Thursday, I have more work being done by Beau at Papa Chops Rod and Reel Repair and you’re absolutely right if you guessed Boca Bearings will be involved. Want to see a video with the reel he Boca'd? Check it out here: Facebook Video Link
(You'll need to either friend me or like the page to see it. )

Do you have a favorite reel that needs a make over? Do you have a newer reel that you want to sing when you cast it? Give Beau a call at 512-294-3155. Ask him for the Boca Treatment. Saltwater reels? No problem. Freshwater reels? Of course!   

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