Anchoring while kayak fishing can be a bit problematic at times and having the anchor on deck with its line wrapping around everything is less than ideal. Well, for those who want the best Powerpole has introduced the ultimate in innovative anchoring. The Micro Anchor is simple but effective. Comprised of two components, the Micro Drive unit and the Micro Spike, the electric device raises and lowers the spike to fix the kayak or small boat in place in a similar manner to the larger Powerpoles. The spike moves up and down within the driver unit at a speedy 1.2 feet per second and is powered by a small onboard battery or an optional rechargeable battery pack. It has a maximum anchor depth of 8.5 feet and the complete unit only weighs 11.5 pounds. Designed with small skiffs and today’s purpose-built fishing kayaks in mind, it can be controlled with an included wireless remote or even by your smart phone. www.powerpole.com.
West Marine VHF460
Every kayaker should have a VHF radio on board along with a GPS. Space is limited, however, so why not have both in one? West Marine has introduced a VHF radio that is compact, floats and has a built-in GPS. It doesn’t end there, however. The VHF 460 also has built-in DSC (Digital Selective Calling) that allows an automatic distress signal to be transmitted with GPS coordinates should a life-threatening event occur. The radio also can transmit up to 6 watts (the maximum allowed by the FCC for a handheld) and has a built-in strobe and flashlight. It will display GPS position and speed and features a man overboard feature that is handy when something falls over the side. It is packaged with everything you would need, such as a Li-ion battery pack, an auxiliary battery tray and 12v DC and 110v AC chargers. www.westmarine.com.
Princeton Tec Vizz Headlamp
When setting out in the early hours of the morning or while on that night paddle excursion a good headlamp is an invaluable tool. Princeton Tec has a headlamp that outperforms most others. The Vizz headlamp boasts a whopping 150 lumens from this small lightweight headband (many other comparable lights of the same size put out anywhere from 30 to 60 lumens). It sports a high power beam that reaches out into the darkness and also has a dimmable wider beamed light for closer usage. There are also two red LED’s that allow for use without obstructing night vision. All of this lighting is possible through high tech bright and focused LED lights that can operate continually for 160 on the three AAA batteries that are provided with each light. There is a built-in battery power meter and the unit is waterproof to 1 meter. You can easily outshine everyone with this headlamp. www.princetontec.com.
ACR Electronics Resqlink+ Buoyant Personal Locator Beacon
Safety on the water is everybody’s concern and kayak fishermen can get in as much trouble as anyone else out on the water. Relying on being in cellular range can be dangerous and kayakers may find themselves in a life-threatening situation with no way of getting help. You can give the gift of safety and peace of mind with a PLB, or personal Locator Beacon. ACR’s ResQlink+ is the world’s smallest buoyant (very important that it floats because it doesn’t do much good at the bottom of the sea) GPS personal locator beacon. When a life-threatening event occurs it only takes a second to release the antenna and press the activation button. The PLB then transmits a distress signal via satellite with a GPS position provided by the built-in GPS sensor. A small LED on the PLB flashes and indicates that the unit is transmitting. Mountable to a kayaker’s life jacket this small and light PLB is ready when needed without being cumbersome. It’s a gift you hope they never have to use, but if they do it could be the gift of life. www.acrartex.com.
Navionics Marine&Lakes: USA HD
Kayak fishermen usually find themselves in backwaters where other boats and fishermen can’t go and by doing so it is easy to get lost. Carrying paper charts can be cumbersome and difficult. Everyone has their smart phone with them so why not take advantage of a great app that will give you the charts you need to see where you are and where you want to go? Navionics has a whole range of apps that cover different geographic regions which include updated charts and a whole lot more. Its charting apps can be as simple or as sophisticated as desired and include such niceties as charts that reside on the device even if there is no cellular or Internet connection. Other features include community edits with local data added, tides and currents, sun and moon cycles and even a large database of points of interest. Go to www.navionics.com to learn more.
Glenn Hayes is a writer and photographer based out of west central Florida and has marine industry background spanning almost a quarter century. He can be reached through his web site www.HayesStudios.