Friday, May 24, 2013

Teva "Fuse-Ion" Water Shoes

I've been in the market for some time for some nice water shoes, as the ones I used until now have been cheap water shoes that you would pick up for the family trip to the water park, or my flip-flops. I had not found anything that I liked, and wanted to spend the extra money on. Then I found a deal on some Teva® “Fuse-Ion” shoes.
The first thing that I noticed about them was the “cool” factor. One of the things that Teva says about this shoe is, “We spend an awful lot of time around people that live for adventure. When we asked them for the biggest problem with high-performance shoes, we kept hearing the same one: "I can't wear them to the bar." So, what'd we do? We designed a shoe that they would gladly wear to the bar, then we figured out a way to make it the highest performing water shoe we have ever built.” With the cool factor, the price, and my need for a shoe that would protect my feet around rocks and oysters, I made the purchase.
The Teva® Fuse-Ions introduce T.I.D.E. Hydro, an Ion-Mask technology to keep your shoes dry, and a T.I.D.E. Grip Jstep and Spider Rubber outsole that will stick to just about anything. They also incorporate T.I.D.E. Comfort, a collapsible heel that allows you to slip in and out easily. The shoes, including the laces, seem to repel water. When they do get wet, they dry very quickly. However, the drainage of the shoe could be better. They do drain fairly well, but a little slowly. I noticed that I needed to sit in the kayak and lift my feet to get all the water to drain out before putting my feet back in the boat, or I would have a good bit of water inside while my scupper holes were plugged. Also, very fine rocks and sand can get into the shoe, but have a hard time getting back out. However, that is not too big of an issue since you can easily get in and out of the shoe fast.
Teva Fuse Unboxed
The shoes are pretty comfortable, with one flaw that I could see and feel. They are very low cut, and the heel of the shoe can become a pain after wearing them a while. If you wear socks with the shoe, this is not a problem at all. I don’t usually wear socks, so I definitely noticed that the back of the shoe really started to irritate me, as it felt like it was rubbing pretty hard against my skin. It may be something that takes time to break in, but so far, I haven’t noticed a difference in that. Socks would fix this problem.
The soles of the Fuse-Ions are great; the bottom of the shoes are like glue. I have walked on sand, rocks, oysters, boat ramps, etc., and I have not had any issues with slipping at all. The last thing you want to do is slip while unloading a kayak off your roof top. I feel very safe standing on just about any surface with these, including in a kayak.
The “cool” factor was really one of reasons I purchased this shoe. Could I wear them out just like any other normal shoe? I got ready for work, slipped on some khaki pants, and put on my Teva® shoes. No one really noticed them, so I asked a few people I work with what they thought. The answers were all positive. No one knew they were a water shoe. Most people thought they looked more like a skate shoe, which is what I wear to work anyways. Could you wear these out after your fishing trip? I’d say definitely.
Teva Fuse Casual Dress
For more information, check out the Teva® website.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

2012 Jackson Cuda 14 Review

Length: 14’-3”
Width: 30.5”
Height: 11” (seat area)
Weight: 74 lbs.
Capacity: 400 lbs.

The Jackson Cuda 14 is a great kayak for the type of fishing I do.I fish the coastal creeks of Jacksonville, FL, and occasionally will take the kayak offshore. The speed, stability, and of course the seat were what drew me to this kayak.
The Cuda 14 is the longest kayak I have paddled. It tracks very straight without a rudder, and it flies through the water with easy paddle strokes. One thing I have noticed about the length though, is that it turns a lot slower than my old 12.5' kayak. This is something that I don't mind though. There are so many other features that outweigh the problem.
The stability of the Cuda is awesome. I have no problem standing, and fishing, for very long periods of time. I have tested its limits while standing, just to see how much I could do without taking a dive into the water, and I was quite impressed. A lot of it depends on where your head is positioned. Where your head is, your body will follow.
The seat is probably one of the biggest selling points to many who fish from the Cuda. Yes, the seat is amazing! The high-low seat is great. I find it best in the low position when you are paddling longer distances. Then, when you want to sit and fish, the high position gives you a nice view point. It does feel a little tippy at first when paddling from the high position, but it is something you get use to after awhile. It is also a lot easier to go from the high seat position to a standing position, then it is when the seat is low.
There are many other great features of the Jackson Cuda 14 that led me to make the purchase. It has tons of storage with the front and rear hatch, and the center hatch (which I love). The center hatch allows me to store my rods, paddle, tackle, etc...which is great when your going out past the breakers, or just to have everything in one spot when you're about to launch. The rod stagers are great, and I use the rod tip cover a lot when I am paddling through grassy areas. It comes with a nice spot in the back for your fishing crate, a cooler, or whatever else you want to fit back there. The rod holders are very easy to access as well from either low or high seated position.
Jackson did a fantastic job with the Cuda 14. It was very well thought out, and very well made. I look forward to seeing what they come out with in the future.

Monday, April 29, 2013

I finally got to fish this weekend!

     I finally got out fishing Saturday for the first time in a few weeks.  I had the fishing bug bad.  I got out to the launch at 7am and waited for a friend. He was suppose to meet me at 7.  I put in around 8am, and he still wasn't there. The day started off slow, and kinda stayed that way.  I only had a few hours to fish since I had to be at a wedding later that day, so I was off the water by 12.
Dead shrimp and cut mullet did nothing on Saturday, except for feed the few trash fish there were.  What did work for the small amount of fish caught were Slayer Jigheads with Slayer SST lures...but they always work.  My first decent hookup was a 2 foot ladyfish, that was extremely acrobatic.  Not the fish I was looking for, but still fun to catch...especially when they fight hard and make multiple jumps. I caught him on a Unfair Lures Rip-N-Slash. If you haven't used one of these, you gotta check them out.  This has become one of my go to baits.  My next fish was caught on a dock demon (I'll post about that later).  It was a fat 18" trout on a Slayer SST. I made a few more casts for the day, and headed back in.  Not a great day of catching, but still a great day.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Staring at the kayak...What to do? ever get a new kayak, and then just stare at it? Well, that was me this week.  I haven't done any rigging on it yet except for adding an anchor trolley to replace the previous one, installed the mesh cargo bags, and got the hatch insert for the Cuda.  I've been out in it already a few times, and I think I finally know what I want to do, and where I want some rod holders.  For awhile I was having a hard time deciding on whether to keep the flush mount holders behind the seat like they are or changing them up. Well, looking around, I came across the RAM Scotty/Hobie Wedge Base with 1.5" Ball and the RAM-TUBE™ 2008 Fishing Rod Holder (No Base). With these, I can easily convert the flush mount holders into Ram Tubes, and keep the rods higher, and give them the ability to turn out a little more for trolling.  I'm going to add some of the GearTrac's from Yak Attack to the rear of the kayak for a camera mount, and maybe some other stuff.  Up front, I haven't fully decided on the rod holder.  I do know I'll have a flush scotty mount, but I'm not sure if I'll be putting it on the center hatch, or if I will put it at the front right on the spot in front of the foot well.  If I put it there, I will use an extender to get the rod holder closer to me. I'll also be installing a camera mount up that way as well.  The only problem now is money.  I'll have to put these items off for a few weeks, or get one piece at a time.  So, for now, here is the kayak.

Fishing Kayak Reviews

Monday, March 18, 2013

First Time Out In The Cuda

Well, I took the cuda out on it's first voyage  on March 2.  What a terrible day to be on the water.  It was pretty cold for me here in Northeast Florida, and the wind was pretty bad too.  It was about the same weather we experienced during the Boondoggle, but the wind was constant, and there was no place for me to hide.  I wasn't going to go out at first, but just thinking about getting the kayak wet for the first time was killing me.  I had to go out.  It would have been an easier decision if someone would have gone with me, but everyone I asked was either sick or busy.  So, I decided to head out at about 1pm.  I knew I would be paddling against the tide on the way out, but I figured that I could just ride it back in.  Seemed like a good idea.  When I finally got to where I was going to launch, I decided to check the wind.  Well, things weren't looking too good.  I realized that I would be battling the tide and the wind.  I tried my hardest to paddle into some creeks and weave my way around until I got back into the main creek.  I thought I could stay out of the wind this way.  Well, I was wrong.  At times, the gusts were 30 mph, and I wasn't moving at all.  I had to keep paddling to stay where I was, so I could gain a little ground once the wind lightened.  If I stopped paddling, it just pushed me back and I had to make up ground that I had already covered.  I tried to fish a little at some points that I came to that were a little out of the wind, but I didn't take my SOP, so I couldn't stay put most of the time.  Then I decided to just go for it.  I headed back into the main creek, and tried to make my way to some oyster beds.  It took me some time, but I finally made it back there.  The wind was not letting up at all.  I was able to test the kayak out a little.  I was able to stand int he strong wind with no issues.  I also was able to put my patch job to the test.  I took off the previously installed anchor trolley, as I didn't like the way it looked.  I'm going to install my own.  But, I needed to patch the screw holes that it left.  I picked up some plastic rods from Harbor Freight, and used a soldering iron, and I was able to melt the plastic and fill the holes.  I did that, and then put some marine putty on the back side.  They held up leaks.  I'm going to install the new trolley system this week, so the small patches will go unnoticed.  So, back to the fishing.  I didn't get to fish much because of the weather, but I did get to those oyster beds, stand up, and throw out a dead shrimp on a jighead.  I put that rod into the flush mount rod holder behind the seat, and reached to get my other rod to fish my slayer lure around some other oysters.  Before I could reach that rod, the one I just threw out had a nice bend. I picked it up, and reeled in a small 15" red.  Not big, but a fish, and the first one for the cuda. After about 5 minutes, I couldn't take the wind and cold anymore, so I decided to start paddling back.  The tide and wind took me in fast.  I didn't have to paddle much at all.  On the way in, I used Paul's Rip-N-Slash from Unfair Lures.  I got one good hit on it, but pretty sure I ripped it right of the mouth of a trout from excitement.  A little farther down, I hooked and landed a 13" trout.  So, the day wasn't a complete waste...I got 2 fish, almost 3.  I got to ride the cuda, slime it, and catch a fish the first time I used the new lure from Unfair Lures.  I can't wait til the weather gets better, and I can get out all day.

Fishing Kayak Reviews

Welcome To My New Blog

     After seeing some of my fellow anglers writing blogs, I decided it was time to setup my own.  Mine will be primarily about fishing...more specifically, from those little plastic things we call kayaks.  I am an avid kayak angler, and a frequent contributor to YakAngler.  I fish mostly NorthEast Florida around Jacksonville, nut from time to time, I am able to travel a little farther and fish for different species, and in different environments.  I plan on talking about everything kayak fishing, and my adventures.  I hope that I am able to post stories, pictures, and videos that may spark your interest in the sport, and have you follow my blog.  I hope to update it weekly, but sometimes it may only be once every other week due to my schedule.  Tight Lines!

Fishing Kayak Reviews