I was finally able to get out on the water and get a little fishing done, and I really wanted to test out my new Wilderness Systems AirPro Elite Advanced Elevated Seat and Stohlquist Fisherman PFD that I got from Mariner Sails.
Before I even got on the water I had a few expectations about how this seat would perform. I expected it to me more comfortable than my previous one, and it definitely is. The subtle changes to adjustment straps, especially the hamstring support, are really well thought out. I also expected standing and sitting to be easier and again I wasn't disappointed. It was amazing how much of a difference 5" makes. I was able to stand straight up with using my hands as support, and I could sit back down without "plopping" back down in the seat. It was incredible to stand up and down so easily and quickly while sight fishing yesterday. One question that I had about this seat was if I was going to be able to sit side saddle in it. Side sitting was just as easy as my shorter seat which was a big bonus for me in the hot summer days. A small detail that is probably overlooked often, but I thought the was convenient, is the carrying handle. One aspect that I didn't expect was how much easier it was to turn around and get stuff out of my crate and rear tankwell. I was even able to reach over my crate and get the Powerade that I accidentally left back there. Another pleasant surprise was how much more effortlessly paddling seemed. I don't know for sure from a biomechanics standpoint if paddling from a higher angle is easier, but it sure felt that I had better leverage with my paddle.
I was really excited to use my new PFD because this is my first upgrade since I started kayak fishing. This PFD wa specifically designed for kayak fishing, and it shows. The first thing I noticed was how much range of motion I had in my shoulders for paddling and casting. It feels very non restrictive. The organization on this thing is well thought out and still open enough for customization. It has more features than my smartphone. I had almost as much fun "rigging" out my new PFD as do my kayak because of all the little ways that you can arrange gear to suit your fishing style. There are eight different adjustable straps for an almost custom fitting that allows for maximum comfort. It does feel a little bulky in the belly area but thats also where all your storage is at. The bulkiness is really a decent trade off considering how lightweight and free it feels everywhere else.
If you paddle a Wilderness Systems Ride 115 or 135 I encourage you to find a way to demo this seat because I believe it will improve your time on the water. The Stohlquist Fisheman PFD is another great product to enhance your kayak fishing experience with organization and comfort. Both of these products exceeded my expectations and I look forward to getting them both back on the water.