Monday, October 27, 2014

Gear Review: Air Pro Max

I had the privilege of fishing from my new Air Pro Max seat from Wilderness Systems this past weekend.  My fishing trip consisted of two different bodies of water, several differing wind conditions, twelve hours of sitting, and I feel that I have enough biofeedback to give an accurate review of this seat.

My first impression of the seat was much more comfortable it is than my previous one. The aluminum tube frame provides great support and structure for this seat without causing it to be bulky or heavy. It has a very streamlined fit in the kayak that really opens up more usable space than previous seats.  The breathable mesh back really cradled and supported my back with enough give in it to really provide a high level of comfort. I really like that fact that I can still trim the kayak as I see fit. The adjustability still works the same as the previous seat with sliding it forward and back, but also has the same seat back adjustments for a custom fit to your own comfort level.  I was a little concerned at first that the lower leg adjustment on the previous seat was not incorporated into this one, as I used it quite frequently. After sitting in this one for about ten minutes I realized that the continuous lower leg and hip support from the frame did not require an adjustment handle.
Another great feature is the ability to store tackle boxes for quick access under the new seat. I enjoyed not having to reach into my Blackpack every time I need a new hook or weight or worm. I can now keep the tackle that I use the most right under my seat, and that’s so much more convenient.
            I want to give a huge shout out to the design team at Confluence Outdoors for making a seat with four different positions that adapt to any angler, water condition, or environment. I started out in the low position and immediately felt as stable as it did before. I was really interested in transitioning to the high position to see if it was easy to change positions on the water or if I needed to pull over to the bank to make the switch. I was very pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to stand from the low position compared to my previous seat, and then how quickly and easily I could transition to the high position with one hand. One hand! That’s crazy to me that I didn’t have to even set my rod down to change positions, and that it was so easy and fast. After switching to the high position I didn’t notice any increased feelings of instability, which is rare when I compared it to other high seats that I’ve been in. As the day progressed, the wind died down and the water suddenly became eerily flat so I decided it was the perfect opportunity to test out the captains’ perch position that isn’t advertised but I had heard about from other anglers. I folded the seat back down and rested on the seat back and was able to sit much higher and get a great view of the water below me. It wasn’t as comfortable as sitting in the seat as you normally would, obviously, but it was great for an hour or so. We eventually took a break for a snack and a drink and this afforded me the perfect opportunity to test out the recline position. This was a real treat! Recline is a great way to take a break on the water and do so in a very relaxing fashion.
         I cannot say enough great things about the versatility of the Air Pro Max seat. I’m impressed at how one seat upgrade can give you the feel of having a whole new kayak and allow the angler so many differing functions wrapped up in one package. If you paddle a Wilderness Systems Ride 135,115,or 115X you will not be disappointed in the upgrade of the Air Pro Max seat, and it will most certainly add to your experience on the water.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Do I need a Kayak First Aid Kit?

     I was fortunate enough to write an article for The Fisherman's Journal about stocking and packing a first aid kit for your kayak. My philosophy on a kayak first aid kit is that it needs to be compact, versatile, and multi functional. Just about every item I carry has more than one use and can easily fit into a small dry bag in my front hatch. 

     I'm not going to re-write the article, but here is the link to the magazine where you can find it along with other great kayak fishing articles.