Mounting Rod Holders on a Perception Kayak

In an earlier post I demonstrated how I had modified one of my kayaks for fishing and now I am going to show how I modified my Perception Prodigy to use it for fishing.

This particular type of kayak is not easy to mount rod holders on due to the design of the gunwales.

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The portable type that fastens to the gunwale does not work well due to the configuration (see figure 1) and most permanent rod mounts require a 2″ by 4″ mounting surface.

sketch

There is a setup made by Scotty that would work but the cost was more then I wanted to pay and also it was made for light to medium use.  Due to the fact that in my area we have some large catfish, northern pike and salmon I wanted to go with a heavier application.

The cockpit of the Prodigy is quite long so I opted to go with the application as shown below.

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The base plate for these mounts are 2″ by 4″.  I mounted them on a piece of treated lumber that was 5/4 by 22 by 2 3/4 which provided strength for the mount and also allowed for distance between the rod holders.

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In order to drill the holes required to mount the board to the kayak you first need to determine where you want it mounted from your position in the cockpit.  Once that is determined drill a hole in each gunwale.  Next place the mounting board in position and anchor it in place with clamps and then using a drill mark the position of the hole in the underside of the board.  Next remove the board and with a larger bit drill the hole in the desired spot.

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With the holes now drilled in the board drill a countersink and then dummy mount the board and place the base plates on the board and mark the hole positions.  Next remove the board and the base plates and drill out the holes.

I then sanded the board, stained and sprayed it using a high gloss plastic.  Next mount the board as illustrated.  I used washers to add strength to the first curve and then used a nut in the outside curves.  The one tightens the washers to the board and the other tightens to the nut on the underside.  On the underside use a washer and a nut for added strength.  You will want to makes sure this is securely in place.

Inside view

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Outside view

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Next mount the base plates on the board and secure in place.  Make sure that all connections are tight.  As a final step place cap nuts on all screws to prevent scrapped knees.

 

One other item I picked up is this nifty device that can fit to the back of your seat or attach to the kayak.  This will hold two rods in an upright position.  There is also a pocket in the center where one can place food, bug spray and sunscreen.  These are available at most marine facilities that sell kayaks.

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The whole setup was done more as a prototype and will probably be replaced with a more attractive finished product.  This worked exceedingly well during the test phase.  One other improvement I may attempt to employ in the platform for the rod holder is a place to hold my depth finder.

Anyway if you have a kayak with this type of gunwale give it a try.

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Mounting Rod Holders on a Kayak, part 2

In the prior post I discussed how to mount rod holders in the back of your kayak.  That was a fairly easy project.  Mounting rod holders in the front part of the kayak is more difficult.  There are a number of items to consider when you undertake this job.

TYPE OF ROD HOLDER:

Flush mount: the rod holder sits flush on the gunwale, this is permanent.

Deck mount: the rod holder is elevated above the deck, this is permanent.

Clamp on: the rod holder attach to the kayak via a clamp.

Once you have decided on the type, the next question is how do I mount it.

The answer is dependent upon the gunwale of your yak.  For either the flush mount or deck mount you will require a flat surface of 2 inches wide by 4 inches long.  Once you identify the area on your kayak that meets the requirement, you need to determine how it works for you.

The determination of placement is critical and no specific measurement can be given due to each persons height, arm length and paddling style.  Another factor is the length and width of your cockpit.  To decide upon this, you need to sit in your yak with your paddle and based upon your reach, mark where you think this meets your needs

This article will deal with placing deck mounts on your kayak.  As you can see I made the marks where I felt they should be placed and then placed the mounts there to insure they would fit.

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Once you are comfortable that this is where you want them, drill the four holes for mounting the brackets as shown below.

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Something important to remember is that your kayak material is not very thick so I cut a piece of wood that was longer then the mounting plate in order to add extra strength.  I place rods in the holders and troll with them.  A large fish can really place a lot of stress on the holder and the yak.

Place some sealant on the underside of your mounting bracket and screw it into place on the side of your yak.  Do not forget to place the wood stabilizer on the underside of the kayak and tighten that down.  I also used cap nuts to protect my knees from getting scrapped by the end of the screws.

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Well, we’re done so what are you doing sitting here reading this?.  Mount up and let’s go fishing.

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Mounting Rod Holders on a kayak, part 1

When I purchased my kayak it was not specifically a fishing kayak but, as time passed I used it more for fishing.  That’s when I found that some modifications were required to make this use convenient and comfortable.

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The first challenge was to install flush mount rod holders in back of the seat.  This would keep my rods off the floor when I was launching or docking.

To begin with I needed to see if I could access the interior of the back portion of the yak.  By removing the hatch cover and then the hatch itself I could get access. This allowed the use of screws and nuts to secure the flush mounts.  If your yak does not provide access then you will have to rivet them in place.

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Once I determined where the holders would be placed, I used templates to determine where to cut out the holes.

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With a felt tip pen carefully draw an outline of the templates.  Then after drilling a pilot hole, grab your jig saw and go to work cutting the holes. Stay on the line as you will want a nice snug fit.

Once the holes are cut, file or sand the edges to remove any burrs.  With your shop vacuum suck out any debris that has fallen in.

Now carefully see if the holders fit snugly in place.  If you have to remove more material, do it a little at a time to prevent cutting to large a hole.  Once you have found that the holders fit snugly in place, remove them and apply a water proof sealant around the outside of the hole and replace the holders.

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The holders are now in place and the final step is to either rivet or screw them in place.  Drill your pilot holes. Again, the holes should be just big enough to provide a tight fit for the fastener.

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This all seems like it is a very quick and easy job and it is once you have done the proper layout work and confirmed it will work before you ever cut your first hole.  If you are averse to cutting holes in your yak there is an alternative.  There are some aftermarket rod holders that attach to your seat that you can buy.

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The next post will deal with mounting rod holders on the side of the kayak.  Stay tuned for that project.

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Honey, I’m home. (the wife’s prespective)

(I blog at faithsighanddiy.com)

When I realized Doug was really going to retire , I was

scared.

yikes!

yikes!

Scared my life would change dramatically. Scared I’d never be able to shop again. Scared we’d never be able to afford to do the things we wanted to do.

Until I realized that:

  • I wanted to change my life dramatically anyway.
  • I shop at Goodwill anyway.
  • The things Doug and I enjoy the most don’t cost anything anyway.

But on a more serious note, I really was scared. It was the unknown, and I like things wrapped up in nice, neat little packages.

small gifts

small gifts

What I knew for sure, though, was that I wanted my husband around more. While all the traveling was exciting and the fact that I got to accompany him a couple times of year gave us both opportunities we never would have had, it was really hard being apart from each other two weeks every month. Not to mention worrying about him when he was “across the pond”.

I never could understand why wives dread their husband’s retiring because they don’t want their husbands underfoot. I couldn’t wait for him to be underfoot. I mean, isn’t that why you marry someone? Besides I was tired of having a long-distance relationship, especially at a stage in our life when we should’ve had more time with each other not less.

Couple spending time together.

Couple spending time together.

As far as the finances go, we had never lived beyond our means. It was just last year I traded in my eighteen year old Taurus. Besides, I like “old” rather than new. Even my husband. (Just kidding, honey.)

We had taken advantage of every financial opportunity that came our way, maxing out 401 K’s etc. Plus, Doug is one smart man. I should’ve trusted that he knew what he was doing.

I couldn’t be happier Doug is home now. I love watching him get to fish and hunt as much as he wants, although I’m always having to remind him he doesn’t need to wait for the week-ends anymore.

Doug fishing

Doug fishing

(I had two pictures but the “boss” nixed it as he thought it made him look fat. And this is one day after a large study proved that men are many, many times more narcissistic than women. Ya’ think?)

I love seeing his excitement over finding a new body of water that needs to be challenged.

I love knowing when I’m downstairs praying, he’s upstairs doing the same thing. I love holding his hand in church, at the movies. I just love that he’s home.

My fears were so totally unfounded.

The best words I’ve ever heard, “Honey, I’m home”.

Honey, I'm home

Honey, I’m home

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HONEY, I’M HOME

I was born tired and I’ve been having a relapse ever since. So a person could rightfully say I’ve been retired since birth.

Retirement is a state of life that many dream about. Some do not plan for it. Some enter it and find out it is not the Promised Land but a place of strife, unhappiness and possibly financial hardship. The two primary categories I’m addressing today are the financial and lifestyles dimensions of retirement.   They overlap and the attention to one will have an impact on the other.

FINANCIAL: It has also been said that free information is as good as the price paid for it. And while this information, along with a five dollar bill, will get you a designer coffee at Starbucks. Hopefully there will be some gems that might be of value.

I have a Bachelors and Master’s degree majoring in accounting and minoring in economics, was a Chief Financial Officer for a number of years and also run my own financial consulting business.  In addition I am an avid reader of “The Wall Street Journal and “The Financial Times”.

The dream

Let’s start with some basic facts agreed to by most economists.

In 1975 88% of workers with plans covered by their workplace had defined benefit plans, today that number is 35%.  More private sector employers switched to 401(k) plans during that time frame with varying degrees of matching which resulted in employees becoming more responsible for their retirement.

A 2010 survey by the Federal Reserve found that the median amount saved through 401(k) s by those households approaching retirement was $100,000. Considering that a person would need to live on that for approximately 20 years one could expect to receive around $417 per month.  Couple that fantastic amount with $1,260 (what the average person receives monthly from social security) and you can see why some folks continue to work well after retirement age.

They cannot afford to retire.

You don't want to be here!

You don’t want to be here!

Another consideration is health insurance. In 1988 66% of retirees were covered by an employer’s plan while in 2013 that number has dropped to 23%. Medicare does not cover all medical expenses and therefore obtaining a supplemental policy is a necessity. Medicare Part B is deducted from a person’s monthly retirement check and in 2015 that amount is $104.90 per month. (Hope you’re following the math.)

The number of Americans working beyond the age of 65 has increased. The reasons are the recession, economic necessity from lack of financial planning, or just due to the fact that folks are living longer and they don’t want to outlive their savings. Also many people, myself included, loved what they did and elected to hang on to that part of their life.

Those are the facts. But what is the plan? Outside of searching for a wealthy spouse who is in bad health and has one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel there are a few more realistic options.

Slipping on in!

Slipping on in!

WHAT TO DO:

 First participate in your employer’s 401(k) if they have one. Otherwise begin investing on your own. If your employer has a 401(k) that matches and you are not participating then you are giving up free money!

As regards to investing, there is a simple rule. No one one beats the market year after year. Invest and leave your money alone. Don’t read the stock market reports every day. And if someone is telling you how their company significantly outperforms the market every year, run! Remember, if it seems too good to be true it probably is.

Listen to your wife. Women are far smarter investors than men as has been proven time and again.

Secondly, take a thorough look at your current financial situation. This could be very scary for some but it is better to be scared into action then to be lulled to inaction.

Draw up a balance sheet listing your assets on one side and your liabilities on the other.  The difference between the two is your net worth as shown in the example below.

A typical household balance sheet

A typical household balance sheet

If your assets are less than your liabilities, you are in a heap of hurt. Also look at your income and compare that to your expenses, or how you spend your money. This may be a real eye opener. Suddenly you may see that cup of coffee or eating lunch out every day adds up to a significant amount.

Wow!  That's what I spend!!

Wow! That’s what I spend!!

Third, invest in help from books that deal with finance. Some authors I recommend are Dave Ramsey or Suze Orman. Don’t read from authors who are only trying to get you to buy their books or invest in their courses. Or worse yet, promise you great wealth if you do what they suggest. Most of us aren’t going to get there.

Some churches even offer courses on debt management using programs like Financial Peace University which was developed by Dave Ramsey. However, this is not free. Better yet, listen Dave Ramsey’s call in radio show and in a week’s time you’ll learn a lot from other people’s experiences.

A journey starts with one step.  Even a procrastinator makes a decision quickly, even if it’s only to procrastinate!

LIFESTYLES:  This is basically the quality of life issue that can make or break a person or relationship.

I have heard spouses say, “Good lord, when he retires I’ll have to put up with him all the time” or “living with her day in and day out is worse than being at work”.  Other comments I have heard are, “I don’t know what to do, I don’t have any hobbies, etc”.

The retirement years can be dangerous for a relationship due to some significant stress factors. First there is the adjustment to not working. After 40 years of employment the end of that can be similar to a death.

Second, there is reduced income which can impact a couple’s lifestyle.

Third, there is the adjustment to the relationship. From being newlyweds to raising children and becoming grandparents, you now are together again without anyone else around. You signed up for better or worse. Let’s hope it’s for the better.

Consider this fact that the number of divorces of those 50 and older doubled from 1990 (4.67%) to 2010 (9.74%). Today there is a term called “gray divorce (though it may not have 50 shades). This refers to people in that age group. Looking for a real joy stealer? Become a statistic where the two of you divide up the assets (after the lawyer’s fee), and then maintain two households.

Building a lasting relationship, one that will survive retirement, starts with a four letter word, “WORK”.  Around our house are two very opinionated, strong willed independent people who have managed to make a go of it in spite of the fact that some folks at our wedding placed bets on how long the marriage would last.  The first thing is to have an unconditional love towards your spouse and keep them, not your children or grandchildren and not your hobbies, a priority.

Next, share things in life. Hopefully you had similar interests when you married including faith. If you didn’t before, you can certainly find some now. Again, it’s called “work”.

Doing things together

Doing things together

Enjoy each other’s company. Whether it is travel, reading books, skiing, kayaking, shopping or just having a weekly date night.

As we age, we begin to have health issues. Parts wear down and need to be replaced.  Look at the bright side. If you don’t set off the scanners at the airports or stick to magnets, then you are doing okay.  Disease can impact anyone at any time, however there are things we can do to reduce some of the factors.

We can maintain healthy lifestyles so those retirement years can be enjoyed. Contributing to our own health is probably the most important area where couples can make the biggest difference. Stop smoking. Drink in moderation (moderation means an occasional beer or an occasional glass of wine). Lose weight. Eat a sensible diet. Find time to exercise.  Start out by walking and as you get more in shape add to the regiment with strength building. Consider a gym membership if you need that extra support. Some are quite inexpensive.

The third component to finding joy in retirement is to have a plan regarding what this newly “found” time means to you. Sitting in the chair and watching television is not consistent with an active healthy lifestyle. Find activities that challenge your mind, body or spirit. Volunteer with a local agency, work with Habitat for Humanity, or find some other outlet that will put good use to the skills you have acquired over a lifetime.

Romantic spots

Romantic spots

This can be the most rewarding time in a person’s life if they plan for it.

On the beach in Australia

On the beach in Australia

(I’ve asked my wife to write a guest post for me to give the female perspective to all this. After all, retirement is about the two of you, not the one of you.)

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TALKING TURKEY

turkey 

Even though it is January and the snow is covering the ground, my thoughts began to drift towards spring and turkey season.  Wild turkeys are an example of a successful program by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

In the spring of 1954 the DNR released 50 birds in a select area and over time additional restoration attempts continued.  However, by 1964 approximately 2,000 birds had become established in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

Fast forward to today and wild turkeys are evident almost anywhere in the Lower Peninsula. They can be found in the suburbs or in the country and as many a suburbanite has found, they can be aggressive and will camp out at the bird feeder.

Often when folks think of turkeys they think of Thanksgiving but for those of us who find ourselves in their habitat, we see a bird that has keen eyesight, excellent hearing and can startle an individual as they either fly up to, or down from their roost.  A bird of that size makes a fair amount of noise as it moves through the air.

Around 1995 two friends and I decided to take up turkey hunting.  While we had hunted other game for many years and were successful, this undertaking would prove to be humiliating.

We hunted hard for three days and the only birds we saw were alongside the highway.  The next year we made a momentous leap as we actually saw a few birds in the woods.  While we considered this a step up, we also realized that we were far from being able to call a bird or even get close enough to get a shot.

Fast forward two more years. Our motley trio had progressed to that ultimate stage where we could be referred to as, “The Three Stooges of Turkey Hunters”.

Early one morning we set up in concealment and I began to call.  Immediately I heard a male (Tom) turkey reply and as he was quite far away I spent the next hour trying to entice him into my shooting range.  Eventually the bird came within range but he was in a small ravine and I had no shot. He headed towards my partner.  The only problem was my partner was hard of hearing and never heard the bird responding to my call and therefore missed his opportunity for a shot.

Since that time I have taken a couple of birds and have been successful in calling birds in.  The most rewarding part of this sport is not just in taking a bird. The most rewarding part is when the bird responds and comes within view because I’ve called him in.

Also, I normally hunt during May which is when the woods come alive and I see does and fawns and even once I watched some black bear cubs playing on a hillside.  It has been said that if a turkey had the same sense of smell as the whitetail deer, a person would never get a shot at one!

Turkey hunting is, without a doubt, the most challenging hunting I do.

Try it. You’ll like it

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THREE MISTRESSES

I have to finally admit it there are three mistresses in my life.  As when I sleep they haunt me with their siren sounds.   I think of them when I am awake and long for them when we are apart.  Their beauty captivates the very essence of my being.   They are alike, yet unique.  Their names are White, Platte and Pere Marquette.

The crystal clear waters of the Platte beckon always in my mind.  She is a about as wide as the White with riffles and holes.  She guards her rainbows and browns and reluctantly relinquishes these treasures to those few who remain faithful to her. This was the first river I fly fished for trout and she became my first love.   In earlier years she graced me with views of spring run steelhead but only yielded to my courtship after many pilgrimages. It was here I learned the importance of stealth and concealment, the necessity of gently landing a fly and how patience was more than just a virtue but a skill to be perfected.

This is where an airborne ballet was performed by a beaded nymph.  Where yards of line carved graceful arcs in the morning mist, where time and space lost all meaning.  She kept calling me back and I continued to give in to her wooing. She enticed me one evening with a vicious strike from a brown that shot out from an undercut bank like a missile to intercept my caddis.  The fish darted across the river and then came upstream, cleared the water and shot the fly back at me.  I could hear the river proclaiming, “Yes, I have some good fish but only for those who spend the time to learn my secrets”.  The memory of that lost catch tempted to me to return time and again to recapture that moment as evidenced below.

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The White ambles, alternating between long expanses of shallow boulder strewn riffles and shorter, narrower runs that tempt the angler to probe her depth.  Her tannin colored waters conceals boulders that make fast movements risky.  Quick to warm in the spring and slow to cool in the fall making her a haven for brown trout.  My first encounters with her left me with a damaged ego and fishless days.  I continued to call and tempted her with dries on a cool and windy day in May and she finally yielded a favor.

This particular afternoon I could do no wrong as the browns attacked the fly.  Although they were on the smallish side it was tantalizing enough to keep me coming back to ply the waters.  To my surprise on a nice September day those browns got bigger and attacked my wooly bugger with a vengeance as they feasted in preparation for the upcoming winter.  Later that evening I drifted the bead head bugger into a small deep run and felt it come to a sudden abrupt stop.  I gave the line tug assuming I had snagged on the bottom when suddenly the snag began move. I was fast into a nice brown.  My tenacity was finally handsomely rewarded.

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The lore of the Pere Marquette River for me is that her fish are legendary.  Her reputation makes one feel unworthy to begin to seek her out.  She is ever changing, moving swiftly with runs longer and deeper than her sisters.  On my first visit she was receptive, yielding two fine salmon to my egg fly but I found that her depth and current intimidated me.  I sought her out again after a time but felt uneasy in her presence and I abandoned her.

But once again she seduced me and I returned in humble anticipation that she would entice me with browns and rainbows.   I placed a black bead head wooly bugger into a deep bankside pool and she granted me a nice rainbow that allowed me to show off in front of a drift boat maneuvered by one of the many river guides.

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Encouraged by her favors,    I sought her out again.  This time I arrived at the river confident in my abilities to charm and conquer her, convinced I was her master and she was mine forever…  I confidently cast a Dave’s hopper against the bank where it floated on the surface only to catch a snag at the end of the run.  I tied on another to have it repeat the same abysmal performance.   Rising fish watched my offering pass; the fly ending up on a fallen limb like ornaments on a Christmas tree.

The sun began to set as I left her side with my head held low.  I could hear her laughing waters sing a taunting melody:

“You thought you were my master, that you owned me.  Not so!  I own you. You will return and if I choose to I may grant you a favor.”

I plodded heavy hearted back to my truck and knew this river would always challenge me.

These are my first three but there are others that have now entered my life and vie for my attention.

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