New Ocean Kayak Prowler 13t Report

Subacca

Member
Getting close to finishing up my Ocean Kayak Prowler 13t fishing setup and thought it would be fun to put together a little report of what I'm doing with it. Much of what I have setup is from researching other who have done the same. REI had their Anniversary sale so I was able to get the kayak and quite of few of the necessities for sale prices and other retails such as Austin Kayak and Amazon have been great.

Kayak:
Ocean Kayak Prowler 13t

Mod Pod:
One of the first upgrades I did was replace the stock rod pod cover with the Mod Pod. Has a fish ruler on it, mounting holes ready for Ram Mounts which have been put to good use for my GPS and for Canon or Scotty Rod holders. Cover is stiffer and a nice air tight sound when closing yet still convenient to open and get stuff out when on the water.

Rod Pod:
One of the great features of this kayak is the storage space they call the rod pod. You can store your poles inside the kayak with all your other gear while going through ocean surf or as I found out they are very handy when kayaking through a flooded forest with trees and branches all around you as well. In my pictures the fishing rods stored away in it are 7ft one-piece and there is an extra foot to spare before you would have to start bending the tip of the rod to get it through that pod hole (the actual storage space does run the entire length of the kayak though).

Paddle:
One of the tips I've read a lot when researching was to not go cheap on a paddle so I didn't (but I didn't break the bank either). Bought a two-piece Aqua Bound Carbon Stingray paddle (230cm). Has carbon/abx-composite blades and carbon twill shaft with what they call a TLC ferrule connection. This paddle is light, strong, adjustable, and 25% off made it more affordable. Great reviews as does most of the things I decided on for my kayak setup.

Rod Holders (Canon vs. Scotty):
This was tough. Scotty has more/better accessories IMO but a few of the reviews I read talked about how they fit loose in the Mod Pod. The Canons are made by the same parent company as the Ocean Kayak(Johnson Outdoors) and fit nice and snug. I could flip the boat over and shake it around and they would not fall out and this could very well help save my rods if that actually ever happened. To top it off, the Canon rod holders are built like a tank!

GPS:
I was deciding on getting a Humminbird 385ci (GPS/Fish finder combo) or getting a Garmin GSPMAP 62s and a cheap fish finder separately. I decided on the second option and this is why. The "Sonar Shield" on my Ocean Kayak is to far forward to be messing with buttons on something mounted there all the time. So I bought a RAM mount and have my GPS right in front of me on the mod pod. Its waterproof, batteries last a long time, very viewable in bright sunlight, and I have it full of topographical maps, routable maps, and trails so I can use it for hiking, geocaching, navigation, and then mount it quickly and easily to my kayak and mark fishing holes, launch points, etc. I usually mark my launch point so I can always tell how far away it is, how long it will take to get back, how long until sunset, how many miles I've paddled that day, speed, and much more. This gps unit is an information powerhouse! Having it right in front me makes it easy to switch back and forth between maps and trip computer screen as well as zooming in and out of lake maps, etc.

Fish Finder:
I just received a Humminbird Piranhamax 170 today as a 75% cheaper option to the 385ci I was considering. I priority mailed the transducer it came with to Humminbird this afternoon who will be exchanging it for a Ocean Kayak scupper hole compatible transducer. Sucks to wait but this way it will be in the water rather than glued to the inside hull so I can get more accurate readings, water tempature, and a cleaner install overall. Bought the Humminbird gell cell 7amp battery which should be arriving in a couple days and it will be going in the included battery bag that was preinstalled in the kayak. In picture it is not mounted yet as I am waiting for the tranducer and battery to come in before drilling any holes.

The Seat:
Kayak came with Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus seat. The back is fine but after 4/5 hours and especially after 8 or 9 hours my tail bone is sore and am shifting around in my seat a lot. I really don't want a seat with a higher back (because I'm afraid the padding on my pfd which is made to sit right above the back of a normal kayak seat will be uncomfortable). My back has yet to get sore which makes the back a lower priority as well. So with this in mind and based on research I've done I'm thinking of trying the Surf to Summit GTS Pro. Any other suggestions let me know. And let me know if i'm wrong about the higher back seats getting in the way of the flotation on the upper back of my pfd.

PFD (Personal Flotation Device):
Decided on the Stolquist Fisherman PFD. Very comfortable with its neoprene shoulder straps and webbed back, no interference with paddling at all, flotation on the back sits right above the back of my kayak seat, and loops/pockets are very handy for keeping fishing gear like hook-out pliers, a few lures/leaders, etc. Very well designed, comfortable, not to hot, and very tough materials.

Kayak Cart:
Wheeleez Tuff-Tires cart. This thing is a life saver for me and comes apart easily and stows away in front hatch of my kayak when out fishing. Worth every penny (though I did buy on sale of course). Tires are foam filled instead of air so you can poke a nail through the tire and it won't go flat nor do I have to check airpressure, etc (old trick they used in RC cars, wonder if that is where they got the idea). I've gone over some pretty bumpy terrain and never had an issue with stability either.

Safety:
Bought a brass whistle, I wear it around my neck while out. Bought a Uniden MHS125 VHS radio. It floats, is submersible/waterproof, has a long lasting battery, 3 year warranty with 50 dollar set fee for any repairs after that, and reviews are good as far as distance, quality, etc. though I have not yet used myself out in the ocean or other far away place. Its there, great for weather/alerts as of right now, and hopefully I will never HAVE to use it. I should carry a small compass in case I have issues with my gps but haven't yet. Air horn and flare gun may be good to have but don't have them yet. Any other ideas I'm always open and spending money on safety is not something I will turn my nose up at within reason.

Misc:
Been using these Stolquist paddling gloves and best I can say is I've never had a blister yet. Not sure if I would be able to say the same without them because I haven't tried. I had a pair of binoculars with me the last few times. The movement on a kayak is making me want a new pair with even lower power and a bigger field of view. Kayak moves around so much its hard to really focus on things. Bought a floating/glow-in-the-dark fish whacker. A waterproof box made by Otterbox (love this brand, they make tuff quality stuff!) to keep my license, car keys, cell phone, cash, whatever in. A neoprene cover for the fish finder for when its in storage or transit. Two Canon extensions for rod holders mainly for when I go to using a larger salmon pole. A kayak sponge, for general cleaning, drying, etc. Have a paddle leash that I use, partly to keep from losing the paddle being a newbie still, but conveniently for being able to just drop the paddle overboard out of the way when I catch a fish or just want to sit back and relax. Leash is strong, doesn't get tangled with anything on the boat or get in the way of fishing, and it has a clip at the paddle so its easy to take on/off. Some people attach it to their boat I've read but I've been attaching it to a bottom loop on my pfd. This way it is centered and I can toss the paddle overboard on either side of the boat (opposite of the side I catch a fish on).

Note: EVERYTHING accept my fishing gear bag and poles fits inside a dufflebag. Including the seat and pfd. I really am working towards more organization for faster parking the truck to fishing times and for the least amount of clutter.

How is Kayak Fishing?
Saw a fishing kayak at Fisherman's Marine which started me thinking and researching. Nucanoe was a brand I looked into, Hobie (but I don't want to peddle, just paddle), and eventually decided on Ocean Kayak based on price (sale at REI), features (rod pod, mod pod cover, sonar shield to name a few), weight, and based on other people review of them. I also love to explore so a go-anywhere boat works well, I wanted a boat that didn't take up to much space and I could move around by myself as I don't know people in Oregon to fish with so a Kayak seemed like a great idea for going solo.

Bottom line is I'm loving it so far. I'm catching more fish and i feel like i'm getting a little work out as well. its also great to no longer be limited by bank access. I believe my research has paid off and I'm very happy with the kayak, the equipment, and electronics I've chosen and one of my biggest fears of feeling like i'm locked down on this little boat with no space and to much clutter has had no merit. (short story here..years ago I bought an inflatable boat, a mount for it so I could hook up one of those Minn Kota electric motors and such. By the time I "sagged" into this inflatable with the trolling motor, battery, food, fishing gear, etc.. I had no room to move around and was miserable. Got rid of it all the next day) I do not feel this way on the kayak at all, everything is organized and clean.
 

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sherman

Member
Looks like you have everything you need for a fun safe day on the water. Sounds like you really did your homework for outfitting her. I would have gone that route if I wasn't so feeble & could have tied one down ontop of my truck camper. But for now I'll stick with my toon.

happy fishing
 

Subacca

Member
I wrap a towel over an open rear door on my Chevy Tahoe and with the aid of step stool I manage. LOL For about 300 bucks I could really outfit my roof rack system or I could have just wrapped some padding around my generic cross beams and tossed the boat up there upside down in restrospect. Boat is only 56-60 pounds which I can lift no problem but it to awkward for me to get that thing on top of my SUV by just lifting and tossing it.
 

ghostcow

Member
Very nice write up and makes me very interested in going that direction as I can think of a ton of places where that set up would work great.
 

Subacca

Member
Thanks Ghostcow and GraphiteZen. Researching stuff for it and figuring out ways to get the best deal was half the fun. I'm really excited to get it out on the ocean for some halibut or cod. This is the first place i posted this writeup but I may post it on a forum specializing in Kayak Fishing as well, try to find somebody to go fishing with. Would rather ask somebody for a little "hand holding" out on the ocean a few times than risk going out by myself.. I grew up in Alaska fishing in the sea, but never on the ocean (sea gets really rough waves, has strong currents, etc..but the ocean is more unpredicatable, has swells as well as waves). So I feel like I've got some good base experience but man...when I was standing on the jetty in Lincoln City watching those waves roll in I think I had a little addreneline rush. I love rough seas, but I have as much respect for it as I do for a bear...meaning I know my place with both of them.
 
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