The upgraded Trident RodPod hatch cover

Overall I have been really pleased with the Ocean Kayak Trident 13 but there has always been one small bug bear and that was the RodPod cover. The original cover, whilst functional, is a bit on the flimsy side and I can’t help but feel only a limited amount of thought went into it’s design at the time. Thankfully, Ocean Kayak has now brought out a new RodPod cover which was definitely needed in my opinion and on the basis it can surely only be an improvement on the original I have recently invested in one.

The cost was circa. £50 which on the face of it seems expensive for a piece moulded plastic but I thought it was worth the punt nonetheless…… only time will tell but my first impressions are that it has a lot more going for it than the one shipped with my yak a couple of years ago.

I should say first off that I believe the new upgraded RodPod cover will fit all older models of the Trident kayaks so there shouldn’t be any compatibility issues. If in any doubt check on the Ocean Kayak website to be sure! The new kit includes the new hatch cover itself, straps and fasteners, the trim lock to keep the hatch waterproof and installation instructions.

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In brief, the cover is infinitely more rigid than the original and has a plethora of pre-drilled holes and mouldings for attaching things such as Scotty rod holders, GPS mounts, and such like. There are also a couple of inserts for small bits of tackle, lures, etc. with a metric and imperial ruler either side of the cover. The underside of the hatch shows the injection mouldings.

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The first job was to remove the old hatch which was a two second job. I didn’t remove the existing straps and buckles – there was no need – they are in good order and exactly the same as those you get in the kit anyway. This way I have spares too!

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Next job was to drill a small hole on the inside rim to thread the existing cord through that attaches the hatch to the yak. Once that’s done the next step was to add the trim lock to the cover – it clips on tightly to the hatch and provides the water tight seal between the RodPod and the cover – you do need to trim it down to the right size though.

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The cover is then ready to fit over the RodPod hatch. The fit is a lot tighter than the original hatch was which I don’t think is a bad thing at all.

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Here it is with the straps in place…..

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Just to prove the pre-drilled mouldings work I attached my GPS mount to give an idea of how things can be fixed to the cover.

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I need to have a think now about how best to use the mouldings but I think a bait board will be added for one and maybe a drink holder of some description.

All-in-all it seems a vast improvement on the original cover but as I say the proof will be when I get out there and use it ………. which hopefully will be in the very near future now.

Until next time…..

Dawn raid lands bream

Some people enjoy their fishing in the evenings as the sun is heading down but for me the best time to fish is at the opposite end of the day watching the light change before the sun appears above the horizon. This is the sunrise I experienced on the water this Friday just gone – a real corker of a dawn with mist just lifting from the coast:

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I had a welcome few hours to try and stock up on some mackerel which I know were now showing and, buoyed by my last trip down to Lee-on-Solent, to try for some black bream… on one count I was successful but on the other strangely disappointed… and it’s not necessarily the way round you would think. As usual I was fishing two rods, one was set up initially with feathers and the other with a baited hokkai rig. Despite near perfect conditions and being on the water by 4:30 a.m. it was strangely quiet out there and it wasn’t for a good hour before the welcome rat-a-tat-tat bite of a bream was felt on the hokkai rig and even that I missed! Eventually I managed to hook into one though, nothing big but I had broken my duck for the day:

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After a couple more bream came aboard I up anchored and deployed the recently purchased drogue for a slow drift in the current but there was still no sign of mackerel which was strange so I reverted to anchoring up again and switched the feathers on rod two for a Pennell rig a with a whole squid on to see if there was anything a bit more decent down there that could be tempted. Within minutes I had a nice knock and connected with something a bit better which turned out to be a feisty smoothie pup that had greedily gobbled up the whole squid.

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Meanwhile, on the other rod the bream were beginning to hit the baited hokkais again at a regular rate of knots, so quick in fact were their bites that I was probably only connecting with one in three – next time I’ll try with an even smaller hooked hokkai rig I think! Still, I did manage one keeper of about 1.5lb in the end out of the ten that came aboard the yak.

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The wind got up around 10 a.m. and chopped the water up so I decided to have another few drifts with the feathers before heading in and bingo………at last I broke my mackerel duck for the day with a  solitary fish which was destined for the smoker when I got home (sorry no picture!).

My final picture on this report is of the recently acquired fishing drogue in action, and it’s something I will definitely be making good use of – really did help slow down the drift in the current – great bit of kit that I need to play with a bit more yet to get the best out of it.

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Another pleasant few hours on the water in smashing early morning conditions and good sport on light gear with the bream. The lone mackerel aside the other surprise was the lack of dogfish which made a pleasant change if I’m honest – I’ve certainly had my quota of these in the last couple of months so I can’t say I missed them on this trip.  I later learned where all the mackerel were when I got a call from my pal Nobby on his way to work who kindly informed me there were birds working huge shoals of them in close to the shore – typical eh?! Oh well…….

Might have to have a local evening session for the mackies after work this week (weather permitting) and hopefully a trip to a different venue could be on the cards in the next week or so.

Until next time……

More riggin’

Well, I had hoped to get out on Saturday afternoon for a spot of local mackerel fishing but it wasn’t to be…… a combination of domestic duties and more so the increasing strength of the wind put pay to any chance of getting out on the kayak. A shame as I had the kayak and kit all ready to go but there you have it … these things happen. Nevertheless, whilst all the kit was out I thought I’d take the opportunity to take a few more pictures for the blog of my kayak rigged up (in the garden assisted by my son Billy and less so by the dog who you’ll see if you look carefully enough!).

A recent addition you’ll see to the rigging is the dry box in my rear tank well. This is an adaptation of a cracking idea by Rob Appleby ( The Salterwateryakfisherman) where he uses the same water tight container to create a dry box which can be  converted to a live bait tank. I have unashamedly used Rob’s idea to create my dry box but without going as far as the live bait tank. Maybe something for the future but certainly thanks to Rob for sharing his idea for all to see. The big plus with the dry box is anything in their shouldn’t suffer from the affects of salt water and means less kit cleaning on your return…… that’s the thought process anyway!

As for fishing, it looks like next weekend if the weather permits.

Anyhow, here are some of the pictures of the rigging on my Trident as promised:

Firstly, here’s the new dry box in the main tankwell – it has a screw in lid which is attached to the inside of the box to avoid any potential mishap which might see it going overboard:

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Moving forward here’s the Trident’s RodPod. I’ve installed a further hatch to it for easy access for when you just want to grab a small item from inside the yak without un-strapping the whole of the RodPod hatch – I’ve found this very handy. Also you’ll see the GPS unit mounted at the front of the Pod attached to power lead running to a 12v battery situated inside the yak:

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In front of the GPS unit you can see the fishfinder with the Trident’s sonar shield – you may think the position of the GPS obscures your view of the fishfinder but it’s not an issue at all given your line of vision from your seated position:

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At the front of the kayak is the cross-lock hatch where I have the battery housed and is also where I stow away the C-Tug trolley when on the water:

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Here is the battery housing inside the front hatch of the kayak securely fastened inside a watertight container, inserted into a foam housing and held in place with heavy duty Velcro:

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Here is one of the adjustable rod holders I use – there is another mounted in a similar position on the opposite side of the kayak:

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The rudder is invaluable on the water and makes such a difference when the paddling gets a bit tougher:

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For night fishing the navigation light is there for safety and fishing purposes alike – again it’s wired into the 12v battery at the front of the kayak:

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And, finally here are a few of snaps of the kayak rigged out in all it’s glory:

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So, there you have it…… I just hope next time the yak is rigged up it’ll be to get on the water with her.

Until next time….

Gettin’ rigged…..

Well, it’s been a while since my last blog and true to form it has been largely down to one of the ‘W’s mentioned in my last post…. Work. Saying that though although the weather has been dry it has been windy down here on the South Coast so probably limited opportunities to get out on the kayak anyway.

Anyhow, I digress…. This article is all about getting rigged for fishing on the kayak. As I mentioned in a previous article getting the kayak is not even half the story when it comes to kitting out. I haven’t totalled up what I’ve spent on kitting the yak out but I wouldn’t mind betting it’s over doubled the initial outlay for the kayak and the paddle.

For starters there’s safety kit…. I’m not going to give a huge list of what you should and could have – there are other forums and sites on the internet with a wealth of information far more extensive than I can list or am experienced enough to talk about. I reckon with a bit of common sense and talking to experienced yakkers most people will be able to get the basics right. So, what have I gone for? Well, a ‘lifejacket’ or in the yakking world a personal flotation device (PFD) for starters is a must. If you want to stay dry then a dry bag/suit is needed – I went for a two-piece number in the form of a bib and braces with a cag over the top which has served me well to date. However, in retrospect I do see the advantage of an all-in-one suit to reduce the risk of water getting in. In addition I’ve managed to accumulate wet suit boots, gloves, hats, flares, VHF radio, leashes, a towline, dive knife, leashes, a safety light, and a whistle …. all in the name of safety on the water!

Here’s Nobby and my good self in our kit ready to go……

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In terms of rigging the yak itself again I’m no expert and again would suggest you hunt out other sites on the internet where you will see no end of ideas on how to rig your yak and believe me there are infinite possibilities. Both Nobby and myself have been extremely fortunate in the early days of out kayak fishing to stumble upon an experienced yak fisherman, Rob Appleby, who has helped us get rigged up and provided much sound advise. Without wishing to embarrass him it really is worth taking a look at Rob’s blog for some cracking and sensible ideas for rigging out your kayak as well as reading through his experiences – it comes highly recommend. As for my trusty Trident I’ve added to it a couple of access hatches, one at the stern and one on the RodPod, an anchor trolley, and two rod tubes as permanent fixtures. In addition to this there is a removable 12v battery that powers a fishfinder, GPS unit and for night fishing a stern light. Other removable items include a seat, a dry box in the small tankwell behind the seat and then either a yak bag or a crate for the main tankwell. I’ve also got an anchor setup which attaches to the anchor trolley and a trolley to wheel the yak around.

Here’s some of my rigging bits…

The fishfinder

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Dry box in rear small tankwell

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The stern access hatch

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All this and I haven’t even mentioned the fishing kit for which you’ll need more leashes to keep it all on the yak! I’ll save that for another blog…. after I’ve got some fishing in.