Frenzy to Fishing Frenzy!!!!!

I just picked up my Frenzy. It fit in my Odyssey easier than expected. Any recommendations on inexpensive (but not junk) 230cm paddles? I plan to get scupper plugs (or make some), and to rig at least one rod holder – any brand you’d recommend? I saw that Berklys seem cheap and functional. What about buying vs. making a pad or seat? Anchor? Ropes/leashes? Anything I’m forgetting? Thanks for any help!


On the Advice and Paddling forums
you’ll hear negative comments about inexpensive paddles, but if you aren’t a marathon paddler, the Carlisle Day Tripper (two piece, the Tripper without the day is one piece) isn’t a bad paddle. I can get it at Gander for about $40 or at Academy, don’t know if you have one where you are, for $30. Academy also carries the SeaSense kayak paddle in the low $20’s. I’ve heard good things about it, but don’t care for the funky way the blades are cut…square at the end with an inward instead of a rounded or blunt end. Stay away from the cheap Harmony paddles, they are best used as a drag anchor…very heavy.

Most anything you can tie a rope to will work as an anchor. For my 9.6 kayak, I have a rubber coated dumbell, about 3 lbs from Wal Marth. For extra weight if the wind is blowing, I carry a barbell weight of about 2.5 lbs. The barbel weight at Wal Mart may be the ones I move to with that kayak, they not only have a hole in the center, but also around the edge, sorta like a spoke wheel. Easy to tie a rope on.

The berley rod holded is an ok one, but I prefer Scotty, especially with a flush mount. That means you have to drill a hole in the kayak, not for the weak at heart. Or, you can go really cheap and get a milk crate if one will fit, some 1 1/4 " pvc, and cable tie the pvc to the milk crate. If the crate won’t fit into the tankwell, try one of those cheapy Sterilite baskets from Wal Mart…look like mini laundry baskets. Sometimes, you can find the in colors other than white, but havent seen any lately, except the white.

The main thing is to get a PFD. Any PFD is better than none, but you’ll use one that fits well and allows both for easy paddling and fishing. The pfd is virtually useless lying in the kayak or used as a seat cusshion.

As for a seat, that’s a drawback of many SOT kayaks. I’d buy a seat. If you aren’t going to be in the kayak for long hours, and inexpensive one will do you.

Also consider buying some of those Blakemore foam rod floats, nothing worse than losing a hundred or more dollars worth of rod and reel in the drink. Or, alternatively, if you use spinning gear, get a pool noodle, cut sections fof to slide on the bottom of the rod handle, and go fish. Don’t use the bottom section of a spinning rod for much anyway, unless you have a big fish to fight.

Two cents worth of suggestions

– Last Updated: May-24-06 12:21 PM EST –

I've seen rods secured in Berkeley rod holders go missing. The whole rod holder, with rod still secured, slipped out of the seat and into the river. Not cool. I concur with the Scotty sentiment. I take the extra precaution of puttin a screw eye in the base and running a small bungee from the base around the rod holder. (I stole that idea from a friend. It works great!)

As far as a paddle, I use a Carlisle RS Magic 230cm and a SeaQuest 210cm for recreational paddling. Both are sufficient to the task. The SeaQuest is lighter. I consider each a reasonable value for the money. I paid about $80 each, but I think they've come down in price the past couple of years. I had a Harmony $40 el cheapo and don't recommend it. It broke (not unreasonable for the way it was being used, but it broke nevertheless when the RS Magic in the same situation did not break) and is VERY heavy. Bending Branches makes some inexpensive recreational use paddles in the $60 range. I've used them and thought they were fine.

I don't use an anchor. Something others have recommended and I'll pass along to you is a 2lb or 3lb barbell. If a 3lb barbell won't hold that Frenzy, you probably shouldn't be using an anchor in that spot. To me, using an anchor on a kayak in current is kind of like saying, "I'm not sure when I want to die, but I know that I want to be wet." I don't like the "make your own strainer" concept. Nevertheless, I will be giving it a try sooner or later because I'm just that stupid.

I agree on the PFD comment. My suggestion is to get one that you'll wear. Having one with the right specs is fine, but if you don't wear it it doesn't do any good. Get one that's comfortable and that you'll wear. I'm going to get a much better quality one hopefully this year for more aggressive water, but on the more mild rivers that I usually paddle for fishing, I use a Stearn's el cheapo with mesh shoulders. It doesn't make me too hot and it's comfortable enough to wear all the time. It's sufficient for the water, though for more aggressive water, a higher flotation PFD would be appropriate.

- Big D

As for extra anchor weight, yes, 2
or 3 lbs is usually fine. But, it gets windy in Southeast Texas and sometimes, it takes 5-7 lbs to keep from getting blown around. So, on lakes, if it looks like it will be windy, I carry a 2.5 lb barbell weight for additional holding power. The thing slips right under the front deck bungee or under the seat, though there its difficult to did out. Besides, it gives you something to thow at your fishing buddy if he outfishes you, or at least throw into his fishing hole to chase off the fish.

And another thing…
You may want to consider thigh straps if you’re going to use it in any rough water. They add a huge amount of “connectiveness” (I just made up that word) between you and the boat. Way more control.

I have Surf to Summit thigh straps and a Surf to Summit Fisherman seat on my OK Malibu II. The seat’s nice and comfy, but the thigh straps allow me to use the boat the way I want to use it. With that rigging, I’ve taken it through Class III water and maintained control where I know that without the thigh straps I’d have gotten to practice my freestyle stroke.

  • Big D

I’ve got a Frenzy as well.

– Last Updated: May-30-06 6:08 PM EST –

My first kayak, 6 years ago. I've bought other boats since then, but still have a great time on the Frenzy. I agree with Jerry on getting a seat, and getting a quality paddling PFD. After my first trip out, my hips aching (and I was 24 at the time, so it wasn't rheumatism) and the ski vest riding up and chafing, I decided to splurge on a seat back and a $90 Extrasport. has a lot of good suggestions for rigging a SOT for fishing. If you are averse to drilling holes in your yak like I am, the milk crate in the tankwell with rod holders secured into it is the way to go. Also makes a great place to stow a cooler and other gear. Just be sure to practice righting it fully laden in shallow, protected water, then above-your-head-but-close-to-shore protected water before venturing out.

I'd just go ahead and buy the seatback at least, and then you can improvise a bottom cushion if you want. A thermarest seat works well.

I have a folding anchor, but don't use it much. Big D's right about the hazards of using one in current, and other times you don't really need one. It can be difficult to weigh an anchor from a kayak unless you get out of the seat, which makes things tippy, and if the anchor is digging into the mud, even worse, so the others' ideas on using weightlifting weights sound good to me.