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Rigging

Some of you may remember I got a new toy for the Cuda awhile back, the Power-Pole Micro anchoring system:

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I’d love to give a review on it, but unfortunately it has been sitting in that box in my garage, unused, for several months.  I haven’t gotten a chance to use it because there wasn’t an easy way for me to mount it on the Cuda.  The Power-pole Micro comes with it’s own adjustable bracket mount, but another bracket is still needed to get it to fit right/anchor properly on the back of the Cuda.  My options were to fab something up of my own or wait patiently until a commercial mounting bracket was available.  I chose to wait because I trust the folks at YakAttack a heck of a lot more than I trust myself when it comes to kayak rigging.  I also didn’t mind waiting because I really didn’t want to have to run power to the unit and I knew a battery pack for the Power-Pole would be available in October.  So with the bracket for the Cuda now offered by YakAttack online, it will be sooner than later that I will get a chance to use it!

The installation of the bracket is actually really easy, the hardest part is getting over the fear of drilling holes in a kayak.  It doesn’t matter what I’m installing on a kayak there is a lump in my throat every time I put that drill bit(or rivet gun) to the plastic – you’d think by now this would be no big deal for me, but that’s not the case.  So I always measure and line everything up a trillion times before I do anything. Here is what is included from YakAttack:

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No instructions came with the mounting bracket.  I’m not sure if that was an oversight or the product is so new that none have been typed up, but you’re in luck because Damon Bungard of Jackson Kayak has already posted an instructional video going through the process with a prototype mount.:

Tools you’ll need:

– Drill

– Phillips head screwdriver

– 15/64 drill bit

– 7/16 socket or open ended wrench

As you can see in the video it is pretty simple, so simple you probably don’t even need instructions.  The main thing is to just line the bracket up parallel with the handle on the left.  The bigger holes that mount the YakAttack bracket go over the kayak, while the smaller holes, which are for the Micro anchor, sit with two of the holes over the water.  The bigger holes on the right follow the contour of the boat:

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Then drill your first hole:

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After the first hole is drilled you can mount the first screw to make sure the rest of your holes line up. Remember you’re drilling into the bigger holes, not the smaller ones:

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When you have all four holes drilled and and your screws in place, you can open the rear hatch of the Cuda and tighten down the locking nuts:

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With the YakAttack bracket mounted and tightened you can now install the Power-pole mount, with screws that come in the YakAttack mounting kit:

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As you can see the YakAttack mounting bracket is designed to work with or without a rudder, as the Power-Pole will anchor off to the right side of the boat.  Installation was super easy and with the YakAttack bracket it was super clean as well. I look forward to getting that battery pack in so I can finally put this anchor to use and see what the fuss is all about.

Like the Coosa HD, the last new boat from Jackson at OR this year is the Cuda LT.  Unlike the Coosa HD the deck layout will not be very different from that of a normal Cuda.  The big difference comes in hull material.  This is Jackson’s first thermoformed boat and you can bet it will be much lighter than their rotomolded boats.  The Cuda LT is estimated to come in somewhere around 50lbs and due to the thermoform process will be a different size than the normal Cuda.  Expect the 12′ version to be a few inches longer – being lighter and longer, that should make for a faster boat as well.

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Here is a short walkthrough video of JK’s new boats from Damon up at the OR show:

The Outdoor Retailer show is happening this week and we are starting to see/hear a lot more about what is being offered from Jackson Kayak next year.  We knew they planned to introduce four new kayaks – two being the Kraken and the Realtree Kilroy – which were featured on the site last week.  The other two I’ll talk about this week.  One is a boat that is sure to excite the river crowd, but has my interest peaked for inshore use as well, that’s the Coosa HD.  I really enjoyed the old Coosa, had one for a couple years, it was the best river boat I’ve ever been in.  It wasn’t the boat you want for inshore fishing though and when the Cuda came out it was an easy decision to make the switch.  But seeing the new Coosa HD has me rethinking that logic.

Coosa_HDMainly because this new Coosa will be 4-6″ longer than the last and that center console you see is removable and opens up to a flat deck – standing room galore.  Other features/tweaks include better tracking, multiple seating positions, tweaks to the JK Elite seat, twin camera mounts in the rear, YakAttack rails all around, a molded rear handle, a bungee-less hinged front hatch, the tube style rod tip protection you find on the Big Rig, plus it is Powerpole ready.  Looking at the top view I can see why some folks are dubbing this the Big Rig Jr.  That’s a ton of features packed into a 12′ boat.  Drew did a short walkthrough on the boat at the OR demo day, check it out:

It is still just a prototype for now, so things can change, but I’m pretty excited about this boat.  For more on the Coosa HD, check out this Kayak Fish article.

Update (02-26-15) – Now that the Coosa HD is shipping a new walk through video has been produced.  It is worth a look if you are considering this boat: