Picked up a couple new boats yesterday, an urban camo Cuda 14 and a green hornet Cruise 12 angler. I was sad to part with the 12 but going with the 14 will give me a little more speed, without sacrificing stability. I went rudderless again, kind of hard to use one when you stand and fish most the time. I plan to mount a different tool off the back that I will be able to use while standing….







Check out the next BIG thing from Jackson Kayak, the Big Rig. I’ve yet to see it in person, but it looks to be a great platform to sightfish the flats from. This thing has more bells and whistles than a battleship, you definitely wouldn’t need to do any rigging right off the showroom floor. I’m curious to see how a boat this wide paddles, but knowing the folks at Jackson, I’m sure they dialed it in and that 37″ width will hardly be noticed. Love the endless innovation coming out of Sparta, TN.


I’ve had a few requests recently to show how I mount my camera while in the kayak. If you’re looking to get the “over-the-shoulder” angle that you see in most of my videos, this is how it’s done. You can see the angle here:


If you use a milkcrate or a BlackPak or anything else that gives you vertical rod holders in the tankwell than this set up will be simple and effective for you. If not they are different products out there that will achieve the same results. I’ve been happy with the products available from YakAttack.

Here’s how I do it – first let’s take a look at the milkcrate:



It’s a standard milkcrate that I’ve attached 4 rod holders to. With the 2 that come standard in the Cuda 12, I have 6 total vertical rod holders behind me, which is plenty of storage for rods, a net, and a camera mount. The rod holders were purchased at Academy and are fairly inexpensive. Make sure to install the rodholders as snug as possible to the milkcrate as any looseness will allow for camera shake. Try not to overtighten though because you’re mounting them to plastic, which can, and will break. If you screw them in like I have, use flathead screws to allow for your camera mount to slide in the holder, also use washers on the backside to distribute the load.

Next you will need a pole of some sort that will fit in the rod holder. I use an extension pole that I bought at either Lowe’s or Home Depot. The extension pole came at the suggestion of either Drew Gregory or Sean Brodie, who have been filming much longer than I have and are much better at it as well. The extension pole allows for higher camera angles if I want to do something different, but I’ve found that I just use the lowest possible one because the higher the angle, the more the shake. You also have to turn the camera on and off somehow and it’s easier to reach when it’s lower.






As you can tell from the photos the extension pole doesn’t fit snug in the rod holder, and if it’s not snug the camera will shake. I wrapped the end that goes into the rod holder with Gorilla tape, but regular old duct tape will work, or you can get creative and figure out another way to bulk up the bottom of the extension pole. Tape is nice because you can layer until you get the right amount or reduce if you’ve put too much on there.

Now you’ve got a pole in a rodholder that’s attached to your milkcrate in the tankwell of your kayak. You still need to mount your camera to the pole. I use a GoPro Hero 1 to film. I got it a few years back and it is still kicking so no need to upgrade yet. The GoPro is nice because it is easy to use, comes in a waterproof housing and has several accessories that make mounting it easy. The best way I’ve found to mount a GoPro to an extension pole is with their handlebar/seatpost mount.






That mount will slide over the extension pole with ease and you can tighten it as much as possible to prevent slippage. The angle of the GoPro you see there is what I generally film at. With the wide angle lens on the GoPro you don’t have to point it downward too much at all to capture everything in front.


That’s all there is to it. It’s simple, snug, and fairly inexpensive. I don’t see too much shake whether I’m sitting or standing in the kayak. You will want to make sure that you use the provided tankwell bungees to strap the milkcrate down, you don’t want it sliding. Here’s how it looks in the kayak:






The new Cruise from Jackson Kayak doesn’t come with a paddle keeper of it’s own, so I needed to install them. A paddle keeper makes a handy place to store a stake out pole while on the water. It’s convenient and out of the way in that spot. Well I just so happened to have a paddle keeper kit from Yak-Gear sitting in my garage. It was a raffle prize at a tournament I was in and now I could put it to use.

There is a set of instructions that come with the kit. They are adequate at best, not very detailed, but most folks will manage to get the kit installed with them. I’ll offer my help below.

1. Besides the parts included with the kit, you’ll need to gather these supplies:

– Drill with 7/32 bit (5/32 if you use the stainless screws and lock nuts)

– Pop rivet gun (or a Phillips head screw driver)

– Pliers

– Sharpie

– Tape measure


2. Next you’ll have to put together the bungees. You’ll start by sliding a sleeve over the end of the provided bungee cord.


3. Then you shove the end into what they call a terminal end. Depending on how fat the bungee cord end is it might take a bit of squeezing and pressing to get the bungee to fit in the terminal end.



4. Once the terminal end is on you can take the pliers and squeeze the sleeve over the terminal end.


5. Next you’ll want to pick out where your paddle keeper will go. On the Cruise I decided that right under the Jackson Kayak logo was the best place. Mark one of the holes with the sharpie.


6. Next, drill the hole with that 7/32 bit


7. Pop rivet one end of the bungee to set the cord.



8. Rather than trying to stretch the bungee and mark both sides with the sharpie at step 5, it’s easiest to set one side first, then stretch the cord a bit and mark the other side. Pull the bungee snug, not too tight, and not loose. Then you can repeat steps 5-7.


9. All you have to do now is find a good spot for the lash hook. Use the tape measure to find the middle of your bungee and go at least 3″ up. I went a bit further than that and placed the hook on the inside side of the yak. I had to use an ultra fine tip sharpie to mark my spot as a regular sharpie tip was too fat to fit through the lash hook hole. With the hook on the inside I can lash things either to the side, or on top the rails. I used my measure board to make sure the hook didn’t protrude above the rails, I wanted to sit them either flush or slightly below the top of the kayak.


10. After you drill that hole and pop rivet the hook in place (steps 6-7), you are done.




 Blake has his own version of a paddle clip belt and he has shared with us how he made it below. The only similarity with the one I initially made is the fact that it holds a paddle. He made his own clip out of PVC and used a lashing strap for the belt. Both versions work as designed and we’ve found them to be extremely helpful when stand up kayak fishing. Not satisfied, he went a step further and made one similar to the Dawgknots belt out of braided paracord. He showed us how to do that as well.

Materials will be listed as they are used in the steps below.

Step 1. Start off with a 4” piece of 1 ¼” PVC pipe. If your paddle has a thin handle, you may be able to get away with 1” pipe, but the bigger diameter is more universal. I also make marks on the top and bottom of the printing on the pipe (it’s just an estimation that is a little narrower than the diameter of your paddle handle).


Step 2. Using a hacksaw (I tried a Dremel tool, but it had too much power and I ended up messing it up), cut along the lines that you drew. Use some sandpaper to smooth out any rough or sharp edges. I used 100 grit. Test the clip on your paddle to make sure that it snaps over and that it’s not too tight that it won’t fit in or too loose that the paddle falls out.


Step 3. Take your strap (purchased at Walmart in the camping section for $2 and change) and place it along the back of the PVC. Use a marker to put a dot on the PVC on the top and bottom of the strap ½” from each end of the PVC. Use a drill to make a hole at all the spots that you made




Step 4. Connect the edges of the holes and then use your hacksaw to cut out the material in between the holes. Sand all edges smooth.




Step 5. Cut a piece of 3mm craft foam (purchased in sheets at Hobby Lobby) and use some contact cement to attach it between the two slots. You may have to use some thicker/thinner foam to suit your paddle, but 3mm seems to be pretty versatile.


Step 6. String your strap through the holes in the clip. I like to clip it onto the paddle and let the cement set.




The paddle clip belt will work perfectly as is. However, if you are anything like me and can’t leave “well enough” alone, then check out the next few steps on adding a braid onto the strap.


Step 7. The first thing to do is to make a jig out of a spare piece of wood. The jig I used is 20” from end of metal ring (purchased at West Marine) to the end of the female end of the clip (use the male end and some extra strap to secure the clip and ring to the jig.)


Step 8. I purchased the Paracord at Lowe’s. It came in 50’ length of 550lb strength (think it was around $10). To make a 20” braid, you’re going to need 25’ of cord. String the cord through the ring. Then string both strands through the female clip, then back through the ring from the bottom to the top.




Step 9. Even out the tips of the cord and pull all the slack from between the clips and ring. The first not of the braid is a simple overhand knot


Step 10. Looking at your first overhand knot, you will notice that one cord comes out of the bottom of the knot and the other comes out of the top. Always start with the cord coming out of the bottom. Bring the bottom cord over and across the top.


Step 11. Bring the top cord over the bottom cord, under the strands, and through the loop made by the bottom cord. Pull tight.




Step 12. Repeat the steps 10 and 11. Pull tight.




Step 13. Repeat the steps all the way down the strands to the clip.




Step 14. String the tag ends through the clip with one going each way so that you end up with a tag on either side of the clip.


Step 15. Use a leather puller (I used a tire plug tool, but a baseball glove leather puller would work better as it is not open on the end) to pull one tag end under one knot on the braid. After it’s pulled through, do your best to tighten up the knot that you just went under.



Step 16. Keep threading the tag end under the knots until you are confident that it is secure. I went under 5 on either side. Trim the tag end and tuck it under one of the knots. One side done.



Step 17. Do the same on the other side. The braid is complete. Now you have 25’ of unknotted cord to use if you should ever need it. I will just take a while to undo the braid



Step 18. With one side of the strap attached to the male end of the clip, thread the strap through the ring at the end of the braid. I like to tape off the strap so that it does not slide in the ring. Sew/glue/knot the strap at the ring. I chose to sew it.



Step 19. Measure the amount of strap that you will need to fit the belt around your waist and trim it. String the strap through the paddle clip, through the male end of the clip, then sew the tag end so that it can’t pull back through.


That gives you a completed paddle clip belt that has helped me catch many reds while sight fishing. Hope it works out for you.