I’ve always wished I were more flexible. I’m not talking about mental or moral flexibility and my personal relationships are all pretty good. I’m talking about good ol fashioned stretchability. I’d like to be able to touch my toes, or maybe sit cross-legged on the floor and play spades with my kids. Nope, flexible I aint. Some of you may recall my post on the TKAA Order of the Turtle board. If you don’t that’s ok, read on.
My yak is a Wilderness System 160i and I really like it. The only problem I’ve had with it is reaching forward to my rod holder, or backward to my crate. It’s a long way to stretch, and like I said... I don’t stretch. I’ve tried a couple of different remedies over the years to help me reach my rod easier, but none have worked (stop snickerin… you know what I mean). Anyway, I purchased a rod holder extender a couple of years ago and it helped, but it didn’t solve the other problem. Reaching back to get something out of my crate remained difficult. Basically, I can reach inside my crate and fumble around, but I can’t turn far enough around to get at everything without some pain and loud cracking up and down my back. No big deal really, I just hang both legs over the side of the yak and get what I need. Still, I’ve always thought it would be nice to have easier access to my gear. Last Fall I tried to reach something in my crate and the result was a nice new Order of the Turtle sticker for my yak. For those of you who don’t know what that is, visit the TKAA website and you’ll see the link somewhere down the page. So, I’ve been looking for a way to deal with my nonstretchiness for a while now. Last winter I spoke with Patrick at Yakdaddy.net about his Original Slider. He sent me one out to try and I’ve been fishing with it ever since. I think it’s the remedy I’ve been searching for. It allows me to reach my gear easily because it’s all stored in front of me. My crate is now used mainly for my anchor, lunch (sometimes one in the same), water, and other sundry items I like to carry around when I fish. The Slider holds all of my accessories, including two Ram rod mounts, a camera mount, and my fish finder. It only required two holes to be drilled in my yak. Most importantly for me, it slides. I can easily adjust its position forward or back by simply releasing a cam lever and sliding it. It doesn’t interfere with my ability to get in or out of my yak and it’s rugged and light weight. I’ve been fishing with it now for several months and it’s become permanent part of my kayak rigging. If you like to troll all you do is position your rods and adjust the Slider to your liking and start paddling. I like using bait, so what I usually do is back my yak into I nice, reedy shoreline, rig up two rods, position my Slider so it’s up close in my lap and wait for the fish to come to me. When the strike happens, all I have to do is reach up and take the rod.
I haven’t really found a down side to the Slider. Wind doesn't seem to be a factor with it, even when positioned all the way forward. Some adjustments have to be made when I paddle so I don’t hit the rod holders, but that’s really not a big deal to me. All I do is release the cam lever and push it forward a few inches. Problem solved. If you’re like me (as flexible as a 2x4), you should check the Slider out for yourself at yakdaddy.net.