Monday, March 25, 2013

Product Review - Overboard Fishing Rods

What do you look for in a rod?

~ The most important thing for me is functionability. The rod has got to work, catch fish, fit the type of action is rated for, and be durable as fishing in a kayak isn't the friendliest on equipment. A lot of high end rods out there are marketed to be used for one specific type of fishing, whether it be fishing crankbaits, jigs, or soft-plastics. To be honest that is not my style, even though I consider myself a pretty successful freshwater bass fisherman. I like my rods to be able to at least cover 2 facets or styles of fishing because simply I can't afford to have a rod for every different type of lure I use.

How many Overboard Rods do you own?

~ I am currently waiting for my 8th and 9th rods to come in from the American Made Factory in Jacksonville, Fl where Capt. Sean Abbey turns and tunes all Overboard Rods by hand.

Capt. Sean with a slot red when we fished together in November
Capt. Sean with the original Soul Pole Prototype and a fat trout.
~ I own 5 of the Bobber series rods, which feature the innovative technology that will float your rod and reel if it falls in the water.

~ I own 4 Soul Pole series rods, which are the classic style cork handle with a split grip butt.

Why do you fish Overboard Rods?

~ First and foremost I truly believe in the product and the company. Also, because I hate rod leases and the Bobber series rods provide me with a sense of security without having the leash everything to the kayak and having leashes all over the place, which just leads to a mess and takes away from the simplicity that I enjoy about kayak fishing.

What are your rod set-ups and what do you use them for?

~ 2 - 5' Ultralite Bobber Series Rods - Panfish and Pickerel, but I've also caught 3 Citation Largemouth Bass on them while Crappie fishing.

~ 6' Spinning Medium Bobber Series - Speckled Trout, All purpose salt/fresh rod

~ 7' Casting Medium Bobber Series - Light Tackle Jigging

~ 7' Casting Heavy Bobber Series - Catfishing, Heaving Jigging, and Trolling for Stripers

~ 6'6" Spinning MH Soul Pole Series - Topwater and Crankbaits (Main Largemouth Bass Rod)

~ 7' Casting MH Soul Pole Series w/ Microguides - Light Tackle Jigging

~ 6'6" Spinning Medium Soul Pole Series - Soft Plastics (on the way)

~ 6'3" Spinning Medium Soul Pole Series - All Around Freshwater rod (on the way)

What is the best feature about Overboard Rods?

~ Like I said before, functionability! Overboard Rods have ready built rods with standard specs at a great price point for hand built American Made rods. The Bobber series lists from $99.99-$119.99 and the Soul Pole Series list from $89.99-$99.99. They also have fly rods in both series ranging from $134.99-$159.99.

~ You can order standard specifications listed on the website or you can contact Capt. Sean to put in your custom order. Rods can also be purschased from some retailers including All Tackle in Annapolis, MD and Settles Bridge Supply House.

~ Also, many custom rod builders get caught up in the look the rod and making the all flashy to catch the fisherman (not the fish). While Overboard can make you a spiffy custom rod that can look like one of the neon billboards in Las Vegas if that is what you really want, but for the most part they stick to their beliefs about building a rod that focuses on catching fish and I can atest to that as I have caught fish on each of my OFRs. I will be fishing Overboard Rods for a long time and look forward to representing well at the tournaments and other events.

Get your Overboard Rod today at

Product Review - Frabill 3605 Kayak Net

Nets feature molded thermo-plastic rubber netting designed to support the fishes weight. Fish-Friendly knotless surface prevents roughing of catch and tangling of hooks.

Product Specifications
  • 2" x 16" Teardrop
  • 6" Fixed Handle with Cushioned EVA Grip
  • 3/8" Mesh rubber net
  • 13 Ounce weight
Frabill 3605 Trout Net $34.99
I'll will start out by saying I bought this net with the idea that it would be the perfect net for most kayak uses. When you catch a really big fish the easiest way to get it in the kayak is not necessarily in a net and this net wouldn't be used in those situations.

I planned to use this net for Pickerel, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Crappie, Speckled Trout. And you can add any other similar size fish to that list, but that is what I planned to use it the most for. Here are my opinions of it after 2 months using it every trip.

Here it is in use with a 22" Largemouth Bass.
Size - The size is perfect in my opinion for what I will be using it for. It is wide enough to fit a fat largemouth bass and the nets depth makes up for it not being that long.
Quality - Frabill is a well-known name in fishing and they make consistent products. This net did not dissapoint. The rubber net is strong, safe for the fish, and your hooks don't get caught it in. I'm a big fan of the shorter handle nets. I don't want to have put the lengthy shaft under my armpit just to be able to net a fish. The handle does have the elastic cord for lashing to a wading belt or to the kayak, but I'm not fond of extra lines all of the kayak, so I will probably cut this off.
Function - The net simple does what it is built to do. It nets fish and does so easily from a sitting position in a kayak. Also, it can be easily store in a rod holder which allows for easy access when you need the net for a lunker.
Overall - 9/10 - I think this net is definitely a winner for kayak fisherman. The only thing I would change is to increase the opening of the net size slighty by an inch or two. I think that would make netting a speckled trout just a little bit easier.
If your interested in this net head over to Settles Bridge Supply House and get one soon as spring is here and the fishing will be heating up. This will be my net of choice for the MAKBF series starting in April. It will hopefully decrease my chances of losing any lunkers boatside.
This picture has a pickerel of about 18" curled up in the net.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Catfish Fiesta

Friday morning started with a super early alarm at 5:40am. By 6am I was ready to go and Shane had just arrived at my house to caravan to the launch where we would be meeting Langston (Metroman) to do some catfishing on that fine 30 degree Friday morning. We were launching at Fort Washington Marina, which was a short paddle to the main stem of the Potomac, where we would fish pretty much right in front of "Fort Washington", which of course I was the one who asked what that big building was haha.

Langston provide me with cut mackerel and something else, but the mackerel seemed to be the ticket. On Langston's 1st drop he had a fish on.

I was using a Fish Finder rig with a 6/0 circle hook, but Langston was using your standard Catfish J-hooks, which to be honest is probably what I will use next time, as I missed a number of bites after letting the fish take the bait and the hook wouldn't connect.

For a rod I was using my Overboard Heavy casting rod paired with a Abu Garcia Revo Inshore, lefty model of course. I think I ended up with 5 cats with only 3 being large enough for kayak wars.

Langston looking like Davy Jones from Pirates of the Carribean, with his tentacles from his scarf.
Shane got the largest of the day @ 27"

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Big Bass Round 2

My Dad and I hit the lake at about 10:30am with crankbaits all tied up and ready to go after they had been so successful my two previous trips this week.

But crankbaits were not what was on the menu for Wednesday. Neither of us got even a bite for about two hours.

When I'm just fishing for fun I get pretty bored if I'm not catching, so I switched tactics and went after some crappie for Kayak Wars, hoping at least they would be biting.

My largest Crappie to date 13.75".
Dad stuck with trying for bass for a bit longer after getting used to the Hobie Pro Angler. It was his for time on a Hobie, so I was showing him the ins/outs and he was getting used to the comfort and stability of these awesome yaks.

Finally I got a few crappie so Dad came over and was able to catch a few himself. While crappie fishing I got a big slow hit that bent my Ultralite Overboard Rod in half. The fish stayed deep and went on a bunch of drag screaming runs. I fought the fish really slowly, knowing I had light line and didn't want any knots to break from over working the fish or trying to bring it up too fast.

I knew it was BIG Bass by the way it was fighting and eventually I got it high enough in the water column that I could see it was definitely a healthy fish.

BOOM!! Another MD Citation 22" Largemouth Bass.

Perfect Frabill Net from Settles Bridge Supply House

AFTCO Transom Bibs keeping me warm.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Staying Fresh

Decided to stick to the sweetwater this week after the really good outing I had over the weekend. I wanted to get after some more Trophy bass and see if I could catch some crappie for Kayak Wars.

I chased bass most of the afternoon and to my disgust.... I missed the first 3 bites I had... After a good while with no fish I had a solid strike, leading to a BIG bass on the line..I fought it for a few runs and had it at the top of the water column about 5 feet from the kayak. I was about to grab the net and make the move to get her in the boat, when she decided to go on one more run... which led to the hook coming free from her mouth and off she went.

I was really pissed, and was repeatedly saying expletives in my head, but I refrained from yelling them, which is what I would normally do so I was proud of myself. haha This fish was easily as big or bigger than the fish I caught on Saturday, but I won't know for sure.

Anyways I was able to catch about 5 bass I believe with on going 18.75" and one just shy of another citation at 20.75". Even though I was bummed about the one that got away these two made up for it somewhat.

After fishing for bass most of the afternoon I decided to switch over to trolling for some crappie. I don't have a fish finder on the NEW Pro Angler 12 yet, so it was a little more difficult than it normally would be. I was able to catch 4 crappie, but only one was large enough to count for Kayak Wars.
While I was trolling I had not one but two surprises:
First I caught a Golden Shiner and secondly I caught a sizable bluegill at 9.25", which was big enough to count for kayak wars.
I'll be back at it tomorrow. I'll be back on the PA 14 after cheating on her with the PA 12 a few times and my Dad will be making his maiden voyage on the PA 12. Hopefully we'll be able to find some big girls and my Dad will be able to get his 1st citation for Largemouth Bass.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Overboard Fishing Rod Commercial

The Bucketmouths Are Getting Hungry

On Saturday I decided I would take my 1st shot at some pre-spawn largemouth bass hoping that the warmer weather this past week would get the fish a little active and into the shallower waters.

For the 1st hour and half I had no action on a Alabama rig, which is one of my goals  to catch fish on this technique this year. So I tried a 10" black w/ purple fleck worm, and only got one nibble, but I didn't fish it too hard or give it much or a chance.

I then switched over to my good ole trusty Rapala DT 6 "silver" crankbait on my Overboard Soul Pole MH 6'6" with a Shimano Stradic Ci4 2500 (my newest combo, which I had yet to catch a fish on). Within the first 10 minutes I pulled a 17 incher out of some underwater timber.

I continued to fish the structure and the shoreline with depth around 4-8 feet. I managed 2 more small fish, one being a beautiful spotted bass.

I kept throwing the crank and was rewarded!! I  got a hit that I set the hook on, but thought I missed as the line went slack, but the bass had made a run directly for my kayak. As soon as I realized the fish was still on the battle ensued. The fish took 2-3 drag screaming runs as I patiently played it to the side of the new PA 12 where I could net it. BOOM!!!

  22.5" bass another personal best for me this week!!
I called it a day after that as I new it couldn't get much better. While I was on the lake some of my neighbors were steadily catching crappie from shore with a bobber and jig. As I was loading the kayak I heard some excitement from where they were fishing, and it turning out they managed a trophy bass themselves. It's great to see the big bass in my lake are ready for 2013.
If your interested in a guided trip for trophies like the one above send me and email so we can catch you the bass of a lifetime.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

C-P-R Pickerel

My new personal best pickerel @ 20.75" was caught on an Overboard Ultra Lite Rod paired with a Shimano Symmetre 1000. I was using a 1/16th oz. Tsunami in glitter blood red w/ live minnow.

I like the Tsunami hooks because for being such a light jig head the hook is still substantial enough to hook into toothy critters like pickerel and speckled trout. That is unlike most other small jig heads that pair it with a hook of smaller stature as well. You can get these hooks at All Tackle in Annapolis.

I am there Sundays, and most Thursday and Friday evenings if you have any specific rigging questions.

Capt. Luke from Miss Chesapeake Beach Charters took some time out of his day to get in on a little bit of pickerel action.

Capt. Luke finished with 7 toothy critters and I ended up with 4, but I caught the largest of the day.

Got to test out my new Frabill net from Settles Bridge Supply House. It worked great for the pickerel and I expect it to be my Largemouth Bass and Speckled Trout net as well.  I will have a complete review in the near future.