Been a while since the last post, just looked around and saw this site was finally getting some visitors. What does that mean for you guys? Another epic post for you to read up on, hopefully not for another 3 months. In all seriousness though, as I get a handle on things around my own life, I will get around to building up one of the baddest kayak fishing communities this internet has ever seen — hold me to my words. I was thinking about a few things the other day, and one of the things that really got me thinking was that when I began kayak fishing, I had absolutely no money. The only thing that I did have was a lot of ambition, eagerness to get on the water, as well as having a lot of good sized ponds around me where I could pull my kayak behind my bike. Once I got a car this ended pretty rapidly, but now I just carry the boat on top of it instead of behind the bike. All of this leads me to giving you guys this review, and the hacksaw’d modifications involved with turning a cheap kayak into something that you can easily fish out of for 8 hours or more.
The Pelican Potomac 110es is an incredible recreational kayak for those of you who are wanting to get into the sport for a small initial investment, which is why I wanted to bring this post to you. I have actually owned one of these kayaks, and ended up purchasing it with a $50 paddle out the door for $217. That is a cheap kayak no matter how you cut it, and you aren’t going to find one that low used, anywhere, let alone brand new. Once I saw it hanging in Dick’s Sporting Goods, I knew that I had to have it. Using these expensive pre-rigged kayak fishing machines is nice and all, but what got me into the sport was taking hacksaws and rotary grinders to helpless plastic boats. That’s what drives me, and I plan to do a lot more in the near future.
This kayak comes in at 11ft long, and is actually a very nice size. On my initial tests, it didn’t perform nearly as badly as I had expected. I was picturing the rear end wiggling around like it used to on my Victory Blast, but it was nearly non existent. As long as you made sure that you were using a light stroke, you really didn’t have to worry about it moving around on you. The harder I tried to push it though meant the more time I spent making correcting strokes. You quickly learn the benefits of a light tough using a sit inside kayak. All in all though, I really was surprised with how well it performed on the water.
The one thing that got me right out of the gate was the discomfort from the rough plastic edges they left for you to scrape your legs and knees against. I knew that this had to be solved fast. After the first two hours of fishing and paddling, I headed back and called it quits, stopped by Home Depot on the way back, and quickly made up a plan for what was going to happen. I wasn’t going to allow a little discomfort stop me from making headway. The rest of the cockpit was extremely comfortable, with plenty of room to stretch my legs. If you have bigger feet, you are going to have to take your shoes off. I never found this to be a problem as I spend most of my time in bare feet anyways — I’m a Florida boy. ; )
Another part of the kayak that I knew was going to have to be modified in short order was what Pelican was trying to call a storage hatch. I will give them this, they were using bungees to keep the lid on, and the lid was actually attached to the bungees. I had an old Pelican model that I lost the lid to because it wasn’t tied on, on the very first trip. They seem to have invested a bit and updated it for this, hah! Anyways, it isn’t waterproof. Read their manual, it says it is. It’s far from it. It really just takes up space that could hold a fine fishing crate and trailer setup. (I’ll teach you guys how to build that at a later date, it’s pretty slick.) You can see in the picture below what Pelican calls waterproof. Click on it for a larger image.
I started drawing up lines in the garage using a Sharpie, and ended up going to town with the hacksaw. Once I had started on the rear though, which had taken me 3 hours to cut off with a $5 hacksaw from Home Depot, I was eye-balling the front end of the kayak. Pelican included some bungees that I could use as an anchor trolley, so they had to come off. What better what to fix the holes they made, then by making a bigger hole? So I did. Voila! Front storage in an hour. After I took the time to electrical tape some air conditioning insulation around all of the holes, and put some around the inside edges of the cockpit, I now had the best bumblebee looking fishing kayak in all of northeast Florida. You wanna talk about comfortable though? I could fall asleep on the water if it wasn’t so damn hot down here.
So the final low down, and my final thoughts on this kayak? If you’re worried about the money you are going to have to spend to get into the sport, find one of these cheap. Either at Dick’s Sporting Goods, or Sports Authority, some sports department store located near you. You can even try online retailers, though I haven’t found a whole lot that have the same price as walking into the store and picking one up. For the amount that you spend on this fishing kayak, you should have absolutely no worries about tearing into it with a hacksaw. Hell, you may even want to make it easier and by a jigsaw or something similar. I could have used it.
Want to know something else? Feel like we didn’t cover something? Leave a comment below, we love to hear from you! Until next time, tight lines! From Kayak Fishing Edge and yours truly!