It was time to fit my Lowrance Elite 4x DSI Fish Finder to the Abaco. I had fitted it temporarily for the first couple of sessions out but wanted to make it a more permanent fixture. I also wanted to rig it in a way that would allow me to transfer it between kayaks should i want to use it on my tandem. This would mean no wires passing through the hull thus allowing the complete set up to be removable.
Last year i made an extendable camera/go pro pole which fits within a flush mount rod holder but this limits the scope for filming angles. I occasionally like to grab the pole and jump in the water to get up close and personal with the local wildlife so require the camera pole to be removable. At the same time i want to be able to put the camera pole in lots of different angles for filming and photography.
The RTM Abaco 4.20 comes with 2 rear facing flush mount rod holders as standard and these are fine for holding the rods whilst on the move or for holding a trolling rod. Rod holders can also be attached to Abaco on the slide rails beside the foot wells but after using them i found that they were too low to support the rod properly and would require extenders to be used properly for fishing at anchor or whilst drifting. I searched online for alternative solutions such as rocket launcher/tube style rod holders and looked at various reviews on blogs and forums but it appeared that many people had problems with the stability of the rod holder, especially in choppy seas, and they seemed pretty expensive too. Shortly after purchasing my first kayak, a Teksport 330 Xplore, i installed 2 forward facing flush mount rod holders either side of the seating area within arms reach and found these to be perfect for practically all of my fishing. I wanted to replicate the same on the Abaco but space for installing flush mounts on the sides of the seating area is very limited - limited but not impossible! Here's how i installed them:
The RTM Abaco comes with plenty of storage space. There is a large front hatch with removable basin, a sealed centre storage area with rod tube and a huge rear tank well. The front hatch is perfect for storing a C-Tug whilst out on the water with the basin removed, with the basin in place it makes a great space to store clothing or other smaller items. The sealed centre storage area is great for storing tackle and a spare lure rod. The rear tank well provides the largest storage space and is the perfect width to take a storage crate......
Conditions were spot on for a launch at one of my favourite fishing spots. Kieren was keen but i had a limited time window to fish, so with a late afternoon tide we planned to fish the final 3 hours of the flooding tide to be in with the best chance of finding any fish. It was a decent sized tide and we would be fishing an exposed area of coastline so was looking forward to see how the Abaco handled.
Finally a spell of settled weather! A plan was forged to target pollack from the reefs with Sam and Matt, and the forecast was looking great. Sam went to the launch mark early on sunday morning to check the conditions and gave me and matt the nod to meet there mid morning. I fitted my fish finder the day before so it was all ready to locate the reefs in the hope of finding a fish or two. It was the maiden voyage on the RTM Abaco so was hoping for a nice easy launch so i could get used to the feel of the kayak..... not today!....
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