Apart from a drop of swell the forecast showed sun and little wind so we could choose pretty much any launch venue we wanted. Seeing as it was the Revo's maiden voyage i thought i'd treat it to the stunning waters of West Cornwall. Adam was driving down from Southampton to give his Revo 16 it's first trip out, and early on Sunday morning we met in a small cove and began setting up for a day on the water. The plan was to find some clean ground and drift baits across the bottom with the tide in the hope of finding some flatfish and perhaps finding some shoals of Mackerel.
We were soon rigged up and launching. The water wasn't quite a calm as the forecast would have you believe. There was a fair bit of chop and swell.... a good test for the new kayaks! Paddling off the beach to deeper water, the Mirage Drive 180 was slotted into the drive well and i took my first pedal in the Revo 16....
It is a completely different experience to paddling a kayak. It took a little while to get used to the lack of being able to brace with the paddle in the choppier water but after about 10 minutes i had got used to it and was away! I changed the pedal adjustment a couple of times to find the most comfortable distance between the seat and the pedals for efficient pedalling, the number 5 setting seemed best. The seat felt superb too, proper comfortable - i found i needed to angle it quite far back to get into the most comfortable position for pedalling, but once i found the right spot the whole pedalling experience was great!! And the scenery was just fantastic too....
Adam seemed to be getting on well too with his new craft...
We pedalled along the coast to our chosen fishing spot. The fish finder was working spot on through the BerleyPro 'Raymarine-Ready' transducer mount and was occasionally showing shoals of fish beneath the kayak. Eventually i found out what they were.... Herring
After a few they seemed to disappear. We drifted around in the hope of finding some Mackerel but they seemed absent. Time to drift on some clean ground. I dropped two baits down to the bottom on running ledger rigs and set the rods down on the rod rest. Despite it being a fair sized tide there didn't seemed to be much tidal flow. This didn't help with the bottom fishing as we weren't really covering much ground to find the fish. Time to try the reverse mode on the Mirage Drive. Luckily i was able to set the two rods just far enough apart to work the drive in-between them. I pulled the reverse toggle and gently pedalled the kayak in reverse to force drift the baits and cover more ground....being able to do this was quite incredible!
It actually worked really welll, and i could operate the rudder to snake my way across the ground. I could also use the GPS speed on the Dragonfly to move the baits at the pace i wanted. One thing i did notice though is that you have to have a firm grip of the rudder handle when reversing. It's fine at slow speeds, but pick up the pace and the rudder blade wants to jump to one side. Keep and firm hold on the handle and its fine though. There didn't seem to be too many fish about but eventually i managed to tempt a bite. it felt like a flatfish and i wasn't wrong. I soon had a Plaice on the kayak, not a big one but the orange spots were absolutely stunning!
It was soon released to the depths for another day. Bites were very hard to come by and it took a few more drifts before another bite came along. Another flatfish, this time a small Dab....
I think we all had a Dogfish or two but after an hour or so of struggling for bites we were getting bored. The weather was stunning though!
Time to try some different ground. We headed further up the coast to find some deeper water over mixed ground in the hope of finding some fish. Andrew managed to find some Cuckoo Wrasse but still bites were hard to come by. I dropped down a set of baited sabikis to see if anything smaller would be tempted. A few nibbles and then something hit the rig so hard it snapped a hook off....bugger! A quick re-bait and straight back down... again something smashed the bait but this time i was ready and played it lightly to prevent breaking the 8lb mono rig body or bending out the size 8 hooks. The fish had the rod bent right over and was diving all over the place. After coaxing it up about 100ft it arrived at the surface.... it was a Pollack!
Only around 3 or 4lbs but what a fight on light gear! It was soon powering off back to the bottom. We covered some more ground without much more luck, then had a pedal along the coastline to pass the time. I had a play around with the fin tensioning on the drive and found a sweet spot for me between a stiff fin action and more fluid fin action. The fishing was slow and it wasn't long before we decided to head back for the launch. Quite a breeze had picked up which wasn't forecast. All of a sudden one of the Revo 16's advantages became apparent.... they pedal really well against a head wind. We all agreed that if we had been paddling against the wind we would have been having to work hard, yet the Revo's cut straight through the wind without exerting too much effort. They have been named 'Wind-Cheaters' by those who have them and i can see why!
We were soon back at the cove and ready to land. A few small waves were rolling in so we hoped for no disasters. Careful timing and we were all back ashore without catching a wave! We had covered a far distance, probably around 8 miles or so and my legs were feeling it. I had been using muscles that are not often exercised! I'm sure they will soon be toned up after a few more sessions! We hauled the kayaks back to the car park and finished the day off with an ice cream. The fishing was poor but the weather and company made up for it. Overall it was a great day to test out the Revo for the first time in typical Cornish coastal conditions. For the first session with it i'm very happy and i'm really looking forward to see what this kayak can do and where it can take me! Happy days!
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