A Nu Frontier is coming to the boating world…. No seriously, that’s the name of the boat - The NuCanoe Frontier! I had the opportunity to get some time on the water with the boat and give it a thorough examination – Turn your head and cough Frontier – it’s time for your physical.
Before we get too in-depth with the review, let’s go over the Spec. Sheet:
L = 144”
W = 41”
H = 16”/12”/16”
Weight = 76lbs
Capacity = 600lbs
Draft = 3” @ 250lbs, 5” @ 500lbs
Included with the Frontier:
(2) Multi-Seat Bases w/ Sliders
Gear Vault w/ Removable Hatch
(2) Cup Holders
(2) Paddle Holders
Stern Anchor Hardware
(2) Scupper Plugs
The overall size is pretty close to the original NuCanoe, but this boat felt lighter to me. I also felt like I had more room in this boat, probably due to the new Cast and Blast deck that gives you more leg room.
Standing is simple!
The ‘deck’: The most obvious difference the Frontier has to offer is the redesigned deck – The Cast & Blast Deck. This area is much wider, which makes standing and maneuvering inside the boat a breeze. This also offers more room for storage and makes standing a lot easier. You feel more stable when standing on this new deck, because your feet have room to spread out.
The accents on the deck are not only awesome looking, but seem to help direct water toward the back of the boat, where it could exit through the next Nu feature…
The Scuppers:This is one thing I am really excited to see! I normally have a good inch of water in the bottom of my boat from fishing the rivers and these scuppers are the answer to my wet feet! The scuppers are easily covered with the included plugs, but even with all 250lbs of myself and probably a good 20lbs of gear, I didn’t take in any water. The paranoid can plug the holes, but I don’t think it’s necessary.
The Storage Locker
The Storage Locker: Another feature I really needed – rod storage. This isn’t your normal rod storage though, this is better. The front compartment opens up and allows you to drop in a mesh sack that can hold your small items. The sack has some rigidity to it, so it stays in place nicely and hooks don’t get caught in it – I’m guilty of throwing hooks into places I shouldn’t and end up cutting them out later.
Removing the sack opens up the rod storage area – basically the entire boat is available for rod/lifejacket storage. This area is pretty water tight, so you could even use it for clothes or larger items you wanted to keep dry (I don’t think it’s completely waterproof though, so don’t blame me when your flat screen gets ruined in the bottom of your boat).
The Freedom Track
The Freedom Track: Hate being restricted on where you can sit or put your rod holders and other gadgets? Well then this is the system for you! The freedom track allows your seats, rod holders, camera mounts, fish finder mounts, strobe lights, disco balls and anything else you want to use on the boat, move freely along the deck. Want to move your buddy who can’t cast all the way to the front? Do it and save yourself from a hookset! Want to move your kid’s seat close because they love to jump ship when you aren’t looking? Now you can! Heck, they probably even make a leash attachment for the freedom track – tie those kids down! (Don’t do that, it’s not safe)
While checking the boat out, John “Toast” Oast and Blake tested some of YakAttack’s products and they also fit into the Freedom Track system. This only adds to the unlimited possibilities you have with the Freedom Track.
Universal Seat Base
Universal Seat Bases: Yet another cool feature added to the Frontier, the universal seat bases make it easy to switch out seating on the fly. One side gives you a bench seat to which you can attach the padded backed seat. If you flip the base over the swivel seat can be attached and used. Each option has its own advantages, but the swivel seat is by far my favorite for fishing. It gives you 360 degree mobility and also adds some height, giving you a higher vantage point and makes it easier to sit and stand.
Hull Design: The bottom of the Frontier has been vastly improved. The hull is much flatter, giving you even more stability. To offset the speed issue with the flattened hull, the tracking channel depths have been increased and streamlined. The kiss offs have been moved to the underside of the boat, not that they were an issue on top though…
Cram your Frontier full of stuff! It can handle it!
Other Improvements: Along with all the changes that were made above, a lot of other features have been added. The area at the back of the boat has been increased – you can now place a crate or tackle box in this area and have it fit perfectly. There’s also risers in the back to keep your crate off the bottom and away from any stray water that may find its way in your boat. Cup holders have been added to the middle of the boat – now I can stop spilling my coffee… Don’t like using the freedom track for mounts? NuCanoe has you covered! They’ve added Mount Docks to the front and back of the boat. The handles have also been improved. The new handle design allows for a wider range of motion, saving your wrists from an unexpected twist.
Standing and paddling is no problem with the Frontier!
How’s she runnin’ Doc?
The first thing I noticed about the boat was how it’s easily moved with the new handle design. This seems like a minor point, but it really is easier to get this boat unloaded with the new handles. It also felt lighter to me, but it may have been because of the new handle.
When I placed it in the water, I noticed it rides higher. The Frontier should be able to move through some pretty skinny water for its size – we were running a flooded creek though, so I didn’t get a chance to try much shallow water.
When I stepped into the boat, I was immediately shocked at its stability. I felt like I was stepping onto a floating dock – the Frontier has almost no rock at all and gives you a very secure feeling. The old model is stable, but this just took it to the next level! Most people think boats like this are ‘tippy’ because they feel that initial rocking motion you get with most boats – that doesn’t exist with the Frontier. I was in the boat and sitting down with no problem at all.
Tossin' the spinnerbait from the Frontier!
The speed and tracking of the Frontier is amazing for its size. I was really surprised at how little I had to paddle to keep moving and we were even paddling upstream. The boat also has a quick response time, making turns and emergency maneuvers easy. This also makes standing up and paddling a lot easier; you can move the boat with minimal effort, this minimizes stress on your arms and wrists.
Fishing from the Frontier is where this boat really shines. You can stand up on the front of the boat and flip and pitch jigs without anything in your way. The Cast & Blast deck makes you feel like you’re standing on the front of a bass boat; you soon forget about any doubt you had with walking around the boat. The Freedom Track also allows you to make quick adjustments to the location of your equipment. You can slide any mount into any position while fishing, so your fish finder is never out of sight or that rod holder isn’t just out of reach.
It’s really the little changes that NuCanoe has put into the Frontier that make it the perfect boat. They’ve improved the stability, speed, storage, tracking… it’s just an all-around better boat. You’ll be amazed at how much this boat will improve your day on the water. The versatility is what sets it apart from other boats – you make it do whatever you want it to do. It’s a bass boat, it’s a kayak, it’s a canoe, it’s the Nu Frontier!
Check out the Nu Frontier Tour
and the NuCanoe Website
for more information!
Rating: 10/10 - This DVD is essential to any kayaker. Even if you have taken classes, I bet you'll find a lot of vital information in this DVD.
- The DVD is broken down wonderfully and is easy to watch
- Packed with information! Even someone who doesn't kayak will use the info contained in this DVD
- A minor hitch, but some of the audio/video isn't the best quality and it gets distracting at times... Doesn't take away from the whole DVD, but I had to find SOMETHING for the Cons or I'd sound like a fanboy :)
River Kayak Fishing Skills: A River Runner’s Lesson Plan is the first DVD in a series of many being produced by Jeff Little. For those of you who live under a rock, Jeff Little is a kayak fishing guide and instructor from the Maryland area and is one of the most predominate names in East Coast kayak fishing. In this first DVD, Jeff discusses many aspects of kayak fishing - everything from selecting the right kayak to effective kayak fishing techniques. Overall this DVD is a must have for any kayak angler, but it is especially important for anyone new to kayak fishing (or kayaking in general) to watch this DVD. Even if you don’t kayak fish, the last 2 parts cover developing patterns and forage assessment and are filled with great information for any angler.
The DVD is broken down into 9 sections: Finding The Right Kayak, Maintaining Boat Position, Paddling Technique, Stealth Approaches, Maneuver’s, Running A Rapid, Trip Planning & Exploration, Pattern Development and Forage Assessment.
Finding The Right Kayak:
In this section, Jeff discusses what it takes to find the right kayak. He also touches on the differences between the sizes of kayaks and how each style and size work differently. The best information he gives in this entire section is to get yourself out to a Demo day. It isn’t wise to buy a kayak without trying all the different options and a demo day can get you on to many different boats to find what’s right for you. This is one of the best sections for anyone just getting into kayaking and kayak fishing.
Which kayak should you buy?
Maintaining Boat Position:
This section is what I consider the ‘Meat and Potatoes’ of the whole DVD. Anyone who is going to fish any rivers in a kayak needs to learn how to maintain boat position. Not only does this allow you to fish areas you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to reach, it is an essential part of staying safe when fishing a river. Jeff covers some great techniques to keep your kayak in position while in many different situations. Some of the techniques covered are one handed paddling techniques, wedging, and how to use wind and current to your advantage.
Jeff maintains position while fishing
If you’re new to kayaking - definitely watch this section before you hit the water. This section covers the basics of good paddling technique. There’s actually a lot more to paddling than simply… well, paddling. This section teaches you how to paddle silently and to use less energy and get the most out of each stroke. Learning these simple, but essential techniques will help reduce soreness and prevent injuries that can come from incorrect paddling technique. This is another section that shows you how to remain safe while running a river. Safety is a huge part of this DVD and it isn’t something that should be taken lightly.
Jeff discusses paddling techniques
This section is the whole reason I enjoy kayak fishing so much - The stealth factor. This section is going to help get you on more and bigger fish. Stealth approaches are key to successful kayak fishing and this section gives you some great tips on how to remain quiet and go unnoticed. Jeff also discusses some accessories you can use to keep your kayak quiet. You’ll be surprised at all the noise you’re making and probably don’t notice, but the fish do! This section also discusses ways you could be spooking fish by means of scent transfer and bad casting technique, so this is a good section to watch even if you don’t plan on fishing from a kayak.
Long casts are another part of stealth
Yet another essential section for anyone who is going to fish a river (that’s what the whole DVD is about anyway!). Jeff covers some great maneuvering techniques that you’ll need to safely and effectively get around while paddling through current. Probably the best segment in this section is learning to ferry. Ferrying will help you conserve energy and will also keep you out of danger should you ever get into some heavy current.
Use the current to your advantage for easy turning
Running a Rapid:
You’re bound to hit rapids when fishing a river, so watch this section over and over again! Rapids are going to be the most dangerous part of running a river, so learning how to effectively get through rapids safely will keep you in your boat and also keep your gear from going for a swim. One thing to remember about running a rapid: Speed is Stability!
Jeff also covers what to do if you end up in the water. This is something you have to get ingrained in your mind, because your first initial reaction is going to be to stand up. Standing up is the last thing you should do when you’re in current, so repeat this section a few times.
Learn to safely run a rapid... Speed is Stability!
Trip Planning & Exploration:
Tired of fishing the same water over and over again? Then watch this section! Jeff covers how to plan an exploration trip - covering the tools he uses before going out and even what to do while you’re out on your trip. Jeff also gives some insight on how to rig your kayak for easier transport and throws in more fishing techniques, so watch this section even if you aren’t going on an adventure in your kayak!
A great trip starts well before the trip actually begins
A great section for ANY angler! I know a lot of anglers who can’t effectively develop a pattern and just start chucking lures in random spots (I used to be one of them). Pattern development takes the luck out of fishing and turns it into successful, educated fishing. Jeff gives you tips on what to look for when you catch fish and how to figure out exactly how and why you are (or aren’t) catching fish. This section also helps you break down water and focus your fishing on the productive areas. Lots of great information in this section!
Even the bank anglers will find this DVD helpful
This part of the DVD is one that I normally forget to do when I’m fishing, but is so important to a successful day of fishing. Knowing what food sources are in a particular body of water is essential to building a pattern and selecting the proper lures for the day. This is another section what will help take the guess work out of fishing and help you catch more fish. This is another section that every angler needs to watch - kayak fishing or not.
Forage assessment is a vital part of lure selection
Overall, I feel this DVD is an essential tool that every kayak angler needs to have. Being new to kayak angling myself, this DVD gives me a ton of confidence and also touched on some areas that I never even thought about before putting my boat in the water. This is a great introduction to kayak fishing and would also be a great refresher for seasoned kayakers. This is a perfect start to Jeff’s DVD series and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next release.
I bet these guys bought this DVD
For more information on this DVD or Jeff Little, check out http://www.blueridgekayakfishing.com/
Disclaimer: At the time of this writing, FishingInPa.com has no affiliation with Jeff Little or Blue Ridge Kayak Fishing. This DVD was purchased by Fishing In Pa and we received no compensation for this review.This review was our own personal thoughts about the above product and were shared to help others make a decision on the product.
Rating: 10/10 - Buy these now if you want a good pair of gloves!
- Cheap, but not cheaply made
- Super warm and breathable
- Surprisingly waterproof
- Fly Fishing is not hindered
- Had to turn the brakes back on the baitcaster, but all gloves would cause this
When I saw the Outdoor Blogger Network had a few pairs of Manzella Tracker gloves available for review, I had to jump on the offer. I have been looking for a good pair of waterproof gloves for not only fishing, but for wearing while I try and get through this tough winter (Winter is the only time I hate living in Pa, it lacks consistency!).
· Shell: Water-repellent micro-poly twill
· Palm: Synthetic suede
· Lining: Fleece
· Insulation: 100-gram Thinsulate™ X-Static®
· Insert: HydroBlok® WPB
Manzella rates their gloves based upon three tiers; Warm, Warmer and Warmest. The Tracker gloves fall into the warmest category.
I was fairly impressed with the build quality of these gloves. Before I even received them in the mail, I was looking on their site and thought that a $35 pair of gloves weren’t going to be built very well. My mind was quickly changed as soon as I opened the package. The straps and pulls are solid and I really felt like I could ‘use’ them without worry - I can’t say that about previous gloves I have used in this price range.
Wrist adjustments to get that perfect fit
The palms have a suede overlay that makes gripping a breeze. Even when the gloves got wet, there was no slipping. I was casting my fly rod just as I would without gloves on. The leather ‘trigger’ finger is perfect for holding your slack line. The fly line slips through the leather with ease, but you can really clamp down when you need to keep the line from moving. Even though it was made for hunters, it’s also a great feature for fly anglers.
Suede and Leather overlay
When I first felt the outside of the gloves, I was pretty skeptical about them being ‘waterproof’. The outside just feels like a heavyweight felt. I tested this claim in a number of ways. First, I simply put them on and put my hand under running water. My hands stayed dry and the water fell right off the gloves. The next test was done in the field – I put my hand in the freezing waters of Kish creek and left it there for 5 minutes. I’m sure if people could see me they would think I was some kind of idiot, but I take my reviews seriously! My hand stayed dry AND warm and it even stayed this way for the remainder of the 6 hour day on the water. The best part was I didn’t have that soggy glove feeling after the day was over. Functionality:
One of the reasons I absolutely hate wearing gloves is because I can never seen to function out in the field. Fly fishing in the gloves was pretty easy. I did have to take my gloves off when I was handling fish, but that was more for the fish’s protection than it was anything else. The only thing I couldn’t do in these gloves was effectively use my baitcasting rod without the brakes on. I couldn’t get the feeling right to be able to thumb the spool, but I don’t think that’s possible in ANY pair of gloves. Overall, I like wearing these gloves and don’t really lose any functionality except the fact that I have to turn the brakes on the baitcaster.
For a mere $35, these gloves are a steal. You’re not going to find another pair in this price range that performs as well as Manzella’s. Be sure to check out all their products at http://www.manzella.com
and if you’re looking for more fine blogs to read, head on over to http://www.outdoorbloggernetwork.com
Legal Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with, nor was I endorsed by Manzella. I received the above product at no cost in exchange for an honest review. I was given no compensation, nor was I threatened to give this product a good review. The above is my honest opinion and was not swayed in anyway by any outside parties. Future relationships with Manzella or any companies involved with Manzella may change, but I was not involved with Manzella at the time of this writing.
View Part 1 HERE
I finally got to take the map back up to Walker Lake to test it's integrity. I wanted to check random depths, measurements and any visible structure either in the lake or around the shoreline.
I started down the North side of the lake, just off the boat launch, and measured the depth at every point where the depth was written on the map. Each of these depths was correct, both by my reading on the sonar and my length of rope that I used to measure depths under 10 feet.
I then looked for the major landmarks and cover points on the map. I measured these areas via GPS and the measurement tool available through Google Maps (I used my Android phone for this section). My phone was picking up 8 satellites while taking measurements and stated it was accurate within 2 meters (~6ft.). All of the structures and landmarks I measured were within 10 feet of what the map stated.
I feel even more confident about fishing at Walker now that I have tested this map. While we were measuring, we even had a few hits on a Rapala Xrap we were throwing around some porcupine cribs. These maps will definitely come in handy when trying to find good spots to ice fish. All you'd have to do is find some cribs or black bass boxes, set up over them and you should get yourself a limit fairly quick. I highly recommend getting a few maps from HLS maps. They are easy to read, make finding cover and structure a lot easier and they aren't overly big, so they are easy to carry.
Sunset over the dam at Walker Lake
I recently had the opportunity to get my hands on a structure map of Walker Lake made by Huntingtons Lake Structure Maps. Overall, I was very impressed with the amount of information on this map. It is very easy to read and offers a lot of things that I didn't even know about Walker (and I have been fishing it a long time).
I should note that this was a 'first run' of this map and this is NOT for final production. All of the information is there, but they sometimes make slight revisions for their final map.
All maps are printed on 36"x24" paper and are laminated and waterproof. The size of the map makes it an easy read, yet it's still small enough to carry along with you (each map comes in a protective tube). The quality of the map is great. It's printed on nice heavy paper and the lamination gives it a nice feel. I could see this laying in the boat without getting destroyed or worn. You can also write on the map with a dry erase marker to add information about hot spots you may find on your own.
Bottom Half of Walker Lake
As I said in the beginning - this map offered structure locations that I didn't even knew existed. It also shows the locations of several underground springs that I would have never found without this map. The springs will be invaluable information when fishing for walleye and pike, as they will tend to hold closer to this cold current.
Map showing one of the feeder creeks at Walker Lake. The letter also adds more information about that zone.
The map also shows the locations of man made structures like porcupine cribs and black bass boxes. Each piece of structure has an accompanying letter, each letter then offers more information about that piece of structure (like distance from landmarks, best times to fish it, etc...). Other key items included on the map are depths, creek channels, steep inclines, bottom type, and other natural cover (like timber, grass or rock).
The green shape indicates a Porcupine Crib, the letter gives the user more information about the zone and the numbers indicate depth
Letters giving the user more information about zones
Aside from the actual map, there are many other pieces of information that go along with the map. There is an overall lake analysis which provides a more general overview of the lake (when's the best time to fish, what species are in the lake, overall visibility and ice information). There is also some background information on the lake for all you history buffs (like me).
This is where I'll end part 1 of this review. There was a recent fish kill on Walker due to the intense heatwave in the area and it has been affecting the fishing tremendously (even though only a few dead bass were found, the Pa Boat and Fish Commission stated that bass are being caught at an all time low). To give this map a fair shot on the lake, I want to give the lake a few more weeks to re-cooperate until I actually fish with the map. I'll probably take this map out around the end of Sept. or early Oct., so watch for Part 2 around that time.
Even without taking this map out to fish, I can tell you that it is going to be an invaluable tool. There are many things I never knew about Walker that will surely increase my chances at catching a lunker. I can also see that this map would almost be a necessity for ice anglers. They would know exactly where the cover and deeper haunts would be, without having to waste time.
I will definitely be buying more of these maps - I'll go as far as saying I won't be fishing a new lake without one! Huntington's Lake Structure Maps currently offers 8 maps - with another near completion - all of which are popular lakes in our region. Feel free to check out their site at: http://www.hlsmaps.com
. While you're there, use the 'contact us' page to request any lake that you may want to see mapped in the future.
View Part 2 HERE