We had a call from the people at Bison Marine, they had some new products which they wanted us to try out and review, a new range of three rod holders.
There are quite a lot of rod holders available to the kayak fisherman, a lot mimic the designs of others, we hoped that Bison Marine had come up with something new.
Bison Marine Rod Holder
First out of the box was their standard rod holder. This is a very nice looking design which comes complete with the Bison base. The rod holder is compatible with the range of Scotty bases which I suspect many will use instead of the Bison base, the Bison base is much larger than the standard Scotty bases and sadly does not fit the same bolt pattern which is now incorporated in so many fishing kayaks.
Bison base mount compared to a Scotty equivalent.
The rod holder its self is made from quality materials and is a very well thought out piece. The holder will take rods using both fixed spool and muliplier reels. the front of the rod handle sits in a high sided forked rest whilst the back part of the handle sits securely under the rear section of the rod holder which acts like a hook, this hook section has been predrilled to accept a rod leash, a nice touch.
To strike you simply raise the rods tip and move to the side and your free of the holder
its a very simple idea and works very well indeed.
The side of the rod holder has a large easy grip knob which when unscrewed allows the rod holder angle to be adjusted utilising a series of notches which when the knob is tightened keep the rod holder in a very secure none slip position.
As I have previously mentioned this rod holder will fit most Scotty accessories and is a superb alterative to the normal choices of rod holder.
Bison Marine Rod Holder with Bite Alarm
The Bison Marine Rod Holder with Bite Alarm came as a bit of a shock when we took it out of its box, the first thing that struck us is how well it is engineered.
The rod holder is made up of several components, firstly the adjustable base clamp
which is compatible with Scottys bases, the angle of the clamp can be adjusted by unscrewing the large knob on the side of the clamp and and raising and lowering the angle. The clamp holds an aluminium bar which is 54cm long, at both ends are there are a pair of uprights, the shorter upright is threaded to accept the electronic bite alarm. At the other end the rod handle clamp.
The clamp attaches to your fising rod handle by unscrewing the pair of thumb screw, the screw on the right hand side of the clamp swivels to the side allowing the rod to be slipped in, the clamp remains fitted to the rod. at the base of the clamp is a large trigger, this releases the rod and clamp from the aluminum base, this connection has again been very well thought out and works very well. the front of the rod sits on the bite alarm as a standard river bank set up. The alarm that comes with the complete package is easily adjusted for sensitivity and has both an audible and visible, a pair of LED's, bite indication, the alarm is powered by a pair of N type 1.5 volt batteries.
This style of rod holder needs the kayak to kept still at both the bow and stern, using both a standard anchor to the rear and something like a mud anchor tied off to the side of the cockpit to hold the kayak in position.
The Bison Marine Rod Holder with Bite Alarm will allow the kayak fisherman to use standard freshwater bottom fishing techniques and possibly the ability to have a little sleep out on the water should it be a slow day... not that we suggest or encourage such things!
Bison Marine Fly Rod Holder
Now anyone who knows me, knows that I love my fly fishing and I've never been that happy with the rod holders available to me. There are a couple of rod holder manufacturers that make fly rod holders for kayaks. Bison had their work cut out to come out with a fly rod holder that works well, keeps the rod secure and looks good. They seem to have come up with the goods.
What they have done is take a tube rod holder and made a series of cuts in it to accommodate a fly rod, I am making it sound simple and it is a very simple design, but the cut outs have been thought about, the rod slides tightly into the tube with the fly reel upper most, the reel then falls away to the right and this in turn locks the rod in the holder whilst paddling, I'm not sure how secure this would be should you capsize, so would recommend attaching a leash whilst paddling to and from the mark.
The angle of the Fly Rod Holder is again adjusted via a large threaded knob that once loosened allows adjustment and hold securely once retightened.
This fly rod holder is one of the best designs that I have come across and one that I hope will last me well into the future.