Category Archives: Reviews

Ocean Rodeo Soul Dry Suit Review

Wanting to start my kayak fishing season early and extending it into the colder months requires some cold water gear here in Montreal in order to get out on that water safely on these cold Canadian days.

After doing some research and debating between a dry top and pant I decided that it would be safer and worth the expense to get a dry suit and ended up buying the Ocean Rodeo Soul . Before we get into the detailed review here are the Pros and Cons of this dry suit.

Pros

  • Looks great
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Warm
  • Easy to put on
  • Removable hood
  • Comfortable and easy to move and paddle in
  • Quality workmanship
  • Slightly cheaper then KOKATAT

Cons

  • Bulky when worn with a life jacket
  • Can get very warm in the sun
  • Bulkier then other dry suits

I made my purchase in early 2014 at MEC and used it throughout April, May and June and then again in October. We have had a particularly cold winter in 2013 so the water had remained colder than usual  and I was glad I had the protection of the full dry suit.

I know that looks are not the most important quality but I didn’t want to totally concede style and so my requirement was that it was well built and also that the zippers were not overly visible. The Ocean Rodeo Soul met all of my requirements, including that the relief zipper is hidden.  The build quality of this dry suit is very good and the layout well thought out.

I used the suit in both rainy and sunny weather and it really shined on those cloudy rainy days where it kept me both  warm and dry. However when the sun does come out you will get warm quickly but opening the jacket does help. I found it very easy to get in and out of, and because the zipper is located close to the top of the suit around the neck area it can easily  be zipped by one person. I tested it in some shallow water,  and as you would expect; no leaks and all the clothing I was wearing came out perfectly dry.

I’m 5’9″ tall and decided to go for the large.  It’s just a bit big,  but wearing the suspenders which are provided keeps the lower portion of the suit in place while I’m getting my boat to the water.

If you’re considering this dry suit I would recommend you get the version with the socks. I bought the version with the ankle gaskets but on second thought it might have been a mistake since my feet do get a bit cold even while wearing neoprene socks and shoes. If you get the version with the integrated socks you can put on a pair of wool socks which will keep your feet nice and warm. Also if you buy the same suit I did,  and the gaskets seem a bit tight make sure to stretch them out using cans or round Tupperware before deciding to trim them as they will stretch over time and  could get too loose.  The suit comes with detailed instructions on how to adjust the gaskets.

I also recommend you wear it at home for a few hours before going out on the water to make sure the neck gasket isn’t too tight because passing out in your kayak ain’t no fun.

Overall this is a great looking drysuit that provides great fit and function.  Even though it is a bit bulky when wearing a life jacket, it’s really the only flaw in an otherwise well designed and constructed dry suit.

I’m very happy with my purchase and look forward to using it to get back out on the water as soon as the ice melts.  I recommend this suit for anyone who wants to do the same.

 

 

Berkley Hot Line Cutter Review

cutter

 

Before we get into some of the details here’s a summary of the pros and cons of this cutter.

Pros

  • Light compact design
  • Gets hot quickly
  • Work well on all types of fishing line especially braid

Cons

  • Flimsy plastic construction
  • Kills batteries FAST
  • Not durable

I saw this line cutter on sale last season and decided to give it a try.  I was looking for a good tool to cut braided line which is sometimes hard to cut with a standard cutter.  This line cutter uses two AAA batteries that are located behind the red cover in the handle.  You’ll also notice a red button on the cutter that when pushed forward exposes activates cutting headed and then retracts it when you let go of that same button.

The positive points of this cutter is that it cuts great when it works. This cutter will make cutting braided, mono, and fluorocarbon a breeze but it really shines when cutting braided line where is produces nice clean cuts.

Now for the not so positive points…  I used this cutter for approximately two weeks with light use and went through two sets of batteries.  When using the cutter I didn’t hold the button too long.  I made sure to hold it just enough to cut the line,  so I’m  not sure why the battery life is so bad.  After the two weeks the cutter went in the drawer and didn’t come out until recently. I thought I would give it another try this season but after trying two fresh sets of batteries it wouldn’t get hot anymore.

So,  in conclusion if you are looking for a disposable item that will cost you a fortune in batteries this is the cutter for you… but for me, I’ll stick to the little scissors on my swiss army knife-they work great!

 

 

WHEELEEZ TUFF TIRE Kayak Cart Review

I bought the WHEELEEZ TUFF TIRE cart last season because my DIY cart broke and I decided that I didn’t want to waste anymore time trying to fix or improve it. I bought this cart at MEC for 95$ and so far I’m glad I did. Before we get into some of the details here’s a summary of the pros and cons of this cart.

Pros

  • Light
  • Tires don’t go flat
  • Folds and stores easily
  • Wheels come off easily to store in kayak
  • Works great on smooth and semi smooth terrain
  • Works well even with boat fully loaded with gear

Cons

  • Somewhat awkward with my kayak (because of the tunnel hull on the Native Ultimate 12)
  • Pins that hold wheels are easy to lose (but it comes with extra pins)
  • Could get snagged in rough terrain
  • Still looking for best way to quickly setup straps on Ultimate 12

So far the cart has worked well throughout the half season I used it for last year,  but as I mentioned, it’s awkward to use with the tunnel hull on my kayak.

I’ve tried to use the cart by positioning it toward the stern of the boat but this makes the boat harder to carry loaded with gear. When I install the towards the middle of the boat it works well but the padded parts sit on the bulges of the hull and the cart will slip if it isn’t strapped correctly. Now this wouldn’t be an issue if you had a sit on top boat with just a regular hull, so it’s not a limitation of the cart, per se, just the combination of that cart with my kayak.

Installing the cart is pretty easy, since it comes with two 4 meter straps and you simply strap your boat to the cart. In my case this is a bit more complicated and in order to prevent slipping I also wrap the strap around the rear cross member of my boat so that the cart can’t move back or sideways when I carry my boat.

The best part of this cart is that when you get to the water you simply remove the wheels and fold it to easily fit inside the boat. At 4.5 KG is also doesn’t add much weight either.

I’ve used this kart on gravel and uneven grass and in both situations it performed well.  As far as durability, it’s too early to tell but the overall construction seems durable and I really like the foam filled wheels which won’t leave you looking for a pump on your way to the water.

Overall, I would recommend this cart  as it’s met my expectations and I expect for it to continue to perform well.  My only wish is that I find an easier way to strap it to my boat.