Diablo Deck Review: Part One

Diablo Deck Review: Part One: For sometime now, I’ve been thinking about adding a Diablo Deck to my Adios. Why? I mainly fish flats. That means I’m “poling” most of the time. ( DYI push pole) Not only is “poling” far quieter, and more maneuverable, when standing up my ability to see fish is greatly improved. And the Diablo Deck would raise my eyes even higher off the water. Damn, I need every advantage I can get!

Diablo Deck Review: Part One

Well, I finally rang up Diablo Paddlesports and bought the Diablo Deck. So lets take a preliminary look. (In future posts will address the “Deck’s” on the water performance.) The “Deck” measures 32″ x 23-3/4″. It is 1/2″ thick and made of a hard plastic base with black foam traction material on top. (Appears to be the same foam that comes standard in the Adios cockpit.) To my eye, overall the product seems well-made. It weights about 8 pounds, and is secured to the Adios by 2 belts. These are positioned to take advantage of existing anchor points on the kayak. So there is no need to drill any new holes. In fact no tools are requires at all. Great.

In the above photo, note the small red arrows. I added them to show 2 anchor points on the “Deck’s” upper surface.  These are ready for you to lash down a cooler or other device  of your choosing. (The Diablo website shows a Yeti cooler installed) Yes, both anchor points are very low and small. Ummmm. Perhaps that’s to avoid them being a tripping hazard. Not sure.

Diablo Deck Review:Part One

This next photograph shows the underside of the “Deck”. Here there are 4 thick foam blocks. These are cut to the correct height so as to transfer your weight down into the Adios’ cockpit. If you look closely you’ll also see 4  silver nuts that hold down the cooler anchor points. I’ll likely swapped these out for longer screws and washers.

If you regularly use the Adios’ 2 6″ round dry access hatches, here’s a warning. The “Deck” covers both, making them unusable. C’est la vie my friend.

Okay, I bet you’re wondering whether I’ll buy that big Yeti cooler and lash it to the “Deck’? Man, them Yetis are expensive! Frankly I’m holding off on that, at least for the moment. Perhaps I’ll find a cheaper solution. We’ll see.

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How Many Spots does a Redfish Have?

How many spots does a redfish have? Fair question. Typically a redfish has one spot per side. It is usually located on the rear flank, near or on the tail, and above the lateral line.  The photograph below shows how that commonly looks. (In theory, this spot is a false-eye, there to confuse predators. Clever that.)

How Many Spots does a Redfish have?

Now redfish do vary. Can a redfish have no spots at all? Zero, zilch? Yes. I have seen at least one red like that. Is it possible for a redfish to have multiple spots? Yes again. Two spots is not unusual. A redfish with three spots, however, like the one in the photo below, is a bit rarer. (By the way, the spots on one flank may not be the same as the spots on the opposite flank.)

How many spots does a redfish have?

Okay check out the redfish below. It was caught by my friend Dave a few days ago. It has five, or possibly six, spots. One of which is below the lateral line. Now we getting up there.

A Five Spotted Redfish

You’re chances of seeing a redfish with more than 6 spots is probably right up there with winning the lottery. But that does beg the question: what is the maximum number of spots ever recorded? Well, I did some checking on the old inter-web and discovered much to my surprise that redfish have been caught with 50 or more spots! In fact the world record is 500 spots. Wow!

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Caught the Same Redfish Twice

In the previous post, I described catching a “tailing” redfish, my first red of 2017. Naturally I returned to the same spot, paddling my Adios out the following morning with high hopes. Sure enough, a “tail” popped up, immediately. I cast to it and bingo hooked a red. Nice. Upon landed it, I realized I may have caught the same redfish twice!

Caught the Same Redfish Twice

That’s right – same location, same fly, same redfish the following day.  Yes, the fish looks slightly different here, but perhaps that camera angle and lighting. Is it the same red? Not totally sure. Well if it is that does show that catch-and-release works; still everyone knows that. But it also shows that game fish are creatures of habit, often returning to locations where they were previously successful.  (I guess we anglers are too.)

Years ago when I fished the beaches of New England, I kept a log of my striped bass adventures. I noted – day of the year, time of day, the tide, the moon phase, and the weather conditions – included wind direction, temperature, sun, rain and so on.  Those logs proved invaluable. At the start of every season, I would read through them and make plans for the months ahead. Met a lot of stripers that way.

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My First Redfish of 2017

Wasn’t able to get to the waters over the holidays. And since then, we have experienced high winds and mornings as low as 36. Not good. Today, however, things improved. Dawn was in the low 50s, the tide was right and the winds reduced. Had to get out and cast a fly. And boy I’m glad I did. I got my first redfish of 2017.

My First Redfish of 2017

I arrived at my favorite flat just before sunrise. The wind was variable, 10-15 knots or so, out of the northeast. Would have liked less, but that wind wasn’t enough to be a  deal killer. On the other hand the water was clear and low. So all told the conditions were fairly good for “tailing” reds. Yet after an hour and a half of poling my Adios up and down the flat, I hadn’t see a single “tail” or even a cruising red. Ouch. It was time to boogie out of there.

The next flat was one I fish from time-to-time. “Tailers” are less common here, but I have caught them. Hence, I figured it was worth the paddle. Turned out I was right. As soon as I got there a “tail” popped up about 200 feet away. Great! I staked out my Adios upwind from the redfish, strapped on my lumber pack, and grabbed my fly rod. Then while wading slowly in the fish’s direction, I worked out some fly line in anticipation.

By the time I was in position, however, the “tail” had disappeared. Hate it when that happens. Hate it. But the redfish was swirling occasionally, revealing its location. Moving closer, I dropped the fly nearby. Two strips and the redfish charged it.  Not a big red, still it fought very well, tearing across the flat, and put my 6-weight fly rod to the test. The fly, you ask? The Neon Crab fly once again!

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