Water Master Accessories

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Ed Call, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,400
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,357 / 9
    I'm anxiously awaiting my water master kodiak's arrival. It is not hung up in customs but is instead touring great locations like Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons and places from here to there and back again. I'm deeply indebted to its' trusty tour guide, Chris, and his family for escorting it home to me.

    I've been reading every post with the word phrase Water Master that I can search and find and there are a lot of them with great information.

    My question(s) is(are) what accessories have you used that you find to make your water master fishing experience the best possible. I'll be using mine on stillwater and rivers, having just moved my quad tube solo pontoon boat on to its new owner today.

    So, how about it, hard seat bracket and hard seat?
    Stripping apron?
    Storage bags?
    Dry bags (I realize I'll be a lot lower in the water)?
    How do you mount, if you do, fishfinders?
    Anchor assembly? With or without the motor mount bracket?
    What about the floor for pram like dry fishing? Can you really stand on that thing? Is it rigid, flexible?

    I know mine has the upgraded oars, but not sure about cargo netting, seat or any other features.

    Thanks for any input via this thread so others can benefit from it searchability, or via PM.
    Back to reading more of your water master stories...thanks. Ed
  2. Brian Miller Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout

    Posts: 879
    WA
    Ratings: +66 / 0
    Welcome aboard! There are several seasoned WM owners on the board. In my discussions with Chris I've found he and I like some different things but I'm a newb so take me with a grain of salt. I posted some thoughts on this last year on the last page of the Water Master Kickboats :: Kodiak & Grizzly thread in the WFF Gear Forum. Lets see if I have changed my mind on anything.

    hard seat bracket and hard seat? Haven't used. My high back seat option with the Thermarest Trail Seat velcroed on (+ clipped in) is supportive, comfy, and warm. I believe the hard seat would eliminate the folding (kayak) seat's straps that might just allow adding D rings for mounting something like Outcast 'toon side storage bags within easy reach.

    Stripping apron? YES, I use it ALL the time in stillwater, but haven't tried in rivers yet (I'll try it tomorrow, in the river nav and safety class I signed up for)

    Storage bags? I have the standard mesh bag that comes with the Expedition package. It rides low and everything gets wet, especially when it rains. Nice for drinks. I did however get a new, simple dry storage pouch with a flap closure BSI just came up with. It rides higher than the mesh bag and I mount it over the mesh bag. On stillwater everything stays dry in a downpour even in the mesh bag that's covered over. (I'll try it tomorrow, in the river nav and safety class I signed up for)

    Dry bags (I realize I'll be a lot lower in the water)? I did Class II water in the WFF boat over a week and the rear deck stayed dry. Rain however is another story and I will always have a dry bag (or two) along. The backpack is a HUGE dry bag that holds the boat, accessories, and as much other stuff that I could possibly carry

    How do you mount, if you do, fishfinders? sportsman has a cool Cabelas Fishing Buddy holster with a strap that wraps around the tube.

    Anchor assembly? With or without the motor mount bracket? I didn't get the motor mount but the anchor assy is nice. I would like to find a better jam cleat (mounts to the wood seat platform) that can better manage the rope; more secure hold, and easier release, perhaps with a rotating cam like a Scotty that can be removed for folding up the boat. This is another good reason for the hard seat to eliminate the seat straps that complicate rope management. I've been thinking about hanging a mesh clam net with a (semi) rigid open top to store slack rope in at the front of the seat platform though. I will cetainly buy or fabricate a motor mount to integrate with the anchor system if I ever want to use a trolling motor. I have seen some posts where anchor mounts have been fabricated that function like the OEM mount. sportsman just posted a rundown of the motor mount he fabricated for his Abel that might work on a WM

    What about the floor for pram like dry fishing? Can you really stand on that thing? Is it rigid, flexible? I understand it is a rigid floor with an apron that is held tightly in place when the tubes are inflated within the apron. I could be wrong but i don't think I'd have a use for it and it would just take up space in my garage. I've seen video of guys fishing while standing on the seat platform, I believe in slow moving water; I'm not there yet.

    I know mine has the upgraded oars, but not sure about cargo netting, seat or any other features. Upgraded oars with the longer slender blades and durable shafts are nice for moving water. I got my WM with loaner standard oars because there was a (long) delay in delivery of my boat and they work great in stillwater and are a couple of pounds lighter for packing any distance. When it came time to return the loaner standard oars when the upgraded Expedition Package oars arrived, Rich said I'd been very patient and told me to keep the standard oars so I have both.

    Cargo netting, Yes.

    The high back soft seat upgrade gives a small amount of increased support over a properly adjusted standard seat. The Thermarest pad I velcro on is very comfortable.

    A Scotty anchor mount with a float tube adaptor for the front is a nice option in additon to a rear anchor to hold steady in windy conditions on stillwater
  3. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,400
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,357 / 9
    Thanks Brian, I had read your WM review in the gear page. I also know there are a few in here that are WM fans for a long time. Now that my solo pontoon is at another home I'm heged fully to the WM and want to know what type of things I should be thinking about to make it as optimal for my use as possible.
  4. bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

    Posts: 1,428
    Montana
    Ratings: +214 / 1
    When I had my watermaster bawling: I bought a Scotty rod holder that straps right on the tube. Worked really well.

    I also took my Simms dry bag fanny pack and had it strapped onto the tube so that I had a dry "tackle box" that was very convenient from the seat position.
  5. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Posts: 2,341
    .
    Ratings: +1,176 / 0
  6. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,400
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,357 / 9
    Bitterroot, I have one of those strap on types for my float tube and really like it. I've already got it ear marked for moving back and forth between the two. I also have a multi rod carrier that a WFF member created for me that I think could be a possible stillwater addition. Not sure I'll want it on in a river.

    Freestone, great seat option. You drop your $90 and try it first, then let me demo it...right? It seems that there are a few seat preferences over the standad soft seat, be it a velcro attached improved staduim seat, an inflatable like the one you linked or a hard seat. I do think soft and portable has advantages over hard for packability. I do like the inflatable seat on my float tube that looks a lot like that one you linked.

    Keep them coming all, I have at least one or two other friends that are also following along, or they should be!
  7. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Posts: 2,341
    .
    Ratings: +1,176 / 0
    Yeah, the thing that sucks is I sold one brand new a few years ago for $15 as I didn't like it on my SOT kayak...wish I had it now!
  8. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Posts: 7,136
    Not sure
    Ratings: +1,225 / 0
    My favorite WM accessories:

    Stripping apron (One of the best designs on any craft I've owned, it's wide, doesn't interfere with anything else, and stays taut. Mine lacks the white inch-scale ruler marks found on other craft that provides a handy way to measure fish size.)

    Hard seat (Don't knock it until you've actually sat on one. There's NO inflatable cushion that provides as much lower back support.)

    Anchor system (I fish lakes almost exclusively with my Kodiak, and the previous owner's knockoff of the factory system is brain-dead simple and easy to use.)

    Mesh bag (The three-pocket design fits on the inside of the right tube near my knee. Positioned low enough, it keeps beverages at water temperature as well as stows unused anchor rope.)

    Front pull handle (Clips to the D rings on the bow, and makes hauling the boat up onto shore a snap.)


    My least favorite accessories:

    Cabelas Fishin' Buddy holster (Strap is barely long enough to go around the Kodiak tube, tough to position to avoid oars and legs, poor design lets the Fishin Buddy flop around while rowing or kicking.)

    Scotty rod holder (Like the Cabelas holster, it's tough to position to avoid interfering with more important accessories. I just lay a second rod alongside the seat with the tip pointing rearwards. When trolling, I just lay the rod parallel to the side tubes with the tip over the bow and the reel below the back edge of the stripping apron. If I get a big hit, the stripping apron keeps the rod on board while I grab for it.)

    K
  9. Gregg Lundgren Now fishing on weekdays too!

    Posts: 513
    N. Edmonds / Mukilteo, WA
    Ratings: +89 / 0
    I am a relative newb, similar to Brian. I have six still water trips under my belt so far. Like Kent, I would have to place the stripping apron at the top of my list.

    Adding something new to the thread... I would have to say I am very happy with my NRS 30 Can soft sided cooler. I bought a couple of bag straps, and attach it the same way as the forward seat straps - in sling fashion. It provides some additional back support to lean back against at times. Back fatigue was one of my initial concerns before I received my Kodiak, but all my trips so far have been 6 hours or more. I have the optional high back soft seat. I did eight hours yesterday with no issues.

    Enjoy!
  10. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,400
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,357 / 9
    Kent, I was looking forward to your input. Any chance you can post some photos of that anchor system. I'm thinking I should have more than enough junk in my garage that I can fabricate something that can work well for supporting an anchor and keep the anchor from banging the boat when up. I do like the mesh bag beverage holder idea, no reason not to use the natural cooling powers of the water for your refreshments, whatever they may be. I'm a fan of the hard seats on pontoon boats but my fishcat 4 float tube's inflatable seat base with inflatable seat back has proven very comfortable, so I'm willing to try a seat like Freestone showed...maybe I can demo hers before I spend my money! I don't have a fishing buddy, my finder, should I choose to use it is no more complex than finding a way to fasten the transducer to the bottom of the boat and a bungee has worked in that manner before on inflatables. I don't know if my boat comes with a stripping apron or not. If not should I be getting one from watermaster because it is better than other designs, or would an outcast one with a 2" rim around the edges and their measuring marks silk screened on be okay? Maybe mine will have it and this will be a mute point.

    Greg, I have a small outcast soft cooler that fits in my float tubes rear area. Maybe it will prove effective on the WM too.
  11. Michael Nelson Old And In The Way

    Posts: 250
    San Francisco, CA, USA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I sure agree with this. What a poorly designed and cheaply constructed piece of crap. I have one on my Scadden Outlaw Rampage. The strap adjustment is lame, you have to adjust the strap and then try it, adjust, try, and if the pressure goes down in your tubes because of cold water, the thing loosens up and slips. Why they didn't use the kind of "pull to tighten, lift to loosen" buckles that Scotty uses amazes me. The reason it is so floppy and unstable is that the strap is only sewed to the tube for about a 4" section, so it wobbles around that. My fix was to take a separate strap about 1" in width and pass it THROUGH the tube and then around the 'toon's tube, and that strap has the right kind of buckle, so I can cinch it up tight. That does a pretty good job of stabilizing it. I wrote a critical review of the thing on Cabelas' website today, but it hasn't been posted yet.

    I have one of these on my boat too. I was able to find a place for it just forward of the oarlock on the right side, but still I find it awkward to use and I have to install it and uninstall it every time I set up or take down the boat. Like you I find that just laying the rod down with the reel against my stripping apron works fine, and saves me the trouble of dealing with the Scotty.

    Ed, I have one of those Outcast soft coolers too, it's wonderful for putting some ice and a few frozen bottles of water and a sandwich and some fruit. Keeps everything really cold! I bought it for my FatCat but kept it when I sold the float tube and it works great in my 'toon too.
  12. sportsman Active Member

    Posts: 803
    Kirkland, wa., 98034.
    Ratings: +78 / 0
    Kent, Jim's 'knockoff' of the WM Anchor bracket is a nice piece: costs and weighs almost nothing and works great with those 4 fluke Cabela anchors we bought. The rope cleat/lock he bought at West Marine and mounted to the plywood on you raft cost almost as much as the anchor! I'm not sure why you don't like the Scotty or the FB holder, he never had a problem with either one?! I'm guessing it's where your trying to mount them.. I probably have some pics from our many trips that will show you where he mounted them. I've been meaning to call and catch up, which I'll do. A couple things about the FB holsters, I got mine at Outdoor Emporium, but it's the same as Cabelas: I made a strap from some 1/8" rope and tied it permanently under the FB head and then have a single snap hooked to a D-ring. I just make the holster strap snug and the rope keeps the FB tight. If your pontoon tubes are tapered[Scadden] that's another problem, but I made it work on an old pontoon I had with tapered tubes.
  13. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Posts: 7,136
    Not sure
    Ratings: +1,225 / 0
    Fred, there are only a very few spots on the Kodiak where either the Scotty or the Cabelas holster fit without interfering with the oars or my knees, so positioning isn't the cause for my critique above. I can make 'em fit, it's just that I don't like either of 'em much.

    Unlike your very organized garage, I'm not able to leave my boat fully inflated and rigged, ready to drop into the truck when I head out. Instead, I've got to inflate and add oars, seat and the other accessories every time I use the boat. And the more stuff I have to rig up waterside, the longer it takes before I'm on the water.

    I should have been more specific about the Cabelas holster. Michael hit it right on the head: it's a poorly designed piece of crap. As soon as I hit the oars or kick hard, the Fishin' Buddy just flops around like a fish in the net thanks to the wimpy holster and the poor fit of the Fishin' Buddy in it. I use the Fishin' Buddy so infrequently, that I just end up leaving them both home.

    As for the Scotty, yes it fits but as I mentioned, why do I need it when simply laying my rod/s down works just fine. The more crap I take fishing, the more likely it is I'll end up bringing something I don't need. And the Scotty falls into that category.

    Jim's anchor system is a beauty, especially when considering the low cost. My only criticism of it (and it's a very small one!) is that the little pulleys he used tended to bind up when I'd reef up on my 8 pound mushroom. I replaced them with 1" diameter ones and it pulls much easier. If the damned Harken or Ronstad ball bearing sailing blocks weren't so flippin' expensive (ie. $30 each), I'd have used them instead.

    K
  14. sportsman Active Member

    Posts: 803
    Kirkland, wa., 98034.
    Ratings: +78 / 0
    Kent, sent you an Email and we''ll talk tomorrow when it fits both schedules. I totally agree about the FB holder, it is a POS, but I've always used it as a 'support' and having 1 or 2 lines to keep it in place is how I made it work on various crafts. I can't find the pictures, but Jim had both mounted way forward on either side and it seemed to work fine for him. I don't always have the finder with me, but always have the rod holder, mostly for hitting the beach or lunch.....funny how many fish I've gotten with it in the holder and the line hanging down... but I never use it while fishing: the rod is either in my hand or like you, laying on the apron. My setup at home really is a drop and go affair, 10 minutes and I'm gone, but since I got the trolling motor[ ONLY out of neccesity] it takes 1/2 hour at the launch! I'm missing the days of a tube in one hand, rod and fins in the other and fishing in 5 minutes...but I've got a ways to go before I'll be able to use fins again. It's OK though, 3 months ago I doubted I'd even be able to fish this year.
  15. Brian Miller Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout

    Posts: 879
    WA
    Ratings: +66 / 0
    I have the Scotty rod holder and Inks'/ BSI's "bolt action" holder that's included in the Expedition package. The Scotty can pivot up-down like the "bolt action" as well as fore/aft. The one I've decided keep in the boat bag is the bolt action for simplicity and lightweight. * However, if I am taking two rods I will probably still only use one rod holder because they can get in the way as Kent describes.

    That's a dandy inflatable seat. The Thermarest pad is cheap comfortable, and would be easy to replace if damaged beyond repair. Surf to Summit has some nice but expensive seats. But getting rid of those straps could open up some space that would not interfere with the oars so 'toon style storage bags may be able to be rigged.

    That Cabelas 4 blade 3.3lb small boat grappling anchor holds real well in stillwater in a stiff wind and it's easy to weigh anchor. Thanks Fred! I found today that an 8lb pyramid anchor worked real well in the Snoqualmie in water I could not hold in (but not fast enough to be hazardous to deploy), and is easy to weigh anchor.

    I got a $5 clam net for storing rope that has a ring of PVC tubing to hold the top open and a belt loop to clip over the mesh and splashproof storage bags. No rope snarls! It works great!

    Also, the Kodiak was critiqued in the River Nav and Safety class today. After watching me maneuver in various water, the instructor told me an 18" extension on the bottom of the oar shaft, and a hole for the oarlocks 3"-6" higher would provide a significant performance boost. Was told I ought to have 2" Rescue Tape in my repair kit. Was advised to put friction tape on the inside of the bow from below the mid-seam about 8" up to protect from studded *(rubber soled)* boots and fins. Was advised the cargo net would not hold gear in place if the boat flipped and a long cam strap in a similar spiderweb pattern was suggested. Gorilla taped all the the anchor system edges.

    BTW, Rich @ BSI recommends inflating the boat to wipe down and letting air dry (so it won't stink) then deflating, folding, storing the boat in the backpack... helps protect from mice :D
  16. JesseC Active Member

    Posts: 1,967
    seattle, wa
    Ratings: +728 / 0
    Brian, can you post a link to some information on the river safety navigation class that you took? I just got a WM a couple weeks ago. I know that the number one accessory I need right now is the proper knowledge to get myself down river safely.
  17. Brian Miller Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout

    Posts: 879
    WA
    Ratings: +66 / 0
  18. barbless Member

    Posts: 313
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Mumbles, get the hard seat. Its chump change when you add it into the cost of the boat, and it is devilishly comfortable to fish out of.
  19. Kim Hampton Not Politically Correct

    Posts: 276
    Tacoma, Wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I thought I'd bring this thread alive if you guys don't mind. I sold my tent trailer a bit over a year ago to a guy that is on this forum a lot (hi Ed) and went with a truck camper instead. I wanted to be able to tow my boat and have a place to stay. In the process I lost the storage of the truck bed that I had when using the tent trailer. I have a Outcast pontoon boat (PAC 800 or 900 I forget which until I measure) that I might sell and replace with a Watermaster which doesn't have a frame to deal with so easier to store.
    A couple of questions:
    --Seat: Ed (Mumbles) from what I've read you have had yours for a bit...What seat did you end up going with? The seat on my Outcast tends to make my ass bottom hurt after several hours of fishing. Quite painful actually. My back doesn't seem to bother me just the rear. Ed or anyone else what would your best recommendation for a seat be?
    --Anchor system: Just wondering how you guys have set up yours? I hate having to twist around to pull anchor. Is is possible to set up up blocks (pulleys) so you can pull facing forward and then have an easily accessible jamb cleat. I suppose that shouldn't be too hard if there are enough d-rings. How about a forward anchor system for fishing Chironomids? What do use to keep the anchor line in place?

    So Ed how do you like yours now that you have had it for a few months?
    Thanks in advance.
  20. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,400
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,357 / 9
    Kim, I'm enjoying the water master kodiak and tent trailer, thanks for the latter. I've got a few things to fix on it, a cold water hose that burst due to me not using a pressure regulator (I know you warned me) and some new curtains. I have to get the hot water heater services as it is not working up to par, but the heater kicks butt! I know others that have used theirs in the winter and frozen. This one makes it shorts and tee shirt weather inside in the middle of winter.

    As for the WM. My seat is the standard one and so far so good. I have thought of getting the hard seat option but thus far my trips on stillwater and rivers have not made me uncomfortable enough to spend the money.

    As for an anchor, right now I just run the anchor line through the D rings and clip a single pulley out in front of me. It works okay, but I likely will do something more with pulleys and make it more substantial. When in a lake this D ring routing seems to work okay and on rivers I'm not anchoring in current to fish, but on the banks when I'm stopping to fish.

    What is it about your seat that gets your backside sore? There is an upgraded seat with a thermarest inflatable base. WFF member Greggor has one. I did not plop down in his, but it looked cozy. I know that the seat that Chris likes on the gear program WM's is better than mine, but again, so far I've been comfortable enough not to spend the money.