With the growing interest in kayak fishing in Australia it was only a matter of time before specialised rods were available to keen yakkers. The Rapala Freetime group have recently released the Okuma Baidarka series of kayak rods, with two spinning models and five overheads.
When I first set eyes on these rods I was surprised at some of the attributes of their build, which were very different to what I had envisaged. It didn’t take long however to realise that these were carefully thought out and designed fishing tools for the serious kayak angler.
Six of the seven models in the range are 7’6” in length, to aid in clearance of your line around the bow or rear of the kayak if a fish makes a sudden change of direction at close quarters. This added length also aids in keeping the line higher in the air whilst trolling lures, keeping most of it out of the water, greatly decreasing drag on the line and subsequent fatigue to the paddler.
The shortened butt lengths on the Baidarka rods are compatible with the shallow rod holders found in kayaks. Each model comes with an integrated ring below the reel seat for quick attachment of a safety lanyard. Losing rods and reels overboard is now a thing of the past for kayak anglers.
The hardened, double-foot Pacific Bay guides, easily withstand the rigors of the harshest kayak-fishing environment. Never again will your fishing trip be ruined when an insert pops out of a rod guide. The extended foregrip on the Baidarka rods greatly increases their buoyancy. These rods will actually float with most reels that would suit each relevant model.
Thanks to tapers specifically designed for kayak fishing, the Baidarka Rods make fighting quality fish easier and safer. As these medium to slow tapered rods begin to bend from the foregrip, there is more pressure put on the fish and less leverage on the angler. The elongated foregrips feature a channel to prevent line cutting them when loaded up under extreme pressure.
Although they sport some great features due to being designed by kayak fishers for kayak fishers, these rods are moderately priced between $100 and $200. They are safer to use and better designed for kayak fishing than any other rod I have ever laid eyes on. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned kayak angler, the Baidarka Rods are worth checking out at specialist tackle stores and some kayaking and adventure outlets.Reads: 330