I have to admit, I’m a stake-out pole guy. I’ve used one for years and found that, in most cases, they’re pretty handy. I particularly use them when chasing redfish in the salt flats, but they have a place in my arsenal of freshwater weapons, too.
Unfortunately, the one that I had for years was heavy, and often, too short. The only really unique benefit was that, because of its size, it fit in a paddle holder perfectly. Enter the YakAttack PARK-N-Pole. This isn’t just a stake-out pole, although it is a great one. The benefits of this stake-out pole over my previous one are;
1. It is longer. I find I can now stake my kayak in places that were previously too deep.
2. It is lighter. When you carry as much gear as I do, every ounce helps and this thing weighs next to nothing.
3. It floats. This may not seem like a big deal, until the first time you somehow let it get away from you.
NOTE: Even considering items 2 & 3 above, this thing is as strong as can be! Don’t let the diameter fool you.
4. The Foot. This gives you a larger surface to grip when driving this pole into a hard bottom, such as an oyster bed.
The feature that keeps this product from being directly compared to my last stake-out pole is this – I can pole with it! During the Tidewater Kayak Anglers Association annual Fish For Charity tournament to support Heroes On The Water and Project Healing Waters, September 2011, I was in the salt flats looking for redfish. I was standing in my 2012 WS Ride 135 and the water was just deep enough to float my kayak, but not deep enough to effectively paddle. So, I grabbed my PARK-N-Pole and just poled along. It was stealthy, efficient and easy. Now, fast forward to last week. I was chasing crappie at some local lakes and there are cut-throughs from one lake to another that are just wide enough to get a kayak through, but a real challenge to paddle in. Again, the PARK-N-Pole came through like a champ, allowing me to pass through these twisty, overgrown channels.
The PARK-N-Pole has an additional feature that is pretty handy – The foot has 2 grooves molded in where it meets the shaft. These are great for grabbing lines, like the anchor that you jettisoned to fight that huge fish, or the lure that went chasing squirrels in a tree (No need to explain – We’ve all sacrificed a lure to the tree gods if we fish freshwater!
If I had any complaint, and this is a REAL STRETCH, it would that the PARK-N-Pole doesn’t fit in regular paddle clips because it is a much smaller diameter. That’s probably a bonus, but in the world of pros and cons, I had to come up with SOMETHING.