Monday, October 31, 2011

Product Review: Kayalu Kayalite - The Perfect River Fishing Light

Over the past few months I have been searching for a stern light for my kayak.  One of the most popular is produced by YakAttack and is called the VisipoleYakAttack was a small company that started in founder Luther Cifers' garage, so supporting the small business definitely appealed to me.  However, I kept putting off buying one.  As I searched for sponsors for the Froggy Waters Freshwater Slam, I stumbled onto the Kayalu website.  Kayaklu is another small company based out of Cambridge, MA and made entirely in the US.  They offer a wide variety of kayak fishing products, including an 18" light called the Kayalite.

My initial reaction was that it looked gimmicky...but then I started to look a little closer.  The concept was simple.  You attach the bottom of the Kayalite to an eyelet or deck loop via a clip attached to a bungee.  You then pull the bungee tight and tie it off around the cleat on the light's mast.  That was it - you were set and the light was safe and secure.

My next thought was - OK, so the light attaches easily and is a great idea, but at 18" is it high enough?  Well, a quick trip to their website and the US Coast Guard site revealed otherwise.  After a number of tests, 18" was determined to be the ideal height to be seen - even in high wave conditions.  The beauty of it, is that it is also short enough that I don't have to worry about hooking it on a backcast.

After exchanging a series of emails with company headman Steve Hollinger, I had a Kayalite in the mail.  When it arrived, the simplicity of the design really hit me and I was excited to get a chance to use it.  The "installation" was a cinch!

First, I drilled a hole in the back hatch of my Coosa.  The Kayalite came with a drill bit of the correct size, eyebolt, and nut - so everything I needed was already provided.

Yes - it is that simple

I then inserted the eyeblot into the hole and tightened the nut on the opposite side of the hatch.

The eyelet - bolted down to the back hatch


I clipped on the Kayalite and tightened it down.  Now I was ready to role!


The Coosa looks sharp with the Kayalite on the back!

Because of work and weather, it took me longer than desired to do some on the water testing.  When I finally did get out, I was nothing but impressed.

The first thing I noticed was that Kayalite had a little give.  If it hit a branch, it simply flexed around it and returned to the upright position.  That is something neither suction cup or rigid pole designs can do.  As a river fisherman, that was a HUGE perk.  I also noticed how incredibly bright it was, yet I didn't feel like it hindered my night vision at all.  I definitely feel better about having one of these lights on my kayak rather than a basic head lamp.  A huge thanks to Steve and Kayalu for hooking me up!

Full specs on the Kayalite via the Kayalu website:

Kayalite KLT-1050 Specifications


Mast

Mast Material: ABS black, textured
Base Cushion Material: EVA foam
Fastener: plated steel breech clip
Mast Hardware: marine-grade stainless steel
Bungee Cable: saltwater-resistant nylon coated
Bungee Rings: marine-grade stainless steel
Locking Mechanism: jam cleat
U.S. Patents Pending

Tektite Mark III (included) Switch: Twist On/Off
Depth Rating: 1,000 feet (300 m)
Lamp: 1 LED
Lamp Life: 10,000+ hours
Burn Time: 200+ hours
Batteries: 3 AA Alkaline (included)
Materials: ABS and LEXAN
U.S. Patent #6,168,288

General Specifications

Height: 18 in. (45.72 cm)
Weight: 10 oz. (285 g)

Manufacture and Assembly Made in the U.S.A.
U. S. Customs CBP Certification
(available upon request)

The Kayalite is incredibly affordable at $39.95.  I strongly recommend you check these out.  If you do a lot of fishing on rivers or small bodies of water these are the perfect light.  They also work for ocean kayaking and big water adventures.  Plus, with new laws in may states requiring a light on board at all times, these fit the bill perfectly. 

Tight lines!

1 comment:

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