The Functioning Fishaholics

Jul 262013
 

You should never apologize for trying to make money. And we won’t.

While we try not to get too spammy with promotions, ads, and the like, we found two deals/links under our Amazon Associates account that we thought you might like.

If you are going to buy something from Amazon why not do it through our links right?

Shop Amazon Outdoor – Save up to 40 on Coleman Products

Shop Amazon Toys – Campfire Kids – Enjoy Outdoor Adventures Inside

Thanks for shopping with The Functioning Fishaholics!  Don’t forget we sell T-shirts too.  The link is right up there in the header (or here).

 

 

Jul 252013
 

The guest post below was written by Liana Corwin from FindTheBest.com.  Find The Best has a really awesome new section for finding YOUR perfect fishing kayak.  Please take the time to click through to the links in this post.  I recently purchased my first fishing kayak and I really wish I had access to this kind of data when I was doing my research!

Though originally developed by the indigenous peoples of the Arctic to hunt on rivers, lakes, and coastal waters, kayaks as a vehicle for fishing only recently became popular in modern times. Given the number of advantages to using a lightweight, economically efficient boat, it’s little wonder people are beginning to take the sport back to its roots.

With summertime now officially in full swing, choosing the best kayak to pursue quieter, faster, and better-access fishing is on many of our minds. While certainly less expensive than traditional fishing boats, kayaks are still an investment that take a good amount of research to find the right one. To the rescue of all of us who would spend hours digging through the web for information, FindTheBest curates the relevant data and serves it in one easy to use place. Aside from organizing the internet, the research engine has also developed an in-depth buying guide, ensuring that everyone looking for a fishing kayak knows how to go about doing it.

 

 Are you thinking about buying a new fishing kayak?  Let us know how your kayak search is going in the comments section below!

 

 

Jun 262013
 

In part 2 of our “Phoning a Friend” series Josh Mann of the blog, Something’s Fishy, educates me on the finer points of fatherhood.  Trust me there is some sage advice below!

Kids

Kids

Ah , fatherhood. It has a nice ring to it , eh? It is the most wonderful and terrifying thing that can happen to a man at almost any age. I’ve been in the trenches for the last decade or so , and I bring to the table experience and wisdom far beyond my years. It has been passed to me by those that have gone before , and it is a right of passage that I am here now to spread the word. You see , many young men are frightened by the prospect of life in the ‘hood , fatherhood that is , and rightfully so. Gone are the carefree days of youth , the frolicking with supple young maidens a thing of distant memory. I take great pleasure in telling young men the truth , because for far too long television commercials and sitcoms have lied to us about all the things our children can and will do.

Kids.

The truth

“Wait a second , I didn’t think it would be so bad? I mean it didn’t seem so bad in all those Parenting magazines my wife made me read , right?”…. Well , it’s not sooo bad, especially if chasing a drunken midget through your house at all hours of the night and day while simultaneously trying to keep him from puking on and destroying your  favorite things or hurting himself and others is your idea of a good time. Not so bad at all.

Chasing a drunken midget...

Chasing a drunken midget…

“But my wife and I have a great relationship. We are a team. That makes it easier , right?” Nope. Any attempt at meaningful conversation will soon be reduced to wonderful things like ” Honeydoodle , why does the baby have crap between his shoulder blades and down to his knees , and when did we get puke green cushions for the sofa ?” and the ever popular ,” Snookerdumplin , if I step on one more Lego in the middle of the night , or find another soggy Cheeto under the coffee table , I will castrate you in your sleep. Count on it.” Kids can test the limits of your patience and sanity.

More cheese doodles... now clown!

More cheese doodles clown!

” Oh , but hey , we have a great sex life. That’s good , right?” AHhahAHHAHhAHAHAhhahahA , oh God , my sides. A sex life after kids? You’re joking ? Oh , you’re not… Let me just say that I hope you have soft hands , an active imagination , and a quiet place to cry while you think about what you just did and your sex life before kids came along and ruined EVERYTHING. Time alone for one parent is rare , time alone for both is the stuff of legend. Even if you manage to eek out a few minutes of alone time , you’ll both be too tired or otherwise preoccupied. Sorry.

You and mommy want alone time?

You and mommy want alone time?

“Uh , shoot , um , at least I have hobbies! Those are fun. Like fishing , right? I mean , you do that right?” Nope. All you have is lost. There is no hope , only a reign of terror from a tiny overlord remains. Do you like to fish? Forget it pal , hooks are dangerous and baby could end up in the big drink before he knows how to swim. He could also get sunburned , stung by a bee , poison ivy or a hundred other things.

” Well then Mr. Smartypants blogger , just how in the blue balled son of Tickle-Me-Elmo am I ever gonna survive having a kid!?!?!?!!!”

How am I going to survive having kids?

How am I going to survive having kids?

…………………..

Ahem…I lied.

Kids are easy , tougher than you think , and a ton of fun. See , the thing about kids that most people get wrong is assuming they are raising kids. Probably the wisest thing I’ve ever heard is that raising kids should instead be called raising adults. Treat them like the people you want them to be , respect them , ask them questions , answer theirs , show them the world around them , teach them to respect others , teach them about dignity. I’m a crazy middle aged man , but I can tell you for sure that I have two of the best kids around. Because I spend time with them. We do my thing , which is mainly fishing , and then we do their thing , which is fishing a lot of the time too. Kids love to be outside doing anything , even when they are very young! The big thing to remember is to make it fun for them , and to make whatever you choose to do accessible to the child.

Get a sun-shade-thingy for babies , and a bottle of SPF-50 and get out there! Don’t forget snacks , bait , fishing rods , cold drinks for everyone , and whatever else. Your new baby will be thankful , and so will you. The ladies love you for it too.

I think I speak for a lot of people in the blogging community when I say : ” Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Fishaholic on the birth of your son , and best wishes to the three of you in the future. I can’t wait to see little Functioning’s first fish!!!”

JM ,  ~ www.somefishblog.com ~

 

So what do you think about parenthood?  Is this fool-hearty fisherman’s sex life over?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

Jun 232013
 

Keeping with the theme of babies, here’s our “Gone Fishin’ With Daddy” onesie.

Fishing onesie - Gone Fishin' With Daddy

Fishing onesie – Gone Fishin’ With Daddy

This unique Functioning Fishaholics design is the perfect outfit for your new fishing buddy.   Babies LOVE fishing clothes!

Wanna take your little baby girl fishing?  We even have them in PINK!

Pink Fishing onesie for girls

Pink fishing onesie for girls

But wait…  There’s more!  You can even accessorize your child with a matching bib, sippy cup, teddy and more!

Fishing with daddy bib

Fishing with daddy bib

We also have plenty of other great fishing clothing designs for adults in our shop!  Remember all proceeds go towards supporting our fishing habit.  The more fishing gear we can buy, the better content we’ll be churning out on the site.  Think of it as a subscription to “The greatest fishing site in the world!”

Check out The Functioning Fishaholics Clothing store

 

Do you wear fishing clothes?  Should our designs incorporate more camo?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

Jun 222013
 

For those who haven’t been catching the hints on Twitter and Google+  I’m expecting my first child to be born any day now (seriously, sometime this week).

Here's a shot of the wigglepuss a few months back

Here’s a shot of the wigglepuss a few months back

That being said, time for anything these days is at a premium.  Quite honestly, when I have time away from work and wifey, I’m on the water…  and I’m not writing much about it.

Lucky for us there are some amazing folks out there who are eager to share their stories on the site.

The first guest post in this series is by a man named Clayton Will.  Clayton has an awesome YouTube channel you must check out after reading this.

A post by: Clayton Will

Fishing is a great sport that can be shared with friends and family. With all the bad things  you hear of these days fishing is a positive and exciting option. I never stop learning or trying out new lures, baits and methods.

A Nice Crappie

A Nice Crappie

Over the years I have migrated from one fish to another as my target species and find that I’m glad to have had those great experiences.

When taking kids fishing the key to a good day is keep it simple. Go for panfish or bass that can be readily caught. Plan ahead and know where the fish are biting. Use rods and reels suitable for kids and take the time for a little instruction. A few minutes in the yard with a casting weight and a coffee can saves a lot of frustration when the hook is on the line.

Pick up a bit of trash on the way out and teach some good sportsmanship with catch and release. Point out a few different water plants or birds to make them aware of our great resources.

But mainly, just have fun!
https://www.youtube.com/user/willcfish

Do you have a story or video you’d like to share on The Functioning Fishaholics?  Drop us a line on the contact page and let us know!

 

 

May 172013
 
kayak drag chain

Did someone say Drag?

One of my pet peeves about using a small boat (kayak, canoe, etc) is the fact that wind can turn a productive day of fishing into a day of paddling and sloppy presentation.  It’s enough to make a guy go drag…

Drag chain anchor that is.  A drag chain is a type of anchor that causes friction on the bottom rather than trying to bite in and hold like a conventional anchor.  Generally a drag chain won’t hold you completely still in the wind but a little drag goes a long way.

So what materials do you need to make a drag chain anchor?

Surprisingly, the list of materials is pretty short:

  • Chain – I found mine at Walmart. It is made to connect an anchor to a rope (Irony ensues).  It weighs approximately 3 lbs.

    Anchor chain for a drag chain kayak anchor

    Chain 

  • Rope – I used a 25′ length of  3/8″ polypropylene utility cord.  Perhaps a bit thick but it does the job well.
drag chain rope

Rainbow rope works great when going drag

  • Zip ties – I use these to keep the tag ends of the rope cleaned up
zip ties for securing kayak rope lines

Just a bunch of run of the mill zip ties… Yup…

  • Carabiner – This is used to connect the end of the anchor rope to the boat

So how does one build a drag chain?

  1. First lay out your chain to determine the lengths of chain you would like to use for your anchor.
    Here is the chain I used for my drag chain anchor

    Ooh… Chain.

    I realized my chain was far too long to be an effective drag chain anchor.  Lucky for me, this chain came with screw on clevises on either end.

  2. Fold you chain and secure.  I folded my chain into 3 strands and secured it with a clevis.

    i secured my drag chain with a clevis

    Secure your chain

  3. Tie your anchor chain to your anchor line
    a simple knot connects the anchor line to the drag chain anchor

    Just a simple knot

     

  4. Secure the tag end of your anchor line knot with a zip tie.
  5. Next tie the other end of your drag anchor line to your carabiner.
    Tie the end of your anchor line to a carabiner to clip to your kayak

    Add a handy clip

     

  6. Secure the tag end of the carabiner knot with a zip tie
  7. And you’re done!

There you go.  Another easy kayak mod that can most likely be built for under $30.  My first test of this drag chain was in steady 15 mph winds with gusts of 30 mph.  While I did move around a little bit I could comfortably fish without having to wonder if I would be blown in to shore (I was more worried about my paddle being blown from my hands).

From a safety standpoint I like the drag chain anchor.  It is far less likely than a traditional anchor to hang up and tip your boat.  Hauling  up the anchor is also very easy.  At 3 lbs you’ll wonder if your anchor is still attached when bringing it in.

Ideas for improvement:

  • Try heavier chain –  More weight = more drag
  • Use shrink tubing – Keep the metal chain from spooking fish (it also makes for a cleaner looking anchor)
  • Use another carabiner to lock off/manage the depth of your anchor line
  • Build an anchor trolley to help control the direction your boat points in the wind (more on this soon!)

**  As a side note for safety **  Always carry a knife on your vest.  Things can happen very quickly on the water.  Ropes can easily wrap around your legs in the event of a flip.  Being able to cut yourself free could save your life.  Also, it goes without saying but if you are on a kayak you should be wearing a PFD. 

Any ideas for improving the drag chain anchor?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

May 122013
 

Over the past few days I’ve been busy building accessories for my new Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 kayak.

My goal is to share some of  the DIY kayak gear I build so hopefully others can also create some awesome gear!

Looking for a cheap way to keep your fishing rod safe on your kayak?  Take a look at this rod leash I put together.

Cheap rod leash from an old car charger

Got an old car phone charger?

This “recycled” rod leash can be made with 3 simple items:

  • 1 coiled cell phone car charger
  • 2 small carabiners
  • 4 zip ties

The build is about as simple as it gets and should only take 5 minutes

phone car charger rod leash for kayak fishing

Snip, snip…

First snip off the ends of the car charger with a pair of wire cutters.  You may be able to do this with scissors but the cut may not be as clean.

kayak fishing rod holder/leash from a cellphone car charger

Attach the carabiner

Next fold the long ends of the wire over your carabiners and secure them with two zip ties.  I used a pair of pliers to pull the zip ties extra tight.  Attaching the carabiners this way also ensures that in an emergency you should be able to pull the carabiners free with a little force.  (As a side note on safety:  You should always carry an easy to access serrated knife in case you need to cut your way to safety)

After attaching the carabiners on each side, your rod leash is complete!  If you want to fancy it up a little bit you can cover the zip ties with some heat shrink tubing or electrical tape.

Have you made any modifications or accessories for your kayak?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

 

May 052013
 

What a busy weekend!  Seems like just yesterday we purchased our first canoe and this weekend we’ve sold it!

And… purchased a new kayak!

Wilderness systems tarpon 100

On the Xterra… Ready for action!

After what seems like years of looking for a kayak on Craigslist (and a few near misses) it feels good to finally have a solid boat on the roof.

wilderness systems tarpon 100

Tarpon 100 and Barkley the kayak dog

Kayaks are a tough thing to buy in Southeastern PA.  Most of what you will find at big box sporting goods stores are complete junk and Outdoor shops like REI and Eastern Mountain sports all seem to be priced higher than they should be.

I saw an ad on Craigslist for a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 and started looking into the stats for this boat.  Originally I had my heart set on a 12 foot kayak thinking that as a big dude I’d need a big boat.

The more research I did the more I started to realize that a 10 foot boat was the smart choice.  Smaller boat, smaller price tag, less weight to put up and down on the car.

I compared the Tarpon 100 to the 120 and honestly the cockpit was pretty much the exact same size (although I believe the 100 is wider)

I decided this morning that I wanted to visit a local shop, Nature’s Way Canoes & Kayaks over near Lake Nockamixon and see what they had to offer.  I was immediately impressed by the size of this shop.  They had a large selection of boats and a shed full of quality accessories.

But what really sold me was the service…

I have to admit going into any “specialty store” always makes me nervous.  As a kayak newbie I had visions of feeling out of my element and clueless.  This time that wasn’t the case.  The folks at Nature’s Way greeted me with a smile and a TON of gentle knowledge.   Instead of pointing out the things I didn’t know, they helped me fill in the gaps (in a way that didn’t hurt my ego).

At no point did I feel like they were trying to “close the sale” or hustle me along.  My wife and I spent a few hours there and honestly it felt like we were just chilling with old friends.

Installing rod holders on a tarpon 100 kayak

Rod holders… Installed while you wait!

Bill and his trusty dog Barkley were happy to install a couple of rod holders while wifey and I waited in the shade.

If you live in Eastern PA I would suggest visiting Nature’s Way Canoes & Kayaks.  I usually buy a lot of stuff online but next time I need kayak gear I’m going to make the trip to this shop.  Keeping awesome local businesses like this open is just the right thing to do (plus there is awesome ice cream right up the road).

In case you are wondering, I did take the kayak out for a test run on Lake Nockamixon.  After a few minutes I was fishing and floating along happily.  It’s been a while since I’ve been in a small boat and my balance needs some work but a few more trips and I think I’ll have it down.  Loading and unloading the boat was easy too thanks to all of the guidance I received from the folks at Nature’s Way.

 

Are you a kayak fisherman?  Have any tips or links you’d like to share with a newbie?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

 

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