Kayak Fishing Ultimate Resource

Thursday, 24 July 2014 19:43

You got a Slayer Propel, now what?

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So I recently took the plunge and bought a Native Slayer Propel 13 a few months ago and I immediately dove into modifications and rigging. Even though the boat cost near $2400, I just couldn't help myself. My first mod was the most in depth by far; the venerable fish finder. I had been sitting on a Lowrance Elite 4 DSI since christmas and was extremely eager to install it. This would be my fourth fishfinder install and this time darnit, I was going to do it right. Since I had so much time to think about installing it, I had laid out a good plan. After researching Native Watercraft forums I got the idea of mounting the transducer into the front most scupper in the bow tankwell. Native provides a very large scupper hole and the DSI transducer fits perfectly, almost like it was made for it. The transducer is perfectly protected and immersed in the water, just like it is intended to be for the clearest DSI picture. Mounting the transducer is simple with the Lowrance Scupper mount kit. It doesn't fit perfect, but with a few simple modifications it works as intended.

With the transducer mounted next up was wiring. I selected Hobie thru-hull fittings to run all the wiring. What a great product Hobie put out. I wish I has used these on my other installs. These things make for clean wiring, with very little wires left exposed and the clumped mess of transducer cable tucked neatly away inside the hull. Yes, you do have to drill a 1" hole into your boat, but Hobie provide secure fittings and a rubber gasket to seal things up tight.

With the wiring complete, next up was to mount the head unit. I had also been gifted a RAM mount for the Elite 4 DSI for christmas. Installing the RAM onto the head unit is super simple; pull up on the Lowrance clip, pop out the stock mount and pop in the RAM adapter. I used a 1/2" YakAttack screwball to mount the whole assembly to the pre-installed rail. I love the adjustability of the rail system, it makes for easy modifications and total control of your accessories.

Last up is the battery. I chose a 12v 7ah deer feeder battery that I purchased from Academy. I ordered the Native Battery Bag as well to finish up the install.  The battery bag does require some drilling. Two bolts need to installed, threaded through the hull and clamped onto the battery bag. Be aware that Native instructions don’t cover the Slayer Propel, they are intended for the paddle version of the Slayer, but this isn’t rocket science. I just laid the bag over the intended mounting area, marked the holes and drilled away. Once I had it mounted, I had to route the strap around the front two scuppers. I wish I had done this prior to mounting the bag. The strap is used to stabilize the bag when the battery is inserted. I used all my reach and more to complete the job; it wasn’t comfortable. Save yourself the hassle. Install complete, battery inserted and everything powered up on the first try.

The hard part now complete I moved onto installing my rod holders. I am a big fan of scotty products, so I immediately purchased 4 scotty 438 gear head track adapters. These are perfect for any boat with rails. They slide right in, lock down simply and connect any splined scotty product. I have always liked tube style rod holders, so I went with scotty rocket launchers on the stern of my yak. 2 mounted on the stern rails and two mounted flush on the deck behind the seat. I carry 4 rods (topwater, shallow crank, deep crank and worm) for bass fishing so this works out perfect for me. The bow rails house another scotty 438 with a scotty extender and scotty camera mount for my GoPro. With this setup I can move my camera to any angle I want and it is quick and easy to move it to any of the rails on the boat. 

I now had to find a way to mount my paddle. Yes, you don’t use it all that much, but you know the saying about not having a paddle, right? I had always liked the taco paddle clip in the past, so on went a yakgear taco clip. I mounted it to the right side of the boat with rivets. The Slayer doesn’t have a lot of in hull access to facilitate nuts and bolts, so I was forced to use rivets. I like the location, it is secure and within easy reach for those seldom occasions when I am not on the pedals.

You know how I said I couldn’t help myself? Well, my last modification was something my wife thought I was crazy for doing. I decided that I wanted to increase my maneuverability, which meant that I needed to increase the surface area of my rudder. I was not at all pleased with the turning radius of the Slayer Propel. I located a spare piece of aluminum diamond plate I had laying around in the garage. I took several measurements of the stock rudder and transcribed them onto the diamond plate. My plan was to mimic the shape of the stock rudder while adding on 7additional inches of length. With careful cutting, grinding and filing the rudder extension began to take form. I kept filing until if perfectly fit over the stock rudder. Once it was perfect I drilled 10 holes across the rudder and attached the extension with stainless steel nuts and bolts. After a few trips with the extension I can tell you it was well worth it. The maneuverability of the boat is drastically increased. It does make for a little more difficulty in loading, but I just move the rudder completely to one side and it is near even with the stern.

Well, thats my Slayer Propel modifications to date. Check out my YouTube video to see her in action.

Read 15952 times Last modified on Friday, 25 July 2014 06:05
Greg Sterley

Greg is an active duty Army Officer and AH-64D Apache Pilot. He started kayak fishing in the summer of 2011 with his father at his home away from home in Destin, Florida as a cheap way to get on the bay and out into the gulf of mexico. Greg loved kayak fishing so much that he soon forgot about buying a boat and has since owned four kayaks. Whenever he is not out fishing at his current duty station you can catch him working on his cars, shooting guns or enjoying the outdoors with his wife and two dogs.  

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