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Friday, 26 April 2013 00:00

Rigging a Jackson "Cuda 14" for fishing

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Last winter I picked up my brand new Jackson “Illuminati Cuda 14”. Between hockey practices and games, a Boondoggle, and building a new bed for my son I am finally (five months later) getting around to rigging for the coming fishing season. In 2012 I set my last Cuda up with a YakDaddy “Slider” that worked very well for me and made it a very versatile kayak. This year I decided to see if I could rig the new kayak by drilling or cutting as few holes as possible.

My Illuminati kayak glowing in my basement

My Illuminati kayak glowing in my basement after bringing it home

For the new season, I decided to upgrade my sonar unit to a Humminbird “598ci HD SI Combo”. This is my first time installing and using a side imaging sonar, and there are some unique installation requirements to consider when installing the transducer. It needs to be installed outside of the hull and have a clear view to each side. I also want to be able to easily move this unit easily between my Cuda and “Big Tuna” so I decided to use a pair of RAM products; their “Flexible Transducer Arm” and “Humminbird Fishfinder Mount”. I attached these to the front RAM Ready inserts installed at the factory on the Cuda. The battery was installed in a Rubbermaid container, set inside the front of the center hatch insert, and secured with a bungee. To route the wires I just had to trim the front edge of the hatch.

The Hummnbird 598ci HD SI Combo unit

The Hummnbird 598ci HD SI Combo unit

The side scan transducer installed on the RAM arm

The side scan transducer installed on the RAM arm

The battery installed in the center hatch

The battery installed in the center hatch

Next, I turned my attention to the rear of the kayak and set out to install my new YakAttack “BlackPak”, a “MightyMount” for a “VISICarbon Pro” and Tackle Webs. The BlackPak was an easy install; the tank well bungee that comes on the Cuda is perfect for securing it. I did have to move the feet I installed on the BlackPak to make it sit properly on my Big Tuna. The feet actually also help stabilize the BlackPak, as they wedge themselves inside of the tackle box stagers that come molded into the Cuda. I installed the new Tackle Web that was custom made to mount to the side of the BlackPak, and a 16”x12” Tackle Web went on the back of the seat. The MightyMount was attached by the rear hatch to hold the VISICarbon Pro; those were the only four holes I drilled into the hull.

The BlackPak with a the Tackle Web installed

The BlackPak with a the Tackle Web installed, insets show the feet mounted to the bottom of it

Tackle Webs mounted on the HiLow Seat

Tackle Webs mounted on the Hi/Low Seat and the BlackPak

Finally, I turned my attention to the center hatch. I like to mount a rod holder onto my center hatch, so on went another MightyMount to hold a wide array of rod holder options. However, after spending the last year fishing in the Cuda with rod holders in this location, I’ve come to realize that it is sometimes awkward to access the center hatch when there is a rod in it.My fellow Jackson Fishing Team mate Melita Ganoe came up with an idea to put a hinge in the center hatch to allow easier access. I set out to come up with my own version to allow access to the rear of the hatch without disturbing a rod in the rod holder. With some rivets, Marine Goop®, and a piece of industrial hose I was able to create a hinge that should be fairly waterproof and durable.

Cuda center hatch with hinge

Cuda center hatch with hinge

Cuda center hatch open

Cuda center hatch open

All of this was accomplished in just a few hours with only four holes drilled in the kayak. The rest of the modifications involved just the hatch cover, or were screwed into factory-installed inserts.

Read 19847 times Last modified on Thursday, 25 April 2013 21:12
Gregg Crisp

About the Author:

Gregg Crisp has been an avid fisherman all of his life. In 2007 he rented his first kayak and discovered kayak fishing.  A year later a new one was in his driveway and he has never looked back. He frequents the waters around Boston in search of Striped Bass, and also spends plenty of time chasing Black Bass in the sweet water.  As an environmental contractor he has traveled and lived all over the United States, having fished in over 20 states. He currently resides in New Hampshire with his wife and two sons. Gregg authors the Blog YakFish.net, is part of the Yak Angler, Werner PaddlesRat-L-Trap & YakDaddy.net  ProStaff and is a member of the Jackson Kayak Fishing Team.



# TonyMSP 2013-07-19 14:36
Thanks mate! I was curious how well the factory mounted ram ball on the front of the Cuda would hold my finder...glad to see it works great.
# 59Bassman 2013-09-24 19:18
Love the illuminati color!

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