Rigging the Stealth Pro Fisha 525 E-mail
Written by Matt Whisenhunt   
Friday, 18 April 2014 15:42

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Every kayak requires a bit of customization, and that’s half the fun of getting one. Our NorCal waters are cold and demanding, and after putting some miles on the boat there were a few modifications I felt necessary to accommodate these conditions. Here are a couple things I’ve done with my new Stealth Pro Fisha 525. Note that fiberglass is easy to work with and can be easily cut with a jigsaw, but can strip if screws get over tightened. So, proceed with caution and familiarize yourself with working fiberglass if you are inexperienced.

When you get the Stealth, the 1st thing you will notice is the footwells are tight for us cold-water kayakers who wear booties. This is mainly because the Stealths come from Durban, South Africa where the water is warm year round. Easy fix. After quadruple checking the placement of the foot pedal guides for my perfect fit, I removed the guides, trimmed off the unused portion, sanded a rough edge and reinstalled. I can always reattach the removed section as well. Much better.

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Second thing you will notice the flush mount rod holders are small and won’t fit a lot of the poles, nets and gaffs we use in the ocean. I replaced with larger ones more common on kayaks outfitted here. Big difference. Be careful not to strip the fiberglass when attaching. If you were more industrious than I, figuring a way to reinforce the flush mounts, especially those right behind the seat, would be a most excellent upgrade because of the flex in the glass.

Third is the seat backrest that attaches to the grab handle on one side and fabric loop on the other. After a couple uses they were already showing wear. Easy fix, replaced with hard attachments. I also added a few padeyes along the rear deck for extra tie downs.

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These are the only musts in my opinion, and mostly can be attributed to differences between the South African and American market. Every region has different conditions, use different equipment, and has different requirements. Luckily, these mods are cheap and easy.

Everything else is personal preference. On my Pro Fisha these are fish-finder/battery and above deck rod holders fore and aft. I mounted the fish-finder and front rod holder on the fish hatch lid that I reinforced with varnished 3/8" marine plywood, and put the rear rod holder just behind the dry well. I put the transducer through the inspection port and gooped to the hull. I tried to figure out how to do a sealed wet mount but was unsuccessful. There is even a slot in the port cover for the cable.

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I placed the battery inside the boat, towards the rear of the fish hatch. It is held in place with Velcro on the bottom of the battery and a Velcro loop attachment on the side of the battery. I have a Shorai lithium battery from my dirt bike that has 18ah and only weighs 2.3 lbs. Hopefully it will allow a couple days of fishing without recharging. Another thing to note is the fish hatch strapping. It took me a minute to figure out how these buckles worked (could just be me), but once I did they are very secure.

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That’s it so far. The forward mount rod holder worked well for salmon trolling and the deck still feels uncluttered. The kayak still paddles like a dream. 14 miles of trolling (five more than I had ever done before), no shoulder pain and I could still easily lift the kayak at the end of the day.

 

So sweet! See you on the water.

 

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