This is my first experience with Scotty gear, previously to this I’ve only used RAM tube rod holders. So why the change?, the Scotty holders are more rigid and lock solidly into position, something I wanted for trolling. With the aid of Scotty 254 vertical extenders I was able to lift the rod holders to the desired height whilst maintaining the correct position on the kayak. In simple terms they provided what RAM did not.
However, they’re not perfect, one thing that I disliked with the rod holders was the limited number of positions into which they could be locked. With the locking screw slackened, the holder can be rotated in 22.5 degrees steps. That’s actually quite a large change in angle and the longer the rod the more noticeable it becomes with regards to how far the rod tip moves in relation to the angler.
Clearly it would be an advantage at times to have a finer range of steps when adjusting the rod holder. Scotty has clearly recognised this and introduced their ‘Slip Discs’ and ‘Offset Gears’. These retail at around £5 per set here in the UK.
The Slips Discs permit minute adjustments whilst the Offset Gears double the amount of fixed adjustments compared to the standard rod holder. I’ll take a quick look at the both to show how they are fitted and discuss how they work in practice.
The Slip Discs are made from a rubberised material and are supplied as a pair.
To fit them it’s a case of breaking the Scotty rod holder down into its three main parts.
Fitting them is straight forward, just a case of positioning one slip disc into the moulded teeth of the rod hold base and the other into the mating teeth on the rod holder itself.
Then it’s just a case of mating the pieces back together and fitting the locking bolt, job done!
It provides an infinite number of locking positions within the rotational range of the rod holder. More importantly is the fact that it locks very tightly, I mean this thing locks solid!. I didn’t expect it to be this effective, definitely impressed!.
The Offset Gears come supplied as a pair, though only one is required to modify the rod holder.
Fitting is very similar to the Slip Discs, just a case of removing the rod holder locking bolt, separating the parts and inserting the Offset Gear in between the rod holder and the mount. The rod holder can then be re-assembled.
However, fitting the Offset Gear does not double the amount of available adjustments whilst it is fitted to the rod holder. What is actually does is provide the angles in between what had been available before. For example, before I fitted the Offset Gears I might have been able to set the holder to 90, 67.5, 45, 22.5 and 0 degrees. With the Offset Gears fitted I can now position the rod holder at 101.25, 78.75, 56.25, 33.75 and 11.25 degrees. So yes, you do have double the range of stepped adjustment, though you need to fit and remove the Offset Gear to achieve them all.
So how does this all weigh up at the end of the day. Well it depends what you want I guess. The Slip Discs provide infinitely adjustment whereas the Offset Gears have doubled the amount of stepped positions that the rod holder can be locked in. The Slip Discs are more convenient providing full range of adjustment without the requirement to disassemble the rod holder. However, the Offset Gears by their design are stronger and the rod holder will ultimately retain its locked position better than the Slip Discs under heavy pressure. For kayak fisherman I’d suggest that the Slip Discs are probably a better choice, as stripping items down on the kayak isn’t the best idea. However, if you just want to tweak your preferred rod rest angle and leave it at that, then the Offset Gears would be a better choice.