Sarah and I have been fishing some lakes that are high in elevation, and are not well protected from the wind. If the winds are above 10mph we decide not to fish these lakes so I thought we would try drift chutes. So I went bythe other day and picked up a couple. I have always been skeptical of these devices and even thought about making my own to see if they worked. Well I’m glad I got these at Hook1 because they are quality made out of canvas material, and really work well. The dimensions are 26″ W X 24 1/2″ L making it a great size for the kayak.
They have a float at the top of the opening, and a sand bag at the bottom of the opening (this keeps the chute open). There are four 29″X1″ nylon web attachments to a brass 1.75″ ring. Also there is about a 6’X1″ nylon webbed strap with metal clasp that comes with the chute. I opted to not use this extra strap and I made my own attachments.
To the 1.75″ ring on the mouth/large opening of the chute I attached a 10′ – 1/4″ nylon rope with carabineer on both ends, and on the rear of the chute/smaller opening I attached a 14′ – 1/4″ nylon rope with two over band knots there is a 1″ nylon webbed loop at the rear of the chute to do this. To the 1/4″ rope ends that connect to the anchor trolley I tied loops in the rope and attached to an anchor trolley.
To deploy the chute you just throw it over the side of the kayak and attach the end with the carabineer to your anchor trolley. Then slide the trolley forward to drift backward, and slide the trolley to the rear to drift forward.
We were seeing winds at 15mph, and gusts over 20mph over the weekend and fishing lakes we would have never thought we would have attempted in those conditions. In the 15-20 mph winds even the Pro Angler was slowed to drifts less than 1mph, and the Revolution was slowed to an even slower craw. With high winds the trolley would come to the top and open placing much more drag on your kayak, and slower winds the chute would collapse a little, sink about 2′ and allow you to keep moving slightly.
To retrieve the chute just pull on the lead that’s attached to the smaller end of the chute and that will take the resistance out of it. If you pull on the end with the larger mouth then you will pull your kayak to the chute with maximum resistance.
If you are fishing area with a lot of trees just below the surface I wouldn’t recommend this chute because of the fear of it getting hug up in a submerged tree, but open waters and main lakes I wouldn’t hesitate. I was able to drift large areas allowing me to cover water more thourally, and with a slower presentation.
We have found that the larger the kayak with more wind resistance the less it slows the kayak down ex. the Hobie Revolution 13 in 15-20 mph winds slowed it to less than .5mph, and the Hobie Pro Angler was slowed to around .5 mph +/-.