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kayak lights

21 posts in this topic

I will be new to kayaking at night this season.  All of my kayak fishing experience was in SoCal and that was a daylight fishery.

 

I surfcast a ton and really limit my use of a light.  I really like being able to allow my night vision develop and feel I have better concentration and environmental awareness than if I were within a lit envelope.

 

I also dont want to get hit or run over by a boat, so I want to rig my setup with some sort of light system.  Something that may have a red mode, a white mode, and potentially a strobe.  Are there any on the market that are pole mounted and have remote control?

 

I tried to do a search in the threads but came up empty.

 

Thanks.

 

 

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You may need to check your local regulations. I don’t think a non motorized boat should use  red or green lights? Also flashing lights are for people in distress?

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Stay out of channels and INLETS at night first and foremost, not sure about lightvregs for kayaks , my comments are from a power boat operator with a few close calls with unlit yaks:rav:

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From digging around i am finding that 360 white is what might be required.  i will need to dig into my local laws. 

 

If anyone has further advise on units,  i would appreciate it.

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yak attack visicarbon is pretty much the standard. Legally, you can put red/green lights on, but people might think you’re under power. I certainly wouldn’t do a strobe. 

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@wefish138Thanks.  i will look into that one closer.  At first glance in some videos it seemed that ot is was not very bright and only had one mode...on/off. is that accurate?  The thinking of a strobe option would only be an option in a distress situation.   Most headlamps have that option..

 

In digging around it is surprising to find that most options are pretty limiting and low tech.  Like most seem like we need to set the state on launch and cannot dynamical change them interactively.  Something as simple as brightness mode changes would be useful.  In some situations I would think a bright white light may be a hazard for navigation tight to the shore as it effecrs the range of night vision.

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Not sure where you plan on fishing but if I were in a kayak on the water with power boats during hours of low light my main goal would be to be seen and not protecting my night vision.  I have a power boat yet I am always surprised at the speed some people operate their boats at night. In fact I can’t remember a single nighttime outing where I didn’t say, “look at that idiot” at least a few times.  You have to account for the incredibly stupid. An elevated white light at the rear of the kayak that can be seen 360 should be sufficient for a non powered boat. 

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@poopdeck
I  agree.  on more than on occasion i have seen powerboats without any lights on going full throttle. There is the idiot factor with that sort of behavior and in general most boaters I have seen on the water just do not seem very courteous or aware.  Equivalent to riding a bicycle and sharing the road with motor vehicles.  We have people texting,  on the phone, staring at electronic guidance screens,  drinking alchohol, or just plain inconsiderate to smaller vehicles including motorcycles. The same goes for the boating crew.

 

I have also seen kayakers almost drift on top of my position and definitely on many occasions within a quarter cast distance at night when I have been surfcasting.   They are in tight and because they are illluminated I dont think they can see me. I dont want to be that guy...and closer into shore i would probably opt for no light at all.

 

 

 

 

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No red and green unless powered. 360 white light has to be above your head or any other obstruction in kayak. The strobe for emergencies is between certain pulses per minute. I saw one strobe that was a slow ramp up and ramp down that was almost like looking at a light house. That is going far down into the weeds, but it was pretty cool.  

 

reflective mast and flag are good ideas and I have also seen radar reflectors. You know for those mornings when the guys are on autopilot and drinking coffee or rigging lines ;) Reflective tape on paddle blades is very visible and moving to catch the eye.

 

It is not uncommon for folks to confuse your light with other shore lights. I have had to point a high powered strobe at a few boats to trigger recognition…

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A cheap solar light from Walmart gives you the 360 white light. Attach to your crate. I also carry a very powerful flashlight. (Wicked Lights) it's can zoom down to a stop sign beam at 200 yards and visable for around a half mile. A friend was operating a dragger, a 44 foot three station sportsfisherman was coming up from Florida clear day. One was tending the deck the other? The dragger went down, the other was still floating and was towed into Shinnicock. Don't assume you were seen. The wake from somebody that sees you by a navigable can get very interesting.  

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I am pretty sure you just need a white 360 degree visible light above the highest point of your kayak which will probably be your head.  I have seen hi-vis orange flags on poles with a light on top of them online for sale.  Most should fit into the scupper holes of your yak or a rod holder.

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I went with the Yak Power system a few years ago and am very happy with it.   Surprised more don't use it.  Its a little work to set up but manageable and you are super visible to other boaters.   It really stands out to the point that other boaters have no idea idea what is in the water and thus slow down more than the visi-pole lights.    Completely does not scare fish either and maybe attracts.   

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