Last year I found myself having to use a Hawg Trough fish measure when fishing the Hobie World Championships in Texas. It’s a plastic measuring device available in yellow or white. The special design cradles the fish and holds it steady for accurate measurement.
I store it at the rear of the Outback, though on more than one occasion I’ve forgotten to pack it!. I’m starting to enter more competitions and am part of a team for this years Kayak Wars. All fish under 55cm must be measured, so forgetting the measure can result in being able to submit a catch.
I looked around the various UK tackle shops online in the hope of finding an adhesive paddle measure. I know that they are available in the US so I looked on Ebay and quickly found a Rapala measure that fitted the bill. Even with delivery it was cheap enough at around £6. It measures both metric and imperial, max length is 36”/91cm. Fitting was simple, degrease the paddle shaft and put it on. I used a cloth to ensure that it went down evenly and without air bubbles.
It seemed well adhered to the paddle shaft, though to ensure a long life (hopefully!), I sealed all edges with 3M Edge Sealant, masking it off as required to ensure a neat job. I used a scalpel to provide clean cuts around the shaft centre joining point and the holes for altering the blade angles. Again, all edges were carefully sealed.
The paddle on the Hobie see very little use due to it being equipped with the Mirage Drive. How the Rapala measure will endure is yet to be seen. I dare say that it may well wear quicker on a paddle that’s in constant use, how it will fair on my underused Hobie paddle remains to be seen. However, should I forget my Hawg Trough in future I’ll always have a decent fish measure ready to hand.
FOLLOW UP – please read!!!
Ok, as much as the Rapala measure was carefully fitted and edge sealed, within 10 minutes of being afloat it began to peel off!!!!!!!!. I ripped it off in disgust. Hence I deem it unsuitable for fitment to a paddle, no matter how careful you are!