Kayak rigging is becoming increasingly popular. Many fine kayaks come off the production lines but as a group kayak anglers are always keen to make additions to their kayaks. Rigging projects are limited only by the imagination and if you want to mount something to a kayak, chances are there is a mount available for the job. For small rigging projects, one of the best and most versatile mounting systems on the market is produced by RAM Mounts in America. RAM Mounts have devised a mounting system, not just for kayaks, that allows the rigged items to be adjustable through 360 degrees in almost every direction through the use of ‘ball and socket’ joints. It is this adjustability that allows the angler to customise their kayak cockpit for their specific needs.
The RAM Mounting systems come in a few sizes with a huge array of attachments. The common thread to them is the base ball which comes in two sizes; one inch and one and a half inch. These are attached to the kayak in the most appropriate way – use bolts if you have access to the hull, rivets if you don’t and make sure all hardware is of marine grade. The next part of the system is the socket arm which fits onto the base ball. Finally, a second ball fits into the socket arm which is shaped to attach to your intended rigging design. When put together it is the double ‘ball and socket’ joints that give the system its flexibility.
Really practical applications of this system include being able to tilt or pan fish finder screens for a better view, location and utilisation of multiple camera angles and keeping smaller items to hand when needed and pushing them back when not. The selection of products that the company produces is vast and there are mounting kits for almost every conceivable rigging project that a kayak and small boat angler could need; camera mounts, fish finder screen mounts and transducer arms, GPS mounts, phone mounts, bait board mounts, rod mounts, the list goes on. Suffice to say, there is a mount for pretty much everything you would want or need on a kayak.
Pricing for the mounts varies but a basic one inch diameter base ball will cost around £8.00 and a small socket arm will set you back approximately £10.00. All items are well made and have the appearance of products that should be able to stand up to the rigours of kayak angling but do they? I have been using these products since I started kayak angling over seven years ago. I am still using some of the original pieces that I bought way back then. Some of them are scuffed, the paint on a couple of the socket arms is flaking off and cosmetically it doesn’t look the best but it still preforms its job perfectly. Not bad for seven years of exposure to salty air and water admittedly with little care and attention between. The simplicity of the mounts means that there is very little that can go wrong with them.
One thing that I have noticed is that when the RAM Mounts are used to support heavier objects they can fail. This is no surprise and should be nothing to worry about; overloading anything will cause it to fail. You wouldn’t expect to land tope on mullet gear, rigging mounts should be no different. If you remember to restrict the use of RAM mounts to lighter items of kit like cameras and electronics then you should have no issues with the RAM systems and they should serve you well for many years. Also, I find that the one and a half inch sized mounting balls have far better grip than the smaller one inch size. The larger size gives greater area of grip which helps the accessory stay in place once secured.
RAM Mounts are the ideal solution for fully adjustable rigging projects on the kayak. Just make sure not to overload them and you will have a sturdy, reliable mounting system that is well capable of dealing with the abuse that saltwater kayak fishing will throw at it. Check out the range at www.rammount.com. There should be something there that will interest not only kayak anglers but many small boat users too.
Review seen in Sea Angler