Angler Optimus Review
I’ve used the 12ft Angler Optimus for 8 months in several unique environments. What makes it such a useful tool is its ability to adapt to your situational needs. Here are a few examples detailing my positive experience with it.
In the Florida Keys the bottom is hard. Mostly coral and rock that has the potential to destroy normal paddles if you use them regularly to shove off the bottom. The spike on the 12 foot push pole is made for these environments. The winds were always high and the water was crystal clear. Paddling often meant spooking every fish on the flat. Standing and poling was necessary to locate fish at a distance and then make an accurate presentation. After I developed some confidence in the push pole I was able to really lean on it and cover water quickly. Admittedly, the first few times I expected the push pole to snap in half, sending me into the water. That fear quickly subsided. The 12ft Angler Optimus is built to flex and spring back to form. It reminded me of how a fly rod loads and shoots fly line. Only in this case it was me and my kayak being propelled across the flats. That would have been a rough trip had I not been able to stand up and pole the flats in those tough conditions. I’m certain the 12ft Angler Optimus helped me put fish in the kayak that week.
Here in Southeast Arkansas I sightfish grass carp on the muddy flats regularly. Since the 12ft Angler Optimus has the ability to change from push pole to stand-up paddle (SUP), I have been able to use it regularly with great success. I can paddle to a shallow flat and replace one side of my kayak paddle with the extension and “T” grip, transforming it into a SUP paddle. Honestly, I wasn’t really sure how much I liked that feature in the beginning. For years, I used my traditional kayak paddle to push along the bottom. I would forget which side I placed in the mud and end up grabbing that side during the session. By the end of the afternoon, I’d look like I’d been on an episode of Mike Rowe’s “Dirtiest Jobs” and smell worse. It became immediately clear why this feature was huge for me. My wife wasn’t standing in the driveway with a brillo pad and a bottle of Clorox bleach after each carp session. I’m gonna miss those prison scrub downs.
Another feature I never considered until I owned the 12ft Angler Optimus is that the paddle never crosses my field of vision. That become obvious when I was in Southeast Louisiana last week. In the past, as I was poling with my regular kayak paddle. Each time I switch sides the high side blade crosses in front of my face. I have lost sight of several redfish because of this slight loss of vision. If you’ve ever tried to follow a redfish through the marsh, you’ll understand the frustration of losing sight of them. They move like ghosts in an abandoned hospital. They often appear without warning and then vanish in that instant you lose sight of them. Only to show up on the other side of your kayak with three new buddies. It’s maddening I tell you but not this trip. The SUP paddle allows me keep my eyes on them. Of course, they still vanish but that’s because redfish are marsh Houdini’s.
I’ve been really impressed with how useful a sightfishing tool the 12ft Angler Optimus is for me. It gives me the ability to adapt to several situations. After 8 months of regular use I have complete confidence in it. However, now I’m going to need a new excuse for losing sight of so many redfish. Old age maybe?