2013 Maverick HPX-Micro
Scott Deal and Charlie Johnson of Maverick Boat Company recently approached me to run the newest addition to the Maverick family up in Mosquito Lagoon. The 2013 Maverick HPX-Micro was designed specifically for the Mosquito Lagoon, Florida Everglades and similar areas where you have to get skinny to find fish.
Weighing in at (approx. w/ engine) 850lbs with the Yamaha F40, this 17ft skiff drafts around 4.75 inches of water. Poling this skiff is a dream, its quiet, light, spins on a dime, tracks very well, and is super stable. I was very impressed once I got on the poling platform for the first time. I couldn’t believe how skinny I was getting in the Micro where my Maverick HPX-Tunnel would be dragging bottom. Both skiffs have their purposes and both are great for the Lagoon but the Micro does pole shallower than my T, while the T will run and jump up shallower than the Micro . I do not recommend the HPX-Micro or the HPX-T if you have to cross big waters to get to the flats, that is what the HPX-V is for. For comparison on the three boats check www.maverickboats.com for detailed specs.
The ride on the Micro also impressed me. It has a fairly soft ride in chop and is very dry. The trim tabs are pretty sensitive since the boat is so light so it takes a bit getting used to, but once you get it down and find the sweet spot, it will handle great. With the F40 and a 3 blade prop I got this boat running top speed of 31mph with 2 people, fishing gear, in calm conditions. I’m sure we can get a little more out of it if propped right and with the help of a prop specialist.
There is plenty of dry storage on the Micro with a huge compartment under the seat for tackle bags, camera gear and other stuff. The front compartment is good for Life vests, safety equipment, and room for extra bags and gear. The rod storage under the gunnels are roomy and are easy to get fly and spin rods in and out of. There is one small crustacean well on the port aft side of the boat, which is great for a couple dozen shrimp or crabs.
Overall the Maverick HPX-Micro is a perfect skiff for shallow water fishing. It passed my test in the Mosquito Lagoon and did everything I would imagine it to do but better. For what I do in the Lagoon, I think the Micro fits me best since I’m on the poling platform most of the day. I would definitely recommend this skiff for anyone who likes to spend all day on the poling platform and fish in super shallow water whether it be fly or light tackle using artificials.
-Capt. Willy Le
RCI Optics is a new sunglass company that was founded and designed by a group of friends from Brevard County that have a passion for surfing and fishing. Having been in the sunglass business for a very long time, these guys have put in years of research to create a company that represents the East Coast surfing and fishing community, hence the name RCI which stands for “Right Coast Independent”.
The names of each frame(which is 100% Made in Italy by the way) will be named after surf spots and fishing spots that are most popular by locals. The 2 frames that are available now are the “Monster Hole” with a copper lens/gold mirror and the “2nd Light” with a grey lens/blue mirror. “Monster Hole” is a surf break outside of Sebastian Inlet that only breaks on bigger days and is known for it’s big resident sharks lurking around the line up and “2nd Light” is a popular surf break in Cocoa Beach that produced world champs such as Cocoa Beach’s own, 11x World Champ Kelly Slater and a bunch of other local rippers. A 3rd frame which will be named the “Mosquito lagoon” is in the works and should be available by Summer of 2012.
The lens on these are like no other. I’ve owned a lot of different polarized sunglasses and these are by far the most technical lens that I’ve ever used. I tested the copper lens with gold mirror for inshore fishing the other day, it was the first time that RCI Optics have been field tested by someone that has to rely on polarized sunglasses for their success and I have nothing but great things to say about them.
Not a lot of sunglasses fit my face, I need a more wider, flatter frame and the “Monster Hole” fit as if it was a mold from off of my face. I wore them on the water for 8 hours straight and had no discomfort what so ever. The frames and lens are lightweight and was suctioned to my face all day. The copper lens lightened up the flats which made spotting fish a heck of a lot easier like an amber lens would do.
The most amazing thing to me about the lens is that they have a special coating that is permanently bonded which repels water, oils, dust, etc. When I tested the lens while out on a charter, the crosswinds were a good 20-25mph which sprayed us pretty good from head to toe with salt water while crossing the larger waters in my boat, normally I would have to wipe the lens after a ride like that in order to see, but with these lenses on RCI Optics, I did not have to do that. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to, it was because I didn’t need to. I realized by the end of the day that I haven’t cleaned the lens all day, which if I had my previous sunglasses on, I’d have to wipe them off every time they got sprayed by water.
Here is what one of the designers from RCI had to say about the lens: “The Monster Hole is ANSI Z87.1 certified but by no means is it a safety glass. It is one of the most advance lens system out there. The Xiphos 4.0 lens treatments is a permanent application that is Anti-static (dust & stuff) don’t stick, anti-scratch, anti-water and anti oil or contaminants. It should hold up forever, but that needs to be real world tested.”
Right now, the only shop carrying RCI Optics is Shady Characters Sunglass Emporium in Cocoa Beach, FL. and in Indialantic, FL. The website for the shops is www.opticflare.com and the RCI Optics website should be launched by March 2012. These 2 models that are out now retail for $240
Give the guys at the shops a call for more info on RCI Optics. I am proud to be part of the RCI Optics Team, with the technology in their lens and good sense of style, big things are coming for the future of this company.
-Capt. Willy Le
Native Fly Charters
Back in 1999 I worked at a core surf/skate shop across the street from UCF which is still there and now owned by …LOST called Catalyst. If there was a new product out in the industry, that shop was one of few to be able to carry the product. At one point, that was the only place you could buy Redbull energy drink back when energy drinks were not even out yet…infact, I think that the Redbull & Vodka was invented right there in the shop! We were also one of the few shops to carry Sanuk Sandals. I remember getting a free sample pair from the rep at the time, they were just like regular flip flops but what made them so different was that it was made out of inner tubes and green indoor/outdoor carpet. They were the most comfortable pair of flip flops I’ve ever owned! What made me a true fan of Sanuk is that their products are funky, unique, and fun to wear, hence the name SANUK which means “FUN” in Thai.
Today, Sanuk is a full blown sandal company. You can pretty much find them in most local surf shops, sandal shops, and some outdoor shops. Sanuks have brought their products to the next level these days, they don’t just make sandals but very comfortable slip-on type shoes as well (they don’t want you to call them shoes, they are still sandals!) What made me want to wear Sanuks for fishing or guiding is the insoles in some of the slip-on models. They are made of a Super Soft, High Rebound, Molded EVA Footbed featuring AEGIS Antimicrobial additive which is great on my back after long days of standing/poling and best of all the AEGIS Antimicrobial additive prevents odor! I don’t wear socks with these and to this day there is no odor coming from these “not shoes” unlike other brands of shoes that I have owned in the past. Another thing I like about some models of Sanuk “not shoes” are the grippy rubber outsoles that they use. There were times when I’ve slipped on the poling platform when leaning hard into the pushpole to get in front of a school of fast moving Redfish and almost fell off due to slick soles on some other shoes I have worn. I feel more confident and safe when on the poling platform in a pair of Sanuks. They also have a big selection of womens sandals which some are made out of actual Yoga mats!
Just recently, my friend Bryan Hewittson who is a professional surfer and rep for Sanuk, joined me on the water to talk about Sanuk and the boating/fishing industry(and tug on a fish or two while we were out there). We talked about my ideas and what I could do to help promote Sanuk in the fishing/boating industry. I got a few new pairs of Sanuks that I wanted to test out on the poling platform or deck of a boat. One of the models “The Shore Leave” actually looks like the typical boat shoe but with a little more funk to it. So far, that is the most comfortable and grippy “not shoe” that I have ever worn on a boat. I am happily satisfied with Sanuks whether it be on the boat guiding all day or just hanging out around town, these sandals are very stylish and “superfunktional”! Seeing the Sanuk “smiley face logo puts me in a good mood, and with a slogan like “Smile….pass it on!” how can you not be? Visit Sanuk at www.sanuk.com.
Another cool thing about Sanuk is that they make a Welcome Mat that works great on the boat. Before I used towels to make people wipe the dirt and mud off of their shoes before the hopped on the boat but now I have a sweet Sanuk mat made out of tough material, easy to store, and I can just rinse it clean after each trip!
-Capt. Willy Le
Crown Royal Fishing Simulator
I had the opportunity to work with JDC Marketing group and Crown Royal to set up and run a Fishing Simulator that they came up with. This simulator travels around the nation at certain events to promote the outdoors along with Crown Royal. This machine is the closest thing to fishing, without fishing. You have a real rod and reel set up attached to a machine with a spool of line inside the machine which the line on your rod is tied up to. You can choose a variety of fish to catch and what you see on the screen is what you feel on the end of your line. You can feel every bite, headshake, jumps, and runs from what the fish is doing on the screen. It’s amazing how life like it feels and the bigger fish will definitely wear you out. The screaming of the drag from a sailfish or Dorado definitely draws the crowd over to check out the Crown Royal booth!
The event that I worked was at ABC Liquor for the wine tasting in Jacksonville but they also cover other events as well. It’s likely that you will be seeing me running the fishing simulator at future events such as ABC’s wine tastings in an area near you and also representing Crown Royal in future fishing tournaments.
Check with an ABC liquor near you to see when the next wine tasting event is and find out if the fishing simulator will be there. Once I get the schedule, I will post it up to make it a little easier.
Capt. Willy Le