UB Ratings Based on a Scale of 1-5. 1 = Worst & 5 = Best

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This is an independent review of products we've used while kayak fishing. Everything we review has been put through the Uyeda Brother Torture Test (UBTT) and was used (and abused) as HARD as possible before we review it. Trust us...WE DON'T BABY ANYTHING.

Think your products can stand up to the UBTT?

*****INTOVA Video Cameras

1. Built in LCD Screen
2. Durable
3. Easy to use
4. Beautiful, clear video
5. Inexpensive compared to other brands
6. Different models available with a variety of styles.

1. Bigger than other brands

Uyeda Brother Torture Test Rating

*****Shimano Stella (Old Model - We have the newest model and will be reviewing it as soon as we put it through the ringer)

1. Super Smooth Drag
2. Durable
3. Beautiful

1. Price...One of the most expensive on the market, but WORTH IT!

Uyeda Brother Torture Test Rating


1. Easy to use
2. Easy to use
3. Great protection from the sun
4. Versatile
1. None we could find

Uyeda Brother Torture Test Rating

****Casio GZone Commando

1. Water Resistant
2. Durable. We're putting it through the UBTT right now. Left it on the truck bed and drove off while it merrily bounced down the road. Still works!
3. GPS enabled, so we can get tides, best fishing times, lowest gas prices, and much more.
4. Touch screen smart phone

1. Seems to get confused sometimes, but just need to shut down and restart and everything is fine again.
2. Battery life

Uyeda Brother Torture Test Rating

****Tachyon Micro HD Video Camera

1. Water Resistant
2. Durable...Supposed to be "The World's Toughest Waterproof Camera). We're putting it through the UBTT right now.**See Cons
3. Nice clear video
4. Easy to use...one button operation
5. Uses AAA Batteries - So easy to find replacements!
1. Sound...doesn't really record any sound.
2. It was tough...camera ended up dying after a year of hard use.

*****Hobie Mirage Tandem Island

1. Paddle, Pedal, OR Sail!
2. Mirage Drive is an amazing invention that pedals well in wind and current
3. Super stable even without amas
4. Fast and easy to pedal
5. Easy to set up and break down

1. Lots of parts to lug to the beach
2. Price seems high, but it really isn't for what you get


*****Blackwater Hollow Braid & Shock Leader

2. Strong
3. Knotless splice w/mono or Blackwater Shock Leader
1. Expensive (BUT worth every penny in our opinion)


*****Shimano Tiagra 30WLRSA

2. 2 Speed
3. Smooth Drag

1. None found yet.

What a fantastic piece of machinery! We can't wait to test her against a MONSTER fish.

***Hobie Livewell

hobie livewell
1. Drops straight into the back of our TI w/no pump hanging off the kayak
2. 6 volt battery powers it all day (but see #1 Cons)

1. Not powerful enough to keep 2 dozen Opelu alive
2. Not made for the TI, so the rod holders had to be removed.
3. Switch died. I guess the salt water was too much for it. Lasted only 7 months.

The jury is still out on this livewell, but we're giving it a run for its money!

***** Fin-Nor OF 9500

1. Highest capacity spinning reel spool = 600 yds of 100# test PowerPro (We’ve only been able to fit 550 yds, but it’s supposed to be able to hold 600)
2. Largest drag washer of any spinning reel at least double the surface area of a Penn
3. Larger stacked drag washers than any other spinner
4. Stainless steel main gear and other gears
5. Price - Retails for $179.99, but it was on sale for $149.99 if you went to Roy's and told them that you heard about it from the Uyeda Brothers. Not sure if the special is still on.
6. Passed the Uyeda Brothers' torture test with flying colors!

1. Heavy (It doesn't bother us, but people have said it's heavy)
2. Anti-reverse spring needs tweaking on some reels.
3. Clicker spring is WEAK.

We have put the Fin-Nor 9500 OF (OF95) Spinning Reel through the Uyeda Brother torture test since October 2009, and we are VERY, VERY impressed with its performance.
Pics below are exploded views of the Fin-Nor OF 9500 (top) vs the Penn 9500 (bottom)

**** Penn Slammer Live Liner 760

1. Great live liner feature
2. Smooth drag
3. Smooth operation
1. Line capacity
2. Corrodes under the paint
3. Mystery metal main gear shears after prolonged exposure to salt water.

We rated this reel 4 stars even if we were spooled once by a monster fish because it's such a wonderful reel to use. Once you get the two drag settings set to your fishing style we think you'll love it!

***** Okuma Solterra 15CS

1. Smooth operation
2. Smooth Drag
3. Easy to use
4. Light weight
1. None that we've found yet.
We are mainly spinning reel users, but we got this reel paired with the Okuma Baidarka rod thanks to Rod Izuo of the Izuo Brothers. This reel is just a joy to use. Smooth drag, good cranking power, and very easy to use. We'd recommend this reel highly.

*** Penn Spinfisher (Black and Gold) 9500

1. Parts are readily available (or used to be anyway)
2. Easy to disassemble and reassemble

1. Main gear disintegrates after prolonged exposure to salt water (normal use on a kayak)
2. Drag is undersized for a reel this size.


After destroying countless number of reels over the years and noticing that our Penn 5500 kept going, we bought a Penn 9500, then later got a couple Penn 950 reels. We put these reels through the UBTT and they survived for the most part...thanks to many trips to Roy's Fishing Supply for replacement parts.

The main gear and the anti reverse system are the weak links in this reel. The main gear, which is made of this mystery metal, disintegrates after normal kayak fishing use. The anti reverse system can be easily fixed with LocTite or similar product because the main problems are screws or nuts vibrating loose. Our advice is to strip the reel down and apply LocTite to all the screws and nuts under the rotor housing before ever using it. This will save you pain and suffering in the long run.

* Penn Power Graph

1. For kayak fishing...NONE
1. Can't handle the salt water. Reel(s) started to stick during our first outing. Eventually locked up even if I stripped the reel completely down and reassembled it.
2. Drag was smooth until the reel got wet.
3. Weak plastic handle

We would have given this reel a 0 star rating, but we don't have a 0 star rating. This reel was SO smooth in the store and at home, and it may be good for shore fishing, but for kayak fishing use...it's basically trash. One day of hard use and being wet on a kayak and you have to strip the reel down and service it. We don't know about you, but we have better things to do with our time than strip down our reels after every outing.

Don't waste your money on this reel. Get a Black and Gold Penn Spinfisher Reel instead if you're on a tight budget.

**** Shakespeare Ugly Stik BWSG 1102

1. Virtually Unbreakable (Although a guide did break after we were slammed on the reef and the rod was pinned under the kayak. Haha!)
2. Reasonably priced
3. Very forgiving when fighting fish.

1. A little too flexible. Needs more backbone.

Shakespeare Ugly Stik BWSG 1102, 7', Heavy Action, 15-40 lb test

This rod is Uyeda Brother Aproved. It withstood the UBTT with flying colors! Our Ugly Stik(s) (We have 2) helped us catch 30+ Mahimahi, 20+ Ono, 12 Ulua, and a 194.3 pound Pacific Blue Marlin before we retired it in 2010.

***** Okuma Baidarka Kayak Fishing Rod

1. It floats even with the reel and lure attached!
2. Extended foregrip
3. Shortened butt
4. Smooth, yet solid, beefy guides
5. Rod Leash Ring
1. Rod Leash Ring is a little too low, so the rod leash has to be able to go into the rod holder a little bit. *This is only a problem if your rod leash has a big brass clip or something when you secure it to the rod.

Model Tested
BK-C-761MH model: One piece, 7'6" - Medium Heavy Action, 18" Foregrip, Line weight 12-25 lbs, Lure weight 3/4-1 1/2, 10 guides + tip / Pac Bay SS with PVD Tich Coating

We think it's GREAT that fishing rod companies are starting to make rods just for kayak fishing! Okuma makes 7 different models of kayak fishing rods from a 7'6" light action rod to a 7'6" medium heavy rod. We had the privilege to try the 7'6" medium heavy rod thanks to Rod Izuo of the Izuo Brothers.

We honestly thought this rod was going to be too wimpy for the kind of fishing we do because we use custom made rods (Uyeda Brother Kayak Fishing Rod) that can lift a small car. This thin, light weight rod surprised us by being light in weight, but not light in performance.

* Tsunami Five Star Series Rod #TFSCC-601MH

1. None
1. Broke into three pieces the first day we used it...on the first strike!

We "won" this rod on eBay (it was really cheap $16.50 - retail $49.99). 6', Medium Heavy Action, Line weight 14-40 lb test , Lure weight 1-4 oz. We were running 20 lb monofilament at the time...one strike...rod was in 3 pieces...lost the fish.

We could have sent it back, but it would have cost us almost as much as the rod cost in the first place to mail it back, so we just ate the loss. We have other Tsunami rods that have done better and we'll review them too, BUT I wouldn't recommend this particular rod to anyone even if it was FREE.

***** PowerPro Spectra

1. Small diameter
2. Strong

1. Price? You pay for what you get in our opinion.

power pro line

We were strictly monofilament users until we tried PowerPro Spectra a few years ago. Besides our bait catching rod, we've never gone back since.

***** American Fishing Wire - Surflon

1. Tough as nails. We have never had an ono or shark bite through the 90# Surflon.
2. Easy to work with. We even tie our hooks with it w/our secret knot.

1. It's not as popular in Hawaii (as some other brands) and is difficult to get in bulk spools.


We were looking for coated wire leader and we came across Surflon one day and we instantly fell in love with it. It's not as tieable as its more expensive brother Surflon Micro, but we like it just fine.

Our favorite Surflon is the 90# Cammo leader followed by the 90# Black leader.

***** Gamakatsu Hooks

1. Super sharp - Chemically sharpened
2. Super strong

1. Price? You pay for what you get in our opinion.
***Update...Our Gamakatsu Octopus 4x Strong 5/0 and 6/0 hooks have been failing us. The tips bend and we've lost Onos because of it. =(

Our hooks of choice are Gamakatsu Octopus 4x Strong and Nautilus Ringed Circle Hooks. We landed our Marlin with a 5/0 Gamakatsu Circle Hook.

**** Pentax Optio WP Digital Camera

1. Supposed to be waterproof
2. Takes nice, clear pictures
3. Rugged. We have dropped, bounced, and tossed this camera and it’s still going!

1. Was a bit pricey in 2006
2. Video isn’t too good when rocking back and forth on a kayak
3. Waterproof seal failed one day while taking an underwater photo (Did the raw rice in a bag trick to get camera to work again). No more underwater shots since.


We bought our Pentax Optio WP Digital Camera in 2006 we have put it through the Uyeda Brother Torture Test since.

***** Helmet Cam & * 5 in 1 Xtreme DVR

Helmet cam
Xtreme DVR
1. Helmet cam stood up to the Uyeda Brother Torture Test
2. Helmet cam cable stood up to the UBTT too! Truly waterproof because it spent hours sitting in my footwell and no water went in.

1. The Xtreme DVR is NOT "Xtreme" in our book. Maybe it would have done better if we fished on a lake or babied it by taking it out only on the mellowest days, but then what good is it for what we want to use it for?

We made a BIG MISTAKE by trying a cheaper model helmet cam by a company that was on eBay that I can't even find now. The camera was supposed to be waterproof, but after 2 dunkings it died.

We forked over $239.95 to get the real deal from helmetcamera.com.

We got the 560 Land, Sea & Air Xtreme Kit

The kit includes...
Sony Helmet Camera - Waterproof and Submersible
Submersible Disconnect Cable
Crushproof/Bombproof Xtreme Mount
Protective Acrylic Front Plate for Xtreme Mount
"Rapid deployment fastening strips" (It's heavy duty velcro - Haha!)
High gain in-line microphone
Battery Pack
Foam Padded Carrying Case, 1 Year Warranty
We needed to purchase a recorder, so we got the Xtreme DVR from the helmetcamera.com site...It's not waterproof, so we had to get a waterproof case for it.

They just happen to have some at helmetcamera.com. We also got the remote control to start and stop the recording.

The problem with this set up is...
1. The battery for the camera and the recorder only lasts for 4 hours each.
2. The waterproof box has to be opened to turn on the recorder.
3. We fish for 8-10 hours a day on our kayak.
We used the camera and recorder for a couple of years. The first few times we got no footage because the batteries had died before we caught any fish.
We started just opening the case to turn on the recorder when we needed it...
Like I said earlier, the recorder isn't waterproof and after opening and closing the case while on the water in rough seas...
The "Xtreme DVR" recorder died.

We're looking for another recorder that can stand a little more abuse/salt water exposure.

**** Ocean Kayak Zest Two EXP

1. Biggest tandem kayak on the market
2. Very Stable
3. Lots of storage space

1. No internal storage for big fish bag.
2. Have to rig it up yourself for fishing.

zest two lime
Length 16' 4.5"
Width 30.5"
Weight 70 lbs
Max Capacity 500-600 lbs
Retail $899.00
Options: Rudder system, 2 oval Gaspachi hatches, 3 round 6" hatches

This kayak is Uyeda Brother Aproved. We caught 40+ Mahimahi, 25+ Ono, Many Ulua and papio, and a 194.3 pound Pacific Blue Marlin with this kayak.

*** Cobra Tandem Kayak

1. Very Stable
2. HUGE hatch for a fish bag and fish
3. Bottom is Durable

1. Not too good in the wind
2. Slow
3. Carry handle area (front) not too durable

Our Cobra Tandem had a large rectangular hatch in the middle instead of the rectangle and circle shown above. We could fit a fairly large fish bag in it along with a lot of our gear. We loved the stability of this kayak, but we wanted a bigger (longer), faster kayak that was better in the wind. The front handle is held on by a pad eye that was riveted in...and it eventually ripped out.

Overall this is a good, durable kayak that should be able to give you years of enjoyment...then you'll probably want to upgrade to something bigger and faster like we did.

***** Seven2 Vapor Paddles

1. Ergonomic grips
2. Light weight
3. Easy to paddle
1. Company no longer makes paddles
These paddles are hands down the BEST kayak paddles we've ever used. Other people have had problems with them, but we have used and abused these paddles and they are still going strong.

*** Werner Corryvercken Paddles

1. Light weight
2. Great blade design for really digging into the water
1. Price! We bought 2 Seven2 Vapor paddles for the price of one Corryvrecken
2. The reefs in Hawaii are not paddle blade friendly

Werner Corryvrecken 2 Piece Paddle - Fiberglass blades and shaft. When I first got it, I thought it was the best paddle ever, BUT we were using these big, heavy, plastic paddles before this. These paddles work great when you're in the open ocean in rough to calm seas because of the blade design.

** Casio Exilim C721 Phone

1. Water Resistant
2. Durable for most people...Just couldn't stand up to the UBTT.
1. Pretty durable, but not as durable as they claim
2. Water "Resistant" not Waterproof

*****MetalMan Custom Kayak Rudder

1. Makes your kayak turn on a dime
2. You can even turn while riding waves
3. Stainless Steel

1. Heavy...because it's stainless...what do you expect? Hahaha!

*****Casio G'zOne Ravine Phone

1. Water Resistant
2. Durable. Even forgot it on the bumper of the truck and drove down the street...phone bounced down the road with only a little cosmetic damage.
3. GPS enabled, so we can get tides, best fishing times, lowest gas prices, and much more.
1. Killed the spring that flips the phone open and closed. Other than that this phone is wonderful.


****Body Glide

1. Keeps chafing down to a minimum!
2. Inexpensive
3. Easy to apply
1. Greasy @$$ syndrome when you're done for the day, but it cleans up easily.
2. You'll still chafe a bit if you stay out over 8 hours.
This is especially for those of you who use Hobie kayaks with Mirage Drive. If you pedal for prolonged periods of time like us you will love this product.

**** Coppertone Sport 50 SPF

1. Works!
2. Lasts all day
1. It says it's "Ultra Sweatproof - won't run into eyes and sting" - Wrong! It does run into the eyes after awhile and it does sting!
2. Kind of expensive, but I guess it's less expensive than getting skin cancer!

***Banana Boat 50 SPF

1. Works!
2. Non greasy once you rub it in good
3. Doesn't run into eyes
1. Doesn't last as long as the Coppertone Sport
2. Kind of expensive, but I guess it's less expensive than getting skin cancer! Look for sales. Seems to go on sale pretty often.

*****Zionic Watches - Not sold in Hawaii. =(

1. Waterproof to 99' - Our friend dove with it and went down 85+ feet with it and no problem
2. Negative Ion Technology to help balance out the Ions in your body
3. Seems to help us catch more fish *This is not scientifically proven, but check out the AquaHunters Tournament Threads and the proof is in the catches.
4. Lots of colors and 3 different styles
5. Inexpensive
1. Some of the watches break, BUT awesome warranty, so you can get them fixed right away.
2. No longer being sold in Hawaii. =(