New and Improved Beach Power Manufacturing
When I was younger, I learned about Lean Six Sigma, a program to make things more efficient. You can make big money getting certified in this skill, and you can also find yourself constantly thinking of ways to make things "better." I like seeing when a company takes something that they have, and they make it better. Today, we are going to talk about Beach Power Manufacturing and its recent updates.
I learned about Beach Power through FishGum's Tony Faggioni via his YouTube channel. I was looking for an updated sand spike when I was changing over from PVC to metal. I wrote about that in February, and you can read much more about that here. Their original sand spike was a good setup that kept the rod high up and held very solid in the sand when a fish was biting. The only downsides of this one though as they would bend a bit easy when you were putting them into position and they were heavy. The fix was simple: you bend it back to where it belongs and go about your day, but in doing that, you weaken the metal at the bend point. This is not good and can cause you some issues down the road.
I still fished with the initial spike from time to time, but it was my backup if I forgot my Fish-n-mate spikes. I was recently given the new and improved version of the spikes at the Spring King Pompano Tournament (won by Jarvis Williams). Now, they are most certainly in my first to grab when I load up the car to go fishing. The reason: the improvement & redesign has made it easier to fish with! Beach Buzz posted a video recently that shows how easy it is to use these new spikes. Check that out here.
First and foremost, the new spike is significantly lighter. The decision to go with a more lightweight metal was brilliant and very welcomed. The next improvement was the top of the spike where the rod is held. They made it a C channel vs. the standard O type you have on all the other spikes. This means you don't have to pull up & out to get our rod in action when a fish is on. You pull straight back, and you're good to go. This takes some getting used to after muscle memory has kicked in of pulling upward to get your rod out, especially if you're still fishing with O-type spikes.
On the left is the old spike, on the right is the new spike. Over a pound lighter!
The footpeg to assist in pushing the spike into the sand is still the same design and is still very strong. My "medium extra husky" frame has yet to bend that when pushing the spike into the sand (well, here in the Panhandle, not so much on the beaches to the east of us where it is very packed in sand). It is also important to note that you should have on footwear when stepping on the spikes. It hurts more than I'd like to say when doing so barefoot, and you happen to let your foot slip off the side. It will leave a mark!
These spikes also require a bit of a forward lean when placed in the sand. Many anglers set up their spikes in a different fashion from what I have seen when it comes to the angle they put their spikes into the sand. By that, I mean some have them vertical, or leaning to the rear slightly, or leaning forward like we are talking about now. It is a preference thing I've noticed, but with these, it's a requirement. You need gravity to keep the rod in the holder with that C channel.
My only recommended change to this spike is a tighter C for the top cup. I've had a couple of accidents where someone bumped my rod, and it fell entirely out of the spike and into the sand. I wasn't overly happy about it, but mistakes happen, so I wasn't angry with the guy. If the C were a bit tighter, it would allow the rod to have a bit of room to "wiggle" if needed. I could see the same thing happening on a heavy strike, and when the line goes slack, the spring back could eject the rod, but that would have to be a solid hit, so I think that I'm nitpicking a bit with that theory. Don't get me wrong, because I feel that the C channel is a significant innovation change to their spikes, and I welcome that change.
The newest on the left and the older style on the right
Their newest cart build is something you shouldn't overlook. It is sporting a large capacity to put your gear on while still being light enough to pick up and put in your vehicle. Yes, this thing is BIG, but it is also highly functional. The pivoting forward axle to make turning easier is a great design addition. Too often, with my cart, I have to pick up the rear wheels to make a tighter turn. With this setup, you don't need to do that nearly as much (there will always be a time where you have to lift it), which will save your back muscles.
Their newest cart
The blue wheels installed on this cart are a hidden gem. Typically, you see the orange or gray tires on carts, and to get them, you need to be ready to shell out some cash. These blue tires are significantly less money and are incredibly durable. If I were replacing mine, I would likely be going with these tires from them (it is on the list of things to get to).
Should you require custom work done to your current cart, they offer a service to assist you with that. From their website: "If you already have a fishing cart that you love, bit is missing something we can help you make it the way you want it with added on special touches. We make longer handles, chair racks, net holders, speaker holders, cup holders, flagpoles, go-cams attachments, and much more. Most attachments run from $35 to $45, depending on what they are. If you have questions, please call us at (251) 978-2953"
With all the Beach Power Manufacturing is doing for surf fishing, I'd be remiss not to mention that they specialize in beach-style power wheelchairs. To add a nice part to this, they also rent them! Instead of trying to come up with a way to get your family member in a wheelchair down on the sand with you or purchasing one for a short visit, they have a way to help you out. Much easier!
Image courtesy of Beach Power Manufacturing
I'm thrilled with the sand spikes, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time speaking with them about their products. You can tell they genuinely care about what they are doing and the people they serve with their gear & chairs. You can order through their website, call them at (251) 978-2953, or email them at email@example.com
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