Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Ask The Expert : Freak Sports Australia


Q1: What prompted you to start FREAK SPORTS AUSTRALIA?

Both of us (Drazen and Dave) have had a passion for kayaking and fishing before we even thought of starting Freak Sports, but fishing in general has always been a part of our lives, right from when we were kids. The pleasure and joy that kayaking in general brings should be something that anyone is able to afford to do. 

Did someone say "kayak"?
When we became aware that the prices set by big retailers and big brands to buy a kayak and any related kayak accessories were enormous we decided there had to be something we could do. As fellow kayakers we knew exactly what we were after; good reliable products that were affordable for everyone but that didn’t comprise quality for price. 

Initially finding a product that met all those requirements was not the easiest task, there are a lot of Chinese manufacturers that spin our plastic boats but don’t actually understand the physical function of the product but at the same time are not prepared to listen to brands like us to work on worthy modifications so that the final product meets quality, functionality and minimum local quality standards. 

Our philosophy and company policy is that if a manufacturer is not prepared to work with us meet these standards, we are not prepared to jeopardize our brand by putting a logo on that product. And because of these values Freak Sports Aust., has created a name for itself for being one of the best value for money kayak packages in Australia. 

Q2: Tell us a little about the new Assassin GT? 

The new look Assassin GT, as the previous Assassin is designed for lakes, rivers and bay paddling. It is a stable, stealthy and compact fishing kayak loaded with all the accessories an avid angler would need. It carries up to five rod holders, easily accessible center and front hatches as well as back storage for your esky or additional gear.

The modification from the old to the new started with simple improvement such as the need for all stainless steel fittings. The very first Assassin was a great basic boat perfect for fishing in fresh waters as most of the fastener (pop rivets) used to secure hatches and flush rod holders were made from ordinary steal, however with the increase in salt water fishing, the need to have these changed to all stainless steel screws was a must.

The changes did not stop just there, customers feedback drove the need for increase weight capacity and overall space as well as the general ergonomics of the seating area, particularly for the larger and taller paddler. The Assassin GT then received a new facelift and redesign of the upper hull as well as overall length of the boat. 

The upper hull is now wider and so is the seating well, this meant that even the larger paddler can be comfortable. This also meant that a larger center hatch (from 6” to 8”) was able to be fitted which now accommodates a larger and more useful tackle tray. The drink bottle holder has been redesigned to hold the bottle upright which meant that the center mounted swivel rod holder could be moved 8cm closer to the paddler providing easer reach of their fishing rod. An introduction of a small open tray located in front of the center makes it handy for small tackle or a sounder battery as well as the added kayak anchor storage well at the rear of the boat for neat storage of your small kayak anchor. 

We have also improved the included accessories, now offering a higher quality deluxe padded seat (featuring higher grade plastic clips and stronger straps with brass snap on clips), lightweight alloy paddle with a C-Blade design for improved efficiency through water, a longer and stronger paddle leash and a larger tackle tray (also mentioned above).


 Q3: Assassin V Torpedo? (Why chose one over the other?)

When choosing between the Assassin and the Torpedo, one would have to ask themselves the following questions.

Where do I go fishing most of the time? E.g., Rivers, Creeks, Lakes or Estuaries, Bays, Ocean? What sort of performance do I want from a kayak and how much gear do I want to take?

The Assassin kayak is more suited for rivers, creeks, lakes, smoother waters as it may be slower (due to its flatter shaped hull)  to paddle, but more stable and better suited for skinny water fishing and shorter paddling distances. This kayak is especially perfect for those hard to reach places, where having to jump over a fence or climb down steep banks, they are so easy to drag across various terrain and light enough to carry for longer distances.

Our recommendation is that optimum weight capacity be limited to 100 kg plus any additional tackle up to 20kg. The Assassin may be used for bay and estuary paddling also, although keep in mind, speed and tracking may be compromised during tidal and choppy conditions.

Torpedo kayak is perfect for bays, larger river systems, lakes, partially smooth water and even ocean fishing where long distance paddling is likely to occur. Carrying your Torpedo to the water may be a little heavy for the average Joe if not launching from a beach or non-steep river banks, we recommend the use of a kayak trolley for most other launching points. 

The Torpedo is much faster and more efficient through water and is better for breaking through wakes and surf with almost no water slap. Due to its narrower hull width it may be slightly less stable than the Assassin, although your fishing experience would not be compromised. The Torpedo has excellent tracking with or without the use of the rudder. This kayak is perfect for those with a medium to large build and is capable of carrying 180+ kg without stability compromise. 

The FREAK warehouse located at 24/37 Mortimer Road, Acacia Ridge.

















How easy is it to store and transport?

The Assassin GT is lightweight (21 kg) and has a length of 2.92 m and 0.83 m wide, making it easy to carry as well load and unload from vehicles.

The Torpedo weighs about 30 kg, and is 3.63 m long and 0.78 m wide and can be slightly more difficult to load onto cars particularly higher vehicles such as 4WD’s. If you do not feel comfortable with your strength it is recommended that you get help loading and unloading your Torpedo. However this boat has its benefits once on the water and the weight and size will not disappoint. 

To transport either kayak, we recommend the kayak is placed upside down on flat roof racks and tied down with pull down straps without a ratchet lock to avoid over tightening. Storage of either kayak in a dry and secure place is recommended and away from direct sunlight. 

Price Tag?

Assassin - $595
Torpedo - $795

Q4: Tell us a little about yourselves? (Interests? Kayak Fishos?)

About Drazen…

Fishing has always been a part of our lives, right from when we were kids. 
For me (Drazen), I remember when I was a little boy, some 25 years ago and going freshwater fishing with my grandfather using no more than a handmade long rod with about 3 meters of fishing line tied to the end of it, cork as a float, handmade hooks with earthworms and flies as bait. We used to catch so many fish (i.e., Trout and Perch) even with the most basic gear, and that’s how my passion for this sport and the outdoors was instilled in me. 

Today, I still use light gear but I am pretty sure the technology has improved a little. My weapon of choice is a Nordic Stage Areal Jaeger (6’6”) coupled with a Shimano Stradic FJ fishing reel and 6 lbs braided line, mainly using lures such as soft plastics, shallow divers and surface lures mostly targeting Bass when fishing freshwater rivers and creeks and I usually chase Squire, Flathead or Bream when fishing saltwater estuaries and bays, and of course I don’t go anywhere without my Freak Assassin kayak. I also enjoy camping and four wheel driving on the odd occasion as well as snowboarding if I happen to find myself in the snow.

About davor…

I, Davor (Dave), grew up in Europe as a hyperactive kid always wanting to be outdoors. The trend didn’t seem to slow down as I grew older and I hope it doesn’t - but we all know how challenging it is to find free time. I love being active, but there are only a few activities that stand out for me - such are basketball, fishing and any extreme sports or activities that involve an adrenaline rush.  I know that fishing isn’t the best example of a full adrenaline sport, but as my fellow fisho addicts would know, it is easy for an adrenaline rush to kick in when you hook up and have that fish on the end of your line.

I started kayaking and kayak fishing around 2007, with my cousin when we explored the Mt Crosby part of the Brisbane River. With time we explored many other places, and kayaking slowly became my number one outdoor activity. I like to kayak and fish light, carry as little as possible on my Freak Assassin GT kayak. So that involves a maximum of two rods, some pliers, spare leader, and a small variety of lures and soft plastics. I don’t have a preference over reels and rods, I just use what’s good at the time when I’m shopping for my needs after a little bit of research. At this stage, my favourite set up is Nordic Stage Areal Sharpshooter, which is a 7 foot very light graphite rod with quick action geared with Shimano Sustain 1000,  rigged up with 4lbs braid and 8-12lbs mono leader. This set up might not be the most economical for regular fishos, but definitely is great for light action. My favourite fish to catch are bass, yellow belly and Murray River cod, but this winter I’d like to make my way down and do some trout fishing.


Q5: What associations does Freak have in the industry? (Sponsored events etc?)
2013 6th annual Moreton Bay Classic fishing tournament – Assassin Kayak lucky door prize giveaway and Fundraiser BBQ for the Volunteer Marine Rescue Association Queensland

2014 Boondama Dam Fish Stocking and Management Association – Double Agent Kayak giveaway.

In the coming months and into 2014, we will be increasing our promotional activities at fishing tournaments, trade and event shows as well as advertising. 

Q6: Freak sells more than just Yaks? Tell us a little about your other products? New products in the pipeline?

Since our humble beginnings in April 2012, Freak Sports Australia has grown exponentially over the past 24 months and is fast becoming Australia’s most popular and trusted suppliers of fishing kayaks.
But that’s just the beginning! We have a huge range of recreational kayaks that suit every need and have expanded our product range to include essential accessories for your kayaks including anchors and Railblaza.

We are also excited to have extended our range to include Swordfish water tubes, Ultra and Latitude life jackets, and Nordic Stage fishing rods. Later in 2014 Freak plans to introduce more kayak accessories and extend our outdoors range with camping tents, tow tubes and fishing accessories. 

Q7: Tell us about your HQ. Employees, facilities etc ?

We have a warehouse facility which can hold just over 500 units of stock, the management and delivery of our products is critical for our everyday operations and these duties are taken care of by our Warehouse manager. If you have visited us before (or planning to visit us) you can recognize him as the guy with the big smile always ready to help. 
Our main office is directly above our warehouse; here we dedicate our time to sourcing new products, product development, marketing operations and general logistics. 

The FREAK team is the soul of Freak Sports and consist of the Managing team (Myself and business partner), Marketing Team (the girls team: Maria and Thy), warehouse operations and field Staff (sponsored keen kayak fisho’s that are happy to share their adventures with all the freak community). 

Q8: Why choose a Freak Yak? 

Freak Sports is dedicated to providing products that do the job, are functional and exceed quality expectation. We believe in listening to our users experiences and feedback and we make continuous effort to improve our products.
Apart from great quality and affordable products you can rest assure that there will be always someone to talk to one on one and over the phone, after all our service is what we pride on, we are fellow kayakers and we do enjoy listening to you!

Our kayaks are made overseas, but with great quality control and inspection and that is why we can offer you a great price together with a 3 year warranty on every Freak yak. Big brands and big stores have proven they are too commercialized and overpriced. Freak Sports is committed to provide you with quality products at a fraction of the price 

A big thank you to Drazen and Dave for their time.

Check out the web store at : http://www.freaksports.com.au/

Keep Yakkin'

Monday, 24 February 2014

Ask The Expert : Jeff Kingston - Lurestrike Spinnerbaits

1. How long have you been in the lure making industry ?

 I’ve been involved in the tackle industry for over ten years and have been manufacturing Spinnerbaits, Buzzbaits and Rumblers(chatterbaits) for around 7 years. I’ve been fishing form about the age of 15 predominantly WP and PP bays although always enjoyed the trips to Eildon and Mulwala over the years chasing Trout and Native species.


2. What should a person look for in a quality Spinnerbait ?



The Beast
 I think you need to look for a spinnerbait that has a quality Ball bearing swivel, depending on species a big strong sharp hook, quality blades that will give a long lasting flash, a durable paint job  & strong wire form that suits the species your fishing for. As with most things you can buy the run of the mill low end gear or spend that little bit more to get quality parts & lure durability.

3. What is your recommended guide to Weight v depth when selecting the right spinnerbait?


 The best all round weight would probably be the 5/8 oz. spinner, although blade selection would be just as important as they can determine what depths the spinner runs at. If fishing shallow a double or single colorado would be the best option and when fishing deep or fast flowing water the Willowleaf blades are better suited. Its really can come down to what people feel comfortable using too, I know a lot of the guys are now fishing with oversized single Willows or Colorado blades.


4. What is your favourite pattern in your range ?


 My favourite pattern would have to be our New Redfin Pattern it's has only been out for short time, we have had lots of good feedback on these. I also like the Team Goodang Range of spinnerbaits that have been designed in conjunction with The Team Goodang boys, they know how to catch them.


5. What hooks do you use and why ?


 We currently use Mustad Hooks, the main reason for this is they were one of the only Manufactures to have a 6/0 size spinnerbait hook in their range, we were looking for big hooks as Murray Cod have Big Gobs and a lot of spinners at the time were fitted with small  wire & hooks. We were looking at building bigger stronger Spinnerbaits. We are currently looking at Owner range of hooks for some of our smaller Spinners.


6. What has been your biggest selling spinnerbait?

 Our Biggest Selling Spinnerbait would be the Team Goodang Series Spinnerbaits, they have featured in quite a few magazine articles and the Lads from Team Goodang have landed some great fish on them.


7. What has been the most significant 'new technology' in spinnerbait design?


 I think Spinnerbaits have pretty much stayed the same over the years although their are a lot of variations around now like twin & quad spins and a few other designs, I think the main advancement has been with the Spinnerbait blades, lots of new shapes and finishes out there now, the new Live Pro spinner blades have a fish image on them so they look pretty cool. A couple of things Lurestrike have bought to the table have been the Take Two Spinnerbait with its duel wire forms, the Stinger Spinnerbait with its unique wire trace hook assembly and finally the Double D the first real super strong spinnerbait with its .051 wire and big 6/0 hook.


8. Will we see any new models soon in the Lurestrike range?


 Yes we are always looking at bringing out new and innovative ideas, we have the Beast Coming that has just been released, and we are currently looking into a few smaller weights for the Boofhead series. ( The  new Small Fry Series spinnerbaits have since been released)...


9. Tell us a little about the skirt compound ( ie material, different types) ?


 Most of the skirts these days are silicone although the old  rubber skirts are still available. Our supplier supplies us with quality 100% high grade Dow Corning silicone skirts. There is a huge range of skirt models, styles and colours, Lightning Skirts and Easy Pro which are very easy to assemble due to there hub design,  you have the standard skirt in a huge array of designs and colours, Hot Tip,  Glitter, Chrome, Baitfish, Stripe and many more, their is a silicone skirt that is made to feel like the old rubber, like the Ultra Silk range of skirts we currently stock. Most skirts have 44 – 50 strands 

although some use more to add extra bulk to the spinner.

10. Why should someone buy lurestrike spinnerbaits? 


 We have a huge range of models, colours & sizes, we build quality spinners at a very reasonable price, We have a photo gallery full of quality fish caught on our lures and we listen to experts in the field to make further improvements if need be and most of all we listen to the feedback from our customers. 


For more information :


www.kingstonlures.com.au







Thursday, 8 August 2013

Backwater Assault Hand Paddle - Review


When I was told that the backwater paddle company were introducing a new polypropylene version of the existing timber paddle I was suitably enthusiastic to get my hands on one. I had seen the original design and for one reason or another I hadn’t quite got around to ordering one.

The unit measures a very compact 550mm L x 150mm W and features some vicious looking teeth and a very handy hook. I absolutely appreciate the compact size of this tool because as a Hobie owner I found it a chore to carry around the full size paddle. 
The Assault Hand Paddle has a very ergonomic foam grip and I have found that the wide handle allows for some very strong paddle strokes when necessary. I now use my paddle to launch from the bank, correct alignment when fishing, reversing and I even use the hook  for tying off to branches when I want to make multiple casts at a specific structure or area.

The paddle is made from a blended fiberglass / poly propylene plastic to create a super strong material and the backbone ribbing increase the durability so much so that the manufacturer 100% guarantees you will not break this paddle during any normal paddling activities. It weighs a mere 340 grams and if that wasn’t enough, this thing even floats! I have mine attached to a lanyard and I simply throw it behind my seat when its not required.

This is one serious bit of kit and its versatility, design and light weight make for an ideal kayak fishing tool. My Hobie paddles are now collecting dust in the shed while my Assault Hand Paddle is a trusty companion on all fishing expeditions.

The paddle is distributed in Australia through MLTE, so contact Colin today and find your nearest dealer because every yakker derserves a Stealth Assault Paddle. https://www.facebook.com/mlte76?fref=ts


Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Ask The Expert : Mark Saxon - Sax Scent


1. - Tell us a little about your background ? 

 I have been involved In fishing Since 14yrs of Age Commercial fished for 17yrs chasing  Most species even then had a keen interest in recreational angling and was member of fishing clubs on South coast In the town of Ulladulla, After completing My Master 5, 4 and Marine engine driver Course I moved away for a few years where I chased  Cod and fly fished for Trout. In  this time I  was based on the Murray river Howlong for 5yrs but the coast called and my wife and kids moved to the Mid North Coast I managed a tackle shop and skippered a charter vessel for a couple of yrs before buying Castaway Estuary Charters and going alone, with the charters the rod building and Sax Scent pretty busy oh and did I mention this last year my wife and I have purchased Port Macquarie Houseboats . 

2. - How long have you been in business ?

The Sax Scent is only new to the market but has been worked on for several yrs.

3. - what are the different flavours and what scent for what types of waters ?

4 flavours at present Wasabi and Abalone are two favoured by Freshwater Fisho’s but in saying that wasabi has been a hit on bream up here on nth coast gold prawn and bloodworm are two for salt which have been great on jewfish and bream and flatties.











4. - How do you control the consistency of batches ?

We like to keep the product exact every time and follow a strict recipe!

5. - Tell us something about your product that makes it stand out against other scents ? 

We wanted to do a product different from others so we went non wax, we also wanted better adhesiveness to lure and with the different coloured  fleck we knew we had a winner with something that catches fishes attention and then the smell which  keeps them at the lure turning half hearted taps  into full blooded bites.

6. - Are there any new flavours coming in the near future ? any hints as to what types ? 

At Sax Scent we are establishing our business in the market we have 2 other products in the scent which are sure to be popular and still at the same affordable price, im not saying too much about them yet as we want to get people using and seeing the effectiveness of our scents on the market now but you can be sure that next yr we will have some more there to keep the fish interested.

7. - Why buy Sax scents ?

Well firstly Sax Scent Does Work it catches fish !  results are continuing to amaze us also We are A Husband and Wife Team who have not gone overseas looking for product we have stayed in Australia with Australian products to catch Aussie fish  and put in  a great deal of time and effort trialling to get it right and the end result is a good product and its great price for the market I just reckon people should judge it themselves and see the results and remember when buying Sax Scent you will have ya rod bent !

8. - Where can we buy Sax Scent and how do we get our local retailer to stock the product ?

Sax Scent is available from many tackle stores and online we have a stockists list on www.castawayfishing.com.au  and Aaron from A&M Tackle is distributing for us,  so  if your favourite tackle store doesn’t have it Contact Aaron or myself and we will talk to them.
Thank you for your time.

Keep Yakkin 

Monday, 24 June 2013

Overboard Products - Waterproof Phone Case Review


Yakkin Tackle has recently taken the big step into the video and camera domain to produce trip reports and v log type articles.
As part of this process I have purchased a GOPRO and one of the marvelous features is the smart phone application that enables the user to use the smart phone as a remote.
The only down side to this is that I now need to be in constant contact with my iphone  to capture the moment.
This is where the OverBoard waterproof phone case really comes in handy. The case will fit all smart phone models and measures approximately 13cm in length.
The soft but strong waterproof shell makes this a much more comfortable accessory to wear around the neck than some of the hard case versions on the market and I found the slide locking system very easy to use, even in wet conditions.


The front and rear clear windows are made from a soft pvc material and the touch screen responsiveness is surprisingly good. The rear window is made from a material called Lenzflex and although I have no idea what this is, the manufacturer has informed me that it is this product that ensures crystal clear videos and photos.

My waterproof testing was only dangling the unit from the side of my kayak but the unit stayed 100% dry and the manufacturer claims a waterproof depth of up to 6 metres.

This is a fantastic little unit and knowing my iphone is protected gives me piece of mind when I am out on the water.

The unit comes complete with a handy lanyard and carabiner to either hang around the neck or from a yak or backpack.



Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Sun2Sea FishCulture Shirt - Review

Mildura is arguably one of the hottest destinations along the murray and as a kayak fisho I am constantly reminded of just how parched and burnt one can get when fishing along this mighty river during the summer months.
So, when I was asked to provide a product review on the Sun2Sea fishing shirt, I was naturally enthusiastic.

First and foremost, the Sun2Sea range of shirts offer 50+ UPF protection and this protection is backed up by certification from Australia’s own UV government body, ARPANSA.
There are a lot of manufacturers out there advertising “swimming’ or “fishing” shirts that offer no or little UV protection at all so it is refreshing to see a company ensure that the product they sell is tested and certified, ensuring maximum sun protection for the end user.

The shirt I received was a Fish Culture product and even came with a handy fish measure printed on the left sleeve.
These shirts are extremely comfortable, quick drying and can be worn wet or dry because the material is light and non ‘clingy’.
The polo has a nice long collar and the cuffless sleeves are really appreciated after a long day casting. The good people at Sun2Sea must have had us fisher people in mind when they were designing this shirt because the cuff is long, loose and non restricting.

The Sun2Sea range also includes:
  • V-neck 
  • Polos
  • Hoodies

There is a Sun2Sea shirt to fit the whole family and they also have a great range of sarongs, gloves and kayak covers.

The team at Sun2Sea can even have your shirts personalised with a club logo or sponsor details.
I am really impressed with this product and I will definately be placing an order for the new Yakkin Tackle shirts in the very near future.

Contact Robbie at Sun2Sea today and that dreaded lobster look will become a thing of the past.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Costa Del Mar Blackfin - Review


I had heard many glowing reports about the Costa Del Mar range of sunglasses and I was keen to get my hands on a pair to see what all the fuss was about when the generous team at Black Pete supplied me with my new Blackfin sunglasses. 
The timing was absolutely perfect because I had just lost another pair of sunglasses to the murky depths of the Murray river.

The Costa Del Mar brand is one of the most recognised fishing sunglasses brands in the US and sales figures are improving out of sight in the Australian market where traditionally only one brand ruled the roost.

The first thing you notice about the Blackfin sunglasses is flawless design and wrap around lens.
This design gives full eye protection from the glaring Australian sun, wind and any other foreign objects.

Costa Del Mar sunglasses offer a wide range of lens options including:

  • 580 Glass
  • Poly Carbonate
  • Plastic

I opted for the Glass lens in the Copper. This lens is ideal for the freshwater environment because it reduces glare and enhances contrast.
The clarity of this lens is absolutely world class and it becomes obvious why industry insiders have dubbed this lens “ the clearest lens on the planet”.
I was amazed at the depth of clarity among rocks and other structures and the scratch resistant glass is easy to clean and feels well balanced with the nylon frame.

The stylish practical design of the Blackfin sunglasses make this product ideal for fishing but it is Hydrolite technology that is the real star of the show.


My pet hate is something I refer to as “brain crush”. This highly technical term refers to the painful sensation of my sunglasses arm squeezing in on my temple area.
Hydrolite™ is a co-injected plastic compound that runs the length of both temples and extends up to the nose pad. This makes for a very comfortable fit and ensures a snug fit to the face. 

This is the paragraph where I should write the negative points about the product but I can honestly say I cannot think of one thing because the Blackfin sunglasses are flawless and I suppose the only negative is that they are not readily available in all reputable tackle stores. 
I have a feeling that tide is changing and that we will be seeing a lot from Costa Del Mar range in the near future.

Black Pete are the Australian distributors of the Costa Del Mar range and they would be more than happy to help you locate your nearest dealer.