Bending Branches Angler Optimus

12 foot Angler Optimus
     I rarely get excited about products I haven't personally used.  Normally when I see something in a store I go through a series of thought processes before I consider making a purchase.  Don't believe me?  It took me almost 4 months to pick out the rod I use for shark fishing from the beach.  My purchase of a Revo Toro Winch was almost a full year in the making.  This didn't happen with the Angler Optimus from Bending Branches, it was an almost instant purchase.
     The Angler Optimus is a complete system that works with the Bending Branches paddle you already use.  It's a series of fiberglass snap together sections and a comfortable T grip.  The system allows you to turn your standard kayak paddle into a SUP paddle, a canoe paddle, or a push pole.  It uses snap button ferules for a secure connection and since it's from Bending Branches, you know it is built to last.
Like a kid in a candy store (Rutabaga).
     For me though the ability to use it as a push pull is what caught my attention.  I learned over the course of the 2015 guide season that sneaking up on carp in a kayak is almost impossible with a paddle.  This growing frustration led me to look at other angling disciplines for ways to pursue fish in shallow water.  What I found was lots and lots of articles on using push poles to pursue bonefish and tarpon on the flats of sunny Florida.  I immediately started looking into the purchase of a push pole and was shocked at the price!  Also it turns out that shipping a 12-15 foot carbon fiber pole was gonna be a royal pain in the you know what.  So I gave up on the idea of using the kayak to specifically chase carp on the fly and went back to stalking them from shore.  I had almost forgotten about the whole push pole/fly carpin' idea when somebody sent me this video.
     As soon as I finished the video I rushed down to Rutabaga Paddlesports and asked about the Angler Optimus.  Unfortunately, they didn't seem to know what I was talking about.  Disappointed I wandered lazily around the showroom floor.  While looking through the huge selection of kayak fishing accessories I found it!  They had one, hanging inconspicuously in the corner of the fishing section.  I immediately snatched it from the wall and headed to the register.  "Oh that's what you meant," the associate said, "Did you see the 12 footer on the back wall?"  I bought the 12 foot model for $159.95 and headed home smiling like an idiot the whole way.  Know what I did next?
Can almost feel the warm breeze on my face.
     You guessed it, I stood on my Slayer in the garage pretending to push pole my way around a secret backwater.  I promise to do a full review of the Angler Optimus by Bending Branches as soon as the ice melts.  Until then I'll be freezing my butt off while daydreaming in a kayak on the floor of my garage.  I'm sure by now all my neighbors probably think I'm crazy.  Although in my defense, none of my neighbors are kayak anglers.
     Tight Lines.

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