Sunday, December 30, 2012

Stohlquist Fisherman

Since I began paddling the Micmac stripper, I’ve been using an inexpensive PFD from Wally World. It has served its purpose, but has provided a few inconveniences. When it’s quiet, I keep looking around to see who’s following me, because of the squeak the PFD foam sheets make rubbing together. Second, it has no pockets, so I have to find someplace to put the few items that must always be at the ready. Third, it has a full back panel, which catches on Ibi’s backrest, causing it to ride up my back until it is perched level with the top of my head.

Being a Scotsman, if something is paid for, I can put up with a lot of nonsense and inconvenience to make it do before giving in and spending money for something else. But, when I had a problem with my Stohlquist booties, Stohlquist was so fantastic in taking care of my problem, telling me how to repair the old ones plus giving me a new upgraded pair besides, that I told them when it came time to buy my new PFD, that I’d get a Stohlquist from Dave Lindo at OKC Kayak in Oklahoma City. His connection, as Stohlquist dealer, was to handle the transaction between me and the manufacturer without cost. While in OKC yesterday, we stopped in to see his paddling shop. While I had talked with Dave a number of times, I had never had the chance to meet him.

We caught him in the middle of installing new flooring in the shop, but he still took the time to show me all his PFD’s. I would never have thought of a fisherman’s PFD, but it seems perfect. It seems to solve all my problems, and was even available in mango, to match Ibi. The defining issue was Jean was determined to shame me into getting it right then. If I didn’t buy it, she would. Stohlquist doesn’t like to drop ship, but prefers to have everything going through the dealer. Since it’s the holiday and we’re trying to get away shortly for the St. Johns River trip, Dave pleaded and got them to drop ship the PFD to us. It arrived in amazingly short order the other day, and I will be able to show up in Florida with a new, bright yellow PFD. As another added bonus, I think the yellow PFD will show up better than orange or other normal PFD colors, so it should make me more visible to both hunters and airboat operators.

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