Coming in first though won you two more prizes. First you get to determine where the proceeds for the money raised from tournament entry gets donated. Second, I won a YakAttack VISICarbon Pro safety light.
I thought I would take a moment to give a review of this awesome light after putting it through it's paces. I had played with a VISIPole before, but never the VISICarbon Pro. The first thing I noted was how compact it was when all folded up. The beauty of this is that the entire light/pole/float folds up neatly and is able to be stored inside the flag. Opening up the pole itself is a snap. The lightweight fiberglass pole unfolds and slides together in three sections to form one solid pole. After you put the pole together you need to put the flag on for extra visibility in the daytime. The flag is also the bag that the pole folds into. This is ingenious because it serves as the bag as well as a stocking to put over the light at night in an effort to remain visible but not spook the fish.
I got the version of the VISICarbon Pro that can be placed into a rod holder with an opening of at least 1.75" or into a Scotty Mount. I chose to place mine in one of the two Scotty mounts that I have behind my seat on my Ride135. The first thing I noticed is how awesome this looks in comparison to the home made light pole that I had earlier. The VISICarbon Pro looks like it is made for anglers as it blends nicely with our rod's. I took mine out for a spin on a windy day on the James River and did not notice any drag created by the Pole or the Flag. The design of the product is very aerodynamic to reduce wind friction. There is a wide band of SOLAS (Survival Of Life At Sea) tape between two bands of orange tape just below the light. SOLAS Tape is highly reflective and will provide 360 degrees of reflective surface at a height that will make you visible even in uneasy seas. Finally there is the light at the top of the VISICarbon Pro. I have not been out at night with mine yet, but it is the same light that the VISIPole and VISIPole II have and this is a high intensity light created by TekTite that has a burn time of over 100 hours, is ultra light weight and waterproof up to 1000 feet.
Overall I am very happy with this product and would recommend it to any kayaker. The retail price on this is $85. If you are budget conscious, you may want to consider the VISIPole II which is a similar design with the exception that the pole does not break down into a size that would allow for storage in the flag. It's pricing starts at $40. This is without a doubt the best flag/light pole I have seen for a kayak on the market. Go over to www.yakattack.us to purchase yours today.