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Topic: DIY stripping Mat  (Read 1838 times)

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  • Sardine
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  • Location: British Columbia
  • Date Registered: Apr 2023
  • Posts: 9
Having a hobie, or any kayak really, presents you with some line management challenges.  You can't really use a hard stripping basket unless you're standing, and you're not always going to be able to stand and cast.  You can't (rather shouldn't) use a soft basket because to put it mildly, they kinda suck...so  I came up with this mat after getting fed up with line pileups and near catastrophic mirage drive-line interactions.

Here's how to make it.  You'll need a tupperware bin lid, about 20 zap straps, a bit of double sided velcro, something to cut the lid with (industrial scissors or a boxcutter, either works) a heat gun, a large piece of flat cardboard(at least 4-5 inches wider on each side than the floor of your yak, and length to whatever size you want), a drill with a 3/8 inch bit (for the mat, not your kayak!), a marker, and of course your kayak. 

The idea here is to take the cardboard and create a template for the final plastic piece --you want to make it so you know exactly how much you need to get a super snug fit for the final heat molded plastic piece. 

1-press cardboard into the floor of your yak between your seat and the drive bay.  The cardboard should sit flat (besides the hatch hinge) and then should extend a few inches up the kayak on each side.
2-use the marker to do an outline of the stripping mat shape- on my kayak it goes about 2 inches up each side so that when I press the mat in it "pressure fits" and the kayak holds it in place even without velcro.  Your kayak will likely require a custom cut depending on what crap you've got poking out here and there.  Draw more than what you need by maybe half an inch or so, you can always trim later but you can't add material so leave extra.  Leave more room on the front and back edges too.
3- cut the cardboard and test the shape. It should be nice and snug. Make lines with marker where the cardboard bends the most.  You're going to use these lines as a guide for where to heat the lid.
4- lay the cardboard down on your lid and draw an outline about 1/4inch larger than the cardboard on the lid, then cut that out.
5- using the cardboard template as a guide, heat the crease points of the plastic lid- don't do this when it's IN your kayak, you'll melt your kayak.  When it's nice and hot, press it into place and hold it.  Rough it in first, then refine each side as you go.  You may have to heat the areas where the hatch hinges are.  This isn't rocket science but you have to take the time to make sure it's a snug fit.  You'll have to trim here and there on the sides and probably take it out and re-heat it a couple of times but if you take your time, it's worth it. 
6-Heat up the front and back edges and give those a slight upturn as well. 
7-Drill a couple of holes for drainage in the front of the upturned edge so any water that comes off your line etc has somewhere to escape.
8-use a strip of double sided velcro and stick it on the bottom of the mat.
9-cut slits in the mat to push zap straps through.  I use one long zap strap for TWO slits, one end goes up through first slit, and the other end goes up through the second slit with a short section of zap strap underneath, flat to the bottom of the mat.   I have about 3-4" of zap strap sticking out of each.  You don't want them too short or they don't flop over easily and are pokey.  I round off the ends of the zap straps so they are not pokey.  You can use whatever you want instead of zap straps, but they work really really well at keeping the line nice and manageable.

The finished mat will push right into place if you've done a good job with the heat gun.  For me it's worked amazingly well at keeping my line from tangling and keeping it out of the drive.  I'm sure hobie sells one for a couple hundred bucks but my half Scottish heritage won't allow me to spend that much when I can make something just as good at home :)

I hope the attachment works...preview doesn't show it.


  • Sand Dab
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  • Location: East Bay
  • Date Registered: Jul 2019
  • Posts: 60
That's kind of slick.  I'm glad it works for you.  I have a native and stand up most of the time when I'm fly casting.  So many things to tangle on....  I use a plastic waste basket that helps a bit.
Native Titan Propel 12'


  • Sand Dab
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  • Kevin
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  • Location: Port Orford, OR (formerly Novato, CA)
  • Date Registered: Jun 2023
  • Posts: 63
Nice mat.  Sometimes a towel works fine, but you did a heck of good job.

Why do people stand up to cast a fly?  I've been fly-fishing from a kayak for more than a decade and have never, not once, thought I needed to be standing.  I could understand it if fishing the flats for permit, but around here, when I can silently drift right over a fish without spooking it, it seems unnecessary.

But that's just me. 
Sometimes, when the water is quiet, you can hear the fish laughing at you.