Products We Rely on at Castafari
We've been using Starbrite cleaning products exclusively since 2009. The ones we rely on are the Non-skid Deck Cleaner, Teak Cleaning Kits, Hand Mops, and Boat Wash. I recently cleaned the Castafari teak deck, both the bridge deck and the cockpit, with the 2 step cleaning kit. It is by far the best teak cleaner kit I have ever used. I use this cleaning process twice a season, and consequently, the teak deck remains in great shape! The teak oil that comes with the kit is great for gunnels and trim if that's the look you're going for. The cleaning 2-step process makes the deck look so nice we don't use the oil! The Boat Wash is fantastic as it isn't too abrasive, kicks up a ton of suds, and leaves a clean smooth finish on all of our painted surfaces. The Castafari is painted with All-Craft 2000 paint, and works well with this product. The hand mop mits are by far the best on the market and are extremely durable. We've been using the same mits for 3 seasons! The Non-Skid Cleaner and Black Streak Remover work incredibly well. I wouldn't use anything else.
Castafari is proud to say that we brought in a new sponsor for the 2011 season, SOLO Inc. SOLO manufactures a wide variety of metal based marine and industrial components such as gaffs, cleaning devices, harpoons, rod holders, etc. They stepped up and took the title sponsor position for the Castafari tournament series, and were also nice enough to stock the boat with virtually every product they make. Everything is made in the USA, and I have to say the stuff is very well made and built like Fort Knox! What's also very nice and convenient about SOLO gear is that it is all universal and inter-changeable. The mop/brush handles can very easily be converted into tagging sticks and a variety of other marine applications.
The cleaning tools (mops and brushes) are telescoping and made from high grade stainless steel. The grips are very comfortable and durable, and the brushes and mop heads are extremely well made and durable. Our favorite SOLO product is their flying gaff. This is by far the best flying gaff ever made. The release system is absolutely bullet proof and extremely simple to use. We never had to worry about hooks popping out prematurely...or not popping out easily enough. The brake system they have invented is impressive to say the least. These flying gaffs come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. The handles are bulletproof and will not bend from what we can see...and we tested them! Their straight gaffs are extremely durable as well, and the hooks are stronger than most anything we've ever used.
We also use on a full-time basis, the SOLO rod holder insert extensions which allow us to fish short butt stand up rod set ups. They simply drop down into the rod holder, sliding in place around the holder's bottom pin. These inserts rotate very easily, and do not rust or bend. They are by far the best units we've ever used. They also come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
We also used the SOLO pre-cable rigged harpoon darts when giant tuna fishing. If you're on the go and want to employ a harpoon dart set up ready to go and as sharp as nails, check these things out! They come pre-sharpened...so sharp that you have to be very careful when handling them!
Local Hooker Rods
We started using Local Hooker stand up rods during our 2011 season, and we really put these things to the test! We fish 4 of them right now in our line up matched with our Alutecnos 50 reels. The rods have a very even parabolic bend, and the lifting strength of these sticks is impressive. We matched them against 500 pound class blue marlin and 250 pound class bigeye. The finish is top notch as well. We have not noticed any delamination or cracking along the guides which is a nice bonus. The rods are made with Calstar blanks, silver straight unibutts which we converted to bent butts, and the guides are ALPS roller guides which have really worked out well for us. We will continue to use these sticks until they break, and I dont see that happening in the near future!
SACCHETTI Marine Service
Sacchetti Marine Service is what keeps the Castafari in tip top running condition. Joe Sacchetti has been the principal mechanic for the Castafari operation since 2001. You can't find better marine engine service anywhere, and thats why we rely solely on these guys to do the job right. If there's a problem...it gets fixed, end of story. Whats also nice is the pricing is always very fair and super competitive. I strongly recommend this operation to anyone who takes their diesel engine maintenance seriously.
Castafari is proud to say that we are now using Alutecnos reels exclusively as of the Spring of 2008. We have set aside all of our Penn gear and have upgraded to a much better product. The Castafari is now using Alutecnos 12T reels right up to the Albacore 80 series. I will start by saying that up to this point, I am very happy with all of the Alutecnos products we are using. We had all season in 2008 to test them out, and they exceeded all of my expectations! These reels are without a doubt, the smoothest reels I have ever worked with. The drag systems are as smooth as silk. Winding in long baits is a lot easier for starters. All of my clients were amazed by how well these reels performed when fighting fish. Another impressive feature about these reels is the drag capacity which is impressive to say the least. The lever drag mechanism was a cinch to use and the reels held their drag settings better than any reel I have ever used. My bass reels have a drag pressure to 40 pounds!!!
The albacore Two Speed series reel has two buttons that make gear transactions quick, simple and user friendly, especially on the fly. The gear switch is like butter. I have not experienced any problems whatsoever. Equipped with five ball bearings protected in stainless steel, a free wheel, gear in stainless steel, and a tempered clutch of carbon composite, these reels have proved to be tougher than nails, and believe me when I say, all 16 of our Alutecnos reels used on the Castafari have endured long hours of combat and salty weather! After servicing our reels over the winter, my crew and I were overly impressed by how water tight these things really are. There was absolutely no corrosion. Please feel free to contact me if you want anymore info. Were excited to have Alutecnos in the line-up for 2009!
ALUTECNOS Big Game Stand-up Rods
Castafari is also proud to announce that we have added Alutecnos big game roller guide rods to our arsenal of tackle. I have these new rods matched with 4 of my Alutecnos 50 reels. After four months of lock and load action with tuna and marlin battles I have to say the rods did more than hold their own. They kicked ass!! The carbon-glass blanks are built like Fort Knox, and they don't bottom out on big fish. Our clients caught blue marlin to 600 pounds and bluefin tuna to 400 pounds on my Alutecnos stand-up rods matched with the Alutecnos 50 2-speed reel. Another benefit worth mentioning is the custom oversized roller guides on these sticks. For starters, these guides are unlike any I have ever seen. They have a removable roller ring, and are known for their ability to be instantly and easily removable if necessary for tip top maintenance. Firmly fixed to the blank by triple ligation and built with high grade carbon rings, they are built for tough adverse conditions. They held their own on the Castafari and proved to be a huge asset as we were able to reel knots and crimps right through them without any difficulty.
SUFIX Braided Line
During the 2006 season, I tried out the new performance braid line manufactured by Sufix. I spooled all of my Penn 70's with 130 pound backing. I was able to pack roughly 700 yards of braid on the spools. One of the interesting properties of this particular line is it's shape. Unlike most braid lines, the Sufix braid is round. I was a bit skeptical at first as to whether the line would slip in a connecting knot situation. I learned that this is not a concern. I caught a 250 pound class yellowfin tuna in Panama that put this theory to the test. We continued employing the Sufix braid on the Castafari. A lot more big fish were caught, including an 800 plus blue marlin. The line is not only ultra thin, but it's built like Fort Knox. It comes in green or yellow from 6 to 130 pound test.
SEAVISION Underwater Lights
The Castafari is employing two Seavision underwater thru-hull mounted lights. They were installed during the Spring of 2008. All I can say is wow! What a difference these things make! They were a dream to fish with out at the canyons, not to mention when getting bait at the dock. I saw more squid in 2008 than I've seen my whole life! The Sea Vision SV10 model, which is what we are using, offers the largest aperture of all the fiberglass models giving maximum light output from a 150 watt / 250 watt metal halide lamp. It can be installed in the transom or the hull and is suitable for boats with 110-230 volt AC power, including sportfish, yachts and cruisers. We decided to flush mount the units on the stern on either side of my stern zinc just above the rudders. They are very bright units, and what I like most about them is how little draw they have...just a couple of amps! I am very happy with how these lights have held up, and am very excited to turn them back on in 09! Seavision is on our links page with all of our other sponsors.
SUFIX Superior Monofiliament
I have been using Sufix Superior line on all of my reels on the Castafari for the passed two years. I have only positive results to show for it. This particular brand of Sufix line is made for big game applications. It has been put to the test repeatedly on the Castafari. The Sufix Superior gained one of the highest tensile strength ratings of any line ever made. It's incredibly strong, durable, and abrasion resistant. All of my Penn International reels are topshotted with Sufix Superior. There are five color options available. (Blue, clear, smoke, pink, and yellow) I prefer the blue. The line class options range from 6 to 130 pound test.
PELAGIC Performance Gloves
Check out the new kevlar reinforced gloves put out by Pelagic. There are two styles of gloves. The End Game glove series is a closed fingertip glove built with rugged construction, and made for wiring big fish. The Battle Glove series is an open finger tip glove designed for increased dexterity to assist anglers when battling big fish. Both gloves are velcro adjustable, and have superior gripping ability.
Offshore Innovations Two-Piece Harpoon
The Offshore Innovations two-piece harpoon is a product we use on a regular basis, especially when the tuna fishing is hot. Whether its giant bluefin tuna, big eye tuna, or swordfish, we rely on this device to secure contact with big fish at the boat that we intend to keep. This harpoons unique design incorporates a rigid lightweight shaft coupled with a high weight powerhead. The lightweight shaft allows for easy handling and aim while the heavy powerhead allows for pinpoint accuracy and penetration at any depth. The shaft is made from 1" hard coated aluminum. Although lightweight, the harpoon can withstand the rigorous pressure of large fish. Each component uses a universal thread and can be assembled in less than 1 minute. It comes with a storage bag, and takes up very little space when put away. We have been using the Offshore Innovations harpoon for over five years. Its the best harpoon in the business, hands down!
Kluch Clothing is the custom apparel company that handles all of our Castafari team merchandise. They are proficient at manufacturing anything from hats and t-shirts to mats and towels etc. The new Castafari t-shirt design was created by them. Their artists are very talented, to say the least, and their pricing is as reasonable as it gets. Their web site can be accessed from the Castafari links page. Check out the new castafari shirt design!
Braid Power Play Harness
Team Castafari has been employing the Braid Power Play harness for 10 years, and for good reason. It's made to help anglers catch big fish plain and simple. The harness is the most rugged unit on the market, and it's very easy to use. The drop straps are solid and the hardware on this thing is built like fort knox. The belt offers a lot of support across the back region, and is adjustable to accommodate just about all sizes. This is a very effective tool for chasing oversized tuna and marlin on stand up tackle.
Castafari is proud to announce that Simrad has stepped up and sponsored us with a full line of their latest marine electronics. The Castafari is now outfitted with a new Simrad radar, chartplotter, fishfinder, autopilot, VHF, and RDF. I have to say, this gear is the best I have ever used! The Castafari is fully equipped with NSE 12 units. I went with the push button models and not the touch screen simply out of preference. The touch screen units do work well for those of you who like that application.
The radar is the best I have ever used. I have a 4 foot array, and it has an honest 20 mile range. It can also detect birds at close range within a couple of miles. The fishfinding unit is also the best I have ever seen. The boat has 3 transducers! Simrad's latest technology offers side scan...we can see fish and what's beneath us...and beside us! This was great for bass fishing. I was able to mark entire schools of fish from a birds eye perspective...not to mention lobster pots on the ocean floor..really cool. It's easy to use, but definitely takes a bit of time getting use to. The offshore application worked great out at the canyons, and we were able to see tuna 300 feet down! It was nice to really be able to mark deep water game fish, and more importantly, mark them well.
The chartplotter is a big step up for us, coming from the Northstar 6000i. The Simrad unit is lightening fast...being able to zoom in and out with no wait time at all. Not to mention, Simrad has options to use their own charts, which resemble Google Earth imagery, or Navionics, which is what we use on the Castafari. The NSE stuff is super user friendly, and problem free. I incorporate Sirius weather as well, and the overlays are downright awesome! The photo overlays are fantastic, and it's nice to combine the overlays when in shallow water areas. Overall we're very happy with the new Simrad stuff. I'm excited to start our second season with the new NSE 12 inch models this Spring! Feel free to call me if you're interested in hearing some honest feedback about Simrad equipment were using. 508-221-5136--Damon Sacco
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