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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:01 am 
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Location: Fairfax, CA USA
I've been following the threads on railblaza for a while. I finally bit the bullet and started the conversion over from Scotty with a homemade aka clamp, and Taco rail rod holders.

I bought a pair of rod holders II, and double that on the 32-41 mounts.
I'm not trying to badmouth them, but wanted to get other's impressions of the quality control, and attention to detail on the products.

Frankly, I was disappointed with my purchases.
I am going to try them out for a while, with some modifications indicated below, but i shouldn't have to modify a purpose built product

my first impressions-
1) the quality of the tolerances of the 32-41mm mounts was all over the map. on half of them the nuts wouldn't seat all the way in. on 1/4 of them the bolt holes didn't line up and i had to screw them in to get to where the bolt could be attached. Unfortunately, the bolt was off center enough that i couldn't attach the nut, so had to use a smaller diameter bolt/nut
2) the rod holders don't accommodate trigger handle rods. Most of my inshore rods have trigger handles, those don't seat properly in the rod holder. The workaround here was to use the Scotty rod holders, on the railblaza arm- a little dremel work did the trick.
3) It is nearly impossible to get the mounts tight enough to not spin under typical strike loads. The instructions indicated that there was a "grip tape" segment included with the mounts, but alas no grip tape. Trip to the store solved that, but jury is still out whether they will stay put


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:29 am 
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Location: Pensacola, FL
Sorry you have had that experience. I did receive grip tape and have had several mean strikes on the railmounted starport holders and they did not move. I too had a bit of trouble with a couple of the nuts not going in far enough to begin threading, but what I found was the housing where the nuts sit are compression fittings to avoid cracking the plastic when tightening. I took a wide flathead and a rubber mallet and tapped the nylocks down into the holes just enough to get them threaded. I actually really like the railblaza's so far.

I also hear they are redesigning the rod holders to accommodate larger and different types of rods.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:56 am 
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Location: Fairfax, CA USA
Version 3 of the rod holders will be great. I love the fact that they are compact holders, have good options., and look great


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:42 pm 
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Well; first week using RAILBLAZA and no problems at all.
See the one Ti full RAILBLAZA in our club...
It takes full attention from the local fishermen...



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:28 am 
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Location: Aussie living in San Diego, CA
coachstevo wrote:
.... I finally bit the bullet and started the conversion over from Scotty with a homemade aka clamp, and Taco rail rod holders.

I ...... wanted to get other's impressions of the quality control, and attention to detail on the products.

Frankly, I was disappointed with my purchases.

Hi coachstevo - I have been happy with the starports so far but must confess although I bought some rod holders I have not used them yet. However there is one item from Railblaza that I find sub-standard and that is the camera boom mount http://www.railblaza.com/products/view/ ... ts/177/59/
There are a few things I don't like about this - the first is the camera screw in base is mounted hard up against the platform mount and cannot be easily operated (it rubs on the mount) to mount a camera. The second thing is the adjustable mount base. It comes loose after a little use and all of a sudden your camera is flopping all over the place. The third item is the method of tightening that same mount. You have to use an allen key of all things ! Can you imagine trying to find and then use an allen key on a kayak ? it isn't going to happen without you losing that allen key and there is nowhere to store or attach it on the boom. This mount should have a wingnut adjuster or similar. Similarly the rotating platform is held at tension with a nylock nut on a ss bolt so to adjust that tension you will need both a socket and a spanner but I defy anyone to get a spanner onto the nut because it is 3/4 surrounded by the platform base. You would need a specially shaped spanner but Railblaza does not supply any tool for this nut. I bought two of these camera booms that certainly look great but they have the most impractical adjustments for use on a boat. I'm very disappointed with this product by Railblaza especially at a price of $70 each ! I am going to have to spend time modifying them to make them useable.
I still like the Railblaza system but I expect a bit more design thought to go into things like camera booms when it may have hundreds of $$ of camera equipment attached to the end of it (with a leash of course)

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:18 am 
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Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
Thanks for saving me the trouble. I had planned to get a Railblaza aka mount and a camera boom, but will now stick with my homegrown alternative. (Actually, I think the angle is better too :wink: )
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:37 am 
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Location: Kailua 96734
Aussies review of the Railblaza camera boom is spot on. We bought several of these booms for the Bat Fleet and couple of them started spinning wildly right way. Very frustrating and even kinda dangerous on the water. We modified the base to add friction, and they are doing better.

The other issue is the lack of full swivel/tilt on the platform head. Because the geometry of our Aka bars is slanted, you need these adjustments to achieve level. But there are surprisingly few positions of the boom where that can occur. This head is clearly designed to accommodate GPS/ fishfinders and not cameras.

Related to this, height adjustments can't be made quickly because you must first unscrew the locking knob at the base. If you have two hands free and are on a set of Hakas, it's not too hard, otherwise,…

In short, this expensive railblaza unit still needs a properly tensioned base and a freely rotating ball head, such as the ram ball solution.

We are pretty happy with the dozen other Railblaza products we purchased.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:45 pm 
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Great read and honest reports guys, although I have to admit I have had a different experience.

I have a PA12 and recently changed from scotty to railblaza. I have star ports mounted one at the front for the navisafe light, 2 on the mounting boards with rod holder v2 and extension raisers, 2 located next to the hobie rod tubes moulded in next to the plug in cart spot for the telepole to either move the navisafe light or mount a gopro and I have a rail mount one on the back hand rail for a flag.

These products are great and although do not give you as many angle options than the scotty ones, simply thinking and marking twice and cutting once will ensure you get them in the best spots for you.

A few weeks ago I lost a rod holder overboard after using the new extension poles for the first time. Now I can not be sure 100% (and I will never know) that I did or did not lock the rod holder in place. I usually double check everything but alas, it went overboard. Being a retail manager myself I thought I would write to railblaza in New Zealand and let them know my experiences. They called the next day and offered to send me two replacement extension tubes (they had a very minor change to the locking system) and replace my rod holder. I was completely surprised with their results and over the moon. I am from Australia and a very active member on many kayak forums and will be singing railblaza after sales support for many years to come.

All I can suggest is to contact them with your issues and see if they can help. If there is any design issues I'm sure that they would like to be informed. I know this is a public forum and we all have a right to free speech but bad reports can be very damaging to a small business. I know that the products I own are perfect for my scenario and their customer service is above and beyond.

May all future readers look at all manufacturers, railblaza, ram and scotty being the main ones and make an educated decision on what products are best for you. If it helps, go into the shop, study the design and play with it as you would on your yak. You will soon work out if its strong enough or not suitable for purpose or the gear you plan to use with it.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:58 pm 
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Totally share Calibraman's experience withe Railblazza's customerservice. Their service is excellent. I live in the Philippines and ordered a set of rodholders and aka mounts from them directly. Had it shipped via courier to Manila and they were really helpfull in organizing the shipment overseas. Even called me in the office in Manila to check if everything went well.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:13 am 
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Location: Aussie living in San Diego, CA
Calibraman wrote:
Great read and honest reports guys, although I have to admit I have had a different experience.
.......All I can suggest is to contact them with your issues and see if they can help. If there is any design issues I'm sure that they would like to be informed. I know this is a public forum and we all have a right to free speech but bad reports can be very damaging to a small business. I know that the products I own are perfect for my scenario and their customer service is above and beyond.

That's good advice Calibraman - and I am planning on giving the same feedback to Railblaza. I have previously given them direct feedback on my use of their product for a rotating haka and provided them with access to my photos and video to use in promoting their product (at their request). plus I gave them some feedback on some component design and their website layout and they were very responsive and appreciated the feedback. They changed their website the very next day.
Like NOHUHU I am very pleased with the Railblaza products and service and think they are an ingenious design for our needs. The camera boom lets them down a bit and I will make sure they know.
Thanks for chiming in as I do like their products and have purchased over $500 of Railblaza products so far and more to come. I still have a box of components to be installed.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:04 am 
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Location: Aussie living in San Diego, CA
NOHUHU wrote:
Aussies review of the Railblaza camera boom is spot on........
In short, this expensive railblaza unit still needs a properly tensioned base and a freely rotating ball head, such as the ram ball solution.

We are pretty happy with the dozen other Railblaza products we purchased.


OK well here's an update for you all - I just heard back from Railblaza and they acknowledged everything that I said in my comments here. In fact they have already re-designed it because of other comments and now have a "Pro" version that is specifically designed as a camera AND general purpose boom. They have offered to replace the booms that I bought at no charge - support and service doesn't get much better than that !

So to balance my comments, once I get the new ones and test them out I will give a further update.

NOHUHU - that's good news for both of us - perhaps they will consider doing the same for you?

Tony - you may want to reserve judgement until the Pro series arrives.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:36 am 
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Hope so. I have 3 or 4 of them.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:43 am 
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Actually, I don't know of any commercial solution which can place a camera 20 inches directly above the bow of the ama, "ahead" of the bow wave/spray.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:47 am 
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Have you considered these mounts?
http://www.kayalu.com/secure_server/kay ... 90004a5367
I've been very happy with the light mounts.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:53 pm 
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Location: Kailua 96734
We have that Kayakcam short mount. Works pretty well over a padeye or cleat.


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