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What do you use, how has it held up?
I have a Bonefide 127 with a trolling motor. Currently using 400# mono as steering cable but it has more stretch than I like. Wanting a change just want to make the right choice.
Do I need cable guards to keep from cutting into the plastic? What do you use for terminal connection?
I’m using my foot pedals to steer.

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By SWFinatic
For paddle or pedal kayaks without motors Spectra works great. Hobie has used it for many years. For a motor I would go to a stainless steel cable. When I had a TM on a kayak I took a piece of Spectra cable to Home Depot and bought stainless cable about the same size. You do need tubing for the cable IMO for added protection.
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By Ron Mc
in theory none, and if it has any, it's negligible.

I bought a spool of speargun fishing line on amazon, mostly to get the biggest diameter that fit my cable sleeves, and it was 500-lb test.
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By TexasJim
Spectra works good, if it fits your situation. I used 1/16" teflon coated shark leader(stainless cable) for my rudder. I changed from sliding footpegs to toe control ones, and ran the shark leader through 1/4" poly tubing. Absolutely no friction! My setup does not bend the cables, so they should last many more years. Lots of ways to skin the cat. TexasJim
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By Ron Mc
Jim, on the thread I linked, mentioned changing from bare stainless cable to teflon-coated increased the life from 2 years to 7.
After 7 years, even the coated stainless was corroding horizontal from the ends, and also, the teflon coating wasn't very abrasion resistant, mosty where it was exposed to your feet.
Could get technical from my metallurgy profession, but simply, drawn stainless wire loses some of its corrosion resistance compared to other wrought stainless forms.

Dug back to find and crop this photo of the last trip on the teflon-coated stainless cable.
You can see multiple rust spots beneath the coating.
Though this is where I expected it to eventually break - inspected and seriously considered replacing it before this trip - it broke on the drive home at the rudder yoke connection from road vibration, though still probably compounded by corrosion beneath the coating.
Hoping not to do the spectra again, and I also added a continuous rudder loop to help protect it from being stepped on in the cockpit - I got the idea from Hobie.
The spectra works better if you can keep it under constant tension - added bungee in the continuous loop for that.
(and rigged my bungee so I could relax it for storage)
OUTLAW wrote:...
Do I need cable guards to keep from cutting into the plastic? What do you use for terminal connection?
I’m using my foot pedals to steer...

here's an example end connection
Used an anchor bend - actually, a round turn with two half hitches - to connect to round hole in the pedal,
and seized the spectra with polyethylene/acrylic tape - it gets one more wrap together after I cut (and burn) the tag
The PE/acrylic tape sticks like crazy to itself, and the glue cures even stronger, so a base wrap before you tape stuff together is always smart - this tape is really thin and strong.
ImageI looked at my knot again
that is an anchor bend
though sheet bend and round turn with two half hitches are knots everyone should know

and protected that knot with a deep-sea rigging sleeve (crimp protector) - can't see it, but the loop to bungee in the upper right uses a nylon deep-sea thimble, which also works great
another example terminal connection using cable knarp and protecting the spectra with the PE tape base wrap.
this connection is also adjustable, sliding the taped spectra in the knarp, e.g., for adjusting rudder center
these spectra connections have held up for a half-dozen trips since I made the switch, and I think they'll keep going.

I'm pretty sure the spectra-over nylon thimble connection uses aluminum deep-sea crimps over PE-tape-base-wrapped spectra.
I know I have a tag end around where I first tried the crimp sleeves - if I have time later today, will dig it out for a photo.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Tue Mar 03, 2020 7:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
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By Ron Mc
here's the other idea on terminal end, using a deep-sea crimp sleeve, in this case, a nylon thimble, and a soft plastic crimp protector.
They also make thimbles in stainless steel, which you could use as an eye in a clevis bolt.
You can also use the crimp sleeves and teflon coated wire to make great tie-on loops all around your kayak.
And you can easily cut them off and make more.
These crimps are coated with heat shrink.
the webbing on this dashboard bar is strapped-down through the loops, and will support a rod and radio, and that's a stringer cleat on the right
Last edited by Ron Mc on Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By Ron Mc
Adding this idea of a simple continuous rudder loop we installed when rigging Lou's Emotion Fisherman.
He has the same Sea Dog pedals, stainless control cables, and has the same problem of the pedals doubling back, the cable popping out of the pedal guides, and a total booger to thread back in when you're on the water.
That's solved with a continuous rudder loop - this case all bungee, that pops the pedal back up when it doubles back, and keeps constant tension on the rudder cable.
We used a double loop of 1/8" bungee through the pedal eyes, a good pair of stainless pad eyes that form a 90-degree with the deck so they function as pretty good blocks without pinching small diameter lines. I also added a ring and clip so he could relax this for storage, or if he wanted to move the pedals to short-leg position.
(I think Lou's blue bungee for gear strap is also my good sheet bend, which is the best knot to use for connecting line ends or turning a length of line into a loop - could adjust the knot if wanted to lengthen the blue bungee to strap something larger there)


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