I first met Chris Barton about 2 weeks or less after we launched DSF. When I told him about the web site, we were airing up near one another at Cape Henlopen Sate Park. He said to me, when he got back in his truck … “It is about darn time someone does that, I am tired of coming down here, not catching fish, and lousy outdated information, is all that is available.” He was the first person I ever told about the website, other than the friends we originally intended this site for, and he was correct. Since then, DSF has become a very informative web site, with a HUGE reader base (1.4 million). Looking back now, it seems like years ago, not 15 months. That is the internet for you, everything happens so fast. A week of info gathering, 18 hours a day, can feel like a month. So it didn’t surprise me when we kept running into each other, when he would come to “town.” A few months ago (I think, been a while or has it?) he presented me with a sand spike he made … OTW … Over The Waves Sand Sticks. Chris is an avid reader of DSF, and he knew we product tested different equipment out there. I was very impressed with OTW’s Sand Sticks from the “get go”. They are very sturdy, easy to get into the sand, and boy can they take a “hit” a.k.a. the “knockdown”. I used mine during the tiger sand shark research we did for DSU, catching their sharks. The second night out, we didn’t have a fighting belt, so I used the stake driven halfway into the sand. The stake never moved a lick, when I reeled in the first true tiger shark caught from the surf in Delaware. Before that night, I used my OTW Sand Stick every time on the beach. I have since gotten rid of all my homemade angle iron stakes, they worked, but were way too heavy, awkward, and dangerous. Its own weight if dropped (homemade one) would spear through your foot, thankfully I am not speaking from experience. My product testing went as far as driving the Sand Stick into the beach, until only a foot was sticking out, below the rod holder section. I put a rod in the Sand Stick, tightened the drag down, tied the line to the bumper, and took off in my truck. The spike “jumped” a tad, never left its position, and the rod snapped (I did this 3 times and wasted 3 rods). It can handle a knockdown, from being spooled, to tightening the drag too much. This is a quality sand spike, and much better then any I have ever used, or tested. Most are made of PVC and cheap aluminum, which unfortunately a friend of mine had a problem with, and lost a very expensive set up, which was not backed by the company that made that cheap sand spike. Now they use OTW and love them. Admin 1 prefers OTW Sand Sticks because, you can use an 8 foot rod in the surf in a 4 foot rod holder, which is like having a 10 foot rod. I asked Chris Barton to send me a little info on the creation of the OTW Sand Stick and why.
Chris what made you to decide to make these excellent sand spikes? … Hey Rich, It all started last year while I was looking for some aluminum on our shop rack for a job at work. I took a piece of angle, and a tube to my shop manager, and said we should start making some sand sticks for fishing instead. His eyes lit up, since he’s also an avid fisherman, and said let’s see what we can do for you. Anyway, we made a couple for myself, and used them until a buddy of mine asked if I can make him one as well. After using them a couple months, and getting good comments from other anglers, I decided to start making some in my garage, and selling them. They are made with 6061 Aluminum angle and tube, cut, sanded several times, and then welded. I make most sand sticks a quick release, but can make full tubes if specially ordered. They sell for $30.00 a piece or $25 for two or more. They can order them through me, Rick’s Bait & Tackle, and Jim’s Bait & Tackle. I also have 3″ x 5″ OTW stickers for sale for $3.00 each, and will be coming out with T-shirts and long sleeve shirts very soon. I will also be trying my hand this winter on making a couple rod and cooler truck racks, it may be something more for next year. You can email me … firstname.lastname@example.org … and Check out my site on Facebook … OTW Sand Sticks. Thanks Rich, and if there’s anything else you need in this let me know.”
No Chris, thank you, this is by far the best product I have tested, been given, and used continually. DSF will be willing to product test your racks as well :). If you haven’t tried an OTW Sand Stick, check them out, they are available only through DSF’s tackle shop sponsors that carry them. 2 thumbs up for sure!!