The Best Kick Up Jack Plate for Duck Hunting
The verdict is in: breakaway jack plates stand up to the hype. One of the best ways to improve your boat's performance and navigate obstacle-ridden areas is with a breakaway jack plate (also known as a kicker, kick-up or stump jumper). You'll especially appreciate this type of jack plate during duck hunting season because you will be able to navigate in tough to reach areas without fear of damaging your boat in the process.
The Benefits of an Outboard Breakaway Plate
The difference between outboard breakaway plates and traditional jack plates, is that breakaway plates are set up to swivel and move upon contact. So, instead of manually moving the jack plate as you sense changing depths or obstacles, the plate will move on its own. We highly recommend a kick-up plate if you hunt in shallow water with stumps, encounter sandbars or go through flooded timber areas. Aside from more access to these tough places, breakaway plates also improve your boat's overall performance.
The benefits of a kick-up plate include:
- Motor is protected from damage
- Overall better handling and performance
- Improved gas mileage
- Trim maintained as you navigate changing conditions
How to Find the Right Kicker Plate for Your Boat
Similar to regular jack plates, kick-up plates come in manual or hydraulic options. To choose between these options, you'll need to consider budget and use. Manual kick-up plates are a budget-friendly option but are better suited for the casual boater. Hydraulic kick-up plates are more expensive; however, you get what you pay for. The hydraulics make adjustments easy and fast, so as you change depths or navigate to new areas, you can move your jack plate on the fly. Both manual and hydraulic kick-up plates incorporate the swivel action to protect your motor from damage. Regardless, you will need to be sure whichever plate you choose can handle your outboard motor power. Check the HP limit before you buy to ensure your breakaway plate can handle your motor.
Considering all that, the best breakaway plate for duck hunting is definitely a hydraulic option. You can certainly get away with a manual breakaway plate, but for the serious duck hunter, opt for a hydraulic plate.