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January 22, 2014

Marlin U How-To: Blackout Railing Cuts Down the Glare

Your weekly fishing tip, straight from the pros.

When targeting billfish, it’s always good to see the fish before it eats the bait. If the angler is ready and waiting for the bite with rod in hand, your hookup ratio goes way up — if you have good anglers that is! So it’s imperative that the captain — usually standing at the helm on the flybridge — gets a clear, unobstructed view of the entire spread. One of the main offenders that can limit the captain’s view is the glare that bounces off the polished aluminum aft bridge railing. It not only blocks his view of the spread, but when the captain is standing and facing aft at the helm with a fish close to the boat, the sun’s glare can get especially bad. 

To reduce the glare bouncing off the railings, I had just the inside forward half of the horizontal pipes painted black — just wide enough to cover the view of the cockpit. The tubing was prepped, taped off and hand brushed using Awlgrip primer and paint. From the cockpit or the dock, you can’t see it at all. Our boat has a center tower ladder, which I had painted 360 degrees around from hardtop height down to the railing height. Now I don’t have to worry about any extra glare, and the pipes still look great from the dock.

— Capt. Randy Baker
Destin, Florida