Pro-Loks review with pics - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-11-2013   #1
 
East MT, WestMT, Both sides of the Yellowstone
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Pro-Loks review with pics

Well I finally got my new Pro-loks in after a small shipping issue. I really like how smooth they are and also the fact they are stainless steel. They are also built in the USA by a fisherman who designed them.

THE GOOD
They come with long shafts that allow up to 2" of riser off of a standard NRS tower. This gets you up to 7" with a 4" tower since the pro-lok sits an inch taller than a standard lock.

They are also very reasonably priced at 120$ and you just need bare shafts to get on the water, no rope, or sleeves and they come with stoppers that have built in oar rights if you like. You can turn your oar 180* and run without them in a second.

THE NOT SO GOOD
The wire that connects the oar to the boat is a hazard if you are going to be in whitewater but this is easily fixed by cutting it and using a standard oar tether.
I am not a big fan of the oar collar and will be using a standard rubber stopper. There is just to much sharp metal on there for me as I run my boat upside down all to often and climb in and out of the water as a result.
I also question the ability of the oar to pop loose in a bad situation, but I had Dan drill my collars deeper than the normal depth for WW use so this might be an invalid gripe on the normal collar. I am adjusting mine (easily)to where they will pop if need be. They have a somewhat adjustable tension screw and lock nut that looks like it works great. I would, and always do carry a 1/2" wrench and that works on the adjustment screw (and NRS frame).
Changing out an oar would be a bit more of a process.

All in all I think they are a good new alternative to standard locks and give a smooth range of motion that other systems cant touch and at a very fair price. I will give an update after I get some miles on them.
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Old 06-11-2013   #2
 
Bayfield, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Sep 2010
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thanks for the review. I have been eyeballing these for a year plus. They look pretty cool to me. I like the fact that you can feather your oars by only pulling them in less then an inch (looks to me). Oar rights are kind of bumming me out lately.
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Old 06-11-2013   #3
 
Redstone, CO
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What is the process if you do need to switch to a spare oar? Thanks.
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Old 06-11-2013   #4
 
East MT, WestMT, Both sides of the Yellowstone
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1.Remove broken oar. 2.Grab new oar. 3.Pull blade. 4.Put oar in O. 5.Re attach blade. You could also run just a plain shaft with no stopper and slip it directly in. The lock is not too sloppy so rowing w/out stopper would work in a pinch. There is also the strap on the oar trick.

If you pop the collar you just use the U part of the lock in a regular fashion.

Also carry an extra standard lock as a spare.
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Old 06-11-2013   #5
 
East MT, WestMT, Both sides of the Yellowstone
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Heres one more pic showing the increased tower height
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Old 06-11-2013   #6
 
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vancouver, Washington
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so here are pics of mine. the snare was the first thing I cut off.
here is a pic of the standard height spacer. I was going to try and experiment maybe use my nrs spring kit on top and see how I liked this. the std 8" nrs is not big enough for my gear boat, and I'm not spending $100 to upgrade to the heavy 10" towers.

the other picture shows the retaining screws in detail. I'm not sure why, but the designer made it so it has a flat blade screw is placed in the end where the nut is.

If mine ever need adjustment, I will probably remove the collar and drill holes so that you can access the screw from the allen head inside the half rounded bolt.

the third pic is what I did to remove most of the sharp part of the clamp he provides. I think the collar needs to be designed so this is recessed more and so there is plastic preventing this from being exposed. I'm going to also experiment with making my own collar. I think the rubber donut that spider referred to itself probably would provide enough friction to act as an oar right ...

I agree with the price. Oar with no wrap saves money, a pair of cobras are close to $100 and will wear out and bend at the shaft, and the ability to gain a few inches from your existing tower makes this awefully compelling.

I should get a few extra river miles in a few weeks and then I'm going to try them out on the selway ....
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Old 06-11-2013   #7
 
East MT, WestMT, Both sides of the Yellowstone
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The flathead slots are so you can adjust the screw tension on the collar and the nut is to lock it in place.
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Old 06-11-2013   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spider View Post
The flathead slots are so you can adjust the screw tension on the collar and the nut is to lock it in place.
I get that. If you loosen the screw and take off the collar you will see that screw has an Allen head. Seems like it would be better to drill the dimple in the collar just big enough to access the Allen. Then you remove the shaft when you want to change the tension and lock down the nut

My experience with screw slots is they strip out a lot faster than an Allen head. I doubt if I have to ever adjust this but if I do, I'm busting out the drill
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Old 06-11-2013   #9
 
cedar city, Utah
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They look pretty sweet and I had never heard of them until now.

Question, are they useable with rope wrapped oars? I know you mentioned you don't need them but I just purchased a set of Cataracts w/ wrap. Looking at replacing two of my oar locks that have been warped over 5 years of use but can't justify buying new oars considering they are only a couple months old.

Phillip
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Old 06-11-2013   #10
 
cedar city, Utah
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Quick visit to the webpage answered that question.

Enjoy the system, looks like it will provide a great ride.

Will have to wait until I replace oars to try it out.

Phillip
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