Well, okay – no propeller is really going to help you catch more fish. However, there is one prop that can most certainly spook fewer fish, thereby increasing your catch. We’re talking about Yamaha’s SDS propeller system.
You can hear that metal-on-metal “clunk” every time you shift your boat into and out of gear, right? Well, the fish hear it too. And on more than one occasion, I’ve watched fish get spooked at the noise and go zipping off through the water at top-speed. If you don’t believe me, try it some time for yourself when you’re in an area of clear water, and there are some visible fish within 10 or 15 feet of the boat. You’ll find that there’s no question that the fish can detect this noise, and at least some of the time, it scares the bejesus out of them.
Enter, the SDS system. Yamaha incorporates a dampener and a spacer, which are fitted inside the propeller hub. These absorb the shock normally produced when an engine is shifted into gear, and eliminates that fish-spooking clunk. It’s a pretty simple fix, and you’d think every propeller manufacturer would have started doing this by now – but they don’t. In fact, truth be told, Yamaha has had SDS for several years. So, why are we just talking about it now? They introduced SDS on a very limited number of options, beginning only with high-horsepower Saltwater Series II props for V6 engines. Through the years, they have steadily been increasing the number of propellers available with SDS. And today, these propellers are now available for a wide-ranging selection of engines of different horsepower sizes. If you have a Yamaha outboard but you don’t have and SDS prop, you might want to visit Yamaha and see if they have one that’s right for you. It may not really help you catch more fish, but it will certainly help you spook less of the ones you’re trying to catch.