Digging Razors In The Dark Question

WaveDancer

Fishing The Pacific Ocean & Puget Sound Since 1969
Aug 26, 2008
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Ken
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Prowling for a Cat
With a whole lotta Razor Clam dig dates announced for this winter coming up, I have some friends wanting to come down and dig during the PM dark tides but they have no clue as to what kind of lighting works best for seeing and digging Razor's in the dark.

A quick look to Amazon unveils a huge assortment of LED headlamps along with many other choices so I figured some if not many here could chime in on what to use and what not to use or avoid.

Any particular color work better than the other?

Are all clam guns created equally? There is a big variety available with huge price differences so don't waste your money for the big $$ one's or don't waste your money on the cheap ones?

Also, any tips for digging/finding Razors in the dark other than always face the surf for safety?

In case some don't know or haven't seen the dates, here is the link to WDFW's Razor Clam page, just click on the "Season Information" bar on the bottom of the page and it will open up a list of upcoming dates. Link:

https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/razor-clams

Thanks in advance to any of you responding.

WD
 

JTC

Too Sirius
Aug 13, 2012
897
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Jeff
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24' North River O/S. SIRIUS FISHIN
Cat led portable rechargeable COB light
26.98 on Amazon
Clam hawk with a side vent
Do not get a gun without a side vent
Your back will thank you
 

bducky

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Jul 31, 2017
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Ditto on the cat light, we use bungies to hold them against our body.
 
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WaveDancer

Fishing The Pacific Ocean & Puget Sound Since 1969
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Ditto on the cat light, we use bungies to hold them against our body.
.
This brings up a good question, does mounting the lamp to your chest just like you say work that much better than putting it on your head or does this just allow you to wear a hat as a hat really doesn't work well with a lot of these headlights, at least the ones I have tried in the past?

WD
 

thesaltyhooker

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Oct 25, 2018
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Propane or white gas lantern, night and day vs electric light. Also, put a strobe on your rig so you can find your way back.
i was coming to say the same thing, last time we were out in the dark i was jealous of all of the little propane lanterns vs my sweet LED headlamp i use for hunting/backpacking.
the led washes out the sand while the propane lantern is a softer, more natural light.
as for you truck, mark where you parked it on an app like waze or onx..youd think youll know where it is, but after wandering aorund for 2 hours with your head down staring at the dirt..easy to get turned aorund.
 
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hawksfan75

Wear your god damned mask!
Sep 7, 2011
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I built a little stand for my lantern but found it to be just another thing I have to drag around with me. I took to just using a flashlight plus my head lamp. Use flashlight to find a show then use head lamp to keep on it.

I picked up a Claminator clam gun for my wife. I’ll likely be getting one for the kids too. Worth every penny.

https://www.theclaminator.com/clam-guns/
 

Ugly Bayliner

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I took the headgear out of an old hard hat and zip tied two large LED flashlights to it, one on each side. It’s heavy but it lights up a 20’ area which is great. The small LED head lamps work good, but with mine I can see shows off to the side that others miss. It’s extremely bright and I can wear it over my ball cap. Last time the family went, my wife carried a propane camp lantern which was very helpful. A strobe in the truck window IS A MUST as I’ve walked a couple miles the wrong way looking for my rig before.
 
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bducky

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Jul 31, 2017
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.
This brings up a good question, does mounting the lamp to your chest just like you say work that much better than putting it on your head or does this just allow you to wear a hat as a hat really doesn't work well with a lot of these headlights, at least the ones I have tried in the past?

WD
Yes ,it just involves getting the bungies to fit around your neck or body, Getting it to tilt slightly downwards is key to seeing properly.Bungies can be knotted to change length, do it at home to get it right. The amount of area covered by light is amazing.
 
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Ugly Bayliner

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Sep 18, 2008
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Yeah, vented clan gun is a must, even the cheap aluminum ones from Cabela’s or Walmart work great. Your back will appreciate the extra $20.
 
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tacklejacked

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Jun 2, 2009
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Build a big ass fire as the tide goes out..if u have to dig beyond it's light you need a new spot..

Kind of kidding but not really..

And as always... someone needs to watch the surf at all times... IMO.
 
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KimH

Someday I'll live the dream.
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Old school is a Coleman lantern which works great especially if you have someone holding if for you.
New school the CAT style light. I glued a GoPro mount on mine and then use a GoPro chest harness.

I like the Clam Hawk. Broke the T on it last spring but he fixed me up quickly so good service. I also have the Clamanator or whatever it’s called. Good gun, 100% stainless with the side vent also. To me it seems as if the tube is too short so I tend to grab the Hawk.

Also I grew up using a shovel but now since I’m an old man I prefer the gun. Shovel is quicker or faster. We used to flip the shovel and pound with handle to make them show. Can’t do that with a gun as you’ll ruin the edges of the tube. I took a chunk of pvc pipe, 1 1/8” or something like that, whatever diameter fits your hand well. Attached a galvanized nipple with a pipe cap on one end. Great pound stick for making them show. Since I tend to work in the water or close to it the stick also works as a good brace to lean against when a larger wave hits you.
 
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eldplanko

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Jun 18, 2012
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.
This brings up a good question, does mounting the lamp to your chest just like you say work that much better than putting it on your head or does this just allow you to wear a hat as a hat really doesn't work well with a lot of these headlights, at least the ones I have tried in the past?

WD
Depending on the shows or if it's raining, you might need the light off on an angle from where you're standing, it helps to have a holder a few feet away.
 
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WaveDancer

Fishing The Pacific Ocean & Puget Sound Since 1969
Aug 26, 2008
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Old school is a Coleman lantern which works great especially if you have someone holding if for you.
New school the CAT style light. I glued a GoPro mount on mine and then use a GoPro chest harness.

I like the Clam Hawk. Broke the T on it last spring but he fixed me up quickly so good service. I also have the Clamanator or whatever it’s called. Good gun, 100% stainless with the side vent also. To me it seems as if the tube is too short so I tend to grab the Hawk.

Also I grew up using a shovel but now since I’m an old man I prefer the gun. Shovel is quicker or faster. We used to flip the shovel and pound with handle to make them show. Can’t do that with a gun as you’ll ruin the edges of the tube. I took a chunk of pvc pipe, 1 1/8” or something like that, whatever diameter fits your hand well. Attached a galvanized nipple with a pipe cap on one end. Great pound stick for making them show. Since I tend to work in the water or close to it the stick also works as a good brace to lean against when a larger wave hits you.
.
What is a "CAT" style light Kim?

I looked on Amazon and didn't see any reference to any kind of "CAT" light.

WD
 

WaveDancer

Fishing The Pacific Ocean & Puget Sound Since 1969
Aug 26, 2008
2,371
949
Kitsap/Westport, WA
Name
Ken
Boat
Prowling for a Cat
Old school is a Coleman lantern which works great especially if you have someone holding if for you.
New school the CAT style light. I glued a GoPro mount on mine and then use a GoPro chest harness.

I like the Clam Hawk. Broke the T on it last spring but he fixed me up quickly so good service. I also have the Clamanator or whatever it’s called. Good gun, 100% stainless with the side vent also. To me it seems as if the tube is too short so I tend to grab the Hawk.

Also I grew up using a shovel but now since I’m an old man I prefer the gun. Shovel is quicker or faster. We used to flip the shovel and pound with handle to make them show. Can’t do that with a gun as you’ll ruin the edges of the tube. I took a chunk of pvc pipe, 1 1/8” or something like that, whatever diameter fits your hand well. Attached a galvanized nipple with a pipe cap on one end. Great pound stick for making them show. Since I tend to work in the water or close to it the stick also works as a good brace to lean against when a larger wave hits you.
.
Looks like I found them.

Is this what you are talking about Kim?

Amazon product
Thanks for all the advise everybody.

WD
 
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liltrouble

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Jun 9, 2012
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Mr. Buttercup
Haha! All this talk of Coleman lanterns leaves me laughing! Last year Carrie's Bait Boy had one and he set it down to dig his clam and the next thing you know it is is hit by a wave and tumbling down the beach with Norm chasing it. Stayed lit for a couple of tumbles.

Clams were awesome but watching Norm chase his lantern in the surf was down right priceless! (Love ya Norm!)
 
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FINATIC 21

MAD SALMON
Jul 20, 2010
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Gas propane lantern with a homemade stand !

As far as carrying it , that’s what the daughter is For !:D

She marks with her foot and I dig with a headlamp after that , we knock emm out fast . Then we switch ( just to be in accordance with law of course).

Small strobe in the rig is excellent idea , but so many folks doing it now is a little confusing .
 
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KimH

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CAT was the brand name that you see a lot. I didn't get that.
I got this one which I found in my purchase history. Still in Alaska so I can't take a look at it. A bit more expensive but I'm buying just for me. It's bright and you can adjust the harshness.. Amazon product
 
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KimH

Someday I'll live the dream.
Mar 4, 2009
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Tacoma/Westport WA/USA
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Kim
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26' Duckworth..."Mayhem"
Gas propane lantern with a homemade stand !

As far as carrying it , that’s what the daughter is For !:D

She marks with her foot and I dig with a headlamp after that , we knock emm out fast . Then we switch ( just to be in accordance with law of course).

Small strobe in the rig is excellent idea , but so many folks doing it now is a little confusing .
Yup the Coleman really is great.
The crappy rules is each individual is supposed to dig their own. WSDF even has a vid of how to dig with small kids. You supposed to have their hands on the gun, you helping push and pull et cetera. If a game warden was a butt head they'd ticket you but at night they probably can't see what's going on anyway. My younger brother had Downs. He carried the bucket but didn't dig. Loved going down to beach for the tides and better yet loved eating them. Growing up in Grayland we hit a lot of tides. Mom would just dare the Game Wardens to say something...they never did.
 

liltrouble

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Jun 9, 2012
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Claminator makes the kids gun. They can stand on it to get the tube down into the sand. The short ones can grab the foot pegs and pull up while you grab the top ones.

20190202_175328.jpg
 
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TooManyHobbies

The guy that makes the glass stuff
May 10, 2010
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Garrett
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21' SeaRay Laguna CC "Sea 'Scape"
I like the 'Coast' brand headlamps you can get at the home depot, etc. The best ones (about 40$) ones come with a beam focus, and a brightness toggle, as well as being able to tilt them down. I find that looking at the edges of your illuminated circle is far better than looking at the bright spot in the middle..

Amazon product
 
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FINATIC 21

MAD SALMON
Jul 20, 2010
548
357
Oly, WA
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Jay
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27 Raydanie Pilothouse
Yup the Coleman really is great.
The crappy rules is each individual is supposed to dig their own. WSDF even has a vid of how to dig with small kids. You supposed to have their hands on the gun, you helping push and pull et cetera. If a game warden was a butt head they'd ticket you but at night they probably can't see what's going on anyway. My younger brother had Downs. He carried the bucket but didn't dig. Loved going down to beach for the tides and better yet loved eating them. Growing up in Grayland we hit a lot of tides. Mom would just dare the Game Wardens to say something...they never did.


Yep , that’s why I included “we always switch positions” once each persons limit is reached ..

Cause we do , cause that would be the only eothical thing to do ..... ugh daughter is plenty big enough to dig her own now , but all they years past , Her and I just got er’ done by ourselves ..

Just getting kids out there doing that type is a thing is a bonus ...

Annnndddd then they have to BuzzKill it .. oh well.... yeah.
 

Kool-Aid

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Mar 18, 2008
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Went to a propane lantern last year. Headlamp is only a back up now.

Once you learn how to use the lantern you will never go back.

Now...if completely inexperienced. Artificial light would be the way to go. Might not find them as easily...but they don’t risk doing something wrong like setting it down and watching a wave crash into it.
 
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