To add some meat to this section, I'd like to see the users here that currently have kayaks, maybe write out some detailed reviews on the said kayaks that they are running. Pro's vs. Con's. What you found it to be lacking, etc. Just a thought.
I've had it for a few years and have put it to the test in rivers, all types of lakes including LW and through some arduous portages. This kayak comes ready to fish. You don't have to go out and buy rod holders, seats etc
The http://jacksonkayak.com/blog/kayak/cuda-12/ website gives a very detailed review. There are so many positives so I don't want to repeat what is already listed in link. I will just point out some pros and cons that I have noticed of my use over the last few years while fishing medium/big lakes, rivers and engaging portages.
One thing that REALLY stood out for me was how easy it is to fish/manage solo. I do a great deal of solo fishing in the backcountry and unloading/loading and portaging with relative ease was crucial. This kayak does the job extremely well. I have put it through the ringer regarding bumping into rocks, structure etc and it is incredibly rugged and holds up.
There is soooo much storage space that one can gear up for both camping and fishing for a few days. Load capacity of kayak is 350lbs. Stability of kayak is great while seated. I feel safe and in control of this kayak on both rivers and big lakes. I have navigated with relative ease through some extremely windy days and some serious chop. It is a pretty fast kayak. Another thing that stood out was how comfortable it is to sit in. I fish 12 hour days and I can sit in that boat without feeling any back pain etc. Their seat is designed perfectly and comes with lumbar support.
One thing I noticed was that although Jackson Kayak states the Cuda 12 is a great platform to stand up in, I have found this not to be the case. I'm 5'10 165lbs and fairly fit and I still find myself uncomfortable standing in it. I stand up once in a while but always felt that if a big pike or even decent sized bass smashed my lure it could jerk me out of the kayak. I would not recommend this kayak as a great stand up platform.
I wish they designed an anchor trolly system for it or that it came with one to install. I made my own for $11.00 but it would have been nice if this was included.
This isn't a con about the kayak but if one is thinking of purchasing this model, IMO, you will require a rugged/reliable kayak cart. I found a kayak cart to be one of my top 5 must need features. A quality one will set you back a couple of hundred bucks. I would stay away from the POS that are made out of plastic or aluminum. They will break/bend first outing. I recommend the expedition cart built in BC.
I look forward to reading other reviews from others. Spring is coming and I can't wait to get out there.
I have a Jackson Big Rig (hopefully adding more to the fleet soon ):
I love my the Big Rig and have had it for a full season now. I wanted a yak that could handle most water conditions and wanted something really stable to be able to stand for bass fishing. This yak does not disappoint in that department! Here's my pros/cons list:
Extremely stable (I can actually walk from bow to stern on this thing and jump around and feel safe and I'm not a small dude, 6'1" 215lbs). It also had a stand assist bar which you can lean against while sight fishing for those bass and you can also lay your paddle across the top of it. There is also a ton of room on this thing, spanning just over 13ft long and 37" wide, it's nice to have some room to move around which makes for a very comfortable day of fishing. One very unique feature specific to this yak are the rod troughs on the sides, very nice feature to securely and hold and protect your rods with quick access to get back into the action.
Also has a crazy amount of storage include in hull. When I travel, I can put all my rods inside the yak when traveling which is nice to keep them protected, especially the long 8 footers! This yak is great for rivers and lakes. I even took it right across the middle of a decent sized lake going into very high winds with white caps and felt very secure. Also for a big, wide yak, this thing moves at a good clip. Very well designed hull which tracks really well, yet very maneuverable.
It is also rigged to the nines with rod holders, yak attack gear tracks, transducer scupper hole and gear track in the middle for fish finder. Very comfy hi/low seat. It is also power pole ready for shallow river fishing and has a built in anchor track and cleat and a spot for the anchor to be housed in the back.
The stability and width does come at some cost, the weight is getting up there at 98lbs with seat, 92 without, so can be a bit to handle if doing portaging. That being said this is built for bigger dudes so usually we can handle the extra weight.
For the size, it tracks well, but you are not going to win a race (nothingman always beats me to the "spot" in his Cuda 12). For that reason, if you were planning on always being on large bodies of water with a lot of paddling, would not be the best yak for that.
One thing about the anchor system, despite my saying its a pro, it that it is only in the back, so being able to position your yak in a specific direction is not easy without adding your own rigging system, so you're pointing the direction the water is flowing (this is only minor in my opinion though).
Look forward to hearing what everyone else has out there! Man with this warm weather I am getting the serious itch to get my yak out on some open water!!
Hello, bought the wilderness system ride angler a few years back. Very stable kayak yet still seems efficient to paddle and tracks well even without the rudder installed. Very comfortable adjustable seat. i have fished numerous lakes in the whiteshell with it and also lake winnipeg and the la salle river. Carry's a heavy load and have a fish finder hooked up. 75 pounds and extremely durable, flew off my roof rack going cruising speed on the trans canada last year and just got scraped up a bit. Only time i don't take it fishing is if I have to hike in to a lake, then I take the belly boat.
Field tested (LOL) 3 Ocean Kayaks on Lk. Wpg.
... you get wet, which isn't a bad thing on a summer day.
... if you tip, expect to loose stuff unless you strapped it in or have it stored.
... when you hook up with jaws, it a whole different experience.
... as with any boat/craft, safety gear and an anchor.
... a cheap paddle is just that
... prefer the high-visible colors (bright yellow)/boating safety
When my sons were very young we started with the Ocean Frenzy.
- I started to think fishing and added a Scotty rod holder ... and that's where it all began for me.
- Very stable, rugged, but slow in the water.
- Great dual purpose pleasure craft for a young family. It can double as a fishing yak as long as the you don't have miles to go.
Next step as the kids grew, was the Ocean Caper Angler.
- Very stable, rugged, and a little faster in the water.
- Super dual purpose pleasure craft for a growing family. It doubles as a good recreational Yak and a decent fishing plat form.
- It was a covered storage locker in the front (which never seems to get used).
- Added a Ram Mount for a GPS which is very convenient when wanting to return to the secret X-spot for Eyes.
The family was starting to grumble that dad (me) was hogging the Caper to fish. So along comes the Ocean Trident 13.
- see the pattern yet? Ocean Ocean Ocean
- Stable, rugged, and fast in the water.
- Super dual purpose pleasure pleasure craft.
- Good usable storage areas.
- Designed to accept a Sonar unit c/w Transducer (thru-hull) mounting hole and battery storage/mounting area.
- Wouldn't consider it to be super fast in the water, but it's the fasted of the 3
- You give up a little and I mean only a little stability to get the faster hull design.
Stability = < Speed (which usually means a wider more flat bottom hull)
Speed = < Stability (which usually means a narrower and a little deeper hull)
P.S. It doesn't seem to matter what color of Yak you own, or what body of water your on ... Jet Ski's are your most feared 'other' craft on the water. Most operators don't get the idea of keeping their distance.
... and no I'm not on the Ocean Kayak pro-staff team LOL.
Great reviews! Wilderness Systems and Ocean Kayaks both great yaks. Hoping to head out on big windy for the first time with the yak this year too and hear ya on the homers on the jet ski's (don't want to offend the jet ski owners, you're only a homer if you don't respect space, no need to be whizzing by a few feet away, big windy is a big lake )
I've got a Malibu X-13 with the X-wing. It's a great setup and the X-wing allows me to use rod holders and a fish finder when I want them. I mainly fly fish so often prefer to head out without the X-wing. It's a fast kayak with a 29" width and 13' 10" length and is quite stable. I've stood on it but at 70 I'm more wobbly than the kayak now.
Having said all those good things about it, I wouldn't recommend buying a new one since their customer service sucks. Luckily my problems were only minor but I got no response to any of my concerns. However a used one that can be looked at would be worth a peek.
My CLC Wood Duck 12 is a sit-in built for fishing...I think it is excellent. I've used it without issue for two seasons years on various bodies of water (e.g., Red River for walleye, Hunt Lake for rainbow, Winnipeg River system for various species, various bays on LOTW, etc.). I have removed the angling gear/rigging and surfed good waves on a windy day on Lake Winnipeg. No stability issues going through or riding the waves.
It is extremely stable (30 inch beam), though I have not thought much about or tried standing up. It is very light at 40 lbs. - I can toss it over one shoulder and carry it a good distance which is great when you're 55 years old. The cockpit is extra, extra large for fishing. Speed is fine for me, but its much more a cruiser than racer.
Wow! That is a sick rig!! Nice set up and love the fact it only weighs 40lbs. You can portage and really get into tight situations and presentations fairly easy. Awesome finish too. That is one hell of a gift from your brother.
Thanks, Nothingman...I'm a lucky brother. Like you, I put my kayak through its paces...hitting rock, structure, etc. and it is surprisingly rugged/durable with all the layers of fibreglass over the cedar strips (deck) and Okoume hardwood (hull).