Showing posts with label TQFTUFFK. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TQFTUFFK. Show all posts

March 20, 2018

The Quest For The Ultimate Fly Fishing Kayak - Blue Sky Boatworks 360 Angler

Hey, TQFTUFFK is back... after a bit of a hiatus. What brought it back from the dead? A very unexpected email. And let's be honest, this latest entry from Blue Sky Boatworks (same parent company as Jackson Kayak) is a little bit out in left field. But who said left field was a bad place to be!?!

For somebody who's seeking a personal watercraft that's sort of a hybrid between a kayak and a bass boat, well this may just be the thing for you.

It looks like it's an incredibly stable fishing platform, fairly maneuverable, and has the ability to be paddled, pedaled, or even go on the move with an electric motor.

The 360 Angler will eventually retail for $3500, but right now via Kickstarter, it's available for $2500. (The "early bird" at $2200 already sold out!)

*EDIT: This kayak is now available at retailers, including Austin Kayak*

Plus, Jimmy Houston digs it... that's all the validation I need.

December 29, 2016

The Quest For The Ultimate Fly Fishing Kayak - The Jackson Mayfly

It's been a while since I've highlighted new options for those seeking the perfect kayak to go along with their favorite fly rods, but I was reminded on Facebook (I think by Drew Ross) of the new Mayfly from Jackson Kayak.

The Mayfly made its debut at this year's ICAST/IFTD show and is now shipping to dealers across the country. Unlike many of the other kayaks & SUPs highlighted in this series of TQFTUFFK posts, this kayak is designed specifically for fly anglers.

Per the Jackson Kayak website:
"Based on the highly versatile hull of the Coosa HD but with better tracking and even more stability, the MayFly is a fly fishing oriented sit-on-top. Designed for a variety of destinations including tropical flats, slow-moving rivers, lakes and ponds. Recognizing the unique challenges faced by fly fisherman, particularly line management, the MayFly includes myriad design aspects to address the needs of fly fisherman creating the ultimate kayak fly fishing platform. Snag-free footrests and features, protected fly box storage, rod butt props for dealing with tangles, integrated and protected fly patches, and more cater to the high-performance features expert fly fisherman need while being versitile and stable enough to bring new kayak fly anglers into the sport."
I know when I take my 'yak out I tend to get my fly line hung up on pretty much anything and everything onboard, so whatever manufacturers like Jackson are doing to help alleviate that bit of user error sounds like a fantastic idea to me!

A few final specs for those of you who like numbers:
  • Length: 12'8"
  • Width: 35"
  • Capacity: 450-lbs
  • Weight: 83-lbs
  • MSRP: $1899

Hmmm, very interesting...

January 18, 2016

The Quest For The Ultimate Fly Fishing Kayak - The SipaBoards Fisherman SUP

Ok...they finally got me.

When I thought SUPs designed for fishing couldn't get any more rad, I get an email about this self-inflating, electric-propelled model from SipaBoards...

Yeah, you read that right.

So let's walk through what's going on here. It's an inflatable stand up paddleboard with a nice, large platform (almost 6 feet long by 3 feet wide) to paddle and fish from. Like most fishing-oriented SUPs, the Fisherman has a lot of D rings to tie and strap things down, be it fishing gear, dry bags, coolers, whatever. But that's where the "normal" comparables end.

At the core of this SUP is a "jet engine," basically a centrally located compressor that serves two functions. The first is that it inflates your board in a few short minutes (video below). The second is that it also plays the role of trolling motor, providing extra "paddle assist" that keeps you on the move for up to 3 hours.

Oh, and how do you control this electric jet engine? Through a Bluetooth control in your paddle, of course. How slick is that?

Here's a little bit more information provided by the manufacturer:
SipaBoards delivers all the advantages of inflatables, like easy storage and transport, at the same time boldly breaking new ground with self-inflation and several hours of paddle assist from the fully integrated electric motor. 
Founder Sebastjan Sitar was happy to answer the calls of those in the fishing community with a model that fits their every need: 
“Our fishing model is also a bit of a hint that SipaBoards is set to introduce some new things. We won’t be surprised if the Fisherman is next year’s hit, since we worked so closely with fishers and paddleboarders to give them exactly what they asked for.”

Now I'm not going to lie, all these bells and whistles don't come inexpensively, but damn if this board wouldn't be a ton of fun to take out on the water. Really hope some demos show up at some point here in the US. MSRP is $2790, but the SipaBoard Fisherman is currently being offered at an introductory-sale price of $1990.

January 11, 2016

The Quest For The Ultimate Fly Fishing Kayak - The Kaku Wahoo Kayak

I haven't really been hunting down the latest and greatest in fishing kayaks as of late, however while paging through the free Coastal Angler Magazine I picked up a few weeks ago, I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the new Wahoo from Kaku Kayaks.

This kayak appears to have all the features and specs that a top notch fly fishing kayak needs. They compare well to most competitors and even have a few that right now are somewhat unique, although I'm certain will be emulated by others.

Here's the skinny from the manufacturer website:

The new Wahoo boasts a 12.5′ long by 33″ wide incredibly stable design. With a roomy open cockpit design, including adjustable foot pegs and aluminum top load gear tracks, you’ll have full control guide this highly versatile yak to your local fishing hole. The lightweight aluminum frame seat will keep you comfortable while you fish and the rear tie down system will keep your gear secure for that “Big One!” The new Wahoo is rudder and micro power pole ready (not included), so feel free to customize after purchase.
  • Length: 12.5 Feet
  • Width: 33" across
  • Weight: 74 pounds
  • Capacity: 400 pounds
  • MSRP: $1099 (although available with a pre-order price of $999)

There's clearly a lot going for for the Wahoo. I love that it's got a generally large cockpit/deck to allow for stand-up fishing and appreciate that it's designed to accommodate a Power Pole Micro, as that really seems to be an accessory that is becoming more and more popular for shallow water anglers. I've certainly had my eye on one for a little while now.

Here are a few more photos lifted from their website, to better show off some of the features since you won't be able to see this kayak in person until February...

July 19, 2015

ICAST / IFTD 2015 - Fishing Kayak & SUP Roundup

So. Many. Boats...

If you're into paddlesports, there was a lot to behold at this year's ICAST & IFTD show. Personally purchasing a fishing kayak a few years ago, I have a special interest in looking at what's out there...although as an admittedly non-expert boater, I'm certain a lot of stuff goes over my head. Fortunately, many were on display in the New Product Showcase sections, so I didn't necessarily have to go hunt them down.

That noted, there were more than a few cool kayaks & SUPs on display, as well as some of the needed accessories that go with them.

In no particular order, here's a recap by manufacturer of what stood out to me...


A very highly anticipated entry from Wilderness Systems, the A.T.A.K. 140 has been receiving quite a bit of buzz since it hit retailer shelves around April or May of this year. Like many of the newer fishing kayaks, the open cockpit has a ton of room to stand up and move around in, and the standard AirPro MAX seat allows for adjustment on the water.


Perhaps the most compelling part, (although not pictured here, sorry), the A.T.A.K. will be compatible with Wilderness Systems' new Motor Drive, which allow anglers to truly fish hands free with the assistance of a rechargeable lithium battery powered electric motor that simply drops through an opening in the hull of the boat.
MSRP $1795 (unpowered)


I have to admit, I don't know Viking Kayaks from the next boat, but I found this feature of the Profish Reload Dorado Edition kind of interesting.



Yep, a built in cooler...or Chill Pod, which keeps ice and fish cold for hours on the water. Sure, there are other great features on this sweet boat, like the 3 accessory tracks, 4 Railblaza StarPort bases, 2 Rod holders, a seat, and a rudder...but my eyes go back to the Chill Pod...which evidently isn't a new development, but new to me.  Note: all those cool accessories only come standard with the Dorado edition of the kayak.
MSRP $1999


NuCanoe sort of gets a bad reputation because to date, the boats it has released to date are not really canoes nor kayaks. They're kind of a tweeners, that many in the kayak crowd seem to disregard due to their size and speed, even though it's stability cannot be argued. Perhaps as a response to this, NuCanoe has released the Pursuit, a more streamlined version of their Frontier model.


The Pursuit takes cues from the Froniter with an open, customizable deck and great stability for stand-up anglers, and adds quad internal rod tubes, paddle storage, rod holders, gear tracks, and spaces specially designed to hold a cooler or tackle crate. It also utilizes a new multi-height seat for comfort and flexibility.


The slimmer silhouette makes the Pursuit a "faster" paddle, something that all NuCanoe critics should enjoy.
MSRP $1599


When I first walked by this boat, I didn't even realize it was an inflatable. I mean look at the beef on this Sea Eagle Inflatable Travel Canoe and all of the accessories mounted to it!


I was even more impressed when I touched the 3" double-walled inflatable hull and saw truly how rigid it was. Again, you'd never know this was an air-filled least not the kind I think of. Oh, and did I mention it was HUGE! Inflated, it's 16' x 38" and deflated it's 39" x 24" x 12" and stores in a carry bag which can fit in a car trunk. Amazing!

While I have no clue how it paddles, although it claims to be aided by bow & stern molds and rear removable skeg, of all the boats at the show, this was on the one I'll remember for a while.
MSRP $2399


I'm not certain if FeelFree had a new boat at the show, but they did have a few accessories that might be of interest to kayak anglers, a camo fish bag & a camo crate bag.


The Fish Bag is close cell foam insulated and designed to fit in your kayak for storing and keeping your catch nice and cool. Fortunately, it also has a removable liner to get cleaned or hosed out...because no camo pattern can hide the stink of dead fish.
MSRP $109-$139


The Crate Bag is a Swiss Army knife of functionality for your kayak. Large storage capacity is a given, but it also has side holders that accommodate up to 5 fishing rods and a stern light. Water resistant, you find pockets for plenty of gizmos, such as pliers, maps, etc... and to cap it off, the final neat feature is that it has a pocket in the front that is removable, converting into a waist pack, allowing you to take your gear with you should you hop off to wade the shorline or flats on foot.
MSRP $199


The Kingfisher Inflatable Fishing SUP from the Creek Company is quite the fishing platform. At 10' x 41" x 6" and only 31 pounds, the Kingfisher touts stability and rigidity and an ultra-convenient package that deflates into an oversized backpack.


The best features on the Kingfisher are the multiple D-ring attachment points & bungee cords along the rails and deck and pre-mounted rod holders. This SUP is geared with one purpose in mind, catching fish.
MSRP $1299.99


Speaking of fishing SUPs, one that really caught my eye was the FishSUP from SwitchSUP. Now the inflatable board here looks like a really solid entry into the inflatable SUP market, but that's really not what I'm talking about, I'm looking at the box on the back.


The FishSUP box is basically a cooler-sized plastic crate (not a cooler), but it has two outrigger pontoons coming out of the side for additional stability. As a person who is balance-challenged at times, I could see how those pontoons could be extremely helpful to anyone a bit intimidated to fish off of their SUP.


The crate also doubles as a seat and integrates a fishing rod holder, paddle holder, beverage holder, tackle box shelf, and holes for stakeout poles. Open the box and you'll find storage for tackle, PFD, collapsible paddle, you name it...and even has wheels for easy transport. The FishSUP works on most SUPs.
MSRP $495


It was good to see the TrueRec guys at the show. I had featured their DFP kayak on Troutrageous! 2 years ago when it was still in prototype stage and they were trying to raise money on Kickstarter to fund the project. While I don't think the campaign was successful, they continued on and are ready to bring boats to the market!



What makes the DFP unique are the concealed pontoons in the side which are easily deployable for extra stability on the water. These make this kayak an ideal for stand up fishing, or as a platform to dive from.
MSRP $1799


Winner of the 2015 "Best In Show" award in the boat/personal watercraft category on the IFTD side of the house, this Estrada Art adorned Live Watersports L2Fish SUP was a sight to see, (even though this picture doesn't do a good job of it)!


Personally, I really dig Eric Estrada's art, so this Signature L2Fish was a really cool collaboration project that takes the already capable catamaran-hulled SUP to an all new level.
MSRP $2699


Last, but not least, the eddyline C-135 YakAttack Edition Stratofisher Kayak...which happened to win overall "Best In Show" at the ICAST side of the house.


The C-135 is a 13.5' x  34" high-gloss thermoformed Carbonlite 2000 kayak that is relatively lightweight at 69 pounds, and boasts a 450 pound capacity. The standard version features a very open floor plan and a 4-position Cloud 10 comfort seat. The C-135 was designed to accept trolling motors, stakeout poles, and even a casting bar.





This special YakAttack edition of the boat comes with all of that, plus a ton more YakAttack accessories, including the BlackPak kayak crate, a VisiCarbon Pro safety light, a Zooka Tube rod holder, paddle clips, and several Gear Tracs for additional flexibility.
MSRP $2599

In closing, there was just so much to see and too little time, so I apologize if I missed a manufacturer or product you were curious about. I tried to keep this recap to the novel, notable, and new.

As you've probably noticed, I've embedded links to each of the manufacturer websites within each write-up, so if you're looking for more information on any of these products, please click through and pay them a visit!

This post is also being tagged as part of the recurring "The Quest For The Ultimate Fly Fishing Kayak" series; to view prior entries, click HERE.

August 13, 2014

The Quest For The Ultimate Fly Fishing Kayak - The BOTE Rackham 12'

It's been about a week of neglect for the blog...

Really not too motivated to write, but this sweet video of the new BOTE Rackham 12' popped into my inbox yesterday.  Since I teased this SUP a bit in the ICAST/IFTD paddlesports recap a few weeks back, let's do another installment of "The Quest for the Ultimate Fly Fishing Kayak"....(TQFTUFFK for short)...

Oh, and if you are hesitating on clicking play, there are scantily-clad women doing chickenfights toward the end.  I need to get over to Destin, pronto.  I mean that's why one lives in Florida, no?

The Rackham will hit dealers' shelves in mid-October.
Take my money now.

July 19, 2014

ICAST / IFTD 2014 - Fishing Kayak & SUP Roundup

There were a lot of kayak and SUP manufacturers at this year's show.  More than I thought there would be...I suppose that's proof that small, plastic fishing vessels are more popular than ever.  While I just bought a Native Slayer 12' in the last year, it didn't stop me from checking out some items that might be of interest for the kayak and SUP angler.  Consider this another installment of TQFTUFFK.


Hobie had a rather large presence at the show.  And I just don't mean their booth size.  They actually had 3 new items that I think would be of interest to many, all of which will become available this Fall.

The first is the Mirage Pro Angler 17T.  This 17 foot kayak is a BEAST.  I've never seen so much plastic.  Intended for 2 adult anglers, it features two Hobie MirageDrive foot paddles, one for each angler.  Like most Hobie kayaks, it comes standard with a lot of great features enabling one to customize it in many ways using the patent pending H rail mounting system. With a weight of 185 pounds and a capacity of 900, it's a lot of boat.  You could fit an entire kindergarten class inside and their lunch boxes.  MSRP $5299.

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 17T Kayak

The second new items are actually the launch of their Triple Air Chamber inflatable SUP series.  The Day Trip is 8 feet long and intended to be a "fun" board.  Kind of a jack of all trades, you can do anything from fishing to yoga on it.  The Sportsman is 10'9" long and is more so intended for serious outdoor pursuits, I mean heck, it comes in camo!

Hobie Sportsman 10'9" Inflatable Paddleboard SUP

Hobie Sportsman 10'9" Inflatable Paddleboard SUP Sidewall

Joking aside, I was really impressed with the Sportsman, for an inflatable SUP it was super rigid and provided a nice wide platform (both boards are 38" across) with plenty of bungee cords and attachment points to tie things down.  Each board also comes with a backpack, pump, 3-piece paddle, and repair kit.  The Day Trip has an MSRP of $1299 and the Sportsman $1399.


As a Native Slayer 12 owner, I just had to check out the new Slayer Propel 10.  It's just like my Slayer, but 2 feet shorter (a little taken off the front and the back) and a little bit lighter.  Add in the foot pedal Propel system and the super comfy First Class seat and you've got a clear winner.  The shorter kayak means it easily fits in the back of a pickup truck, which makes getting to and from the water even easier.  I really like this boat a lot.  Kinda making me second guess my current choice of Slayer.  It will hit the market in October 2014 at an MSRP of $2299.

Native Slayer 10 Propel Kayak

Native Slayer Propel 10 Fishing Kayak

Native Propel Drive System


The Old Town Predator XL was the talk of the ICAST show.  It not only won Best Boat, but it won Best In Show.  There's a lot going on with the Predator XL.  It's big, so there's a lot of deck space, storage, and room for modifications, but the main takaway is the modular console in the middle.  You can basically buy the boat unpowered and use the console for storage or to store a battery for electronics, or go all out and purchase a console which make the Predator XL hands-free Minn-Kota powered.  It's basically a small trolling motor type of prop that drops right down through the center of the boat.  Pretty rad, and I'm probably not doing it justice.  The Old Town Predator XL will hit the market in November with MSRPs of $1599 (standard) or $2699 (with Minn-Kota).

Old Town Predator XL Fishing Kayak

Old Town Predator Kayak XL Minn Kota

Old Town Kayak Minn Kota Power Console

Old Town Predator XL Clickseal Storage


I have a fiberglass stakeout pole that I use in tandem with an pretty standard anchor trolley.  It works fine, but can be a little clumsy to operate.  I happened to run into Tim from Flexstick while he was doing a demo of his product, and found it rather interesting.  The Flexstick Anchor is a flexible fiberglass rod that kind of looks like a long ski pole.  It mounts directly on to your kayak via a bracket that fits most rail systems.

Basically, while paddling, the anchor rests in a position parallel to your kayak, and to deploy, you simply unlock it with one hand and drop it down.  The Flexstick pivots on a ratchet and stays put once locked.  It keeps you secure in one spot regardless of water bottom, and I think would be ideal for shallow water applications.  The Flexstick Anchor retails for $249 and is available now.

Flexstick Kayak Anchor Pole

Flexstick Kayak Flexible Anchor Pole Mount


Here are some other quick watercraft hits via pictures...because I really could go on and on...

ENGEL USA has created a hybrid molded composite SUP that will retail for $1699...

Engel Paddleboard
...a unique feature...a molded in well that accommodates Engel coolers
(or anything else you might want to keep dry).

The CruiserBoard is a made in the USA kayak / paddleboard hybrid

The major selling point is the seat (that mounts via rail system).  
It can be used unfolded as a chair, or in the folded position as a back support
 (think to lean back on) while paddling.  
It retails for $2590 and comes with the paddle.

BOTE was one of the busiest booths at the show.  
The 12' Rackham is the next evolution in fishing craft.  
It has a 400 lb capacity and will retail for $2100.

The Rackham's recessed standing platform keeps your stuff high and dry, 
features the new Paddle Sheath paddle storage system, and is both Tackle Rack 
and Power Pole Micro compatible.  Yowza!

I've had a yak-crush on the FeelFree Lures for about a year.  
They really look like great fishing kayaks.   The Lure comes in 3 sizes; 10', 11.5' and 13.5' 
and has a (relatively) very friendly retail of $999 - $1599.

Diablo was there holding court.  I didn't see anything new, I might have missed it.
They were constantly busy, so since I wasn't a retail account, I really didn't want to intrude.
They are really nice in person, a lot more kayaky (is that a word?) than I expected.

Last but not least, I had to stop by and check out the NuCanoes.  
These boats are the ideal blank canvas for any angler.  
This one happens to be rigged up with the stand up bar which would be awesome for fly fishing.  
The gentleman I spoke to at the booth actually was a fly fishing guide from Sarasota who 
uses NuCanoes with his customers...who love them.   And it's funny, everyone always says these boats 
are huge...they look petite compared to that 17' Hobie!!!

As you've probably noticed, I've embedded links to each of the manufacturer websites, so if you're looking for more information on any of these boats, please click through and pay them a visit!

I apologize if I missed, or failed to write up your favorite kayak manufacturer so don't take it personally.  There were many more there, I just didn't have time to see everyone.