So… Outdoor retailer has just passed and there’s been a very large array of new kayaks announced to come out onto the market for 2015. Some of them are completely new boats, and some are updates to previously existing boats. Here are a few of the kayaks that I’m most excited about in no particular order.
Hobie had announced a few weeks ago the behemoth known as the Pro Angler 17 Tandem, but kept many of the updates to their existing boats under wraps. At Outdoor Retailer they announced that all of their Mirage Drive kayaks would include their Vantage Seat, called the Vantage CT. It seems to be a slightly simplified version of the Vantage seat found on the Pro Angler line. I had also been speculating that while redesigning the boat, Hobie would probably flatten out the floor, making the Outback a more stand up friendly boat. They did just that. Along with other nice features, they also updated the mirage drive, making it smoother and more efficient. While I don’t prefer pedal-drive kayaks, the new Mirage Outback is sure to keep this model Hobie’s best selling fishing kayak.
My first kayak was the original Coosa. I loved it! I was able to completely outfit it for my needs. However, due to it’s hull design, it’s better suited for moving water and small rivers. I ended up replacing it with my Cuda 14.
Now, Jackson has taken the Coosa and given it an update. The new Coosa HD is a little bit wider and longer. It’s said to be a little more stable, tracks well, and will perform better in open water. It no longer features the criss-crossing of bungee cord on the front hatch (which caught lures alot!), and now sports a removable middle console. This will give you the ability to mount a fish finder and keep all the cabling stowed away. It also sports the same style rod tip protectors as the Big Rig, which is nice, and will come with a new YakAttack camera pole. The Coosa may now deserve a second look as a marsh fishing kayak!
The Cuda is (so far) my favorite fishing kayak. I’ve yet to find a design that I like better. Some people may have found that the Cuda series, though nice, was a little on the heavier side. Well, that shouldn’t be a problem anymore with the new Cuda LT! By using using a different type of plastic, this version of the Cuda weighs in at around 50 lbs! It still keeps the same features as the roto-molded Cuda line, but this thermoformed version will give a lighter option, as well as give customers a differently looking Cuda! The surface of the hull is also a bit smoother. Put that together with the lighter weight, and you’ve got a kayak that will go! Definitely a cool option!
Lastly, the Kraken is probably Jackson’s most anticipated boat as of late. It was designed for the angler who wants to tackle the deep blue. If you’ve seen him on TV, or Youtube, you’ll know that Jim Sammons likes to target big Tarpon, Sailfish, Marlin, and other big gamefish. So he and Tony Lee designed the Kraken to excel in that element. It comes with a Plano storage box and a K-Krate (Kraken Krate) that’s got it’s own pump scupper. The center hatch is hinged on the front which is something I wished they’d included on the Cuda. To compensate for weight distribution and helping the boat track better, the seat can be trimmed forward and back. That’s a feature that is shared with the Coosa HD. Hi-Lo seating is still an option on the Coosa, but not with the Kraken. But it is designed for big water so standing isn’t something that most in that setting are worried about, though it is possible to stand in the Kraken.
I’m honestly hoping to get a chance to jump in all of these boats. Especially the Jacksons! 2015 will surely be a good year for kayak anglers!