kayak

Jackson Coosa HD First Impressions

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Working part time at my local paddle shop Rocktown Adventures, I have been blessed with the opportunity to fish out of many different kayaks, so I can help a customer out to my fullest potential. With that being said there was still one boat in the arsenal of kayaks I have available that I hadn’t tried out yet.. The Jackson Kayaks Coosa HD.

I am mainly a lake fisherman, so I always resort to a pedal driven kayak. However in the past year or so I have been putting in a lot of time fishing river systems for smallmouth bass. I used to float the rivers in a small pelican kayak , then the Bonafide RS117, and the Bonafide SS127. However I felt these boats were just missing something when it came to floating down a river. I didn’t have the maneuverability I wanted. Well I think I found it.

This past weekend I headed to the local river with my good friend and co-host Jay Randall. He typically floats rivers out of the Jackson Liska. Well I’ve always wanted to float in the Liska, I decided to go a little different route and grabbed the Coosa HD. The Coosa was originally designed with river fishing in mind, by one of the pioneers of our sport Drew Gregory. With that said, I felt I couldn’t go wrong with the Coosa that day, and wanted to see what Drew’s design was all about.

First impressions before getting on the water….. The boat is light. Seat looked comfortable. Room for my Black Pack in the rear tank well. Nice storage compartment directly in front of me for some gear. Front hatch has a good amount of room to throw some miscellaneous things in, and you can’t forget the 2 built in rod holders.

First impressions while on the water….. From the first paddle stroke, I knew this boat was going to paddle with ease. It was swift in the water, and needed very little effort to paddle it compared to some of the other boats I have paddled in the river. Stability is definitely there. The boat has more of a rounded bottom hull, but when that secondary kick in you feel it wether you’re sitting or standing. I stood and fished from the boat quite a bit. Being that i’m 6’4” and about 250 lbs, the boat handled great while standing. The seat was comfortable, especially with the thermarest lumbar support. The only thing I didn’t like, but didn’t necessarily hate was the height of the seat because of my long legs. I didn’t struggle getting up and down, but it was a little more work(I feel this is mostly due to my size). There was plenty of room to move around and store all my necessary gear. I carried 5 rods with me total, the black pack in the back, and some bags of plastics with terminal gear in that front storage area I spoke about previously.

Final impressions…. I was totally happy I decided to grab this boat out of the warehouse that day. I loved being in the boat the whole time. It was an easy paddle, supported all my needs, and most importantly the boat turns on a dime. That maneuverability when floating up to an obstruction in the river was something I had been looking for. Also I can see this being a Great Lake boat as well, I don’t want to leave that out either. With the speed and ease of paddling, you can definitely cover some ground in the Coosa HD. I can’t say enough great things about this boat. At the price of $1799 the boat is worth every penny. If your in the market for a new boat be sure not to over look the Coosa HD.

Tight Lines and Smooth Paddlin!

Blue Sky... Kayak or Not??? Should it be Allowed in Kayak Tournaments???

There has been a ton of controversy over the Blue Sky over its inception. Is it a kayak, paddle boat, or pontoon boat? No one really knows however there has been an uproar on weather or not it should be allowed in kayak fishing tournaments. Is there really an advantage to this boat? Who is allowing it in their tournaments? Let’s get into the details.

The Blue Sky hasn’t really been classified as a kayak, however it’s inception was through a kayak company. Jackson Kayaks teamed up with Blue Sky Boatworks to make this boat a reality. It has a lot of modern day fishing kayak features. It runs off a Jackson Flex System Drive. It’s incredibly stable just like many other kayaks, but a little more possibly. It Features a higher seat than all kayaks, which makes it comfortable for all day fishing trips. At first glance however it resembles more of a paddle driven pontoon boat. When you really break it down I feel it has more features that fall inline with a kayak rather than a peddle boat.

The KBF has said it is allowed in all of its tournaments, but many of your local clubs have banned it. I think the reason small clubs have banned it, is because they really don’t know if the boat classifies as a kayak. However some of these same clubs will allow electric driven motors mounted to kayaks in their tournaments. In my opinion I feel this is a far greater advantage then being in the Blue Sky. You still have to exert energy to peddle the boat. Electric motors save the anglers energy, and also allows them to cover more water during a tournament compared to a paddle or peddle driven boat. I think this boat is just still too new to the market, and at some point more clubs will allow it to be used because it will draw larger crowds to their series.

Overall I love the concept of the Blue Sky. I would categorize it as part of the kayak family. I know from showing this boat at the Chicagoland Fishing show it really appealed to the older crowd, that couldn’t necessarily fish out of a standard fishing kayak. I am curious to see what the future will hold for this boat. In due time I feel it will be accepted, and rub off on folks. I love the thought and features behind it. I think we will see more great things from Blue Sky Boatworks in the future.

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