Jackson Kayak Coosa - First Floats and Impressions
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I finally got the new boat in the water on a couple of small lakes and did a little bass fishing so I thought to write a review and share my thoughts about the new boat. This review was on still water so I can't say anything about using it in rivers. However, all indications is that it will be fantastic especially on fast rocky rivers with class 2 to 3 rapids but the jury is still out deliberating. This review is based on about 5 total hours of float time.
Background to put this in perspective...
I am about 190 to 200 lbs and 5' 11" I fly fish exclusively I fish class 1 to 2 rivers and small lakes and have very little white water experience in solo craft The last 3 years I have done a ton of solo canoe fishing and have the boat control thing down cold. I know what I want in a boat. I used the high seating position the entire trip and only stood up once. I am too lazy to stand all day so standing is not important to me. Yes, I am strange.
That seat and the high seating position is incredible. Nothing comes anywhere close in the yak/canoe world that I know of. I could fish all day for a week in that thing and no back problems. I'm thinking of seeing if I can buy a couple of extra ones to put in my canoes.
The Coosa is great for fly fishing. The loose line is right at your feet and doesn't get caught on anything. This may be the best fly fishing yak out there. Because of the seating position it is easy to double haul and strip strike.
It is easy to load and unload the boat due to its short length and weight. It is not the lightest solo boat out there but it is much lighter than some of the battleships I have helped carry on other trips.
Stability is good. I started the trip with the high seat and never once worried about flipping the boat. Initial stability is OK but the secondary stability is fantastic. You wil have to do something really stupid to flip this boat. I never even thought about it. I reached behind me and grabbed my tackle bag without a care in the world.
Plano lure/fly boxes under the seat and accessible without any circus freak contortions. Oh the joy!
The Coosa will spin on a dime. Need to turn the boat 90 degrees? One paddle stroke and no problem. It is a very very maneuverable boat!
There is a lot of rocker in the bow (while seated) and wind will weather vane that boat pretty quick. I was in a lake and there was wind and the first thing I am going to do is put a front anchor on that boat.
The Coosa is no speed demon. If you want to do a 50 mile paddle in the Boundary waters, I suggest you find a faster more efficient hull design. In rivers and small lakes it is not a factor.
It's such a cool boat that people will stop you in the boat ramp parking lot and talk your ears off asking questions and make you late getting back home. Wife not happy but she will get over it.
Again I stress that this was a short trip on a small lake and I have no river experience in this boat yet. I was also nursing a very weak hand. However, I really like the boat and will keep it for the type of fishing I do. The Coosa is a joy to spend hours in and fly fish out of. If you do a lot of long distance flat water paddling, you might want to consider alternatives. Also, there are several stretches on a couple of rivers that I haven't floated yet due to the rough water limitations of my OT Pack. To be honest, I'm afraid of getting in trouble due to the low sides and zero rocker of the Pack. Even with my limited exposure in the Coosa, I do know it will be my go to boat for new floats that might have nasty suprises. And like all SOTs, I really love the flip and climb back on capability of the Coosa especially in cold water. I flipped the Pack in rough water on a new float a couple of years ago and almost died and I think that ordeal would have been avoided in the Coosa.