Submitted: 06-17-2005 by B. Tracy
I went in thinking that I was going to pick up the Prowler 13. The dealer suggested the Drifter, but I wasn't interested, thinking I wanted a more streamlined boat. I tested the prowler and even though it was quick, it didn't have nearly the stability that I was looking for (I am 6'1" 230lb).
Next I tried the Scrambler XT, the Tarpon 120, and the Caper. Finally, after fighting it for as long as possible, I took the Drifter out for a spin, and I was instantly hooked. This yak is not the fastest in the fleet, nor is it the most maneuverable, but it by far the most stable yak I tested and is great for fishing, which is what I was looking for. It was a little quicker than the Tarpon 120 and the Caper, but lacks the speed of the Prowler.
I did try out two Drifters, the older version and then the newer one. Without a doubt the newer version offers a dryer ride and after adding the scupper plugs, it is as dry as any yak I tested. You can tell the new version by the oar holder line on the side and the mini tackle box line holder in the middle of the yak.
I ending up purchasing the new model of the Drifter and have had a couple of chances to fish it on a local lake. It holds more gear than I would ever need, offers a pretty dry ride (with the scupper plugs), and isn't hard to move around the lake. I haven't tested a yak that I like nearly as much as this one.
It is a pretty big kayak and is not the easiest to load and unload, but again that is one of the prices you pay to have a yak that is this stable.
Overall, if you are a big guy looking for a stable fishing platform, check out the Drifter before you buy anything else.