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Plus side is I like its stance in water, paddles well. Very very stable. I have fished in Malibu yak from 3pm till 9am the next morning chasing big catfish. That will never happen in the cobra. I do not recommend this yak to anyone. Go buy a MALIBU Stealth if you want to fish long and comfortable.
I also use the kayak on flat water for fishing with ultralight spinning tackle on Northwestern lakes and as a photo platform for wildlife. I'm very pleased with it, and I recommend it.
The only issue i had were the footwells. Spoke to factory rep., was assured footwell issue had been addressed in new model. Bought one the next day. The footwells in new model may be larger but still are small. THAT IS THE ONLY ISSUE I HAVE. I fish the boat in Manasquan River in NJ. Lots of boat wakes & current to deal with. I can turn sideways to get something from milk carton or small cooler behind it in tankwell with my leg in the water and not feel the yak may tip.
Being new to the sport, I cant rate paddling speed or effort to other yaks but, I can still get to my spots without killing myself with this boat. I would recommend to a friend for sure. I'm 68 and overweight. If i can handle this yak any one can. Hope this helps someone looking for a very, very stable yak.
My FND seems to take on more water than I expected. I get water in the rear area and foot well without me in it - not the "high and dry" ride I heard about and expected. I ordered 3 sets of scupper plugs from Cobra at a cost of over $55.00. The plugs were a real disappointment and don't work. I replied to Cobra's request for feed back and haven't heard from them. So much for customer satisfaction.
All in all, I like the FND. The stability is great and the fish-ability is good when properly rigged. It would have been nice to hear back from Cobra about the scupper plugs!
I'm a big guy, 6'5" 280 lbs. It has been very easy to adapt to sitting in this boat for hours at a time fishing. It is so stable. Boat wakes don't bother me at all as I can take them on the side, behind, whatever. It just rides it out. I have paddled in some pretty strong wind and I'm not gonna break any land speed records, but I can keep it going without the need to suck wind and take a break. It hauls everything I have asked it to with no issues. I carry it on the roof of my lifted Ford Excursion and although it takes some strength, I can load it by myself. I wish the flush mount rod holders faced the other way and that it would have come with a strap to hold my paddle, but slowly but surely I am adding things I need.
Overall though I really really love this kayak. It gets me out there and back again. What more can you ask for.
Granted - if I was gong to do a long-distance paddle (10+ miles) on an inland lake - this wouldn't be my first choice. But if you want to stay upright NO MATTER WHAT - this is the best boat you could buy. (Also has a great little "Buddy seat" up front for a child or dog to ride along with you!)
If you are tired of shore diving the same old spots or don't want to leave one person on the boat, I would strongly recommend this boat. It will take you where you want to be w/all your stuff. This is a pick-up truck that you paddle. If you want something fast this isn't it. I live in Rhode Island and I kayak all year even in snow. One last thing my kids (12 and 14) love them too. Last year they each got their own and they paddle them w/o difficulty.
I bought it for just playing around, but have found it excellent for cruising the bay, river etc. This year I tried a little white water down the creek in high fast waters...it handles great and can maneuver easy....I did overturn it because I was taking pictures instead of paying attention and when I turned a corner in the creek - I hit a rock and tree... it was unavoidable... went for a cold swim but managed to get it overturned again and on my way.... the dog made a great anchor!
I can take another person as well... my 250 pound boyfriend went with me down the river... with no problem... I even did the paddling with the boat pointed backwards and not a problem....
I love the fact that I can sit on the side...hop in and go swimming when I get warm and no problem to get back in.... I love this kayak....
OH! and the BEST part is....I found a way to load it on my Honda Civic by myself...MUCH to the amazement of my 3 sons! I bought saddles for front rack and Hully Rollers for back rack...I place a rubber back mat on the back of my car truck up over the roof..lift up the front of the kayak on truck with mat underneath and go lift the back up and push up on the rollers...NOT A PROBLEM! pretty good for an old girl!
I'd buy another Cobra in a heartbeat...far better quality than anything I have seen up here in the East Coast of Canada....a lot of people buy the sit in kayaks..but I love the sit on top...I don't get wet unless I am goofing around. I love the hatches that tighten down - everything stays dry and there is plenty of storage in this. I take the dog, cooler, blankets, etc. I bought the motor mount but have never tried a motor yet. Thought that would just make me lazy!
I hope this is helpful...if you want good quality, storage and stability..this is the kayak for you! You won't regret it. Speed is for the narrower longer kayaks..they are nice for just jaunting around, but if you like to go on day trips or overnighters..this kayak is 2nd to none!
My only complaint is that the foot wells should be wider. I always have to go barefoot, otherwise my shoes get wedged between the side and the center hatch. But all in all, a really great yak.
On down side it isn't too great to paddle. At slow phase it is reasonable, except for keeping the direction, but attempt to get any speed and you just end up tiring yourself up. It doesn't maintain the speed so as soon as you stop paddling it stops. The bottom of the hull is not sleek but has several dents in it. I actually thought first that mine was damaged or faulty but apparently that's the way they come. Pretty much explains the poor direction and gliding in the water. As the hull is just one big compartment, stuff tends to shift around and sometimes gets wedged at the very rear of the kayak. Can't get it out without lifting and shaking the boat around. The big centre hatch with single compartment design is also a safety risk. If you get dumped while the hatch is open the whole thing may sink.
Over all it is pretty much what I expected and wanted apart for the poor finish. I'm sure that if they'd fix the production process to make the hull sleeker it would improve the kayaks performance in the water significantly. If you are planning to go just few hundred meters out and spent day fishing and swimming it is a great platform. If you are planning to do some serious kayaking trips you may want to look at some other brands.
I use this yak in the surf, on lakes, and here is one you probably haven't heard, on class 3 rivers. That's right, this truck of the water likes to drive. With all the sexy colors so you can look good doing it.
I'll tell you one thing, it is not often these days that you will find a company that will give you a lifetime warranty. My truck doesn't have it, my house, my furinture, my fishing pole, I can't think of anything that does. Cobra stands by its product for life. What else in your life can you say that about?
So I highly recommend a Fish n' Dive. It's the perfect kayak for me. This is a purchase that will make you smile every time you use it. Now go out and paddle!
We have taken our kayaks only 2 times so far, and we have had a blast just paddling around the harbors. This is the only kayak that we have owned, so Iam not one to say about speed, but we did not get them for that. There was some water in the back well of the kayak, and some at our feet from paddling, but my seat never got wet. I have not done any diving off the fish n' dive yet but looking forward to it.
Over all I would say that this is a good kayak to get, and the re-sell value looks good.
Fishing is incredible. There is plenty of room for 2 rods! I've kept a cooler of food, a net, an anchor, a dry bag, a wet bag for fish, and my kayak wheels with me all at one time. I had room to spare and move around in. This does not hinder the speed at which you paddle all that much at all.
The kayak has such a flat bottom, that you virtually sit on TOP of the water. For all the novice kayaker's out there, deeply consider this one. I'll tell you why... I've owned a "fast" kayak. You need skill and alot of balance. There also isn't much room for anything else on fast kayaks. Fast kayaks are great, but own one more stable first.
You don't have to accept my input, but realize that I am speaking from 10 years of kayaking experience. The fish and dive is just incredible for the applications it was built for. Consider also where and what you will be doing when you buy a kayak. If you're going far, consider something longer and narrower (no storage and easy tipping over) in length. Are there two of you? Get a tandem. The fish and dive sports a second seat not intended for forward motion.
I think instead it was gear for being able to maneuver around the boat and have a second vantage point. If you want a fun time in a harbor or dive site, look no further than the fish and dive.
The Fish n' Dive Cobra kayak is the only sit-on-top kayak that you can sit sideways on and not flip over. In fact, it is just as hard to flip over siting sideways as it is facing forewards. This is an incredible feature if you plan to use it on a dive to a local dive or fishing spot! I've even gone so far as to have 4 or five kayaks anchored together and have a picnic on the open water.... I should've gotten paid for this review. I don't want money, just get your Fish n' Dive and let's go paddle
The weight of the Cobra Fish n Dive is the same as the Malibu II, hard to carry and bulky even though the weight is only 56lbs. It is a good all around boat when you do not want to do touring and want carry capacity and space. I am very happy with it after having tried fishing out of a skinny 26" wide Ocean Kayak Scupper Classic; where most of your energy is spent trying not to tip over and balancing yourself, without any storage space on the yak other than under the deck.
I fish at night in the Atlantic Ocean off of the rocky shoreline of Rhode Island. I have fished from a WS Ride & Tarpon, Pungo, Loon, Scupper Pro. Cobra Tourer & Explorer.
I have found no better fishing platform that meets my requirements for stability, safety & storage capacity. It is also an outstanding salt water fishing platform.
It has a large deep area behind the paddler to carry stuff. The driest seat of all the kayaks I tried and has the ability to carry a second passenger if need be. It has reasonable speed, easily controlled without a rudder and is very stable. The storage hatches are a nice add on giving one all sort of places to put things.
It is not a touring kayak! And can be hard to paddle upwind in a breeze due to itís freeboard. But it is the most stable and dry kayak I have paddled. And for that reason I am using it as a dingy for my sailboat
As for paddling, the boat is very wide, not too long, and so is rather slow. It does not track extremely well, but it turns quite easily. This was not what I expected given the keel that is molded into the hull. It's relatively light given it's carrying capacity (rated at 600 lb., but weighs about 60) It's easy for me to get on top of my van using rollers, but the lack of handles does make it a bit cumbersome for lifting onto the shoulder. A shorter person might have a hard time carrying it.
There is a "jumpseat" in the front, suitable for a child or VERY small adult. They would sit facing backward right in the bow, so I wouldn't recommend carrying a passenger through surf. Overall, it's a fun boat to paddle, has a LOT of carrying capacity, is very stable yet can be leaned to deal with waves or currents, and is very easy to re-board. Excellent boat for short trips to near-shore reefs for diving, not especially great for long distance touring.
The negative aspects that I have found are it is not easy to transport (mainly because of it's size and weight. I'm 6'2" / 235lbs and it's clumsy to carry even with a shoulder harness. Cobra should have incorporated some carrying handles into the design of this yak as others do. The hull is a solid poly but there is a square flat deck about 3' long that there have been complaints that it's not thick enough. It is certainly thinner than the hull but I have sat on it without any problem so I would say, while Cobra should beef it up a bit, it is sufficient. As I was dragging the yak over some shallow sand that was covering up some gravel, the corner of the keel got scraped up pretty good. It didn't go through but nevertheless, it gives me a little bit of an uneasy feeling. I called Cobra and they sent some matching poly strips that I will use to repair it. As a surfing yak, which it is not meant to be, I would give it a '6'. I'll probably get a smaller one for the kids and myself to play in the surf. Hope this helps.
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