I first started off kayaking with a Heritage Redfish SOT. I knew after only a few short weeks that I was hooked on kayaking and wanted to make the move to a SINK. I started to do all the research and finally saw a Dagger Specter on sale for $689 with shipping included.
The Dagger has been an absolute dream to paddle. I need to first say that you do need a rudder. The first time that I put it in, the kayak went in circles. I figured out that most of the problem was me using a paddling stroke that better suited a wide based sit on top. Once I work on my stroke, the Dagger kept a consistent line.
The seating is fantastic and I can go for about three hours before I need to stretch and get the blood going again in my legs. The cockpit is nice and roomy and I have plenty of leg room. I am five foot eleven and 190 pounds. The built in thigh pads give me plenty of control and I feel one with the kayak when I encounter large swells or small waves.
There is plenty of storage room and I plan to make use of it next summer with a few excursions down the Savannah River and Edisto river into the Ace Basin.
As far as speed, fantastic. I noticed that when I stop paddling, the Dagger keep going for quite a while as it cuts through the water. It is almost effortless paddling to get the Dagger up to speed. I took the Dagger out on a lake and found myself keep up with some small sailboats that were cruising around in a slight wind.
I would recommend the Dagger for anyone that is looking at moving up to a nice recreational kayak. The weight is bit much for lugging around, but the built in handles make it easy to carry. I can easily put the Dagger on my trailer but is a bit of a load if you have to make a long trek to the down to the water. That is the only reason that I gave the Dagger a score of 9.