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Reviews for Caster 12.5 Kayak by Perception


Rated: 8.57/10 Based On: 37 Reviews

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07-06-2014
Submitted by: Nancy CSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Great kayak. Fun to paddle. Lots of room. Tracks very well. A little wet from scupper holes. Good storage. Not just for fishing ... I do not fish. Nice and wide, stable, solid. All around nice boat.
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05-24-2014
Submitted by: BillSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     As others have noted it is a wet ride but being in the desert, that's not a bad thing. I tried to flip mine the last time out and couldn't do it without a very hard lean to one side while pulling the other up. Fine boat for the price.
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05-13-2014
Submitted by: jo
Rating: 10 of 10

     good yak if ya don't mind getting a little wet. scuppers do help but its a sot what do you expect. tracking is ok and very stable, not very fast though.
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09-14-2012
Submitted by: Officer OliSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I love this Kayak; I use it in the Bay, open ocean, River, inner coastal, on the flats and do all the fishing I want. It's fun all around, it can get a little wet in the ocean, you have to know how to use a kayak to enjoy your time in the water. I have caught all fishes from large mouth Bass to Tarpon, I've even shared the water with alligators in the Everglades, so much room for you and your stuff, I'm 5'9" 230lb and I can stay out for hours. I got my yak at Dick's Sporting for about $500.00
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06-25-2012
Submitted by: Phil BSend Email
Rating: 2 of 10

     I got this for fathers day and was very excited about it. I knew it would be a wet ride, and that is fine by me. However, the dry storage had 20-30 gallons of water it in. It is a good thing my telephone was in 2 ziplock bags, or it would have been ruined. The water weighed the yak down so much it came over the sides with the slightest lean. I was so excited & now So So So disappointed! I sure hope Gander gives me my money back, because this boat is worthless.
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05-23-2012
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     There is a lot to like about this Yak, lots of accessories included Good all around kayak. Works well on creeks and rivers up to mild class II, OK on lakes and inter coastal good with rudder, good for fishing and short camping trips, very easy to upgrade made solid, not a wind catcher,

Cons: wetter than most but it's low ride increases stability, and ease of getting in and out of, close to 60 lbs need some help or some muscle to put it on top of car. Scuppers help keep it dry a modified self draining scupper fits but it will still hold water by your feet if you are 200+ lbs. Note: make sure the hatch in front of seat is tight or it will leak and you will need to add sealed containers in the hatch bags or your stuff will get wet If you want an inexpensive well made boat that is good at several things you will love it. If staying dry is high on your needs list look elsewhere you can't modify it to be completely dry.

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05-22-2012
Submitted by: mongolikeSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     i got my 12.6 Caster from Dicks and I love it... I'm still trying to get the whole fishing thing down.. its very stable and easy to use. I've never even been in a kayak before, and I was confident from the start..
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07-12-2011
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Pro's: Very low, stable ride. I can't make it capsize even when trying. Lots of storage and 3 rod holders. Great for fishing. Screw down circular hatches.

Con's: Can be wet ride if you don't plug the scupper hole in front. I use a piece of pool noodle and it makes the ride completely dry. I have trouble making it track straight, but that is probably my paddling technique more than the boat.

All in all a great fishing boat for the money. Another similar boat to consider would be the Perception Pescador at Acadamy, depending on what features you were looking for.

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06-24-2011
Submitted by: PJCSend Email
Rating: 3 of 10

     What a bad design. Its nice looking, but a wet boat; not enough drain holes - you have to paddle around with a boat full of water differently... not good for the beach also when you paddle fast water will come through the front drain. talk about a wet a-- the whole time you in it... what a waste of 499.99 dollars
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05-31-2011
Submitted by: EpSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Season two withe the caster. Added rudder and wow what a different ride. Still a wet ride but scuppers have helped. Fished Rockport/Lighthouse trails over Memorial Day. Super yak. Tackled a lot of boat traffic and high winds. Very impressed with the boat...
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04-22-2011
Submitted by: GlennSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     This is our first new kayak. We have rented and bought used.

Cons first
The tracking is a little tricky until you really get going. The free seat it comes with was great for free but I have upgraded that. My wife Emotion Mojo tracks a lot better and does have a higher and dryer ride.

Pros
The price is right at Dicks at 529 if you compare prices for anglers you will either end up with something small or or way more expensive. The rod holders are in great position and the tankwell has plenty of room. The front hatch is big enough to get a lot of gear in and out. I like the lower ride of this boat because it doesn't move around as much as the Mojo in the wind. A scupper plug solves the little bit of water that comes in but even with water in the boat it stays at your feet and away from you butt. As many have said this is a water sport.

Overall I am pleased with my purchase and I feel that when I do decide to upgrade I can sell it on Craigslist for very little loss. I only give this an 8 because of the big brothers out there for a thousand dollars plus. But if I compared of with similar priced boats of would be a 10 for sure.

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03-29-2011
Submitted by: RedFishJaxSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     The Perception Caster 12.5 is my first kayak. I bought it specifically to fish out of. It tracks fairly straight at times, but there are some times that it seems impossible to keep it straight at all. That is the only con I have really found.

It has plenty of storage...front hatch and 2 hatches with dry bags. There is also a nice space in the rear that I keep a milk crate in, and I still have room for other stuff behind that if I want. The location and design of the rod holders is perfect, and all are easy to access. I haven't had any issues with water through the scupper holes...I mean, there is water that comes through but just a little. My butt never gets wet unless a boat gets too close and the wake is very big. I've had one time where the entire kayak filled up with water due to a boat not seeing me around a bend and came about 15-20 feet from me and I almost flipped. I was able to stay up, but the kayak took on as much water as it possibly could. The water eventually made it out through the scupper holes. The main hatch up front only had a small amount of water in it. The 2 hatches with dry bags were just OK. I had a phone and camera in them, and neither was waterproof. The bag felt wet, but it wasn't holding any water in it. The camera and phone both still work, and were only slightly damp.

I've fished for up to 10 hours in a day and found this kayak to be pretty comfortable. My butt hurts a little after sitting too long, but I have managed to be able to stand up in my kayak in calm conditions with no problem, or just get up on my knees if I need to stretch a little without getting out. I am 5'7" and 175 lbs. This kayak is perfect for me, and is a good choice, and does exactly what I need it to do.

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03-21-2011
Submitted by: JSSSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought this boat after a friend bought a Pelican boat like this one. If I had known how much fun fishing out of a kayak was I would have bought it a long time ago.

I have had this boat now for about three years and have thoroughly enjoyed it. The sights we have seen and the fish we have caught I would not trade it for nothing. I am a heavy weight, 280-300 lbs. and because this the boat rides a little low in the water. I would estimate that the water line comes up to within 4-4.5" of the top of the gunwell. But I have tried to get it to flip and it would take a lot to do so or a lot of water inside the boat would make it easy.

I have recently decided to buy a new boat and was going to sell it but I just could not bring myself to sell it. To buy this boat equipped and spend $450-$500 is a deal it is well worth the money in experiences and pleasure and of course the fishing ain't bad either. This boat was my first and the first fishing trip we paddled from one end of the lake to the other and wore me out!!

It has ample storage and plenty of places for fishing rods. The seat and the wet ride are the only drawbacks. I traded up on the seat for better back support. As far as the wet ride... well this is a water sport!!

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08-20-2010
Submitted by: DaveSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I've owned my Caster since the spring. We did a 40 mile Suannee River trip with camping equipment in the boat - front storage space kept everything dry. The forward 5" dry storage space leaked - ruined my truck key and wallet. It hasn't leaked on subsequent outings however. The boat is stable enough for fishing and tracks and handles well. It is somewhat heavy at 60 lbs but that is not really too big of a complaint. Adding some scupper plugs helps with water but this is a SOT and you will get wet.
Nice boat for the bucks. Recommended.

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07-19-2010
Submitted by: ASFSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I bought mine at Dick's for $450. It is my second, after a Pelican sit-in. The kayak is fast, stable, and rides high in the water. This is important because I am 5'10" and 225lbs. Shallow running comes in handy on the Shenandoah and on Mallows Bay on the Potomac. I purchased expanding plugs from a pool supply and whittled them to fit the scuppers.
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07-07-2010
Submitted by: I'mnosaint
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've had mine since Memorial Day. As this is my first kayak, I'm not an expert by any means.
The only knock I have on it is the weight, which for me is not really a major issue. Within the first few trips, I've got my loading/unloading routine down now.

I have found it to be an excellent fishing kayak. Handling, tracking, stability and speed are all suitable for me. Storage is more than adequate for my needs. I don't find the side handles to interfere with paddling at all, but that could be due to the way I fit into the yak, my height, whatever.

As far as the scupper holes are concerned, a pack of foam practice golf balls will take care of that easily OR a pool noodle will yield enough scupper plugs to last a lifetime.

I'm very happy with it and would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone else.

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07-07-2010
Submitted by: Austin ByrnesSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is a great amateur kayak. It is great for mild ocean and breezy bay. I live at the jersey shore and i take it out everyday. Also stating i am only 13 years old. If you want a cheap kayak trust me this is the one. I got mine from Dicks Sporting Goods for $500.00. Buy it!!! TRUST ME
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06-29-2010
Submitted by: tomSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I just bought this yak from Dick's for $550 with a sweet orange, red yellow burst color scheme. I (250 lbs/6'4")took it out on Sweetwater River Lake in Georgia with 40 lbs dog on back. We both loved it and I still had two notches to go on the foot pegs. I experienced the same issues as everyone else (e.g. handles in the way - but they do tie back nicely, took on water - need scupper plugs for sure) but the boat definitely is spacious for 12.5 Ft. and easy to get in and out.
I would it buy again.

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06-16-2010
Submitted by: bcc
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought this kayak used for $350 including a paddle. The guy bought it for his son and was only used a couple times. For the money it is a great value. I've used it in the inter coastal (Georgia) and in some fresh water rivers with flowing current. I also have a Ocean Kayak Scrambler XT. Speed wise the boats are similar. The Caster is more comfortable and better to fish from.

I would highly recommend buying the newer typed scupper plugs made by Ocean Kayak (the blue ones). With these little or no water comes into the boat. As others have mentioned, the boat feels low in the water which to me is a plus for fishing. It also makes exit and reentry easier.

For the money, it is a great value. I've used several OK models such as the Drifter, Scupper Pro and my Scrambler XT as well as a couple of the more expensive Hobie peddle models. Each has their pros and cons. For the money, you can't go wrong with the Caster.

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06-09-2010
Submitted by: TasoSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Bought the Caster 4 months ago and got it very cheap ($400.00). It had 2 scratches on the side from the young turds working at the Dick's in Princton. I love this yak. I go in all types of water even ruff bay and ocean sores. I like pushing this yak to its limits it always amazes me. Its baller. lol.. Anyone looking for a fishing yak def pick one up.
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06-04-2010
Submitted by: DexterSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I bought 2 of these at Dicks over the Memorial Day weekend and took them to the Guadalupe inside New Braunfels. They track pretty well and glide upstream fairly easily. One of them took on some water in the dry storage area - maybe the cap was not tightly screwed on, I don't know, but water ruined my camera and phone. (lesson learned) You will stay wet in this one but that is really not an issue for now since it is summer. A little heavy to load/unload for me but then again not really a problem. Overall I think it is a great value for the buck. As I am new to kayaking I will learn more as I use it longer. Hope this helps someone.
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05-18-2010
Submitted by: JCSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I picked up the Caster yesterday at Dick's and took it out for its first outing today. We ran about four miles of the upper Guadalupe River and overall this yak did just as I expected (previous reviews are accurate for the most part).

Tracks good, stable enough in the class I stuff, and makes good speed in the flat water. I weigh 250 and I am 6'3", so I realize I make a good load, but it still was a wetter ride than I really expected. I know, several ratings warned me, but my feet were in a constant inch and a half of water the entire time. Not a problem in the river, but I expect it won't be as comfortable at the coast. I am going to try scupper plugs and a sponge on the next outing. But, overall, I still rate the kayak as a great buy and I am glad I got it. Dick's Sporting Goods has them on sale right now for $499. That is half of the Wilderness boats, which are very similar. Hope this review helps someone. Now I am going to change out of my wet swimsuit.

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05-12-2010
Submitted by: DaveSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     Have had this yak for about a year now and is a good one for the money. I fish quite a bit out of it and after reading reviews on it decided to get a rudder kit. In my option, the kit is a waste of money unless your in the wind a lot, and expect your speed to suffer with it.

This yak does have the tendency to weathercock pretty bad (without the rudder). It is a stable fishing platform, and paddles about as good as you would expect for a fishing sot. Don't expect to cruise with the higher line sit ins. Good avg length. Very easy to upfit (i/e depth finder, batteries, Rod holders, etc). Under deck storage always stays very dry. As with any sot you have to expect to get wet. But all in all it is pretty dry for what it is. And I feel it is a good value for the money. Would buy again.

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01-15-2010
Submitted by: John S.Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought this boat last spring $459.00. Me and a fishing buddy of mine fished all summer long and we had a blast. I have so enjoyed this kayak, it was my first. I was looking at a Mad River Synergy 12 but the cockpit in the Synergy was so deep I thought it would be difficult to get in and out and to throw a leg out when wanted. I rigged it with a cuda 300 fish finder and I power it with an old 12 volt cordless drill battery; very light. The battery lasts all day on a good charge. The fun and experiences we had fishing out of these boats I just wouldn't trade them for nothing. The things in the wild you see that the motor public just does not see are fantastic.

My buddy didn't buy the same boat his is a pelican and it's OK but I love my boat and I'm glad I chose the caster. I wish the forward storage was a lot dryer though. We have been fishing the local lakes, this spring/summer I would like to try several new lakes and maybe some ocean; the ocean would be interesting. I don't think I will try that without a guide you don't get to make to many mistakes on the ocean. I have to plug my scupper hole too. Mine is yellow and black so it can be seen. Last summer I had a fellow in a motor boat try to swamp me but my boat just rode the waves and I smiled and waved back.

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08-17-2009
Submitted by: Tony BenkeSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Upgraded from an Ocean Kayak Caper Angler (11 feet) to the Perception Caster 12.5 about a month ago.

As for the kayak itself...the shell is designed ALMOST identical to the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 (same hull design, same bow hatch, same cockpit/rear hatch placement, very similar cockpit...basically the same layout, I think Perception might be the 'affordable' version of Wilderness Systems...). Fished it with my buddy today who has a WS Tarpon 120...the boats are damn near identical!

Now for the finer points: 1) Large forward bow hatch, 6in screw-in hatch in the cockpit, another behind the seat. 2) Large tankwell that holds a milk-crate perfectly. 3) Two flushmount rod holders rear of the seating area 4) Adjustable footpegs. 5) Factory installed Scotty Base w/rod holder forward of the seating area. 6) Molded cup holder 7) Tarpon has the built in seatback...Caster lacks this, which is fine by me as I like the high-back seat I purchased which isn't really that compatible with the installed seatback. I'd say this is something the Caster holds over the Tarpon 8) The kayak isn't incredibly heavy at all...I have no problems loading/unloading it solo. 9)Plenty of flat surfaces to mount custom options (more Scotty mounts, Ram accessories, perhaps a rudder?)

Now here's a few things I've noticed. The kayak cruises very well under normal conditions, however I carry a large battery in the forward hatch for my electronics (when I do bring them), and that extra weight in the front can make the kayak a bit difficult to turn (I'll be getting a lighter battery soon). Also, this kayak only has TWO scupper holes: One in the tankwell, and one forward of the seating area (in-front of the hump) in the cockpit...the cockpit one can present a problem as the seating area is recessed, and if you take some waves over the side, you'll basically be sitting in a puddle (I don't mind it...keeps me cool in the summer). Although having flushmounts is nice, I find they aren't very functional when I have my milk-crate on board, as they are angled straight back as opposed to at an angle, so the crate gets in the way (not a big deal, ordered the Scotty inserts and two more Scotty Rod holders). It's pretty stable (I can stand up and scan the area and decide where I want to cast...if it's not too windy/choppy I can stand up and actively sight-fish while drifting).

In a nutshell, if you're in the market for a kayak and don't wanna shell out too much money this kayak is definitely worth a look.

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07-22-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Great Kayak, very comfortable and stable. Surprisingly fast. My only complaint is that it is very heavy at 60+ pounds. Short of that you will not regret it.
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05-15-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     The is a great boat for both fishing and camping. For camping along the Current River, I stored my tent,a dry bag, and lots of other stuff in the front hatch. My sleeping bag (in its own dry bag) and my main pack went on the rear deck. drinks, etc, went in the 6" hatch behind the seat. Now that it's available at Dicks, the price has come down, making it a really good value.
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05-15-2009
Submitted by: Luis, Central FLSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Not an expert (male, 5'9", 195 lbs), rented various brands of SOTs (have no experience w/sit inside), but when I saw the multiple options on this one for the price I could not let pass. Took it 1 mile out at Lake Monroe, Sanford, with waves about 1-1/2 ft.

Pros - Stable, quiet, cruised good against the current, low profile but stays mostly dry (only one wave got on my seat), comfortable, adjustable pedals (not the multiple steps that push against your heel, or side of your foot, plenty storage, able to comfortably hang legs out, options savings of at least $150.

Cons - no drain to the seat area (holds about a glass of water under your butt, but who cares when your behind is going to get wet anyway;). Can't wait to take it out on longer trip, will buy same again.

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03-20-2009
Submitted by: jhonny gillsSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     First I was iffy about buying a kayak and shopped around. I looked around in different stores and finally made my mind and picked my Caster 12.5. I could not wait to get on it, so I took it out on a rainy Sunday morning. I really love the ride; very smooth and stable. I even caught my first spec. trout on a kayak.
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01-15-2009
Submitted by: travis flSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Bought mine from Dicks. A good fishing platform for the money - it came with the seat, anchor, scotty rod holder as well as 2 flush mounts. Paddles with ease and takes the seas!
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10-28-2008
Submitted by: mikeSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Very happy with the Caster. I paddled for 8 hours in the Corpus Christi bay. Mostly against the wind and was very happy at how much progress I made. At times the swells up to 3 feet. The Caster just rose up over them and down the back side. Very little water washed into my lap despite the low profile.

During hard paddling my oar rubbed the grab handles on the sides. Their location was right while carrying the boat. When water enters the seat area it stays there and won't drain to the scupper. Not a major problem. Most of the day the seat stayed dry until I got out in the bay where the chop was high and the wind was strong.

I can stand up on the Caster and I can sit on the side with my legs dangling over the side without any tipping. The Caster is very stable. My 60lb. son rides in the back and doesn't effect the handling at all. I bought it on an end of season clearance for $450. cant beat that.

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04-14-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I recently purchaced 2 of these for my wife and I and they are simply the best we have tried and you cant beat the price. Dicks, and I believe Gander Mountain (and some other stores), sell these under the Islander name but these are the same boat as the Perception. You can contact islander to be sure if you are looking at a kayak that is the same in looks and features as the Perception 12.5 Caster and I found the Perception name added ~$200.00 to the price.
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10-08-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought two 12.5 casters for my son and I it is my first Kayak. We live in VA. and have been fishing the James river for small mouth bass.I Love This Kayak.

Just got back from Cape Hatteras, NC. It was a fantastic trip the Caster Kayak handle very well in the surf and after I cleared the breakers it was a smooth ride. The fish were not biting, but I still had a lot of fun.

I also tried the Kayak out in the sound where I caught fish spotted trout flounder and a puppy drum. It was a fantastic week. I love my Kayak. My next trip will be trout fishing in the Blue Ridge Mountains...

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01-08-2007
Submitted by: Bob GSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My second kayak and I feel a great choice without putting out the big dollars. Stable, tracks well and handled choppy bay waters very well. Great layout and easy to add accessories, lots of storage.
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09-20-2006
Submitted by: AlSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     First yak and love,it!! Like previously mentioned, would add scupper hole in seat area. Paddles nice and very stable. Easy to fish from and plenty of storage for your gear.
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09-06-2006
Submitted by: Scott HaekerSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     This is my first sot fishing kayak and so far I am very pleased with it. My only changes to it would be a drain system for the seating area and to inset the side grab handles so they are kept clear when paddling. Ride and stability are very good even in moderate swells and choppy water. Tracking and glide are decent for a kayak of this length and I really like the quiet hull. I am 6' 4" and 270 lbs. & I do plug the scupper holes to keep water out of the cockpit. The quality of materials and construction is first rate and the layout of the kayak has made it great for rigging accessories.
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06-07-2006
Submitted by: ssSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought this boat in May took it to Fall River yesterday, floated & fished 3 hrs. great boat ample storage, very stable, fast enough, perception has this one dialed in. I can't wait to go again.
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