Thanks to HOOK1, a kayak fishing gear store, I recently purchased (and had shipped to my home) a Feelfree Lure 11.5 fishing kayak. I had been thinking about what kayak I would choose for several weeks and had finally limited it down to three kayaks: the Feelfree, the Wilderness Systems Ride 115x Max, and the Native Watercraft Slayer 12. All three of these rigs would be an excellent choice and have their own unique advantages and disadvantages.
Not only is the Feelfree the most inexpensive out of the three, it also looks very visually appealing and comfortable. I ultimately chose the Feelfree based on a few selling points though. Here are some of the features that I liked the most.
Gravity Seat: This seat caught my eye from the beginning. The ability to sit up high or down low is awesome. After two days of fishing on Lake Taneycomo, I really found out the advantage of this feature.
When I wanted to paddle and get to a new spot, I would keep the seat low. When I wanted to fish in a calmer area and make accurate casts, I raised the seat as high as it would go.
Stability: The fact that this kayak is 36″ wide makes it extremely stable on the water. I had no worries about flipping or feeling uncomfortable on the water while fishing from this boat. Because of this design, it is very possible to stand up and fish. Most kayaks are difficult or impossible to stand in while fishing, so this was a huge advantage I saw from this kayak.
Wheel in the keel: Not as important, but still a contributing factor was the wheel in the keel system they have featured on this kayak. This makes it much easier to transport on land. Unfortunately, fishing kayaks with this many features tend to be heavy (this particular kayak is 74 lbs), so the wheel really helps when fishing alone.
Storage: Generally all fishing kayaks made these days feature large amounts of storage, so this wasn’t as much of a selling factor. That being said, I really liked the organization of the storage system of the Feelfree Lure 11.5. First off, the center console is a perfect place to put items such as cell phone, keys, wallet, camera, etc. The front latched oval compartment is very large, and would be great for extra tackle, ropes, bungees, spare clothes, etc. Lastly, the behind-the-seat area is a great place to keep a cooler and tackle. The way it is all set up makes it very easy to keep all of your gear organized and easy to get to.
Overall, I am very happy with my choice. For those of you who are in the market for a new kayak, I recommend doing some research to find what all is out there, and then determining what features are most important to you. There are a lot of good options out there, but no two kayaks are the same and choosing the right fit for you is important. Some important factors to think about when purchasing a kayak are as follows…
- Type of water you are fishing (rivers, lakes, etc.)
- Amount of storage needed for the gear you want to bring
- Price range
- Sit-on-top VS. sit-inside