New Kayaks for Fly Fishers

A couple of new entrants in the category of kayaks for anglers have caught our eye recently. One is the Legacy Paddlesports Native fishing kayak, designed by the former owner of Wilderness Systems and Jimbo Meador. We’ve played around with plenty of kayaks but have never seen a design so well-thought out, with some really clever features like a seat that slides forward on rails for easy forward hatch access, an outside-the-gunwale rail attachment system that allows for the addition or removal of multiple accessories (like pole holders), and a hull configuration that places the Native somewhere between the “sit-in” and “sit-on” style of modern kayaks. You can the the Native — shown as the Ultimate 12 — on pages 28-29 of Orvis’s new Fly Fishing 2007 catalogue, where it lists for $1,600.00, or on their Web site.
The second yak that has some rather inventive features is Dave Cameron’s Freedom Hawk, which Eric Sharp reports on in today’s Detroit Free Press. As Sharp notes, “The secret is in the rear four feet, which splits apart into a Y-shape, creating a pair of stabilizing pontoons that serve the same purpose as the outriggers on a trimaran sailboat.”
Both these yaks provide pretty cool solutions to the problem of having a kayak that is both fast and comfortable and capable of providing a casting platform so that fly fishers can deliver the fly from a standing position.

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  • Here is a link about the ultimate 14.5 I am testing.
    I beleive the price announced is not for the regular all plastic kayak, but rather for the top of the line fiber glass or kevlar/carbon with gel coat ones.

  • Serge

    Well, it seems that the native 12′ on Orvis web site is the plastic model but it is not only the hull as it comes with paddles and paddle holders.
    The retail price the last time I have checked was:
    $749 for the 12′ plastic
    $1999 for the 12′ elite fibers
    $899 for the 14.5′ plastic
    $2199-$2299 for the 14.5′ elite (depending on materials and gel coat types).
    As for the freedom hawk… I have thought of a similar design since 2003… but somehow different. I doubt that with the wings out (I cannot call them outriggers), you can pole an approach fish easily. These wings might just push too much water (as suggested by the picture) and spook fish.

  • Thanks for all the good info, Serge.