Yak Angler Pro Staffer Joe Maione Provides a Review of the NuCanoe Frontier 12 Fishing KayakF Joe Ad

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This may be more of my personal opinion, as I have not paddled a lot of different fishing kayaks. I started out with an off-the-rack boat from Dick's Sporting Goods that lasted one trip. I had the kayak bug, but definitely needed a better boat. Soon after, I moved up to a Jackson Coosa and really loved the boat! I especially liked it for fishing the creeks where I chase the smallmouth.

However, it was terrible in the wind on open water, and I happen to have an 8-year-old daughter who may be the only person in the world I have met that loves to fish as much as I do. I borrowed a NuCanoe 12 from YakAngler last July, so I could prepare for the Riverbassin' tournament that would be held out of Canoe Kentucky on the Elkhorn Creek. I soon fell in love with the stability, tracking and the ability to take my daughter along and fish comfortably.

My daughter, Taylor, actually won her own kayak in the August tournament, as she came away with the youth title and female title fishing from the front of that NuCanoe. There were some drawbacks. Lack of scuppers made it tough to fish on our shallow creeks (several inches of water in the bottom of the yak all day was not fun), there is no storage inside, and even with the excellent stability the narrow floor area made it tough to stand and fish. This past winter I sold the Coosa and put in an order for a NuCanoe Frontier 12. Here is my review.

Stability: If there is another kayak more stable, I wouldn't believe it.  I can easily stand to paddle and fish. On a spring Elkhorn trip, my wife went along and hopped in the creek to cool off. She was easily able to climb back in while we were in four feet of water, and the boat never felt like it came close to tipping. When I took my daughter to a local lake, we were both able to fish standing up at the same time. She even walked to the back to grab a drink without coming close to tipping. The Frontier feels even more stable than the 14 ft. john boat I used to fish out of before I got caught up by the kayak bug

Speed/Tracking: Speed has been one of the main concerns I have heard about the Frontier (and the regular NuCanoe, for that matter). I find it every bit as fast as the Coosa. For the type of fishing I do, I never need to get anywhere fast or travel long distances to fish. It tracks well even in windy conditions - much better than my previous boats for sure! If I planned to paddle two miles out in the ocean or needed to cover a lot of water to get to fishing holes, I might be more concerned about paddling speed. I have found the Frontier easy to maneuver.

Weight: The Frontier weighs in at 77 lbs. which is pretty heavy for a boat this size. I am lucky that it is pretty easy to throw in the back of the pickup truck by myself, and most of the areas I fish have pretty close access points. With that said, I do plan to get (most likely make) a cart to make transport to launches easier. In my opinion, the weight issue is nothing when you consider the capacity. With a capacity over 600 lbs., it easily accommodates just about any gear you can imagine and makes it a great boat to take along another person. You can even add a trolling motor and battery and not feel like you are weighing the boat down. That makes the Frontier an excellent choice for those of us who like to bring our kids along!

Seating: The seat is great, when you add it. You can get a couple of different setups from NuCanoe, but it only comes with the benches when purchased! I just purchased two of the quick-release bases for about $30 dollars, as I already had two swivel seats off an old boat sitting in the garage. Once you get the seats, you can spin around 360°. They fit in the tracks on either side of the deck, and can slide to any position. The tracks can also accommodate all kinds of add-ons (rod holders, cameras, etc.). There are even some mods out there with an even more elevated seat that I may add to my wish list.

Storage: The Frontier still comes up a little short on storage compared to other kayaks in this class, but is a big improvement over the original NuCanoe, which did not have any storage whatsoever. There is a front hatch with a dry bag. The dry bag comes out, and you have full access to the hull. It is pretty tough to reach in there to get anything that is stored inside the hull especially if it shifts away from the opening during transit. In the back, there is a space that is a perfect fit for a milk crate or any type of tackle storage you choose to use. There are even places on each side to secure the crate to the boat.

Deck, with Scuppers: The cast and blast deck is outstanding! It is super stable. Not only can you stand to fish and paddle, but you can even walk around on it, which makes it easy to get to the crate behind the seat. The best part of the deck, in my opinion, is the two scuppers located toward the back under the seat. The deck has recessed channels that filter the water right to the scuppers. Water is never a problem in the boat, even after a 13 hour float where we had to constantly get in and out.

In conclusion, I could not be any happier with my decision to purchase the Frontier. It is truly a joy to fish with my daughter, and is also an outstanding solo fishing machine. It has exceeded my expectations!

This review by Yak Angler Pro Staffer Joe Maione was published on Yak Angler on July 25, 2012.

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This review by Yak Angler Pro Staffer Joe Maione was published on Yak Angler on July 25, 2012.

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