Kayak Fishing Ultimate Resource

Thu, Sep 29, 2016
Native Watercraft "Ultimate 14.5 Solo"

Native Watercraft "Ultimate 14.5 Solo" Hot

 
3.6
 
4.0 (3)
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Native Watercraft Ultimate 14.5 Solo

Kayak Make & Model

Brand:
Native Watercraft
Model:
Ultimate
MSRP ($):
1,189.00
Length (ft):
14.5

Kayak fisherman demand comfort, maneuverability, and stability out of their fishing kayaks. The Native Watercraft “Ultimate 14.5 Solo” provides all that in an extremely clean snag free kayak that is perfect for fly fishing. All Ultimate 14.5’s come with the ultra comfortable First Class Seat, the Adapt-a-Track system, and Groove for quickly and easily mounting your rod holders and other kayak fishing accessories.

Features:
  • Removable First Class Seat
  • Tunnel Hull
  • Easy Foot
  • Adapt-a-Trak
  • Groove

Specs:

  • Width: 30" 76 cm
  • Weight: 65 lbs 29 kg
  • Depth @ Beam: 12" 30 cm
  • Capacity: 450 lbs 204 kg

Photos

One of my clients fishing in the Ultimate 14.5
Standing in my Ultimate 14.5
My Native Ultimate Fleet

Editor review

Overall rating 
 
3.6
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
4.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
3.0
Value 
 
3.0

Say goodbye to Mr. Numb Butt!

The Native Watercraft Ultimate 14.5 has served me well over the years. I’ve used it everywhere from the lakes and rivers of Kentucky to the bays and flats of Florida.

The seat of the Ultimate is what sold me on this kayak. I learned to stand early on while kayak fishing because typical kayak seats are uncomfortable. I don’t care how much padding you add to them my legs always seemed to crap up or my butt would go numb. With the Ultimate’s First Class seat all your “numb swamp butt” issues are gone.
Standing is a breeze; the Ultimate’s have a tunnel hull so your feet are actually below the water line. This gives you a lower center of gravity and thus a more stable standing platform. I love using this kayak on the flats; the stability and shallow draft are great for stalking tailing reds.

Not a master fly fisherman I typically have issues with my fly line getting snagged on everything in my kayak. With the Ultimate there is virtually nothing to get snagged on. I love the clean and open cockpit.
The kayak is light, making it easy to car top and carry down to the launch. Using a cart can be a little awkward; because of the hull’s shape may “typical” kayak carts down fit very well. You can’t use a scupper cart because there are no scupper holes and a folding universal cart needs to be strap the kayak to the kayak to keep it centered.

Tracking on the Ultimate is great even without out the added rudder.
Some negatives about the Ultimate have to do with water. The hull does not allow water to drain out and trying to drain the hull with water in it is a pain. The drain plug needs to be moved from the center of the kayak to the bow or stern. The overall length of the kayak makes it a little wide and less maneuverable for smaller creeks. I also would recommend using this kayak in any conditions that might cause water to come into the kayak like rapids or waves.

To wrap everything up, you will not find a more comfortable seat in a kayak at this price range. Say goodbye to swamp butt and numb legs. Besides the water issues the Native Watercraft Ultimate 14.5 is a great kayak for fishing saltwater bays and flats or lakes. I would highly recommend this kayak for certain kayak fishing conditions.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Stable with a very comfortable seat.
Cons:
Water doesn't drain and can be a pain to dump out. Not reccomended for conditions that might cause water to come into the boat "rapids or waves".
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User reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Speed 
 
4.0  (3)
Stability 
 
4.3  (3)
Durability 
 
4.3  (3)
Features 
 
3.7  (3)
Value 
 
3.7  (3)
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Ratings (the higher the better)
Speed
Stability
Durability
Features
Value
User Info
Pros & Cons
Comments
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Speed 
 
3.0
Stability 
 
3.0
Durability 
 
3.0
Features 
 
3.0
Value 
 
3.0

Not for 2 adults

Well it is a good boat for 1 person or 1.5 people. It is not so good for 2 grown men since you would be nearing maximum weight allowed in the boat. With 400lbs in the boat, all it takes is 3 good sized waves to sink it. I know because I tested it. Other than that, good boat. The rudder kit should not be optional, in my opinion. I installed it myself and it took all day long because the instructions were really poor.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
good boat for single use
Cons:
not good for 2 adults
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Overall rating 
 
4.6
Speed 
 
5.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
4.0

A classic...

I bought my Ultimate 14.5 Solo (Angler model) in the summer of 2012. It was my first fishing kayak and to be honest, I didn't think I would enjoy it near as much as I did. The kayak is one of, if not THE, best sit in kayaks out there. To me, the Ultimate 14.5 is like the cargo ships of fishing kayaks with its max weight capacity of 450 pounds and plenty of room for gear. If you're into hunting or camping with your kayak, this is definitely one to look at. I not only fished out of mine, but I also duck hunted, fly fished and bow fished out of it. I've had it on big lakes (by northeastern Indiana standards), rivers and ponds. While not as easy to turn as a 12' kayak, I can still turn my Ultimate pretty easily when needed.

My angler model came with a rod holder, anchor and anchor trolley. The seat on the Ultimate is top notch and super comfortable. I spent many 8+ hour days fishing from mine and was never once uncomfortable.

If I HAVE to list a negative with this kayak, I would say I didn't care for the way it would go left or right when you stopped paddling, much like a truck that has a bad alignment. This wasn't a big deal and simple dropping your paddle to correct it quick takes care of the problem.

Native Watercraft really hit a home run when they created the Ultimate series of kayaks. Definitely worth checking out!

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Stable, tracks really well and awesome max weight capacity plus one of the most comfortable seats on the market
Cons:
Pulled left or right when stopped paddling, but otherwise none
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(Updated: May 16, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
4.0

The Ultimate is the ultimate for me

Choosing a kayak can be difficult because there are so many from which to choose. And they come in all sizes, shapes and colors. If you're an angler, then you can eliminate most cruising kayaks and most sit inside vessels. You'll probably want to look at sit-on-tops (SOT) and/or hybrids that are made with anglers in mind.

I started kayak fishing long before the craze reached Florida’s salt waters. And, as you might imagine, I’ve paddle quite a variety of kayaks. I started out in a 14-foot SOT, ventured into the word of 12-footers and then settled into Native Watercraft’s Ultimate 14.5.

The Ultimate is the ultimate for me and my fleet now numbers three of them. The Ultimate is an angler’s dream. It’s somewhat of a cross between a kayak and canoe. It’s spacious and its tunnel hull makes it so stable that you can stand and fish. That’s a big plus when it comes to sight-fishing or fly casting. I routinely pole along southern Tampa Bay’s sand bars in search of redfish, snook, sharks and gator spotted seatrout.

Since the kayak is wide open, you can carry all the gear you need. I’m a professional kayak fishing guide and I carry a 36-quart cooler filled with drinks and food on my all-day trips.

Of course, the biggest concern is paddling. If your vessel paddles like a tank, then you’re not going to venture too far off the beaten path. The Ultimate tracks extremely straight and rarely requires and paddle correction. For this reason, I’ve opted not to add rudders to my boats.

The Ultimate is also fairly fast for a kayak. I can maintain a speed of 3.5 miles per hour over great distances. I’ve had it up to more than 6 mph, but can’t sustain that very long.

The real Ultimate treat is its First Class Seat, the best in the industry. In other kayaks, I always needed some sort of cushion upon which to sit. I’ve never used a cushion in the Ultimate. The seat is extremely comfortable. And the best news is that it comes with the boat.

While the boat may seem heavy at 72 pounds, it has a natural balance point at mid-ship along the gunwale. Additional you can lighten the boat by seven by removing the seat. I routinely load and unload my three kayaks by myself with no trouble whatsoever.

Ultimates are made by Legacy Paddlesports in Greensboro, N.C. The company, which also produces Heritage and Liquid Logic kayaks, was founded about five years ago by Andy Zimmerman, the brain behind Wilderness Systems.

Zimmerman is an innovator who loves nothing more than to take something good and make it better. The latest line of Ultimates feature a track system along both gunwales into which you can plug in rod holders, GPS units, fish finders, etc. Additionally, he’s added a new drainage system on both the port and starboard sides which greatly facilitates draining the kayaks.

The boats also have tracks on the port and starboard sides that allow you to attach things like bottle holders, paddle clips, tool bags and other items.

Accessories on my boats include anchor trollies and bow spray skirts.

I’ll be upgraded my fleet to 2011 Ultimates last November. I opted for Native’s new camouflage boats. I also added their 9-foot paddle pole and rubberized non-skid mats in the footwells and cockpit deck.

Unless Zimmerman, the mad scientist, comes up with something better, my plans are to remain an Ultimate owner for a long time. I’ve loved the boat since the day I got it and don’t envision getting anything else.

The Ultimate meets every expectation I have. It looks good, paddles great and is very functional.

One of my clients fishing in the Ultimate 14.5
Standing in my Ultimate 14.5
My Native Ultimate Fleet
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