Kayak Fishing Ultimate Resource

Thu, Oct 30, 2014
Jackson Kayak "Kilroy"

Jackson Kayak "Kilroy" Hot

http://www.yakangler.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/315x315s/e1/ae/41/Kilroy-Top-47-1369156930.jpg
May 21, 2013    
 
0.0
 
4.5 (5)
25197   0   11   0   1
Write Review
Jackson Kayak Kilroy

Kayak Make & Model

Brand:
Jackson Kayak
Model:
Kilroy
MSRP ($):
1,149.00
Length (ft):
12

Featuring the fast yet stable hull of the Cuda 12, the “Kilroy” moves Jackson Kayak into the arena of sit-in fishing and hunting kayaks. The Kilroy features all the things to expect from Jackson fishing kayaks like Hi-Lo seating, easy to access rod storage, and stand-up stability. The Kilroy offers a front dashboard that can also be moved to behind the seat, depending on user preference, and four new YakAttack polymer GearTracks to mount the included RAM Revolution rodholder to where it is most convenient.

Features:

  • Hi/Lo Seating
  • Bow deck rigging
  • 2 paddle stagers
  • Rod sleeves inside the kayak
  • Front deck - removable

Specs:

  • Width: 31"
  • Height: 12.5"
  • Weight: 69 lbs
  • Capacity: 375 lbs

 

Photos

Jackson Kayak Kilroy photo by Chris Funk
Jackson Kayak Kilroy
Jackson Kayak Kilroy

User reviews

Average user rating from: 5 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
4.5
Speed 
 
4.0  (5)
Stability 
 
5.0  (5)
Durability 
 
4.4  (5)
Features 
 
5.0  (5)
Value 
 
4.2  (5)
Already have an account? or Create an account
I can't add much that the other guys haven't already said about the features and such, but here is my experience with the Kilroy...

Being in between kayaks as a trip to the upper peninsula of Michigan was fast approaching, I found myself borrowing a 2014 Jackson Kilroy from my local dealer. This particular boat was one of their demos and I was pretty hesitant to borrow it as I'm not a fan of sit insides. At least I wasn't until I paddled the Kilroy. The fishing in the U.P. wasn't the best during our trip, but I was able to spend some time fishing out of the Kilroy and just paddling around as I trolled for crappie. To say I was impressed and blown away at how well this kayak paddles is a BIG understatement! Jackson really did their homework on this one and the result is a perfect all around kayak for those of us who don't fish offshore. The Kilroy will handle small rivers with ease since it turns on a dime, yet it will paddle across the bigger lakes easier and just as fast as some 14' kayaks I've owned.

After spending a week with this borrowed Kilroy, I have no doubt that my next kayak will be a Kilroy. Only hard part is deciding which of Jackson's awesome color choices to choose!
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
5.0
Value 
 
4.0
Jameson Olson Reviewed by Jameson Olson October 24, 2014
Last updated: October 24, 2014
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (9)

VERY Impressed!

I can't add much that the other guys haven't already said about the features and such, but here is my experience with the Kilroy...

Being in between kayaks as a trip to the upper peninsula of Michigan was fast approaching, I found myself borrowing a 2014 Jackson Kilroy from my local dealer. This particular boat was one of their demos and I was pretty hesitant to borrow it as I'm not a fan of sit insides. At least I wasn't until I paddled the Kilroy. The fishing in the U.P. wasn't the best during our trip, but I was able to spend some time fishing out of the Kilroy and just paddling around as I trolled for crappie. To say I was impressed and blown away at how well this kayak paddles is a BIG understatement! Jackson really did their homework on this one and the result is a perfect all around kayak for those of us who don't fish offshore. The Kilroy will handle small rivers with ease since it turns on a dime, yet it will paddle across the bigger lakes easier and just as fast as some 14' kayaks I've owned.

After spending a week with this borrowed Kilroy, I have no doubt that my next kayak will be a Kilroy. Only hard part is deciding which of Jackson's awesome color choices to choose!

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Paddles SWEET for a 12' sit inside, very stable and the features are awesome.
Cons:
It's a sit inside, so no scupper holes. Water that gets inside is hard to drain completely out. But hey, that's a sit inside for ya!
Was this review helpful to you? 
I have to admit, I will have to tone down my review of the Jackson Kayak “Kilroy”. It is not the perfect kayak for me, but it is so dang close it is scary. As a long time canoe paddler, a hybrid style boat is second nature to me and as a photographer I really wanted a vessel that would allow me to store my camera gear safely. Having multiple camera boxes and bags has always been interesting on a sit on top. I get the job done but not without constant juggling of gear.
When I picked up my Kilroy at the Jackson factory, I was on the way to a 3 day trip. I had never paddled one before so you could say I was “all in”. I unloaded the boat on the river bank still wrapped in its protective shipping material. After unwrapping and rigging with the hard deck, I loaded my gear and shoved off.
Since the water was flat on the river, I started out in the high position. I quickly learned that the high position in the Kilroy is as stable as the low positions in most sit on tops. So much so that in subsequent trips when I tried the low position, I really didn’t care for it. That is my one and only non-like of this kayak. In my opinion the low position in the Kilroy isn’t even needed. The stability is enough to make me very comfortable standing to fish or paddle. Usually I don’t like to fight a fish standing, but in just a few minutes I had landed several bass and never sat down.
The Kilroy paddles well even with a large paddler like me and all the camera/fishing gear I was loaded down with. It got up to speed quickly and was plenty fast for me, it had a nice smooth glide as well. Maneuverability was better in the high position than in the low, I am thinking it is because the low position moves the seat forward and puts more weight toward the bow.
While seated, there is ample room at your feet for fishing bags or camera gear and the huge well behind the seat is easy to reach. I found that I could swing a leg over the side and reach anything behind the seat no matter how far back it was in the well. On a recent camping trip, I was able to store my backpacker tent and camera tripod under the bow on both sides of the foam bulkhead. I had the rear compartment filled with backpacking meals from Mountain House foods, (review here http://www.yakangler.com/other-reviews/discussions/review?id=349 ) a camp stove, coffee pot and a small lantern. The rest of the kayak was filled with my camera and fishing gear and I still had room for more. This was certainly one effective pack mule for my camping trip.
I was happy to finally get to test it on a “normal” fishing trip, no big camera gear and just my favorite couple fly rods and a box of flies. The soft deck that comes with it makes a great stripping basket while you are standing and while you are seated, fly line piles on the floor with nothing to snag on. That was really nice for anyone who spends time with a “buggy whip”. On a side note, for photographers, the soft deck makes a great place to sit your camera while stalking a shot; it cradles your camera and won’t let it roll around while keeping it safely away from the paddle drip zone.
The gear tracks come in handy on the Kilroy and there are several options for mounting the rod holders that come with it. I found that mounting them on both sides behind the seat allowed them to stay out of my way and having them at a low angle let me get into some pretty brushy spots. Setting my 3rd rod between my feet kept it secure and ready for action.
Let me say this one last piece about the Kilroy, or hybrid kayaks in general, they are not meant for just any type of water. I have owned 3 different manufacturers hybrids and I reckon although I am not a subject matter expert; I am pretty dang close to one. I would never take a hybrid kayak offshore and I would make sure I knew the weather forecast for any large body of water I was on. Having an open top changes the game considerably for this type of kayak. Large wakes can swamp a hybrid and next thing you know instead of a kayak you are in a submarine.
I will say this in defense of my beloved Kilroy though, on that first 3 day trip, I was thinking about a video I saw of Dan from Headwaters Kayak shop doing a deep water reentry. It really made me wonder if I could do it since I am a bit bigger around than he is. Finally my curiosity got the best of me so I swam out and in very short order did a deep water reentry into the Kilroy myself. I even have pics to prove it ( http://jacksonkayak.com/blog/2013/10/30/jackson-kayak-kilroy-deep-water-re-entry/ ).
The Jackson Kilroy is a very comfortable, extremely stable kayak that is great for fishing, photography or hunting. It will fill a niche for those who don’t like the exposure of a sit on top or for those who are just happier in a “canoe style” vessel. It will brush in very easily and with the seat reclined would make a great layout boat for duck hunting; and using the lumbar pad for a pillow will make your hunting buddies jealous. Like I said earlier in the piece, this is not a perfect kayak for me but I am not sure it is even possible to make a perfect kayak. The Jackson Kilroy comes so close to that for me though it isn’t even funny. If you get the chance, paddle one for a few days and see for yourself.
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
5.0
Value 
 
4.0
Chris Funk Reviewed by Chris Funk November 28, 2013
#1 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (39)

Dang Near Perfect

I have to admit, I will have to tone down my review of the Jackson Kayak “Kilroy”. It is not the perfect kayak for me, but it is so dang close it is scary. As a long time canoe paddler, a hybrid style boat is second nature to me and as a photographer I really wanted a vessel that would allow me to store my camera gear safely. Having multiple camera boxes and bags has always been interesting on a sit on top. I get the job done but not without constant juggling of gear.
When I picked up my Kilroy at the Jackson factory, I was on the way to a 3 day trip. I had never paddled one before so you could say I was “all in”. I unloaded the boat on the river bank still wrapped in its protective shipping material. After unwrapping and rigging with the hard deck, I loaded my gear and shoved off.
Since the water was flat on the river, I started out in the high position. I quickly learned that the high position in the Kilroy is as stable as the low positions in most sit on tops. So much so that in subsequent trips when I tried the low position, I really didn’t care for it. That is my one and only non-like of this kayak. In my opinion the low position in the Kilroy isn’t even needed. The stability is enough to make me very comfortable standing to fish or paddle. Usually I don’t like to fight a fish standing, but in just a few minutes I had landed several bass and never sat down.
The Kilroy paddles well even with a large paddler like me and all the camera/fishing gear I was loaded down with. It got up to speed quickly and was plenty fast for me, it had a nice smooth glide as well. Maneuverability was better in the high position than in the low, I am thinking it is because the low position moves the seat forward and puts more weight toward the bow.
While seated, there is ample room at your feet for fishing bags or camera gear and the huge well behind the seat is easy to reach. I found that I could swing a leg over the side and reach anything behind the seat no matter how far back it was in the well. On a recent camping trip, I was able to store my backpacker tent and camera tripod under the bow on both sides of the foam bulkhead. I had the rear compartment filled with backpacking meals from Mountain House foods, (review here http://www.yakangler.com/other-reviews/discussions/review?id=349 ) a camp stove, coffee pot and a small lantern. The rest of the kayak was filled with my camera and fishing gear and I still had room for more. This was certainly one effective pack mule for my camping trip.
I was happy to finally get to test it on a “normal” fishing trip, no big camera gear and just my favorite couple fly rods and a box of flies. The soft deck that comes with it makes a great stripping basket while you are standing and while you are seated, fly line piles on the floor with nothing to snag on. That was really nice for anyone who spends time with a “buggy whip”. On a side note, for photographers, the soft deck makes a great place to sit your camera while stalking a shot; it cradles your camera and won’t let it roll around while keeping it safely away from the paddle drip zone.
The gear tracks come in handy on the Kilroy and there are several options for mounting the rod holders that come with it. I found that mounting them on both sides behind the seat allowed them to stay out of my way and having them at a low angle let me get into some pretty brushy spots. Setting my 3rd rod between my feet kept it secure and ready for action.
Let me say this one last piece about the Kilroy, or hybrid kayaks in general, they are not meant for just any type of water. I have owned 3 different manufacturers hybrids and I reckon although I am not a subject matter expert; I am pretty dang close to one. I would never take a hybrid kayak offshore and I would make sure I knew the weather forecast for any large body of water I was on. Having an open top changes the game considerably for this type of kayak. Large wakes can swamp a hybrid and next thing you know instead of a kayak you are in a submarine.
I will say this in defense of my beloved Kilroy though, on that first 3 day trip, I was thinking about a video I saw of Dan from Headwaters Kayak shop doing a deep water reentry. It really made me wonder if I could do it since I am a bit bigger around than he is. Finally my curiosity got the best of me so I swam out and in very short order did a deep water reentry into the Kilroy myself. I even have pics to prove it ( http://jacksonkayak.com/blog/2013/10/30/jackson-kayak-kilroy-deep-water-re-entry/ ).
The Jackson Kilroy is a very comfortable, extremely stable kayak that is great for fishing, photography or hunting. It will fill a niche for those who don’t like the exposure of a sit on top or for those who are just happier in a “canoe style” vessel. It will brush in very easily and with the seat reclined would make a great layout boat for duck hunting; and using the lumbar pad for a pillow will make your hunting buddies jealous. Like I said earlier in the piece, this is not a perfect kayak for me but I am not sure it is even possible to make a perfect kayak. The Jackson Kilroy comes so close to that for me though it isn’t even funny. If you get the chance, paddle one for a few days and see for yourself.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
stable, able to carry loads of gear
Cons:
low position makes maneuvering more difficult
Was this review helpful to you? 
I am a Jackson fan. When I saw the new Kilroy in the shop for the first time I had to check it out a little closer. I own a Big Tuna and a Coosa already and love them. So after a few trips to the shop I decided to demo the Kilroy. I was amazed and fell in love. This boat is awesome. Very easy to stand in and tracks excellent. I have had the chance to catch a bunch of fish in it since I have had it and it has performed flawlessly. I have even landed several muskies in it. It has done great. Caught one of the muskies standing and landed him standing until the end where I sat down to net the fish. I have had the boat on small rivers to large lakes so far. It is a nice boat. The boat is very versatile and has a spot in my fleet for life. Love my Kilroy!!!
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
5.0
Value 
 
4.0
Nathan Rhodes Reviewed by Nathan Rhodes July 26, 2013
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

Jackson Kilroy

I am a Jackson fan. When I saw the new Kilroy in the shop for the first time I had to check it out a little closer. I own a Big Tuna and a Coosa already and love them. So after a few trips to the shop I decided to demo the Kilroy. I was amazed and fell in love. This boat is awesome. Very easy to stand in and tracks excellent. I have had the chance to catch a bunch of fish in it since I have had it and it has performed flawlessly. I have even landed several muskies in it. It has done great. Caught one of the muskies standing and landed him standing until the end where I sat down to net the fish. I have had the boat on small rivers to large lakes so far. It is a nice boat. The boat is very versatile and has a spot in my fleet for life. Love my Kilroy!!!

Was this review helpful to you? 
So I recently went on an overnight into full day fishing excursion with my brother on Bryant Creek here in southern Missouri. We loaded up our grandfather's probably forty year-old aluminum jon boat, attempted a fix on an old hull breach, and headed downriver. The fishing was mediocre, but the real pain was bailing water out of the boat. We beached to pull the drain plug; we did an onshore flip after a portage; I sliced the top of a Gatorade bottle off and bailed water a pint at a time. It was a fun trip, but having to clamber out of the boat for every other riffle and acting as a human sump pump detracted from the experience.

During the trip we talked about longer excursions someday, but I knew our watercraft would have to change. Recalling an outing a few years ago in that same boat when we killed our trolling motor and paddled almost constantly for ninety minutes to get to our pickup before darkness fell, I began the process of kayak research.

I soon got a feel for the range of options out there, from cheapie department store toys to huge saltwater rigs bristling with accessories. I initially thought about going the cheap route to get a feel for things, but I started finding those who regretted doing so in forum posts, saying they'd wished they'd just gotten what they wanted in the first place. I thus narrowed my search.

I looked at a few companies, but Jackson kept popping up over and over. Every time I'd see someone post another company's model as a competitor to a Jackson, I'd check it and be underwhelmed, missing some of the features that really stood out to me about Jackson setups. I initially narrowed things down to the Cuda 14, Cuda 12, and Coosa. The 14 was a good looking boat, but since I'll probably be on small rivers 75-85% of the time, I was a little worried about maneuvering that much boat through tight chutes.

The Coosa seemed to be billed as the preeminent river boat, but I read multiple reports of poor tracking and being at the mercy of the wind in slower water; having had my share of zigzagging downriver, I recentered on the 12, as it was billed as a happy medium between the 14 and Coosa. The setup was okay, but there were some design quirks that furrowed my brow (much of the dash system is too far away to readily access, among other things), and honestly, I was secretly wishing it was a SINK.

Well, it is.

But not in its own iteration. More snooping and I found mention of a new Jackson model, the Kilroy, a SINK based on the Cuda 12 architecture. It's a different beast - a canoeyak, if you insist - but I think I made the right purchase. I'll try to walk you through bow to stern and address some praises and minor gripes with the Kilroy.

First, the handles. While not quite flush, the handles are nonetheless designed to be snag resistant. I like that they took care to make the handles interchangeable; I personally like the fixed handles, but I know some guys prefer the reinforced nylon ones. There are four handles total, one each forward, aft, abeam to port and abeam to starboard.

There is a removable rope/bungee setup on the bow; all I've used it for thus far is stashing a little panfish net we found at the bottom of the Buffalo River, but I'm sure I'll dream up more uses for it. Another down-the-road plus is that the bow is spacious enough to accommodate something like a waterproof solar panel setup; I have dreams of pairing one to some 12V accessories, but I'll take this one step at a time.

Now to the dashboard. This is an interesting feature, and seems well thought out for a first iteration. I got the standard rigid dashboard, though they're supposed to be coming out with some kind of soft dashboard option this year, which may turn out to be more of a glorified cargo net. The dashboard has five small bungee loops corresponding to small hooks on the cockpit rim; it's on and off in five to ten seconds, but doesn't move or rattle even in rough water (Class II). The dashboard can be mounted on either end of the cockpit, depending on your preference, though it's more of a gear cover in back - it's very difficult to access there while you're on the water. It also has a paddle rest, but if you've got a smooth handled paddle (say, aluminum) you'll need to get some friction tape or run a bead or three of silicone, because my paddle hovers in the rest and ends up sliding out.

There's a foam insert in the bow of the boat that I'm sure is there for rigidity reasons, but it's not baked in very well - no silicone at the base, so it's never straight up and down. Doesn't affect the performance of the boat, it just bothers me on a psychological level.

On either side of the bothersome foam, though, are integrated rod tubes - one of the best features of the boat. There are two on each side, which completely enclose the tip and about a third of your rod, depending on length, there are also bungee loops close to your seat to strap the rod and handle into place. Once your rod is threaded and lashed in, it's as protected as it can get on the water, completely within the hull of the boat. Though the rod tip protectors on the Cudas are nice, there's no way to compete with this tube setup as far as protection for unused rods. The waters I fish are way too swift and overgrown to go for those flush mount peacock feather setups I see guys use.

The boat has adjustable foot pegs rather than a bar or molded footrests; this is a plus for me, too, as it allows the entire deck to be flat and unobstructed. The adjustment triggers on the pegs are a bit on the chintzy side and seem somewhat fragile; however, once you optimize them I doubt you have much occasion to move them. I do wish they were slanted so your foot could be more at a 45 instead of a 90; that may be a homebrew fix down the road.

There is a short bungee and hook on each side of the boat that serve as paddle keepers; these things are awesome for how simple they are. I can stow my 240 cm paddle in one smooth motion with one hand if I'm preparing to beach or start fishing. It's just a little thing, but it's well-thought and something that would take me effort, time and expense to cook up in the garage.

The seat is a good feature. it has canvas straps on each side that easily adjust, even in transit, allowing you to sit upright or to recline way back. There could stand to be a bit more padding on the top crossbar, but it's otherwise a fine seat. They bill it as being able to serve as a camp chair, but take that with a grain of salt - if it's sandy or muddy at all, you're going to more or less be sitting directly on the ground. If I can figure out a homemade solution to get some elevation that doesn't take up much space, I may tinker with that down the line.

The cargo area behind you is fairly generous, and features an integrated bungee system - a nice feature if you're on a regulated river that requires everything be secured to the boat. It has a raised ribbed platform that comfortably accommodates my 24 can cube cooler, with room to spare for a gear bag (bear in mind that this area gets most of the water accumulation coming into the boat).

The dry hatch is puzzling and a bit disappointing. I found measurable water inside after my Buffalo River float, and I don't know how it got in. The separator between dry hatch and cockpit is dense gray foam, and my example has a weird perforation in it that reduces the minimum thickness to probably under an inch. It's held in place with a silicone job that, frankly, looks a little homebrewy. I don't require a bone dry compartment, but I was miffed at seeing a puddle in a brand new 'yak. When you stuff the lid on, you can hear air wheezing from somewhere, but it's hard to tell the source. Speaking of the lid, you'd think it'd be really secure, because when you think it's on, keep pounding it. It's pretty difficult to tell when it's flush, which may or may not explain my water. Regardless, I'd definitely put any critical gear in a proven dry bag, even in this compartment.

Overall, though, it's a great angling kayak, despite my quibbles. The feature set and the architecture sold me on the boat - everything else I can deal with. Jackson has some good color options for their boats - where some others had maybe three fluorescent choices, Jackson (as of this writing) has Black Widow (a black/red swirl), blaze orange, desert camo, Earth (a blue/green/white), forest camo, limon (fluorescent green) and olive green. Looking forward to giving this thing a few scars in search of river bass.

Check out my parallel video review with more information: http://youtu.be/pe9_hCeQiAA
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
5.0
Value 
 
4.0
Justin Freeman Reviewed by Justin Freeman June 12, 2013
Last updated: June 12, 2013
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

2013 Jackson Kilroy - Canoeyak Attack

So I recently went on an overnight into full day fishing excursion with my brother on Bryant Creek here in southern Missouri. We loaded up our grandfather's probably forty year-old aluminum jon boat, attempted a fix on an old hull breach, and headed downriver. The fishing was mediocre, but the real pain was bailing water out of the boat. We beached to pull the drain plug; we did an onshore flip after a portage; I sliced the top of a Gatorade bottle off and bailed water a pint at a time. It was a fun trip, but having to clamber out of the boat for every other riffle and acting as a human sump pump detracted from the experience.

During the trip we talked about longer excursions someday, but I knew our watercraft would have to change. Recalling an outing a few years ago in that same boat when we killed our trolling motor and paddled almost constantly for ninety minutes to get to our pickup before darkness fell, I began the process of kayak research.

I soon got a feel for the range of options out there, from cheapie department store toys to huge saltwater rigs bristling with accessories. I initially thought about going the cheap route to get a feel for things, but I started finding those who regretted doing so in forum posts, saying they'd wished they'd just gotten what they wanted in the first place. I thus narrowed my search.

I looked at a few companies, but Jackson kept popping up over and over. Every time I'd see someone post another company's model as a competitor to a Jackson, I'd check it and be underwhelmed, missing some of the features that really stood out to me about Jackson setups. I initially narrowed things down to the Cuda 14, Cuda 12, and Coosa. The 14 was a good looking boat, but since I'll probably be on small rivers 75-85% of the time, I was a little worried about maneuvering that much boat through tight chutes.

The Coosa seemed to be billed as the preeminent river boat, but I read multiple reports of poor tracking and being at the mercy of the wind in slower water; having had my share of zigzagging downriver, I recentered on the 12, as it was billed as a happy medium between the 14 and Coosa. The setup was okay, but there were some design quirks that furrowed my brow (much of the dash system is too far away to readily access, among other things), and honestly, I was secretly wishing it was a SINK.

Well, it is.

But not in its own iteration. More snooping and I found mention of a new Jackson model, the Kilroy, a SINK based on the Cuda 12 architecture. It's a different beast - a canoeyak, if you insist - but I think I made the right purchase. I'll try to walk you through bow to stern and address some praises and minor gripes with the Kilroy.

First, the handles. While not quite flush, the handles are nonetheless designed to be snag resistant. I like that they took care to make the handles interchangeable; I personally like the fixed handles, but I know some guys prefer the reinforced nylon ones. There are four handles total, one each forward, aft, abeam to port and abeam to starboard.

There is a removable rope/bungee setup on the bow; all I've used it for thus far is stashing a little panfish net we found at the bottom of the Buffalo River, but I'm sure I'll dream up more uses for it. Another down-the-road plus is that the bow is spacious enough to accommodate something like a waterproof solar panel setup; I have dreams of pairing one to some 12V accessories, but I'll take this one step at a time.

Now to the dashboard. This is an interesting feature, and seems well thought out for a first iteration. I got the standard rigid dashboard, though they're supposed to be coming out with some kind of soft dashboard option this year, which may turn out to be more of a glorified cargo net. The dashboard has five small bungee loops corresponding to small hooks on the cockpit rim; it's on and off in five to ten seconds, but doesn't move or rattle even in rough water (Class II). The dashboard can be mounted on either end of the cockpit, depending on your preference, though it's more of a gear cover in back - it's very difficult to access there while you're on the water. It also has a paddle rest, but if you've got a smooth handled paddle (say, aluminum) you'll need to get some friction tape or run a bead or three of silicone, because my paddle hovers in the rest and ends up sliding out.

There's a foam insert in the bow of the boat that I'm sure is there for rigidity reasons, but it's not baked in very well - no silicone at the base, so it's never straight up and down. Doesn't affect the performance of the boat, it just bothers me on a psychological level.

On either side of the bothersome foam, though, are integrated rod tubes - one of the best features of the boat. There are two on each side, which completely enclose the tip and about a third of your rod, depending on length, there are also bungee loops close to your seat to strap the rod and handle into place. Once your rod is threaded and lashed in, it's as protected as it can get on the water, completely within the hull of the boat. Though the rod tip protectors on the Cudas are nice, there's no way to compete with this tube setup as far as protection for unused rods. The waters I fish are way too swift and overgrown to go for those flush mount peacock feather setups I see guys use.

The boat has adjustable foot pegs rather than a bar or molded footrests; this is a plus for me, too, as it allows the entire deck to be flat and unobstructed. The adjustment triggers on the pegs are a bit on the chintzy side and seem somewhat fragile; however, once you optimize them I doubt you have much occasion to move them. I do wish they were slanted so your foot could be more at a 45 instead of a 90; that may be a homebrew fix down the road.

There is a short bungee and hook on each side of the boat that serve as paddle keepers; these things are awesome for how simple they are. I can stow my 240 cm paddle in one smooth motion with one hand if I'm preparing to beach or start fishing. It's just a little thing, but it's well-thought and something that would take me effort, time and expense to cook up in the garage.

The seat is a good feature. it has canvas straps on each side that easily adjust, even in transit, allowing you to sit upright or to recline way back. There could stand to be a bit more padding on the top crossbar, but it's otherwise a fine seat. They bill it as being able to serve as a camp chair, but take that with a grain of salt - if it's sandy or muddy at all, you're going to more or less be sitting directly on the ground. If I can figure out a homemade solution to get some elevation that doesn't take up much space, I may tinker with that down the line.

The cargo area behind you is fairly generous, and features an integrated bungee system - a nice feature if you're on a regulated river that requires everything be secured to the boat. It has a raised ribbed platform that comfortably accommodates my 24 can cube cooler, with room to spare for a gear bag (bear in mind that this area gets most of the water accumulation coming into the boat).

The dry hatch is puzzling and a bit disappointing. I found measurable water inside after my Buffalo River float, and I don't know how it got in. The separator between dry hatch and cockpit is dense gray foam, and my example has a weird perforation in it that reduces the minimum thickness to probably under an inch. It's held in place with a silicone job that, frankly, looks a little homebrewy. I don't require a bone dry compartment, but I was miffed at seeing a puddle in a brand new 'yak. When you stuff the lid on, you can hear air wheezing from somewhere, but it's hard to tell the source. Speaking of the lid, you'd think it'd be really secure, because when you think it's on, keep pounding it. It's pretty difficult to tell when it's flush, which may or may not explain my water. Regardless, I'd definitely put any critical gear in a proven dry bag, even in this compartment.

Overall, though, it's a great angling kayak, despite my quibbles. The feature set and the architecture sold me on the boat - everything else I can deal with. Jackson has some good color options for their boats - where some others had maybe three fluorescent choices, Jackson (as of this writing) has Black Widow (a black/red swirl), blaze orange, desert camo, Earth (a blue/green/white), forest camo, limon (fluorescent green) and olive green. Looking forward to giving this thing a few scars in search of river bass.

Check out my parallel video review with more information: http://youtu.be/pe9_hCeQiAA

Was this review helpful to you? 
I love this kayak. Jackson really thought of everything when it comes to this yak. It is very stable and has plenty of storage even a dry hatch. The seat is very comfortable and the removable dashboard is so convenient. I was able to remove it and go fishing with my son with plenty of room for him and fishing tackle. The ram tracks on the sides provide for a lot of rod holder options and locations. I do a lot of long floats on my nearby river and it is comfortable to be in all day and stable enough to stand in in moving water as well. I think the only con to this yak is the bulkiness and weight of it at 69 lbs. and 12.5 ft. long it’s very difficult for me to get on top of my Jeep. Overall it’s a great yak for fishermen and for the price this yak can't be beat.
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
5.0
Value 
 
5.0
Jordan Reviewed by Jordan May 28, 2013
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

Great Fishing yak

I love this kayak. Jackson really thought of everything when it comes to this yak. It is very stable and has plenty of storage even a dry hatch. The seat is very comfortable and the removable dashboard is so convenient. I was able to remove it and go fishing with my son with plenty of room for him and fishing tackle. The ram tracks on the sides provide for a lot of rod holder options and locations. I do a lot of long floats on my nearby river and it is comfortable to be in all day and stable enough to stand in in moving water as well. I think the only con to this yak is the bulkiness and weight of it at 69 lbs. and 12.5 ft. long it’s very difficult for me to get on top of my Jeep. Overall it’s a great yak for fishermen and for the price this yak can't be beat.

Jackson Kayak Kilroy
Jackson Kayak Kilroy
Was this review helpful to you? 
 
Powered by JReviews