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Wed, Sep 02, 2015
Ascend “FS12T”

Ascend “FS12T” Hot

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May 29, 2013  
 
0.0
 
3.5 (6)
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Ascend FS12T

Kayak Make & Model

Brand:
Ascend
Model:
FS12T
MSRP ($):
499.99
Length (ft):
12

The Ascend “FS12T” is a great kayak for the budget tight kayak fisherman. With an extended keel and performance rocker the FS12T has the maneuverability and tracking to get you to fish. A large open cockpit includes 5 position foot rests, large catch-all tray, adjustable cushioned seat, and other work areas. The FS12T comes standard with 2 flush mount rod holders, large 18” x 10” dry storage hatch, and large tank well and fully scuppered deck. You will be hard pressed to find all these features in another kayak in this price range.

Features:

  • Deluxe padded adjustable seat
  • Bow dry storage hatch
  • Open cockpit storage
  • Molded foot braces
  • 2 flush mounted rod holder
  • Full-tackle rod tender

Specs:

  • Width: 31"
  • Weight: 68 lbs
  • Capacity: 350 lbs

 

Photos

Ascend FS12T Sit-On-Top Angler Kayak - Camo.png

User reviews

6 reviews

5 stars
 
(0)
 
(4)
 
(1)
 
(1)
1 star
 
(0)
Overall rating 
 
3.5
 
3.2  (6)
 
3.3  (6)
 
3.2  (6)
 
3.5  (6)
 
4.5  (6)
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Ratings (the higher the better)
Speed
Stability
Durability
Features
Value
User Info
Pros & Cons
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(Updated: August 10, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
2.2
Speed 
 
2.0
Stability 
 
3.0
Durability 
 
2.0
Features 
 
1.0
Value 
 
3.0

"Awww, Come On, Really"

So after a couple of weeks with this thing-
First things first - About me 180Lbs 6foot4.
A full time photographer and part time fisherman and on a budget. On the first day out 9am 75 degrees very sunny - I tried to stand up like the salesman said this is great for and other reviews had stated, well the plastic deck is SUPER HOT! ok ok I can forgive that seems to be a reasonable issue with plastic. I put on the shoes tried standing up again and I SWEAR my foot was going to go right through the deck. It started to give and seemed to stretch as my body weight centered while standing. (only 75 degrees out). Ok so I thought Ill just add a little support underneath in the hull with a few cut 2x4 ends. I did that and so far no issues at all with the deck giving way out from under you.

The hand carriers which there are 2 are not well made- no rubber or seal with the 1/4" screws holding them in. So fixed that by added longer expansion screws and rubber seals. Also added one to each side. Also added a couple cleats because I had them laying around.

So Im a flull time photographer and that was the driving force for this purchase - I needed a dry place to sit the camera and "Big Lens" without any hassle. I lined the little provided cabin area with foam and the camera fits GREAT and is super easy to just reach down and grab on the fly and put back in a hurry without messing with straps and buckles/zippers etc. A place I could keep it safe when Im not actively shooting. SO I THOUGHT!
I have absolutely NO CLUE how but water gets into the hull every single time the boat gets wet.
I climbed in the hull with an extension camera to check the seals of the stuff I had added they are very solid non-leaking attachments. I still have this problem - and find my self not going out and enjoying the kayak as often as I would like.

The drain holes if you want to call them that are more like having a big hole in the boat. I understand water gets in on the deck etc. and they are there to drain the water. Why on earth they are so shallow Ill never understand. As soon as I sit in the kayak (Just Me) water starts seeping in. I put the rubber plugs in and still the water works its way in. I found the holes on the stern side are 1/32" bigger then on the other???? No clue why - but the plugs don't fit correctly and pop right out no matter how hard I push them in. Even with the holes I can see why water doesn't drain the outside river water rests naturally 1/4" form the top of the deck while the boat is empty - once you get in its right level with the top of the deck. so the floor is wet all the time - constantly.

Now the seat - Ok this is super super comfortable and easy to just pick up and put on the beach for a sit. So here is the deal with this rascal. The kayak does not track well at all. It wants turn all about like you're square dancing or something. Now I did notice that problem greatly goes away if I move the seat all the way up to it more forward position. Ok great I thought- But then as you paddling the chair comes up and out of its side and front holding guides and sits cockeyed which isn't comfortable at all. So I thought I would add a strap to help hold it in place - That does work well but man its just a pain if you want to adjust the seat for different types of paddling or you want to adjust your seating for comfort.

The foot rest peddle looking things seem great by design and fairly standard but YET AGAIN lacking in quality - after one 2 hour lazy stream trip one side is already cracking- I haven't pushed on them much at all. they are mostly there just to give your body balance as you stroke. They are not there for you to ram your feet into but to no avail I have cracks.

So I tried the fishing pole thing this comes with and they put on there generously right in the path of the paddle swing no matter where you adjust the chair. 1st that thing is a serious PAIN to adjust and a pain to even get in the lock holder. Everything has to be lined up just perfect or it won't go in and it won't come out. Not to mention that the plastic it is made of is super flexible reminds me of "bit of honey candy " NO way in the world would trust it to hold a nice rod and real. I could totally see an average bass ripping the whole thing off the side in a matter of seconds.
You can totally forget about anything bigger then 10lbs. No WAY will it hold it. I think it might work better to use as an umbrella holder, as long as the wind isn't blowing or even slightly breezy might work for that but will have to relocate it. This would be a good place for the rod holder if you were using trolling motor but there isn't anywhere to mount one unless you want to spend some time fabricating something.

The bungee cord provided to hold your gear down is MOST CERTAINLY dollar general type stuff. I just pulled the stuff off and rethreaded with some stronger stuff. By this time and the experience I was having with this thing I wasn't taking any chances, so just tossed it out.

The paddle holders - My tooth brush is made of stronger plastic then these things and my "Ascend" recommended paddle keeps falling out of them. I know what your thinking and you can just forget about storing your paddle and fishing rods in the hull.- just get that thought right out of your head it isn't happening with the "drain hole tubes" so strategically placed to allow for maximum water to spill on to the deck. No matter, there is always a little water in the hull, I could understand a little bit from heavy rain or running on white water or running it though the car wash even but no - I haven't had it in any rain or even slightly choppy water. The biggest waves/wake i have encountered are the ones I made barging down the stream while my kayak kept trying to dance the hokey pokey as it doesn't track…. at all.

I don't know what to do with thing - it really feels like a monster waste of time and money, and i keep looking over my shoulder for a camera man and tv host to jump out at me and say your on candid camera.

I went to a local kayak dealer ready to get rid of this nightmare and the sales manager wanted to see what I was using- He was super shocked I had this many issues with a new off the shelf kayak and thought maybe user error. So I invited him to give it a try and me a lesson I was all ears and really wanted to know WHAT THE HECK. He climbed on in paddled around and quickly noticed the exact same issues. He couldn't believe the bass pro would put something this poorly made on the shelf, and thought it absolutely must be a "lemon kayak" Needless to say he convinced me to give it a few more tries just to be 110% sure I couldn't live with the barge, before I go for the upgrade of the Jackson Cuda.

After some darn near begging he let me try the Cuda out WOW!! but for more then double the price of the Ascend “FS12T” it should be and it is Faster - Sleeker - Lighter - more stable - has a real dry compartment and an actual avid Kayaker designed it.






Pros & Cons

Pros:
Inexpensive, not so long you need a hitch extension - low profile - doesn't catch the wind - BIG storage right between your legs
Cons:
FLIMSY - NOT WELL MADE - Economical Price Point Kind of Design -
Ascend FS12T Sit-On-Top Angler Kayak - Camo.png
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Overall rating 
 
4.0
Speed 
 
2.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
5.0

FS12T Great First Angling Kayak!

If you are wanting to get into the fishing kayak world for the first time, this would be a great one to buy. Keep inind that the model pictures is the old model. The new model comes with open deck storage on the bow and stern, which i do really like. It would make for a great boat if you have a dog that likes to tag along.

The external seat is comfortable but I do not care for the way it mounts. It slides into tracks on the sides but after sitting in it for the first time, the bolts become bent and difficult to slide back into plce when it slide out of the track. My track actually popped a rivet out after only the second use. This is remedied by putting in some bungees and pad eyes to simply hold it in the kayak if you should flip it. The seat tends to want to move forward or back when paddling or moving around. It would be nice to be able to lock the seat in a more permanent position, similar to the FS128T. This seat only moves forward and backward and with a deck revision, I might consider making it a high low seat and not worry about forward or back.

The Rod holder that it comes with on the side is not usable bc of where it is placed. It gets in the way of the paddle. I never even used mine.

If you are looking for a good standing kayak, this one will fit the bill. It is very stable even with gear.

Don't expect to get anywhere fast in this kayak. Because it is so stable, you give up things like speed. As long as you are not in a hurry, it is great. It tracks pretty well but not as good as a longer kayak as expected. It is fairly maneuverable when trying to navigate tight spaces.

With the addition of some gear track and a couple accessories, this can be a pretty sweet setup, especially for a first fishing kayak.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Stable, durable and a great value
Cons:
Very slow, odd size scuppers, needs transducer scupper
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Steven cooper
Overall rating 
 
3.6
Speed 
 
3.0
Stability 
 
3.0
Durability 
 
3.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
5.0

Perfect for the angler who is on budget

As I was starting the long and grueling search for my first ever kayak I was overwhelmed on the prices and options of kayaks that were out there. I decided to set a budget of 600 dollars and see what I could find, needles to say the ascend fs12t went to the top of the list. It looked like an amazing kayak for the money and figured what the heck I heard alot of good and bad about the yak so gave it a try.


First trip out I noticed it was decently stable if you had a good pair of sea legs and balance. Although I wouldn't recommend standing in this kayak if that isn't the case. It does have plenty of deck space but the stability could have been a little better for stand up fishing, but I am keeping in mind for the price it was pretty good on the stability. The kayak paddled great tracked very good and wasn't too hard to manuaver in rivers or lakes. The ascend also has very spacious above deck storage the only problem is getting to some of it when your on the water,as the yak can tend to be a little rocky when trying to reach the bow. After about my 8th trip I started to notice the deck warping a little bit and noticed the scrubber drains were becoming higher than the rest of the deck which was allowing standing water in most parts of the yak especially under the seat. I never fixed this problem but it was a problem. The seat on the ascend was EXTREMELY comfortable considering my back kills me if I sit for long periods of time but yet I was able to do 9-10 river trips with no pain or fatigue what so ever. Ascend need to make the mounting system different as it is a little bit of a pain to install the seat in the slides and the fore and aft adjustments don't work decent as the seat always tended to slide back to the rear molded slot every time you lean back.

All in all if your not wanting to spend multiple thousands on a first kayak this would be a great starter kayak for you. If I had it to do over though I would have demoed some kayaks before buying. This kayak was great and it was the starting point of some amazing fishing and gave me my chance to experience sit on top kayak fishing which there is nothing like it.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Amazing price to step into a sit in top and get on the water. Very comfortable seat.
Cons:
Deck warps easy and the scrubber holes end up being higher than the rest of the deck allowing water to pool under the seat
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Overall rating 
 
3.8
Speed 
 
3.0
Stability 
 
4.0
Durability 
 
3.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
5.0

2014 Ascend FS12T

Bass Pro Shops has been selling kayaks for several years but took a new step this year which could change expectations. Previously only kayaks in the $1,000 range had a frame seat (think lawnchair style). That all changed earlier this year with the introduction of the redesigned Ascend FS12T. Here are my thoughts:


THE GOOD:

The seat is definitely comfortable. This is such a vast improvement over the previous strap in seat that I had to mention it first. Stability is pretty good as well. I stood up without an assist strap and was able to rock back and forth.

The kayak paddles pretty well. Even in chop it avoids nose walking too much. The width is enough to provide stability but not too much to make it a barge in the water. This is not a kayak for the ocean but should perform well in small to medium sized lakes, rivers and coastal bays.

Possibly the best feature in the Ascend FS12T is the price. At the everyday list price of $549, this is possibly the best entry level kayak available under $600.



NEEDS IMPROVEMENT:

The first thing I would change is the deck layout. There are a couple of recessed areas that don't have scuppers or an ability to drain. I would also stop mounting the rod holder on the right rail. Pre-installed rod holders are rarely where the purchaser wants them, especially the non-flush mounted kind. This one is no different. It's right in the middle of the paddle stroke.

If you are using the seat in a forward position and weigh over about 150 pounds, putting pressure on the foot pegs can move the seat back into the furthest position. This isn't ideal for shorter adult paddlers but works fine for folks at or above six feet tall.

The finish out could use a little work as well. Some padding to reinforce the seat under the deck and a little less sloppy on the sealant around hatches would go a long way.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

All in all, the new Ascend FS12T is a great option for an entry level kayak. The frame seat at the sub $600 price point is breaking the ceiling of options for entry levels. This is definitely worth a test paddle.

From Dean Brown at Bass Pro Shops:

If you do have issues BPS has an Ascend Hotline for anyone with part issues.
417-873-5034
Just give them a call and they can help with replacement parts for Ascend Kayaks.
Ascend kayaks are made by Tracker Boats, right here in the USA.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Seat, Price
Cons:
Deck layout
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Speed 
 
5.0
Stability 
 
3.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
5.0

Maybe, maybe not!

Let first start off by saying this, the picture above is the 2012 model, not the current 2013. The difference is that the SCOTTY mount that is in the center has been moved back from what you see, to the flat, closest to the seat. The complaints from owners got the best of Ascend so they changed it. Not a bad idea, but they should have only gone half way, for me anyway. I use spinning reels and where I hold the rod is right in that area for reeling. My bail is constantly hitting the SCOTTY rod holder. It gets annoying.
Other features in the picture that are deceiving are that this looks like a flat bottom boat. It is not. It has quite a beveled hull. You cannot lay it flat it leans to one side or the other.
Now that the myths are out of the way, let me get to what I can. The speed and tracking on this boat is fantastic. It really tracks pretty straight unless you're dragging something like a live well or drag chute or chain. It cuts thought the water very well with the very slim lined bow keel. I also find it a bit hard to keep from feeling like I'm going to tip over because of the hull shape. If I am focusing on tying on a new jig or line I feel a bit wobbly as well.
The rotomolded hull is really thin, so it bends pretty easily. If you tie it down to tight to your car carrier it will ward the hull. It will bounce back but it's still a bit frightening. When you sit down the seat will buckle a bit as well. The Scupper holes that you see on the bottom do not match the top. There are 6 holes in the hull, 2 by your feet, two where the seat is, and two in the well in the rear. Only the ones in the front and rear go all the way through though. The ones in the seat are blocked at the seat area. This means any water that it collects, stays where it is and doesn't drain. There are dimples where the scuppers SHOULD be but it has been recommended by several other reviews to NOT cut through. I have heeded the warning. I'm not really sure what would happen if I did.
The rod holders serve their purpose well enough, didn't like the ones behind the seat but I have learned to deal with them.
The seat is probably the best part of it. Closed-cell custom foam really is super comfortable. Spent several hours in this thing and it was not an issue until the shorts got wet. Then it was the usual swamp butt irritation but not due to the seat itself.
It is listed at 78 pounds but it feels heavier than that.
The only other problem I have with this is that the hull will get water in it EVERY TIME. I don't know yet where it comes in. Even though the hatch at the front is overlapping and rubber sealed, you may want to store whatever you put in there in a dry bag if it isn't meant to get wet.
The hatch is oval and large but it still doesn't allow a lot of storage. You cannot fold the seat down enough to get it in the hatch while transporting. The paddle will not fit because of the expansion foam under the forward portion that is there to give more support to the structure.
For the price this Kayak is pretty good even with the bad things about it.
If you're looking to get into Kayak Fishing with the cost being at a lower price, start off with this boat and work your way through the issues as I have.

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