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Review Detail

Ascend "FS128T"
Fishing Kayak Reviews
April 23, 2013    
(Updated: May 03, 2013)
Overall rating 

Ascend FS128T

I ended up getting the FS128T today and had a chance to take out. I went to the new(er) pond out in Shorewood, I think it is called Chamwood Preserve.

The kayak performed well, but I do have some small issues, but first the pros.
1. Tracking. It tracked very well I felt. It was quite windy today and I headed straight into a head wind and it was easy to manage.

2. Space. This thing has tons of room. I found that I did not want or miss my milk crate that I use on my other kayak. I simply tossed my tackle bag behind the seat and had everything I needed (I did clip the bag to a line, just in case). There was room for a full size cooler up front or in the back if I wanted/needed one. The under deck storage is pretty ample as well and the large openings make putting even large items below deck easy. I could easily take enough gear for a weekend of river camping if I wanted, the only thing that might be an issue is total weight of gear+person. I am 200 lbs, another 150lbs of gear is a LOT for me.

3.Stability. It was easy to move around on and I did try to stand (while I was only in 1 FOW, again just in case). Reaching behind for my tackle bag was a cinch. Casting was easy. You won't be dancing a jig on this boat, but it is way more stable than any other kayak I've used.

4. Seat. The seat is super comfy and adjustable. In the hot summer it will be nice as the mesh allowed a good deal of air movement under my rear end (it was a little chilly today). I put the seat in the highest set of mounts (and left it there, see issue #3) and it was incredible to be able see so far and it really helped with casting. I really don't see why I would stand up in this boat as the seat is plenty high, even for fly casting. I could easily spend 6+ hours in this boat.

5. Maneuverability. It was not bad, but it's pretty plain to see that this not a creek boat. It does not turn on a dime, but I found it to not be an issue, I might change my mind in the future, but I'll give a little to gain good tracking and boat that stays were I want it. I never really messed with the seat pivot, I tried it a little by the shore and it worked fine, but does not seem like something I will use a lot.

And now the issues, I consider them to be pretty minor, but somethings might be a big deal to other people.

1. The weight. It's heavy and being that it is near 13' long a bit awkward to try and load alone. I was able to manage, but it was more of a pain than it should be (see issue #2). I consider myself to be fairly fit and decently strong (I'm, 6'0 200 lbs). A small person will not be able to load/unload this thing alone.

2. Lack of handles on the sides. This is what made loading it such a PITA. I used to load a 75lb Old Town canoe onto my Jeep alone and it was way easier because there were places to get a good hold. This will be an easy and cheap fix with some after market handles. It does seem like something they should have thought of.

3. Seat height adjustment. I was not able to adjust the seat height while on the water. Maybe I am missing something on the best way to do it and maybe I will figure out a easy way. I can see wanting a lower seating position if it is REALLY windy or choppy or maybe on a river with a fast current, but my bet is that I will use the highest position 98% of the time.

Other than the three minor things (IMO), this is a really good boat. I am going to really enjoy it on the pits at Mazonia and on the Dupe. Because of the high seat, I would recommend a longer paddle. I was using a 230 cm and was wishing for more.
I'm sure I'll figure out more as I use it more.

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