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Jackson Kayak "Cruise" Hot

 
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Overall rating 
 
4.2
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
4.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
5.0

How could i have missed the Cruise !

man! how could I have missed reviewing this boat ! when I first paddled the Cruise I was blown away. it handled like a dream even with a fat guy in it. I originally purchased it for my bride but quickly fell in love with the clean deck and simplicity. I am not a huge fan of compartments so the cavernous tankwell was a blessing to me instead of having the small lid compartment that the cousin the Cuda 12 has. the Cruise is very maneuverable and paddles great. I was expecting it to plow with my 260 plus in it but it did not. every person I have put in the Cruise has loved it. I really like the fact that it is lighter and less expensive than other models and it is very easy for me to cartop it. the clean deck is awesome for fly fishing, there is NOTHING to hang a flyline on. we are on our second Cruise right now, I had to sell ours to my brother since he fell in love with it too. it was time for a new color anyway, oh the things a kayak photographer has to deal with !

Pros & Cons

Pros:
lighter and less expensive
Cons:
wish camo colors were standard
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Overall rating 
 
4.4
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
3.0
Value 
 
5.0

Jackson Cruise 12-my first yak

This is my first kayak purchase. I do some fly fishing so wanted to get a stable kayak with some room and maybe be able to stand up in. I've only had it out twice and the first time was to just paddle around. Second trip I did some fishing and I was able to fly fish pretty well without needing to stand up. I love being able to put the seat in the high position if needed but I mainly keep it in low. I feel like I can move faster in the low position. I'm not that experienced so it seems a little slow when I really paddle hard but I really won't be doing much of that anyway. It could also be the paddle as I'm just using a basic one for now.

Seat is very comfy, yak is very stable. Will be adding two rod holders when they arrive today. Had to order the Ram tough ball mounts to accommodate those but looking forward to using them. Next up will be to decide on installing an anchor trolley and paddle keeper.

I ordered it from Appomattox River Co. online and got a good deal. It's pretty bare bones but that's what I was looking for.

Being my first kayak, I am very pleased so far and can't wait to take it out some more soon.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Stable, open deck
Cons:
A little slow
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Overall rating 
 
4.0
Speed 
 
3.0
Stability 
 
4.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
3.0
Value 
 
5.0

Best value fishing kayak from Jackson

If the Cuda is Coca-cola, you can call the Cruise Diet Coke. It is the same basic hull (a little rounder though on the edges) but instead of all the stuff you get with the Cuda, you get a clean deck with the Cruise. It still has that comfortable Elite hi/lo seat that keeps me on the water all day long - very comfortable. The boat is stable enough to stand and fly fish out of and the clean deck keeps your loose fly line clean of any snags. Even though it didn't come with rod holders it has in hull nuts installed that will accept Ram balls which leaves the rigging up to the user - you can put whatever you want there, which is nice because not everyone wants the Ram rocket launcher. It does come with an included GoPro mount, which is nice for taking fish pics. This boat has an immense amount of storage for it's size, both in hull, and in the tankwell. Because of it's size it is fairly light, it car tops pretty easily and makes for a great boat to hop from pond to pond while fly fishing for local bass.

I really enjoy this boat, I think it flies a little under the radar since most of Jackson's boats are loaded with accessories. Because it doesn't it has the best value in the line up. This boat is perfect for the marsh redfish that I stalk and the spotted bass of the small, sandy creeks in my area. I'm really happy to see that they've added an Angler option for 2014 that will allow to get the color options available in the entire Jackson fishing line (last year you could only get it in Rec colors). This is a really great boat for those folks with a budget who want an all-water boat with a really nice seat.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Great value, fairly light, comfortable with the elite hi/lo seat, stable enough to stand in, lots of storage, clean deck for fly fishing
Cons:
Not many included accessories, not terribly fast
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Overall rating 
 
4.0
Speed 
 
3.0
Stability 
 
4.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
3.0
Value 
 
5.0

Jackson Cruise 12

I'm always paddling a Cuda 14. But when I was looking for a lighter version, that was less expensive, I didn't have to look hard. The Cruise is a great stripped down version of Jackson's boats. Originally, it was listed by them as a recreational kayak, but they definitely designed it to be used for fishing as well. The Cuda series has the distinct center hatch in the cockpit area; where the cruise is clutter-free. This would make for an awesome fly-fishing platform. Stability is not an issue for me at all, but I'm a small guy (130lbs). I can stand in it almost as easily as in the Cuda. Like another reviewer, it was originally purchased for my wife, but she's only used it twice, because my friends and I have been hogging it! I just recently took my sister kayaking and she used it. Now she's looking at one for herself!

Pros & Cons

Pros:
great value, comfortable, fairly stable, clean slate for your modifications (should you choose)
Cons:
not the fastest boat, can get pushed by the wind
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(Updated: May 03, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
3.4
Speed 
 
3.0
Stability 
 
4.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
2.0
Value 
 
4.0

Simplicity

I had the awesome opportunity to spend a week in the Florida Keys with some of Jackson Kayaks newest products. There was a couple hard driving, serious fishing models and then there was the Cruise. I wasn’t sure what to make of it truthfully. It had a nice look, clean lines and was almost docile looking next to the boats that were bristling with gear and fishing rods. My bride had the first go at paddling the Cruise and quickly learned just how seaworthy this 12 footer is. We launched into a small craft advisory and 20-30 mph winds that would have turned a lesser craft into a submersible.

As soon as we left the protected bay where we launched, the curling white caps began crashing into us quartering on our bows. The Cruise handled itself very well in conditions that most kayakers would have turned around and headed home in. She is an experienced paddler, was wearing an excellent Kokatat PFD, and had a team of seasoned veterans around her so we pressed on. She put many miles on the Cruise that day in everything from open bays to the flats to incredible mangrove tunnels. Her usual ride is an earth colored Jackson Ibis that she is fiercely devoted to but I could tell a Cruise might just be in her future. It was several days before I had my shot at paddling it. A quiet morning had me up before the rest of the adventurers and I figured it was a perfect opportunity to get some seat time. As a larger paddler, I am always leery of a 12 foot boat. They tend to plow with my 250 pound weight in them and I was expecting that to happen with the Cruise. There was no plowing with this kayak! The Cruise rode up and over the small waves that were already forming from a storm in the bay. It tracked beautifully and had a nice long glide when I stopped paddling. Maneuverability was impressive and so was the speed of the Cruise. I was using a borrowed paddle so I would really like to see how well it would do with my Bending Branches angler paddles. They seem to have a better bite and quite a bit more torque than the paddle I was using. Looking over the Cruise, I noticed the slight differences between it and the Cuda and can see benefits of both. For the serious angler, the Cuda has it all with no real need to add a thing.

The Cruise is clean and neat. There are several mounting points for RAM type rod and gear holders for anyone who wants them or for simplicity you can leave them off. There are even GoPro mounts for those who like to film their adventures. It is a wonderful blank canvas that will allow folks to customize as they feel fit. The rear tank well is missing the small cover of the Cuda for in hull storage but the well itself is cavernous! You could easily put enough gear for a nice camping trip in there. It has a large dry hatch in the bow that is a great place to store camera gear for photo enthusiast like myself. There is a small phone and key hatch right in the middle of the deck where the long center hatch is in the Cuda. This opens up the deck and coupled with the clean lines and lack of bungees makes the Cruise an outstanding kayak for fly anglers.

Later in the week I got to watch Jackson’s Brooks Beatty prove that the Cruise could be as serious a fishing machine as any person could want. Moving the Elite seat from the low position to the high position he added the higher visibility advantage and then he stood and poled across the flats casting at various targets with ease. I have to admit, after 7 days with the Cruise, seeing it go from recreational paddlecraft to serious fishing machine, I was fully impressed. One of the biggest attractions of the Cruise has to be its simplicity and that is the reason most of us got into paddling in the first place. Give the Cruise a paddle for yourself and see what I am talking about!

Cruise Bow View
Cruise Stern View
Cruise sunset by Chris Funk
My wife paddling the Cruise
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