Submitted: 05-24-2010 by Northpaw
I've had this boat for two years now having bought it on closeout as LL changed companies to Native. It is a fun little kayak to fish from. I do about 90% of my paddling through the surf and offshore and for the most part it suits my needs well.
Pros: Very comfortable seat. I know they rave about the new Native seating, but I find it hard to believe it could fit me better than this setup. It is recessed a bit deeper than others, and sidesaddle can get tough on the thighs, but I usually don't do that offshore anyway. It tracks well and has good glide for a 12' boat with plenty of bow rise to play in the surf without pole vaulting you out from a buried nose. It is DRY. At 210 lbs plus a lot of gear etc. there still is no, nada, zilch water in the cockpit. After having paddled an original Drifter for years this is a welcome change.
Cons: It sits a bit.... fidgety on the water. This is easier felt than explained but the Manta's initial stability is a bit quirky til you get used to it Secondary is good but it just doesn't seem to "seat" itself on the water as well as other boats I have paddled. Not a boat I feel comfortable standing in to fish. I recently bought a Cobra Marauder, and the Cobra seems rock solid at rest when compared to the MR12.
Overall I like the boat. To me the layout more than makes up for any other issues. Keep in mind I fish extreme conditions by most's standards, but taking a 3' swell broadside in this little boat is just a bit more hair raising than in some others out there. If you stay in calmer waters, then this is a sweet combination of speed, comfort and agility that will suit most just fine. And for you Native shoppers, to my knowledge the hull has remained unchanged. Test paddle one and see if it fits your needs.