Submitted: 05-09-2011 by fisheate
After two seasons of fishing this canoe I feel I can now give a decent review of it's paddling while fishing characteristics. I do much more river fishing than lake fishing and I do believe I would benefit by a little rocker.
When paddled solo with my 175lbs and gear (tackle, rods, small cooler) I know it is loaded well over 200lbs. My only complaint is that the stern tends to stick. I believe I have my cargo loaded in a neutral position, I have found I gain the most control with the center seat high in back, low in front, feet braced against the Wenonah footbrace. From this position, even with substantial side heeling, the stern makes a swooshing noise as it sticks in moderate current. I paddle with a 250cm kayak paddle, I will be going longer in the future.
The canoe paddles well upstream and handles dam tailwater waves easily. As a tandem it is adequate, it paddles nicely with with my 8 year old boy, loading properly to balance weight, J-strokes nicely in this configuration. I have 2 friends I fish with regularly and while a hair twitchy the Solo-Plus is acceptable for this use, they are of similar weight to me, and the craft is only suitable for downriver use as the load is too much for good upriver paddling. I have a third friend that has fused vertibrae in his lower back, with his inability to keep his upper body vertical with the movement of the canoe, this canoe is just to twitchy at this loading to be safe.
Overall I am happy with this canoe as I ask a lot from one boat. If it were designed just for me I would like a little rocker and some flare in the bow and stern (might not be possible in royalex)