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Submitted: 06-26-2012 by RangerPaul
The Stealth Angler is the fishing version of the Temptation. I felt some trepidation when it arrived for two reasons. First the strap assembly to adjust the seat back was installed incorrectly. The strap you'd pull to adjust it was attached to the boat on both sides and the strap with the buckle wasn't attached to anything. Also, the scrap plastic cutouts from installing the "fishing" add-ons, and all the "sawdust" was still inside the kayak. That did not give me a lot of faith in the manufacturer. When I called to complain about the straps, the lady who answered acted like these defects were no big things. She did offer to send out a new strap kit so I could fix it. There were installation instructions included that were easy to follow.
On the water the boat is easy to use. Being only 50 pounds it goes on and off the roof of my CR-V pretty easy. Getting in and out is very easy. Great for a fat middle-aged guy with bad knees. I like the paddle holders and use one to hold my wading staff. The boat is comfortable, even for long periods. It didn't come with scupper plugs, but those foam practice golf balls fit right into the holes (from the bottom).
I haven't gotten the hang of the handling yet. It seems to want to veer off in a direction on its own. The river I'm on most often changes a lot and so does the current. Lots of twists, turns, downed trees, gravel bars, rocks, stream barbs and wing dams. It's mostly pretty shallow so when something blocks or alters the current, the bottom scours out and the flow speeds up, usually right up against the obstruction. It takes some serious paddle drag to steer through that and if you start going in a 45 degree angle or sideways it can get pretty scary. On some bends, the boat turns completely around. It is nearly impossible to go upstream through these areas. You have to really dig in hard, and then of course the boat "walks".
Now to be fair, my last 10 footer, a sit-in with a dihedral hull, did this too. It however was really tippy, so I was afraid to edge it, especially around strainers. I capsized pretty often. My Emotion seems like it WANTS to be edged, and I'm thinking of adding some knee straps for doing just that. One thing handling-wise I really like is how easily I can float perpendicular to the shore in quiet water. Gentle draw strokes are enough to keep you going in this orientation. It's whisper quiet too.
I haven't fished from it yet, as I generally like to paddle to my spot and then get out and wade, but next week I'm going to try some deeper water, so I'll find out how that works. I do know that the Scotty Rod Holder provided, does not hold a light spinning outfit well, and, like the "water bottle holder" shown in the video, is too far forward to be of much use to me, (5'7"). The other bottle holder is too shallow and too close to keep a bottle upright. I'd hate to try a can.
Over all, for a $400.00 kayak I'd recommend it in a heartbeat.
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