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Submitted: 04-03-2013 by Rolff
Years ago I had a Mini-X which I eventually sold because I wanted a faster yak for fishing. As things go I am not getting younger (66 now and still muscular for a fossil) and I get tired of loading my Prowler 13 by myself or during windy conditions. I fish the protected bays of South Louisiana so I wanted some stability, particularly with a stringer of fish hanging over the side of the yak in water full of gators.
I managed to strike an attractive deal at West Marine and purchased another Mini-X, particularly for it's light weight and remarkable stability. With a little personal tinkering I got it rigged to fish my favorite waters for redfish and specks.
Other reviewers have mentioned that the Mini-X does not track well and is slow. It is relatively slow as yaks go, but the tracking issues are more a case of how you paddle. For a hole shot use a mild paddle stroke to get the yak moving and then use a slightly elevated and stronger paddle stroke with the blade passing as close to the side of the yak as possible and it will not dart all over the place. You can use more power in your stroke with the same technique into stronger winds and the boat will track decently although it will not set any speed records.
The Mini-X simply laughs at big boat wakes and heavy chop. You will stay quite dry under these conditions as the shape of the bow efficiently deflects water from chop or waves rather than the water pouring over the bow. The Mini-X sits quite high in the water so strong winds do get a grip and can move you about. Use the three pound folding claw anchor and the boat will stay put and secure in winds stronger than you should be out in anyway. 5'6" rods will fit easily in the square center hatch pointed toward the stern. Or two piece rods will do the same, but you cannot safely get 6' rods in the hull of the Mini-X . .
If you are looking for an inexpensive yak for fishing or play and are not looking for serious speed on the water, the Mini-X is very hard to beat. Even very big fellows will find it remarkably stable even in rough waters and less hardy females will find the Mini-X easy to load by themselves. I have had a number of other small and light SOT fishing yaks and none of them can match the overall confidence the Mini-X provides when fishing big water or during poor weather conditions.
Last, the Mini-X is of very high quality and will not break the bank: leaves you some money to get a really decent rod and reel. Be sure and get a quality padded seat to keep your six o'clock from going numb about the time the fish start biting.
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