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Submitted: 04-15-2002 by CharlesB
This review is from a relative newcomer to the sport, so take it for what it is worth.
I just bought a Dagger Reflection 15 after renting various canoes. I tried big aluminum Grummans and a 17'4" Old Towne. These canoes from the outfitters always seemed very heavy and stabile, because they were! I actually went looking for a bigger boat, but the salesman convinced me that for what I wanted to do with it, a smaller boat was better for maneuvering. He was right.
My wife and I decided to buy a canoe so we could launch when we wanted, since our main interest in a canoe is wildlife photography. We want to launch at sunrise and the outfitters usually aren't open that early. The first thing I noticed about the Royalex Reflection 15, is the weight. It is only 55 pounds so it is a breeze to put it up on the roof rack.
We took the canoe out to a slow moving river and noticed quickly that the primary stability isn't as good as the heavy canoes we rented. That isn't a problem since we quickly adjusted to it and also found that the secondary stability was excellent. We intentionally rolled the canoe sideways to test it and it is very solid when leaning a few degrees to either side.
It doesn't track as well as a 17' canoe, but that is to be expected. It didn't take long for me to adjust my J stroke to keep it straight. By the time we'd been paddling an hour, we found that it is an excellent boat for our purposes. It turns quite well which is nice for exploring the marshy areas. We moved into an area we never would have tried with a 17' boat and saw a rare bird that we would have otherwise missed.
The boat moved quite well both upstream and downstream. There is no whitewater around here, but we did ride over some power boat wakes and it handled them effortlessly. In fact, we enjoyed it enough that we were deliberately crossing over the wakes. I'm delighted with the Reflection 15. Primary stability and tracking could be better, but it would certainly degrade performance in another area.
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