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Submitted: 04-30-2004 by Thomas
What attracted me most was the features you get for the price. I got everything (not cheapie options either); kayak, seat, paddle, for the boat's retail price - the boat comes built in with large front hatch, rod holder, bungies, paddle/rod holder, tacklebox tray, bucket/crate well, 24 inch ruler.
I took it around a lake to fish and paddle around, and it's pretty stable and tracked ok. If you paddle too hard, it might off your tracking. Also, you will turn a bit if you lean - but you can do that with other kayaks.
The cockpit feels roomy and unrestrictive. The boat has rounded side swollen looking gunwales (for stability) and a v shaped underneath, with grooves (for tracking). I also found the rounded sides more comfortable than straight angled sides.
The hatch up front is large and can easily fit my rods - you can slide a 1 piece rod all the way into the back nearly the whole length of the boat - you may have to bend the rod a little to get it to go in, will also fit a small cooler for drinks and lunch, and there's still room for more. I like that this hatch has a raised plastic lip (part of the whole kayak) to keep water out - no need for gaskets.
There are 2 rod holders which are really modified scupper holes that taper down and become smaller toward the bottom. It has a built in tray/tackle box holder in the middle. My Plano 3500 barely fits in it. There's also a drink holder, but I used it to hold a plastic container of bait. There is a bungie in the very rear, I use it to hold the paddle - stick the blades into it. In addition, there's also a 24 inch ruler molded into the side to measure your fish, as well as a flat area just by the front hatch for compass, fishfinder, and or rod holder.
Seat was dry til we put a cushion in the bucket well and put another person there facing the other way, so total weight with 2 people was 260 lbs. Then a bit of water would come up through the seat scuppers once in a while.
Things I didn't like: I had to replace the side and middle (rod/paddle/tackle holder) bungies because the ones the boat came with were too tight and unuseable. Because it was so tight, the hook to hold it on the side got a little loose from wiggling the tight bungie on and off.
The plastic is perhaps just a tad softer and maybe thinner than more expensive brands - I didn't really notice this til I saw other brands up close and saw how hard and really stiff their plastics were. It is not flimsy though, but if you put the Kingfish kayak on hard ground and sit on the area behind the seat and on the bungie way in the back - you can feel the plastic go down a little bit. But it normally doesn't bother me, and you can't notice it once in the water. This may also contribute to the kayak's lightness in weight.
Because of all the built in options, this is a decent kayak for the money. Because of its stability, it's a good kayak for beginners. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to kayak around and maybe even fish.
But you should test drive one, like I did, before buying to make sure it's for you.
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