See Current Canoes from Dagger
in the Buyers' Guide
It has just the perfect amount of rocker to turn with a little lean and a stroke, but it doesn't spin 180 degrees if you put the paddle down to take a picture. Stability solo is rock solid. I could imagine it could be a bit "Wobbly" with seats toward the stems? If I were to use it tandem I would probably put my stern seat closer amidship to alleviate that?
I've only dumped this boat once, and that was by going down the wrong line into a "Hole" in a Class II in high water. Otherwise, the bow is plenty voluminous and just enough flare to hold itself above Class I-II wave trains.
I've been paddling since the '70's and have paddled a LOT of boats. I cannot imagine selling this boat unless it was to replace it with another boat with the same specs. Tough to find a better solo on the river IMHO. Sure, some want those skinny little boats that paddle faster and try to spit you out when you hit a squirrely eddy line. ME, I want to swim when I want to swim, not when the boat dumps me out! The Reflection 15 is my all time favorite river boat.
I've tandem paddled it a fair amount with a teenager in the bow and often with a 75lb retriever in the center as added fun. It does very well at this also. We have never used it for camping, but I think it would do fine for a weekend trip for two average sized paddlers with reasonable gear. It does fine on moving water due to good fullness and some flair in the bow, but I think if you are mainly doing rivers you may want something with more rocker. I've only had it out in mild whitecaps and it tracks well and handles that kind of chop fine, and seems likely to handle bigger waves fine too. Mad River now makes the Reflection 15 so the boat is still available and well worth your consideration if you want a small tandem that can be solo paddled.
I was using a bent canoe paddle, but can see that a kayak paddle could work well, esp for speed. I wasn't carrying gear, so the wind tended to knock it around a bit. It should be perfect for an overnight trip down a stream or creek.
Mine is getting beat-up from all the whitewater. Anybody know where any are since I think they are out of production now? I'd like to get a new or not very used one.
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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